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10-16 January 2014

Vol. 3 No. 21  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Back To The Fumes?


he ever-increasing price of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), almost to the point of gaining parity with Diesel, is likely to nullify the significant gains made by the introduction of this clean fuel in the National Capital Region more than a decade ago – courtesy the Supreme Court. CNG was first introduced in commercial vehicles (followed by autos), as the Court was concerned about the impact of ‘normal’ fuel on the pollution levels and the environment in the Capital. This happened in 1998, and has played an important




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will apply and rates will need to be increased,” he reveals. Chopra also admits that the increase in the price of CNG (and its new expected level) is likely to defeat the very purpose of introducing natural gas as a clean fuel. The most critical issue, say experts, is the decreasing gap in price between Diesel and CNG - which has traditionally been seen as a cheap fuel. Diesel meanwhile has also become increasingly popular vis a vis

Petrol, because the govt sees an increase in Diesel price as being politically risky. It is being suggested that if the govt wants to end the subsidy on CNG, it should first price Diesel at the market price. Diesel is also clearly the more polluting fuel, as was noted by the Supreme Court way back in 1998. “To ensure that CNG re-

mains a viable fuel, and thousands of vehicle owners do not switch back to Diesel and Petrol – as also feel that their investment in a CNG Kit was a waste - the govt will have to take urgent action,” warns Chopra. His Company, Haryana City Gas, which had aggressive plans to set up 3 to 4 more CNG pumps in Gurgaon soon, has decided to wait and watch, due to the Contd on p 6 

Stepping-in Moms { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

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{ Abhishek Behl/ FG }

role in improving the air quality in Delhi - which was ranked as the fourth most polluted city in the world at that time. Over the years, due to its relatively lower price and clean credentials, CNG even became a favourite fuel with some of the large car owning population in the NCR. However, experts warn that the recent years’ repeated (and high) increases in the price of CNG could mar the gains made by switching to this clean fuel. Just in the last three months the price of CNG has been hiked twice, and has jumped to Rs. 50.10 per kg in Delhi and Rs. 56.70 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. This is also a reason why bigger lines can be seen at the few CNG stations in Gurgaon, because the price in the Millennium City is still Rs. 40 per KG – though maybe not for long. Kapil Chopra, MD, Haryana City Gas (HCG) Limited, which runs the CNG stations in Gurgaon, says that the City is still getting CNG at ‘control rates’, and this is why prices have not been increased. “We are still within the quota of controlled supply; once we exceed it the market rates


ichelle and Rebekah, residents of DLF Phase V, are planning to celebrate the first birthday of their son in Zurich. Apart from family members and friends, they are also inviting his surrogate mother, who lent her womb and gave birth to their son. Hailing from Kanhai Village, Savitri (name changed) is one of the few surrogate mothers who has gathered the courage to come out and accept her status in public. Savitri feels that she is doing the right thing by helping provide a bundle of joy to an infertile couple. “Yes I chose Surrogacy to earn money, and I will be happy if I can continue to deliver happiness to childless women,” she smiles. Now-a-

days women living in even small villages are aware of the practice of Surrogacy, and some are willing to be carriers. Surrogacy is a practice whereby a couple – not able to have children of their own – choose another woman to carry and give birth to ‘their’ baby. Surrogacy can either be carried out through Artificial Insemination of the sperm of a husband into the carrier (woman), or by the carrier (woman) carrying a wife’s surgically implanted fertilised egg alongwith the husband’s sperm. A surrogate mother can thus be the child’s genetic mother if her (surrogate’s) eggs are used for fertilization, or she (the surrogate) can just be the carrier, in cases where she is implanted with the fertilised eggs Contd on p 7 


C oming U p

10-16 January 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–21  10-16 January 2014


Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Shiv Shankar Jha

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib

Nightlife Megalopsy and Will O' Wisp @ Anarchy Pub & Brasserie, Tower B, Global Business Park, MG Road Date: January 10 Time: 7:00 pm An evening of Latin American Psychedelic Trance, featuring Argentinians Megalopsy and Will O' Wisp aka DJ Pandemonix.

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails: Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on

Nightlife Jasbir Jassi @ Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, Sector 30 Date: January 11 Time: 9:00 pm onwards Enjoy an evening of rhythm and groove at Jasbir Jassi's Lohri Blast Album launch.

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.


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Nightlife Funky Friday @ Club Rhino, Sector 53 Date: January 10 Time: 8:00 pm onwards It's time to welcome the weekend by dancing till you drop to funky music. Funky Fridays are here to jazz up your January weekends. Nightlife The DJ Dispensary Live @ Vivanta by Taj, Plot No. 1, sector 44 Date: January 16 to 18 If you fancy being a DJ, here's a chance to boost your passion and try your luck on the turntables. DJ Dispensary, UK, has brought in its latest Avatar, the 'Sound Lab', a School created to give aspiring DJs a fun classroom mode and experience a brand new spin on the art of 'Djing'. The 3-day course will be undertaken by DJs Matty Wainwright and Paul T.

Theatre Page 3-not-3 @ Epicentre, Sector 44, Apparel House Date: January 18 Time: 5:00 pm A contemporary Hinglish Play on the twists and turns that happen in Page 3 parties. The Play is directed by Pooja Shankar. Tickets: Rs.300 and Rs. 500 Stand-up Comedy Older, Angrier, Hairier @ Epicentre, Sector 44, Apparel House Date: January 17 Time: 8:00 pm New York-based comedienne, Radhika Vaz, is back with her solo stand-up comedy act. This Act is a trip through the mind of a woman who refuses to take life too seriously – at 40. Tickets: Rs. 400

and a rider's spirit. The route for the Ride is from Club Florence to Kadarpur and back. Contact: Vikas Bagaria at 9811044605 Music Celebration of People's Music @ Epicentre, Sector 44, Apparel House Date: January 14 Time: 7:30 pm onwards Author-Scholar Pran Nevile speaks on the Indian musical journey – from Kothas to Concerts, followed by a musical evening with Meelu Verma. Dance Odissi Recital @ Epicentre, Sector 44, Apparel House Date: January 16 Time: 8:00 pm onwards An Odissi recital by Maalancha Dasgupta, disciple of Patitapaban Raut.

Fun Ride Saturday Ride @ Club Florence, Block-E, Sushant Lok-II, Sector-56 Time: 8:00 am Workshop Gurgaon Fun Riders is organising a 10-15 km ride (kids above 7 years E-commerce in Healthcare can come too) @ Aquamarine HealthCare Pvt. Ltd, with fun, food Parshavnath Arcadia, (Opp Motorola), Sector-14 Date: January 14 Time: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Startup Yatra is an initiative of Nurture Talent Academy, in which young start-ups, professionals and students visit successful entrepreneurs – who share their knowledge, experiences and learnings.
 This Workshop is about e-commerce in Healthcare. The Guru featured in this Workshop is 
Prashant, Co-founder & Managing Director of Open the Door to a Stress Free Life @ Malibu Towne, Sohna RoadApparelDate: January 12 Time: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm Attend this exciting and fun-filled Workshop by Richa Agarwal, which will help you understand and learn various tools and techniques to keep yourself happy, healthy, peaceful and stress-free in all aspects of life. Call 9717175293

ERP Simplified @ TAG, Epicentre, Sector 44, Apparel House Date: January 10 Time: 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Knowledge Series to help entrepreneurs understand the role of ERP in enhancing productivity in the current economic situation. Key speakers at this Workshop will be Kunal Singhal, Founder & MD, EazyERP
Raj K. Pathak, CEO, SMENA.

10-16 January 2014

C oming U p Delhi's


Culture scape Music

Lohri Celebrations @ Epicentre, Sector 44, Apparel House Date: January 13 Time: 7:00 pm onwards Celebrate the auspicious occasion of Lohri with vocalist and playback singer, Antra Mitra. Try out authentic Punjabi delicacies like Paneer Choliya Di Dal, Keema Chakundari, Sarson Da Saag, Mah Chole Di Dal, Dhabe Ka Kukkad, Amritsari Machhi and Ganne Di Kheer. 

Festival Magh Bihu 2014 @ Shalom Hills Int School, Sushant Lok Date: January 11 Time: 7:00 pm A contributory dinner with a bonfire, celebrating Magh Bihu 2014, organised by Assam Association of Gurgaon.

Lohri Celebrations @ Club Patio, South City I Date: January 13 Time: 7:00 pm onwards Enjoy the Festival with family and friends around the ceremonial fire. There will also be a Gidda and Bhangra troupe accompanied by Punjabi Folk singers.

Fair Wess Women's Mela @ Community Centre, DLF Phase I Date: January 12 Time: 11:00 am A fun-filled Mela with plenty of stalls – games, activities and food. There will a special zone for kids with bouncies, balloons, a magic and puppet show and painting competition.

An Evening of Classical Guitar @ The Attic, 36, Regal Building Date: January 11 Time: 6:30 pm An evening of Classical Guitar by Yogi Ponappa playing the following pieces: Romanza, The Polish Dancer, Traumerei, Dedicatoria, Capricho Arabe, Lagrima, Preludio 'Saudade', Vara Veena, Prelude from Cello Suite No. 1, 'Raindrop' Prelude, Prelude No. 4 and Ave Maria.


Indian Music Festival @ FICCI Golden Jubilee Auditorium, Tansen Marg Date: January 12 Time: 6:30 pm onwards The third edition of CITI-NCPA Aadi Anant Festival features Rashid Khan, of the RampurSahaswan Gharana, who will present an array of forms – classical, semi-classical and light-music – using his expertise of sargams and sargam taankari.
Tickets: Rs. 400 to 800


Retrieving to Harmony @ Lalit Kala Academy, 35, Ferozeshah Road Date: Up to January 11 A Group Show of the Artworks of Chaudhari Balu N., Faiza Huma, Hemant Rao, Neeraj Yadava, Pankaj Sharma, Ravindra Bahadur Singh, Rajesh Deoria, Satya Dheer Singh and Sonal Varshneya. The Show is curated by Neeraj and Pankaj.


Blackboard Land @ Bahumukh, National School of Drama,
Connaught Place
 Date: January 11 Time: 2:00 pm onwards A part of the 16th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the NSD theatre fest, the Play explores the psyche of human violence. The plot revolves around three people who are caught in an isolated place at the periphery of a war. The Play is Written & Directed by Kaj Himmelstrup and Rajesh Singh. 
Tickets: Rs. 50


For Subscription SMS FGYES to 8447355801

Art Workshop @ Open Palm Court Gallery, Lodhi road Date: Up to January 20 Time: Saturdays: 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm;
Sundays: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm An Art Workshop by Rohit Kumar Sharma, for adults.


10-16 January 2014

THE WEEK THAT WAS  In this month, CM will inaugurate a 4-lane GurgaonBahadurgarh Highway, a National Cancer Institute (in Jhajjar) and a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy, and lay the foundation for the Nuclear Power Plant in Fatehabad.  Police officers across the State are shifted. Maheshwar Dayal, JCP HQ will now be SP, Vigilance Bureau; Bharti Arora, JCP Traffic will now be JCP, HQ; Vinod Kaushik, DCP (AmbalaUrban) will now be JCP Traffic (Gurgaon).  Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh says that any land acquisition now should be as per the new, approved Land Acquisition Act.  Son of Rao Ajay Singh Yadav, and son-in-law of Laloo Yadav, Chiranjeev Rao, announces candidature for Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat.  DC monitors a Disaster-preparedness Survey of multi-storeyed buildings having more than 5 floors. There are about 1,200 such buildings in the City.  Fairy Queen Express may restart soon - connecting Delhi to Alwar, via Sohna and Sariska, every weekend.  Mankdaula Village is adjudged the Adarsh Village in Gurgaon District – will receive a Central grant of Rs 10 lakhs.  A woman sets herself on fire and dies, in Manohar Colony; a 20-year-old woman commits suicide in Gopalnagar.  A youth dies of cold at the Dhankot Bus Stand.  An MNC staffer accuses a Director of rape; she had recently been sacked. 7 people - including 2 women – are accused.  A woman is molested and her husband beaten up at a New Year’s Eve Party in a hotel on ‘old’ Delhi-Gurgaon Road. 12 of the hooligans are held.  A girl goes missing in Sec 10.  An ASI (Police) is hit by youth near HUDA City Centre, on New Year’s Eve. The youth involved are arrested.  Weapons (3 rifles) and ammunition are stolen from a gun house in Miya Wali Colony.  ED freezes accused Shivraj Puri’s assets worth Rs 5 crores, in the Citiibank scam case.  8 members of an inter-state gang that looted hundreds of electronics showrooms are caught; 3 vehicle thieves are held in Sector 31; an assistant manager is assaulted and his bike is stolen.  A donation box is stolen from a temple in Wazirabad; there is also a theft at Hanuman Mandir.  An MD of a private company is duped of Rs 29,000 in an ATM fraud; Rs 10,000 is snatched from a woman at an ATM booth.  Some youth try and rob a polytechnic student at knifepoint, near IFFCO Chowk – 1 person is held.  A couple ‘borrows’ Rs 9.5 lakhs from a person in West Rajiv Nagar and then is untraceable; a father and son are booked for a Rs 14 lakhs property fraud on a woman.  A Kashmiri couple is duped by fake policemen near Vyapar Kendra.  A robbery attempt at a company's premises is foiled by a guard, in Gwal Pahari.  A local textile manufacturing firm files an FIR against its 2 labour contractors, for taking wages worth Rs 14 lakhs but not paying the workers.  A Cyber Crime Workshop is conducted in the City.  2 Traffic Policemen are recognized and rewarded by the Police Commissioner, for honesty in returning cash and jewellery worth lakhs that they had found.  Maruti Suzuki is given the task of managing traffic at IFFCO Chowk, as part of a Gurgaon Police initiative.  Flat rate consumers need to install water meters by March 31st., in order to continue receiving water.  State drops plans to increase power tariffs; fuel surcharge to remain.  Local villagers, swelling to 1,500 in number, mistake policemen for cattle smugglers and attack them on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road. This leads to a traffic jam for 3 hours, with vehicles stranded over 6 kilometres. 500 Police are sent to control the situation. 2 Excise officials are booked for negligence in this cattle carcass case.  5 ‘fake doctors’ are held; 4 doctors held in an abortion racket.

 All IMT Manesar Industrial Association members join AAP; AAP conducts a membership drive to coincide with Raahgiri; Anna asks BJP Chief for help in having his statue installed in Gurgaon – the local BJP people have objected; ex-DGP Haryana Police, Ajeet Singh Bhalotia, joins AAP.  Baby Roona from Tripura is again successfully operated on for a ‘swelling head’.  New electricity connections can be booked online wef January 6th.  MCG officers protest having to work regular extra hours – esp. early mornings.  Autos to have all paperwork in place by January 10th (extension given from earlier January 1 deadline).  Members of a local NGO intercept about 20 vehicles carrying waste in an open condition.  MCG Website crashes, supposedly due to a new operator – only restored after 3 days.  Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti celebrated with fervor.  3 new Vocational Courses will be started in State Schools from Class 9 – Beauty & Wellness, Patient Care & Assistance and Physical Education & Sports.  New Model Chaupals in MCG area will be multi-storeyed (4 floors) and have basement parking; they would also be used for marriages.  An International Grandmasters Chess Tournament 2014 is held at the Sun City World School. The winner is Grandmaster Tornike Sanikidze from Georgia.

Helpline for reporting snatchings: 9999999953 (if Police do not file FIR)

What is your opinion about 'Friday Gurgaon'? What changes would you like to see in it?


First of all I would like to wish 'Friday Gurgaon' and its editorial staff a very happy New Year. I must compliment the editor for bringing out a tabloid that is highly informative, interactive and interesting. There is something in it for everyone - from children to youth to the senior citizens; from the City Administration, planners and policy makers, to the aggrieved citizens. The hallmark of the Paper is that it gives space to the reader's views and opinions, and even their hidden potential as writers, artists and activists. In the four walls of our homes, in the cozy comfort of our drawing rooms, we talk on so many subjects, give so many opinions or simply indulge in idle gossip. This tabloid increases our information and gives us a platform to vent our views and get feedback on the same. It is the inherent nature of every human being to want to see his or her name or picture in the print media - except when caught on the wrong side of the law. This tabloid succeeds in satisfying that (not getting caught!) urge, by covering various social events and cultural activities, and publishing the readers' opinions. I look forward to this Paper for the information on " The Week That Was" and on the Upcoming Events (of the next week). I love the frank and fearless editorial as well as the letters of the readers. The pages also cover Spirituality, Civic and Social issues and Fitness, as also misc. articles and poems. In fact the tabloid provides enough reading material for a week. I would like to suggest a column on the official bigwigs - like the MPs, MLAs and MCG and HUDA. Also, coverage of one or two issues of civic negligence pointed out by readers. This will increase the readership, as well as make the authorities conscious of their negligence and dereliction. Another feature you may add is the procedures and formalities of various departments of the Gurgaon Administration; you can also provide the names of concerned officers, alongwith the addresses of the offices. This feature can cover the areas of: property registration, registration of lease agreements, property tax payments, electricity bill payments and complaints, driving licences, vehicle registrations and transfers etc. This feature can become a ready reckoner for getting various civic jobs done. I am sure that, with these additional features, your Paper will be one of the most sought after Papers in Gurgaon. Ashok Lal, 301-A, Hamilton Court, DLF Ph-IV, Gurgaon., Mo: +919873248847

10-16 January 2014

H appenings


Gurgaon ke Yaar


he cast and crew of the upcoming film, 'Yaariyan' were at a hotel for the film's promotion. Debutante Director Divya Khosla Kumar introduced the cast—Himansh Kohli, Rakul Preet Singh, Nicole Faria and Dev Sharma—to the excited guests.

Escaping 2013


he Escape Countdown Festival 2013, a 2 Night, 3 Day New Year Festival saw multiple stages featuring Live bands and electronic music from across the world. Guests were treated to a heady mix of Blues, Rock, Sufi, Dub-Step, Psy Trance and Techno music – with artists from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Japan and India.

Jewelled Winner


onica Kapur, a renowned jewellery designer in the City, won the prestigious IJ Jewellers’ Choice Design Award 2013, for the Best Creation of Earrings. This is a one-of-its-kind Award, where jewellers vote for the best designs and manufacturers, and designers from across India submit their designs in 25 different categories. Monica received accolades for her unique contemporary designs.

Happy New Year G'City!


he City was abuzz with New Year celebrations. While some Gurgaonites chose to party with rappers, others were happy with the DJs spinning out Bollywood numbers. Gurgaonites truly lived it up!

06  Contd from p 1 confusion at the policy level. Not only the big CNG players, but even dealers of CNG Kits, have taken the cue from the increasing prices and have stopped ordering large stocks - as the number of people going for these Kits is dwindling. Further, with major car companies coming up with newer and cheaper models of the new-favourite Diesel cars, there is also a lower demand for CNG. The growing preference for Diesel has already begun to show its effect on the environment. As per the pollution data of Delhi, the level of Ozone, a byproduct of Diesel, is already showing dangerous levels again. These are other concerns, as Particulate Matter, released by the use of Diesel, can have a serious impact on the health of the population – which, to remind ourselves again, is why the Supreme Court had to step in. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has already warned that the positives from introducing CNG are wearing off in the Capital, as Diesel is making stronger inroads as the fuel of choice. Ruchita Bansal, Programme Officer, CSE, says that the government's decision to hike the price of CNG, and bring it almost at par with Diesel, is going to prove a big negative for the country's environment, oil imports and the health of the people. At present there are 7 lakhs vehicles across the country that are using this clean fuel (CNG). “The maximum impact will be in the NCR, as it has a large vehicle population that uses CNG,” says Bansal (clearly the High Courts did not push their re-

10-16 January 2014

C over S tory

Back To The Fumes?

spective States as much as the Supreme Court pushed the Capital). The impact of the introduction of CNG has been measured by a Washingtonbased organisation, Resources For the Future (RFF). Their Study says that among all the pollution control measures taken in Delhi, the introduction of CNG has had made the most positive impact. The Study also says that the conversion of city buses to CNG fuel provided the maximum benefit, as it helped reduce pollutants, while also not adding to an increase in nitrous oxide levels. Experts say that with no direct fiscal policy aimed at promot-

Kapil Chopra agrees that there is a heavy rush of vehicles from Delhi, because of the rate difference. This has led to a longer wait – from already long - at the CNG stations, and often leads to serious traffic jams and even fights. At the Sector 22 CNG station on ‘old’ Delhi Gurgaon Road, Ravi Yadav is waiting for his turn for the last half an hour, and it is likely to take another 10 minutes before his number comes up. Debu Kumar, who plies an auto rickshaw in Gurgaon, says that there was a time when they used to go to Bijwasan to fill CNG. “Now it is the opposite - even residents of the border areas from Delhi, as well as the vehicle owners who are returning after office, prefer to ‘fill up’ in Gurgaon only,” says Kumar. A traffic police official, who stands in front of the Maruti factory, managing a traffic jam, says that the presence of a CNG station on this busy section of the Road has made things quite difficult. “Every day the problem is the same, particularly in the evenings,” he says. The owners of plush apartments in the Gurgaon One condominium complex nearby, are similarly hassled and want some end to this rush of vehicles - which often even blocks their gate. The CNG vehicle owners say that the govt should increase the number of CNG stations, as a lot of time is just spent waiting to fill fuel – and it is not available everywhere. It is also because of the lesser number of CNG stations that car owners in Gurgaon are reluctant to instal CNG Kits. Mechanics in the City say that while earlier they would get 2 to 3 orders in a day, they now at best get a single customer.

The CNG programme was introduced in Delhi after the Supreme Court order of July 28, 1998 which came after the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority made recommendations based on its deliberations with the Delhi government. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority was formed in 1998 itself under the Environmental Protection Act, to advice the Court on pollution control measures and to monitor the implementation of the Court’s orders. The highlights of the Supreme Court direction pushing for CNG Delhi included: Replacing all pre-1990 autos and taxis with new vehicles on clean fuels, by March 31, 2000 Financial incentive for replacement of all post-1990 autos and taxis with new vehicles on clean fuels No eight-year-old buses to ply except on CNG or other clean fuels, by April 1, 2000 Entire City bus fleet to be steadily converted to single fuel mode on CNG, by March 31, 2001 GAIL to expedite and expand from 9 to 80 CNG outlets, by March 31, 2000

• • • • •

ing the use of CNG in cities across the country, a move to make it market-priced will have a disastrous impact on the use of this clean fuel. At present there are two pricing regimes for CNG - administered price mechanism and the market price. Chopra points out that there are indications that about 25 per cent of the gas supplied to Haryana is also likely to come under market price, and this is going to lead to a price increase for the users. “We are trying our best to improve the

supply, but price is beyond our control”, he adds. It was due to this reason that the Supreme Court, which was instrumental in pushing CNG in Delhi through a historic decision in 1998, had also asked the govt to prepare a favourable tax policy the very next year. But we never do learn… Anumita Roychowdhary, Programme Director at the CSE, in a Study has asserted that since CNG is displacing Diesel, the impact of fuels on the environment will depend

on the behaviour of Diesel vs CNG prices in the market. It is estimated that when the prices of Diesel and Petrol are 50 per cent higher than CNG, the payback period for the CNG vehicles (for the extra cost of the Kit) is just about twothree years. This has acted as a big incentive over the years. With a 30 per cent difference, the payback period will be three-five years. And now, with the difference reducing significantly, it will put a question mark on the usage and future of CNG vehicles. The Delhi government had admitted in the High Court that there could be a rise in CNG prices as there has been a reallocation in supply, following new guidelines issued by the Petroleum Ministry. As per these guidelines, the Centre has devised new norms to redistribute natural gas among all stakeholders. With more and smaller cities introducing CNG, experts also say that there is need to rationalize prices all across, to prevent crossborder disparities (as exist in Gurgaon vs rest of NCR today – caused by tax differences and supply rates). W In such a scenario, for CNG to remain relevant to the fuel debate, it is being suggested that the government, apart from continuing to subsidise this fuel, should also incentivise its use. This can be done by offering cheaper loans to vehicle owners who switch to CNG, doing away with sales tax on CNG vehicles that are being used for transportation, and increasing the surcharge on Diesel - so that people are discouraged from using it. It is being predicted that Delhi and adjoining areas will once again face the prospects of noxious fumes and smog, which were cleared with great difficulty due to the efforts of environmentalists and the Supreme Court. Going back to square one after over a decade is not a positive outcome! Going forward, what is needed is political will, which seems difficult in a poll year. A Diesel price hike, to reduce parity with CNG, with inflation also taking a toll, seems improbable. The easier alternative would be a CNG usage incentive. It is hoped that better sense will prevail among the policy makers, to ensure that this natural green gas does not does not become the loser in this political battle.u

10-16 January 2014

C over S tory

Stepping-in Moms  Contd from p 1 through processes such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Surrogacy has proved to be a major relief to those couples who have a medical condition that makes it impossible or dangerous for the wife to get pregnant or give birth. India is a pioneer in the field of Surrogacy, with an estimated ‘industry revenue’ of over US $2.3 billion. This is due to the legal status in the country, which is sharply in contrast with many Western nations such as Germany and Canada, where Surrogacy is prohibited. In countries like the UK and the US, Surrogacy is highly regulated and extremely expensive. In this scenario, westerners find it easy to ‘outsource’ Surrogacy to India. Many couples from Europe and the US send sperm or embryos to Surrogacy clinics in India. These are implanted in the surrogate mothers here. The couples then come to India just in time to pick up their child. Not many people know that Gurgaon has several Surrogacy clinics. Many of them are operating in the name of IVF Centres. A few non-profit organisations have also come forward to help childless couples. One such clinic is Akanksha - an internationally recognised clinic – that has facilitated the birth of over 600 children in the country and almost 50 in the City. The Clinic has separate accommodation for surrogate mothers, to provide for proper care and hygiene during their pregnancy. Women who lend their wombs are usually from economically poor backgrounds. However, although such clinics are credited for helping childless couples have children and also for providing a means of earning to poor women, they have their critics. “Yes, some feel that Surrogacy is immoral and some people call surrogate homes 'baby-making factories', but we know that we are making people happy. The surrogate mothers are also well compensated. It needs to be recognised that these women are helping their sisters, as many women in our country are abandoned if they are not able to give birth,” says Dr. Kukreja. Dr. Garg from Neelkanth Hospital says, “The word Surrogacy means ‘help’. In reproductive medicine, it means a condition whereby a woman gets pregnant on behalf of someone who (herself ) can’t get pregnant. They help each other. ” Despite Surrogacy being an excellent option for child-

less couples to have children, it continues to be a sensitive issue in India. It is not just morally targeted, but also criticized by some medical experts. Dr. Jyotiprabha feels that payment for bodily services dehumanizes the Surrogate mother – normally a poor person; it is an exploitation of her reproductive organs for the personal gain of the rich. “This trend raises the risk of ‘baby farms’ proliferating in India, and the sheer increase in numbers and clinics will lead to a compromise on safety measures for these poor women. As an alternative, why can’t the couples adopt children who are already a part of this world and who would benefit immensely?” questions Dr. Jyotiprabha, who has been working at the Civil Hospital for the last 10 years. It is also felt that the poor women are not educated enough to take a wise decision. Another issue is related to what happens when a child is born with a major abnormality. “This

mission of such serious infections as HIV or Hepatitis. Proper medical tests need to be carried out before starting the actual process, which unfortunately doesn’t happen in most of the cases. Further, people are not aware that a surrogate mother can effect her child's DNA even after fertilisation. Many times when the DNA of the child doesn’t match with that of the commissioning parents, the child doesn’t get the visa and citizenship of his/her parents' country! It is important to address these issues properly before forming further platforms for Surrogacy in the country”. The laws regulating Surrogacy are at a nascent stage. The guidelines of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) for Surrogacy were drafted some six years ago and have never been updated. All this not only makes it dangerous for poor women to go for Surrogacy, but it also leads to their exploitation. Many times these poor and illiterate women blindly

has happened in many cases. Most of the times the commissioning parents as well as the surrogate mother refuse to accept the child, and he/she goes to an orphanage! There is no regulation in India that makes it compulsory for the commissioning parents to accept the child,” informs Lalit Sarthi, an advocate. Besides, controversy is also sparked in cases of twins. This generally creates a situation wherein one child is left with the surrogate mother, and remains an unwanted child for her. Dr. Jyotiprabha raises a few more important points. She says, “The transmission of disease from a Surrogate mother to the child is very common. Artificial Insemination can result in the trans-

sign legal contracts, without knowing the payment terms and conditions. These contracts are made by unscrupulous agents, who keep a big amount as commission. According to a recent survey done by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, some women are paid just Rs. 1,000 for the complete period.

Becoming a trend

A Seminar on “How to have babies if you don’t want to get pregnant” was recently organised in the Capital. Such marketing gimmicks glorify the concept of Surrogacy. “Earlier, couples from outside India were opting to outsource Surrogacy to India, but now the idea is also gaining acceptance among the local rich. Unfortunately,

Surrogacy is becoming a trend - just to avoid (the pangs and period of ) pregnancy,” informs Dr. Jyotiprabha. Some Surrogacy clinics even have tie-ups with online portals that present Surrogacy as a tool to avoid pregnancy; some websites even put pictures of prospective surrogate mothers online. Parents can choose their surrogate and make the payment online. Shockingly, there are some agencies that claim to provide a child of a preferred gender. As soon as the embryo and/or sperm is transferred to the surrogate mother, she is sent to a country where sex determination is permitted. Several agencies facilitate this service of sex determination, if a client is willing to pay the extra amount. Dr. Kukreja informs that a mix of people come to her for Surrogacy; while most middleclass people opt for Surrogacy due to medical complications, some women opt for it because they don’t want to spoil their figure! “My advice to women (actually the couple) is, don’t opt for Surrogacy if you can conceive. You will lose some of life’s most precious moments,” says Dr. Kukreja. According to Lalit, who has dealt with many legal cases relating to Surrogacy, "The whole concept and purpose of Surrogacy has changed; it has been unnecessarily glorified and commercialised by a few private players. Today it has become a scheme for a few doctors and agencies to earn quick bucks. There are no laws in India when it comes to assisted reproductive technologies. Nobody really cares for the surrogate mothers once the baby is delivered. In the UK, laws are so strict that sometimes the


commissioning parents have to pay for the lifetime medical cost of the surrogate mother.”

What should be done?

Firstly, strict norms should be set up by IMA and the government, for the protection of surrogate mothers. Presently the understanding between the surrogate mother and the commissioning parents is taken care of via a simple contract – with just a mention of the compensation that will be paid to the surrogate mother and a condition that the newborn has to be handed over to the commissioning parents. There is a need to also lay down the medical guidelines in the contract, both during and after the pregnancy. “Some basic rules need to be laid down, such as specifying the minimum and maximum age of the surrogate mother. Besides, she should have already given birth to at least one healthy baby, so that she understands the risk and pain involved in pregnancy and also the emotional bonding with a newborn,” says Lalit. Furthermore, a surrogate should go through a vigorous medical evaluation, in order to have the best chance for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Apart from HIV and Hepatitis tests, surrogates also need screening for immunity, measles, rubella and chickenpox; and issues such as smoking and drinking should be discussed before giving the responsibility of childbirth to a surrogate. The commissioning parents should also be in touch with the surrogate mother and preferably accompany her for some doctor appointments – the bond with their baby should start from the womb… as normal. u


C ivic/S ocial

10-16 January 2014

New Colony, Old Problems { Abhishek Behl/ FG }

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hen residents of the newest (and of course expensive) DLF Colony - Phase 5 - settled in that part of the City, they had expected brand new infrastructure and world-class civic services. But in just a few years some residents are getting very concerned, as heaps of garbage, broken footpaths and hundreds of pigs confront them on a daily basis – right outside their condominiums. The presence of a number of offices nearby has also led to a mushrooming of shops selling tea and snacks, and offering taxi services, which also has added to the spread of waste and litter in the area, apart from causing traffic snarls. Shabnam Oberoi, a resident of one of the condominiums, has been taking up these problems with the respective authorities, but says that there is total confusion as to who will take care of the roads, civic services, lanes and drains in the area. “We complain to the builder about the problems and they take some limited action, but at the government agencies no one is ready to take responsibility,” says Oberoi. The residents are particularly concerned about the sanitation and disease ramifications from the piled-up filth in a major drain near Paras Hospital; it

is also constantly choked by the garbage and construction waste that emanates from the condominiums as well as nearby residential areas. Oberoi also alleges that the area where the Horizon building is being constructed has turned into a veritable dump yard. She says that residents of an unauthorised residential colony along the drain also dump waste water and sewage into the nullah, which has also become a breeding ground for hundreds of pigs. This storm water drain was constructed by HUDA, to ensure that water coming from the Aravallis is captured here, and does not flow on the roads. The blockages have ensured that the drain does not serve its purpose. “The malba in the drain has converted it into a permanent pool of sludge, which of course breeds mosquitoes. It’s no wonder then that this area (in Phase 5) wit-

{ Vijay Saluja }


y feeling & observation of Dwarka is that it was developed as a well-planned subcity. I chose to move in there after my superannuation. Today, however, it is in a state of civic-neglect. Some of the more active residents have synergized their energies thru e-groups. They keep chasing the authorities who need to take care of the traffic mess, cuts in roads, broken footpaths, ill-maintained green spaces or non-working street lights – to name a few. It’s of course no idfferent in Gurgaon. Why do the officials of various agencies, in whose jurisdiction these civic faults keep occurring, not move on their own, in a reasonable time-frame, to mend matters. In our government administrative system, every area of a colony is allocated to some officials of a particular organization, for its proper development, enforcement, maintenance & upkeep at all times, as per laid down rules & regulations. There are vigilance departments in all organisations. If the system

Phase 5 has a number of housing complexes along this road - including Wellington Estate I, II, & III; Princeton Estate II & III; Carlton Estate, Exclusive Floors, Trinity Towers and Westend Heights. nessed the maximum number of dengue cases! A number of residents in the condominiums also fell ill,” she asserts. The residents have also complained against the huge number of pigs that populate the swamp in the choked drain, but say that no action is forthcoming from either HUDA or MCG. Oberoi says that people living in the area were elated by the renovation of the road from Genpact Chowk towards Paras Hospital and beyond, but the happiness was short-lived. Within a few months another government agency suddenly

started digging a drain, after the road had been built! As is the wont of most government agencies, the newly carpeted road was dug up - even the green spaces - and the footpaths were damaged. Oberoi says that once the drain was built, the contractors vanished, leaving behind the broken footpaths, and the green patches turned brown along the road. Slowly, malba collected, but no one came to clean it up. As a result, the residents of the apartments nearby are now not even able to go for their (morning) walks. “We

Be a Local Hero had been working as envisaged, then the problems of civic neglect would not have occurred at all. But the sad story is that not only do various civic issues keep surfacing in almost all the areas, but these keep mounting - as the earlier faults do not get attended to, in an adequate manner. Of course there could be some reasons beyond the control of these officials, too – like a lack of motivation, not enough encouragement/ guidance by the seniors, deficits in skill upgradation, corrupt practices in certain quarters, and nepotism. As per my experience with the local government, most of the employees & contractors can perform well & deliver quality work, if given the right conditions/support. Any recalcitrant official has to be dealt as per the laid down conduct/performance rules of the Govt of India/MCD/ State/Local Bodies Acts. The elected representatives of the area, being the representatives of the public, need to regularly organize conversations/meetings of the officials with the members

of RWAs, Traders Welfare Associations, civil-society groups, schools principals, and leaders of religious groups, so that there is active community participation & supplementary help to the officials in the area – for garbage management, maintainenace of parks/green spaces,water bodies, drains etc. MLA/ MP`s allocated funds can/need to be spent judiciously. But they will only be spent efficiently if corporators, MLAs & MPs undergo regular training programmes in the areas of budget formation, as also things like roads/drains/ sewers, water distribution network, design, construction & maintenance. The role of values & ethics in development & governance is very important. Those elected representatives who spend their energies & efforts in meeting the members of the public, listening to their grievances & helping to solve these, and having an image of of honesty & integrity, judiciously spend the allocated funds and become popular in their constituencies. They do not have

also have to restrict the pets within the complexes, which is again a problem,” says a resident. Further, the dustbins that were put up by HUDA were also damaged in the process. Oberoi says that the authorities will have to ensure that the roadsides are repaired as well as cleaned regularly. “Those responsible for cleaning the road just pick up the trash and dump it in the drain; and it comes right back on the road when there is a strong gust of wind,” she asserts. Further, to check the proliferation of shops along the Genpact Chowk, they are planning to speak to the authorities. They feel that if it is not possible to remove the vendors, then at least they should be asked to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. The residents will distribute dustbins to the shopkeepers, so that plastic glasses, plates and other garbage does not get strewn around – and end in the drain. To check the problem of traffic snarls every evening, the residents are going to take up this matter with the traffic authorities, and hope the situation will improve. However, their primary concern for now is to get the large drain near Paras Hospital cleaned. “If this drain is not cleaned properly by summer, we could face more and serious health problems. This matter is very important for us,” says Oberoi, who plans to keep knocking on the doors of DLF, HUDA, MCG or for that matter any agency that can get this issue resolved. We do live in apathetic times in this modern, millennium City. AAP kab aaoge? u

to use money or muscle power to get themselves re-elected. It is also not understandable why, of late, in all colonies the public is constrained to see huge billboards at various locations, announcing the birthdays of/shubh kaamnayeins to the local elected representatives. There are many many good persons in all walks of life, who are selflessly doing good, at huge personal risk at times. Their actions benefits many, including the ones who do them wrong. The need is to identify them & commend their brave efforts, as well as motivate them. Giraffe Heroes India Program, an offshoot of Giraffe Heroes Project is one such noble Program launched in 2012, in India - the sixth country in the world to have this Program. The aim   & objectives of this Program is to commend Giraffe Heroes [persons who stick their neck out for public good,to make a better society]. Readers may like to visit the website to learn more about this world-wide Program, the criteria for nomination, and the commended Giraffe Heroes from all over the world. u

S ocial

10-16 January 2014

Won’t be put Down { Anita Jaswal}


e don’t need fame and we don’t need to be savants to find success. What we do need is the desire and dedication to go beyond the challenges, whatever they may be, to find the music that is within all of us. 
Having a baby is a lifechanger. It gives you a whole ‘other’ perspective on why you wake up every day. But is having a child with Down’s syndrome a hard call? I suppose the answer could be yes. And yet the hghest source of stress associated with having such a child has nothing to do with his/her particular needs. Rather, it comes from knowing that your child is entering a world in which people assume they know his/ her abilities (or lack thereof ) simply by looking at the child’s face – in this case, with the flat features and an extra fold of skin around the eyes. Nina Mehrotra narrates of life with her son Shaurya: “I have the privilege of being the mother of a child with Down’s syndrome, who is now an adult. Through him, I have been introduced to a world of people who have taught me more about what it means to be human than my education and productive life-skills ever could. Living with Shaurya has added a whole new dimension to my perspective. I have realized that simply accepting people, and finding joy in the small things of life, brings a kind of peace and contentment that redefines the purpose of life. Shaurya’s relationship with the people he connects with, is one of unconditional love. He can bring a smile to many a face by simply saying a breezy, “Hi man, how are you?”, as the watchmen and guards in our society inform us.  The people who work for us at home are constantly in good humour, as Shaurya appreciates their efforts with a smile or a “very good food!” comment. He is very passionate about cars and has a  huge collection of Playstation car games, as also remote controlled cars of all shapes and sizes. He has also modelled

cars with clay. In South Africa (where we stayed) he thoroughly enjoyed Quad Biking – handling the brake, accelerator and back gear with ease. This was quite amazing! That was 10 years ago , and now he can drive his Honda Brio with his Dad next to him - in open parking spaces and also in our compound. Shaurya loves dancing and partying and can be busy on the dance floor for hours, trying out his latest moves. He loves the outdoors and can be seen walking down our block, listening to music on his phone, or just cycling in the compound. Another passion is ‘wildlife’ – he loves going on safaris. In South Africa we did the Addo Park almost every week, as Shaurya is simply fascinated by elephants. Shaurya, in other words, is like any other typical young adult - with a love for life and a love for connecting with people. Looking back, it’s not been

The Healer’s Prayer { Shobha Lidder } Healing is not about ‘kriya shakti’ Developing the skill or the ‘yukti’ Of generating wealth or good health Having the ability to earn a big sum Making healing your income

easy, as there were many issues that had to be dealt with - poor health, lack of social support systems, negative attitudes, a mother’s constant search for more acceptance and inclusion for her son.....but deep down there was always a strong belief that he is here for a reason, as all of us are ...and that what he gives to others is as precious as what he receives from them. After all, each of us is so different from the other in many ways, and we still need each other. We are all part of an interesting, colourful kaleidoscope that we call life. "Shaurya as a young child was always interested in bright colours and in using the brush and paint. When we moved to South Africa, his teachers discovered that he enjoys clay, and encouraged him; he learnt to mould clay and paint it. In Thailand he received further training at the Poteri Centre. He went on to have a solo exhibition of his sculptures in 2011 in Bangkok; it ran for a month and attracted a lot of attention. When we came back to India in 2012, his sculptures were displayed at the Epicentre, along with other artists. We, his father and I, then decided to open a studio for him in Gurgaon. He now works from The Banana Studio, along with me. It is located in Eros City Square Mall, Rosewood City. It’s a space where everyone - adults or kids - can come and explore with different mediums at their own pace. Although primarily a pottery studio, it also caters to painting and card making. Despite the hard times, I cannot imagine a day that I have regretted Shaurya’s presence in my life. Living with him, and interacting with other children and adults with disabilities, has changed the way I see the world. Instead of the categorization of ‘abled’ and ‘disabled’, I see us all as interconnected. I believe that every person has something to teach me, just as I have something to offer in return. Perhaps I experience even greater pride in his accomplishments because they once seemed impossible. My joy as a mother comes from the innumerable small moments of wonder and beauty….with Shaurya”. u

Let spirituality be for free Just a ‘dakshana’ as a fee A token amount for the karmic account Lest the healing centres become clinics Where esoteric aura-healing physicians Who look like magicians Charge a big amount, they flaunt Their powers and ability But their true responsibility


Waqt Waqt rukta nahin kabhi Waqt chalta aa raha hai Yugon se, kaalon se, Sadiyon se, saalon se. Hum jaise kitne hi Aaye aur chale gaye Bach saka na koi bhi Iske janjaalon se. Waqt kabhi bhi kisi ki Pakad mein aata nahin Koi isko saath apne Leke ja paata nahin Kabhi ye sheetal Chandni sa chamchamata hai Kabhi tapta hai kadakti dhoop sa Kabhi andheron mein aise chup jaata hai ye Ki kisi ko bhi nazar aata nahin. Waqt kat jaata hai magar Kabhi chhote chhote Kabhi bade se tukron mein Kuchh khushiyaan barsaate hain Kuchh kat te hain dukhron mein Kisi ke liye waqt sirf ek roti hai Kisi ke liye waqt ek kasauti hai. Waqt bahta rahta hai Nadiya ki dhaar sa Kabhi lada rahta hai Kandhon pe bhaar sa Kisi ne wqat ko Ro ro kar basar kiya Kisi ne har lamhe mein Lutf ka safar kiya. Waqt sabhi ke liye Khuda ka diya ek khazana hai Ek ek lamha jaise Moti ka daana hai Waqt ki keemat anmol hai Kisi ne to isko poori tarah vasool kiya Aur kisi ne isko kharch fizool kiya Waqt ke paas har kisi ke liye Kuchh na kuchh zaroor hai Waqt hi har kisi ki kahani hai. Waqt hi har kisi ki zindagaani hai... Ashok Lal

Is to heal, relieve sorrow & suffering Invoke good health & prosperity Heal one another as charity Remove envy and disparity Said Jesus as he purged the scribes from the synagogue ‘Don’t turn my Father’s House into a market place Come to His house to Pray’. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

10 The Right Path

10-16 January 2014

{ Shilpy Arora/ FG }

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ndia, every day, witnesses many cases of Human Rights abuse. Every year, thousands of people are killed and imprisoned for political reasons, women are raped in public places and over 40 per cent of children are forced to work. It is unfortunate that Human Rights’ violations are so rampant in the world’s largest democracy. While this needs our urgent attention and action, it is extremely important to first understand the concept and scope of Human Rights in the country (and even globally).

What are Human Rights?

Human Rights are rights that are inherent to all human beings and need to be protected, for the peaceful existence and development of us all. Although there was no mention of the concept of ‘rights’ in the Vedas and ancient Indian scriptures, Human Rights were very well enshrined in the ‘Dharma’ philosophy (of Manusmriti). People were bound by the natural universal laws, whose observance enabled humans to be contented and happy, and helped save them from degradation and suffering. Misunderstood today as ‘religion’, ‘Dharma’ means the civil and moral duties of a human being. Hindus considered ‘Dharma’ the very foundation of life. For instance, according to the law of Dharma, the prime responsibility of a king was to protect his ‘Praja’ and make decisions for their welfare and development, while the ‘Praja’ had to respect the king. Moreover, it was believed that reincarnation is determined by the law of Karma (of how one lives this life and how one treats other human beings, and even animals). It was believed that a more

righteous life would result in a more favourable reincarnation. Furthermore, Hinduism teaches respect for all creatures, be they animals, birds or plants. Therefore the law of Dharma focuses more on Human Duties, than Human Rights, but very well protects those rights in society. Today, Human Rights are well enshrined in the Constitution of India. Broadly, Human Rights range from the Right to life, Political independence, economic liberty, cultural freedom and freedom of expression, to right to development and right to have access to clean air. The Constitution of India is one of the most Rights-based constitutions in the world.

Human Rights are categorized as: Political Rights: These Rights

ensure the protection of an individual’s freedom from infringement by governments and private organizations and make sure that every individual participates in the civil and political life of the State - without any discrimination or oppression. Political Rights ensure peoples’ physical and mental integrity, life and safety and protection from any discrimination on the ground of sex, race, religion, region, origin or disability. Economic Rights: Everyone has the right to live with dignity. No one should be denied their

Rights to adequate housing, food, water and sanitation, and to education and health care. Hunger, homelessness and preventable diseases are not inevitable social problems or simply the result of natural disasters - these are gross violations of Human Rights. Economic Rights include Right to education, work, equal pay for equal work, adequate standard of living, and development. Cultural Rights: Culture brings people of a community together. It plays an important role in shaping the principles of an individual’s life. Everyone should have access to his/her culture and be free to participate in the cultural activities of their choice. The art, literature, language and religion of a community represent the community’s culture. Cultural Rights are Human Rights that aim at assuring the enjoyment of culture and its components - with conditions of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination. Ecological Rights: It means access to unspoiled natural resources, which enable the survival of human beings. For example, each individual should have access to non-polluted land, shelter, nutritious food, clean water and clean air. Every person has a right to enjoy an unspoiled landscape. Ensuring Ecological Rights to every human being means that we need to maintain a balance in the Environment. Interestingly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has recently included the concept of the Right to claim ecological debt – as the impact of resource depletion by the West has been severe and led to environmental destruction in the third world countries. Ecological Rights are also therefore Human Rights, as the livelihood of people, their health and existence depends on the surrounding environment.

Haryana Human Rights Commission

Though Human Rights finds clear mention in the Indian Constitution, it is important to have regional bodies that would keep keep a check on Human Rights’ abuses at the grass roots level. The Haryana Human Rights Commission (HHRC), along with many NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs), helps in preventing the violation of Human Rights. While ‘honour killings’ and attacks on Dalits are major Human Rights’ issues in rural areas, the violation of labour laws and the environment are major concerns in urban areas. Established in 2011, HHRC has so far disposed of

204 complaints, out of a total of 709 complaints received. While most of the complaints are received by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), some are also filed by individuals directly (to HHRC). While HHRC has been appreciated for its efforts to create awareness among the officials to deal directly with the public, it has to do a lot more to prevent the continuing violation of the Rights of the weaker sections of society - such as Dalits, lower castes, women, differently-abled persons, migrant workers and the poor. According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Haryana trails only Uttar Pradesh when it comes to Human Rights’ violations in the country. The number of complaints received by the NHRC from Haryana has been increasing by the day. Presently, over 6,000 complaints of Human Rights’

C ivic/S ocial abuses from Haryana are lying with NHRC, pending transfer to HHRC. “The challenge is to spread awareness, especially among the marginalized and minorities. Through your newspaper, I would request people to report cases of Human Rights’ violations to the State Commission,” says Vijender Singh, Spokesperson, HHRC. One can write to HHRC at hhrc-hry@ or file a complaint on its website: . Undoubtedly, the status of Human Rights cannot be improved unless the citizens co-operate with the authorities. Though many NGOs in the City are working for the protection of various Human Rights, and do protest against Human Rights’ violations, greater and deeper public awareness – followed by actions for self and others - would be the Right way forward. u

The Wages of Industry Relief to Haryana Industries and Trades


he proposed increase in the minimum wages in Haryana will be applicable to the enterprises of the Haryana Government only. This was clarified by Sh. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in a meeting with a delegation of the Chambers and Industrial Associations of Southern Haryana. Clarifying the doubts raised after the declaration (of the increase) in the Rally of 10th November 2013, the CM assured that this increase will not be applicable to the Industries and Trades of the State. Due to this assurance, there is a big relief among the small, medium and large industrial units. Sh H P Yadav, President NCR Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gurgaon, led a Joint Delegation of office bearers from various Chambers and Industrial Associations, in a meeting with the CM. The Industrialists were worried about the expected financial burden from the announced increase in wages. The Delegation gave a presentation on the industrial scenario. The CM then clarified the status (as above). While the minimum wage in Haryana has been increased from Rs. 5342/- to Rs. 8100/-, this will be applicable to Government Enterprises only. The delegation was of view that 15% - 20% increase was justified, as the cost of living has increased and workers are really the backbone of the Industries and Trades. The CM said that a Committee would be formed and the decision on the increase would be taken as per its recommendations. The joint delegation was represented by Ravinder Bansal, Chairman Steering Committee, NCR Chamber; D. K Mehta, from Mewat Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Bipul Bedi, from Gurgaon Industrial Association; Hari Shankar and Deepak Maini, from Industrial Development Association Gurgaon; Praveen Yadav and Arun Yadav, from Gurgaon Udyog Association; H R Vaish, Ashok Kohli and Rajesh Sharma, from Chamber of Industries, Gurgaon; and Rajesh Jhamb, from Manesar Industrial Welfare Association. u

S pecial

10-16 January 2014

Best of Haryanvi


Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo


Cousin in Town

1. I want to learn wrestling. Main kushti seekhna chahun su.

Bus Strike

1. My cousin is coming from the village today. Aaj mera bhai aawega gaam main teh.

2. Where is the nearest akhaara? Dhorre sik khaara kith sik se?

1. There is a bus strike today. Aaj busso ki hartal hai

2. He wants to work in the City. Wo shair main kaam karna chawe se.

3. How much will they charge? Kitnek rupye le se?

2. How will I reach office? Main office kyukar jaaunga

3. He says he wants to earn money fast. Wo kahwe se wo rapiye kamana chawe se jaldi sik.

4. Am I too thin to learn the sport? Main ghanayi patla sun ke isne seekhun?

3. There are very few autos on the road. Road pe ghanna kam tempu se

4. I tried to make him understand it's not easy. Manne samjaan ki nari kosish kari ki yo aasan na se.

5. I will have to work on my health. Manne apni deyi banani padegi.

4. They will charge a lot of money to go anywhere. Tempuwala ghanna peesa maange hai kitte bhi jaan tey

5. He thinks money grows on trees here. Uski soch se ki yadde pedh pe payse ugge se.

7. I hope I don't get hurt. Bhagwan kare mujhe chhot na lagye.

5. Maybe I will try walking to office. Main payen jaane ki koshish karun

6. Now he will stay with us. Ibb wo mhaare dhore rhaya karega.

8. I am scared of the big men there. Manne uth badde aadmiyan te dar lagge se.

6. I just hope it doesn't rain now. Bhagwan kare me na hove bas

7. We will have to spend on him. Ibb hamne uspey khracha karna padega.

9. I think I won't learn this sport after all. Manne lage se main yo khel na seekhu.

7. Maybe I will just take a holiday from work. Yun karun aaj kaam tey chhutti le lun

8. They should just work on the farms in the villages. Usene apne kehta main kaam krna chaiye.

Power Situation


Life in Gurgaon

1. The power situation is really bad. Yade teh Bijli ki samasya bhundi se.

1. There is no sun today. Aaj suraj na likdya.

1. I love Gurgaon City. Manne ghannaye pyaar hai Gurgamme tey.

2. Yesterday we did not have lights for over 6 hours. Kal poore 6 ghante bijli koyna thi.

2. It looks like it's going to rain. Aaj to laage hai mee awega.

2. Don't you get stuck in traffic? Tu kadde jaam mein na phassiya re?

3. The local electricity office had a big lock on the door. Yaade ke bijli ghar me motta taala laga rakhya tha kawaada pe.

3. You better not wash clothes today. Aaj latte mat dhoiyo.

3. What about the dust? Aur dhool mitti ka key?

4. Everything is so wet and cold. Sab keeme alla aur seela hai.

4. There is also no lighting on the roads. Vaade road pe light bhi na rehti.

5. I told that man we didn't have electricity. Manne us admi tey kahi ki mhaari bijli kauna.

5. I heard it was snowing in Shimla Manne suni ke Simla mein baraf padhi se.

5. And there are hardly any pucca roads. Road bhi nare kachhe pade hain.

6. He said that the officer's house was also in darkness. Usne kahi sahba ke ghar ne pehla ee andhera se.

6. How do people stay warm there? Wade log garam kyukar rahe hain?

6. What do you like about this City? Tanne is shahar mein ke pasand aa gya?

7. The officer had gone to stay at his relative's house. Sahbe apne rishtedara ke ghar ne rukan jaa re se.

7. I am sure they don't get out of bed. Manne pukka byera hai wo sodh me ke na nikalta

7. The people, the malls and the intoxication in the air. Yadde ke log, rahan sahan aur yadda hawa main nasha sega.

4. Some man told me to come the next day. Ek aadmi ne mere teh kahi ki kaal aa jaiyo.


I am an Adult


1. It is raining very heavily. Bahut ghanna mee aa rya hai.

1. Today I have turned 18. Aaj main 18 ka ho liya.

1. What are your plans for Holi? Kuch bandobast kar rakhya hai ke Holi tayin?

2. How will I go back home? Ib main ghar ne kyukar jaaunga?

2. I will be able to do so many things legally. Ib main kaanunan ghanni cheejen kar sakun hun.

2. I really like the festival. Manne te yo tyauhaar andi laage se.

3. Can you drop me in your car? Manne apni gaddi mein chhod sake se?

3. I can vote and I can drive. Main vote de sakun su aur gaddi chal sakun hun.

3. Where do you get the colours from? Rang kith sik tey le ke aaya karo?

4. I don't have an umbrella. Mere dhorre chhattri konnye.

4. I can even get married. Main byah bhi kar sakun hun.

4. In our village, we use strong colours. Mhaare gaam me tey bunde rang lagaya karen.

5. The roads are all jammed. Saara roada pey jaaam lag rya se.

5. Let us go to a bar and celebrate. Chal ahate me chaaley aur mauj maaren.

5. Is there an arrangement for bhang? Bhaang ka bhi jugaad hai ke keeme?

6. The road to my house must be flooded now. Mhaare gharale raaste tey baadhsi aa ri se.

6. Why don't they let me enter the bar? Manne ahaate ke bheetar jaan kyun na dere?

6. The last time I had bhang, I kept laughing Pichle baar me te bhaang peegya hastaye reh gaya.

7. The car will not be able to get in my lane. Ib gaddi paani mein na jaa paawe.

7. What? I can't drink legally? Key? Main kaanunan pee na sakun hun?

7. I won't touch it this time. Ib ke baar haath na lagayun.

8. Do I have to wait for a boat now?. Ib ke main kishti ki baat dekhun?

8. We will celebrate after 7 years. Ib tey 7 saal paachey mauj maarenge.

8. In my village they throw us into the gutter. Mhaare gaam me tey thhake naale main phek diya karen.

12 { Abhishek Behl/ FG }

write to us at

A Skilled Education prakhar PANDEY


undreds of students from Rewari, Pataudi and Mahendergarh, and from across other parts of the State are honing their technical skills at the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Gurgaon, which is one of the oldest ITIs in the State. With Gurgaon being the hub of industrial activity in the region, these students prefer to join the ITI here, as it is then easy to get (job) placement after the training. Companies like Maruti, Hero, Denso and large automobile ancillaries and vendors recruit the young boys and girls from this Institute, because they are fairly assured of the good training, and the rigour of the curriculum. In fact the presence of industry has also helped in building strong linkages of the Institute with different sectors, which has allowed it to set up specialised courses for different trades. One of ITI Gurgaon’s biggest achievements has been the Centre of Excellence for the Automobile sector, as Gurgaon is one of the largest hubs of automobile (especially 2 wheeler) production in India. Devanand, Acting Principal and Placement Officer of ITI Gurgaon says that their primary objective is to train youth in trades that are in demand in the industrial sector - particularly automobiles. “We are able to place around 1000 students every year because good training is imparted to the students in our workshops and classrooms. A very rigorous syllabus is followed and no student is allowed to sit for the exams if his/her attendance is not 80 per cent,” he asserts. The Institute at present trains around 1,200 youth every year in a large 17 acres campus, where facilities for women have also been created. Devanand says that girl students perform equally well in the Engineering trades – in fact they are more focused and disciplined. The life for a young trainee is indeed busy, as classes start at 9 in the morning and continue upto 5 pm. Talking about the Centre of Excellence, Devanand says that Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) has partnered with the Haryana government to upgrade the ITI into a world-class Institute, and has set up the Centre of Excellence to produce skilled technical hands that can be readily employable in the auto industry. For this, ITI has been benchmarked against prestigious technical institutes across the country. Devanand says that to transform the Institute, which has around 140 staff including 70 teachers, an Institute Managing Committee has been formed. It includes a government representative and a partner from the private sector - which at present is Maruti Suzuki. It is due to this collaboration that a dedicated team from the Company, led by a senior official, has embarked on the process to upgrade this ITI. “The goal is to provide quality education through a wellequipped set up, workshops and motivated teachers,” says Devanand. The process for improving the course structure in the auto sector is a continuous cycle, and areas like curriculum, faculty development and building of capacity have been taken up. To make the teachers aware about the

L earning

10-16 January 2014

latest industry practices in the automobile sector, regular visits are organised to the MSIL plants. The Company is emphasizing on the improvement of teaching and behavioural skills of the teachers, as a majority of the students come from rural areas and the lower middle class of society. The fees at this Institute has been kept very low, to ensure that any child who is interested in the technical trades should come forward, and is not discouraged by lack of resources. The monthly fee is between Rs. 40 to 50 all-inclusive, reveals an official. Devanand says that MSIL employees also participate in the training programmes, which is of great help to the students. One of the most popular initiatives started by the ITI is the ‘Rope-in, Rope-Out’ Session for new trainees, who are imparted soft and team-playing skills by the seniors. The ‘Rope Out’ involves special training to the students who are ‘passing out’, and is given by professionals. With the setting up of the Centre of Excellence, a number of large industries based in Gurgaon have started partnering with the ITI, for various initiatives:

Special Schemes to train Workers

Apart from the usual courses, ITI Gurgaon has launched a number of schemes that are short term and based on the demand in the industry. One of them is the Modular Employable Skills (MES) Scheme. Devanand says that such courses are run in consultation with the industry, and are backed by the Central government. MES aims to develop a minimum skill-set that is necessary for gainful employment in the industry, and targets those who are school drop-outs and/ or do not have the necessary educational qualification. Another Scheme, to help the Building industry, is through the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC). The goal of CIDC is to train workers in construction and project management, help in the grading of workers, ensure contractors are also trained in taking up complex projects, and ensure quality in delivery. Devanand adds that the Institute also runs Apprentice Training Programmes, where the students are sent to work in industries for a period of six months. “These programmes help the

students to learn in actual working conditions, and ensure that they learn on the job,” he adds. Some key areas of focus, as identified by the Institute as well as students, are: Training: The entire Training programme and Syllabus at the ITI is designed by the Directorate General of Industrial Training (DGIT). The training schedules, manuals, and exam schedules are constantly monitored by DGIT, says Devanand, and the papers for the examinations of students are also sent by them. “The practicals are conducted by the Institute itself, but these are rigorous,” he informs. The reason for the Institute being so focused is that industry today demands shopfloor-ready candidates, who are able to perform from the first month - if not from the first day. Women students: Thirty per cent reservation for women has been prescribed by the government, in all trades in these institutes. Girls from in and around Gurgaon, particularly from the rural areas, join the Computer and Programming course, Sewing course and other related courses, as there is good chance of getting employed after completing these courses. Bhavna, who comes from Mundakhera Village near Jhajjar, says, “I come from a village, but still my parents have supported me. I want to learn here and then work in a good company in Gurgaon.” However, the daily travel of more than 60 kilometres is tiring, and like many other students she wants that the Institute should have its own bus, to cater to the large number of students coming from her area. Rajan, who comes from Patau-

di, also says that the Institute must have a bus of its own, as students have to ‘suffer’ – needing to change autos, buses and/or trains. “One bus can help a lot of students particularly girls,” he asserts. Another student, Savitri, from Nathupur Village in Gurgaon, says that facilities are good and teachers are very supportive. She plans to take up the JBT course, after completing the training here, as it will help her in getting a good teaching job. Facilities on Campus: Despite being an old and established institute, the students at ITI Gurgaon feel that the facilities have not been adequately developed, as focus has remained on workshop training and books. Mahesh, a student, says that a majority of the students want a playground and a small indoor sports facility. Most students spend their time on campus just chatting or using social media on their phones,” he says. The ITI also does not have a cafeteria, and Manjit, a student from Electronics, says, “We stay here for the whole day and it is important that a reasonably priced eatery should be opened here,” he says. The lack of cleanliness on campus is quite visible, and the students point to the large open spaces that seem to have not seen a ‘jhadu’ for ages. The lack of conveniences (toilets) on the campus is also a major problem that the students have to face daily; sometimes they use the secluded parts of the campus, and a number of times they have to run to a decrepit toilet, which stands testimony to the neglect of the college authorities. Similarly, The students however agree that the quality of teaching and the equipment is quite satisfactory. They are also happy that they get a chance to interact with top engineers, due to the presence of a large number of companies locally. Placement of Students: Devanand, who is also the Placement Officer of the Institute, says that they have developed good relations with industry in the NCR, which ensures that ITI trainees are able to get internships as well as final placements. “We have also introduced the semester system this year, which will make education and training more focused. The goal is to ensure that students are offered employment even before the Course is completed,” he says. The Placement Cell organises campus interviews, provides counselling, conducts skill gap measurement, interacts with industry, keeps track of alumni and works like an ‘employment exchange’. Every year it also organises job fairs, in which companies - both large and medium - come and pick the students as per their demand. Devanand says that due to the good performances of the past students, the companies come regularly and offer placements at good salaries. What the ITI needs: The students say that ITI Gurgaon needs to upgrade its building and support infrastructure, and if possible build a hostel for girls and boys on the campus. Further, the course content, which is presently centralized in the hands of DGIT, should be handed over to the respective Institutes, so that it can be modified as per the demands of the local industry. u

10-16 January 2014

K id C orner


Merry Goenkans Tiny Totty Christmas Bells


anta descended on the School premises of GD Goenka Public School and the kids got very excited. There was lively music, carol singing and mesmerizing decorations. The junior Goenkans exchanged gifts and had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas.


he tiny tots at Blue Bells Preparatory School celebrated Christmas with great enthusiasm. The little ones of Nursery and LKG performed a graceful dance, while Class II students performed a Nativity Play. This was followed by a Ballroom dance for all the students. The Headmistress, Anu Sehgal, wished all the students a Merry Christmas.

Gem of a Performance


tudents of Gems International School, Palam Vihar performed live at Ansal Plaza Mall. The confident youngsters took to the mike and had no inhibitions performing to a large number of visitors at the Mall. The visitors in turn encouraged and cheered for the young performers.

Moglys at the Farm


he students of Mogly’s Gurukul spent a wonderful day at the Farm. There were long nature walks through vegetable and fruit gardens, a story-telling session, art and craft activities and petting and feeding the animals. The children also had fun in the play area with swings, trampolines and a sandpit.


10-16 January 2014

Ryan International School, Sector 40

K id C orner

A Teacher Reminisces

Skating to Victory



imjhim Raina of Class VI D won the International Award at the first Asian Roller Skating Championship held at Meerut. She won the High Achiever Award in Time Trial and achieved the overall 3rd position in the age group 10-12 yrs. She won a Gold in the Road Race and a Silver in the Rink Race, to bag the High Achiever Award. Arshelle Raheja won 2 Gold Medals and Riya Bhambhu won a Silver and Bronze Medal. School Head, Peeya Sharma, felicitated the young achievers for their star performances.

Ryan’s Upper Hand


he School participated in the 4th Handwriting Olympiad 2013 and came out with flying colours. Muskan Jain of Class V and Tanish Saini of Class III bagged the First position and were felicitated with a trophy. Vriti Garg of Class V and Kavish Kaul of Class III won the Second prize and Anushka Sharma and Bhoomika Rao, the Third prize. Handwriting experts scrutinised the handwriting of all the participants and gave corrective suggestions.

s I simply loved spending time with childen, I thought of being associated with the Education Industry in the capacity of an Educator, around 12 years ago. The experience of being attached to schools was incredible. I learnt that although teaching comes with a great deal of responsibility, having fun is key to transferring knowledge to young people. It’s often better for children to learn concepts through songs and by playing games. A good teacher should have a vast bank of fun activities at hand, ready to be used. Indeed, it’s the teacher’s responsibility to captivate the pupils and hold their attention throughout the course of the lesson. As an Educator I felt responsible for changing the ‘plan’ if the students were not progressing, and I self-evaluated my work and tried to modify accordingly. Also I felt that it was very important to continue the learning process; hence I always updated myself with different teaching methods and techniques. I do have to admit that at times all this did get a little overwhelming, as there would be always so much information to take in. But, at the same time, working in the capacity of a teacher helped me become a master at time management - as everyday I would be juggling between preparing and delivering lessons, marking books, writing reports, and communicating with parents, colleagues and students. All this, while also thinking about the students’ progress and ways of making their learning journey even more enjoyable. Today I’m still attached to schools, but in a different capacity. I would like to conclude by saying that although an educator’s journey is full of emotions, and highs and lows... it’s also a journey resounding with magic, rewards and endless possibilities. Nidhi Agarwal

Artistic Strokes

Chiranjiv Quizzers


nder the able leadership of the Principal, Sangeeta Saxena, Chiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar, was awarded the First Runner-up position in the Commonwealth Quiz organized by the British Council, to mark 200 Days to the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,  UK. The International School Coordinator, Hanu Narang, and Quizzers—Harsh Vardhan Lahiri and Ojal Saharan of Class X—brought laurels to the School by first reaching the Final Round and then grabbing the Second Position. The winners were awarded Certificates, a T-Shirt, and Books sponsored by Bloomsbury publications.

Anusha Goenka, MRIS-46

Shweta Yadav, Govt. Sr. Sec. School

jiya Katharia, Pathways World School

Sonal Agrawal, Manav Rachna Int. School

Calling all Educationists, Administrators, Coordinators, Teachers and Principals – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (400-500 words)

For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at

S piritual

10-16 January 2014


Learning to Live with Problems The Circle of Life { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


t is difficult for us to accept life as it is – or as it comes. We tend to avoid some ‘uncomfortable’ periods or events, though they are probably the very elements that make life great. We also have different standards – for ourselves versus others. When we see a person who has accepted adversity and is living ‘positively’ - without resorting to escapism - we cannot help but feel inspired. Yet, when faced with adversity, we easily succumb to self-pity. Any trouble or pain is not a problem by itself; it exists in relation to some purpose in our life. If we wish to live a truly noble life, the best way is to live it just as it is. If we instead wish to pursue just pleasures, then any affliction, pain or obstacle is going to be seen as a big problem. Resultantly, we will feel easily stressed. Fundamentally, we all want to live lives that we can feel good about. We accumulate wealth, status, power, pleasures and a horde of other possessions as a means to this end; but then, at some point, we start treating all these possessions as the end in itself. We believe they would take care of all our problems; we even unrealistically begin to long for a problem-free existence. One of my friends is a psychiatrist at the Civil Hospital, Gurgaon. He shares with me that the number of patients who are pretending insanity has grown manifold; people are finding easy excuses for declaring themselves insane - they believe that an insane person, living a ‘meaningless’ life, would have no problems! It is unwise to wish for the end of all problems; in fact sometimes it is good to know that we are not alone in our problems. Difficulty and challenge are pretty much universal in this world, but it is the shared experience and wisdom of others that can make a real difference. A golden rule in the ‘solving of problems in life’ is to ask for help. It is an oftenneglected aspect of dealing with problems. In fact the old saying that no one is an island is quite true. We are all related, both socially and spiritually. It feels good when we are exploring avenues for support. At times problems depress us; at other times they make us feel lonely. There is nothing wrong with feeling depressed, as long as we do not try to deny

Life is a journey through a forest. We should not give up the journey because we feel the forest is endless; we may end up at another forest, having to deal with the same or similar problems. This is the metaphysical law of births and rebirths.

what we are feeling. Problems also provide us an opportunity to explore new horizons and relations. We have to be aware that something needs to change. Any really significant change begins with the acceptance of one’s situation. This is because the alternative, of denial, locks one into a rigid stance. It precludes the clarity and warmth required to solve the problem at hand. We first need to own up to our unhappiness and not try to blame someone or something for our problems - even if we are not the main cause. The best attitude is to accept full responsibility for initiating (and then sustaining) actions to make things better. We are in charge of our lives as also the quality of our relationships. Sometimes the needed changes can hurt, but it better to fix things up soon, rather than let them aggravate. It is good to have some goal or direction in mind. Without a goal, it is too easy to get side-tracked by the constant bombardment of conflicting events and circumstances that we all must deal with in life. Finding some cause to really believe in can be an enormous help in this. The best antidote to problems is to have a light-hearted manner, and the ability to laugh – at oneself. If we can laugh about the folly and misery in our own lives, we probably have ‘created’ enough emotional distance, to be able to effectively do something about it. If we are too wound up about our problems, we probably cannot see clearly enough to find our way out. While encountering problems we must open our hearts, and be receptive and caring - for ourselves and for all those around us. This opening up defines an attitude, which says that all of life is precious and worthy of support and respect - and that if any of us are in a bad way or have made some mistakes, it is not because we are somehow

inherently bad or at fault, but that we have not yet had the chance to learn how to get things right with our lives. Life on this earth is also a spiritual journey, if only we will let it be so. The underlying core of experience should be that of spiritual wholeness - it should be alive, vibrant and caring. We all deserve to live life our own way. It is our birthright and nothing and no one can take it away from us. Life might bury us for a while with lots of bad experiences and problems but, at the end, the fundamental goodness that is our essence will reassert itself - as it was intended to. This is a cosmic law. The universe is growing towards higher, more evolved and harmonious levels of experience. The best thing we can do is to heal and support our own energy – within this cosmic energy. Goal setting is a really important tool to help us ride through the rough patches. If we can see past our immediate difficulties, we have changed the way we relate to problems. We can then feel that we are basically in control of our own destiny and are not just victims of circumstance. By its very nature, life will offer us plenty of crossroads and blind alleys to explore. Having defined a goal, we can safely continue our journey when presented with such unwanted detours. Every day we solve a vast number of little, and some big, problems. This is how we gain satisfaction and it is how our lives are brought to some maturity. The key is to focus on the facts. It is better to forget about ‘why’, and concentrate on ‘how’ can I make this better. We must not expect our path to be free from problems – without them, the fire of our enlightenment will go out. We must find our liberation from within our problems. 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 25 years. He can be contacted at

{ Archana Kapoor Nagpal } It was only a moment ago When I felt like a loser It was not about winning the battle against pain    But the fear of losing my life  Time turned the whole world against me And nothing seemed more impossible Being in touch with my inner peace was not the same as being happy  I felt a sense of detachment from my surroundings Deep inside my heart I tried to re-establish my relationship with God       I found myself in true spiritual darkness As I was not able to answer my own questions I thought to question God I was slowly losing the will to live So I preferred to make silence as my fighting tool. The days were following one another And my cancer was killing me Death was near But I was falling in love with life again I paid attention to the view from my bedroom window I could see the snow covered pine trees Every house was decorated with Christmas lights The bottle of red wine in my closet Wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree Or the amazingly delicious red velvet cake The glittering Christmas decorations on the front porch made me imagine I might not live to see the next Christmas I felt my surroundings were filled with deep peace and love I closed my eyes to make a wish I asked Santa Claus to give me the gift of eternal life. Tears rolled down my cheeks I tried to be calm, to sleep more easily The next morning dawned bright and clear I found a poinsettia plant in a golden pot next to my bed I felt…how thoughtful of my family But to my surprise it was Santa’s Christmas present for me I went closer to the golden pot I could see my reflection in the flowers The days were following one another From Christmas to New Year I tried to cherish every single day The plant dropped its leaves gradually I kept the fallen leaves in a basket I watered the plant to refresh it But I could not save it. I understood the fascinating circle of life God created us for a certain purpose (though we all are born to die) The falling leaves of the plant around the golden pot Had taught me the greatest lesson of my life To remember the beauty of being alive To relive the good memories in the difficult times To enjoy the short journey from birth until death The preserved fallen leaves of the poinsettia Helped me to restore my happiness in the last days of my life I began to cherish my morning walk with my wife I enjoyed reading bedtime stories to my son Every night I slept looking at the empty golden pot It gave me the courage not to fear my pains And then one fine morning I closed my eyes forever… But I died with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

16 EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Letter To The Editor Under the Power Policy heading (number 4) of the Editorial, 3-9 January 2014, I wish that instead of advocating a very well established ‘Solar Energy’, priority should have been given to the lesser known theory of ‘Electricity from Garbage’. This concept would be in line with AAP’s other innovative ideas. Garbage is converted into electricity by using an ‘Incinerator’ - which involves ‘controlled combustion’ - to thermally break down solid waste. There is a successful operation in place in New York State, where approximately 3.9 million tonnes of solid waste were used to generate approximately 2 million Mega-Watt hours of electricity (figures available for 2010). Additionally, approximately 87,000 tonnes of metals were recovered for recycling. This process has been successfully replicated by the Pune Municipal Corporation, according to Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner. He remarked that in March 2013 their plant used 300 metric tonnes waste to generate 3 Mega-Watts electricity. The Plant would soon be upgraded to take in 700 metric tonne waste, and generate 10 Mega-Watts electricity. It is time to take stock of existing technology, as also adopt new technology that does not only produce electricity but also takes care of a very thorny issue of the ever increasing accumulation of solid waste. Let us live up to an often repeated sentiment: ‘There is no such thing as Waste - it is only a misplaced resource.’ Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj Clearly a good alternative. Unfortunately, Solar Energy, the real breakthrough, is still not established enough, in practice – Ed. ___________________________ Happy to see FG starting to use satire to drive home a message. Used in right doses, satire, to borrow from Shri George Bush (jr), shocks and awes. The "CM's wonder-lutions" article has oodles of it. Even the "Real Estate" article has shades of satire. "They seem confused as to why the market is behaving rationally" is a real gem. Keep up the good work of good reporting with good writing.   Ankur Mithal

10-16 January 2014

C omment

Bharat Ratna - The Jewel in our Crown It’s time for a Bharat Ratna for the ‘Aam Aadmi’… and for the Maha-atma - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Since the govt has now opened up the Sportsmen arena, surely no one should grudge the Aam Aadmi – after all most of the Ratnas started as Aam Aadmis (Aurats inclusive). Maybe AAP should have called itself Aam Aurat Party – it would still be AAP (and smell sweeter); it still can (there’s at least a 50% chance of a 50% plus vote). The Mahatma missed out, as there was no posthumous award earlier. This was changed in 1966, but guess he was forgotten by then. In these times, Bapu needs to come back strongly into our consciousness. The criteria for the Bharat Ratna, an Award established in 1955, mention: national impact, public service, performance and highest order/

degree in any field of human endeavour – for both individuals and teams. The PM, after receiving recommendations from a set list of decision makers, who are to give their reasons in writing (why kept secret?), forwards the list to the President for his/her approval. There can be a maximum of 3 Bharat Ratna Awards in a year. It should not be difficult to find that one Aam Aadmi who’s been there and done all that, but not got covered (in Page 3) yet. Of course Bapu would walk briskly right through. A point to ponder: Why has no PM received a Bharat Ratna after Rajiv Gandhi? Narasimha Rao – the first non-Nehru/ Gandhi to be Congress PM for a full term - has been disowned by the very Congress, and Vajpayee would have to wait for a more gracious PM. Iu

Aap Zara Sochiye Arvindji, it’s time for your and your team to not get sucked into every ‘debate’, every moment of the day. You need to let your work do the talking. Please tell the media that you and your team of ministers would be available every Monday evening for discussion and accountability, preferably on the 18 points – unless there is a genuine emergency situation. By early April, before the Lok Sabha polls, present the first quarterly report on your govt. Conduct at least one ‘sabha’ at every ‘mohalla’ (or proposed mohalla area). Let people (and media) see what you mean by Swaraj and how you have operationalized it. Hopefully there would be a fairly common template across mohallas. This should include the supervision of the Public Distribution System (Ration Shops) and Primary Healthcare Systems in the mohalla. Where is the Citizen Charter? What should the citizens expect, and then demand, from your govt departments, in terms of services and service? Why is there no action on corruption yet? It was the number one reason for AAP coming up, and the number one issue with the electorate. Surely you are not protecting the ‘gaddi’. There must be urgent action on a few high-profile corruption cases. You have cried yourself hoarse by calling everyone else (especially politicians and their parties) corrupt from head to toe, and made that your most important election plank. You cannot now find ‘rational’ excuses - like ‘evidence’ - in not going

forward. You could be accused of grandstanding – if not falsehood. Letting your work do the talking, do develop at least one colony of pucca houses for jhuggi dwellers, as a Model site, within 3 months; similarly, set up Community and Public toilets in a Model Ward, through a PPP model. Do set up the Citizens’ Security Forces in each Ward as a priority, by utilizing the services of Senior Citizens and ex-Armymen. Finally, Arvindji, just a check on your sense of business and economics. In your acceptance address at the Vidhan Sabha, you said words to this effect: ‘We don’t want FDI in Retail and the BJP also does not want it’. That one-liner is how you took care of one of your 18 important points. And another point you made: ‘I believe that 99% traders are honest, but the system makes them corrupt’. There are just 2 points/questions on the above statements. Are you not being very convenient when you ‘accept’ the BJP as it suits you, while calling them all sorts of names otherwise? Surely BJP also agreeing with you cannot be the reason for you to provide no justification for (forget having a debate on) your ‘decision’. And on the other point, do you believe the same statement (on traders) to be true of all entrepreneurs, businessmen and industrialists in India? If not, could you tell us why? u

W ellness

10-16 January 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


ggs have been an important source of food since prehistoric times, especially in the hunting and farming societies. Popular ‘grandma recipes’ testify that there are very few foods that can be as quick, convenient, delicious and nutritious as Eggs. Depending on the local environment, Eggs from birds as diverse as ducks, geese, ostriches, turkeys, fowls and quails have formed part of our diet. Chicken Eggs were probably the outcome of the domestication of the jungle fowl in South East Asia, around 7,000 years ago. By its very definition, an Egg is a ‘complete’ food, as it provides all the elements essential for life. In fact, gram for gram, an Egg is probably one of the most nutrient-dense foods, with a unique combination of benefits. Eggs are a good source of low-cost, yet high-quality, protein - with one Egg providing over 10% of the daily requirement of protein. In addition to the high biological value of Egg Protein, as a food it is a prepackaged source of fat, carbohydrates and micronutrients - including omega-3s, choline and antioxidant minerals. And all of this at a relatively low cost and low caloric load. The white & yolk of the Egg operate in tandem, complementing the nutrient profile of each other, to offer a natural whole food. Eggs are very versatile; easy to scramble, fry, boil or pickle, Eggs can be a meal unto themselves. Thanks to their unique cooking properties of coagulation, foaming, emulsification and browning, Eggs are featured in many cooking, baking and dessert recipes. Yet, in recent years there has been a lot of discussion on whether Eggs are good for health. While Eggs do have a higher than average allergy profile, and can sometimes be infected with bacteria, what tilted the balance was the scare of cholesterol - which is considered to significantly raise the risk profile for

Eggsactly! cardiac disease. This resulted in many people either giving up Eggs altogether, or at the very least discarding the highly nutritious (and delicious!) yolk. This is a shame, as all of the Egg’s Vitamins (A, D & E), Choline, half of the proteins, and most of the other nutrients, are found exclusively in the Egg yolk. Thankfully, most of the recent studies have started clearing the air. In fact, most nutrition experts now agree that one (whole) Egg a day is very beneficial and can be an important food - especially when consumed as a part of a well-planned healthy diet that is not overly loaded with high-cholesterol saturated fats from other foods. Only people on ‘special diets’, or those at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, may need to reduce Egg consumption.

Tip of the Week

It is important to procure fresh Eggs, ideally from an ‘organic’ source. The quality of the nourishment from an Egg strongly depends on the lifestyle of the hen – i.e. an access to pasture, fresh air (free-range) and a high-quality, natural diet. Unfortunately, the current labelling standards are not stringent enough in this regard. You can easily check for freshness. Soak the Eggs in cold water - if they sink, they are fresh. Alternately, gently shake the Egg; if the contents (inside) sound sloshy, it is likely to be old. On the breaking of an Egg, the yolk should rest high on the albumen and

the Egg-white should be slightly cloudy. If the yolk is not wellformed and the albumen is runny/watery, the Egg is probably not fresh. To ward off the risk of possible contamination, utensils used when preparing Eggs should be washed in warm water - separately from other kitchenware. You should wash your hands with warm, soapy water after you have handled an Egg(s). Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Pastured, Free-range Eggs The composition of an Egg is best described in its two parts - the white is approximately 87% water and 13% protein, while the yolk is 50% water, 33% fat and 17% protein. Both are rich in vitamins and minerals, and yet the caloric load is low - at 74 calories. Because of the rich mix of essential amino acids, Eggs are considered the gold standard for protein (against which other proteins are indexed). In addition to the high quantity of Tryptophan (an essential amino acid), Eggs also contain Choline, an important nutrient for brain development and cardiovascular health (Choline is important for pregnant and nursing women, to ensure a healthy development of the foetal brain). Eggs are a good source of all the B Vitamins - especially B2, B5 and B12; Eggs provide selenium and iodine, in addition to Vitamins A, D, and E, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and molybdenum. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important eye-health supporting phytonutrients, are more bio-available in Eggs (versus green leafy vegetables) - because of the presence of fat in the yolk. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

Back to the Soil when Ragi is used as a whole grain, it has a high amount of protein and minerals - making it perfect for vegetarian diets. Millets also contains B Vitamins - especially Niacin, B6 and Folic Acid.

{ Alka Gurha }


inger Millet is commonly known as Ragi in most parts of India. Like oats, Ragi is nutritious and easy to digest. In India, Ragi is an important cereal and occupies the highest area under cultivation among the small millets. The state of Karnataka is the largest producer of Ragi. The Ragi crop can withstand severe drought conditions and can be easily grown throughout the year. After it is ground to a fine powder, Ragi is sold as Ragi Flour. Of all the cereals and millets, Finger Millet has the highest amount of calcium and potassium. It is low in fat (and most of which is unsaturated fat). It has higher dietary fibre, minerals and sulphurcontaining amino acids than the current major staple in India – white rice. Despite Finger Millet's rich nutrient profile, recent studies indicate a lower consumption of millets by urban Indians. Nutritionally,

Health Benefits

Several health benefits of Ragi are due to its polyphenol and dietary fibre content. Regular consumption of Finger Millet is said to reduce the risk of Diabetes and Gastro-Intestinal tract disorders. According to research, Finger Millet-based diets help diabetics as they contain higher amounts of fibre than other cereals and millets. Diets based on whole grains of Finger Millet have a lower glycemic response i.e. a lower ability to increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, fortification of Finger Millet in ‘chapatis’ can be helpful in controlling glucose levels in diabetic patients. Obesity is almost an epidemic in urban India and even many places abroad. Unhealthy foods have increasingly become a part of the food choice of the children and youth. Moreover, several children in the rural areas are malnourished and deficient in calcium and protein. Finger Millet or Ragi could be the answer to the problems of nutrient deficiency in children. In sum, Ragi of-



fers several essential nutrients, amino acids and minerals – alongwith a very low fat content and a reasonable amount of fibre. In the southern parts of India, Ragi is a recommended food by nutritionists, because of its high fibre and nutritional content.

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.

Cooking Ragi

Finger Millet is normally consumed in the form of flourbased foods, such as ‘roti’ or porridge. Ragi can be used to make upma, cakes and biscuits; Ragi Flour is used in Andhra and Karnataka to make various preparations like ‘dosas, idlis and laddoos’; a traditional breakfast of Kerala, called ‘Puttu’, is made with Ragi powder. To incorporate Ragi in our daily diet, the simplest way is to combine wheat and Finger Millet in the ratio of 7:3 (wheat: Finger Millet). In this ratio, while the colour of our ‘chapati’ would be a little dark, the taste would remain almost the same (as with only wheat), and the gluten content would reduce greatly. Considering Ragi's rich nutrient profile, low cost and easy availability, we should try to include it in our daily diet (ok, a couple of times a week, to start with). After all, we are healthconscious, aren’t we?u


Q. I apply face cream twice a day (mornings & nights) but my skin continues to feel dry. What can I do? SH

Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel. Apply rose based skin tonic and then apply sunscreen if you are going out in the sun. Or, apply a moisturising cream. Leave on. Once a day, at any time, mix a little milk with honey and apply on the face. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes. At night, after cleansing, apply nourishing cream and massage it into the skin with a little water. Wipe off excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. This helps the skin to retain moisture. Areeba Syed

WINNER 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


10-16 January 2014

R eal E state

10-16 January 2014

B on V ivant


A Dancer’s Self-Realisation { Meenu Thakur Sankalp }


person’s claim to having met with God would be politely termed as the figment of a fertile mind, or even a cruel joke. Dance, as viewed in our part of the world, is regarded as a penance and a means of expressing our love and devotion to the Almighty. Various outsiders who have visited the sub-continent over the ages, and have become involved with Indian cultural traditions and Dance, have experienced some unbelievable forms of self-realization. So it was not out of place or purpose that a young dancer from the United Kingdom embarked on a journey to India - a land about which he had heard a lot from his peers. However, having travelled across the length and breadth of the country, learning through experiences, conversing with spiritually inclined persons - both dancers and common-folk - Christopher Evans, a world-renowned Contemporary Dancer, was disappointed at not having achieved what he had set out to accomplish. He had not felt, even to a minuscule degree, the presence of God even when he was Dancing with all his heart. Having spent a little more than nine months in India, he embarked on what he had planned would be his last train journey; he boarded the ChennaiRameshwaram Sethu Express on a sultry September evening, at Chennai. Perching himself comfortably on the upper berth of the coupe’, he raised the lid of the night light, pulled up his spectacles firmly onto his nose, and started to read a book written by a well-known Indian spiritual guru - titled ‘Attempts to converse with God’. Though it

{ Krishan Kalra }


efore proceeding on a trip to Europe, I called my friend − the Indian Ambassador to the land of the Mermaid − to ask if he needed anything from ‘home’. ‘Agra-ka-petha’ was his simple and inexpensive request. The delicacy was promptly arranged through friendly couriers on the Taj Express. I packed it in my suitcase, having taken care that the stuff was the dry − not the juicy – variety, and that it was heat-sealed in double polybags. The carousel at Copenhagen Airport kept going round and round. All sorts of bags made the rounds…but I could not spot mine. “It’s happened again,” I muttered to myself, cursing the airline cargo handlers, as I made my way to the ’Lost and Found’ counter, to present my baggage tag. After much excited and unintelligible chatter, and yet another visit to the now empty carousel, I was told that my bag must

seemed to be a good read, he was skeptical of the ‘envisaged paths’ to reach God – having failed in his attempts. As the train was about to chug out of the station, an elderly gentleman - well into his eighties - entered the coupe, a small carry-bag and a walking stick in hand. He smiled gently at Evans, who reciprocated and then continued to read his book. A half-hour of ‘forced’ silence was broken when the packed dinner was served. As Evans was about to order a piece of chicken with rice, the elderly gentleman motioned to Evans to join him. He told Evans that maybe the train food would not ‘suit’ him, and offered him a share of his dinner - of idlis with sambar, packed in a metal tiffin box. Though Evans initially refused, he was compelled and cajoled to partake the meal. The gentleman introduced himself as a retired Accounts Officer in the Attorney General’s office of (erstwhile) Madras - proudly announcing himself as one of the few surviving officials who had been trained by British officers. The ice broken - with the ‘sense’ of a ‘cultural parity’ between the two - the old gentleman proceeded to question Evans about his family and profession, and the reason for his travels in India. Evans yielded some polite answers. Glancing at the cover

of the book that Evans was reading, the old man asked him if he believed in the existence of God. Evans, having been brought up in Derbyshire by his devout Catholic grandmother, answered in the affirmative - though he added that he was not a practising Christian anymore. He told the old man that he was a wellknown Contemporary Dancer who was keen in knowing more about the Indian interpretation of Divinity in Dance. That was why he had visited many dancers, dance schools and spiritual centres in India. Though he felt he had not been ‘successful’, Evans accepted that he had learnt a lot and he would happily take those experiences back to England. The old gentleman smiled calmly and said, “Son, the only problem that the British have - I can tell you this because I have worked with many able ones – is that while we believe without questioning, you question beliefs…and then believe your questioning.” Evans was struck hard by the thunderbolt-like logic of the gentleman! “Let me explain”, the old man added. “Why is it that even though all of us breathe the same air, we are different from each other?” Evans did not have an answer. “Do you think there is a Divine design?” the old gentleman prodded. “Son, when you Dance, especially on the stage in front of an audience, you are often blinded by your own thoughts, your skills, and expectations from yourself and others; and even if you were to seek God then, you would not find Him, for He would never show himself to those who ask of him, who seek him, who probe his existence. Even when you perform for yourself, without an audience, without fear of being judged, you cannot visualize God, for you are busy learning - which is a good thing. Life is all about

No Danish Delicacy, this! still be at Frankfurt. “Don’t worry sir, it would be delivered at your hotel,” I was assured. For my immediate need I was given a disposable toilet kit and allowed to pick up items worth 400 Kroner from the airport shops. Since this sum is normally enough for just one shirt, I thought I would have to make do with no change in underwear and socks. Luckily my friendly SAS escort spotted a ‘Sale’ at one of the shops and I managed to get a shirt, socks and even underwear within the royal ransom amount. ‘You are lucky” the young lady added, as she picked up the tab rather grandly. The Danes were true to their word. By the time I returned the hotel after a late dinner, my suitcase was already in my room. A closer look, however, revealed a broken lock. I quickly opened the suitcase to check the contents. Everything seemed

alright, except that a million pieces of “Petha’ were floating all over, merrily rubbing sugar on my clothes. “What the bloody hell!” I cursed, for the second time that day, as I dialled the SAS 24hour number and told them, in very unambiguous terms, what I thought about their much-touted service. “Pray tell me”, I demanded, “what do I wear now, being not used to − unlike many Danes − going around in my birthday suit?” The guy at the other end was obviously not amused. “It’s all your fault, sir,” he retorted, tackling the easier part first; “you should’ve left the key with us. The Customs insisted on opening your bag, and so we were forced to break the lock.” “As for the sugar coating”, he replied rather curtly, “we just couldn’t figure out the whitish cubes in the sealed poly bags. We were wondering if you were into drugs.” He went on. “Even our

learning. But God is above all learning, all success and failure. The feeling of not being there, the vacuum in every being, the void that is not waiting to be filled - that is where God dwells. You will see him one day, you surely will…but do not seek what is not to be sought.” Evans spent a sleepless night, in contrast to the audible snoring of the elderly gentleman, and early the next morning, as the train screeched to a halt at Rameshwaram, Evans bade the gentleman goodbye. The man just held Evan’s hand and said, “My son, you will see God very soon; it will happen through your Dance…and you will know it when it happens.” As he parted with a heavy heart, Evans realized that he had not even asked for the contact details of the gentleman who had made his journey such a joyous learning experience. He stayed on in Rameshwaram for a few days. On his flight back home to London, he could not stop thinking about his extraordinary journey with an old gentleman aboard a train. Performing a Contemporary choreography a week later, at the Birmingham Festival, Evans decided to ‘distance’ himself from the applause, the audience and his own self-expectations. After his final jump and split, while smoothly flowing onto the floor, Evans closed his eyes and felt…the vacuum that the old gentleman had talked about. For a fraction of a second he saw a halo - an amalgamation of the images of Indian Gods and Goddesses and a crucifix from his Sunday Church; and superimposed on all of them was an old man with a carry-bag and a walking stick in hand.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

sniffer dogs were of no help; so we put it all back in and sent your bag to the hotel.” Commenting on the mess, he added sheepishly that the rubber band must have come off. “But SAS would compensate for the lock,” he promised. He also didn’t forget to add that I had no business carrying foodstuff in the ‘checkedin’ baggage; indeed, I shouldn’t have carried it at all, I was admonished politely. “Of course SAS would also pay for the cleaning of the clothes,” was his magnanimous offer. Before disconnecting, he added. “Now, if you please, you may wash the shirt for the morning and go to sleep − without any clothes − in your nice, warm room. Goodnight, and enjoy your stay in Denmark. I did precisely that. The next morning, dressed in my two-day old suit, one-day old socks and underwear, and an un-ironed shirt, I gave all my clothes to a surprised valet. And then, I handed over the blessed Petha to my dear friend, along with some of the choicest of curses.u

20 { Christian Ebner/Frankfurt/ DPA }

Daniel Reinhardt

Sky Chefs

G lobal

10-16 January 2014


assengers often complain that they have no choice other than to eat unhealthy and unappetizing airline food when travelling, but one of the world’s biggest kitchens at Frankfurt Airport is setting new standards in bringing wide and varied cuisine to the skies. Not every chef is faced with the task of cooking Indian food in the morning and Korean cuisine in the afternoon, but this is just one of the challenges that the cooks at LSG Team Chefs take on each day. Work on their in-flight menus begins around 24 hours before a long-haul flight is scheduled to depart. The Company has a customer base of around 50 airlines, including its parent company, Lufthansa. Catering is provided for, on average 60 long-haul carriers daily, with each company delivering its own specific list of requirements, says Operations Manager Joerg Harnisch. Most importantly, the companies expect to receive authentic cuisine from their service providers. Guests on their way to Thailand or Japan should enjoy food that is of the same quality as in the country they are flying to. As a result, LSG employs 12 Japanese chefs just to cater to its customers, flying to the Land of the Rising Sun, to the best standard. “The secret to making good sushi lies in the rice you use,” says Chef Takahiro Nogami, who has worked in Frankfurt for the past 16 years. He imports the majority of his ingredients from Japan, but sometimes Nogami has to seek out creative alternatives, especially when it comes to certain fish that cannot be imported into the European Union. The international kitchen in Frankfurt employs around 1,200 people from 66 countries. It is just one part of the Lufthansa food subsidiary’s global network. The group is made up of a total of 151 separate companies operating at 211 business sites in 52 countries. The

A woman kitchen worker puts sprigs of green salad on food in bowls.

A male kitchen worker makes sushi rolls by hand.

more than 30,000 employees produced 527 million meals in 2012 for over 300 different airlines. With a turnover of 2.5 billion euros (3.4 billion dollars) and a market share of approximately 26 per cent, LSG Sky Chefs is the global market leader in in-flight services provision. Africa and South America are important growth areas for the Company, as many airports there still lack the requisite catering infrastructure. Interestingly, whining about inflight meals is more common in western Europe than in Asia. “You would never hear anything like this in Asia,” says LSG spokeswoman Josefine Corsten. In Asia, even low-cost carriers place great value on culinary excellence. That means the airlines are prepared to pay more for a better-quality service. The United States, where cheap fares and cost cutting reign supreme, lies at the other end of the spectrum. There, passengers are often only offered a pack of pretzels and a soft drink during a five-hour flight. The varying levels of service can be seen in the refrigeration rooms at LSG Sky Chefs, where for one airline a fruit

Human polar bears take New Year’s plunge in freezing Atlantic { New York/ DPA }


emperatures hovered at the freezing point, but that didn’t keep an estimated 2,500 people from plunging into the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim. Bathers, including adults, children and dogs, ran into the Atlantic Ocean from the beach at Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn - but they didn’t stay very long in the 5-degree-Celsius water. They came shivering and shaking back to land, where towels, bed comforters and hot tea awaited them. The Polar Bear Swim Club has organized the ice cold spectacle on New Year’s Day every year for more than a century, for the New York City region. u

Canadian twins born either side of New Year { New York/Toronto / DPA }


A woman kitchen worker puts fish appetizers in bowls on a tray at the LSG Sky Chefs Kitchen at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. LSG Sky Chefs, a Lufthansa subsidiary, provides in-flight meals to 50 airlines using the airport.

28-year-old Canadian woman delivered her New Year’s twins within minutes of each other, but in two different years. One of the two baby girls was born eight minutes before midnight Tuesday, in 2013, while the second was born 40 seconds afterwards, on Wednesday, in 2014. Gabriela and Sophia, who were born two weeks before their expected delivery date, are doing well, as is the mother. “I am so relieved to finally have lost the belly and returned to normal condition,” Lindsay Salgueiro told Canadian broadcaster, CTV. She already has two sons. u

A woman kitchen worker puts wan tan, or delicious packs of Chinese pastry, in bowls.

A kitchen worker prepares handmade sushi rolls.

example, up to 60,000 individual items,

An LSG Sky Chefs truck rushes past orange ranging from yoghurt to teaspoons waste containers inside Frankfurt Airport in and limes for caipirinha cocktails, Germany, on its way to waiting planes. are loaded by the LSG Sky Chefs team

salad consists of a handful of grapes even in business class - while another offers mango chunks combined with other exotic fruits. “It’s all a question of price,” says Harnisch. Not surprisingly, the greatest effort is made for the toppaying customers. At least four different hot food menus are now standard in first class, with the trend clearly towards even greater individual choice. The Chefs now also offer 25 different types of pre-ordered meals appropriate for people with special dietary requirements – eg. for people with diabetes or lactose intolerance. Country-specific cuisine is also produced in Frankfurt. Thai, Chinese and Indian meals are all routinely available, as well as halal meals for Muslim travellers – not to mention the variations in European cuisine. Putting together the in-flight service for a long-haul flight is the equivalent of trying to solve a huge jigsaw puzzle. For

for a long-haul flight on an Airbus A380. There are hundreds of steps to be completed, from delivery to the final handover to the flight crew. Despite the industrialized nature of the work, there are still many things that have to be done by hand. For example, on the countertops in Frankfurt, whole teams of men and women toil away, preparing fruit and vegetables. Nothing is left to chance – with quality controllers like Julia Schneider constantly checking and sampling meals to ensure that the required standards are met. The meals should have the right appearance, correct ingredients must be used, and most importantly, they have to taste great. Airlines negotiate what meals they want to buy, down to the last detail. A typical salad made for economy-class passengers consists of precisely 30 grams of iceberg salad, two cucumber slices weighing 10 grams, a piece of tomato (15 grams) and one slice of lemon (14 grams). u

Austrian skier dies after he is buried twice by avalanches { Vienna / DPA }


skier survived an avalanche in the Austrian Alps on Thursday, but was killed shortly afterwards, when he was hit by a second one, according to the mountain rescue service in Salzburg province. The 29-year-old Austrian was skiing in deep snow near the town of Bad Gastein, when he set off an avalanche, the rescuers said. Only his legs were buried, and the man was able dig himself out. As he was searching for his skis, he set off a second avalanche. He suffered fatal injuries when the masses of snow pushed him against an avalanche barrier. Avalanches killed seven people in Switzerland in the last days of December, while three died in the Italian Alps at the weekend. u

New Boeing airliner to be tested in Australian desert { Sydney/ DPA }


oeing’s latest airliner will soon be tested in the scorching deserts of Central Australia, before joining Air New Zealand’s fleet. The first Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 is scheduled to arrive in Auckland, shortly before flying to Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory, the Australian Business Traveller website reported. Maximum temperatures in Alice Springs this week have been above 40 degrees celcius. Boeing said in a statement that the 787-9, a stretched version of the 787-8, was being put “through its paces in an array of real-world conditions.” u

G lobal

10-16 January 2014


Marvel’s Newest Superhero has a Mightier task { Andy Goldberg/ Los Angeles/ DPA } ost superheroes are content to save the planet from disaster every day – before eating breakfast. But the latest shape-shifting character to come out of the superhero factory of Marvel Comics has a different agenda. Ms. Marvel is the alter ego of the unassuming teenager Kamala Khan, a 16-year old PakistaniAmerican Muslim from Jersey City, New Jersey, who is about to take her place in the pantheon of superheroes – alongside the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. Not only must Ms. Marvel deal with the usual rogues’ gallery of super-powered villains, and the personal angst and torment that have become de-rigueur for every modern superhero, she also must deal with an arch-conservative brother, who fights her attempt to blend tradition and modernity. There’s also her overprotective mother to contend with – a traditional matriarch who frets Ms. Marvel will touch a boy and get pregnant. On top of all that she must also navigate the myriad social and political obstacles faced by Muslims in 21st century America – where Islamophobia is still a default position in much of the country. “In a sense she has a ‘dual identity’, even before she puts on a superhero costume,” co-creator G Willow Wilson said in a recent Marvel press session. “Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like.” The powers-that-be at Marvel are keeping the plot specifics under wraps until the debut of the first Ms. Marvel comic in early February, but they have released sketches of the character and the cover of the first comic book. It shows a thoroughly modern girl wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with a lightning shaft. In one hand she clutches a stack of schoolbooks; her other hand is held in a fist, silver rings on her fingers, and a couple of bracelets round her wrist. Her

skin is olive-toned, and she wears an exotic scarf round her neck. But her brown hair falls freely to her shoulders, reflecting the fact, according to Wilson, that like many Muslim-American females, Kamala does not cover her head. Ibrahim Hooper is not exactly a comics fan, but he will be paying close attention when Ms. Marvel makes her official debut. “We have always encouraged positive portrayals of Muslims in the popular culture,” said the spokesman for the Council of American-Islamic Relations, one of the most prominent organisations among America’s more than 2.6 million Muslims. One recent show that did attempt to dothe same, fell victim to the prejudice it was trying to overcome. All-American Muslims was a reality TV show that screened on cable television’s The Learning Channel, trying to show what daily life was like for a mix of American Muslim families. It was cancelled in 2012, after a year, apparently due to low ratings. But dozens of major companies also decided to pull advertising from the show after complaints from conservative right-wing groups. Hooper says the broad reaction to Kamala Khan, among the Muslim community, has been encouraging. “The only criticism is, ‘Why is she scantily clad? It would be good if she were wearing a hijab’.” He sees the character as striking a double blow for a more tolerant understanding of the Muslim-American community. “It helps that it’s a girl,” he said. “Islam is unfairly portrayed as being biased against women.” The first comic will highlight Khan’s discovery of her shape-shifting superpower, and her decision to join forces with Captain Marvel—a superhero she has long admired—and the rest of the Marvel gang. While Ms. Marvel is yet to make her official debut, fans of the genre did catch a glimpse of her on the cover of the most recent issue of Captain Marvel. She is shown in a demure outfit of red tights, blue tunic and blue boots, brandishing her massive fist. She wears a mask and all her skin is covered...but her hair falls free on her shoulders. u

World’s widest seat declared illegal

Istanbul in Vegas


World’s Largest Aquarium { Christiane Oelrich/ Singapore DPA }


ingapore is a country of superlatives, where tourists can be thrilled at night by Formula One racing, enjoy a trip on the planet’s highest Ferris Wheel and even stay in a hotel overlooking the world’s largest Aquarium. The S.E.A. Aquarium is located on the island of Sentosa, just off the coast. There, majestic manta rays glide past your eyes, leopard sharks prowl and hulking goliath groupers meander through the sea grass, offering hours of enjoyment to adults and children alike. While the enormous main Aquarium is a wonder to behold, there are also many other tanks housing crabs, jellyfish and dolphins. There is also a ‘Touching Pool’, where you can feel the different types of sea creatures. Hotel rooms are offered by Resorts World Sentosa’s (RSW) Marine Life Park. They include a floor-to-ceiling window, looking out on the Aquarium. The view does not come cheap, however, with one night costing 2,406 Singapore dollars (1,900 dollars). “The 11 suites are very popular,” says RSW spokeswoman Linette Lin. Much of the island of Sentosa has been converted into one large leisure area in recent years, with numerous hotels and restaurants, and a Universal Studios theme park and casino. A water park also opened there last year. The S.E.A. Aquarium is the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 800 species of marine animals, according to RSW. The 43-million-litre complex of tanks is home to around 10,000 animals, including manta rays, Napoleon wrasse, moray eels and over 200 sharks. The main acrylic-panel viewing window is 36 metres long and 8.3 metres high. The pool is maintained around the clock by a team of 40 divers, with at least two at work cleaning the enormous tank at any one time. There are smaller pools alongside the main Aquarium, where visitors can learn

the secret of how baby sharks grow up to be like their egg-laying mothers. The glass is magnified in one section, so that it is possible to have a closer look at shark embryos developing in their eggs. Once fully developed, the young fish hatch out and are ready to begin life fending for themselves. Not all sharks lay eggs. The Great White, for example, gives birth to ‘live’ young, as does its cousin, the sand tiger shark. During pregnancy, the most developed embryo will feed upon its siblings – a reproductive strategy known as intrauterine cannibalism. In a pool further on, visitors can wonder at the unusual pipefishes, which are abundant on coasts of the tropical and temperate zones—such as around Australia—and look like straightbodied seahorses with tiny mouths. From the same family of Syngnathidae as seahorses, there are approximately 200 species of pipefishes, which use camouflage to avoid predators and are barely distinguishable from marine plants. Another Aquarium highlight is the jellyfish and squid pool, where tiny creatures measuring less than a centimetre swim alongside majestic squid with tentacles measuring upwards of a metre. The Aquarium is illuminated in different colours, with psychedelic music adding to the surreal visual effect. The Aquarium boasts 49 separate biotopes from 10 different oceans, stretching from South-East Asia to Arabia. Asian visitors often recognize many of the fish from their local market stalls. “They often shout out how good they taste,” says Lin, as she stands in front of pool teeming with cuttlefish from the squid family. “The wall panels highlight the devastating effects that over-fishing has on the balance of biodiversity,” she explains. Singapore is also home to the Japanese spider crab, which has the greatest leg-span of any arthropod, with specimens reaching 3.8 metres from claw to claw. The Country’s favourite culinary specialities include pepper crab and chili crab. u

{ Appenzell, Switzerland / DPA }

{ Las Vegas, Nevada / DPA }



wiss public authorities outlawed the world’s widest seat and ordered a cheesemaking company to remove the wooden bench, which fits about 2,000 people side by side. The Canton of Appenzell said the seat on the Kronberg, an Alpine foothill near the Austrian border, was not necessary, since there were already plenty of places on the hill for footsore hikers to sit. Appenzeller Kaese, a dairy company, built the bench of planks in 2012, as a public relations stunt, and hired a public notary to certify it as 1,013.32 metres end to end – the widest (or longest) in the world. u

he Eiffel Tower, the Sphinx and the Statute of Liberty have already arrived in the desert gambling capital. Now, Las Vegas visitors can feel like they’re in Turkey. An outdoor shopping centre in the style of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is being built on the famous Las Vegas Strip, according to the Glimcher Capital Group. There will be 150 small stores in the Grand Bazaar Shops, featuring food and lifestyle products. The market area is located near Bally’s Hotel and Casino Complex and visitors will have a view of the spectacular fountains of the Bellagio Hotel. u

22 Avatar Cemeteries { Maren Hennemuth/Frankfurt/ DPA }


otorists have pondered this question for years, without finding an answer: how far will a car keep running when the fuel gauge shows Empty? Some manufacturers provide a ‘comfort zone’ for motorists, which means that even when the fuel gauge or digital read-out says zero, there is still a reserve of petrol or diesel fuel in the tank. Other makers opt for a more refined measurement of what “near empty” means, using digital displays that offer a countdown of how many kilometres it is

“It’s a character that’s a little bit like the way you’d like to be. It’s hard to let go of that,” he says in a phone interview. He speaks quietly and sometimes takes short pauses while answering. It’s a difficult subject for him, one full of stereotypes. It’s easy to think that all those involved are people who spend their afternoons gaming away behind drawn curtains. “I don’t have a problem turning the PC off and doing something else,” says the gamer, a Frankfurt native who says he’s past 30. He said he regularly performed self-assessments about his gaming, asking himself how much time he was spending sending his digital alter ego on adventures to forgotten paths in a fictional world – and whether he was rearranging his daily routine to fit the game or vice versa. “I know that there’s a potential for danger. There are mechanisms that lead a person to look for success in the virtual world because you don’t get them in the real one,” he says, noting that he spends about 20 hours a week gaming with a variety of titles. “Now, is that a lot or a little?” he asks, noting he doesn’t want to quit. Once a character is interred on, players can always go back to visit. But they’re not allowed to resurrect the character. How many of the gamers involved have actually given up gaming is unknown, say staff at the Controlled-Substances office. Alongside the gallery are addresses for counselling and a self-test to gauge one’s gaming behaviour. But a lot of unknowns remain. “The number of passive users is significantly higher than active ones,” says Carnetto. And some need a little extra time before they’re ready to let go of their hero. u

New USB Plugs can ‘go both ways’ { Berlin / DPA }


Running on Empty { Essen, Germany/ DPA }


ot even computer avatars live forever. When Avyen died, all it took was a few minutes and clicks to commemorate her in a few lines, so she could be remembered forever, next to a series of other computer characters. Avyen is one of the 384 characters who have gone on to their final resting place on Germany’s new online avatar graveyard, Just because Avyen never had a physical body didn’t mean it was hard for her owner to give her up. Given all the time taken creating her, he still felt invested in her existence. The Website, set up by the Controlled Substances Department of the city of Frankfurt, serves as a kind of digital cemetery – where fans can achieve closure, after the loss of a digital companion. The idea is to allow people to take a first step away from potentially problematic gaming behaviour. That’s because players and their ‘figures’ form a special kind of bond. It’s too much to ask some people to just delete the character and move on. “You can give your character a nice, meaningful end on the site. You don’t demonize them,” says Regina Ernst, Head of the Office. To date, almost 400 people have set up anonymous memorials for their avatars. Of those, 88 per cent are male, with an average age of 26. The clients come from all over Germany. Most of the discontinued characters come from online role-playing games like World of Warcraft. With the Page’s recent redesign, there’s more space for the user to talk about the character’s history, says Tomaso Carnetto, who thought up the idea of the Page. “Telling the story is important, a kind of therapy. It’s not a brutal severance,” he says. The inscriptions left for the digital dead give a sign of how hard the parting is. They run the gamut from “Rest in Peace” to “Buried, but not forgotten.” “She travelled a long time, fighting dragons, demons and other monsters. But now the journey is at an end,” reads one. “You create this figure and you identify with it,” says one regular gamer who asked to remain anonymous.

G lobal

10-16 January 2014

he day is coming when it won’t matter if you insert your USB plug into a port with the ‘wrong side up’. That’s because the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, an association of various computer manufacturers, is apparently working on a new USB plug. The so-called Type-C plus and its appropriate port will seem smaller than the widely used Type A USB plug, as well as the Type B, which has so far been used for USB 3.0. But one big change will be that there will no longer be a ‘top’ or a ‘bottom’. The new Type C will support both USB 2.0 and 3.0 transfer rates, but its design will also support faster rates that will eventually come into use. However, the plug’s new form will also make it incompatible with old ports. Adapter plugs are planned for this. It’s still a mystery what the look of the new USB plug will be. The Promoter Group hopes to provide the final specifications in mid-2014.u

Don’t let your smartphone become a bacterial breeding ground { Frankfurt / DPA }


ven the sleekest smartphone or tablet isn’t above spreading bacteria. To minimize the danger, avoid using devices in situations where the gadgets could pick something up, recommends German telecommunications portal Eating while surfing can mean food particles get lodged on a machine. Creams and makeup applied to the face leave traces in small scratches on the phone’s housing and touch-screen. Taking a phone into the bathroom presents all kinds of possibilities for picking up things. Any of these situations are ideal for turning a gadget into a bacterial breeding ground. Make sure you clean your device regularly. It’s best to use a clean, dry microfibre cloth. If the cloth isn’t clean, any dust particles on the cloth might scratch the display. Moist towels with a little detergent, or special cleaning sprays, are also options. But too much water can be a danger for your machine. And if the detergent contains solvents, it might damage the screen. When it comes time to clean the ports – for headphones or USB cables – use cotton swabs or toothpicks. u

still safe to drive – winding right down to nil. As a rule of thumb it’s worth noting that most cars will run a further 50 kilometres, even with all the warning signs activated. Car clubs advise against testing these limits, since the terrain of a particular journey and the often irregular shape of a modern car’s fuel tank can distort readings. This means the tank can be more than half empty when the gauge is showing more. Even high-tech gauges rely on a simple floater in the petrol tank, which is attached to a resistor. The floater moves up and down and records the actual level of fluid by measuring electrical resistance. Experts recommend checking the owner’s manual to find out the exact tank volume. Next time the gauge shows empty, they advise owners to fill up the car and make a note of the number of litres or gallons needed to brim the tank. Deducting this figure from the volume stated in the manual provides a handy reckoner of just how far the car can be driven before hitting Empty. u

Mobile phones could soon tell if supermarket fruit is ripe { Berlin/ DPA }


tiny, Near Infrared (NIR) Spectrometer, which is small enough to fit in a mobile phone, could soon warn you if the food you are about to eat, or even buy, has gone ‘off’. A spectrometer analyses light to establish the substances that are present in gases and liquids. The gas exuded by a piece of fruit, for example, could indicate if it were overripe or rotting at the core. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for P h o t o n i c M i c ro sys t e m s and the Technical University in Dresden designed the tiny Spectrometer. According to a Report in Technology Review, shoppers using a suitable phone could produce a reading by holding their phones next to a product, and interpret the results using an app. Researchers believe the spectrometer could also be adapted for other uses, such as measuring blood sugar levels in diabetics or sniffing out explosives at airports. The spectrometer functions with the help of tiny gold threads, measuring only a couple of nanometres in length. It remains unclear when the equipment will be ready for sale on the open market. u

10-16 January 2014

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10-16 January 2014

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Friday gurgaon jan 10 16, 2014 the change you want to see

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