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Fire engulfs slum, over 100 shanties charred A major fire broke out in a densely packed slum in Bandra West in Mumbai on 7 March at around 2 am. According to media sources, 150 shanties were gutted in the fire and 17 people suffered injuries. Residents of Shastri Nagar slum awoke after some locals raised an alarm and fire tenders arrived at the site to douse the flames. Media reports indicate that 12 fire engines, 10 jetties, three water tankers and six ambulances were required on site during rescue operations. It took them about four hours to put out the fire.

Residents of Shastri Nagar (a slum in suburban Mumbai) go through their charred remains after a fire broke out early morning on 7 March 2013. The fire engulfed more than 100 shanties in the slum injuring about 17 people. Debadatta Mallick / Mumbai Weekly

Demolition drive strikes again

A truck unloads remains of shanties that were torn apart during a slum demolition in suburban Mumbai on 8 March 2013. A number of slums all over the city are being demolished leaving many homeless. Biplov Bhuyan / Mumbai Weekly (Contd. on Pg. 5)

While officials from the fire brigade are yet to ascertain the cause, locals are reported to have alleged that it was caused by a short circuit. In fact, as the fire engulfed more hutments there were three cylinder bursts which added to the magnitude of the catastrophe. Worried

parents of children, who were appearing for their secondary and higher secondary exams, were especially concerned if their wards would be permitted to sit for exams, given that their hall tickets had either been burnt or could not be found. Fortunately, the school authorities were sympathetic when informed. News reports since then have cast aspersions on one of the local resident, who owns 50 hutments and has been conducting commercial without necessary licenses. It has also been reported that the previous day, houses in the slum were without electricity for several hours. Residents of the slum are reported to have cited electrical work carried out on one of the hutments as the cause of the blackout and the subsequent fire, and have complained against the owner to the local cooperator.

Hawkersâ€&#x; Union get a new ray of hope

A hawker reacts during a demo in south Mumbai on 8 March 2013. The Hawkers’ Union had gathered for the discussion of issuing of new licenses after it was announced that the Street Vendors Bill 2013 will be passed in the Parliament. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly



Marching to a new tune


Firefighters march during a training session at a fire station in south Mumbai on 9 March 2013. Seven women firefighters and three women officers work at the Byculla Fire Station in south Mumbai. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly

A girl reacts to the camera in south Mumbai on 9 March 2013. Recently the Union budget allocated Rs 1,000 crore (USD 183.85 million) to extend skills of youth and has set up 'Nirbhaya Fund' for girl child welfare. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly

Above: A specially assigned team of women commandos train at a camp in central Mumbai on 16 January 2013. The commandos were allocated for the protection of women in Mumbai after the recent Delhi gang-rape incident. Sumedh Sawant / Mumbai Weekly Right: A woman labourer sits at a construction site in Navi Mumbai on 9 March 2013. Sumedh Sawant / Mumbai Weekly

The year 2013 seems to be revealing a new face of the Indian woman. A face that speaks of courage, of empowerment, of a blazing spirit that refuses to be beaten down into submission. Mumbai, like the rest of the world, celebrated this very spirit on 8 March, with events being held across the city to pay tribute to the fairer sex. The Mumbai Weekly team of photographers stepped out to find women rubbing shoulders with men in almost every sphere of life, right from being recruited as fire fighters to undergoing commando training to keep a watchful eye on the city. The brutal gang rape of a woman in Delhi in December last year threw into sharp focus the daily torments and indignities women are subjected to

everyday. Women's safety, empowerment and the very structure of patriarchy was questioned, with the media sparking off raging debates over long ignored realities. Women's issues have been moved to the top of the priority list in the government as well, with the Union budget for the coming fiscal year allocating a significant amount of money to ensure their welfare. Legislation for women and all the redundant terminology within it was reconsidered and a new anti-rape bill is now in the pipeline to entrust more power in the hands of the women. Despite all the attention women suddenly seem to be getting, however, reports of rapes and sexual assaults on them continue to make the headlines everyday.




FRIDAY, 22 MARCH, 2013

Migratory season sees flamingoes visiting the town

Flamingoes gather at Sewri creek in south Mumbai on 9 March 2013. During the migration season every year, flamingoes are seen flocking around the coasts of Mumbai. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly

Mumbai goes green on St. Patrick‟s Day The Gateway of India in South Mumbai was lit up with green lights to mark the celebrations of St Patrick's Day on 17th March. St Patrick's Day is celebrated to honor the patron saint of The Republic of Ireland who had introduced Christianity there in the fourth century. Every year, famous international landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Empire State Building, Prince's Palace of Monaco, Burj al Arab in Dubai and the Table Mountain in South Africa take on the color green in honor of St Patrick.

This year the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and that of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark will also be lit up. St Patrick was famous for the three-leaf clover or shamrock to symbolize the Holy Trinity, which is said to bring luck to the wearer this day. Many individuals observing lent tend to break their fast for one day as it‟s customary to consume Irish alcohol on this day. This year, many pubs in Mumbai are catching onto the trend as well.

Mumbaikars walk past the Gateway of India on the eve of St. Patrick’s day on 16 March 2013. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly

Women run for a cause at the iCan Women‟s Half Marathon

Above: Participants of the iCan Women Half Marathon break through the startup line on 10 March 2013. The marathon saw a number of women participants and celebrities participating for the event. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly Right: Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar jumps off a stage during the iCan Women Half Marathon on 10 March 2013. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly




FRIDAY, 22 MARCH, 2013

OPINION: The other gender out any hesitation to visit her place whenever she was free.

understood that there had been a misunderstanding and then it didn't take her long to get comfortable As I was working for my around me. Once that weekly newspaper as- single awkward incident signment, I was assigned was behind us, she beto shoot for a story based came very helpful and on transgender sensitivity. supportive. She was keen I immediately called to share her past and preFarah to arrange a meet- sent life stories and talked ing as it seemed like a to me like I'd known her perfect opportunity for for decades, while I bemy story. She denied at came engrossed in listenfirst, but later said that she ing and taking pictures of could meet me at her her. place the next day when her relatives were For Farah, it might just out. The next day I met have been a day full of her near Jama Masjid (a story-telling and having some pictures taken, but mosque) in Bandra (a as a photojournalist I got district in suburban Mumto know the real woman bai). She led me through inside her and how she the narrow lanes of a copes with the people slum and we arrived at a around and society as a small room with just basic whole. She is quiet happy amenities. with her puzzling life be-

An autorickshaw driver reacts as two eunuchs pass by the road in suburban Mumbai on 11 March 2013. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly Biplov Bhuyan It was Saturday night and I was dozing on the train on the way home from my photography institute. A text message woke me up at Bandra station (a local railway station in suburban Mumbai), where I looked out the window to find a eunuch

standing on the platform. As soon as I saw her, I felt a sense of honesty, trust and friendliness about her. Somewhere in the back of my mind for a long time, I had the idea of a doing a photo documentary on the eunuch community. Without thinking twice, I

immediately got off the train and headed towards my "subject". As I approached her, she introduced herself, “My name is Farah, want to come to my room? I stay nearby.” I laughed and told her that I was a photography student and that my peers

and I run an online weekly newspaper. At first, she thought that I was from an NGO offering financial aid, but then I showed her my student ID card and exchanged phone numbers with her. A sex worker by profession, Farah asked me to visit

her place sometime. I always wanted to explore and understand the real inside stories of eunuchs and this invitation triggered the hope of getting an insight into their lives. After the quick conversation we decided to stay in touch and I agreed with-

I sat down, took out my camera and started interacting with Farah in an attempt to know her better. However, the conversation soon took a turn for the uncomfortable as she assumed that I had come over as a “customer” and my photo assignment was just an excuse for the visit. A little tensed, I started explaining that I had arranged the meeting only for my photo story and nothing more. Eventually, after I cleared the air, she

cause she thinks it is full of mystery. On a personal front, I had my own reservations against their community, but after I met Farah, my perceptions were proved wrong. They are also human beings like everyone of us and deserve to lead this beautiful journey of life to the fullest.

The above views are personal views expressed by the author.

POINT OF VIEW: Take charge, fight back t he paper s.

An u s h ree Fad n avi s We ar e a lr ead y in t he quart er o f t his new ye ar and a s I lo o k back I po nder , has a nyt hing r ea ll y c ha nged ? Yes, apar t fr o m cha ng ing o f he adl ines in newsp aper s r egar ding r apes and cr i mes in d i ffer e nt cit ies in I nd ia. I s t her e anyt hing r ea ll y d iffer e nt ? I do n‟t t hink so .

A woman security guard’s reflection is seen on the glass 6 March 2013. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly

T he De lhi ga ng r ape inc ide nt , whic h had bo ught a ll t he c it ize ns o f I nd ia c lo ser , if no t a clo se chapt er, has bee n s id el ined. But it sur el y had le ft a dent in a l l o f o ur me mo r ies. E ver y o t her da y s ince t hat dr ead fu l e ve nt I keep r ead ing o f new s o f r ape and se xua l a ssau lt in

T he go ver nme nt is bus y mak ing p la ns fo r 2014 ele ct io ns. T he a nt i r ape bil l w hic h ha s bee n appr o ved by t he unio n ca binet is st il l u nd er f ir e fr o m d iffer e nt par t ies. We l l, what we expect fr o m a bu nc h o f peo ple w ho ar e e it her in fa vo r o f t he bi l l o r o ppo sing it , ar e all just f ig ht ing fo r vot e ba nk s. T hese ar e t he sa me po lit ic ia ns who o n o ne s ide t alk a bo ut e mpo wer me nt o f wo me n, per fo r m ho ly r it es dur ing var io us r el ig io us e ve nt s but o n t he ot her hand wat ch e xp lic it video s whi le t he par lia me nt ar y se ss io ns ar e o n and d isr e spect wo me n in t he ir o wn co nst it uenc y. S ince 2007, ar o und 20 me mber s o f t he P ar liame nt accused o f r ape wer e give n t icket s t o fig ht in t he st at e elect io ns and a bo ut 260 ot her s had a lso bee n g ive n t icket s who wer e char ged

w it h ot her cr imes aga inst wo me n. T hese ar e t he lead er s o f fut ur e I nd ia. I f suc h ar e o ur le ader s, what can we expe ct o f t he mind set o f t he law maker s ? Rece nt ly in P u nja b a video o f P ol ice as sau lt ing a lad y had go ne vir a l. S uch is t he so r r y st at e o f o ur nat io n t hat t he peo ple w ho ar e be st o wed wit h po wer ar e br eaking t he law a nd m isu s ing it . T he De lhi ga ng r ape inc ide nt sur e ly had sp ar ked a r evo lut io n, but t her e ar e st il l ma ny quest io ns t hat ar e le ft una nswer ed. T he accu sed in t he De lhi ga ng r ape inc ide nt wer e fr o m a n eco no mica ll y lo wer st r at a fa m i l y a nd t he y wer e caught w it hin a fe w da ys o f t he inc ide nt . Wo u ld t he sa me ha ve be e n t he case i f a per so n w it h hig her aut ho r it y and po wer in his ha nd s was o ne o f t he accused ? Why do es it t ake so lo ng in hig h pr of ile c ase s ?

Just br ing ing o ut a law, a bi l l do es no t ensur e t hat a cr ime is no t co mm it t ed. It has t o co me fr o m eac h ind iv idua l by cha ng ing his m indset t o war ds wo me n. Yes what a law s ho u ld do is int r o duce st r ingent punis hme nt s fo r t he accused ir r espect ive o f t he per so n be lo ng ing t o any c la ss. I t ‟s hig h t ime we as a nat io n sho u ld st and up and fig ht back fo r what is ever y wo ma n‟s r ig ht , RE S P E CT !

Lo ng go ne ar e t he da ys whe n a wo man was e xpect ed t o ju st be a ho me maker . To day wo me n ar e at par w it h me n in a ll f ie lds. T he y need t o be dot ed as lo ving daug ht er s, mo t her s, a nd s ist er s, but sho uld a lso be e mpo wer ed t o st and up fo r what is o ur s and t o fig ht t o t ake back what ha s bee n fo r ce fu ll y t ake n fr o m us. Th e ab ov e v i e ws a re p e rs on a l vi e ws e xp re s sed b y t h e au t h o r.



Aftermath of a slum demolition


A boy sits on the remains of a shanty at Siddharth Nagar slum after it was demolished by authorities in suburban Mumbai on 8 March 2013. Biplov Bhuyan / Mumbai Weekly On 7 March 2013, over 500 shanties were razed by the BMC (Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation) leaving thousands homeless yet again after the demolition on the same day last month. According to slum dwellers, four bulldozers tore apart the rebuilt houses from 11am to 6:30pm. College students appearing for their exams were severely affected as they lost a lot of their study material. Saroj, a tenth standard student came home after writing his paper,

only to find his house in tatters. Many slum dwellers, protesting the demolition were taken into police custody. Even a Hindu goddess temple and a mosque were demolished. Some of the residents had no option but to go back to their homeland as they did not have enough money to rebuild their houses, while others who stayed back began a the process of rebuilding their demolished houses. According to media reports , social activist

Medha Patkar and 20 other people were arrested recently for protesting against the demolition of slums in Khar, a suburb in Mumbai. The protesters were beaten up by people hired by Shivalik Builders. The Bombay High Court had said earlier that all residents will be relocated at camps and had directed them to register the individual agreements. However, the residents claimed that none of the orders had been followed by the builder and the demolition drive was continuing even in the presence of officials.

Right: A woman is seen sitting on the bed at a demolished slum in suburban Mumbai on 8 march 2013. Biplov Bhuyan / Mumbai Weekly

Above: Residents of a demolished slum sit around a fire in suburban Mumbai on 7 march 2013. Debadatta Mallick / Mumbai Weekly Right: A women walks past a demolished slum in suburban Mumbai on 7 march 2013. Biplov Bhuyan / Mumbai Weekly



MW India e-waste market to surpass USD 100 million in 2013

FRIDAY, 22 MARCH, 2013

Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption Caption. Sumedh Sawant / Mumbai Weekly

Starbucks expands its circle in India A scrap dealer sits outside his shop in south Mumbai on 4 March 2013 . According to news reports, India’s e-waste market will account to USD 100 million in the year 2013. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly

Starbucks expands its circle in India More and more Indians will soon be waking up to the smell of coffee as Starbucks Coffee Company has reiterated its plans to open 50 outlets across India by the end of this year, according to news reports. The American coffee giant, which has been expanding its business in India through a fifty -fifty joint venture with Indian multinational Tata Global Beverages Limited, had made the same claim last year but could not achieve its target owing to difficulties in finding real estate locations for its

outlets, state reports.


able to achieve its growth target this year.

Tata Starbucks, as the joint venture is recognized, opened its first café in the country in Mumbai in October 2012, which was followed by three other outlets in Mumbai and two in Delhi. "I don't think it will get delayed (further), 2013 will be very explosive growth phase. By end of this year, I am sure they will reach that," said Tata Global Beverages Vice Chairman R K Krishna Kumar in an interview to an Indian news agency when he was asked if the company would be

News reports also state that John Culver, Starbucks President for China and Asia Pacific, claimed that India would become one of the coffee company‟s top five global markets in the long term. The expansion project already boasts an investment of Rs 400 crore (USD 80 million) for its operations in India. Starbucks claims to hold the distinction of being the largest coffee company in the world, with operations in 61 countries, India being one of its last few unexplored markets.

A waiter serves coffee to his customers at a Starbucks Coffee shop in suburban Mumbai on 16 March 2013. News sources claim that Starbucks is planning to open 50 outlets across India by the end of this year. Mithila Joshi / Mumbai Weekly

CIDCO to build 12,000 new houses in Navi Mumbai

Smartphones to become a big worry for camera manufacturers

Laborers take a break from work near a construction site in Navi Mumbai on 9 March 2013. According to media reports, CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation) is planning to bring up 12, 000 new homes in Navi Mumbai. Sumedh Sawant / Mumbai Weekly

Spectators click pictures at a cultural event in south Mumbai on 16 March 2013. Sources claim that camera manufacturers will be reducing the prices of cameras due to tough competition from smartphones. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly



An electric performance for Women‟s Day


Celebrating the spirit of Women‟s day, Indian electronic band Shaa‟ir + Func gave a ground thumping performance at Blue Frog (a club in south Mumbai) on 7 March. The performance had a slight twist as all the male members of the band, including the guitarists and the drummer, wore women dresses. The lead vocalist, Monica Dogra, on the other hand, went on to sport men‟s wear with a shirt, trousers and suspenders.

Monica Dogra, vocalist of Mumbai based band Shaa’ir + Func crowd surfs at a performance during a special Women’s Day concert in south Mumbai on 7 March 2013. Kunal Khullar / Mumbai Weekly

The performance attracted a huge crowd making it full -house event. A fan of the band quoted “I‟ve been following Shaa‟ir + Func for the past two years and I think

they have really revolutionized the underground electronic music scene in India.” The band was founded by Monica Dogra (lead vocalist) and Randolph Correia (lead guitarists and sound engineer) in the year 2007. Currently they have officially launched three albums. Apart from the band, Monica Dogra has made appearances in Bollywood movies like Dhobi Ghat and David. She is also the host of the The Dewarists, a musical collaborative show. Randolp is sound engineer and has been performing with the band Pentagram.

Above: Monica Dogra, vocalist of Mumbai based band Shaa’ir + Func performs for the crowd at Blue Frog, a club, in suburban Mumbai during a special Women’s Day concert on 7 March 2013. Kunal Khullar / Mumbai Weekly Right: P-man, bassist of Mumbai based band Shaa’ir + Func performs for the crowd at Blue Frog, a club, in suburban Mumbai during a special Women’s Day concert on 7 March 2013. Kunal Khullar / Mumbai Weekly

A taste of Japanese culture

Performers dance at the Cool Japan Festival that was organized at a mall in South Mumbai on 17 March 2013. Mithila Joshi / Mumbai Weekly Mumbai witnessed the second year of the „Cool Japan Festival‟ which featured the best Japanese brands and an indulgence into the food & culture

of Japan. The festival hosted various cultural performances including Wadiako drums, Enka performance and Anime fashion shows, music

and cosplay. This festival was held at High Street Phoenix mall which is located in South Mumbai from 15th March to 17 th March. Japanese deli-

cacies like Sushi,Tempura,Okonomi yaki, Yakitori, CurryRice and much more was served in the modern, fast food way.

Performers dressed up like Anime (a form of Japanese animation) characters at the Cool Japan festival organized at in south Mumbai on 17 March 2013. Mithila Joshi / Mumbai Weekly



Inter-Railway Hockey Tournament hits off


Mohammad Habib of North Eastern Railway slips on the wet turf, while Alok Vishi looks on, as Jaykaran of Western Railway takes control of the ball during a hockey match between the two teams on 12 March 2013 in South Mumbai. Western Railway beat the North Eastern Railway team 1-0. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly

Old school battle for glory The All India Veteranâ€&#x;s Tennis Tournament took place on the hard courts of Khar gymkhana (Famous club in Mumbai) from 11 to 17 March, and was open to people across various age groups. Participation was high, and players from all over the country fought it out for the title. The different age categories were, 35 and above, 45 and above, 55 and above and 65 and above.

A participant of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) open veteran's tournament attempts to serve during a match in suburban Mumbai on 13 March 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumbai Weekly

Watching the players from the 65 and above category proved to be very

heart-warming and inspirational and left the crowd in awe. People in the crowd exchanged motivational stories, one of them was about the oldest participant who was in his ripe 80â€&#x;s and had a knee replacement surgery, but despite having the odds stacked against him, still put up a show for the crowd. It was welcoming to see a lot of players coming all the way to Mumbai just for the tournament, from states like Delhi, Rajasthan to name a few.

Above: A participant prepares to hit a backhand during a doubles match in suburban Mumbai on 14 March 2013. He was participating at the All India Tennis Association (AITA) open veteran's tournament. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly Left: A participant tries to hit the ball during a match at the All India Tennis Association (AITA) open veteran's tournament in suburban Mumbai on 13 March 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumbai Weekly. Published by: Udaan School of Photography | Editor-in-Chief: Kunal Khullar | Photo Editor: Anushree Fadnavis | Chief Photographer: Francis Mascarenhas | | Email:

Mumbai Weekly  

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