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25-31 October 2013

Vol. 3 No. 10  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Jaat For Each Other { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

ASHA PANDEY

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Young Minds, Old Disease { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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ASHA PANDEY

ngel, 16, lives with her mother and a pet in Aralias, one of the poshest condominiums of the City. She travels in a shiny new BMW 5. She doesn’t want to go to college. She always looks a little withdrawn. She feels extremely depressed at times and says that her life is not worth living. She is not the only rich child in the City to feel this way. Dr. Natasha

Chugh, City-based psychiatrist, says that she treats four to five wealthy, yet unhappy, children a week. “It may seem that these children don’t have any clear reason to be depressed. It is not related to their studies or careers; their stress arises due to the abundance of money! Such children are often brought up being told that they need not worry about anything in life, and that money can take care of everything. Their every whim is taken care of – gratified instantly. Some of these children therefore tend to have no aim or goal in life; they just drift. This causes stress, which gradually takes the shape of Depression,” she says. Yes, Depression is now no longer an adult phenomenon. Increasing Depression among children is undoubtedly the product of a ‘post-modern’ society. This society is not ambitious to achieve; they just want everything - the Contd on p 8 

espite a massive increase in the pace of urbanisation and expansion of Indian cities, the Police department, which is one of the most important cogs in the wheel of Administration, has failed to evolve into a modern and democratic institution. The Police, in the Indian context, are still seen as an instrument of the political masters, who wield power within the government or sometimes even outside it. This is even more true in a state like Haryana, where the Police is often seen as an adjunct to the ruling party, and is used as a tool to distribute power and pelf to the supporters - by way of providing jobs in the lower ranks and creamy postings to officers who toe the line politically or have the right caste affiliations. It is no surprise then that Jaats, who have been ruling the State since it's inception, also dominate the Police force. The manner in which the rest of the 35 ‘biradris’ (caste-based communities) have been eased out in this crucial department is astonishing. While every political party in Haryana categorically asserts that it takes along the entire 36 biradris in the State, the reality seems quite different. As per the data obtained by Gurgaon-based RTI activist Harinder Contd on p 6-7 


02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–10  25-31 October 2013

Editor:

C oming U p

25-31 October 2013

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

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Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib 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.

performances by The Obed Zeme Project, Heaven's Down and a trip down nostalgia lane with some of the pioneers of the Delhi Rock Music circuit. There is also an interactive session with a promising group of artists – the Art Melange. You also get to witness Live Art in progress.

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Music Escape Retreats @ Seasons Hotel, Tarudhan Valley, Manesar Date: October 26 Time: 7:00 pm

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he 4th edition of Escape Retreats by Potheads is here. Gear up for an exciting weekend of awesome music, delectable cuisine and riveting Art- all under one roof. Enjoy

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Solo Show by artist Narayan Sinha. The Sculptor recreates a bygone era with fabrics, photographs and clippings of celluloid, written script, paintings, sculpture and installations, which utilise and recycle the rejected and abandoned.

Nightlife Karaoke & Dance Night @ Yo China, 1st Floor, SCO 41, Sector 29 Date: October 25 Time: 6:00 pm

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Comedy Show Russell Peters Live @ HUDA Grounds, Sector 29 Date: October 25 Time: 8:00 pm

tand up Comedy legend Russell Peters visits the City for his Notorious World Tour. Known for his brand of observational comedy, Peters also plays out ethnic, social and cultural stereotypes in his comedy routine. The Notorious World Tour has been on the road for more than a year now, making several stops at South Africa, Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Manila, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Europe and arenas across Canada and the United States.

Art Debi @ Art Alive Gallery, No.120, Sector-44 Date: Up to November 15 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Sundays closed)

ing your heart out at this Cocktail, Karaoke and Dance Night with Gurgaon Moms. The in-house DJ will add to the fun by playing your fave tunes.

Run The 2nd Gurgaon Running And Living Town and Country Duathlon @ Sector 56 Date: October 27 Time: 6:00 am

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eaturing a 3 km flat tarmac run, a 20 km flat tarmac bike and a 8.3 km cross-country run. 


Nightlife Party in Pink @ Swing, Ambience Mall, NH8 Date: October 27 Time: 5:00 pm

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oin this Charity campaign in the fight against Breast Cancer. Rock the night with friends for a good cause, to help raise funds for Breast Cancer prevention research. Dress Code: Shades of Pink. Call: 919999319449

Food Takoyaki Festival @ Sakura Restaurant, Time Tower, 1st Floor, MG Road Date: October 26 to November 7 Time: 12 noon to 11:00 pm

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ood news for all Japanese food lovers! Indulge in tasty and delicious Japanese treats at this Festival. Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack cooked in a special Takoyaki pan and filled with bits of octopus, chicken, pork, pickled ginger, spring onions and whatever else you want. Enjoy, San!

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ime: 10:00 am to 12 noon Gurgaon Network gets three 'mumprenuers' together for a day of fashion and beauty. Make-up Artist Prerna Mittal Patel of 'Making Faces' will showcase a festive look for the season; Designer Shefali Jain will unveil her new celebratory collection, 'Colourful Wings to Fly'; and Jewellery expert Suman Dash of 'Vastradi' will present her line of beautiful jewels.

Book Launch The Mahabharata Secret @ Om Book Shop, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Ground Floor, DLF Phase 2 Date: October 26 Time: 6:00 pm

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Fashion Preview The Entrepreneurs' Day @ 21 Gun Salute, Sector 29 Date: October 29

he Book launch of 'The Mahabharata Secret' by Christopher C. Doyle. Interact with the Author and get your copy of the book autographed by him.

Music Go Crazy Concert @ HUDA Gymkhana Club, Sector 29 Date: October 26 Time: 7:00 pm onwards

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atch the king of Rap, Badshah perform live. Also performing are Indeep Bakshi Ninja and
Girik Aman.

Diwali Mela @ Parsavnath Exotica Date: October 31

Dy. Manager Accounts & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha

Halloween Celebrations Happy Halloween @ Zura, SCO-40, Sector 29 Date: Up to October 31 Time: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

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elebrate Halloween with designer cakes, pumpkin pies and all kinds of fun figures.


C oming U p

25-31 October 2013

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Rare combination of two Services, offering both Education & Financial Planning Our Process includes: 1 Discovery of your child’s Gift & Aptitude in today’s environment & opportunities 2 Identification of suitable top Indian, American & Canadian Universities 3 Application process facilitating statement of purpose, essays & recommendations 4 Financial Plan for determining saving requirement, advice on where to invest, monitoring portfolio 5 Quarterly reviews showing whether goals are on track, whether any actions are required for reaching a requisite amount of money which foreign universities require for visa purpose. By doing that, you are giving your child a much higher probability of entering a good university. 6 Helping with final university decision and formalities.

EduFinPlan

A 743, Sushant Lok Phase 1, Gurgaon on Galleria main road  diagonally opposite Galleria  Contact us at edufinplan@yahoo.com

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Delhi's Artscape

Group Show of paintings by Basanth Peringode, Manikandan, M. Ishaq, Padmakar Santape, Promod MV, Ramesh Gorjala, Shyamal Mukharjee and Swaraj Das.

Theatre Bhaag Oliver Bhaag @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 27 Time: 7:30 pm onwards

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n adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, which tells the story of an orphan, Oliver – of his flight from an orphanage in Delhi to Mumbai, his brush with the City`s ugly underbelly and finally his escape to a better life.

Film Smile Pinki @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 29 Time: 7:30 pm onwards

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he Film depicts the story of a poor five-year-old girl from Rampur Dahaba village in Mirzapur, near Varanasi, whose life is transformed when she receives free surgery to correct her cleft lip. She had not been allowed to attend school at her native village, and ostracised because of her deformity. Directed by: Megan Mylan.

Urban Mirage @ Shridarni Art Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg Date: November 1 to 10 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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n Exhibition of the recent works by artist Madanlal.

Quiz Trivia Quiz @ Nirvana Patio, South City II Date: October 25 Time: 8:00 pm onwards

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hours of non-stop quizzing will ensure that the mind doesn't go on 'sleep mode'. An evening of special prizes, happy hours and plenty of fun.

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Mrityunjaya @ AIFACS, 1, Rafi Marg Date: Up to October 28 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

n Exhibition of paintings by Manoj Balyan.

The Gods in Glass @ Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road Date: Up to October 31 Time: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

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lass sculptures by Uma Singh.

Music Musical Evening @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 30 Time: 7:30 pm onwards

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musical evening in the memory of eminent composer O.P Nayyar. Author- Scholar Pran Neville pays a tribute, followed by a a performance by Simrat Chhabra.

Art Earthen Aura @ Studio Anmol, C- 55A, South City I Date: Up to November 1 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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Art Visual Fusion @ Beanstalk, Galaxy Hotel, Sector 15, Part II, NH8 Date: October 25 to November 8 Time: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm

n Exhibition of the earthen potteries, vases and paintings by Artist and veteran Pottery Designer, Anju Kumar. The Collection consists of clay, handcrafted terracotta and wood works. The Artist dips into an earthy colour palette, ranging from muted, antique golds, oxidized silvers and majestic beige to vibrant and electrifying burnt sienna.

Urban Art Collection @ M.E.C Art Gallery, Urban Cafe, 70 B, 1st Level, Khan Market Date: Up to October 31 Time: 11:30 am to 7:30 pm

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Group Show of works by Tapan Dash, Laxman Aelay, Monideep Saha, Yogendra Tripathi,Ebenezer, , Atin Basak,Kamal Mitra, Rini Dhumal,Rajib Chowdhury, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Dhiraj Chowdhury, C.Prakash, Manoj Kachangal, Gogi Saroj Pal,Ravi.K,Tapati Sarkar, B.V. Nalakar, C. Acharya, Anil Shukla, Partha Shaw
and others.


04

25-31 October 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  The State has proposed that the Ammunition Depot be shifted. Any activity within 900m of the Depot is restricted by law. However, thousands of houses, with lakhs of residents, are currently staying within this area – some of them having illegally constructed even in recent years, despite strict Court orders against this.  The Toll Plazas on NH8 cannot be closed, confirms NHAI. Asha Chauhan tipped to be the new Zila Parishad Chief, in place of Kavita Yadav.  Police Commissioner Alok Mittal is admitted to hospital, allegedly down with dengue fever.  A mentally-challenged woman is raped in DLF III, allegedly by a carpenter who was working nearby.  A pregnant woman dies at the doorstep of the ESIC Hospital, while waiting for long to be admitted.  A student dies after falling from an auto, while trying to retrieve his mobile.  A Delhi based LIC agent is found hanging from a tree; an elderly person is also found hanging from a tree in Sec 15; a company executive is found hanging in his house, in Sector 37; a middle aged man is found dead in a hotel in ‘old’ Gurgaon, but leaves a suicide note on the basis of which 3 people are taken into custody.  2 youth die after being hit by a train.  An FIR is lodged against Max Hospital and doctors for alleged negligence during the operation of a woman.  Doctors involved in the case of the ex-CJM’s wife’s death (alleged murder) are summoned by the CBI.  A 9th class student is missing, allegedly kidnapped.  Basai villagers beat up power dept. staff for trying to remove an electricity meter due to non-payment of dues.

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo Can you help me? Meri maddad karega?

 A JCB machine/vehicle, which struck a 2 wheeler and killed the rider and seriously injured his wife, is burnt by irate villagers.  HDFC Bank reports fake currency deposits of about Rs 1.5 crores at its branches.  A man is duped of Rs 40 lakhs in a Sector 38 property deal.  A man is robbed of his car at gunpoint, in Sector 40; another car is looted on NH 8, but the robbers are caught; goons hold up a truck and loot its ten tyres, and batteries.  An Army Major is held in a property fraud case.  A Delhi resident is arrested for a Rs 5 lakhs (blank) cheque fraud.  A domestic help steals a laptop, mobile and Rs 25,000 cash, and flees.  A retired woman executive is duped of Rs 25,000 in a Net-Banking fraud.  Raahgiri Day (non-motorized transport initiative) is to be observed from November 10th., 6am to noon, every Sunday – on select routes in the City.  A hundred policemen donate blood. An international Carrom Tournament takes place in the City.

Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan Locals, relatives of a patient, clash violently with security staff at Park Hospital. They allegedly try to set a part of the Hospital on fire. 4 youth, allegedly members of an ‘influential family’, attack police and damage a PCR van, on being stopped for checking at night, near IFFCO Chowk Metro Station. A dozen men attack the staff at the Wazirpur (Pataudi Road) Toll Plaza and loot almost Rs 2 lakhs. A driver and a conductor of a Roadways bus are beaten up.

T PIC be the change you wish to see

OF THE WEEK

It is an emergency. Mergency hori hai. I am sick. Main bimaar hun I have been injured. Mere chhot laag rahi hai I need a doctor. Manne doctor chaiye se. Please call an ambulance. Ambulance bula de bhai. Where is the nearest hospital? Sabte dhorre haspatal kith hai? Can you hurry up? Jaldi karega ke?

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

What is your view on the Aam Aadmi Party? Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com


25-31 October 2013

H appenings

05

Raahgiri Day

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he Gurgaon Administration has announced November 10, 2013 to be India's first sustained car-free day – Raahgiri Day. This initiative is supported by EMBARQ India, Pedal Yatris, NMT group, the Heritage School and I am Gurgaon.

A Poetic Eve

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he Arya Samaj DLF Phase II Manch organised a Kavi Sammelan. Gurgaon Citizen Council Head R.S Rathee was the Chief Guest at the Event. Performers included noted poets like Dr. Saraswat Mohan, Vimal Vibhakar, Krishna Gopal Vidyarthi, Satyendra Satyarthi, Rachna Chowdhury, Bagi Chacha and singer Preeti Vishwas.

Merc Workshop

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ercedes-Benz India inaugurated its largest state-of-the-art workshop in North India – T&T Motors, Gurgaon. The service facility was inaugurated by Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, Devdutta Chandavarkar, Vice President, After Sales, Mercedes-Benz India and Vidur Talwar, Managing Director, T&T Motors.

Harmonious Fund Raising

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n Uttarakhand Fundariser was held at Club5. The Event was inaugurated by Dr. Aziz Qureshi, Governor of Uttarakhand. A performance by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, along with Amaan & Ayaan, was the highlight of the evening.

Not Yet The Destination

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lobal Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management (GIREM) & DTZ, the global leader in property services, unveiled a ranking of the top 21 Business Destinations in the country. Gurgaon has been ranked as the 19th Business Destination. The ranking rates the cities based on factors like Human Capital, Energy, Water, Transport, Housing, Healthcare, Climate, Office Space Availability and City Culture, amongst others.

For Subscription SMS FGYES to 8447355801


06  Contd from p 1 Dhingra, who has filed a number of RTIs across districts in Haryana, the Jaat community has cornered a very significant portion of the jobs in the general category in Non-Gazetted ranks, in the Police. This means that the majority of Police Stations in the State have a Jaat SHO, and almost every important investigation is therefore in the hands of an officer from that community. No doubt the preference among the Jaats, for jobs in the Police and other services, could be a major reason for their domination in the Police force, but experts opine that such a socially skewed Police force does lead to inefficiencies, political interference, socially inequitable policing and disaffection. Further, the Police are still seen as an institution that brutally imposes the will of the State. In both urban as well as large swathes of rural India, ‘khaki’ backed by ‘dhoti’, and in the case of Haryana a 'lathh', most often rules the roost. The RTI information is startling, as it reveals that despite having a share of 30 per cent in the State, a single community has managed to dominate the Police hierarchy, particularly from the Constabulary to the Inspector level. It is because of this reason that politicians from South Haryana, particularly the Yadavs, have been accusing successive Chief Ministers of discriminating against the other castes, particularly the Ahirs, while recruiting for the Police force. A senior Yadav leader says that when people from Ahirwal could send a large number of men to the Indian Armed Forces, why is their number negligible in the Haryana Police? His allegations are backed by the RTI information obtained by Dhingra, which reveals that in District Jhajjar, out of a total of 199 Non-Gazetted official posts, the Jaats occupy 113, SCs 27, Ahirs 11, and the Rajputs and Gurjars negligible posts. In Rohtak, which is the traditional pocket borough of the Jaats, the number of officials from this community is 615 in the general category, against 526 sanctioned posts! Clearly every Jaat would want to be in Rohtak. There are 166 SC posts, and again negligible posts for the Ahirs, Rajputs and Gurjars. This imbalance could be more pronounced in the Constabulary in the general category. Nearer home, in the 1st. IRB in Bhondsi, Gurgaon, there are 312 sanctioned posts, while the number of Jaats is an overwhelming 333 – with around 20 posts each for Rajputs, Gurjars and Ahirs. It is a similar situation in the 2nd IRB, with 290 Jaats. Obviously there is a beeline to serve in Gurgaon, as there are more policemen present in the District than the sanctioned strength. What is worrying is that this policy of dishing out jobs on the basis of political patronage seems to have had a negative effect on the functioning of the Police. The unending cases of rape in the State - a large number of which are also never reported, the Police mishandling of incidents such as Mirchpur - where Dalits were forced to migrate from their villages, and a similar soft approach on the interference of the caste-based Khaps, has dented the image of the Department. Dalit activists say that the Police department needs to be

25-31 October 2013

Jaat For Each Other

In both urban as well as large swathes of rural India, ‘khaki’ backed by ‘dhoti’, and in the case of Haryana a 'lathh', most often rules the roost. more representative of the society. Kiran Bedi, a former IPS officer and now an activist, has stated that time has come for Police reforms to be seriously implemented in the country, and Police training be taken seriously. “Police jawans and officials need to be trained properly, and political interference in recruitment, postings and transfers must be stopped, to ensure that the Department functions effectively, ” says Bedi. However, she feels that this would not happen soon, particularly in Haryana - where the politicians are corrupt, and more interested in land deals; where the bureaucracy is supine and the people are divided on the basis of caste, creed, religion and region. “Recruitment in the Police is seen as a political handout, and used by leaders to ensure that they have a ‘hold’ on the area and the populace,” says Bedi. Having an organisation dominated by a single caste has many pitfalls, and the same are displayed in the quality of the service being delivered. The mental conditioning, predisposed learning and the social equations play an important part in how a Policeman thinks about his job, how he reacts

The RTI information is startling, as it reveals that despite having a share of 30 per cent in the State, a single community has managed to dominate the Police hierarchy, particularly from the Constabulary to the Inspector level. to a situation and what are his responses. In the case of the Haryana Police, the predominance of Jaats has ensured that their opinion on castebased marriages, social mores and taboos has to be toed by the others, even if it is wrong sometimes. Kamal Yadav, a BJP leader from Gurgaon, states that till now the govt jobs have been given only on the basis of caste and community in the State, that too on a regional bias. “For the last couple of decades the government recruitment has been used as a political tool to perpetuate power, but it will stop soon,” asserts Yadav. However, power can melt one’s views. A leading politician of South Haryana, and ruling Minister, when asked about the issue, said that discrimination was more in the minds than on the ground, clearly pointing to an about turn in his stand. Likewise, a leader from the Gurjar community also refused to make any comment, saying that this topic was a political hot potato. The Punjabis, who claim that they constitute almost 30 per cent of the population of Haryana, are also getting increasingly vocal as election time comes close. They also want such discrimination to end. Harish Chander

Perhaps this is the reason that the sitting Gurgaon MP, and recent Congress rebel, has been demanding a White Paper on recruitment in government jobs in the State. Rao Inderjit Singh told Friday Gurgaon that not only in the police, but almost all govt jobs have been given to a particular community, and that too from a particular region. This sense of discrimination rings throughout South Haryana, and even in the ILD dominated belts in the Northern parts of the State. The Hooda government is accused of catering to the core belt of Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Jhajjar and Sonipat, where the CM has the maximum supporters.

C over S tory Azad, President of the Punjabi Mahashakti Sangh, alleges that there has been discrimination with the community since Independence. “We have not been given even 1 per cent jobs in the State government, particularly the Police - where our presence is negligible. We have been responsible for the success of many companies in the private sector, but the State treats us shabbily,” says Azad. To protest this discrimination the Punjabis have decided to organise a rally in Rohtak on December 15th. Dhingra, who filed the RTI to know the caste profile of the Haryana Police, says that he was startled by the virtual absence of Ahirs, Punjabis, Banias, Rajputs and other castes in this Department. “I think there needs to be a fair and balanced representation of castes and communities in the Police, because it is a department that must understand and protect all citizens equally. Its tremendous power should be used positively,” he adds. His RTI reveals that in the State Police Headquarters, which has 297 general posts, there are 197 Jaats, 54 Rajputs, 40 Gurjars and 6 Ahirs. In the Crime branch, Panchkula, out of 57 posts there are 44 Jaat officials - with no Gurjars and other castes. Likewise, in the Telecom department, Panchkula, there are 133 Jaats in a total of 213 posts. Dhingra says that the presence of other castes in the Police hierarchy has been forgotten by the rulers of the State, but the results are acutely felt by the people who have to interact with the rank and file. In an era where even the private sector is calling for more diversity and equality, and is supporting affirmative action, having a Police force dominated by a single caste, that too within a particular region, is not conducive for good policing, says Bedi. Madhulika Chatterjee (name changed), who recruits for the private sector, says, “Bringing in women and people from different regions and backgrounds enriches the organisational culture and helps it understand the nuances of different consumers, and also improves functioning. How an organization reacts to different situations, how it handles pressure is also impacted by the diversity of its people,” she says. The government organisations, in her opinion, already have defined norms for boosting diversity, but these must be implemented in letter and spirit. In case of organizations like the Police, it becomes all the more important to represent the diversity of the population, as it will ensure that cliques or groups are not formed, which then perform as per the bidding of their political masters. The functioning of Police, unfortunately, is well within the shadow of the politicians. In fact this was the primary reason why a revolt took place in the Haryana Police in 1991, and even then the organizational leaders, instead of protecting the Force from political interference, resorted to indiscriminate dismissals and suspensions. Today, only the symptoms have been treated, the malaise still exists, says a former official on anonymity. Lt General (Retd) M.R Sharma, VSM, PVSM, who was the Military Secretary to the Defence Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, opines that


C over S tory

25-31 October 2013

the nature of Police work is such that it requires a highly trained, motivated and professional Force, to ensure that law and order is maintained even in normal circumstances. He suggests that the recruitment in the Police should be done on the basis of merit, and the Haryana Police could follow the Army recruitment formula - to give adequate representation to various districts and communities in the State. The Army Headquarters allots the number of vacancies to every State on the basis of the recruitable male population, and this is done to ensure that every region in the country has a fair representation that is merit based. “Further, there is no reservation in the Army; and for the officers’ recruitment there is not even a Region quota,” says Sharma. In his opinion, any important arm of the State should specially be above caste or community concerns, as it is responsible for the safety and security of the entire populace,

rather than of a particular region or section of society. He also says that a proposal to introduce caste-based reservations in the Armed Forces, which was mooted at the highest level during his tenure, was sternly opposed by him. Major General (Retd) J.S Bahri also opines that the men in the Forces are trained such that they always perform as Indians first – caste and regional moorings remain personal identities. “We have mixed classes, and all class units function well because the officers are above any parochialism,” he adds. Perhaps it is the quality of officers that first needs to be improved, if the Police departments across the country have to function as they should. Dr. Bedi says that the Indian Police needs to bring in reforms that would inject professional in the Force and reorient the Police towards being part of a (people’s) democracy. Dhingra is pessimistic, as he alleges that the Police in Haryana still have a feudalistic culture, in which officials feel bound to fulfill the wishes of

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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war of attrition is constantly being fought between the builders and apartment buyers in Gurgaon, while the government authorities look the other way. The buyers, mostly represented by the RWAs, find that government agencies act mostly on lines dictated by builders. Pleas to the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), the ultimate authority on the real estate development in the State, fall on deaf ears. Well after they had settled into their flats, the residents of Towers B and C in the BPTP Freedom Park, a posh condominium in Sector 57, realized that the builder had not obtained the Occupation Certificate from the DTCP. The Freedom Park RWA says that these two towers were built by the SS Group, and a financial dispute between BPTP and the SS Group was the cause of the delay in issuance of the Occupation Certificate. While some of the apartments in these two towers have even got registered, the RWA says that these two towers cannot be insured and maintenance companies are reluctant to sign any contract. “For some time both BPTP and the SS Group had maintained these towers, but now we have been left in the lurch”, says an RWA member. Another major issue for the residents is that the proposed club, nursery school and an apartment for service personnel – promised as part of the Complex - has not been delivered by the builder. For 573 families in Freedom Park, two small rooms have been built and converted into a club!

their (political) masters. The culture of policing in a civil society, with a mandate to serve - not to rule over - the people, has still not taken root, he asserts. Those in the know of the functioning of the Police also say that long working hours, inadequate facilities, corruption in recruitment, a constant pressure to deliver and everincreasing crime are also the reasons that policemen are seen to be often out of their elements when dealing with people and complex situations. This is also the reason why the human rights’ record of the Police has been pathetic. The political interference in the Police is a direct result of the skewed recruitment and reward policy adopted by the rulers, who know that by controlling the Police they have an additional lever in preserving their power. What they don't want to accept is that this could seriously harm society, which itself is churning fast – with increasing migration within and across regions, and

from rural to urban areas. It is time that the law and order machinery represents the multi-cultural populace and regional diversity of

Not Free Residents

prakhar PANDEY

Monica Segan, a resident, says that they all had come to this Complex with hopes of a quality life, but poor maintenance and non-delivery of the promised infrastructure has rattled the buyers. A case in point is the parking. “There are 573 flats in the Complex, but only 419 parking bays have been made available - which is also inadequate”, adds another resident. The RWA says that the parking space has been sold to the buyers (for lakhs

each), which is against a Supreme Court ruling. Another issue is that while the original plan had two split level basements for parking, the builder has constructed only a single level parking. The residents say that they have requested the builder to convert the stilt area into parking space, but no one is listening. Instead, 15 ‘extra’ flats have been built here, which is contrary to the original project plan. The residents

07

Haryana, so that people can approach their local Policeman, and expect that the Force would act without fear or favour.u

raised this matter with the Town Planner, but it was not given due consideration, on the plea that this area had been included in the FAR. The issue of inadequate power back up is also troubling the residents. The RWA says that a 33 KVA transformer was to be installed by the builder, which has not happened to date; as a result, they face constant voltage fluctuation and tripping, particularly during the summers. Since the inception of the Complex, there has been no fire drill, despite repeated pleas. There have already been major fires in the Complex – once in the clubhouse area. The RWA also alleges that the Public Address System in the Complex is nonfunctional, and the security guards are ineffective. The builder is not ready to transfer the maintenance to the RWA. “The builder says that our RWA is not registered as per the 1984 Haryana Apartment Owners Act. When we went to the Registrar of Societies, the officials said that we were properly registered, but no one is ready to put this on paper, or even direct the builder to accept our RWA as the official one”, says Segan. The residents are eagerly awaiting the setting up of a regulatory body, as per the coming Real Estate Bill, which they hope will ensure that buyers no longer remain helpless. The RWA also hopes that the skewed Buyer-Seller Agreements, which are in favour of the builders, will also be corrected. Till that time, the residents of BPT Freedom Park await deliverance from the builder…or perhaps mull a coup or a (legal) case.u


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25-31 October 2013

Young Minds, Old Disease  Contd from p 1 members lack purpose. Many of the young generation in the Millennium City seem to live a post-modern life. Their parents are even a step ahead; having ‘made it’ in life, they now have time for just themselves. They believe that their basic duty to their children is to ensure that they do not go through the hardships experienced by them. They can afford to pamper their children, like the rich of old. There is no time or inclination to inculcate some essential values in their children, which are needed for a rooted, balanced and healthy life. They fail to teach them there is more to life than drinks, gadgets and cars. There are some who are different of course. Puneet Srivastava, an investment banker who was born and brought up in the City, referring to his childhood, says, “The City of dirt, danger and determination that I saw as a child was far more interesting than the Millennium City of today. The 90s were the time of politics, poverty, joint families and strong social ties.” He feels that the nouveau riche, like the rich of old, have two basic approaches to raising their children; they either spoil them or make them realize the immense value of money. Puneet left the City in 1998, but divides his time between London, where he is working, and his village in ‘old’ Gurgaon. Although his daughters have all the luxuries, they get a set allowance each month so that they learn to manage their expenses. In another family, a teenager, Sukhdeep (name changed), usually clad in Prada and Gucci, prefers to drive a Lamborghini or a Jaguar. He doesn’t like his school. He spends most afternoons in his apartment, slumped on the couch, drinking beer and smoking pot. Some three months ago, after an alleged attempt at suicide, his parents took him to a psychiatrist at Medanta. Everybody who knew him was shocked. Despite all the comforts and luxuries, what made Sukhdeep take such an

extreme step? “It was a case of extreme Depression. The reason was not clear to his parents, not even to Sukhdeep. In his first session he said that he had always got what he wanted and it will always be like this, so why should he study. Actually, the abundance of money, the instant gratifications, had led to a feeling of emptiness and a lack of purpose in his life. In pursuit of happiness, he just kept moving from one thing and person to another. He had many childhood love affairs. He even started taking drugs,” informs his physiatrist, Dr. Poonam Dayal. After two months, Dr. Dayal discovered that a failed relationship with a girl had led him to attempt suicide. The primary need is to understand the difference between Depression and sadness. There are different types of Depression. Events like natural calamities and the loss of a loved one can make

anyone sad. It is also common to feel sad when things don’t go right in school or in a relationship. The danger is when the simple act of living becomes tough and small issues like a raised voice make a child feel worthless and rejected. If the parents have healthy interaction with their children on a regular basis, they should be able to notice the change in their child’s behaviour. "A child who is unhappy about a friend who treated him/her badly should normally get over it in a couple of days. But if he/she sticks to the matter and keeps the grudge for a long time, there is something wrong. Depressed children tend to keep grudges for a longer period of time say three to four weeks, and

sometimes for years," says Dr. Chugh. The symptoms and causes of Depression vary across age groups. Even children younger than six can get depressed; but their depression often reflects the mental state of their primary caregiver, usually their nannies. Recounting a case, Dr. Dayal says, “These days many children are raised by nannies, not mothers. A mother came to me with her four-yearold son who used to remain sad most of the time. The mother also noticed his self-destructive behaviour, when he hit himself with a sharp pencil. After three sessions I found out that the child remains with his nanny for more than 10 hours a day. The nanny was going through chronic depression, due to a sour relationship with her husband and her economic condition. She was also undergoing treatment at a government hospital. She used to cry, and sometimes hurt herself with sharp objects in front of the child. All this led to the depression in the little one.” Besides, there are many cases where the mother is the primary agent of depression in children; day-today stress in mothers can also lead to depression in the child. If a child sees stressful or selfdestructive behaviour, he/she feels extremely depressed. In pre-teens (children between the age of seven and twelve), depression often starts with anxiety. Anxiety among children is serious, as it can be toxic to the brain. Parents should therefore be aware about various types of anxieties and their symptoms. There are mainly three main types of anxieties: Separation anxiety - It is most common among the preteens. If there is a deep-seated fear in a child’s mind, he/she may often feel acute headaches, stomachaches or diarrhoea. The pain actually comes from their brains. If medical tests of the intestine, stomach and brain fail to provide any cause of regular aches or diarrhoea, it could be a case of anxiety. The need is to visit a psychiatrist before the anxiety turns into Depression. Social phobia - Some children feel extremely uncomfortable in social gatherings. They only like to talk to their parents and siblings. Parents should go for an anxiety diagnosis if a child

continues to feel and act so till the age of 11. Generalized Anxiety Disorder - If a child worries excessively about his/her looks, future or peer pressure, he/ she might be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. "A child was extremely worried about his basketball match in school. He was preparing hard for the match, but was extremely worried about his performance in the final. He jumped from the first floor of his school’s building and broke his ankle, so that he could avoid participating in the match. This was a clear case of Generalized Anxiety leading to Depression,” informs Dr. Chugh. Symptoms for depression in teenagers are very different. In their case, chronic stress turns into Depression in most of the cases. Some teenagers don’t express their feelings easily, be it in front of parents, teachers or even their friends. It therefore becomes a challenge for the parents to know if the child is depressed or just going through ‘mood swings’. Some of the common symptoms of Depression among teenagers are: Persistent boredom and low energy - The most common symptom is the inability to enjoy. Teenagers are generally very fond of parties, sports and outstation trips with friends. If a child shows no interest in any of these, he/she could be stressed. Besides, if a child feels ‘low’ most of the times, it may not be a deficiency of iron or protein. It could be stress, which may lead to Depression. Low self-esteem and guilt The children who feel that they are not worth anything are often found to be stressed. Dr. Chugh says, “The first question that we ask such children is, ‘Are you important to somebody?' If they say ‘no’, they are surely undergoing a lot of stress”. If a child experiences frequent physical illnesses, such as headaches and stomachaches, for no real cause, it could be a case of extreme stress. Self-destructive behaviour - It is a clear indication of Depression. Doctors inform that many teenagers take to drugs with an objective of selfdestruction. Dr. Chugh further explains, “Self-destruction is not necessarily an attempt to commit suicide.  There are cases where children refuse to recognize their family members, as they want to live alone and suffer with their loneliness.” “In India, even the most educated families are not aware about the dangers of Depression. They never associate physical illness among children with their mental state. So the most important step is to spread awareness, not just

C over S tory about the causes of Depression, but also its symptoms and possible treatments,” feels Dr. Dayal. Children these days often come across depressing situations. Sometimes parents are neglectful or separated. Sometimes the children have so much material comfort that they don’t respect moral values or follow societal rules. These situations don't necessarily create Depression, but they create behavioural problems among the children. These children may become rambunctious, unhappy and emotionally weak - and all this can lead to Depression. Therefore, it is important to take precaution, to be preventive. Parents need to have friendly interactions with their children, so that they know what is going on in their lives. There is an urgent need to inculcate moral values in children. As the City, and society, has lost the concept of joint families, parents should take on the responsibility of what was once done by the grandparents. Most of the depressed children also don’t seem to have any role models in life. When asked about his role model, Sukhdeep says, “I don’t want to become an entrepreneur like my father. I don’t want my sister to dress up like my mother and spend half of her life in kitty parties. I don’t think actors and sportsmen can become my role models, as I have no interest in sports and cinema.” Dr. Dayal suggests, “Situation can’t be changed overnight, but we are trying our best to involve him in some constructive activities such as gardening, painting and writing. Initially he found it funny and completely declined the idea of sowing seeds in his garden. But on Friendship Day, when he was looking for gifts for his friends, we suggested that he plant roses and gift flowers from his garden to his friends – along with a personal note. He liked the idea. We have seen tremendous recovery in just three weeks.” Unfortunately, many children these days have valid reasons to feel depressed, as their parents have no time for them. While the cause of suicide varies from case to case, the cause of Depression is most likely to be the neglect by the parents or society, and a lack of purpose in life. It seems that the growing Depression among children is the product of over-pressured and over-scheduled families. Parents should understand that children don’t only need world-class schools, expensive cars and world tours, but their time and understanding - the most. u


25-31 October 2013

C ivic/S ocial

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

D

espite the tide turning against the powerful Shared Auto operators, which number almost 20,000 in Gurgaon, we cannot wish away this mode of transport despite it being rickety, unsafe, uncomfortable and a sham in the name of public transport. They provide an essential ‘last mile connectivity’ and also connect some commuter hubs in the City. Even the Police, which have started a stringent campaign for the last one month to bring discipline to this trade, agree that it would be difficult to replace these ‘contraptions’ on Gurgaon roads – at least soon. Transport experts say that instead of trying to replace the Shared Autos, these should be brought into a policy framework and given due importance because of the role they play in transporting lakhs of people daily. Sarika Panda Bhatt of Embarq India, who has been involved in promoting Non-Motorized Transport in Gurgaon, says that the City authorities will have to formulate a proper plan for these Autos, as has happened in other states like Tamil Nadu. “Shared Autos come under the intermediate transport system, and in a country like India play a crucial role in providing transport to the public in a cost-effective manner. The need is to make them safer for commuters and the environment”, says Bhatt. A majority of City residents, some of them experts on Autos, and some of them users, agree that Auto-operation and usage in Gurgaon needs a major overhaul till the time a mass City-specific transport system is developed. The Haryana Transport Department has made a start with the introduction of buses in the City, which has already made an impact – even on the Shared Auto and other Autos’ business. Raj Kumar, the ‘Pradhan’ of the Shared Auto Union at Sohna Chowk, says that there was a time when 200 to 300 Autos were registered in Gurgaon yearly, but this year the number would not be more than 10. “The income of the Auto drivers has also dwindled by half. Due to their large numbers, an Auto is operated only for 15 days in a month, which also makes its operation uneconomical”, says the Pradhan. Transport experts say that the Autos

can either be phased out gradually or used basically to provide a last mile connectivity. However, for that to happen, the Transport Department will have to commission a fleet of at least 300 buses, and then run the routes and the operation efficiently. Today there are a large number of relevant routes (near villages) in Gurgaon where City Bus does not even operate. The political clout of the Auto owners, who form a massive vote bank, has also to be reckoned. The 20,000 Shared Autos are owned by local residents, who claim that they also drive these contraptions to earn a livelihood. Panda of Embarq India suggests that the Haryana government could follow the Tamil Nadu example, and ensure that Autorickshaw permits are given on a systematic basis. Right now only the local residents of a village can own and run a Shared Auto, as per an unwritten law enforced by the villagers. Panda says that a ‘one owner one permit’ policy should be implemented. Preferably only those individuals who drive their Auto should be given a permit. There is also a need to ensure that only people with a valid driving licence should get a permit, and the same should be strictly enforced by the Traffic Police. It has also been suggested that the permit policy for Shared Autos should have nominal fees. There should also be no cap on the number of permits, as it then leads to a ‘black market’. The Policy should also allow setting up of Auto Co-operatives. An upto-date database of Shared Auto owners and drivers needs to be maintained. Nisha Singh, Councillor for Ward 31, and a votary of Non-Motorized Transport, calls for increasing the number of buses in the City, and the slow phasing out of the Autos from major roads. “The efforts being made by authorities to educate the drivers are good to an extent, but Gurgaon needs a mass transport service for the teeming millions. The pollution in the city is unending, and these Autos spew gases, and are not checked by the Traffic authorities. These Autos need to be made safer and a restriction imposed on number of occupants - which sometimes goes up to 10 to 12”, she adds. The supporters of Non-Motorized Transport say that there needs to be a holistic solution to this issue. Manas

prakhar PANDEY

Not an Auto choice

Fuloria, CEO of Nagarro, says that sharing of vehicles is a good thing, but Gurgaon’s Shared Autos have several drawbacks. They are slow, polluting, uncomfortable and dilapidated. The backbone of a sustainable transport system has to be built on high-volume people carriers, such as buses and trains. The Shared Autos can continue to provide a last-mile service. Of course this last mile, or short trips, is also very well served by walking and cycling, if the right environment is created, he adds. “To upgrade the Autos, the government may organize soft loans for the owners, but it should simultaneously mandate Delhi-level pollution and age of vehicle standards. There are several modern vehicle models that might play the same role, such as the Tata Magic. Even better would be electric vehicles, as one can already see in some parts of Delhi”, suggests Fuloria. He was instrumental in launching a recent NASSCOM initiative for supporting Non-Motorized Transport in the city. While it is important to modernize the Auto system it is also important to create a safety network for the commuters. Many residents of Gurgaon, particularly women, allege that sitting in an Auto with unknown persons - many of whom are often drunk - and leering drivers is a very bad experience. Cheap comments, groping and catcalls are daily happenings in these Autos, which make it difficult to commute - particularly in the evenings. A large majority of women say that sexual harassment is now part of the daily commute. They opine that often women prefer to move in groups as they feel safer that way, but this is not possible all

the time. Vandana, a resident of Dwarka, who has been coming daily to her office in DLF, says that without use of the Auto it is impossible to reach the office on time. “I have to daily bear the brunt of the x-ray eyes of the male passengers and many unwanted touches. The bus service could be helpful, but the number is too little to make a difference”, she asserts. When asked why she was preferring the Auto when buses were available on the ‘old’ Delhi Gurgaon route, a woman said that the number of buses was quite less, and this forces them to wait for a longer period. “I like the flexibility of the Autos, but they need to be made more safe and secure. The Police should not allow more than 6 people in an Auto, even if the fare has to be raised”, she says. Unfortunately initiatives like Radio Tuk Tuk, Pink Autos and White Autos have all come to naught. The Shared Auto service seems to be a top choice for the less-privileged, because of its flexibility and low cost. Since the last one month Gurgaon Police has launched a campaign to discipline the Shared Autos. All Autos that are being driven wrongly, driven by underage drivers and violating any traffic rules are being challaned and impounded on a daily basis. The local Auto industry is facing scrutiny for the first time. Mahesh, an Auto leader on the Dundahera route, says that the Police are acting very tough, making life difficult for them. A senior Police official says that to bring sanity on Gurgaon roads it was important to send a strong message. So stringent has been the drive that Auto drivers had to organize a protest rally against the Police action, which they say was leaving them little scope to

09

operate. Police officials say that the drive has ensured that most auto drivers now wear a proper dress, and display their name plates, have full registration papers and do not park wrongly. Many vehicles did not have correct papers, their tail lights were absent and pollution certificates were never obtained. The policemen also agree that the City Bus service has broken the stranglehold of the Autowallas. The Auto owners complain that the Police often challan them even when their papers are in order. Raj Kumar says that there has not been a single case of eve-teasing filed against any auto driver operating on the Badshahpur route. “We belong to the local villages. Often phones that are left behind by passengers are easily returned to them, because they are regulars and we know them”, he says. Hundreds of commuters can be seen using these Autos on Sohna Road. Raj Kumar adds that half their customers are women, and they have no hesitation in using Shared Autos, because of the cheap fare and flexibility. His views are supported by Parveen, who is the Secretary of the Sohna Road to Sikanderpur Barha route via Kherki Daula. “We serve 4,000 people daily and there is no bus service on this route. Despite this, the Police challans us for no fault of ours. Many times a challan is issued for Rs 100 while the Police official takes Rs 500 a bribe”, he says. In case an Auto driver asks for the ‘full receipt’, then the Police threaten to impound the vehicle - which scares the driver into submission. Today an Auto owner is only able to earn Rs 500 maximum per day, claims Mukesh. “There was a time when buying an Auto took long time, due to a waiting list; but now there are no buyers, as this business is losing steam”, says Ali Sher, who has been driving an Auto for the last 35 years in Gurgaon. He says that thousands of people are engaged in this trade, and the City government and the civil society should also take their concerns into account while formulating a transport policy. With City Bus ramping up, Autos needing to be disciplined, the Metro expansion under way and a clamour for Non-motorized Transport paths, it’s the perfect time to frame and implement an Integrated Transport Policy. u


10 Food For Thought { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

I

n the last two decades the Millennium City has made considerable progress on many fronts, such as business, economy and education, to name a few. However, there is one area of human development where it has not fared well at all – taking care of hunger and malnutrition. More than 43 per cent of the children born in the City are malnourished and over 6,000 families go to bed on an empty stomach. We need to look for better ways to fight this food shortage and also help reduce the food wastage in the City. Despite the City being a part of one of the most important agricultural states, the poor here continue to go hungry. The shrinking agricultural land, along with stagnant employment, is making the situation worse. The economic development has benefited only a few rich families in villages. Shami, a 60-year-old resident of Wazirpur Village, says, “Some four decades ago my family was fully dependent on agriculture and we used to earn well. I never imagined that one day people would have to suffer food shortage in my village. As most of the land has been sold to property dealers, farmers hardly have any employment option in villages. They migrate to the City, where

{ Anita Jaswal } “Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” ~ Dale Carnegie “Every day when I wake up I’m not super excited to go to the office and make magic happen. There are days when I wish someone would carry you to the office door. Understanding that sometimes we really can’t shake a crappy mood, but to somehow make those days less stressful and more enjoyable, I bake cakes!” says Umesh Grover, an Associate Creative Director and the creator of Man Cakes. “What started as a lark has turned out to be an ongoing process. A few days before Christmas my bosses Preeti

S ocial

25-31 October 2013

they work as auto drivers or service staff, and can’t earn enough to feed their family.” Shami blames the realty boom and the emergence of the corporate sector for the shortage of food in the City. Seema

Mathur, who is a part of Swasth Haryana initiative, says, “The problem is that neither the government nor the people seem to understand the issue of food shortage. While NGOs believe that simple distribution of food items is enough to fight food shortage, the government just rolls out hundreds of plans and schemes. I have spent over five years in Israel, which is not an agricultural country, but they are self-sufficient in food. They are working with the latest technologies, which even help produce foodgrains in water!” she says.

Mid-day Meals, a success story

Rajiv Bhatnagar, a wrestler from the Jind district of Haryana, advocates the spread of the Mid-day Meal programme in schools, to

fight issues relating to food and nutrition. Rajiv says “I used to run to school each morning — three miles away from my village - as the school offered a nutritious meal. The Mid-day Meal programme changed my life. I went from a boy who couldn’t concentrate in class to a sportsman who actively participated in wrestling and marathons. This helped unlock my sporting talent, which led me to set the national record in wrestling.” Rajiv is today associated with Fight For Food Foundation and he travels to government schools across the State to support the Mid-day Meal programme. This Programme is certainly a part of the solution, as it helps children lead healthier lives. It not only provides healthy food to the children, but in many districts the Programme also offers take-home rations, which help reduce hunger for the entire family. Presently the government provides Mid-day Meals to over 400 schools in the City. A teacher at Government School, Sector 4 says, “When children are provided a healthy meal at school, their parents are more likely to keep them there. The Mid-day Meal programme has had a particularly positive impact on the attendance of girls in schools. Besides, children learn better after eating a nutritious meal, because they can focus on their studies rather than their stomachs.” The Programme has also benefited local agriculturists. The government supports homegrown feeding, wherein local farmers provide most

of the food for the Mid-day Meals, especially in areas such as Sohna, Rewari and Mewat.

Food Banks

Food items that are not good enough to sell in the market, but are hygienically and legally fit to consume and distribute, are donated by the manufacturers to Food Banks. The first such Food Bank in the City was started by DLF Foundation last year. However, it is not fully operational yet. Undoubtedly, setting up a Food Bank is a welcome step, as through them food products are distributed free of charge to the needy. However, the major concern is the right channel of distribution. “Most of the times the NGOs distribute the food items to their own inmates or in villages and areas associated with them. People living in villages and slums should have access to these food products. Food Banks should have a system to distribute food in these areas, rather than simply giving away food to the NGOs,” feels Seema Mathur. Besides, Food Banks should not confuse malnutrition with hunger. Malnutrition is a persistent problem all across Haryana. It is often confused with shortage of food and hunger. Food Banks need to realise that the demand for food is based on calorific needs and requirements of the human body. The food banks need to focus on distributing nutritional food.

Spreading Awareness About Food Wastage Today,

while

there

are

thousands of people starving in the City, there are millions others who are wasting food. There are more than 780 restaurants in the City. A restaurant on an average records a food wastage of 80 kg every day. It is surprising that restaurants owners have not come forward to spread awareness about the wastage of food – and what to do about it. The restaurants often organise meetings for food bloggers and various cookery workshops, but nothing has been done to control food wastage – while nearby, the Capital has been running food wastage campaigns successfully. Most of the restaurants in South Delhi insist that their customers carry the leftovers. Moets, a popular restaurant in Defence Colony, has trained its staff to serve small portions of food. In the slums and villages, as most of the families don’t have a refrigerator, they often have to throw away the food. “I have travelled across the length and breadth of Haryana. I have realised that the problem is not the shortage of food grains, but the wastage of food. Wastage is rampant, especially in the poor pockets of urban areas. People living in slums have access to food but they don’t have the means to save their leftovers,” says Rajiv. With just two months left for the New Year, many people must be thinking of what their new year resolution should be. Let it be your, and your family’s, contribution towards reduction in food wastage. u

Ad Man, Baker...

and Shubha, who knew of my hobby, thought of this name, created a logo and put up a poster for Man Cakes in the office. With that poster we christened the Bakery. To my surprise, I got 85 orders that very day from my office colleagues. I laboured for the next 44 hours - and with that my Bakery was born,” says Umesh. Stress is almost integral to the kind of life we live today. While everything around us may be organized, all systems may be running efficiently, the work and living environment may be very friendly, yet…stress finds a way to poke its ugly head in. It’s therefore time for us to discover – even invent Stress Busters.They could be small, simple activities, which help clear our head and calm us down – blow off the steam. “What baking gives

me is far more important than a pay check; it provides sanity and relaxation. It works as a muchneeded detox. Unlike in office and life, I know that if I put in the right ingredients in the right portions, the output will be something delicious,” adds Umesh.

“Regarding my profession, I love advertising, because it requires creative thinking  and execution, in order to really touch people. Some of the best and brightest creative people are in advertising. It is an area where most of the content is witty, beautiful, inspiring and memorable. The hours I work vary enormously;. you do have to be flexible, particularly when there’s a ‘pitch’. Despite the long hours and fierce competition, advertising is still seen by many as an exciting and glamorous career. The tasks involved can vary enormously too ranging from placing adverts in newspapers to working on high-profile campaigns for new products,” he says. “In the end it’s all about a good idea. And isn’t that true about life too? We pick up a thought, and it pumps

and excites us, until we live it through – fully experience it. Unless that happens, the idea just keeps gnawing our minds, asking for attention. Whether it is a new pair of jeans that we think we really need, or that life-changing event that we believe will catapult our careers, it all begins with an idea,” concludes Umesh. An idea for today. Ask yourself… do you have a job, or a hobby - or both? It need not be, and is not, an either/ or situation. You can do both at the same time! “The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” –Alan Aldau


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25-31 October 2013

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12 { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

L

atika, 13, had not even dreamt that she would go to school – partly because the nearest government school was very far. She used to earn a living as a rag picker in the City. Today she studies in the Sun City Government Primary School, thanks to the safe transport provided by the Action Centre for Transformation (ACT). “We are a family of seven members – me, my husband and five children. Survival in the City is extremely difficult. Latika has to work to support the family. Being a girl, she is not permitted to travel alone, be it for her education or any other purpose,” says Latika’s mother, a resident of Ghata Village. At school, Latika is beginning to get a sense of direction on her further studies and employment opportunities. Her shining eyes now carry the hope of a better and more secure life. ACT’s ‘Aao School Chalen’ initiative has helped over 40 children from similar backgrounds to get admission in government schools. The NGO has been helping the urban and rural poor to receive such education and earn a living. “Our City has a huge population of migrants, who come in search of livelihood and a better standard of

25-31 October 2013

Act Now - School Chalo living. They live in make-shift temporary tents provided by some agent on rent. As both the parents are engaged in work, the children are often left wandering in the streets. Being new to the City, the parents are also scared to send their children to (govt) schools, which are normally not located anywhere near the slums/villages. We realised that the major issue is the lack of safe transport, and so we arranged for it - free,” says Nilanjana, Founder, ACT. Upset with the disparities that exist between the privileged and under-privileged children in the City, Nilanjana laid the foundation of ACT in 2010. A qualified professional in Rural Management, she visited many villages, had continuous dialogue with the villagers and conducted research on various development issues. She then formed the NGO, to help overcome the challenges faced by poor children – especially through education. Nilanjana believes that concentrating attention on one village or slum for a sufficiently long period is important, rather than moving on to new locations year after year. “We need to help at least two generations, so that

the families become selfdependent. We should make them aware of the outer world, so that they can have better earning options. We should train them to become self-sufficient,” she says. ACT identified Ghata Village to begin with and is now running projects in Bandhwadi also.

Community Library in Bandhwadi

Most of the students in government schools drop out after the eighth standard, as they then have to pay for books and other stationary. To combat this, ACT has created a Village Library, to provide children access to study material - for free. The Library offers textbooks, story books and stationary,

which are necessary to prepare for the standardized exams. Besides, the NGO seeks the active involvement of parents. It organizes quarterly ParentTeacher meetings. The aim is to develop a community-managed library for the poor children and youth. Children who don’t go to school also visit the Library. “It is unfortunate that, while being so close to the Millennium City, some children don’t have access to basic reading material. Through the Community Library, we want to offer them a better way to spend their time,” feels Nilanjana.

Transformation through Trash

In 2010, when Nilanjana called on big corporates to seek help for her projects, she didn’t

Discovery Kids-WCE Diwali Festival 2013

S ocial get a good response. She then asked the companies to give their old newspapers to ACT. “We didn’t have money to set up a recycling plant and so we decided to make simple handicraft items with the newspapers. Today more than 30 women are earning a living by making these items,” says Nilanjana. Interestingly, the manufacturing of handicrafts doesn’t need any electricity and the products are eco-friendly. Ranging from lampshades to coffee tables and jewellery, the rural women craft beautiful items with the help of these newspapers. Some of the products are exhibited in galleries too. “Whenever a person buys an up-cycled product, he/she not only contributes towards the development activities of ACT, but also helps save the environment,” smiles Karuna, a resident of Bandhwadi Village. A trained handicraft artisan, she has recently been invited by The Banyan Tree World School to participate in a seminar, to educate urban children on handicraft manufacturing. Like Karuna, over 10 rural women are providing handicrafts training in other villages. With their earnings they can now afford the school expenses on a regular basis. u To contribute, write to: actfordevelopment@gmail.com or call 9711540102


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Literary Flourish

Mom (Just For U ....) She gave me birth and bore the pain, All through the years. she took care selflessly and joyously, Though at times I could be a nightmare! She helped me take the first steps, My first word “mama” made her cry Sweet and unruffled, she is my angel, In her loving presence my tears always dry.

Kids Brainticklers

Whenever i was ill, she was by my side, Tending, caring, as only a mother can, With her around my problems never could stay, Any dilemma a thousand miles ran. She gave me wings and said, ‘Now fly, scale, shoot - the world is your stage, You have my love, and my blessings For a performer there is no cage’.  Love You Mom ! 

For children – write a poem, an article, a fictional story or even a real life experience. See it published in Friday Gurgaon – make your teachers and parents proud! For teachers/administrators/co-ordinators – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (300-350 words). For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com

Karishna Single, Class-6, MRIS-46

Rucha-Snowwhite

Artistic Strokes Shambhavi Asthana, Class-6A, Shri Ram Sch.

The Holidays are over... but your creativity isn’t.

Prableen Dua Manav Rachna Student


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K id C orner

25-31 October 2013

RYAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SECTOR 40

Young Poets

‘Rang De’ Ryan

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he School conducted a Poetry Recitation Competition on the topic, “Victory of Good over Evil”. The young poets expressed their ideas with enthusiasm, conveying the message of love and peace through poems. The students were judged on the introduction, content, presentation and the usage of props. Shreya Ranjan, Sarah Shiraz and Ryan Kapoor won the First Prize; Proshita Agarwal, Pragya Pundir, Mantavya, Tanvi, Drivjot were awarded the Second Prize; and Manav Sethia won the Third Prize.

he Montessori Wing organised ‘Rangoli Making’ and ‘Thali Decoration’ activities for the mothers of the little Ryanites. The moms displayed their talent and creativity through their presentations. The textures used in Rangoli varied from coloured powders to grains and pulses, paints and flowers. The winners of Rangoli Making were Babita Verma (First Prize) and Rupali Alladwar (Runners up). Nidhi Sharma bagged the First position in the Thali Decoration. School Head, Peeya Sharma thanked the contestants for their enthusiastic participation.

Animal Parade

Ryan Global School

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Kinder Navratri

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oddess Durga came to bless Kindercarians at the Navratri celebrations held at Kinder Care School. The festival was celebrated with full fervour by Roseum (Pre Nursery kids), who performed a Garba Dance.The kids also enacted the ‘Ram Lila’, conveying the triumph of good over evil. The Nursery and KG kids took part in a Dussehra Quiz.

he Montessori 3 Division organised an ‘Animal Parade’ at the School premises, to make the students aware of the importance of animals, their homes and their sounds. The children dressed up as their favourite animals and paraded to songs like Old Mac Donald, wearing creatively made masks.

Faunatastic Experience

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he children participated in an ISA activity on the flora and fauna of countries across the world. The children of the Primary Section made a scrap book with pictures of animals and flowers commonly found in the country assigned to them. The little ones enjoyed pasting pictures and sharing the information of the different types of flora and fauna with their friends.


25-31 October 2013

K id C orner

15

Dussehra Craft

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he tiny tots at Modern Montessori International (MMI) got creative for the festive season. Dussehra Craft was the theme of the activity and some little ones got busy decorating a sketch of Goddess Durga with shiny sequins and beads. Others made Ravanas out of paper and all the little ones were proud of their handiwork.

Writer Visit

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minent Hindi writer Usha Mahajan visited the Banyan Tree World School. She encouraged the children to feel, think and write. Usha’s first published work was a story ‘Moh Bhang’, which has been translated in many languages. She spoke to the children about the art of writing and interacted with them.

Kiddie Fashion

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ver 200 students participated in the Kiddie Fashion Show organised by MDI Illumina at MGF Metropolis. From dance and acting to mimicry and standup comedy, children showcased different talents. Winners Sinjini from Ryan Global School and Aryan from Ryan International School, Sector 40, bagged the First prize in the Junior and Senior category respectively. “It feels great to see immense talent among the little ones. I think all the participants are winners, since they have the confidence to perform in front of so many people,” said Nidhi Agarwal, renowned Jewellery Designer and a Director at DPS, Sector 45.

Literary Flourish

Orange Gems

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ems International School, Palam Vihar celebrated Orange Day with its tiny tots. A series of fun-filled activities were organised for the students, to identify the colour orange with the help of several objects placed around. The kids came dressed in orange and had an enjoyable time.

I Met a Talking Dog Today! One sunny day, I went out to play And while I was playing, a dog came in my way! And, what a shock...he started to talk! I got so surprised; I could not believe my eyes I went back home to wash my face And when I looked back, he had followed my pace! He opened his mouth, I thought to bark... But instead he said “Let’s go to the park” I got such a shock that he could talk! I thought I was dreaming... So I pinched myself, until I was screaming I guess… I was not dreaming! The dog said, “Now do you know that I am true?’ And you are not going ‘Cuckoo’?”

I laughed and said, “Yes, now I know you are true And I am not going ‘Cuckoo’!” We both started to walk ...and yes, also talk We played a lot and never fought And I never forgot the day I met the dog That could talk!! Arushi Balasundaram Grade 3, MRIS, Sector 46, Gurgaon


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25-31 October 2013

C omment

Won't Stand on Ceremony 2

014 will not only be about Modi and Baba; it will also be about Dada. Yes, the President may still have the last laugh, in a hung house. And Pranabda will surely surprise – even Madam.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

A person who, almost by right, should have been the PM, has been thwarted four times – after Indira Gandhi’s death, and then losing out to Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh (twice). Yes, he has been there that long – he was a Cabinet member as early as 1973 (40 years ago)! From being a trouble-shooter, a man for all seasons for the Party and Govt., would Pranabda now finally play Kingmaker? Does he hold a grudge against some Congressmen, and specifically Madam? He was made the scapegoat by his successor in Finance; he’s too experienced to have expressed his displeasure in public. His leaving has left Madam exposed a little too much. Shinde is no match as a substitute, even as just the leader in the Lok Sabha; in fact they may even be better off without him. Pranabda is a man who knows his mind well. He may appear soft, but there is a hard interior. The swift rejection of mercy petitions, that had piled up, speaks volumes.

And while a Defence Minister continues to fidget on Pakistan’s transgressions, the President boldly called a spade a spade; he reminded Pakistan that its line of ‘non-State (independent) actors’ being responsible for terror didn’t cut much ice with him. He bluntly stated that such ‘actors’ did not come from heaven, but from territory under Pakistan’s control. Pranabda has also made some quiet but significant ‘political’ moves. He heard the BJP on the Ordinance, and soon after asked the relevant Cabinet members to meet him, as he had a few questions. Madam knows him best; Baba immediately said the Ordinance needed to be torn up. The President subtly changed his dates and venues for a Bihar visit, so that they did not clash with Modi. Why? Pranabda seems happy to be a man of the people. No grandiose functions for him. He has just opened up the Rashtrapati Bhavan – both to the public and the insiders. He is also busy touring Domestic more than Foreign. And, remarkable for a man who has been in politics for over 5 decades, he seems to have no enemies. Over to 2014. Political parties would be wise not to ignore the President.u

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Aam Aadmi Party This regional Party has been born recently out of Shri Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement. Kejriwal was the main player with Anna in that movement. Annaji, being a non-political person, does not aspire for any power. But when Kejriwal smelt that no tangible results were coming out, he fired a political shot by forming a separate party with this name. Its motto is to have political power by bringing representation in the Delhi Assembly, to solve the 'aam aadmi's' daily problems honestly and sincerely. Party of Aam Aadmi for the Aam Aadmi We may call it a party with a difference. It is heartening that he has been able to form his team independently and single handedly, with the base being strong. Whatever may be the forecasts, it is not child's play to have made a mark in a triangular contest, and that too against two big national parties. His efforts in talking to the people regarding their problems and sympathising with them are worthy. However, when in the chair, one has to study all the angles of a problem and then decide. He also lacks political experience. In case of a hung Assembly he may be a main player, though with limitations. In any case this is a welcome step in India's democracy. R.S Jain


25-31 October 2013

W ellness

17

A Different Vein

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Jekyll & Hyde Mushrooms { Jaspal Bajwa }

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he twin personality of Mushrooms has fascinated man across the ages. In many ancient civilizations, notably China and Egypt, Mushrooms have been revered for their legendary benefits - as a culinary delight as well as a nature-based medicine. However, there is a sinister twin-side to Mushrooms as well – that of ‘poison’ Mushrooms. Traditional medicine systems’ practitioners have used Mushrooms for a very wide range of benefits – from tackling simple coughs and colds

{ Alka Gurha }

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ave you seen enlarged veins near the surface of the skin? These could be Varicose Veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. This happens because standing for long hours, and walking, increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body. Weakened valves and veins in your legs may lead to Varicose Veins. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs and pressure builds up in the stressed veins. The veins become weak, large and twisted. The good news is that, very often, Varicose Veins are simply a cosmetic concern. In some cases you may need to make some lifestyle changes. However, if Varicose Veins are causing heaviness, pain and discomfort, you need to consult a doctor. Spider Veins are similar to Varicose Veins, only they are smaller; they are mostly found closer to the skin's surface. They are often red or blue in colour and occur on the legs and face. Spider Veins often look like a spider's web - hence the name. There can be many factors behind Varicose Veins:

Age and Sex

The risk of Varicose Veins increases with age. Ageing causes wear and tear of the valves that help regulate the blood flow in the veins. Eventually, this weakening causes the valves to allow some blood to flow back into your veins, where it collects - instead of flowing up to your heart. Women are more likely to develop the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, pre-menstruation or menopause may be a factor. Female hormones tend to relax the walls of veins.

Family History and Obesity

to building stamina, energy and immunity; and for ensuring better long term health of the respiratory, kidney, liver and cardiac systems. The wide-ranging properties of the Mushroom also include its ability to target fatigue and exhaustion, by helping adjust the Chi, or energy, within the body. While the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of Mushrooms and related fungus products (like Penicillin) have been recognised for some time, newer studies are targeting chronic conditions like HIV Aids and Hepatitis B. The Mushrooms and Health 2012 Report, which was prepared by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has also confirmed the health benefits of Mushroom and has invited further clinical studies. Mushrooms are used in haute cuisine in many parts of the world and are also used as an effective leavening and fermentation agent in the Food Processing industry. The list of medicinal mushrooms is long, and has names like reishi, shiitake, lingshi, maitake and cordyceps.

Tip of the Week

Mushrooms come in different shapes and sizes, and different varieties. It takes a trained eye to identify the right Mush-

room. Most common Mushrooms are safe to eat. However, there are some that are extremely toxic and can even prove fatal. Today, a combination of ancient and modern methods have made this extremely nutritious food widely available as well as safe – as long as we take the trouble to ascertain the reputation of the organization offering the Mushrooms or Mushroom-based nutraceutical products. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Cordyceps or Caterpillar Fungus or Hirsutella sinensis Cordyceps is a Mushroom that was originally discovered in the higher altitudes of the Himalayas, in Tibet. Cordyceps are treasured throughout Asia as one of the most effective natural adaptogens, which help strengthen vitality and promote longevity. As the wild Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions, most Cordyceps sold in the market today may not feature the true species. Many products may be coming from the easy-to-grow Cordyceps militaris, which contains Cordycepic acid (another name for D-mannitol) - a cheap food additive. Health & Vitality ... Naturally !
For Education purposes only; always consult a Healthcare Practitioner for medical conditions. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

If other family members have/ had Varicose Veins, there's a greater chance of your suffering the same. They are also caused if you have a job where you have to stand for long periods of time. Obesity adds pressure on your veins. Most people do not experience any symptoms of this condition. Mild symptoms may include heaviness, burning, aching, tiredness or pain in your legs. The symptoms may worsen after you stand or sit for long periods of time. More troublesome symptoms include swelling, skin changes and inflammation. If lifestyle changes and selfcare measures haven't helped your condition, please see your doctor.

Diagnosis

If you have Varicose Veins, you may see a Vascular Medicine specialist or Vascular Surgeon. These doctors specialize in blood vessel conditions. Doctors often diagnose Varicose Veins based on a physical exam alone. Sometimes tests or procedures are used to find out the extent of the problem or to rule out other conditions. Your doctor will check your legs for tender areas, swelling, skin colour changes, sores and other signs of skin breakdown.

Treatment

Lifestyle changes often are the first treatment for Varicose Veins. Self-care - such as exercise, elevating your legs or wearing compression stockings - can help in easing the pain. Lifestyle changes include the following: If you're overweight, try to lose weight. This will improve blood flow and ease the pressure on your veins. Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially those that are tight around your upper body. Avoid wearing high heels for long periods. Indulge in moderate physical activities to get your legs moving and improve muscle tone. This helps blood move through your veins. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods without taking a break. Keep your legs raised when sitting, resting or sleeping. It helps if you gently rest and raise your legs above the level of your heart. There are several surgical interventions: like Sclerotherapy, to close the troubled vein; laser treatment to destroy the vein; Radio-Frequency treatment to close off the vein; and surgery to tie off or remove the vein. Follow the advice of your doctor. u


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S piritual

25-31 October 2013

4U 4

Stop the Blame Game { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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t is everyday that we find people jumping the red lights. We also come across regular 'road disputes'. However, rather than accept their mistake, the rogue drivers offer excuses – worse, they blame the other person. It is not uncommon for people who engage in blame behaviour to also be selfish. And as long as they are getting benefit from it – whether monetary, emotional or psychological – they will continue to engage in those actions. A few days ago a driver, who was in a great hurry, smashed into a vehicle that was parked at a red light. The vehicle was being driven by an aged 'lawabiding' doctor. Instead of taking responsibility for his action, which had unintended but grave consequences, the driver began to find reasons to be excused from the repercussions – which the driver believed he did not deserve. The main goal of blaming others is to protect our own emotions and ego; gradually it becomes an attitude, which makes such behaviour self-reinforcing. Blame, like greed, gives us temporary respite, but it does not improve our life. Quite the contrary, blame is like a fire getting out of control. If we let the wind catch them, such fires can burn down everything that is capable of giving us happiness and peace. Whereas greedy behaviour damages us slowly and insidiously, the behaviour of blaming others can unleash a terrible fire-storm, which can do great damage in a short time. Finding someone to blame only gives us a temporary sensation of having solved a problem. If something does not work out, it is easy to get creative and find some reason why it is someone else's fault. Anger and self-righteousness are exciting feelings, but we must not become so hooked on excitement that we stop being able to see the more subtle shades of cause and effect. We need to develop the capacity to be objective about ourselves, to avoid assuming that we could never possibly have created any problems. We should embrace feedback about ourselves, otherwise we would not be able to move forward. This pill may be bitter to swallow but it will do us good.

We have to learn to relax, even if we do not know for a while why something has not worked out right. We need to tolerate the temporary uncertainty, until we get a wider perspective. If we are big enough to realise that we have made a mistake, we should admit it; and then find ways, if possible, to make things better. That is all it takes and all we can do. We can give people feedback later, once we have calmed down – and only if it is necessary. Calling someone an idiot, or telling him that he is always doing everything wrong, is not feedback – it is just abuse. This kind of emotional incontinence may make people weary and anxious, but they will never respect us, because it displays our weaknesses so clearly. There is no shame in accepting blame; quite the opposite, it shows real strength of character. Very wise and intelligent people make stupid mistakes – it is part of being human. The only genuine way to not make a mistake - again - is to first realise that we made it. People will respect us for it. Being able to apologise in relationships makes them much more likely to last and thrive. Seeing objectively where we went wrong is how we improve and develop. We need to develop the capacity to respond to the feedback that life gives us about ourselves – free of the distorting effects of both the lows of self-esteem and the highs of conceit and arrogance. Yes, other people can use this as an excuse to turn on us, but they too will learn better. Some people get more hung up on assigning blame than on actually fixing a problem. If people feel we blame them unfairly, they will resent us – they may even come to hate us. People instinctively hate injustice. Even otherwise, respect for ourselves is a function of the respect we have for others. Respect sets us free. Human beings are equipped with a sophisticated

radar, which is very good at expressing and transmitting our thoughts and feelings to others, but not as good at picking up and accepting what others feel about us. What is not picked up is how our behaviour or words affect others. People who blame others are usually trying to hide their feelings of helplessness. If they did not blame anyone they would have to admit that they were not in control; by blaming others the helpless person feels more in control. We must learn how to take responsibility of our actions and be in control of our life, rather than blame innocent people. Basically it is our inner state of mind that is the root cause of our discomfort. We need to be comfortable with ourselves, and be cool, patient and tolerant. We all are here to learn lessons, even if they feel uncomfortable at times. We need to let go of our attachment to what went wrong or what should have happened. We should try to view the situation from a different perspective; get objective and see it from the other’s eyes – see clearly all the things we could have done better. Otherwise life will continue to throw us the same lessons until we learn from them. Quit playing the blame game. It will allow you to be in a loving, equal and relaxing relationship. By accepting blame, it does not mean that no one else played a part; it just means that perhaps we also contributed in making our life unhappy. Be really honest with yourself, about your choices and actions. If you are willing to change your perspective, you may immediately see what lesson needs to be learned and exactly how to learn the lesson. Letting go is also instrumental. It could come in many forms: seeing the good in the person who seems difficult, accepting a situation for what it is or seeing the other side of the story. 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.

If you are not getting FG copies regularly

SMS NR to 08447355801

Tips

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.

Q. I get tiny red rashes on my hands every time I apply cream at night. When I wake up in the morning the rash disappears. Why does this happen and what can I do to stop this? SH

This seems to be some kind of allergic reaction. You can change the cream and see if the same thing is happening. Or, you can use a natural oil, like pure almond oil or olive oil, instead of cream and see if it is causing a rash.

WINNER Charu Dhawan

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

The Avatars of Ma Kabhi Kali, kabhi Durga Kabhi Radha, kabhi Meera Par hamesha Yashodha Ma… Kabhi rooth-ti, Kabhi has-ti Ek anokhi hasti Ma… Kabhi Guru, kabhi diksha Par hamesha shiksha Ma…

Kabhi Lakshmi, kabhi Saraswati Kabhi Tri-Amba, kabhi Rambha Aur hamesha Jagdamba Ma… Hamari Ma…sab ki Ma Anna Ma Ma tujhe namah Arpan…. Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


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Theatrically Yours { Christopher Daruwalla }

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almost will him to destroy himself. In some ways, it is his failure that makes the hero’s success so much stronger, so much more larger than life.u The Author is Founder and Creative Director of Actors World – an actor, writer and director, he has trained from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art [LAMDA]. He is the Representative North India for LAMDA Graded exams in communication and performance. www. actorsworldindia.com

Sun-Coloured Canyon the world, is unrivalled. Part of the magic of visiting the Grand Canyon is that you will not be able to see the Canyon till you reach the very edge. It is said that “to reach somewhere you’ll have to drive a lot to nowhere”. You should leave any fear of heights at the door, if opting for the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is a must-do and is located at the western end of the Canyon. The Skywalk is a horseshoeshaped glass bridge that cantilevers 70ft beyond the Canyon’s rim and 4,000ft above the Colorado River below. You can also visit the Meteor Crater, about two hours south-east of the Canyon, to see

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ast, magnificent and beautiful, The Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most distinguished landmark. You simply have to see it. Considered as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, and carved by the Colorado river, The Canyon is 277miles long, 18miles wide and has a depth of 6000ft. It is the most spectacular example of erosion in the world. As the first rays of the sun hit the Canyon, a plethora of colours become visible gradually. These colours keep changing constantly, with the sun’s angle, and you can see different hues of orange, pink, purple and red. It’s a visual treat and a photographer’s delight - and I can guarantee that each picture will be different. The two sections of the Canyon are the North and the South rim, with the latter being more accessible and touristy. You can undertake various activities like trekking, rafting and camping, after setting up camp at one of the many lodges in and around the Canyon. The awe-inspiring feeling that you get when you stand at the rim and look out across the grandest canyon in

Naai & Dhobi Tales { Krishan Kalra }

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rama is born out of conflict. It is conflict and it’s close cousin tension that keeps us riveted to the story. We wait with baited breath as the protagonist fights his demons - visible or invisible - and finally emerges victorious. We don’t like to see failure, we want our hero to win; and if he doesn’t, then it leaves us in a very uncomfortable space. We feel robbed of the wonderful high – the ‘feel good’ factor - that we wish to experience at the climax. Like some kind of drug rush, we want to witness the story unfold in the way we expect it to; anything different leads to arm chair criticism and arguments – and even withdrawal symptoms! We feel that all’s only well that ends well. We are so fixed by our conditioning that often our logic gets suspended. Though we mostly know what we will get from the drama, we yet get a high at the end of every act - albeit with some trials and tribulations. As viewers, we are quick to make assumptions too. The rough-looking character, a drunk or an addict can only be a mean calculating person at heart; the young man has to be a crazy, nothing-can-stop-me, romantic. There always has to be a villain, a man with ulterior motives, who decides when and how to reveals his dark side. He is essential to the plot - the other side of the coin called conflict. However, he has to fail, in all his outrageous attempts; of sometimes wanting to destroy the world or inflicting unimaginable pain. We want to see him fail; we

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what would happen when a large meteor breaches the Earth’s atmosphere. Whether the trip is for a day or a week, the grandeur of this natural wonder will leave you in such a sublime state, that you shall forever remain overwhelmed. Ruchika Makhija

still remember that, as a small kid, whenever I commented on my grandfather looking good on a particular day, he would invariably reply, “For us old people the difference between looking good, and not so, depends on the ‘naai’ and the ‘dhobi’. The day I get myself a nice shave and massage and put on some crisply laundered clothes, it makes me feel and look ten years younger”. He was right. Now that I’m approaching 73, a weekend stubble and rumpled clothes don’t do me any good. Youngsters might look hip and macho with a 3-day growth on the face and slouchy capris or bermudas, but at my age it is important to pay some attention to grooming. ‘Naai’ & ‘dhobi’ – read safety razor and washing machine – thus play an increasingly crucial role as you grow older. However, to confine the role of these two important members of society just to personal grooming would be a gross underestimation of their capabilities. They do much more. Barbers have traditionally played the role of matchmakers in Indian society. They would invariably be the ones to carry “suggestions” back & forth. They would assess the status and compatibility of the two families. They would even recommend the amount of “shagun” and other sundry details involved with the arrangements. These guys enjoyed the confidence of both sides. ‘Dhobis’ of course are now a dying breed. Gone are the days when they would collect the dirty clothes from every house every other day; then carry the huge bundle to the river side, scrub and beat the clothes clean, then put starch and finally iron them with the big brass coal-fired “istri”. They now exist only in part, as the neighbourhood “presswallahs” - so distinct from members of the other press. It’s usually a family affair (the former only, thankfully). The kids collect the clothes from the houses, the father usually does the ironing and the wife delivers the pressed clothes in the evening, in separate bundles for each house - or these days, even on hangers. Thankfully some part of the tradition still lives on. The delivery of clothes is usually accompanied by an informal news bulletin about the neighbourhood - who is travelling, whose daughter-in-law is fighting with the mother-in-law, who has guests from America, who has a mistress from Germany...all the juicy details are exchanged for a cup of tea and some biscuits. It is more or less the same job that the village ‘naai’ did some years ago, while on his weekly visits - to give a shave and massage to the patriarch and haircuts to the assorted kids. He would bring news from far and near. This informal system perhaps performed better than all the ‘shaadi & doosri shaadi’ sites and matrimonial columns of today. The ‘naai’ was sure that he would hear the truth and only the truth - from whoever was facing his cut-throat razor! u


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Energy Blooms Chrysanthemum

A sun-loving flower that grows well in gardens. Mantra for Energy: as a stabilizing flower, it is strongly connected with nature and is said to refresh the soul and enable you to see the beauty in all that you behold. It helps to build stronger bonds and creates harmony amongst family members. Best Location: Living Room - sure to add zest to your space. Chakra Tip: connects with the Crown Chakra. The message of the flower is that the Universe loves you and you should share this love with others. Angel Guide: call upon the Archangel Haniel to help you meditate for strength and protection. Meditate on Chrysanthemums for helping close the doors of darkness.

Hibiscus

One of the most dramatic flowers; it can bloom as large as a child’s head, in gorgeous colours. Mantra for Energy: this flower helps us recognize our unity with the Divine; so allow these peaceful and joyous energies of oneness to flow through you and spread their fragrance. The Flower’s essence provides Aromatherapy benefits. Best Location: Bedrooms and Puja Room. Chakra Tip: connects with the Root Chakra; conveys lightness and fun. Angel Guide: call upon Archangel Meatron to help you meditate on the flower’s essence, for guidance and clearing of the lower energies.

Lavender

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25-31 October 2013

It is filled with sensory delights, with its beautiful purple-tone blooms atop foliage that oozes fragrance in winters. Bring an outdoor feel to your home with these cute flowers; or else grow these flowers in your garden or in pots and see your wishes getting fulfilled. Mantra for Energy: a magical flower that can be used to counteract a long-term illness. At a psychological level it helps promote self– esteem and releases fear and deep-rooted stress. Use a Lavender-stuffed pillow for restful sleep. Best Location: Living Room, Bedrooms and open balconies. Chakra Tip: connects with the Crown Chakra; conveys fascination and devoted love. Angel Guide: call upon Archangel Aneal to help you meditate for peace and abundance.

{ Bhuvana Shridhar }

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ature demonstrates the highest levels of sustainability in a very complex but sustainable way. Considering the times we live in, the concept of a ‘back to nature’ approach is very sensible; it is this natural spirit that allows each one of us to connect with it and enhance our lives. The fragrance and essence of Flower Chi, inside our homes, can make a unique difference, by spreading not only its fragrance but bring about balance and love in our lives. With winter at the doorstep, you can bring warmth and cheer into your homes by installing some small potted flower plants. Here are some tips to spruce up your home or office with the right kind of Flower Chi.

Gardenia

Gardenia flowers are beautiful, white flowers that look simply magnificent when tucked amidst the shiny, glossy green foliage of the gardenia plant. Mantra for Energy: support and provide stimulus for spiritual growth. Best Location: Bedrooms. Chakra Tip: Heart Chakra; conveys unconditional love and acceptance. Angel Guide: connect to Archangel Haniel, who will help you enjoy your creative talents and bring out your best.

Bougainvillea

Bougainvilleas are tropical climbing plants known for their versatility and vibrant colours. Mantra for Energy: grow them around the house to detox yourself. Best Location: Balconies and indoor gardens. Chakra Tips: Throat Chakra, conveying an improvement in communication and personality. Angel Guide: Archangel Fiona helps you to feel divinely protected and enjoy good health.

Orchids

One of the most fascinating, beautiful and peculiar varieties among the flowering plants. Mantra for Energy: brings about balance and helps us in receiving Divine messages. Best Location: Living Room and Kitchen. Chakra Tip: connects with the Navel Chakra; conveys protection and nurturing. Angel Guide: connect to the protective energies of Archangel Michael and feel grounded.

Rose

A Rose is one of the most beautiful of all flowers and is the symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Mantra for Energy: keep small Rose plants in and around the house if you want to attract love and harmony. They are very effective in drawing in relationships and building trust.

Celosia

A velvet flower with a mild fragrance. Mantra for Energy: this beautiful flower helps bring balance, peace and wisdom. Surround yourself with this beautiful blossom. Best Location: Bedrooms. Chakra Tip: connects with the Throat Chakra; conveys beauty and communication. Angel Guide: Meditate on Archangel Samuel, for patience and acceptance in your life.

Magnolia

A flower that is attached with the symbols of nobility, perseverance and love of nature. Mantra for Energy: breathe in the freshness of this flower for clarity of mind and body. Best Location: Dining Room and Bedrooms. Chakra Tip: connects with the Solar Plexus Chakra; conveys family harmony and happiness. Angel Guide: meditate on the Divine energies of Archangels Michael and Zadkiel, for enhancing creativity, orderly thought and communication.

Lotus

Lotus is a sacred flower for Hindus and Buddhists and symbolizes purity. Pink Lotus is the National Flower of India. Mantra for Energy: this flower brings joy, opens up our hearts to accept love and heightens our spiritual connection. Best Location: Living Room. Chakra Tips: Heart Chakra, conveys the receiving of love and joy. Angel Guide: Archangel Daniel helps you in releasing past issues, in order to build a happy future.

Best Location: Living Room, Bedrooms. Chakra Tips: Heart Chakra; conveys unconditional love and acceptance. Angel Guide: Archangel Rosetta, who can guide you with calming and reassuring energies in relationships.

Tarot Reader, Coffee Cup Reader


G lobal

25-31 October 2013

“Brain Reading” Team Wins Award

{ Tel Aviv/ DPA }

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he team behind breakthrough research on how the brain turns thought into action, was presented an award of one million US dollars, by Israeli President Shimon Peres. The Team, from Brown University in the US State of Rhode Island, led by neurosciencist John Donoghue, developed an implant to control robotic and prosthetic arms; in one case on a paralyzed stroke victim, who was then able to serve herself a coffee for the

first time in 15 years. “Our laboratory investigates how the brain turns thought into voluntary behaviours and how that knowledge can be used to help persons with paralysis,” Professor Donoghue explains on his website. “We have translated our findings to a clinical application, in which humans with paralysis can use their neurons directly to control devices.” The Brain Prize is a new award inspired by Shimon Peres, in an effort to turn Israel into a global leader in brain research. The Award was handed

out recently for the first time in Tel Aviv, at BrainTech Israel, a two-day Conference billed by organizers as the country’s first international Brain Technology conference. Ten candidates, not all of them Israelis, had been shortlisted for the Award. After accepting a statuette of a brain presented to him by Peres, Donoghue described his team’s breakthrough. “The biggest thing that we at BrainGate have accomplished is that we can now ‘read out’ the brain,” said Donoghue. That also means that “we can reconnect the brain to the outside world”, for severely paralyzed people incapable of expressing their thoughts. The Award, funded by private donors in Israel and abroad, is open to researchers from around the world. Israel Brain Technologies (IBT), the non-profit organization that hands it out, hopes the Award will showcase Israel as an international hub for brain research, and help position the Mediterranean country not only as the “start-up nation,” but also as the “brain nation.” The brain is illustrious. ... the greatest hope is that we should begin to understand how our own brain functions,” Peres said during the Award ceremony. u

Plastic Surgery Boom { Malte E. Kollenberg/ Seoul/ DPA } “

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y mother wanted me to do it, so that I look prettier,” says 22-year-old Jeong Ji Hae, referring to the double eyelid surgery she had done when she was 18. “The sooner you do it, the more natural it looks,” she adds - of the procedure to reshape the skin around the eyes to make them look wider. Plastic surgery is common among young women in South Korea, with many getting a new nose or a new shape to their eyes for their 18th birthday. The number of young men undergoing plastic surgery is also on the rise. While China and Japan rank above South Korea in the total number of people going under the knife, Seoul has built up a reputation as the Asian capital of plastic surgery. Around 20 per cent of women in South Korea have had some kind of cosmetic surgery done, estimates the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). What is happening in South Korea is the “me too” effect, says Socio-cultural studies professor, Daniel Schwekendiek, at Seoul’s Sunkyungwan University. “Sports stars, pop stars, politicians, everyone does it - so you want it as well,” he says. Body awareness in South Korea is a modern social phenomenon, which “has now reached unparalleled proportions,” he argued in a research paper published earlier this year. South Korea is seeing “rampant plastic surgery,” he said, and it is cheaper than in many other countries. Asia tops the list for plastic surgery procedures worldwide, with more than 4.3 million performed in the

Region in 2011. According to ISAPS, 29.5 per cent of all procedures are carried out on the Continent. A huge demand in South Korea has seen prices fall, but - despite reports that some surgeons operate without a licence - standards are still regarded to be high. “In the Asian market, Korea is the best when it comes to technique,” says Lee Sang Mock, Chairman of the Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons, who has been in the business for more than 20 years. Lee is one of around 1,250 plastic surgeons who are designing double eyelids, turning flat, broad noses into high, more Western-looking ones, or even giving customers a whole new face. The country has seen an increase in the number of patients from China and Japan, he says. According to the Korea Health Industry Development Institute, 33,936 foreigners had plastic surgery in the country in 2011 - more than double the figure the previous year. “The next rush will be from SouthEast Asia,” Lee says, predicting that as incomes grow in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, more people will visit South Korea to have plastic surgery. Park Won Jin’s aesthetic surgery clinic in Seoul’s upmarket

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Sail the Gulf Emirates in Style { Hamburg/ DPA }

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osta Cruises will be offering passengers the chance to cruise the Gulf Emirates in style from the end of November, on the renamed Costa neoRiviera. Previously part of the Spanish-owned Ibero Cruises fleet and called the Grand Mistral, the 1,284-passenger, 48,200-ton Liner was totally refurbished in 2005, and further enhancements in 2007 have brought the total number of suites and cabins to 624. From November 25, neoRiviera passengers can enjoy a seven-day “Slow Cruise”, with the Liner staying longer at each port and stopping only at exclusive destinations. Prior to entering service, the Liner’s exterior decks and interior public areas are being renovated, to prepare an ambience akin the Italian and French Rivieras. u

Amsterdam to London: 4 hours by train - 2016 { London/DPA }

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tarting in December 2016, direct rail connections between Amsterdam and London will feature twice-daily services, the Eurostar rail company has announced. The envisaged travel time would be just four hours. A high-speed train would be in service for runs twice a day, with stops along the way in Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport. Eurostar says the rail route would serve as a viable alternative to air travel between the two cities - currently one of the most frequently-flown routes in Europe. u

Gangnam district is targeting those international customers. “Wonjin makes wonders,” it says on its website, available not only in Korean but in Russian, Mongolian, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese. Among the newest procedures on offer is ‘double jaw’ surgery, where the underlying bone architecture of round or square faces is changed to form a more V-shaped face. The longterm effects of such a procedure - if any - are not known. “The only thing we cannot change is the size of the brain,” jokes Park, the founder of the Wonjin Beauty Medical Group. Today his business employs more than 40 surgeons in eight departments, who can take care of a huge range of

beauty concerns. Almost anything is possible, he says; adding, however: “We cannot decrease the shoulder span.” Most people coming to a plastic surgery clinic “have a brief idea of what they want to change,” says Park, though he admits that approximately 30 per cent of those he sees ask him for advice. Many South Korean companies even advise employees to invest on improving their appearance, in order to gain a small advantage over their rivals in South Korea’s competitive business environment.And that is how, according to Jeong Ji Hae, most Korean women think of plastic surgery. “It is not an operation - just a small improvement,” she says. u


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25-31 October 2013

G lobal

Trading used Lego bricks Lego

{ Christiane Raatz/Dresden, Germany /DPA }

Lego offers a baffling array of bricks. These colourful Lego minifigs are composed of three component parts: head, torso and coloured legs.

The range of ‘Lego minifigs’ includes this particularly Southern German variant: the girl is wearing a traditional Dirndl dress and brandishing a dough pretzel – a time-honoured symbol of the baker’s craft 


is confident that soon the all the elements get million-euro mark will muddled up. be broken. He refuses More young “Everything to discuss what his has to be perfect, profit margins are. girls are now from the face Around 40,000 playing with to the smallest parts acquired Lego’s tiny panel. The colour through the dolls and doll of the body and second-hand trade houses. hands also has arrive at bricksy. to match exactly,” com each day. They explains Bloedner. are sorted and stored Lego massively revises its in crates, which are labelled with a product number and product range every two to photo, to make life easier three years, leaving the trade for the company’s four full- in used bricks as often the only time and 50 part-time staff. way for toy lovers to obtain The bricks and other moulded older models – that sometimes components of Lego toys are first have rare colours or shapes or washed in a washing machine one-off elements. Bricksy.com offers the before being sorted by colour, shape and size. This step in the complete sets of every range process is more difficult than it that has been made up until may seem, as Lego has moved 2003, with those dating far beyond its original bricks, from the 1980s particularly in demand, says Bloedner. and has a complete universe of construction-toy elements – Knights, fortresses and pirates including ‘minifigs’. There are are very popular amongst more than 2,000 different Lego lovers. “The demand is types of Lego parts. Children constant,” explains Eva Weiss buy multiple toys and, over time, from the German Toy Industry

Avatar-themed Park { Los Angeles/ DPA }

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isney recently released the first details of its plans to open a theme park based on the hit movie Avatar. The Park - modelled on the planet Pandora, home of the blue-skinned Na’vi people - is stated to open in 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. “In the world of Avatar, guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a night-time jungle of bio-luminescent plants that are alive with light and sound,” wrote Tom Staggs, the Chairman of Walt Disney’s Parks. “Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a banshee.” Avatar is the highest-grossing film of all time, earning 2.7 billion dollars worldwide. Director James Cameron is currently working on the filming of three sequels - to be released in 2016, 2017 and 2018. “From the moment we released Avatar, there was this amazing visceral response from people around the world, that they wanted to go to Pandora,” Cameron said. “Now thanks to Disney, that’s going to be possible.” u

Arno Burgi

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hristoph Bloedner’s office is a child’s paradise, crammed with countless cute miniature figures – such as pirates and knights in armour, as well as thousands of coloured Lego bricks. On the shelves, the ‘Lego minifigs’ are all neatly separated into their three component parts: heads here, torsos there and coloured legs in another section of the room. The Office is the heart of bricksy.com, a German firm that specializes in the mass trading of used Lego bricks. It makes money by sorting out second-hand merchandise and reassembling it into completed sets, for sale on Ebay. “Italy, Australia, the USA and Singapore are our most important markets,” explains Bloedner. His Company currently ships to around 50 countries, as demand for Lego bricks—made by the Danish company with its headquarters in Billund—appears to be truly global. The 30-year-old played with Lego himself as a child, but admits that he sold his entire collection during his college years when funds were low. Bloedner had always wanted to be his own boss and came up with the perfect business concept. He bought 100 kilograms of Lego components and spent days developing an ingenious sorting system. After finishing University in 2008, the Industrial Engineering graduate founded bricksy.com, with 1,000 euros as seed capital. Today the Company has a turnover of approximately half a million euros (over 600,000 dollars) annually, and Bloedner

Student Alexander helps pay for his studies by working in Dresden for bricksy.com.

The bricks and other moulded components of Lego toys are first put through a washing machine, before being sorted by colour, shape and size

Association DVSI. “Children think Lego toys are really cool, while parents are reminded often of their own childhood. According to the DVSI, Lego sales make up 17 per cent of all toy sales in Germany, with 27 of the Company’s products included in the list of the country’s top 50 favourite toys. Bloedner sells around half

the parts he receives as complete sets on Ebay. The remainder are auctioned singly on the global platform, Bricklink – a sort of Lego stock exchange, where millions of coloured bricks change hands on a daily basis, with bricksy.com one of the main players. “We are now one of the world’s largest dealers in used Lego,” Bloedner says proudly.u


G lobal

25-31 October 2013

Picking Up Suicide Tips

{ Sid Astbury/Sydney/ DPA }

Sid Astbury

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he worry for Sydney cancer patient David Graham is whether he should tell his family that they will find him dead—in the morning — from a lethal dose of barbiturates, or whether it should be a dawn surprise. Told he had just months to live, in March 2011, Graham ordered the drug ‘nembutal’ from China, and has it hidden away for when the pain gets too much. “I said to my wife, I said to both my children: if I’m going to do this, would you like to know before I do it or after. And I haven’t had a reply yet,” he said. Graham, 81, belongs to a Euthanasia self-help group, Exit International, run by Philip Nitschke. On this day he is exasperated by others attending a Sydney Suicide Workshop taken by the controversial medical doctor. “The trouble is, people come away from meetings like this and do nothing. Do something! Don’t procrastinate!” he said. Those fearing a painful death have attended Exit workshops in Australia and around the world, to learn how to take their own lives. Some, like Graham, are very sick people, who are months—even years— beyond the life expectancy doctors gave them; others, like business consultant Irene Rudan, are fit and well but keen to avoid a lingering death later in life. “It’s a

David Graham, 81, who has cancer and supports suicide.

Philip Nitschke, the doctor who set up the controversial Exit International.

fantasy to think you’re going to get to 80 and 90 and be a healthy and happy individual,” she said. “I’m 54. At the most I’ve got 30 years. I can’t wait until I get to that doddery point and then decide to act, because then it’s too late.” Rudan has had Nitschke’s best-selling, The Peaceful Pill Handbook, on her bookshelf for 20 years. It is one of a tiny number of books banned in Australia. Rudan says that the Book provided her with a surety that she could die a peaceful death by her own hand. “It’s about the power - getting that power back and using that power before you get to the point where you don’t have the power left,” she said. “I’m a woman, so I’ll go for the least messy way. Probably a pill or a liquid in the cupboard.” Telling people how to take their own lives “is the only example in law where help-

ing someone do something lawful—suicide—is a crime,” Nitschke, 65, said. He made history in 1996 by presiding over the world’s first legal, lethal injection under Australia’s short-lived right-to-die laws. The laptop computer he rigged up to help terminally ill Bob Dent and others die peacefully is an exhibit in the British Science Museum. Some condemn what Nitschke teaches as unconscionable. Katrina Haller, spokeswoman for lobby group, Right To Life Australia, warns that a right to die can slip into becoming a duty to die because people fear becoming a burden on their families. “Life is wonderful and precious, but it’s being subordinated to other economic imperatives,” she said. “Older people can be subjected to coercion.” Nitschke accepts the pain-

From Ore to the Bomb { Berlin/DPA }

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he dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme centres on its plants that enrich Uranium. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty guarantees all countries the right to use nuclear technology peacefully, and Iran says this includes its efforts to enrich Uranium, in order to fuel power and scientific reactors. However, many countries are not convinced that Iran’s nuclear programme has only peaceful aims, and they are worried that the enriched Uranium could be used to build atomic weapons. Natural Uranium is mined in countries around the world. Only 0.7 per cent of this heavy metal is fissile: meaning, capable of producing the chain

Baby’s Death Proves a Poser { Sydney / DPA }

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Perth father, drove to a child care centre to pick up his infant son, was told at reception that the child had not checked in that morning. On returning to the car park, he found his 11-month-old child dead in the car. It may have been a tragic mix-up, but

Shayne Higson, an activist in Exit International.

reactions needed to power reactors or to cause nuclear explosions in a weapon. For nuclear power plants, the fissile portion must be raised to between 2 and 5 per cent. At this level, the material is called low-enriched Uranium. Iran’s research reactor runs with highly enriched Uranium, at a level of 20 per cent. As enrichment is not a linear process, further enriching 20-per-cent Uranium, to reach the 80 per cent needed for weapons, takes far less time than going from 0.7 to 5 per cent. The international community is therefore especially concerned about Iran’s production of material processed to 20 per cent. Uranium can be enriched by various means. Iran has opted for the common method of spinning thousands the parents are being interviewed and Police spokesman Sam Dinnison said enquiries into the circumstances leading to the child’s death were continuing. “It’s not being treated as a homicide, but we’re not ruling anything out,” Dinnison said. “It’s a tragic set of circumstances.” A spokesman for the Child Care Centre said that counselling had been offered to staff over Wednesday’s incident in the Perth suburb of Helena Valley. u

Irene Rudan, an activist in Exit International.

relieving power of morphine. He knows many fellow doctors dripfeed terminally ill patients to snuff out life. “But it’s not what the patient wants,” he said. “You don’t find too many patients who say ‘look, I want to spend four days dying.’ What they want is the application, the administration of a drug they can simply take and die,” he said. Nitschke believes a quick and painless death should be legally available to anybody at any time, and not just to those wracked with disease and nearing the end of life. Retired academic Lisette Nigot, in the suicide note pinned to her bed in 2002, commended Nitschke for being an inspiration. She was not ill, just bored with life, and determined not to pass her 80th birthday. “You shouldn’t have to go on a world cruise if you don’t want to,” Nitschke said. “She ended her life because she thought it was

of centrifuges at ultrasonic speed, in order to separate the lighter fissile material from the heavier non-fissile one. For nuclear weapons, a minimum amount of some 46 kilograms of highly enriched Uranium is processed into a handall-sized sphere. Iran has two Uranium enrichment

23

all downhill from then on.” Nitschke is also horrified at the brutal way many take their lives, and the hurt this causes their families. Rudan can vouch for the trauma of a violent death: a relative, 90, and unable to overcome the loss of his wife, hanged himself – and was found by his family. “Rope works,” Nitschke said. “Desperate people do desperate things. We don’t want anyone hanging themselves.” At the Workshops there are assessments of different methods, how to get lethal drugs, the legalities of suicide and some very practical considerations. “If you’ve got an elegant speech planned, give it before you take the nembutal,” he advised, recalling his experience with fellow campaigner Nancy Crick, whose final words to the 21 people present at her death were “this stuff tastes awful.” Shayne Higson is at the Workshop to relate what happened to her cancer-stricken mother, who was promised a peaceful death at home with her family, but who instead spent the last miserable five days of her life in a hospital ward. “Mum took seven months to die,” Higson said. “The end stage was not like what the doctors said it would be. He said you will sleep more each day, and then you just won’t wake up. “A few weeks before she died she was pleading with us to end her life – and I wasn’t able to fulfill that wish. That’s why I’m here. People have the right to a peaceful death.” u

plants. The one in Natanz has produced some 9.7 tons of low-enriched Uranium – more than is needed for the country’s Bushehr power plant, Western countries say. In 2009, Iran revealed the existence of a second underground plant at Fordo, where Uranium is being enriched to a level of 20 per cent. u


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25-31 October 2013

G -scape

Police Commissioner Ko Dengue Kyon Hua? Prakhar Pandey

Friday gurgaon oct 25 31, 2013  

..be the change you want to see

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