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Vol. 1 No. 7  Pages 32  ` 7  7–13 October 2011

{Inside} Teens

Health Watch


overage of Primary Health Centres in the ‘Millennium City’, that is still struggling to provide adequate health facilities for all its citizens. ...Pg 9

Visionary Approach


he success story of Niramaya Charitable Trust, that facilitates free eye check ups and surgeries; and distributes free medication and spectacles, for those afflicted with eye complaints. ...Pg 12

Steve Jobs Dies


teven Paul Jobs, co-founder of the leading US technology company Apple Inc, died yesterday at the age of 56; after a career that saw him redefine how we live with technology. Coverage of the man, his life and his thoughts. ...Pg 28

Ma Durga


e capture the spirit of Durga Puja, across Gurgaon. ...Pg 5, 32

AG’s bath ‘n’ kitchen Modular Kitchen & Wardrobes with high class fittings (Hettich, Haffle, Grass, Kaff) All kinds of appliances (Microwave, Oven, Dishwasher, Sink, Hob, Chimney)

When will Gurgaon’s 74 unauthorised settlements be recognised? { Hritvick Sen / FG }


city, whether in India or anywhere in the world, needs a municipal body to take care of its population’s basic needs. Whether it is water, power, or keeping track of property ownership, the Municipal Corporation is indispensable for people. But what if the city’s Municipal Corporation does not recognise you? Despite decades of the city’s existence, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) came to life just three years ago. Even then, it was a municipal committee. The full-fledged corporation came to be only this year. Now, as the ‘new’ Councillors get familiar with their wards, they’re grappling with the issue of ‘unauthorised colonies’.

What are they?

Some of these colonies are recent (a few years old); others have been established since the seventies. The inhabitants range from refugees of the past, to the domestic help of today. Officials term these establishments encroachments; though a few level-headed ones admit that these have come up because there is little or no development of low-cost housing.

Why are they not recognised?

In the case of some of the older colonies, the city grew around them. They were not a part of the ‘plan’, so to speak. In case of the others, the inhabitants settled on undeveloped land. In both the cases, the authorities do not recognise them as legitimate establishments. Therefore, they have no legitimate source of water, power or sanitation. Some of the colonies have pooled resources, to ensure cleanliness; others are wallowing in their own filth.

How many people live in these colonies?

A few hundred to several



peek into the lives of teens today; a generation spoilt for choice. ...Pg 6

The Invisible Colonies

LOOSE ENDS: Power cables hanging over shanties in Prempuri

Mohyal Colony

Officials say...

Ward 28 Councillor Poonam says, “What can we do in Prempuri and other areas? As long as the area is unauthorised, we can't move a finger, or spend a paisa. We've been entreating the administration to authorise them; and now when the list is formalised, we'll get some work done.” Nisha Singh, the Councillor responsible for Ward 30, says, “The work on the road inside Samaspur had been stalled for some time. It has now just been completed. We're also moving for further development in the colonies, now that the list is finalised.” On how soon the unauthorised colonies will get recognition, an MCG spokesperson said, “The list has been made and forwarded. It'll take some time, but we do believe that 56 of the colonies will get authorised.” thousand. Ongoing construction has been a hallmark of these localities. Despite squalor, residents are putting extra floors as fast as possible. Politicians recognised them as votebanks a long time ago. From 2009, there have been plans

to regularise/authorise these colonies. Recently, the Team Mayor from MCG announced that this issue would be fast-tracked. In a report, 56 of the 74 unauthorised colonies have been slated to be regularised.

Easily one of the best of the unauthorised localities, Mohyal Colony in Ward 29 was established in the early 70s. The inhabitants were Mohyal refugees from post-partition Pakistan. Varinder Bali, the expresident of Mohyal Housing and Welfare Association, says, “Within 17.5 acres of land, this is one of the oldest colonies, established with the work of Late Bishan Das Datta. Despite being an unauthorised colony, we have a school, a shopping market, and tended gardens,” he says. The colony has employed security staff for all its entry and exit points. The colony has its independent source of potable water, and a septic tank to take care of sewage water. “We are trying to get water-harvesting systems installed in various parts of the colony”, Bali remarks. Despite the spate of construction, the roads are metalled, and clean of garbage and filth. Contd on p 8 

Gurgaon Traffic Volunteers

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Festive Bonanza

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For story read p 8


7–13 October 2011


Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up


Heritage Talk & Heritage Walk

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Delhi: Tales & Trails @ The Tea Room, Star Mall, Sec-30, Opp 32nd Milestone Date: Oct 11 & Oct 16 Time: (Oct 11) 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, (Oct 16) 7:30 am – 9:30 am Fee: Rs 650, Rs 1,500 & Rs 1,800 (book early and save more)

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Street Dance Competition

The Streets (Vernacular Dance) @ ITM University, HUDA Sector 23-A, Palam Vihar Date: Oct 14 Time: 1.30 pm onwards


n inter-college street dance competition. Rules and regulations of the competition are—time limit of every performance is four to seven minutes, 6 to 14 participants can perform in one group, no Bollywood songs are allowed, and performers are required to bring tracks in either pen drive or CD. The Streets (Vernacular) is a part of ITM University’s fest, Momentum 2011.

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Karwachauth Bazaar @ Club Patio, Block E, South City Date: Oct 13 Time: 11 am – 8:30 pm

Exhibition-cum-sale Diwali Mela


n exhibition-cum-sale of designer jewellery, footwear, bangles, pooja thalis, and a special stall for mehndi.

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Oct 14 to Oct 16 Time: 11 am – 8 pm


one day workshop that will teach you how to make paper lanterns. The material used for making the lanterns will be provided by the organisers. The aim of the workshop is to encourage people to use paper lanterns this Diwali, instead of plastic ones.


Classical and Ghazal Concert @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Oct 12 Time: 7:30 pm


n exhibition-cum-sale of a wide variety of products— ranging from apparel, gifts, silverware, jewellery, to art works and home accessories. Also, there will be special activities for children and ladies.


classical concert by Gitesh Mishra, and a ghazal concert by Kaushik Mitra. While Mishra will present khayal and tarana, followed by thumri; Mitra will present ghazals of renowned singers—Ghulam Ali, and Hariharan. The maestros give new meaning to Hindustani Classical music.

Bring Home the Actors!


No. of issues

Lantern Making Workshop @ The Clubhouse at Palms, South City Date: Oct 8 & Oct 9 Time: 10 am – 5 pm Fee: Rs. 2,000 per person

theatre workshop for kids that focuses on voice modulation, speech, fun exercises and games, personality development, and better communication. 15 classes will be conducted, to

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teach children the nuances of acting on stage. A photo portfolio will also be done for each child. The workshop is open to kids between 6 and 15 years of age.

walk on Oct 16 that takes you in the vicinity of Nizammudin Dargah in Delhi. A heritage talk on Oct 11 by a renowned historian—Jaya Basera is complimentary. For booking, call: 9953160132.

Kids Theatre Workshop @ Asmita Theatre, V – 5/7, DLF City Phase III Date: Oct 3 to Oct 16 Time: 3 pm – 5 pm Fee: Rs 2500 per child

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 122001, Haryana.

Karwa Chauth Celebration






n India, puppets or ‘Putlis’ have a life of their own. Kaathputlis (‘kaath’ means wood, and ‘putli’ is puppet) from Rajasthan are a part of the traditional performance of puppetry – narrating an event from history, myths, folklore or legend—complete with music and speech; being the repository of traditional wisdom, knowledge and social mores. These handmade wooden puppets, dressed in beautifully stitched traditional costumes in vibrant colours,  are one of the

most vibrant aspects of Indian culture. These puppets are more than just playthings or decorative dolls. A miniature stage is set up with the help of a cot, that is laid by length. A curtain, generally dark in colour, is used as the back-stage, and a colorful curtain with three arches, called Tiwara or Tajmahal, hangs at the front. The puppets are tied with dark strings, which do not

show against the dark backdrop, and dim lights are used. The plays are usually narrated by the female members of the troupe, while the announcer of the show is called the Kharbar Khan. During the performance, the puppeteers manipulate the puppets with a whistling, squeaking voice; and are interpreted by a narrator, who also provides the rhythms. The puppeteer takes a ghungroo (string of bells) in his hands and plays it according to the rhythm. Free movement is possible owing to the absence of legs, hidden under the beautifully stitched traditional costumes in which they are dressed. A little jerk of the string causes the puppets to produce movements of the hands, neck and shoulder; making them run, sit, lie, dance, jump and much more.Certain

popular characters include the dancer Anarkali, who is hung by four strings. Her limbs are sewn in such a manner that with the slightest jerk several dancemovements can be produced.

A snake charmer is another attraction of the show, alongside the horse rider, nimbuwala and the juggler. These traditional puppet dolls, in vivacious hues, aren’t merely entertainers’ on stage—but can liven up the décor of your home too. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.

7–13 October 2011


Bollywood Ambience T

he festive season is well and truly upon us. What greater proof of this than every shop in every mall with but one aim in mind—to lighten our wallets and hopefully gladden our hearts through retail therapy. The city's premier mall, Ambience also launched their 'Destination Diwali' celebration. And in a manner befitting their size they did things in true Bollywood blockbuster style. Invited to launch the event were the stars of David Dhawan's next, Rascals. So, Gurgaonites were treated to the spectacle of the beefy Sanjay Dutt, the brawny Ajay Devgn and the lissome Lisa Haydon; accompanied of course by the roly-poly as ever Mr Dhawan himself. RASCALS ALL? The cast and director of Rascals at a Diwali promotion in Ambience Mall

A Taste of the Big Boss A

ll of us (well, most of us in any case) it seems, are hooked on to Colors' Bigg Boss and the antics of its participants. With a view to expanding their audience, Colors teamed up with 92.7 BIG FM to produce a radio version of the famous show. And they did this at Gurgaon's MGF Metropolitan Mall. There, in front of a huge crowd, four 92.7 BIG FM’s RJs—Aparshakti, Rahul, Vidhi and Zainab were locked in a room for five hours and put through a series of tasks by the Sutradhaar. PLAYING BOSS: 92.7 BIG FM’s RJs at the Bigg Boss event

Holy Mother & Child

Juhi at the Jeweller's Diwali is also peak season for the jewellery industry, and business has started picking up at city jewellers. Not to be outdone, gold retailer, Joyalukkas has renovated their showroom at the Gold Souk Mall. Invited to inaugurate the all new, improved showroom, was Juhi Chawla, noted yesteryear actor, who's still the hearthrob of many—judging by the throng that her presence generated. Speaking at the event, Juhi gushed, “I'm amazed at the designs and choice Joyalukkas have to offer. It's an experience I will never forget and will take every opportunity to come back to.” “We have renovated and refreshed our showroom for Gurgoan residents. They are the backbone of our success so they deserve the best. I sincerely thank them for their support and look forward to their continued patronage at our new and improved showroom. My team here is ready to delight them every time they shop with us,” announced Joy Alukkas, the Managing Director, who was also present at the event. RESPLENDENT: Juhi Chawla trying out a Joyalukkas design

Last Sunday saw the inauguration of the Gurgaon branch of Mogly's—a unique spiritual & holistic learning centre, for young kids and expectant mothers. According to Gayatri Luthra, the brain behind Mogly, and wife of renowned lawyer, Rajiv K. Luthra, “At Mogly’s, we believe that a child’s learning begins in his/ her mother’s womb. A mother who imbibes positive traits, gives birth to a child of great virtue.” PRINCIPAL SUPPORT: Shayama Chona and the Luthras cutting the cake

BERI GOOD TEACHER: Ritu Beri demonstrating the finer points of art to her daughter


7–13 October 2011


FOOD Gunjan Prasad principal idea behind the décor of The Palace at City Centre, SecTtorheGung 29, Gurgaon, seems to be to recreate

a traditional dining experience for the Korean guests—who are missing their kim chi; and/or for the Indian gourmands who know their Bulgogi from their Manchurian. Created with theatrical aplomb, the imaginative interiors boast of enclosed private chambers—with traditional floor seating; rice paper screens, Korean pottery, an elaborate bamboo water feature; and pretty Korean ladies dressed in their exquisite flowing hanboks (Korean national costume), eager to help. A make believe façade, but expertly done. However, the star of the restaurant has to be Jinbum Kim, the affable and dashing director of the eatery, who floats from one private room to the other—humoring clients with folklores behind each dish, the latest Korean gossip, and anecdotes about his experience as a student in Delhi University’s Ramjas College—from where he graduated. As we sank into our sitting alcoves, our personal server advised us to wear our aprons, and roll up our sleeves—which seemed like an auspicious start, as it gave us an indication that we were in for a big treat. According to Kim, Koreans follow strict dining and drinking etiquette, but the one that suited me most, was that it is considered rude to decline a drink even if you are a non-drinker; and that it is courteous to have at least the first glass, so as not to ruin the drinking mood. “In Korea, the proper amount of alcohol to drink is described as “il bul, sam so, o ui, chil gwa”, meaning “don’t stop with one glass, three glasses lacks, five glasses is proper, and seven glasses

Korean Bites

SEOUL FEEL: Traditional seating adds to the exotic dining experience at Gung The Palace

is over drinking,” explained Kim. Bekseju is a traditional Korean wine made with fermented glutinous rice; and the fact that it contained up to 12 Oriental herbs—including ginseng—possibly gave us the extra energy to reach the five-glass mark quite comfortably. As we sat sipping seju with Kim, 12 types of complimentary Banchan or side dishes of varying ingredients, textures, aromas and colours were laid out on the table—almost like a ceremony. These included different types of kim chi (fermented vegetables), gaeran mari (rolled egg omelette) and tteok (Korean rice cakes). “Traditional dining table was classified into a three-ch’op, and five-ch’op, and a seven-ch’op table, depending on the num-

ber of side dishes—with 12-ch’op used in Korean royal courts,” explained Kim. The classic cabbage kim chi, made under the strict supervision of Kim’s mother, who is the restaurant’s executive chef—had a clean bite, and a vivid garlic tang. Just so that we could have a wholesome experience of food eaten by commoners as well as royalty, the next dish served was wang galbi (Rs 1,200)—barbequed pork ribs which were marinated in soy sauce and gochujang sauce (red chili paste), and then grilled to perfection at the table itself. “Pork ribs are cheaper than beef ribs, making them a common man’s dish,” explained Kim. Till just a few years ago, there were hardly any modern dwaeji—galbi—gui (Korean grill) restau-

rants with a ventilation hood installed on each table. Barbecue houses used a specially-designed drum can as a table. Inside of the large drum, there was a briquette, over which a gridiron was placed to grill meat. Sitting on a round-shaped stool around the drum, customers roasted the meat by themselves, bonding over pork ribs and seju. If you thought Korean cuisine was just about barbequed food, think again. A must try is samgyetang (Rs 800), ginseng chicken soup, in which the whole young chicken is stuffed with ginseng, sticky rice and jujubes (Korean dates), and braised in a broth containing 17 kinds of Korean herbs—none of which are oppressively medicinal. Mandu jeongol (Rs 1,600), another favourite, is a hot pot containing beef dumplings and vegetables in a beef stock. Cooked on a brazier placed besides the table, it is a perfect dish for the approaching winters. As the portions err on the generous side, a far cry from the tiny morsels served by nouvelle cuisine restaurants these days, we were stuffed—and passed on the offer of a fresh fruit platter, that also comes complimentary with main course orders. The venue is charmingly intimate and the service is attentive. For those looking to shake a leg and exercise their vocal cords after the five-glass rounds of seju, Gung The Palace has two karaoke rooms. While it is not really a restaurant for the herbivores or the weak hearted, it is a must-do for those who enjoy their meat; and are ready to experiment with a far eastern cuisine that is distinctly different from that of its neighbours. u Gung The Palace Plot 27-28, Sector 29, City Centre Ph. No.: 0124 4383101, 9811911925 Cuisine: Korean Timing: 12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10:30 pm



The Personal is the Political

Quite a(n) (un)Pleasant Surprise

Manjula Narayan

the 25th anniversary of feminist publishing in India, she decided to ask women who had been active in the movement for 25 hings seemed to be going well at your years, to write about what it meant to first job interview. “But why should them. The result is a fine collection that we take you?” the man in the dark suit gets to the heart of how suddenly asked, “You the writers’ lives had are going to get married been transformed by anyway”. In the years feminism. The essays since that irritating are wide ranging. While experience, you have Ruth Vanita writes about come across a few slowly recognising her unthinking sexists at the lesbianism, Gabriele workplace. Sometime Dietrich presents the during the early nineties, many streams of the though, Indian men women’s movement, started behaving better and Vasanth Kannabiran at work; as a result rather aptly calls her perhaps, of the influx of memoir ‘Confessions many qualified women. of An Unrepentant It was also the result Feminist’. Menon’s own of the growing visibility essay reminisces about of the Indian women’s her experience in the movement. Madras of the early Feminist writer and 1970s—after her return activist, Ritu Menon from New York. Menon points out that today was told by the most every political party respected broadsheet in has the women’s issue the city that she couldn’t on its agenda; and be taken on, as they had sexist behaviour is an unwritten rule about discouraged in offices. not employing women! “These are huge Making a Difference Reading these changes,” says Menon, Edited by Ritu Menon essays, it becomes who runs Women PUBLISHER: Women Unlimited clear that though Unlimited—which has PRICE: Rs.350. much has stayed the just brought out Making same, much more a Difference: Memoirs has changed. It’s a from the Women’s change that can be tracked through the Movement in India. Menon has edited the transformations committed to each page. anthology, which includes 20 essays—by This is a book that leaves you marvelling Ruth Vanita, Indira Jaising, Vandana Shiva at a generation whose activism has and Ilina Sen, among others. won so many of the rights that Indian Guided by the feminist idea of the personal being the political, and inspired by woman take for granted today. u


Vijaya Kumar

is easily their best performance till date. Their sense of timing is excellent, and their one-liners (which the movie is loaded fter a long time, Bollywood has come with) and the accompanying actions, keep out with a production that can be called the audience in splits. Post-interval, the a true intelligent comedy. Sagar Ballary— tempo picks up—and if you do not come who had regaled us with Bheja Fry, but out of the theatre with abdominal gripes, had fried our bhejas in his next attempt because of the laughter deluge, I must Bheja Fry 2—is the director of Hum Tum seriously recommend you a bheja scan! Shabana. This film proves that he is not a Hum Tum Shabana has several one-film-wonder director. other winning The basic points. Madhur theme of Hum Tum Bhandarkar gets Shabana revolves to play a cameo around the (because of competing efforts his obsession of two characters— with fashion Shreyas Talpade and fashion and Tusshar show themes), Kapoor—working and creates a in an event wonderful impact. management Satish Kaushik, company, to attract who has been a the attention of a fully depreciated fashion parade actor comedian, contestant— MOVIE: HUM TUM SHABANA springs back to Minisha Lamba. Directed by: Sagar Ballary form; and Minisha The post-interval CAST: Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Lamba looks session is all about Minissha Lamba, Satish Kaushik, Madhur exceedingly pretty the competing Bhandarkar, Pooja Batra and lissome. efforts of the MOVIE: Comedy The music is not buffoons to wangle exactly haunting, out of her web. but it is not unbearable either. Conceptually, this sounds like good fodder Nothing about this movie is for a full length comedy, and Sagar Ballary amateurish—and this indeed is a laps up this opportunity with great relish. pleasant surprise. Few actors have demonstrated a flair The surprise element, however, is for coming up with seriously good comic the way I have penned this review. performances in Bollywood. Vinay Pathak, To not deprive the viewers of some the hero of Bheja Fry, is one of them. pleasurable moments (by being Tusshar Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade’s too critical). I decided to write the efforts at raising laughs have thus far opposite of what I felt while watching been seen in Golmaal and its successors; this movie. Hope this review has and other films of the same genre. But lightened your mood! u their performance in Hum Tum Shabana


7–13 October 2011


money sharma & PRAKHAR PANDEY


7–13 October 2011




A Miracle Drug { Harsimran Shergill / FG }


ne does not have to be rich to run. This is the mantra Rahul Verghese follows. Having worked for corporates like Nestlé, Motorola and Hindustan Unilever, Verghese decided to give up his career, to do what he likes best—run. Calling running a miracle drug with good side effects, Verghese believes running is the simplest way to break self-imposed mental barriers, and unleash your potential. Seated amidst route maps for the next Gurgaon marathon, we speak to him about how running has become an integral part of his life. Excerpts


How did you start running, and why? To begin with, I am no athlete. Having braved the Chicago winter on a treadmill in my basement, I could run 5kms without stopping—which I thought was a tremendous achievement. It was after this that I decided to run the Chicago Marathon. Over time, as I travelled for business, I would look for events happening in and around the area. It began as a form of exercise, and I soon found myself addicted to it. Running sure can be extremely addictive.


You’ve managed to bring together a vibrant network of like-minded people across India. What led you to begin Running and Living? I found it incredibly difficult to get any information on running in India. I decided to


set up a website that would have information, links and Q&A, to ensure that runners have a place to go to—ultimately building a vibrant running community. For the first run that we organised in the city, we thought not more than ten people would turn up. About 110 people showed up. For the next marathon, 200 people turned up. To my surprise, I found that many people were interested in running. They just did not know how to go about it. We started organising marathons in the city. Over time, people started forming running groups in various cities. The website became a hub for running events across India.

This is a perfect way to bring people together, and inculcate a sense of community and responsibility amongst them. We bring together people who ordinarily wouldn’t feature in each others’ lives.


What is the objective behind Running and Living? Is there more to it than running? This is a perfect way to bring people together, and inculcate a sense of community and responsibility amongst

Teen Life

TEEN TIMES: It is music and games—differently

them. There could be a CEO running shoulder to shoulder with a farmer. We bring together people who ordinarily wouldn’t feature in each others’ lives. Taking running a step further, we decided to tie up with an NGO called “Iamgurgaon”, and planted 100 saplings at the end of the run. Each time that we organise a marathon, we add an incentive at the end; be it in the form of pamphlets related to conservation, water crisis, or talks held at the end of the event. The objective is to give people something to ponder.


How often do children participate ? We have tried to collaborate with local schools to encourage children to run. However, schools have not been forthcoming to the idea of added responsibility. During marathons, parents often get their children along. We try to make the run comfortable and less strenuous for them.


What according to you are the benefits of running? The benefits of running go way beyond health. It helps in building self-confidence, perseverance and ultimately optimism. These are well documented studies across the world, with testimonials of non-athletes also. We have had amazing stories of people with life changing experiences after taking to running—overcoming insomnia, managing asthma and blood sugar levels, becoming positive and optimistic; apart from feeling more toned and losing weight. u

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG }


t 8:30 pm, the girls gather in a dormitory, to discuss the day. The highlight has been a mock UN Assembly Meet, and they have decided on their best speaker. On the bed lies an HP Laptop, plugged to an iPod. In the background, perhaps in another dormitory, is the faint sound of music. I mention Justin Beiber, and there’s a loud cheer. Clearly all of them listen to popular tunes, barring a few who think he’s “nothing great.” We talk of dating and life-out-of-school; they have moved beyond posters, cassettes and Archies cards. Ishika Mukherjee, a 13-year-old studying at Pathways, likes to spend her free time online. Doing what, I ask? “It depends,” she says, shrugging her shoulders, “Sometimes I listen to music on youtube, or watch episodes of Gossip Girl (the ones I’ve missed because of school), or just hang around to chat with friends.” Teens today, are spoilt for choice. Tennis, violin, candlemaking, wall-climbing, music, drama, gossip, boyfriends, girlfriends, DJ nights, poetry, gymnastics, baking—children today can explore. Sagarika Singhal, (13) says that in her spare time, she mostly plays games

RUN FOR FUN: Rahul Verghese believes running can change your life

online. And no, we are not talking about the Nintendo or Mario days. With millions of applications just a click away, swanky new phones with Android have replaced the standard Nokia 1100. Singhal says, “I mostly download new apps for gaming. I can sit for hours together, online. Other than that, when I am not in school or playing games on my computer, I hang out with friends, go shopping; sometimes, window shopping. We go to malls, meet up for coffees or lunches, or catch the latest flick.”

We talk of dating and life-out-of-school; they have moved beyond posters, cassettes and Archies cards While the girls are busy making plans for the weekend, I notice a loner sitting in the corner. Her face is buried into her new, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. Richa Manjari, (14), says reading for her is a passion. So who is your favourite author, I ask; pat comes the reply, ‘Nicholas Sparks.’ “I like reading fantasy with minimal romance, and a lot of adventure and action. I have a weakness for stories that twist and lead into unex-

pected directions—that are full of surprises,” adds Dhannasika Kumar, a 9th grader at P athways school, who is also an avid reader. Even though romance in the book clubs gets a big no-no, girls are not shy about talking of boys. It is one of the most talked about subjects in school. “Yes, there are girls and boys who are going around but then, it’s part and parcel of growing up, says Navtej Singh, student of Delhi Public School. “Either we hang out at my friends’ place, go to restaurants or play tennis after school. Now that Saket Mall has come up, we sometimes go there, just to hang out with friends. Also, my parents are members of the Gymkhana Club, so I play squash there. Otherwise, when I’m at home, I’m mostly on my PlayStation—with the latest Need For Speed.” And how do you afford a PlayStation, I ask? “I received it as a birthday gift from my parents,” says Navtej; which makes me wonder about how much pocket money is enough in a teens life. Almost all the children, barring one, said, there wasn’t a fixed amount that they received as pocket money. “I ask my parents for money when I need something. Other than that, there is no fixed amount,” says Harshita Bajaj 14. u

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08 “We have approached the government a number of times for the authorisation of this colony”, he says. “Now, when our colony’s name has been suggested for regularisation, we do feel that our pleas have been answered.”


At the opposite end of the spectrum is Samaspur village. Nestling behind the DCP (Traffic) office, this area has been invisible to the administration’s view. It is only now that development and repairs have started. The official road into the village narrows steadily, as one travels in from the main road. It is only since last month that one could manage to reach the other end of the village, using this road. Earlier, sections of the road were blocked off, as concrete was being poured in. The good news is that the new road is made of reinforced concrete. A MCG junior engineer reasons, “Bitumen roads wouldn’t have lasted a month. With residences this close to the road, there’s always going to be water being thrown on the road. Someone washing his car, throwing dirty laundry water out, cleaning utensils and so on. The water


ers, the bikers would just jump over them and continue speeding recklessly. Until they get jarred, they’ll not learn to drive responsibly.”


If Samaspur in on the road to recovery, Prempuri can’t even claim that distinction. Whether it is roads, sanitation, housing or water supply; everything’s in a shambles.

As one goes inside the colony from the main road, the houses close in until there’s just about enough space for two bicycles. Overflowing drains choked with discarded plastic bags, and rotting food, are a feature of this colony. Children play alongside swine. “Who can we complain to? More importantly, will anyone listen to us?” says a rickshawpuller, who lives in the colony. “Where can we live otherwise?”



The irony is that the area is hardly a hundred metres from spanking-new multi-storeyed business complexes. Between the new constructions and Prempuri lie tonnes of garbage, sewer water and filth. A part of Ward 28, this area is undeveloped, and lacks any attention or care.



 Contd from p 1

would immediately start loosening the bitumen, and we’ll have to do the same work in a few months. A concrete road, on the other hand, is able to withstand water, and has extra longevity.” Except for this welcome development, there are a million issues in this area that need immediate attention. Whether it be lack of outlets for sanitation, power cables hanging low enough for a teenager to hang on to, or narrow lanes—they all need attention. Ram Singh, a shopkeeper, says, “The water lines and the sewer lines are too close. If the sewer lines crack, we’ll be drinking the same water that was thrown away. Plus, the speedbreaker built by the MCG is causing problems. It’s too high.” For the water problem, the MCG JE says, “The water and sewer lines are separated by the width of the road. Contamination is not possible. When we built the road, we asked every household to have their water lines and sewer outlets connected. Once the concrete sets, it is impossible to crack it. The problem occurs when they build the lines over it.” Regarding the speed-breaker, “We did it purposely. A road this close to houses will always have people and children on it. And it is a fact that people over-speed even on the kaccha road; and now that the road is smooth, the problem will multiply. If we had built moulded speed-break-

C ivic/Social


Unauthorised Colonies

7–13 October 2011

As an unauthorised colony, this area has seen substantial repair. There are RCC roads; and although there are gaping potholes wide enough to swallow a motorcycle, there are street-lights at some sections. At the moment, HUDA is surveying the area for further development. A resident says, “We’ve seen surveyors taking measurements, and checking the colony infrastructure.” The sanitation of the area is significantly better than some of the other villages, and there are old as well as new constructions, seen in the area. u

New Palam Vihar, PH-II

Sr. No.



Area around Sihi Village


Area around Chauma Khea Village


Krishana Nagar – II


Rajeev Nagar West


Area around Basai Village


Area around Tikri Village


Area around Dundahera Village


Aman Pura


Ram Vihar


Area around Begampur Khatola


Area around Chakkarpur Village


Area around Mullahera Village


Amar Colony


Ravi Nagar


Area around Behrampur


Area around Ghsola


Area around Nathupur Village


Ambedkar Nagar


Sanjay gram


Area around Dhanwapur


Area around Islampur Village


Area around Sarai Alwardi


Ashok Vihar Phase-II


Saraswati Envlave


Area around Fazilpur Jharsa


Area around Jharasa Village


Area around Sarhaul Village


Ashok Vihar Phase-III


Shakti Park


Area around Gharoli Kalan


Area around Kanhai Village


Area around Sukhrali Village


Basai Enclave


Shankar Vihar


Area around Gharoli Khurd


Area around Naya Gaon


Mohyal Colony


Bhavani Enclave


Sheetla Colony


Area around Gurgaon Village


Area around Samaspur Village


Hanspark Colony


Bhim Vihar Phase-III


Silokhara Mandi Khera


Area around Kadipur


Area around Sikendar Pur Ghosi


South City I Enclase


Devilal Nagar


Surat Nagar Phase-II


Area around Khandsa


Area around Sikokhra Village


Vijay Vihar & Moti Vihar (Mulahera)


Firoz Gandhi Colony-II


Surya Vihar


Area around Kherki Daula Village


Area around Tigra Village


Krishana Nagar – 1


Hans Enclave


Tek Chand Nagar


Area around Mohammadpur Jharsa


Area around Wazirabad


Palam Vihar Extension


Hari Nagar


Vijay Vihar


Area around Naharpur Rupa


Area around Bhimgarh Kheri


Nitin Vihar


New Palam Vihar Ph1 & III


Vikas Nagar


Area around Narsingpur


Area around Caterpuri


Shiv Colony


Rajeev Colony


Kadipur Enclave

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


riving down the Golf Course Road, many of us have noticed a group of people, wearing reflector jackets and holding large placards, channelling the traffic; and helping the police maintain an easy flow of traffic. They are not a hired organisation, nor are they an NGO; they are a group of responsible citizens that came together in April this year; with a common idea and agenda of improving the traffic in the city. Having started with 15 or 20 teens, adults, senior citizens; they are today 120 in number. Odette Katrak, the mobiliser, and a Road Safety Officer says, “After moving back from the UK, driving on the roads of Gurgaon

Gurgaon Traffic Volunteers was an absolute nightmare. People do not stop at red lights, are in the wrong lane (causing traffic to slow), and take U turns before the roundabouts. When I would stop at a red light, people would honk, as if I had made a mistake. I took all these problems to the traffic police, and received their support. I talked to people living in my area, and we got together with placards and signs, at the Golf Course roundabout and the Super Mart turn—after recognising them as problematic areas.” Volunteers seen at the Golf Course roundabout at peak hours, once or twice a week,

work in conjunction with the Gurgaon Traffic Police. They are briefed and trained by the police, and are constantly in touch with them. Before each session on the road, the volunteers meet up for a quick session to go over the plan of action. The most important aspect is the interaction with the drivers. Most of the violators are identified as educated. The volunteers believe that having a conversation with them at the red light, and asking them to join the initiative, will not only spread the word; but also increase awareness and increase the strength of the volunteers. Volunteer training emphasises

a ‘no frown, and smile’ strategy—just say, ‘you just violated this rule, but please do not do it again; and ask your friends to stick to the rules, to avoid traffic problems’. Politeness is key. Gurgaon volunteers are now also being assisted by corporates like DELL as part of their social responsibility initiative. The IILM institute for higher education, along with many schools and educational institutions, are in talks with the volunteers, to be a part of this initiative. Bharti Arora, DCP Traffic Gurgaon says, “ The citizen volunteers are a great help to us. We regularly brief them, and

are constantly in touch with them. The police is always available at the areas where they are present. Along with regular traffic control, we also coordinate with them on other operations like drunken driving. When citizens are involved in helping to control traffic and the road situations, they understand how tough it is for the law enforcing bodies. Other citizens also appreciate it, and respond positively. My message to the citizens is-be responsible, respect other road users and do not drink and drive.” To volunteer, get in touch with the citizen volunteers at g u r g a o n t r a f f i c vo l u n t e e r s @ They will soon be on Facebook. u

7–13 October 2011

C ivic/Social


PHCs–Health Needs Primary Care Primary Health Centres are battling with several issues

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

The objective behind PHC

The purpose behind the PHC is to provide preventive and curative services to the masses of the country. It includes immunisation (e.g. for Polio), population control through family planning, reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates (under the Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), and saving the girl child (under the LADLI programme). The parameters are listed in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The prime objective of PHC today is the proper implementation of JSY. The government’s main aim is to reduce the number of deliveries taking place at homes; because deliveries at home are directly proportional to the infant and maternal mortality rates. The States have been divided in two categories: Low Performing States (LPS) and High performing States (HPS). LPS means a state where the maximum number of deliveries take place at home; and HPS is the opposite. The JSY scheme has three main target groups: 1. All pregnant women in LPS States 2. All Below Poverty Line (BPL) pregnant women, of age 19 or above, in HPS States 3. All ST and SC pregnant women, in LPS & HPS states

Some basic facts

One PHC takes care of a population of 50,000, with the help of 5 sub-centres situated in close vicinity of each other. An average PHC has one MO (Medical Officer), 3 staff nurses (for delivery purpose only), one pharmacist, one Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), and several Ashas— workers who assist in managing the deliveries—(number varies according to the population, i.e. one Asha/1000 people). PHCs



he Primary Health Centres (PHCs) were set up to play a critical part in keeping the country healthy. GDP statistics often mislead, and show us a doctored reality; we are still a nation where the infant and maternal mortality rate is a cause of great concern. We are still a country where many a child dies of malaria and diarrhoea. PHCs hold an importance status in the health chain of the country, as they cater to the largest section (the poor) of our population. Gurgaon is considered the fastest developing district of the country; but like the other 640 districts of the country, it too has poor people in abundance. Gurgaon has 24 PHCs, where around 2000 people come daily for treatment. Let’s see how these PHCs fare, in the country’s aspiration to be a healthy nation.

HEALTH FIRST: A Primary Health Centre at Wazirabad

work 24 hours in cases of delivery. In a district, Community Health Centre (CHC) is the next level after the PHC; with the District Hospital (DH) being the largest. Three staff nurses only work at night, and that too for delivery purpose only. They are usually kept on a contractual basis, by the head of the PHC.

The real state

“As per the rules, one PHC covers 50,000 people; but in reality no PHC in the district is covering less than 2 to 3 lakh people. We are short of staff and medicine. Earlier, one PHC used to have two MOs— and now it has been reduced to one. We are seriously short of doctors,” said Dr. Saryu Sharma, Deputy Civil Surgeon (DCS), in the city’s civil hospital. Gurgaon is certainly better than other districts, and the number of people taking PHC services are far less than other districts of the state; but still the district is battling with

some serious issues. “Gurgaon is certainly better than other districts. Here people have become rich because of the development, and now they don’t need PHC for their health issues. But it has a lot of floating population, in the form of workers, and they need the services desperately— because they live in slums and unhealthy conditions. They don’t use contraceptives, which again adds to the country’s already burgeoning population,” explained Dr. Sharma. On an average, around 100 people come to a PHC in a day; and to monitor such a huge number is very tough for one doctor. “Ours is the only PHC in the whole of new Gurgaon. It covers around 4.5 lakh people; and to manage such a huge population, with nine other sub-centres (Sikanderpur, Chakkarpur, Nathupur, Islampur, Balawas, Kanhai, Silokhra,

Wazirabad and Jharsa) is not an easy task. The major chunk of the patients coming to us belong to the labour class—migrant labourers in particular,” informed Dr. Preeti Sood, MO at the Wazirabad PHC. Wazirabad PHC is certainly an exception, because it has been provided with three MOs, to cater to such a huge population. “On an average, a 100 people come; but on Thursday, we have our immunisation programme— when around 150 people come, to get their children drops of polio etc,” informed Dr. Sood. “In this PHC, about 42-45 deliveries take place each month,” said Suman Saini, the pharmacist at Wazirabad PHC. She also spoke about PHC’s effort to control the population. “We give all type of contraceptives, to both men and women,” she added.

Mortality rates and other statistics

India is one the countries where the infant and maternal mortality rate is extremely high. Haryana too is not one of the good performers in this regard; and here too the mortality rate is significantly high. Gurgaon, despite great progress in the past two decades has really shocking infant and maternal mortality rate statistics. In Gurgaon district 49 (a decade ago it was 51.8) out of 1000 infants bid adieu to

this world, even before having a glimpse of it. Maternal mortality rate is also very astonishing, as 153 out of one lakh mothers die during the course of giving birth to their children. In the year 2010 itself, 371 infants died. In other statistics, 30-60 per cent of the couples in Gurgaon use contraceptives to control child birth. 45-60 per cent of the deliveries take place in medical institutions including PHC; and Ashas contribute immensely in this regard. 65-85 per cent of the children (age 12-23) get the full course of vaccination, in the district.

Asha: an important ally

Gurgaon has 500 Ashas working for the better health of people. Ashas come under the category of link workers, who are paid according to the status of the state. For example Haryana comes under the category of HPS, and here Ashas are paid Rs. 600 and Rs. 200 per delivery, in rural and urban areas respectively. There are several jobs an Asha does- ranging from the assistance in the delivery to the motivation of people for vasectomy and tubectomy. Each Asha earns around Rs. 3,000 on an average in a month (amount varies as per the deliveries and other cases). “In our Wazirabad PHC, we have 36 Ashas working for us. They have been a great help in managing the work here. They bring poor women here for their safe deliveries. They motivate women to go for tubectomy, which helps in controlling population immensely,” said Urmil Rahi, ANM, who recruits these Ashas. u

Food Take

As of October 05, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

HUDA Sector 14

Palam Vihar

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Huda Sector 23


Reliance Fresh

Potato (old/new)




10 / 24

8 /18


















18 – 25









25 – 30





60 – 100

120 – 160

80 – 120

80 – 160

60 –100



60 – 150










Ladies’ finger



















280 – 300

280 – 300


280 – 300






150 – 160

140 – 150

160 – 170







7–13 October 2011

C ivic/Social

Of Peacocks And Mustard Fields In Times Past T

o listen to bookstore and art gallery owner Shobha Sengupta talk about Gurgaon, is to be transported into an era when the booming exurb used to be a sleepy village—far from the capital. “When we booked our home in Sushant Lok in 1992, there were open spaces here, with goats and peacocks wandering about. It was beautiful!” says Shobha, who initially chose to buy property in Gurgaon—because she wanted a large home. “Now, prices have gone up; but at that time, the rates used to be competitive. I wanted space and I was getting a nice large place for the same price as a small flat in Greater Kailash. In retrospect, we got our home practically for free,” she says. Shobha and her husband, senior media professional Vivek Sengupta, sold the Lake Gardens flat they had bought in Kolkata immediately after they got married, and took an additional loan to cobble together the 18 lakhs they needed—to buy their dream home in Gurgaon. “We were middle class, and neither of us had inherited anything,” she says. “In those days Rs 18 lakhs was a lot of money, and we were not used to spending. But I go with my heart, I never think too much about what I want to do; I just go ahead and do it… just like that Nike slogan!” she laughs, when you meet her at Quill & Canvas, her cosy little bookstore at the Galleria Market. Indeed, she was so eager to move to Gurgaon that she forced the builder to hand over the keys, even before the other

homes in her residential colony were completed. “Everyone said I was mad. My husband travels a lot on the job, so people would ask if I wasn’t frightened of living all alone with two small children. I thought attackers actually needed to be frightened of me,” she laughs, revealing that her husband calls her Fearless Nadia. But being the first had its advantages. Since the other homes in the colony were still being built, there were always construction workers and engineers about; who could be called upon to sort out structural problems in her house. Sengupta’s early settler status has also meant that she has built strong relationships with the villagers of the area. The same local woman has been helping her manage her home since she moved in. “In fact, whenever she threatens to leave me, I start crying. Now she says that though I’m a problematic person, she can’t imagine leaving. I tell her that we are destined to grow old together!” Sengupta laughs. Lately, though, the Gurgaon experience has begun to pall

She was so eager to move that she forced the builder to hand over the keys, even before other homes in her residential colony were completed

Money Sharma

{ Manjula Narayan }

EARLY MOVERS: Shobha and her husband enjoy a quiet moment, at their Sushant Lok residence

for her. “When we first came here, peacocks would land on our terrace, and there were mustard fields behind my home. Now, we’ve driven the peacocks away; and sometimes I feel like running away myself,” she says, sadly referring to the unrestrained growth of the area in the first decade of the new millennium. “Gurgaon has become unliveable. It has become very congested; parking is a problem; the road is never perfect; there are no sidewalks; and there’s rubble everywhere. In the early days, streetlights always worked. Now, not a single one does. Lots

Gurgaon Musings { Alka Gurha }


decade ago, we had come to Gurgaon, in search of a dwelling —and were invariably struck by the majestic high rise apartments; so unlike the matchbox DDA flats. The wide roads, sparse population, fresh air and an office next to home was, well…utopia. As I rewind, the ingrained images in my mind flow past. It was early October, and the crispness in the air held the promise of a cold winter. The first stop for our house-hunting spree was Heritage City on the MG Road— nestling in the very lap of nature. While the husband was negotiating with the broker, I waited on a bench, next to the perfectly manicured lawn. It was a lazy Sunday morning, and the silence was interrupted by the trills and cries of dulcet birds. A flock of rare ‘yellow footed green pigeons’ waddled near the sprinkler on the verdant green expanse, pecking and shuffling their iridescent wings. Fresh after the monsoons, the renewed foliage—rejoicing in the morning rays of the sun—had cast a spell. When the husband returned and said, “The deal is not working out”, I was shattered. A year later, in 2002, we revisited the same complex and realised our dream.

Gurgaon those days was a fledgling city—open, serene and green. Two wheelers, autos and rickshaws were a rare sight; and in the absence of mall mania, the MG Road was a breeze. It took three years of maddening urbanisation for Gurgaon to transform from a tranquil township to an urban mess. By the end of 2005, the Metropolitan Mall and the DT City Centre had become hot spots, and it became impossible to enter MG Road on weekends. On one such weekend, a friend, feeling the onset of a heart attack, was unable to drive out of the complex—owing to the traffic mayhem. Thankfully, the pain was a false alarm. A decade later, Gurgaon is enveloped in a dust haze. Today, when I stand next to the DT City Centre, I feel a stab of pity. The Metro Station resembles Ajmeri Gate railway station; replete with hawkers, beggars and vendors. The famous ‘mall mile’ is crumbling like a cookie. Yes, I am obsessed with nostalgia, and obsessive nostalgia is imprisoning; but it breaks my heart to witness a squandered opportunity. Yes, Malls, Metros and Medanta have arrived — but so have mayhem, madness and muck. Unfortunately we can’t rewind the clock, can we? u

of malls might have come up; but I think Gurgaon has deteriorated,” she says, adding that the government seems disinterested in improving things. Like most residents who have watched Gurgaon change dramatically before their eyes, she’s especially shocked at the lack of medical facilities for the working class. “There is a dispensary in Sushant Lok, but it’s not functional. People who work in my shop do not have access to healthcare. The tragedy is that many hospitals have moved here, but everything is a moneymaking racket. The government has a duty to

provide these facilities, because the working class are the ones who keep Gurgaon going,” says Shobha; and adds that her employees often refuse to take days off because living conditions are intolerable in the slums they live in. “In life there must always be an element of beauty. Look at Chandigarh. It’s such a beautiful place! There was so much space here. If only they had planned it better,” Shobha says wistfully. Sadly, this seems to be the refrain of most people who moved to Gurgaon before the great development boom changed it forever. u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Don’t drive too fast Ganni tez mat chalawe

Tez – Like mez (table in Hindi, soft t)

Chalawe - Cha+la+way

2. Clean the bedroom Bedroom saaf kar 3. The bathroom is dirty Bathroom bhunda hai

Bhunda – Bhun (as in bhuna (roasted in Hindi)+da

4. Make food by 1 pm Ek baje tahin roti banna liye

Tahin - Taeen

5. A guest will come at noon Dopharre ek mehman aave ga

Dopharre – Do + fur+ ray

6. Offer him some tea Chaa de de isne


7–13 October 2011

C ivic/Social

Eye Awareness Camps


angaram, 65, labourer and a resident of Bhiwadi, was showing the way out of the hospital to his wife, Atri Devi, 62, who had just undergone cataract surgery. Earlier in the year, he had himself been operated on, for the same condition. “I couldn’t see anything with my left eye. After visiting a camp held by Niramaya Charitable Trust, I was brought to the hospital here; and underwent a surgery without even paying a rupee. I can see perfectly now, and so have brought my wife here. Many other people from our village have benefited from Niramaya ” said Gangaram. In the eye examination room, there were six more patients that had been brought over to the hospital (at 560/1 Dayanand Colony, New Railway Road, Gurgaon) from the village Nuh. They were being examined for cataract. All of them were from an underprivileged background; and blind in one of their eyes. After being examined, they were given eye drops and other medicines—free of cost—in preparation for their surgery. Abdul Wahid, 70, Nuh resident said, “I have come here with my sister, for her surgery. We are so happy with the treatment given to us; it is totally free of cost. We are very thankful to Niramaya for helping us. It is so hard for my sister to do even small chores around the house; or even walk distances, because she can barely see. After the surgery, she will be able to do her work comfortably.” Fifty five per cent of blindness cases are caused due to cataract; which is easily preventable if the surgery is performed on time. People are unaware of the seriousness of the cataract; or in some cases, lack the funds for the surgery. An average cost of a cataract surgery is Rs 15,000 in Delhi, and Rs 10,000 in Gurgaon. Over 100 such surgeries were successfully performed in the last one year, by the Niramaya Charitable Trust—under the project ‘Motiya Bund’—for the underprivileged, free of cost. They are targeting 2,000 such surgeries every year. Sarve Santu Niramaya, a shlok, is a Sanskrit prayer, asking for the good health of all human beings. Niramaya Charitable trust, an NGO, was founded in 2004, by a group of young professionals working in corporates or health institutions. They wanted to take care of something that was lacking in the society, and work for the underprivileged and the rural folk. They chose the field of health, and specifically on the care for the eyes. Dr. T.N Ahooja, Honorary

Let Us Open Our Eyes To Help Them See President, Niramaya Charitable trust said, “We opened the first rural eye care centre in Tauru, Mewat and received a great response. We organised free eye check ups, distributed free medication and spectacles; and those cases that needed surgery, were brought over to the hospital. Due to the good response, we decided to open the second centre at Farrukhnagar, and covered patients from several villages around there. Following this, the third centre was opened in Pataudi. With the continued increase in popularity, many centres were opened, in rural areas around Gurgaon.” MONEY SHARMA

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

I CARE: A Nirmaya doctor examines a patient at the hospital

Today, a team—of a qualified optometrist and a technician— visit a designated rural area on identified days—for about half a day, once a week. On Monday the team goes to Farrukhnagar, Tuesday the camp is held at Jhajjar, Wednesday at Pataudi (from where half of the team also visits Rewari), Thurdays are assigned for Jacobpura, Fridays the visits are at Nuh, Saturdays are for Tauru (half the team goes to Bhiwadi), and Sunday witnesses camps in and around Gurgaon city or wherever it is needed (along with corporates, NGOs and concerned citizens of Gurgaon). Along with the visits, vision centres and charitable dispensaries are also functioning at Tauru, Farrukhnagar, Bhiwadi, Nuh, Pataudi and Jacobpura—in association with the local NGOs of the respective locations. An OPD of 50 to 60 patients

Support the ‘Drishti Mitra’ project by pledging your eyes, and also contributing Rs 10,000 for life (or Rs 1,200 per year). One surgery costs Rs 2,500; by donating Rs 2.5 lakhs, a donor can ensure cataract surgeries for 100 poor patients. Eye Donation Helplines 0124-2321234, 2254848, 09871695172

is held every week in each centre; four or five patients on an average are found to have cataract; others have conjunctivitis, corneal ulcer, sties and Vitamin A deficiencies. The launch of Niramaya’s project—‘Mobile Eye Care Unit’—for these visits to camps and centres, is an innovative and an effective low cost eye care solution for the rural eye care requirements. After screening, patients requiring intensive support are brought to Niramaya’s base, where a qualified ophthalmologist attends to them. Those patients that require surgeries are provided with further assistance free of cost. This project covers rural areas within a 60 km radius of Gurgaon, also spreading awareness about eye care, eye donations and free camps. Each centre costs Rs 10,000 per month. Along with awareness, this mobile unit also responds to eye donation requests. Recently, the State Bank of India, an associate of the trust, has donated a van for the cause. Two million people in India suffer from corneal blindness. This number swells by 25,000 every year. 25,000 is also, incidentally, the number of corneal donations received every year. This is a drop in the proverbial ocean and does nothing to decrease the numbers of existing cases. Haryana only contributes one per cent. It has become increasingly necessary for us, as responsible citizens, to be sensitive towards the suffering of other people— and spread awareness to donate eyes after death. One person’s eye donation can help two

corneal transplants. Last year, Niramaya Charitable trust conducted a ‘Walk for Vision’, where 25 schools participated—along with former minister, Sukhbir Kataria. The children were blindfolded, and walked three kilometres along with escorts, to understand blindness; and spread awareness. This awareness walk evoked a great response from the students, as well as their parents. Similarly, on September 3, 2011, the ‘Gurgaon Carnival’, organised by Niramaya along with many corporates, witnessed a huge participation among Gurgaonites. The actor, Shekhar Suman, was part of this programme, to create awareness for eye donations— and encourage people to participate in the cause. The project ‘Niramaya Eye Bank’ aims at eradication of corneal blindness, and spreading awareness of the problem. The Y.P Mahindru Niramaya Eye Bank, a unit of the Niramaya Trust, launched the ‘Netra Daan Chetna Abhiyaan’ on January 16, 2005; and have till date successfully received 644 eye donations. Along with this, the eye bank has launched a helpline (0124-2254848; 1919 toll free for BSNL users) that answers your queries on eye donation as well as responds immediately to requests. The drive is targeting about 1000 donations per year, by the year 2012. “A large number of people requiring corneal transplant are children and poor people. We have carried out 247 transplants so far, from donated corneas; and are targeting around 1,000 for next year. After celebrating Senior Citizens Day, at an eye check up camp held at Manesar, distributing free spectacles and medicines, Niramaya is conducting several such camps in the coming months. You can volunteer, and be a part of this cause on October 9, 2011, at Kutiya Swami Ganga Giriji Maharaj, Basai Road on October 15, 2011 at Lakshman Vihar, Khatu Shaam Seva Samiti; and on November 5, 2011, at Lions Club. Dr. Hitendra Ahooja, Medical Director, Niramaya Charitable Trust concludes, “It is very important for us to create awareness for donating eyes; and we would appreciate the help of citizen volunteers and corporates in funding and spreading awareness for this cause. Corporates can adopt some school and organise screening camps; because the earlier you detect the problems, the better they can be treated. The trust can also provide free spectacles, contacts and medication.” u

7–13 October 2011

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

is opened, it is better to refrigerate or freeze them.

Seasons Change… So Should We! T

he festival season is here. As we celebrate the legendary triumph of good over evil—and take the opportunity to wish each other the best in life—we can not but help notice the excitement in the air. The scorching highs of summer are fading …the early mornings and evenings already carry a whiff of winter. A great cue to refresh the dietary choices we make. A seasonal approach, to add that all-important variety in our foods, has the advantage of our bodies receiving the nutrients we need at a particular time. As in plants and animals, so too in our bodies, subtle change takes place as the seasons change. Consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables at their flavour and nutritional peaks, is an experience most of us find difficult to forget. The alternate experience of consuming nonseasonal foods—which insult just about every sensibility we have—is equally vivid. They offer chemical-laden, artificially ripened, rapidly putrefying food-choices—which when ingested, act more as a toxin than health-enhancing nourishment. In the larger perspective, by

preferring seasonal food, we are also contributing to preserving our environment.

Tip of the Week

When deciding on gift baskets for Diwali, consider replacing the sugar and sweet-laced hydrogenated fats, with

seasonal fruits— judiciously combined with nuts and seeds. It is time we stop contributing to the ever-increasing menace of obesity that lies at the root of most chronic diseases—like high blood pressure, diabetes and poor cardiovascular (heart) health. Even more importantly, by this act, we will show our loved ones that we really care. It is important to store nuts and seeds in dry, air-tight containers (ideally in glass, and

away from light). This can protect the healthy fats from going rancid. Unshelled nuts , as also seeds with hulls intact, can be stored for a few months—in a cool, dry location. But once they’re shelled or the container

What’s on Your Child’s Plate? Basic guidelines for nutrient requirement in a balanced diet for children of different age groups { Dr. Arpan Gandhi } Calorie requirement

Children under 5 years of age, should not be given skimmed milk (in order to restrict fat and cholesterol), as they need the extra calories; but grilled and baked foods are always preferable to fried and fatty ones. Whole grains or enriched cereals increase the calories. Concentrated sweets and foods that are very high in fat should be avoided.

Protein requirement

Protein plays a very important role in the diet of a preschool

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week

Nuts and seeds can effectively serve as winter snacks, as the body needs to maintain some fat, to withstand cold temperatures. In addition to being excellent sources of protein and essential fatty acids, nuts and seeds have many other benefits—such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other chemicals that may prevent cancer and heart disease. Winter time can increase the appetite. Eating a handful of nutrient-rich Durgadatt Pandey

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


child, because there is considerable increase in muscular development during these years. The calorie requirements are increased due to the high cellular activity in children above 5 years of age. The requirements for essential amino acids are higher for children than for adults. So protein should be selected from complete protein foods such as milk, egg and meat.

Vitamin and mineral requirement

Vitamins and minerals must be supplemented adequately. Calcium and iron requirements are relatively greater during early childhood. Deficiency of calcium can affect the bones of growing children. Foods rich in calcium such as milk and milk products, ragi, green leafy vegetables and fish should be included in the diet.

Tips to develop healthy food habits in your child’s diet

 Provide your child with regular five meals a day.  Do not feed a child forcibly, as this makes the child obstinate.  Add colour to their food, by introducing raw fruits and vegetables.  Discourage nibbling habits in between meals.  Allow the child to play more outdoor games, to increase his/her appetite. u

nuts can, in fact, help to curb the appetite; and at the same time, serve as healthy snacks. For those of us worried about


weight gain, it is heartening to note that nuts and seeds by themselves are not the issue;it is the overall calories that need to be controlled. Interestingly, a large scale study in Spain found that participants who ate nuts at least twice per week were 31 per cent less likely to gain weight, than those who never ate nuts. More good news is that most of the fats in nuts and seeds are good fats. Essential fatty acids ( like omega 3 and omega 6), nourish the skin and hair, and support proper thyroid and adrenal function—bolstering immunity. They are extremely important in the transport and breakdown of cholesterol. Recent studies have found that eating nuts five times a week (about 50 gm or a handful), lowered participants’ blood cholesterol levels by 12 per cent. Seeds and some nuts contain significant amounts of vitamin E and folic acid. The former is an important antioxidant. And folic acid helps prevent the build-up of excessive homocysteine—an amino acid that has been linked to complications related to heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis. Nuts are also high in minerals such as copper, iron, and zinc and they help bones to remain strong, by providing magnesium, manganese, and boron. Similarly, seeds are rich in iron and zinc. Iron helps the blood to deliver oxygen to the cells in our body; while zinc helps boost the immune system. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

Ageing Positively { Alka Gurha }


hen he wrote his oft-quoted paean to ageing—“For age is an opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by the day,”—Henry Wadsworth paid a beautiful tribute to the maturity of twilight years. Gurgaon has a large number of senior citizens who are contributing to the issues plaguing governance— more than their younger, unconcerned counterparts—in fact, the elderly are more passionate and vocal about the civic apathy in Gurgaon. In a society pre-occupied with staying young, the process of ageing is presented as a battle to be won! But the fact is that we cannot turn back the clock, and we only get one life. The more accepting we are about ageing; the more we can look upon it as an adventure, rather than a defeat. Growing old is an accomplishment in itself. One need not respond to society’s antiquated warning—that once you cross sixty, you go downhill. One of my elderly aunts exhibits amazing grace, courage and acceptance. She laughs, “In a hostage situation, I am likely to be released first; kidnappers will not be interested in me, and my joint aches are more predictable than most meteorologists.” An infectious sense of humour keeps her young at heart,

and her birthdays are an occasion for a grand family get-together. When on her sixty-ninth birthday, someone asked, “So how many candles on the cake, aunty?” “I am a sexy sexagenarian and a genuine antique person—been there, done that, but can’t remember,” she joked. Her husband, however, has an entirely negative outlook towards ageing. He has become bitter and paranoid in anticipation of the health problems that he might face in his twilight years. His sense of humour also borders on the negative. He quotes Claude. D Pepper, “A stock broker once urged me to buy a stock that will triple every year. I told him, at my age I don’t even buy green bananas.” The truth is, that he needs a fresh approach towards ageing—a meaningful goal, and purposeful activities. The trick is to never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop’, and the devil’s name is Alzheimers. Khushwant Singh, in his nineties, writes with the fervour of a twenty-year old; and Dev Anand, in his eighties, enjoys crafting movies with unbridled passion. Not to forget Dr. Manmohan Singh, 79; and L.K. Advani, 83; one is running the nation, and the other aspires to. Yes, every age is important, and beautiful. It’s not about adding years to life; it’s about adding life to your years. u


7–13 October 2011


Patient India

omething, and someone, has to give. And in India it definitely has not been the politicians and government (though Anna may have something further to say, and do, on that). That body has infinite patience; developed expertly over years – of doing little, giving even less. Promising a lot—at election intervals—and then absconding. It is because the Indian public, jo sab jaanti hai, is still willing to wait—almost indefinitely—for deliverance. Patience is virtue—we have lived that for centuries. Intezaar ka phal meetha hota hai... Hamaara time aayega.


Unfortunately, young India (and young Bharat) is no longer so patient. They have seen, with their own eyes; and through the internet. Today they have looked for an Anna to lead them; tomorrow they will not wait. They will lead. We have our own frustrations. Gurgaon (the new, young Gurgaon) is not patient— but a patient on steroids. We walk with our head in the air; or we fly. Anything to avoid looking at, or being on, the road. Unfortunately, the stink (and the bump)—will not go away. Despite all the perfumes of Arabia; or the shockers of Japan. The private builders built the modern city. At first, no major problem—in fact bliss—just a sign of water shortage, in a few parts. And crime—mainly from some tribal folk. Then power cuts started. And the malls came up. And NH8. Suddenly, there was heightened security. Everyone started drilling for water. Standby power was essential. And parking became a problem. Too many people came in—from all across India. Both executives and workers. And farmers became rich; and locals turned agents. And the ground water dried up; tankers were called in. 24 hour power back up became a necessity. And petty crime hit us. In time, the roads cracked.

Press Forward Gurgaon has a lot going for it. And we tend to take it all for granted. That could be the biggest mistake. Nothing is stationary. Nothing is just local. We have benefitted from history, and geography. And from some private enterprise. But we have serious challenges facing us. We need to look beyond our nose. The Administration needs to realize what they would miss, if Gurgaon became a bad dream. Excise and employment; real estate and retail – yes, they can all fall down. Once they do, it will be too late.

Water, Electricity, Roads/ traffic/parking, Public Transport, Sewage, Sanitation – all are crying for help. Many of them are not even India standard. Water may be the proverbial last drop for a Third World War; it could be Gurgaon’s shame and relegation, to a Third World city. A poor report card for a city that prides itself on being a global aspirant. If we do not act now, on some very basic issues, we must be prepared for a hard landing – in the not too distant future. We all need to care. Friday Gurgaon requests all residents and citizens to join us; to press forward. u


Sewage pipes were finally laid; the cracked roads were parted—and left cracked. And in the monsoons, the water above and the sewage below were one. But in our islands we flourished. And if something troubled us, we found, and paid for, a solution. We outsourced our worries; and had our wants home delivered. Nothing but the best for us. Now it gets more complex, and more expensive. What needs fixing is roads, traffic, parking, public transport, sidewalks, sewage… And it gets trickier—the villain of the piece is not just government agencies, but even private builders. The private sector is also not delivering— O tempora o mores ! We solved water and electricity through private enterprise; how do we tackle these? Industry and builders may try and work out a mutually beneficial PPP (Public Private Partnership) solution. The Rapid Metro and the Golf Course road projects, between DLF and the civic agencies, are a prime example. But what about the rest? Who plays saviour for the more mundane roads, and parking, traffic, sidewalks, sewage? Other builders and corporates? Don’t see any on the horizon. The Mayor and Councillors? Yes, there is some light here. Being local elected representatives, they are beginning to feel the heat. There are also many well meaning citizens and groups; tilting away at the government agencies and private builders. Some have scored a minor hit; some wait for a knock out punch, with the help of the courts. Finally, what about the general public—do we work on hundreds of Public Public Partnerships with the government agencies? Do we come out on the streets ? Do we await an Anna moment ? The government does not see or hear any election issue. Maybe they believe (and history is on their side) that when we hurt enough, we will find a solution—a private one. At our cost. For effect, there is some improvement in listening; some movement. Do they continue to wait on our patience; or do they start actually delivering? Meanwhile, we also sit on a water ticker; maybe even a real estate ticker. Something, and someone, has to give. u

Be Responsible Police Commissioner Deswal


naugurating the Road Safety Knowledge Centre, in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki, he said, “Bad drivers are like mobile bombs; they will not only kill themselves, but also their family and other road users. Most of the drunken driving cases are of educated people. This shows that education and responsibility do not necessarily go hand in hand. India has just 1% of the total cars of the world, but we account for as much as 10% of world’s road accidents; and that is terrible. We can still investigate murder and such cases, but citizens have to be responsible for their own driving.” The Commissioner of Police listed five main causes of traffic rules infringement, that will be focused on—and that must be avoided. Drunken driving, under age driving, two wheeler riders not wearing helmets, over speeding, and ill-equipped or under-trained drivers. He stated that “only a few lakh people in India are well trained, and fully equipped drivers.” u



have been reading Friday for last two weeks. Must say.. commendable job. I like the way you give listings of events happening in Gurgaon. It is hard to find out Gurgaon specific happenings on internet. Would appreciate if you can focus more on art activities taking place in Gurgaon. Good luck Rubal Singh


riday Gurgaon is a very interesting New Weekly News Paper with very impressive look, Vast coverage of Gurgaon, very good paper material & graphics. Must read it. Best of luck... I find its price Rs. 7 on little higher side it must be upto Rs. 5 only. Sanjay Mehta

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7–13 October 2011

Kid Corner


Is Your Child Too Busy? Love you Me a3 at Scottish

Dandiya, Drums and Dhoom

Blue Bells Mode l Senior Secondary Scho ol organised Dandiya night—Da ndiya Dhoom, for paren ts of the students. The so othing music, an people clad in tra d ditional Gujarati dance floor. The ou tfit burned the program started with Saraswati Va then a special tea ndana, and m of choreograp hers from the sc few moves to the hool taught parents.

Classical ConvocationR

ical musiRenowned class r, Partha ye cians—Sitar pla yer, Shiv pla bla Ta d Bose, an erized the sm Shankar Ray, me lley InterVa tus Lo of students students e Th ical national School. tion to Indian class uc rod int an en to play any kind were giv ed us be uld w the Sitar co and from nursery s music, and told ho ng classical to folk so rn ste we m fro of music Ragas. rhymes to serious

Tribute to the F ather of the Nation

Ryan Internation al School, Sector 40, celeb rated the 142nd birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. The spec ial assembly was dedicated to Bapu (as he is fondly calle Gandhiji’s favourite d). Students sang Bhajan Raghupati Raghav Raja Ra paid tribute to the m, and great soul. A quiz on Gandhiji’s life conducted. Stud was also ents composed po ems to pay tribute as a source of ins to Gandhiji, piration and a rol e model for all.

{ Manisha Khanna }


t is a scene that can be seen in any family in the morning. Monday to Friday, at 6 ‘o’ clock, Moms shout to wake up their children, “Get up baby! You are getting late for school”. Children hurriedly get ready, and without any time to have breakfast, they rush to schools. After spending a long day in school, the children reach home, quickly have lunch, and rush to the tuition classes. As parents are keen that their children be all-rounders, they enroll them for various after-school activities—ranging from skating classes to horse riding, martial art classes, and swimming classes. Children are so overburdened with after-school activities that they reach home late, and then struggle to get their homework done. As a consequence, children get to bed late which further makes them prone to mental and physical disease. Children hardly spend time at home; and therefore they are missing out on quality time with their families. Enrolling in a number of after-school activities kills leisure time, and hampers the development of imaginative and inquiring minds. In the name of extracurricular activities, parents are overburdening their wards. It’s good to keep your children involved in such activities, but it is also important to get the balance right. Try to identify if the children are really enjoying the activity or hobby class. Instead of involving your children in endless activities, play puzzle games with them, or read out stories to them. It will help children learn new things, and will strengthen the family bond.


Students of Grad School went High International ce to post offi st po y arb to a ne ts. They ren letters to their pa s in ter let the n itte had wr trate their school to demons ts. The love for their paren ge e was to encoura mm aim of the progra . gs lin fee ir n the the children to pe

If you think keeping your children occupied with after-school activities will make them more productive, here is why you should think again.

Enrolling your children in so many after-school activities is not a solution. Involve them only in a few activities of their interest. Children learn best through experience; so try to

spend more time with them. And remember, nothing can substitute your love and time. u HOD (Mathematics), Amity International School, Sector 45

5 ways to spend quality time with your child Read: Start with a storybook, and read out one chapter a day. Play: Play with your child. Build forts, join the blocks, make a jewellery box... Craft: Keep it simple. Make masks out of paper plates, and then let your child play with them. Plan an outing: Go on picnics over weekends. Take a snack, and music player, and head to any park. Make them laugh: Just be silly. Apply a clown make-up or wear funny clothes. Your child will have a great time laughing with you.

Artistic Strokes Literary Flourish

Birthday Invite Come for my birthday It is going to be soon Don’t miss it Otherwise you will miss the fun Come all of you Come and let’s have fun We will eat lot of food Especially bun My birthday is on the 26th We’ll play in the sun So don’t miss it Otherwise you will miss the fun

Title: Autumn Aveesha Gandhi, Class III A, The Shri Ram School – Aravali — Urja Joshi, Grade III B, Excelsior American School

Hey kids, do you have a painting or a poem/short story that you want to see published on this page? Send in your contributions to

Kids Brainticklers


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Sudoku Kids

16 7–13 October 2011

K id Corner


STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation

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7–13 October 2011

K id Corner

The Buddha often used stories to explain his teachings. In the Jataka Tales, the Buddha described adventures in his former lives, when he took the form of an animal. Amar Chitra Katha tells you some of these stories that were written very long ago.





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7–13 October 2011


Building Leadership Sudhir Dhingra Chairman and Managing Director of apparel maker Orient Craft has built an enviable apparel exports empire PRAkhar Pandey

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


tarting with four employees in 1972, Sudir Dhingra today employs 26,000 people; and his company Orient Craft, runs 24 factories in the National Capital Region. The secret of this success, he says, is remaining detached from business, and watching it as an observer. “I am fortunate that God has gifted me the ability to separate myself from what I am doing today. This has enabled me to stay ahead of the trade, and also anticipate the changes in the global market”, says Dhingra. He realised the importance of being detached during the crash of 1975-76; and the learning has remained with him. From 1972 to 1975, Dhingra says, garment exports brought him plenty of money, and the flow was steady. “All of a sudden, the global market crashed. No one was willing to buy garments that were selling like hot cakes the day before”, he says. It was a difficult period, and tested him as an entrepreneur. “We realised we had missed the train”, he adds. To tackle the situation, Dhingra travelled across the United States and Europe, and sold whatever was possible. There were losses; and it took him around an year to clear the mess. “I went to customers, interacted with them; and that is when I realised where we had made the mistakes”, he says. To ensure that his company does not miss the train in future, he decided to invest in technology and people. “I visited the Far East, and went to see the factories of our competitors. I also realised the importance of scaling up”, he says. He decided to set up a world class manufacturing facility. This unit was inaugurated in 1994, and it came up in Sector 18 of Gurgaon’s Udyog Vihar. It was for the first time that 1800 people were hired at a go in a garment factory—a decision that many in the industry said would prove to be suicidal. Dhingra’s decision, however, was heartily appreciated. “The buyers loved the facilities and the infrastructure, and we had to look for further expansion”, he

says with a smile on his face; adding that walking away from the beaten track has always given him results. Having been through the troughs of the 1975-76 crash, and the recent recession of 2008-2009, Dhingra says the learning has made him a more productive and efficient manufacturer. “My brief to the team was clear—that Orient Craft must become more cost efficient and productive. ‘Cut the frills and ensure that our share in the market remains stable’, was the goal”, he asserts. His focus on productivity and efficiency proved crucial, as Orient Craft emerged stronger during the recession. The company grew by 17 per cent during this period; and Dhingra also set up another factory, that was certified green to meet the expanding demand. “Last month, that unit was inaugurated, and it is the first green certified manufacturing unit in India”, he claims with pride.

If the government is willing to share the cost of training uneducated people, then we are ready to absorb them in our factories; as there is great demand for labour in this sector The USP of Orient Craft, he says, is a keen control on quality and production of complicated garments, that command a premium in market. While the industry average in India for an exported garment is under four dollars, Orient Craft commands eight and a half dollars per garment, due to the quality of their work. When Orient Craft gets a new buyer, the goal is to be among the top five suppliers in three years; nothing less than that. “If we are not able to achieve this target, it means we are doing something wrong”, says Dhingra. The Indian garment industry has a minuscule share of 12 billion US dollars,

in a business that has a global turnover of around 500 billion US dollars. When asked the reason for this, Dhingra puts the onus on the government; asserting that the government of India has failed to support garment manufacturers. “If the Commerce Ministry is on our side, then the Textile Ministry opposes us and when both are on our side, then the Finance Ministry finds some reasons to put the Indian garment exporters in doldrums”, claims Dhingra, unhappy with the manner in which the State handles the business. There are traffic bottlenecks; excessive documentation; shipping takes a long time. He once had to hire an agent, to export his first lot of a thousand shirts to his friend in London, as he knew nothing about this business. Dhingra, however, is not against working with the establishment. “I think the garment industry has the potential to change the future of this nation, if the government understands the merit of working jointly”, he asserts. He has proposed a collaboration with the government, wherein the people getting work under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), would be trained and made employable by the garment industry. “If the government is willing to share the cost of training uneducated people, then we are ready to absorb them in our factories; as there is great demand for labour in this sector”, says Dhingra, who envisions a day when India would have a major share in the global garment industry. “The garment sector is labour intensive, and can do with uneducated workers; the need of the hour is for the government to understand this and collaborate with the private industry”, he says. This model was successfully being followed by Bangladesh, and would enable Indian firms to become cost competitive. “Cheaper labour means we become more cost efficient, and this will also enable a person to earn his livelihood for a longer time rather than offering work for 100 days, and then leaving him in the lurch to fetch for the remaining 265 days”, he says. Dhingra’s words carry weight, as

indeed Bangladesh has left the Indian garment exports far behind with exports of 19 billion last year, and 30 per cent growth being predicted year on year. Almost 19 per cent of the people are working in the garment sector there, adds Dhingra. He predicts tough times ahead for domestic garment manufacturers, due to this competition from Bangladesh. Terming the decision to allow duty free import of 46 garment items from Bangladesh detrimental, Dhingra says companies that manufacture for the domestic market will be seriously affected by these cheaper Bangladeshi garments. While talking to us, the phone rings once again someone from abroad— perhaps a buyer or a business associate— is calling him and wants to set up a meeting. Dhingra tells him with a confident note that the Orient Craft factory in Gurgaon is just 20 minutes from the New Delhi international airport. He also rattles off the names of 5-star hotels in the Millennium City, that can be booked for the stay; adding that everything is within 10-minutes of his factory and head office at Hero Honda Chowk. Indeed the shift to Gurgaon has been providential. Dhingra admits this, and says that shifting to Gurgaon has been a positive move, as the city has expanded and is aspiring to be a world class city. The locational advantage, nearness to airport and availability of talent is what he likes in Gurgaon; but mentions that there is need to develop the infrastructure at a fast pace. “Mistakes happened in the past, and the Hooda government is now doing its best to improve things. The power situation has improved, and hopefully the administration will learn from past mistakes, and do things in a more planned way”, he says wistfully. To the budding entrepreneurs, his message is simple: Do not let today’s problems becomes hurdles to your future. Keep your sights on long-term goals, and believe they will happen. Serious thoughts from someone who says he did not know what to do when he was young, and became a business leader by chance. u


7–13 October 2011

R eal Estate

Gurgaon Builders Aim To Touch The Sky { Abhishek Behl / FG }


ith the easing of the height restrictions on buildings, real estate companies in Gurgaon are dreaming skyscrapers. A slew of hyper high-rise projects—comprising 50 to 60-storied buildings have been announced in the last one year. Sky-rocketing land prices in Gurgaon are a major reason for going vertical, say observers; but many opine that builders in Gurgaon want to create iconic buildings that act as differentiators. The upper end residential space in these towers is meant for high net-worth individuals; who do not mind paying a premium to live ‘up above the world so high’, and far away from the madding crowd. Opinion is, however, divided on whether high-rise towers should be built in a city that has shoddy infrastructure, lacks reliable power, and falls in a high risk earthquake zone (Seismic Zone IV).

Abhimanyu Bhatia, a Gurgaonbased architect, says that building highrise towers is the only solution for creating more housing—as availability of land in the city is saturated. “For any city striving to be a metropolis, skyscrapers add value to the place. These buildings add to the landscape, save open space, and provide an opportunity to add greenery and civic amenities in an urban expanse,” he says. Experts, however, caution that builders of tall residential towers should keep in mind that the region is a high risk earthquake zone. This warning must be taken seriously. It is important that these towers are constructed as per international specifications, to ensure the security and safety of people living there. “The builders must certify that the towers are earthquake proof, and not earthquake resistant—a practice prevalent right now”, says Bhatia; adding that mostly minimal norms are followed.

Victory Valley To Withstand Earthquakes: Ireo Private equity firm IREO, that has announced an 180-metre high Ireo-Victory Valley, says that the building is equipped to withstand earthquakes and lateral forces that act on high rise towers. Ireo Victory Valley project in Gurgaon features three high-rise residential towers, that are likely to be amongst the tallest residential towers in North India; together with adjacent mid-rise options. The tallest of these high rise towers would be 51 floors high. This building, it claims, would be an architectural landmark for the entire region. The buildings at the Ireo Victory Valley are positioned in a necklace like layout, with a mix of midrise and high-rise towers. The double glazed glass, VRV air conditioning, inward themed landscaped valley, along with generous size balconies, make the buildings efficient and beautiful. To withstand the lateral pressure, Ireo said a special piled raft foundation is been used for the super structure. This serves two functions: Firstly, the piles assist the hard soil strata upon which the raft is resting, to support and spread the building loads uniformly over the entire raft. Secondly, the piles are reinforced, and designed to resist the lateral loads transmitted to the foundation, when the tower is subjected to seismic loads—in the event of an earthquake. Along with this, shear walls are

also used over RCC columns, to withstand the lateral pressure; and the shear walls placement and design is been done on the basis of numerous structural tests, with respect to earthquake and wind forces. Ireo Victory Valley has been designed for Seismic Zone 4, which means the structural frames of building will not collapse when hit by an earthquake having intensity of 6.0 on the Richter Scale, having an epicenter of a 100 km and more from Gurgaon. To make the frame structure safe, it has been made ductile as per the provisions of IS: 13920, so that it can undergo the deflections, without compromising the structural safety of the building. It also means that staircases will not get damaged due to an earthquake of this intensity, so that people can escape safely, says the company. Ireo says it is also using advanced technology to design and build the structure, thus limiting the vibration/time period/ lateral deflection of the building, within human comfort limits. The building is supported on pile foundation, and is being constructed with Aluminum Formwork technology—thus giving high quality of surface finish, in comparison to conventional systems, the company asserts.

A number of factors have to be considered while building a high-rise—the soil structure, the windload, and the lateral pressure, says Harsh, an engineer. The building design and structural aspects are crucial elements in such buildings, he says; adding that there should be adequate safeguards for emergencies like earthquakes. High-rise buildings that go beyond 30 floors are not required in Gurgaon, as there is adequate availability of land, feels architect Deepak Dabas, who is not in favour of such towers. “This area falls in seismic zone IV, so there is no need to build mega-towers. Also there is no shortage of land here, and builders can continue with average-sized apartments and plotted development”, he adds. Shoddy construction practices and human error are two issues that must be considered before the government allows such high-rises, he cautions. “The construction industry has improved, but still needs to go a long way before such towers can be built, particularly in North India”, Dabas adds; mentioning that workforce quality and on-site implementation is not top class. Critics also opine that the high-rise towers in Gurgaon, would not incorporate higher density of residents—because there is no change in FSI and FAR norms. While builders can go higher and save on land, and they can add more greenery, and civic facilities that were constrained earlier, but norms for construction of living space remain unchanged, say experts. Dr. Kunal Banerjee, President, M3M Builders, that has also announced a mega-tower on Golf Course Extension Road, assures that the best technology and construction techniques are being employed to design and build these structures. Due to the slowdown in Dubai, Banerjee says, a large number of Indians, who have experience in building high-rise towers, have returned and are helping companies here. However, in this pursuit to touch the sky, the builders must ensure that they remain firmly rooted to the ground. u

No Festive Cheer For Gurgaon Realty T

he property market in Gurgaon, which witnesses buoyancy with the onset of the festival season every year, has failed to gain momentum. There is a lack of cheer in the market. Poor buyer interest, fewer launches by builders, protests by farmers against land acquisition, and a high interest rate, appear to have dented the confidence in the Millennium City this year. Real estate companies have also been hit by tighter funding norms, delay in new launches and delayed completion of existing projects; in addition to huge debt burdens. Has this impacted prices? Real estate consultants and property dealers aver that despite the slowdown in the market, correction in prices is unlikely—as supply is less than demand, particularly in mid-range housing. However, Amit Aggarwal, Director of Ravi Reality Inc., says that property prices have gone beyond the reach of the average buyer in Gurgaon, who has a budget of Rs 40 to 45 lakh. The high interest rates on offer by banks, combined with fewer new project launches, and fears of a slowdown in the US, have put pressure, says Aggarwal. Gurgaon and NCR are today the key real estate markets in the country, and account for 30 to 40 per cent of the sales volume of the top seven cities. The combined effect of all these factors has been that the property market

has remained flat in the past few months. “It was expected that property sales would rise with the advent of the festive season; but our hopes have been belied”, says Amarjeet Singh, assistant general manager, sales and marketing of Hitech Township and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. Singh blames higher land acquisition cost, higher cost of inputs, and poor supply, for the rising property prices in the past couple of years. “Property prices have risen by 30 to 40 per cent, and gone beyond the pale for the common man. If someone comes with a budget of Rs. 30 to 40 lakhs, I tell him to search in Manesar and Bhiwadi instead of Gurgaon”, he adds; and also says that a major correction is in the offing in the next six months. “The property bubble will burst”, he quips. Bimal Gupta of ABC Buildcon opines that business is usual in the city. Most of the buyers here are young people, and they do not postpone buying decisions, he adds. Gurgaon based property analyst Vikas Rikhye however, opines that that there is oversupply of high end housing in the city, whereas the real demand is in the affordable housing segment. “People here have lost appetite for new projects; as only 5 per cent of buyers are end users. The prices of apartments are likely to come down soon, whereas the rate of plots will appreciate”, he predicts. Those in the know of things also aver that while Gurgaon is witnessing slow property offtake, the market is better in

areas like Manesar and Bhiwadi. Mohd Irfan, Marketing Manager at Avalon Group, says that Bhiwadi is witnessing key interest from buyers; despite the general perception of slowdown. “The prices have doubled, bookings are good, and most of the buyers are end users here”, he adds. In Noida—the closest competitor Gurgaon has in the NCR—too, the conditions are better off, says Tarun Rangnani, Manager Sales, Paragon Realtors; adding that Noida offers better options to those looking for affordable homes. Despite the protests by farmers, people are still buying there.

Realty Rates HUDA Sector 38

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

A recent property camp organised by Investors Clinic in Noida on October 2 met with a resounding response, says Pranav Sharma, Director, Marketing, Investors Clinic. “We booked 300 flats in two days; a great response”, he adds. The situation in Gurgaon, however, is quite different. Most of the buyers here are investors; the number of end users is less. The former are scared by the fear of slowdown in the US, an unwieldy government at the centre, and inability of the builders to deliver projects on time. Until some of these factors change, the market is likely to remain dull; but property prices won’t come down, caution realty experts—failing to explain the paradox. u

(in Rs. as of October 5, 2011)

100 sq yd 70,000/ sq yd

160 sq yd 70,000 sq yd

200 sq yd 250 sq yd 65 – 70,000/sq yd 60 – 65,000/sq yd

350 sq yd 60,000/sq yd

500 sq yd 50 – 55 sq yd

South City South City II 80 – 1.25 lakh/sq yd 65 – 80,000 sq yd

Central Park 5000 – 6000/sq ft

Sector 39 Sector 45 50 – 70, 000 per sq 50 – 75, 000/ yard (Depending upon sq yd size and location)

Sector 47 Sector 51 50 – 80, 000/ sq yd 50 – 75,000/sq yd

Sector 46 50 – 80, 000/ sq yd

Sector 52 Sector 57 50 – 80,000/sq yd 50 – 80, 000/sq yd

7–13 October 2011

P astime


Convenience A Call Away Now dhobi, ayah, mandi and books – everything is just a call away { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

nominal charges and regular addition of new books—even those suggested by my children.”


iving in Gurgaon amidst tight schedules, traffic jams, and a thriving social life, more people are outsourcing most basic household chores. From laundry services, to childcare, to aged care; everything is merely a phone call away. We look into some of these services the city has to offer.

The new better halves

Private wash

“The simplest things are often the truest,” wrote Richard Bach, in Jonathan Livingston Seagull. And it is this simplicity that struck Saurabh Poddar, an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai; who decided to give up his plush corporate job and the comforts of a family business, to start one of the simplest ideas in town: idhobhi. “I moved back to Delhi, after living in Europe for three years. Working for a corporate consumed most of my time. And on weekends, I hated accumulated laundry,” says Poddar who has started idobhi for people who don’t like doing laundry. For working couples wishing to spare weekends for quality time, laundry at your doorstep is a welcome change. Shiv Jagetia, a software professional, uses idhobhi almost four times a month. “Both my wife and I are working. With just a weekend left for time together, we don’t like wasting it on chores like laundry. And for Rs 30 per kg, the service is worth it.” It is for professionals such as these that Poddar came up with the concept of idhobhi.

Rent a book

Shyam Patnaik is a book buff. “When I moved to Gur-

gaon, I realised that there were just a few options available to people for renting books. It is not practical to drive to a mall each time you need a book. It is also tiresome and extremely time consuming,” said Patnaik. This motivated him to start Library @ home, for book lovers wishing to rent books. Patnaik beams with pride when asked about his clients. “Apart from adults, our clientèle mostly consists of children. It is true that children today prefer television and video games to books; but after we started, we realised that if given a choice between reading and television, children would still like to read,” he says. The most popular author (perpetually off the shelves), and a big hit with children is Rick Riordan – so much so that children keep a track of his forthcoming books, and

Similar to Patnaik are Shakti Singh’s effort to save time and face for those who dislike haggling prices with vegetable vendors, day after day. Conceptualising as a virtual online ‘mandi’, Singh, a BSc graduate from Kurushektra University, started an online vegetable shopping portal called Mandi Fresh—that delivers vegetables at your doorstep. “It is a transparent system. Customers know the source of their food. The whole idea is to create a winwin proposition, with the help of customers and farmers. The clear value addition is doorstep delivery. In this endeavour, we are trying to resolve current supply chain issues, and come up with a business model where all the three parties can benefit,” said Singh. Taking personal experiences, and knowledge gathered over time, Singh’s initiative targets working people – those with little time left to shop. Established a year ago, Mandifresh delivers fruits and vegetables right to your door. They also offer other services like providing opportunities for urban people to participate in village level education, medical camp, creation camp—and also participate in village tourism.

Get in Touch  Library@home info

available at  For Mandi fresh rates and minimum delivery visit:  Domesteq Service Solutions Pvt Ltd info available at Raghu Ramaih, Mob: 9310002431  Idhobhi: Saurabh Poddar: Mob: 9313927239  St Stephens Nurses Bureau: Shaji John Mob: 9810094234

book in advance. So how does it work? Like any other book club, one needs to register and choose from different packages. There are packages available for children, adults and corporates. For Rs 150 per month, one has access to bestsellers, autobiographies, fiction, history, current affairs, reference books, and travel—to name a few. An ecstatic customer, Dr Rupinder Kaur, a resident of DLF Phase V said, “My association with Library@home is many months old, and started on a trial basis; but I can safely say that it has already become an association for a lifetime. My two children, aged 14 and 11 years, have become voracious readers. I no longer need to buy books for them – thanks to Library@ home. I am especially impressed with the easy online ordering, the prompt delivery of books,

Mandi Fresh: Veggies at your doorstep


If buying vegetables is seen as a cumbersome process, then imagine cooking. This is where the ‘most-wanted’ maids and nannies come in. “There are potentially 60,000 people looking for maids at any given time a day,” according to Raghu Ramaih, head of Domesteq service solutions, Gurgaon. Taking it a step further from just simply placing domestic help and nannies in Gurgaon homes, Domesteq has developed training and grooming courses for them. “We teach them how to keep themselves clean, how to handle a child, and also what to be careful of. They go through six hours of grooming, during which they are taught basic house keeping skills. Once they are registered and verified at the local police station, we send them to families for interviews.” Branching out from Delhi, Domesteq opened an office in Gurgaon due to robust demand. The customer pays 45 days salary as referral commission to the agency. Started mostly to cater to expat needs, Ramaih explains that as word of mouth spread, they started receiving more requests from Indian housewives. In four months, the agency has placed 45 maids, and there is a continuous rising demand for more. But not everyone is convinced. With the demand being at an all-time high, Mr Harish, owner of a Gurgaon based placement agency, adds a note of caution. “I have been through many odd jobs including a guard, domestic help and driver. Finally I started this agency because of the way people treat domestic help. I judge the clients’ attitude and then decide whether I want to place someone or not. Many agencies today are nothing but ‘trading posts’.” Next on the most wanted list, after maids and nannies, are nurses for home care. Gurgaon’s answer to nurses and ayas is provided by Shaji John’s St Stephens Nurses Bureau. Their price is non-negotiable— fixed at Rs 700 per day. “Many families have aged parents that need daily supervision. In most cases, couples are working, and need someone to constantly be present—in case of emergency, or for basics like administering insulin injections. Many a times, we deal with coma patients who cannot be kept in hospitals because of the cost involved,” explains Shaji. St Stephens Nurses Bureau provides pick and drop facilities from/to your doorstep. In the good old days, a visit to the book shop, library, chatting and haggling with vegetable vendors having domestic help around for life personally caring for the elderly—was a mix of fun and convenience. Now, our time is too precious, and we want it all for ourselves. Just like at work, we now prioritise; and just like the developed world, we now ‘outsource’. This is called progress. u


7–13 October 2011


City To Hip-Hop To Karaoke Still The Tops Among Chinese Remo’s Steps { Shirin Mann / FG }


ne of Bollywood’s popular choreographers, and a judge at some of India’s best talent hunt dance shows (Dance India Dance and Jhalak Dikhla Ja) is now opening his dance institute— in collaboration with Bhargava Films—in the Millennium City. The studio, on the 2nd floor of Sahara Mall, is now taking auditions for admissions; and will hold the first dance class with Remo D’ Souza himself, on the October 19, 2011. The training programme is divided into 24 classes, spread over a period of 3 months. The children enrolled in these classes will be trained by a professional choreographer and will face a camera. Shailendra Bhargava, producer, Bhargava Films says, “We are training the children for the big screen. Along with dancing, they will learn how to face the camera, and will also be provided with accessories and dance dresses.” The final show after three months of training, will be a dance performance with the dance guru, Remo D’ Souza, himself. The classes will be held by four top choreographers provided by Remo; and the dance style in the first quarter will be based on Remo’s expertise—the Hip Hop. After January, various dance forms like Salsa will also be introduced. To be admitted to the

Dance Institute, it is mandatory to appear for an audition, and clear it. The guidelines of the institute are as per the film industry, claimed Bhargava. Children’s auditions will be held for the age groups between 4 to 14 years; and the audition for 15 years and above will be under Young Adults. The Dance Institute programme, in association with Bhargava Films, is offered as two packages. Package 1 (Rs. 20,000) will provide you a professional dance portfolio of five looks, dance costumes and accessories; 24 classes on camera with a choreographer; a dance workshop with Remo D’Souza; a certificate by Remo’s Dance Institute Mumbai; and an opportunity to perform in a musical event with Remo D’ Souza. Package 2 (Rs. 30,000) will provide a professional video dance portfolio of five looks, and a video shoot for one song, along with all items in Package 1. Having choreographed in movies like Rock On, Action Replay, Patiala House—and the upcoming Love Breakups Zindagi— Remo’s Dance Institute is sure to get the city hip hopping for the next few months. u For further details contact them at 0124-4206401, 9891624022/60 or write to them at bhargavafilmsgurgaon@gmail. com or

Laughing St

ck – pat’s

A negative person sees the glass of water half empty A positive person sees it half full But a realistic person adds 60ml whisky to it and says Cheers! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When people do “ooh” and “aah” from 9am to 5 pm, it is Sensex! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We are not the only ones who hate a long working week; after Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W Th F! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Banta was asked to explain in English – 'Dukh hamesha saath rehta hai, magar khushi aati jaati rehti hai' Banta – My wife is always with me, but her sister comes and goes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A gay asked the priest – “Father, is homosexuality against Christians norms?”. The priest replied, “My child, God created Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Santa – Bhabhi ka kya naam hai? Banta – Google Kaur Santa – Kyun? Banta – Ek sawaal karo, 10 jawaab miltay hain ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Terrorism is now standardized It has an ISI mark! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is fashion designing? Too many brains working on too little clothes with too many ideas on how to cover too little areas

{ Hazel Parry / Hong Kong / DPA }


hina’s growing middle-class are an increasingly healthand image-conscience people, who like to dine out with friends, keep an eye on the current trends, and take short breaks twice a year, a report published Tuesday claims However karaoke remains their most popular form of entertainment, with 82 per cent

saying they enjoy it regularly— compared to 74 per cent for movies and 47 per cent who said they played chess and board games. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) interviewed 1,600 residents in eight mainland cities for its 2011 consumer trends report. It found that more than 80 per cent of the respondents indicated they were more willing to spend money on middle-class

SING ALONG: Karaoke enthusiasts taking centre stage

consumer goods and services than they were three years ago. The same number said they liked to keep up with trends, while one third admitted trying to keep up with their peers in terms of lifestyle. According to HKTDC Senior Economist Billy Wong, the mainland middle class offers tremendous opportunities for Hong Kong companies. “The mainland’s social and economic environment creates growing demand for leisure and training services. This translates into higher spending on consumer services,” he said. The survey found 44 per cent of respondents dine out more often than they did three years ago, mostly with friends; and spending an average of between 46.2 and 127.30 yuan (7 to 20 US dollars) per meal. Nine out of ten visit beauty salons at least once a month, and half hold a beauty salon membership card. When it came to holidays, about 40 per cent said they make an average of 2.3 domestic trips a year—of two to three days each in length—and 2.2 domestic trips lasting more than three days each. The HKTDC survey focused on middle-class mainland consumers in the eight cities of Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan. u

Sector 29 Every Budget, Every Taste { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

Gurgaon: Tired of waiting for parking outside a mall, where you are going to celebrate a special occasion? Are you looking for a reasonable place to take your date, away from the crowded malls and busy restaurants? Friday Gurgaon takes you to Sector 29, a ‘market’ that offers an every-budget-every-taste experience. Affordable eateries

For the desi in you, enjoy chaat, bhel puri, pani puri, Indian sweets, rajma chawal and the world of Indian cuisine— from snacks to a whole three course meal—at Bikanervala Sweets. Food is affordable and cheap, especially for students looking for home-made lunches or dinners. It’s an ideal place for a quick lunch or brunch with your friends. Although they don’t have a brunch menu, if you’re the sort of person who likes spicy Sunday afternoons with chaat and dahi vadas, then Bikanervala is the place. A meal for two could cost anything between Rs 350-800. Other restaurants in a similar price range include Yo China, Pizza

Hut, Dominos, Sagar Ratna and MacDonalds.

Fine Dining

With a range of restaurants, Sector 29 also provides a complete fine dining experience. Restaurants like Swagath, Oriental bloom, Spaghetti Kitchen, Downtown Diner, Pind Balluchi and the Royal Gun Salute are places for people who want to indulge. Says Ankur Chopra, an employee at nearby Signature towers: “Considering it’s close to office and located perfectly for corporate employees like me, we are often here at lunch breaks. It is also ideal for those working night shifts, since some of these restaurants take the last order at 11pm. There are also cuisinebased restaurants—for Italian or Chinese meals. Sizzler Gola is a speciality, for sizzlers.

Bars and Breweries

With a growing trend of microbreweries in the city, “Hops N Brew” is a popular brewery-cum-bar in town. If tasting different kinds of beer is your idea of a perfect lazy Sunday, then enjoy some freshly brewed beer, and a delectable A la Carte menu. There are other resto-bars in the market that serve alcohol, like Oriental Bloom, Royal Gun Salute and Downtown diner. The menu has been deliberately kept light, so that it goes well with beer.

Hotels and Inns

Sector 29 market also caters to people in transit. With a range of hotels, it makes for a perfect stay, just off NH-8. Business travellers looking for a bit of luxury can check into hotels like Country Inn and Suites. Writes MG Das from Bangalore, after his stay at the hotel: “Country Inn Suites is a very convenient business hotel. The staff is professional and helpful, and the rooms are spacious and clean. Wireless internet available in the room is fast and free. Overall, it’s worth the money.” Budget hotels include Hotel Lemon Tree, Quality Inn and Hotel Kshitij Royale.


Located in the vicinity is Reliance Super Market, where one can pick up household groceries.

Parking/How to get there

Unlike malls, there is ample parking space for cars. There is a large parking lot right next to the market, that charges Rs 20 per visit. Be cautious, and don’t park your car on the road. A tow trunk continuously patrols the area for offenders. If you are driving, the easiest way to reach Sector-29 is through the NH-8 Expressway. Exit-7 leads to the market. With HUDA City Centre around the corner, taking the Metro is another option. u

7–13 October 2011



Gurgaonites Gear Up For 13th Maruti Suzuki Raid-De-Himalaya Rallyists prepare for the adrenaline rush

{ Shirin Mann }


nown as the mecca of rallying in Asia, the annual motorsport event—promoted by Maruti Suzuki— is set to hit the road. It will flag off on October 11, 2011 from Shimla, and terminate on October 16, 2011 at Srinagar. Witnessing a five per cent increase in participation, this year the event has registered 299 participants—and some are from our Millenium City. They are Aditya Punj (driver) with Lajpat Kumar Bhardway (codriver), Navanshu (driver) with Patrick (co-driver). Offering the ultimate adrenaline rush—for the participants as well as the fans—the 13th edition has, for the first time, worked out two separate routes—the Xtreme track, for the professional 4X4 rallyists; and the Adventure Trial, for the first time drivers with standard cars or SUVs. The latter route aims to enhance participation and engagement of the motorsport enthusiast, the amateur—

providing a platform, and an exciting opportunity. Navanshu, 33, a businessman in Gurgaon, and a participant of the Adventure trail says, “It is a great platform for the first-timers. I think by the end of the rally we are going to be better drivers and navigators, with better preparation for the next one. For me, this is the entry to Xtreme track for next year. Also, the new route is quite different. The track is fast speed. My car is designed as per the expert category. My co-driver and I are now preparing charts, and looking at the road map, for checking and maintaining our timing and speed at the rally.” In this double route format, initially both these categories will compete on their own tracks; and then meet at Rangdum (a valley situated 11,998 ft above the sea level, in an isolated region of the Suru Valley, Ladakh). From there, they continue together, via Penzi-La, to the final stop at Srinagar. The Alpine route for the

Xtreme category, driving 4X4s, motorcycles and quadbikes, will start from Shimla and cross through the districts of Kullu and Mandi. After a stop in Manali, the motorists will proceed to Rohtang Pass, and stop at Leh on October 12. The next day will witness the motorists passing through the 18,300-feet Khar-

Being the highest Raid Rally in the world, Raid-deHimalaya records only 25 per cent participants completing the route

dung-La pass at Leh. This is the highest motorable road in the world. Further, driving through Kargil, Rangdum and Penzi-La, the Raid will conclude on October 16th, at Srinagar. The motorcyclists will also follow the same route, and terminate at Leh. The route of the Adventure Trial also begins from Shimla, with drivers of cars or SUV’s driving through Mandi, Kullu, Chamba and Kangra. The Raid will enter Jammu & Kashmir, and drive through Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Kokernag, Anantnag, Kargil, Rangdum, Dras, Kargil, ZoziLa; and end at Srinagar, on October 16. Aditya Punj, 23, a Gurgaonbased architect, and a participant of the Adventure Trial says, “This is my first time rallying the Raid-de-Himalaya, and I am very excited about it. I have earlier gone with my father, who is a rallyist—and so have full family support. The introduction of the Adventure Trial is a great platform for an amateur

Haryana State Olympic Games Gurgaon to compete with the largest contingent { Maninder Dabas }


ports has been Haryana’s forte for years, and this has been proved by its sportspersons the world over. Gurgaon has made a name as a business/ commercial destination. Now, the focus is on sports also—as an integral part of Haryana. The Haryana State Olympic Games are approaching, and the city is gearing up for this mega sports carnival. Apart from being the host, Gurgaon has other reasons to cherish, as the District has assembled the largest sports contingent. 479 players from Gurgaon will vie for medals. It is the highest number of players that any district is sending for the Games. Haryana Olympic Association (HOA) announced

the list of the players participating, from all 21 districts. “All the districts are sending their best players. The competition will be very tough, as the State has loads of talent; and I am hoping for a great sports spectacle during those three days (October 20-23),” informed Surender Dangi, Joint Secretary, HOA. Apart from Gurgaon, Rohtak (439)

Government Departments HAP HAVP HSIIDC RAI SS Sirsa

159 64 18 17 34 40 42 44

and Sonepat (383), are the two districts sending a large contingent. Gurgaon’s neighbouring district Mewat, has the least number of players (35). Speaking of Gurgaon’s chances of finishing at the top in the medal tally, Dangi said, “Gurgaon has the largest number of players participating, and I think it has a great chance to finish at the top. But both Sonepat and Rohtak have a good pool of players too, and Gurgaon is likely to face stiff challenge from both these districts. I am sure the games will be exciting.” Along with all the 21 districts of the State, players from five government departments—HAP, HAVP, HSIIDC, RAI and SS Sirsa—are also going to participate. u

rally driver, as you get to interact with the professionals—and learn more about the motorsport. It is also a stepping stone for professional rallying.” “My co-driver is a Math teacher, so he is the perfect person for calculations of the distance and speed—and he will also be navigating me” adds Punj. The rally covering 2000 kilometers, and spread over six days, is promoted by Maruti Suzuki. They also organise Autocross and Treasure Hunts, apart from professional rallies such as Maruti Suzuki Raid-deHimalaya, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare—participants of which will also include rallyists from our own city. Being the highest Raid Rally in the world, Raid-de-Himalaya records only 25 per cent participants completing the route. With challenges of low oxygen, and roads resembling river-beds, it will definitely be a ride to remember. u

Size of Sports Contingent District Boys Girls Gurgaon Sonepat Rohtak Bhiwani Ambala Faridabad Fatehabad Hisar Jind Jhajjar Karnal Kaithal Kurukshetra Mahindergarh Mewat Panipat Panchkula Palwal Rewari Sirsa Yamuna Nagar

256 223 231 152 255 184 194 182 89 67 142 104 95 73 170 183 141 122 183 146 159 109 98 109 131 161 49 61 21 14 129 160 68 68 20 23 49 49 67 105 89 141


7–13 October 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun

7–13 October 2011

T ime Pass 27


Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution 7 Count the missing block in each opening.

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men


Baby Blues

The Better Half


7–13 October 2011

G lobal

Steve Jobs-Brilliance, Passion, Energy­­­­­­-To The Last S teve Jobs, co-founder of the leading US technology company Apple Inc, died yesterday at the age of 56 after a career that saw him redefine how we live with technology. “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” Apple’s board said in a statement. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.” In the hours after his death, tributes poured in noting Jobs’ unmatched influence on the computer, film, music and mobile phone industries.

US President Barack Obama paid tribute to Jobs, saying “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it.” “He transformed our lives, redefined entire industries and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: He changed the way each of us sees the world,” the president said. “The world has lost a visionary.”

Steven Paul Jobs, was born in February 1955 in central California to a Syrian father and an American mother who gave him up for adoption a week after birth. He was raised in a blue-collar home just as nearby Silicon Valley was starting to blossom as a technology centre, and got his first job at the age of 12 by calling Hewlett-Packard founder Bill Hewlett at his home. Jobs skipped a grade at school thanks to his high IQ but was later expelled for a series of pranks, such as exploding bombs and releasing snakes in the classroom. After only one semester, Jobs dropped out of university and began working for nascent video-game maker Atari, until he had saved enough money to embark on a spiritual trek to India.

Steve Jobs Speaks "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish." "Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick." "Don't lose faith. You've got to find what you love. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle." "You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." "Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. ... Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, ... that's what matters to me." "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the ones who think differently. While some may see crazy, we see genius." "When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you

{ Ansgar Haase / Paris / DPA }


orkers across Paris are involved in a creative art battle with the help of Post-it notes stuck on their office windows. The trend probably began as a result of boredom, but mushroomed in popularity over the summer. At times it has taken the form of enormous figures, like Super Mario or Pac-Man, created by workers sticking thousands of multi-coloured notes on windows to mimic pixelated images. Other creations include representations of Asterix and Obelix, as well as a Marilyn Monroe portrait in the style of Pop Art artist Andy Warhol. The competition has been intense as workers from different companies spent the summer attempting to create the largest and most impressive Post-it artwork on the facades of their gleaming office buildings. La guerre des Post-it (the Post-it wars) began in June in the Montreuil office park in an

eastern suburb of Paris, when employees of gaming giant Ubisoft began creating small aliens from Post-it notes. Workers from the neighbouring building, which houses the IT systems of the bank BNP Paribas, retaliated with a spaceship, using the iconic Space Invaders game, where aliens are shot down, as their inspiration. The idea quickly spread across Paris, with similar battlegrounds springing up throughout the city, including the business district of La Defense and Issy-les-Moulineaux, home to many of France’s telecommunications and media companies. Participants believe that the artistic activity has a social purpose, arguing that, previously, there had been no contact between workers in different buildings. But, since the outbreak of the Post-it wars, the situation has completely changed. So far, there have been no complaints from any employers about their employees taking

time off work to stick thousands of Post-it notes on workplace windows. “People are working hard enough as it is. In fact, I think it is beneficial that they occasionally get the chance to be away from their computer monitors in order to let their creativity run free,” a French office manager told the TF1 television station. Some company CEOs have actually decided to preserve the art works created by their employees, transferring them onto giant paper sheets before the office windows are cleaned. The multi-coloured Post-it notes have often been used for artistic purposes since they were introduced to the market by US company 3M in 1980. Artist Melynda SchwierGierard used intricately folded Post-it notes to create wallsized works of art, while Ulf Nawrot has produced his diary on the 76x76 mm pieces of paper, every day, since 1989 —and now posts his work on the internet. u

Though he had been outmanoeuvred by his great rival, Bill Gates at Microsoft, Jobs stuck to the same digital vision he had started with—that for computers to achieve their optimum performance Apple had to retain control over both hardware and software. Ultimately, that stubborn insistence was at the basis of its later success. Having survived a bout of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and a liver transplant in 2009, Jobs reportedly retained his fiery mannerisms, quixotic individualism, intolerance for incompetence and famous charisma. u — Agencies For Steve Jobs’ Speech at Stanford University, June 12, 2005 log on to jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html

to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through." "That's been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains." "The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We're just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people – as remarkable as the telephone." "We do no market research. We don't hire consultants. ... We just want to make great products." "I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. ... That didn't look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away. That's what a computer is to me: The computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."

Ansgar Haase

Paris In The Midst Of A Post-it War

From the start Jobs exhibited a penchant for singleminded individuality, which earned him a reputation among early Apple employees as a fiery-tempered, brilliant but difficult boss. His successes were often world-changing, but his failures were equally dramatic.

CREATIVE ART: An office in Paris where staff have used Post-It stickers to create works of art

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European Space Travellers Pushed to Limit in Mars Experiment ESA

{ Benedikt von Imhoff / Moscow / DPA }


SPACE BLUES: The Mars500 crew locked up in their capsule

communicate in real time with the guidance team outside. A real flight to the Red Planet would mean communication delays of up to 20 minutes before a message from the crew arrived at ground control. That is the time a signal travelling at the speed of light

would take from Mars, which is about 200 times further from the Earth than the moon is, on average. “Direct communication naturally means a huge improvement in the quality of life,” Graef says. “It will certainly make the last month easier.”

Vietnam Rage over Kids Swimming to School

Legal Showdown Looms over French Veil Ban { Clare Byrne / Paris / DPA }


STRUGGLES OF EDUCATION: Video grab of students forced to swim to school in Vietnam

{ Pham Bac / Hanoi / DPA }


video of children swimming across a river to school in Central Vietnam, because there is no bridge, has sparked criticism, media reports said recently. The clip, aired by Vietnam Television, showed several children in Minh Hoa District, Quang Binh province, clinging onto sealed plastic bags filled with their belongings, while they were swept down a portion of the fast-flowing river. Around 30 children have to swim more than 20 metres twice a day to get to school. The water is between 1 and 3 metres deep but can become much deeper during the rainy season. Students have been making the crossing for 10 years. More than 100 adults also have to swim across the river regularly. Local woman Ho Thi Thanh said many people had been

swept away, but they had all been rescued. Minh Hoa authorities said they did not have the funds to build a bridge. A report in Dan Tri newspaper triggered a wave of angry comments from readers, criticizing local authorities. One commenter, Pham The Cuong, asked how local authorities could let it happen. “The more we admire these students, the angrier we feel at the actions of local authorities.” Duy Manh, wrote, “It’s too high a price to pay to learn how to write. Students are gambling with their lives.” According to the report, one villager tried running a boat across the river, but it was not big enough to accommodate all the students—and many chose to continue swimming. The boat was reportedly washed away during floods last year. u

Urbina and his five cospacemen have been sitting in a container in Moscow since early June 2010, with cameras observing almost every corner, apart from the small private rooms and the lavatories. Mars500 is almost a scientific version of the Big Brother

television show, but without the microphones. Numerous tests enlivened the daily grind in the initial phases of the experiment, but the daily round has long since become routine. “They know everything back-to-front,” Graef says— and the longing for life outside is growing. “I miss my family very much and my friends,” Urbina writes. But that is not all. “Very simple things like seeing the blue sky or going out dancing in the evenings. I love that, but I can’t do things like that in here.” However, “Ground Control” is certain that the “Martians” will hold out to the end. The participants could have called a halt to the experiment at any time if they had wished. “The men have not seen the sun for a long time and are very pale,” Graef says. “But the team is highly motivated and working superbly.” Creativity is what is required. “The crew have to turn lots of banal things into important experiences,” is how Graef describes the challenge. This final phase is also important for the team outside. What would space travellers en route to Mars on a real flight need to take along? How should they be guided by those behind on Earth? There is no shortage of time for the Mars500 team to consider the answers, as the first flight to the Red Planet is unlikely to take place for decades. u

legal showdown is looming in France after a court fined two women for refusing to comply with a ban on the Islamic face veil, paving the way for constitutional challenges to the new law. The court in the town of Meaux, about 40 kilometres east of Paris, fined Hind Ahmas 120 euros (164 dollars) and Najate Nait Ali 80 euros for appearing outside the local town hall wearing the niqab—a veil that covers the hair and face, leaving a slit for the eyes. “It’s a semi-victory,” Ahmas, a 32-year-old divorced mother-of-one, told the German Press Agency dpa. “For me, total victory will be the scrapping of this law altogether,” she added. France last year became the first European country to ban the wearing of the Islamic niqab and burqa, or full-body covering, in public. Wearers of the garment risk a fine of 150 euros and can be asked to take citizenship classes. Ever since the ban came into effect in April, Ahmas and other high-profile wearers of the niqab—the more common of the two banned garments in France—have been itching to have their day in court. Backed by groups that see the ban as an affront to civil liberties, Ahmas has strutted past police guarding the Elysee presidential palace in Paris and chatted with officers outside parliament, in the hope of incurring a fine. But the authorities have adopted a largely handsoff approach. Fearful of igniting tensions between police and youths in the high-rise suburbs of Paris and Marseille that are home to most of the women affected by the law, and wary of the law being challenged, they have mostly looked the other way. Ahmas’ persistence paid off when she and Ali were summoned to appear

in court for turning up at Meaux mayor Jean-Francois Cope’s office on May 5, with their faces covered. Besides being mayor, Cope is also the leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative ruling Union for a Popular Majority (UMP). The two women wanted to present him with a birthday cake made of almonds (which sounds like “amendes,” the French word for fines), in a dig at the hitherto timid implementation of the ban. Cope refused to accept the cake, but the stunt worked. The women now have a ruling they can use to appeal the law. If their appeals fail in France, they plan to go to the European Court of Human Rights. “Even if it takes three years, it will be worth it if it leads to the scrapping of a law that robs us of our freedom,” Ahmas said. Most French people have supported the ban believing that it would help liberate women from what they see as subjugation by conservative Islam. But Ahmas and other women say its effect has been to imprison them in their homes. “These women are effectively under house arrest. That’s the real punishment,” Ahmas’ lawyer Gilles Devers told dpa. Some of the women also say they have experienced increased verbal and physical attacks. “I’ve been insulted, called a ‘dirty Arab’ and told ‘carnival is over.’ I’ve also been told to ‘return to my country’,” Marie Hassan, a young separated mother-oftwo from Marseille, told dpa. Like Ahmas she says the decision to wear the veil was entirely her own. The case could have repercussions throughout Europe. Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland all have banned, or are planning to ban, Islamic face veils. u Pascal Deloche

lmost 18 months of isolation have taken their toll on the participants in the ambitious Mars500 space experiment, currently under way in Moscow. “Psychologically drained,” is the general view as the experiment, in which the astronauts have spent a record time in isolation, nears its end. It still has another six weeks to go. “These men want to see their families again, and the sun at last,” Peter Graef of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)— which participates in the project—told the German Press Agency dpa in a telephone interview from the DLR headquarters in Cologne. The six participants from Russia, China, Italy and France have to hold out until November 4, when their spaceship “lands” again on the Earth after 520 days in simulated interplanetary flight. The team members enjoy even the smallest changes in their monotonous environment. “It’s two degrees warmer,” Italian participant Diego Urbina exulted recently in sending a Tweet. The team faces its next challenge soon, when it will once again be able to



7–13 October 2011

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7–13 October 2011

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Friday Gurgaon,October 7-13,2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

Friday Gurgaon,October 7-13,2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper