core team Pawas Jain Faguni Jain Shreya Deora Sankalp Agrawal Designing: Manthan Marvaniya Dennis Dey
All and Sundry
feel very elated this time every month when I sit down to pen the Editorial column of SpringTide magazine. Every month is a joyride for us since we are a start-up and there is so much to be done – collaborations, follow ups, new people joining in, new ideas, fresh concepts and everything else. After the mega issue released on July 1, 2012 we did get a lot of positive feedback and queries. People wanted to join our cause and wanted to walk with us with a desire to bring a difference. This actually makes me feel very humbled and I see a lot of hope in the youngsters of our country. With the readership of August issue crossing the magic mark of 1000 yet again, we feel highly obliged in presenting yet another awesome issue to you all. In this one, our cover story sparks out the reality of our weak and indecisive government, which has not been able to duly punish a mass murderer who was responsible for a crime as fierce and gruesome as the 26/11 in the city of Mumbai.Yes, we are talking about Ajmal Kasab, who was reportedly being served biraynisome time back. Also, our cover story presents contrasts in the treatment of Ajmal Kasab in Indian jails and Sarabhjit Singh in Pakistani Jails.What actually is the difference and why should it bother any Indian? Read on our cover story by Raveesha Gupta to find out... Also, we raise a voice against how the rural tourism is curbing the growth of rural India in a hard hitting story by MallikaSinghee in Up Against this month.
A few government policies and conventional thoughts really trouble me. Why, because of some narrow minded, old mentality people, should our children and teenagers be restricted to gain sex education? A topic that has for long been avoided by the Education ministry and has become the grey area of our education system has always been my point of concern due to the growing cases of early age miscarriages and abortions, along with increasing STDs, and pervert mentality of Indian teenagers. I took this upon myself to write an article which might be “Politically incorrect”, but is actually the need of the hour. Read on my analysis of why sex education is important and how it can be brought into the mainstream education without those cynical smiles and cheap mindsets? Moreover, there is a lot of entertainment and knowledge in all those pages ahead. The recently concluded MEDSICON 2012, an article on the importance of F.R.I.E.N.D.S in our lives, an amazing start-up venture on design, an adventurous trip to Rishikesh and a lot more related to different parts across the length and breadth of our country. We will be looking forward to your valuable Feedback. Follow us at @springtidemag on Twitter and Facebook for latest updates.
Have a SpringTide day! (Founder and Chief Editor @SpringTide)
BLACK and WHITE by Mallika Singhee
he was the only woman on the bus. And there were about a dozen odd men, sitting in a scattered-more-salt-less-pepper order, on the unusually empty bus. Some were staring at her in a lecherous manner, few were scratching their profusely sweating collar lines, armpits and crotches, others were wiping the dripping sweat off their brows, while some were looking outside aimlessly and a couple of them were looking at their watch from time to time and grumbling about the speed at which the rickety bus was dragging itself. If at all there was discomfort at being leached at, it wasn’t visible on her serene face which had a faint smile of contentment on it. I wondered what this unblemished happiness could be attributed to. That was when I spotted the white, gold and red bangles on her wrists and concluded that this satisfaction and bliss was that of a newlywed. It seemed to me that her life couldn’t possibly treat her any better and there was not a thing that was of enough consequence to worry or fret about. I must now mention that appearance-wise, there was nothing striking about the woman wearing a pale blue cotton sari with bright red vermillion shown in her parting. In fact she appeared to be a very ordinary young woman. The only reason which brought her to my notice was her unassuming demeanor. It was as if she was intangible, nothing could touch her – the heat, the lewd glances, the painfully long wait on the bus, or even the lack of World Peace. Such a state of unaffected contentment borders on complacency. But somehow I knew it was the former and not the latter in her case, which made me envious. The high-pitched voice which emanated from the adjacent vehicle brought me back to earth and the realization dawned on me that we had been stuck in a traffic jam in this sweltering heat for quite some time now. The woman to whom the voice belonged was sitting in a Volkswagen Polo, no less, and screaming at her chauffer saying something to this effect “Paswan, Sahab ne kal bola thana A.C. theek karwa dene? (Didn’t sahib tell you yesterday to get the A.C. repaired?)” September 2012 | 1
”Haanbibiji par kal service centre par koi tha hi nahi. Kal subah tak theek karwa denge hum (Yes! Madam but there was no one at the service center yesterday. It will be done by tomorrow morning)” said the chauffer whose collar was already damp with perspiration, the result of both the heat and the fear of losing his job. “Faltoo bahane banana bandh karo har samay. Kuch bhi time par nahi karte ho (Stop making excuses every time. You don’t get anything done on time)” said the lady who was probably in her 30s and quite well-off, noting her appearance, the designer outfit and the expensive and sleek jewels….then she muttered to herself about how lazy these chauffeurs were, these good-for-nothings. The latest Bollywood soundtrack rang out off her snazzy Blackberry Bold cell phone. The one sided conversation that I could hear made me come to a very reasonable conclusion that here was a woman who was very discontented and unhappy with her rich and luxurious life. The woman, Leila, who was on the other end of the phone had to listen to and sympathize with complaints like – “I am dying in this heat all thanks to my highly irresponsible driver who didn’t get the A.C. repaired”……. “I’m getting so late for my Saturday brunch at the Country Club, this awful traffic”……. “Samir (who I presumed was her husband. You see, you never know, who is who to who, with these socialites.) is working full-time even on a Saturday. We don’t get to spend time together these days due to his money-making mania……” ……so on and so forth. Complaints abound in every corner of her comfortable and wealthy world. The traffic lights finally changed to green. I got off at the next stop and walked to the end of the lane. I was home, finally, after a really tiring day at school. After a scrumptious lunch made by my mother, alooparathas and mixed raita, as I sat there pondering over which pile of homework to begin with my thoughts were drawn to the stark contrast between two beings of the human race that I had come across today. One’s sparkling white world consisted of a 4-carat solitaire diamond ring, while the other’s consisted of a necklace of sacred black beads tied around her neck. The former’s luxuries and diamonds did nothing to quench the discontentment arising out of her trivial yet unending miseries. On the contrary the latter’s black beads provided her with a sense of security and left her untouched by the clutches of this materialistic and money-obsessed world. Now I know for a fact that it wouldn’t be difficult to live in this world even if we were all colorblind………… It is time for my history assignment now.
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Some go, some come but memories stay forever
by ShrutiAgarwal CA articled trainee in Jaipur, Rajasthan
t is safe to say that when God created the world and all the majestic things in it, when he streaked the heavens with radiant color and the earth with grand mountains and awe-inspiring canyons, when he painted the plains with waving grasses and erected noble forests of towering trees, he outdid it all by creating friends. Why not take a moment or two and thank someone today for being a friend to you? Friendship is a blessing, and a friend is the channel through whom great emotional, spiritual, and sometimes even physical blessings flow. Friends can cheer us when we’re sorrowful or depressed. They can challenge us when we allow ourselves to get beyond our reasonable boundaries. They are there when all is well, and we want someone with whom we can share life’s pleasant and memorable moments. We often just want them around to have a good time, to laugh, to act silly, to enjoy some mutually liked activity. In how many ways have friends enriched our lives and made us feel loved, accepted, respected and cared for? Probably, too many to list, and the list grows daily. In our life we encounter with different kind of people, some are just acquaintance, some stay in our life as friends. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. There are different kinds of people in our lives whom we proudly give the designation of our friend. • Friends whom our parents hate the most. They are afraid of their bad influence, but honestly, it’s their own child who is coming up with the ideas. • Friends whose food tempts us the most. • Friends who find opportunities to disappear from the group gossips to spend time all alone with their crushes • We all have a friend who always thinks of everything in a dirty way. • Friends who use common sense like deodorants. (Never use when it’s wanted)
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• Friends for who time to spend with me are more important than anything. • Friends who trust you more than you deserve. • Friends who are our parents dream children. • Friends who are key responsible for all settlements in our love life. • Friends who can make u laugh, even when we don’t want to smile. • Friends who make us smile for no reason. • Friends who forgive us for our each mistake coz they want us in their lives. • Lazy friends who always do just one thing – NOTHING. • Friend with whom you get comfortable after doing the stupidest random shit. • Friend who never gets tired of listening to your own pointless dramas over and over again.
And the list grows daily……
Someday everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding your friends that everyone is there for a reason. It is the gift to the man kind. The relation which we get in this world is blood related. But the only relationship which doesn’t relate to blood is friendship. We hold each other, we scream I LOVE YOU down the halls, we kiss and hug each other good-bye, we’re NOT lesbians just the BEST of FRIENDS.
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iPhone 5 The most awaited device! Ayush Bhuyan (The author is a Final year student of Aeronautical Engineering at IIT, Kanpur)
So, after last year’s disappointing release of the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5, everyone is really pumped up for the ever so awaited fifth instalment in the iPhone series. The new iPhone 5 is expected to be released this September. The two years’ time since the last iPhone release has given the tech-critics and the general public ample time to let their imaginations go wild and come up with several expected iPhone 5 features and specifications. So, let’s go over some of the interesting iPhone 5 concept specifications before the real deal: Bigger Screen: Rumours are the iPhone this time might finally have a 4+ inch display. After the release of the Samsung Galaxies over the last few years Apple may now break the barrier of the 3.5 inch screen display.
Processor : The coming iPhone is expected to sport the latest and the fastest processor chip, the A5. This will enable even faster browsing, smoother multitasking, better gaming performance and rise of some new “memory –intense “apps in the apple app store. IPhone 5 will house the A5 as the main processor, which technically is the same chip that currently powers the iPod 2. The A5 contains a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with NEON SIMD accelerator and a dual core Power SGX543MP2 GPU, which means that the iPhone5 can do twice the work at once. The processor speed will be somewhere between 1.2 to 1.5 GHz, with probably a 1GB RAM. The A5 chip might effectively increase the power use. It is said that the chip has “a dynamic power management”, which can lower the [speed] depending on the workload, and thus efficiently make use of the power.
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iCloud: The iPhone will have the new iCloud service. Yeah this fancy sounding feature enables wireless remote access of music from all computers and a mobile device which means you don’t have to store your music on the phone’s memory. You could just access it from the “iCloud”.
A rear facing 8MP camera with dual LED is expected. So is a front
facing camera for video chatting. What I’m really looking forward to is the 3D image rendering capability in the new iPhone’s camera.
Screen and Resolution:
A few sources say that Apple is planning to increase
the screen size to 4+ inches with higher screen resolution.However, the iPhone 5 could be slightly wider and thinner. The dimensions are calculated to be: 4.33 in x 2.36 in and .27 in thickness at the top and .21in at the bottom, whereas the dimensions of iPhone 4 are: 4.5in x 2.31in x .37in
• It is predicted that the new phone will be 4G and LTE network compatible. • It is rumoured that the iPhone 5 will feature a new SIM-less design with 2 to 3 internal antennas for CDMA and GSM compatibility.
Well these here are the only feasible and probable major spec upgrades for the new iPhone.There are some really fancy and fantastic iPhone concepts out there too (especially the one with the transparent screen, yeah right!) So, who’s game for the new iPhone?
September 2012 | 9
by Mallika Singhee
India’s version of Disneyland? 3 days later. On my way back from Samode, a quaint little village about 50 kms from
(2nd year Student of English honours at Lady Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi)
Jaipur in Rajasthan, I wondered about all that I had seen, heard and thought. India, a country with over 1 billion people, is known all over the world for being extremely diverse culturally and traditionally very rich.Yet, when you look at its contribution to the World Tourism Sector, you’d be disappointed to know that it contributes barely over 1%. When one thinks about it they’ll realise that to truly experience the tastes and colours of India, one cannot sit at a chic French bistro in Mumbai or visit the expansive malls in the ever growing Metropolitan cities. Therefore, the Government in collaboration with UNDP came up
ith the “Incredible India!” rural tourism programme. Although it was definitely very amusing to see how fascinated people, from different parts of the world, were to plough the fields of rural Rajasthan, how it excited them to ride a tractor used by farmers in their fields or a camel cart (otherwise used to transport vegetables), how they felt like royalty wearing locally made, multi-coloured bandhej turbans and posing for a series of photographs. Activities that are nothing more than a part of an Indian villager’s day-to-day mundane routine seemed to be of great interest to not just those residing in foreign countries, but even those who came from a more urban setting within India. For all those who were there to escape the constant hustle-bustle of life in a metropolitan city, the tall buildings made of concrete and cement, the cacophony of annoying and incessant honking and other such cityills, the moo-ing of a cow seemed like music. The havelis, with their brick walls, large windows and airy angans seemed to draw them in and the languorous pace at which the camel strutted around pulling a cart laden with fresh vegetables was a treat for all those who are now perpetually purchasing packed and preserved food. Mr. Ahsan Ali, a resident of Samode and a bangle-maker by profession, represented the artisans and craftsmen of Samode around 2 years ago, in Los Angeles, USA for a programme by National Geographic. He feels that the Governments initiative to promote rural tourism has been a boon for their village and other villages that are under the purview of this agro-tourism/rural-tourism programme. On the other hand, a local shop owner Devender Kumar, echoed the opinion of several other locals whom I spoke to, when he said. The local villagers seemed disheartened by the fact that despite being promised things like Ab tourist thodezyadaaatehain, par pehlebnew roads, better medical facilities, better hikaafiaate the. Film shooting pehle bhi hoti thi. opportunities for financial gains and more Government ne kaafi kuch development karne ki avenues for development in general, the baat kithi par aisa kuch hua nahi.”(The number government actually has not yet made any of tourists has increased a little. Although, tourmove to go about fulfilling their promises. ists used to come before as well. Film shooting used to take place even earlier. The government had promised a lot of development measures but September 2012 | 10 nothing has really been done.)
They feel that this whole hype that is being created about these villages which are under this rural-tourism programme is just to attract more people to travel and are not all that beneficial for the village and its people.Yes, the craftsmen and artisans and even those people who run home stays are making a little more money, but the bigger picture of holistic development is very blurry. The months November-February see the maximum tourists coming to the village. It is indeed amusing to see how every child greets you with an exuberant smile and a “Hello!” and how every foreign tourist responds with a “Namaste!”.What did not amuse me though was the fact that there was just one school that too, only till the tenth standard in the entire village. When asked why there weren’t more schools the locals said that the government wasn’t making do on their promises to build more. Also, considering how most of their children grow up to either help their parents with farming or learn their familial crafts such as bangle-making, it wasn’t surprising that not many of the residents were very agitated about lack of higher education in their village. Every Indian truly believes in the saying “Atithi Devo Bhava” (A guest is God) and as a part of this programme you get to experience Indian hospitality on a very personal level. Not at a palace transformed into a hotel, but at a local villager’s home. One gets to live with a family, eat what they eat, interact with them about their customs and traditions, their language and attire. My experience at Premji’s Homestay was a very pleasant one. One thing that struck me though was when asked if the government had funded the renovation of their havelis as a part of the promotion, I found out that they had invested their own money into whatever additions that they had had to make. A 3-day stay at a Home stay would cost you about Rs. 4000/- inclusive of all three homecooked meals. In a way this programme does help generate employment and helps in increasing financial revenues for the village-folk. But on the other hand the village will always or rather will have to remain a village if it has to be promoted as the postcard image of rural India. That leaves no arena for growth and development of the village into a more resourceful town or a city with higher-standard of living. A Belgian tourist Mr. Kiristoff on the contrary feels that “You must walk around the tiny streets of villages. Interact with the people and the children. Dress like them; eat like them, in order to truly soak in the culture of that country. And India has a lot to offer when it comes to that.” I feel that it is indeed beautiful to be able to experience something like this but at the cost of what and how much, is the big question in reality. Every initiative, every programme, every agenda and every effort has its pros and cons. And unfortunately, this initiative on the government’s part to promote rural tourism to boost the revenues generated by the tourism industries has more cons than pros. What we as a nation are promoting in order to increase financial gain and visibility world over in the tourism sector should not be hindering the progress of our people. By disney-fying our villages we are not only putting a stop to possible growth, we are also ensuring that the standard of living in these areas does not move beyond a particular level which in the rural areas of India is really low. Instead of concentrating on increasing the influx of tourists into these villages what the government could do is use the funds that they are lavishing on advertising and marketing for the betterment of said villages. We should be promoting our culture, our arts and crafts, our traditions and our people but not at the cost of hampering the progress and betterment of the lives of the citizens of our country.
September 2012 | 11
You Were There Prashalib Gurnani (Member of GCDP-ICX (ET), AIESEC Lucknow)
You were there when we took our first steps, And went unsteadily across the floor You pushed and prodded: encouraged and guided, Until our steps took us out the door You worry now “Are they ok?” Is there more you could have done? As we walk the paths of our unknown You wonder”Where have my children gone?” Where we are is where you have led us, With your special love you showed us a way, To believe in ourselves and the decisions we make. Taking on the challenge of life day-to-day And where we go you can be sure, In spirit you shall never be alone. For where you are is what matters most to us, Because to us that will always be home
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September 2012 | 13
BY Raveesha Gupta 2nd year Student of Economic Honours at Kamala Nehru College, New Delhi
28th August, 1990
poor, unsuspecting Indian farmer, in an inebriated state, unintentionally crossed the Indo-Pak border and never returned. SARABJIT SINGH, who Pakistani authorities still refer to as Manjit Singh without any substantiation or proof;Sarabjit Singh, who is currently imprisoned in solitary confinement in Pakistan and Pakistani authorities have convicted him for his alleged involvement in 1990 serial bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 people.Very noticeable is the fact that none of the charges, pressed against Sarabjit, have been proven true in the last two decades. A British lawyer Jas Uppal who is campaigning for his release pointed out several loopholes in the trial. She said “His identity was never verified or proven in court and no forensic evidence was provided at his trial to link him to the bomb attacks. The trial was conducted in English – Mr. Singh does not speak or understand English - and an interpreter was not provided. There are other serious questions over the fairness of his trial, including allegations that he was tortured in custody and forced to confess” She held that Sarabjit’s trial was fast tracked and the main witness has repeatedly changed his version of events. On June 26, 2012 It was reported both by Pakistani and International media that President Asif Ali Zardari had signed a summary sent by the interior ministry of Pakistan seeking reduction of Sarabjit death sentence to life in prison. A life sentence in Pakistan is generally for 14 years,and Sarabjit having spent 22 years spent in jail, was to be shortly released. The pardon to Sarabjit was later retracted by the Pakistani Government agencies saying that there was “confusion” and another prisoner Surjeet Singh who was pardoned in 1989 is being released instead of Sarabjit. Sarabjit’s family was devastated with the news and termed the incident as a deliberate and cruel joke.
26th November, 2008
Flames wrapped up the city of dreams and left behind an ashen India. News channels were flooded with reports of the dead, the injured and the ceaseless gunfire. People were shell-shocked and numb as a gloom clouded their vision of motionless bodies across their television screens. Video footage showed one man, striding, almost gallantly, across the ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus, an AK-47 in one hand and a backpack in another. Not even cringing at the gory sight, not even blinking an eyelid.
MOHAMMED AJMAL AMIR KASAB.
On 3 May 2010, an Indian court convicted him of murder, waging war on India, possessing explosives, and other charges. On 6 May 2010, the same trial court sentenced him to death on four counts and to a life sentence on five other counts. Kasab has been sentenced to death for attacking Mumbai and killing 166 people on 26 November 2008 along with nine terrorists. He was found guilty of 80 offences, including waging war against the nation, which is punishable by the death penalty. Kasabâ€™s death sentence was upheld by the Bombay High Court on 21 February 2011. Kasab told the police that they wanted to replicate the Islamabad Marriott hotel attack, and reduce the Taj Hotel to rubble, replicating the 9/11 attacks in India. Kasab and his accomplice Ismail Khan, age 25, attacked a police vehicle at Cama Hospital, in which senior Mumbai police officers (Maharashtra ATS Chief HemantKarkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police Ashok Kamte) were travelling and killed them in a gun battle. And instead of execution of the death penalty, the ongoing debate is whether or not the state government should reimburse a bill of Rs.19.28 crore sent by the Indo Tibetan Border Police for supervision and maintenance of Kasabâ€™s cell.
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Contradictions will stare readers in the eye. While a special force was assigned to guard Kasabâ€™s jail where he gets the basic facilities as any other regular prisoner in an Indian jail, Sarabjit Singh has been in solitary confinement for over 19 years in a small cramp cell without insufficient space for him to stand upright. Until the recent intervention of a human rights group from Canada, Sarabjit Singh remained shackled in his cell. Against the Vienna Convention, article 36 and a UN Convention, Pakistani authorities restrained Sarabjit from seeking independent legal advice. Why the Indian government cannot execute a death penalty to a mass murderer, who has confessed his crime, while inhumane and worse-than-death treatment is meted out to an innocent victim of mistaken identity in Pakistan, has left the country and human rights activists, all over the world baffled and scrounging for answers. Advocates of this sympathetic treatment to Kasab may argue that he is vital to provide information and proof of Pakistanâ€™s involvement in the terror attack. Such an argument becomes redundant when other alternatives towards the same goal have not been ruled out. Indian authorities need to look for more proof, concrete proof and not be held to ransom by one terroristâ€™s life. Appropriate action is the need of the hour for the weeping families of the victims and the million tears that has not yet been accounted for. While I do not advocate capital punishment as the ultimate resort to all problems, someone convicted for 166 murders, including top cops and innocent civilians is not a fit candidate for any sort of sympathy or mercy at the cost of the sentiments of a weeping country.
September 2012 | 15
The Educational Drawback
By Pawas Jain
ndia, as a nation, still lacks behind the rest of the world due to a lot of reasons. Yes, I say this despite the government statistics of high growth rates, the world organizations claiming us to be the next superpower, we being the self proclaimed “culturally rich” country and our billion-year old history. India is still trapped in a number of stereotypes, conventions and thought process which had been developed by politically-motivated or regressive portion of the population. Karan came back home from school one day and asked his mom about condoms – a word he had come across on FM Radio. His mom slapped him with anger and asked him to concentrate on his studies. Karan went back to his room and opened up his school bag to start his homework. But the question stayed in his mind...
Sex education in schools for teens and young adults has been branded as a tabooed topic in our country because every time any such thing is discussed or comes out in public, either we shun it away like an adult joke or have those cynical cheap smiles on our faces. The government authorities and officials have, for long, avoided the implementation of sex education as a part of regular curricula citing reasons such as “cultural and social values” or because they feel that the content of sex education course created by the WHO is unacceptable to the Indian sensibilities. However, no steps have been taken in this regard and they have not cared to formulate their own course of study or teaching. The apathy of the government can be clearly sensed as since ages, there have been no effective programmes to rein this problem.
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The statistics such as these, that 12% of Indian girls aged between 15 and 19 become mothers, increasing cases of teenage abortions, young pregnancies, unprotected pre marital sex and many such health and emotional exertions. The age of rejuvenation and high speed internet connections have opened a Pandora box of opportunities and teenagers are exposed to all types of data, knowledge and information. Television, books, media, friends and the discussions termed as “sexual arena” create that risk taking drive among teenagers and increase the chances of them taking steps in this direction. Sex education becomes all the more vital in such an era of revolution and media, more so, because Indian parents and families are ever hesitant in discussing such topics with their kids. Proper sex education and training to teenagers regarding safer sex, human anatomy, sexual intercourse, measures of birth control, sexual orientation and STDs is very necessary and may help in avoiding the increased cases of teenage miscarriages and repercussions of unprotected sex at a young age. This may also help prevent STDs and control or decrease the cases of HIV AIDS in a country with a population of 120 crores. In fact psychologists also believe that it may teach the young adults about self restraint, and prevent them from becoming perverts. Despite all these reasons, Indian education system has not accepted sex education as part of their regular curricula. Also, while the implementation of this path breaking course, it should be kept in mind, that ill informed teachers and trainers can do more harm than good and hence, staff training is also mandatory. Besides, it should not be treated as an extracurricular course and should be made a part of the mainstream education.
India needs to open up. It is time to shed the inhibitions and spurn the hesitation.
The ice needs to be broken and there has to be a friendly and open environment where students are free to ‘ask’, at the schools. Education needs to be redefined to avoid the scary cases of forced sex, increasing pornography and STDs among young adults in India. Gathering information from unauthorized sources is not the advisable way to collect knowledge. Knowledge needs to find the right channel in our country. After all, Wikipedia is not the answer to everything!