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Mumbaikars celebrate Eid with fanfare

Children hug each other on Eid-ul-Fitr, in Mumbai on 29 July, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

Despite heavy rainfall, Muslims in Mumbai came out in the thousands to perform their morning prayers/Namaaz and celebrate Eid-ul -Fitr, across Mumbai city. Eid is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, which is the tenth month of the Hijri calendar, it marks the end of Ramzan or the month of fasting. People perform prayers in mosques and big communal gatherings—many

in open public spaces. At many mosques in Mumbai, arrangements had to be made to keep out the rain for people to pray in the open. In many of the 600-plus mosques in the city, Eid prayers were held in two shifts to accommodate the huge crowds. Business however saw a downward trend and the markets marked a 30% drop in sales ahead of Eid this year.

Hundreds of Muslims pray together on Eid outside Bandra Station at Mumbai on 29 July, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

Skywalk finally opens for public at Nana Chowk

City soaks in heavy monsoon showers The 2014 monsoons have been somewhat erratic. They made a very late entry so much so that Mumbaikars and all of Maharashtra expected to see drought like conditions in many parts of the state.

Vehicles pass under a new skywalk suspended by cables which opened to public at Mumbai on 24 July, 2014. Shweta Agrawal/Mumbai Weekly

The city‘s most expensive and longawaited skywalk finally opened for public on 24 July, 2014. The walk way is a cable-stayed bridge, that hangs on a single column placed in the middle of the 650-metre-long skywalk. Several towers also support the cable-stayed bridge. The skywalk can be approached from 5 different locations

Tardeo, Kemp‘s Corner, Lamington Road, Girgaum Chowpatty and Opera House. The construction of the skywalk started in December, 2008. The project missed several deadlines increasing the budget and estimate cost considerably. The government claims that this skywalk will serve 60,000 pedestrians

daily.Rs. 43.12 crore has been spent totally to make the skywalk, which also has two escalators for making it comfortable for public. Despite the considerable expenses on the project it is not accessible to all. The long line of stairs makes it impossible for people with disabilities and the elderly to use the sky walk as the number of elevators

are nearly not enough considering the size of the structure and sheer numbers of commuters who are expected to use the facility. The new skywalk is yet another site in Mumbai where the interests of different classes clash. While it was intended to primarily serve

commuters of the middle and upper– middle classes, a significant portion of the public space on the skywalk is occupied by homeless people, beggars, vendors and drug addicts who face constant threats of eviction and police harassment.

Surprisingly Mumbai was hit by heavy rainfall in the month of July. According to the Indian Meteorological Department the city witnessed 1547.5 mm of rain, which is the highest for the month of July that the city has seen in 55 years. The last time the city got so much rain in July was in 1965. On 31 July, 2014 alone parts of the city saw anywhere between 48mm to 80mm of rain. On that same day, in a tragic incident, a 5 year old boy died because of a landslide in Chembur. The unexpected heavy rainfall majorly disrupted vehicular traffic on the roads and train services. There were reports of water logging in Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup Mahim

Children play on the street with water as it rains in Mumbai on 30th july, 2014. Souradeep Roy/ Mumbai Weekly

Causeway, Hindmata, Dadar TT, LBT, and Parel Road on the Central line and Govandi, Chunabhatti on the Harbour line. Heavy rains also affected local train services. Central line trains were delayed by 30-45 minutes due to water

logging at many stat i o n s. C o mmu t e r s also faced difficulty on the Western line where trains were delayed by 10-15 minutes also Mumbai Metro train services delaying trains by 10-15 minutes. Water logging was reported below most of the Metro stations.




In most bustling metros with public transportation, local buses, trains, and trams personify the pulse and pace of the city itself. Mumbai‘s local train service, which transports an astonishing eight million commuters per day is the lifeline of this city. The trains are over-

crowded, doors never close, regulars form little micro communities with their prayer or card game routines. Some entrepreneurial passengers even use this regular commute time to earn a supplementary income by dishing out a quick Mehendi design in the ladies compart-

ment or cutting their vegetables for dinner. Mumbai Weekly‘s Shweta Agrawal spent a day at Byculla station to photograph the resilience, laid backness and resourcefulness of Mumbaikars as seen in its stations.




Ganesh season back in town

A worker works on an idol of the Hindu elephant god Ganpati for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival at Chinchpokli, Mumbai on 24 July, 2014.. Ganesh Chaturthi is an important Hindu festival for Mumbaikars, when thousands of them gather to immerse clay idols of Ganpathi into the ocean. Akshay Vaidya/ Mumbai Weekly

Fire at Lotus Business Park A major fire broke out at the 22storeyed Lotus Business Park, a prime office complex in Mumbai on 18 July, 2014, destroying at least two top floors completely.

A helicopter flies over the Lotus Business Park during rescue operations to put out a fire in the building in Mumbai on 18 July, 2014. Shweta Agrawal/ Mumbai Weekly

There were no civilian casualties in the blaze on the 21st floor that later spread to the 22nd floor of the building. People were quickly evacuated with the help of rescue teams of the fire brigade, Navy and Coast Guard. One fire-fighter reportedly died leaving behind a young wife and child and few more were seriously injured in the incident Around 21

firemen were rushed to the civic-run Cooper Hospital , The fire broke out at around 9 a.m. when a majority of the office complexes in the building had not yet opened for the day‘s work. According to fire brigade officials, 22 fire engines, 10 water tankers and 6 jetties were deployed to put out the blaze. The blaze was initially brought under control but strong winds fanned the flames again to the lower floors which aggrava ted the situation filling the entire building with dense smoke. Some firemen were

trapped in the top floors of the building as a result of the fire spreading to the bottom floors. Helicopters were quickly rushed in to rescue the stranded firemen who took shelter on the roof as their evacuation was impossible by any other means. It took more than 9 hours to put out the flames completely. The building has offices of several prominent corporate and film companies including 3 office floors of Bollywood actor like Hrithik Roshan and his father Rakesh Roshan.

City prepares for Raksha Bandhan Raksha Bandhan, a cultural festival where a sister ties a Rakhi or sacred ornate thread on her brother‘s wrist is celebrated on 10 August 2014. The festival also called Rakhi Purnima or simply Rakhi is observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Rakhi falls on full moon night of the Shravam month of the Hindu calendar. Raksha Bandhan is a Sanskrit word and it means ―tying the knot of protection.‖ Raksha Bandhan celebrates the bond between the brother and sister. On the day of the

festival sisters traditionally perform a simple Rakhi ceremony and pray for the well being of their brothers and tie the Rakhi on the brother‘s wrist and in turn brothers pledge to protect their sisters. Like most religious festivals in modern day India the market has been quick to commercialize Raksha Bandhan . Owing to the demand from kids, rakhis have been adapted to superheroes and cartoon characters like Spiderman, Doraemon and also Indian cartoon characters like Bal Ganesh and Chota Bheem. Fa-

mous cartoon production house Walt Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are also an attractive buy this year. Apart from small bazaar stores Rakhis are also sold online in different websites. Companies deliver Rakhis by mail and this service is used by many estranged brothers and sisters nowadays. Apart from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Mauritius, and Canada also officially recognize the festival of Rakhsha Bandhan due to Indian influences or high percentage of Indian immigrants.

A woman looks on as a shopkeeper shows her Rakhis, in Mumbai on 7 August, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly




OPINION: Precarious lives in dilapidated homes

Niket Kotecha Soon after the collapse of a building in Vakola on 14 March, 2014, the Bruhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) classified 593 buildings as ‗C1,‘ a category, of buildings in very dangerous conditions that urgently need to be demolished. Of these, 41 municipal buildings, 125 private buildings and 3 government buildings have been vacated so far. 817 buildings in the city are classified as ‗C2.‘ These require major structural repairs and 267 of them have been given permission to repair. The civic body has classified 106 buildings as ‗C3,‘ or needing minor repairs. 32,429 buildings older than 30 years are C3. The BMC has sent notices to 13,779 of these to conduct structural audits. It costs between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 Lakh approximately to conduct

A boy walks down the stairs of a dilapidated building in Mumbai on 21 July 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

these audits. Very often there are disputes between owners and tenants about covering costs of audits. Aside from Vakola, recently in another incident in the city, on 27 July, 2014, a three storey building in Bhiwandi collapsed after heavy rains. Luckily there was no

loss of life as the building had been recently evacuated. Sadly this was not the case on 12 July, 2014 in two separate incidents of building collapses, 3 people were killed and several others were injured. Although the risk of dilapidated buildings collapsing increases considerably during the mon-

soons, people continue to stay in dangerous buildings. This is because many people in M u m b a i don‘t have any other option but to continue to stay in fragile buildings. Getting another affordable shelter in Mumbai, especially in a similar location that fits their budget, is very dif-

ficult if not impossible. Even to find a home on rent is expensive as real estate property prices are very high here. So ignore the notice, risk it, and save money—that‘s the option available to most people. I believe given Mumbai‘s notorious history of building collapses during the monsoons, it is bet-

ter to not take a risk when its matter of life and death. The BMC needs to be much more vigilant about dilapidated buildings and should take strict action to vacate these buildings and giving temporary accommodation to people who may not have any alternatives. Such planning

has to be rolled into the annual calendar of the BMC so that necessary action is taken swiftly and well before each monsoon. Residents and owners of homes in dilapidated buildings, should undertake audits as suggested by the BMC. The audits need to be made easy

and cheaper. While the burden of risk is borne by the residents this housing crisis requires a c o m mu n i t y- w i d e response involving government & taxpayers. The above opinion is that of the author and do not represent Mumbai Weekly

POINT OF VIEW : Not a world for children

Akshay Vaidya What did they do to deserve this? I ask myself every once in a while. All around the world, every single day, hundreds of thousands of children are starving, even dying. And surprisingly enough, it is not because there isn't enough food in the world, or that there is a major famine. As a matter of fact, there IS as there has always been, enough food for everyone, just not enough impetus to feed everyone.

Consider for example, the ongoing Gaza crisis. Now consider the children there. They didn't ask for a war. Hell, they are losing their parents, neighbours, relatives who could potentially take care of them, albeit in the future if not now. They're starving now. They have nowhere to run. No help where help can reach. Talking about examples, Syria hasn't been any kinder in how children are considered before waging wars. Now consider Ukraine, and then think about Iraq. And don't forget about the Central African Republic. In every place in the world, we proclaim that children are our future. And

yet, somehow, the last thing we consider before meeting our own ends it seems are those very same children. While most of us would claim that "that's just how it is" and that "what needs to be done needs to be done", I see it more in terms of "no matter how much we say we care about our world, that is actually the last thing we do care about". In the end it boils down to this - "Is the starving and dying kid mine"? If the answer to that is no, most of us just ignore the situation and walk away. We turn a blind eye. And that is just sad. And that's not even pertinent just to places where wars

are being waged. And that would include the rest of the world, which encompasses countries other than the aforementioned countries. Children are starving to death because they are born poor. And whether or not we want to believe it, children are dying right now because they were not lucky enough to be born into a family that had enough. I, for instance, live in a country where all of us are first hand witnesses to this scarcity - of clothes, of shelter, of even food. It is the norm to see children begging in the streets because they have been starving for days. Born homeless to homeless parents, they have no respite… no

A boy holds two bowls of food as he smiles at the camera in Mumbai On 26 July. Akshay Vaidya/ Mumbai Weekly

hope. Not surprisingly, they will spend their whole lives begging for food. With few people ready to offer assistance, there just isn't enough help! Countries in most of Asia, Africa and Southern America are host to atrocities where children are

allowed to be living in way less than sub -standard living conditions. Without food, shelter, clothes or even clean drinking water. While most of us believe to have done enough by donating in social gatherings and charity, unless we do

what is right first hand whenever we can, we can never really make much of a difference. It is a social evil to let innocent helpless children go through conditions such as these. I do not expect any difference made by this opinion, but I do hope

that those that I am able to get the message across to, will know in their hearts that change starts with us - up close and personal. The above opinion is that of the author and do not represent Mumbai Weekly




A different kind of learning

There are a handful of schools in one of the largest slums in the world– Dharavi. Madrasa Gausia Gulshane Bhagdar is one such school. Funded by Baba Lalmia Kakri trust, a small one room ‗kothi‘, with a signboard above the

gate is what comprises of the school. Approximately thirty five students study in this school, ranging from five year olds to seventeen year olds. This school was started seventeen years ago. Sayyiad Lalmia is one of the

only two teachers of this institution. The school or madrasa has a strict curriculum. It provides religious teachings in Hifz – the memorization of The Holy Quran. Many of these children are pulled out from schools to work for

their parents, to support the family, a handful only remain in schools every year. ―Because kids get distracted easily and commit to the world of crime, we are trying to set the right goal for them, make them better human

beings We show them the way of Allah. By the time they leave the madrasa they will be ready for an honest life. We try to preserve their innocence‖, says Sayyiad. Photographs by Souradeep Roy




Sensex down by over 400 points

A yellow leaf floats on a puddle that reflects a man walking past the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on 16 July, 2014. According to media reports the Bombay stock Exchange fell 155 points to 25,329 during the past week due to political unrest around the globe. Souradeep Roy/ Mumbai Weekly

Smoking a costly affair

Footwear sees reduction of taxes

A man lights a cigarette in Mumbai on 29 July, 2014. Shweta Agrawal/ Mumbai Weekly

If you were thinking of quitting smoking, this might be the right time to do so. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, like his predecessors Pranab Mukherj e e a n d

P Chidambaram, has targeted cigarettes to earn more revenue, proposing to increase the specific excise duty on cigarettes in the range of 11% to 72%.

But the impact on cigarette prices will be much more. There is also bad news for pan masala and Ghutka users which will see a 1216% excise hike.

Customers look for shoes at a shoe shop in Mumbai on 15 July , 2014.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to reduce excise duty from 12 per cent to 6 per cent on footwear of retail price exceeding Rs 500 per pair but not exceeding Rs 1,000 a pair. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly.

10% customs duty on telecom gear

A man talks on a mobile phone at Mumbai on 27 July, 2014. Souradeep Roy/ Mumbai Weekly

Mobile tariffs are set to increase as telecom companies decide to reduce different offers and power packs. According to media reports, one of the largest telecom companies Bharti Airtel has already indicated that their tariffs may rise. Currently the headline tariffs stand at Rs. 1.2 per minute and the discounted tariff amount to only 44 to 45 Paisa. Even though companies like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have performed well in the first quarter, the high cost of spec-

trums may have an effect on the tariffs. the 10% customs duty can impact overall cost for the telecom industry. Idea cellular, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio— the four big names in the telecom industry in India have already made a combined bid of Rs. 61,162 Crore for the spectrum in the 900 to1800 MHz band that was offered by the government in a ten day auction. While the tariffs are increasing the annual budget 2014 has been a welcome sight for many local

manufacturers. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has imposed a 10 percent basic customs duty on certain imported telecom devices to promote the local manufacturers. This, in the long run may affect the tariffs. Mobile phones on the other hand are set to get cheaper, along with LCD and LED monitors under 19 inches as well as CRT monitors. There will also be no import duty on PC (Personal Computers) components, thus making local assembly of computers less costly . The telecom opera-

tors also faced certain sector specific taxes like Sim activation tax (Rs. 250) which would affect the customers indirectly. According to media reports and industry sources Pakistan is reportedly one of the highest taxed countries globally in comparison with similar markets in the telecom industry. All in all government initiatives have aimed at providing support to local companies to increase competition for imported goods by exempting taxes.


Starry night at sports event


Top: A light moment between Sachin Tendulkar and Aamir Khan during the Pro-Kabaddi League opening in Mumbai, on July 26, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

Sachin Tendulkar, his wife Anjali and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan during the opening match of Pro-Kabaddi League, held in Mumbai, on 26 July, 2014. Niket Kotecha / Mumbai Wekkly

It was a starstudded affair at the recently held inaugural match of the Pro-Kabaddi League in Mumbai. Legend Sachin Tendulkar came with his wife Anjali and daughter Sara. Bol-

lywood super star Amitabh Bachchan came with his wife Jaya Bachchan to support the Jaipur Pink Panthers, a team owned by their son Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Ashwairya Rai-

Bachchan, both of who were also present to cheer their team. Bollywood super stars Amir Khan and Shahrukh Khan also came to support Abhishek‘s team. Sachin Ten-

dulkar said ―I am here to support the sport. This is just incredible to see the agility there, the speed, the awareness, it is extremely important and I have played this sport in school. It

has been fantastic to come back again and support the sport." Filmmaker Farah Khan who directed Abhishek Bachchan in Happy New Year came in along with actor Vivaan Shah.

Abhishek's childhood friend Goldie Behl also attended the match with his wife Sonali Bendre to support the team and the game. Also in attendance was media magnate Ronnie Screwalla.

Actors Aishwarya Rai and Shahrukh Khan interact in Mumbai, on July 26, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

Graduation day at the Women's Self-Defense Center The Women's SelfDefense Center(WSDC), an initiative started by actor Akshay Kumar & Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray, celebrated their Graduation day on 2 August 2014. The Center, which offers self-defense training free of cost to all women was launched on 6 June 2014. Akshay Kumar and Aditya Thackeray attended the event and presented certificates to participants of the first batch who success-

fully completed the program. Some of the techniques taught within the program include: kicking, punching, using elbows, knees, head butts, fighting one or several opponents, close quarter combat, and defending one‘s self against knives, sticks, and guns. The course also taught participants how to turn household objects into deadly weapons. The self-defense program at WSDC has been developed taking into consid-

eration the short comings of traditional martial-arts, the program is time tested, and obsolete techniques are disc a r d e d . What makes this program unique is its study and use of pressure points (weak links) in the human anatomy, techniques specifically designed, to target, easy to reach pressure points, produce devastating results, if used, relatively little or no strength is required to use these techniques.

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar posed for camera during the function organized to present the certificate on completion of the first batch of Women Safety Defense Centre (WSDC) in Mumbai on August 2, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

SRK makes appearance at jewelry show

Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan during the jewelry show in Mumbai on August 1, 2014. Akshay Vaidya/ Mumbai Weekly


MW Pro-Kabaddi League opens with a bang in Mumbai


Players of Dabang Delhi and Bengaluru Bulls during the 2nd Pro-Kabaddi match in Mumbai on 26 July, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

If you thought kabaddi didn't have much of a fan following, think again. Telecast of the ProK a b a d d i League (PKL) on Mashal Sports attracted as many as 22 million viewers,

10 times the number of viewers who tuned in to the first match of the recently concluded FIFA World Cup. U Mumbai trounced Jaipur Pink Panthers 45-31 to win the opening match

of the Pro-Kabaddi League held at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in National Sports Club Of India (NSCI), Worli on Saturda y. The Mumbai team had a slow start, but they

gradually took control of the game. In the second half, Jaipur showed a little more aggression in the raids, but it wasn't enough as they lost to the hosts tamely. Kumar with eight

successful raids out of his 15 attempts earned 14 points for his team to win the Best Raider of the match award. The second game- a momentous clash between the South and the North. Da-

bang Delhi led by the fearless Jasmer Singh faced off against the might of the Bengaluru Bulls captained by the indomitable Manjit Chillar. Bengaluru were sharp on the attack

Players of Dabang Delhi and Bengaluru Bulls during the 2nd Pro-Kabaddi match in Mumbai on 26 July, 2014. Niket Kotecha/ Mumbai Weekly

and merciless in defence, by the 31st minute they were a firm 22 points in the lead. It was evident by the body language of the Delhi team with their hands resting over their hips that it was

over for them. Even the experienced Ehsan Zamani was making mistakes. It was all over minutes later, with Bengaluru wining comfortably 47- 28 over Dabang Delhi.

SJUM 3-0, with Harish Baig, Mihir Gala and Rishi Iyer scoring a goal each.

Maharashtra MM against the run of play took the lead when Mandar S. found the net in the 17th minute.

MDFA 3rd Division League starts (MDFA) is the organisation responsible for Association football It is affiliated with the All India Football Federation.

Players of Bombay Y.M.C.A. and Spring Field Compound plays at the MDFA League match in Mumbai on 24 July, 2014. Shweta Agrawal/ Mumbai Weekly

Mumbai Poinsur Gymkhana scored a late goal to snatch a 1-0 win against Spring Hill Compound SC in a Third Division qualifying league match of the MDFA League –

2014-15, played at the St. Xavier‘s ground, Parel on Saturday. Striker Royden Cruz netted the allimportant goal with just three minutes remaining in the match to help Poinsur Gym grab the full three points .Earlier a charged up South Mumbai United trounced Su-

ansha Resources 60. Striker Akash Patel scored two goals while teammates Soham Thakkar, Tejas Bailur, Dhurwal Sanghvi and Dhruvin Shah, all chipped in with one each to complete the margin of victory. In the third match of the day, Kentaurian FC blanked Cheddar Nagar

Navaghar FC showed solid fighting qualities as they rallied from a first half deficit to overcome Maharashtra Mitra Mandal 2-1 in a Third Division qualifying league match of the MDFA League on Thursday.

Navaghar took the setback in their stride and came back strongly to turn things around in their favour. for Salcette, while Anjuma scored through Yusuf Shaikh.

Celebrity football match raises funds for animals Aamir Khan‘s daughter Ira organised a celebrity football match to raise funds for an animal welfare shelter—the PIGI Foundation, on 20 July, 2014. The PIGI Foundation plans to build an animal welfare shelter with the money. Abhishek Bachchan and Aamir Khan were captains of the tw o re s pe ct ive teams. Other celebrities who took the football field by storm were Rahul Bose, Sohail Khan, Tiger Shroff, Sushanth Singh, Ram Sam-

pat, Karanvir Bohra, Armaan Jain, Hazel Keech, Kunal Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Elli, Kiara, Raj Kundra , Karan Wahi, Dino Morea, Shoojit Sircar, Marc Robinson, Caesar Gonsalves, Karan Mehra, Shabir Ahluwalia, Sachiin Joshi, Ritwik Bhattacharya, Vikram Thapa, Ameet Gaur, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Vikram Singh and more. For the first time, proud parents of the adorable Azad, Aamir and Kiran let him free with a football at the event despite the paparazzi being there. Amir Khan‘s team

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan intract with, opposition teams caption Abhishek bachchan, during the celebrity football match in Mumbai on 20 July, 2014. Akshay Vaidya/ Mumabi Weekly

won the match by 4 goals to 2. While Salman Khan

too, made an appearance at the event, it was sur-

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan tries to get possession of the ball during the celebrity football match in Mumbai on 20 July, 2014. Akshay Vaidya/ Mumabi Weekly

prising to see that none of the photographers present at

the venue , clicked photos of the actor, thus, standing by

their decision to boycott the actor. Amir walked up to

the photographers to get a lowdown on the incident.

Published by : Udaan School of Photography | Editor-in-chief : Shweta Agrawal | Photo Editor : Niket Kotecha | Chief photographer : Akshay Vaidya | http:/ | email : editor.mumbaiweekly@gmail.

Mumbai Weekly  

An online newspaper run by the photojournalism students of Udaan School of Photography

Mumbai Weekly  

An online newspaper run by the photojournalism students of Udaan School of Photography