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5-11 April 2013

Vol. 2 No. 33  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Time To Try

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{Inside}

FG takes a look at what Gurgaon can learn from Delhi. This week we have features on the role of the Mayor and Councillors; and the fate of ‘Unauthorized Colonies’.

Now That Spring is in the Air

...Pg 2

New Sectors' Pathways

...Pg 23

City Bus Routes

...Back Page

To tackle the mother of all crises – the protection and liberation of women ( from girl-childs to grand-mothers) – we have chosen the easy answer again. New special and exclusive action plans for Separate, or Together? women’s security have been put out on a regular basis hoping to quickly quell criticism of a lack of response, and praying that at least some of these will somehow work. Sure, we are probably being forced to do this because the current ‘men’s system’ has failed, and it would be difficult to expect it to change overnight. is not just a story of three just want a safe and secure However, do we have to { Shilpy Arora / FG } generations of a family. It City for us and our daughoverdo the correction aya arrived in the City as is the stark reality of the ters,” says Sonia, who herso much that we go to an uneducated labourer. condition of women in our self studied in co-education But when she gave birth society. Though the Millennium institutions throughout. She the opposite end – as to a baby girl, she decided to City has developed economically feels that the scenario has in laws and social life educate her well, and make by leaps and bounds, it is become worse for women’s becoming completely her an independent woman. It still struggling to provide safety. Sarika Sen, a qualiwomen-centric – before couldn’t happen, as there was no some basic rights to women. fied lawyer, however feels women’s college near her village In this scenario, women- that women-specific solutions we can think of a (Silokhra Village), and Maya’s specific laws, women-specific don’t work in our society. “Be return to the Middle husband was reluctant to send institutes and women-specific it laws, women’s-special coaches Path? Do we need to his daughter to a co-education facilities are perceived to be in the Metro, or women’s-special completely segregate institute. Today her daughter, the more practical solution. help lines – they do not work in Sushma, is married and has two Some, however, feel that India. We have to realise that the before we discover the measures Constitution guarantees—to all daughters, who go to a nearby women-specific virtues of integration? girls’ school. For these young are just stop-gaps; and more of us—prohibition of discrimiLet us also remember girls, life is limited to school worrying is that it signals the nation by the State, equality of that women basically and home. They are not allowed acceptance of the failure of opportunity and equal pay for to step out after dark. They are our system to provide equal equal work. Why is there then are looking for better instructed to travel only in the rights to women. a need to make special enactintegration, equality Sonia, who lives in a posh ments for women? If we want women’s coach in the Metro, and liberation – and and make female friends only. colony at DLF Phase IV, be- a gender-neutral society, we not a return to some “Like my daughter, the future lieves that a girls’ school is a have to change the mindset of of my granddaughters is better option than a co-educa- men, instead of trying to keep sort of segregation or also going to be confined to tion school for her daughter, in women bottled in a segregatbondage.

A Woman's World?

M

(FG Editorial)

home and family. Clearly, nothing has changed in the last 50 years,” feels Maya. It

view of the rising crime against women in the City. “Forget about women’s liberation,we

ed set-up,” says Sen.

Contd on p 6 

Standing On Ceremony { Maninder Dabas/ FG }

T

he ghost of Andrew Jackson, an American politician who advocated the Mayor-Council system must have hovered over the Englishmen drafting the concept of mayoralty in India. However, unlike many US cities, and a handful of European as well, India has a weak MayorCouncil system. The post is mainly ceremonial. Gurgaon has a Mayor too – and he presides over a council of toothless Councillors. It has been almost two years

there too his voice is since the incepseldom heard. tion of mayoralty Delhi, on the in Gurgaon, but other hand, has had not many people mayoralty for quite have heard of or some time now – seen Vimal Yadav, though even there the the first Mayor of Mayors don't count for the City. The Mumuch. The Municipal nicipal Corpora- Annapurna Mishra Corporation of Delhi tion of Gurgaon (MCG), with a Commissioner (MCD) was trifurcated last year, at the helm, takes all the im- and now each part of the muportant financial and admin- nicipal body has its own Mayor. “Here too the powers are conistration related decisions (of course Gurgaon has multiple ferred on the Commissioner of masters – but even here the the municipal body. In the East Mayor is not one of them). Al- Delhi Municipal Corporation though the Mayor chairs the (EDMC), we have 64 CounHouse meeting once a month, cillors, and they collectively

municipal decisionelect a Mayor,” said making process. Annapurna Mishra, Mayor, East Delhi, who has completRole & Powers ed her tenure of The Mayor is one year. elected by the CounHowever, there cillors, and chairs are a few differa monthly House ences in the may- Vimal Yadav Meeting. In Gurgaon, oralty between Deldecisions regardhi and Gurgaon. The Delhi ing the financial spending on Mayor has more 'power' and infrastructure development is 'budget', whereas the Gur- taken by a Financial Committee, gaon Mayor scores higher headed by the Commissioner; in terms of 'tenure' and 'sal- the Mayor is neither a part ary'. The Delhi Mayor has a of this Committee, nor is his decent amount as a 'budget', opinion taken. and the incumbent does have a say (albeit minor) in the Contd on p 6 


02

5-11 April 2013

S pecial

Now That Spring Is In The Air

PRAKHAR PANDEY


C oming U p

5-11 April 2013

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–2 No.–33  5-11 April 2013

Editor:

WORKSHOP  THEATRE NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

Music

The Jazz Lab @ Cocktails and Dreams, Speakeasy, Sector 15, Part II Date: April 6th Time: 8:00 pm

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Correspondent:

Maninder Dabas

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designer:

Virender Kumar

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Exhibition

Adaah-Fashion & Lifestyle Exhibition @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 6th to 8th Time: 9:00am to 8:00 pm

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com

n Exhibition displaying contemporary fashion and lifestyle products. From bridal wear, outfits, jewellery to handicrafts, home furnishings and gift items, you can find a variety at the stalls. For event or stall enquiry, call: 98188 81009

T

he Jazz Lab features the Delhi-based contemporary Jazz outfit, Drift, doing the Swing/behop, contemporary and collaborative sets. Featuring Reuben Narain on the Drums, Sahil Warsi on the Double Bass and Pranai Gurung on the Guitar, the evening promises an eclectic mix of their music, interpreted in a modern style.

Run

LRG Night Marathon @ Club Florence, Golf Course Road Extension Date: April 6th to 7th Time: 9:30 pm to 1:00 am

contributions@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com

Music

The Pier Is Alive @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 8th Time: 7:30 pm Tickets: Rs. 350

events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh

The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

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

` Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24

7

19

RNI No. HARENG/2011/393

For The Other Half

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

T

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

...Pg 16

Tantric Art

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

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey

G

Astrology

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

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

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

...Pg 18

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

Let’s Be Civil

P

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

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

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

...Pg 7

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

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

A

100 – Police Emergency main Police

Line

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

6

Alfaaz Live @ Peppers, Bristol Hotel, Sikanderpur Date: April 5th Time: 9:00 pm onwards

night run for the first time, organised by Let’s Run Gurgaon. Opt for a full marathon, a half marathon or a 10 km moonlit run. Enjoy running on traffic-free roads around the CRPF camp gates. Report for Registration at 9 pm.

Workshop

Photography @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 7th Time: 3:00 pm

A

cclaimed Rajasthani folk singer Mir Mukhtiyar, takes you through a musical evening of Kabir’s songs – chadariya bheeni re, apne Ram ko manaoon, aisa des hamaar, baalam aao hamaare des... Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

Music

C

elebrated photographer Ravi Dhingra guides you through the basic techniques of photography and lighting. The Workshop entails an interactive session with Dhingra, followed by a group discussion. Limited seats. To Register, call: 9953240242

Art

Jashn – A Celebration of Life @ Epicentre Art Gallery, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 6th to 7th Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

K

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{Inside}

Nightlife

A

FG Invites Citizens n Are you interested and concerned

zone, numerous games and prizes for the best Hawaiian-style dresser. Call:
(+91) 8130394542

Theatre An Evening with Kabir Songs @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: April 7th Time: 7:30 pm

subscription@fridaygurgaon.com

for excellent and result oriented Mathematics Coaching upto class XII by a teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience in various prestigious School. A. Jain

tion). The Show will be curated by Attika Jain. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

A

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib

Maths C oachi n g Dial 9540386977

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

03

aavya, in association with Pathways World School, presents its first Annual Art Show. The Show will feature works of emerging artists and photographers. The proceeds from the Show will be donated to Youwecan (Yuvraj Singh’s Cancer Founda-

Reclaim your Turf @ HUDA Gymkhana Club, Sector 29 Date: April 6th Time: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

I

t’s music with a unique backdrop! Listen to rock, folk and electronic music, whilst strolling along an organic vegetable farm. You can also take a break and shop at the flea market there. The entry fee is a donation of old clothes for the underprivileged, at the gate.

A

non-verbal play, directed and created by Ana.F. Gouveia, Angela Riberio, Catarina Pe-Curto and Joana Sabala, and performed by Marionetas em Viagem (ACOME). The play brings to life the uniqueness of a pier, as well its timelessness. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000

njoy a power-packed evening with sensational Punjabi singer, Alfaaz. While Alfaaz will be belting out his hit numbers, like ‘Yaar Bathere’ and ‘Rickshaw’, DJ Ash will ensure you don’t leave the dance floor.

Food

Nightlife

Hawaiian Sunday Brunch @ Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, Sector 30 Date: Up to April 28 Time: 12 noon to 4:00 pm

E

MAP Live @ Attitude Alive, Super Mart-I, DLF Phase IV Date: April 5th Time: 9:00 pm

F

ood lovers are in for a treat – a Hawaiian treat! Enjoy the unique flavours of Hawaiian cuisine at this Sunday brunch. There’s also music and dance accompanying the delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Also on offer is a special kids

E

xperience the dance floor come alive as the band, MAP, performs live. Featuring tracks from the Band’s debut upcoming studio album, feel the energy with Manta Sidhu - Vocals, Jishnu Banerjee - Guitar, Reuben Narain – Drums, and Saurabh Suman - Bass.


04

5-11 April 2013

C eleb W atch

Ones for all...

T

he 2013 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards ceremony was held at the City. The Ceremony felicitated top students from 27 schools across the country, who have made a positive difference through community service. The finalists were shortlisted from approximately 4,500 applications received. Noted actor Sharmila Tagore graced the occasion, and lauded the students for their efforts.

A Fun-Dance Affair

S

ome Gurgaonites got together to dance for charity. Zimova, an initiative by Farha Kapoor, Movement Therapist, was a fundance affair, with participants enjoying the dance sessions thoroughly. Part proceeds from from this pay-to-dance session went to the NGO, Harmony House.

Chashme Baddoor...encore

T

he star cast of the upcoming movie, Chashme Baddoor, visited the City for the promotion of their film. Ali Zafar, Siddharth, Divyendu and Taapsee were seen interacting with the excited fans. The soon-to-be-released movie, directed by David Dhawan, is a remake of the 1981 (of the same title).

Fascinating Quartet

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oted Hungarian string quartet—The Kodály Quartet—performed at the Epicentre. The musical evening included the complete cycles of Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. The quartet, comprising Attila Falvay (violin), Erika Tóth (violin), János Fejérvári (viola) and Gyorgy Éder (cello), played to a mesmerised and appreciative audience.


05

5-11 April 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ Electricity tariff is increased by average 13%, and slabs are changed, wef April 1. ♦ No increase in toll rates (at toll plaza) is proposed, for the second consecutive year. ♦ Property Circle Rates are increased in the City – ranging from 10% to about 40%. ♦ Road Tax on vehicles is revised upwards. ♦ CM announces that a draft bill for the regularization of unauthorized colonies will be tabled soon. ♦ RTE (Right To Education) completes 3 years – and is a dismal failure nationally. Haryana claims some success. ♦ CM gives non-recognized private schools one year more for fulfilling norms - to be eligible for recognition. Thousands of private schools (the majority) in Haryana still await recognition. ♦ Minister Sukhbir Kataria’s men allegedly assault persons from an NGO that had filed a case against the Minister, claiming the Minister participated in forgery and bogus votes in the 2009 polls. There are calls for the Minister’s resignation. ♦ Haryana Education Minister, Geeta Bhukkal, addresses the 52nd convocation of Govt College, Sector 14, to confer degrees on 552 students. The College, founded in 1959 by Nehru, has been declared a Centre of Excellence. A total of 5,800 girls are receiving education at the College. ♦ Acting on the objections of the National Green Tribunal, the Administration has sealed all those farm houses in Village Roz ka Gujjar that were illegally running tourism units and other commercial activities. Illegal borewells were also demolished. 75% of the village falls under Forest area. The Supreme Court has made clear the areas to be treated as forest. Singer Mika’s farmhouse is among various properties sealed. ♦ In order to monitor the abuse of Nicotine in chemical form, a Permanent District Task Force has been set up, under the DC. ♦ Haryana will soon provide uniform medical guidelines for all civil hospitals. ♦ Former National Wrestling Coach Roopchand dies, at age 85. ♦ MCG Budget is passed locally, and sent to Chandigarh for approval. It envisages a Revenue of Rs 853 crores, and a spend of Rs 738 crores. ♦ Revised EDC charges proposed by the State are stayed by the High Court.

♦ A teacher is sacked after a Class XI girl student commits suicide over her low marks. Villagers protest strongly at the school. ♦ A man is held for raping a minor – a 10th class student. ♦ An auto driver who molests a woman is beaten up by the public. ♦ A man is detained for kidnapping a constable’s wife. ♦ 3 youth are booked for uploading obscene pictures of a woman on Facebook. ♦ The body of a newborn is found – strangled; a woman abandons a 3 months old baby. ♦ 5 get life term for the (2009) kidnap and murder of a student of DPS School. ♦ A murdered jawan’s body is found near the railway tracks – his nephew is booked, for murder. ♦ An elderly street vendor is found murdered – his throat had been slit. ♦ A construction worker dies after falling from a balcony. ♦ Rajendra Park erupts in protests by women over the location of liquor vends; many men are regularly seen drinking and misbehaving with women near the vends. ♦ There is a clash of local groups on Holi day at Jharsa village, allegedly over the teasing of a woman. Many autos are targeted and overturned. ♦ A bank employee is held for giving a death threat to a person. ♦ A bank’s cashier and guard assault a customer. ♦ 6 SHOs are among the 20 transfer cases in the City police. ♦ Driving Licences of criminals may now be revoked. ♦ Hitchhikers flee with an SUV, after duping the driver. ♦ A woman forges a power of attorney for a property, and is caught. ♦ 3 are held for a Rs 4.5 lakhs cheque fraud on a private company. ♦ A man from Faridabad is duped of Rs 3.25 lakhs, over a house loan. ♦ A maid agency and a maid commit a Rs 30,000 fraud on a resident. ♦ Ansals API transfers maintenance to the Palam Vihar RWA. ♦ Public Health Engineering Dept. is yet to hand over charge of water supply in ‘old’ Gurgaon to MCG – the deadline was April 1. ♦ 18 workers are hurt when the bus of their company (Automax) collides with a goods vehicle. ♦ Properties of Koutons and Eastern Medikit are attached, for their failure to deposit EPF. ♦ A leak at the new Amul plant leaves one dead and 6 unwell. ♦ A small fire impacts work at the Bandhwari Waste Treatment Plant.

TO SUBSCRIBE You would have sampled Friday Gurgaon during the year. Here is your chance to get FG at your doorstep every Friday, at a very attractive rate. 52 issues (1 Year), for Rs 200 (Two Hundred) Only – a Saving of Rs 164 on cover price. To Subscribe SMS FGYES to 08447355801 Send an email to subscription@fridaygurgaon.com Pay Online at www.fridaygurgaon.com Delivery will be through your newspaper vendor. Circulated only in Gurgaon.

w

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo

1. I have holidays for a whole week. Mhaari ek haphte ki chutti Se. 2. This time I want to get out of the City. Ibki baar main shar teh bahar

jana chahun su.

3. My friends recommended Goa. Mere dost toh goa jaan tai kehwe se. 4. My father won't let me go to Goa. Mera baba goa na jaan deta. 5. He thinks I will get into trouble. We nu soche se ki yadde jaake phas jaaga. 6. I am trying to convince him to let me go. Main manan ki koshis karun sun ki jaan de. 7. Otherwise I will have to stay here and watch the cows. Na toh manne yadde baith ke gawdi

dekhni padegi.

Please Contact

Women’s Helpline at Metro stations changed: 9999981829 (earlier 8130990038).

www.fridaygurgaon.com be the change you wish to see

Women’s Helpline, for legal help and assistance: 0124 2221591, from 10am to 4pm, on workdays.

To Advertise

7838003874 7827233023 9999444818

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

Are exclusive measures for women (women's only coaches, autos,institutes, etc.) the answer for women's security? Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com


06  Contd from p 1 Many believe that a family prospers when the women are happy, healthy and educated. “An increase in educated girls and women would mean that more children will be vaccinated against disease, and more money will be invested back into the community,” feels Boski, who works with the Women’s Commission, Government of India. Many however argue that girls’ education continues to be seen through a male lens. “Men think that education just makes girls better mothers; they do not think in terms of education providing women more individual autonomy. For equal treatment, we need to first move away from such male-oriented thinking,” says Dr. Mitra, a women’s-rights activist based in DLF Phase V. ACP Poonam Dalal, who is also the nodal officer for Women’s Empowerment, says that women-specific police stations, women-specific courts and women cops, help in a case being handled more sensitively. “Some women have alleged that they have faced insensitivity while approaching a male police

 Contd from p 1 In Delhi there is a bit of respite for the Mayor, as all three Mayors have their own 'budget' to spend; and if any Councillor lack funds, he or she can get the money allocated from the Mayor. “Yes, this is one major difference. We have a 'budget' of upto Rs. 3 crores, and we can get developmental works undertaken within this amount. Unfortunately this doesn't always get spent, because of many political and other compulsions,” said Mishra. Unlike Delhi, the position and the powers of the Mayor are very weak in Gurgaon. The Mayor is fairly helpless in even taking care of the requirements of his own Councillors. The tenure of the Mayor in Delhi is one year; the old Mayor is then either reinstated by the party, or a new incumbent gets nominated. Presently, the BJP rules all three municipal bodies in Delhi. The Gurgaon Mayor's tenure is five years – but unfortunately a long term does not make him/her

5-11 April 2013

C over S tory

Time To Try A Woman's World? force, especially in cases of sexual assault,”she says. She feels that complaints of rape, stalking and other sex crimes should be taken up by female officers only. However, it is not realistic to have a female officer in every police station, as women constitute just 6.5 per cent of the police force in India. A male CISF staff at the Metro says that it would be better to have intelligent and sensitive male security staff, than simply replacing them with women. Women cabbies now seem to be in great demand. Rachna, a 36-year-old cab driver says, “Earlier, we used to get 10-12 calls a day (requesting women drivers), and today we get more than 50 calls. Women are more comfortable travelling with us. The authorities, as well as the companies, should therefore ensure that women are provided this option.” However, even segregation is not a fool-proof solution. Bhavna, who travels regularly from Delhi to the City,

It is time to pause…and reflect. Is scheduled/special/exclusive the way to go? It’s a difficult answer, given the mess we are in - have put ourselves in. The change ideally should start at school and home – but that will take a long time. Are we willing to wait, and tolerate a lot of pain meanwhile? However, mindless quick-fixes also will not solve our problems. Special and exclusive solutions will only segregate…not integrate. We have already exploited caste and tribe and religion and state in politics, leading to their significant impact on our daily lives. Would we now want to experiment with gender? And then maybe age – the youth versus the elderly? How, when and where, do we want it to end? Have we accepted that a majority of good men and the police cannot take care of a few bad men who harm our women? Have we so readily accepted the excuse that ‘the police are from the same local society, so we should not expect better’ – despite again even the majority of locals being good? Does police training also have no impact; should we now believe the same for our armed forces? Unfortunately we have for long accepted this logic for our politicians. recounts a horrible incident. “Last Thursday, I left office a little late. I boarded a women’s coach in the Metro, around 9 pm. There were just three women

in the compartment. A group of boys boarded the women’s compartment at Chattarpur Metro station. When a woman requested them to leave, one

Standing On Ceremony any more effective. “A 1 year tenure (in Delhi) is too little time to make any impact. The system is so complex that it takes years to understand the 'tricks of the trade'; and by the time we learn how to get our work done, our tenure comes to an end. The new incumbent then goes through the same set of problems,” added Mishra. In terms of salary, the Gurgaon Mayor gets Rs. 5,000 per month, and the Councillors receive Rs. 1,500 per month. The Delhi Mayor gets virtually nothing. “We don't get any salary. We get Rs. 300 per meeting, which includes house meetings as well as other meetings with municipal officers. This amount is likely to be raised to Rs. 1,000 per meeting this year. Apart from this I have got a vehicle and a house from the State,” added Mishra. The Gurgaon Mayor

A strong Mayor-Council system needed

Like many cities in US and Europe, India too should consider bringing in a strong Mayor-Council system, in order to introduce a third layer of governance – to make the functioning of democracy swift and effective. A strong Mayor, with powers to make key decisions, can be extremely useful in the development of a City. In most states, the connect between the State and its cities remains weak. Gurgaon is a perfect example, as despite being the cash cow for the State, it's grievances are seldom heard and addressed by the State. A powerful Mayor would ensure that the State government pays instant heed to the requirements of the City. An alternative model to the prevailing Commissioner model was implemented in Kolkata in 1984. It is known as the Mayor-inCouncil form of city governance. This system is composed of a Mayor, and a ten-member Cabinet – chosen from among the elected Councillors – that is given individual portfolios. It is in essence a hybrid between a Mayor-Council system and the integrated federated framework. The Municipal Commissioner serves as the Principal Executive Officer, and is subject to the control and supervision of the Mayor – who is the Chief Executive Officer. The Municipal Corporation groups

too is entitled to a vehicle and a house, but till now he hasn't been awarded a home – he's still living in his ancestral home in Sirhaul village. He has received a vehicle from the State.

Effectiveness

Since the political scene in Delhi is more complex, the Delhi Mayors often face a lot of problems in navigating their way through. While the BJP rules all the three municipalities in Delhi (and so all three Mayors belong to BJP), the State has a Congress government – and this has made the lives of these elected representatives a bit difficult. The Commissioners, and other officials who wield power, listen to their political bosses sitting in the Delhi Secretariat. “Yes, there are political problems. It becomes difficult for us to get the funds allocated for infrastructure development. Although funds

ultimately have to be given to the municipal bodies, for development works, sometimes the process of allocation of money takes time, due to political indifference. However, I don't have many problems, and we have managed to get the funds allocated for the development works. Going forward, it is important to appreciate that EDMC is the poorest among all the three bodies, and it has the maximum numbers of projects that are pending. There are huge areas that still need to be developed. The State government needs to focus more on this part of the capital,” added Mishra. “Yes, there is a lack of co-ordination between the authorities and us, which often results in the late allocation of our budget. It spoils our image with the public, because they look up to us for the development of the area,” said Kamal Kumar, the

the Wards into boroughs, with each having a Committee, consisting of the Councillors elected from the respective Wards. The Councillors elect one among themselves as the Chairperson of the borough. The Borough Committees are subject to general supervision by the Mayor-in-Council, and look after sub-local functions – such as water supply, drainage, collection and removal of solid waste, disinfection and health services, housing services, lighting, repairs of certain categories of roads, and maintenance of parks and drains.
It is perhaps best described as a transitional form of an integrated federated system. An urban variation is due for India, which was one of the very first regions of the world where the integrated federated framework was implemented.
 The weaknesses of this model, in practice, have been that the borough and ward committees have been too dependent on the Mayor-in-Council arm of the system. There has often been inadequate operational autonomy in the selection and execution of schemes, and a lack of involvement with revenue-raising and tax collection. And since the Mayor (in this system) isn't a government official, appointed by the State, his accountability towards the State is questionable.

of the boys slapped her. We then called the CISF staff who immediately took them out of the train,” she says. There is a need to understand that true empowerment of women can be attained only if they have a say in the political and decision-making process in the country, says Dr. Mitra. She emphasises, “The Women’s Reservation Bill, that offers 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament, is crucial. Recent amendments in laws, that reserve certain number of seats for women in the local bodies, should also be encouraged.” However, despite all these measures, what is most required is a strong sense of understanding among the men, that every woman should be treated with respect – and as an equal. Swami Vivekananda had said: “That country and that nation which does not respect women has never become great – nor will ever in the future”. u Councillor of Trilokpuri. In Gurgaon, despite there being no such political conflict (it is Congress everywhere), caste and patronage have hampered co-ordination. The Gurgaon Mayor is believed to be the 'man' of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjeet Singh, Haryana CM Bhupender Singh Hooda's arch rival in the Congress. This is believed to be the main reason why Vimal Yadav hasn't been allowed to make any impact as a Mayor of the City.

Councillors: Delhi better

We don't have any budget, and that's why we have to request a JE level officer to make an estimate of works in our Wards, so that the file can be sent to the higher officer for clearance. And most of the time, it takes months to get the works sanctioned. For example, the Detail Project Report (DPR) of my Ward was submitted by me eight months ago, and till now I haven't got clearance from the authorities – forget the sanction of the money. We Councillors don't have any power at all, and the stipend of Rs. 1,500 doesn't even pay for a couple of days of our expenses as Councillors,” said one of the Councillors in Gurgaon. Delhi Councillors at least have an annual budget of Rs. 1.05 crores; they can get works worth this much sanctioned from the municipal body. They can also ask for the allocation of the funds from the Mayor, or from any Committee that the work is related to. “We probably have more burden of work, as our Wards are densely populated, and people here keep coming to us for helping expedite work in their area. We don't get any salary,” said Devender Kumar, the Councillor of Khichdipur.u


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07

City Bus Comes Of Age { Maninder Dabas / FG }

Bagh, Delhi. We are planning to increase the number of buses within a couple of months. The response has been splendid, and we have received messages from all across the City, thanking us for this initiative. I know this action should have been taken much earlier, but even now we can make a significant difference in the lives of the people,” said Yashendra Singh, General Manager, Haryana Roadways, Gurgaon. Singh too is aware that a hundred odd buses on sixteen routes can't cater to the mammoth demand, and offer a viable and significant public transport system. That is why the Department has made some ambitious plans, to improve the state of public transport in the City.

Hundred more buses soon

“Now we have decided to increase our strength by introducing 50 more ‘ordinary’ buses, which means that the time between the arrival of two buses would further reduce. We are also planning to bring 50 low floor AC buses, which would ply around the Metro stations in Gurgaon. We will now focus on the executive class, who come to Gurgaon from outside to work in MNCs.

They come by the Metro, and then take the autos. We would give them an option, with the comfort of an AC,” informed Singh.

the operations of all Volvo services going on long routes; and apart from the Volvos, half of the intra-City Buses would operate from there. At Rajiv Chowk, mainly the buses going towards Jaipur would operate,” informed Singh.

Work started for two bus terminals

Presently Gurgaon has one bus terminal, deep inside the ‘old’ City. Now Haryana Roadways has started working on two branches of the Gurgaon terminal. One would be at the edge of NH-8, on Rajiv Chowk – and work has already started here. Another would be in Sector-29, which is the heart of the City – and here too plans to lay the foundation are in motion. “At Rajiv Chowk we have three acres of land; and at Sector-29 we have two acres. At Sector-29, we would start

Before the arrival of the City Buses, Gurgaon had only one form of public transport – the autos. And they still rule. Haryana Roadways can definitely provide the masses a safer, cheaper and faster option. “It would take time, because ours is a State body, and we can’t put all our resources in Gurgaon. Of course, we would make a substantial increase in the fleet of buses each year,” said Singh. u

www.fridaygurgaon.com Civic/ social

Wellness Spiritual 22-28 February 2013

Vol. 2 No. 27  Pages 24  ` 7

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Coming Of Age 18 & Dreaming

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

A

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

The Foreign Connection

P3

{Inside}

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

Bon vivant

...Pg 8

Caged Freedom

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

...Pg 9

Life Near The Metro

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

...Pg 24

ART

Lawbreakers @ 16

New Age Security

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

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

kids corner

ASHA PANDEY

I

t has been an year since Haryana Roadways started the intra-City Bus service. “An year, really? I haven't boarded these buses more than a couple of times, because whenever we come out of the Metro station we don't find a bus. I work in Cyber Park in Sector-39, and I catch an auto from the HUDA Metro station. The Roadways need to increase the numbers of buses, so that they are visible; only then will their impact be felt. Till then autos would remain the life savers for us,” said Vivek Srivastava, a software professional. “Yes, I have seen buses in the City, and a couple of times I have boarded them as well. But the Roadways officials need to work on increasing the visibility of the buses, by introducing

short routes operating at a fast frequency. They should also focus more on the major traffic bottlenecks in the City, because these trouble spots can easily yield passengers for them; it would also automatically reduce the congestion at these spots. Areas like ‘new’ Gurgaon, where rich people live, need to have less routes, because these people don’t board any state-run transport,” said Sunita Kataria, a resident of Sector-45. Haryana Roadways officials, however, believe that their initiative has made a solid impact, and the people have benefited immensely. “Presently around one lakh people travel in our buses daily, and shortly this number will escalate steeply. At present we have a hundred buses operating on sixteen routes all over the City – including one going to Karol

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

N

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

ASHA PANDEY

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

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5-11 April 2013

C ivic/S ocial

Moving With The Times { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

teach-one' rule that we are trying to put to practice,” smiles Rajput.

A

bout 10 years ago, when young lad Dinesh moved to the City, he was doomed to be a labourer for life. Back in his village Dinesh had studied till Class 6, but had to leave the school as his father shifted to Gurgaon for work. Luckily, one of the activists at All India Citizens' Alliance for Progress & Development (AICAPD) spotted him and took him to the newlyopened Innovation Mobile School in the City. “I never imagined that my son, Dinesh, who did not have any interest in studies before he joined classes at AICAPD, would clear the Class 12th examination. This NGO has changed the life of my son, as well as my family,” says Nirmal, Dinesh’s father. After completing Class 12th, Dinesh cleared ITI, and is now successfully placed at a publication house in Noida. Migrant labourers like Nirmal have made a huge contribution to the development of the Millenium City, but they still live in poor conditions, and without any access to education for their children. Unfortunately, even proximity to the national capital, and the Right to Education Act, have failed to make any difference. An NGO, AICAPD therefore decided to launch exclusive mobile schools in the City. The Schools are set up at the place where the migrant families put up their temporary dwellings. The Schools move when the migrants shift their homes to new sites, as their work demands. The brainchild of Sandeep Rajput, Innovation Mobile Schools are set up as temporary structures near construction sites. When a construction project is over, a builder generally employs the same group of labourers on another site; so it becomes easier for the School to move with the labourers. If a child is not able to continue studies at a mobile school, the school helps him/her get enrollment in the National Open School. “After spending a decade in the City, I realised that more than 1,000 children of migrant labourers have no access to education. So I came up with the idea to set up these special mobile schools,” says Sandeep Rajput, Director, Innovation Mobile Schools (AICAPD). The 33-year-old Rajput comes from a poor farmer family of UP. He left his Masters degree course in 2001, and came to Delhi to take up a simple job at a salary of Rs. 4,000 a month. However, touched by the poor condition of the children of poor migrant workers, he

Challenges

decided to provide free education to them, at their doorsteps. He established the first Innovation Mobile School in South Delhi’s Madangir area, in 2002. “I started teaching about 50 slum children, and got them certificates through distance learning. Sometimes I taught them at night, as I used to work in the day. After moving to Gurgaon, I saw that the migrant construction labourers, who put in so much hard work to construct high rises and buildings of international schools, didn't have the money (or the inclination) to send their children to normal schools. I therefore started a mobile school at a construction site on Sohna Road. There are 3 now, and the fourth school is likely to open on Sheetla Mata Road in 'old' Gurgaon,” he informs. Recently, Rajput’s efforts have been appreciated by IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee. He was invited by these institutions to share his story.

Innovation Night Schools

Apart from the Mobile Schools, the NGO has also set up an Innovation Night school in the City. Over 65 working children attend this School. It has been set up for older children, who work during the day. Unfortunately children are made to work in India. “Very few of these children were able to combine their work with education. Many children had short attendance in schools due to their long work schedules. Through Innovation Night Schools, such working children can now have access to good schooling. They

To start with, Rajput had a tough time finding shelters to put up a Mobile School. After convincing the local authorities, Rajput set up a temporary tent structure at a construction site near Bhondsi. “Initially, even the labourers didn’t want a school at a construction site. Children too were angry, as we forced them to study. But with the help of citizen volunteers, we were able to give the right counselling to children, as well as their parents. And today, over 300 students are attending Mobile Schools on Sohna Road itself,” says Rajput. A teacher at Jail Road, Sohna adds, “The biggest challenge is to encourage these children to study – for which you have to make the studies very interesting. That is why we use many innovative ways – like puppet shows and storytelling.” These children live away from their parents, which makes them vulnerable to drug addiction and human trafficking. The Mobile Schools not only provide education to these children, but also help keep them away from such evils.

Future plans

will also not have to look for schools; rather the schools will go to their doorstep,” says Rajput.

After-school Education

The NGO helps the children get admission to various courses through the National Open School. Besides, many students are pursuing their higher education from Delhi University. A few of them are already working in reputed companies. For 23-year-old Kishore Kumar, studying at the Mobile

School was a life-changing experience. Kishore, who used to work in a soap factory, was brought to the Mobile School by a volunteer. At the age of 18, he ran away from his village in UP. After coming to the City, he started working in the factory, where he used to get a monthly salary of Rs. 1,600, after working for 12 hours a day. With the help of the NGO, Kumar is today pursuing graduation from DU, and is simultaneously working with an international school and drawing a salary of Rs. 15,000. “I called my parents after joining the Mobile School. My father started crying when he heard that I have passed 12th standard,” says Kumar. Rajput informs that children who work in factories sometimes cut their fingers and hands, while working with heavy machines. “We also take in handicapped children at the Mobile Schools. They are given special training in computers, which helps them in getting good jobs,” he says. Many Gurgaon children (mainly those who have passed school) take out a few hours a day to teach kids at the Mobile Schools. They also provide their old books, blankets and clothes to the children. “It’s the 'each-one-

The NGO plans to set up Innovation Model Schools, and an Innovation Mobile Library. Innovation Model Schools will be aimed for 'special' students, studying in different Innovation Mobile/Night Schools. Those parents who recognise the importance of education, and agree to relieve their children from domestic work, to continue their studies as full-time students, will be allowed to send their children to the Innovation Model Schools. These Model Schools will provide certificatelevel vocational training, beyond the compulsory Primary Education that is provided at Innovation Mobile/ Night Schools. These Schools will also run a number of other skill-development programmes, in order to make the children self-reliant. After completion of their formal education upto Secondary level, these children will be encouraged to join government schemes/ programmes at different levels, and participate in competitive examinations. The Innovation Mobile Library will offer access to good books and study material. A survey by the NGO reveals that 50 such schools are needed at various construction sites in the City. It is time for the Administration and the real estate majors to also contribute.u


5-11 April 2013

{ Abhishek Behl / FG } Gurgaon, a recent City-entrant, already has close to a hundred 'unauthorized' colonies. WIth the development of new sectors (58 to 115), around another 50 odd villages (as per the Master Plan 2031) there would be 'scope' for many more 'unauthorized' colonies around them. The middle class and the poor would flock there, as they have little chance of owning or renting any official colony residence, even in the new sectors. There never has been any worthwhile housing plan for this vulnerable segment of society. Even HUDA flats are too expensive in Gurgaon; and anyway HUDA is quite absent from the new sectors. We should learn from the complete mess of 'unauthorized' colonies in Delhi. Many residents live in sub-human conditions, with the civic agencies not recognizing their existence. In Haryana, the recommendations for authorization have been kept pending for years. With elections next year, we may finally see some action. The CM has promised a Draft Bill soon.

T

he vast majority of residents living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi are migrants from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and nearby Haryana. They migrated to Delhi in search of better job facilities, and an improved quality of living for their families. This migration to Delhi, which began with the partition of the country, proved to be a never-ending phenomenon, as both the private sector and government job creation was centred in and around Delhi and other metros. With such large scale migration to the National Capital, it was imperative that the state as well as city managers develop a plan that could house the burgeoning population. However, that does not quite happen in India – even today. As a result, Delhi today is facing a crisis wherein almost half of the population is living in the so-called 'unauthorised' colonies – which are neither serviced by the municipal agencies, nor are part of the Delhi Master Plan. To correct this anomaly, around 1639 such colonies were identified by the Sheila Dikshit government prior to the last elections, and were handed out provisional certificates of regularisation – in a move that was clearly political, as this emotive issue had ensured victory for her party at the hustings. However, both the opposition parties as well as the residents of these colonies allege that nothing much happened after this political tokenism. The elections to the Delhi Assembly are once again on the horizon, and CM Dikshit, as expected, has again increased the pitch for the regularisation of these colonies. It is clear that the residents in these colonies are fed up with living on the fringes, and want the government to act on what it has promised. Residents of Qutab Vihar, adjacent to Dwarka township, in West Delhi, say that they had voted for the Congress in droves, in the hope that their Colony would be regularised by the government. However, the failure of the government to act has ensured that they still live without proper water connections, and with no sanitation and sewerage facilities. No agency of the Delhi government is allowed to operate in these 'unauthorised' colonies. Popi Sehrawat, President of the Pankaj Garden RWA, says that lanes and drains have been non-existent for the last couple of years, the sewage facilities have not been set up, and there is no health and education facility in their Colony. “It is only

C ivic/S ocial

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Only Electorally Legal in the last couple of months that the local MLA has intervened, and used special funds to partly build some lanes and drains. The living conditions here are pathetic, but no one can do much, as this is an 'unauthorised' area,” he says. The Special Fund that Sehrawat talks about was created by the Delhi government, under the Unauthorised Colonies Cell, that empowered local MLAs to spend some money for carrying out some basic on the streets and roads development in the 'unauthorin front of their homes. ised' colonies. Children in Qutub Vihar With government agencies do not have any park or looking the other way while play ground for recreation. the unauthorised colonies They rarely  access the were being developed, urban play grounds and parks planners and development in neighbouring Dwarka, experts assert that all norms as these are at quite a dishave been violated: for dentance. sity, FAR, transfer of propConstruction of houses erty rights, creation of social Rajesh Gehlot in an 'unauthorised' colony infrastructure, and other facilities required for a quality life. is an exercise in itself, as both the police Nominal civic infrastructure was cre- and civic agencies keep a close vigil on ated by people who had no experience in the violators. The vigil is not for stopping the colonising and development of cit- the construction, but for making money on the side – as the rates are fixed, for ies, says Vijay Saluja, a former Chief letting a person construct a building, Engineer with NDMC. “A number of these colonies are extensions of exist- depending on the area, alleges ing villages, and have little civic infra- a resident. Insiders say that a structure. The increase in population has large amount of money changes put further pressure on them,” he says.  hands, to ensure that this conIn reality, the only objective of an struction inside illegal colonies 'unauthorised' colony is to maximise is not stopped. Getting a power the residential capacity of the area, connection was also a major by creating small plots and multiple task, till the privatisation of dwellings – with no consideration for distribution. Potable water re- Krishan the creation of common civic infra- mains a problem, and residents in structure. It is this haphazard plan- many colonies have to depend on tankers ning—the lack of layouts and plans— for their daily water supply. The ground that has become a major hurdle in the water is not fit for consumption. Reguprocess of regularisation, that was larization will make them eligible for water connection from the Delhi Jal Board.  initiated as early as 2002. Rajesh Gehlot, Chairman of the Since the transfer of property in the 'unauthorised' areas takes place Standing Committee of South Delhi on the basis of a power of attorney MCD, alleges that conditions of the 'un(as registry of land is not allowed), authorised colonies' in Delhi are unlikely the residents are also not eligible for to change, as the State government is not loans and mortgages. Says Debajyoti, serious in resolving this matter. It is just a resident of Qutub Vihar, “We are not an election issue. “The people have underable to build a house, as banks are not stood the tactics of the government, and ready to give loans. I can sell the prop- they won't be misled this time,” he says. Outlining the need for regularisation erty for Rs. 50 lakhs to an individual, but the bank won’t give me money. of the 'unauthorised' colonies at the earWe hope the colonies are recognised, liest, East Delhi Mayor Annapurna so that this problem is sorted out.” The Mishra says that as soon as the governlack of commercial space, markets, play ment approves the list of 'unauthorised grounds and community centres further colonies', they will pass the layout plans makes life very drab and difficult for the and regularise the areas expeditiously. residents, who often interact socially “We want this to happen quickly, so that Regularisation in Delhi: The regularisation of ‘unauthorised’ colonies has taken place in  three phases in Delhi, beginning in 1962 as part of the first Master Plan. The second phase of regularisation took place in 1975, when 567 colonies were included within the boundaries of the Master Plan of 1962. The third phase began in 1993, when applications were called for regularisation of colonies and the government accepted 1639 applications. The RWA of a colony would submit the Layout Plan, showing the boundaries of a colony, the number of plots, the occupation of plots, and the location, as required by the government. In 2007, satellite mapping of the areas was undertaken by the Delhi government, and the layout plans were superimposed on satellite images, to outline the boundaries. This led to protests, and all 1639 colonies were given provisional certificates. Critics allege that the Delhi Master Plan 2021 does not include the ‘unauthorised’ colonies, which are on the verge of being authorised. It is this anomaly between the vision of the planners and the actual conditions on the grounds, which leads to problems, they allege. Regularisation Process: The registration of an RWA in an ‘unauthorised’ colony is a prerequisite for initiating the process of regularisation. The RWA represents the residents; and in the case of multiple RWAs, they have to form a federation.The RWA has to submit the layout plans of a colony. While preparing the plans it has to identify the plots/locations that are required to be transferred to the civic agency, for the creation of civic infrastructure. In case plots are not available, then the residents have to manage without such infrastructure. ‘Unauthorised’ colonies that were in existence as per the aerial survey of 2002, are eligible for regularisation, but these should not be part of the Lal Dora land. Once the colony is regularised, it will be governed by the provisions of the Master Plan Delhi 2021. The Lay Out plan will be approved by the Competent authority within one month of its submission, after the fixation of the boundary of the colony by the government. After that, the matter shall be referred to the government for regularisation, and approval will be sought from DDA for Change in Land Use. Once the colony is approved the regularisation, the process will be completed after the RWA has paid the necessary charges and fees. The entire process of regularisation should take 6 to 9 months. Once regularised, the houses in these colonies will also have to conform to prescribed development norms.

civic and urban infrastructure and facilities are made available to this huge population, at the earliest,” she says. Krishan, a close associate of Matiala MLA Sumesh Shokeen, says that lanes, drains and roads are already being developed, using the Special Fund, in the unauthorised colonies. He predicts that it would take no more than 2 years to see the Delhi Jal Board, MCD and other agencies functional in areas like Qutub Vihar, Pankaj Garden and Samta Vihar. Debajyoti says that residents in ‘unauthorised’ colonies always live with their fingers crossed, as they fear the demolition squads and court orders. It is high time that politicians stop taking advantage of this fear, he asserts. Mahek Singh, Chairman of the Standing Committee of East Delhi MCD, says that despite repeated promises the government has done little on this issue, except milking it for political reasons. The failure of master planning is evident from the fact that the DDA did not notify any new land for urban development between 1962 and 1990. This was only taken up in the Master Plan 2001. Surprisingly, while the population of the City rose by almost 3.5 million between 1980 and 1990, the Master Plan 2001 added only 4,000 hectares of land for urban development. Many could not wait for DDA to come up with residential facilities, particularly as they belonged to the lower middle class and the economically weaker sections, who needed to stay close to their workplace. Consequently, most of the ‘unauthorised’ colonies in Delhi have come up on rural village land, that was outside the ambit of the Master Plan. This land was either owned by villagers, or was common panchayat land that was bought by private developers – who carved out plots and sold them on the basis of power of attorney. When asked about what learning could Gurgaon take from the Delhi model, Saluja says that the Master Plan of Gurgaon should make adequate arrangements for residential needs of the weaker sections of society and the lower middle class – which provide the manpower for industries, real estate, IT and the services sector. Experts further suggest that the Haryana government should expedite the process for regularising the colonies in Gurgaon and other parts of the State, and include them in the Master Plan, so that their future development could be planned. A special watch needs to be kept on areas close to villages in the new sectors, as these are the places where new ‘unauthorised’ colonies are most likely to come up, they add. Gurgaon today has around 71 unauthorised colonies, out of which 47 have been recommended for regularisation; the case has been pending with the State government for years. Compared to Delhi, the regularisation process in Haryana is simpler, as the government agencies carry out a survey of the ‘unauthorised’ colonies, take a stock of the housing, infrastructure, water and power connections and land ownership records, and thereafter make a recommendation for the regularisation. There is no need for an RWA to create layout plans, or offer plots for infrastructure, or fulfil any other requirements as put forth by Delhi government. The government is clearly waiting for the right time to press the pedal, as this issue is likely to fetch it votes in the election year. u


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C ivic/S ocial PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

D

espite living in one of the central areas of Gurgaon, the residents of Sector 31 are not happy with the state of civic infrastructure, as well as services provided by HUDA – which developed and now manages the area. Locals say that the poor condition of internal roads, which have potholes in many places, has made life quite difficult for them. The perennial issue of waterlogging also weighs heavily on the minds of residents, as they recall the last few monsoons. Colonel Maan Singh, President of the RWA, says that since the Sector is in a slightly low-lying area, water from adjacent colonies and residential areas flows into the Sector 31 Market. The poor state of storm water drainage pipes does not help, as water pools remain in the market for days. Today, one half of the market

has drainage. Despite multiple visits by the HUDA Administrator, and assurances from him, nothing much has changed, asserts Singh. And despite submitting a detailed map of the road to HUDA, marking the potholes and poor stretches, no repair has been undertaken in the last 3 years. The parking lot in the market is also in bad shape. “Officials say an estimate has been prepared and sent to Chandigarh, but they do not know when this work will be taken up,” says Commandant P.S Daber, former General Secretary of the RWA. Daber complains that the parking lot has been auctioned to a commercial entity, which now charges money from the local residents. This, the residents say, violates their rights, since they have paid the development charges – and so should not be charged for parking. The presence of a large number of banks and HUDA offices in the Sector is another reason why there is a lot of traffic to this market; it causes traffic jams on the roads. Singh says that most of the people are parking their cars on the roadsides, to avoid paying parking charges. The two rain water harvesting structures that have been built in the market are also not functioning properly, allege the RWA members. While the residents admit that a contract

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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ith the rising concern over women’s safety in the City, a host of safety applications have also been launched by mobile companies. A safety Andriod application, “StreetSafe”, was launched on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. What makes the application stand out is its personal safety escort service, known as “Walk With Me”. This feature allows women to call the company’s trained security advisers anytime – 24/7. The representative remains online ‘with the woman’, till the time she reaches her destination. A resident of Sector 15, Shruti, who walks alone from office to home every day, now uses StreetSafe. She says, “Initially, I felt a little awkward to call. I had just been feeling unsafe while walking alone at night.  Thankfully, the representatives are very supportive. They don’t ask any unnecessary questions, and guide you about safety measures that should be taken while walking alone on the road.” The representatives entertain a call,

for desilting has been awarded, the speed is too slow – and so there is no worthwhile result. The large number of commercial entities, including banks, in the Sector 31 Market have set up large generator units, which violate the pollution norms. “Residents living close to the Market have complained to HUDA officials, but no action is taken. HUDA officials pass the buck to the Pollution department,” says Daber. He also wants HUDA to remove the numerous ‘malba’ dumps, that have become permanent features in the Sector. The lack of public conveniences in the Market also leads to problems for visitors. The residents are also peeved over the opening of a liquor vend in one of the SCOs. They allege that miscreants create problems for the residents. Col. Maan Singh says that it is surprising that a liquor vend was opened without discussion with the RWA. “This

vend should be shifted to a suitable place, so that residents, particularly women, do not feel harassed,” he says. Girwar Dutt Kaushik, an executive member of the RWA, says that the government needs to take action against the illegal rearing of pigs in the City. It has become a menace for the residents of

Be even if no incident has taken place. This encourages women to call in if they feel insecure – even multiple times a day. After being molested on a street while coming back home from the Bus Stand, 23-year-old Meenakshi (name changed) now makes it a point to call the StreetSafe representative every day. “I don’t feel comfortable walking alone after that incident. StreetSafe has made it quite easy. At times the representatives tell us about self-defence,” says Meenakshi. When asked about the steps taken by representatives in emergencies,

Meenakshi informs that Streetsafe representatives contact the Women’s Helpline immediately. The application has mostly been used by women as a precaution – and for support. Amrin, a

this Sector. Kaushik claims that more than a thousand pigs can be found roaming in the Sector at a given time, as the nearby HUDA yard, where pipes have been stocked, has become a breeding ground. Another problem raised by Kaushik is the wanton operation of guest houses and PGs, which cause a lot of nuisance for the public. As no one in HUDA is ready to accept responsibility, Singh has suggested the introduction of a User Work Satisfactory Certificate, which will be a certification by the RWA on whether the contracted work was of good quality or not. “Any contracted work that HUDA gives out needs to be certified by the RWAs and the residents. This is the only way forward, to bring accountability,” he asserts. u

housewife, uses the application everyday, when she drives to her son’s school. According to her, the conversation with the representatives is similar, every day. “They ask questions about your location, the surroundings, battery life in your mobile, and your emotional state. That’s it,” says Amrin, who finds the representatives very decent and wellmannered.   Apart from “Walk with me”, the software indicates the current location of the user on her Facebook account, if she clicks a panic button, or taps a pattern. Moreover, a recurring SMS (an emergency message) is repeatedly sent to the pre-decided contacts, indicating the current location of the user. The application also allows a user to play a loud alarm, with a click of a button. The alarm works even if the phone is switched off. It can be disabled only by removing the phone’s battery. A call can also be made to the pre-decided contacts. The basic version of StreetSafe starts from Rs. 1,000 a month. It can be subscribed at http://streetsafe.com. u


5-11 April 2013

Civic/Social

11

Rooms For The Middle Class

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

Low Cost Housing for the EWS and the middle class has never been a priority in Haryana. The Policy of 2009 is, after 4 years, being acknowledged as a failure. Now, with elections around the corner, there is an attempt to reach out to this vulnerable segment. However, in line with its ‘broker’ mentality, the Administration has first prioritized the benefit for builders. The density per acre has been tripled, which means 3 times the number of housing units per acre. Alongside, the size of each apartment has also become one-third ! Did the size of the potential residents or families change suddenly? Have their requirements become a third of what was earlier planned? We are now worse off than NOIDA and Delhi - by a wide margin. Clearly this is what the Gurgaon/ Haryana builders can ‘afford’...

maximum permissible limit of 300 per acre at present. Critics argue that this would lead to smaller dwellings, and poor living conditions. The size of the units have been prescribed at 28 to 60 sq.metres, but the Policy states that 50 per cent of the houses should be less than 48 sq.metres. The Policy permits project sizes of a maximum of 300 acres in a city like Gurgaon, whereas the maximum project size is 150 and 75 acres in smaller cities. The price of dwelling units has been fixed at Rs. 4,000 per sq.ft in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Panchkula and Pinjore-Kalka; and Rs. 3,600 per sq.ft in other cities. The grant of the licence to a developer will take place on a points-based system, which takes into account the availability of roads, water, sewerage and development works. The developer’s presence, with other projects in the same sector, would be helpful. It is also made clear that only one project will

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ith elections round the corner, the Haryana government has decided to go for a policy makeover, so that the majority of people that have been forced out of the expensive real estate market are offered some reasonable housing options. Today the only option for a resident of Gurgaon, who belongs to the lower and middle income groups, is to buy a plot in either an ‘unauthorised’ colony or near a village – and wait for its regularisation by the government. Real estate watchers opine that it is very difficult for house buyers to get a two-room flat in Gurgaon for anything less than Rs. 80 lakhs, in a decent housing society. The proposed Policy could be a game changer. The new Haryana Affordable Housing Policy aims to address this problem by changing the rules of engagement, and by making it easy and worthwhile for the real estate developers to enter the low cost housing sector. The Department of Town and Country Planning has drafted the Policy, and invited suggestions from citizens. As per the new Policy, the Government will grant special licences to build low cost housing projects, with increased density and FAR. A builder who gets a licence for such a project can build an area with a density of 900 people per acre – which would be thrice the

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

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n unprecedented rise in the financial clout of locals in the last one decade is believed to be one of the reasons behind the massive rise in crime by local youth in the last few years. The Police say that criminals have come from even outside the State. However, to be on the safe side, and working on the assumption that prevention is better than cure, Gurgaon Police has started a local vigilance programme. Various ACP rank officers would now keep an eye on the activities within the villages in and around the City. “Today, Gurgaon’s villages don’t only have locals as their residents. The economic and industrial rise of the City has made the villages a shelter for the mammoth floating population. Hence it has become extremely important for us to keep an eye on the happenings in and

would be easier for home buyers to get bank loans and mortgages. Primarily, this Policy is likely to cater to a section that is above the Low Income Group, but lower than the Middle Income Groups. A person earning something between Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs per annum is likely to be interested in these houses. While the Policy is progressive in some ways, parking could again be a matter of concern, as flat owners would be offered a half-car parking space as covered parking – only for two wheelers. This issue is likely to create a problem, as the majority of small families in urban spaces like Gurgaon own a car – since the public transport facilities are poor. The government needs to re-look this, and either think about making some changes, or have these projects come up on transit and metro corridors. The eligibility criteria for owning a house does not make it clear whether this scheme is only for domiciles of Haryana, or whether migrants can avail the benefit from the projects launched under this scheme. The Draft Policy does not mention anything about the resident

a positive move, the government has also decided that (lower) EDC applicable to plotted colonies shall be levied on these projects. To prevent speculation, the Policy has stipulated that no sale or transfer of these flats can take place upto one year; and if a violation happens, then hefty penalty shall be charged. The transfer of a flat through Power of Attorney would also be considered as a violation, if it happens within a year. The allotment of apartments shall be done through a draw of lots, in the presence of a Committee consisting of the Deputy Commissioner or his representative (at least of the cadre of Haryana Civil Services), Senior Town Planner of the Circle, Representative of DGTCP and the coloniser   concerned.  All flats in a specific project shall be floated for allotment at one go, within four months of sanction of building plans, or receipt of environmental clearance – whichever is later. Possession of flats shall be offered within the validity period of 4 years of such sanction/clearance. As per the Policy, a developer

Planning and Area parameters   Maximum Population Density to be permitted: 900 ppa   Maximum FAR allowed: 225 n  Maximum Ground Coverage allowed: 50%  n  Maximum area under Commercial Use: 4% of the Net Planned Area. n  Minimum Area under Rrganized Open Space: 15% of the Net Planned Area n  Occupancy Norm (for density calculations): 5 persons per flat n n

be approved in one sector, and that should correspond to the Master Plan of the City. A project will have to be completed within 4 years of the grant of licence, or environmental clearance, whichever is later. An important positive of this Policy, say experts, is that it does not brand the affordable housing units as ‘EWS’ or ‘BPL’. However, the price tag, which is being calculated to be between Rs. 15-35 lakhs, is unlikely to make these attractive to the urban poor. It will definitely attract the lower income groups, who today prefer to stay in ‘unauthorised’ colonies. Moreover, with the legal status of these houses being absolutely clean, with clear titles, it

status; in Haryana the majority of State housing policies for the EWS have excluded the migrants – despite a large number of them requiring affordable houses. Exclusion of migrants is one of the reasons that housing for EWS has failed to take off in the State, opine experts. A person or a member of his family should not own a government allotted unit in any urban areas of Haryana, Delhi and NCR. Only one application can be made by a person from a family. To make the housing projects viable, the government has waived off all applicable fees and charges, licence fees, conversion charges and IDC – but the Scrutiny Charges will have to be paid. As

Police Outreach around these villages. Our officials shall be visiting the villages in their jurisdiction, to check on the law and order scenario, encouraging the registration of crime, and making people—especially women—aware of their rights. We wish to make people aware of the rise in crime, and to emphasise that they keep an eye on their young ones,” informed Alok Mittal, the Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon. Although villages should form an integral part of any officer’s beat, they had hardly been a priority – and were rarely visited. The Police Commissioner believes that regular visits by high-ranked police officials would not only help in reducing crime directly, but would also aid in tracking criminal activity – like the illegal smuggling of weapons – which

later results in serious crime. “We hope to build an effective network, which is necessary for the curbing of crime,” added Mittal. By reaching out to villagers, the police should also face less hostility when searching for alleged criminals from within the village community. This has been a challenge for the local police till now. “The Police should not work on pre-conceived notions. In our eyes a criminal can belong to any ‘group’ – including that which calls itself ‘elite’. Yes, locals have been found involved in crimes such as loot and burglary, but there are so many ‘smart crimes’—such as thuggery and property frauds—where outsiders and the ‘elite’ have been the culprits,” added Maheshwar Dayal, Joint Commissioner, Police.

will need to provide one built up community hall, and one crèche of 2,000 sq.feet, which shall form part of the Common Areas and Facilities, as defined under the Haryana Apartment Ownership Act. The Policy also allows a commercial component of 4 per cent, to enable a developer to maintain the colony free of cost for a period of five years, from the date of grant of Occupation certificate – after which the colony shall stand transferred to the Society of Apartment Owners, constituted under the Apartment Ownership Act, for on-going maintenance. The coloniser will exit the project at this stage. u

Chakkarpur village, near MG Road, has already been visited by the police – where they reviewed the general scenario. They talked to villagers about their problems, and sought suggestions on how to solve them. The women were encouraged to stand up for their rights, and to exhibit zero tolerance towards any crime committed against them. What made the villagers very happy was the police’s suggestion to move out the local tavern from the Village. “We have visited a couple of villages till now, and we believe this step taken by us would certainly yield good results. It would not only help us in keeping an eye on the happenings there, but also give us the opportunity to inform the villagers and others to be aware of crime and criminals around them. Of course it would also strengthen our information network,” said an ACP. Wazirabad has also been recently visited by the police, under the Programme. u


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5-11 April 2013

K id C orner

Solutions

Kids Brainticklers

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

Artistic Strokes

Srashti Verma, Grade IX, Gurugram Public School

Vaishali Malik, Grade XI, Lions Public School

Ranbir, Grade IX, Sucheta Memorial School


5-11 April 2013

E

K id C orner

13

MRIS WINS GLOBAL RECOGNITION

maad Muzaffar, a 10th standard student currently studying at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46 Gurgaon, was recently conferred with “The Global Youth Award”, at The International Lakes and Rivers Conclave in Frankfurt, Germany. Emaad Muzaffar,  17, participated in The International Lakes and Rivers Conclave and The International Educational Exhibition held in Frankfurt, Germany from 24th March to 28th March. He had earlier qualified the National Championship of this conclave as The National Champion of India in Mumbai. This conclave was held with an aim to bring youth (in the age group of 16-25 years) from across Asia and Pacific regions together and focus on lakes and rivers, including research and management challenges, and the implications of such issues for sustainable use of these important water systems.   After performing well in various strategic competitions held in the conclave, Emaad Muzaffar was conferred with the “The Global Youth Award”. Emaad also brought laurels for his institution Manav Rachna Int’l Schools by winning “The Modern Technology Education Award” and “The Global Education Award” for Manav Rachna Int’l University, which he was representing at The International Education Exhibition held as a part of the lakes and rivers conclave. While addressing a gathering of 400 plus delegates from Asia and Pacific Regions, Emaad talked about the efforts of different Non-government organizations with reference to the conservation of different lakes and rivers in India. He said that such conservation measures, reforms and policies can only be implemented when people living around give support and co-operation to the cause. He also requested delegates from Asia and Pacific region to deeply introspect about the huge amount of money spent on the conservation causes and compare them with their respective outcomes. In the past Emaad has been conferred with the ‘’Leading Representative Award” at Young leadership conference in New Delhi,“The Best Delegate Award” at the Model UN Conference held in Dubai UAE. Emaad has also bagged many awards previously at various conferences and seminars held for students of schools and colleges in New Delhi.

Q-1: What was your first reaction after the results were announced? Ans: It was indeed a very proud and honourable moment for me. I passed on the same good news to my Principal Ms. Dhriti Malhotra first, and then my parents. They were in tears. Not only they, my friends and well wishers who blessed and prayed for me are extremely proud of me.  Q-2: What is your aim in future?  Ans: I am looking forward for the day when I will be able to dedicate my life for the cause of humanity. When I will be able to help millions of needy people around the world.  Q-3: How did you manage your studies and such events?  Ans: I firmly believe that for a student it is really important to reach out and see the environment. The reality is that pressure has made students to become book worms and they are not able or we can say they don’t have any option to see the future of tomorrow or discover the real interest in them. Schools must give opportunities to it’s students so that they can nourish themselves and prepare themselves to become leaders of tomorrow.  Q-4: What was your most enriching experience of such summits and conclaves?  Ans: Youth power is one of things that I have experienced very much during such events. I am glad to see that how today’s youth are looking forward for tomorrow,

Emaad Muzaffar how they are making themselves powerful to accept the global challeneges and overcome hurdles. They believe in democracy, they believe in respect, freedom, humanity and love to discover the future. Q-5: What message would you like to give to students of your age?  Ans: Discover the talent inside you, have faith in yourself and try to understand the issues of nation is just what I can say. 

Check Out This Mate

A

gastya Makkar, of Grade I B, of Excelsior American School, bagged the 1st Runner Up position in the District Chess Championship (Juniors), in the Under 7 category. Agastya now qualifies to represent Gurgaon in the Haryana State Junior Chess Championship 2013. Agastya was lauded both by the School and his fellow students.

Literary Flourish

Creative Care

Flying like a Balloon

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fun-filled Activity Day was planned by Romasis Prep-School & Day Care, a School for children with learning disabilities. The children displayed their creativity as they rolled out ‘chapatis’ with clay, and learnt how to spray paint. The kids enjoyed the activities, and the teachers had a great time as well.

I saw the Moon, One windy night, Climbing like a balloon, Flying so fast all silvery night.

Rail Museum Visit

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rade I students of Shiv Nadar School visited the National Railway Museum. They had a great time riding in the Joy Express, the toy train that goes around the Museum. The students were awed when they saw the old trains like the Nilgiri and the Rangoon Express. The day came to an end with the students discussing their wonderful experience at the Museum, with their teachers.

I saw the Moon, One windy night, Flying over the sky, like a toy balloon lost its string. Then everyone feels it’s the cloud that fly, Moon and stars stand still in the sky, But I know I saw the Moon, Sailing away like a toy balloon. – Tarushi Agrawal, Scottish High International School, Sec 57


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Civic/Social

5-11 April 2013

Annual Day at Happy School

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5-11 April 2013

Civic/Social

15

CITIZEN

SPEAK

Corruption, Good Governance and Cities

Unplanned City

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f there is corruption in any organisation/system, good governance is not possible. If that particular organisation deals with any aspect of the management of basic services, then all the inhabitants are affected in a negative manner. The problems keep aggravating, as the city is a dynamic entity. The growing population offers new problems/challenges everyday. Only good governance can deliver optimum results. So, all best practices of good governance need to be identified and introduced into the system.. by regular training/upgradation of skills, of all the employees of that organisation. This is possible only if there is a strong will at the top, to bring about change. Corruption has increased over the years, because values and ethics have taken a big beating. Self-interest over society interest is one of the primary reasons. An effective mechanism to curb this malady needs to be brought back. Quick justice-delivery; accountability; exemplary punishments for the corrupt; incentives, protection and rewards for the whistle blowers; introduction of moral values; pressure and the pointing-finger of society on ill-gotten money, perks and privileges can bring about sanity in the existing convoluted system. We need to take many co-ordinated steps. Some of them can be/are: -Ensure the integrity of the new recruits in local bodies/Govt. -Motivation from top-management. -Regular in-house training programmes. -Enforcement of existing vigilance rules in a fair manner, by the vigilance departments of each organisation, and CVC. -Rewards to the honest employees, and quick punitive actions against dishonest employees. -Elected representatives and top management to set examples of honest dealings. -Active and aware citizens and media. -Use of RTI -Efficient and quick judicial system; stray cases of corruption within the judiciary need to be urgently investigated, and punitive actions must be taken in a time-bound manner. Sustained (and not sporadic) efforts are needed to check this menace to our society. Vijay K. Saluja, The writer is Director, Giraffe Heroes India Programme  and Ex-Chief Engineer (Civil), New Delhi Municipal Council

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CITIZEN

esidents of Palam Vihar, Gurgaon made a remarkable effort in Jan 2013 by signing a petition to push HUDA to install streetlights on an approximately 2 kms stretch on Palam Vihar Road – from Columbia Asia to Sec 4 crossing. Once HUDA started to install the street lights, the women felt a little relieved. At least some civic action had been taken towards ensuring their safety. However the work was stopped abruptly. The residents filed an online petition on HUDA’s website. The status of the complaint the next day said, “resolved” – without any action having been taken! “A group of activists is working to draft an RTI. The purpose is to gather information on how HUDA’s streetlight maintenance system works, and who is responsible for installing and maintaining the lights. We would like to find out the reasons for their not installing proper lighting on a master plan road. At the same time, the RTI will ensure that those who are shying away from their responsibilities are penalised,” said residents of Parkview Residency, Palam Vihar. Over 4,000 people have signed the petition, the majority being women, who insisted that it is essential for their safety. While the HUDA Administrator agreed that there is a lot of work to do in this direction, he has failed to show results at ground level. Are we waiting for another tragedy to take place, before the authorities wake up? What’s stopping HUDA towards making Palam Vihar a better and safer place to live in?

ACTION

Anoop Rohera, a concerned resident of Parkview Residency Palam Vihar

Query- We live in DLF Phase 1

in a single storey house. The roof over our staircase going to the terrace is made up of Kota stones. As the construction is old, the roof has started leaking. Inspite of spending money twice the problem still remains. R D Mathur

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s a resident of Gurgaon since 2000, I have carefully followed the visible developments and expansion of the City. Planners and designers  of cities like New Delhi, in the early thirties, had visualised the growth of the cities for the next 50 years.Unfortunately, the planners of ‘New’ Gurgaon  did not go beyond a decade...or two. The City appears to have overgrown— both horizontally and vertically—posing problems for the authorities. HUDA and MCG best illustrate this ill-planning or ill-execution. There is chaos even while driving through wide sectoral roads. The entire City is dependent  for  power supply on inverters and    diesel gen-sets. Sewage, roadside drainage and confusing traffic management offers a visual  of the chaos, risk and tension on the roads – but the City continues to grow. From time to time, the RWAs have interactions with HUDA/MCG, to discuss and settle the issues; as also with the developers/builders, who promise facilities but do not fulfil their promises – thus further harassing the  residents. For any road crossings, traffic engineering normally opts for rotaries/’gole chakkars’, to regulate and monitor  the vehicular traffic, keeping in view the movement of pedestrians. Strangely, the local Traffic Police department/HUDA have scrapped the rotaries, creating /risking chaos. At least for 5-6 hours a day the traffic signals do not function, due to power failure. More surprisingly, the authorities have overlooked the provision of  normal safety facilities for the pedestrians. There are no visible pedestrian subways, nor overhead bridges, the pedestrians are at God’s mercy. Again, the roads are not named or coded, leave aside having proper signage. At the Delhi-Jaipur Highway, the road signage, where provided, is communicating to the sky, with absurd Entry/Exit numbers. Adding to the chaos are narrow slip roads. The entrances and exits, to and from various  commercial/institutional buildings or hospitals, while approaching the main roads, do not have signage. Waste management needs urgent attention. Do Not Litter awareness campaigns should be launched. There are definite technological options  for  treatment/ disposal of waste, including energy recovery. Planners and designers  of the Gurgaon E-Way, boasting that it would take 28 minutes for a distance of 27.5 km,  from Dhaula Kuan to Rajiv Chowk, just slept over the needs of pedestrians to cross over – leaving more than 100 persons dead to date. The mistakes committed by the planners (NHAI)  just cannot be corrected, because land around the  Chowks is now not available. At these crossings, the traffic movement should be disbursed at different levels (like at the Dhaula Kuan crossing/flyover). Finally, the ubiquitous liquor vends tempt one to drink – and then drive straight into a world-class private hospital...or to jail. O.P Ratra

A Middle Class Dream CITIZEN

ADVICE Solution

The problem that you are facing is a common one in old houses. You should check whether: 1. There is insufficient slope towards the drain point. 2. The drain point is blocked. Normally bird droppings or dry leaves gather at the drain point, resulting in accumulation of rain water there – and subsequent seepage. 3. The joints of the Kota stone are open. Even small cracks can result in seepage of water. 4. The edges of the roof are having cracks. The water may seep in through these cracks. If the answer to any of these is yes, you have to set it right. Ramakant Gupta

T

o be an Indian Idol is every Indian’s cherished dream, and I could have never realized this had I not been a part of the hysterical crowd last Saturday in New Delhi, that had come for the auditions of the ‘Indian Idol Junior ’show. There were hundreds of children, aged between 8-15 yrs, who had been standing there from the wee hours of morning, with their families. There was a 1km long queue for that one minute of an audition. Later, I saw this as sheer torture on the poor children, who had come with great enthusiasm, which had gradually fizzled away by the time they were to perform. They then seemed to be hungry, impatient, dismayed and unwilling. It was mostly their parents’ polite persistence that was holding their morale. In spite of being a staunch critic of this sort of selection, I just hung around there to quench my curiosity, and hoping to see some positive side to this whole phenomenon. While there were many flaws in the system, the silver lining was how people had managed themselves over such

a long wait. It was really heart- warming to see how each member of a child’s family took turns to share the burden of waiting. There were grandparents, as well as toddlers, to boost the spirit of their family contestants. These moments showed the importance of family in India. That day the temples around were not just places of worship, but also places of refuge for the tired and thirsty. Some people had the good luck to savour bananas as ‘prasad’. I saw families going to the nearest restaurant to culminate their evening, with that perfect dine-together family experience. Amidst all this, the parents were also teaching their kids the dignity of taking success and failure in their own stride. I realized that parents even now are willing to go to any length for their kids, inspite of their busy routines. The judges of the show would have had a tough time in selecting the few for the title of ‘Indian Idol’ – as all Indians are fit to be idolized in some way or the other. Mridula S. Deol, Sect 17 A


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5-11 April 2013

Comment

Justice, My Lords T

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

he premier Estates – the Parliament/Executive/ Court, and the Supreme Court, ensure that for Legislatures -are taken to task fairly regularly. a 1 year time frame, they effectively manage by Not that they need to be spared. The Police exception. Let them basically review all cases where: are the regular fall-guys, as they seldom get much Orders have been passed, but not executed, right. The Judiciary has escaped deeper scrutiny. for say 6 months; Surprising, since it has the capacity to not only Excessive adjournments (‘taareek pe taareek’ decide, but dictate. By its very actions it can - in terms of time period and/or number of also deter. adjournments) have taken place; The Judiciary, constitutionally the most Hearings have concluded, but a verdict has not been independent of our bodies, has disappointed; also delivered, for say 3 months; because we expect more from it than many of our ….and then ensure timely action directly under other institutions – that their authority, for every stand compromised such case. Fast-track Courts have disappointed to today. It is expected that Any Contempt of Court date. By just resurrecting them, and that though many policemen should not only lead to too in the thousands, as a show of ‘action’, are influenced by heavy strictures and we will only disappoint many citizens politicians, hopefully penalties on lawyers and (esp. women) even more. Fast-track most judges are not – at persons/establishments Courts cannot be measured on a relative least at the High Court concerned, but also basis against current norms – which are and above. (Yes, we have influence the outcome completely unacceptable. They must work allowed many politicians and timing of a case. on separate absolute guidelines, because to become a law unto fast-track should clearly mean that Chief Justices should themselves; and in some adjournments – for whatever reason – are also think of setting areas it is virtually the just not acceptable. an example for, and law of the jungle that providing the courage to, rules). In this scenario, Chief Secretaries and the we do not do justice to our courts and lawyers and judges by not criticizing Cabinet Secretary. They must ensure that arbitrary transfers of judges are just not allowed. After all, them enough. they are the main protectors of the Constitution. It’s easy for the legal system to blame the This should embolden some Chief Secretaries to police for ‘shoddy’ work, which results in many do likewise, against the arbitrary transfers in the guilty people going scot free, or getting lenient bureaucracy. In fact the Courts should go a step punishments. It is as much the role of the judiciary further, and suo moto take up some special cases of to ensure justice to the aggrieved – to lay down the bureaucrats who have been victimized. The justices law strictly, for all. Judges can after all be always surely know that more than delivering punishment ‘active’, in the interest of justice - if they wish - by to the guilty, they need to ensure that the innocent asking searching questions of the guilty. are well-protected and supported. The bottom line is: criminals and wrong-doers Will a fresh-thinking Chief Justice care to awake need to see that crime does not pay. There must be this country to a new dawn of justice? Will we need certainty of conviction within a prescribed time. to wait for a woman, for that? Or is the jury out on Justice delayed is truly justice denied. The backlog, that too? u the pendency, needs to be taken care of…. now… innovatively. Why should the Supreme of Courts singly have to play the role of activist – almost step into the shoes of the Executive (eg for CNG fuel, Forest conservation, stoppage of child labour, relocation of hazardous industry...)? Why do we not see High Courts in various states do the same, especially when governance across the country is at an alltime low? (Coalition rule at the Centre has ensured - provided an excuse? - that the writ of the Centre runs pretty low at State level. The word of the Executive, even the PM, is no longer law). The Supreme Court also needs to move beyond Delhi, in terms of activism. Mumbai slums are crying out for intervention. Maybe even Gurgaon real estate scams should be given suo moto cognizance – for their sheer scale, and for the profile of people allegedly involved. Why cannot the Chief Justices of every High

Registration of Crimes

It is in a way heartening to see that Gurgaon has seen a substantial increase in the reporting of crimes against women, in the last 3 months. Since there is really no evidence of anything very different happening recently, the main reason for the spurt in reportings seems to be that women have decided that they will not take any more nonsense – and now feel encouraged to report all cases (including eve-teasing, stalking, molestation, dowry harassment) to the police. It is to the credit of the Gurgaon Police, and particularly the new Commissioner, that they are (mostly) willingly registering all cases brought to their notice. In fact, across India, it would be a good sign if all Police Chiefs were to give a similar message, so that we could know the actual level of crimes against women – and then work to aggressively reduce that (valid) number. SHOs should not be penalized for reporting an increase in crime in their area, at least over the next 6 months. The Helplines have also been found convenient, and are being used by many women. There has thus been a decent start, at ground level, on actions related to women’s security…. we need to ensure that the focus and action does not waver.


Spiritual 17

5-11 April 2013

Greed Knows No Limits

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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elusion of a best status, a desire for accumulation, and sheer greed, are what motivate many today. Greed, running out of control, is a fundamental cause of our world’s woes - economic and otherwise. We are suffering because some have become too greedy. Greed seems to have no limit or shame. The desire for money may be an indication of greed, but greed is a much more subtle vice than simply the desire to be rich. Paradoxically, greed seems to become a particularly prominent challenge in economies of plenty. It seems that the more wealth one has, even more is needed to sustain it. For the rich there is never “enough.” Unfortunately, greed has also misappropriated the treasures that nature provided to us – our personal, social and earthly treasures. Children today starve due to malnutrition, when an equitable sharing of resources would allow everyone to eat well. People die of treatable illnesses, in a world rich with medicine. Greed is also listed as one of the seven sins. In almost all the religions, the vices in the traditional catalogue of sins are often associated with various body parts – lying, with the tongue; lust, with the genitals; gluttony, with the throat; pride, with the chest; conceit, with the turned head; and avarice, with the arms and legs. The person possessed by avarice reaches for and grasps the goods of another. For some capitalists, greed has become a necessary engine to sustain economic growth. We are ‘obligated’ to want more, so that we will not put someone out of a job. The virtue of greed found it’s most original and persuasive form in Bernard Mandeville’s, The Fable of the Bees: “Vast Number thronged the fruitful Hive / Yet those vast Numbers made them thrive / Million endeavouring to supply / Each other’s Lust and Vanity / Thus every Part was full of Vice, / Yet the whole Mass a Paradise.” In this scenario we are not able to imbibe good virtues; we become self-absorbed, seeking in external goods a satisfaction for our inner emptiness. We complain of the increased tempo of our life, but that is a mere reflection of the economic system we have created. We tolerate the world shaped by our avarice, because that world in return

temptingly and cunningly makes us believe that there are no alternatives to a world so constituted. The great souls are those who are able to focus on being, rather than having; and on the quality of a moment by moment living, rather than on the quantity of physical accumulation. But when does the desire to simply possess something turn into unchecked greed? It is when the things that we possess start possessing us. Greed will always leave us dissatisfied because we’ll never be able to get everything we desire. Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear. Greed is a bottomless pit, which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy his need – without ever finding satisfaction. The New Testament aptly tells us about greed. Jesus says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.” Jesus goes on to recount a parable about a rich man who cultivated a huge harvest – much too big to fit into his barn. What does he do with his wealth? Sharing it does not cross his mind. Instead, he decides to build a bigger barn, planning to “eat, drink and be merry” the rest of his life. Jesus calls the man a fool for stockpiling treasures, but not being rich towards others. Later, he sums up the parable: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be.” Greed is limitless; we are saturated in it. Individually and collectively. We are the rich man in the parable, building our barns at the expense of our planet and her people. At the same time, we are afraid of losing what we have. The more fearful we become, the more we stockpile. We can never acquire enough. The more we acquire the less valuable the rest of our acquisitions become to us. However, we cannot take any of our acquisitions to our grave. The ancient Egyptians tried to send their Pharaohs off with loads of gold and goodies. But does anybody ever lie on the deathbed wishing he had more possessions? We never say to ourselves that, “No. I have plenty of ‘barns’; in fact, it is high time I crack open a few”. Let us do that, and enjoy what we have. u

Hare Krishna

Let us cook together A meal that has no spice called ego, That lacks the bitter taste of jealousy And does not add the ingredient – hatred. Let us cook together A meal that fills our stomach, That satisfies our soul and heart And gives peace and contentment. Let us cook together A meal that serves everyone’s hunger, That does not discriminate Whether we are rich or poor. Let us cook together A meal as sweet as sugar, With a pinch of salt to add happiness, Prepared with love and kindness. Let us cook together A meal that can be eaten with a fork of forgiveness, Or a spoon of ‘honesty’. Let us cook together- something really tasty. Internationally published author of ‘14 Pearls of Inspiration’ and the ‘12 Facets of a Crystal’

True Asseets { R.K. Aggarwal }

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nce a saint visited a very rich person, who owned many buildings and industries. Amazed at what he saw, he asked the person what would be the value of his total assets. The man paused for a moment, and said, “It could be somewhere around Rs. 70 - 75 thousand.” The saint was astonished. He could not believe it, and said to the man, “What are you saying - with so many buildings, industries and all, how can it be just 70-75 thousands of rupees.” The man said, “Sir, I am the owner of Rs. 70-75 thousand only, which I have invested on selfless service to the needy, and other godly services. This is my only true asset. The saint was very much pleased to hear this. He blessed the man, “May your true assets multiply manifold” – and went away. u

Don’t teach me the Gita or of the Sita Teach me the Radha, the vaada Of celestial gods, the true Lords. Raise me in the clouds of heavens Of cherubs and angels, In the worlds of joy and bliss Give me all this. Write it in my almanac Reframe my life map Dance and sing And all those poetic, pretty things.

Lead me to that land Of eternal love, the peaceful dove, To streams of bliss, and trees of shade. Deep nurturing glades,

{ Archana Kapoor Nagpal }

Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.

Krishna, You are my only one You are such fun Frolicking in Vrindavan.

Talk to me of adventurous rhymes Of the Golden Fleece times, When the Lords were brave And the princess’ did dream Of being the queens of hearts.

Let Us Cook Together

Cool earth…exuding mirth. Those green groves, tranquil shores Of the inner world, Inner calm, inner charm, Meet me somewhere there Krishna. Till then, Greetings for our next meeting.

Shobha Lidder, Writer journalist, Teacher Trainer, social activist, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

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18

Bon Vivant

5-11 April 2013

4U

Tips

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

by ShahnaZ

Let's Go Bananas { Jaspal Bajwa }

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re-conceived notions have a tendency to play havoc with reality; there is no better example than how we see bananas. Whether it is with the supposed soft corner that monkeys have for them, or in terms such as ‘banana republic’ or ‘going bananas’, there is a derisive sense of humour attached to this fruit. This is where reframing the context helps. Conceivably one could ask: “is there any single fruit that has a combination of all the following benefits: n  A fruit that is one of the oldest and best known in the world, n  has a creamy, rich and sweet taste and is loved by everyone infants and elders alike, n  can be eaten raw, and yet is versatile enough to be an ingredient in a beverage or in snacks, desserts or meal time recipes, n  is loaded with musclerelaxing potassium, good-fornerves Vitamin B6 and healthy calories, n  is a cooling ( ‘yin’) food that is high on healthy enzymes, n is an all-time favourite with health-buffs and sports-stars, n  is inexpensive and widely available. n To top it all, it comes in its own hygienic easy-to-peel packaging, There is only fruit that answers this description – none other than the humble banana. In traditional medicine systems of Persia and India, it is considered nature’s secret for youthfulness and longevity.

Tip of the week

Bananas should never be kept in the fridge, as this interferes with the normal ripening process. As a fruit, it is important to consume bananas when they are thoroughly ripe, as they are then easy-to-digest. Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Banana or Musa paradisiaca There are several species of banana, and the cultivation has spread to more than 100 countries. Bananas originated in South Asia and South East Asia, where the plant as well as the fruit

{ Alka Gurha }

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ith the advent of smartphones, e-readers, IPads and tablets, more people are suffering from neck pain and headaches. People get so fixated on their electronic devices that they end up holding their neck and upper back in abnormal positions for a long period of time. This results in postural pain. Chances are you're reading this while leaning over a table, or slumped back in a chair with shoulders curved. So, the first thing to do is to sit upright, and straighten the shoulders.

Reasons

The average human head weighs and feels ten pounds in a neutral position – when your ears are over your shoulders. For every inch that you tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine doubles. So if you're looking at a smartphone in your lap, your neck is holding up

is considered auspicious. Bananas are integral to almost all religious and social ceremonies in India. Traditionally, every part of the plant has utility. For example, the broad leaves are used as plates to serve food – perhaps one of the first examples of bio-degradable disposable crockery! Bananas contain three natural sugars sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with fibre. These sugars are easy-to-assimilate, and provide an excellent source of instant and sustained energy. Just two large bananas can provide enough energy (aprox 220 calories) for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the ‘fruit of choice’ for most leading athletes. In addition to being a rare combination– an energy-booster as well as a tissuebuilder– the banana is one of our best sources of potassium. Just a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure, and protect against atherosclerosis. Bananas are also high on Vitamin C and magnesium. However, they are best avoided by patients suffering from kidney failure. For promoting high levels of Serotonin– the relaxation hormone—it is recommended that foods containing an essential amino acid called Tryptophan be consumed. Such foods are eggs, cheese, red meat, turkey, tuna and other sea foods. An unlikely hero in this respect is once again the banana. This is one reason why some people find it useful to have a banana in the evening. Being soft and bland, ripe bananas have been recommended for ulcer patients, and for normalising the digestive function – for constipation as well as for diarrhoea. Importantly, bananas help tilt the gut micro flora balance in favour of the beneficial probiotic bacteria.u

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. 1. I have lost the sheen in my skin which, I feel, is due to pollution

and, maybe, a poor lifestyle. What can I do to bring it back ? Also, I have terribly oily skin, which looks like a frying pan within minutes of washing my face.  From the last 8-10 days, I have been using Aloe Vera on my face directly from the leaves, however, it does not seem to have helped.  Could you please advise whether continued usage of Aloe Vera will help.  If not, what would you suggest to keep my skin clean and clear?

SH

Aloe vera is a moisturiser and basically softens the skin. For an oily skin, after cleansing, apply a rose based skin tonic or astringent. Cucumber juice and rose water mixed in equal quantities may be applied and wash off with plain water after 15 minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Ready-made scrubs are available, or you can mix rice powder with milk or rose water and apply it on the face. Rub gently on the skin and wash off. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash off when it dries. It may be applied daily if the skin is very oily. Aloe vera may be applied if there is dryness.

WINNER Mala Kaul

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

Text-Neck Headache what feels like 30 pounds. All the extra pressure puts a strain on your spine, and can disturb the alignment. Doctors say that when you stretch any tissue for a long period of time, it gets either sore or inflamed. The Forward Head Posture (FHP) can result in the stretching of the neck and shoulder muscles,

resulting in disc problems and pinched nerves. Over time, it can even flatten or reverse the natural curve of your neck. Most physical therapists and doctors call it ‘Text Neck’. This problem occurs not only due to frequent texting, but also due to 'gaming' for long hours, and reading e-books on hand-held devices.

Call

9910518785 Sitting in a slouched, headforward position, in front of a computer, can lead to muscle spasms and more pain. While the problem may originate in your neck, it’s the back of your head that aches. Strain in your neck muscles, and on your cervical spine, can trigger both migraine and tension-type headaches. Even though migraine is said to arise from blood vessels or vascular problems, some headaches appear to arise from the upper neck. That’s why doctors believe that irritation in the neck and upper shoulder area can trigger migraines too. If you already have neck problems, you may be one of the unlucky people predisposed to these headaches. However, if you tend to get headaches at the end of the day, poor posture may be the cause.

Solution

When a pain in the neck becomes a pain in the head, or causes stiffness, the easiest remedy is to sit up

straight, and modify the position of the device. Hold the device at a neutral, eye level. Most treatment models are based on the reinstatement of the neck-spine position, to restore proper muscular activities that are customised to each patient’s specific medical need. Other commonly used modalities for pain relief include: trigger-point therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, semi-hard cervical collar and low-power cold lasers. Physical therapists advise taking frequent breaks while using any mobile device or desktop computer. Every 20 minutes, stand up and roll your shoulders and neck, or go for a short walk – to improve blood flow. Improving your posture and strengthening your neck and shoulder muscles can make a big difference. Teens – when your mother reminds you to sit straight and avoid slouching, listen to her. You will surely thank her some day. u


Bon Vivant 19

5-11 April 2013

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t seems like everyone has a tattoo these days. What used to be the domain of sailors, outlaws and biker gangs, is now a popular body decoration. And tattoos are not anchors, skulls and battleships anymore; from school emblems to Celtic designs to personalised symbols, people have found their own unique expressions. Sarina Parhawk, a tattoo artist, feels that a tattoo is a commitment for life, so the choice should be extremely personal. “Getting a design inked because it’s ‘cool’ is the wrong idea – and the excitement will soon wear off. Instead, pick something that holds meaning for you, and get a custom design. Even a few decades from now, you should smile when you look at it!” She adds, “Choosing a tattoo artist is also important. It’s not only about the artwork, but the entire experience. It is a memory that will last as long as the tattoo itself.” Though Sarina held a ‘conventional job’ for many years, art has always been an essential part of her life. Her passion and creativity has made the change a natural progression - from paintbrushes and drawing paraphernalia, to tattoo machines and ink! “I have always wanted to do something ‘arty’, ever since I was in school. However, I landed up as a BPO trainer. But when I got my first tattoo, it kick-started a fascination with this art form. I used to draw and paint all the time, so this was a similar process – on a more challenging canvas, ” says the 27-year-old.

Get Inked For Life Over the past decade, tattoos have become a part of mainstream Indian youth culture; though for the older generations they still remain taboo. As a female tattoo artist, the societal disapproval was initially disturbing; but thanks to the unflinching support of her parents, Sarina was able to follow her creative dream. She says that tattoos have now become acceptable, as people’s perceptions about them have changed. “In my experience, these days you are more likely to be asked about the meaning of the tattoo and receive compliments for it, rather than the frowns and disapproving glances of yore. Today, you can have tattoos and still be called ‘respectable’ – though you may need to cover them up at work!” How did she learn tattooing? “I am a self-taught tattoo artist – I started learning in my free time. Later, while working from my studio, I realised that for young women, couples and clients aged 40-50, the privacy factor is essential. They are normally uncomfortable in a studio, so I offered them home visits – and now exclusively work on a visiting basis.” Sarina’s first client was a friend who wanted a Japanese Kanji symbol dedicated to his closest friend. She says it was an unreal experience. “Softly etching the symbol on his arm, I felt like I was on a roller-coaster, and could barely believe I made it happen!”

Embracing The Mind { Bhavana Sharma } “ NLP helps me to manage audiences and motivate them. It is just amazing.” Oprah Winfrey, the No. 1 talk show host in the world. “NLP is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the technology of achievement and human excellence.”  - Time Magazine NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming, is the blending of scientific research in brain dominance theory with the very ancient holistic system of mind and body wisdom technique. Rob Williams pioneered this modality in 1988, and was supported by Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist, researcher and acclaimed author. They talked about the powerful form of energy psychology, calling it the ‘science of spirituality’; and mentioned that through this modality we can control our thoughts, take responsibility of our lives, and create beauty and harmony around us.

Concept

NLP is based on the idea that all behaviour has a structure, and this structure can be changed at (free) will. It reflects that an individual’s thoughts, gestures and words interact to create his perception of the world. At the same time, the power of positive thoughts, that affects one’s experience of life, also plays a vital role. Positive thinking has been credited with the success of many business people,

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Anita Jaswal }

inventors, leaders and athletes. As a modality, NLP changes any negative thinking process, and reprogrammes the subconscious mind with safe non-evasive techniques. It is here that the self-empowering process transforms our subconscious beliefs into success promoting ones. A therapy of NLP would normally be for forty hours – each session entailing about six to eight hours a day. Gradually, this technique will make lasting changes to our thought process, habits and behaviour –and help us to become better persons.

Changing Inner and Outer Self

The subconscious mind directs the body’s motor functions, and controls muscle movements. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) uses musculature to communicate with the subconscious, and makes sure that our goals and desires are safe and appropriate. It operates under the reality that our subconscious or unconscious mind has many beliefs, that determine our attitudes and experiences – such as in relationships, and our reactions to the outside world. By changing these beliefs at the subconscious levels, we should be able to transform our undesirable experiences into positive ones. This will bring us joy, and help us improve the quality of our lives. We will be more in touch with our inner self, as well as with the outside world. u Tarot Reader & Author

Tattoo styles range from the traditional and vernacular to the sacred and innovative. Tattoos are created by inserting coloured materials beneath the skin’s surface. They were traditionally created with soot and ash, over open wounds.

“It is a skill that anybody can pick up, if they’re willing to learn and are committed. The most important thing is to keep everything sterile and hygienic. Tattooing should be treated as a surgical operation. It is something I’m never willing to compromise on.” Yes, it is very important to get it done safely. A new tattoo is an open wound. Like any other scrape, puncture, cut or penetration to your skin, a tattoo makes you at risk of infections and disease. If you have a medical problem, such as heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, immune system disorders or blood infections — or if you are pregnant — please ask your doctor if there are any special precautions to consider, and also inform your tattoo artist. If you’re prone to getting keloids (an overgrowth of tough scar tissue in the area of a wound), it’s probably best to avoid getting a tattoo altogether. If you have decided you want a tattoo, do a little research and find a clean, safe, and professional tattoo artist. Remember that getting and maintaining a tattoo also involves a lot of responsibility. Yes, there are after-care instructions, to protect and treat the tattoo during the healing process – to prevent infections or other complications. Many celebrities sport ink. To quote Megan Fox:   People are proud of their tattoos. It’s like a modern coat of arms.  According to a global survey, around 20 per cent of adults have at least one tattoo, with the most heavily tattooed people being between the ages of 25 and 29, and living in the West. u

The Hypocrite { Krishan Kalra }

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e had gone to a birthday party, a surprise for a very dear friend’s 50th. Her husband had arranged it at the house of one of his close friends. We’d met the guy a few times at our friend’s place. Supposedly a very rich fellow – an arms importer or horse breeder, or some such esoteric profession. So, we were looking forward to a grand-do. The house does indeed seem like a part of the Salarjung Museum. It has Italian marble flooring, onyx bathroom fittings, elegant furniture, fine carpets, paintings of several known artists, exquisite silver artefacts, sparkling crystal, life size golden statues …… all the trappings of wealth. Of course, in the midst of all this glitter, there was no one to make you feel welcome – no personal touch or warmth. We almost felt like intruders. The man did meet us at the gate and shook our hands – but that’s it. He didn’t even bother to say ‘come in’. I knew it was a bad start but, what the hell, we were there to meet our friends, and not to make polite conversation with a self-obsessed tycoon. This chap had once lost a bet with me – a bottle of the deluxe premium Blue Label – and never paid up. Despite my two gentle reminders, he had put off the issue, saying “You must come home and share it”, but never fixed up an evening. I was hoping this may be the event I had waited several years for. In due course a bearer came and took my order. When the glass was handed over to me, I couldn’t stop asking “Which whisky is being served?” The bearer’s muted answer “100 Pipers” brought me down to earth. “They would probably gift the Blue Label later”, I told my wife. For a refill I walked up to the bar. “Whisky, water please,” I told the bartender. Then I saw this bottle of ‘Black Label’ lying there, just behind one or two of the regular ‘100 Pipers’. “Are you serving both these?”, was my natural query. No answer. “How do you decide whom to serve which one?”, I persisted. “Sahib tells us”, was the sheepish mumbled response, as he poured some BL for me. Somehow, after that, the whisky, as well as the excellent selection of food – caviar, smoked salmon, lobster, asparagus, avocado …. et all – left a bitter taste in the mouth. We quietly left, before dessert, without waiting for the “gift”. I guess it was never to be.u


20 here’s nothing left to fight for, equality has been won: that’s what Laura Bates was told by men and women alike, when she tried to complain about the sexual harassment she experienced on a regular basis. But when she founded her website, Everyday Sexism, last year, the 26-year-old was overwhelmed by the response. Thousands of stories poured in from ordinary women – of sexism, sexual harassment, and even assault and rape. “When women complain about sexism today, they’re told they’re tight, frigid, and whiners – or that they can’t take a joke or a compliment,” said Bates. “I got incredibly frustrated, because how can we begin to tackle the problem if no one will even acknowledge that it exists?” Gathering all these women’s experiences has shown that the issue is indeed serious, says Bates. Waitresses are told that groping is just a part of the job; city workers are asked to sit on their bosses’ laps before they can receive their bonuses; male passengers on buses masturbate next to women; teenagers are afraid to walk past any group of two or more men because of the cries of “slag!” and “get your tits out!”, which inevitably greet them. One of the biggest problems is that though the legislation to protect women from sexism and harassment is generally already in place, says Bates. Women’s complaints aren’t taken seriously. “What

B

arely two rings and the phone is answered by a low, gruff voice: “Commandos” This telephone number has been a lifeline for hundreds of young Indian lovers desperately seeking help, as parents, kinsmen or their community harass, blackmail and even threaten to kill them. Marrying for love is not always easy in India, where arranged marriages are still the norm. Parents carefully match caste and family status, and scan physical attributes and horoscopes to fix a marriage. For couples who transgress boundaries of caste, community, religion—and at times social or economic status—it could be at best ex-communication from the family; and at worse, death, for what is considered besmirching family honour. The Love Commandos, a voluntary group founded in 2010, by a number of New Delhi-based men—among them journalists and businessmen—are trying to give India’s Romeos and Juliets an opportunity to fight back, and live life on their own terms. “They call us. We give them protection, shelter and legal

Sanjoy Sachdev, one of the founders of the Love Commandos, at a safe house in New Delhi.

we want is a cultural shift, a change in attitudes,” she says. “There used to be other kinds of prejudice too, but we’ve largely stamped them out, because public opinion simply doesn’t accept them any more. That hasn’t happened yet for sexism.” Bates’ initiative is one of a slew launched recently. Lucy-Anne Holmes decided to take on Britain’s most popular newspaper, the Sun (circulation 2 million), because she believes the topless model it features daily on Page 3 is harmful to men and women. “When the largest female image for the past 42 years, in our most widely read family newspaper, has been of a young woman showing her breasts, what does that say about women’s place in society?” the 36-year-old author asks. Her No More Page 3 petition, which argues that “boobs are not news”, and that bare breasts should only be available on the top shelf, now has almost 90,000 signatures. The Page 3 images undermine women’s achievements, and are part of a media culture that often portrays female victims of violence as mere sex objects, says Holmes. Despite being able to vote in 1918, British women are still far from achieving equality, says Holmes. Less than a quarter of parliamentarians are women, and there are only two female CEOs in the FTSE 100, which

Lucy-Anne Holmes

Laura Bates.

lists Britain’s top firms. Holmes says the response to her campaign—from men and women, even Sun readers—has been largely positive. However, other comments have ranged from “you’ve got shit tits”, “you’re jealous”, to that of Deputy Premier Nick Clegg: “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.” They are all, Holmes says, missing the point. Imagine a world, she says, where women were more powerful, and every day the Sun featured a large scrotum – a big, young, hairless scrotum. Finally a man would stand up and say, “Look, I’ve got young sons and it’s really hard to bring them up. I walk down the street and women shout ‘hey show us your balls’ and try and grab them; and my sons are really insecure about themselves, thinking that their balls aren’t big enough. I want them to grow up feeling that they’re a voice that society cares about.” “They’re creating this new kind of narrative, where it’s a matter of

pride and street cred to treat women badly,” says Bates. It’s “reasonable to suggest”, she adds, that in a society that has normalized the treatment of women as sex objects, “there’s a connection between that and the very high rates of sexual violence.” One in 20 women aged 15 to 59 say they have been the victim of at least one serious sexual assault, while one in five report being the victim of other sexual offences such as groping, indecent exposure or threats, according to a report published by the Justice Ministry in January. But only 15 per cent of those who were victims of rape or sexual assault said they had reported it to the police. Many cited reasons such as embarrassment, that they thought it too “trivial”, or that they didn’t think the police could help. Recent anti-sexism and feminist campaigns are noticeable for the high numbers of young women that are joining in; the online group Twitter Youth Feminist Army says it has members as young as nine. The debate is centred around everyday sexism, and social media has made a big difference.” Bates says, “Women are not feeling that they have to take on a kind of wide feminist manifesto. It’s more of an immediate grassroots action ... all kinds of women are getting involved – it feels very inclusive.” And because there is such widespread support, it is harder to dismiss campaigners as bitter old harridans. “Now there’s too many women standing up for that to work,” says Bates. “They won’t be silenced. u

India’s Love Commandos assistance. Sometimes we have to rescue them, if they have been locked up by their parents. The police help us,” says Harsh Malhotra, Commando Co-ordinator. “We spend our funds—all from donations—to get them married, soon after they arrive. They can stay with us for as long as they want – we give them food and clothing.” We are at one of the seven secret shelters the Commandos run, in and around the capital. It’s all very cloakand-dagger. We wait near a cinema hall in the bustling Paharganj area. A man sidles up to us and whispers, “Love commandos?” Yes, we nod and then follow him - at a distance - through lanes and bylanes, to the safehouse.The entrance is through the kitchen, where a couple of newly-wed young women are busy cooking. A Commando attends to phone calls in a room, while in another, founders Malhotra and Sanjoy Sachdev tell us about their operations. Two young men housed at the shelter have gone out without informing the Commandos. Malhotra is tense. “They can get picked up, they could get killed,” he says. “They’ve been told never to move without our protection. We are always armed with pepper sprays, we have direct lines to the police,” he adds. Official statistics are not available on the number of young people killed for defying tradition, in order to marry for love – as honour killings are not officially listed as a crime in India. According to Shakti Vahini, a voluntary organisation working in the field, it could be anything

between 600 to 1,000 killings a year. The Commandos have six core members, who are the visible face of the organisation. “We are under both threat and debt; we don’t want to endanger all the others who are working with us,” says Sachdev. The Group claims to have helped 25,000 couples marry. They field 300 to 500 calls a day, and their small network has now spread countrywide – with 11,000 volunteers across several states. The Love Commandos survive on donations by wellwishers, and the money that the couples seeking shelter contribute. “Often those we have helped in the past chip in with

Bhaskar and Puja, a couple given shelter at the Love Commando safe house in Delhi.

Doreen Fiedler

{ Sunrita Sen / New Delhi / DPA }

British Women Tackle Sexism Charlie Hopkinson

{ Helen Livingstone / London / DPA}  

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G lobal

5-11 April 2013

Ashish and Heena at a Love Commando safe house in New Delhi.

funds, and provide shelter for a few days to couples.” Bhaskar, 28, and Puja, 22, have been staying at the safehouse since November 2012. They come from fairly welloff middle-class families, and life is not easy at the Shelter. There is no running water and the couples share mattresses in the loft-like upper room, which is accessed by a steep ladder. Their belongings stacked behind them, it looks like a railway station waiting room. But they

are all smiles, happy to be married and together, after a long and unsuccessful struggle to convince their families. “Now we have left it all to Papa,” says Bhaskar, pointing to Malhotra. “This is a shelter, not a honeymoon place,” Bhaskar adds. The couple has just returned from the High Court, where Puja signed a statement saying she married Bhaskar of her own free will. Bhaskar worked for a financial firm in Mumbai, Puja lived with her parents in the eastern city of Kolkata. They met at a wedding in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in 2009, and it was love at first sight. “For the next three years we talked on the phone; we met just thrice,” says Bhaskar. When they told their parents, it was a firm “No.” They belonged to different castes – Bhaskar was a Brahmin and Puja a Rajput. Puja’s family complained to the police. Bhaskar says, “They kept harassing me. My family fixed my marriage to another girl. Five days before the wedding, I took the train to Kolkata, waited for two days till Puja could escape, and then we came straight here.”

Heena holds Puja’s hand. She’s been through more, to be with Ashish; three years of being locked up at home, beaten and not allowed to attend school. Finally they ran away to the Love Commandos. Ashish, 23, and Heena, 20, lived in the same neighbourhood in New Delhi, about 15 kilometres away from the safehouse. Ashish is an orphan, and works at a coffee shop chain. Their castes are different. “My family was totally against our relationship. The neighbours kept telling Ashish that my brothers would kill him if he continued to see me,” Heena says. Love is tougher if one of the couple comes from the Dalit community (the so-called ‘untouchables’), and the other partner from a higher caste; or if one is a Hindu and the other a Muslim. Malhotra sadly remembers Abdul Hakim, a 29-year-old bank clerk who went back to his village to see his ailing mother, when he thought things had settled down. He was killed by his wife’s family. “Abdul and Mehwish lived with us for a year. Her child was born here.” “But we have not lost too many of our lovers. We have managed to relocate most of them to towns away from their families. We keep a watch on them till we feel they are safe,” says Malhotra. “We are simply helping young people seek their rights, their fundamental and constitutional rights,” Sachdev says. “We don’t want India to be known as a land of the killers of love. With the Love Commandos we want people to know that in India there are saviours of love as well.” u


5-11 April 2013

G lobal 21

Eye To Eye With The Enemy N

orth Korea is just a few steps away. There is no wall, no fence, marking the border to a dictatorship. Only a small strip on the ground delineates the frontier to a country that is walled off from the outside world – like no other. Former US President Bill Clinton once called this Joint Security Area ‘the most gruesome place on Earth’. Understandably so, as here in Panmunjom, the troops of the North and the South stand opposite each other, face-to-face. The enemy side is within arm’s reach, and yet—or because of that—the Demilitarized Zone, the DMZ, is a popular spot for tourists. The ride on the bus from the South Korean capital, Seoul, takes about an hour, before the road is suddenly blocked by barbed wire and armed soldiers. A US soldier gets on the bus to inspect passports. Sunglasses shield his eyes, his face shows no emotion. It is quiet on the bus. From this moment on, the visitors are in the Demilitarized Zone – the border region separating North and South Korea. It is a 4-kilometre-wide strip of “no man’s land”, cutting the Korean peninsula in two, and making it also one of the most secured borders in the world. Visitors have to sign a paper, acknowledging that they are now in a “hostile area”, meaning that they are risking their own lives, and that they could be harmed or even killed. Everyone must sign, or they will be refused entry. Private Pauley, a US soldier in his 20s, explains the rules: while in the DMZ, nobody is allowed to point their fingers at anything. North Korean troops might interpret that as an act of hostility: “Only I can point my finger,” he says. “It means: ‘Shoot me first!’.” This mix of coolness and sarcastic humour stays for the next one and a half hours. The journey continues to the abandoned village of Panmunjom. The end of the Korean War was negotiated here, and the Armistice Agreement signed in 1953. For visitors, it is a highlight, though for different reasons: this side of the border is practically speaking “open.” Soldiers from both sides stand face to face. It is nearly impossible to get closer to the North Korean border than at this spot. It’s a strange feeling to get so close to North Korea. As fascinating as it is to be here without walls and fences, there is a lingering feeling of discomfort as well. On the North Korean side, wide stairs lead up to a three-storey building. All the windows have curtains, and there’s not much to see. Just once in a while something seems to move behind the curtains on the first floor. The atmosphere is like in an old spy movie. “They’re taking pictures of everyone

who shows up here at the border,” Private Pauley says. “They probably have thousands of pictures of me already. I’m a famous man in North Korea,” he adds in a business-as-usual tone. “And now they certainly have some images of you as well.” The DMZ has existed since the end of the Korean War. The conflict between 1950 and 1953 killed nearly 4 million people. After that the country was divided in two, and many families were torn apart. Six million North Koreans are dependent on food-

Aliki Nassoufis

{ Aliki Nassoufis / Seoul/Panmunjom / DPA }  

Blue sheds bestride the border, and are used for negotiations.

Soldiers stand guard in the nearly empty train station Dorasan, on the border between North and South Korea.

aid supplies. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, the son of former dictator Kim Jong-il, is continuing his predecessor’s course of confrontation. The DMZ is secured by many American troops, as part of the UN’s mission to the region. The South Korean village of Daeseong-dong is also named the “Freedom Village”, Private Pauley says. “Several families live there.” Foreign visitors are not permitted. “The villagers mainly live off farming. They have to declare precisely on which field they will be, at what time, in order to be protected by a soldier,” he says. The children have their own school, and everyone must observe curfew after dark. On the North Korean side of the DMZ is also a small village called Kijong-dong, the “Village of Freedom.” But what is behind its walls remains uncertain. Soldiers like Pauley doubt that there is anyone living there. “They are not real houses, those are empty dummies,”

he says. “It’s a village for propaganda purposes.” The two truly real things are both villages’ flagpoles. “First, the South Koreans put up a flagpole. Then the North Koreans erected a much higher one on their side,” Pauley says. The one above the “propaganda village”, is 160 metres high, and is one of the tallest flagpoles in the world. “The flag is so big it weighs 270 kilograms, and takes six people to hoist it.” South Korean soldiers joke that the first one to steal the flag will be rewarded 1 million dollars. After a short stop at a souvenir shop—where North Korean liquor, pieces of barbed wire and North Korean coins are available—Private Pauley says goodbye to the group. This is where tour guide Ho Ki-heon takes over. For the rest of the tour, he likes to be called by his nickname “Lupy”. The 30-yearold South Korean has been in the DMZ hundreds of times, but it still moves him personally. His own family is affected by the division of the country. “My

First Woman To Head US Secret Service { Anne Walters / California / DPA}  

U

S President Barack Obama named the first woman to head the Secret Service in its 148-year history. Julia Pierson, 53, will lead the Service that is tasked with protecting the President and other dignitaries, as well as fighting counterfeit currency. Pierson has served more than 30 years at the agency, and now works as Chief of Staff in the office of the Director. “Julia is eminently qualified to lead the agency that not only safeguards Americans at major events and secures our financial system, but also protects our leaders and our first families, including my own,” Obama said. The agency has 150 offices and more than 4,000 employees, around a third of who belong to the uniformed officers. Last year, the Secret Service was shaken by a sex scandal, that saw accusations of misconduct by agents in Colombia – ahead of the Summit of the Americas. u

grandfather on my father’s side is from North Korea. One day he went to work in Seoul and told his mother, ‘I will be back in a few months.’ But then the war broke out, and he never saw his family again.” Lupy guides the visitors to the “Tunnel of Aggression”. It is one of four tunnels that South Korea has detected under the border. “It’s estimated that about 30,000 North Korean soldiers could have come through the tunnel within one hour,” the guide says. That’s a potentially big threat, as Seoul is only 50 kilometres away. Today, massive blocks and walls of concrete block the tunnel. For visitors from the South, it is still partly open. With bright yellow safety helmets on their heads, the visitors climb into the humid, dark tunnel.

Water is dripping from the walls, the ground is stony and uneven, and the ceiling not higher than 1.60 metres. “First the North Koreans said it wasn’t them who built the tunnel,” Lupy says. “But look at these bore holes in the walls. You can tell that the sticks of dynamite used to blast the rock were driven from the north to the south.” But despite hostility, North and South Korea are also business partners, as can be seen at the next stop, the “Dora Observatory”. From this vantage point there is a long view into North Korea. Today, a line of trucks can be seen heading south. “They’re coming from the Kaesong Industrial Region, an industrial area within the DMZ,” Lupy explains. Thousands of North Koreans work there for more than 100 South Korean companies. “They produce mostly simple items – like shoes, watches, clothes and small parts for technical appliances.” South Korean companies profit from the low wages, and those North Korean workers have a relatively good income. The last stop in the DMZ is at the nearly empty train station, Dorasan. The modern building’s facade sparkles in the sunshine. Inside, the hall is guarded by soldiers, and a destination sign says “To Pyongyang”. “There are no trains leaving from here to North Korea,” says Lupy. “But for us the train station has great symbolic meaning; if the border is opened one day, we can be with our families in the shortest possible time.” u


22 { Thomas Geiger / Goodwood, England / DPA }

T

he Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead coupe was once the most noble two-door convertible in the market, and an expensive status symbol that only a few could afford. The ticking clock embedded in the wooden dashboard can be clearly heard, and almost seems to be exhorting the driver to proceed with more haste and less speed. The Silver Cloud III rolled off the productions line 50 years ago in the summer of 1963, and at a cost so prohibitive that it was only within the reach of film stars, heads of industry and nobility. The first Silver Cloud model came on the market in April 1955, and a total of 9,000 were built. In the autumn of 1962, Rolls Royce displayed a classic limousine model at the Earls Court Motor Show in London. However, just a few weeks later, the company commis-

5-11 April 2013

The Noble Rolls Royce Silver Cloud sioned its subsidiary, Mulliner Park Ward, which made bespoke bodies, to begin work on a new coupe conver tible model – ready for launch in the summer of 1963. Mulliner Park Ward changed the assembly and the rear end of the 5.4-metre-long luxury car, and added a giant fabric hood over the four seats. The front was also tweaked with the slightly tilted double headlights, and distinctive radiator grill, making it instantly recognizable even from a distance. In any event, it would have been difficult to mistake a Silver Cloud III, as less than 3,000 were ever built. Depending on the source chosen, only between 41 and 100 of the twodoor version were constructed

by Mulliner Park Ward, before production was switched to the Silver Shadow in 1966. The luxurious interior, with its plush leather seats and deep carpet, makes it a real pleasure to sit behind the wheel of the Silver Cloud III, and look out along the bonnet to the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot figure. The feeling of intimacy, when the roof is up, is akin to how the Queen must feel in her private apartments; but

Controversy Over Google’s Glass Project { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA}  

F

rom the start of the industrial revolution, advances in technology have usually been met by two opposing reactions. Some welcome the latest inventions as tools of human progress and liberty, while others, like the original Luddites, who smashed weaving machines in 19th century England, fear they will destroy time-honoured traditions and crush individual liberties. Which direction will Google’s much-hyped glass project (Google Glass) take us? The Company says it will bring valuable information to its customers more easily than ever before. Its detractors view it as an insidious device, that takes us one giant step closer to a world where our every action is observed, recorded and data-mined by a ubiquitous computer network. The “augmented reality” device looks harmless - a miniscule mobile computer mounted inside a spectacles frame, which projects information on a tiny screen just above your eye. However, it can also discreetly record—in video, sound and stills—exactly what its wearer is seeing and hearing! In addition, the device does everything a Smartphone does – from browsing the web to writing emails. It uses voice commands, and a few finger controls situated on the headset. The proximity of the tiny screen to the eye means that its information can fill the wearer’s field of vision. The screen can also be activated and controlled by simple eye movements. Looking up activates the screen, and gentle head motions allow you to scroll through

various different programmes. Google has not yet announced when the product will go on general sale to the public, but judging from the latest developments such a moment is not too far away. Excitement among the Google-inspired masses is so high that the Company organized a competition for the most innovative ways to use the product – whereby it would sell the first 8,000 units for 1,500 dollars each to the winners.

But just as there are thousands of fans eager to don a pair of the new-fangled glasses, there are thousands who are horrified at the prospect of this new technology. Not only are they aghast at the potential privacy problems posed by people wearing video cameras every moment of their waking day, they are also concerned about the sense of alienation it will allegedly promote. If Google Glass takes off, they fear, people will experience life, quite literally, through the lens of Google. The backlash is taking many forms. In Seattle, which coincidentally happens to be the home of Google rival Microsoft, the dive bar 5 Point, became the first establishment in the world to ban wearers of Google Glass, and warned that “asskicking would be encouraged for violators.” That war cry has also been taken up by the website StoptheCyborgs.com, whose stated aim

is “fighting the algorithmic future one bit at a time”; and which offers Google Glass ban signs, as well as stickers and Tshirts. It claims that the device will make hidden cameras ubiquitous, that people will have no way of knowing if they are being recorded, and that merely having the device in operation will furnish Google with detailed data about the user. “There are serious consequences for human society. There will no longer be any distinction between the ‘digital world’ and the ‘real world’. People will make decisions and interact with other humans in the real world in a way which increasingly depends on information that Google Glass tells them,” the site claims. “Gradually, people will stop acting as autonomous individuals, when making decisions and interacting with others, and instead become mere sensor/effector nodes of a global network.” Others believe these concerns to be overhyped. “I, for one, welcome our Google Glass-wearing cyborg overlords,” wrote Chris Taylor, a senior reporter on the tech news site Mashable. com. Taylor noted that current Smartphones are just as capable as Google Glass at recording images and sound surreptitiously, and compared fears of the new gadget to those he got when he first took an iPod on a plane in 2003. “Ultimately, as with the camera-bearing devices we all carry in our pockets, it’s all about trust,” he wrote. “Trust that the majority of society is basically decent. Trust that you and everyone around you is watching out for each other, and that millions of years of evolution have given us an instinct for suspicious behaviour that no amount of technology can mask.” u

once the giant roof slowly starts retracting, it is impossible not to escape the wondering glances of passers-by. Accordingly, it is best to drive into the countryside, where the roads are wide and empty. Travelling in the Silver Cloud almost feels like being wrapped in cotton wool on a luxury liner, as the vibrations caused by cobblestones, bumps and potholes are barely noticeable. Rolls Royce increased the compression ratio in the rearwheel drive Silver Cloud – which had four gears, was equipped with a V8 engine, and fitted with a 2-inch (51 mm) SU carburetors in place of the 1.75-inch units used on the Series II. The 6.2 litre engine produced 162 kW/220 HP, which was enough to give a top speed of 200 km/h for the two-tonne Silver Cloud, although not with the

G lobal kind of performance associated with a sports car. Now 50-years-old, and with the total number built limited to double figures, it is not surprising that the Silver Cloud III Drophead coupe is considered a truly exotic beast in the vintage car world. Very few ever make it on to the open market, and prices between 250,000 and 325,000 dollars are generally demanded on online vintage car websites for a drivable car. However, this price pales into insignificance compared to the figure demanded for a current Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead coupe. Although over ten times as many Phantoms have been built and the vehicle is much more readily available, prices start at over 450,000 euros (585,000 dollars). A vintage Silver Cloud is also difficult to maintain and restore. Even German carmaker BMW, which took over Rolls Royce a decade ago, has to send its museum piece to a specialist in London.u

Has The Voyager Left The Solar System? { Anne Walters / Washington / FG }

A

stronomers disagreed over the status of Voyager 1, with some scientists saying the spacecraft had traveled beyond the solar system, and others saying it had not yet reached that threshold. Voyager 1 “appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere” last year, some 18 billion kilometres from the Sun, according to research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. However, the NASA team that manages the spacecraft responded a few hours later, with a statement saying they believe Voyager 1 had not actually left the solar system. “It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system, or reached interstellar space,” said Scientist Edward Stone with the NASA team. He said that in December, Voyager reached a new region of space, but said data from the craft indicated it had not yet exited the solar system. “In December 2012, the Voyager science team reported that Voyager 1 is within a new region called ‘the magnetic highway’, where energetic particles changed dramatically,” Stone said. “A change in the direction of the magnetic field is the last critical indicator of reaching interstellar space, and that change of direction has not yet been observed.” The actual edge of the solar system is not clearly defined, and scientists have been waiting for years for a signal from Voyager 1 – that it had left the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space, as it explored the boundary region known as the heliosphere. The research said that astronomers recorded changes

in radiation levels on August 25, as cosmic rays from the sun dropped to low levels, and galactic cosmic rays from outside the solar system spiked. “It’s outside the normal heliosphere, I would say that,” Scientist Bill Webber said. “We’re in a new region. And everything we’re measuring is different and exciting.” Webber called the changes in radiation a “heliocliff,” describing it as what “you

would expect if it exited the heliosphere.” Voyager 1 was launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, and is the furthest manmade object from Earth. Voyager 1, and its sister craft Voyager 2, are both bound for the solar system’s edge, and would be the first recorded craft to reach that point. The Voyager crafts have surpassed the distance from the sun reached by Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, which were launched earlier, but were moving at a slower speed, and have since lost contact with Earth. Voyager 1 visited Jupiter and Saturn in 1979 and 1980, sending back the first detailed images of their moons; and along with sister craft Voyager 2 took images of all the outer planets. In 1990, Voyager took the first complete photo of the solar system. It has spent recent years studying the heliosheath, which surrounds the outer edge of the solar system, and where the sun’s influence wanes. u


5-11 April 2013

G -scape 23 prakhar pandey

New Sectors’ (58-67) Pathways


Maruti Gate 4

Honda

M. Gate No. 1

Aliyar Gaon

Badha Morh

New Colony

Harsaru

IMT Manesar

Pataudi Chowk

Sohna Chowk

D.S.D

Bhim Nagar

Sheetla Mata Mandir

Sec 5

Sona Steering

Ghamroj

Badshahpur

Omaxe City Center

Unitech Building

Sohna

Maruti Kunj

South City 2

Mehfil Garden

Bakhtawar Chowk

Malibu Towne

South City I

Kanhai

Sec 29 Metro

HUDA Gymkhana

Crowne Plaza

Sec 40-45 Chowk

MG Metro

Wazirabad Village

Bus Stand to Kendriya Vihar Bus Stand to Dundahera Border Karol Bagh to IMT Railway Station to Sec 29 Metro Station Bus Stand to Palam Vihar Bus Stand to Basai Sec 29 Metro Station to Badshahpur New Palam Vihar to IFFCO Metro Station Sec 29 Metro to Badshahpur (via Kanhai) Bus Stand to Sec 56/57 to IGI Airport Sec 29 Metro Station to IMT Manesar Bus Stand to IMT Manesar (via Hayatpur) Sec 29 Metro to Ghamroj Sec 29 Metro Station to Sohna Sec 29 Metro to Maruti Kunj New Colony to Sec 29 Metro

Sun City

Alchemist Hospital

Central Plaza

Golf View

Faridabad Morh

Kendriya Vihar

Chakkarpur Morh

Sahara Mall

DT Mall

Karol Bagh

Ardee City

IFFCO Metro Station

Rajokri

IGI Airport

Leisure Valley

IFFCO Chowk

Sec 31 Chowk

32nd Mile Stone

Signature Towers

M Pratap Chowk

Sec 21-22

Dundahera Border

Jharsa Chowk

Jal Vayu Vihar

Islam Pur

Vipul Gardens

ITI Govt. College

Sec 14

Old DLF

Rajiv Chowk

Bus Stand

Sec 12

Subhash Chowk

Hero Honda Chowk

Shanti Nagar

Sirhol Morh CRPF Chowk Atul K. Chowk

Bajghera Morh

Palam Vihar

Park View

Gandhi Nagar

Kherki Daula

Sikohpur Morh

Rampura

Toll Plaza

Narsinghpur

Khandsa

Sec 10

N.K

Sec 7

Sec 4-5

Daulatabad Morh

Rly. Station

Krishna Nagar

Ravi Nagar

Ghari Morh

Dhani/N.B.C.C

Hayatpur Morh

Basai

Sec 9 Govt. College

City Bus Routes

New Palam Vihar

Friday Gurgaon April 5-11, 2013  

Friday Gurgaon April 5-11, 2013

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