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22-28 February 2013

Vol. 2 No. 27  Pages 24  ` 7

Question of the week is: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN DIAMOND JEWELLERY AT HOME? SMS your Answer (along with your name and email Id) to 9810959200 or visit Aum Monica Kapur, Second Floor, Gold Souk Mall, Gurgaon.

Coming Of Age 18 & Dreaming

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


fter completing his Class 12, Ankit, a student of St Angels, wants to fly high. He wants to get into Stanford University, to take up Aerospace Engineering. Ranveer, a student of Lancers International, is passionate about Astronomy. He wants to join Harvard, following in the footsteps of his father. Kirti, on the other hand, wants to keep her options open. “My first choice is Fashion Designing. But I will also apply for courses in Architecture and Accounts,” she says. There are more than 7,000 children, from over 250 schools in the City, appearing for the Class 12 Board Examination. There is a heady mix of preferences, plans and passion.

The Foreign Connection



Despite good higher education facilities, and rising job opportunities, in the City, the craze to go abroad still prevails among the students. Anjali, a student of Class 12 in Pathways, says “I am an art lover, and want to go to Italy to pursue my undergraduate studies. This way I can also join my cousins living in Europe, and enjoy my college life.” Most of her family members have studied abroad. While her parents took up post-graduate studies in mainland Europe, her brother has done his schooling in the UK. Most of the students who have siblings or cousins studying abroad, aim for a foreign university. In fact, some of them are sent to IB schools just to ensure that they can easily get into a foreign university. Vanshika, a parent, who chose an international IB school for her

Lawbreakers @ 16

New Age Security

An area of a thousand acres, in and around DLF Phase V, has been under the spotlight for over a year. 3,000 CCTV cameras capture the picture of what is happening on the roads, and even within. The Control Room, connected to Gurgaon Police, is at the DLF Golf Club.

...Pg 8

Caged Freedom

Looking for liberation for decades, girls and women in this Millennium City are now facing confinement, as they are daily targeted by goons and lumpen elements on the roads and in public transport. Family routines and lifestyles are being impacted. This needs to be stopped aggressively.

...Pg 9

Life Near The Metro

Swanky concourses just 2 years ago, the Metro stations today are engulfed by cesspools and crime dens.

...Pg 24

daughter says, “When we put Sidhi (her daughter) in an international IB school, the aim was to prepare her for study in the US. Most of the schools there follow an IB curriculum. Moreover, US universities give preference to students who have studied in an IB environment.” Payal, a teacher in Blue Bells, says, “Unfortunately, today students are not bothered about the reputation of a college or university. They are only attracted to the tag – “Studying Abroad”. What attracts them is independence, and the perception of a glamorous college life abroad – not studies,” she says. She gives an example of a student who chose a newly-opened university in Australia over Shri Ram College of Commerce (Delhi University). Some students feel studying abroad does make one more independent. “When my elder sister joined a university in the UK, she had to do all the household chores herself. She at first didn’t even know how much detergent to use in the washing machine! But she learnt it all during her course in the UK,” feels Namrata, a Class 12 student of the Cambridge School. Her mother, however, seems worried about the huge expense involved in sending her daughter to the UK. “We send almost Rs. 50,000 to the elder daughter per month. Now, if Namrata also opts for a course in the UK, the expense will be double,” she says. Due to this high cost of studying in the UK and the US, some students are also considering different destinations – like Singapore and Malaysia. “I am looking at Singapore because it is cheaper and closer to Contd on p 6  India. You can join a medical course ASHA PANDEY

Participate in a weekly contest by renowned jewellery designer, Monica Kapur and win exciting prizes.

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

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


ot so long ago, Vivek (name changed) was sixteen, and used to ride an Atlas bicycle. When he was turning eighteen, he asked his father for a Bajaj Chetak – but instead was admonished. ‘Legally you may soon be permitted, but you are not yet ready to handle a motor vehicle,’ said his father. For the next three years of college, the same bicycle served his purpose. The Bajaj Chetak doesn’t exist today, and nor do those kind of fathers. Today, many sixteen year old boys drive bikes and cars on Gurgaon’s roads. They don’t think twice about not having a driving licence. At markets, malls, theatres, or even at schools, one can find hundreds of under-age kids driving cars and bikes – and tearing down at lightning speeds, even on broken roads. Why do the children, as well as their parents, believe that doing this is fine – or right? Is there no morality, no rationality, no fear? Are they not aware that under-age driving is a crime, and that their sons/daughters could even kill someone – or be killed?


Last year more than 14,000 challans were issued for underage driving. “Machines have been attracting humans for centuries, and the attraction for these kids is not at all abnormal. In older times our parents would keep us away from the motor vehicles till the time we obtained our licence, and even after. But now these kids are exposed to vehicles, and speed, at an early age. The real change has taken place at the level of parenting, and the change in the social and economic status; and that’s why the Contd on p 7 


22-28 February 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–27  22-28 February 2013




t’s time for the ‘desi’ Von Trapp family to stand in the spotlight. Any musically gifted family can sign up for the Performers Platform – a public platform to ‘bond and band’ together. Sing, play, dance or act as a duo, trio, quartet or a family ensemble. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

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

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh


Virender Kumar

Coming Up

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav


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

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Living Walls @ Art Alive Gallery, 120, Sector 44 Date: Up to February 28 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm


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

collaborative Art Project, an Exhibition of works of noted artists – Krishen Khanna, Sakti Burman, Manu Parekh, Anjolie Ela Menon, Paresh Maity, among others.


‘Ayurvedic Wisdom: Principles, Prevention and Cure’ @ Zorba The Buddha, Building No. 7, Tropical Drive, MG Road Date: February 24 Time: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm


ew York based comedienne Radhika Vaz presents a woman’s perspective of life – from adolescence to maturity. `Unladylike` is an intelligent, raunchy, and hilarious joyride through the minefield of femininity.


Hindustani Classical Music @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 27 Time: 7:30 pm


Manish X Fader Live @ Lemp Brew Pub & Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, 201, 2nd Floor, Sector 30 Date: February 23 Time: 9:00 pm


Magical Monday @ Urban Cafe, Ground Floor, Building No. 9 B, Cyber City, DLF Phase III Date: February 25 Time: 7:00 pm onwards Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

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



RNI No. HARENG/2011/393

For The Other Half


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

...Pg 16

Tantric Art


e feature

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey



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

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

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

asterchef Top 5 Vijaylaxmi shares a Recipe exclusively for FG readers.

...Pg 18

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

Let’s Be Civil


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

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

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



nderstand the 5 elements of Ayurveda, to achieve mind and body wellness, with Psychotherapist Mansi Chauhan. Learn the effective solutions to help build your immunity, and prevent common ailments. The contribution fee for the Workshop is Rs. 3,500. 
For registration, call: 9311902245.

Unladylike: The Pitfalls of Propriety @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 1 Time: 7:30 pm

Fuzzy Logic @ Spiritual Bar and Lounge, Hotel Double Tree by Hilton, DLF Golf Course Road Date: March 1 Time: 8:30 pm


n evening of electronic dance music by DJ Crazy Fuzz. Crazy has explored different levels of music and trance in the Indian underground scene—from psychedelic and bass music, to techno-house, minimal and electro. You will dance till you drop.


Family Performance Corner @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 24 Time: 3:30 pm


et into the groove with noted artist, producer, DJ – Manish Bhatt, aka X Fader. Step into your dancing shoes as he smoothly blends the latest R&B, rap, breakbeat and dance styles.


idn’t party enough at the weekend? Here’s a chance to party on a working day. Groove to the beats of electrifying live band performances, and spice up your Monday.

Aesthetics & Women All Are Invited for A Group Exhibition On The Occasion of Women's Day at Epicentre Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon Near Huda Metro Station by Manjusha Ganguly Qazi M Raghib Mannju Karmakar

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }



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

n evening of Hindustani classical music, by Bishnu Murari Chattopadhyay & disciples.

Stand Up Comedy

n Are you interested and concerned

` Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24


...Pg 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

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


100 – Police Emergency main Police


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


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

22-28 February 2013

C eleb W atch


Driving Miss Dia


ctress Dia Mirza was in the City for the launch of a Sports Activity Vehicle. The actress showed her driving skills as she test drove the luxury vehicle. Dia has been to the City before, and hopes to visit again.

Jayantabhai & Partner Mingl


he lead actors of the forthcoming movie, Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story―Vivek Oberoi and Neha Sharma―were in the City, for a promotional event at a Hotel. Both Vivek and Neha interacted with fans and spoke about their roles. The crowd was thrilled, as the actors signed autographs and posed readily with fans.

DJs in Da House


Dance, Rise, Strike


ancers and performing artists of Delhi/NCR hosted an evening of talks and performances at Epicentre, titled One Billion Rising. The theme was to 'Dance/Rise/ Strike', and demand an end to the culture of rape and violence against women. There were performances by Samira Sood, LSR Dance Society, Ragini Bhajanka, Rohini Dutta, students of TDX, Sadhya, Pankaj Pawan, among others.One Billion Rising is a global campaign by women, for women.The movement calls for an end to violence, and for justice and gender equality.

urgaonites were in for a treat as noted DJs Akbar Sami and Chetas got together to give them a rocking night at a local pub. The DJ duo played a mix of popular commercial club and Bollywood tunes, and kept the audience grooving on the floor till late at night.

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22-28 February 2013




Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page?


7838003874 7827233023 Commissioner Police launches Helpline connected to his office, as promised: 9999999953 (open 10am to 2pm, Monday to Saturday) – for complaints against policemen not taking action as desired. Every Police Station now has a Complaint/FIR Receipt Book, to issue a copy to whoever lodges a complaint. Women’s Helpline: 1091; Women’s Helpdesks at Metro stations: 8130990038; REDCO Helpline (for women): 9266861111; Anti-Obscene Calls Cell: 9582226610 Traffic Police Helpline: 9213020404; 0124 2217015 Senior Citizens’ Helpline: 9416092569 (Mon to Sat 10am to 6pm); 0124 2221559 (24x7) Senior Police Officers are provided easy to remember numbers: Commissioner of Police


Joint Commissioner 9999981802 DCP (HQ) 9999981803 DCP (E) 9999981804 DCP (W) 9999981805 DCP (S) 9999981806

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ State Information Commissioner Naresh Gulati takes up 60 RTI cases during his visit – will come every 2 months. SIC gets 400 cases per month, mainly from Gurgaon. There are 3,500 pending cases. ♦ The 2-day strike call impacts mainly the financial sector in the City. Essential services remain mostly unaffected. ♦ The Punjab & Haryana High Court asks for a resolution to the Hero Honda Chowk traffic problem within 15 days. ♦ New MCG Chief says sanitation is a priority. ♦ The Haryana Transport Commissioner Ms Sumita Mishra pulls up the Agency handling the affixing of High Security Registration (number) Plates (HSRP), for delays and inconvenience to customers. As DG of Women and Child Welfare, she also inspects some anganwadi centres, and the Panjiri Plant. New buildings for 33 anganwadi centres are under construction. ♦ A separate Women’s Police Station will open soon; as also one for Economic Offences and Cyber Crimes. ♦ A BPO employee is arrested for raping a 13 year old in a hotel. ♦ A Class XI student is arrested for raping a fellow minor student, at Badshahpur. ♦ A woman files a rape case against her landlord, in New Palam Vihar. ♦ A lady school teacher commits suicide. ♦ A minor girl goes missing in Udyog Vihar. ♦ A woman is molested by an auto driver, behind Sec 14 market. ♦ A man is booked for making threatening and obscene calls to a teacher. ♦ A bus overturns on the E-way – 8 are injured. Driver is booked for negligent driving. ♦ Criminals fire on the police in a late night robbery attempt. ♦ 13 are booked for a land fraud case. ♦ A HUDA employee files a case against a former colleague. ♦ Robbers on bikes steal over Rs. 2 lakhs from a liquor- vend owner. ♦ A man is booked for swapping an ATM card, and duping a person for over Rs. 1 lakh. ♦ A man snatches a bag containing Rs. 24,000 from a woman, in Sec 23. ♦ Another robbery attempt to steal the tyres of a car is foiled – this time in DLF Phase V. ♦ 10 SHOs are transferred, by the new Police Chief ♦ 167 recruits pass out from the CRPF Academy at Kadarpur. DG Pranay Suhay is the Chief Guest. ♦ There have now been about 50 cases of Swine Flu in the City – a daily addition of 3 or 4; and 2 deaths. ♦ Registration of IVF Centres and Imaging Machines has been made compulsory. ♦ Gurgaon Police informs the High Court of various works not done by the NH8 concessionnaire, despite an agreed plan. The Court gives 2 weeks for a reply. ♦ The State revises norms, guidelines and parameters for grant of Change of Land Use (CLU) for retail outlets and fuel stations on highways. ♦ 10 acres from Daler Mehndi’s 112 acres farmhouse are restored to the Sohna Municipal Committee, by the SDM Court. A 15-day show cause notice is also issued for the remaining about 100 acres. ♦ Frustrated villagers force open Kherki Daula Toll Plaza for hours – over 500 vehicles pass through free. ♦ Impacted locals disrupt work on the Northern Peripheral Road. Saraswati Puja is celebrated.

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T PIC OF THE WEEK Dear Readers, Each week we will feature a question/topic to get your views/suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg. This week's Topic is:

'Can Gurgaonites help in the security of women in the City? How?' Write in to us at

06  Contd from p 1 for just Rs. 2 lakhs per year, in Singapore; whereas in the UK the same course will cost you over Rs. 6 lakhs per year. And interestingly, universities in Singapore and other Asian countries have a range of offbeat courses,” says Devant, a Class 12 student of RPS. Studying abroad is not a cake walk, believes Mrs. Sandhu, a teacher at DPS. “I did my Master’s degree in Economics from the US. The study pattern and exam schedule is entirely different outside. Unlike in India, where you have the luxury to try and make up later, you have to maintain a consistent work schedule right from day-one in most of the universities abroad. The study model in those universities promotes self-learning. Besides, there is a lot more to going abroad than just studying. You will sometimes feel alone even in a crowded place. And you have to do things that you had your maids do for you all along,” says Mrs. Sandhu.

Delhi University is passé

For years, Delhi University had been the most favoured study destination for students living in and around the Capital. However, the sheen is wearing off, as more students in the City are dropping the much sought after colleges from their checklist, in favour of foreign colleges. Even the top scorers don’t want to make a beeline for the colleges in Delhi University, as adopting the national capital as their home doesn’t appeal to them. The Millennium City can pamper you... Kritika, a Class 12 student of Ryan International, says, “In my class, not many students are aspiring for colleges in Delhi University. Firstly, they are afraid of the rising crime in the capital. My parents would prefer to send me abroad, rather than sending me to a college in Delhi University; they will not let me travel alone from the City to the Capital. Another reason perhaps is the extremely high cut-offs. Last year the cutoff was 100 per cent for many courses!” she says. One of the top scorers in his class, Pranav, a student in the Science stream, is also not keen on applying to colleges in Delhi University. He says “I want to take up Physics (Hons); but looking at the past few

22-28 February 2013

years’ cut-offs, I have lost hope. The first cut-off in DU seems to be beyond my reach, and I don’t want to waste my time waiting for the second and third cut-offs. There are some very good options in Mumbai and Pune too. I am seriously considering them now.” Agrees Shalini Nambiar, Director of Excelsior American School, “Just till a couple of years ago a lot of students would aim only for Delhi University. Now the high cut-off percentages, and rising crime in the Capital, has made the students re-think. A large number of students, even those who secure good marks, are now looking for colleges abroad – especially in the US, or in other metros like Mumbai, Bangalore, and Pune.” Some people feel that opting for a professional course is better. A resident of DLF Phase 1, Nidhi, wants her son to go for a Law course immediately after his +12. She says that a ‘standard’ graduation degree from Delhi University will only delay his entry into the professional world. “If you enrol

for a professional course after Class 12, you are exposed to the field for a longer span, and are likely to have a better foothold in the industry when you step out of college,” she feels. Kritika Jaswal of Blue Bells, who wants to do Fashion Designing from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, seconds her view, and says, “I would rather fill up forms in all the fashion institutes across India, than queue up outside Delhi University colleges for forms. “ Radhika Bhatia, a Citybased career counsellor, corroborates the trend. “There are so many new courses that have emerged over the years. Students would rather opt for a course in Jewellery Designing, than head to the Delhi University for a graduation. Unfortunately, even 90 per cent is today is not an eye-popping percentage for admission to the Delhi University. Therefore we are guiding students about other avenues, in India and abroad.”

Off-beat courses gaining popularity

Gone are the days when everyone preferred ‘safe’ career options like medical and engineering. Many students are now exploring and venturing into a number of new courses.

C over S tory

18 & Dreaming

My first choice is Fashion Designing. But I will also apply for courses in Architecture and Accounts –Kirti Channan

Off-beat courses like Shoe Engineering; courses in textiles, food, pharmaceuticals, ceramics and fashion fields; and in multimedia, business administration, culinary arts, law and journalism are gaining popularity. Abhishek Banerjee, a Class 12 student of St. Michael, who wants to become a model, points out, “Now-a-days every other person is doing engineering; but the question is – do we require these many engineers? I think the study pattern in courses like engineering and medical is very monotonous. That is why I want to go for something that brings out my creativity.” While refusing to comment on the ‘hot’ careers options at present, to avoid influencing a student’s decision, Radhika says, “There is a lot of scope in designing. Be it fashion, textiles or websites, every product needs designing. Therefore, the field of designing

The first cut-off in DU seems to be beyond my reach, and I don’t want to waste my time waiting for the second and third cut-offs. There are some very good options in Mumbai and Pune too. I am seriously considering them now –Pranav Vishnu

holds immense potential.” However, there are risks in offbeat courses. “The scope for a particular career may only brighten in the next two or three years. Also, what is hot today may be ice-cold tomorrow!” smiles Radhika. Welcoming the trend, Ruchi Seth, Principal of DPS Sushant Lok, suggests, “The parents of today are willing to give space to their child to explore. However, they are a little concerned about letting their child experiment with new courses, as there is not enough awareness about alternative career options. That is why it is important to receive the right career counselling at the right time.”

Many see a great career in Gurgaon

A large number of students, even those who secure good marks, are now looking for colleges abroad – especially in the US, or in other metros like Mumbai, Bangalore, and Pune –Shalini Nambiar, Director of Excelsior American School

While most of the students in ‘new’ Gurgaon aim for foreign universities, and some of them see their future in other metro cities, students in ‘old’ Gurgaon seem to give preference to the City. Shalini Kataria, a Class 12 student of Blue Bells, says, “Everything is available in the City today. It is a self-sustained and self-contained city, both in terms of education and jobs. The City offers career opportunities that perhaps even Delhi and Mumbai don’t give you. With the arrival of private universities, one doesn’t need to go out of the City for higher studies.” Born and brought up in the City, Shalini wants to live and make her career in the City, and spend the rest of her life here. “We have the biggest MNCs here. The City has schools that are far better than the ‘old world’ schools in Delhi,

I think the study pattern in courses like engineering and medical is very monotonous. That is why I want to go for something that brings out my creativity –Abhishek Banerjee

where people struggle to get admissions. With many corporates in the City, it is easier for schools to connect with them, and invite people from various fields to address their students,” says Kritika. The City seemingly has tremendous potential in terms of education. Also, several linkages, exchange programmes and academic partnerships are happening here. However, experts feel that the Millennium City is still struggling to provide some important courses like Medicine, Information Technology, and Agriculture. “Last year, we provided career counselling to over 1,000 rural children. Many of them wanted to build careers in Agriculture and Information Technology. The City, however, doesn’t have a single college that provides a full-fledged bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. We hope that the State’s Education ministry would take notice of this,” said Radhika. Students who can’t afford to study abroad have very few options when it comes to ‘offbeat’ courses. “I want to do Footwear Designing, but no college in the City offers a course in this area. I don’t have money to go abroad. Hence I will have to take up some ‘standard’ course for my graduation,” says Raju, a student of Government School, Sector 18. Every student entering college thinks this is his/her most important step towards career building. Fortunately it isn’t. One can move from the core subject to management studies, administrative services, and other areas. A Bachelor’s degree is only the first step. “There is enough scope for building on higher education, and also for change and course correction at the Masters level. Remember, there is always a next step. You just need to keep feeling your way forward – and stay positive,” suggests Radhika. u

22-28 February 2013

C over S tory


Lawbreakers @ 16

 Contd from p 1

earlier hindrances now don’t exist,” said a City based psychiatrist. Despite attempts by the law-enforcing agencies and school authorities to curb underage driving, the City roads continue to witness a good number of students riding twowheelers and cars – not only for fun, but also to commute to school or attend tuitions and such. More than 80 per cent of those challaned are school students. The trend and the rising numbers are becoming a matter of worry.

Modern Life

Modernisation and prosperity have taken away many of our old virtues, that helped to keep our offspring away from ‘shady’ endeavours. “Indeed modernisation has had an adverse effect on parenting. Nowadays the parents don’t have time for their kids. Kids also have to arrange for their travel mode on their own. Schools and tuition centres are the two main places where one can find a majority of underage drivers, creating chaos with their vehicles. It should be the responsibility of the parents to arrange vehicles for their transport,” said Rajive Nandwani, a Road Safety Officer (RSO), who has challaned many vehicles being driven by underage drivers. "One needs to also understand that the mind of a fifteen or sixteen year old boy isn’t mature enough to take a quick decision in an emergency. Many of the accidents caused by these kids therefore end up in a loss of life," he added. Today kids are exposed to many lures much earlier than before. The breakdown of the joint family has not helped either. “Indeed life has seen a great change in these modern times. In a City like Gurgaon, where most of the families are nuclear—with both the parents working—a kid has to learn many things quickly, in order to make his life functional. Driving at an early age is one such ‘requirement’. Initially people feel happy that their son or daughter has learnt how to drive; but later, when it lands them in trouble (when the kids meet with accidents), they ‘realise’ their mistake. I have two children, and till now none of them has any bike or car. My husband strictly keeps them away from his car. I believe parenting plays an important role in all areas of a child’s growth, and allowing underage driving is a fatal mistake on the part of the parents,” said Shilpa Chaudhary, a housewife in Sector-46. “Indeed, parenting is an important aspect in a child’s growth, but one needs to understand that Gurgaon is a costly City, and only one earning member can’t satisfy the needs of the household. However, despite being working professionals, we as parents do

not shirk our responsibilities, and try our best to comfort our child in the best way possible. Yes, underage driving might be an issue, but one can easily see that Gurgaon doesn’t leave much options for the people – because there is hardly any public transport. We often drop our kids for tuition, or to schools for that matter, but in some way or the other they get to drive scooters and bikes. We have provided our son with a scooter which I believe is less than 50 cc,” said a lady who didn’t want to be named.

Who is Responsible?

Schools and other educational institutes, such as tuition centres, may be the best places where we can take some steps to curb this menace. “No matter how hard the cops come down on these kids, this huge number of underage drivers won’t go down. Driving their own vehicles is the only option these kids have, to get from home to school and elsewhere. Can the institutions really ban kids with vehicles inside the school or tuition centres? Issuing of challans is also not enough, to teach the kids and their parents a lesson. I believe it is the parents who should be brought to the police station, or the challan court; and he or she should be taught a proper lesson,” said Nandwani. “We often catch students coming back from tuitions in the evenings. At that time, the traffic increases, and in that traffic these young kids often commit mistakes. We not only catch them to issue challans, but to save them from any mishaps. Their parents should be more responsible, and shouldn’t hand over vehicles to them. Yes, educating them is indeed extremely important, but the parents need to understand that the children are their responsibility,” said a traffic hawaldar at Rajiv Chowk.

Public Transport

We all know how seriously Gurgaon lacks civic amenities, including an effective public transport system. Even today, despite having a hundred odd city buses plying on different routes, and the Transport Chief claiming it a great success, a major portion of Gurgaon’s working class commute in autos – both shared as well as greenyellow autos. And the real shocker is that a large number of these autos are driven by kids below 18 years of age – and the police too knows this fact quite well! “My father drives this auto on a daily basis. I come to drive only when he has some work to do at home or elsewhere. At present I am just 17 years old, and go to the government school in my village,” said Ajit (name changed), who belongs to Badshahpur village. Like Ajit there are many young boys who drive auto-rickshaws, seating more than 10 passengers at a time. These boys not only put their lives at stake, but also of the passengers who use these

autos in great numbers. “I was injured in an accident. I was going to my office, and I took this shared auto from Bakhtawar Chowk, as I had to go HUDA City Centre. The driver was a young boy, not more than 16 or 17 years old. Once the auto was full of passengers, he started moving at a fast pace; and near Cyber Park he lost balance, and the auto turned upside down. I fractured my hand, and other passengers— including two ladies—too received several severe injuries. The Police came to the spot, but didn’t do anything,” said Nikunj Vashist, a telecom professional. These type of incidents happen often in the City, but the police doesn’t believe in disturbing the functioning of these shared autos – as it is a big business, run by people with ‘high’ contacts. The green-yelllow autos are mostly driven by mature people, and most of the drivers are from outside Gurgaon/Haryana.

What could be the solutions?

The City of Gurgaon needs to first get serious on this issue. Then, we need to: 1)  Improve Public Transport: Gurgaon’s Public Transport System is in a shambles. The school-going kids need an effective, cheap and safe alternative to reach their schools, or any other desired places. “If we have buses in

abundance, we don’t have to go to school on our scooters. I study in a private school, but the school buses charge a lot of money – that is why I take my father’s bike. I don’t possess a licence, and many times have been caught by the police,” said Ankit (name changed), a Sector-46 resident. 2) An Aggressive Challan Drive: Although Police claim that they have issued a large number of challans for underage driving, in reality 750 odd challans in a month are nothing when it comes to the amount of actual underage driving in the City. “The Police needs to come down harder on these kids,

because frankly, just 750 odd challans in one month is nothing. It is just a one-day job if the police work diligently,” said an RSO. 3) Embarrass the Parents: This initiative was taken by the Delhi Police a couple of years ago, to curb the menace of underage driving. Under this Programme, the Police would call the parents of the kids to the police station, or the traffic court, and teach them the rules and laws – apart from taking the fine from them. The parents and the child should be made to sit together, while being explained the rules, and being counselled. u

Revamping Gurgaon’s Electricity Sector


Workshop on ‘Revamping Gurgaon’s Electricity Sector’ was recently organised, in which key issues related to power infrastructure were discussed. These included power trading, introducing smart grids and encouraging solar power. The Workshop was organised by Gurgaon Renewal Mission and Gurgaon First; officials from the government as well as professionals discussed the issue at length. It emerged that an escalating power deficit is one of the major issues facing Gurgaon today, as even during off season the power shortage is a minimum 150 MW. Power theft was another cause for concern, with one fourth of the connections being so impacted. Most of the large customers are compelled to have their own diesel generators or inverters, in order to cope with power cuts. The situation is so alarming that the installed generator capacity in Gurgaon circle has reached 2000MW. This is a huge burden and unsustainable. The lack of seriousness in putting up of new power infrastructure by realtors is also a key challenge, said the speakers. While there is a policy of 75:25 costsharing between realtors and DHBVN respectively, to develop distribution infrastructure in the realtor areas of Gurgaon, almost all realtors have not met their obligations. Finally, despite Gurgaon being designated a 'solar city', little action has taken place. Speaking on the occasion, Lt. Gen Rajender Singh, CEO, DLF Foundation said, “The daily power demand in Gurgaon has doubled over the last five years, and the gap versus supply is widening.” “The 2,000 MW of diesel genset capacity is almost double the total peak electricity demand of the City. Such an indiscriminate usage of DG sets not only inflates electricity bills, but also leads to increased

pollution levels. It even reduces the pressure on the utility, that supplies electricity, to bring in operational efficiencies,” said Shubhra Puri, Founder, Gurgaon First. Key Recommendations a) Making organisational Changes at DHBVNL: If Gurgaon cannot be given a franchisee system yet, DHVVN’s organisational effectiveness must improve. b) Adopting Right Technologies: DHBVN should adopt technologies like Distribution Management Systems in the “Gurgaon-City division” and “Gurgaon-Sub urban division”, to improve the quality and reliability of the power supply. Besides, Demand Side Management (DSM) will help in reducing the peak demand, enhancing the quality of the power supply and improving consumer satisfaction. c) Augmenting Power Supply: DHBVNL has to tap more sources of power. Besides, captive power generators in factories and apartment complexes can be asked to sell their surplus power to the grid supply power during peak demand times. In order to facilitate this, a new policy framework needs to be crafted, and the Distribution infrastructure needs to be strengthened. d) Encouraging Solar: Gurgaon’s public offices (MCG, HUDA) get an additional subsidy of 40 per cent, on top of a 30 per cent subsidy from MNRE, for putting up solar projects. They should put up some “show case” projects to promote solar. There must be policies that mandate that new commercial buildings and residential complexes in Gurgaon should mandatorily have some part of their electricity needs met by solar. u


22-28 February 2013


oes the presence of surveillance cameras add to the sense of security of an individual? Many would nod their heads in agreement; and no doubt surveillance cameras, over the years, have done wonders to make human life safer. We are used to seeing cameras at various public places – such as airports, malls, and other commercial buildings. Residential areas and buildings are believed to be more or less safe. But Gurgaon is a City of paradoxes, and the increase in the rate of crime has triggered a sense of fear in the residential areas as well. That is why some of the elite private builder areas have now started putting surveillance cameras all across. DLF has taken the lead, and has installed 3,000 plus cameras in Phase-V alone. “Surveillance cameras help in security, transparency, prevention of crime and of loss of life in fatal accidents and other mishaps. In Phase-V, most of the public places— such as main roads, sector roads, markets, and even the lobbies of apartments—are now under surveillance. We are happy that, since January 25 last year, when we started this service, there has been a clear decline in crime on the roads. A good share of the credit must go to this system of cameras, because it has allowed our security workforce to act swiftly,” said Devender Malik, the Head of DLF Security, while sitting in the main Control Room monitoring the situation on the main roads

New Age Security Cameras have certainly bound our workforce more cohesively,” added Malik.

Modus Operandi


{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

C ivic/S ocial

“As soon as we feel something wrong or worrisome anywhere, we alarm the nearest security post of DLF. Our closest guards reach there and provide the best possible assistance. We ensure that the moment we see an accident happening, we contact our ambulance on radio to reach the place, and take the injured person immediately to hospital. We also make a

safer, because they know that accidents and crimes are being monitored 24x7. “Indeed it has helped us immensely, because we know that our movement—along with the movement of criminal minds—is being monitored by the security people. In the last one year, I haven’t come across any major incident of eve-teasing or chainsnatching here. I believe they should do this all across the City,” said Sudipto Banerjee, a resident of Phase-V. “These cameras are a good medium to locate the grey areas, and where our next problem could be. This surveillance system has helped us a great deal in mobilising our workforce, and to make our plan according to the needs. Earlier we didn’t have these eyes, to monitor the happenings in all the areas simultaneously. The results speak for the success of this initiative. After Phase-V, we would try to take this system to other DLF phases as well,” added Malik.

Linked to the Police

of Phase-V, with the help of 24 high-resolution cameras. This Room, inside the DLF Golf Club, provides 24x7 coverage, and has helped the DLF Security mechanism to move swiftly and prevent many mishaps. “The cameras cover an area of approximately one thousand acres. We have deployed security guards all over, along with our trained Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs). In

the last one year or so we have prevented many mishaps, and saved the lives of more than 50 people. We also have our own ambulances, a pack of trained German shepherd dogs, and trained guards with horses to patrol the whole area. The guards and different supervisors are connected by walkietalkies, to help us manage emergencies efficiently.




GHS authorities have created a second CGHS dispensary at Gurgaon in Sec.55-56, ( the old one is at Jacob Pura ,dispensary no. D-73). Sector 31 is situated less than 4 kms from old CGHS dispensary, and 9-10 kms from the new dispensary. The latter has created miseries and hardships for the CGHS beneficiaries residing in Sector-31, most of whom are in their seventies and eighties. There is no public transport, except unmetered autos, available to visit the new dispensary. We have to pay Rs. 125-150 on a single visit, whereas only Rs. 40-50 are spent to visit the old dispensary. The old and ailing beneficiaries of Sector-31 cannot afford to spend exorbitant conveyance charges. Besides, it is often difficult to get conveyance for the return journey, due to its remote location. The beneficiaries of Sector-31 have to make 2 visits to the new dispensary – first for consultation and medicines available at the dispensary, and then for indented medicines. And sometimes further visits to obtain permission for investigation by diagnostic laboratories prescribed by empanelled hospitals . CGHS beneficiaries, by law, can visit any CGHS dispensary in NCR or other states. There is no reason why the incharge CMO of the old dispensary(D-73 ) is asking the beneficiaries to visit the new dispensary (Sec.55-56). CGHS authorities are requested to direct the CMO that the beneficiaries residing in Sector 31 be allowed to continue to visit the old dispensary, keeping in view their age factor and conveyance problems. S.D Baveja (84 yrs) O.P Bhasin (75 yrs)

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

call to the police. All the security posts are manned by guards and one supervisor, and are connected with radio communicators,” said Malik, while showing videos of various accidents that have taken place, and how DLF Security helped the victim and saved his life.

Impact and Benefit

The surveillance has made the residents of Phase-V feel


All 24 cameras being used for surveillance are connected to the DCP East office and the Police too can monitor all the happenings in the area. “In most of the cases the police comes after we take the victim to hospital. But yes, this has helped immensely in reducing crime, especially the crime against women. In the cases of accidents too, while many culprits manage to flee, we are able to track them down with the help of the security cameras. Even a vehicle’s number plate can be well-captured,” added Malik.u

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo

1. I want to vote in the next elections.

Agle chunab mein main vote dalna chahun su.

2. How can I do that? Yo main kyukar kar saku hu. 3. What is a Voter's card? Yo voter card ke hohai? 4. Where can I get it made? Kade tey banwana padega? 5. Do I have to show any papers? Keeme kaagaj dikhane padenge ke? 7. Where is the nearest office? Dhorre sik kaun sa daftar se? 8. Will they ask me many questions? Ve mere tey keeme sawaal puchenge ke? 9. How many days will it take to make my card? Card banann mein kitnek din laagegen?

22-28 February 2013

In 2013, in a Millennium City, many families now live in fear. There are daily violations in their lives, by lumpen elements. And it is happening on the roads, in broad daylight. The Police and the Administration are mute spectators.

C ivic/S ocial

Caged Freedom

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


hile the Delhi rape case has led to some initiatives for the safety of women, it has also planted a fear that haunts many families. The Saxena family, that lives in DLF Phase V, decided that they needed to make changes in their daily routine. Now Mrs. Saxena makes sure that her school-going daughter carries pepper spray, a list of emergency numbers, and a sharp tool everyday. Her father skips lunch, as he now picks up his daughter from school during his lunch break. Mrs. Saxena’s motherin-law has stopped going for early morning walks, as she feels the City is not safe even for elderly women. Constant fear still haunts women, particularly those who go out for work or studies. A cross-section of families talk about their fears, share their experiences, and make a few suggestions, for the safety and security of women.

Adolescents, the most vulnerable

Ananya (name changed), the 13-year-old daughter of the Saxena family, recounts a horrible experience. She says, “Cars with tinted windows always roam around my school, which is on Golf Course Road. I normally walked home. The distance between my school and my apartment is just 1 km. Once a car slowed down and a few boys started passing vulgar comments. The car followed me till my home. They continued to do that for a couple of days. I reported it to my Principal, who suggested that my parents

7 pm. A man blocked her way, grabbed her hands, and forced her to listen to his offensive comments. As she tried to push him away, both of them fell down. The man quickly got up and ran away. However, my neighbour was hit by a vehicle!”

Advice, and Suggestions

This has made girls shy away from travelling or walking alone; has made women very wary; and has made their men fearful, or resentful and angry. Many families have changed their daily routine and lifestyle, to ‘protect their girls and women’. We are a society moving backwards – from somewhat civil to brazen. Far from being liberated, girls and women are now in danger of being ‘caged at home’. Is this the Millennium Life that we aspired for? Is this the Family Life that we would slog for? The Police needs to acknowledge that this menace on the roads is also criminal. It is not only a gruesome rape that should justify serious action. It is better to tackle such behaviour – eve-teasing, lewd and obscene behaviour, and touching - as early as possible, and with force – every day.


personally pick me up from the School.” It is not easy for her father. He works in Cyber City, and reaching her School takes around 30 minutes. “The fear for my daughter's safety has clearly gone up. Now I don't trust any driver or private cab to pick my daughter from the School,” says Ananya’s father. The 18-year-old daughter of the Kataria family now doesn’t feel safe while riding on a scooter. “I live in Palam Vihar and study at ICFAI Business School. Once I took a detour via Udyog Vihar, because the road was dug-up. Six men on three bikes followed me. I had to speed up to get to a crowded place. I stopped on the road, and only then did those guys ride off. I had tried the women's helpline number (1091) several times. I got a ringing tone, but no one picked up. After a couple of weeks, in the same area, at 10 in the morning, adolescent boys, riding triple on a bike, kept veering close to my two-wheeler. All this has made me switch to public transport, which is in some ways even worse,” she laments. Mrs. Kataria feels that her daughter is at the most vulnerable age, and her security is the priority of the family. “Now-a-days my husband calls me twice a day, just to ensure that our daughter has reached home safely from college, and then from the tuition class. We can’t take any chances. If required, we will ask her to study from 'distance learning',” says Mrs. Kataria. Even poor maids, who come to the City from villages to earn a living, are given the same 'treatment'. Shalu, who works as a domestic help with the Saxena family, explains, “Sometimes I take a bus to go back home, as the rickshaw fare eats into my earnings. Last week, when I was

waiting for a bus, a man brought his car close to me and passed lewd comments. All men take advantage of women walking on the road – from the poor to the rich.” Avoiding late nights is how Shalu tries to tackle the problem.

Experiences, and the Capital

Once Mrs. Madhuri found herself in a situation where she had to drive back home by herself, around midnight. As she had a vehicle of her own, she had declined companyoffered transportation. “Driving the car alone through the poorly-lit Sector 47, and then Sohna Road, was quite scary. Not even a single street light works at night on Sohna Road,” says Mrs. Madhuri, a resident of Nirvana Country. Working as a Software Engineer at Unitech Cyber Park, she regrets her decision to move to the City from the US. “I am not only concerned about the rising crime against women, but also about people’s disrespectful behaviour towards women. One day I called up the maintenance staff to fix a leakage in my washroom. The plumber who came refused to listen to me. He said, ‘Tu chup kar. Hum aadmi log ki nahin sunte, teri ke sunenge.’ I will surely leave the City soon, as I can’t think of raising my son in this environment,” says Mrs. Madhuri, mother of a 2-year-old boy. However, her in-laws, who live in Delhi put forth a solution. “We have told our son and daughter-in-law to move to the Capital. If you look at the basic infrastructure, the Capital is way ahead of Gurgaon. Unlike the City, Delhi still has a community culture,” says Prakash Madhuri, 73-year-old father-in-law of Mrs. Madhuri. However, even in Delhi the elderly

Madhuri couple need to rely on CCTV, and high-alert gates for their security. The Khan family of Lajpat Nagar, Delhi, agrees and feels that the authorities have taken enough security measures – especially by putting up streetlights, and increasing the patrolling. Mr. Khan, who travels to Gurgaon regularly, says, “Things are fine till the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza. But the moment you enter the City, especially after crossing the Ambience Mall, the road that leads to the Cyber City has just a few streetlights. There are many factory workers – both men and women – who walk the road to and from work. You won’t even know if someone is hiding in a corner.” The road winding around the IFFCO Chowk Metro Station and Leisure Valley is pockmarked with pushcarts selling chaat, fruits, and momos. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, residents of Laburnum, were on a night walk when a burglar—probably a street vendor—stopped them and snatched their bags and accessories. “We have stopped going out for a walk at night. Many times I have seen a drunken guy with his trousers unzipped; he stares at women and roams around Leisure Valley. It is disgusting. It seems that this City is not meant for pedestrians,” says Mr. Iyer. The  elderly couple will soon shift to  the UK with their son, in view of the rise in crime against senior citizens in the City.  Mrs. Kataria, who lives in 'old' Gurgaon, points out that the bus stop near Sector 47 Chowk is notorious – especially after dark, when men often misbehave with women. “Last week one of my neighbours got down from the bus and was walking back to her house around

Mrs. Khan, a Sanskrit teacher, believes that the best way to ensure women's safety is to impose a few restrictions on young girls. “Things will never change for a woman. Be it my 10-year-old daughter, my 40-year-old sister or my 60-year-old mother, a woman has to follow certain rules and guidelines.” Mrs. Madhuri completely disagrees and says, “It is only in Delhi and NCR that a stigma is attached to stepping out of home after dark. A lot of my friends get worried when their kids, especially daughters, don’t return home before dark. The home-before-sunset seems to be a ‘safety measure’ that is followed by most of the families here. However, in cities like Mumbai and Pune things are entirely different. Woman can roam freely on roads even at 2 am. It is all about the societal values, and has nothing to do with time.” Deployment of sufficient women police personnel on roads, continuous monitoring through CCTVs, exclusive women feeder buses to and from metro stations, and separate ticket counters for women at metro stations and bus stands are some suggestions given by the families, to ensure women's safety in the City. Mrs. Madhuri puts forth a suggestion to have a metro feeder service to all nearby schools, colleges and shopping areas. Applauding the initiative of the Gurgaon Police, Ananya says, “Now, every Metro station has a women's help desk. It is a great step towards the safety of women. But a lot needs to be done to ensure the safety of women on roads, and in other modes of public transport such as buses and autos.” Mr. Saxena suggests that conductors, bus drivers and auto drivers should have a copy of their photo identify card hanging inside the vehicle. Mrs. Iyer suggests that we make a start in schools itself. Mandatory education on crimes against women, and the rights of children and women should be included in the curriculum. Teachers should openly deal with these issues in the classroom. There is a need to raise our voice against all forms of crime against women – be it eve-teasing, abusive calls, touching/groping or rape. There is a need to realise that any individual can also make a difference, rather than just saying that the solution lies with the police or authorities. We need to ask ourselves – how has a mindset that leads to rape sustained in our society; why are our men so violent; and why do we abuse our women so regularly? u


22-28 February 2013

K id C orner


Kids Brainticklers

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

Artistic Strokes

Priyanshi Sethi, Grade VI, Lotus Valley Int. School

Aashima Dhingra, K.R. Mangalam World School

Do Hyun Baek, Grade XI

Kid Corner

22-28 February 2013


CCA Namaskar

Good Neighbour MRIS



anav Rachna, Sector 51, with the aim to promote computer knowledge, especially among the elders in the neighbouring area, organised a Computer Literacy Programme at the School premises. A combined initiative of the Chairman of MRIS-51, Rajesh Kalra ,and the RWA (Block C) Mayfield Gardens, this Programme drew many enthusiastic senior citizens to the Computer classes. The School Computer Faculty and IT Department assisted the senior citizens on the basics of computer knowledge.

CA School organised a session of Surya Namaskar for its students, at the School premises. Surya Namaskar is a Yoga posture, which comprises 12 different body postures that need to be performed in a particular sequence. The students demonstrated the various sequences of the asanas, in a synchronised manner.

Pathways’ Support


he students, their parents and the staff of Pathways School, Gurgaon participated in a 3 km Walk in New Delhi―the CanSupport Walk―to honour the struggle against cancer. The participants, armed with flags and banners, spread their enthusiasm as they walked for this worthy cause.

Ryan Graduates


Ryan Celebrations Ryan Plays

he tiny tots at Ryan Global School, Sector 40, celebrated their graduation ceremony. The theme of the Event was ‘Mom – the Magic Bond’, dedicated to ‘Mother’. The little ones performed a welcome song, which was followed by a mesmerising performance of a 22 member Orchestra, comprising Grade 1 students and teachers. The students honoured their mothers through various activities – like Rhyme Time, a skit titled ‘Thank You Mom’, and a dance performance on a medley of songs dedicated to ‘India, Our Motherland’, ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Mother Nature’. The children graduating to Class I received their certificates and trophies in their graduation gowns. The Chief Guests included – Sandeep Dikshit, Dr. K.K Aggarwal, Yashpal Batra and Vikrant Gupta, among others.


he School hosted the Annual Sports Meet - ‘Fastrax-Play for India’. The Programme began with an impressive School Band display, welcoming the guests to the Meet – Chief Guest Vikram Sehgal DIG, Delhi Police; Anup Yadav DSP, Haryana Police; Chetanya Nanda, Delhi Ranji Trophy Player; Sandeep Tokas, International swimmer; Dheeraj Kumar, Wrestler; Mukul Dagar National Cricket Player, and several other eminent personalities. The Event included several Races – Basket, Skipping, 100 M, Relay and Sack. The junior School students presented a well-synchronised Dumb-bell Drill. Ryan’s Sporting Stars were applauded for their exceptional achievements in Sports – Skating, Karate, Swimming and Chess.

12 D

espite the flaws and problems within the Indian society, there are many individuals who have single-handedly taken up challenges and overcome social problems. This vast number of unsung heroes are doing yeomen service for the community, while sometimes putting themselves at great risk. It is to identify and recognise such people that Giraffe Heroes International, a US based organisation, has launched the Giraffe Heroes India project. Vijay K. Saluja, a former Chief Engineer with NDMC, and himself a Giraffe Hero, is the Director of the Indian chapter. Saluja says that objective of the Giraffe project is to motivate people to stick their necks out for the common good, and to give them the tools to succeed. “Many good people are still choosing to listen to the voice of their conscience.” Giraffes are selected on the basis of their longterm efforts, which have had a long-lasting effect on society. The selection process confirms whether the person has gone above and beyond the ordinary, while working for the common good – alleviating suffering, rectifying injustice or advancing goals such as peace or a healthy environment. A

C ivic/S ocial

Stand Tall

Prakhar pandey

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

22-28 February 2013

Giraffe's actions must be of benefit to a significant number of people – either as beneficiaries of the action, or as people who may be inspired to emulate him or her, he adds. The Heroes should have taken concrete actions.The Giraffe Project generally does not honour one-time actions. Like all Giraffe operations, the Indian chapter will tell the inspiring stories of the country’s heroes, motivating others to become heroic too. It

will also offer practical tools that citizen activists need, to succeed; as well as Giraffe civic engagement programs in schools, to help young people build their lives as courageous and compassionate citizens. Saluja says that his fight with the system began in the seventies, when he joined the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). “It culminated in a 2004 High Court decision, that vindicated his stand. However, for nearly 20 years he suffered financial and mental stress, as

he was denied promotions and benefits, as well as continuously harassed. Saluja says he withstood the pressure at great personal cost. When asked whether he would do the same today, he says yes, but asserts that his strategy would be different. “When I fought with the system I did not understand the intricacies, as well as some strengths. I had just a few friends, both within the Department as well as in the political fraternity. But I have realised now that there are many good people within the system, who should be cultivated, and a network of people should be created – which may or may not be overt, but stands with you in difficult times,” he says. He adds that the present situation is much worse, as corruption has become endemic, and is now considered to be an integral part of the process. “Twenty years ago there was some fear of getting caught; but today no one is bothered, as everyone has been co-opted”, he says, and warns that things might come to a point of no return. It is to prevent such things from happening that the Giraffe

India project has decided to identify people working for the common good, and provide them recognition – so that others are influenced by their positive action. Ethics and moral values play an important role in the shaping of a society, and those who risk something for the common good must be appreciated, he says. Saluja says that people who have risked their lives, have broken through, or acted in the presence of fear—that includes physical harm, severe financial loss, legal repercussions or social ostracism—are candidates for being selected as Heroes. Launched in 2011, the Giraffe Heroes India project has undertaken the process of creating a jury of reputed members, who shall screen the nominations and select the Heroes. The jury will sit twice in a year, and will decide on the nominations, which can be made by anyone – on Saluja says that to support their heroes, people should keep their eyes open for potential Giraffes; and anyone who thinks he/she may have sighted one is welcome to make a nomination. The goal is to create a critical mass of people who stand tall, and take responsibility for making this world a better place, he asserts. u

Sunehra Sikanderpur – Update { Abhishek Behl / FG }

Prakhar pandey


hile individual and private efforts are continuing, to change the face of Sinkanderpur village from an urban slum into a living and breathing entity, the government indifference is hindering the process of transformation and development. The change agents involved in the Sunehra Sikanderpur Project feel that the authorities need to be more concerned about the plight of residents. Around 3.5 lakhs people reside in the three villages of Nathupur, Sikanderpur and Chakkarpur, in a total area of around 300 acres; whereas 2,500 acres of land has been earmarked for around 1.5 lakhs population in the nearby DLF township.   Prabhat Agarwal of Aravalli Scholars says that poor sanitation conditions, sewage problems and water logging are major issues for these villages—and particularly in Sikanderpur, but the authorities are not heeding the concerns. “We are trying to persuade the authorities to take action, so that these services are improved, but it seems it will take a long time,” he says. Despite the official indifference, Agarwal and other NGOs associated with this Project are continuing with their individual projects to improve the lot of the residents. An Eye Camp will be organised on February 21, by EyeQ, during which eyeglasses will be distributed, and cataract operations will be conducted by specialists. Last month a similar Camp was organised successfully, and it evoked a good response, says Agarwal. In addition, another major exercise is to help empower the School Management Committee (SMC) in the Village, that oversees the functioning of the schools. Agarwal says that the Right To Education Act makes it clear that the functioning of the government schools will be managed by the local Committees, so as to improve the accountability, transparency and functioning of the institutions. The primary school in the Village will be first taken up for this purpose. Separately, English reading classes, designed by Stones2Milestones, have been started in the Primary School, Sikanderpur. For elder kids, English speaking and personality building classes have been initiated in collaboration with an NGO called Ranjan.

The Sikanderpur Project has also started to involve big private schools in this transformation effort; students from such schools, catering to the poor and EWS sections of society, are now being asked to provide free education as assured under the RTE Act. “We have started a campaign, and written to a number of private schools, that kids from weaker sections, who have a good base, should be absorbed, as provided under the 25 per cent reservation policy,” he asserts. An acute problem being faced by the Village residents is the lack of Voter I-Cards, as a majority of them are from 'outside'. “It is difficult to get Aadhaar cards and Voter I-cards made. We are now planning to take up this Project ward-wise, so that we have a defined geographical area, with the help of Janagraha,” says Agarwal. Clearly, the lack of political will is an important reason that residents of these villages are finding it difficult to get their due share. There is also no focus on improving the infrastructure in the City, as more houses are being converted into single room tenements, where hundreds of workers live in unhygienic conditions. While losing the character of a village, these areas have also not assumed a completely urban character – thus losing on the benefits of both. Agarwal says that NGOs and Corporates can bring about change to an extent, but a proactive government is also required, for an effective transformation. And this indeed is missing.u


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22-28 February 2013

S piritual

Miss Perfectly Fine { Achana Kapoor Nagpal } “The happiness which comes from long practice, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar - this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one’s own mind.” - Bhagavad Gita Quotes “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” - George Eliot I felt miserable and mournful when I was told about Ritu’s medical condition. About 2 months earlier, she had been diagnosed with liver cancer. I arrived at the hospital at 2:30 am. Ritu had to be put on a ventilator. She was fighting for her life. I felt extremely nervous outside the ICU. I sat next to her mother in the waiting lounge; it was hard to console her. I thought back fondly of my first meeting with Ritu, in 2009. She was one of my best friends. We had spent some  very memorable moments together, until I moved to Canada. Year: 2009 Ritu was a bubbly, talkative, buoyant and happy-go-lucky girl. She  had always wanted to be an interior designer; she had vast knowledge of home decorations.   When asked about her well-being, she would promptly respond, “I am perfectly

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


ne of my friends is a cardiothoracic surgeon, and heads a well-known hospital in the City. During a casual talk he asked me, “why do we invoke Gods when we step into a new house?” I quipped back, “why do doctors remember God while picking up scissors for a surgery; and why, at all, did you make a sacred pillar in your Hospital?” He replied, “to enable the near and dear ones of those admitted to the Hospital to symbolically pray, by tying a knot around the pillar”. People come to this Hospital from far-off places, with great hopes that their dear ones will be in safe hands – as it is headed by one of the pioneers of open heart surgery in India. During our talk my friend’s eyes became moist when he disclosed that, “unfortunately I could not save my mother, who died of cardiac arrest. Probably no cardiologist, no intensive care expert could have saved her, because the attack was massive. She succumbed before I could reach her. It was all destined”. Holding his breath for a minute he said, “now I see my mother in every patient.” He quoted a Persian proverb – “majbooron ki duniya hai yeh”. As per nature’s law, everyone and everything meets its end one day. We cannot escape it. Science will always keep on unfolding mysteries, but millions will remain unsolved. Can Science resolve the divine spirit? Since we live in a space-time universe, we are incapable of comprehending, or even imagining, reality outside of this. Something outside space-time has no beginning or end, since those are merely spatial or temporal markers. Science and Spirituality may always be uncomfortable bed-fellows. This visible universe was formed out of the nebulous debris of former organised worlds, as astronomy now appears to indicate. The controlling intelligence called them into being first, then placed them

fine”. In college she was popularly known as Miss Perfectly Fine. Once she had slipped in the college canteen and suffered a bad ankle sprain. I went to meet her, and on my way bought her favourite flowers and chocolates. She was in deep pain, but still welcomed me with a big smile. I walked up to her and asked, “How are you?” She promptly responded, “I am perfectly fine.”

I smiled at her. She smiled in return. Both of us burst into laughter. “People are always blaming circumstances, for (making them) what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get ahead in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want; and if they can’t find them, make them.” George Bernard Shaw

Year: 2012 I had told Ritu about my trip to India. She had been excited, and was looking forward to meet me. Instead I met her mother. With hands shaking, Ritu’s mother handed me a scribbled note that Ritu had left me. The note said – ‘Do not worry about me. I am perfectly fine. I missed you!’ I burst into tears. Her strength and willpower amazed me. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will” - Mahatma Gandhi She had slipped into a coma by the time she had reached the hospital. There were dark circles under her eyes – her skin was pale. I could not stop crying. I looked at her and sat beside her bed. I kissed her gently on her forehead. I held her hand and whispered in her ear, “You will be fine. I will pray for you. I missed you too!” I could not see her in pain; I prayed to God for her well-being. She died the next day. A week later I went to see Ritu’s mother, before leaving India. Her mother gave me a framed picture  of Ritu, with a huge grin on her face. I asked her mother if I could sit in Ritu’s room for ten minutes. She took me there. There was silence, but I could feel Ritu’s presence. Somehow I felt at peace. u

Science and God under the active operation of forces that evolved by successive stages – into the complex world that we have around us. Carl Sagan aptly says that, “Science is not only compatible with Spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognise our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages; when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life; then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. The notion that Science and Spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.” Science is still looking at the origins and vastness of our universe, and also at the smallest particles that hold our physical world together. Science is trying to find out answers to the unseen worlds, and to the divine natural laws. String theory suggests that the fundamental particle is in fact a tiny lump of energy that looks like a vibrating string, or a loop of vibrating strings. Every string or vibration produces 11 dimensions, which co-exist at the same time. Different dimensions appear to exist in a different vibration to ours. Vibration brings to mind many messages from the spirit realms, telling us that everything is a vibration of one sort or the other, and that the spirit realms exist in a higher and finer vibration to ours. Sooner or later Science may recognise the Spiritual realms. All reason and experience, and the

universal observation of mankind, teaches us that there is a series of phenomena observable in our world that are unexplainable by any other source than a spirit – a departed human being who once lived and breathed, and is now moving on a plane so different from that cognizable by our natural senses. It is not made of any matter; or, it is made of matter of imperceptible subtlety and highly organized intelligence. This is an ethereal and impalpable force – a subtle force that we can perceive only through its action upon matter. This unknown force is so powerful that the scriptures indicate that all matter will disappear before the supremacy of the Spirit: “He uttered His voice, the earth melted.” The material world is lulled by stupefying illusions, and is asleep in the cradle of infancy, dreaming away the hours in the big timeless, spaceless and fathomless cosmic drama. Spiritualism lifts human consciousness into the eternal truth. That is the way humanity advances. As spiritual understanding increases, real objects will be apprehended mentally and spiritually, instead of materially or scientifically. Science also knows that there is some spirit whom we call God, which is outside space-time. God has no beginning, and does not operate under causal laws. The Gurubani says it best: “Ik-onkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbha-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhang gur parsaad.


We Pilgrims on Earth { Shobha Lidder } My role I identify as a Pathfinder Torch bearer, catalyst and beacon To the pilgrims of life. We cannot lead We cannot follow We cannot teach or preach Or stay or play With our fellows. We must stay fixed in our roles Keep in our space & place Smiling at passersby Smiling hope, faith & strength To tired faces. For they must all go on. Earth is only a simulator ride Soul testing pride. Some get ‘lost & found’ Lose ground. Only the dauntless, the determined The doubtless, reach the sea. And baptize, Cease to be. Shobha Lidder Writer journalist, Teacher-Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

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Call - 9910518785 aad sach jugaad sach hai bhee sach naanak hosee bhee sach”. (God is beyond time and space and so is His existence. He is immeasurable. Nobody has been able to define Him completely, and nobody has been able to realise Him completely.  Nobody has known Him completely and nobody will be able to – in the present or in the future. His description is beyond words.  It can’t be described or inscribed in words –  it can’t even be felt and experienced in its totality.  Even a bit of His description is beyond description. We cannot fully describe even the smallest detail of the Indescribable Lord; all we can do is take a moment to praise Akal Purakh, the One who is: Dhan Dhan Paar Braham Parmesar (Great Great Supreme Transcendent Lord), non-perishable, everlasting, ever present, Omni present, eternal truth). There is only one supreme commander, the ultimate sovereign, the almighty divine spirit that operates the whole show of flora and fauna, planets and galaxies, time and space – in great harmony, and with a flawless precision. If we take science as our saviour, there will be soon a kind of meaninglessness and emptiness to existence. We all will die, the sun will eventually go nova, the universe will dissipate, and everything we do and achieve will be forgotten.  Nothing truly matters except for our transient and fading experiences. It is important to live true to oneself. Despite the progress made by Science, the divine mysteries remain riddles, and the confusions of this cosmos remain confounded. Rather than wait for judgment day, let us do our ‘karma’ – our actions which create our situations. 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.


22-28 February 2013

Bon Vivant

Have Your Cake And... { Anita Jaswal }

Jit kumar


{ Bhavana Sharma } If you meditate, sooner or later you will come upon love. If you meditate deeply, sooner or later you will start feeling a tremendous love arising in you that you have never known before.


hakra meditation is becoming very popular because of its mental and physical benefits, and one experiences better health and well-being. Chakra meditation should be done every day, for a minimum of 30 minutes. It is an easy technique, and everyone can easily learn and practice it.

Defining the Chakras

Your body has seven major chakras. In Eastern cultures, it is commonly known that to have good health, these seven chakras need to be balanced. These chakras are known as – the Crown (Shasrara), the Brow or  third eye (Ajna), the  Throat (Vishudda), the Heart (Anahata), the Navel (Manipura), the Sacral (Svadisthana), and the  Root or base (Muladhara). To know how to facilitate spiritual balance and maintain optimum health, you need to know how to open up these seven chakras in the proper manner.

How to go about it

Meditation can be practiced at least once a day; early morning would be the ideal time, though even at night, before retiring to sleep, is fine. You need to find a quiet place at home. Place a light mat on the floor, and sit crosslegged, close your eyes and focus on the third chakra – the energy between the brows on your face.

Benefits of Meditation

At the spiritual level, meditation is the fastest way to raise your vibrations, to get in touch with your feelings

ne of the hottest businesses today is the home-baking of muffins, cookies and cakes. Many stay-athome moms are entering the homebaking industry. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get you started. Anagha Gopinath founded her little home bakery, Sweet Tooth, at her home in Vatika City, Sohna Road. A hotel management graduate and a travel consultant prior to having her baby, her love for baking and cake decoration beckoned her. “My first born changed me into a full-time home-maker, and that’s when it dawned on me to do something on my own – to make use of my creative abilities. Nothing beats home-made goodies to help make charming friends, and meet exciting people. It is also easier to manage your home when you are working from home, and it provides a better work-life balance. Being at home and doing what I love makes me feel liberated. Being your own boss has its own advantages, especially when you have a child,” says Anagha. She takes orders ranging flaky muffins to theme cupcakes, from

melt-in-your-mouth cookies to brownies. Anagha also conducts Mom & Me – a fun, hour-long cooking class, where kids learn and play with tastes and textures, as they get their hands dirty – mixing, measuring, and rolling to create their own homemade treats with their moms. “These classes are a great way to spend quality time with your children,  and  introduce them to cooking  in an exciting and interactive way. Children as young as three learn to measure, mix and roll, and these hands-on sessions for all ages gives the kids some supervised kitchen time of their own. Itteaches them patience, hand-eye coordination and math skills.  And you may even reap the benefits of a tasty treat or two,” explains Anagha. These classes for children, as young as 2 and up to 14, teach them how to cook with shapes, colours and numbers; and cooking through the alphabet –with Apple pie, Banana bread, and so on.  By the time your child is 10, he/she is cooking cuisines of various countries. When your little one learns to make a cup cake from start to finish, his/her confidence in the kitchen will shoot up a ton. Cooking with your little

ones is also a great way to expose them to new foods, expand their palettes, practice basic directions and learn the basics of healthy and holistic nutrition. And have fun. During the entire process of baking, you and your child will also bond and communicate better. What a wonderful learning experience! Although starting and growing your own baking operation may seem like a difficult task, it can be a very rewarding and profitable business. Every day is a new challenge, as problems come from unexpected corners. There might be a day when you don’t get a single order, and then you may have 10 cakes to serve the next day. Gurgaon is an ideal place for trying something new. People here are open to new ideas and experiments, they have a sweet tooth, and don’t mind paying extra for something good. So whether it’s for a birthday party or an occasional special treat, get your fix of the sweet stuff right here. May your kitchen be filled with sweet memories and the wonderful aroma of freshly home baked goodies, all year round! u

Chakra Meditations and emotions, and connect with your inner self – or God. The real you is not the physical you, but the eternal spirit – which resides in each one of us, and is also called the Soul. Your ethereal body exists just about four to six inches outside the physical body, and is responsible for your well being.  To be in your true essence, you need to clear away any toxic thoughts that may have accumulated during the day; and this is where meditation comes to your advantage. Your energy fields contain emotional and mental blocks and traumas, from this lifetime and previous lives – that need to be healed and cleared. These blocks inhibit the abundant flow of spiritual energy coming from our self. They limit the expansion of our consciousness, keeping us stuck in repetitive patterns – lifetime after lifetime. With regular meditative practice, healing takes place at all levels, leaving us feeling refreshed to face each day with a positive outlook.

pronounced as in “ah” and M pronounced as mng (ng like in king).

Open the Navel Chakra

Chant the sound LAM. Pronunciation: L+A pronounced as in “ah”, and M pronounced as mng (ng like in king).

Open the Sacral Chakra

Put your hands in front of your stomach, slightly below your solar plexus. Let the fingers join at the tops, all pointing away from you. Cross the thumbs. It is important to keep the fingers straight.
 Concentrate on the Navel Chakra located on the spine, a bit above the level of the navel.
Chant the sound RAM. Pronunciation: R+A pronounced as in “ah” and M pronounced as mng (ng like in king).

the Heart Chakra, at the spine, on level with the heart.
Chant the sound YAM. Pronunciation: Y+A pronounced as in “ah” and M pronounced as mng (ng like in king).

Open the Third Eye Chakra

Put your hands in front of the lower part of your breast. The middle fingers should be straight and touch at the tops, pointing forward. The other fingers should be bent, and touch at the upper two phalanges. The thumbs should point towards you, and touch at the tops.
Concentrate on the Third Eye Chakra, slightly above the point between the eyebrows.
 Chant the sound OM or AUM.

Open the Crown Chakra

Open the Heart Chakra

How to Perform Chakra Meditations Open the Root Chakra

Let the tips of your thumb and index finger touch.
Concentrate on the Root Chakra, at the spot between the genitals and the anus.

Put your hands in your lap, palms up, one on top of the other. The palm of the (lower) left hand should touch the back of the fingers of the right hand. The tips of the thumbs should touch gently.
 Concentrate on the Sacral Chakra on the Sacral bone (on the lower back). Chant the sound VAM. Pronunciation:


Sit cross-legged. Let the tips of your index finger and thumb touch. Put your left hand on your left knee, and your right hand in front of the lower part of your breast bone (a bit above the solar plexus).
 Concentrate on

Put your hands below your stomach. Let the ring fingers point upwards, with their tops touching. Cross the rest of your fingers, with the left thumb underneath the right.
Concentrate on the Crown Chakra, at the top of your head.
Chant the sound NG (ng like in king). u Tarot Reader, Author


22-28 February 2013

4U 4


Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The Food Of The Gods


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

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

Q. Are there any natural ways to bleach facial hair? I don’t want to


SH There are no natural ways to bleach facial hair. Home remedies do not

hat is common to a child’s delight, wartime rations for soldiers, a gourmet gift, health beverages and a magical ‘food of the gods’ known to man as early as 1400 BC? A flavour that is universally liked - whether as a candy bar, a chilled milk shake or as a hot beverage on a cold wintry day. In icecreams it is ranked No.1, featuring in as many as 6 of the Top 20 flavours. Yes, it’s Cocoa – and Chocolate! It comes in various alluring forms, and many people end up becoming ‘chocoholics’. Good chocolate should literally “melt in your mouth” the texture should be rich and velvety. Poor quality chocolate feels grainy or waxy. You should not need to chew good chocolate at all. However, while many hail this pocket-sized treat as a moraleboosting nutritious packet of taste and energy, there are others who would write off chocolate as an addictive calorieloaded candy. There is evidence coming in that consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate (a small square of chocolate two or three times a week) is beneficial to health. It can significantly reduce levels of inflammation and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – with an associated benefit of a lowered


t all started with my wife’s decision to visit her longlost uncles at Kanpur. Her mother was anyway planning to go, and so she jumped at the opportunity. My own plans (later aborted) to travel out of India during that period further strengthened their resolve – and our little boy was also roped in. All modes of travel were examined, and finally bookings were made on the prestigious ‘Shatabdi’, leaving New Delhi station at the unearthly time of 6.20 a.m. Finally, the D Day arrived. On the evening before, every detail of the operation was worked out meticulously. Daddy (my father-in-law) would bring mummy (his better half) direct to the station. He would locate the seats and leave her there. Then he would come out and wait for his daughter and grandson—who were repeatedly instructed to reach at least 20 minutes before departure time— and take them to the train. I was permitted to stay home and send the driver instead – of course on the condition that I would make sure my wife and son left home

use the marketed ones with chemicals.

risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols in cocoa stimulate the production of nitric oxide, that relaxes and widens arteries – allowing for the easy flow of blood, and so reduced blood pressure. Flavanoids (also found in tea, red wine, fruits and vegetables) prevent blood clots, increase HDL cholesterol and slow down oxidation of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. However, all cocoa products are not created equal. Manufacturing processes, such as intense heat and the addition of baking soda, disturbs the pH balance of the natural chocolate, which destroys most of the nutrients. Once other less desirable ingredients (i.e. sugar, corn syrup, milk solids, cream, hydrogenated oils) are added, the actual cocoa content may become less than 20 per cent. The good news is chocolate manufacturers are beginning to take precautions. Added sugar has to be watched out for, as it is the No.1 ingredient in most chocolate products. It depletes essential nutrients and aggravates obesity, blood sugar disorders, tooth decay, yeast infections, inflammatory conditions, im-

mune system disorders –and can eventually lead to diabetes and heart disease. A single serving can provide between 150-200 calories (40 gm dark chocolate) to 550 calories (96 gm of rich chocolate cake). The only way to get to the nutritional benefits of cocoa is to opt for either the bitter/unsweetened cocoa products, or for the bitter-sweet ‘Dark Chocolate’, which contains upwards of 65-70% cocoa. Even dark chocolate is a very calorie-dense food, and is best taken in moderation. Non-fat chocolate puddings, or hot chocolate mixes, are other great options.

Tip of the Week

Practice moderation with healthy dark chocolate, and alternate it with other lowercalorie sources of antioxidants – such as vegetables and fruit.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Cocoa or Cacao or Theobroma cacao

Ancient cultures of Mesoamerica—such as the Olmec—seem to have been the first to discover how to ferment and crush cocoa beans, and make a drink laced with

On The Wrong Track well in time. We set the alarm for 4.30. Taking no chances, an extra alarm clock was borrowed (telephone alarms are never reliable, Daddy had said). Two clocks, aided by a 4.15 call from the in-laws, did wake us up, and I bundled my dear ones into the car in 90 minutes flat – and went back to sleep. Not for long, though. Suddenly the phone rang; it was my wife’s excited shout, “Krish”! “Have you reached safely”? I queried groggily. “Krish”, she howled, “don’t be funny, it’s only 7.15 and we are at the Nizamuddin station. We have missed the train, please come immediately”. I could not comprehend, and decided not to even try – and set off for the Station. They had left home well in time, there was no panic call from Daddy, and yet here she was, calling from Nizamuddin station!

What could have gone wrong, I wondered? The mystery was solved partly when I picked them up from Nizamuddin – both almost in tears. We had not reckoned with the ingenuity of Indian Railways! There were two Shatabdis departing from New Delhi station at the same time – one for Agra/ Bhopal from Platform No.1, and the other for Kanpur from a different platform. Despite all the meticulous planning RFIL (Respected Father-In-Law) had pushed them into the wrong

remove facial hair, but if used regularly, they are said to lessen facial hair growth. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of hair growth. Wash off when it dries. Apply it once or twice a week. Apply a paste of turmeric powder and milk and rub this on the skin with a circular motion.

WINNER Shafeena Khan

Ask the beauty expert questions on skin, hair and beauty. The best question (picked by Shahnaz Husain) will receive a gift hamper from the Shahnaz Husain Group. Write to us at spices and herbs. The Mayans and Aztecs believed the bitter but flavourful drink, known as ‘xocoatl’ or ‘chocolatl’, had magical properties. A symbol of abundance and vitality, it was considered suitable for use in the most sacred rituals. The Aztec emperor Montezuma reserved the chocolate drink for warriors and the élite. Not surprisingly, Swedish botanist Linnaeus assigned the Latin name Theobroma cacao, which means “food of the gods.” Cocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals – including potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese; as also vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and

pantothenic acid. Cocoa is loaded with polyphenols (antioxidants). These flavonoids are mainly present in the non-fat portion of the cocoa bean, and are responsible for the anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, anti-microbial and anti-allergic properties. Chocolate is one of nature’s most concentrated sources of theobromine (similar to caffeine), which is a mild stimulant and diuretic. While safe for humans, theobromine can be toxic for pets. u

Shatabdi. By the time my wife realised the error, this super fast train had already crossed Nizamuddin. She pulled the chain, and the train stopped for a moment, so that she and our little bundle of joy could disembark—along with their three bags—in the middle of nowhere. The poor dears had to trudge about a kilometre along the tracks, bags and all. So far so good, but where was Mummy? If she had proceeded alone, she would be travelling without a ticket. We went back to the New Delhi station and pleaded with everyone to send a message to the ‘right’ Shatabdi. No way, we were told, we can’t inform anyone on the speeding train, and she would have been made to pay up by this time any way. For good measure, it was added that if the TC is considerate he won’t charge any penalty... The second half of the mystery was solved when we got home and

spoke to RFIL. Just as he had reached home, satisfied that he had successfully seen off three passengers to Kanpur, there was a call from DMIL (Dear Mother-In-Law) “Have you reached already”?, was his first query. “Don’t be funny”, this time he was told by his wife; “I am still at the station. You had left me at the wrong Shatabdi. Harsh and Karan (daughter and grandson) never reached there; they must have boarded the right train and travelled alone”, he was enlightened. “Come immediately and take me home”. So ended the odyssey of two Shatabdis, two trains of the same name, destined for two different directions and departing at the same time. Our weeks of planning went to the dogs, and our dear ones stayed home, while the relatives at Kanpur were left wondering as to what happened to their guests. As for me. I still can’t figure out how RFIL could have seen them off on two different trains! That is one state secret we will never unravel. u Krishan Kalra

Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


22-28 February 2013


Budget Some Care, And Excite


e are coming to the end of an unprecedented decade of UPA rule. The Score Card is not balanced. MNREGA has been the stand-out credit. It has energized the rural incomes/economy. GDP growth was well begun, with some good carry over – but is just about half done. Revenues were galloping at an unprecedented high, but a lot has been frittered away – ‘largessed’ as if there were no tomorrow. The real bad news and debit is the rising corruption, the scams, high inflation for years now, deficits that refuse to be controlled, and rising income inequalities that threaten the fabric of the nation. Add to that a void of decision taking for years (till recently – thanks to a downgrade threat), and the UPA knows it is make or break time now.


2012 was expected to be bad, with the West in turmoil. 2013 was to be the year of redemption, after so many ‘easings’ globally. Unfortunately, we have just joined the gang, with the lowest GDP growth for years (decades) – while the West is still reeling. And the chances of an Iran flare up refuse to go away. The irony is that the (low) base effect may actually be an opportunity. Surely the high inflation, low GDP growth and high deficits cannot be given one more year of drift…. Unfortunately, what can get worse is real estate prices, and employment (esp. for the youth). The monsoon is always a question mark. It could be devastating for the economy if 2013 has a poor monsoon.

The focus should now be on:

Care – An economic package for the Urban City Class (the ‘lower middle class’), especially in the 10 lakhs plus population cities. This Class is the most vulnerable today - perhaps the only class that has become poorer over the last 3 years. A New Thrust – The launch of a new, exciting Agro-Industrial revolution. And of course there is an urgent need for the immediate clearance of all Mega-Infrastructure projects we clearly cannot have the same yardsticks (environment and green rules) as the developed world. We urgently need to build a climate that encourages investment; we need to stop people feeling comfort in gold, and speculating in the real estate market – rather than investing in the stock market. To finance the Budget Plans, there will be need for some extra-ordinary income - best through divestments and market pricing of scarce resources; and for a big

Letter To The Editor


am intrigued to read your front page story in the 8-14 Feb issue. HUDA has obviously taken the decision to invest Rs 200 crore, in the project, due to some extraneous reasons. Besides causing noise pollution and vibrations to the residents of DLF phases III, II and I - in that order - is the expressway going to also help them in any way? Would these phases also have improved connectivity in any way. I am assuming that, in

addition to serving the new developments in DLF phases IV and V, the expressway would also help those commuting to Golf Course extension road and Sohna Road. Surely it won’t serve only the new DLF developments! If one is to believe your report (my understanding could be wrong) then it is a fit case for a PIL. Krishan Kalra (There are many issues with this Project. Some of the basic issues are: why is one of the best roads of Gurgaon being dug up anyway, when there are so many

other priorities; and why is it being replaced by an Expressway that cuts through the City (and that also in almost entirely DLF territory from start to finish - on both sides)? The Road Project also mysteriously ends before the last mile that would connect with the Southern Peripheral Road (which is not DLF territory). Further, thousands (over 5000) of trees, some unique, that were planted in recent years, will now be uprooted. Clearly most of the Project seems an afterthought – though it smells of a Master Plan.) FG

dose of forex inflows, we should preferably bring in NRI forex for 2 years - by offering them a fixed exchange rate for that period.

The govt also needs to table:

 Outcomes of its various Programs - not just Outlays (FM Chidambaram promised this more than 5 years ago);  The Lokpal Bill (or UPA will be truly sorry);  The White Paper on Black Money (again promised at least 2 years ago);  The Real Estate Regulatory Bill & The Land Acquisition Bill (to address the biggest scam – past, present and future - of them all).

We should not spend money on what will not work; and band-aids are of little help:

 An interest rate cut, even 2%, will not do any wonders.  Current Industry has not, and probably will not, deliver – the proposed NIMZs will probably go the way of SEZs.  Nor will Exports help – they are still weak, despite the weakest rupee for ages. We should in fact let the rupee appreciate – at least it will help reduce the big impact of oil and other imports.  And any Excise Duty reduction will mainly just go to the bottom lines of the private sector. There should therefore be no change in taxes or duties, except for that required for the specific proposals (below).

The specific proposals would be:

 A Program for the Urban City Class - for food, LPG/kerosene, petrol/diesel, school fee, medical and housing; either through dual pricing, or subsidy, or vouchers. This will allow a freer hand for general (non-subsidized) fuel pricing. This Urban Class can be identified, accessed and monitored easier and better (than rural). In fact the Food Security program should only roll out in urban areas this year. This Program should appeal immensely to Mamata di in Kolkata. She can help counter the UP duo, with elections just round the corner. The urban vote is more led by economics (than caste), and the last few years’ impact from the general inflation, food and fuel prices has been very negative on the middle class in urban India.  An Agro-Processing and Food Retail blockbuster – the Farm to Retail Program. The UPA needs to make its courageous FDI decision count. Let a 1000 cold chains bloom across the country, along with a 100 food-processing industries. This will help bring in even more FDI across the country. There is even a strong potential for export. There is a need to think big for this project, and galvanise top domestic players from across sectors to partner with specialized foreign companies. It is a huge long-term play. u

Some side-comments:

The nation needs the GST roll-out, even more than the DTC. It would be well worth it to compromise on excess compensation to States, and even accept lower GST rates (than proposed) to start with. The Aadhaar card, wherever issued, needs to start being used for delivery of maximum services. There should be only 1 (respective) Agency’s data that should be relied on consistently, through the year - for the inflation rate, GDP growth rate and poverty rate. The govt. should not take credit/debit for the Sensex, FII inflow/outflow, or the Rupee rate movements – esp. immediately after the Budget.

22-28 February 2013



{ Srimati Lal } "Every so often a painter has to destroy painting. Cezanne did it; Picasso did it with Cubism. Then, Pollock busted our idea of a picture to hell. And then, there could be new paintings again."       ~ Willem de Kooning, 1940's ~ The 'creation' of 20th-C. Modernism, in the 'Gallery' sense, involved the painterly 'destruction' of outdated visual modes of Realism and Classicism – a feat accomplished in the early decades of the past century by such schools as Cubism, Surrealism, Action painting, Kinetic Art and Op Art. Such artists as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Picasso and Warhol were fervently promoted by the West as the 'creators' of such 'Modern' Movements. However, the deepest essences of Abstraction lay centuries prior to such movements, in non-western folk art and craft's most ancient, authentic roots – including textile-art, wall-painting, decorative and weaving traditions of the East, Africa and the Oceanic nations. Some 20th-C. Western 'Action' painterly modes, of 'throwing' fresh paint 'spontaneously' onto large urban canvasses from a long distance, had already existed visually for centuries – in ancient eastern and African methodical templates of Batik textiles, stylised totemic wood carvings, wall-murals and decorations done with the fingers, and various other tribal forms of visualisation. Abstraction—as a freer, 'easier', and yet potentially more evolved form of artistic expression—existed, in this sense, many centuries before more formalised Figuration. Jackson Pollock understood this latent, primeval source of the painterly Abstract, when he said, "I have no fear of making changes and destroying the image, because painting has a life of its own. My pictures don't have any 'beginning' or 'end'. I express energy, motion, inner forces. Every good painter paints what he is." Closer to our current context, the Gurgaon-based 77-year old painter

22-28 February 2013

Creative Destruction

Jagdish Chander Puri conveyed a similar thought to me, when I asked him to describe his manner of Abstraction: "I am depicting Nature in every sense: hills, stones, skies, rocks, water, colours." Puri has been immersed in his joyful, free-form Indian Abstract painting for over five decades, despite having worked in the corporate sector for most of his life. He has produced 500 striking artworks in vibrant palettes, evoking anthropomorphic and galactic energies with a brooding sense of the mysterious. In his Aquarelle paintings in a small, intimate format of 12 " to 24", it is as if one can 'see through the apparent', into  the inner life  of the sea, sky, rock, tree and human soul – Prakriti's soul, as it were. Puri began his journey into abstract water colours in 2005, leaving figurative oil painting behind. He describes his earlier art as "more casual," despite its apparent 'realism' – while his current vivid abstracts are his true, "serious" genre. Puri elaborates: "Art, for me, is Meditation; I paint for my own inner satisfaction. My state of health

Jit kumar


is because I don't go after wealth." The 1935-born painter traces the origins of his art to "wandering as a young boy through the hills of Simla, Jammu and Kashmir -- which made me see all the wonders of Nature." Puri has completed a 5-year course in Commercial Art from Simla's Government College of Art in 1956. Puri described to me his unusual transition, from the Corporate to the Artistic, in the following words "Stroke by stroke, and canvas by canvas, I regained my touch... and soon, it seemed I was never away from my Art; that Art was what I was always meant to do. What had started as a pastime in my basement soon became my passionate pursuit – much-appreciated by family, friends and art-lovers." Describing his muse, Puri says,  "nothing but Nature inspires me: it conveys happiness. And I only like bright colours."   The benign senior painter's basement studio, in Gurgaon's DLF-1, is scattered with a sheer riot of his   Kinetic Action paintings, all scrawled playfully in his favourite watercolour spectrum. These are paintings that are complex in their simplicity, methodical in their freedom. They have, undoubtedly,

Art 'dismantled' the apparent constructs of Realism --- deliberately, in order to 'recreate' a higher realm of Abstraction. Describing his studio as a 'Halwai ki dukan, filled with sweet colours," Puri explains to me the reason for his deep love of the watercolour mode: "I enjoy the uniqueness that only water colour can lend to a painting. Bright, beautiful, transparent colours allow the white of the paper to shine through, making the paintings seemingly glow." Looking at Puri's uninhibited Batiklike swirls and spiritual splashes of paint, that seem to evoke the playful smudge-art of very small infants,  I am reminded of Picasso's wise words: "I re-learnt how to paint from children." To create a mature visual mode  of such spontaneity, however, requires disciplined introspection, which is now a daily essential  of Puri's existence --including the regular practice of  Yoga and Pranayam. Most of Puri's mysterious paintings convey abstract nuances of the natural landscape – while some have subtle hints of the human figure and animals in mystical, contemplative repose. All of his artworks bear an illumined quality --- an energy that, at times, verges on hallucinogenic SciFi outer-space visions of distant galaxies. The senior artist has, in a sense, transcended certain visual limits with commendable mastery. Puri has created an oeuvre of his own,  un-influenced by fads and gallery briefings. He humbly claims to have sold around 25 paintings, "by word of mouth", for a modest price, allowing galleries their commissions. He now wants to showcase his art to wider audiences, and has hence created a website where affordable prints of his works—as well as originals—are easily available.  What is very clear to my eyes is Puri's raison d'etre – the experience of joi de vivre, of sheer happiness, that being an artist now gives him, on a daily basis. May Jagdish Puri's galactic journeys in paint reach higher, more mind-spinning and ethereal planes.u Artist, Writer, & Curator

22-28 February 2013

Real Estate 19

The Taming Of The Tigers?

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


ven as the UPA government at the Centre, led by the Congress, is struggling to bring the Real Estate Regulatory Bill into reality, its counterpart in Haryana has surprised everyone with the proposal to introduce a state-specific Real Estate Regulatory Bill, to regulate and clean-up the booming real estate sector. The timing of the proposed Bill, and the speed with which the Hooda government has built the momentum around the proposed regulatory body, has stumped even the most astute observers. Questions are also being raised as to why a government, which until now has failed to rein in the builders, wants to clean the Augean stables, implement the rule of law, and ensure a balanced playing field. It has left many wondering why Chief Minister Hooda has suddenly embarked upon the gargantuan task of regulating an industry which till now has been able to bend almost any policy and person according to its will. The Haryana government itself has been mired in a number of real estate deals, most of which have origins in Gurgaon, and is on the last leg of the current tenure. While critics observe that the proposed body is another attempt to confuse the stakeholders, there are others who support it in the hope that it will bring in more transparency and accountability into the system. The City residents meanwhile want to know whether the regulatory authority will ensure the timely completion of projects, the launch of new projects on land that has clear title, balanced builder-buyer agreements, builders handing over control of the condominiums to the RWAs on time – and many more things that are stipulated in the LC-IV Agreement, Haryana Apartment Owners Act 1983, and Haryana Urban Development of Land Act 1975. Lately, thousands of disgruntled home buyers in the City have been forced to come out on the streets, to ensure that the builders and authorities listen to their woes and are taken to task. Colonel B.K Dhawan, President Emeritus of the Silver Oaks RWA, is of the opinion that there is no need for the government to come up with a new Act, as the State already has enough laws to regulate this sector. “This proposed Authority will further confuse matters; it is merely an eyewash. The government has failed to implement the Haryana Apartment Owners Act 1983 in letter and spirit. The TCP department is responsible

for the mess in Gurgaon, and other areas of the State, as it has not effectively implemented the rules and regulations,” asserts Dhawan. He further contends that almost everything that is being proposed under the new Authority is already covered by the existing rules. A new rule book will only confuse. The views held by Dhawan seem to represent the mindset of an average Gurgaonite, who has seen the slide of the City, as builder after builder has taken the residents for a ride. Perhaps the recent incidents, in which buyers have collectively revolted against the might of the developers in the case of World Spa, and more recently in Orchid Petals, has also influenced the government’s decision to bring in the regulator. The decision by a group of buyers to approach the Competition Commission against DLF, for abusing its dominance in the market—which led to a Rs. 630 crores penalty award—could also be one of the reasons that led to a move towards an independent regulator, aver industry watchers. While the intention of the government may be right, S.C Talwar, a resident of Ambience Island, says that when builders can co-opt the

highest powers in the State, and even force the DTCP to become a mute spectator, how would the new regulator change things? “Who will implement the rules? We can either empower the DTCP with more effective and professional employees who can regulate the industry, or disband it in favour of the proposed new body. We already have HUDA, DTCP and MCG – what more can be achieved when the officials themselves do not want to implement the rules?” he asks. Given the failure of the Haryana Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act, which was touted as the panacea for curbing illegal activities of brokers, many buyers who have had bad experiences assert that nothing much will change in the system. Sanjay Sharma of Qubrex says that this proposed Bill might bring more transparency into the system – as it provides for the creation of a website for logging of data and information – but bringing in accountability will be a far cry. “Another important issue is that the regulator must ensure that it does not become a choke point for complaints. Clever operators can clog the system with fake

Real Estate The Town & Country Planning Dept (TCP) has proposed the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2013 (see, for ensuring transparency in property/real estate transactions, and also for helping regulate and develop the real estate sector. All projects, promoters and real estate agents would need to be registered with HRERA, for a fee. Among many points in the Bill, funds received from customers would need to be securely and separately banked by the builders. It promises the setting up of a Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (HRERA) within 1 year of the passing of the Act. There would also be an Appellate Tribunal for adjudication of disputes, and for taking up appeals against the Authority’s decisions. The Act would not apply to properties with less than 1000 sq.m. land, or projects with less than 12 apartments. Also exempted would be properties where Occupation and Completion Certificates have already been issued before the Act comes into force.

complaints, thereby ensuring that its working is hampered,” he says. An interesting point raised by Sharma is of how the government plans to ensure that builders do not make profits beyond the 15 per cent, as stipulated in law. Also, how would the existing rules and regulations be brought in synergy with the proposed powers of the authority? asks Sharma. While buyers and real estate activists are not much enthused by the proposed Bill, some associations think different. Dr. P.S.N Rao, Founder and Chairman, National Association of RealtorsIndia, says that this Bill will provide more transparency and accountability, since a lot of vital information about the projects will be available easily in the public domain, and accessible to prospective buyers, before they make the purchase decision. He further says that the laws on real estate are inadequate in India. “We need this Real Estate Regulatory law so that the business can be regulated for the benefit of the consumers.  There is no protection for the consumers today, and existing provisions in laws are grossly inadequate to bring the erring builders and developers to book,” he asserts. On the issue of timely completion of projects, and handing over of common areas, Rao says that this Bill makes it an obligation on part of the authorities, as well as the government developers and other agencies, to conform to the rule book. A number of real estate professionals, who are into the broking business, are also welcoming this Bill, because they think it will bring in more professionalism into the industry. Puneet Verma, Vice President, Remax India, a real estate firm believes that—like insurance—the real estate industry needs an independent regulator. It will make the registration of brokers, builders and projects compulsory. The provision of strict penalties, and a likely chance of including imprisonment as punishment for violating certain sections of the proposed Bill, is also being deemed as quite remarkable. A similar Bill being brought in the Union Law ministry has proposed imprisonment up to three years, or fine up to 10 per cent of the project, in case a builder does not register with the Authority. A real estate activist involved with consumer advocacy for decades, recalls that the Maharshtra Apartment Owners Act originally had provisions for imprisonment of an errant builder, but later this section was removed. With a large number of consumers approaching the courts over irregularities being committed

by the developers, it is understood that the Haryana government, in order to woo the recalcitrant citizenry, has decided to introduce this Bill, he adds. R.S Rathee of the Gurgaon Citizens Council, says that the government should be ready to implement the Bill in letter and spirit – only then will it be successful. “We are studying the details of the proposed Bill,” he says. Verma of Remax firmly believes that once the regulator comes into play, the field will be more clean, as a referee would be overlooking the players constantly. “Real estate is the hottest investment destination, and it needs to be disciplined. This will make the industry more responsible and accountable, and that is the need of the hour,” he says. Many in the industry feel that the proposed Bill should ensure that the proposed regulator is an overarching body, that guides HUDA, DTCP, HSIIDC, Housing Board and other agencies dealing with real estate development in Haryana. They also want that private builders should be made to follow the rule of law, rather than allowing them to abuse it – which has been happening often till now. Devinder Gupta, a prominent real estate consultant, and MD of DG Realty, opines that the coming of a regulator will ensure that projects are registered before being sold to buyers. The plans of the project, the titles of the land, the proposed area to be built and sold, will all have to be put on a website before sale takes place – and this will bring in more transparency. “The mid-way change in plans, which often brings the buyers and builders into a clash, would also end, if the authority comes into place and plays a real role,” he adds. But Gupta also says that many buyers also do not adhere to the agreements – which is also going to be penalized as per this Bill. For him and many others, this Bill is fairly balanced, and will help in the opening up the industry, provided the government has the political will and intention to clean up realty. However, sceptics argue that this Bill is another tool for the government to arm twist the builders, as cash will soon be required to fund the oncoming costly elections. Having not much faith in local governance and political promises, the residents of the Millennium City are keeping their fingers crossed, as they know that their fate is going to be decided by another piece of legislation – which will either bring them salvation, or make it even more difficult to attain the real estate Nirvana.u

20 { Doreen Fiedler / Mumbai / DPA }

Ramiben Devaliya and a basket of newly made pots. Every day she carries such baskets into a nearby city suburb to sell.

ground and converted into reusable pellets. “None of this stuff is actually rubbish”, says Subhash Naidu. The tousle-headed 21-year-old was born and bred in Dharavi – among around 1 million other people. Recycling is a big industry here, not only for the locals, but also for labourers from the outlying regions. “The shop owners let them sleep in the workshops for nothing,” explains Naidu. “That ensures that they have unpaid security people keeping an eye on things, and that people do not arrive late for work.” Naidu is a member of a hiphop and break-dance group, The Slumdogs, named after the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, which was set hereabouts. When the inquisitive young man clambers onto the roofs, he can gaze over one of Asia’s largest poorhouses. The squalor here is

Shamel Shah (right), the “Bollywood Shoemaker”, and one of his employees (left). Shah lives in a tiny home-workshop.

fringed by elegant skyscrapers, and the powerhouse offices of India’s financial and economic stakeholders. This is Bollywood, and Dharavi is bang in the middle of it all. The bankers and traders of India’s booming middle class generally do not set foot in Dharavi. Krishna Pujari is an exception to the rule. The wiry man, with a broad smile, is in charge of the Education Foundation, Reality Gives,

G lobal

Dharavi – A Hive Of Indian Industry and he believes there is more to this densely populated 1.7 square kilometres than meets the eye. “Dharavi represents the heartbeat of Bombay’s cottage industries,” he says. Pujari reckons that the combined turnover of Dharavi’s workshops adds up to the equivalent of more than half a billion euros a year. The tangle of roads, dusty tracks and narrow passageways is a hive of activity. At one place, women are rolling out Indian bread, allowing the thin, round sheets to dry, before the crisp ‘poppadoms’ are delivered to restaurants around the City. In a tailor’s shop, men are hunched behind sewing machines, assembling jeans. Elegantly cut dress clothes, wrapped carefully in protective plastic, are being loaded onto a cart which is drawn by an ox. Most of the firms are not officially registered. They would not qualify for a stamp of approval anyway, because of

Ramaswamy (right) outside the Raapam Video Theatre, his video parlour.

poor working conditions, long hours and the toxic materials used. “Living and working here is hard, since the infrastructure is very bad,” says Pujari. “The power supply is intermittent, the sewers are open, and there are hardly any adequate toilets,” he says. Yet, despite these hardships, people manage to organize themselves and get work done. Dhanji Bhai Laxman Prajapati is at work on the ground floor of his tiny house, sewing sari blouses for his neighbours. The light green room is sparsely furnished. Apart from the sewing machine and a stool, there is only enough room for the blouses, a small set of shelves and a twin hotplate. Adorning a wall is a small red mirror with a comb attached. His clothes’ washing and shower facilities are outside, says the 45-year-old tersely. Beyond the front door, he shares a tap with around a dozen other families. Water comes for just a few hours a day. A flight of stairs leads to the next floor, where the Prajapatis live much as their grandparents did 50 years ago. Their sleeping quarters consist of just a few square metres, but are becoming increasingly confined. “My son will be getting married soon, and we need more space,” laments Prajapati. He would like to see the local administration finally make some progress on a plan mooted eight years ago – to tear down the huts in Dharavi, and replace them with new apartment

blocks. These would provide 30 square metres for every slum family, and people like Prajapati could use the premises as a workshop at the same time. The same does not apply to the aged potter in the corner, who perches on a brick while propelling his potter’s wheel with a stick. His fingers slowly form the clay into a bulbous vessel, before he slices it off with a knife and sets it down

Doreen Fiedler


he remnants of some white plastic chairs are piled up on the roof of one of the corrugated huts, in the slums of Dharavi. Another roof is covered with blue and yellow canisters. A third roof is made up almost entirely of black plastic barrels. Beneath these coverings are rooms illuminated by cold neon lights, and tens of thousands of hands are busy at work – sifting through the detritus of the Indian metropolis of Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Dented containers are teased back into shape to be sold anew, waste paper is piled up high, and other scraps of plastic are washed,

22-28 February 2013

Dharavi, a slum in the heart of Mumbai, India, seen from a nearby high-rise.

A potter and his wife work on the ground.

alongside, to dry in the sun, along with hundreds of other clay items. The man with the white cap and a grey beard sits in a large open pit, which will be later covered over and used as a furnace to fire the pottery. It is hard to imagine anyone doing that in a high-rise apartment. Local potters are understandably getting hot under the collar, over the whole subject of “urban redevelopment.” “We need somewhere to put the clay for our work. We don’t know how to do anything else,” says Ramiben Devaliya. Her job every day is to heave a woven basket full of jugs on her head, and walk with in from Dharavi into a Mumbai

Sewing machinists at work.

suburb where the pots are sold. “We are not going to give this up”, she says fiercely. Her cousin suddenly appears and joins the invective. “The best of apartments is of no use, if we cannot make pottery in it,” he says. The planners have not taken these wishes into consideration, and their blueprints envisage the bulldozed slum territory being occupied in future by shopping malls and luxury retail outlets. “These people are living in a grey area,” says Vinod Shetty, a lawyer and Director of the Dharavi Project, Acorn. The land under their feet is mostly owned by the State, but the houses belong to those who dwell in them. Since the businesses are not officially registered, they are not eligible for loans from local banks. Although they are treated as outsiders by the rest of the City, the people here are determined to be taken seriously. “They have got here by hard work, and their will to survive,” says Shetty.

A slum identity has since emerged, he adds: “These people do not see themselves as part of civil society; even though they are very successful in economic terms. They stay in Dharavi, where they are appreciated,” says NGO founder Pujari. One of his female friends from the slums is a flight attendant, but she doesn’t tell anyone in the outside world where she lives. Oddly enough, the main street in Dharavi— with its eateries, kiosks and pharmacies—does not look a whole lot different from other streets in Mumbai. On 90 Feet Street—so named because of its width— there is even a jeweller’s shop and a photo supplier. There is no Cinema hall, but that is more than made up for by Ramaswamy. He sits on a muchwashed piece of cloth with a sign above him, that reads: “Raapam Video Theater”. Those who pay 10 rupees can take their place in the darkened room behind him. The premises can hold around 40 people. Most of them lie on the concrete floor, asleep. Others stare at the outsized flat TV screen. “There are four video parlours in Dharavi”, says the Proprietor. He and his family specialize in Tamil-language films, for immigrants from the south. “Dharavi is like a city in its own right,” says Pujari. There are bakers, cooks and carpenters, and the place even has its own police station, a cemetery and several schools. As is often the case in India, Hindus, Muslims

and Christians live here in harmony. “I even know one Muslim carpenter who makes Hindu shrines, says Pujari. Entrepreneurship is everywhere to be seen in Dharavi, says Shetty. One businessmen is Jameel Shah. Like many others, the 30-yearold lives in a tiny room. He sports a designer stubble and carries an iPad. His walls are draped with traditional sherwani garments, and he specializes in fashioning high-quality dancing shoes, from soft velour leather. Pop star Kylie Minogue owns a pair. Shah is a runaway. The young man fled his village of Doghra in Bihar at the age of 12, and arrived in Mumbai three years later. His ambition was “to become famous in Bollywood,” he says. To do that he had to learn how to dance. “My dancing instructor had these great shoes from the UK, and I wanted them too.” The price tag of 1,200 dollars was astronomically high, and I realised that “if I wanted some like these, I would have to make them myself.” The first of his creations was snapped up by his dance teacher and dance partners. Now they are worn by Indian stars – such as Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu and Farah Khan. Shah has eight staff turning out shoes in the workshop. There are versions for all styles of dancing – from flamenco to ballet. He laughs as he quotes what the slum people call him: “You’re the Bollywood Shoemaker, aren’t you?”. u

22-28 February 2013

The Good Doper’s Guide

{ Ignacio Naya / Madrid / DPA }


ome of the techniques are probably out of fashion by now, because cheats are always two steps ahead of their chasers, but court hearings in the so-called Operacion Puerto doping scandal are turning out to be a real guide on the use of banned substances. If anyone was looking to improve their competitive sporting performances with the help of a few “extras,” all they would need to do is attend the hearings in Madrid – as witnesses, suspects and reporters deliver lessons on the issue everyday. Dopers start with the blood booster EPO (erythropoietin): for a month during training, on alternate days, they take EPO with 2,000-5,000 IU syringes in subcutaneous or intravenous injections, depending on how much they want their hematocrit

to rise. “Mine reached 56 per cent,” former cyclist Jesus Manzano told the judge. Then, there is blood doping. The International Cycling Union (UCI) bans competitors with a hematocrit level above 50 per cent, since it is considered suspicious as well as a health risk, so it is necessary to draw blood. EPO intake needs to stop 12 days before that, to cleanse the body, so it will not test positive. Then, a litre of blood is extracted and packed in two 500-millilitre bags. It is centrifuged (to separate red blood cells from plasma) and frozen. Shortly before the competitive event, that betterquality blood is returned to the athlete’s veins. “A hotel room is amply suitable in terms of hygiene,” said Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, the main

suspect in Operacion Puerto. The doctor heats up water in a cooking pot, “bain-marie,” in the words of Manzano. When the temperature is right, a picture is taken down from the wall, and the bag is hung from the free nail. A catheter is placed in the athlete, and the blood is allowed to flow for 30 or 40 minutes. That’s it: “The engine has been souped up.” The hematocrit level will rise again, so if the UCI’s or anyone else’s doping testers (“vampires”) show up, they need to be distracted for half an hour. That is how long it takes to inject human albumin and serum—half a litre of them—to reduce blood thickness. “If they injected that in your left arm, you’d give the vampire your right arm,” said Manzano, a witness.


22-year-old film student from Germany is headed to LA – on the strength of a 6-minute sci-fi ‘short’ that, in the words of a Hollywood agent, looks like a multimillion-dollar movie coming up. Kaleb Lechowski—who studies at Berlin’s Mediadesign Hochschule—created “R’ha,” a computer-animated ‘short’, about an alien race and the machines that turn against them, and posted it online on video sharing websites. It quickly gained a lot of views, and attracted the attention of Hollywood. Within hours of posting his movie online, Kaleb got an email from an American agent. “I have no idea how he found my movie so quickly,” says Kaleb. The agent, Scott Glassgold, is now representing the stu-

Jörg Carstensen

Sci-fi ‘Short’ Gets Noticed In Hollywood { Hannah Loeffler / Berlin / DPA }

A smiling Kaleb Lechowski sits at his computer. The German film student is now in Hollywood for talks with producers. 

dent, and has brought him to LA for meetings with producers. “I’m his next big project,” says the newcomer. The buzz around the ‘short’ has been reported in the newspaper Hollywood Reporter, and on the tech news site, Mashable. Glassgold told Mashable that “his work is not only professional, it’s extraordinary. There are shots in there that look like they are from a 150-million-

dollar movie.” R’ha shows an alien being interrogated and tortured by a machine. “I like science fiction, because you can create entire worlds,” says the 22-year-old, who grew up in a small German town, BadenWuerttemberg. He spent six months on the animated movie, often overnighting at his college. “Kaleb is one of our most talented students,” says Angela Kern, who is in charge of the digital film course, which Kaleb has attended since October 2011. “For his film he has won respect from everyone, even from senior students.” In January, Kaleb uploaded his finished movie online to video sharing platforms. Within a day 80,000 people had viewed the movie on Vimeo. After eight days that figure had risen to a million. The animation looks so

Take Your Breaks Or Get A Dog { Antonia Lange / Berlin / DPA }


aking breaks during work is essential; and all those who use their free time to check work e-mails should not be surprised if they feel stressed. Work-related pressure is increasingly becoming part of the daily lives of most folk these days. Some tips from a Counsellor, on how to slow down the rat race: During work: Stop the Treadmill: Don’t dive into work on Monday – like you usually do. “The basic rule should be, don’t let stress even arise,” says Occupational Psychologist Frank Brenscheidt, from Germany’s Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “A cup of coffee or tea is always a good start.” And during the day it helps to ask: “Is it okay if I put this task off for 10 minutes?” End Procrastination: Cleaning the desk, sorting

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business cards and invoicing travel expenses when a difficult problem looms, doesn’t help fix it. “Setting wrong priorities means delaying important tasks,” the expert says. At the end, the stress becomes even bigger. Making a to-do list is not a new idea, but it can help.     Chatting With Colleagues: “Support from colleagues is the best stress prevention,” Brenscheidt says. So, have a chat often with colleagues you like, at the water cooler. The world may look completely different afterwards - they may even offer help.

Decorate Your Desk: Photos of your loved ones, souvenirs from your last vacation, or tickets for the movie theatre - “everything that lets your soul relax” is a true stress killer, the psychologist says. His advice is ‘pimp up’ your desk from time to time, so you notice that “it’s not all about work”. Woof ! Woof !: Bring your dog to the office once in a while. “We know from studies that an office dog has a positive effect,” the Psychologist says. But you need to discuss with your boss first if a dog is okay - if not, there might be even more stress! And after work? Exercise: “An important antidote to stress is sport,” Brenscheidt explains. “Having a good feeling about your body makes a lot of things easier.” And you’re in less danger of checking your email, while jogging in a green area. u

In such cases, in order to remove the excess fluid, the doping offender needs to take some square-shaped pills – that will help him sweat it off. And if it is his urine that is tested, he will need to put some white powder in his penis, to remove any trace of banned substances. On race day, the doping offender may take products like Oxyglobin (a form of hemoglobin that is used to treat dogs), or Actovegin (an extract of calf blood). “There were jokes about it, because Vicente Belda (former Kelme Team Director and a suspect in the trial) would say to us: ‘some days you bark and others you moo’,” Manzano recalled. Over dinner, for an hour (not more, because then it polished and professional that some people couldn’t believe it was solely the work of a 22-year-old student – and not a Hollywood studio. But with the exception of some help on the sound and voice work by an actor, Kaleb did it all himself. With the help of his agent, the 22-year-old hopes to make the breakthrough in Hollywood. He’s had meetings lined up in Los Angeles with several producers. His goal is get a full-length version of R’ha made. “I hope that they’ll give me the chance to write the story together with a writer, and then direct it.” He met his agent for the first time in LA. Earlier, they had only talked on the phone. “He thinks there’s definitely something there. I’ll give it a go whatever happens. I have nothing to lose,” a relaxed Kaleb said, before his flight to the city of movie-making dreams. Kaleb Lechowski’s Tumblr page: http://kaleblechowski. R’ha short . u

World Record In Mass Hula-Hooping

{ Somchai Kwankijswet and Peter Janssen / Bangkok / DPA }


hailand has claimed the Guinness World Record in mass hula-hooping, pipping Taiwan to the coveted title. A representative of Guinness World Records acknowledged Thailand as the new champion, after more than 4,483 participants gathered at Thammasat University’s Stadium, and successfully hula-hooped simultaneously for seven minutes, said Pracha Thongsai, spokesman for CA Infomedia, which organized the Event. Taiwan had set the previous world record for mass hulahooping in 2011, with about 3,000 participants hula-hooping for two minutes, Pracha said. “There were originally 5,500 Thai participants, but some of them failed to hula-hoop the full seven minutes,” he said. u

would test positive), a testosterone patch is to be worn on the abdomen. If the doping offender required something stronger, he would take Andriol pills (called “beans” in specialist slang) or suppositories. Only in training though, because they would be detected in tests during competition. To compensate for the testosterone increase, a female hormone, HMG, is to be taken. To get it, a doctor needs to write a prescription to a woman’s name. Depending on the budget, and with the right contacts, doping offenders can also lay their hands on corticosteroids – specific Russian-made anabolic steroids and growth hormones. German cyclist Joerg Jaksche quoted Fuentes as having offered him “anything you can find in the market." u

World’s Longest Smooch

{ Somchai Kwankijswet and Peter Janssen / Bangkok / DPA }


Thai couple has claimed the world’s longest kiss – locking lips for 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds, at a smooching contest in Pattaya beach resort, organizers said. Ekkachai Tiranarat, 44, and his wife Laksana, 33, received a cash reward of 100,000 baht (3,350 dollars) and two diamond rings (worth about 200,000 baht each), for pulling off the world’s longest continuous kiss completed at 11:15 pm (1615 GMT). The kissing contest was organized by the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya, around 100 kilometres south-east of Bangkok, to commemorate Valentine’s Day. At last year’s contest, a gay couple set the world’s record, with a canoodle lasting 50 hours, 25 minutes and 1 second. Under the rules of the contest, contestants must keep continuous lip contact, including during bathroom breaks. Thursday’s kiss was acknowledged by the Guinness World Records, a spokeswomen for the Museum said. u

Bar Ban On Valentine’s Day Eve

{ Alexander Welscher / Tallinn/Riga / DPA }


day before Valentine’s Day, an Estonian man, who was headed to a bar despite being grounded by his wife, survived a seven-storey fall, while fleeing their apartment using an escape ladder made of bedsheets, reports said. The 35-year-old suffered only light injuries, because his fall was broken by bushes. His wife had locked him in to stop him from going to a bar, hoping he would not be suffering a hangover on Valentine’s Day. u

22 Philae’s Landing On Comet { Irena Guettel / Bremen, Germany / DPA}


xperts at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Bremen are testing every conceivable scenario, for the first-ever landing by a spacecraft on a comet, expected in November 2014. Because the comet’s topography is unknown, they are practising descents onto various surface types—hard, sandy, flat, uneven—using a replica of the lander (a spacecraft which descends toward and comes to rest on the surface of an astronomical body). The actual lander has been en route to the comet, called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, since March 2004. Named Philae, after the island in the river Nile, where an obelisk was found that helped decipher the Rosetta Stone, and thereby ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, it would have travelled more than 5 billion kilometres upon arrival. The billion-euro (1.4-billion-dollar) mission, dubbed Rosetta, is being under-

taken by the European Space Agency (ESA). “The mission is extremely important,” said Andrea Accomazzo, the Rosetta spacecraft Operations Manager for ESA. “When we better understand comets, we’ll know more about the formation of our solar system. It’s like archaeology in space.” The critical part of the Mission will be Philae’s descent onto the heavenly body. “We know virtually nothing about the comet,” Accomazzo said. Will Philae land on rocks and scree? On sand? On ice? Mission controllers have to be prepared for everything. At the DLR laboratory, the Philae replica, about the size of a refrigerator, dangles from a robotic arm, over three tubs filled with quartz sand. Aerospace engineer Silvio Schroeder presses a button on a control panel, and the lander zooms down into the tubs with its feet. Thick screws designed to anchor the lander bore into the sand immediately. The purpose of the tests in Bremen is

Record Number Of Journos Killed In 2012 { Emoke Bebiak / New York / DPA }


ith a record numbers of journalists killed and imprisoned worldwide, 2012 was one of the worst years on record for press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced. Seventy journalists were killed on the job, with half of them murdered in targeted killings. The number of journalists behind bars jumped to 232 in 2012, from 179 in 2011 – which is a record number since CPJ started tracking imprisonment of journalists in 1990. Rob Mahoney, Deputy Director of CPJ, said that most journalists killed and jailed were freelancers working on local stories about politics and corruption (without the backing of large news

organizations). In many cases, especially under oppressive regimes, the deaths of journalists have not been investigated. “It sends a terrible message to the journalism community, if one of its own gets killed and nothing happens,” Mahoney said. “There is no greater threat to independent investigative journalists, particularly in oppressive countries, than impunity.” Most of the targeted killings happened in Somalia, where not a single murder has been prosecuted; in Pakistan; and surprisingly, in Brazil, which is a democracy. “This is a country which is going to be hosting the World Cup and the Olympic Games; it’s an important country, there should not be journalists who are being killed for their reporting in a place like Brazil,”

EU Citizens’ Water Initiative { Helen Maguire / Brussels / DPA }


petition to prevent the privatization of water supplies has reached 1 million signatures—the first to do so, under a new system giving European Commission (EU) citizens more say over the bloc’s agenda—its organizers said. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, congratulated the initiative, but said the numbers still had to be checked by national authorities. “Although the signatures will need to be verified, collecting 1 million signatures in fewer than six months is a real achievement,” said EU Commissioner for Institutional Affairs, Maros Sefcovic. The organization, Right2Water, wants the EU to safeguard access to water and sanitation as a human right. Once submitted, the Commission has three months to examine the initiative and meet with its organizers – who will also have an opportunity to present it to the European Parliament. The EU executive must then adopt a communication, explaining whether it intends to take further action. “Reaching this important milestone—with 1 million EU citizens agreeing that water and

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22-28 February 2013

sanitation are human rights—is a great success,” said Anne-Marie Perret, of Right2Water. “We have also managed to overcome the start-up problems, as well as the legal and technical barriers forced upon us, by the European Commission and member states,” Perret added. The European Citizens’ Initiative was introduced in April last year, based on provisions

to help the Mission team plan the descent precisely, and adjust the lander’s software if necessary. Rosetta originally targeted another comet, but technical problems delayed the launch, and the comet moved out of range. The second choice was 67P, larger and hence with a greater gravitational pull. “It’ll attract the lander more strongly, which means the landing speed will be higher,” said Lars Witte, a colleague of Schroeder’s. At the centre of Philae’s three legs is a damper, to cushion the landing. If the touchdown is too fast, the housing—containing highly sensitive measuring instruments—could slam into the legs. So engineers added a brace, which also has a downside. “There’s a risk of the lander overturning when it touches down,” Witte explained. In past weeks, Schroeder and Witte have repeatedly tested landings, both vertical and diagonal. “So far, it looks pretty good,” Witte said. The Rosetta Spacecraft is scheduled to reach 67P in May 2014, and enter orbit around it. Before releasing Philae, it will map the comet with its camera – in order to find a suitable landing spot. u Mahoney said. Other democracies where CPJ found press freedom being increasingly limited are South Africa, Italy and Hungary – the latter two being member states of the European Union. Mahoney said that in functioning democracies, journalists should not face criminal investigation and jail time for what they write; rather, libel suits should be settled in civil cases. CPJ, which aims to raise awareness of the threats many journalists face, has called on the United Nations to include press freedom as a basic human right, in its framework for developing countries. “If someone is performing journalism, is writing factbased commentary, is doing reporting, and doing it on a regular basis, they are doing journalism,” Mahoney said. “If they are targeted, jailed, censored ... for what they are doing – we will defend them.” u

in the Lisbon Treaty. It gives citizens a chance to participate directly in lawmaking within the EU, which is often criticized for its lack of democratic accountability. While several other groups have considered petitions on topics ranging from gay marriage to nuclear power, Right2Water was the first to overcome the necessary technical hurdles – to begin collecting signatures. Petitioners need to gather 1 million signatures from at least seven of the EU’s 27 member states, in order to call on the Commission to draft legislation. u


hina plans on opening a second airport for its capital, Beijing, by 2018, with construction to begin in 2014. According to the Chinese tourism office in Frankfurt, the Project will cost about 70 billion yuan or about 8.4 billion euros (11.3 billion dollars). The new airport, located south of Beijing, will help ease the on-going strain at the City’s current airport, north of the capital. Six runways have been planned, and operators are expecting them to handle about 45 million passengers annually. Tourism officials say that figure will grow to 70 million by 2025. In addition, construction will begin in 2016 on a new train connection – between Beijing’s southern train station and the airport. Passengers will need about half an hour for the 37-kilometre train trip. u

{ Christina Horsten and Gretel Johnston / Boston / DPA }


he President of the world’s largest Science Association expressed concern about the impatience of people who donate money to fund scientific research. The result is that scientists in the US too often follow shortlived trends, instead of sticking with a subject, said William Press, Head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Speaking as the AAAS opened its Annual Congress in Boston, Press said he worries that this won’t be good for the US scientific community over the long term. Elsewhere –in Europe and China, for example–Press said investors are more patient, and over time they will be the winners. Some 6,500 scientists from all over the world are gathered for the 179th AAAS Congress – to discuss their research and release their findings. The theme of the Congress is ‘The Beauty and Benefits of Science’. “In virtually every field of science, fundamental research can blossom into applicable research – that accomplishes useful, practical goals and creates better lives,” the AAAS said. Press said that big public policy issues in the US “all involve science in a deep way.” US President Barack Obama understands this, Press said, as witnessed in his State of the Union Address, when he called for the US to reach a level of research and development that hasn’t been seen since the space race. “Clearly he believes that science is on the investment part of the ledger – that’s going to help the economy, not on the pure expense part – just something that we have to afford,” Press said. u

Obesity Can Begin In The Womb { Berlin / DPA }


eight problems can begin in the womb, according to a research carried out by German scientists. Researchers at the Charite Hospital in Berlin compared results from 66 international studies— involving around 640,000 patients from 26 countries across the globe—and discovered that children with a birth weight of more than 4 kilograms were twice as likely to suffer from obesity in later life than normal-weight babies.

Beijing’s Second Airport By 2018 { Frankfurt / DPA }

US Scientist worried About Future Of Research

Conditions during pregnancy can have a direct effect on a child’s health for the rest of his or her life, which is why doctors need to pay greater attention to the issue of overfeeding, lack of exercise and diabetes during pregnancy. Steps taken before birth could ensure a child does not have weight problems later in life. The fact that parents or grandparents are overweight has a lesser effect. Genetic factors leading to obesity have almost no impact on the weight of an infant at birth, they say. u

Facebook sued over “like” button { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }


acebook is getting a thumbs down over its ubiquitous “like” button. A company called Rembrandt Social Media has filed suit against the social networking giant in the US, claiming that the ‘like’ button infringes on patents it holds, according to a news release. “We believe Rembrandt’s patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion – based on the evidence,” said Attorney Tom Melsheimer, of the global law firm, Fish & Richardson. The lawsuit, filed last week in the US District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, claimed that Facebook violated two patents that were issued to Dutch programmer Joss van Der Meer in 1998, five years before Facebook first appeared. Van Der Meer developed one of the first social networks called Surfbook, which allowed people to share information with friends using a “like” button, according to the lawsuit. u


22-28 February 2013

G -scape

Life Near The Metro

Swanky concourses just 2 years ago, the Metro stations today are engulfed by cesspools and crime dens Jit kumar

Friday Gurgaon Feb 22-28, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon Feb 22-28, 2013

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