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NEWS IN BRIEF 12 toll booths to shut down

On Friday, 29 May 2015 the Shiv Sena - BJP government announced the shutting down of 12 toll booths across the state according to a news report. Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) and State transport vehicles were also relieved from paying the toll tax at 53 other toll booths. The government has already shut down 62 different toll booths in the month of March. Sarthak Chand/Mumbai Weekly

NGO rescues child labourers; sends them home, safely Mumbai Police along with an NGO, My Home India, recently launched a search for 29 children who had been missing from their homes across the country over the last few months. The rescue and relief operation involved an exhaustive search for children and accommodating them in remand homes, such as the ones in Dongri and Mankhurd. After interacting with the children, their addresses were taken and swift arrangements for their homecoming were arranged by the NGO. Of the total 29 children listed missing, 20 were found working as child labourers in various institutions and the remaining 9 had missing persons reports filed on their behalf. Speaking to Mumbai Weekly, Sukesh Jha, National coordinator of the program, said “We started the work focused on the rehabilitation and rescue of children from ...

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City experiences premonsoon showers

On Friday, 5 June 2015 the city experienced its first pre-monsoon shower according to V.K. Rajeev, scientist at Indian Metrological Department. The shower came as a welcome relief to the residents from the prevailing hot conditions. Satyabrata Tripathy/ Mumbai Weekly

One of the rescued children looks out of the van that brought them to Bandra Terminus, Mumbai on 18 May 2015. The railways has arranged for a special coach to be added to Patna Express for their safe journey. Kartik Avatani/ Mumbai Weekly

Maggi fails lab tests The latest discovery of excessive lead in India’s popular fast food brand Maggi noodles as reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lead to the plunge of its sales across the country. A flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate or MSG, has also been detected , though it has not been mentioned in the ingredients list. On 2 June 2015, 13 samples of Maggi had been tested in Delhi, of which 10 samples were detected with excessive lead, according tonewspaper reports. Most of these samples contained 17.2 parts per million of lead (ppm), . The permissible range of lead is upto 2.5 ppm. Other states

like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Orissa, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are testing or are in the process of getting their reports and taking action. Even as Delhi banned the product from sale in the state, the regulatory authority, the FSSAI ordered Nestle to take its noodles brand off the shelves in retail shops across the country. States of Mizoram, Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh banned the product shortly after the announcement by FSSAI. Other states had asked for their respective Food and Drug Administration (FDA) departments to conduct test for

MSG on the product following the initial announcement by FSSAI. Maharashtra banned the product late Friday night followed by states of Goa and Punjab banning the product, after their individual tests run by the state FDA’s on Saturday. However, after the tests were conducted by private labs, commissioned by the state governments revealed that the MSG levels in the selected samples were within the permissible limits due to which Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal refused to ban the popular noodle brand. The controversy regarding the popular noodle brand turned into a international issue after Bah-

Right: A consumer picks up a packet of Maggi at a supermarket in Mumbai on 4 June 2015. Pratik Chorge/ Mumbai Weekly rain stopped all imports of the product, from the country. Canada has also asked the Canadian Food Inspection Au-

thority (CFIA) to conduct examinations, after which the fate of exports of the product from India would be decided.

Overhead wire snap halts CR locals in Thane

Commuters walk on the tracks near Thane railway station as trains were affected by the wire snap in Thane on 22 May 2015. Nupur Bandre/Mumbai Weekly

Central R a i l w a ys (CR) operations w e r e d e l a ye d d u e to an overhead wire that broke near Thane station on 22 May 2015. According to news reports, nearly 50 trains were affected due to this snag. The resultant delay in train schedule affected all trains, although fast trains resumed in a short while. Slow trains on the same line started running only by 12.30 pm. Commuters affected by this d e l a y, g o t down from the trains and started walking on the

tracks. The trains were diverted on VikhroliDiva and Mulund- Diva routes as the slow lines were affected. The local trains were late more than an hour. The first three platforms were completely out of operation. To tackle the situation at that time, railway authorities also started special trains between Kurla and CST. This is not the first time such an incident had happened. And e v e r yt i m e s u c h i n c i dents take place commuters are left facing the brunt

o f t h e s i t u a t i o n . In f a c t , social media saw several irate travelers sharing their experiences of the problems they had to face because of the train trouble. The regularity of such incidents, arising from failure of regular maintenance has alarmed Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu,who has raised the issue besides delegating a team to find the cause o f t h i s d e l a y. H e a l s o initiated a time-bound plan to keep in check the smooth functioning of Mumbai’s Lo c a l trains.



FRIDAY, 12 JUNE, 2015

BMC’s musical treat The Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika or BMC has a band that came into existence in 1979. Twenty members were selected to start this music band and since then recruitments have been done in regular intervals. In fact, recent recruitment to the band was in 2015. The BMC band members are selected from different backgrounds and work places. The recruitment is done on the basis of

their knowledge of music and their individual talents. The band only gives public performances and their main motive is to nurture and keep alive this tradition of band performance and music. Since 1979, the BMC band has been performing every weekend at places all over the city. Apart from their routine performances and important days like Independence Day and Republic day the band al-

so performs at marriage functions and other events where such performances are a part. The band has practice sessions every day from 8 am to 4 pm where they practice on old and new English as well as Hindi songs. On every Friday, Saturday and Sunday they give performances in various gardens and public places like Marine Drive and the Gateway of India. Apart from that, the band performs at any special

occasion or event voluntarily. Their performances are well appreciated by the public and they receive feedback sometimes even in writing. Their motive of playing good traditional band music brings them closer to the city’s music-loving audience and the city is treated to a musical. Mumbai Weekly photographer Kartik Avatani spent time with the band to know more about them.


Leap of faith

Child labourers rescued; sent back home safely …continued from page 1 North-East India, but realized the shortfall that existed in the entire process, that forced most of the children to remain in remand homes for longer durations and process of finding the details and whereabouts of the child’s family was a long-drawn affair. When we contacted Railway Minister, Mr. Manoj Sinha, he supported the initiative by making available, an entire car of the train, for the safe


journey back home. Since the start of the program, nearly 350 children have been reunited with their parents.” The average age of the children rescued was no more than 11-12 years old. The children were sent to Bihar aboard the Patna Express that left from Bandra Terminus on 18 May 2015. The parents of the rescued children were contacted by the NGO and they were reunited with their children in Bihar.

Rescued children stare out of the train windows in Bandra Terminus Station, Mumbai on 18 May 2015. Kartik Avatani/Mumbai Weekly

A youth jumps from a railway bridge into Mithi river in Mahim Creek on 22 May 2015. Hot and humid conditions continue in the city as monsoon is delayed in the country. Mrinmoy Choudhury/Mumbai Weekly

Mumbaikars initiate a tobacco free city

Actor spends time with orphaned children Bol l yw ood a ct or, A yus hm a nn Khu r rana s pent t i m e wi t h chi l dren from C at heri ne o f S i enna S chool and Orp hanage, Band ra at an e vent s pons ored b y a fa m ous fas t food re s t aurant chai n. The f a s t food chain also arranged for their mascot, a clown to entertain the children. The children were delighted to be in the pres-

A bus conductor gets his mouth checked as part of anti-tobacco campaign at Wadala bus depot, Mumbai on 29 May 2015. Kartik Avatani/Mumbai Weekly Mumbai witnessed a number of routes around the city. BEST 2015. The Cancer Patients Aid events and initiatives being also initiated anti-tobacco stick- Association (CPAA) supported launched on the eve of World ers for seats in the buses and the initiative and Mumbai police No Tobacco day according to LED indicators with anti- announced actor Vivek Oberoi news reports. Various private tobacco slogans. BEST runs as their brand ambassador along and civic bodies held awareness 3600 buses, on 365 routes, ply- with actress Raveena Tandon, campaigns and demonstrations ing 4.8 million passengers on a who had inaugurated the camacross the city. Salaam Bombay daily basis, and hopes to- paign. Kohinoor hospital held a Foundation with the support reach the message to large num- campaign on 30 May, which of Brihanmumbai Electric Sup- bers of commuters that it caters displayed a dummy train made ply and Transport Undertak- to. Mumbai police recently inau- of doctors of the hospital, aring (BEST), announced the in- gurated tobacco free police sta- ranged according to the different auguration of 25 buses with anti- tions as an initiative to encour- stages of cancer due to smoking, tobacco advertisements on the age policemen to quit the habit displayed as the different cars of sides, that would ply on various of chewing tobacco, on 22 May the train.

ence of the actor and he also seemed to be enjoying the compan y of the children, as he obliged to their reque st to sing one of his famous songs, ‘Pani Da Rang’. He posed with the children for numerous photographs and distributed chocolates among them. The actor also posed for photographs with the nanny who

was excited on seeing him. He spoke about the ill-effects of watching TV and encouraged his you nger audiences to step out and take up activities that they hadn’t thought of earlier. The children received a gift from the fast food chain which were handed over to them personally by the acto r.

Ayushmann Khurrana sings his famous song ‘Pani Da Rang’ while playing the guitar for the children in Bandra, Mumbai on 29 May 2015. Karishma Aidasani/Mumbai weekly

BMC’s negligence towards talao turns it into a dumping pond

A man wades through the murky water to find fish in BMC talao at Goregaon, Mumbai on 16 May 2015. Illegal fishing is seen in the pond round the year as fingerlings are introduced soon after Ganapati visarjan to make the pond into a fish farm. Kartik Avatani/Mumbai Weekly

Mumbai witnesses a large number of idol immersions during festivals such as Ganpati Visarjan and Durga Puja. While a majority of the idols are immersed in the sea, to avoid traffic snarls created by immersion processions, various parts of the city have man-made ponds created within the the city. Goregaon Talao is one such example of a water body that is functional only during the Ganpati festival. As the water body remains clogged with idols post the festival season, local fishermen conduct fish farming illegally. The tank is first drained out and then the un-dissolved waste from the idols that settles in the bottom of the tank is cleaned out manually. The draining takes a few days, during which local fishermen conduct their fishing. The neglected state of the talao is a health concern as the tank is only cleaned during its pre-monsoon cleaning and then left to its fate during and after visarjan. Although the cleaning of the tank is supposed to be

done periodically, after every three months, the tank is neglected immediately after its usage during festival season. Speaking to Mumbai Weekly, Mohan, the contractor in-charge of the Talao, commented “Local fishermen enter the tank when it is open for cleaning, wading through the murky waters to catch fish from the tank. Upon questioning, they claim to be cleaning the tank. During the pre-monsoon cleaning, they get some of the best catch of the year.” He has been the contractor in-charge for the tank, assigned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the last two years. The talao emanates a foul stench that can be smelt far from it. The fish caught here are filled with pollutants from the paints of the idols immersed in it. The same fish is caught wading through the dirty water and sold in the market – leading to the possibility of a health hazard when people consume these fishes that have fed on the pollutants.


Remembering Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark March 20, 1940 – May 25, 2015 In the present age of the Internet and digital photography, our influences are plenty and the numbers do not necessarily reflect quality. It may be the reason why most photographers tend to relish the glory of the past. The age of film, with the chemical romance brewing in silver halide and iodide mixtures, the suspense of discovering the picture, and all the drama that made photography a rare passion. In this age, the work of the pioneers in the field of photography is often looked back with fond memories and a respect for the process. The obsession of present day photogra-

Women stand on the pavement at P.B. Marg, Mumbai on 5 June 2015. This road was earlier known as Falkland road where Mary Ellen Mark shot a series by the same name. Sarthak Chand/Mumbai Weekly

phers with black and white pictures, arises subconsciously from the influence of the earliest work done in the field, where color photography was not an option. Hence, it seems to be appealing to our tastes, as we have seen the works of great photographers in the same medium, since an early age. As a student of photography, my earliest influences did not differ much from the rest of the world. As the learning process was further intensified, I discov-

A woman stands in front of a shop at P.B. Marg, Mumbai on 5 June 2015. Sarthak Chand/Mumbai Weekly

ered on the job the nuances of each of my inspirations and the tremendous skill that the pioneers of the field discovered with no prior reference to fall back on. I realized the incredible understanding of light that the pioneers possessed, along with the charm of storytelling. This discovery of mine, increased the respect I had for the photographers of the 20th century manifold. This is when I rediscovered the work of Mary Ellen Mark, truly understanding the intent and humbled by the brilliance of the body of work she left behind. On the 25th of May, Mary Ellen Mark passed away, at the age of 75, in her residence in New York according to the Daily Mail. On her demise, the same publication lovingly referred to her as “Snake Charmer of the Soul” because of her ability to draw out the human vulnerabilities of her subjects and for the heart-wrenching honesty that often intimidated the viewer. Her subjects have spanned all the continents and all strata of the society among them. After completing

a post-graduation in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania, she started her career with some of the most iconic photographs of today. Her work titled ‘Streetwise’ was one of her most famous work, which documented the life of runaway children in the city of Seattle, was a pictorial revelation of the dysfunctional state of the American household. The work was intensely personal and went on to be made into a major motion picture. Moving closer to home, her work in India is unparalleled due to the incredible personal space that she was allowed to photograph her subjects in. During her travel to India in 1978, she documented ‘Indian Circus’ and ‘Falkland Road’, the largest prostitution den of the city at that point of time. The stark honesty and the comfort level that she created with the sex workers who were photographed in the series, still creates a ‘show and awe’ in a viewer, 37 years later. The moments of vulnerability in their life were shot with sensitivity

and forced the viewer to have a fresh view of the same people. The enclosed spaces spoke volumes about the living conditions of her subjects and she immersed herself within the same to become an extension of her subjects. This quality is still considered as a rarity in the age of digital. ‘Ward 81’ was another work of hers that was unparalleled, both in its form and the content. Covering the lives of female inmates in a mental asylum, her work displays a strong undertone of feminism along with the brilliance of her pictures. On a more sentimental note, she revisited India in19801981 to shoot Mother Teresa Missions of Charity in Calcutta, which are considered to be some of the most iconic pictures of Mother Teresa before her death. She immortalized the work of the saint and her goodwill that she garnered from the people in her photographs, adding to the timelessness of those pictures. A recipient of multiple


accolades, her pictures and her talent was shared with the world through the books that she published during her life and the knowledge she imparted as a professor of photography. Her love for street photography in the city of New York has created a documented survival of the streets of the city, from the 60’s till today. Her love for Polaroids and its technology also educated the world about the talent she possessed, regardless of the medium or the instrument she shot with. The series of ‘Twins’ was covered with the same format and is an educational experience for every viewer, every single time. Mary Ellen Mark was married to director Martin bell and this confluence of two creatively gifted people, resulted in the creation of some powerful work. Due to her social life, she has pictured Hollywood stars such as Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, Katherine Hepburn among many others, caught in the most candid manner, that is revelatory as an experience till date. Years later, the work still stands out due to the intensely personal moments she was allowed to witness and immortalize through her photography. As the news of her death dawned upon me, I realized the brilliance of her work would never again shine a light upon the lives of others and the world had lost a storyteller along with her stories. The intensely emotional work she left behind is her legacy and would continue to enlighten generations to come. I lost an inspiration and the world lost one of the most honest storytellers it had ever seen.

The views in this article are the personal views of the author. Sarthak Chand

POINT OF VIEW: Life in a transit camp

A family sits at the entrance of their house in Kokari Agar transit camp at Sion, Mumbai on 5 June 2015. Sneha Kharabe/ Mumbai Weekly

Sneha Kharabe

Transit camps of Mumbai are not new to its people. Some of

it are standing for more t h a n 4 0 ye a r s a n d a r e i n a very poor state. Most of the people have been residing there for the p a s t 3 0 ye a r s . T h e r e a r e approximately 20, 000 t e n a n t s li v i n g i n 5 6 transit camps of Mumbai out which more than

8 0 0 0 a r e e n c r o a c he r s . S i n c e t h e 1 9 7 0s , M a harashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) s t a r t e d sh i f t i n g p e op l e because of the bad conditions of the b u i l di n gs . T he s e transit c a m ps we r e supposed to be the temporary shelter for t h e m , bu t i t s e e m s t h a t i t h a s b e c om e t he i r permanent address. On m y v i s i t t o t h e t r an s i t c a m p a t K o k a r i A ga r i n S i o n, I f o u n d t h e y h a v e n o w a t e r s u pp l y.

They have to buy water f r o m a l o c a l s u pp l i e r who takes ₹500 a month for an irregular s u p p l y. N o o n e i s h i r e d by the concerned aut h o r i t i e s t o cl e a n t h e area. The people there collect money every w e e k t o ge t a c l e an e r , but still the roads are f i l l e d w i t h ga r b a ge a n d f i l t h . T h e t oi l e t s a r e n o t e v e n c l e a n a nd t o a d d t o t h e a go n y t h e y have to pay to use t h e m . T h e w o r st t h i n g a b o u t t hi s t r a ns i t ca m p is that they are not all

s a f e f o r w o m e n . On t a l k ing with a few of them, they told me that they c a n n o t go o u t a l o n e e v e n a t 9 p m . T hi e v e s a r e a constant threat to the people. The transit camp o f K o k a r i A ga r i s t h e b i gge s t i n t h e c i t y w i t h a l m o s t 3 3 0 0 r o om s i n which a p p r ox i m a t e l y 1 5 0 0 0 p e op l e r e s i de . A f t e r s p e n di n g a d a y t h e r e , I can say that it is not a way for humans to live. In a n o t h e r t r a n s i t c a m p i n V i k h r ol i , t h e b u i l d i n gs h a v e h u ge cr a c k s o u t o f w h i c h t r e es a r e shooting out. Du r i n g m o n s o on , l e a k y c e i l i n gs , c h o k e d t o i l e t s a nd u n c l e a r e d ga r b a ge a r e t h e c o m m o n s c e n e . T h e b i gge s t r i s k i n t h e t r a n s i t c a m p s o f V i k h ro l i a n d Cuffe Parade are the dil a p i d a t e d b u i l d i n gs . It a p p e a r s l i k e i t m i gh t collapse any time and it w i l l n ot b e t h e f i r s t t i m e . R e c e n t l y, a p a r t o f t h e f l o o r c ol l a p s ed a t Colaba transit camp, leaving a big hole. The family residing there w a s i m m e d i a t el y s h i f t e d t o a n ot h e r l e s s d a m a ge d b u i l di n g. It i s a s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n at K a n n am w a r N a ga r i n V i k h r o l i w h e r e p e o p l e l i v e i n f ea r . A

l i t t l e c o n v e r s at i o n w i t h them reveal shocking incidents there. One of the r e s i d e n t t h e r e t ol d m e t h a t a p i e c e o f s l ab f a l l o v e r h i s b r ot h e r w h i l e s l e e p i n g, w h i c h i nj u r e d h i s h e a d s e v e r e l y. S a m e thing happened to his l a t e f a t h e r w ho l os t hi s l e gs a f t e r t h e a c c i de n t . I was shocked to see the c e i l i n g w h i c h h e go t s u p p o r t e d wi t h b am b o o a n d a b i g s h e e t o f p o l ythene to cover it as it leaks not only when it rains but also when someone uses toilet in t h e h o u s e a b ov e h i s . H e h a s b e e n l i v i n g l i ke t h a t f o r t h e p a s t 2 4 ye a r s . W h e n h e a s k e d f or t h e s h i f t i n g, h e w a s t ol d t o s h i f t a t a t r a n s i t c am p i n K o k a r i A ga r w h i c h h e said is not a safe place t o s t a y. A n o t h e r r e s i d e n t named, Khan Kishwar J a h a n , a 7 0 ye a r o l d l a d y living there for the past 3 0 ye a r s t o l d s h e d o e s not feel safe living in t h e b ui l di n g. S h e s a i d t h a t e v e n wh e n s om e o n e bursts fireworks in the area outside the buildi n g, r u b b l e f a l l s f r o m t h e c e i l i n gs i n t h e b u i l d i n g. O n e v e r y f l o o r n o t m o r e t h a n t w o f am i l i e s reside because of the ut-

t e r l y u n l i v e a b l e co n d i t i o n s o f t h e b u i l d i n g. This area has 300 MHAD A b u i l di n gs , a l l a r e i n d i l a p i d at e d conditions. Due to the poor condit i o n s o f t h e b u i l d i n g, m a n y o f t h e o r i gi n a l t e n a n t s s o l d t h e i r r o om s t o others. Now those who h a v e b o u gh t t r a n s i t c a m p h o m e s f r o m o r i gi n al t e n ants are considered encroachers by MHADA a n d t h e y c a n n o t b e gi v e n a shifting by MHADA. When I spoke to these ‘encroachers’, they have a different story to tell. Many of them have b o u gh t r o o m s i n t ra n s i t s f r o m t h e o r i gi n a l t e n a n t s , d e c a d e s a go . A n d t h e y a r e p a yi n g r e n t s a n d b i l l s s i n c e t h e n. B u t once they are declared ‘encroachers’ by MHADA, they not only have t o v a c a t e t h e p l a c e b ut also they will also lose t h e a l l ot m e n t . M H A D A decided to r e gu l a r i z e these ‘encroachers’ according to the news rep o r t s , b ut t h e r e s i d e n t s still live in fear of being declared ‘encroachers’.

The views in this article are the personal views of the author.



FRIDAY, 12 JUNE, 2015


Fishing for a living

The island city of Mumbai might be a confluence of multiple races and ethnicities but the foremost inhabitants of the city, the Koli fishing tribe, still make their presence felt in these modern times. According to the study of ethnicities done by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), the bountiful bay that gave Mumbai its trade, fame and success, was first explored, inhabited and occupied by fishermen. The Koli’s are a fishing tribe, who can be found along the western coast of India, in states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. Native to these islands, the earliest explorers to set foot on this archipelago, have always observed the settlement of Koli fishermen predating their arrival, along the coast of each of PRATIK CHORGE

the seven islands that formed Bombay. Due to their intertwined history with the city, most modern names and landmarks of the city have a connection to the earliest local nomenclature assigned by the local Koli’s. The name ‘Colaba’ is an anglicized version of ‘Kol -Aba’, which translates to ‘A Koli Village’. Similarly, ‘Mazagaon’ is derived from ‘Matsya-Gav’, which means ‘A fishing village’. It is interesting to note that although hailing from the state of Maharashtra, Koli fisher folk speak Konkani rather than the local language of Marathi. Although both languages have similarities, Konkani is a language that belongs to the western coastal region of India, irrespective of state boundary lines. The practice of

fishing has been passed down from generation to generation and oldest settlements of the city can be found as fishing villages, dotted on the shoreline of the city. The villages of Mahim, Worli, Colaba, Versova and Bandra are among the many places in Mumbai, that have continued as a community for the bloodline of Koli’s along with their profession. Even as the world progresses in an unimaginable pace, it is nostalgic to observe the practices of fishing being passed on in every successive generation, anchored in the proud legacy of the tribe. Mumbai Weekly photographers Satyabrata Tripathy and Pratik Chorge spent time at various fishing villages to know more about the fisher folk.



FRIDAY, 12 JUNE, 2015

Gold prices on a bumpy ride

Govt. asks milk cooperatives to cut prices Milk cooperative societies and distributors have been asked by the Maharashtra government to reduce the price of milk by ₹2 to ₹5. It was announced by the development minister Eknath Khadse, according to a newspaper report. The decision was taken as it was felt that the dealers

have been earning double the procurement rate. According to newspaper reports, the milk producers were buying milk from the farmers at prices between ₹14 to ₹16. Till the time this milk reaches the market, it costs around ₹40 to ₹60. The government is also planning to provide

milk at a fix rate of ₹20 per litre to the milk producing farmers who face problems due to falling prices of milk. I t i s a l so decided by the government to take serious action against those distributors who a r e p a yi n g l e s s t o t h e milk producers, the reports said.

A jewelry craftsmen works on a gold necklace at a workshop near Kalbadevi, in Mumbai on 4 June 2015. Karishma Aidasani/Mumbai Weekly

Gold prices in the month of May saw some fluctuations. The price of the gold shot up on 30 May 2015 after falling for the four consecu t i v e d a ys . T h e g o l d price recovered by ₹55 to trade at ₹27, 330 per ten grams. On the con-

t r a r y, s i l v e r p r i c e w a s down by ₹175 to ₹38, 575 per kg. According to news reports, the traders are expecting the Federal Reserve in US to increase the interest rates for the first time s i n c e 2 0 0 6 . In N e w York, the gold price was

up by 0.1 percent to $1, 189.80 an ounce and silver by 0.2 percent to $ 1 6 . 7 0 a n o u n c e . In t h e l a s t f o u r d a ys i n t h e month of May gold fell b y ₹ 2 0 0 . In t h e l a s t three weeks, it was the lowest fall in the prices of gold, reports said.

A boy walks past a milk truck early in the morning near Sandhrust Road in Mumbai on 4 June 2015. Pratik Chorge/Mumbai Weekly

Rising numbers of pomegranate exports from state Maharashtra has seen a sudden rise of 33% in the export of pomegranates. This is fruitful to the wholesaler whose quantit y of trade has increased exponentiall y over the last few weeks. The demand is largel y from Gulf countries apart from Russia, Canada, Netherlands and Egypt. According to financial reports in newspapers, Maharashtra supplies 90% of the pomegranate production in the country and most of it comes from the drought -prone districts of Satara, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune, Dhule and Aurangabad. Observing the rising number of exports in the field along with the increasing demand, large

numbers of farmers in the state are switching to the production of this fruit, from grapes. The pomegranate is available whole year in all seasons and is sold at a rate of ₹120 per kg in the wholesale market. Normall y the export season is completed b y March but this year it got extended up to April. Speaking to the press, Chairman of theMaharashtra Pomegranate Growers Research Association, Mr. Prabhakar Chandane said, that the state has nearl y 30,000-40,000 hectares under the cultivation of the fruit as opposed to the 10,000-15,000 hectares last year, the newspaper report said.

A fruit seller stands amidst pomegranates in Byculla fruit market, Mumbai on 31 May 2015. Pratik Chorge/Mumbai Weekly

Tax hike exempted for areas below 500 sq. feet

A lady sits near the window in a building near Lalbaug, in Mumbai on 4 June 2015. Kartik Avatani/Mumbai Weekly Nearly 17 lakh families liv- poration of Greater Mumbai ing in Mumbai, will breathe (MCGM) had shifted a sigh of relief after the gov- from ratable tax to capitalernment announced the ex- based (rent-based) tax strucemption of property tax be- ture, and had exempted all ing increased, on properties properties below 500 sq. feet occupying area less than 500 from increase in tax for the sq. feet. The current evalua- next five years, which ended tion of property tax is based in March 2015. From the on the rent value of the prop- 3.35lakh residences in the erty. According to news re- city, the digitized data for ports, Chief Minister Deven- 2.27lakh properties is availadra Fadnavis chaired a re- ble with the BMC. Nearly cent Cabinet meeting in 70% of the 2.27lakh properwhich this decision was tak- ties have an area less than en. In 2010, Municipal Cor- 500 sq feet, the report said.

U-Win, a smart-card with smart facilities for labourers Unorganized sector workers can avail multiple facilities through a new smart card which will be called unorganized workers identification number abbreviated as UWIN. The NDA government plans to announce a security scheme for the unorganized sector worker who covers almost 82.7 percent of the country’s total labour force, as per news reports. The scheme will provide life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits and oldage protection. The issuance of U- WIN cards intends to create a central level database for all the unorganized sector workers across the country. The cards will be issued by the district administration of each state. The project will be funded by Centre and it will be linked to the Aadhar card and bank accounts of these workers. To get the U- WIN number, the person needs to register for it provided he should be at least 14 years of age and submit a self- decla-

A labourer cleans waste from a drain near Sion Koliwada in Mumbai on 5 June 2015. Pratik Chorge/Mumbai Weekly ration that he or she is an unorganized sector worker. To stop the duplication of the registration of these workers, the U- WIN card will be authenticated by Aadhar and a biometric de-duplication software will be built in the UIDAI database, according

to the news reports. According to the latest census, there are around 48.37 crore people in the unorganized sector of workers, out of which 47.28 crore people are employed. Hence it is felt that these workers should also get some benefits as they cover a large

amount of population. The government intends to create a central level database of all unorganized sector workers in the country by which they can maintain the data about the workers which was never maintained due to the nature of the job, the reports said.


Tamilians of Mumbai celebrate Vaikasi Visakam

A child cries while being pierced by a needle as part of Murugan Puja festival near Sion, Mumbai on 27 May 2015. Karishma Aidasani/Mumbai Weekly

MW Mumbai witnessed the celebration of the festival Vaikasi Visakam, in its traditional manner across various part of the city on 27th May 2015. Vaikasi Visakam is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Murugan. It is celebrated on the Tamil month of Vaikasi, which falls in month May or June. It also coincides with the months of Vishakha Nakshatra in other Hindu calendars. Lord Murugan is considered as the God of Courage, Wealth and Wisdom and is primarily celebrated by Tamilians across the globe. Some practices of the festival include some extreme measures taken by devotes for the procession held on this day each year. As Lord Murugan is the son of Lords Shiva, devotees pierce their back their mouths with Lord Shiva’s trishul(trident) as a devotion to the lord. Such processions are carried out by Tamilians all across the world. A large Tamil community in Sion was among the many communities that celebrated such processions across the city.

Reality show semi-finals held in Mumbai’s film city The ci t y re cent l y wi t nes s ed t he Indi a n l e g o f a popul ar t al ent -hunt real i t y s e ri es, know n as ‘Got t al ent ’. The In di an vers i on of t he show i m pres s ed audi e nces worl dwi de, wi t h som e enthralling per form ances and di spl a y of i ncredi bl e t al ent on t he s t age. The j ud ges o f t he s how wer e act ress and Lok S abh a MP , Ki rron Kher, Bol l ywood d i rect or, Kar an J ohar an d act res s M al ai ka Arora Khan. Th e c ast o f an upcom i ng fi l m di re ct ed b y chor eo gr apher R em o D’S ouz a, were al s o at t he event whi ch i ncl uded t he l e ad a ct or V arun Dhawan al on g wi t h t he di rect or hi m sel f. A cont es t ant , Mani k P aul , l eft t he audi ences and t he j udges am az ed , as

he per form ed an em ot i onal and ski l l ed acro bat i c dedi c at i on t o hi s si ngl e m ot her. He recei ved a st andi n g ovat i on for hi s per form ance and was fel i ci t at ed personal l y b y t he sp eci al j udges of t h e show. The ongoi n g seri es of t he real i t y sho w i s t he si x t h season of t he show. La unched in 2009, t he show has di spl a ye d t he wi de r ange of abi l i t i es and un i que t al ent s over t he l as t si x ye a rs. Th e show al so has m ana ged t o su pport and det ect t al ent ed i ndi vi dual hai l i ng from rem ot e areas of t he c ount r y and h as provi ded a pl at form for t h ese i ndi vi dual s t o m onet i ze on t hei r t al ent s ac cor di ng t o t he TV net w ork ’s websi t e.

Manik Paul performs at a reality show held in Goregaon, Mumbai on 2 June 2015. Pratik Chorge/Mumbai Weekly

Vidya Balan visits local radio station

International brand showcases summer wear lingerie International lingerie brand, Triumph, hosted a fashion show, at Hyatt Regency on 18 May 2015, to display their new collection of inner wear, launched by the Germany-based brand, in the country. The ramp saw both, Indian and international models

displaying the garments. The city’s elite were among the large audience that attended the event. The brand displayed its legacy of understanding the female physique; as they launched a new series of comfort inner wear based on their 125 years of

experience. According to a press statement given by Mr. Shalindra Fernando and Head of Operations, the fashion show was also a celebration for the constant growth and high sales that the brand has witnessed over the last few years, in India.

Acclaimed Bollywood actress Vidya Balan arrives at a promotional event for her latest film ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ at Radio Mirchi studio, Mumbai on 22 May 2015. Mrinmoy Choudhury/Mumbai Weekly Acclaimed Bollywood actress Vidya Balan was seen at a local FM radio station for the promotion of her upcoming movie Humari Adhuri Kahani, along with the co-star Emraan Hashmi and director Mohit Suri.

The team had a talk session at the studio room and answered few questions posed by the members of media, present at the venue. Vidya Balan expressed her enthusiasm about the upcoming movie and

seemed ecstatic about its release. Her co-star of the film, Emraan Hashmi and Mohit Suri spoke about the working relationship they share and relayed their joyful experiences during the shooting of the film.

A model walks on the ramp during a lingerie fashion event in Hyatt Regency, Mumbai on 18 May 2015. Kartik Avatani/Mumbai Weekly


Patel bags two golds at GMAAA Sub Junior & Junior Swim Meet


Varun Patel during the Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association swim meet at Tata swimming pool, Mumbai on 18 May 2015. Satyabrata Tripathy/Mumbai Weekly

Yadav secures MSLTA scholarship Mumbai State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) recently held a tournament, awarding the winners with scholarships to nuture growth and young talent in the city. The top awardees of the scholarships were Mihika Yadav, Siddhant Banthia and Mahak Jain. Substantial amounts were also awarded to others winners such as Rihan Pande, Aryan Govin, Shivam Swarup Ingle and Taniya Singh. Mahak Jain was also the winner of National level Under-16 tournament held at MSLTA recently.

Vishy – Aamir exhibition match flags off Maharashtra Chess League

Left: Amish Berry of the U-16 Group returns a shot to his opponent during one of his qualifying matches at the MSLTA tennis tournament, Mumbai on 23 May 2015. MrinmoyChoudhury/Mumbai Weekly

Amaan Tezabwala anticipates a shot during the MSLTA tennis tournament in Mumbai on 23 May 2015. Mrinmoy Choudhury/Mumbai Weekly

Chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan play a round of Chess in Hotel Novotel, Mumbai on 22 may 2015. Pranav Akkala/Mumbai Weekly. The third edition of Maharash- league is to bring national lev- ipated in it. The MCL has tra Chess League was el players and to put fair seen many top Indi an playlaunched on 22 May 2015 in amount of money for these ers in the last two edithe presence of Bollywood ac- players to build their career. tions. Top playe r s l i k e tor, Aamir Khan and the world This is the third edition of the S u r ya s h e k h a r G a n g u l y, champion Vishwanathan tournament and will be start- A b h i j e e t K u n t e , A b h i j e e t Anand. The league was orga- ing in the second week G u p t a , Tania Sachdeo, nized under the Maharashtra of June. It is known as India’s M e r y A n n G o m e s a n d P a d Chess Association to promote only league format chess tour- m i n i R a u t w h o p l a ye d f o r chess in schools. The main at- nament. The organizer of MCL t h e t i t l e i n e a r l i e r e d i traction of this event was the Abhijeet Kunte and Aniruddha t i o n s . T h i s ye a r K o n e r u exhibition match that was held Deshpande are leading re- H u m p y w h o i s w o r l d n u m between Aamir and Anand. al estate developers in Pune, b e r t w o i n w o m e n ' s c a t e Vishwanathan Anand is the but they are also huge sports g o r y, V i d i t G u j r a t i w h o i s brand ambassador of MCL. enthusiasts. It is normall y a w o r l d n u m b e r four in Before the exhibition match, five day event. In the last m e n ' s c a t e g o r y a n d S . P the team auction ceremony two editions, 10 men and 8 S e t u r a m a n h a v e c o n f i r m e d was held. The idea behind the women grandmasters partic- t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n i t .

KTM tests the tracks for upcoming racing events

A rider test rides on the race track on KTM Track Day in Thane on 24 May 2015. Pratik Chorge/Mumbai Weekly Published by: Udaan School of Photography | Editor-in-Chief: Pranav Akkala | Photo Editor: Mrinmoy Choudhur y | Chief Photographer: Kartik Avatani | | Email:

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