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Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016


Vol-1 | Issue-16 | April 09, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

Good News Weekly for Rising India







Ensconced amid lush green forests and meadows the lake offers sheer bliss

For differently abled children Dr Uma Tuli’s Amar Jyoti School has turned out to be a boon



Lingering charm of the hillarious Golmaal still reminds film buffs of Amol Palekar



Prime Minister Narendra Modi always has a piece of advice for students before annual examinations SSB BUREAU


HIS year too, Prime Minister tried to dispel the spell of ‘fear of examinations’ from students’ psyche. Herewith excerpts from his Mann Ki Baat delivered in January this year…

Quick Glance Smile More, Score More is PM’s mantra to students Instead of chasing marks, students should gain knowledge The exams are a test of this year not of a lifetime

SMILE MORE, SCORE MORE January, February, March, April – all these are for every family, months of a most severe test! Normally, it is one or two children in a home due to appear in their exams, but the entire family feels the burden of it. This led me to believe that this is the right time for me to talk to my student friends, their guardians and their teachers, because for many years now, wherever I have gone, whomsoever I have met, examination appeared to be a great source of anxiety. Troubled families, harassed students, tense teachers – one sees a very strange psychological atmosphere prevailing in each home! ...Continued on Page 2



At the recently concluded Parliamentarian Youth Conclave held in New Delhi, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, a sociologist and visionary social reformer detailed how the toilet for all homes can be achieved SSB BUREAU


AM elated and delighted to participate in and address this Youth Conclave being organised by the Parliamentarian magazine on the happy occasion of completing two eventful years of its existence. I would first like to congratulate all the people associated with this magazine for organising this youth-centered conclave. This meeting, I hope, will

enthuse our young generation to cultivate a life-transforming vision and help them nurture a strong value system that is grounded in our national ethos and cultural heritage. Such events assume special salience in today’s fast-changing and chaotic world, as they can make our youth realize their potential and channelize their talents and energies to accomplish ...Continued on Page 5

02 Modi’s Mann Ki Baat

APRIL 09, 2017

...Continued from Page 1


Exams in themselves should be a joyous occasion. After a year of hard work, one has the opportunity to display one’s capabilities, so this should be a festival of joy and enthusiasm. We should strive to transform every year these 3-4 months into a festival. And therefore I shall say to you ‘Smile More Score More’. You must have noticed that when you are happy, you are smiling, you become relaxed automatically, and when you relax instinctively, you’re able to recollect very old things also quite effortlessly! A year ago, what the teacher had taught in the classroom, the whole scenario reappears in front of you. And you must know that the power of memory to recall is greatest when we are relaxed. If you are tense, then all the doors seem to be closed, nothing can enter from outside and nothing can come out from inside. The thought process comes to a standstill and that in itself becomes a burden. You must have seen for yourself that during the examinations also, you’re able to recall everything else - the book, the chapter, the page number, whether what you want is there on the top of the page or at its bottom, you can recall everything but not the particular word you want to. But as soon as you finish the examination and exit from the examination hall, suddenly you recollect that very word. And you say to yourself – Yes, Man, that was the word I wanted! Why you could not remember the word inside the hall was due to the pressure. And how you could recall it outside? It was the same you, nobody had now told you the answer! What happened was that whatever was inside, came out immediately and the reason was that you were now relaxed. And therefore the most effective medicine that exists for memory recall is relaxation. Instead of marks, chase knowledge ‘A happy mind is the secret for a good mark sheet’! Sometimes it also appears that we are not able to perceive examinations in a proper perspective. It seems to have become a question of life and death. See, the exam you are going to appear at is the exam of what you have studied during this whole year. But it is not a test of your life. And success and failure in life is not determined at all by how one has done at the examination; this is a burden from which you must free yourself. We all have before us the extremely inspiring example of our former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He appeared at the test for recruitment into the Air Force and failed in that. Now suppose that this failure had caused him to become dejected, to concede defeat in life, would then India have found such a great scientist and such a glorious President? Marks and mark-sheet serve a limited purpose. Life is not confined to these only. Life truly means what is the

knowledge that you have acquired! Life truly goes on in terms of whether whatever you have learned, you have tried to live that also! Life moves ahead depending upon the condition that whatever the sense of mission you have achieved and whatever is the sense of ambition that you nurture, whether there is any ongoing coordination between your sense of mission and your sense of ambition! If you have faith in these things, then marks will automatically follow you and you will never have to chase marks! It is the knowledge that is going to be of use to you in life, so are skill, self-confidence and determination. All of you would have thought that as a doctor he was good, you were finding relief in his treatment and thus you started taking his services regularly. When you have to fight a big lawsuit and go to a lawyer to engage his services, do you look at the mark-sheet of that lawyer? You only

then I would say that when you compete with someone else, there are three broad possibilities that arise - first, that you are much better than him; second, that you are much worse than him; and the third, that you are equal to him. If you are better than your competitor, then you will become complacent, as you will be filled with over-confidence. If you perform poorly against him, you will become distressed and disappointed, will be filled with envy, which will devour and consume you. And if you are equal to your competitor, then you will never feel the need to improve, life will just go on at its own pace. Therefore I urge you to engage in ‘Anuspardha’, or ‘competition with self’. You must focus on how to improve upon your past performance and how to perform even better. And you’ll witness for yourself, the positive change that it will bring about in you. Parents should create a festive

Prime Minister advised students to

take proper rest, get adequate sleep, perform physical activity and take breaks during study hours look at his experience, his knowledge and the graph of his success. Students should compete with themselves not others It is not the PRATISPARDHA competition with others that takes us ahead in life but it is competing with ourselves or ‘ANUSPARDHA’, which takes our life forward. How can tomorrow be made better than yesterday? How can a future occasion be used to improve upon the past results? Let us take the example of Mr Sachin Tendulkar. He kept on breaking his own records consecutively and consistently for about twenty years, every time surpassing and outdoing himself and thus continuously forging ahead. What a wonderful journey of life he has had, only because he followed the route of competing with himself rather than competing with others! If I have to put it in a simple language,

environment Mothers who are consciously aware of and actively alert to their children’s future, play a big role in assuaging the atmosphere at home. I shall urge parents to lay emphasis on just three points - acceptance, mentoring and sharing time. Accept things as they are. Whatever capabilities you possess, use these to mentor your children, and, howsoever occupied you might be, spare time for them, be with them. Once you learn to accept, a maximum number of problems will be solved there and then. Every parent must be experiencing this. The expectation on the part of parents and teachers is the root cause of the problem. Acceptance brings about new avenues in finding solutions to problems. Expectations make the path difficult. Accepting a certain state provides us with the opportunity of opening up newer

vistas. Just accept things as they are. You will feel much lighter. We keep deliberating on the heavy weight of our tiny tots‘ school bags, but there are times when I feel that expectations and aspirations on the part of parents are far too heavier compared to those school bags. Put your energies in study not cheating Thus, unfair means lead us nowhere. ‘To cheat is to be cheap, so please do not cheat’. Cheating makes you bad, so stay away from it. Time and again, you must have heard advisories on staying away from unfair means. I am reiterating the same once again. Look at the scourge of cheating, copying and such unfair means from any angle and in any form; it is surely going to drag you into the abyss of failure in life. If the invigilator catches you cheating during the exam, you will be utterly ruined. It is as if you are yourself digging holes in your pathways. And, I have seen that there are people who squander so much of their talent, invest their entire creativity in finding ingenious ways and means in designing unfair methods. If one devotes the same time and the same creativity in addressing issues pertaining to exams, one would never require any unfair means in the first place. Results that you achieve through your own hard work and diligence will invest you with a phenomenal and extra-ordinary selfconfidence. Take rest, get adequate sleep and take breaks during studies In my opinion, three things are crucial – proper rest, the other is the requisite amount of sleep and the third is the body, which is a major component, way beyond mental activity. Other parts of the body too require physical activity. With so much to do, have you ever thought of spending a couple of moments gazing at the sky, looking with wonder at the flora around you, lightening your spirits a bit! You will notice that you will return to your study room and be amongst your books with a renewed freshness. Whatever you are doing, take a break, have a stroll outside, enter the kitchen, look for something that you relish to eat, munch on your favourite biscuit if possible, tell or listen jokes and laugh for a while. If only for five minutes, give yourself a break. You will feel the onset of a certain ease in your work. I do not know if everyone likes this or not, but I am saying it out of personal experience. Deep breathing during these times is very beneficial. It relaxes you. A relaxed body equally relaxes your mental organs. Some of you feel like studying more and more, keeping awake for late hours in the night. No. Ensure adequate sleep for the body that is required. It will help you avoid wastage of study time; it will enhance your ability to study well. Your concentration will increase. You will feel certain freshness. Your overall efficiency will rise by leaps and bounds.

APRIL 09, 2017

Modi’s Mann Ki Baat


EXAM @ YOUNG INDIA Prime Minister Modi again spoke to students through AIR on examination phobia. The reaction from whole country shows his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ made a positive impact

Even the leadership of the country also wanted to connect with the fresh minded and diligent youth. PM Modi is supposed to be the most popular Prime Minister



qualified exams like, CA and LLB very easily. The evening before exams I used to go to watch a movie. While writing the exam I kept myself relaxed and in this way I enjoyed my exams. I used to go for evening walk regularly. Actually, all this used to keep myself away from exam’s tension and maintain my enthusiasm related to it”. This was a reaction of a young girl addressing PM Modi. She is the representative of new age India. Now that era doesn’t exist when during exams the whole family used to get disturbed. Everyone used to converse on same topic. Since tea stall to the drawing room the only topic of conversation used to be exams and just exams. Today India is the youngest country in the world. Hence, Country’s temperament shows the changed attitude of youth, their dreams, their spiritedness and their Innovative skill. PM has mentioned at many occasions that the youth who used to play with snake and Scorpios are now playing with mouse. They read ‘Geetanjali’ of Tagore and ‘one Indian girl’ of Chetan Bhagat with

equal interest. They have a clear open sky of values and aim which has no limits of distance and success. NEW ERA, NEW GENERATION Actually, this is the era when player like Sachin Tendulakar , who stated playing in the street receives the status of ‘God of Cricket’ just because of his hard work and success. On one side youth enjoy watching movies on celluloid like ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ and ‘Marry com’ the same crowd do enjoy the modern version of Dev Das that is ‘Dev D’ too. These free and independent minded never youth takes exams as a problem or challenge but they enjoy it as an adventure. This is also because to achieve their big dreams and giant success they does hard work with devotion. These are the youth who are leading X and Y generation. Memorizing Pythagoras theorem is not a big challenge in their life because for making pocket money they create computer software or mobile App. The best part is that even the leadership of country wants to connect with these new, fresh minded and diligent youth because without

this, no politics and government can work. YOUTH AND MODI Narendra Modi is the most popular Prime Minister India has had so far. He is the leader who has discovered the power of the youth and is able to make an instant connect with them. His connection with the youth has been evident everywhere - from Madison Square, New York to Facebook and Twitter. This is the reason why when he spoke in ‘Man ki Baat’, his speech placed an emphasis on the exam stress faced by the youth, especially the teens - a problem with everyone. There has been a very enthusiastic response to the speech. The acclaim was not because Narendra Modi spoke an authoritative teacher’s language, holding a cane in the hand. Instead, he talked like a friend who could understand the difficulties of preparation and stress during exams. BE AWARE Hiren Bhanushali shared his experience with reference to examinations. He said he faced a major problem once when he wrongly


Quick Glance Examination should be enjoyment for youth Necessary to have conversation between the generations Winning or losing depends entirely on your mindset

noted down the exam schedule. When he reached the examination hall to write a paper he discovered that he had prepared for one paper but the question paper he had to attempt was of different subject. Anyone would have been at an utter loss in such a situation. But, without wasting more time, he took a deep breath and made up his mind to give his best in the paper in hand. At the same time he focused his mind and tried to recollect all that was taught to him in the class. He tried to do his best from what he could remember. Bhanushali shared an idea that could be very useful. He said that while answering the question paper he made it a point to write in simple language because it would be understood faster by the examiner. But he also tried to give impression to the examiner that the examinee was someone who understood the subject thoroughly and deeply. He tried to convey the impression that the answers to the questions were correct and accurate. It goes without saying that Bhanushali not only passed the exam but also scored very well in it. Timely preparation Scorings in exams is not the only thing according to which a person or his abilities should be judged upon. This too is important to keep in mind that if we are taking a paper it should be written honestly. If your preparation and studies begin just before the exams then it will lead to stress and will not perform well. This moral is not from any elderly person but it belongs to a girl who represents the new India. If we concentrate on the learning from experiences of this girl - Sana Fatima - we will come to realise that that era has passed when a few books and exams were enough to complete our life. Today you have lots of opportunity to prove your skill and efficiency. Of course, exams of school and college are one of the opportunities. Yes, this is true that if you want to see you successful then you have to work really hard and honest for the opportunity which is near to your heart. The half heartedly or preparation of last moment will make you unsuccessful and definitely you will lose your opportunity.

04 Modi’s Mann Ki Baat

APRIL 09, 2017

Quick Glance



Everyone has faced stress during exams in their life, it would be interesting to visualise how youth icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Sunita Williams tackle their difficulties


“If I can fix a target for myself and successfully achieve, it then I am doing

something good for the nation too. This is the target I always wanted to achieve. My focus was on the ball and my target got achieved in time.part of this challenging journey” VISWANATHAN ANAND, CHESS GRAND MASTER

“When we play chess, we don’t know which move will be the best in the next turn. In the same way, we cannot predict which question will come in the exam. If you are calm and will sleep well, then you will remember the right answer to the right question”


“Failing is not bad. During college, I too failed in two courses. But what I have

done is unexpected. My belief is that you should be determined about achieving the target. In the time of failure one needs to be determined, only then one can achieve success” PREM PRAKASH


HE beginning of the year is like a new start for most of the people. In the family, people make new resolutions for themselves while people in the professional arena fix up new goals and new targets. As time passes, the pressure to meet the target begins increasing. The end of winter marks the time of hot weather for students. The Board exam and most of competitive entrance exams are held between April -June. It is a tough time for students and their parents. But instead of panicking, if we plan our work, work hard, change our lifestyle, take the right diet and have trust, then success is sure. Actually, one word that the students hate is exams. They have disliked the word since childhood. But the trouble is that this word does not leave them alone in the future too. This becomes more complex when it is linked up with great expectations, and is perceived as a matter of life and death. Such expectations may sometimes

curb natural growth of childhood talents. Last year in February, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann ki Baat, was wishing the children the best for the exams, some important people were present with him like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the chess wizard Viswanathan Anand.Sachin said, ‘When I played cricket, people had several expectations from me. Last year was a time for many difficult moments, but there were some good moments too. But people’s expectations continued to stay, they also kept rising. With time, the expectations rose higher. I had to find a solution to this. I decided to have my own expectations for myself and to set my own goals. Based on this experience, the Master continued to say, ‘If I set goals for myself and am able to achieve them, it means that I am doing something good for my country too. This is what I always tried to achieve. Sachin also advised the children to remain stress-free before the exams. Viswanathan Anand said, ‘I believe that exams are like the other problems

in life, which we face.‘You need to take good rest and have a good night’s sleep before exams. You should not stay hungry, and most importantly, stay calm’. Viswanathan looks at the exams the way he views chess. In his own words, ‘When you play chess, you do not know which move to take in the next turn. In the same way, you do not know which question will be asked in the exams. If you stay calm and do not put too much pressure on yourself, then you will remember the right answer at the right time. It is important that you do not pressurise yourself too much, and do not have too high hopes. It should be viewed as a challenge. LESSONS FROM SUNITA Another such advice was given by Sunita Williams, NASA’s Senior astronaut of Indian origin. Sunita is well aware of the exam tensions and the children’s terror about the passfail syndrome. She therefore gives her own example to explain her point, ‘It is not wrong to fail. Even I failed in two courses in college.’

Sachin’s advice to the youth is to be stress-free before examinations Vishwanathan Anand advises students to be prepared for the uncertainties A focussed and determined heart and unbreakable resolve is necessary to succeed

Coming out of the pass-fail puzzle, Sunita draws attention to the importance of a firm resolve. In her own words, ‘I see myself as an ordinary person. But what I have done is extraordinary. I believe that what is important is a firm resolution. Even in the time of failure, a firm resolve will help you to attain your goal.’ Clearing the exam is obviously not the end. To achieve bigger and more important targets, a determined heart and unbreakable resolve is necessary. The secret of success lies in a firm resolution, seriousness, stubbornness and knowledge.’ We often think that in exams, we are being weighed as per other people’s standards. We therefore become afraid that despite being intelligent and good, we might appear to be foolish and incompetent in other’s perspective. But as PM Modi said in his talk, ‘Exams are not always meant for other people’s judgement but also as a testing point for ourselves. If we have the determination and the guts to keep testing ourselves on the yardstick we have set for our own selves, then a continuous phase of success awaits us in life. It is a simple fact that semester or final exams have a serious impact on our minds. But keeping the significance of exams in life, it is not possible to overlook or ignore them. In this situation, the only option is to make ourselves capable enough to cross the stumbling blocks in order to win the race. The most important factor here is hard work, but hard work must be organized well. We can chop a lot of wood if the edge of our axe is sharp, but if the edge is not sharp and is blunted, then very little work will get done even if we work for a long time. In the exam, our axe is our memory. A good memory will help us to clear a difficult exam with ease while a bad memory will make even an easy exam appear difficult. So, in order to keep our memory sharp, we should take care to have good diet and to practice yoga. We must never forget that time is of great value. The more cautious we are about time, the better will be our gain with respect to achievements and opportunities.

APRIL 09, 2017

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak in Youth Conclave

...Continued from Page 1



Snapshots Sulabh has been energised by the Karma Yoga of Swami Vivekananda and Gandhiji’s vision It has set itself a target to construct of nearly 12 crore toilets by 2019 to make India open defecation free To cover 6.46 lakh villages, will need a mammoth sum of Rs 4,200 crore

their individual and social goals. Before I come to the subject of Swachh Bharat on which I am urged to speak, I would like to begin with gently reminding our young people present here that human beings are vision-creating beings rather than merely tool-making beings. As human beings, we are driven by goals beyond physical gratification and material abundance to seek a deeper level of meaning and fulfilment of our lives. To lead such an inspired and purpose-driven life, what we need the most are character building and the cultivation of virtue through self-discipline and diligence. This can be learned from the life and mission of one of the best inspirational figures for our youth, Swami Vivekananda. KARMA YOGA His emphasis on the Karma yoga and practical Vedanta as a path to virtue implies a return to the ideal of work as a vocation rather than merely a conduit for commercial and material success. He saw the potential divinity in every human, and his great dream was to kindle this divinity in all of us and make it manifest in every movement of our life. His whole life, as he himself put it, was his mission — the mission of man-making, characterbuilding, and life-building. “My whole ambition in life,” he said, “is to set in motion a machinery which will bring noble ideas to the door of everybody, and then let men and women settle their own fate. Let them know what our forefathers as well as other nations have thought on the most momentous questions of life.” We know the sheer force of Swami Vivekananda’s personality and the power of his words. His inspired life and teachings played a crucial role in the transformation of Indian selfconsciousness at a critical juncture of our history, and earned him the admiration of millions in India and abroad. Here, I would like to share with you a few things so nobly illustrated in his life. As an intrepid spiritual warrior, Vivekananda strove for nothing less than divine reality and a higher form of knowledge, and yet he powerfully combined this heavenly quest with the mundane question of social reform and reconstruction. His relentless reminding that without removing mass hunger and mass ignorance, no national

(left) Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak lighting the Ceremonial Lamp with Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Human Resource Development and (Right) Receiving bouquet from Moderator, Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar, Deputy Editor, The Wire

regeneration would be possible now seems commonplace (even though the country has not yet been able to fully overcome poverty and illiteracy), but at that time and coming from his mouth, it was not an empty rhetoric. Mahatma Gandhi took this legacy forward when he effectively combined his spiritual quest and his struggle for the country’s freedom from the colonial rule with his constructive social work and his emphasis on sanitation and cleanliness. It was Gandhi, more than anyone else, who understood the centrality of sanitation in human life, as it provides the basic condition and foundation for our wellbeing. Gandhi vividly made this point when he said during the freedom struggle that cleanliness was more important than political independence. After Gandhi, our present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the first national leader who has accorded so much importance to cleanliness and sanitation. His assertion after becoming Prime Minister that building toilets was a priority over temples is in sync with Gandhi’s dream of making India clean. SULABH MISSION In respect of policy, the sanitation sector in India was injected with a revolutionary energy in 2014 when a new Government took charge. In his address to the nation on Independence Day 2014, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi underscored the importance of sanitation and set the target of providing toilets to all unserved households of the country by October 2019 when the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will be celebrated. To

stress the point, in the context of the fact that India has traditionally been an overwhelmingly religious country, the Prime Minister gave the slogan of Toilet first, Temple later! He called for efforts by all—the Government at all levels, civil society, NGOs, corporate bodies and individuals—to carry out this national mission of Swachh Bharat. Thus, we have a new policy formulation and determination to make India clean and provide toilets for all. This is the task—the task of environmental and social sanitation—that Sulabh International Social Service Organisation has been championing and executing on the ground since its formation in 1970. I laid the foundation of Sulabh with a purpose of providing toilets for all and for rescuing the ‘untouchables’ from cleaning bucket toilets, and stopping defecation in public by providing toilets to households in rural and urban areas, schools, in slum areas and in public places like railways stations, bus stops, market areas and religious and tourist places. When we started our sanitation work in the 1970s, no house in rural India had a proper toilet. People went outside for defecation and women suffered the most. They had to go out for relieving themselves before sunrise or after sunset, and due to darkness, sometimes snakes and other noxious reptiles would bite them. There were cases of animal attacks and atrocities against women including sexual assaults. No school had a toilet in rural India. Therefore, girls were discouraged from going to school. Children used to die in large number because of diarrhoea and dehydration. In urban areas, 85 per cent of

The target is immense but Sulabh is doing all it can and invite the youth of the country to be a part of this challenging journey

houses had bucket toilets and they had to be cleaned by the untouchables. For that they were segregated from the rest of society and were often insulted and humiliated. Public places had no public toilets even in cities and therefore foreigners used to hesitate to visit India. WASTE TECHNOLOGY To solve the above problems, I invented, innovated and developed the decentralised treatment of human waste technology where human excreta are converted into fertiliser on site, which does not require manual handling of human excreta. This technology is appropriate and affordable, indigenous and culturally acceptable and this has made a difference in the sanitation scenario of India. This technology ends the practice of manual cleaning of night soil by untouchables and it also helps to stop open defecation. Now women can go to the toilet with safety and dignity. Girls go to school and the practice of manual cleaning of night soil has been almost stopped. Sulabh has built 1.5 million household toilets in both urban and rural areas and the Government of India has constructed 54 million household toilets based on the Sulabh technology. Internationally, countries like China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, South Africa, etc., have adopted our technology and more countries are willing to do that. I also gave the concept of maintenance of public pay-and-use toilets in 1974. Initially, it was opposed, joked about and viewed skeptically by the people. In 1974 on the first day of the opening of our public toilet complex in Patna, the state capital of Bihar, 500 people came to use our toilets; and, now this system has been accepted throughout the country. So far, Sulabh has built 8500 public toilets which are being used by 20 million people on a daily basis. Other companies and NGOs have also constructed public toilets and ...Continued on Page 6

06 Dr Bindeshwar Pathak in Youth Conclave ...Continued from Page 5


are maintaining them on a similar pattern. OPEN-DEFECATION-FREE After the announcement from the Prime Minster to provide toilets for all by 2019, Sulabh has been working with the Central and State governments as well as more than 80 corporate houses to help achieve the target. Our Sulabh movement is making an all-out effort to realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Minister Modi. We are making efforts to build a broad alliance of politicians, corporations, NGOs and civil society to spread awareness of Clean India to evolve it into a people’s movement and turn the vision of open-defecation-free India into a reality. All stakeholders are aware that besides the need of inculcation of behavioural change alongside the cultural and social issues that will have to be carefully dealt on the ground, the real challenge is to construct millions of toilets. However, as the premium centre of sanitation in the country, Sulabh has a pragmatic vision of how the goal of opendefecation-free India can be achieved within the stipulated time. This vision, which we have shared with the Government and all stakeholders, I am sharing today with this discerning gathering of youth, and I would like all of you to give your constructive feedback and contribute your mite in making India a clean and open-defecation-free country. Here is the Sulabh framework that we have developed, and which can be formulated in the following manner. TARGET The target will be to make India open defecation free (ODF) by 2019. In India, there are 686 districts, 6849 blocks, 2.51 lac panchayats and 6.46 lac villages. The target to be achieved is construction of nearly 12 crore toilets. REQUIREMENT OF FUND The requirement of fund will be Rs 4,200 billion to build 120 million toilets in three years (with the cost of a toilet being Rs 35,000/- inclusive of cost escalation in two years. Therefore, there will be no requirement of extra fund over and above, during the envisaged two years’ period.) FUNDS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES • Contribution from the beneficiaries • Subsidy from the Government • Bank loan • CSR fund • Donation from India, abroad, Industries and rich people. • NRIs TECHNOLOGY • The two-pit pour-flush eco-friendly compost toilet technology popularly known as Sulabh Shauchalaya was invented by me in the year 1968-69.

• In 1996, India’s Cost Effective & Appropriate Sanitation Systems – Sulabh International Projects was ranked in the top 100 of the Best Practices Database for Human Settlements by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements for the Habitat II City Summit in Istanbul and as cost effective technology in 2000 in Dubai. • In 2003, UNDP has adopted Sulabh technology. • BBC HORIZONS has featured Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak’s invention of the Sulabh toilet technology as one of the five inventions of the world. METHODOLOGY First party i.e. Government or the corporate sector or any other organization will work for resource mobilization, monitoring and supervision. The second party i.e. civil society or NGOs or Sulabh International will go house to house, tell the beneficiaries about the importance of toilets,

APRIL 09, 2017

experience, infrastructure, financial turn over, management capabilities and any other condition/s the Government may decide upon. Agency/ agencies so selected will choose one person from each village, to be known as Change Makers (6.46 lakh villages). Apart from motivation, education, communication, the motivator so selected from one village with the help of two masons and four labourers will/ should be able to construct minimum 200 toilets in a year and will subsequently follow up the functioning of the toilet. On the basis of construction of minimum 200 toilets in a year will mean (6.46 lakh villages x 200 toilets) = 12 crore 92 thousand toilets in two years. Therefore, even if there are slippages in construction, attainment of target of construction of 12 crore toilet is/ should be possible.The motivator will motivate the beneficiary and after the latter agrees to get the toilet constructed in the house, will fill up a form and authorize the agency

Vivekananda’s emphasis on the Karma yoga and practical Vedanta as a path to virtue implies a return to the ideal of work as a vocation

motivation, education, communication, training, designing, estimation, implementation, maintenance and followup. The second party will give guarantee for one year and if there is any defect it will rectify free of cost. The second party will also see that toilets have been used by the people and if there is any problem like leaving menstruation clothes by the women inside the toilet, it will be taken up by the second party so that it could remain functional. For the entire job from motivation to follow-up, the second party charges 15% as implementation charge. If the beneficiaries themselves want to get toilet constructed, in that case the second party will not be given any implementation charge. FINANCING PATTERN & PROCEDURE Implementing agency/ agencies will be selected on the basis of their expertise,

to receive money from the bank on behalf of the beneficiary. After receiving the application and proper scrutiny, the bank will give 50% amount as advance to start the construction work. The bank will inspect the construction work and after satisfying itself that 80% work of the received amount has been completed, will then release another 45% amount as advance and remaining 5% of the money will be released after the completion of the work after being satisfied. Implementing agency will be given 15% as Implementation charge, out of which 10% will be given to the local youth who will implement the project. REVIEW WORK After completion of the work, the progress review should be conducted jointly by the bank, the beneficiary, implementing agency and coordinating agency. The

completion certificate will be submitted to the bank signed by the beneficiary and the executing agency and the bank will adjust the amount after the inspection of the work done. • First, 10% of the families who have no toilets in their homes have been excluded from the assistance because they are supposed to be rich people. • About 54 million families already have been provided assistance or subsidy from 1986 when the cost of a toilet was Rs 500/- except few percentage or maximum are either non-existent or non-functional. The Government should consider to give them fresh subsidy, otherwise they will not be able to build toilets on their own within three years. • At present the Government of India is giving subsidy of Rs 12,000 per toilet. This amount is not adequate to build good quality of toilet. So the loan up to Rs 50,000/- should be given to build toilets of their choice and by doing this, we can achieve the target. • The Government can provide Rs 35,000 as a subsidy, then there will be a chance to achieve the target 100%. • In India, there are 686 districts, 6849 blocks, 2.51 lakh panchayats and 6.46 lakh villages. We have 16,057 companies whose profits are more than Rs five crore, and depending on the capacity of the company, they can take up one village or one panchayat or one block or one district. CSR MEASURES We have calculated the price of Rs 35,000 per toilet for three years, that is, up to 2019, keeping in mind the inevitable escalation in price. Thus, the company may like to donate a minimum of Rs 35,000 which is the cost of one toilet, and so on and so forth. If there are 200 toilets needed in a village, the cost will come to Rs 70 lakh. For one panchayat comprising three villages, the cost will come to 2 crore 10 lakh. Similarly, the cost for covering a block or tehsil Rs 70 crore and for one district Rs 700 crore. The Bharti Foundation has taken responsibility for one district—Ludhiana—and the company may decide whether it will take responsibility for one toilet or for toilets in all homes of a village, a panchayat, a block, or a district. The work will be carried out in the name of the concerned company or organisation. Before taking the decision, the company may like to interact with the people of the village for whom the work will be done. By doing so, the target can be achieved and the country will be free from open defecation. We have requested the Prime Minister of India to instruct the concerned authorities to act accordingly as per our advice so that the target can be achieved. The task of constructing millions of toilets by October 2019, which will fulfil the aim of providing toilets for all, is immense but Sulabh is doing all it can and invite the youth of the country to be a part of this challenging journey.

APRIL 09, 2017

Ground Report



A HIMALAYAN MYSTIQUE Trekking is one of the biggest stress-busters and breaks the monotony of city life. And when the trek is layered with some added adventure and mysticism, it’s icing on the cake

Snapshots Bagi in Mandi is famous in the trekking circuit as the starting point of Parashar Lake trek An unexplained mysticism surrounds the lake, which is oval in shape, with a floating island The temple houses the statue of Parashar Rhishi, one of the Maharishis of Vedic times

which closes by 7-7:30 pm. By 9 pm, all traces of human activity had ceased and we also decided to slide ourselves inside the blankets. ROBIN KESHAW


N case, you face any kind of difficulty, just give me a call. I will send the help right away,” said Dev Bhaiya, as we bade goodbye to him and started walking uphill. Dev Bhaiya operates a small shack, which offers Maggi, bread-omelette and an extra sweetened tea prepared with goat milk. His shop is at a place called Bagi, 50 odd km from Mandi town. Bagi is a little known village in Mandi district, but in the Himalayan trekking circuit, it is famous as the starting point of Parashar Lake trek. After reaching Mandi, early in the morning, we had boarded a Himachal state transport bus to Bagi. The shaky two and half hour journey in the rickety bus was compensated by the view of lush green valley. After having our breakfast at Dev bhaiya’s shack, we started our trek to Parashar Lake, which is at a distance of 8 km from Bagi and situated at a height of 2730 m. An average trekker takes around 4 hours to reach the lake. The trail is pretty simple and meanders through the Parashar forest and meadows. A trek in March makes the trail more beautiful, as one can see the bright red rhododendron trees in their prime. There were some patches of snow from the last snowfall of the season. PARASHAR’S CHRONICLES By the time, we reached the top, the sun was shining bright, yet there was a chill in the air. One can see the PWD guest house from a distance, perched atop the hill. A 5-minute walk on a paved road brings one closer to the Parashar Lake. An unexplained mysticism surrounds the

It is believed that Parashar Rishi came here and, enamoured by its beauty, started meditating

lake, which is oval in shape, with a circular floating island. The 3 storey wooden temple adjacent to the lake, is built in Pagoda style and evokes an enigmatic charm. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the statue of Parashar rishi, one of the Maharishis of Vedic times and also the father of Ved Vyas. We wanted to understand more about the different stories associated with the lake and the temple, but the pujari didn’t seem willing to share the details. We sat on a platform, near the temple to soak ourselves in the beauty of the lake. In a matter of few seconds, the weather decided to change its mood. The sun started playing hide and seek with the clouds and the wind dropped couple of degrees from its account. We caught hold of Jeevan bhaiya, who is the caretaker of the temple and the accompanying dharmshaala, to shed some light on the story of the lake. It is believed that Parashar Rishi came to this place and was enamoured by its enchanting beauty. He decided to meditate here. When he felt thirsty, he struck the ground with his elbow, which created an oval depression. The whole depression was filled with water, except the piece of ground he was sitting on. This piece is the floating island of Parashar Lake. Locals also believe that the depth of the lake is unknown and it reaches till patal-lok. The temple is believed to be built from the deodar tree under which

Parashar rishi used to meditate. The temple in its recent form dates back to 14th century, when Raja Bansen of Mandi renovated it. VANTAGE POINT After having a hearty conversation with Jeevan bhaiya, we decided to explore the nearby ridges. On walking for around 10 minutes uphill, we reached a place which provided a unique panoramic view of the whole Dhauladhar range. On the northwest side, one can easily see the perennially snow-capped peaks of Dharmshala, Mcleodganj. In clear weather, one can see the undulating contours of Kangra valley. Towards the north, the majestic Manali peaks make their presence felt. One can catch a glimpse of Shrikhand Mahadev as well, which is considered as one of the most difficult Hindu pilgrimages. The weather was changing very soon and the chilly wind has now started piercing our skin. It was getting difficult to keep the hands out of our pockets. Shivering, we watched the sun hiding behind the curvy hills and started getting down. Back at the temple complex, Jeevan bhaiya showed us our room. The temple management charges the tourists only for the blankets and that too, a meagre 20 rs per blanket. We were warned that the temperature might drop down to zero in the night, hence each one of us took 3 blankets to be on safer side. We had our dinner, rajma-chawal at one of the shacks,

OF FLAT TYRES After a deep sleep of 10 hours, we dragged ourselves out of the blankets and lazily spent time walking up and down the hills. We were told that the bus from Parashar leaves at 1:30 pm and we will safely reach Mandi by 5 pm. We decided to drop the idea of trekking downhill and take the bus instead. As luck would have it, the bus had broken down somewhere and trekking down was the only option left. We hurriedly hiked our way down and it took us 1.5 hours to get down to Bagi. Upon reaching Bagi, we met Dev bhaiya again and asked for the way to Mandi. He told us that the last bus to Mandi will come at 4:30 pm. This was a risky option, as Bagi to Mandi would easily take 2 hours and our bus from Mandi to Delhi was scheduled to leave at 6:30 pm. When you are travelling in the mountains, such surprises are aplenty. We had started panicking when Dev bhaiya saw a pick-up vehicle at some distance. Upon appraising the driver of our condition, he agreed to drop us at Kandi, from where a bus leaves for Mandi at 4 pm. We stood at the back of the vehicle, with our bodies swivelling violently on those serpentine roads. Luckily, at Kandi, we got on the bus towards Mandi. But this was not the end of surprise for us. This bus had a flat tyre, some 15 km before Mandi. By the time it could be fixed, the clock had struck 6. As the bus raced down the mountains, we could experience our nervous heartbeats. At exactly 6:30 pm, we’re at Mandi bus stand and saw our bus to Delhi slowly making its way out of the exit gate. We ran to get inside right in time and heaved a sigh of relief. This was a perfect ending to two days of pure adventure and awe.

08 Good News

APRIL 09, 2017


PAPERLESS SUPREME COURT Electronic petitions and relevant references only will be mentioned


RAILWAYS’ TO SAVE BIG To save Rs 41000 cr in next 10 years by switching to solar energy

Quick Glance



he Supreme Court is taking steps to curtail paper-based work to the minimum and making the task of justice delivery faster. Chief Justice JS Khehar has said, “In a matter of a few months, bulky paper books having petitions, documents and annexure could become history.” He says that the Supreme Court is evolving a system of filing petitions, wherein just basic facts will have to be mentioned, including the grounds on which a high court order was being challenged.

HE Ministry of Railways aims to save up to Rs 41,000 crore over next 10 years, on electricity expenses, by switching over to solar energy. The Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu recently announced that the Ministry had embarked upon an ambitious project titled ‘Mission 41K’ to save electricity consumption charges by betting big on solar energy. He was speaking after formally inaugurating various railway infrastructure projects at Hyderabad HiTech City railway station. The minister said efforts were also on to mop up Rs 17,000 crore through non-fare revenue models. “We will not only cut the costs but will generate additional revenue,” he said. He recalled that after taking over as railway minister, he had laid out a plan for bringing energy consumption down by 15 per cent. Claiming that about Rs 4,000 crore

Railway Minister launches Mission 41K to save electricity expenses The aim is to save up to Rs 17000 cr through non-fare modes Railways to generate energy from waste and also solar power

has already been saved on electricity consumption charges so far, he said the target of saving Rs 41,000 crore would be met by generating 1,000 Megawatt of solar power in the next five years. “In addition, we have already started producing 26 MW power through wind energy. We are also working on converting waste to energy and have commissioned two such projects,” Prabhu said. The minister also estimated that about 500 MW of energy will be produced by installing solar panels on rooftops of railway buildings and another 500 MW through land-based



A series of terror activities on railway tracks has prompted the move to secure them

WATER TO WATER SCARCE Water scarce areas in Uttarakhand will be supplied with piped water in a new Rs 4,000 crore project


N view of the water scarcity in the Palamau and Garhwa areas of Uttarakhand, the Chief Minister of the state Trivendra Singh Rawat has decided to supply water to these areas through pipes. The Chief Minister announced, “Water would soon be supplied to Palamau and Garhwa through pipeline from Sone River.” Foundation stone of the Rs 4,000 crore project would be laid in May, and people there would not have any problem for drinking water and irrigation. By 2021-22, water would be supplied through pipeline throughout the state, Rawat said while addressing a programme at Nagar Untari, Garhwa district.



HE Union Home Ministry has decided to set up an expert committee to suggest steps for strengthening security of railway tracks and other assets besides checking incidents of sabotage leading to mishaps on railway tracks.

The decision was taken at a highlevel meeting attended by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, among others. The Home Minister decided to constitute the expert committee to suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of railway tracks and property.

solar projects. “Traction power and non-traction power both will benefit from solar power and as well as reducing cost of energy,” he added. The Ministry is drawing up plans for investment to the tune of Rs 8.5 lakh crore. He claimed there was no financial problem for railways and that it had completely bankable projects. He said the Ministry was focusing on completion of existing projects. He called upon state government to have joint ventures with Railways to implement more projects. Blurb: About 500 MW of energy will be produced by installing solar panels on rooftops of railway buildings and another 500 MW through land based solar projects.

Quick Glance An expert committee has suggested measures to secure railway property Govt to buy hi-tech equipments for security of 200 railway stations NIA to probe incidents of suspected terror activities on rail tracks

The government has decided to buy hitech surveillance equipment for security of 200 railway stations. After a spate of incidents involving train derailment with conspiracy and sabotage angle emerging, there have been series of meetings within the Railways where the Centre has given advisory to state police to beef up security around railway stations and tracks.The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain, Special Secretary Internal Security and senior railway ministry officials. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had earlier written to Home Minister seeking a detailed probe by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) into at least six incidents where mishaps took place or an effort was made to cause an accident. Following this, the Home Ministry handed over to the NIA the probe into three cases - recovery of an improvised explosive device at railway track in Ghorasahan in Bihar in October last year and incidents of derailment at Kanpur and Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh.

APRIL 09, 2017


Quick Glance


Under the programme assistance to be given to state governments Relevant research will be promoted by conducting impact assessment

Public Health Foundation of India(PHFI) will provide the technical support in the entire project INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


IMING to improve public health efforts in the North Eastern region of India, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in collaboration with the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Ministry launched “Swasth Uttar Purva: Healthy North East” initiative. The initiative will help catalyse trained workforce by imparting appropriate training in delivering healthcare. Under the initiative, the PHFI and DoNER will provide technical assistance to the state governments of North East and civil society partners for implementation of public health projects and programmes in the region. It will promote policy and programme relevant research by conducting impact assessment and policy dialogues, conducting North East relevant summits and workshops as applicable to public health. “The DoNER has provided funds to

K Srinath Reddy, President PHFI

the PHFI for strengthening the health system in the North East region. We do recognise that North East is an area which needs a lot of work in health sector. We will be acting as a technical support in the entire project,” said K. Srinath Reddy, President of PHFI during the launch. Among the deliverables of Swasth Uttar Purva -- whose first phase will be completed in the next two years

First, Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram will be covered

-- will include the training of primary care physicians in the management of chronic conditions and injuries. The first phase will be implemented in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram. The North Eastern states account for only 3.8 per cent of India’s total population but the diverse and sparse population, geographical and socio-political constraints, along with connectivity to mainland and other states, hamper the implementation of health programmes. As a result, despite being a vibrant region, the North East lags behind in its health indicators. “Under this initiative, the technical assistance part is capacity building for the government officials. Doctors need to be trained. The frontline health workers can take care of people’s life once trained. This Public Private Partnership mode can be the best in public health,” said S.N. Pradhan, Joint Secretary at DONER Ministry.


DIGITAL LIFE IN RAILWAY STATIONS The scheme aimed at providing employment as well as connectivity SSB BUREAU


AILWAYS will set up Wi-Fi hotspot kiosks at about 500 stations and help people access an array of online services, including various government schemes. Christened as Railwire Saathi, the Wi-Fi kiosks will function like a PCO for Digital India and enable people to use services like e-commerce, online banking, offer them access to open school/university and insurance schemes, e-ticketing for train and bus services among others. Automated form filling, mobile and DTH recharge are other services which the Railwire Saathi is expected to provide in areas with limited connectivity.

Quick Glance Railways will provide hotspots with limited connectivity at 500 stations Railways also equipping 400 stations with free Wi-Fi service association with Google The scheme by Railwire Saathi to be operationalised by May this year

The Railwire Saathi aims to provide connectivity to the unconnected and at the same time offer job opportunities in rural areas, a senior Railway Ministry official said. While Railways is equipping about 400 stations with free Wi-Fi service in association with Google, this scheme has the dual aim - providing jobs as well as connectivity. The scheme is expected to be operational by May. The Railwire Saathi is a WiFi entrepreneurship model where unemployed youths, preferably women, can be trained and supported to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot and provide a platform for online services which will make the business sustainable, he said. RailTel, the telecom arm of railways, would execute the scheme across the country. Though there are various schemes for minorities, farmers, the common man and many avenues for completing education, people in remote areas are generally not aware of them or find it difficult to access them, said the official.Unemployed youth who wants to be RailWire Saathi would have to contact RailTel for necessary training.

Good News

The training course will be approved by National Skill Development Council (NSDC). After being trained by RailTel, the youth will get the certificate which can be used to get the loan under the Mudra scheme, he said. Using the loan money, they will install and manage the Wi-Fi hotspots as per design provide by RailTel. Railwire Saathi will help in disseminating information about various government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Beema Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana among others.



UNIVERSAL ID FOR DISABLED The card will be accepted by Central and State Governments


INISTRY of Social Justice and Empowerment would soon issue a universal identity card for the disabled of the country to help them avail government services more easily. The card will be accepted by all the central and state governments. There are 2.68 crore disabled in the country, but so far there is no proper identity document for them, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot told Lok Sabha recently. The card will be linked with the Aadhar card and the data will be available online to ensure transparency, he added.

PUNE TO HAVE A METRO CM Fadnavis fast tracks metro and suburban railway in Pune


ORKING to develop Pune into a metro city, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has approved a budget of Rs 799.65 crore for Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). According to a press release issued by the CM’s office, the allocation would benefit projects such as Shivaji NagarHinjewadi Metro, Pune-Lonavala and Pune-Daund suburban railway, outer ring road and river rejuvenation. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and attended by Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Mayor and MLAs. The Chief Minister also presented various awards to farmers at this function attended by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil and other leaders.

10 Health & Sanitation

APRIL 09, 2017

Snapshots Faeces-contaminated water in ponds as well in underground causes diarrhoea, which is a major killer Technology has been developed at Sulabh International which can eliminate this using special toilets Dr Bindeshwar Pathak wants to offer Mahatma Gandhi an opendefecation free 150th birthday gift

of drinking water is that it should not have the presence of excreta. The bacteriological assessment of drinking water aims to check the presence of excreta. A particular ilk of bacteria signifies the presence of human excreta in water. It is known as E-Coli.


RAMPARTS OF SWACHHTA It was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi, the present Prime Minister, Narendra Modi gave it a campaign status, and now Dr Bindeshwar Pathak is giving it a concrete shape nationwide SSB BUREAU


HE ambitious target of Swachh Bharat Mission has its own set of challenges. One of the major challenges is to make India open defecation free. Apparently, the instances from distant rural corners of the country shows that the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will certainly be fulfilled. The Sulabh champion Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s dream is similar to his dreams of Clean India. In 2019 on 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak wishes to offer him a unique tribute: an Open Defecation Free India. This dream is indispensable to be achieved for our health and wellbeing. According to an estimate, a large portion of the population have no other option but to defecate in the open that ultimately causes diarrhoea, typhoid and vomiting and it often leads to deaths and can take epidemic proportions. DEADLY DISEASE Most of the people in the world are affected by contaminated water. As per WHO estimate, almost six crore

people in the world are affected by diarrhoea, around 40 lakh children succumb to death due to this disease. The reason behind diarrhoea and death is poor sanitation and contaminated water. According to a study, 80 per cent of diseases and 1/3 of deaths are solely because of consumption of contaminated water. This is why in developing countries, it has become pivotal to maintain cleanliness and provide clean drinking water to control disease and increase productivity. Certainly, clean drinking water will enhance productivity and prevent deleterious disease. It is often said that clean drinking water is key to good health and prevention of disease. EFFECTIVE CAMPAIGNS For effective implementation, it is essential to alter the belief system and increase the availability of toilets.

The Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Sampoorn Swachhta Abhiyan, aims to make maximum number of toilets. A huge budget has also been allocated for this campaign. The work is going on at a remarkable pace. It is laudable that there is a noticeable increase in awareness among people. Besides, Sulabh’s contribution is remarkable in this aspect. According to Gandhiji, waste is such a thing that is not at its appropriate place; if it reaches its right place, it becomes a wealth for us. But sewage and flush does not make it useful for farming. This is why Sulabh has introduced such techniques where on one hand water is saved and on the other, the waste is turned into fertile manure. QUALITY OF WATER Open defecation affects the quality of water and increase the chances of disease and makes it inappropriate for drinking. An indispensable aspect

For effective implementation, it is essential to alter the belief system and increase the availability of toilets

SHOCKING RESULTS In Amravati district of Maharashtra in different villages, people are dependent on various sources for collecting drinking water like handpump, bore well, tube well, and drinking water provided by Gram Panchayat.To assess the quality of water, few scientists experimented by bifurcating Open Defecation Free (ODF) and Open Defecation Not Free (ODNF) villages as they wanted to know the effect of human excreta on drinking water. They collected samples of drinking water from 66 villages and 72 ODNF villages and marked on the villages declared to be open defecation free which received Nirmal Gram Puraskaar. Among 66 ODF and 72 ODNF villages, around 211 samples were collected in which 104 samples were from ODF villages, 107 from ODNF villages. The samples from different sources were collected. During the test, several experiments were done and it was discovered that various kinds of pollution are present in water. In ODNF villages, 35 per cent of drinking water was contaminated by human excreta. On the contrary in ODF villages, it was 8 per cent. The sources exclaim that n ODNF villages, the presence of human excreta in open wells was 77 per cent, whereas in ODF villages, the percentage was 15 per cent. Drinking water in ODF villages was 83 per cent free from human excreta whereas in ODNF villages, the presence of human excreta in drinking water was 52 per cent. The scientists proved this from the experiment that how open defecation pollutes the water sources. SANITATION POSITIVES Sanitation is not just pivotal for health but it has major impact on

APRIL 09, 2017 economic and social growth as well. There are colossal challenges on the way of being an Open defecation free country. It is difficult to change the habits of people ingrained in their behavior and belief system. The construction of toilets has been escalated but it needs more awareness and proper usage among people. Open defecation not only affects land water but it has deleterious effect on agricultural production too. The excreta jeopardize human life by spreading diseases like typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea. Significantly, proper toilets are necessary for healthy environment and health. Toilet is the only place that could solve this menace. Interestingly, quality of water, cleanliness, health, nutrition and

Health & Sanitation


WOMEN, KIDS TO USE HOTEL TOILETS FREE Owners of hotels and restaurants under SDMC will allow women and children to access toilets in their premises SSB BUREAU


OMEN and children of Delhi can now access the toilet facilities at hotels and restaurants in South Delhi for free. The area civic body and a few hotelier associations in South Delhi have agreed upon terms to let the women and children use hotel and restaurant toilets. Some hotel and restaurant-owners’ bodies met the senior South Delhi Municipal Corporation officials, and both sides agreed in-principle to allow women and children to use toilets at their premises. The municipal body has initiated this step as part of its efforts to boost Swachh Bharat campaign in its area. It had acted on the advice of Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who had asked the SDMC to explore this idea. According to the previous proposal, however, even men were to be included, and users of such

toilets were to shell out up to Rs 5 to the restaurants and hotels.The move will now make available for use an additional over 3,500 toilets accessible to public. The decision has been taken in view of the issue of safety of women. During a meet, civic officials also told restaurant and hotel-owners that the implementation of the decision is not going to “infringe upon their business interests”.


Quick Glance Restaurants will allow free access to toilets for ladies and children This will allow 3,500 more toilets to be used in South Delhi The SDMC is also going to open additional public toilets in the markets

“The owners have agreed to allow free usage of washrooms at hotels and restaurants for women and children. The owners, however, will have a limited discretion on security concerns,” the official said. The corporation said this will go a long way in improving the ranking of the SDMC in the Swachh Bharat Mission survey. “The matter will, however, be reviewed on May 1 to understand the concerns and the practical difficulties faced by hotels during the trial period and also to explore the possibilities for further increasing the scope of this initiative,” he said. The official said the SDMC is also mulling making this facility mandatory for issue of trade licenses. The SDMC also said that the civic body is planning to increase the number of public sanitation facilities, especially in markets. At present, this is a major issue which women face when out in the space.


Sanitation is highly STREET FOOD SELLERS TO

important for health. In India, 5 crore people are affected by water-borne diseases every year

peoples’ welfare are all interrelated. Infelicitously, in India 5 crore people are affected every year by water borne diseases. E COLI THREAT The presence of faeces or stool of humans, animals and the bacteria present in it leads to an infection known as E-Coli. Scientists have also proved with several experiments that making villages open defecation free thereby free of diseases like typhoid, cholera, various infections is necessary. The better cleanliness facilities are not only favourable for health but also for economic and overall social growth.


Coca-Cola India, under the latter’s “Safe and Nutritious Food A Shared Responsibility” theme, will provide the training SSB BUREAU


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Coca-Cola have joined hands to train over 50,000 small-time street food vendors over hygiene and health-related aspects of selling food. Coca-Cola India (CCI) and the FSSAI will, under the latter’s “Safe and Nutritious Food - A Shared Responsibility” theme, provide training to the street food vendors, starting with Ludhiana in Punjab before moving on to other states.

Quick Glance The FSSAI and Coke will undertake this under the Skill India programme The campaign will start from Ludhiana in Punjab Coke will not make it compulsory to sell their products from the kiosks

The move was also touted as a step in the direction of the central government’s flagship Skill India programme. Speaking on the occasion, Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said: “Coca-Cola India is enthusiastic about partnering with FSSAI to make a significant contribution to improving the lives of the vendors and also enhancing the eating out experience for consumers. Coca-Cola India has already taken several steps towards skill enhancement, both in social as well as sporting arenas under Skill India.” This is not the first time that the American soft-drink maker would be launching such a training drive. “Parivartan”, its flagship initiative, is in its 10th year and was launched well before the company came up with any scheme under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) banner. “Coca-Cola India has been training ‘kirana’ (provisions) retailers for the past ten years under their flagship retailer training initiative Parivartan.

This collaboration with FSSAI provides an opportunity and broadens the horizons of Coca-Cola’s Parivartan initiative,” Kini said. The training would be completely bona fide and there would be no compulsion to stock or sell their products, he added. The FSSAI, which has also been training street vendors for years, has run such initiatives in Delhi and other states with the help of the National Association of Street Vendors of India. During its previous campaigns, it was able to train 20,000 such vendors. “The idea this time is to touch the lives of every Indian, wherever he may be living, and help him get the cleanest possible food,” FSSAI CEO Pawan Aggarwal said at the event. The training will include screening of audio-visual material and acquainting vendors on managing inventory, stock, and how to keep the water from getting contaminated further, keeping in view the role of infected water as the cause of most diseases.

12 State News

APRIL 09, 2017



RSM CLOSES IN TAWANG The grandeur of northeastern culture was showcased over nine days in the idyllic town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh


REMOTE RURAL BANKING An allocation of Rs 535 crore has been passed by the state assembly


DISHA has become the first state in the country to ensure financial inclusion and extend banking services to unbanked areas through Self Help Groups (SHGs). The state government has signed an agreement with State Bank of India in this regard. “This is a historic agreement to leverage the reach and resources of Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) under which SHGs operate, to provide banking facilities to people in unbanked areas. Odisha is a pioneer state in carrying forward financial inclusion through close cooperation between SHGs and banks,” said Rajnish Kumar.


NABARD’S WATER CAMPAIGN NABARD’s message for Bihar to save water


HE National Agriculture Bank for Rural Development has initiated a campaign of water conservation in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Bihar. NABARAD has floated the message of water conservation across the state. Ravi Avatar M i s h r a , G e n e r a l M a n a g e r of the bank stated that a team of water specialists will visit 100 villages in three months. NABARD will appoint Water Ambassadors in the state to educate people. The villagers would be educated about conservation. “People are not aware about it. Thus, wastage of water has become quite common phenomenon in the state,” Mishra said.



HE closing ceremony of the fifth ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ (RSM) organised by the Union Ministry of Culture was held at the Parade Ground, and was graced by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, as the Chief Guest. The nine-day cultural extravaganza has been extended to other parts of North Eastern states like Dimapur (Nagaland), Majuli (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Aizawl (Mizoram), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shillong (Meghalaya) and Khowai (Tripura).The three-day cultural programme in Tawang became the cultural

confluence of more than 50 art forms of India. Varied art forms like Buddhist Chanting, Vedic Chanting, Purulia Chhau of West Bengal, Yoga, Bharatnatyam, Odishi, Kuchipudi, Sattriya, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Dhol Cholam of Manipur, Pung Cholam of Manipur, Conch, Bhortal Nritya of Assam, Rouf dance of Jammu and Kashmir, Sri Khol of West Bengal, Tati music of Nagaland, Dholu Kunitha of Karnataka, Ghoomar of Gujarat, Bhavai, Chari, Gudum Baja of Chhattisgarh, Bihu of Assam, Sambalpuri of Odisha, Zoi Mal Lok dance, Aji Lhamu, Domey Tseric, Ponung, Erap, Sedibela, Brozai, Aney-na, Yak dance, Sapolo, Peacock dance, Pangchen dance, Keng Cham, Sadinuk Tso, Rikhampada, Paku Itu, Lasso dance, Gasi Syo, Ola Sha were been showcased at Parade Ground. The exhibition on Buddhist arts showcased the splendour and magnificence of the cultural sphere. In the handicrafts mela, craftsmen from all over the country displayed their products to the general public. Chefs of traditional

Quick Glance The Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM) was conceptualised in 2015 Its aim is to propagate the heritage, diversity and unity of Indian culture The nine-day cultural fair has been extended to other parts of Northeast

delicacies from different regions of the country treated the visitors to an unparalleled culinary experience. The essential thrust of RSM – North East is to present the rich diversity and uniqueness of Indian culture and bind the country in a single thread, and also to promote cultural inter-linkages amongst the people of North East India, thereby strengthening National integration. In the festival, about 5,000 artists from North East India and 2,000 artists from across the country were invited to showcase India’s cultural heritage through folk and classical art forms in all its dimensions – dance, music, theatre and puppetry. About 300 art forms are being showcased in the cultural festival. The RSM has been conceptualised in 2015 by the Ministry of Culture under the aegis of Government of India to celebrate the spirit of Tradition, Culture, Heritage and Diversity of incredible India. The main objective of the cultural extravaganza is to preserve, promote and popularise the heritage, diversity and unity of Indian culture and reconnect the new generation.


ESIC’S MOBILE CLINICS FLAGGED OFF Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will have their mobile clinics with doctors, pharmacists and medicines PRESS TRUST OF INDIA


ITH aims to avail government healthcare services in areas without dispensaries, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has launched Mobile Clinic Services in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Minister of state for labour and

Quick Glance The ESIC has launched the Mobile Clinic service to cover the two states Out of 13 clinics, 8 clinics would serve in Telangana and 5 in A.P. The scheme is to be further extended to other areas

employment, Bandaru Dattatreya, launched the ESIC Mobile Clinic Services by flagging off ‘Jan Suraksha Vans/Ambulances’ that would serve the areas not covered by ESI dispensaries in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The minister said, “It is for the first time in the country that the ESIC Mobile Clinic Services are launched in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and the mobile clinics will be expanded and launched across the country by all ESI hospitals.” Out of the total 13 mobile clinics, eight clinics would serve in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda and Nizamabad districts in Telangana state and five clinics would serve in Chittoor, Prakasam, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Nellore and Anantapur

districts in Andhra Pradesh. Each mobile clinic will have a vehicle with a doctor, pharmacist, attendant, driver and the necessary equipment and medicines, he said. The vehicle will visit two locations in a day for three hours each and do basic investigations. Each location will be covered twice in a week, the minister added. The minister further said that under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme, employers’ contribution (to ESI corpus every month) has been brought down to 3 per cent of the wages from 4.75 per cent, while employees’ contribution rate has been reduced to 1 per cent from 1.75 per cent.

APRIL 09, 2017



With Telangana taking Hyderabad as its capital, Andhra Pradesh architect Chandrababu Naidu is thinking green SSB BUREAU


NMANNED electric buses will run on the roads of the upcoming city Amaravati, one of the nine planned in the residual Andhra Pradesh after Telangana was carved out of it. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that only electric buses and

Quick Glance The New capital of Andhra Pradesh will have only electric buses Leading architects have mooted the idea of vehicle free zone Energy consumption demand to be reduced by 40-60 per cent

vehicles will be permitted to ply in the city to prevent pollution. Naidu held a meeting here with Foster and Partners and Hafeez Contractor, the leading architects designing the government complex. Mooting the idea of a vehiclefree zone, they stressed the need to

encourage alternative sustainable methods of transport, provision for electric vehicles, dedicated bicycle and pedestrian routes and use of canals for water taxis. Foster and Partners made a presentation highlighting the need for integrating green and blue spaces. It said that the city would consist of 51 per cent green, 10 per cent water, 14 per cent road and 25 per cent building footprint. They suggested that government complexes should be open to all, cultural buildings should be integrated within green and blue areas, city squares and urban squares should be inclusive and attractive. With regard to sustainable energy use, Chris Bubb of Foster and Partners said that energy consumption demand should be reduced by 40-60 per cent. For sustainable water usage, the representatives suggested that rainwater harvesting and storm water management should be introduced. To promote Andhra Pradesh’s culture, heritage and arts, the representatives said that the architectural heritage should be represented in the arrangement and format of buildings and spaces.


CATTLE-FREE ROADS IN HARYANA The state has drawn up an elaborate plan whereby the menace of stray cattle on the roads will end this year INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


TEERING the roads of Haryana clear of stray cattle, the Haryana government has prepared a community-based action plan for the entire state. Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Rakesh Gupta said, “Maximum districts of the state will be free from the menace of stray cattle by June 2017. Panchkula and Ambala

will be declared free from stray cattle menace by April and the entire state by August 15,” said Rakesh Gupta.” He was presiding over a meeting of Deputy Commissioners of 11 districts and other officers during the second phase of the action plan to make the state free from stray cattle in Sonepat. He said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had ordered for preparation of a comprehensive scheme for rehabilitation of the cattle

Quick Glance Most districts of state will be free of stray cattle menace by June 2017 The CM had ordered officials to study the best models Out of 45,000 bovines 17,000 cattle have been shifted to barns

roaming openly on the roads. Khattar had also directed the officials to study the best models implemented in the country so that it could not only serve the purpose for a long time to come, but also take care of people’s religious sentiments. Gupta said a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and Additional Deputy Commissioners was convened in Karnal on December 23, 2016 in which an action plan had also been prepared. “A scheme was prepared for all the districts. As a result of this, while Nuh was declared free from stray cattle by January 15, Yamunanagar was declared free from the same in the first week of February and Fatehabad by February 28,” he said. He said as many as 45,000 cattle in 11 districts of the state had been identified in the first phase, out of which 17,000 cattle have been shifted to different cattle-barns, ‘Nandshalas’ and ‘Gaushalas’.

State News



SWABALAMBAN: REHAB FOR ULTRAS To benifit 16,000 surrendered militants


SSAM government’s Home department and the State Institute of Panchayat and Rural Development (SIPRD) has jointly launched a rehabilitation training programme for surrendered militants. The scheme, christened as ‘Swabalamban’, is expected to benefit around 16,000 surrendered militants of ULFA and NDFB. Initially 102 cadres (surrendered) will be given five days’ training on various skills like organic farming, DTP, cold storage chain, pisciculture, painting, electricity works, etc. The entire batch of 16,000 surrendered militants will be given training on various skills in phases in three years’ time. MGVK Bhanu, Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayat and Rural Development Department, said, “The surrendered cadres are very emotional and sensitive and therefore, we have to deal with them sincerely through this project.” DGP Mukesh Sahay said, “The scheme itself defines its main objective to be self-dependence because it will bring self-respect and can contribute something valuable for the nation, and I hope that this scheme will encourage the other militants to come to the mainstream society. It is not important whether one is rich or not, but one should be self-dependent, which is the main objective of this rehabilitation scheme.” He further expressed the hope that this small step would be a giant leap for the future.

14 Science & Technology SPACE SOUTH ASIA

BANGLADESH TO LAUNCH SATELLITE An agreement has been signed with India to get ISRO to launch 12 Ku band transponders

APRIL 09, 2017



In a major breakthrough, scientists have turned a rose into a supercapacitor with practical applications SSB BUREAU


N a major breakthrough, scientists have turned a rose into a supercapacitor that may lead to systems harvesting energy from electronic plants to power sensors. Researchers showed that they had caused roses to absorb a conducting polymer solution by conducting hydro gel formed in the roses stem in the



angladesh has signed an agreement with India to join the ‘South Asia Satellite’, an initiative of the Indian government. India, through ISRO, will launch a 2 ton class communication satellite with 12 Ku band transponders (36 MHz each) using ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk-II) for serving the South Asia region. The applications proposed under the satellite system include tele-education, tele-medicine and inter-government networks, emergency communication for disaster situations, television broadcast and DTH television services. There is a potential for each participating country to use a dedicated transponder with capacity of 36 to 54 MHz for its own internal use. Each country would be responsible for content generation and its use, the High Commission said in a statement. All South Asian countries, except Pakistan, will be part of this unique project binding the region in “a cooperative and collaborative endeavor for the benefit of the people of the participating countries”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier announced the launching of the satellite during the 2014 SAARC Summit in Kathmandu as a “gift to India’s neighbours”. “This satellite is a reflection of India’s commitment to the development of the South Asian region and an expression to share its expertise and technology for the benefit of the region,” the High Commission said.

form of wires. With an electrode at each end and a gate in the middle, a fully functional transistor was created. “We have been able to charge the rose repeatedly, for hundreds of times without any loss on the performance of the device. The levels of energy storage we have achieved are of the same order of magnitude as those in supercapacitors,” said Eleni Stavrinidou, assistant professor at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics from Linkoping University in Sweden. “The plant can, without any form of optimisation of the system, potentially power our ion pump, for example, and various types of sensors,” said Stavrinidou. Researchers developed a material that polymerises inside the rose without any external trigger. The innate fluid that flows

Quick Glance Researchers caused roses to absorb a conducting polymer solution A meterial has been developed that polymerises inside the rose The plant has demonstrated that research has practical applications

inside the rose contributes to create long, conducting threads, not only in the stem but also throughout the plant, out into the leaves and petals. “This research is in a very early stage, and what the future will bring is an open question,” said Stavrinidou. “A few years ago, we demonstrated that it is possible to create electronic plants, power plants, but we have now shown that the research has practical applications,” said Magnus Berggren, head of the Laboratory of Organic Electronics.



The wireless network developed by researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology has a massive capacity of 40 Gbit/s PRESS TRUST OF INDIA


CIENTISTS have developed a new wireless internet based on harmless infrared rays that is 100 times faster than existing WiFi network and has the capacity to support more devices without getting congested. Low Wi-Fi is a source of irritation that nearly everyone experiences. Wireless devices in the home consume ever more data, and it is only growing, and congesting the Wi-Fi network, researchers said. The wireless network developed by researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands

Quick Glance Scientists are using harmless infrared rays to boost the capacity of WiFi A safe infrared wavelength is used that does not reach the retina Researchers managed to achieve a speed of 42.8 Gbit/s over 2.5 metres

not only has a huge capacity - more than 40 Gigabits per second (Gbit/s) - but also there is no need to share since every device gets its own ray of light. The system is simple and cheap to set up. The wireless data comes from a few central ‘light antennas’, for instance mounted on the ceiling, which are able to very precisely direct the rays of light supplied by an optical fibre. The antennas contain a pair of gratings that radiate light rays of different wavelengths at different angles (‘passive diffraction gratings’). Changing the light wavelengths also changes the direction of the ray of light. Since a safe infrared wavelength is used that does not reach the vulnerable retina in your eye, this technique is harmless. If you walk around as a user and your Smartphone or tablet moves out of the light antenna’s line of sight, then another light antenna takes over, researchers said. The network tracks the precise location of every wireless device using its radio signal transmitted

in the return direction, they said. It is a simple matter to add devices: they are assigned different wavelengths by the same light antenna and so do not have to share capacity. Moreover, there is no longer any interference from a neighbouring Wi-Fi network. Current Wi-Fi uses radio signals with a frequency of 2.5 or five gigahertz. The new system uses infrared light with wavelengths of 1,500 nanometers and higher. This light has frequencies that are thousands of times higher, some 200 terahertz, which makes the data capacity of the light rays much larger. Researchers managed to achieve a speed of 42.8 Gbit/s over a distance of 2.5 meters. Even if you have the very best Wi-Fi system available, you would not get more than 300 Megabit/s in total, which is some hundred times less than the speed per ray of light achieved by the new system.

APRIL 09, 2017



The object, found in the ‘halo’ or outermost reach of our galaxy, indicates that there could be many more SSB BUREAU


record-breaking brown dwarf, a star too small for nuclear fusion, with the purest composition and the highest mass yet known has been identified by an international team of astronomers. The object, known as SDSS J0104+1535, is a member of the so-called halo or the outermost reaches of our Galaxy and is made up of the most ancient stars, the scientists reported in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. “We really didn’t expect to see brown dwarfs that are this pure. Having found one, though, often suggests a

much larger hitherto undiscovered population. I’d be very surprised if there aren’t many more similar objects out there waiting to be found,” said lead authors Zeng Hua Zhang from the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary

Science & Technology

Quick Glance The mass of Brown Dwarf is too small for full nuclear fusion This one, located 750 light years away, is in the Pisces constellation 250 times purer than the Sun, it has been formed 10 billion years ago

Islands in Spain. Located 750 light years away in the constellation of Pisces, SDSS J0104+1535 is made of gas that is around 250 times purer than the Sun and consists of more than 99.99 per cent hydrogen and helium. It is estimated to have formed about 10 billion years ago and measurements also suggest it has a mass equivalent to 90 times that of Jupiter, making it the most massive brown dwarf found to date. Brown dwarfs are intermediate between planets and full-fledged stars. Their mass is too small for full nuclear fusion of hydrogen to helium (with a consequent release of energy) to take place, but they are usually significantly more massive than planets.



MIXED REALITY IN SPACE Unreal Engine’s applications are designed to hone the skills of astronauts PRESS TRUST OF INDIA


ASA has partnered with realtime visualisation platform Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to create a mixed reality International Space Station (ISS) that can provide an ‘out of this world’ environment for its astronauts and engineers, a media report said. Unreal Engine’s applications are designed to allow people to work in environments that are practically impossible to access for training and development. The mixed reality ISS app sweeps astronauts-in-training off their feet with an “active response gravity offload system” techcruch.


CHINA’S GIANT NANO-TECH FACILITY Nano-X facility in Suzhou integrates the state-of-art capabilities of material growth, device fabrication and testing in one environment PRESS TRUST OF INDIA


HINA is building the world’s largest multifunctional research platform for nano-technology which would help develop more powerful computers and intelligent robots. The Vacuum Interconnected Nano-X Research Facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, integrates the stateof-art capabilities of material growth, device fabrication and testing in one

ultra-high vacuum environment, Ding Sunan, deputy director of the project said. “We are exploring a new technology route of nano-scale devices production on the platform, which simulates the ultra-high vacuum environment of space,” Ding, a researcher at the Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics said. Nano-X has received initial funding of 320 million yuan (about USD 46.5 million) and will eventually have a budget of 1.5 billion yuan, staterun Xinhua news agency reported. Construction of the first stage began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2018. It comprises 100-metrelong ultra-high vacuum pipelines connecting 30

Quick Glance China is building world’s largest nano-technology research platform It is exploring a new technology route of nano-scale devices production Nano-X has received initial funding of 320 million yuan

pieces of equipment. Ultimately, the facility will have ultra-high vacuum pipelines of about 500 metres, connecting more than 100 large pieces of equipment, Ding said. Nano-X is designed as a complete system for material growth, device fabrication and testing. All samples can be transferred accurately, quickly and smoothly among all tools in an ultrahigh vacuum environment. The facility can prevent surface contamination from the air, keeping a material’s intrinsic properties unchanged and realizing quantum manipulation and control, Ding said. Experts say it will help make breakthroughs in common and critical problems in materials science and device technology, and develop new manufacturing technologies of nanomaterials and core devices in the fields of energy and information.

com reported. It works in conjunction with a robotic crane that makes the trainee feel like he or she would in microlunar- or Martian gravity. Besides using the mixed reality system to train astronauts and engineers for life and work in orbit, NASA will use it to design new habitats, the techcruch. com report said. Previously, astronaut training meant dives in a “neutral buoyancy lab,” a giant pool that holds 6.2 million gallons of water and spending time at NASA’s “space vehicle mockup facility,” a life-sized model of the space shuttle orbiter and parts of the ISS. These physical facilities have limited capacity, thus adding a mixed reality mock-up, alongside the physical facility, could allow astronauts-in-training a lot more time to hone their skills in a convincing simulator, the report said.


APRIL 09, 2017

the body in “goodTo keep health is a duty,

otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear” Gautam Buddha

SHARAD GUPTA A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications


FUTURE OF ENERGY IN INDIA IS SOLAR ONLY Plummeting price of solar panels is boosting rooftop solar growth


DECRIMINALISING SUICIDE Parliament passes a bill decriminalising suicide, terming it as an outcome of acute depression


N a major step to decriminalise suicide and guarantee the right to better healthcare for people with mental illness, the Parliament has passed The Mental Healthcare Bill. Attempt to suicide was a crime so far and people with failed suicide attempts used to be hauled up by the police and prosecuted in the court. Neither the police nor the legal system had empathy for such people though most suicides take place due to mental illnesses like acute depression only. Various governments had earlier set up suicide helplines in which one could speak and pour the heart out. The person used to be counselled and dissuaded from taking the extreme step. The new bill goes a step further. It provides that a person trying to commit suicide will be deemed to be suffering from “severe stress” and, therefore, shall not be prosecuted by law. The Bill has also provided for such persons to be provided psychological help and they will be helped in rehabilitation, if they at all survive. What is really commendable is that the Bill was passed unanimously after a disruption-free five-hour debate, placing mental health patients at the centre of the legislation. This is the first mental health law to take a humanitarian approach in protecting the fundamental human rights of the patients. The Bill has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha in August last year.


KUMAR DILIP Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email:,


ESOURCES are scarce. Use them carefully”. We have heard these lines umpteen number of times. Most of the fossil fuel reserves are depleting fast. New reserves are hard to come by. This is why the stress is on conservation. Nuclear energy is not absolutely safe. Chernobyl and Fukushima gave enough warnings. In such a scenario, renewable energy is the best option and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly given push to solar energy because we can keep generating power from sun till eternity. PM’s initiative has been lapped up by the Government which has taken multiple steps for easy investments in solar power sector. The Prime Minister had on assuming charge in May 2014 announced that our solar power generation capacity will be taken to 100 Gigawatts (GW) by 2022. That seemed like a highly ambitious target because the cumulative installed solar capacity in the world at that time was just 181 GW with India having a miniscule share – generating 2.650 GW only. As on March 10, 2017, this capacity has been increased to 10 GW. With targets being achieved regularly, the Prime Minister has revised the solar targets – doubling them from 20 GW to 40 GWs by 2020. The International Finance Corporation is supporting the setting up of the 750-MW ultra-mega solar power project in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. This will be the largest solar power project in the world. India’s push is not only on mega solar parks but also on installation of rooftop solar power panels. The Prime Minister wants 40 per cent of total solar power

to come from roof-top solar power generation installations only. There is a reason for his decision. Solar panels are huge and take up lot of space. India’s population is growing at a rapid pace and we need enough land for agriculture to feed every one as also to ensure proper housing to all its citizens. Besides, industries providing employment to its ever-growing population also require land. This is why, Prime Minister Modi has proposed to generate power on roof-tops of our offices and homes. He has also instructed to have solar panels on top of trains and airports. Another interesting innovation has been to cover some part of the canals with solar panels. Most of the mega solar parks are also being set up in desert or arid land. The aggressive push has not only seen our solar power capacity being quadrupled to 10,000 MW (or 10 GW) during the past three years but has also witnessed solar panel prices plummet. It was but obvious then to mega solar power companies to slash their rates. Thus it, seems interesting that the companies bidding for solar power projects have constantly been slashing the rate at which they intend to sell power to power distribution companies. The rates which were over Rs 10.50 per unit in May 2014 have now come down to Rs 2.97 per unit. These prices are very competitive visa-vis thermal or hydro power prices. If the trend continues, there is no doubt that India would emerge as the world leader in solar power generation. Companies from all over the world are already dropping in to bag contracts in solar

Nuclear energy is not

safe, as the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters show, so renewables is the best choice for us

APRIL 09, 2017

The government has

been giving many incentives, including capital, interest subsidy and tax holidays power manufacturing and distribution. Soon, we will be in a position to export the solar technology as well. Tamil Nadu leads the states in solar power followed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – all having crossed the one GW mark. The World Bank too approved a massive a $625 million loan that will support the Grid Connected Rooftop Solar program by financing the installation of solar panels on rooftops across India. The project draws funds from the Bank, as well as from the Clean Technology Fund of the Climate Investment Funds, and will mobilize additional funding from public and private investors. The Government has been providing incentives on solar projects. These include capital and interest subsidy, tax holiday on the earnings for 10 years, generation-based incentive, accelerated depreciation, viability gap funding, financing solar rooftop systems as part of home loan, concessional excise and custom duties, preferential tariff for power generation from renewables, and foreign investment up to 100 per cent under the automatic route. The government’s incentives also provide for excess power generated by households, society or an organisation to be sold back to the grid, thereby subsidising electricity cost to it. A solar power at home, is also prevention against accidents like grid failure when an entire region may go under darkness, except those having solar power with a battery backup. The renewable energy sector, comprising mainly wind and solar, has been contributing 7 per cent to the country’s total power generation recording a massive 26.31 per cent growth, compared with the first ten months of last year. Thermal power continues to dominate the country’s energy sector, growing at 31 per cent. India’s electricity generation capacity is 315 GW, of which about 67 per cent is thermal power, including 60 per cent coming from coal fire power plants. Hydro power contributes to roughly 14 per cent of power generation with renewable energy’s share being 17 per cent. Nuclear energy at present contributes only 2 per cent to the total power generation capacity of the country. In such a scenario, future for solar power looks bright and its share in total power generation is expected to go up soon. There should not be any surprises if India becomes a global power in the field of solar and renewable energy in the near future. This would lessen our dependence on nuclear energy as an alternative to conventional thermal power.





The author is a graduate in Computer Science from BITS, Pilani. He is presently helping to settle a migrant community, focusing on their education needs

The hullabaloo around mental health is slowly gathering steam and it is time for concerted action



VERY close friend of mine confided in me recently that he is going through a weird phase in his life. He feels an esoteric melancholy even when he is with people. His professional success is not giving him the kick. He is constantly in the fear of losing something. This seemed strange to me, because he is scoring quite well on the parameters of happiness of modern society. He is working with a top-notch consultancy firm and has recently booked a 3BHK flat in Gurgaon. His swanky new Maruti S Cross is an envy for many. And here he is in a state, which I dread to call depression. When World Health Organisation conducted a study in 2015, it found more than 5.5 crore Indians with depressive disorders. This is an alarming 4.5% of the total population. Total cases of anxiety disorders were almost 4 crore in the same period, around 3% of the total population. The ramification of such disorders is not only limited to the affected individuals, but spill over to his/her immediate relations and

surroundings. WHO also predicts that by 2020, around 20% of Indian population will have mental health issues. As per a NIMHANS study of 2016, there were only 4,000 trained psychiatrists in a nation of more than 1.2 billion people. Given the criticality of situation, it was quite pertinent of PM Modi to talk about depression in his Mann ki Baat address. He said, “The problem is that we are unable to fully comprehend it even amongst those around us, and perhaps we also hesitate to talk about it openly, with our family and friends. The

person suffering from depression too doesn’t speak out himself as he feels a sense of shame about it.” The recently passed Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016 is a landmark step by our lawmakers. Some of the important provisions like decriminalising suicide, government’s responsibility of mental healthcare, access to legal services, mental health authority, etc are revolutionary in current context. Different organisations, like Mental Health Foundation (India), Saathi, etc which are doing commendable work in providing mental healthcare, will receive a shot in their arm with recent developments. As a society, we need to broaden our moral horizons to treat depression as a serious issue and not keep it hidden under the carpets.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR GREAT STORY The article ‘Not Selling Lemon’ in the 15th issue of your newspaper was a great story. I have been to the hotel multiple times but I never noticed anything like this. Clearly, the disabled perform as productively as the others. It really is a brilliant model of sustainability. Pratibha Raghav, Delhi REFORMERS” SCHOOL The article on Reformers’ School was highly informative. Reading it I realised I know very little the tip of Mahatma Gandhi’s work. Education is a necessity for life now. And looking at these visionaries’ view of education tells me how broad the paradigm of education is. Priya Tanwar, Rajasthan

CLEANING RIVERS We have been talking about cleaning our rivers, especially Ganga, but nothing seems to be done. The article ‘Lessons from the Pearl’ makes it look so easy. I wonder why it still lacks proper attention in our own country. Unlike many others, cleaning rivers is an unanimous decision. It’s disturbing why it still lacks effort. Joes Samu, Kerala

INSPIRATIONAL TALE The article like ‘Not Out @ 97’ has motivated me a lot and has made an impact on me. If a woman that age can teach yoga, then age is not an excuse for not doing something. I would just like to request every woman in the country to take inspiration from this lady. Inspirations only make you live life better. I thank the entire team of Sulabh Swachh Bharat to highlight such stories. Pankaj Mittal, Haryana TRUE HERO In the ruckus of life, it is hard to look at anyone besides oneself. Looking at people like these is the only thing that brings back my faith in humanity. I believe Gautam, featured in your ‘Unsung Hero’ column is a true hero. Raghuvar Das, Mumbai

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18 Photo Feature


APRIL 09, 2017


The Parliamentarian magazine organised Youth Conclave at The Ashok in New Delhi on March 26. It was addressed by a host of Union Ministers, Parliamentarians and noted Social Reformer Dr Bindeshwar Pathak






1.2. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and Sulabh International founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak lighting the lamp with Parliamentarian’s Tridib Raman, Geeta Raman and Reeta Singh 3. Ashish Agrawal, MD, Aditya Group presenting momento to Shri Prakash Javadekar 4. Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal being presented momento by Graphisads MD Mukesh Gupta and Ace Group Director Pratap Nagar 5. Parliamentarian Youth Conclave montage being released 6. Dr Pathak sharing a candid moment with Shri Piyush Goyal 7. Eminent vocalist Dr Shailesh reciting Ganesh Vandana 8. Congress MP Shri Rajeev Shukla being felicitated by Parliamentarian’s Sharad Gupta 9. BJP MP Shri Varun Gandhi speaking at the Conclave




APRIL 09, 2017


Photo Feature

19 12






10. Minister of State (IC) for Youth

Affairs & Sports Shri Vijay Goel sharing some lighter moments with BJP leaders Shri Varun Gandhi and Shri Sudhanshu Mittal


11. Dr Pathak presenting momento to stand-up comedian Maheep Singh 12. Shri Varun Gandhi being presented a bouquet by Tridib Raman 13. Union Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu giving video speech 14. A panoramic view of the audience 15. Congress MP Ms Sushmita Dev being interviewed by Parliamentarian’s Srawan Shukla 16. Shri Vijay Goel being felicitated by skydiver Shital Mahajan 17. A session with start up owners 18. Conclave anchors Rahul Jain and Harsh Ranjan


20 Environment

APRIL 09, 2017



The Govardhan Ecovillage received the award in the “Best Water NGO-Water Education” category INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


HE Govardhan Ecovillage of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Wada taluka, has received an award instituted by Water Digest, a news portal on water management. The Govardhan Ecovillage received the award in the “Best Water NGO-Water Education” category, said an ISKCON release. To

commemorate the ‘World Water Day 2017’, Water Digest, in association with UNESCO, Ministry of Water Resources & ASSOCHAM, had recently announced the 11th Water Digest Water Awards which are given annually to organisations, industry members and NGOs. The award was presented in New Delhi to Vrajendra Nandan Prachu, ISKCON India Communications Head, the release said adding that a galaxy of personalities from different walks of life attended the function. Water Digest Awards is India’s most illustrious platform to honour and appreciate outstanding e nv i ro n m e n t a l initiatives and

Quick Glance It practices organic farming, cow protection and rural education It is a farm community and retreat centre spread over 100 acres The awards honour outstanding environmental initiatives

achievements. The awards were conceived with a vision to awaken the Eco-consciousness in Indian industries and the society.In the past, the awards have been conferred upon organizations like ITC Ltd, NHPC, Grundfos, Pepsico, Hindustan Unilever, Philips, ITT, Ion Exchange, Pentair and Essar Steel. The awards are judged by an eminent jury panel comprising members from IIT, TERI & UNESCO. Spiritual leader of ISKCON, Radhanath Swami Maharaj, the founder of Govardhan Ecovillage, said the village is a farm community and retreat centre spread over a scenic landscape of 100 acres at Wada, located 110 kms North of Mumbai. Since its inception in 2003, the Village has made steady progress in organic farming, cow protection, rural education, rural development, alternative energy, eco friendly constructions and sustainable living, he said.



HE All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here has decided to go green by using solar energy and reduce its electricity bill by 50 per cent over the next two years. The premier medical institute has joined hands with Japanese conglomerate Hitachi to set up a solar power generation unit in its premises. The one megawatt facility will come up on the roof of the parking space located near the Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS. Japanese government organisation New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), which promotes development and introduction of new energy technologies, will provide Rs 100 crore for the project. The remaining

The park is home to exotic plant species


he Indian Institute of Te c h n o l o g y - K h a r a g p u r recently announced that it has set up a plant biodiversity park to “conserve vulnerable, threatened and endangered local plant species” that are either of botanical value or medicinal and aromatic importance. The park is home to more than 80 plant species such as Telegraph plant, Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow and Allspice plant. “This park will serve as a repository from which the community can source seeds and saplings for restoration and to sustain livelihoods. It will be an information resource both for students and teachers and the community at large and a model initiative.”

AIIMS intends to go green and halve its energy bill It will go solar with a project to be handled by Japanese tech giant A Japanese government agency, NEDO, will put in R 100 crore

The one megawatt facility will come up on the roof of the parking space located near the Centre for Dental Education cost of Rs 30 crore will be incurred by the AIIMS. At present, AIIMS’ total electricity bill stands between Rs 48-50 crore per year. “Hitachi will set up a solar power generation system as well as introduce measures to reduce total energy expenditure of the institute by as much as 50 per cent by 2019,” Dr Deepak Agrawal, Chairman, computerisation, AIIMS said. Japanese firm Hitachi has also confirmed the collaboration announcing it will build an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) based infrastructure for AIIMS to reduce the hospital’s power consumption by 30 per cent. Hitachi Ltd and Hitachi India have been entrusted the implementation of ICT-based green hospital demonstration project at AIIMS,


Quick Glance




New Delhi, by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), the company said in a statement. The solar power generation unit will use the latest technology and will have a mechanism to track the movement of the sun for maximum energy output. Hitachi will install a new photo-voltaic power generation facility, update existing facilities, and build a system to control and monitor the status of energy consumption of the hospital. In addition, Hitachi will accelerate electronic management of medical image data by introducing energy-

saving IT equipment. “Hitachi will also replace the outdated chillers and AC plants and replace those with energy efficient chillers. It will also replace around 30,000 bulbs with LEDs so that energy is saved,” Dr Agrawal said. He said the project was pending for almost over two years and the Prime Minister in his visit to Japan in November last year had discussed the project with his Japanese counterpart. “The project is unique in a way because it required the approval of the Japanese Cabinet for release of funds,” Dr Agrawal said. The Union Health Ministry had announced Green AIIMS project in June 2014 and aims to increase the number of green hospitals in the country. The demonstration project is aimed at reducing the hospital’s power consumption by 30 per cent.

APRIL 09, 2017


Commissioning of the 50 MW solar plant increases the cumulative solar capacity of the company in Punjab to 84 MW PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

region of Punjab, the solar plant is part of the drive to promote clean energy and turn farmers into green energy entrepreneurs, it added. The project was awarded by the Punjab Energy Development Agency after a bidding process and the power purchase agreement has been signed with the Punjab State Power Corporation

HIMACHAL PRADESH GIVES AWAY LEDs The scheme, UJALA, or Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs is an extension of the state’s efficient lighting programme


The bank will give a large loan to the Power Grid Corporation

The plant of 50 MW capacity in Punjab will cost Rs 325 crore

It plans to commission 200 MW solar plant


N an initiative to promote energy efficiency, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has launched a scheme here to distribute light-emitting diode (LED) tubelights and energy-efficient fans.

Quick Glance


The project was awarded by the Punjab Energy Development Agency






HE clean energy arm of Hindustan Power has commissioned its second solar power plant of 50 MW capacity in Punjab at an investment cost of Rs 325 crore. Hindustan Power said in a statement here that the high degree of solar insulation in Punjab is enabling this unit to generate 2,20,000 units of clean energy per day. The solar plant is capable of addressing the energy requirements of 73,000 households per day and has been built using crystalline silicon technology. The company said the commissioning of the 50 MW solar plant increases the cumulative solar capacity of the company in Punjab to 84 MW. Situated in the cotton farming


The scheme Ujala or ‘Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All’ is an extension of the state’s domestic efficient lighting programme. The Chief Minister said Ujala was an integral part of state’s energy conservation initiative and had been successfully adopted by the

Ltd. (PSPCL).“By comparing highresolution solar resource data at various locations, we were able to identify, and secure investments in the most promising sites for solar photovoltaic power plants in Punjab,” Hindustan Power Chairman Ratul Puri said in a statement. “Hence, we were able to invest Rs 525 crore and quickly ramp up the cumulative capacity of the company in Punjab to 84 MW over the last nine months,” he added. The company, which has a current solar capacity of 600 MW, said it plans to incrementally commission 200 MW solar plant in Punjab in the next two years.

Quick Glance The government will distribute LEDs tubelights and efficient fans EESL will implement the UJALA scheme in a phased manner This has already resulted in saving of 150 MU of power per annum

people. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of public sector unit of the Union Ministry of Power, will implement the Ujala programme in the state in a phased manner in collaboration with the state. Virbhadra Singh said energy efficiency was a key thrust area of the state and emphasis has been laid on scaling up its implementation. “The launch of this initiative follows our commitment of such programme in 2015-16 for distribution of LED bulbs. Approximately, 74 lakh bulbs to 12 lakh consumers have been distributed which resulted in energy saving of approximately 150 MU per annum,” a statement quoting the Chief Minister said. Himachal Pradesh Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said an LED tube light would cost Rs 230 with three years of free replacement warranty. Likewise, a five-star rating 50 watt ceiling fan that will replace conventional 75 watt fan will cost Rs 1,150 with two years of free replacement warranty.


HE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 175 million loan to Power Grid Corporation to expand its solar energy transmission network in the country. The project funding will improve the capacity and efficiency of interstate transmission networks, particularly in transmitting the electricity generated from new solar parks to the national grid. Apart from the evacuation of 2,500 megawatts of power from solar parks in Bhadla, Rajasthan, and 700 MW from Banaskantha, Gujarat, Power Grid is also including two additional sub projects, it said. These two subprojects will increase solar power generation by 4.2 gigawatt and lessen carbon emissions by over 7 million tonnes every year. ADB said it will also provide a USD 50 million co-financing loan.

AFFORDABLE ENERGY The theme of the rally was environment awareness


HERE is a relationship between forests and energy. We must look at ways to prevent cutting of forests. The challenge before us is to make energy available at affordable cost to the people. The government is paying full attention to this challenge,” Environment Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha said. Almost 300 million people in India depend on forests for their livelihood, an official stated. “It has been proved that trees in urban areas can cool the air by between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

22 Gender

APRIL 09, 2017


IMA KEITHEL: WOMEN’S POWER Deprived of its men force to British tyranny, Manipuri women started a revolt in 1905. The Mother’s Market epitomises that struggle



HAT became a fad only in the 20th-century feminism had long ago been practised in Manipur, and at least since 1905, the Ima Keithel, or Mother’s Market, has been a symbol of women’s power. It will be a mistake to see this as just an allwomen marketplace. It is the result of the age-old Manipuri women’s social and political emancipation. Bang in the middle of capital Imphal, this sprawling market is run only by women. Some men are there to help, but they work as porters or run errands. From a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to fresh fish and chicken, groceries to colourful clothes, one can find almost everything of daily use as one walks around in this market, run by around 5,000 Imas (mothers). The market is divided by a road. On one side, women sell vegetables, fruits, fish and groceries and on the other side are sold household

Snapshots The market has for long been run exclusively by women and only they can sell It has evolved over time and is also an expression of Manipuri women’s power Run by 5,000 women, it is today the largest all-women market in the world

There can be no higher form of feminism beyond women fighting for their men and for the community’s economy

items, groceries, fabrics and pottery. EVERYTHING YOU’D NEED Apart from fruits, vegetables and assorted meat, women here also sell dried fish, local herbs, shoots and roots, raw edible bamboo, forest produce, bundles of banana leaves, coconuts and even jewellery, handicrafts, dolls, toys, knives and innumerable canes and bamboo products. “I started selling here four years ago. I live in Lalumbung. I leave home at nine in the morning. I can’t come earlier because I have loads of work at home to do. I also go back home early. My mother used to own this stall. When she was too feeble and couldn’t come anymore, I had to come instead. My grandmother did this and she passed it to my mother and my mother passed it to me. That’s how it came to me,” says Bilasini Devi, a vegetable seller. According to a report published in 2005 in Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE), Manipur says, “this keithel is not only a commercial hub but serves as an information exchange and sociopolitical processes.” POLITICAL ANTECEDENTS Though the market system is very old,

yet, the women here are very aware of the Nupi Lan, or women’s rebellion way back in 1905, against the British raj’s excessive export of rice from the state, so much so that the state suffered a famine. It was also a protest against the British policy of forcible labour extracted from Meitei men, where they had to work 10 out of 40 days free of any payment. A 65-year old woman from Lieshram Leirak comes to the market by auto rickshaw. For 20 years, she is selling coconut and some seasonal fruits and carrying on the tradition. Each section of the market is earmarked for particular trading items. Women who have been selling cloth for several years cannot change her trade for other items, as that is against the rules. What is most instructive is that the market showcases the long history of women’s power in Manipur. Ultimately, there can be no higher form of feminism beyond women fighting for their men and for the community’s economy. “I sell here at Mother’s Market and it’s only for women. Some men work as porters. They carry things from one place to another. Earlier, there were only a few. Now there are many more. Men also work as watchmen at night.

But originally there weren’t any men involved in the market. It’s supposed to be just women here. There will be the problem if men work here,” says a geriatric woman. “Once a man touched some women while unloading fish. That’s why men aren’t allowed. Ever so often, the city authorities post notices that men shouldn’t loiter here,” says a fabric seller. WOMEN DECIDE Significantly, elections are held every five years and they elect their President and secretaries. The elected representatives still have to do their selling job. Everything happens lucidly with utmost transparency. For the people of Mother’s Market, it is their duty to protest and raise substantial issues for their welfare and strength. The women themselves decide what to do and no one gives them orders and directions to follow. “When I first started, we kept all the items in bags and locked them at night in the last shop. A man name Kulavi used to look after our belongings. But now we keep everything here covered up with sacks, and guards keep them safe. They are stationed in different areas. We pay the guards per day. We used to pay Rs 5 earlier but now we pay Rs 10. Things have become expensive now,” says Oja Devi. FREEING THEIR MEN Since 16th century, this market has been the town’s most remarkable tourist attraction. The earliest known history can be traced back to 1533; several mini markets were established for business with passage of time. Studies suggest that the genesis of female-oriented market is enforcement of Lallup-Kaba, an ancient forced labour system in Manipur that sent men of Meitei community to cultivate in distant lands and fight wars. Notably, women used to stay in their villages taking care of their homes and working in their own paddy fields and selling their farm produce in markets. Consequently, this led to creation of markets where women played pivotal role. Thereby, Ima Keitheil became the largest women dominated market in the world. The Gazetteer of Manipur, 1786, indicates that all the selling was always conducted by women in the open air, and later in temporary hutments alongside the Nambul River. Interestingly, the market also displays local cultural traditions and biodiversity products like large water beetles and 30 different kinds of edible insects. The unique thing about this market is its simplicity, and it is run in the same pattern as in olden days. Despite the influx of outsiders, the women continue to dominate the local market.

APRIL 09, 2017

Mud Incenerator




For urban women, menstruation is not a big deal, but in the villages, it is a ‘shame’. Now, women in a village in UP has come up with a local solution SRAWAN SHUKLA


ENSTRUATION may no longer be a taboo in most parts of the country due to increasing use of hygienic and cheaper sanitary napkins promoted by the government but disposal of blood-soaked sanitary napkins remains a social shame and continue to pose a serious environmental hazard. But for the first time anywhere in the country, few women in a village in Uttar Pradesh have designed an indigenous “‘mud incinerator” not only to ensure cleaner surroundings but also to protect environment. With the help of an NGO, women in Papna Mau, a village on the outskirts of Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, have come out with a local and sustainable method of disposing off used menstruation pads. Sheela Singh and Sunita Kanojia of the village have designed a simple but environment-friendly incinerator. Made from mud, it is in the shape of a handi (cooking vessel) with a lid on it and several holes around. The indigenous invention has become so popular among village girls and women that it can be easily spotted on the windows of toilets and terraces of almost all households in Papna Mau village, where residents are moderately educated and a bit more aware about menstruation due to the village’s proximity to the state capital.

Earlier, women would dispose them off by throwing them in local water bodies, public places at night or in garbage dumps; few wiser ones would bury them in the earth – thus making bio-medical waste a permanent part of the food chain. MONTHLY ‘SHAME’ “Every month, women in the village had to face the same shame of disposing bloodsoaked sanitary napkins. But now, they would just put them inside the mud incinerator and burn them once the menstruation cycle is over. How simple and easy,” chuckles Sheela (27). Sunita’s family has more female members - so she designed a bigger mud incinerator to meet the requirement of menstruating family members. “It is double the size of what is usually available. It is sufficient for four of us in the family to dispose and burn them conveniently. Once full, we put dried leaves and straw and pour a little kerosene oil to set them afire,” proudly claims Sunita. Pursuing her graduation, Sheela recalls her traumatic days when she crossed the entered puberty and menstruation. “Suddenly I was treated like an untouchable. I was not allowed to enter kitchen, do puja and participate in any religious rituals at home. My mother would make me stay out of school. She would sneak out at night to throw away blood-soaked old clothes after the discharge. Today, it’s

freedom at last. I not only use sanitary napkins but also avoid facing any shame from village males and boys who would laugh at me when I go out to dispose used napkins,” points out Sheela. The revolution started by these two women in Papna Mau has caught up with village women. More and more women are adopting this indigenous mud incinerator to liberate themselves from the social shame of disposal of blood-soaked sanitary napkins. “More than using sanitary napkins during menstruation, we would face more shame in throwing them away,” says Vijaya Dwivedi. Water Aid, which came up with the project, adopted a two-pronged strategy to create awareness. They not only opened shops selling low-cost sanitary napkins but also helped village women cast their own mud incinerators for their disposal. They appointed sales agents known as “Titliyans” and opened a depot to ensure adequate supply of low-cost sanitary napkins. The product is available in even the smallest of shops, and the awareness drive through Titliyans were so effective that even village men would visit the shop to buy it for their wives and daughters. “My wife would always include a pack in the monthly shopping list and I don’t mind buying it,” smiles Dinesh Kumar Yadav. Rita Gautam, a trained Titliyan, would describe issues of health and hygiene associated with sanitary napkins but explain how to dispose them at their homes by making a mud incinerator. “We go to houses of those who are unable to make and help them make one. We also hold a demonstration for proper use and change of sanitary napkins and its disposal,” claims Anju Vats, a field worker. Gautam’s father, Kishori Lal also has no qualms about selling sanitary pads when her daughter is not around at the shop. “Initially, I used to be embarrassed when someone would ask for a pack but now I happily sell them and why not, when the use of the product is good for the health and hygiene of our wives and daughters,” says Kishori.

The Titliyan campaign

by ‘Water Aid’ has become so successful that now even men go and buy sanitary pads

Snapshots More than the problem of buying and using sanitary pads, disposing them off was a huge problem In Papna Mau village, UP, women are now using mud incinerators to burn the used pads The entire operation is not just discreet but ensures a level of sanctity for women

DISCREET OPERATION Most of the women in the village have kept the mud incinerator on the windows of their toilets so that they don’t have to go to the terrace or out of home, inviting undue attention of males while disposing them off. “We just slip the used menstruation pad inside the incinerator and close the lid. Once the cycle is over we take it on to the terrace and burn them. The entire cycle is discreetly over within the confines of our toilets,” says Vimla. Sanitary napkins are technically classified as ‘biomedical waste’ and as such need to be collected and disposed separately. But used menstrual waste, which forms 5 per cent of the total waste, is generally collected with other household refuse, despite the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The Rule provides that “every waste generator shall wrap securely the used sanitary waste like diapers, sanitary pads etc., in the pouches provided by the manufacturers or brand owners of these products or in a suitable wrapping material as instructed by the local authorities and shall place the same in the bin meant for dry waste or nonbiodegradable waste”. Many suggestions have been made in this regard that menstrual waste be indicated by a big red dot for the benefit of waste collectors who routinely handle such waste with bare hands and are exposed to considerable risk of contracting infections. But nothing has been effectively done so far in this regard. In Papna Mau, girls and women are out to celebrate a new freedom which they had never experienced before. Not forced to hide used menstruation pads and sneak out under dark to dispose them off, they need not succumb to unhealthy pressure of using only a few pads to save from disposal hassles. They are no longer the butt of ridicule. Most importantly, menstruation is no more the impure taboo it once was.

24 Amar Jyoti

APRIL 09, 2017


A MESSIAH FOR THE DIFFERENTLY ABLED By brining disabled children under a tree to teach, Dr Uma Tuli and her Amar Jyoti Schools have turned out to be a unique mission



ERTAIN changes in society call for legislation and thus, deliberations in Parliament. The process for this may well turn out to be long and tedious. Sometimes governments change, political perspectives change and there can be shifts in aims and priorities. But one aspect that remains constant is the commitment of some individuals and groups who do not lose sight of their mission despite odds, as they are devoted to make a difference in the lives of fellow human beings. Every step in search of their mission might take lot of efforts and time, yet they keep on trying. In fact, there are people who do not wait for government initiatives. One such example is Dr Uma Tuli. Thirty-one years ago, she thought of a change in the field of education that was officially and constitutionally introduced much later. In 2009, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was passed. According to this law, as many as

The pioneering efforts of Dr Uma Tuli for the

education of disabled children have earned her two national awards 25 per cent, or one-fourth, of the seats in all schools are reserved for children from financially disadvantaged families. In 2010, Parliament intervened to redefine the Act. As per this amendment, children with disabilities were to be defined as a part of the disadvantaged section. However, about three decades before this law came into effect and only a few years after its inception in 1981, Amar Jyoti School had already begun following the principles of inclusive education. In this school, disabled and non-disabled children study together in the true spirit of inclusion and as a matter of equal rights. Students who cannot cope with CBSE syllabus have the option to continue their studies under NIOS, or

National Institute of Open Schooling. Dr Uma Tuli, founder and managing Secretary of Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust, began this project with 30 children. Nearly half of all the children in her school were disabled and the classes were held under a tree. Dr Tuli is a Ph.D in English Literature from Delhi University and has a Master’s degree from Manchester University in Special Teaching. She taught for 30 years in Delhi and Gwalior. Dr Tuli has been honoured with a number of awards which include two national awards that came her way in 1995 and 2001 for her extraordinary work. Her contribution has also been recognised by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Snapshots Amar Jyoti School brought disabled and normal children together much before government thought of it Dr Uma Tuli has been the torchbearer of this mission for over three decades Now she finds greater acceptance in society for differently abled people than ever before

Dr Tuli’s pioneering vision in education is evident from the fact that in Amar Jyoti School, students are encouraged to join at least one vocational course. Departments like arts and crafts, beauty, culture, bakery, tailoring, artificial jewellery designing, computer (data entry operations) and more are offered along with facilities for e-learning and e-tutoring via a link with Extra Marks Education Private Limited. Although special classes are offered for children with disabilities, these students are encouraged to participate in sports like basketball and archery. The school assembly has a provision for reading the news every day in English and through Braille alternatively. The hearing impaired students present the national anthem in sign language. Dr Tuli looks at the future of her work in a positive light. One of them is a programme which includes mentoring of teachers in private and government schools in the area of special education. National development can be complete only if these children are able to participate in the process. Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Center has given a new name to Paralympics. It is called Abilympics which stands for abilities of persons with disabilities. National Abilympic Association of India (NAAI), formed at the behest of Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment and Human Resource Development in 2001 as a nodal agency to facilitate and organise Abilympics in India is located at Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre which hosted the 6th international event in 2003. Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre operates at various levels - local, regional, national and international. At the local level, the rehabilitation project operates in at least 10 slums in Delhi. At the regional and national level, Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre has contributed a lot to the education, support and employment for the differently-abled. Several units, for instance, the Institute of Physiotherapy, School for Inclusive Education, Orthotic and Prosthetic Workshop, Vocational Training, Child Guidance Centre, Medical Care Centre and Teachers Training Centre for Special Education are some of its initiatives. Amar Jyoti

APRIL 09, 2017

Research and Rehabilitation Centre started a four-and-a-half year B.Sc Hons. Physiotherapy Course in 1999. The course is affiliated to the prestigious University of Delhi which holds its entrance exams for the aspiring candidates. The profession of physiotherapy is directly linked to social service. It also offers short-term courses like Continuing Physiotherapy Education and organises community based physiotherapy camps at regular intervals. Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre runs Global Teacher Training Centre for Special Education. As per the information available on its website, the centre conducts courses in special education recognised by Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). These courses are Diploma in Special Education – Mental Retardation (D.Ed.SE –MR) – Regular two-year (four semesters) with an intake of 30 students per batch, Diploma in Special Education – Deaf & Hard of Hearing (D.Ed.SE – DHH) – Regular two-year (four semesters) with an intake of 30 students per batch, Diploma in Special Education – Early Childhood in Mental Retardation (D. EC.SE –MR) – Regular one-year (two semesters) with an intake of 25 students per batch. It also organises crash courses in Continued Rehabilitation Education (CRE) for in-service teachers such as a ten-day programme on ‘Understanding Learning Difficulties’, ten-day programme on ‘Understanding Disabilities and Specific Needs’, five-day programme on ‘Multi Category Disability’, three-day programme on ‘Communication options for the Education of Children with Hearing and Speech Impairment’. In the year 1999, Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre was accredited as Special Study Centre of IGNOU. Under this provision, it extends the facility of open education to the physically

Amar Jyoti Research and Rehabilitation Centre has enlisted the services of volunteers in its herculean task

challenged, housewives and employed people, so that they have an opportunity to improve their qualifications. It is the oldest centre of IGNOU in East Delhi area with 24 subjects being taught in diploma programmes. It is also one of the largest study centres in NCR. Counselling sessions are also organised on Saturdays and Sundays. Amar Jyoti has found many volunteers from the general public to help it in its daunting task. Twenty-six professionals from different fields work at the study centre in honorary capacity, providing services to Amar Jyoti schoolchildren in the premises and also to patients from the communities and people from economically weaker sections of the society free of cost or at nominal rates. These include Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Departments, Speech Therapy and Audiology Unit, Prosthetic and Orthotic Workshop which provides and repairs assistive devices for Amar Jyoti schoolchildren as well as other beneficiaries. Also available are the Dental Care Unit, Ophthalmologic Care unit, X-Ray Unit, Pathology Laboratory, Operation Theatre, Homeopathy, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity and Dietary Clinic etc. Child Guidance Clinic provides services and guidance to parents having children with disabilities about their specific needs. They are advised to start intervention at an early stage for enhancing their learning potential. They are also counselled to assess the intellectual potential of children facing

behavioural and achievement problems. The clinic organises psychometric assessments for the children and undertakes research in this direction. Early Intervention Programme (EIP) is the initial step for providing services for developmentally delayed infants and children. Swavlamban and Aradhna are groups that conduct these activities. This has resulted in setting up of an independent parent support system. Amar Jyoti Trust pays special attention to people, especially children, who are unable or are hesitant to enter mainstream activities due to physical disabilities. The school provides inclusive education, inclusive sports and also inclusive employment possibilities for the physically disabled. Persons with disabilities are provided artificial limbs and other aids and appliances to help them participate on an equal basis in their daily interaction with other people. These artificial limbs, rehabilitation aids and appliances are provided under the ADIP Scheme of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The Government provides financial assistance to give mobility-aids to persons with disabilities in camps and at workshop. Amar Jyoti also gets support from ALTSO (A Leg to Stand On), USA. The initiative is meant to provide assistive devices to the people facing loco motor challenges. Support also comes from different individuals. Sponsor camps for distribution of aids and appliances are organised in the school premises to facilitate such activity.

Amar Jyoti


The Physiotherapy Department in the centre is well equipped with most modalities like IFT, Laser, Ultrasound, etc. for patient care. It treats almost 11,000 patients a year. The Occupational Therapy Department plays a vital role in making each child independent in fine motor, sensory integrative and prevocational skills. Adaptation, modification and exercise are designed to enhance independent performance of self-help skills. Follow-up is maintained through regular parents - therapists’ meetings and a customised home programme. Amar Jyoti has a soundproof, well equipped Audiology and Speech Pathology unit at its both Delhi and Gwalior campuses. Services are provided to children and adults with speech and hearing disorders. Amar Jyoti Rehabilitation and Research Centre (Under Directorate of Health Services, Govt. of NCT Delhi) provides Skill Development Training. This is provided free of cost to all students (Class III onwards) and is an integral part of the curriculum of Amar Jyoti Inclusive School. It is also provided at nominal cost to members of the community from Economically Weaker Sections and those from Below Poverty Line. In one of her recent interviews, Dr Uma Tuli reiterated the point that in the present times there is much more social acceptance for differently abled. Earlier, people used to believe that a person with disabilities has no future and cannot set or achieve any goals or be of any worth to the society. This has undergone a significant change due to efforts made by several organisations, individuals and the governments. Therapists, psychologists and educators have come together to promote a society that is inclusive in nature and gives space to the physically challenged, she argued.

26 Sikkim

APRIL 09, 2017



Though all the states have been part of the organic mission, so far only Sikkim has attained its 100 per cent

Snapshots Earlier, Sikkim farmers used to use some chemical fertilisers, and hence were not organic In 2003, a complete ban was imposed on the sale of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides in Sikkim Total sustainable agricultural land of 75,000 hectares has been certified organic farming area

years to do so. All the other states of India are included in the ‘National Organic Production Program’, but why did Sikkim achieve the unique distinction? Come, let us find out.



HAT if our agriculture becomes 100% organically certified? The collage that first arises in my mind contains the sensation of taste; it also has the sense of smell, of fragrance, and the promise of better health for human beings, animals, and also agriculture. The tagline attached to this picture is “Now do not accuse the farmer of being a party to actions that pollute the soil, groundwater and rivers.” Now it’s just a paper collage. When will it materialise in reality, I do not know. But the dream is possible. Sikkim has given us this assurance. It has taken the initiative. At a time when any state in India is not in a position to declare even one of its districts as 100% organic agriculture, the claim of Sikkim seems unreal and is not easy to digest. But if the claim is authentic, there is no reason to doubt it. Although Sikkim farmers were not

entirely dependent on synthetic fertilisers, they used chemical fertilisers. But now it is certified that it has become India’s first 100% organic state. Sikkim has declared its total sustainable agricultural land of 75,000 hectares as a certified organic farming area. Sikkim has, in this sense, performed a miracle. On January 18, 2016, during the ‘Gangtok Agri Summit’, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had formally made this announcement. He said in commendation, “Sikkim has changed the very meaning of agriculture.” ECONOMIC WEAKNESS It has been one year since the Prime Minister’s blessings and Sikkim’s achievement, but its work-value is still relevant and even exemplary. Sikkim is an economically weak state in matters of

rail and commercial air connectivity. The population of Sikkim too is only six and a half million. The 889: 1,000 gender ratio is very unbalanced. Sikkim is not too successful as an industrial state of a particular product either, though Sikkim Time Corporation and Sikkim Jewels are doing very well. But due to 80% of the population being rural, Sikkim gave such high priority to organic farming that it has become a reality today. Organic ginger, turmeric, cardamom, flowers, kiwi, maize, baby corn and non-seasonal vegetables are the specialities of Sikkim. If you wish, you can check its authenticity at Sikkim Organic Retail Outlet in Greater Kailash, Delhi. Today, Sikkim, a tiny state, has contributed a major part to the total certified organic farming (135 lakh tonnes) of India. Sikkim took 13

According to an estimate made in 2015, the

international market of organic foods and drinks is about 32 billion American dollars

POLITICAL WILL Sikkim did so because it dreamt of a great vision and tried honestly to make it come true. The government, headed by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, decided to do this in 2003. It was announced in the assembly. An action plan was made. As the first step, a ban was imposed on the sale of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Law was made to stop people from using them in agriculture. For violation, a fine of one lakh rupees and two months’ imprisonment was announced. The Sikkim government has not only made the law, but it has also shown its resolve to implement it. The government constituted the Sikkim State Organic Board. Apart from the National Research Center of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Tea Board, National Horticulture Board, Masala Board, NABARD, Sikkim Cooperative, Floral National Research Center, Switzerland’s Organic Research Institute- FiBL, and many other national-international partnerships. Sikkim founded The Organic Mission and Organic Farm Schools. In every house, the government ensured earthworm fertilizer units, nutrition management, EM technology, integrated insect management, soil testing laboratory, acidic land treatment, that is, everything from organic packing to certification.

APRIL 09, 2017

Happiness Index




This emerges from the research on the happiness index of 155 countries.

VILLAGES ADOPTED Initially the Sikkim government adopted 400 villages. The aim was to include them in the category of ‘Bio Village’. By the year 2006-2007, the quota for Chemical Fertilizers from Central Government was stopped. In return, organic fertilizers in large bulk were provided to the farmers. Organic nurseries were set up for organic seeds. The farmers themselves were motivated to produce organic seeds and manure. Due to the government’s resolve, the farmers were compelled and also motivated for organic farming. By the year 2009, 14,000 farmers from four districts were able to obtain organic farming certificates for production on 14,000 acres of agricultural land. Again, between 2010-11 to 2012-13 every year, the target of certifying the cultivation to 18 thousand farmers’ households was achieved. In 2010, a committee headed by the Chief Minister was formed. In order to speed up the work of monitoring and coordination, the Sikkim government formed the ‘Sikkim Organic Mission’ as the nodal agency. Consider that even if you do organic farming, you will need to take a certificate to prove that it is organic. Authentication works on state, nation and international level. Only 30 agencies could be recognised for issuing organic certificates in India. If the product is to be exported, then the responsibility of providing organic certification lies with Agricultural Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA). APEDA is an authority formed under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. There is a process of taking organic certificates. For this, an application has to be submitted, fees have to be paid. Prior to taking the certificates, it is compulsory to use organic material and to follow the organic method of preparing the soil, compost, seed, sowing, irrigation, insecticide, harvesting, packing, storage. To prove this, it is also mandatory to keep a record of every step taken and the material used. The authenticity of this record is thoroughly examined. After that, the farm and produce get a certificate of being organic. Only after obtaining this

certificate, can a product be sold with a formal label of being an ‘organic product’. Organic products with this formal label are sold more than others. INSPIRED STATE As per the data of 2015-16, the products of 57.1 lakh hectares of land in India have been certified as organic. Out of this, 42.2 lakh hectares is forest land. Land marked as organic- farming area is 14.9 lakh hectares. Most of the cultivable organic farming land is in Madhya Pradesh. Himachal and Rajasthan are number two and three respectively, in terms of area. Orissa and Andhra Pradesh have also stepped forward in this direction. Inspired by the success of Sikkim, Kerala, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are also seen moving forward in the race to be a full organic -farming state. While the Indian market of organic products may not be high, the potential for export of organic products is increasing. EXPANDING MARKET It is heartening to note that the demand for organic products is increasing in the world. According to an estimate made in 2015, the international market of organic foods and drinks is about 32 billion US dollars. America, Germany and France are the major demand areas. Europe and China come after them. Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg are the leading countries in terms of consumption per capita. Today, about 431 lakh hectares of land in 170 countries of the world have been converted into authentic organic farming. However, this area is only one per cent of the total global land used in agriculture. In Asia, North America and Africa, the contribution of Oceania, Europe and Latin America is highest in this sector. Argentina and the USA have used their own lands more in the organic mode. This certainly includes the forest area as well. It might be an agenda of the market. It is also beneficial for the protection of health and environment and will help in cultivating native farming provided the market forces amble down, instead of racing past like a lord. This certainly augurs well for the environment


APPINESS counts for every person. If a person is not happy, then it is not just his own life but also the dignity of his country that gets affected. According to the Happiness Report released by the United Nations in 2017, Norway has reached the top spot on the basis of many major calculations, which were based on the welfare of the people, the freedom to take decisions for themselves, friendliness, good governance, honesty of the people, health and income levels. For this report, independent researchers conduct surveys in 155 countries each year and ask the people if they are willing to reveal their personal happiness. If the person is ready, then he is invited to respond to the questionnaire. The researcher asks these 1,000 people to imagine a ladder which ranges between zero to ten. As a result, researchers gathered more

THE TOPPERS In the World Happiness Report, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland are among the top five countries, while the Central African Republic has reached the lowest rank. Syria’s position is 152 in 155 countries; Yemen and South Sudan occupy 146th and 147th places respectively. At the same time, the eight SAARC countries are as followsPakistan 80, Nepal 99, Bhutan 97, Bangladesh 110, while Sri Lanka is at the120th place. However, the Maldives has not been able to find any place in the World Happiness Report. India has reached 122nd position in the Happiness Report. Instead of improving the graph of India, the position has fallen. India was ranked 118th last year. Not only Norway, but some developing countries have also achieved improvement in the Happiness Index. It is reported in the annual report that after conflict with the West, many developing countries have

Snapshots World Happiness Report rates the countries based on various factors Researchers conduct surveys in 155 countries each year for their ratings Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland top the list in the World Happiness Report

empirical data together on the basis of six main variables, based on the information from such subjective ideas. At the same time, each country’s gross domestic product, social support, healthy life expectancy, social independence, generosity, and lack of corruption within the country were also calculated. Jeffery Sax, Director of Development Solutions Network said that the results show that the happy countries have maintained a healthy balance between prosperity and happiness. Conventionally, this can be called social capital, which means the presence of a kind of trust, minimum inequality and faith in the government. Gallop Poll, on the other hand, has shown that when factors like GDP and UNO’s Human Development data were unable to predict the Arab revolt, then the Happiness graph of these countries saw a sharp dip.

progressed at the overall level. World Happiness Report rates the countries based on factors such as income and life expectancy. It is not surprising to be among the happiest or less happy nations in the 2017 list released by the United Nations. Based on this report, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Finland have topped the list and the Central African Republic, Syria, Tanzania and Burundi have been ranked lowest, but in some developing countries, including Nicaragua, Latvia, Sierra Leone and Ecuador, a movement against the report is taking place. When compared to the figures from the year 20052007, the highest growth in their ratings of happiness has been seen compared to the 2014-2016 statistics. Apart from this, many western countries, such as the United States, Italy and Greece, were included. Along with this, poor nations like the Central African Republic, Rwanda and Ukraine were also included.

28 International

APRIL 09, 2017



Over-usage of the river after towns began coming up and now a hydel project dam being cleared means the river has no breathing space

Snapshots The river’s formation has a geological history of more than 1.1 billion years It had given the Indian Americans food and water before the Europeans arrived Despite being protected under law, the river is now threatened in more ways than one



SA, the world’s engine for development and progress, has a rich store of environmental wealth. But in the name of further material and technological advancement, much of these natural resources are getting polluted or even destroyed. One such example is the case of St Croix River. In the American states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, a tributary of the Mississippi, approximately 169 miles in length, is the ancient St Croix River. The River begins from the north western part of Wisconsin, from Upper St Croix Lake in Douglas County. It then flows south to Gordon, then south-west in northern Burnett County, where it becomes much wider and is joined by the Namekagon River. It then flows till the boundary between Minnesota

and Wisconsin for another 130 miles before it mingles into the Mississippi River. Under the protection of the National Park Service, the river, St Croix (French: Holy Cross), is a National Scenic Riverway. The St Croix River is one among the eight rivers that were placed under environment protection by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The origin of the river reaches back to 1.1 billion years ago when geological forces combined to create it. A volcanic zone was formed when the Mid-Continent Rift broke the middle of North America apart. From this emerged hot lava which later cooled and turned into hard basalt. The majestic cliffs around the Interstate State Parks were created from this basalt. St Croix River’s course was carved later, but that too

Rare species, some as old as 4,000 years, lived and bred in the region according to studies by archaeologists

dates back to about 500 million years ago. A shallow sea covered this area, which explains the laying down of layers of sand and various minerals that went into the making of the sandstone bluffs lying along the river. In the last 20,000 years, glaciers have melted, eroding the landscape and releasing streams of water. That was the beginning of St Croix River’s course. The river has offered livelihood to man and animals, fed birds and beasts, for thousands of years. Rare species, some as old as 4,000 years, lived and bred in the region according to studies by archaeologists. The semi-nomadic Ojibwe, Dakota and other American Indian tribes lived mainly on sustenance found by the river - wild rice, fish and game. This was before the European arrival in the region. With ‘civilization’ began another story. The sprawling white pine tree forests in the upper valley became the source of timber to build the towns and the timber industry continued to flourish during the latter half of the 19th century. Logs were frequently set afloat on the water, leading even to blockades. In 1883, the blockade

was so severe, reports say, that it took almost two months before the flow of logs was re-established. From then till today, the process of using the river for human purposes in a relentless and shoddy manner continues. Rivers have their multiple uses: drinking water, transportation, irrigation, fishing, hydroelectricity and so on. But trouble begins when the water sources are over-used and misused. The St Croix River, with its glorious history, is a reminder of the need to preserve the environment. In the Minneapolis–St Paul metropolitan area, a hydroelectric plant is installed at St Croix Falls. The uninterrupted flow of the river is held back only by this hydroelectric dam. It is operated by the Northern States Power Company at St Croix Falls, Wisconsin. A recent source of worry is the construction of an interstate bridge. The bridge is connected to MN Highway 36 in Minnesota. The construction was opposed by citizens and people’s groups but the fact that the work continued indicates that priorities have changed at various levels. Despite protests from residents, environmentalists, and the National Park Service, construction of the bridge was permitted by amending the 1968 Scenic Rivers Act. Light and noise pollution are the grounds on which the protests were based. But the judgement in favour of constr uct ion, by passing environmental matters and concerns is a graver subject. The St Croix River Association (SCRA) which was at the forefront of the opposition is a non-profit group which advocates environmental conservation.

APRIL 09, 2017 SOLAR


UN RECOGNISES METRO’S SOLAR PROJECT Delhi Metro ushers in ‘first-ever’ green initiative



HE United Nations has registered the Delhi Metro’s initiative to install roof-top solar power plants at its premises as the “first-ever” green project in the UN framework on climate change for any metro or railway system around the world. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) recently said: “The clean development mechanism project has been registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) under the ‘small scale category’ for facilities with an installed solar capacity of less than 15 MW.” DMRC added, “The DMRC-

run roof-top solar facilities have an installed capacity of 14.983 MWp which translates to an estimated electricity generation of 19,687 MWh annually.” A total of 31 grid-connected rooftop solar power facilities across the stations, depots, receiving substations and residential colonies of DMRC were identified for this clean

Quick Glance 31 grid-connected roof-top solar power facilities were identified The project was done in record time of “eight months” This is the fifth climate change project to be successfully registered

development mechanism project. The project is expected to generate an estimated 18,506 carbon credits, though the exact number of credits will be available only after verification audit scheduled mid-2018. The project was registered in a record time of “eight months” on March 25, about two months ahead of schedule. “This is the fifth climate change project to be successfully registered by the DMRC. Two more projects are in the stage of registration presently,” the official said. Delhi Metro also said it had earlier been certified by the UN as the “first metro rail and rail-based system in the world to get carbon credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as it has helped to reduce pollution levels in the city by 6.3 lakh tonnes every year thus helping in reducing global warming”. The UNFCCC has already registered the Metro in two categories for promoting clean development mechanism and earning carbon credits. DMRC has come up with a solar policy of its own to utilise as much solar power as possible for its ever increasing energy needs. It plans to produce 50 MWp of solar power by the year 2021, the official said. DMRC is trying to utilise the space available at its stations, depots, residential areas and parking facilities to install solar power facilities.




top US body in international education and global investment banking namely IIE and Goldman Sachs has announced a scholarship and mentoring programme for Indian women in universities studying science and technology-related fields. Under the scholarship ‘WeTech Goldman Sachs Scholars’, 25 Indian women will receive a merit-based USD 1,500 scholarships for the 2017-18 school year and be connected with an experienced mentor from Goldman Sachs for a six-month mentorship from

June through December 2017, said a statement. “Engaging women at various stages from their academic years to a career is a critical step in addressing the gender gap often seen in the technology industry,” said Shubha Iyer, managing director in the Technology division at Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru. “IIE and Goldman Sachs believe that providing young women university scholarships toward a degree in a STEM field and offering real-world career advice has tremendous impact on their



PRITI PATEL HONOURED For championing the cause of Indian diaspora PRESS TRUST OF INDIA


R I T I PAT E L, B r i t a i n ’s senior-most Indian-origin minister, has vowed to champion the interests of the Indian Diaspora and work for strengthening the IndoUK ties as she received her ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ at a ceremony. The Minister for International Development had been conferred the honour by President Pranab Mukherjee in January. The award is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and Patel has been awarded for her “exceptional contribution to national and international politics, her role in strengthening UK-India relations, and for supporting the Indian Diaspora in the UK”. “It is a tremendous honour and privilege to be given the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award. This is one of the highest honours and I am highly grateful,” Patel said.


BEIJING: AIR QUALITY A blueprint submitted for city’s overall planning PRESS TRUST OF INDIA


This comes at a time when the tech industry is concerned about addressing the gender gap INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


ability to thrive in the global workforce,” said Allan Goodman, IIE president and CEO. “This comes at a time when the tech industry around the world needs more women who are educated and trained for entering into STEM careers and working with peers across many different countries and cultures,” Goodman added. The beneficiaries of the scholarship will be announced in June.

N an effort to reduce the air pollution and meet the WHO’s air quality standards, Beijing has prepared a blueprint for the city’s overall planning 2016-2030, aiming to achieve the air quality standards by 2030. Authorities will use tough environmental standards to force industry upgrades and step up regional environmental inspections to tackle air pollution, said Wei Chenglin, head of the Beijing Municipal Planning and Land Resources Management Committee.

30 Animal World

APRIL 09, 2017


FATHERING PENGUIN DANDIM This is an unbelievable story of a penguin which comes back every year to bond with his once saviour

Snapshots A tiny penguin came ashore four years ago smeared with oil and dust off Rio coast Fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza picked it up and made serious efforts to save it Now the penguin comes back every year to stay with Joao for eight months

when Dindim goes back, everyone says he will not return. But he has been coming back to visit me for the past five years. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February, and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me,” says Joao. Their love has amazed many in the world. Nanny Brenda from Dorset of United Kingdom says, “There were tears in my eyes reading this. How absolutely wonderful the trust the little penguin has in the fisherman.”



OMEONE is reliving the past, hoary past, when humans and animals used to live together. That was the time when humans shared the forests with other animals and knew their ways and in many ways, had a bondage with them. Of course, these were no carnivores or otherwise dangerous. Now there are sky-scrapers everywhere. And the animals, barring pets, have vanished. But as we shall see, someone is reliving that hoary past. This heartwarming story is from a beach in Brazil. It is the story about a sweet bond between a South American Magellanic penguin and a Brazilian fisherman. For the past five years, this penguin swims 5,000 miles every year to spend a few months with this fisherman, who had saved his life. SAVIOUR JOAO Retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza is now 71. He lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2011, he found the tiny penguin covered in oil and close to death, lying on the rocks on his local beach. At that time, it looked almost impossible to save this little one.

Dindim swims 5000 miles every year to spend

quality time with Joao, with whom the penguin shares a special bond But Joao did not give up. He cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers and gave him warmth, so that he would feel safe and secure. The penguin had become very weak, so Joao fed him a daily diet of fish to make him strong. Joao named him Dindim. Gradually, within one week’s time, Dindim recovered from illness. Once he was fit and fine, Joao tried to send him to his own home. He tried to release the penguin back into the sea. But, the cute little thing wouldn’t leave. Rio recalls and says: “He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared.” Joao was sad, naturally, and missed his friend, but he was happy for Dindim that he had gone back home. DARLING RETURNS But just a few months later, Joao had a huge and pleasant surprise, Dindim was back. He spotted the fisherman himself on the beach and followed him home.

American film actor Marty Mack, known for his film Ex on the Beach says: “We don’t give animals the credit they deserve for their intelligence and capacity for great emotion. They deserve so much better than they get from us humans.” For the past five years, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao and it is believed that he just goes back at the time of breeding. He spends those months in the coast of Argentina and Chile. The fisherman believes that the affection is two-way. He says: “I love the penguin like it’s my own child, and I believe the penguin loves me. No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if anyone tries to do so. He lies on my lap, I give him showers, and I feed him sardines with my own hands and pick him up with love. ” People say ‘out of sight, out of mind’. But Dindim’s emotional attachment defies such a generalisation. “Every year

EXPLANATIONS? Biologist Professor Carey Krajewski at the Southern Illinois University, who interviewed the fisherman, said: “I have never seen anything like this before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family, and probably thinks he is a penguin as well.” Loveitall*** from United Kingdom says, “He probably thinks the man’s a penguin.” It’s funny how people put their own thoughts on animals. The penguin leaves to mate with his own kind every year. We are pretty sure Dandim knows Joao is not a penguin. Again, the biologist says, “When he sees Joao, Dandim wags his tail like a dog and calls out in delight.” HUGE FOLLOWING This story has received enormous adulation across the world. People are astonished to see the love between man and penguin. Jojo from San Francisco, United States, says: “So many people think animals are stupid and that gives them the right to slaughter animals. I say the animals are smarter than people.” Joao says: “I’m flattered Dindim is happy to exchange his home with thousands of other penguins every year to find his way here to spend time with me. It’s a very special relationship.” Penguins are usually monogamous and spend their lifetime with the same partner, though there can be exceptions, just like in humans. But Dindim’s fidelity in his relationship with Joao does not hurt his partner. She too knows he will come back at the right time! Penguins normally live for 25 years. The question is, what will he feel one day when he returns and finds the 71-year-old gone? Our hearts already ache!

APRIL 09, 2017

Memorable Movies

Snapshots Palekar initially refused to do the film because Hrishi-da would not read out the script Initially Hrishi-da wanted to take Rekha but ruled it out as it was too small a role for her Palekar lauds the film as an original, unlike most Bollywood films which are Hollywood copies



A Hilarious Masterpiece!

If one film has to define the word ‘hilarious, it is Golmaal, and till date both the actors in the film as well as audiences remember it fondly ASHIM CHAKRABORTY


NE is instantly reminded of the movie Golmaal when we talk about the famous actordirector Amol Palekar. The movie Golmaal released in 1980 directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee brings to mind ripples of laughter. Any discussion about comedy movies is not complete without Golmaal. Hrishi-da himself liked his comedy Naram Garam more than his movie Golmaal. But most critics, while appreciating Naram Garam, have always lauded Golmaal as a complete movie. According to Late Deven Verma, the demised comic actor, it was a classic comedy that made the audience laugh every moment. These kinds of films are seen once in a blue moon. It is not a complicated love story, nor are there villainous characters

and fisticuffs. The film begins with the title song of Golmaal. After ten minutes, the audiences find themselves engrossed in the confusion and Golmaal between the duo Bhawani Shankar and Ram Prasad. Amol Palekar as Ram Prasad gets a job in Bhawani Shankar”s Urmila Traders by dint of fake idealism and bunch of lies. Later, he had to take refuge in a series of lies one after another to hide the previous lies. He had to create Lakshman Prasad as his imaginary brother. Then begins the game of hide and seek with the audience rolling in laughter, which indeed ends only when Bhawani Shankar gets to know about Ram Prasad”s reality. ‘TRIPLE’ ROLE Palekar does not consider his as double role in the movie as he says, “I believe I had a single role in this movie. But interestingly, this character had three roles, one Ram Prasad, who is at home; another Ram Prasad who works in the offices and Lakshman Prasad. Very few people know that when Hrishi-da discussed the Ram PrasadLakshman Prasad rigmarole to Amol Palekar, he decided not to do the film. Amol says, “I do not accept any role without listening to the script, and Hrishi-da narrates the script only after offering the role. As I listened to the

“Bollywood mostly copies Hollywood films” –AMOL PALEKAR


ITHER you think of a storyline and give it a form of movie script or else you convert a literary creation into a script. These are two different things. Hrishi-da was quite proficient in making movies from his stories and literary creation. The problem with Hindi cinema is that it is mostly inspired by Hollywood films. Bollywood filmmakers like to make movies taking masala from two or three Hollywood movies. A filmmaker”s source of inspiration could be anything. But the creation should be original. Hrishi-da’s film is the perfect example. The story of the movie is quite simple but the moustache drama will not let the audience think of anything else. As far

as I am concerned, I have been a strong supporter of making movies of literary background. It is quite difficult for me to make movies of such excellence and Hrishi-da alone was proficient in creating such marvels. A lot of comedy movies have been made and will continue to be made based on this story. But how many of them have reached even close to Golmaal? I do not consider the Indian audiences responsible for it. The audience which has appreciated Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali can’t be ignorant. I expect that filmmakers can make better movies than Golmaal, but till then, all the talks of a brilliant comedy will revolve around Golmaal.


entire script I was elated. I accepted the offer immediately. Hrishi-da initially wanted Rekha to be the lead actress in the movie but later he changed his mind. He did not want Rekha to do such a small role. Later he chose Bindiya Goswami for this role. However, he did not forget Rekha, and he presented Rekha in the lead role in Khoobsurat and gave a novel direction to her career. UTPAL DUTT To talk about this movie without the character of Bhawani Shankar performed by Utpal Dutt will be incomplete. He had an amazing chemistry with Amol Palekar on the screen. His acting was marvellous with Shobha Khote. She acted as his widowed sister Kalindi in the movie. Shobha Khote laughs a lot remembering a few scenes in the movie, “The shooting of Golmaal was like a picnic for us. We laughed every moment on the sets. All the scenes, right from mooli ka parantha, Urmi’s Lakshman or hitting Bhawani Shankar by mistake kindles fond memories even today. We had a beautiful rapport with Utpal. He used to speak very less and most of the time he was seen reading a book on a chair in his free time during the shooting.” Even Amol has ample memories of Utpal-da. “Our personal rapport was amazing, as it also reflected in every scene of the movie. I have seen very few movies being shot in such homely environment. We were quite sad on the day shooting was completed. I feel I would have worked in some more movies like Golmaal. It is among the few movies of mine where I enjoyed each and every scene.” PRIZED FILM Amol Palekar received the Filmfare award for best actor for his role in Golmaal. In this race, Ashok Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan were his main competitors. Hrishi-da’s favourite actor Amitabh was in a guest appearance in the movie. Late Utpal Dutt got the best comedian award for this movie. The haunting song “aanewala pal” became a craze amongst audiences and Gulzar got the best lyricist”s award. Another striking feature of the film was its satirical dialogues. Though Rahi Masoom Raza did not get any award in this movie but cine lovers still remember his dialogues. In Shobha Khote’s (Kalindi Bua) words, “Golmaal is so packed with boisterous joy on celluloid that it will always bring smiles to the audiences. According to Manju Singh, who played role of Amol Palekar”s sister, “Such a resoundingly successful classic comedy like Golmaal will never be made again.”

32 Unsung Heros

APRIL 09, 2017



She had no money and both her legs were not working, but this village woman determinedly persued her mission


F you have the zeal and will power to achieve your goal, problems and difficulties can never block your path. Divyang Mukunda is a big example of this. With aims to make India clean and hygienic by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister launched a nationwide cleanliness campaign on 2nd October 2014, named Swachh Bharat Mission. This mission has now turned into a movement throughout the nation. From metropolises to villages or small townships, we are coming across examples where people have shown interest and determination to stop open defecation, even though there is

insufficiency of clean toilets. A similar example has come out from Udaipur, a city in Rajasthan. She is a physically challenged woman named Mukunda. She lives in the Garnala Kaidria Gram Panchayat. She, despite being physically challenged and economically poor, made it a goal to construct a toilet in her house. It is worth noting that Mukunda is disabled in both her legs. Earlier, when the local administration was organising a doorto-door awareness campaign for toilet construction in homes, the local bodies, along with the Panchayat committee went to Mukunda’s house as well. Although she was facing both

physical and financial hardships, she was determined to build a toilet in her house. Being physically disabled, she couldn’t earn money working. Realising the economic condition of their house, her elder son started working as wage worker at a site out of town. But he wasn’t earning enough to help his mother achieve her goal of constructing a toilet. But Mukunda was not ready to give up her dream.

Looking at her willpower, the Sarpanch, Sangeeta Devi, helped her financially and Mukunda got engaged in constructing the toilet. Seeing her mother’s tremendous zeal, her elder son returned home and started helping her in the construction work. In this way, Mukunda succeed in setting an example before the nation to stop open defecation. That being said, if everyone in the country was to follow her determination for sanitation and dignity, the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are not far-fetched. The Prime Minister is all for toilet construction and sanitation in the country. He has also launched a scheme to grant a sum of twelve thousand rupees per toilet for every household. The mission is to eradicate open defecation by 2019 by building 12 crore toilets across the country.

N EWSMAKERS develop their constituencies. Swaniti ASTRONOMICAL Initiative was launched in 2009. In just eight years, her NGO has helped over 35 MPs and 37 MLAs in developing their constituencies. HEIGHTS



At just 30, she is advising MPs and MLAs on how to develop their constituencies


WITWIKA Bhattacharya-Agarwal has made it to the World Economic Forum’s ‘100 Young Global Leaders’ list for her contributions in the development of India. Bhattacharya is the founder of Swaniti Initiative. Her NGO counsels MPs and MLAs on how to

Rwitwika is a graduate from Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School. She also worked for an American senator, Katherine Harris, while still in school. The World Economic Forum publishes a list of 100 young leaders under the age of 40, who are tackling the world’s most complex challenges with innovative approaches. The WEF citation says: “Her organisation is reshaping the frontiers of development and bridging the knowledge gap in the system by providing policy solutions to Indian elected officials.” “What makes Rwitwika stand out is her ability to have built an equally motivated and committed team in Swaniti. That to me suggests that it would be a sustainable enterprise,” says Jagdish Chhokar of the Association of Democratic Rights, who has observed Swaniti’s work closely. Rwitwika says she wants to reach out to around 50 per cent of the MPs in the next five years. However, the number of political leaders engaged does not denote development. “We also want to bridge the knowledge gap in the system.” She said she wants Swaniti to be the Google of development space.

This top-notch scientist has been at the helm of India’s space programme and had overseen launch of Aryabhata


HE government has conferred Prof Udupi Ramachandra Rao, former Chairman of ISRO, with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award. The award is to recognise the professor’s outstanding contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources. Rao is an internationally renowned space scientist. As the Chairman of ISRO, he has overseen the designing and launch of over 18 satellites, remote sensing and meteorological services. He was also the one who oversaw the launch of India’s first satellite Aryabhata back in 1975. Professor Rao has also published over 350 scientific and technical papers covering

UDUPI RAMACHANDRA RAO complex subjects such as cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications, satellite and rocket technology and has also authored several books. He is also the recipient of D. Sc. Degree from over 25 universities, including University of Europe. In a letter to Rao, the president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Kiyoshi Higuchi said: “It is a true honour for IAF to attribute this award to Professor Rao, who has been for many years an active participant in the matters of space in general and of the Federation in particular.” For his pioneering efforts, Rao has recieved several awards, including the prestigious Yuri Gagarin from Russia.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 1, ISSUE - 16 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain