Page 1

16-22 August 2013

Vol. 2 No. 52  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Gurgaon Report Card Last 12 Months

Where We Fared Poorly Erratic & inadequate Water supply Erratic & inadequate Power supply/sub-stations still not set up n Disconnected Sewage network, no separate storm water drains, poor garbage

(n items featured in same column in previous year)

Where We Did Well Negligible major organized crime Better traffic – presence of more policemen on the road, regular checking of





collection, waste lying untreated and seeping into the ground at Bandhwari Treatment Plant, no space for dumping and/or treatment of malba & e-Waste n Water Harvesting ineffective n Illegal bore wells still feeding new construction sites r No Bus Stops r Bus Stand & Railway Station await renovation r No Jobs growth in IT/BPO, lay offs in Auto & Export firms r Udyog Vihar sorely lacking infrastructure, Manesar hardly a Sohna model industrial township r No closure in Maruti case even after a year – workers still in jail r Cyber Crime increasing n Delay in Justice in ‘high-profile’ hit-and-run cases n Carjackings’/Snatchings are a daily phenomenon r Hookah bars and many Pubs operating against rules n Bangladeshi influx unabated r Placement of liquor vends is ‘in your face’ r Poor road repairs – the first rains pothole the roads n Toll Plazas chaos continues r Ad hoc & quick transfers of Sr Admin.; 3rd MCG Commissioner in a year n Mayor(s)/Councillors are ineffective r MCG role is limited r MCG House Meetings hardly take place; even when they do, there are hardly any decisions taken r Levy of Property Tax, the major revenue earner, is still unclear n Very high food prices n No decision on Unauthorised Colonies and IAF restricted area residents await provision of Civic amenities n Parking mess across the City; multi-level parking is a ‘pie in the sky’ n Autos running without a fare rate/meter n Hero Chowk issues not resolved – becoming a 10-year Plan r Multiple FOBs/Flyovers planned – no progress r Rapid Metro delayed r No ‘Tree Act’ yet in Gurgaon/Haryana n Aravallis still being exploited n Why a new Societies Act for Group Housing Societies? What was wrong with Haryana Apartment Owners Act, 1983? r Why has land of denotified SEZs not been returned to respective farmers? n Public Toilets shut down and discarded r HUDA priority spend is for a Rs 500 crores + DLF-HUDA r Highway’ through DLF Phases, replacing a good wide road r Outdoor sports culture missing in City r EWS Housing is on paper only; meanwhile hundreds of apartments lie idle r Delay in ‘new’ Civil Hospital – multiple ‘starting’ dates over many years r Piped Gas is a pipe dream for most r Polythene ban drive ineffective r RTE implementation deadline extended r Many private builder areas have poor facilities and maintenance r Gurgaon II (new sectors) residents have started occupying apartments in condos without authorized water and power supply, or sewage connections.

a Multiple actions for women’s security – deployment of women police,

Versus Last Year: ‘Road repair’ and ‘Rapid Metro’ have moved from ‘Well Done’ to ‘Can do Better’. Sohna Road moved from ‘Can do better’ to ‘Well Done’.

drunken driving & over-speeding Women PCR Vans, Women’s Helpline

Regular, expanding City Bus service a National Green Tribunal intervention - stoppage of marble trading in Aravalli n

area, checking of tree felling

a Hi-tech Greenhouse set up n Flourishing Medical Tourism, new Hospitals (like Fortis) a New CGHS Dispensary in Sec 55 a Road renovation project taken up a Air Quality Monitoring started a Disaster Management Mock Drill held n Positive RWA activism versus errant builders a First private Legal Aid Clinic, DNA Forensic Lab & Human Milk Bank a Jamabandis’ available online a Integration of Registration & Land Records a ‘Prashasan Aapke Dwaar’ – Administration reach-out to villages


16-22 August 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–52  16-22 August 2013


C oming U p

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART egies. The sessions will be held using questionnaires, audio-visual inputs case studies and role plays.

Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Dy. Manager Accounts & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana


Intensive Workshop Week


Lal Qile Ka Aakhri Mushaira

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 18 Time: 7:30 pm


he Play recreates the last mushaira that took place at Lal Qila before the 1857 Uprising. Noted Urdu poets like Mirza Ghalib, Ustad Zauq, Momin Khan Momin, Dagh Dehlavi, Nawab Sheftah and Bahadur Shah Zafar participated in this Mushaira. The Play reflects the poets' inter-personal relationships in the witty repartees that are exchanged. Actor Tom Alter portrays the role of Bahadur Shah Zafar. Suitable for 12 years and above.

Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:

@ Zorba the Buddha, MG Road Date: August 19 to 25 Time: 8:00 am to 7:00 pm


ati Summer Dance Residency (GSDR) presents the Intensive Workshop Week (IWW), a 7-day Workshop for dancers and choreographers. The Sessions will be conducted by experienced practitioners in the fields of performance and dance. The Workshop entails presentations, classes and discussions on different approaches to creating choreographic works. Speakers include Sankar Venkateswaran, Daisuke Muto, Rakesh MPS and Padmini Chettur.

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 23 Time: 10:30 am to 9:00 pm


n four-day Exhibition of some of the best premium and branded home decor and furniture products.

Incentive Travel & Conventions Meeting

@ The Leela Kempinski, Ambience Island, NH8 Date: August 20 to 22


3-day Expo that will bring Corporate Travel Managers, Destination Management Companies, Event Planners, HR and Marketing Managers under one roof. The importance and value of travel related products and services will be discussed.

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

Interior & Exterior Exhibition


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.


Performing Arts

Music & Talk

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 20 Time: 7:30 pm


n evening of patriotic songs by the Sakha Choir. This will be followed by a talk by some eminent personalities from different fields, who will speak about the nation.


Theatre Workshop

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Up to December (Saturday,Sunday) Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

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.

To Advertise Please Contact


Performing Arts


@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 20 Time: 7:30 pm

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 20 Time: 7:30 pm

The Role of Music

7838003874 P 9999444818

ran Nevile speaks on the role of music in people's movements. This is followed by a concert of Ghazals & Sufiana Kalaam highlighting women's rights, by Somesh Mathur.

Stress and its Management


three-part Workshop on the management of stress by Dr. Sonali Bali & Mrs. Simrita Chaudhry. The Workshop includes interactive sessions to help individuals to identify stress, its symptoms and coping strat-

or all theatre lovers, here's a chance to learn the nuances of acting by members of the Barry John Acting Studio – a wonderful opportunity to develop your passion. (For children between 13 and 17 years)


Manipuri Dance Recital

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 23 Time: 7:30 pm


classical Manipuri dance recital by Sovanabrata Sircar and Nutan Sovan Sircar.

Raksha Bandhan Special

@ Episode, 203, Galaxy Tower, Sector 15 Date: August 21


ake this Rakhi special and get unique gifts for your siblings. Choose from a perfect array of options – from personal, home, religious, celebratory and office desk creations.

C oming U p

16-22 August 2013





Ticket Prices

Art Workshop


Fun Fridays

@ Zura, SCO-40, Sector 29 Date: August 16 Time: 9:00 pm onwards


njoy a fun-filled Friday as DJ Sumit Pradhan spins out Rock and Retro music. Dance the night away.


Saturday Night Bash

@ Ion Club & Lounge, JMD Regent Arcade Mall, MG Road Date: Up to September (Saturdays) Time: 9:00 pm onwards


ive it up on the weekend with this bash. Dance the night away to Club and House mixes. Let your hair down and party hard.

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: Up to August 31 Time: 10:30 am to 1:00 pm


earn Art with contemporary Indian artist Kavita Jaiswal. Kavita will shape each individual's work – beginning with sketching, drawing, textures and tonal variation, and leading to composition and painting. Age: 18 yrs & above


A Comedy Play (Dawa-Daru, Bai-Begum) and A Stand Up Comedy (Crazy Comedy) Directed By Mrinal Dhar

Sat. 24th & Sun. 25th, August 2013 Time & Duration - 7.30 PM/ 2 Hours. Venue : EPIcentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon

Independence Day

@ Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29 Date: August 16


ontinuing with Independence Day celebrations, KoD is offering a unique Indian experience. Enjoy the traditional kite flying and a vibrant cultural parade. There will also be special Rangmanch performances. The highlight of the Event is a ride in a Hot Air Balloon.

Write To Us 12-18 April 2013 14-20 June 2013

Vol. 2 No. 34  Pages 24  ` 7

9-15 Aug ust

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

Vol. 2 No. 43  Pages 24  ` 7

{Inside} A Convenient Track?


re The cks' A CapitalBewaPlan The S'Qua ta

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

Vol. 2 No.

19-25 April 2013

51  Page

s 24  `




INLD In Poll Mode

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

/2011/3931 write to us at 9, Posta l Regn. No. /35/2 uoyed byGRG the positive 012-2014 results in the recently held municipal elections, the Indian National Lok Dal has sounded the poll bugle, and started making preparations for the 2014 State and Union elections. The Party, which held a Working Committee meeting in Gurgaon this week, has decided to launch a statewide public awareness campaign against the alleged misrule, corruption and scams, in which ruling Congress members the miracle t proposed The Genuine dilute areas the development promise to provide ain sect in Delhi the Har ana are involved. Senior Parcures. the Har Ow yana with Delhi not contributing much, owing ion Apartm nerCertified ship 2025 less 9001-2008 as compared Gurgaon. Harsh (name are Apartm s “Once s Act the y- ISO Public Schools changed) Act (HA entdoctor. ty leader and MLA, Ellenabad, Abhay was one to such ter Plan to the monopoly of the government in ciet Ow Singh Chauregare OA) ner houses ies Reg into the ‘new ent projects launched, Without possessing Delhi will have While the Capital hasMas had an ulat 198 tala, said that public meetings and demonstrations MBBS istratio degree es the hectares or 3, any - and ask land acquisition32,4 08development. and But all interest hectares available n Act ’ Soownpoints,whi all price medical qualification ch re-r which ed all will some Govt. School ‘ratnas’ andattraining, would be organised in all the 90 constituencies 37,512for 2012, of apa heersh hadipbeen this is going to change in the next couple seem andhe says. egistere the RWAs attract rtment buyers from running a nursing across NCR,” sin a time now, our City too can hectares 5 lacs home of the State, to make the people aware to a d und sector to Act forthe hav the 41.6 past buy get of years, 23 treatments,” with . the current tha UPA governabout the e er this ers, being This mov says one his patients. Surprisingly, met wit 30,2 A largewear n number five years. He would of coat buyers in Gurgaon of a few. With the right rea misdeeds of the Congress, and to channelize a lab ‘new and hcarry sonable e, insi medical Total land boastarea hectares ment pushing for the while he had As more aas was the stethoscope. But investors, also ders say,’ negligence cases onto Delhi, 15,828Delhi Master Plan theya dire ct fall three leadership, he ran exp andteacher-parentecte ble anger of the masses against the government. outwill of d, luck flock when‘suc 40 lacs a cess niza patient mer (DMP) 2021, which embraces the private out ous batt going against Chauhim, of his patients was aware of none lookStat ’. Menon. to eearn morethe lodged a complaint profits, mov govhim, the nuTotal urba sibling support, State schools hectares Us against tala also demanded a judicial probe against e predicts ern as he refused by the to byContaCt con sector with gusto. DMP 2021 calls for unof ofthe men this. les being Congress 48 fusion Real estate observers examine the medical tsay latio that the market in City-bas fought has canngenuinely become 15,1 against tests are good MP Navin Jindal and his company, for done atthe a lab in that was led hectalmost not City locking People 60,000 hectares involvement For a popu of land without in per ed to in a , abo proper degree and training in Gurgaon has Millenn referred already slowed many ons down in the last RW 1 by him. “We educators of the never the coal scam; he said that the CBI statement knew ut he was As a quack. 203 pow The builder 250 pers rural, urban and unauthorised areas of ium medicine have entrenc tial of filing opened ers and the futu clinics six months. board outside his nursing low the s, who refu r Plan the large. re an FIR against the Congress MP was just home mentioned Residen public at hed and nursing homes across ity thatrole the RW ste he was man the National Capital for development, to the City. dens an Even eyewash. se educated l Ma nor , people agemen just trust the boards put Chopra, a qualified doctor. I Sam CEO to folof Remax, As also entia ms and derline 12m have visited aft) Chautala also assailed the Haryana government close to n, hav home t of so ...Pg whinursing 10 meet up doutside n rising demand for ares e prothat- his housing and(Dr these rule clinics. for Avge. resid k, as a by HAO Some of these ‘doctors’ have ersothe many times, and Ibelieves the chDelhi 7 hect Masterfact, s unved till http://www.americanpub have never awarding a Rs 300 crores contract to the had tan issue with to any now the Plan sq. m./p h A Last wee Friday Gurgao Gur infrastructure. Will1,57 learnt t this the Jindal Plan be and 2.5 traditional expanwidt pivo 198 Group medicine gao will system, definitely effectanthe 3. In market ists in who t in safe the of n-based imp without floating any tender. interest Min. roadThe New ssmisent yearPlan oraresin Delhi now have a major influence firs sion spaces oftthis have – and enSectors' this asse where the State Millennium activin brand City, asgua rdin Contd on p 8  Delhi has a better an several been 1,429 hect owners. s of parks/op you of the apa g the - wanting. e on the Gurgaon-Noida Contd story? invo Experts on are rd ares p has 9 been  s. gav largely found lega bui value, Area for (68 to 80) Pathways infrastructure and It lved amenities. we “Land rtm lders, l batt ct road on the impact that Backwa ent 4,53of3 hect g seledivided treatment as HAO may the Delhi Masbe recatheir proper RealStep and asse Estate developers rights and analysts, who and ial the Reg consolidation is happening in Delhi, rt tha les with FSI mentalAharassment – One give sexual por width, alon lled ecially is rampant tan it Master Commerc istrar said t mak Amrita s prim terares males), Plan – both on the urban 1,000 growth of per cehave are tracking family,” n (esp the Delhi females all-the Plan, say that and (877 of 200m normsof in the been In heirs ofand liberalised, ing of SocDr. land gao family. pow the 5,431 hect Gur in the ial belts by the male members erfu control man, for )opportunity managee im- inse ieties Delhi, as well Studies for each as its fallout on a bride Gurgaon Women it offers Manesar to find a great ices Director, ares the housing topooling impossible Yadav, has the men an The new Commerc farm l bod thatallowed. ofbeen hect found y, and to IMT, c serv thehave con of the cases, we t the rting Maharishi the assome 4,420give civi cent in particular. become Asspolicy, cert domallows While they full a bride’ sector in the entire NCR, ‘importing large chunks (pop so credit just ociationthat and by. house iniuCentre t of ehas smaller ay, adja There Apartm ain sectDayananad ms for (WSC), Dabas gon line. Maninder is used as a ‘common { essw ularly wife’. rwith ay s iondone to/ FG the} Delhi government railw Industry the star the forsolution. has ent WSC planning aimed Rohtak. yea a of land will be available at s of an Further, to forlady Owner development. on expr farm houses, willofdefinitely known University, k,tradition Act, has the hectares offspring, ard their at where r the s impact i-Rewari are casesafte s weescale nix forweven 4,289 comprehensive strial area same as RW extensive thedevelopment, development apartm of Thi the field. been Such awithin large this ining marrying and further prosale look study not City, bui of luxury sex- hect the ons ecades gside Delh ares As), in Gurgaon,” reason New Indu lderapartments main the beof ject of mon Are believed to who are going  year,ofwe be alon they areunchecked not yet sold on exitsgreater municati allege ent owners. righ marrying – alth Contd 626 the implementa- urbanistaion ts on will is definitely of p 6 Mai believes Chopra. The und ter)brought a, a new girls oug the availability have made village, and eligible that this t & Com .Delhi arehdenied They abortions happenin, r Depot tion t aro n theirin being 2031 for ing buil ntenancModification to ens and execution part of this that (lat men estate n taineselective also many massive Transpor gao to influence the suitors, real mov sector s the gao on. Con of wealthier land for affordable the rare housing, Gur and ares the ure Haryana of e is mea and In ng Gur state e ben s and most of fertile A.K is–bein ly in Gur - con la the once a sur that re believes project. andRamesh 609 hect Jain, former Planning in per t Nagar Comunmarried City, nt left The futu prising clearance hoe arcMenon, develop are Millennium builder single window 107. Dautinubeing system ga-rki extendi ares making 7 villages petuity.efits – ale thei brides, of101, Transpor hect While horse-sa firm suffer a drought s can 115 –has mov ment aRealty, missioner Khe r hold DDA, says that ion 100, the tothat “Haryana future of CEO to drugs. in of 1,87 Certes e Apartm ments in 58 ors the ens a year addicted get last com n, r often and ies had on Ext tors gao Valley a lucrative plexes rnareas apartago onl ents 8, nea human-trafficking Sec ...Pg Gur 23 Sectthe City depends been on the timely execution been almost tracking and Courseof Far theing MDP View villages, and  2021 Gol Public Utilit for af couple – to on p 6 rea (Northe Contd  y fear on ) to NH how exp Often projected as has around 6,000II – comprisaround the trade. Gur has 5 hectares s to idabad Exp expanding the ‘new ressed p the common d – SPR ressway the same toll 1,77 areth from 6 the ressway gaon- rese been func FSI, Com about in each wou s ’ eral Roa ares of them there arka Exp tioning a voluntary marriage, every year p 18  the sou already fact that ntative - apa ld dilute theSocieties other states. lic uses infrom n Periph th from Dw ting near-about brides 2,761 hect as the Contd on damagepoint own Act rtment ) semi-pub of young women and girls to 7 such inte repnor thousands ley View been don ers. Howof the apa r bodyBihar, mee UP, West d (Souther es) the – Jharkhand, Public & like in wate 8) Roa owners, rests of States offic e. The has num happy t. a ares rtment Estates the idea of ever, into a; and artificial ) to NH istered 8 hect erou Kerala, Valsemi-gov are lured 2,68 there recent Plazeven RWA or 72Ain Bengal, Assam – and d – NPR Tollnow the apa s differenc Sectman rich a wer was reg(Govt. and 1860 in under the married life with ares l Roa or 72, for the side. rtment of brides era es amo e hect source Sect the Soci become 53 You would t; have iph sampled have Friday 2009, the buil er ‘purchased Dep own many Per oth State.onSadly, and sinc eties Act Space during the the thewomen these der, over ers as well ng in Haryana. A few of year. men ares Open Gurgaon Ammuniti { Maninder a, on e then nd exploited, as plaz mainten Dabasdenied / FG } basic633 hect area is ravaging hectares the and range peaceful it strip arou brides’ are106 comfortable a living be may ance, wide maids, as Here m is your chance to get FG at coerced to work { Shilpy Aror rights, (900 every day. If their matters proceed are forced ‘sisters’ ares Zone life, but most of a/ FG hect your doorstep , Agri every write to abandoned. Contd on 633 ave the Aravallis: a on their presentconditions and eventually course, – with us at letter } cial Zone p inhospitable in live 8 to Spe  State Friday, the at a very attractive rate. in ratiothat like so Delhi will be a desert in the s@fridayg slogan, With a skewed hectares 0 sex 4,57 Land many others, stirs little coming four-five decades; the arentin m 52nce issues (1 Year), for ` 200 Defe response until the cost of dynami g has nev (Two Hundred) Only – a Saving of Aravallis would have been er bee SEZ ` 164 on cover price. n change cs of the ignoring it hits home. The destroyed, by the greed of family so difficult – nuc esp lear Aravallis are one of the a handful. Illegal mining syst ecia in Parents family and lly in this em has undurban Ind oldest mountain ranges in is not the only menace the ia. The ergone SMS FGYES to 08447355801 childre are not able‘closed-doo ‘modern’ a seri the world, and they are all Aravallis have been living Millenn r livi n, and to find ous Send an email to even ium ‘enough ng’ has bec who theysome ofte that stand between Delhi with; the construction of ome theCity. A the poli are... n don’t kno ’ time to and the desert – buffering many residential buildings, almost trend. spend being ce - the rece In excepti w where being severely tested, in now with Pay Online at Gurgaon is a they are with thei the National CapitalofRegion of the residents along a large number of used to The tolerance particip case in poin nt ‘sex-and onal cases have got who – or may r builders really), (mainly -smoke they (NCR) The developers against the advance farmhouses, in the City. in the restricted every colony be reputed ants are mai t! Many say ’ birthda find out do not really know how to cope that nly patronage’ schools. of theand Thar from (Desert), ‘political andsyndrome, Delivery will be throughayour area (aka y forest area), ‘sellers’ market’ have taking any The con children fromsuch parties party at a withouthas ‘properties’, bec their on hold of decades holding ome down Their the monsoon as done great damage to the road. pub are ‘rou newspaper vendor.with an activist citizenry. youngs affluent the pre cern is tha and even on the activities in Roz Ka Gurjar – in the Aravalli forest area. tine’. – in the Courts, homes, challenged ferr sweeps over t ‘splurg thebeing is now northern eco-system here. alcohol ters. Most but CompletionitCertificates, Circulated only in Gurgaon. studyingThe even been evicted. Thethis is a typical token State Although there are many Acts of themed way to e drin have abu builders) the (of plains. companies se. Recently, the Gurgaon action. As per estimates, that are supposed to protect the partake spend wee king’ seem in Some ‘front’ maintenance Do par eye, with their hands keeping a close ken Special offer for rest of NCR: without However, s to indiscriminate Administration, are Administration are doin ents toda has shut downPlanning therefore the there are almost 2,000 farm Aravallis from the menace of politicians, and knowin ds, for thes y kno and Country ` 300 for 6 months (Delivery through courier) Town The of g? If not far aaway. stone-quarrying w wha and are illegal it tha handful e g the farm houses that state that elections houses no, is in Gurgaon District, fairly off, knowing of t their t risks this poor it tha reason for has been construction of in the forest When they have teenage were a key operating commercial and a majority of them fall silence and acquiescence Contd on p 9  Dept., whose asked, no pro t they do not rea sons or dau most of it acce blem, affairs, is now advising builders to let go. ptable ghters the pare lly car even hard-pressed to find the funds for making illegal if thei with nts clea The RWAs who are taking over would be devian e? If yes, r – leav rly say ing a fair son or dau is City, undertaking any further major investments t beh that Sob ghter aviour? up the infrastructural deficiencies…or for were cau they would was wild ha, is hap ly wide scop and IDC), paid by buyers for their colonies, not py to (even for repair). Development charges (EDC when State needs to find a way to be fine speak e in between. ght doing any find The builders. the I and State was the by up , openly A have long been eaten thing follow even if he takeyounger and on the resident of (against the plans approved by the State her foot fund the RWAs for this deficient infrastructure Sun no easy builders. The courts steps – s a peg occa I turned out issue. She these by given guarantees some says sionally or read what if ok. My itself)) – maybe by encashing y answ .” it gets son too , “I ers. worse But what if surely would rule likewise. will – at a you he latest. However, in this case the builder ng age? does not The Palam Vihar takeover is one of the There fairly positive in the negotiations. However, are Ansal – finally saw reason, and was then of poor maintenance of facilities, and poor this would not compensate for the decades taking huge deposits, and charging quite services, rendered by most builders – despite Contd on provided all the facilities and infrastructure p9 a sum monthly. Many builders have not even basis of which people invested their hardas per the original approved plans - on the See p 9  earned money.

Fast-track Courts are the { Shilpy Arora / FG } 2 convenient current flavour August 201 write to us at of justice, especially post the 24-30 December rape in the Capital. GRG/35/2012-2014 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. ithNo. the arrival of giant healthcare However, it is a matter Vol.of2 No. 35  Pages 24  ` 7 institutions such as Medanta, Artemis concern that even that case and Fortis, the Millennium City has now dragged on for over has undoubtedly become a medical hub 14 12-20 a 100 days. Ironically, many in the /35/20 National Capital Region. It is home . No. GRG Fast-track Courts, including in to many Postal Regn well-qualified doctors. Yet there is no our City, had been shut down shortage 011/39319, of 'quacks', who have brought HARENG/2 { Abhisheka bad name to the in 2011, for cost and other RNI}No. { Abhishek Behl / FG Behl/ years. According to‘doctors’ him, institution of healthcare. real estate write to FG } thetake These reasons. They should now us at letter prices will advantage of the rationalise and s@fridayg lack in of Gurgaon medical facilities come back strong…and stay. for he real estate growth in the National year urgao see in correction, once the DMP the common man projects the Stat 7 the he ` m City. They  generally cov 24 Capital Region (NCR) s has primarily ert atte ...Pg 8 e gov become operational. offer cheap medicines The land prices had 2031 in include 1  Page State treatments, and ernmen mpt and d cert of been driven byt Plan Gurgaon and Noida – to Draf Vol. 2 No. by

Will Delhi High-RisesWDwarf Suburbs? Res

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Bringing Aravallis Mined

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16-22 August 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Congress MP, Rao Inderjeet Singh, says that the Robert Vadra case, as well as all other allegedly suspicious land deal cases (totalling almost 1,200 hectares), should be investigated.  Eid is celebrated in the City – part of e-way closed off for a few hours.  HUDA ‘reclaims disputed land’ near Palam Vihar (about 2 acres) that was being claimed as an Eidgah, and demolishes a wall structure. DC imposes Sec 144.  Local lawyers write to the CM, asking for justice for the allegedly slain wife, Geetanjali, of the CJM.  There is a bomb threat/scare at IFFCO Chowk.  A case is lodged against a Councillor, for misbehaving with and threatening an MCG engineer.  2 girls commit suicide by throwing themselves in front of a train.  A Sub-Inspector of Police is suspended for misbehaving with a woman; a man is held for molesting a tenant.  A Gaushala owner is shot at – 2 are booked; a car owner is shot at by bike miscreants.  An 11-year-old is rescued by his 14-year-old friend when he fills into an open and (15 feet) deep HUDA Rainwater Harvesting pit.  In a brazen act, an SUV driver takes off and drags a policeman for a few metres, after being stopped for checking.  A Women’s Rapid Action Force of 28 constables is deployed on MG Road.

 A traffic Sub-Inspector, Rajbir Singh, is recognized and rewarded for returning a lost wallet.  There are daring robbery bids in DLF Phase II, by the same person.  A maidservant runs away with Rs 9 lakhs from a house in Sec 49.  Tractor Agency owner looted of over Rs 4 lakhs; a bike taken away from the owner at gunpoint; a Bolero is stolen by a cleaner.  Missing MCG tractor found via GPS tracking. Inspection carried out for CCTVs’ installation in and around Sadar Bazar.  High Court stays the widening of the road near National Media Centre, till September 20th.  City Bus introduces third shift in 6 routes.  South City 2 shopkeepers stage a protest against Unitech, for poor upkeep of the market area.  Over a hundred malaria cases reported from the City; dengue cases also on the rise.  You can now complain online, via CGRS system, for power connection issues. An ‘Introducer’ can now ease the process for getting an Aadhaar Card. Food Security Programme will be launched in Haryana wef August 20th. Eligible households: Priority households: Antyodaya Anna Yojana; Central BPL; State BPL; Homeless Automatically covered: Where Head of the family is disabled; Landless agricultural labourer; Small & marginal farmers (land less than 5 acres)

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Today FG turns 2 years old. Aaj FG do saal ka ho gya. 2. Many people like reading this newspaper. Ghanne saare aadmiyan ne yeh akhbaar pasand se. 3. It covers many sides of Gurgaon. Yeh Gurgawan ki saare jagah dikhawe hai. 4. I learn about so many things happening around. Manne Gurgawan ke baare me bahut ghanni baat bera paatti. 5. I have even learnt Haryanvi in 2 years. Manne in do saalan me Haryani bhi seekh li. 6. When I speak to people in their language, they get happy. Jab main Haryana ke aadmiyan te Haryanvi me baat karun, toh ve raaji ho jaawen . 7. August is a month of many celebrations. Saman ke mheene me ghanna tyauhar maney se.

Happy Raksha Bandhan


How would you helped the underprivileged?

Help to Underprivileged Who is an underprivileged person? It is someone who does not possess the comforts of life and survives on a minimum support of money. The majority of such persons are illiterate and pass their days by hard labour. Their lives have little scope of transformation. However, they can be assisted by getting them Ration and Adhaar cards – a necessity. Their kids, who unfortunately loiter in the streets in shabby condition, need to be taken care of. We in Gurgaon have a number of non-government organisations working for their upliftment. I, through one such organisation, SNS Foundation (Mehrauli Road), have an experience of this for more than a decade. In 2002 this NGO took an initiative to provide literacy— elementary education—to slum/poor children, starting from the age of 5. I, along with their teachers, took on the task of sensitising their parents towards agreeing to send their wards to a nearby small temporary school for a period of 3-4 hours daily. By continuous persuasion we were able to bring in about 500 children. Later on all the major private schools joined hands and opened their doors during the afternoon period (after closure of normal school hours). Presently more than 5,000 such children are in the process of getting elementary education alongwith a free dress, books and refreshments. When ready, they are admitted to Govt. Schools for regular courses. Another NGO, Mahavir International, has also come into this field, offering more than 400 children an elementary education in various localities of Gurgaon – free of charge. In this way these children would have an opportunity for higher education as well. Children who fare ‘average (or below)’ are enrolled in various trades at a subsidised rate. The trades are computer training, tailoring, parlours, cycle/auto repairs etc. This ensures that they would become capable of standing on their own feet in the long run. Another factor is to look after their health and to conduct medical examinations. Here also a number of societies, like Lions and Rotary Clubs, are on the job. They, with the help of medical teams of prominent hospitals, organise periodical camps – free of charge. They also provide medical tests at subsidised rates. One big hospital, Shree Phoolchandji Maharaj, is run by a charitable Jain society. It has two branches – one in Jacobpura and the other at New Railway Road. One Mobile van, run by Help Age India, is providing on-the-spot medical facilities at nominal rates. BPL Card holders also have access to some govt. Dispensaries, ESI etc. In this way many are coming forward to help the cause. Eye care is mainly provided by the NGO, Nirmaya Charitable Trust, at New Railway Road. With my association of 5-6 years, I can proudly say that more than six to seven hundred cataract free surgeries have taken place under my supervision, with full success. We also organise free eye check-up camps in rural areas, and provide medicines and spectacles. R.S Jain

16-22 August 2013

S pecial

The Gurgaon Beat { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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urgaon is a City of extremes - where people live at the two ends of a spectrum and unfortunately do not meet. The lack of a middle-ground makes this City quite different from a journalistic point of view, as people tend to either have very high expectations from the government, whereas others just want to survive within the system. As a reporter of a hyper-local newspaper, it is an extremely difficult challenge to reconcile these two viewpoints and concerns, of these two sections of society. While the residents of upscale townships demand worldclass facilities and maintenance of infrastructure, the people living in unauthorized colonies and the disputed area around the Ammunition Dump, want basic facilities like water, power and roads. Another major challenge is that this City has evolved from a village into a metropolis, without getting enough time to unlearn the past and learn the future. A feudalistic mindset still prevails, and the presence of huge amounts of money - due to the sale of land, rental income and other sources - has (astonishingly?) reinforced the orthodox values even more. Local governance is weak, and controlled by Chandigarh, thus giving little leeway to the bureaucrats here. This in turns ensures that information is shared only on a ‘need to know’ basis, and journalists have to focus more on what is happening at the moment, rather than on the larger picture/context. The culture of information sharing is also missing, thus making it difficult to cull answers from the authorities, which prefer to remain silent. However the City also offers great positives, in the sense that a corporate culture has evolved and many people have also adopted an activist stance, thus helping the cause of journalists. RTI as a tool is being used successfully here and RWAs have done some great work in their battles against the builders. Reporting in Gurgaon has been challenging, but mostly rewarding, as the City offers a great diversity of subjects. The problems like a lack of infrastructure, lowering of the water table, rapid urbanization and increasing richpoor divide allow a journalist to learn about the social, economic and political aspects of a society that is in transformation. The mainly buoyant construction all across has provided a great opportunity to learn about the real estate industry, and its many positives and negatives. It has also made me aware that private enterprise, if channelized in a particular manner, can help India build many more Gurgaons – with hopefully the mistakes not being repeated. A major drawback for Gurgaon has been the inability of local politicians to represent the real aspirations of the people. There is a strong disconnect of the society with the polity, which has resulted in major civic problems remaining unattended for years. Friday Gurgaon, being a paper that focuses on context and the larger perspective, has helped me evolve as a journalist; in developing an eye for detail and in taking a holistic view. The idea is to help in bringing about change rather than just becoming a part of a problem. As an individual it has helped me in identifying with a new city, where people from all hues have come together to make it a true, even global, melting pot; where, while individual personalities are strengthened, they also fuse together to give this City its unique identity. The need of the hour is make it more secure, cohesive and integrated - where there are more social spaces, helping people to relate with each other and the City as well. It will make the life of citizens easier, and journalists like us will also benefit immensely. u

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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ome two decades ago, travelling to Gurgaon from the Capital was considered a trip to the boondocks. Besides a Maruti plant, there was nothing worth writing about. As the City has grown, from Guru Gram to the Millennium City, it has become one of the most happening places in the country. Today opportunities are aplenty. There is no dearth of stories for the media. Be it a young entrepreneur, a socialite or a music band formed by a group of teenagers, everybody seems to be making it big in the City. However, what is generally not looked upon by the media is the life


of some of the poorest and oldest residents in the City; people who have been living here for centuries and are unaffected by the ‘development’. Their incomes, lifestyles, education and social status have remained almost the same. Many have been living in the City for decades. Having spent more than two years as a Correspondent in the City, I strongly feel that their story is as important. Aban, a 23-year-old married woman, lives in Islampur Village. Every morning she sets up her stall to sell clay pots on Sohna Road. Earlier she used to sell the pots in her Village and had a small rented house. But now, as land in the Village has been acquired by property dealers, she lives in a small shanty near her stall. Touted as the future MG Road, Sohna Road

has undergone a makeover in the last five years - but it hasn’t made any difference in the life of Aban. Malls and high-rises seem meaningless to her. “My grandmother says that the condition was better in her time. Potters were respected for their skills and artwork. Apart from money, people used to give them food and clothes. But now we can’t make more than Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 a day,” says Aban. Nobody in her family has ever worked as a domestic help in a household. “We can’t clean toilets. It is looked down upon in our community,” she says. To her, people running shops in malls and offices in high-rise buildings are also migrants, as they have invaded her homeland and are making money for our own good. People like Aban highlight a growing divide between the rich and the poor in the City. Unfortunately, they are neither the focus of real estate players nor corporates, who target high net worth groups. According to Aban, those locals who have become rich overnight by selling land still feel inferior, due to their lack of education. Interestingly, generous alcohol supply in the City has not affected her life. “Our men don’t drink. They are just frustrated, as no land is left for agriculture, and they don’t possess any other skill,” she says. Unfortunately the ‘development’ has still not reached the ‘true’ citizens of the City. Unlike the Capital and other big cities, Gurgaon seems to be ruled by private (mainly builder) companies. For them, acquiring forest land and altering Master Plans is not a big deal. It seems that except for tax collection, the government bodies believe they have hardly anything to do in the City.

Let’s learn something from them

Many people lament the poor infrastructure, traffic jams and rude behaviour of Gurgaonites. Famous photographer, Sanjay Shrivastava, who visited the City for the first time in June, tweeted, “Gurgaon is a rude city. I have had an argument with my hotel manager. He was extremely aggressive and rude. It is a typical Gurgaon behaviour.” Sanjay might have had a very bad experience in the City. But who or what is he referring to when he says ‘typical Gurgaon? He is definitely not talking about people like Aban; he is referring to people like you and me, who have been living in the City for years – though we may not have yet accepted it as our home. Aban calls it ‘mera gaon’ (my


village). She never complains about the dust or the infrastructural problems in the City. For her, two meals a day and a good education for her child is more than enough. She dreams to make her six-year-old son a doctor. Unfortunately he still goes to a nearby ‘madarsa’ for schooling. She hardly knows about any quota for the poor in private schools. She makes sure that she spends enough time with her child. Despite her everyday struggle to earn a living, she doesn’t want to leave. “My mother, grandparents and great grandparents are all buried here. I will never leave the City,” says Aban. She is certainly a true citizen of Gurgaon. A firm believer of ‘Allah’, Aban swears that she has never cheated anyone in her life. She belongs to a community that believes that the felling of trees is highly inauspicious. “When we were young we were told not to hit the trunk of a tree, as a ghost lives on every tree,” says the mother-in-law of Aban, Rajiya. She believes that when trees were cut in this City, the ghosts cursed the villagers – and that is why they have been forced to move out of their villages. We need to understand that we have in a way invaded the land of the Abans. They have been forced to live in small shanties near our posh societies, while we complain about their ugly and unhygienic settlements and hold them responsible for the growing crime rate in the City.

A ray of hope

Whether it is a retired army official, a corporate honcho or a school-going child, everybody feels strongly about the environmental and civic issues in the City. There are a lot of pressure groups working here. While some are working towards major issues – saving the environment and educating the poor – a few are taking care of specific problems (eg. the rights of donkeys). All of them together act as a major force to push the authorities as well as private companies and builders. Thankfully, people have started standing (and marching) for their rights. They have come out of their drawing rooms to protest. It is time for all to call this City their homeland. Everybody has to take responsibility for making the City a better place to live in. Let’s stop blaming each other and strive for change together. In the process, we need to make sure that the poor get their due share. Unless development in the City caters to its poorest resident, we can’t call it ‘The Millennium City’. u

06 { Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at


ehind every great fortune is a great crime, said Henry Balzac. The Millennium City is also a place where great fortunes are being made and destroyed; and in this process of wealth accumulation, men and morals both seem to have decayed. The hunger for quick fortunes has led to a spurt in organized as well as impulsive crime - from the mundane to the heinous. Not just the ‘regular’ criminals but even ‘ordinary’ men have committed crimes, guided by lust, greed or anger - and often under the influence of alcohol. Easy money, political connections, little fear of the police, ability to influence courts and an overall corrupt system motivates these people to take the law in their own hands – and even be brazen about it ! While a number of criminal acts are pre-meditated, a majority happens on the spur of the moment, and is more difficult to detect and check. In the last couple of years the Gurgaon Police has had to investigate a number of serious crimes, often involving ‘high profile’ and ‘powerful’ people, and/or acts that attracted significant public attention. The Police Department has been able to crack many of the cases, but it has been observed that whenever powerful people with political connections are involved, the investigation has been lackadaisical. Police officials reveal that solving a criminal case and getting a conviction, to a large extent depends on studying the crime scene thoroughly and collecting forensic evidence. Friday Gurgaon takes you through a mix of cases: some, where the Police has not been able to deliver the best of results, and others where investigative work has been excellent and ensured that criminals have been booked.

16-22 August 2013

Crime & (No) Punishment

August 21, when the mobile phone operator and finger print expert have been called to depose before the Court. This additional evidence will prove that the death of Ruchi Bhuttan was not a suicide - but a murder", says Boken. The Counsel further says that they will move another application in the High Court, under Section 319 of CrPC, requesting that relatives of the prime accused are also made ‘additional accused’. Pointing to the shoddy investigative work, Boken says that it was due to this reason that the case was transferred to GRP Ambala for investigation. The accused is influential, and there is pressure on the witnesses, says Boken - adding that Court protection has helped in ensuring the progress in the case. Ruchi Bhuttan was found hanging under suspicious circumstances in her DLF Phase II house in 2011. Initially it was thought that it was a suicide case, but later the police charged her husband with murder (for dowry), and as a consequence of having an extra-marital affair with model Meera Chopra. Bhuttan is currently lodged in Bhondsi Jail, and his bail application has been rejected six times. He faces charges under Sections 304 (b) (dowry death), 302 (murder), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Ruchi Bhuttan Case In a major development in this case, the High Court has admitted the application of Ruchi Bhuttan's mother, Sudha Gupta, for inclusion of more witnesses and circumstantial evidence, to nail the accused. Earlier a Gurgaon Court had rejected the application. Durgesh Boken, Counsel for Gupta, told Friday Gurgaon that the High Court has allowed additional evidence and witnesses to be produced before it. "The next date of hearing has been fixed for

BMW Hit-and-run Case Inch-by-inch is how Shailesh Shetye describes his fight for justice in this case, in which he lost his pregnant wife Kshama Chopra and driver Sanjay Gulati. They were killed on the spot on May 5, 2012, when a BMW crashed into their car near IFFCO Chowk. Shailesh was also seriously injured in the accident. He has vowed to keep fighting for justice. On May 5, 2013, exactly a year after the accident, Shailesh

had written on a Facebook page that, from the time Suraj Sehrawat, the prime accused, decided to drive his car without a licence, he was on a mission to kill someone. Alleging that the Gurgaon Police has not taken this issue seriously, Shailesh says that it was wrong of the Police to consider the death of three people as a case of mere ‘negligent driving’. "Knowingly killing multiple people on the road (and my mother-in-law confined to bed for the rest of her life) is a mere ‘negligence’? After 141 days, the Gurgaon Police only managed to file a very weak chargesheet, after a shoddy investigation. The Court proceedings are very slow”, he says. He adds that despite the candle-light vigils, the media attention and all the efforts to wake up the authorities, this case has gone nowhere. “I stand here today ashamed to be called a citizen of this country, where your life can be taken so easily - and very few even care. I have lost faith in the police, the judiciary and any system that is meant to protect you. There is no justice in this country. The only thing that matters is power and money, and now I am witnessing that first hand. I wish no one has to ever go through this horrible experience”, he says. Will the culprit ever be punished? Can we, as common people, not do anything about this? Are we just going to let this go unchecked?

Geetanjali Garg Case The recent Geetanjali Garg alleged murder case could be termed as a setback for the Gurgaon Police, as it was transferred to the CBI after the victim's family alleged that the prime suspect, who happens to be Gurgaon’s CJM, Ravneet Garg, and his family had managed to influence the investigation. After a

week's dillydallying the State government decided to call for a CBI investigation. Geetanjali Garg was found dead near a park in Civil Lines on July 17, under suspicious circumstances, and the licensed pistol of Gurgaon CJM Garg was found near her person. Last week the CBI filed a case under Section 302, read with Section 34 of the IPC. CJM Ravneet Garg and his parents have been named accused in the case. To put pressure on the authorities, the relatives of Geetanjali had also held a protest a few days ago, demanding the arrest of Ravneet Garg and his relatives. Meanwhile, local police officials said that the initial investigation carried out by them would form the basis of the CBI enquiry. They however admitted that the CBI had better forensic, and investigative capabilities, which could help them in cracking the case faster – and better. In addition, the CBI handling has given hope to the deceased’s family that they will get justice.

Shveta Murder Case This was almost a ‘blind’ murder, in which a woman was raped and subsequently killed in her house at Chakkarpur - and the accused had tried to give it a cover of robbery. Inspector Jasvir of the Cyber Cell, Gurgaon was asked to investigate the murder, after the local police was not able to crack it. Speaking to Friday Gurgaon, the young police officer says that after an initial study of the case it had become apparent that it was a pre-meditated murder, as the entry into the house was friendly. To solve the case, Jasvir and his team created an information database and analysed all routes that led to victim's house. The cell phone details of the victim were also analysed, and it was observed that calls from a local STD booth had been made to her phone. Shveta, who belonged to Varanasi, was living with her architect husband. After questioning the victim's family, the name of the prime accused, Suni Jotwani, and his friend cropped up. Jasvir says that without giving any hint to anyone they laid a trap in Varanasi, and picked up Jotwani and his friend for questioning. This revealed that the duo had indeed been involved in the heinous crime. The police official says that the case was successfully solved because there was

C ivic/S ocial strong forensic evidence, as the accused had raped the woman before killing her. The phone records and DNA test led to the conviction of the accused, and they have been given life imprisonment. "For cracking a case and getting a conviction, it is important to concentrate on forensics and circumstantial evidence. It is difficult for a criminal to get away if forensic evidence pins him to a crime", asserts Jasvir.

Sohna Road Hit-and-run Case On November 12, 2012, former IFS officer Harish Chand Khanduri was hit by a speeding car near Omaxe Mall on Sohna Road. The impact of the accident was such that Khanduri was thrown on the bonnet of the car. On seeing the seriousness of the situation, the driver of the car, who was later identified as Rajesh Yadav of Badshahpur, told people that he would take the old man to a hospital. However, his friend and he allegedly dumped Khanduri at a secluded spot behind Badshahpur Village. It was late in the evening when a passerby found Khanduri and informed the police, who took him to Park hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival. Inspector Jasvir says that this case was also referred to them by the Sadar Police Station. "Eyewitnesses provided little information other than that the car involved was a White Alto", says Jasvir. Some days later a man brought a broken number plate, which had the last three digits, to the Sadar Police Station. Jasvir says they scanned all the cars that had the same number and colour, and their suspicion fell on Rajesh Yadav. The police team then carried out a thorough forensic examination of the car owned by Yadav. It had meanwhile been repaired and cleaned by the accused. However, the CBI forensic team nailed the accused by matching the blood samples that were found in the condenser of the car. "The blood samples matched and the accused was booked under the appropriate sections of the law. Had the accused taken the old man to a hospital, the case would not have been so serious, as the old man could have been saved", says the official. It also sends a message to the people in the City, that they should not run away if they are ever involved in a similar accident. It is better to face the consequences up front, rather than face serious trouble later on, assert police officials. u

H appenings

16-22 August 2013


Prachi & Pratichee in gCity


ctress Prachi Desai was in the City to promote a township for a real estate company. She was seen interacting with other guests at the Event, including Sylvie, Vandana Vadhera and singer Pratichee Mohapatra.

A Learning Lab

Fashion Fiesta


OIL, in partnership with Adrenalin eSystems Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Financial Technology Ltd., launched ‘HR Learning Lab’, a first-of-its-kind initiative to simulate a real world corporate environment for students. The Lab will provide unique hands-on learning experience to MBA/HR students. The objective of the initiative is to address the need for ‘workready’ HR professionals, who understand the application of various HR functions on technology platforms.


ashion Designer Sakshi Bindra showcased her latest collection at a nightclub. Her friends and fans joined in to cheer for her at the Event.

Big Fat City


ullman Gurgaon, Central Park showcased a private viewing of Ashvin Gidwani’s critically acclaimed play, “Big Fat City”. The Play is a black comedy that is a bundle of laughter and thrills. Directed by Mahesh Dattani, the cast included Achint Kaur, Nasirr Khan, Pooja Ruparel, Ivan Rodrigues, Sonal Joshi, Aadar Malik, Gagan Singh Sethi and Shashi Bhushan.

Wee Have the Solutions


n exclusive apparel and accessory store, ‘Wee Store’, was launched in the City. Wee Store, the flagship retail chain of Wital See Marketing Ltd., caters to several brands across consumer durable products, food & beverages, apparels, lifestyle and home appliances. On the occasion of the Store launch, Jyoti Narain, Executive Director, Wital See Marketing Ltd. said, “With its tagline ‘Shopping Solutions’, Wee Store will cater to the needs of the high-end consumers located in Gurgaon, and provide them quality products.”

Kya Adaa Hai!


DAA – Apni Duniya Apna Ashiana, an NGO for underprivileged children, celebrated ADAA Day – a common birthday for all the children. The organisation, run by Navin Gulia, aims at assisting and guiding the lives of underprivileged, orphaned, abandoned and differently abled children, in the weaker sections of the society.


16-22 August 2013


{ Abhishek Behl/ FG }

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ad the proposed Reliance Special Economic Zone (SEZ) taken off, District Jhajjar (which neighbours Gurgaon) would have been transformed into an industrial township with worldclass infrastructure and facilities. But like it seems to happen with most Haryana government plans, this SEZ like many others - fizzled out. The beneficiaries have been Reliance and the State, who between them have managed to buy prime real estate at low rates, while the farmers in the primarily agricultural belt wring their hands in disappointment. The land should rightfully have been returned to the farmers, as it was taken for the express purpose of an SEZ that was to transform the lives of people around. With rising real estate prices all around, the erstwhile landowners feel cheated by the cabal of State authorities and private capital. While Reliance had bought the land for Rs 18 to 22 lakhs per acre, the current prices are around Rs 2 to 3 crores per acre. The promise of one lakh jobs, particularly to those whose land was bought, has also not materialized, as only a couple of industries have set shop at Model Economic Zone 1 in Jhajjar Tehsil. Jhajjar was established around 800 years ago, by a brave Jat Chajju of Malokan Village. Jhajjar is a sleepy town 50 kms from Gurgaon, and it is being proposed to be developed as a satellite to the densely urbanized and industrialised Millennium City. With this area falling in the belt that is said to be the stronghold of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and his heir Deepinder Hooda, it was expected that Jhajjar Tehsil would have been better developed over the last one decade under the Congress government. However, a visit to the town reveals that it is still caught in the crossroads of development and it would take another decade to bring it at par with even neighbouring Bahadurgarh. District INLD spokesperson Bijender Kadyan says that

Waiting For Development the government listens to us now," says Rajender. In private, Congress workers admit that people are more loyal to the Hooda clan than the Congress party, as he has brought focus and development to Rohtak, Sonipat and the Jhajjar belt. Jhajjar Town has a minisecretariat where the district headquarter is located. A hospital has also been built, though say that it is not able to provide quality healthcare. The educational institutions in and around Jhajjar, particularly those run by the government, have not been very effective. This also has led to an exodus of students to neighbouring Gurgaon and Rohtak. Regarding civic facilities, Ravinder Singh points to the construction of a circular road. The internal roads are also

development in Jhajjar has only taken place on paper, with just announcements of projects and employment. The issue of jobs, particularly in the private sector, has become a grouse with the locals, as even new companies setting shop here prefer employees from outside. A group of residents at Village Dadri Toye on the Gurgaon-Jhajjar highway allege that companies like Panasonic and Denso, which have set up major factories in Model Economic Zone 1, hire most of their employees from neighbouring Delhi and Gurgaon. Devender, a resident of nearby Nagal, says that despite getting written references from the area MP Deepinder Hooda, the Company officials refuse to listen. "Local youth instead have

to go to Gurgaon and Bahadurgarh for work," he adds. The employment issue is particularly serious for landless villagers. With no jobs in the agricultural fields and with the SEZ not coming up now, there is serious discontent in their ranks as well as in traditional village artisans. The residents of Dadri Toye are also unhappy with the authorities for bringing the villages adjoining Jhajjar Town under a controlled area. "We are not able to construct houses in our land. We have been asked to obtain CLU (Change of Land Use) certificates and other licences to build on our own land, which has been in our possession for generations!� says Kaptan Singh, a farmer leader. The life of the farmers in particular has been difficult, as power supply in villages is

poor and cost of agricultural inputs has increased by the day. Singh says that it takes almost 10 days for a farmer to get fertilizer. It seems that the policy of the government is to make farming unviable, so that the farmers give up their land easily for acquisition! The farmers are also opposed to land acquisition by the State, which they say is acting as a real estate agency. Rajender Singh, a senior Congress leader, says that Hooda has brought governance, and empowered the people. "Jhajjar has always been ignored. There was no development, no jobs and no roads prior to this government," he asserts. Locals admit that there has been some improvement in the ground situation, and that residents are at least getting some government jobs. "We are happy that at least

being developed, and the government has built lanes and drains, asserts Singh. There is a plan to extend the municipal limits of the town. The town boasts a state-of-the-art sports stadium along with a park. Jhajjar Master Plan 2031 has also been finalised, which projects a population of around 5 lakhs by 2031. The State plans to develop 5,198 hectares, with a residential density of 300 persons per hectare. The arrival of Panasonic and Denso in Jhajjar is aligned with the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). A number of companies have also set up warehousing units in and around Jhajjar, which has also given a fillip to the real estate sector. A number of realtors have announced plans to set up townships in the area, and

a couple of these have come up near the industrial area - like the one at Duleena. Sehwag International School, on the Gurgaon-Jhajjar Road, has also added to the glamour of this area - as quality education and sports facilities are now available to people just outside the town. HUDA has also carved out a couple of sectors, and land for the same has been acquired. With most of the colonies in the Town being unauthorised, officials say that HUDA sectors will provide affordable housing with good civic facilities. To augment the power supply the State has also set up the Jhajjar Power Plant, which is a 1,320 MW (2x660 MW) domestic coal based project, set up at Village Khanpur. Jhajjar residents however complain that the promise of regular power supply has remained a dream. Locals hail the railway network, which has been developed recently, connecting Rewari, Jhajjar and Rohtak. Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Silani gate says that the rail has no doubt improved connectivity, but there is need for an increased frequency of trains, and the timing should also be rescheduled. "Right now a majority of people in the area are using buses only, which is a waste of time and money," says Kumar. In Jhajjar the political fault lines are clear. While government supporters highlight the achievements, not many in the town are happy - particularly after seeing the State-led transformation of Rohtak and the corporatepowered development of Gurgaon. Locals allege that despite being part of the CM's influence zone, Jhajjar town is ignored. Raising the political pitch, Kadyan says that come the elections the Congress would be wiped off from this area, as it has been a traditional INLD stronghold. He also points to the massive corruption and land-grabbing by the Congress government, and asserts that the Hooda government has worked only for property dealers. The Congressmen reiterate that despite minor hiccups people realise that this government has brought them the political empowerment that they have never had till now. u

C ivic/S ocial

16-22 August 2013

{ Anita Jaswal }


usical ability is mostly inherited; the genetic influence is so strong that music in the marrow can seemingly turn a tone deaf child into a budding Mozart. The three Gupta brothers Ravi, Piyush and Vishnu - grew up on music. From morning to night there always seemed to be a song hanging somewhere in the air - lazing through their quiet suburban home. “My earliest memories of song and music are of my mother softly singing me to sleep. When my mother taught me scales and how to breathe through my nose while projecting my voice, it wasn’t really about the physics of it all - it was about the feeling. She taught us how to let music into our hearts. She taught us to allow every thought and emotion to become entwined with a song - like an ivy…like smoke gently rising,” reminisces Ravi, the eldest. Ravi Gupta is a trained classical singer and teaches music. “Classical singing involves a softness, an emoting – of really feeling the lyrics from within. The first thing I would recommend for all learners of Hindustani Classical music is to acquire a tanpura  and a tabla – and start your practice”. The second brother, Piyush Gupta, is a (dance) choreographer and teaches dance at both recreational and competitive levels. He has students of all ages and skill levels; for Piyush, ‘dance is for all to enjoy’. “When I feel bored, I dance. It’s like I can pause time and live the moment. It’s pretty amazing. The music and I become a part of each other. I love to

The Law & Beyond

Medical Negligence

{ Vidya Raja }


n 31 July, 2013, Neha Chopra Kumar, a resident of Sohna Road, walked into a highly-recommended dentist’s clinic, with a complaint of a tooth ache. The dentist advised Neha that she would require a root canal treatment. Two and a half hours later Neha left the clinic with slashed gums, a deeply cut lip and a severely bruised tongue. Since she was under the influence of anaesthesia she realised the gravity of the situation only when she reached home and looked into the mirror. “I was completely aghast,” she recounts. Who would have imagined that this could be the outcome of a visit to a dentist? Neha’s sister went to the dentist to ask for an explanation; and what she was told only made matters worse. After vehement denials of any mistake whatsoever, the dentist finally said, callously, “Her tongue was coming in the way of the procedure and hence got cut a little.” So bad are her injuries that the dentist she is now consulting has advised her to undertake reconstruction surgery for her bruised tongue. A week later Neha is still in pain and deep anguish. She has registered a formal complaint with the National Consumer Forum and is evaluating other legal options. “The motivation to do something is not for the monetary compensation. I do not want this happening to any other unsuspecting patient,” she tells me. The health profession has been considered a ‘noble profession’. By helping alleviate the pain of patients, doctors often are revered. However, with the in-

Melody Medley




move around and feel the music flow through me! All dancers experience the wonder, exhilaration, discipline and joy of expressing themselves,” enthuses Piyush. The youngest brother, Vishnu Gupta, is a versatile singer as well as a professional keyboard player – and has a wealth of experience in a variety of fields. He is a regular member at a number of musical events. “A keyboard is extremely versatile and can encompass a wide range of instrument tones - including strings, woodwinds and brass. A keyboard is a one-man band, so to speak. Excellent for weddings, receptions, dinner parties, restaurant entertainment and countless other occasions, keyboard music is as limitless as your imagination,” says Vishnu.

clusion of doctors under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“the Act”), there has been a slight shift in attitude. Under the Act, doctors are now considered to be ‘service providers’, comparable to any other service - like telecom, hospitality or financial services. Negligence by doctors (dentists included) can now result in litigation. The onus of proving negligence, however, lies with the victim. For an act to be considered negligent, there has to be an assessment as per a set process/procedure. In this case, the accusation would be that the doctor owed the patient a certain standard of care, and he did not maintain that standard. Thereafter it has to be proven that there was an injury resulting from the lack of care; there should also be a connection (proximity) between the negligent act and the resultant injury. Cases of dental negligence fall under the Consumer Protection Act because the Indian Dentist Act, 1948 had no provision to entertain any complaint from a patient, or take action against a dentist in case of negligence or award compensation. Prior to the enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act, cases against dentist were decided by Civil Courts and even under Indian Contract Act. The disadvantage of the latter was the high cost


While musical families aren’t a rarity, musical families that have good relationships both on stage and off are fairly rare. For years now the Gupta family members have shared a genuinely warm bond. All the brothers say that they wouldn’t have traded their musical “at-home” years for anything in the world. “What we are today is thanks to our mother and music. When you love music, when your family loves music, it becomes something more than a career path. That is the glue that bonds our family. Our mother taught us that it doesn’t matter whether you are a singer, a dancer or you play an instrument -- if there is music in your soul, you have a divine obligation, a spiritual necessity to let it out. She sang sometimes as if her very life depended on it; each song was her own and she sang it for herself, for her family and for the world.” Says Ravi, “There is so much music in my heart, in everything I see and do, but it was not me who planted the seeds of these now glorious, musical flowers. It was my mother, sowing songs with such care into the dreams of her three children. I was so lucky to be one of them. I hope that one day I can give such love and beauty to my own children, that I can share with them the gift my mother has selflessly given me for my whole life.” It is not surprising that Ravi Gupta’s four-yearold daughter, Madhavi, is following the family tradition and has been singing ever since she learned how to talk. It’s amazing how quickly she picks up melodies and lyrics. While talent is present in her genes she, even at this age, sings from her heart. u

and the time consuming processes. 
 The advantages of approaching the Consumer Forum are: 1.  Court fees is minimal 2.  Cases are decided faster - speedy justice is their USP can represent 3.  Complainants themselves in the Forums - the presence of a lawyer is not mandatory. Procedures are fairly simple and self-explanatory 4. There is active encouragement to settle a case without too many formalities and lengthy procedures A complaint is an allegation made in writing by the complainant, stating the loss suffered due to a deficient service. As provided under Section 24A of the Act, a complaint has to be filed within two years of the date on which the cause of action arises. So what is the process that has to be followed by Neha, to ensure that she gets justice? 1.  As per Section 13 of the Act, she has to first send a copy of complaint to the Dentist, directing him to give his version within a period of thirty days - which may be extended to 45 days. After 45 days, if no reply is provided, then the court has the authority to order contempt proceedings against the Dentist. 2.The Forum then needs to decide on the complaint within a period of three months from the date of filing of the complaint.

Structure of the Consumer Courts: Name




District Consumer Redressal Commission

Complaints with an upper limit of Rs. 20 lakhs as damages or compensation

The order can be challenged in the State Forum

Vikas Sadan

State Forum

Cases having higher damages/ compensation (upto Rs 1 crore)

Has the power to call for records from the district forums and deliberate on orders passed by them

Bays No. 3 - 6, Sector – 4, Panchkula, Haryana

National Consumer Redressal Commission

Complaints with a value of over Rs. 1 crore

All orders passed by the National Forum can be challenged only in the Supreme Court

Upbhokta Nyay Bhawan, ‘F’ Block, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi

3.  Any person aggrieved by an order made by the District Forum may appeal against such Order to the State Commission or National Commission, ordinarily within a period of 30 days from the date of the Order. A Commission is required to decide the appeal, as far as possible, within 90 days from the date of the first hearing. 4.  Where a complaint - instituted before the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be - is found to be frivolous or vexatious, the Forum/Commission shall, for reasons to be recorded in writing, dismiss the complaint and make an order that the complainant shall pay a cost to the defendant - not exceeding Rs 10,000. 5.  Non-compliance of an Order shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term that shall not be less than one month, but which may extend to three years; or with fine that shall not be less than Rs 2,000, but which may extend to Rs 10,000; or with both. While the law provides adequate safeguards, as consumers we must exercise due-diligence and caution while making choices. Some pertinent questions arise in this particular case. Should we regularly conduct background searches on a healthcare professional? Should ‘fresh’ healthcare professionals be allowed to start clinics without any supervision from a senior doctor? Should dentists/doctors explicitly mention the number of years of experience they have in the area of their practice, and/or prominently display their degrees? Most importantly, how would we know a quack from a real doctor without first suffering at his hands? Is the Medical Council of India listening? u The writer is a qualified legal professional who has practiced before the Madras and Karnataka High Courts

10 write to us at


he audacity with which political parties and politicians are able to get away with anything and everything in India is legendary. Whether it is corrupt candidates, accepting money for asking questions in the legislature or fielding criminal candidates, one has not heard of any penal action having taken place against political parties - which have almost become personal fiefdoms of political dynasties. The reason behind this is surprising but true. The Election Commission of India, which regulates the functioning of the political parties, and holds elections across India, does not have any power to penalise the political parties for any violation. In fact there are no penalties defined to take action against political parties, and the Election Commission can’t deregister a party even in case it finds any violations, says Anil Bairwal, National Co-ordinator of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), an organisation that has been spearheading the fight against criminalisation of politics in the country. ADR was formed in 1999 by nine IIM Ahmedabad professors, to empower the electorate through greater dissemination of information related to candidates, to check the proliferation of corruption and criminalisation of the political process, to bring in greater accountability and to push for inner-party democracy. An IIM (A) alumnus, Bairwal says that the political process has been designed in such a manner that it works for the benefit of the selected few. “The politicians have mastered the system and they want no changes; they want to perpetuate their dominance,” he says. The only solution is for the people to come together—to unite—and put pressure on political parties to force the much-needed changes from the outside. In his opinion it would be impossible for parties to reform from within, and he knows it well, having worked with the system for the past couple of years. “We have been pretty successful in our work and it was a PIL filed by ADR in 1999 that made it mandatory for candidates to disclose their educational, financial and criminal background prior to the polls, by filing affidavits. The Supreme Court order came in 2003, and has helped in a great way,” says Bairwal. All the political parties had opposed this initiative - but later had to submit. The basic problem, which has not

A Democratic Reformist changed for long, is the feudalistic mindset of political parties – which is based more on personal loyalty than any other principle of public life. Hailing the recent decision by the Chief Information Commissioner, which has brought political parties into the ambit of RTI, as historic, Bairwal says that again politicians of all hues have ganged up to prevent this from being implemented. “How come all politicians, who otherwise don’t see eyeto-eye on any issue, have together opposed this decision? This is nothing but the preservation of self-interest,” he says. To bring about reforms, ADR has launched the Election Watch programme, under which the background and profile of every candidate who is contesting elections is analysed. “We have successfully sought disclosure of financial information by political parties. It was on an RTI filed by us (ADR) that the then (2008) Chief Information Commissioner ordered that the Income Tax returns filed by political parties should be made available to the general public,” says Bairwal. As a result of this decision, people are now able to know the source of funding, and the expenditure, of all political parties; it was a black hole earlier. When asked how political reforms can happen when the major players are opposed to them, Bairwal says that the power of the people, and their unity, will play a crucial role in bringing about the change. Youth from all sections of society are coming forward to shake the system, and this going to happen more often in the future, he predicts. “The youth is no longer oblivious of the political process. Today they want to engage with the society and influence the government, which is also showing in the way voting percentages have increased across urban and rural areas,” says Bairwal. This is a positive sign for Indian democracy, but still the problem is that political parties have not engaged with citizens in a positive way. “The only time when citizens are made to feel that they are a part of democracy is during election time. After that the politicians forget the people,” he alleges. The Judicial system of the country, as well as the Election Commission of India, have taken several steps to improve transparency, but much more is needed to be done, he believes. The recent decision of the Supreme Court, in which it has ordered that any candidate who is convicted by a

prakhar PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

S ocial

16-22 August 2013

court will lose his or her legislative seat, is a landmark decision. “This is not going to stop criminal candidates from getting tickets, but it will certainly influence the decision makers in a strong way. No one will want to lose power in future due to the presence of criminals in their rank and file,” says Bairwal. Since political parties don’t listen to the people and civil society, it is only this fear of losing seats, and ultimately power, which is going to make them change. Another important issue for which ADR has been canvassing is to get serious cases against politicians to be tried in fast-track courts - so that criminals are not able to evade conviction due to judi-

cial delays. ADR has also focused on how more inner-party democracy as well as financial transparency can be improved in political parties. Bairwal says that while India is a democratic country it is paradoxical that the parties do not function in a democratic manner. “The main problem is that there is no inner-party democracy, which manifests in poor governance,” he says. The processes for the selection of candidates, election of the party president and selection of various committees is all vague. To resolve this issue the Association (ADR) has also devised a ‘Model Bill’, which could be adopted by the political parties for more open and accountable inter-

nal party functioning. Bairwal says that positive change has taken place in the political space in the last decade and there has been substantial reduction in candidates having serious criminal charges like rape, murder, kidnapping and dacoity against them. But on the other hand, the number of white-collar criminals, who engage in economic and financial frauds, has multiplied - thus offsetting the positives. Despite this, people in the country have now become more responsive to the political system and are putting pressure on parties to choose clean and honest leaders. Citing the instance of Karnataka, he says that the Congress had to choose the cabinet ministers very carefully because of pressure of the public. “The use of social media and the Internet has also made it easy for people to come together and express their opinion. I think the future movements will be stronger, as more people join hands online and in the ‘real’ world, to usher in greater accountability,” asserts Bairwal. While appreciating the role of the media in highlighting the fight against criminalisation of politics, he wants media houses to introspect and put an end to the ‘paid news’ culture, which is suspected to have evolved around the electoral process. For Bairwal, the mobilisation of people and their involvement in the political process, is the key to the future of India as a healthy, functioning democracy.u

To My Brother

Independence Day

Down memory lane I nostalgically remember Time spent with my brother Growing up together Enjoying in every weather.

On Independence Day Patriotism flows all the way Idealism is at a peak Idleness takes a back seat

Playing pranks Trying recipes in the kitchen Missing school Plucking ripe mangoes Avoiding the afternoon nap Going out to play Hide and seek.

Country first is the cry All ready to do or die Sadly, fervour does not last for long Reality sings a different song Because freedom is being confused with Wearing clothes of choice Speaking with disrespect, making noise

Mom asking me to recite a prayer While tying his Rakhi. Today we have grown up Well settled in life I still love to recite the same prayer Taught by Mom While tying his Rakhi. Between us Love is unparalleled Understanding complete Concern genuine. I fervently wish Materialism never eats up the piousness of the relation May love of siblings grow with time And they remain Each other’s strength and pride.

The true spirit of Independence Day is Freedom from Narrow mindedness and prejudice Aggression and negativity Lust and sick mentality Celebrations will never cease If we shun a lackadaisical mindset Stand up for the right reason And fight the giant of corruption The tri-colour is our pride As it unfurls far and wide The youth go forth under this sign To make our country truly shine

Happy Rakshabandhan Bhaiya. Savita Bawa, PGT English, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Old JNU Campus, New Delhi

11 Eye Is Watching You C ivic/S ocial

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at


re you receiving weird links via SMS on your phone? Do you often see the same person roaming around your home? Does something not jell? Beware. It may be a private investigator at work. Radha (name changed) was being chased by a private detective - day and night - for over two months. “I used to see a young boy walking with a dog, near my apartment. I had thought that he was a resident of my colony. But I became suspicious when one day I saw him looking into my bedroom from a window. I had also been receiving some links on my mobile phone, which used to activate the Bluetooth in my phone. Sensing something wrong, I decided to lodge an FIR. The police carried out the investigations and I came to know that this was the handiwork of my husband, who wanted to make his divorce case stronger by alleging adultery (by me),” she says. The use of private detectives has grown in the City in the last two years. It is majorly due to an increase in the cases of fraudulent relationships, defaulters (mainly of banks) and dishonest employees. Detective agencies say that almost anyone is a potential client. “Be it a parent, a newly-married woman, a bank, an employee or a child, everybody is our focus in the City,” says an employee of a private detective agency. Interestingly, most of these agencies are doing better in Gurgaon than in the Capital. “We have more than 2,000 clients in the City,” says Jain, a manager at Times, one of the most popular detective agencies in the City. These agencies are also hired by celebrities and City-based businessmen, who want them to spy on either their spouses or rivals. Besides, pre-screening a business partner, and sometimes a competitor, has become a common practice among the corporates. “It is the need of the hour. People want to conduct background checks about their business partners and employees. However, we don’t entertain any request to surreptitiously access information about other companies. Some agencies offer these services though,” informs Jain. Parents are also using the services of private detectives to keep tabs on their children. “Getting calls from parents has become very common for the past few years. In most cases the parents want to know if their child is taking any drugs or alco-


16-22 August 2013

hol,” says Jain. Detectives are also being hired by parents to find out how their children behave when they go to clubs, and also to know about their love lives! On the other hand, a few children have also hired private detectives to spy on their parents. Refusing to share the name of their client, a Senior Private Investigator at Spy Mission says “We were shocked when we got a call from a 15-yearold boy, who was suspicious about his father’s relationship with his (boy’s) teenager girlfriend. We refused the case, as he was under-age. But he pleaded that it is bothering him a lot and affecting his relationship with his father, as well as with his girlfriend. He was sounding very depressed. I therefore asked a freelancer to take up the case. Unfortunately, the boy’s suspicion turned out to be true. We later involved a child psychologist, who is still working with the child.” Most of the agencies swear that they never reveal the names of their clients. “Sometimes we are asked to make presentations about the work done by our agency. We tell our prospective clients only about the kind of work we have done and do. Many times police officials call us, pretending to be clients. It is common practice for the police and clients to conduct a check on detective agencies. We never reveal the identity of our clients to anyone,” says Jain. The agencies are eagerly looking forward to the 2014 elections, as many candidates hire private detectives to keep an eye on the campaigns conducted by their own workers as well as their rivals. “Candidates are very conscious that their image may be maligned by their rivals, through distributing of pamphlets, circulation of

MMS or posts on Facebook. To keep a watch on such activities, they hire private detective agencies,” says Jaspal Singh, from Spy Mission. He informs that detective services are also being used to check the problems faced by residents.

Tactics used

Spyglasses, button cameras and spy software have always been used as common tools by private investigators. But today, accessing of call records and even tapping of phone calls has become fairly easy. “I requested a private detective agency to tap the phone calls of my daughter’s fiancé. They provided me all the recordings in just 48 hours. Thankfully I came to know in time that he was bankrupt,” says a resident of Laburnum. Private investigators use some simple tactics too. A private investigator reveals that sitting in a bus shelter is a good option. “If you want to know what your child or wife is up to, you must know: who all are visiting your home or how frequently does he/she go out. If an apartment is located near a bus stop, we sit in the bus shelter for hours, pretending that we are waiting for a bus, and keep a record of people who enter the apartment. One can easily note down the car numbers,” says a detective. He however cautions that this tactic must be used sparingly, and preferably not in the same place again. Another private detective believes that walking with a dog is an easy way to divert the attention of people. “People generally look at his dog first and then the dog owner. This is a simple yet affective tactic used by detectives,” he says. Besides, social media and spy software are also of great help to detectives. Talking about a case, Jain says, “Recently we con-

ducted a verification check on social media sites for loan defaulters. With the help of fake accounts, our staff chatted with defaulters and called them on a date. With the help of bank and police officials, we were then able to catch over 60 defaulters in a span of three months,” says Singh. Spy software also makes the job easy. If the target is within the family, detectives ask their clients to install spy software in the mobile phones of the target (family member). Sending a link to the phone then activates Bluetooth, which helps to easily trace the location of the person. The software records every action performed on the mobile - from texts to calls to websites visited.

No Regulation

A website of a detective agency openly states that it can find the passwords of the Facebook account(s) and the Email account(s) of your partner. Some of them promise to show you the virtual screen of their mobile phones. Nita (name changed) recounts, “When I was in college my parents were a little suspicious about me. They hired a private detective agency to conduct surveillance whenever I went out. The agency promised to give my parents the footage of all my activities. They followed me to markets and pubs – and were even there in a trail room of a shopping mall! she says. The activities of private detective agencies are not regulated. Sometimes they offer to place a small equipment on a car, which enables its whereabouts to be tracked remotely through a computer system using GPS. “All this can impact the safety of the people living in the neighbourhood of the ‘target’ person. It is a criminal offence. In India surveillance can be conducted only by authorised bodies,” informs Advocate Shandya Gupta. In case of matrimonial verifications, private detectives often set traps for future spouses by seducing them, which can unfortunately lead to a sexual assault on the ‘target’ person. There are also no regulations in terms of fees. The agencies charge from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakhs, often depending on the income of an individual or corporate. “Depending on where you live, hiring a private detective agency can cost lakhs of rupees,” says Nilima, who was charged Rs 1 lakh for an investigation that concluded in 48 hours.

Is it all bad?

Services of these agencies have proved to be a boon for many people. “The courts always demand evidence. We help people to obtain evidence for criminal cases, and especially for divorce cases. You will be shocked to know that over 30,000 women in North India have been abandoned by their NRI husbands. We have been helping them and their families, who can’t afford to hire private lawyers,” says Jain. Furthermore, private investigators often perform detailed background checks of prospective employees, for employers and companies, which help those organisations take the right decisions. Many times the agencies have helped in locating missing people, with the use of technology. They also help people in taking the right investment decisions. “The real estate market in the City is not organised at all. Real estate agents make false promises and innocent people end up investing their hard-earned money in fake projects. We do the verification check of the company and the project proposed. We also check out the database of the company’s clients,” says Singh.

The Way Forward

Dozens of private investigators are openly offering to bug mobile phones, hack Facebook IDs and place secret tracking equipment on vehicles. They use illegal surveillance techniques in public and over the Internet. Anyone could be targeted. However, there is clearly a legitimate need for private detectives. Thus it is essential that the govt lay down (or update) guidelines and conditions for the operation of detective agencies. Freelancers should be restricted. Advocate Shandya suggests, “There is a need to introduce stringent rules and licensing norms for private detective agencies in India. As of now over 95 per cent of the agencies use illegal methods to obtain information.” She also feels that the intervention of the police will help a lot. Detectives should inform the police about their activities in advance. It will benefit the detectives as well. This will prevent any policeman on patrol from stopping any detective who is undertaking a legitimate investigation. Private detectives too need to be trained, so that they follow the laws and legitimate practices, for the gathering of information.u


CG Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal talks about MCG initiatives, and the development of the

Shopping Destination: DT Mega Mall

Nicolas, from Belgium A resident of DLF Phase V What do you like about the City?

Here, people are very hard-working. They work for more than eight hours a day. I think my family and I are learning a lot from Gurgaonites. Plus, everybody seems to be very satisfied and happy – even the poor street kids (smiles).

What do you not like about the City?

‘new’ Sectors – especially of the villages within. Has there been any learning from the current mess? ...Pg 7

The Centre of the NCR...Too


ow do you pull a Gurgaonite away from the routine of Mall crawls? Come take a trip to Connaught Place-the FG way! ...Pg 14

The City is still developing. I have been living here for the past 6 years. Condition of roads and traffic is still the same. Nothing has changed. Best Belgian Restaurant: To my knowledge, there is no Belgian restaurant in the City. However, German cuisine is very much like Belgian food, and the City has a lot of German restaurants. My favourites are 7 Degree Brauhaus and Rockman’s Beer Island. Thus it is not difficult for a Belgian to settle down in the City. And yes, I like Rich Belgian chocolate served by Gelato Vinto. Best Hang-Out Place: Kingdom of Dreams, DT Mega Mall, and Rockman’s Beer Island. Favourite Pastime: Watching Bollywood movies (smiles). I wish these were available with German sub-titles (in Gurgaon). As of now, there are just two shops in Connaught Place selling DVDs of Bollywood movies with German sub-titles. Shopping Destination: Delhi. I find Gurgaon very expensive in comparison to Delhi.

Chung Ae, from Korea A resident of Sector 56 What do you like about the City?

Protect your Family & Property from Pests like




What do you not like about the City?

I think it is hard for a foreign girl to settle down in the City. Here people are not very friendly and forthcoming to foreigners, especially to those coming from Asian countries. On the first day of my visit to college I came across some rowdy guys on the street. It doesn’t happen in my country. It is therefore important for a foreign girl to keep all the safety measures in place. Learning self-defence is a great way to protect yourself. Best Korean Restaurant: Gung, The Palace, Sector 29 and Tomato, JMD Regent Arcade. Finding authentic Korean taste is difficult though. Best Hang-Out Place: I mostly go out with my Korean friends. Parties organised by Internations are always good, as the



What do you like about the City?

I love Indian festivals. I suggest Gurgaonites to have their own festival – Gurgaon Festival.


What do you not like about the City?

G is pleased to present a unique Painting Exhibition of school children, Alankaran. Category winners will be feted on the 28th, at Epicentre. ...Pg 9

I think people are not very sensitized towards the needs of the poor. Every weekend I go to a nearby slum to teach the poor kids. A lot of foreigners are joining me. But support from Indian families, specially Indian women, is minimal. Best Russian Restaurant: There is no Russian restaurant in the City. And now, after spending 10 years in the City, I like Indian food more than Russian cuisine. My favourite restaurants in the City are Dana Choga and The Great Kabab Factory at Park Plaza. For authentic Russian taste, I go to “August Moon” in Greater Kailash. Best Hang-Out Place: Epicentre and Kingdom of Dreams Favourite Pastime: Love watching Bollywood movies. That is why I learnt Hindi. Shopping Destination: Ansal Plaza and Ambience Mall


e feature some of the City’s School toppers – what is it that they are doing right? There is no one answer. ...Pg 13

a population of 42.50 lakhs in the next 20 years. It is an estimate which former Haryana City Planner Raj V. Singh claims is he recently announced Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex absurd, as it probably means a doubling of the population before (GMUC) 2031 might envision a grand plan for transforming 2021, and thereafter adding 1 lakh persons every year in Gurgaon. the Millennium City, but increasingly voices are being “After making an allowance for even unnatural growth this decade, it is not possible that every year 1 lakh persons will raised against it for basically being a realty driven document. Critics allege that a coterie migrate to this City thereafter. There is no town Friday Gurgaon had posted of builders, brokers and politicians is behind in India of Gurgaon’s size that has ever attained An Open Letter, commenting the recent changes in the Gurgaon ‘Master anything close to this projected growth rate,” he on the Draft Development Plan’, that has been revised within a year. The asserts. In addition, an elementary knowledge of Plan of Gurgaon Manesar by-passing of the NCR Planning Board is also demography shows that growth rates slow down Urban Complex-2031, on the being questioned. once population increases. Interestingly, every revision in the Plan has Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, General Cover Page of our issue of increased the area made available for real estate Secretary of Mission Gurgaon Development 21-27 September, 2012. development and urbanisation. The Gurgaon (MGD), an NGO that has filed a 42-page Master Plan 2025 was announced just last year; ‘objection’ to the GMUC 2031 Plan, says that and within a year a 2031 Plan has been announced, with many new all planning in the National Capital Region should be approved residential and other sectors. by the NCR Planning Board, but that has not been done in It seems that inflating the population estimates is one ruse being this case. “A large area of the Plan also falls in the Aravalli used to expand the urban limits of the City, which as per the 2011 Hills area, which is an eco-sensitive zone; it would require census had a population of around 15.14 lakhs. The current GMUC Contd on p 6  Draft Development Plan, 2031 estimates that the City will have


A Passage to India


What do you not like about the City?

I have spent nearly seven years in Pune. It is a buzzing city with modern infrastructure, yet traditional. Gurgaon, on the other hand, is not a traditional city at all. Here everybody is busy earning money (laughs). Best Austrailian Restaurant: Well, Australians love continental food. However, I love Indian food too. My favourite restaurant in the City is Pind Balluchi, Sector 29. Best Hang-Out Place: I am a born beer guzzler. I love going to Striker, Rockman’s Beer Island, Vapour, and Howzatt. Favourite Pastime: Spending time with my son. Shopping Destination: Ambience Mall. Here all foreign brands are available under one roof.

Isidro, From Spain A resident of DLF Phase I What do you like about the City?

The hustle and bustle of the city and the business opportunities this City gives and the new friends you can make every day.

What you don’t like about the City?

The heat and dust can be really bad in the City. I miss the good Spanish food and the clean air. Best Spanish Restaurant: I like Cuisino and Bar Zen at Courtyard of Marriott. But, the knowledge of Spanish food is very low in Indian. They hardly know anything beyond Paella and Tortillas. Best Hang-Out Place: Kingdom of Dreams Favourite Pastime: Spending time at Spanish Cultural Centre in Delhi. Hope to have one like that in Gurgaon too. Shopping Destination: Usually, I go to malls, as there is no choice.

têtê-á-têtê with renowned film maker Waris Hussein, whose films will feature at the Epicentre this month. Hussein, who started his career as a trainee director with the BBC, went on to successfully direct TV serials and several English films, and has worked with legends like Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis and Colleen Dewhurst. ...Pg 20

NH8 Tolling starts again – and again takes the citizens’ toll. A traffic pile-up beyond a 400m Laxman Rekha will signal a stoppage of the Toll, and ensure free rides – but the chaos continues.

Health Special

The Dental Roots shows you how to get that Perfect Smile with a smile makeover. ...Pg 17

CM Hooda has boldly said : “… from Kalka to Narnaul and Sirsa to Faridabad, if any person can prove that I, or my MP son, have ever taken even Rs 11 from anyone, I will resign. We are only taking the good wishes of people in the form of flowers and turbans.”

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Protect your Family & Property from Pests like


Laying Sex Bare



urgaon has hundreds of Group Housing Societies (GHS), in which lakhs of people live, and this number is increasing quite substantially with each passing year. But, despite spendings crores, most of the apartment owners are unaware of their ‘rights’. Also, most Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), of various GHSs have proved ineffective in stopping builders from ‘exploiting’ the situation. However, its never too late. There are plans for an umbrella body for all the GHSs, as well as the Cooperative Group

Own Your Rights

Housing Societies (CGHSs), to ensure an effective and unified representation of all apartment owners. “The Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FAOA) is going to be the representative of the GHSs as well as CGHSs in the City, and it would raise its voice vociferously against those builders who have been harassing apartment owners and societies. Most residents are unaware of their rights, and those who know their rights, need better support. It would be a body of the people, by the people

The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has enforced new power regulatory measures for the urban consumers in its area of 'North Haryana'. The electricity will be supplied to them for 20 hours daily – as per a fixed schedule. Hopefully DHBVN will follow suit.

Alarmed at the increasing cases of crime, especially against women, the State govt has decided to aggressively increase patrolling. Even Home Guard volunteers are being called out, to be present till th November 15 .

and by the people; and it would give all the RWAs representation and a voice. We are in the last phase of formalities, and on 17th October we would make a formal announcement at the Press Club of India,” says Amit Jain, the Director General, FAOA. Gurgaon has around 170 GHSs and 365 CGHSs, housing about six lakh people. Many RWAs have not been able to take a stand against their builder; only a few have been resilient, the rest succumbed to fear, or

a chalta hai attitude. FAOA is going to be a pivotal body, that will represent them all, by collaborating with them and their residents; and give them the much needed confidence and courage. “82 per cent of the total constructed area in urban India belongs to the residential sector, and this ratio will certainly see an increase in the future – because 65 per cent of the population is still living in the rural areas, and is aspiring to come out to the cities for a better future. 62 per cent of the apartments in Gurgaon are lying vacant, but still there are hundreds of new apartments coming up in Gurgaon-II (new Sectors).

Contd on p 9 

Modern Temp es Of Gurgaon OlD lORDS N New BOTTleS ns de




16 -22 Novembear 2012

9 - 15 November 2012



o protect victims of sexual assault at the crucial time of the filing of an FIR, the state govt. has assigned a woman lawyer to each of the Police Stations of the City. This is to ensure that a correct FIR is filed, the victim is not harassed, and also receives emotional support. ...Pg 9



his border town to the North is getting ready for Metro connection. The 2-time MLA Rajinder Joon is working on an acrossthe-board development agenda, while ensuring that crime remains a bad memory of the past. ...Pg 13

The Gifted


hildren are anyway a gift of God; and some are even more ‘gifted’ on their own. They may not be challenged, but do need ‘special’ treatment. ...Pg 14

Exporters Exit


fter the stirs in the auto industry, the next casualty seems to be the exporters – esp. garments exporters. Literally fed up with the local support, at a time when they need stronger support due to lower global demand, they are shutting shop, or moving elsewhere. Where will the future jobs come from? ...Pg 21


A Bird's-Eye View { Shilpy Arora/ FG }


t all started as a hobby for Bill 15 years ago – meandering through the woods with binoculars and camera, and waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of the beautiful birds. Today Bill is credited with discovering one of the world’s rarest bird species, Stoliczka’s Bushchat, at Sultanpur Sanctuary. It was in 2001 when he saw a small bird with a little white tail, in a patch of coarse grass. His astonishment grew when, two years later, he saw the same bird at Sultanpur. He remained in the Park for 4 months, and discovered that it is host to six male and two female Stoliczka’s Bushchats. “I first thought it was a wheatear; but its typical puff-and-roll behaviour made me realise that I have found Stoliczka’s Bushchat, one of the rarest birds, last spotted some 80 years ago,” says Bill. Ramana Athreya, an avid birdwatcher from Pune, visited the Park in 1995. He saw an unidentified bird, a small babbler, with an olive-grey plumage, and a black cap. After six years of keen observation and rigorous study, he announced his discovery to the world. “It was an unidentified species. The forest department acknowledged my effort, by giving me the opportunity to have the bird named after one of my family members – Bugun,” says Ramana. With the increasing number of people taking to the sport of bird watching, new discoveries have become common at Sultanpur Sanctuary. The sport, once associated with Londoners, has attracted bird lovers and wildlife conservationists in the City.

Competitive bird races

To encourage bird watching, many corporates are sponsoring bird races in the City. HSBC, for instance, sponsors India Bird Race in various cities – such as Bangalore, Pune, and Gurgaon. A Bird Race is a dawn-to-dusk sport, and more a human race! A group of four bird-watchers spend the entire day 'birding' in and around a particular area. The goal is to record as many species of birds as possible, and to spot “lifers”— a bird nobody has seen before. Then, later in the evening, teams meet for an interactive session, wherein two adjudicators analyse the observations of the teams, and announce the winners. “One of the teams created a record, by spotting nearly 90

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


aleem, 9, was studying in a private school under the underprivileged quota (reservation). He was often thrown out of class, as he never combed his hair properly. “One day I saw him holding a tuft of his hair in his hand. When I asked, he said that it was chopped off by one his teachers,” says Saleem’s mother. She pulled out her son from the school. She also blames the school for making her child stand separately during the assembly, and sit in a back row in the classroom. Most of the private schools in the City are reluctant to take in children from the economically weaker sections. When Friday Gurgaon approached about 20 reputed private schools in

species in a single day, at Sultanpur,” says Prasanan, a Mumbaibased bird watcher. Prasanan’s bird watching expeditions are usually followed by street plays, performed by a few children of his group, to spread the message of conservation and protection of birds. “I like my character of a crow because it is one of the most intelligent birds,” smiles Chaitanya, son of an IT-professional, who visits the Sultanpur Sanctuary every year. “The biggest achievement of our bird watching expeditions has been creating awareness among our children about the winged wonders,” smiles Prasanan. Started some five years ago, the sport is gaining popularity even in small towns like Panchkula and Ambala. Last year, a bird race at Morni Hills in Panchkula saw the participation of more than 10 teams. “The reason why bird watching is becoming a popular sport is that one doesn’t need to invest a lot. All you need is a binocular, a notebook, and time to study the guides on bird behaviour,” says Bill. Contd on p 19 

Our Mental Challenge

the City to speak on the issue of the 25% quota (reservation) for underprivileged children, none wished to come forward. The schools that proudly invite media to cover their state-of-theart facilities, and their initiatives to have special educators in the classrooms, are keeping mum over this issue. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since the times of Guru Dronacharya. The poor children have never had access to the same education, the same exposure, as the privileged. While for some students the-state-of-the-art schools have come as a boon, a few students find the education and facilities 'useless'. They share their experiences and expectations from the private schools. (See Box) Contd on p 6 


FG as prom sed has covered Gurgaon n a comprehens ve manner – C v c Soc a Cu tura L festy e Educat on Hea th Sp r tua Sports Bus ness Rea Estate – n words and mages We have a spec a K d Corner as we as a G oba feature

The Adm n strators Po t c ans Bus nessmen NGOs and Fam es Farmers M grants Sen or C t zens Expats Youth Domest c He p/Ma ds F rst Sett ers – Gurgaon (new sectors) Water Water Harvest ng San tat on Sewage Garbage Waste Treatment e-Waste Parks Arava s Greenhouse Recyc ng Tree Act So ar Energy Peacocks Garden ng Po ut on


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.

Capt. Incredible!

Contd on p 16 

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….

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at


large number of people who shifted to Gurgaon from the national Capital in search of green, open spaces in the mid-nineties, are shocked at the rising levels of pollution, and the constant haze over the City. The ever-rising number of cars, diesel power sets and unabated construction activity in the Millennium City are producing multiple pollutants at an alarming rate. Gurgaon is unique not only as the modern Millennium City of India, but also is ar-

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


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.

See Back Page

guably the only one that throws up a colossal level of diesel and dust/debris in the air, on a daily basis. And there is no sign of a slow-down – in fact Gurgaon II (58 new sectors) and Greater Gurgaon are just starting… What is scary is that not much research has gone into studying the impact of the mix of these pollutants on the health of Gurgaon’s residents – from the newborn to the pregnant to the old-aged. Despite being one of the largest cities of Haryana – industrially, commercially, residentially - it was only last year that the State Pollution department set up an am-

bient air quality monitoring unit here. And even then, the District Pollution department seems to be more concerned about keeping an eye on industrial units, rather than looking into the totality of the problem caused by the combination of dust and chemicals in the air - which makes the sun many times look like a distant blob in the sky. Even in this month of May, in mid-afternoon, a haze surrounds the City like a shroud - and the problem becomes more acute in the winter.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has reportedly directed Unitech to pay Rs 14 lakhs penalty as compensation to a customer, by way of reimbursement of rent, for delay in handing over an apartment. This could have farreaching implications, and benefits, for buyers of property. The incentives/benefits available under the Self-Assessment Scheme for payment of House Tax, would only be valid till June 30 - where after MCG says it would levy penal interest.

Contd on p 6 

100 On Anniversary

Contd on p 8 

Po ythene Power P ped Gas D ese To P aza Roads Traffic Park ng C ty Bus/Autos/Metro/ Rap d Metro/Cyc e R ckshaws e-Fac t es On ne Pet t ons Corrupt on New Soc et es Act House Tax Food Pr ces Hea thcare Med ca Tour sm Hosp ta s Quacks Post Office Educat on L brar es Crèches Pre-Schoo s M d-day Mea s Sex Educat on Underage Sex Add ct ons Ch d Care nst tut ons Soc a Ev s (foet c de dowry honour k ngs mported br des) Sex workers S ng e Parents Runaway Coup es L ve- ns Courts Fast-track Courts D str ct Court An ma S aughter W d An ma s Pets mpend ng D sasters RT C v c Ma ntenance RWAs ssues Sectors Co on es Unauthor sed Co on es V ages S ums N ght She ters EWS Hous ng Guest Houses Suburb Towns Future Sectors Greater Gurgaon

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon. com


t has been an year since Haryana Roadways started the Gurgaon City Bus service. It has been partially successful. “We started with only 32 buses and 12 routes, and within an year we have increased this number to a hundred - and now nearly one lakh people daily travel in these buses. At present these buses make approximately 834 trips per day, and collectively travel around 22000 kilometres. The Department earns around five lakh rupees a day as fare. The residents of Gurgaon have responded splendidly to this service, and that’s why in the next few months we will increase the quality as well as the quantity of the buses,” said Arun Kumar, Director General, State Transport,

Haryana. The absence of an Intra-City Bus service had been an issue for almost a decade. “Gurgaon certainly needs more buses, as even now there are many areas in the City that have not been connected by this service. We are coming up with 150 new buses - which would include 50 low floor air-conditioned buses. Volvo buses, started by the Roadways for the people travelling between Gurgaon and the State capital, Chandigarh, would also see an increase - we are planning to add five more buses to the existing fleet of fifteen,” added Kumar.

DG Transport thanks FG Director General, State Transport, Haryana, Arun Kumar, thanked Friday Gurgaon for its co-operation with Haryana Roadways in preparing the Route Map of the Intra-City Bus service. “I thank Friday Gurgaon for lending a supportive hand; they have done a splendid job in making this Map and printing it prominently (back page) in their edition (33 – April 5 to 11, 2013). I request other media houses as well to support the department in improving the public transport mechanism in the City,” added Kumar.

CCTV cameras

All Gurgaon City buses will be fitted with CCTV cameras. Bus terminals across Haryana will also get electronic eyes for security. Fortunately money is not a constraint for the Roadways, and that’s why we have

planned to transform the transport infrastructure on such a large scale.”

Two new Bus terminals soon

In the next couple of years the City would have two new Bus Terminals - at Rajiv Chowk and Sector-29. “Sector-29 terminal would be an

AC terminal, catering to IntraCity Bus service, along with the Volvo Bus service to Chandigarh; Rajiv Chowk would be an ‘Ordinary’ Bus terminal, with basic facilities, and it would cater to the Inter-State and InterDistrict bus services. I believe the work will start within a timespan of three-four months,” added Kumar. u

There is a protest by citizens on Sohna Road, in Badshahpur, over the poor supply of water and power; Surat Nagar (Part I) residents also take to the roads, to protest against poor water supply. This is probably the tenth protest this summer, already.

The First Steps... Out Of Home basis of the philosophy it follows. The pre-schools often use terms such as Montessori, Play-way, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf. It is important to understand what these philosophies are.

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at


he first five years of life are of rapid and critical development in a child. Pre-school is therefore an important foundation for learning and life. Pre-schools teach kids good social and behaviour-management skills. This makes for an easier transition to Kindergarten. Apart from strengthening social skills, a pre-school teaches kids to respect others, solve problems and even learn the art of compromise. “A pre-school is a place where your child can gain a sense of self, explore and play with his/her peers, and build confidence. Kids in pre-school discover that they are capable, and can do things for themselves -- from small tasks like pouring their own juice and helping set snack-tables, to tackling bigger issues like making decisions about how to spend their free time. Besides, four-year-olds or five-year-olds often ask some wonderful questions about

Future Of Mall Street


the world around them - like why does it rain, and where do birds sleep? A good pre-school helps children find answers through exploration, experimentation and conversation," says Archana, Co-founder, Kinder Care School in South City II. It is therefore extremely important for a kid to attend a pre-school. It should be chosen with immense care and evaluation, as there are no accrediting or licensing agencies for pre-schools in India. Anyone can start a pre-school, anywhere. It is important to ensure that a pre-school has the trained staff, adequate facilities and an organized curriculum.

How to evaluate?

Some pre-schools may have worldclass infrastructure but less experienced teachers, while others may have the best staff in a small set-up. Since all children are different, parents should look for a pre-school that suits the needs of their child. The most important step is to evaluate a pre-school on the PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Bhel / FG } write to us at


eon lights, huge signboards, glass and chrome structures dot MG Road, which is popularly called the Mall Mile – and has large and small shopping centres that have redefined Gurgaon, apart from realty and big corporates headquartered in the City. Malls have proliferated here; but it is now being feared that an oversupply of retail and commercial space could unmake this phenomenon in the mid-term. There is

Ideally a Montessori school should be affiliated, or at least certified - but in India there are no professional organizations that certify Montessori schools or teachers. So it is extremely important for parents to know whether the Montessoriinfluenced pre-school actually follows Montessori philosophy. A Montessori school focuses on inculcating independence, self-esteem, imagination, polite behaviour and curiosity. In a Montessori school you won’t find teachers assisting kids in tying their shoe-lace, filling their glass of water, or in eating food. Montessori philosophy states that kids learn best when unassisted by adults - learning by doing things themselves. Children are encouraged to be independent and responsible.  Most Montessori schools have mixed-age kids in a class, so that children can learn from each other. Teachers in Montessori schools act like guides.  As the focus is on individual and group learning, a Montessori school generally has a lower teacher/child ratio. Practical learning is encouraged. Children learn about animals by feeding them and taking care of them. They learn about plants by watering them.  “First the concepts are taught by the teachers, and then the children are broken-up into Contd on p 7 

also a refrain that many malls have become windowshopping destinations, with people whiling away their time in these air-conditioned buildings. The low conversion rates, and high rentals are also cited as major drawbacks, and some experts have already started to write the epitaph for this 'industry'. Perhaps what they don’t realise is that Gurgaon is a paradox. It is a City where wealth is increasing despite the slowdown in regular industry, and where real estate prices refuse to come down even if there is over supply; where condominiums get 24-hour power supply even as the City reels under hours of power cuts. Experts in the mall industry— which includes managers, shop owners and facility providers—reiterate that the business in Gurgaon is not under any threat, as the malls have transformed themselves into entertainment hubs, from what was essentially a conglomeration of retail shops. Contd on p 19 

Law & Order Cr me Cyber Cr me Women s Secur ty Fraudsters Su c des L quor Vends Bars/Pubs Jobs Careers ndustr a workers Labour Unrest Udyog V hars Manesar SEZs Bharat BPOs Exporters Rea Estate New Soc et es Act Master P an Ce ebr t es Art Theatre Crafts Scu pture Haryana F m ndustry Authors Sports Stad ums Ma s Stud Farm Haryanv Marr age Gurgaon k Awaaz Persona Groom ng Resorts Fest va s Spec a Hobb es Facebook Groups Spec a coverage of De h And a week y dose of Haryanv A ssue ava ab e as e-paper on www. r

5-11 July 2013

15-21 February 2013

National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeks justification from HUDA, DLF and IL&FS for cutting trees to make the ‘new sector highway’ from Toll Plaza to Sector 56 Chowk. National Media Centre (NMC) residents had moved the NGT when HUDA/DLF had cut the trees nearby (from Toll Plaza to Cyber City). The Tribunal prohibited further cutting of trees, and also asked for explanation from the Forest Dept and Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), on cutting of trees on the entire stretch. Meanwhile NMC residents protested on World Environment Day by planting tree samplings in the area. FG had carried this story titled ‘An Expressway To Nowhere’, Issue 8-14 February, 2013, Vol 2, No.25

Diesel To Dust

The Gurgaon News Scape - the year gone by

n the year gone by we have brought you stor es and coverage on


Work Hard, Hardly Play


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

he unassuming town of Shahbad Markanda, in Haryana, has produced 36 international women hockey players. The town boasts an astro-turf too. ...Pg 14 & 15

I love the spirit of its people. They cruise through heavy traffic day and night. Most of them work six days a week. It is commendable.



Hockey Nursery

What do you like about the City?


We Have A Problem

Many Routes To The Top

Ethan, from Australia A resident of Beverly Park

Know Your Tomorrow-Fight For It

Mission 2031...


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.

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

Vol. 2 No. 42  Pages 24  ` 7

Top News

7 - 13 June 2013

MCG Moving: Slow & Steady

Of course pollution and traffic. Besides, I think Gurgaon doesn’t have any embassy school in the City. If you want your kid to learn Chinese, you will have to send him/her to an embassy school situated 20 Km far, in Delhi. Best Chinese Restaurant: Hao Shi Nian Nian Best Hang-Out Place: For Chinese, there is hardly any hang-out place, except a few restaurants where our community conducts parties once a month. Favourite Pastime: Playing games. Thankfully, the City is abuzz with gaming cafes. My favourite is Gamerz, MG Road.

A White Paper On Gurgaon

Ivanna, from Russia A resident of Palam Vihar

7-13 June 2013

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

Vol. 2 No. 39  Pages 24  ` 7

17 - 23 May 2013


he District Mediation Centre in Gurgaon also offers arbitration and counselling to estranged married couples. They have helped many avoid a messy divorce. ...Pg 6

What do you not like about the City?

17-23 May 2013

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

Vol. 2 No. 36  Pages 24  ` 7

26 April - 2 May 2013

The Good Middlemen

Global Gurgaon

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

AshA PANdey


It is one of the best cities for children to live in, as they are exposed to many things – cosmopolitan culture, years’-old traditions, and poverty.

Vol. 2 No. 9  Pages 24  ` 7

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

crowd is very decent. Favourite Pastime: Writing and Bird Watching (laughs). I was jumping with joy when I saw a blue peacock at my friend’s terrace. A visit to Sultanpur National Park is on the cards. Shopping Destination: Connaught Place, Delhi

12 - 18 October 2012

What do you like about the City?


Vol. 2 No. 8  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Gaige, from China A resident of Aralias

26 April- 2 May 2013

19-25 October 2012

19 - 25 October 2012

Vol. 2 No. 6  Pages 24  ` 7

12-18 October 2012

Our Impending Disasters


28 June - 4 Ju y 2013

28 Sept-4 Oct 2012

28 September - 4 October 2012

S pecial F eature

16-22 August 2013




19-25 July 2013

100 th issue A Model School

The Govt. Senior Secondary School at Sarhaul is today a great example of how a State institution can be run the right way – and perform. Catering to a student strength of 2,500 from 30 villages, the School and students have achieved commendable results, and have been well-recognized.

...Pg 6

ns de

Time For Citizen Action

It is time for a citizen-march against the ‘in-your-face’ liquor vends. They need not close shop, but they need to move back, and lower their glare. And remain vends, not open bars.

...Pg 8

The Greater Story

Greater NOIDA has stolen quite a march over Gurgaon – and even the new sectors of Gurgaon – in terms of civic planning and infrastructure (eg. underground power cabling, that Haryana has shelved even in new Gurgaon sectors, after planning for it). Could Greater NOIDA, with also a huge Knowledge Park, and great connectivity (the latest being the Taj Expressway) be the next NCR success story?

...Pg 14 & 15





A 100 years of Amrita Shergil

15 - 21 February 2013

The Second Divide

8 - 14 February 2013

7 - 13 December 2012

An Expressway To Nowhere

FG celebrates a 100 years of Amrita Shergil – the iconic Artist who initiated Indian Contemporaneity. ...Pg 18 & 19

Women’s Help Desks start at Metro stations –

Helpline No.8130990038 New Portfolios

Ashok Sangwan to take charge as the new Commissioner, MCG. He has previously been Commissioner MCY (Yamunanagar). Alok Mittal to take charge as the new Commissioner of Police (CP). He has previously been Joint CP in Gurgaon, and was last the IGP Rohtak Range. KK Sindhu, current Police Commissioner, will be the ADGP (Vigilance), based in Gurgaon. DCP Maheshwar Dayal has been given the additional responsibility of Joint CP. Bharti Arora, ex-SP, Traffic, returns as SSP, State Crime Branch. Traffic Police launch 24x7 Helpline: 9213020404; also, 0124-2217015 Commuters may contact these numbers for traffic related problems, traffic jams, accidents, and any harassment on the road.

Hoodaji in Wonderland I

t seems that now the projects may be announced at regular Golf Championships. That is the latest State fad. "CM and Chief Secretary promise to bring Golf within the reach of the common people through affordable Golf Courses, and by opening Golf Nurseries across the State." You would think that the poor and middle class people of Gurgaon and Haryana are overflowing with civic amenities. Unfortunately, they are still waiting for affordable food and housing, and provision of civic amenities – basically affordable living. Their lifestyle has actually gone down; many cannot afford to live in today’s times. So CM and Chief Secretary Sahibs - Press Conferences on Golf and ‘future is bright’ Projects are fine; but can we have one on the perennial civic issues plaguing Gurgaon – the City that provides the State more than half its revenue? And then let’s see some urgent action, please. The CM's fad, of course, is the Pod.

'MCG to engage experts' to resolve water-logging. The Corporation realizes it does not have the experts. What soul-searching, and what timing ! The tenders should be out before the next monsoon…. MCG House Meeting to take place after 3 months. Sector 10A residents protest on the street against supply of dirty water to them. A hundred residents of Sec 22B stage a 'dharna' and block a road, protesting erratic water supply – they had received no water supply over the previous 2 days. The elderly will be provided help in their Metro rides, by way of reserved seats. They also have been provided Helpline numbers: 155370, 8800793154, 0124 6460442. NHRC issues notice to the Haryana Govt over the sexual abuse of schoolgirls in some districts. Haryana State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights is constituted – especially for the protection of children from sexual offences. Childline (Helpline) is 1098.

The Haryana CM is quite taken in by the Pod Taxi concept that runs at Heathrow. Proximity to T3 has made him believe that this City will take off even better if we install Pods in our hallowed space. Pods are about 300sq.m. -sized transport boxcars that seat 4/6, are battery driven and remotecontrolled (no drivers), and run on one-way tracks.

Circa 2020, we may find... "Hello, this is Steve P Kumar – no guessing, I am an iPod fan. I am 8 years old. It’s good that all reading and writing is passé – it’s only speaking and listening now, via Podcasts on Pods. I live in Pod City, a conglomeration in an area that was once called Gurgaon. My residence is ‘in.36168741’; for those still living in the ‘old world’, it is Pod 1478, Great Pod T4. We live a beautiful self-contained life. Our feet rarely touch the ground. From our Pod residences we travel by Pod Taxis to wherever we want to go. There is an exclusive Pod World out there. Pod School S36 is a 4-pod journey away. Pod Taxi T147 is connected to our elevator, and drops us at

the School premises; the return journey is via T148. All the Pod Malls have Pod Stands – more than a few each; as do most large offices – even some govt. ones. After school I normally play Pod Games or watch Pod TV – that are hooked up to the World Wide Pod. The Pods run 24x7 – of course except when they malfunction (which is about once a week). It can get quite boring (or frightening) being stuck for hours in a pod, high over the City. Last winter I almost froze; and it was quite scary in the monsoon, with all the lightning. Our residence is one of the posher Pods. It has the largest Pod beds, and there is a 4-hourly Pod Market delivery service We also have a Private Pod, for when we want to travel exclusively. I have a few friends who stay on the ground, or in non-pod apartments. They have to do so much themselves. There is much dirt and smell all over. And so much crime. Some of the criminals tried to even hijack our Pod System; and miscreants sometimes enter our Pods without tickets, and harass the girls and ladies. The Pod Police are not so efficient; my parents say it is because they come from the same places as those that live below. The best protection is to keep changing our Pod Passwords daily, so that no one can enter our spaces. We are all like, peas in a Pod." Nice story. But CM sir - can we at least have some movement on the roads today? Can we have rate cards and stands for the autos, and stops and timings for the buses? Can we have roads that last at least 1 year – monsoon to monsoon? And power that lasts, in our non-Pod homes; our batteries seem to drain very fast otherwise. And can you please first stop us from drowning in our own sewage, after arranging to pick up our garbage? Re: the Pod, thank God there is no Pod toll proposed. Have you planned Pod toilets? And with crime happening 24x7 on the road, how do you intend to stop Pod crime? Finally, Hoodaji, Podland needs to be at least incorporated in the 2031 Master Plan. It is a different matter that it may be deleted in the 2035 Plan that will probably be issued this year. u

I'm From

Top News

This City’s masters live in a far away world of their own. The citizens are often left wondering Why? Like a Court issuing ‘taareek pe taareek’, the CM announces ‘projects pe projects’ – most of which start and sputter. Land prices in those areas of course go up systematically. The Master Plans change almost annually – with projects and land uses changing whimsically. Is there a big unseen hand at play?

The ‘Nirbhaya’ Fast-track trial is now 6 months old ! When will she get justice…and truly Rest In Peace?

Vol. 2 No. 48  Pages 24  ` 7

Fall-Outs of Live-Ins

I'm A Gurgaonite { Abhshek Behl / FG }

write to us at


oung or young-at-heart, hardworking, talented, brash, pretentious and very materialistic, is how many Gurgaonites describe themselves and others in the City. While every city has a basic character that is shaped by its culture and history, Gurgaon is relatively young and is perhaps influenced more by a corporate ethos and an international lifestyle that dominates the newer part of the City. The presence of a large number of exservicemen also adds an olive flavour and a fighting spirit, which is often visible during the (increasing) duels between builders and RWAs – that are often headed by former army men. The freedom to live life on one’s own terms, opportunities entrepreneurship, good jobs for women, acceptance of singles as part of society and respect for others’ living space is what makes Gurgaon urban life unique today. Poor infrastructure and lack of basic amenities no doubt hassles the young working class, but the faith in their own talent, abilities

and skills ensures that economic growth in the City does not slacken. Gurgaon today breathes ambition, and embodies the spirit of a young India that is impatient but not rude, which wants to outgrow the Hindu rate of growth but not its religious pantheon, and which wants to overcome the fatalist karma connection but also yearns for salvation from materialist leanings. Gurgaon today is basically inhabited by extremes - of those who have arrived in life, and the wannabes. Finding a balance is proving

Contd on p 8 

What makes a Gurgaonite?


{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at



turned to tolerance ... surprise and finally, joy. “I used to miss Delhi a lot, not just because of its spirit and social life, but also for its better transport system and roads. But as I started settling down here, I better understood the vibes of the City – its modern cosmopolitan culture, that offers not only better employment opportunities, but also gives you an opportunity to live freely with broad-minded people.” says Urmilla. As the City has no transport system, Urmilla has been given a car. ‘Had I been in Delhi I would have never got a car at this age,” smiles Urmilla. She enjoys driving her own car, attending cultural shows in the evenings, and photographing the beautiful landscape of the Aravallis. “I now prefer hanging out in the City rather than the Capital. I have found many like-minded people here. Unlike Delhi, even a 60-year-old here has a modern outlook towards women wearing ‘modern’ clothes,” she says.

Plush condominiums, swanky office complexes, world-class hotels, glitzy malls and a happening nightlife – the City has everything a youngster can aspire for. The City’s huge expat population also vouch for its cosmopolitan outlook. It seems that those who have experienced world-class living in cities abroad, find living in the City better than living in the Capital. “In Gurgaon the population is more homogenous, as most migrants work with Multi-National Corporations (MNCs). They have fairly similar backgrounds and expectations from life. Whether it is for resolving a tussle on the road or solving a problem in the condominium, the thought process is more mature. Delhi is more complex, as people there come from different backgrounds,” says Rebekah Walia, a New Zealander who has spent five years in Delhi. Contd on p 9 

FG F rs


n the last one decade Gurgaon has been transformed from a suburb into a city. The population has grown exponentially, traffic has multiplied, and the number of corporates have grown manifold - but one thing that has refused to change is the bureaucratic system and a mindset that is painfully slow and inadequate to meet the growing challenges of a Millennium City in the making. Considering the dysfunctional way in which this City’s Municipality operates, the residents would not be shocked to know that the authorities do not record and register the thousands of cycle-rickshaws that are operating in the City. Anyone, whether he is a criminal or a migrant from another country, can buy or rent a rickshaw, and start operating as a rickshaw puller, with the authorities not even batting an eyelid. It is not as if the MCG does not have a licensing procedure for cycle rickshaws, but it went out of vogue a decad

difficult for both. In such a scenario it is difficult to generalize on (the DNA of ) a Gurgaonite – especially with the majority of us being outsiders from all parts of India, including neighbouring districts of Haryana. Some are rich, some middle class, and a large number comprises industrial workers who run the engines of this City. We must not forget that their sweat also adds to the character, apart from the economy of the City. The professional class in the City

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A common trait of a majority of the people who come to the City is that they are more aware and exposed to modern culture, and possess a cosmopolitan outlook. 20-year-old Urmilla, who moved from Delhi to the City three years ago, says that her journey started with disgust and anguish, but gradually

Bachche Ki Jaan Loge Kya?

Take he S ow Lane { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

he City has come a long way. From a humble Haryana village, it has transformed into a major residential commercial and industrial hub. A couple of decades ago this land was covered by dense forest; it is now home to many flashy malls and swanky buildings. It is not just the structures; in the process, the people too have ‘evolved’. Today young Gurgaonites feel pride in calling the Millennium City their home. They have new aspirations and goals. While youngsters who have moved from Delhi and other metros like it for its cosmopolitan outlook, those living in ‘old’ Gurgaon see immense potential here, as the City provides good employment opportunities. However, they would like to see a change in the attitude of the ‘new settlers’ towards rural folks.

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

arriage has always been seen as the ultimate commitment in the Indian society. The husband and wife vow to be always together, in front of their near and dear ones. But today’s generation seems to rely more on “trying-out” relationships, wherein they live together for some time and later decide if they would like to tie the knot. ‘Live-in’ is the name of this new ‘option’; it provides an option to part ways. That is what seems to make it attractive. However, it also makes it formidable. It seems attrac-

Contd on p 9 

Contd on p 7 

T me Fo Accoun ab We need a White Paper - on all the vacant land in Gurgaon today. Why is it vacant? What was the original Plan? What is the current Plan? When will it be implemented? Why was there a Change of Land Use (CLU), if any? Who will do what, and by when – for all Civic Services, Facilities and Amenities? This exercise needs to be done for all HUDA and private builder areas. Why should we continue to have sudden announcements, followed by protests, over the setting up of services and facilities across the City? It’s clearly because things


seem to change every day. A CNG Station, a Liquor Vend, a Crematorium, A Hotel, a Hospital…seem to spring up from nowhere…while Community Centres, Parks, Parking Areas and Footpaths are gobbled up. There is a limit to which private enterprise would be able to bail out the State – through ‘illegal’ ground water or water tankers, diesel gensets and sewage ‘management’. This will in fact not remain practical for long even in current Gurgaon. Unless the City managers and planners own up their mistakes, and carry out another exercise to ‘Plan’ Gurgaon, the City will not survive this century – let alone a Millennium.

100th issue

We invite your comments and views on the newspaper. You may write to us at See previous issues at

26 Ju y - 1 August 2013




The 'Real' Social Circle

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

Vol. 2 No. 46  Pages 24  ` 7

5 - 11 July 2013

Gurgaon For Sale

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

19 - 25 Ju y 2013

Vol. 2 No. 26  Pages 24  ` 7



K id C orner

16-22 August 2013

Literary Flourish School is boring Galloping over the hills and rivers Hi, I’m a nine year old, I don’t like school because my teacher scolds. I get lots of homework, which is very boring! I want to be free, and fly like a bird soaring! I want to gallop over the rivers and hills. Feel happy and pray for good will! Sagar Harsana

Kids Brainticklers

Artistic Strokes


Ananya Deshpande, Grade III, Delhi Public School, Sushant Lok

16-22 August 2013

K id C orner


Banyan Eid Mubarak


he tiny tots at Banyan Tree World School celebrated the festival of Eid. The kids wore special ‘topis’ made of paper. They wished each other Eid Mubarak with the customary hugs.

APS Eid Celebrations


tudents of Montessori-III of the American Public School celebrated the festival of Eid in the Junior Wing. The Programme started with the children narrating the idea behind Eid and the celebrations connected with the Festival. A few students sang an Eid song. The Programme ended with a beautiful dance performance.

Path Ways to Space


6 students of Pathways World School went on an exciting and memorable educational trip to NASA, Orlando, Florida. The highlight of the trip was the Space Trek programme. It was an incredible experience for the students, who learned about the complexities of Spacecraft launches and being an astronaut. They also were fortunate to have lunch with an astronaut. They experienced a simulation of a Space launch and observed the launch site. They also attended a very informative and interesting Robotics Workshop. The incredible journey included a three-day Space Trek Workshop. This was followed by a guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center. The highlight of the trip was the Graduation Ceremony, where every student received a participation certificate. Four students of Pathways were part of the winning team and were given congratulatory medals.

A Black Grade!


Karate Black Bselt Graduation was organised by Kaishogun Karate Do India (Shotokan). The grading was held under the supervision of Chief Examiner and Instructor, Sensei Sumit Virman. Students who participated were Dhananjay, Riya David, Rachel David, Shivani and Ujjagar Pratap Singh.

Ryan International School, Sohna Road

Write Right


he School organised a Workshop on calligraphy, to teach the students the importance of good handwriting. The Chief Guest, Babita Garodia, associated with ‘Write, an Institute of Handwriting technology, was felicitated by School Principal, Dr. Mouna Gupta. Ms. Garodia expressed the various facets associated with handwriting and stressed on ways to rectify the shortcomings related to illegible handwriting.

Ryan WizKids


he School participated in South Asia’s Biggest Fest – The Horlicks Wizkids 2013. Ishrita Bagchi (Class IX) won the Gold Medal for Crossword solving, Abhishek (Class XI) won the Silver Medal for Comic strips, Ayush Gupta (Class X) won the Silver Medal for Hindi Essay Writing and Parnika and Ishrita (Class IX) won the Silver Medal for WizQuiz.

The Perfect Actors


he Montessori students participated in VIBGYOR, a role-play competition. The little ones exhibited their oratory skills and gave wings to their imagination and creativity. They came dressed as elements of nature. Parents of the kids were present to encourage them. Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta congratulated all the participants for their wonderful efforts.


K id C orner

16-22 August 2013

Literary Flourish Independence Day

The Divine Connection


he children of Grade VI of Kunskapsskolan connected with themselves and the Divine – through the basic steps of the Shiv Tandav form of dance. The students, guided by their teacher, enjoyed this unique experience.

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ne of the most important decisions that parents make for their children is the enrolment in a school. Every parent put in his/ her best effort, as a good school helps instil a wish for lifelong learning in its students. Luckily the City offers a unique platform called Schoolex, which helps parents evaluate different schools at one place. It is a school admission fair that takes place at Epicentre every year. "All good schools participate, and are ‘available’ under one roof. Parents like to visit, discuss, evaluate and choose the ‘right’ school for their kids. Some of them take the admission forms, some register, while others fix appointments with the schools. Like each year, the event has received an overwhelming response this year too," informs Amit Sachdeva, organiser of the mega-event.

The ‘new-age’ schools

Today the parents do not look at just the academic results of schools; they check the records of extra-curricular activities and other facilities offered by the schools. Talking about her visit to Schoolex, Kashish Sethi, a parent of a one-yearold boy, Arihud, was surprised with the facilities offered by the ‘new-age’ schools in the City. “In our times convent schools were seen as the best choice, but I know that some children can’t handle the ‘pressure’ in convent schools. I am glad that schools with different ideologies are becoming popular in the City. They even offer worldclass facilities such as gyms,

A School Affair salons and spas,” he smiles. “A school that has produced toppers doesn’t necessarily have all the facilities that I feel are needed by my child. For me, a school that ensures the safety of my child is very important, since cases of sexual harassment are increasing even in schools. Facilities such as round-theclock electronic surveillance and an environment-friendly campus are therefore crucial,” says a parent, Nitya.  Parents are also actively looking at boarding schools. Schoolex helped many parents know about the facilities offered by these schools. Naina Singh, Head of the department at Satyam Educare, informs, “We are a boarding school based in Rajasthan. Our school is spread over an area of 160 acres. The student-teacher ratio is 5:1 and we have foreign students as well from countries such as Russia,

prakhar PANDEY

{ Shilpy Arora/ FG }

Someone came 200 years ago, but that time our country was secure. India was known as the ‘Golden Bird’, and for this our country suffered. After some years Britishers started to trade, they started coming to India as it was a parade. We were made their slave, for everything we had to crave. Many freedom fighters died, but no one was allowed to moan or cry. Bhagat Singh fought for the country, the revolt was called ‘Kranti’. Every freedom fighter came with a different background, but the same aim was found. Pt. Nehru wanted the country industrialised, Gandhiji wanted peace in our hearts caramalised. When Gandhiji showed his wisdom, we got our freedom. We got free on the eve of 1947, as we were free from demon. Since 65 years we celebrate the day of Independence... If the whole story is longer than the Constitution, then this is just a sentence. Happy Independence Day! Vedant Shivpuri, Class 9, Sherwood Convent

Israel, Thailand and Korea.” She feels that boarding schools that have international students provide an opportunity to Indian students to know about different cultures and languages.

Curriculum is Key

Though most Schools offer CBSE and IB, other foreign curriculums are also gaining popularity. Director of Excelsior American School, Shalini Nambiar, says, “Parents are often confused as to what is the best curriculum for their child. They need to understand the pros and cons of each, and match it with the requirement of/for their children. CBSE, for example, is best suited for those who aspire to join the Civil Services or IITs. IB is a good choice for those who want to go abroad and join a foreign university.” It is also crucial to know how schools are delivering a particular curriculum. While some

schools have an association with NIIT, which provides specially designed online subject capsules for CBSE, many schools offer Educomp courses in accordance with the curriculum of each class.

Good schools always have Great teachers

One of the key features of Schoolex is that parents get an opportunity to interact with the teachers. Generally, three- or four-year-olds are accustomed to being surrounded by loving people – their parents, siblings and/or grandparents.

When they are admitted to a school it is perhaps for the first time that they would be spending a large portion of their day away from those people. It is therefore extremely important for a school, especially a preschool, to have the ‘right’ kind of teachers. “Look for teachers that are very engaged. Have conversations with prospective teachers about their current classrooms. They should be able to speak about each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and be well-informed of their background, interests, emotional and academic achievements,” suggests Pooja, Director, Morning Glories. Nitya is also keen to know how teachers prepare themselves each year - as the kids are very different in this generation. What kind of regular and new training do the teachers receive from time to time in school?

It’s not all in the name

Parents need to understand that a school should first offer a good environment to a child. Many of the newly-opened schools in the City lack some basic facilities and have a very poor student strength. There is no one feature that guarantees quality. Just the word ‘international’ or ‘world’ don’t mean the school is a success. Sometimes ‘traditional’ schools, like Panchatantra, offer a better environment. “We have recently moved to the City from Kanpur. My child has always lived in a traditional set-up with grandparents, uncles and aunties. He feels very lonely here. I know that he will not be able to adjust in an international or a world school,” feels a parent.u


16-22 August 2013

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C omment

16-22 August 2013

Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan, Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Kaheen Condo, Kaheen Metro, Kaheen Mallein, Karein Chill Milta Hai Yahaan Sab Kuchh Ek Milta Naheen Dil Mehlon Mein Hain Sab Band Yahaan Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Kaheen Local, Kaheen Desi Pardesi Yahaan Sab Kaheen Snatching, Kaheen Jacking, Kaheen Teasing, Kaheen Khap Buree Nazrein Hain Anek Yahaan Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan


Ghar-waalonko Bure Sapne Yahaan Dete Builders Manmaani Karein Sabse, Kahein Isko Business ‘Sapnon Ka Sheher’ Bhi Hai Naam Yahaan Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Jeena Yahaan, Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan

Paani-Bijli Kuchh Hi Ghanton Yahaan Aayen Siraf Bas Building Par Building…Hai Property Har Taraf Middle Class Ka Naheen Hai Makaan Yahaan Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Paise Kee Keemat Yahaan Bhoolen Hain Log Time Kam Hai To Pyaar Bhi Kharidtay Hain Log Dilli Se Ab Mehenga Hai Ye Jahaan Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Kabhi Gurugram Kabhi Gurgaon Kabhi G’City Kabhi Des Hain Pairon Pe Naheen, Par Udney Ki Hai Race Kaam Naheen Bas Naam Hai Yahaan Zara Hat Ke, Zara Bachh Ke, Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan

Based on the legendary song... 'Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan'. Sing to the same tune... With inspiration from, and sincere respect to, Majrooh Sultanpuri & OP Nayyar.

Registaani Hogi Dharti Aur Diesel Aasmaan Saans Lena Hoga Mehenga, Agli Peedhi Ko Daan Kya Yahee Hai Hamaare Nayi Yug Ka Jahaan? Hai Ye Sachh Ke, Ye Hai Hat Ke, Magar Bachh Ke Meri Jaan….

Yes, We Can Ae Dil Hai Aasaan Jeena Yahaan, Sun-re-Chhora, O-ri-Chhori Yo Seh Gurgaon Mhaari Shaan

S piritual

16-22 August 2013

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

write to us at


ne of my friends is a Captain of a merchant ship. He took me along on a journey off the coast of Port Blair. It was a huge ship with tonnes of load on board. While sitting in his cabin I heard and saw with interest the advancements made by science and technology in the field of navigation. After some hours of sailing in the Andaman Sea we crossed the Great Nicobar Island and entered the waters of the Indian Ocean. Almost all through the journey my Captain friend was alongside me. When I asked him who was in control of the ship, he replied that it was navigating on an ‘autopilot’ mode. In our lives we feel that the steering-wheel (of our lives) is in our hands. We believe that we ourselves can determine and change the course of our lives. We believe that we can steer our ship of life and cruise through our journey – whether in shallow or deep waters, calm waters or high tides. It is not so…easy. It is in our hands to choose between a life that is a willing surrender to circumstances or one that survives on an egodriven conflict with situations and people. We can choose to swim upstream in the rough waters of a swirling river or

Surrender To 'His' Will flow in comfort along with the current. In a sense, flowing is like surrendering ourselves to His will. Surrender is one of the most beautiful experiences that life has to offer, and it is much more enlightening than we can imagine. It means bowing down to the divine play and accepting life as it is. It is what liberates us from our ego and allows us to savour a radically joyful life. Surrender frees us from any suffering that we are experiencing. The person who can surrender fully soon realizes that he has discovered paradise on earth. The experience of letting go - of the need not to be in control of our life - is such a huge relief. An enormous release occurs the instant we stop pretending to be the doers, and open our mind to seeing and feeling the bigger plan that our soul is here for. When we surrender we discover a deep sense of contentment and peace and all our inner battles end. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “It takes many births for a soul to know that I am the cause of all causes and to surrender unto me.” He states in the final chapter of the Gita, “Discharge your duties in the

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Thymol Twins { Jaspal Bajwa }


enturies ago two herbs with a very similar flavour grew in the same region - somewhere in North Africa. The plants were so close that they might have been twins. One went east, and came to be highly regarded in the countries along the Arabian Sea coast. Today it is known as Ajwain (Omam, Bishop’s Weed or Carum Seed). The other, Thyme, having been used by the Egyptians to embalm their pharaohs, was highly appreciated all over Europe and America for its intense culinary, aromatic and medicinal properties. Ajwain is relatively more aromatic, though the taste is less subtle – being slightly bitter and pungent. Ancient Greek physicians, like Dioscrides, had been quick to recognize the amazing benefits of these herbs,

for diverse uses - such as skin and throat infections, leucorrhea, female infertility, kidney stones and rheumatism. Importantly, in addition to being a carminative (flatulence reducing), Ajwain also improves the digestive function by increasing gastrointestinal secretions - thus relieving dyspepsia and spasmodic disorders. Today, modern science has confirmed that both the herbs contain a key ingredient – Thymol. Revered by traditional health practitioners, Thymol is used as a local anaesthetic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, oil of thyme was used to medicate bandages. Today Thymol is present in many mouthwashes and other dental products, due to its natural ability to fight tooth decay and infection, while also offsetting the ill effects of gum

Learning to surrender also prepares us for dying - the final life lesson and the ultimate surrender. Indian saints comment that when we are born our fists our clenched and when we die they are open. If we have not learned this in life, we surely will when we die. world…but fix your mind on me. Take refuge in me and you will overcome all obstacles and enjoy enduring happiness.” God works through us. While he has given man freedom of choice, He is the determinant of our lives. Surrender to Him must be total - involving the body, speech and the mind. We erroneously think that we are the doers. It is the higher power that does everything, and man is only a tool. All of us know how little control we actually have on our lives. We should try to practice letting go, to cultivate a habit of total surrender - to our mistakes, to life’s fragility,

to the people around us; and complete surrender to things well beyond our control. We should learn to own the truth - owning up to the fact that we can be very good at making a mess of things and very bad at admitting it. If we cannot surrender it is because our ego is coming in the way, and ‘protecting’ itself from evolution and enlightenment. By instinct, in our early childhood, we feel ourselves safe in the hands of our parents and elders; but as we start growing in age we create our own sense of insecurity, which becomes a roadblock in the

disease or bad breath.

Ajwain water is called “Ajwain Ark” in Ayurveda. As a cure for diarrhoea, dysentery and indigestion, a simple home-made remedy is to boil a cup of water with 1 tablespoon of Ajwain, till the water is reduced to half its volume. This can be drunk right through the day. The steam can be inhaled to relieve symptoms like a blocked nose. Ajwain Oil can be used topically to ease rheumatic pain.

Tip of the Week

Chewing Ajwain (Omam) seeds early in the morning is a good way to get the digestive juices going. It pairs very well with the ‘Master Cleanse’ drink (fresh lemon juice together with apple cider vinegar and a dash of rock salt and cayenne pepper). In India, chewing the seeds as a ‘churan’ (digestive aid) preparation is also quite common. A mixture of Ajwain seeds and fennel seeds (saunf ) can be tried as a cure for bad breath.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Ajwain, Omam, Bishop’s Weed,


way of enlightenment. It is only through relinquishing the need to control, defend, manipulate and protect the self that we can find true and total freedom at a deep soul level. Where is the need for control, when we are at His command for everything that happens in our lives? A ‘Shabad’ says it very beautifully: Hoekeme andar sab ko baahar hoekam na koye (Everyone is subject to His Command; no one is beyond His Command.) So much happens in our lives without us being conscious of it – like when we inhale or exhale. A complete surrender to Higher Wisdom or God means giving up all thoughts and concentrating the mind on Him. Surrender is the ultimate act of faith. Surrender means we should become completely non-existent, letting God’s will prevail. This way, the death of the ego brings about a state that is called oneness with higher consciousness. Let us have faith in the world around us, the people around us - and faith in some Higher Force in the world. I call it Higher Wisdom. 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

Carum Seed

Ajwain seeds combine the powerful and stimulant qualities of capsicum, the bitter property of ‘chiretta’ and the anti-spasmodic qualities of asafoetida. Like caraway, ajwain seeds are rich in fibre, minerals (calcium, phosphorus and iron), vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin and niacin) and anti-oxidants. In addition to Thymol, Ajwain seeds also contain small amounts of other phyto-chemicals - such as pinene, cymene, limonene, camphene, carvacrol and terpinene. Ajwain is used to treat colic, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhoea. As a poultice it is useful in relieving asthma, arthritis & rheumatic pains. Ajwain has a supportive effect on the liver, kidney and spleen. In addition, Ajwain greatly enhances the absorption of other nutrients in food. A note of caution … since Ajwain seeds induce gut secretions, pre-existing stomach ulcer conditions could get exacerbated. Individuals with liver diseases, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis conditions should best avoid this herb.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


16-22 August 2013

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Berlin’s Tourist Attraction: An Airport { Johanna Uchtmann / Berlin / DPA }

Guenter Wicker / Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH


n most holiday destinations, tourists get out of the airport as fast as they can to start sightseeing of the city. But in topsy-turvy Berlin, you leave the City to go sightseeing at the airport! The City has a sparkling new airport that cannot be inaugurated, because it does not meet fire-safety standards. The white elephant facility now attracts visitors eager to see how about 5 billion euros has been spent for nothing so far. Among the sights: an empty hotel where the staff have to turn the taps on and off every day in all the suites. Torsten Schulze, Director of the Steigenberger Hotel, explains that residency must be simulated to keep things in working order. It’s called “quiet management,” he says. “We want to keep the building as new as possible,” says Schulze. Not a single guest has ever slept here, yet the Hotel’s employees go through the motions as if it were open. They dust the furniture. They open and shut the windows. They even move all the furniture a bit to prevent tell-tale indents forming in the carpets. That astonishing tale is just one of the ‘attractions’ of a day-tour of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, codename BER, located on Berlin’s southeastern outskirts. Modifications to the airport are continuing, and it may open in 2014 or 2015. Making the best of the situation, the airport owners are offering the tour, the “Erlebnis BER” (Experience BER). Now that

A site guide (right in yellow vest) explains from a high building what visitors can see at Berlin’s idle BER airport.

Johanna Uchtmann

BER guides on bicycles.

Tim Brakemeier

A visitor on the apron of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, the new airport of the German capital, which is currently open only to shutterbugs.

A fun run in April 2013 on the tarmac at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, with the control tower in the background.

shutterbugs land here instead of planes, they can even walk in a place that normally would be offlimits - the apron. On a recent day, about two dozen visitors were standing at a point between the control tower and the terminal, on the thick concrete. With each step they could feel the grooves beneath their feet. A tour guide pointed out that the grooves cut in the apron are for traction, since airplane tyres are smooth. Visitors can wander about on their own, through the public spaces and roadways, and also take a “tour of aviation history” by pointing their Smartphones at QR codes. The tour, costing 10 euros, takes about two hours. The Infotower is located outside the main terminal entrance. Visitors can either climb the stairs or ride up a lift 32 metres, to a revolving lookout platform on the Infotower. The view is of both the old Schoenefeld Airport (which still operates) and of the new facility with its future northern runway, cargo centre, parking garages and office complex. You can also see the Steigenberger Hotel - with its windows open for airing. Inside, there are check-in counters, with a finish of fine walnut veneer. A vein scanner will be used to identify airport employees entering a security area. The small green squares on the surface of the apron mark the spot where huge underground aviation fuel tanks are located, from which planes will be fueled through hose pipes. Besides bus tours, visitors can ride around the grounds on bicycles, at least until the end of August. From the apron, the terminal building looks very elegant. The 715-metre-long glass front is punctuated by 16 passenger boarding ramps. Behind the glass, black sofa seats still wrapped in clear plastic are ready for the passengers. “You would need just one washing down and

we could get going,” an airport guide remarks. Except for the matter of the smoke extractor. “The pipes are there, the software too, but the interfaces aren’t functional yet,” the guide continues as she answers visitors’ questions. “It’s something about how ‘valve A’ up front doesn’t know what ‘valve Z’ in the back is up to.” Below ground, the S-Bahn commuter rail train is passing underneath the terminal. It’s empty, of course, but the run is necessary to keep enough air circulating through the tunnel, and thereby preventing the buildup of mildew. Somebody asks whether tourists couldn’t take a ride on it? “It’s a nice idea and we would also like to do it,” says Ingo Priegnitz, spokesman for the Berlin S-Bahn company. However, the fire protection regulations are causing many problems, both above and below the ground. As long as the terminal is not yet officially certified as meeting fire safety rules, tourists can’t be allowed to ride the trains below it.u

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16-22 August 2013


Tracking In Caves { Dorothea Huelsmeier / Cologne, Germany / DPA }


samkxao Cigae is a hunting guide at a tourist lodge in Namibia, his homeland. Animal tracks are an open book to him - he can tell which elephant in a herd has left a particular footprint. He can even tell where his wife and children are, by reading the tracks in his village. Cigae, 30, is a member of the San people of Namibia, huntergatherers—also known as Bushmen—considered to be the best trackers in the world. Two German archaeologists specializing in prehistoric rock art—Andreas Pastoors and Tilman Lenssen-Erz—have used the tracking skills of Cigae and two of his countrymen, to interpret 17,000-year-old human footprints in Pyrenean caves. Their extraordinary Project, called ‘Tracking in Caves’, has received funding from the

German Research Foundation, DFG. The archaeologists have been studying rock paintings for years - Pastoors in southern France, and Lenssen-Erz in South Africa. While the prehistoric cave paintings in the Pyrenees are world-famous, the footprints of the people who made them—during a time variously known as the Stone Age or Paleolithic Period—had previously been only of marginal interest. “We, as western scientists, lack the ability to read them,” Pastoors noted. In preparing for the Project, the San trackers had to learn how to get around in caves. Since bear tracks are found in some of the Pyrenean caves, they also visited the Cologne Zoo, to look at bears’ paws. No bears live in the Africa wild today. Although their findings give no cause to rewrite the history of cave paintings, they were able to dispel misconceptions.

Tracks in the Tuc d’Audoubert Cave, for instance, had been thought to come from a ritual dance performed by several adolescents. The San trackers’ theory is more mundane: an adult about 38 years of age and an approximately 14-year-old child had removed clay from the spot. A footprint in another cave was previously regarded as the only one extant of a person wearing a shoe during Europe’s Ice Age. The trackers came to a different conclusion: it, too, was made by a barefoot person, whose toeprints were recognizable. “Our assessment is certain,” Cigae said. The use of traditional folk knowledge in modern science is not new, but it had never before been employed to examine the activities of prehistoric Pyrenean cave people. The trackers determined that the tracks they examined had come from 28 people in all – mostly between the ages of 10 and 20. Of the footprints from people aged 30 to 60, they said, none were from women. As the tracks were only a sampling, the archaeologists conceded that it was impossible to draw any general scientific conclusions. It was also not possible, according to Lenssen-Erz, to use them in assessing the cave paintings’ significance. Rather, he and Pastoors said they wanted to “highlight individual moments” in the lives of Stone Age people. Even a simple knee-print is valuable – indicating that people didn’t wear trousers 17,000 years ago. u

Fast Food Workers Demand Higher Pay { Washington / DPA }


ore than 124,000 people have signed an online petition calling for fast food restaurants to double employee wages, the sponsor of the petition said a day after fast food employees across the country walked off their jobs. “We can’t survive on 7.25!” the organization Fast Food Forward said at its website, referring to the current federal minimum wage of 7.25 dollars per hour, typically earned by fast food workers. “In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation,” said Fast Food Forward, a campaign for better employee wages. “While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by — many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job.” The organization argues that higher pay for fast food workers would benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy. Employees at US fast food restaurants across the country struck recently to demand companies like McDonald’s and KFC to increase their wages to 15 dollars an hour, according to media reports. Thousands of workers stood in front of restaurants in New York, Chicago, Detroit and four other US cities – with signs stating that their pay wasn’t enough to care for their families. Last week President Barack Obama reaffirmed his call for an improved minimum wage in a speech in Galesburg, Illinois. In February, the President used his state of the union speech to campaign for the federal minimum wage to be raised to 9 dollars an hour. u

Cocktail of the Year

Colosseum To Get A Facelift { Hanns-Jochen Kaffsack / Rome / DPA }

{ Claudia Bell / Stuttgart / DPA }



omans are rubbing their eyes in disbelief: the Eternal City’s new Mayor, Ignazio Marino, is pressing forward with a “revolution” at the Colosseum. Restoration work on the City icon, which in typical Roman manner has been repeatedly delayed, is finally about to begin. Even more surprising, starting in August, private cars are no longer being allowed to drive near the largest amphitheatre of ancient Rome, and the tourist buses will have to park elsewhere. For the leftist Mayor, these steps are necessary not just to rescue the Colosseum from the ravages of climate and decay, but also to start assembling an extensive archaeological park in the area around the Roman Forum. Each year, up to 6 million visitors come to see the massive edifice – that dates back to the 1st century. Construction-site fences for a Metro rail line run from the Colosseum to the Forum. On weekdays, there is thundering traffic all around the huge but fragile Colosseum, despite its urgent

need of restoration. It will cost 8 million euros to clean and stabilize the Colosseum’s grimy 50-metrehigh rows of arcades. A businessman, Diego Della Valle, is sponsoring this. This work alone is expected to take two and a half years. A new tourist entrance to the Colosseum will be created. “We are about to realise a dream that’s been around for decades. We are launching an operation of enormous cultural value,” the Mayor told all those involved in the plans. In a bit of hyperbole, Marino spoke of “the largest archaeological park on the planet.” He meant the entire remains of ancient Rome surrounding the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which are the two best-loved sites. u

hen barmen from some of the world’s best hotels and bars gathered recently in Germany to test their skills against each other, the talk naturally turned to this summer’s hit drink. In the city of Stuttgart, where the Competition was held, Belal Ismail explains to dpa what went into this year’s best-selling cocktail and what sets a great barman apart from the rest. dpa: Are cocktails still popular or is the trend moving towards a simple glass of wine or beer? Ismail: My guests are definitely drinking more cocktails. Classic mixed drinks are selling well – like the Pina Colada, Whisky Sour

and fruit cocktails. dpa: What cocktail would you recommend this year? Ismail: I would suggest the Pimm’s Cup, which is a refreshing cocktail made from Pimm’s, a slice of cucumber and ginger ale served with ice. dpa: What does a good barman need to know? Ismail: First of all he needs professional knowledge and has to be continually retraining. You have to be able to work long nights. You also have to be interested in people, and to be ready to listen to them. Sometimes a barman has to act like a psychiatrist and listen to a person’s worries. That can be difficult, but it can also be one of the job’s positive aspects. u


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16-22 August 2013

Walking The Manhattan Shoreline { Christina Horsten / New York / DPA }


{ Clare Byrne / Paris / DPA }


his year marks the 40th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death in southern France. The Spanish artist spent several years in Provence and the French Riviera, where he died in 1973. Following are some of the main places of pilgrimage in the area for Picasso lovers.

Antibes Picasso and his young lover and muse, Francoise Gilot, arrived in the resort of Antibes after the end of World War II from Paris. Attracted by the light and the sea, Picasso had been to the Riviera many times before, but this stay, while only lasting six months, was extraordinarily productive. Energized by the end of the War and his new love, he accepted the offer of a studio

Walkers during the Great Saunter, a walk around the island of Manhattan, on May 4, 2013.

It was all industry, harbour and wasteland. We had to clamber over railroad tracks and crawl through holes in the fences. And there were other dangers, too. Once, in Harlem, bottles were thrown at us.” But Adler wasn’t going to be deterred. “I was young back then and newly married,” says the man now well past 80 years of age. “I was a bit bored, so I took off on my own. I simply liked discovering new things. Then I put a small ad in the newspaper for anyone interested in joining me. At first only a few answered, but then there were more and more.” Adler led his group along all the shores of New York, and soon became the City’s most devoted and best-known walker. “Nobody should ever die without first walking across the George Washington Bridge,” he says of the crossing over the Hudson River. Now he no longer does the Great Saunter but instead is found at various points along the way, handing out granola bars and, if needed, advice.

Christina Horsten

efore departing for the wilds of Manhattan, you need a bit of sustenance. Looking at the Statue of Liberty gleaming in the morning sunshine, participant Number 915 is sipping coffee from a paper cup. Next to her is Number 916, leaning on a fence at Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, eating a banana. “I’m wondering what we’re up against,” she says. “Fifty-two kilometres is more than a marathon – but instead of running you’re walking. So maybe it can be done.” The two young women work at the New York Times. “Our boss talked us into this,” Number 915 says. “The whole thing is crazy. I’ll probably drop out at some point.” It’s a special day on New York City’s main island, measuring 22 kilometres north-to-south and up to 4 kilometres wide. Once a year a bunch of people gather to walk its entire shoreline. That is the 52-kilometre course. The Event is organiszed by the Shorewalkers Club. For a small fee, participants get a number, map, a T-shirt and baseball cap. Then they head off on what the Shorewalkers call the Great Saunter. This year, once again, probably only around one-third of the field of more than 1,000 will complete the entire distance. According to Cy Adler, a Co-founder of Shorewalkers and the initiator of the Great Saunter, today’s walk is almost a paradise compared with past times. “Back then, during the first Saunter 28 years ago, it was still rough,” he says. “There were no paths whatsoever along the shore.

Two walkers kitted out amid the skyscrapers for the Great Saunter.

“There’s a subway station over there if you can’t go on,” he tells some walkers. Manhattan’s west side is the better and prettier one for walking. Starting from the financial district in the south of Manhattan, the route passes by the chic district of Chelsea, then Midtown, the Upper West Side, Harlem and finally Inwood Park at the northern tip. Almost all of the shoreline trail seems like one large park. It’s a colourful scene along the asphalt-paved trail, one used by numerous joggers, bicyclists and people out for a simple stroll. On a pier jutting out into the Hudson River, some people in a sports club are dancing to samba music, while in the shade of the George Washington Bridge,

an Indian family is celebrating a child’s birthday. Numbers 579 and 580 siton a bench in front of the bridge, bandaging their feet and taking a quick souvenir snapshot. Then comes the first and only climb of the tour, up to Inwood Park at the northern tip of Manhattan. It was here that Dutch explorer Peter Minuit is said to have made his deal with the original inhabitants in the early 1600s, trading trinkets for the Island - at least according to a plaque marking the spot. It is noontime and the half-way point has been reached. The second half just stretches on and on. The route hugs the East River shore, but past Harlem, the fences and a lack of paths force the walkers to make some detours. Then it is on past the Upper East Side, Midtown, Chinatown, the East Village and finally the financial district. More people are dropping out, heading for any nearby subway stop and home. “My son is just 8 years old,” Number 322 says, pointing to a small lad next to her. “We’ve had enough.” Number 730 picks up his dog—wearing 731—in his arms. “The last time I had to carry him three miles. This time it’s going to be more. He’s already 10 years old.” Further south the walkers slowly pass by the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. “I always thought the three bridges were close together, but they are really far apart,” sighs walker Number 991. Further ahead, a small figure is bending into a wind that has turned chilly. “I’m 72 and am doing the Great Saunter for the fourth time,” the woman says, trudging heavily along, one foot after the other.”I must be crazy.” u

On Picasso’s Trail in the Chateau Grimaldi, overlooking the Mediterranean, and began frantically creating. For six months he used all the materials available in the lean postwar years to paint - from panels of fibre cement and boat paint to plywood. Among his best-known works from the period are La Joie de Vivre, which features a curvaceous woman joyously dancing with a flute-playing fawn and goats. When winter came, he fled the draughty castle, leaving behind 23 paintings and 44 drawings, which he donated to Antibes – where they are on display in the Chateau, since renamed the Picasso Museum. To commemorate his death, the Museum and the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco have teamed up this summer for an Exhibition entitled Picasso Cote d’Azur. The Forum focuses on the works he produced in the region between 1920 and 1946, while the Museum charts the Antibes/Vallauris years. A second Exhibition at the Forum,

which has created intense excitement among art lovers, is showing 101 Picassos from the collection of the billionaire Nahmad art dealer family – one of the largest collections of Picassos in private hands. The remarkable Exhibition, which covers nearly his whole career, includes several works from the Painter and Model, Women of Algiers, Luncheon on the Grass and After Manet series.

ist explored ceramics. Picasso played with form in traditional pottery, moulding jugs into nudes or fawns or other figures, and decorating plates, plaques and tiles with his favourite subjects (women, goats, birds, bullfighting scenes and so on). Some of his ceramics are on display in the town’s National Picasso Museum, which is also housed in a castle. The Museum’s main drawcard is the allegorical War and Peace work, which Picasso painted on two walls of the Chateau’s Chapel, between 1952 and 1957. Considered his last overtly political work, it juxtaposes scenes of war and of rural tranquility. Chateau De Vauvenargues About 30 kilometres from the

Vallauris A few miles north of Antibes lies Vallauris, where Picasso and Gilot spent five years with their two children, Claude and Paloma, between 1948 and 1953.  It was here that the art-

coast, on the outskirts of Aix-enProvence, sits yet another Chateau associated with Picasso. The artist lived for several years at the grandiose Chateau de Vauvenargues, at the foot of Mont Sainte-Victoire, with his second wife, Jacqueline Roque. The two are buried in the garden.

Mougins From Aix, Picasso and Roque moved in later life to the hillside village of Mougins, above the resort town of Cannes. It is here that he died in 1973. To mark the 40th anniversary of his death, the Centre d’Art La Malmaison in Cannes is showing dozens of drawings, ceramics and paintings from the collection of his granddaughter, Marina Picasso. The Picasso, Nudity Set Free Exhibition runs until the end of October. u


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