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Vol-1 | Issue-9 | February 19, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

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





WALKING LONG MILE Barefoot College at Tilonia is an exemplar model of rural sustainibility



When Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visited Sulabh campus, it was a rare meeting of faith & service


The ancient kings of Assam’s Tiwa community had banned currency in their kingdom to avoid disharmony




Why Waheeda Rehman decided never ever to work with Raj Khosla again



OME to Jonbeel Mela in middle Assam. Come to gaiety, singing and dancing, and come to community fishing. But please don’t come with money if you wish to get anything homemade or grown naturally, otherwise the Gova ‘king’ will punish you! This is perhaps the country’s only cashless fair, where for three days and nights, money has no value, currency is totally banned and demonetisation has no effect. The simple tribal people do not care for change of currency bills like Rs 2,000 or of Rs 500. Jonbeel Mela is a popular fair of a tribe known as Tiwa of middle Assam. It is held at Dayang Belguri of Jonbeel area .The fair is held from the end of the first week of Magh and usually it starts on a Thursday and ends on a Saturday. ‘Jon’ means moon in Tiwa language. And ‘beel’ means a waterbody. The fair is named so because it is held on three successive moonlit nights and at the banks of a crescent

Snapshots The Gova kings of middle Assam were at one time the most powerful in the region They had banned currency use to ensure there is no rich-poor divide amongst the tribal people Tradition is still celebrated during the three-day Jonbeel fair where all traditional items are bartered

shaped wetland. The fair was started by the once all-powerful Gova king, who had powers over all the neghbouring kingdoms, including the Khasi and Jaintia kings of distant Meghalaya. In fact, there was no Meghalaya at the time the mela started in the 15th century. There were only small or large independent kingdoms. ‘MARXIST’ KING The Gova king could have been something of Marxist, for Marx had said that money ...Continued on Page 2



PM Narendra Modi has taken it to a new orbit with Mann ki Baat reaching most of the Indian households



HE film was Rang De Basanti depicting a bunch of young men fighting the corrupt system. After having lost all hopes, they take up the radio to convey their side of the story to the masses. The youth who were unable to reach out to people, had faith in All India Radio and within seconds, their voice reached every nook and corner of the country. During this programme, they responded to people’s calls detailing their purpose. The entire episode resulted in the administration sending security forces to gun them down. But, their call had already

reached the public which gradually gathers at All India Radio. People across the country then rise against the establishment. The film might have taught the youth to be more responsible but another learning was that radio is still not only a powerful medium but also a hope for development. It is changing its avatars with changing milieu. Advent of new media doesn’t mean that radio has lost its relevance. Radio is the medium with maximum reach on the ground. Shahrukh Khan played the role of a reporter with All India Radio in iconic film ‘Dil Se’. Who can forget ‘RJ’ Vidya Balan’s “Good Morning Mumbai“ in Lage Raho Munna Bhai, the second

instalment of Munna Bhai series. Preity Zinta too has played radio jockey in one of her prominent films. POWERFUL MEDIUM Radio is one medium which doesn’t warrant our full attention. Nor we do we have to be stationary to use it. We only needs to use our olfactory senses. You can drive while

listening to radio, a washer-man might be listening the same programme while ironing clothes and might be a tailor while stitching. Most common sight in a city bus or metro train is young boys and girls with earphones firmly plugged into their ears, listening to FM radio. Radio has seen an era. There might have ...Continued on Page 3

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FEBRUARY 19, 2017

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is the root of all evil. The Gova king’s tribal subjects were simple village folk, innocent and friendly. The king had banned currency in his kingdom because he felt that when people transact in currency, their innate fellow-feelings are washed away. Thus, to retain the sense of brotherhood, he had banned currency in his kingdom. He feared also that apart from making people somewhat mechanical, it would also mark out the rich from the poor and create disharmony. The people obeyed the king implicitly. Till now it is believed by these people that the king is the embodiment of a deity, which is why he is called Deoraja, or God-King. So even now, the rule is that so far as traditional items are concerned, like rice, turmeric, ginger, potato, cotton, cane and bamboo products, chillies, pumpkin, lemon, poultry, eggs, aromatic rice, sesame, etc., one has to barter instead of buy these. You cannot buy them with money. However, there are other items that can be bought and sold, but not the homemade or farm products. The mela had been organised from the 15th century for the King to interact with his subjects, for he would visit and stay at the mela for all three days. The present Tiwa king, Deep Singh Deoraja is the representative of that royal family and according to the rituals of the royal family,he comes to attend the mela with his ministers and at the end of the ‘mela’ he collects taxes from his subjects.

A montage of photos from the year’s Jonbeel Mela, including the dance performance

The Tiwa king supports cashless transaction to foster harmony and to create a sense of brotherhood amongst different tribes and communities

There was a tradition of the Gova king inviting the neighbouring kingdoms ruled by the Garo, Khasi, Jaintia, Bodo and other kings, and the latter would attend with their council of ministers. Even now such ‘kings’ exist and are known by their local terms, like the Siems or the Khasi Kings, and they still attend the fair. MUSICAL FISHING ‘Agni puja’ is an essential part of the mela and it is organised at the very beginning of the mela. ‘Agni’ or fire is worshipped for the well-being of mankind. After ‘agni puja’, community fishing starts at the ‘beel’ i.e, the nearby wetland. The fishing starts after the king has inaugurated the fair, following the fire worship, and goes on till the evening. But this community fishing is not merely to catch tonnes of fish, because these cannot be sold. Rather, the fishing is to build bridges to people’s hearts. The fishing boats become veritable music platforms, with typical Tiwa songs being sung constantly. The Tiwa songs and musical instruments are so popular that most Assamese musicians of today have used them to score success. The tribal people of neighbouring

areas like Meghalaya and Karbi Anglong also used to come to take part at this fair. People of different communities like Jaintia, Khasi, Karbi, Garo, Bodo and Rabha still take part in this festival. More than 10,000 tribal people come every year to participate. These tribal people live mainly in the hilly areas and they are fully dependent on their agricultural products. These people are very simple and they have no relation with the artificial and materialistic culture of contemporary society. They come to the fair with their agricultural products and homemade items. They stay for three days in the bamboo huts, which are made by themselves. They sleep there and cook their food at the make-shift bamboo huts. They exchange their products which they bring down from the hills with the other people of plains areas and after three days they use to return to their homes. The norm is they should not have anything left to take back home after the fair. They come to attend the ‘mela’ ready with their all belongings. They dance, sing and engage themselves in other group cultural activities. On the last day of the mela people have a community feast, and at the time of

farewell they burn their temporary bamboo huts. During the mela the people organise cock fights to attract common people. The previous Congress government had requested UNESCO to declare the historic fair as a heritage festival. The present Cultural Minister Naba Kumar Doley says: “It is one of the oldest festivals of the world and it has a great significance because currency is kept far away and all buyers as well as sellers follow the ancient barter system.” The central idea is that the Tiwa community must not forget their original culture and the ruling against currency. Everyone who comes here is addressed as mama and mami, or uncle and aunt. In Tiwa culture, these are the two most revered relationships: maternal uncle and maternal aunt. So having a common addressal works as a unifier. The emphasis on brotherhood, unity and fellowship is a prominent feature of Jonbeel Mela and has been continuing for centuries. At a time when the Centre is trying to create a cashless India, this is really the most appropriate and suitable example where no cash transaction is allowed. The major difference between the policy of Modi and Tiwa king is that Modi wants to create a cashless India to remove corruption from the society, while the Tiwa king supports cashless transaction to foster harmony and to create a sense of brotherhood amongst different tribes and communities.

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LONG LIVE THE RADIO... been several ups and downs but radio is still a hope for the country. That is the reason our techno-savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi while stressing on the need to usher in the latest technological innovations like Smart City, uses radio to carry his “Mann ki Baat” to each and every Indian. This could be achieved only with radio which is the most accessible mode of mass communication. The programme is so popular that most TV news channels as well as news websites telecast or webcast the radio transmission live. The indication is clear – radio hasn’t outlived its utility. It’s rather gaining more popularity and there are myriad possibilities waiting to be explored. THE BEGINNING Radio was under government control for a long time after independence. It was being used by the government to disseminate propaganda and information like news, agriculture, developmental issues and later with the launch of Vividh Bharti – to songs on demand as well. With passage of time, the medium underwent lot of changes and most of them were for its good. Its increasing popularity is proof enough that its getting better with each passing day. All India Radio is truly living up to its tagline – Bahujan Hitai, Bahujan Sukhai (Welfare of all, happiness to all).

Snapshots Radio had a slow start as a state-owned medium meant to disseminate information It has been changing its role with changing socio-economic atmosphere of the country With FM and Web-Radio, the medium is going to keep its relevance in future as well

CHANGES WITH TIME Radio has kept pace with developments in the society. Radio too has adapted to the development seen in the country by taking up new techniques and programmes. While its initial role was very limited but it started experiencing several experiments. The Government auctioned FM stations in the year 2000. First private FM station Radio City started functioning in Bangalore on July 3, 2001. This posed a major challenge to the AIR, which was a monolith so far. AIR too modulated itself to FM frequency while maintaining a balance in its existing channels and programmes. The FM brought in a revolution through its entertainment packages. FM PHASES BBC, Voice of Russia, etc are transmitted on Short Wave (SW) which covers a major chunk of area. It often doesn’t have sound clarity and transmission is wavering. In contrast, Frequency Modulation (FM) technique has crystal clear sound quality but in a limited area – mostly within 70 kms radius. “FM is meant to cover a locality only and not the country or continent. Why would somebody in Kerala be interested to listen to issues in Punjab”, says Harpreet, programming head of Harman Radio, Australia. FM allows one to keep updated about his surroundings, eg traffic updates, weather updates, cultural events as well as crime incidents taking place in our neighbourhood. The speed with which it conveys information also contributes to its immense popularity. That explains why it is more popular than any other medium in cities especially metros. COMMUNITY RADIO Radio is the most accessible medium with maximum reach. But, community radio has an added function – it carries a responsibility as well. It is fully dedicated to development. Its range normally is only 10-15 kms. Its license is given by the government usually




HERE was a time when people used to wait for entire week to tune in to AIR or Vividh Bharti to listen their favourite song programmes like “Hello Farmaish”. But, with changing forms of radio, FM has been undergoing various changes. Storytelling is one of them. Whether it is “Yadon ka idiot box with Neelesh Mishra“ or “UP ki Kahaniyan”, storytelling is gaining popularity. In fact taking a step further a FM radio station has been airing a horror programme – Ek Kahani Aisi Bhi. Its three seasons have already been transmitted. It is indeed an innovative idea to create a horror scene only through audio. The mind automatically imagines a video to associate with the sounds. to non government organisations (NGOs). RJ Surendra is somebody who has spent a long time in community radio. Sharing his experiences with us he says, “While working in Mewat, I used to handle a programme ‘Gaon Gaon ki Baat’ in which we used to discuss problems of villages. Since I used to speak local dialect, lot of people used to get attracted to it. So much so that once a person turned at our office with 2.5 Kgs of kalakand (milk-cake) because he felt very attached to the programme and wanted to show his gratitude”. Listeners of community radio are happy also because no other media lends a platform to them. Surendra says, this is the uniqueness of the community radio. It’s almost like a village mouthpiece. People can share their joys sorrows and problems with each other and their neighbours. There are many examples of Community Radio’s contribution to rural development – of how their employees work tirelessly to ensure development of the catchment area and also resolution of their problems. They have been undertaking crucial tasks like ensuring contribution of village panchayats, presenting content in lucid and easy to understand language for the literates or less literates, inclusion of such people in national mainstream and all activities besides making them aware of various malpractices.

keep the NRIs informed. These include Radio Haji, Harman Radio Australia”, says Harpreet. IS MOBILE REPLACING RADIO? It is indeed a misconception that mobile having entire gamut of FM channels, would soon replace radio. It’s also incorrect that radio is technologically regressive. What is indeed true is the fact that people’s needs have changed in changing times. Radio too is changing forms with technological changes. Web radio has become more accessible with launch of android apps. FM radio stations are becoming easily available on mobile phones and laptops.

Radio has seen

many phases in its journey so far and has evolved many dimensions

WEB RADIO AND NRIs Besides FM and Community Radio, another genre which has revolutionised the radio waves is web radio. Its a genre in which radio is linked to internet to enhance it coverage area. Basic reason for introduction of this technique in India is to keep Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in the loop. Those living abroad can keep themselves abreast with the happenings surrounding their native places through web radio. “There are many web radio stations working in India with a view to

A BLESSING Although latest modes of communication including television, cable, satellite TV and internet are reaching even remotest parts of the India, radio’s acceptability has not dented a bit especially in rural area. There is a vast group of people in remote areas including daily wagers who depend only on radio for information and entertainment. You can easily spot somebody on a stair whitewashing buildings while listening to radio. Whether its a farmer working in fields or villagers bothering about impact of weather on their crops, all lean on humble radio to fulfil their daily needs. BETTER FUTURE Radio has seen many phases in its journey so far and has evolved many dimensions. It provides several career options to the youth, ensures people’s participation in the development and at the same time making entertainment more creative. But, we should always strive to create more options and consistently improve the medium. There have been several instances when people opened new vistas and avenues through radio. But a vast majority of people of all age groups – from youth to the aged – have a sense that radio was there yesterday, is still relevant and will continue to grow tomorrow as well.

04 Rural Diary

FEBRUARY 19, 2017


WALKING THE LONG MILE, BAREFOOT! India is a land of villages. It will see a real transformation only when villagers are empowered. Barefoot College is doing it with panache in rural Tilonia

Snapshots Self-sustainable and selfreliant villages are a long term dream for our country Barefoot College in Tilonia has created an efficient model of rural empowerment The approach of integrated development leads to enhanced productivity

speak, the strong adherence to these values is reflected in his words. “Our idea was always to work with the poorest of the rural folks and empower them. It was very essential to live a very simple lifestyle. The poorest of the peasants will participate in their development and use their own knowledge and skills, if there is no hierarchy and the interactions are informal.” Ramkaran ji has been associated with Barefoot College for more than 40 years, and now looks after the rain water harvesting efforts. He is a community oriented person, and is the mover and shaker at the Barefoot College. SIMPLER SOLUTIONS, WIDER IMPACT



S I got down from the rickety Rajasthan state transport bus at Tilonia, I didn’t find anything extraordinary. It looked like a dusty, sleepy village, not very different from its counterparts. Flocks of goats and sheep, a tea stall, couple of Banjara children playing in the sand, sun peeping from behind a small hillock at some distance – there was nothing very unique about the place. But, the uniqueness of Tilonia doesn’t lie in its physical or geographical aspects. Tilonia’s model of sustainability and rural livelihood is what sets it apart. And the credit for this goes to Barefoot College. BAREFOOT MOVEMENT

After China’s independence in 1949, Mao Zedong had advocated the need of rural doctors for better health outcomes in the rural China. Very soon, an army of health workers were trained and they started providing the primary health care services at grassroots level. These health workers came to be known as Barefoot doctors. Their contribution to the community

health changed the face of rural China. The story of Barefoot doctors inspired a young lad, Bunker Roy who was in his twenties to seek solutions for the problems of community from within its functional spectrum. In 1972, Roy had been traveling in parts of Rajasthan, to understand the problem of drought. He decided to setup a centre in the rural Rajasthan and established Social Work and Research Centre on February 5th, which is now popularly known as Barefoot College. Reminiscing about Barefoot College, Roy says, “It was advocating an integrated approach over a sectoral one because it believed that rural life could not be compartmentalised as experts had traditionally done. In a village, for instance, a shopkeeper is more than just an outlet for provisions; he keeps seeds and

fertilisers for distribution, he sells contraceptive, he reads newspapers and disseminates information, and sometimes he is also a member of the village council. He in fact is the last word in integration.” Barefoot College has followed an integrated bottom-up approach since then where various components of rural lifestyle have been worked on. There are different strands under which its work can be divided - groundwater, education, medical care, women empowerment, agricultural extension, rural livelihood, appropriate technology, animal husbandry and communication. There are set of guiding values which are inherent to the Barefoot movement and every work is aligned to these values - equality, collective decision making, decentralisation, selfreliance and austerity. As Ramkaran ji adjusts his glasses to

Barefoot College has followed an integrated

bottom-up approach, where various components of rural lifestyle have been worked on

My first stop was the ‘Kabaad se jugaad’ centre. Recycle and reuse is an essential aspect of sustainability. Here, folks use waster paper, rubber, candles, etc to make products like paper packets, diyas, greeting cards, wall hangings, etc. Most of these products are sold in the village markets or nearby towns. Weaving, embroidery, applique, block printing, carpentry are some of the other vocations which village folks participate in. These skills come quite naturally to them and bring a handy source of income too. Biddam Devi who was cutting the motif from a colourful fabric, wasn’t wearing the ghoonghat, which is quite common to Rajasthani women. Without looking up, she says, “It has been more than 20 years working here. I have trained hundreds of women in this art. All of them are independent artists now and create fabulous piece of art on their own.” She takes a short pause to explain the stitching to her partner. “On an average, I make Rs 4000-5000 per month, sometimes even more,” she adds. The products made by the artists are sold at Tilonia bazaar, the emporium at Barefoot College campus. There is an online store to cater to the international buyers also. Puppetry used to be an engaging artform in rural India. But, the advancement of technology led to its rout. Barefoot College has not only revived it, but has been using it as a very effective tool to create awareness in nearby areas. Ramniwas ji learned puppet making from his father and now he is a part of the communications team at Barefoot. At the puppet room, he showed the photographs

FEBRUARY 19, 2017 of different awareness campaigns, his team has led in the village fairs and panchayat meetings. His eyes are gleaming with pride, as he explains, “One good way to measure the impact of your work is to gauge the resistance you are facing. At many of the village fairs, we are shooed away. Sometimes, slippers and shoes also come flying at us. Our campaigns against child marriage and for women rights face the maximum resistance. And that’s what makes my team’s resolve stronger”. HARNESSING THE SUN

Next, I entered a large hall, which looked like an engineering laboratory. It was bustling with tens of middle aged women, who were intently working with circuits, multimeter and soldering iron. As ‘Masterji’, gave his final instructions, most of the women left for their lunch, except Chidibere and her two friends. Chidibere doesn’t want to leave without her friends, who are struggling with the placement of capacitors on the board. They are from Malawi and are currently undergoing training at Tilonia to create circuits for solar lamps and panels. Chidibere can speak some English. “You need to walk for at least 2 hours through dense forests to reach my village. And that too, if you are not eaten by a wild animal,” she smiles as she explains about her village. “My village doesn’t have electricity, but it receives plenty of sunlight. The first time when we saw a solar lamp in village, everyone was very excited. After going back from here, I am going to train everyone in my village and every family will have a night life too,” Chidibere says as she gets back to helping her friends. They are part of the 15

Barefoot has trained hundreds of rural

grandmothers from 78 countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and others member team from Africa, who are undergoing training at Tilonia, so that they can go back to their communities and train others in harnessing the solar power. They are popularly called the ‘solar mamas’, a wonted form of ‘solar grandmothers’. As Bunker Roy explained later in the evening, ‘Grandmothers stay and want to help their communities. Teach a woman and she will go back and train other women’. Barefoot has trained hundreds of rural grandmothers from 78 countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Philippines, etc, over the years. They have gone back to their respective communities, helping to introduce solar electricity in more than 50,000 households. They come here for a period of 6 months and are provided the training in campus. Barefoot also makes a seed

investment for installing the solar lamps, in the respective communities of the participants. Barefoot also trains women in solar cooker and solar water heater, which requires minimal technological efforts. EDUCATION FOR ALL

My next stop was the ‘Parliament session’ going on inside a large room. The proceedings were going on smoothly and there was hardly any noise. This might amuse you, but not the tiny 10 something year old kids, who were holding their regular session of ‘Bal Sansad’. Laxmi, who studies in 6th grade and is the Chair for this session, emphasizes, “If the homework is not done on time, the student is at fault and not the teacher. Somewhere, the students of higher grades need to shorten their play time and focus more on studies.” Some heads nod in disapproval, while many of them thump their small benches in agreement. “I will request the ‘Education Minister’ to issue a directive to the students of higher grades”. (Top to bottom, clockwise) Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker at Bal Sansad; ‘Solar mamas’ deeply engorssed in the breadboard circuits; the giant solar cooker

The ‘Education Minister’, a 13 year old Bhairav, scribbles few lines in his notebook. I was witnessing a live example of student leadership, where they were discussing their issues and concerns in the most democratic way possible. Barefoot also caters to those children who are involved in household work or who fend for the family during the day time. They attend the ‘solar bridge schools’ which function during the night time. These schools use the solar lamps and minimal infrastructure to teach the children. The learning levels for the kids are not very encouraging, but it prepares them enough for the mainstream education. Around 700 villages have replicated this model of night schools. The day school of

Rural Diary


Tilonia, which is inside the Barefoot campus, caters to around 500 children. Here the focus is to teach students in fun and interesting ways and connecting their lessons to their rural lifestyles. COMMUNITY RADIO

Mention of a Rajasthani woman creates the picture of a ghoonghat clad, meek, subdued woman. One would be forced to change one’s perception after meeting Aarti Devi, a young lady at the radio station at Barefoot. She handles the community radio, 90.4 FM at Tilonia along with Naurat. “Villagers call me RJ Aarti, even though I mostly do the editing part. Naurat ji is the main voice behind the radio. I sincerely feel that information is the key to growth. I have personally seen the changes in the psyche of villagers, once they got access to information pertaining to health, sanitation, agriculture, education, etc, through the radio. We still have a long way to go,” Aarti beams with confidence as she narrates. More than 30 villages in a radius of 15 km have access to Tilonia Radio. It has a reach to almost 50,000 people. Tilonia Radio, as it is popularly called, is live for almost 6-7 hours during the day. It has got fixed schedule and the programmes are broadcasted under various segments, like agriculture, animal husbandry, health, etc. It even ran a series named ‘Ab ki baar mera adhikaar’, which focused on citizen’s rights and provided information pertaining to Right to Information, Aadhaar, Jan Dhan, etc. Naurat ji visits the field to gather the information. “These days, I get lot of stuff from the internet. On Facebook, people share various stories from different parts of India. We filter the stuff, which is relevant to us, add our tadka and broadcast them,” Naurat ji explains. For keeping the optimal acoustics in the broadcast room, it was covered by empty egg trays, as they are a good sound absorber. As I came out of the radio room and walked towards the bus stand, I was overwhelmed by what I saw at Tilonia. Indian villages are commonly perceived to be backward and dependent on urban populace for survival. Barefoot and the residents of Tilonia have proven it all wrong. They have created a sustainable model of rural development which integrates all the verticals of rural life. And there is no rocket science involved in these processes and structures. It is easily replicable and scalable across the spectrum. Bunker Roy sums up the whole model in succinct words, “The stand of the Barefoot College in Tilonia is simple. The educational system the world over, especially in the South, has failed the rural poor. It is elitist. It is biased towards people passing exams set by narrowminded, insensitive people. The only way to meet this approach is to reject it outright, which is what the Barefoot College has done.”

06 Good News

FEBRUARY 19, 2017



Innovation data of states will be used to judge their performnces


HE nation’s first online innovation index portal which will rank states based on their innovations Amitabh was launched Kant by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. Speaking at its launch, he said that it will be a “first-of-its-kind online platform,” where Global Innovation Index (GII) indicators and India-centric data from various states will be updated periodically. Kant stated: “This will be a one-stop data warehouse and will track progress on each indicator at the National level and the State level on realtime basis”. The access to the portal will be hosted on the NITI Aayog website. “Data collated on this portal will not only be used to ameliorate current data gaps with respect to the GII, but be the prime source for the India Innovation Index,” a government statement from the Niti Ayog said.

ISRO will be launching record number of satellites

The teacher-for-a-day will focus on informal education SSB BUREAU


ADHYA PRADESH will witness a unique scene on February 18 when chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his ministerial colleagues, bureaucrats, technocrats and people from other sections of society will turn teachers for a day. They would head towards the primary and middle schools they have selected to teach as part of the ‘Mil Banche Madhya Pradesh’ The focus of the teaching would not be formal books but informal ones. However, formal text books may be selected too. The programme is being organised jointly by tribals development and school education departments. This experiment, first of its kind in India, aims at arousing interest in students when they are in the formative years of schooling, to study

PRESERVING HERITAGE Preservation of rich Ahom legacy receives fresh impetus Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal

Aim is to enhance quality in engineering studies


O improve the quality of technical education in the country, India has signed a $201.50 million financing agreement with the World Bank “Financing agreement for credit of $201.50 million for the ‘Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme’ was signed with the World Bank,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. The project aims at improving quality and equity in engineering institutes in the states and take initiatives to strengthen sector governance and performance, it said. “The objective is to enhance quality and equity in participating engineering education institutes and improve the efficiency of the engineering education systems in various states.









N a bid to spread the ideologies and contributions of Swargadeo Chaulung Siu Ka Pha, the first Ahom ruler of Assam, amongst new generation of the state, the government of Assam will spend Rs two crore in first phase for preservation of historic Habung in Dhemaji district. Habung manifests the rich Ahom legacy and it is said that Chaulung Siu Ka Pha founded the Ahom kingdom’s capital here on the

non-text books too and help them understand their language better. A better knowledge of the language is a must at the elementary level to express one’s feelings. The officials will recite some portions of a book available at the school which they find interesting to recite before the students. Recital of the parts of the book will follow questions put up to the students, group discussions, interactions in a light atmosphere. Those desirous of participating in the programme to turn teachers for a day would have to get registered by Feb 12 on the website http:// w w w. s c h o o l c h a l e h u m .


NDIA will create history by launching a record 104 satellites, including 101 foreign ones, on February 15 from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official told, “We have tentatively decided to launch the satellites at one go around 9 a.m. into the sun-synchronous orbit, about 500 km above the earth,” Of the total earthobservation satellites, three are Indian, 88 are from the US and the remaining are from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The official provided information thata 320-tonne rocket -- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37) -- will launch all the satellites.


Quick Glance Chaulung Siu Ka Pha was the first Ahom ruler of Assam His first capital Habung is facing many problems, to be tackled The government will spend Rs two crore to spread his legacy

north bank of the mighty Brahmaputra river in 1240 AD. The earliest reference to Habung comes in the 10th century copper plate grant of Ratnapala of the Pala dynasty, when it was a principality of the Kamarupa Kingdom ruled by Brahmins. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced the funds while taking part at the central celebration of Me-DamMe-Phi, observed by the Ahom community every year in memory of the departed. Stating that Habung is plagued with myriad problems, the CM assured that government will invest in upgrading infrastructure to make this a tourist destination. He also sought people’s cooperation in transforming the face of Habung.“The foundation of a disciplined and strong society rests on its inherent ethos, rituals and art & culture. Chaolung Siu Ka Pha set the tone for a harmonius Assam by unifying the ethos and values of different communities living during his time. He faced many challenges in his pursuit for greater Assam but adversities could never defeat him.

Mothers carrying infants will get relief in the passenger buses


N Madhya Pradesh one of the seats in the passenger buses will be reserved for mothers of infants. A decision in this regard was taken by transport department. The decision, as the department says, aims at giving respect to a mother’s dignity and providing extra facility in the buses for her when she is travelling with her child. Home minister MP Home Minister, Bhupendra Singh Madhya Pradesh Bhupendra Singh said the first seat behind the driver seat would be reserved for a mother travelling with her infant child. Besides, an arrangement of curtains from three sides will also be provided on this seat. “Terms and conditions about this arrangement will be linked in new, permanent and temporary bus permits”, said a government communiqué. This is first time when a seat will be reserved for a suckling mother.

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Quick Glance Assam will provide free higher education in government institutions Those who have got first division have been awarded by the CM Academic material and laptops will be provided by the state


FREE HIGHER EDUCATION Assam is taking giant strides in making education universal and easily accessible, even at higher level INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


OON, Assam would provide free higher education in government institutions. The State government is making plans for free admission in universities as well after making enrolment in government higher secondary institutions and colleges free. Himanta Biswa Sarma, State Education minister informed that state government’s move to make free enrolment in higher secondary institutions and colleges has benefitted 4.6 lakh students in the PUNEET DUBEY / NEW DELHI


HARAT RANG MAHOTSAV, the 19th edition of the National School of Drama’s (NSD) began with special focus on the different genres of Indian theatre. The performances will be staged at Abhimanch, Open Air Theatre, Bahumukh and Sammukh at the NSD Campus as well as LTG Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium and Shri Centre for Performing Arts at Mandi House. The 21-day festival will see artists from 12 foreign countries including England, Russia, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Romania, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh besides India. There will be 94 theatre performances and 15 foreign productions. The festival will include 10 traditional folk theatre performances. “NSD brings together all the theatre people of India and abroad through

Quick Glance The NSD holds its festival every year and groups come from all over This year will see three tributary plays and six diploma productions The fest will see groups from 12 foreign countries like Italy and Israel

state this year. He said soon university admission will be free for students. Sarma also added that government has waived the examination fees of Class X (state board) and higher secondary students and will also ensure free textbooks for students at higher secondary level soon. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal presented Anundoram Barooah Award to 56,821 first division holders in High School Leaving Certificate, High Madrassa, Senior Madrassa, Sanskrit Pravesika and Pali Examination,

2016. The award carries a laptop with accessories in a bid to inspire the young generation to embrace the digital lifestyle. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal said that the award will inspire the young students to take part in nation building and develop a life of dignity. Sonowal further said that in this age of globalization, information technology has significantly altered many aspects of life and in recent years. Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while delivering his speech urged the students not to get lost in the crowd. Sarma said that every year many students receive the Anundoram Borooad award but subsequently they fail to continue good performance in their academic life. Sarma emphasised society’s active role in improving the situation and called upon the students to consider the award as a stepping stone for future success in life. He also assured to include more academic material with the laptop to help the students in their academic pursuit.

Good News



The programme will benefit a wide range of traumatised women


oCATIONAL training will be provided to women victimised under different circumstances in Madhya Pradesh. The training will be imparted under Chief Minister’s Women’s Empowerment Scheme. Applications have been invited from such women, and can be submitted by dowry abused, acid victims, burn and rape victims, women living below poverty line, women released from jails, separated women, divorcees and women residing in government and non-government shelters. Maximum age for women of general category has been fixed as 40 years whereas maximum age limit of 45 years for divorcees, separated, scheduled castes and scheduled tribe women and also backward class women for the training.



The much awaited festival of NSD is going to enthrall audience

Telangana will spend Rs 336 crore to irrigate one crore acres of farmland



Bharat Rang Mahotsav. It is one of the best platforms and we have to present all the elements which are native to the Indian Theatre,” Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama, said in a statement. This year’s theatre carnival will include three tributary plays, six diploma productions and also five plays by living

theatre luminaries from across the country like Sonal Mansingh, Bibhash Chakravati, Arjun Deo Charan, D.P. Sinha and Suresh Bharadwaj. Apart from these performances, the festival will feature Living Legend Series, Master Classes, Youth Forum and Director’s Meet as an integral part of this theatre fiesta.


CHANDRASEKHAR RAO, Telangana Chief Minister, inaugurated Bhakta Ramadasu Lift Irrigation Scheme and vowed to irrigating one crore acres of land in the state. He dedicated Bhakta Ramadasu Lift Irrigation Scheme (BRLIS) to the people in Khammam district. Claimed to be first of its kind in the country to be completed in 11 months, the project will use Krishna river water to irrigate 60,000 acres of land in drought prone areas of the district. The government spent Rs 336 crore on BRLIS, which was completed two months ahead of the deadline. It is also the first project to be completed as part of redesigning of irrigation systems by the Telangana RashtraSamithi (TRS) government. Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the project, the Chief Minister said he would not rest till full utilisation of the state’s share of Krishna and Godavari river waters to irrigate one crore acres in the state.

08 Initiative

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Snapshots Many people die because of the damaged vital organs like the heart, kidneys and liver Even if donors are found, the organs have to be brought very fast to the patient, who could be dying The hospital and police together work out a route which takes the least amount of time

hence the organ reaches to the recipient as early as possible. CHENNAI THE FIRST MOVER This technique has been heavily practiced in abroad but India made its first green corridor in 2014 in Chennai for a heart transplantation case. A 12 km long green corridor was created between Adyar government hospital and Fortis Malar WHAT IS GREEN CORRIDOR? The Green Corridor is used in case of hospital for transporting the heart. medical emergency. It is also made when a Generally it takes 45 minutes to cover this patient requires intense medical attention particular distance which witnesses heavy immediately such as in case of organ traffic but it took only 12 minutes due to transplant or heart attack. This formula is the green corridor. The experiment of very pertinent for the transfer of sensitive setting up the green corridor was organs like kidney, liver and heart from successful and so was the transplantation. one hospital to another in least possible The trend was later followed by cities like time. The reason behind Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Indore, Bhopal, this is that these organs stop Jaipur. In fact Mumbai has functioning very soon after THE URGENCY AND One of the greatest achievements in the field of surgery, they are removed from a done it 39 times and Indore THE NEED ‘Green Corridor’ has marveled in saving the time during person’s body. Therefore 15 times. Heart transplant the transplantation needs to transfer of organs from one hospital to another. It is INDIA NEEDS GREEN be done with immediate Liver transplant also giving a new lease of life to the critical patients CORRIDOR effects. But in most of the It is very unfortunate that cases the distance between Kidney transplant PRASANN PRANJAL order to transfer the heart from one the two hospitals impedes lakhs of people die every Heart attack hospital to another. A distance of 20 km the process. Here comes the year in road accidents and ITTLE Abhiraj, lying on the bed of was covered in a record 16 minutes and green corridor for rescue. similarly due to liver, heart Critical patients a big hospital, was fighting battle the child was saved. and kidney failures. The Green Corridor is a for his life. There was no alternative Abhiraj’s story is not an isolate one but route which is created to According to Ministry of left but immediate heart transplant, to the idea of green corridor has saved facilitate immediate attention to the Road Transport and Highway, 1.37 lakh save him from the severe heart disease. hundreds of lives across the country medical emergency. It is setup for some people died in road accidents in the year His parents ran pillar to post for a donor including in cities like Delhi, Chennai, time between one hospital to another with 2013 and 1.46 lakh in 2015. On the other heart but all in vain. However his doctor Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, Mumbai, the help and coordination of hospital hand, WHO reports state that more than showed a ray of hope by informing Benguluru. Recently (on 17 January) management, local police and traffic two lakh people die annually due to liver Abhiraj’s father about a brain dead patient green corridor was made in Indore for the police. The vehicular movement is diseases. Kidney problems are also Deepak in another hospital of the city. fifteenth time. Brain-dead Bhupendra stopped for some time within the stretch responsible for the demise of over two Deepak’s family wanted to donate Singh Rajavat‘s organs were donated and of both hospitals to ensure quick medical lakh people every year. Another report the organ. transplanted into various recipients. aid to the patient at the earliest. All traffic claims that two lakh heart surgeries take It was immediately decided to The green corridor technique is fast signals are operated manually during that place every year in the country and over transplant Deepak’s heart into Abhiraj’s becoming a trend. And it is becoming time span. Experienced ambulance drivers 30 million people suffer from heart body but the real challenge was to bring inevitable in many critical cases. are assigned to transfer the organ. And disease. If the families of those who lost the organ from the hospital which was 20 their lives in the accident come forward in km away from the one where little Abhiraj time and donate the organ then certainly was admitted. Hopelessness again spread thousands of lives can be saved. One its wings. It was almost impossible to death occurs every four minute in the bring the donor heart and transplant it, as Green corridor has proved its organ, green corridor facility is the country due to road accident while every the traffic was at its peak. It was not all. worth in providing quick medical best way for transporting it. 33 seconds a person gets from heart attack. Deepak’s heart was also to stop functioning aid, especially to the heart patients. Whenever the green corridor is In this case the organs of those who have very soon. Therefore it was even more If a person is declared brain dead, created in any city, people should been declared brain dead in the road important to transplant it in shortest time. his family members should come cooperate with local and traffic accident can be transplanted into the But the astute doctors and alert police forward and take the initiative police along with the patients. Setting up green corridor is did the Herculean task through for organ donation. It can hospital management in equally important along with the cooperation and coordination. The be a boon for the needy. order to facilitate a awareness on organ donation, as it plays a Dr. RAVI MALIK, impossible was possible through ‘Green And after retrieving the smooth process. key role in transporting these sensitive Joint Secretary, Indian Medical Association Corridor’. A green corridor was made in organs and saving precious lives.




FEBRUARY 19, 2017


10X FASTER THAN 5G The entire content of a DVD can be transferred in fraction of a second using this ultra-fast transmitter



ESEARCHERS at Hiroshima University (HU) have developed a terahertz (THz) transmitter, a technology that is capable of transmitting digital data at a rate 10 times faster than the 5G mobile networks is expected to appear by 2020. According to the research schedule to be presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2017, the terahertz transmitter could make it possible for the whole content on a DVD to be transferred in a fraction of a second.

“Terahertz could offer ultra highspeed links to satellites as well, which can only be wireless. That could, in turn, significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds, for example. Other possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations,” said Prof Minoru Fujishima of HU. “We usually talk about wireless data rates in megabits per second or gigabits per second. But we are now approaching terabits per second using a plain simple single communication channel,” Fujishima added. The terahertz band is a new and vast frequency resource expected to be used for future ultrahigh-speed wireless communications. The research group from Hiroshima University, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Panasonic Corporation is still planning to further develop 300-GHz ultrahighspeed wireless circuits.


NEW-TECH ATC COMING Experts feel that the control tower will be able now to track every plane’s position in real time and avoid accidents INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


OLLOWING a string of air tragedies, researchers have finally developed a reconfigurable radio system that could help air traffic controllers see the location of every plane in the air, even those flying across oceans in real-time. To design and develop the new reconfigurable, higher-bandwidth radio, NASA worked with Palm Bay, Florida-based Harris Corporation. “It tremendously improves public safety and potentially saves a lot of fuel costs, because you no longer have to remain in

the particular airline traffic lanes,” said Jeff Anderson from Harris Corporation. With real-time global tracking, planes could fly with less space between them and take more direct routes. The biggest selling point of the new device, which Harris sells as the AppSTAR, turned out to be its flexibility. For decades, airplanes have relied on radar surveillance via landbased radar stations. That has left huge gaps, particularly over oceans, where air traffic controllers have no real-time information. With Aireon flight tracking, powered by a radio developed by Harris Corporation, researchers hope that air traffic control agencies will be able to see in real time the location and heading of every plane in the air. To compensate, pilots file detailed flight plans and are required to remain within prescribed lanes at different altitudes so air traffic controllers can estimate where they are and work to ensure there are no midair collisions.

Science & Technology



MORE NUCLEAR POWER The nuclear sector will add another 1,000 megawatt of power from Kudankulum, totalling 6,780 megawatt INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE


S another addition to the already power surplus India, the Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh has told the Rajya Sabha that the nuclear energy sector will add another 1000 MW to the grid by the end of this financial year. “The present capacity of 5,780 MW will reach 6,780 MW by the end of this financial year, with the commercial operation of Kudankulam Unit-2, which is already generating infirm power at the rated capacity,” he said in a written reply

Quick Glance India is already power surplus and nuclear energy is profuse With commercial operation of Kudankulam 2, more power will come There are four nuclear reactor under construction in the country

to a question in the Rajya Sabha. “The capacity is expected to reach 9,580 MW by 2020 on progressive completion of projects under construction and about 12,980 MW by 2024 on completion of new projects accorded sanction,” the minister added. There are 21 nuclear power plants which are operational in the country with a total capacity of 5,780 MW. In addition, the second unit of Kudankulam KKNPP-2 (1,000 MW) is connected to the southern grid. There are four nuclear power reactors under construction, each of 700 MW, which are progressively expected to be completed by 2019.


NAVIGATION SATELLITE The old one had to be replaced due to its atomic clock crashing and the foreign supplier is being asked ‘why’ SSB BUREAU


NDIA will launch one of its back up navigation satellites this year as a replacement to IRNSS-1A, whose three atomic clocks have failed, an official of the Indian space agency said. The official denied the existence of similar problems with the rubidium atomic clocks in another navigation satellite. “The atomic clocks have failed in only one satellite. We will be launching the stand-by satellite this year. All other six satellites are operational and are providing the navigation data,” told AS Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO. He said the atomic clocks were imported and ISRO would take up the issue with the foreign supplier. Each satellite has three clocks and a total of 27 clocks for the navigation satellite system were supplied by the same vendor. The clocks are important to provide precise data. According to Indian space agency, the applications

of IRNSS are: terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking and fleet management, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers, disaster management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers. The Rs 1,420 crore Indian satellite navigation system NavIC consists of seven satellites in orbit and two as substitutes. Starting in July 2013, the Indian space agency has launched all the seven navigation satellites.

10 Positive Story

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

She was so much



involved in her mission that she never thought of marriage

Chami Murmu has fought poverty, ignorance and timber mafia to regenerate the once scarily depleted forests of Jharkhand



HIS is story is about passion, mission and revolution; story about ‘The Lady Tarzan of Jharkhand’, story of Chami Murmu. She is resident of Khasarwan village of Saraikela district from Jharkhand. She has been given this name ‘Lady Tarzan’ because she planted 22 lakh trees on 530 hectares of land. These tall, green and lush trees chant the story of Chami. Her work not only changed the lives of human beings, it has helped the wild animals too in getting back their forest habitats. She started her mission of planting trees around 26 years back. It’s her rule not to cut trees. If someone is caught overriding the rule he or she will be liable for punishment. That is wanton felling of trees for burning is not allowed. But there are certain areas earmarked in the forest from where artisans can cut trees for making furniture and artifacts. However, the rule is that even if they do so, they have to plant some more saplings that will one day replace the felled trees. FINE FURNITURE Chami usually plants Neem, Sal, and Sesame because they are good and strong for making furniture and building homes. This revival of lost forests has enhanced the living standards of people in the area.

Snapshots She has planted 22 lakh trees to help regenerate the depleted forests and groundwater This has helped the locals in many ways, particularly wood workers who now at least have wood Artisans can fell trees in select areas and then plant more saplings as replacement

Artisans make furniture from the wood and earn their livelihood. People who love to visit trade and art fairs organised in different states must be aware of the beautiful furniture from Jharkhand. Din Murmu, a wood worker told SSB: “We were not getting wood for making furniture. Chami didi has changed our lives. We cut trees, make pretty and useful furniture and earn well. But we need to plant many more to maintain the ecological balance.” Now local people over here are well aware of their duties towards environment. For environment protection Chami set up a group named Bagraisai. She herself is the secretary of this group. From 40 villages she added 3,000 women to her group. Her network is so strong that if someone even tries to cut a tree she comes to know about it. Chami says: “It’s the tree which helps us to survive. They

The dense forests are the handiwork of Chami Murmu (inset) and helps ecology

fulfill many of our needs. Tree provides oxygen, fruits, wood to make furniture and satisfy many of our other needs too. Apart from everything, for us, I mean for the rural women, trees are our best friends. We start our day with them: the to clean our teeth we use soft neem stem and for cooking we use a bit tough and dry wood. This is the reason I pledged to save the trees.” FIGHTING MAFIA Chami started working on her mission in year 1988. “The timber mafia had slashed down our forests by 50 per cent. Ecological balance was entirely disturbed and the groundwater level was going down. Wild animals were dying too. I took up this work as my life’s mission.” Another Santhal women, Shanti says, Jharkhand means piece of gold. Our gold is in the form of trees, and we were losing them fast. Through saving them, we are saving our treasure. ” The forests of Jharkhand have become much denser due to the hard work of Chami and her organisation. Hence she is called the ‘Jungle Girl’ of Jharkhand. “This was not at all an easy task. This state

was entirely ruled by men. From village panchayat till Vidhan Sabha, women had no space for themselves. It took much hard struggle to make women join my group. Hard work always pays, and after some struggle a few women joined me. Now, I have a strong group working with me,” she told SSB. Chami has both male and female members in the group. After joining the group now the ladies are well aware of their rights. They are confident and are well aware of the world outside their house. Chami and her group stress on water conservation. They make check dams, reservoirs and tanks to conserve rain water, so that farmers can use this for irrigation. Her efforts have improved the condition of farming and farmers in her region. Using the reserved water, farmers are cultivating paddy and arhar pulse. These reservoirs and dams have improved the groundwater level too. Even a few years back, this region was a Maoist affected area. There was negligible employment here. The only livelihood people had was farming. But was impossible for them to irrigate their fields. The whole area was under the influence of guns and unemployment. Chami has changed this situation up to an extent. ON HER OWN! She has done everything without any support or assistance from the government. She was so much involved in to her mission that she never gave thought on marriage and making her own family. She says, these trees are my kids. My morning starts with these trees only. When I see these lushing trees, it fulfill my heart with proud and happiness. These trees provide us fruits, shade and clean air. For our life we are dependent on them. Still we cut them brutally. Till I’m alive I will plant and preserving trees and will keep educating people regarding the importance of trees”. Rajnagar is famous for its Chami diidi. Even the kids of this area know her by this name. The central government has felicitated her with ‘Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshya Mitra’ award for her extraordinary work in preserving the environment. Even the Jharkhand government has honoured her many times for her exemplary work.

Chami usually

plants Neem, Sal, and Sesame because they are good and strong

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Special Story



WATING FOR “WORLD HERITAGE SITE” TAG The Apatani tribe has developed efficient land-use practices which are combined with rich base of traditional knowledge and local ecology, which has become an example RAJ KASHYAP / ZIRO VALLEY


HE picturesque Apatani Valley in Arunachal Pradesh has a great deal to offer to those seeking beautiful unexplored regions and a culture to learn from. The region is wellknown for the exclusive methods of sustainable farming and social forestry. In April 2014, the landscape which is also called Ziro Valley has been added to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for “extremely high productivity” and “unique” ways of preserving the ecology. Inhabited by the Apatani tribe, the valley comprises about 32 square kilometres of cultivable area with small hillocks at an elevation of 1,525 metres above sea level to mountain tracts ranging from 1,830 to 2,900 metres. It is surrounded by green hills with thick monsoon forests but cut off from the rest of the populated areas of the Lower Subansiri district. It showcases how the co-existence of man and nature has been perfected over the centuries by the Apatani tribe. The Apatanis have devised efficient land use practices which are combined with rich traditional ecological knowledge of natural resources management and conservation, acquired over the centuries through informal experimentation. The hallmark of the valley is judicious utilization of limited land area. The relatively flat land in the valley is used for wet-rice cultivation where fish also is reared. This system ensures high level of biodiversity in the area and efficient conservation of crucial watersheds ensuring perennial streams flowing into the valley to meet the needs of the people. Rice is supplemented with millet grown on elevated partition bunds between the rice plots. The agroecosystems are nourished by nutrient wash-out from the surrounding hill slopes. The nutrient loss with crop harvest is replaced by recycling crop residues and use of organic wastes of the villages so that soil fertility is sustained year after year. It is not known when these practices came into being but it is quite possible that they date back to the time when the Apatanis migrated and settled down at Ziro. Tibetan and Ahom sources suggest that the tribes inhabiting the central region of the border state, of which the Apatanis are one, have been living in the

Snapshots Apatani valley doesn’t catch much of mainstream attention Hallmark of the valley is judicious utilization of limited land area It also symbolises symbiosis between human activity and nature

area from at least the fifteenth century, and probably much earlier. The first reference to these tribes is found in a geographical text attributed to the twelfth century and in later historical works. The linguists describe the Apatani language as a relatively ‘aberrant’ member of the Tani subgroup of Tibeto-Burman category. Despite it being a part of the larger Tani tribe, along with the Nyishis, guides and vested with legal oversight Tagins, Galos, Adis, Mishings, etc., over the activities of individuals that whose common ancestor is believed to affect the community as a whole. This be Abotani, the Apatanis have distinct arrangement ensures the participation of cultural practices and customary laws. each individual in community works and The tribe is known for their colourful fosters strong sense of ownership. culture with various festivals, elaborate However, in recent years, the flow of handloom designs, skills in cane and stream water in the has raised concerns bamboo crafts, and vibrant over the impact of traditional village councils human activities on called Bulyañ. the environment. As a hese Much of the success step towards checking sustainable achieved by the Apatanis is the damage, the attributed to the collective practices may district administration spirit of the community issued a complete have come with has which is reflected in the ban on sale and use of deliberations of the plastic bags, water the Apatanis Bulyanwhich supervises, bottles and other such


materials. Prof P S Ramakrishnan, a former professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU), who had done extensive research on cultivation in the Northeast compares the system in Ziro with similar practices in different parts of the world. He writes that the “exceptionally high” energy efficiency of the valley land agroecosystem (60 to 80 units per unit energy input) is markedly different from the values found with other rice systems among other tribes in the region, with an output/input ratio of 4-18. “The high energy efficiency among the Apatanis also contrasts with that recorded for jhum in north-east India, which does not exceed 50. It is far superior to the traditional wet cultivation of rice of the Indian plains with an efficiency value of just about 9 and that done elsewhere in the Phillippines. With 27- 35 MJ units of energy output per labour hour, this system compares favourably with similar systems of China (32.8 MJ) and more modern agriculture of industrialized societies, such as the United Kingdom, with an output of 40 MJ units.” According to some other scholars, the practices adopted by the Apatanis is comparable to the Fertö/Neusiedler Cultural Landscape in Hungary in so far as both are the results of evolutionary symbiosis between human activity and the physical environment. However, the former stands out because of the inhabitants’ deep spiritual belief that has played significant roles in guiding the practices that has shaped the landscape. Therefore, Ziro Valley can be considered a sacred landscape since nature as a whole – mountains, forests, streams, agricultural fields, plantations - and the culture in the villages are revered and worshipped. The traditional sustainable farming methods of the Apatanis have not only continued, but actually being strengthened. Use of animals or machines for farming elsewhere has not influenced the conventional manual farming. Bamboo and wooden agricultural implements are still used even while incorporating some metallic implements. Fertility of the soil is maintained by time-tested traditional methods without yielding to the temptations of trying chemical fertilizers. The needs for indigenously produced food grains in most routine practices and religious rituals have ensured continuation of traditional wet rice cultivation.

12 Special Story

FEBRUARY 19, 2017



Sulabh campus a few days back. During his visit he whole heartedly appreciated the work of Dr Pathak and wished him good luck for the future. The world knows him for his ‘Art of Living’ of which ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ is an integral part. Guruji has given a new dimension of living life to the world. Guruji not only teaches the art of living but also has assuaged the effect of negative factors like frustration, dissatisfaction, envy, anger, violence, depression, pain and guilt.


Good talent can’t be concealed behind the age of an individual: this idiom is perfect for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Miraculously, at the age of four, he started chanting the shlokas (stanza) of ‘Bhagawad Gita’. It is the age when kids could not even make proper sentences. This shows his orientation towards spiritualism. He was born on 13th May 1956 in Papanasam of Tamilnadu. He dedicated his life for the betterment of mankind. He emphatically said ‘I am there for you’, which means now my life is for the people. We can see his interest towards spirituality from his degree in Vedic literature and Physics. In the guidance of Maharshi Mahesh, he took training of Yoga and Dhyan. The favorite student of Maharshi Mahesh was not satisfied with this kind of spirituality. After all he had to go a long way. To explore something more he reached Shimoga of Karnataka in 1982. Here, he sat for Dhyan for next 10 days. There, he was enlightened

The whole world is convinced with the ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar PRASANN PRANJAL


E search for god everywhere except inside us, but in reality he is inside us. It’s the God only who motivates us to do positive work. So, when a man gets inspired from inside, then nothing in the world is impossible for him. These people have special blessings from God. The almighty

Snapshots A unique amalgamation of faith and service was seen at Sulabh campus Sri Sri and Dr Bindeshwar Pathak are two great leaders of our country Their service towards the community has changed millions of lives

always gives support to these people and helps them to proceed further in life. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has personified above lines. Along with Karma yoga (action), he set distinctive examples for Bhakti yoga (devotion) too. His remarkable service is an ideal for the whole society. All kinds of amenities, required for life are available at Sulabh campus. From prasad to prasadhan (toilet), everything is available at Sulabh. This organisation is a pioneer of cleanliness and takes care of all the needs of poor. The sanctity from inside and cleanliness from outside, satisfaction and selfgrowth are the most important aspects of life. This work was not at all possible without the grace of the God. Throughout his journey, God accompanied Dr Pathak,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the renowned spiritual guru and messenger of peace. The person, who ignited the spark of spirituality and spread the message of peace throughout the world, visited

Art of Living International Center (Bengaluru)



part from giving the spiritual lectures for over two decades Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is busy with helping the needy. In 1981, he established Art of Living and in 1997 he formed ‘International Association for Human Values’. Both of these organisations are working for coordinating development plans and developing human values. In more than 40 thousand rural communities in India, Africa and South America volunteers of these two institutions are working for disaster relief, education, health, environment, peace and conflict resolution, rehabilitation of prisoners, poverty alleviation, sustainable rural development, women empowerment, and youth empowerment.

with the ‘Sudarshan Kriya’. This technique has guided millions of lives towards positivity and success.


Sudarshan Kriya developed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is not just a style of breathing. But it’s a boon for spiritual lovers and has beneficiaries all over the world. It’s a powerful and profound technique of breathing in which you have to follow the rhythm during the natural exhaling or inhaling and this

FEBRUARY 19, 2017 will bind your body, mind and emotions in one symmetrical thread. This technique reduces the impact of fatigue and negative expressions such as anger, frustration, and depression from you and helps you to concentrate your mind, energize your body and induce a deep relaxation inside you. If it is exercised regularly, it will provide a specific depth to your life. It’s a kind of spiritual practice which can lead you towards liberation. Sudarshan Kriya is a profound technique which integrates everything about health, happiness, peace, and knowledge beyond life. If we analyse Sudarshan Kriya from a spiritual angle we get a different definition. ‘Su’ means right or correct whereas ‘Darshan’ means glimpses where as ‘Kriya’ means practice to be pure. So, we can say ‘Sudarshan Kriya’ is a process of purification in which you come to know about the true nature of your conscience. Sri Sri himself has made this invaluable work reach to the masses. In 1982, he taught this Kriya to a few people. Through Art of Living, with the medium of Sudarshan Kriya, Sri Sri has inspired millions of people to opt for Yoga, Pranayam and Dhyan, for past 37 years. Today 370 million people from 155 countries are getting benefitted through it. Breathing is one of the most important processes for human being to keep himself alive. Without food one can survive for days, even without water also we can survive for some time but without breathing we can’t even Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak along with his family (Left to Right: Nitya Pathak, Madhubala Sharma and wife Amola Pathak) meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

survive for minutes. ‘Jeevan Urja’ is the base of life. Breathing is the base of soul, body, mind, health and happiness. In today’s polluted environment it has become difficult even to breathe. In this challenging situation Sudarshan Kriya is a perfect solution. It removes 90 per cent of poisonous material and eliminates stress from our body and promotes higher form of energy in our life. If we have high form of energy in our life we feel healthy, energetic and enlightened. People practicing it regularly experience consistent immune strength, stamina and increased energy. It’s of utmost importance to keep your life fit and happy. Not only this, it also enhances the physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of people.


At one point of time spirituality and meditation were the subjects of elderly people. Through his experiment and endeavor, Sri Sri has made spirituality and meditation simple and available for all age groups. ‘Art Excel’ is an excellent technique to make spirituality, yoga and meditation interesting for small kids. Fear, anxiety, nervousness, frustration, jealousy and negative thoughts are mitigated from the mind of children and positive energy flows into their life. In ‘Art Excel’, kids of the age group of 8 to 13 are not just introduced to ‘Sudarshan Kriya’, but their overall development is also taken care of. During adolescence kids go through

Special Story




ulabh campus witnessed an amalgamation of spirituality, when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. Both the leaders are doing exemplary work in their respective fields and are complementary to each other. Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, founded by Dr Pathak, is providing the best sanitation facilities to the common man and helping the most ignored sections of society. Art of Living, founded by Sri Sri is ensuring a happy and healthy life for the common man. Sri Sri, following the path of celibacy, has devoted his whole life for the welfare, peace and service of common people. Dr Pathak, on other hand, has devoted himself to the liberation of scavengers, and creation of healthy and hygienic environment for the common man, despite facing all odds in his life. Despite having a family, he led a life of sacrifice and was never able to give enough time to his wife and kids, devoting himself completely to the needy people. Art of Living is spreading the lots of changes and turbulence in their life, from peer pressure, exams and pressure of academics. Young people do have lots of questions in their mind. Art of Living organizes ‘Youth Empowerment Seminar’ which answers all those questions and teach them the art of introspection. This ‘YES’ course is for the teenager of 13 to 18 years. Through this course all the questions and confusions pertaining to the young age are cleared. This is the

message of love and peace throughout the world, while Sulabh is spearheading the campaign for cleanliness. In his speech at Sulabh campus, Sri Sri was full of admiration for Dr Pathak, “You have woven faith with action. Along with cleanliness, you worked for the uplift of widows of Vrindavan. This is an unparalleled synergy of faith and knowledge. This is beyond imagination.” age when youth have enormous energy. Here, ‘YES +’ course paves their path towards right direction, teaches them time management and help them in selecting the right course for them. ‘YES +’ also motivates them to take all the challenges of life in a positive way. ‘Happiness Program’ is an initiative to bring happiness in the life of people of all age group. This program trains people to be happy even in the most difficult situation of life. It tells us how to be satisfied and cheerful in the any condition. It gives an interesting insight into the world of positive energy and optimism. ‘Sahaj Samadhi’ meditation course helps to reach the depths of meditation and select the path of salvation. Art of Living also has a course for prisoners which is called ‘Prison Smart program’. Under this program prisoners are motivated to cut them off from their criminalized ideas and get in to the main stream of life. Apart from this, ‘Divya Samaj Nirman (DSN)’, ‘Sri Sri Yoga’, etc are some programs to help all sections of the society. It is a successful attempt to bring spirituality in every single life.


Bengaluru has emerged as the center of spirituality for millions of people. In the field of spirituality, Sri Sri has done lots of experiment and the ashram of ‘Art of living’ in Bengaluru is his lab for those experiments of life. People craving for spirituality from all over world come here to get a better understanding of spirituality. Proximity to Sri Sri brings the satisfaction to the people coming here. In other words we can say the art, Sri Sri is teaching is the real prosperity and happiness of life.

14 Health & Sanitation

FEBRUARY 19, 2017 Universal Immunisation Programme will incorporate MeaslesRubella in its expanse


ODF MAHARASHTRA Maharashtra is on its way to become open defecation free, as early as March this year



N a significant milestone for the state, a top official of the Maharashtra government has declared the state will be Open Defecation Free (ODF) by March this year. Chief Secretary S. Kshatriya has conveyed to the Centre in a meeting held with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameshwaran Iyer here that the state is “on track to achieve this goal”. He added that the state has a strong third party verification system for ODF declarations with three levels of confirmation. Kshatriya said that besides ODF, the state was aiming to include hand washing, menstrual hygiene, community toilets, etc, as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) implementation in the western state.


AIIMS is looking beyond its regular medical responsibilities


S a survey recently pointed out, about 78 per cent of patients treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences are satisfied with the healthcare services. According to AIIMS, the figure has improved as earlier only 67 per cent of the patients were satisfied with the AIIMS while 33 per cent were unsatisfied. The major reason was the unfriendly staff in the hospital. “The proportion of those very satisfied and unsatisfied in the second phase of survey from October 21, 2016, to 4th December 2016 improved to 78 per cent from 67 per cent, which was during the first phase surveyed till Oct 2016,” AIIMS said in a statement. The responses were taken through an application initiation called ‘Mera Aspataal’.



ITH an aim to eradicate Rubella and Measles from India, the Union Health Ministry launched the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign here, targeting 41 crore children across PUNEET DUBEY / NEW DELHI


ANJANA DEVI, 45, battled with cancer for eight long years without losing hope to survive and without detaching herself from the society. Now, completely recovered, Ranjana was seen happily participating in the 10th annual Delhi Walk for Life. “It was tough for me to fight against cancer. It was painful to go through the whole process but I am cured now. Cancer cannot be allowed to win over us, people should maintain the fighting spirit. I am here against all odds,” told Ranjana, who was at the walk for the second time. With the aim to create awareness among people about cancer, the Walk for Life, an initiative by NGO CanSupport, saw thousands of people coming out early morning at Rajpath to extend their solidarity for the cause. The 3-km walk from India Gate to Vijay Chowk and back saw big corporate names, students of schools and colleges from the National



Screening for cancer is very important for detecting it at an early stage SSB BUREAU


ITH 70 per cent cancer diagnosis done at the last stage in India, the Asian Cancer

the country. According to the ministry, after the campaign the MR vaccine will be introduced in routine immunisation, replacing the two doses of measles vaccine given to children at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age. MR vaccine will be provided free of cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and outreach session sites. “The government is committed to eradicating Measles and Rubella from the country. We have taken this as an achievable target. This shall be taken up in a mission mode and rolled out in partnership with state governments and NGOs, among others. In this nationwide campaign, the ministry will reach out to and cover 41 crore children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years,” said Faggan Singh

Quick Glance The government wants to eradicate Rubella and Measels from India The MR vaccination is now targeting 41 crore children Just in 2015, measles killed 1,34,200 children in the country

Kulaste, Minister of State for Health, at the campaign launch. The campaign will first be launched in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep, covering nearly 3.6 crore target children. However, it will later be extended to cover the entire country. Measles is a deadly disease and one of the main causes of child mortality. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. Just in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1,34,200 children worldwide, mostly under the age of five years. In India alone, it killed an estimated 49,200 children. Currently, Measles vaccine is provided under Universal Immunisation Programme. Rubella vaccine will be a new addition.



Cancer awareness campaign is finding innovative ways to increase its reach among the masses of India

Capital Region (NCR) participating in the event along with citizens of the national capital. They walked and ran to extend their support to and express solidarity with the

cancer survivors. Like Ranjana, many other survivors participated -- like the 15-year-old Rithik, who said: “This is the first time I am here and I feel happy to be part of the event. I don’t feel ashamed of talking about cancer nor do I feel neglected by the society.” “Do not lose hope even if you are diagnosed with it. People often fear visiting clinics or going through check-ups but that is not the solution to stop cancer growth,” she noted. “CanSupport helps ease the suffering and turmoil of patients and families coping with advanced illness that threatens their dignity and quality of life,” Harmala Gupta, founder of CanSupport and herself a cancer survivor, said at the event.

Institute (ACI) recently launched a new day care centre for chemotherapy and cancer care. According to ACI, apart from regular chemotherapy sessions, evaluating patients for treatment, tests and diagnosis will be conducted at this outreach programme-cum-day care centre. Doctors say that such diagnosis and chemotherapy centres are important because for any type of cancer, approximately 50 per cent patients need chemotherapy at least once in their lifetime. The World Health Organisation

(WHO) says cancer is diagnosed in more than 14 million people worldwide each year and kills approximately 8.8 million people. Around two-thirds of the deaths are in low-middle income countries where diagnosis is inadequate and treatment late. “Regular chemotherapy for a general patient lasts at least for six sessions. For each of this c h e m o t h e r a p y, the patient has to travel all the way to hospitals,” said Ramakant Deshpande, Oncosurgeon and Vice Chairman of Asian Cancer Institute.

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Health & Sanitation


TECH FOR SANITATION Municipal Corporation of Delhi is equipping the safai karmcharis with mobiles and other high tech gadgets, taking the swachhta efforts to a whole new height

Snapshots The MCD has plans to empower the safai karamcharis with hightech equipment and cellphones A special provision for the four crore budget has been passed in the MCD’s recent budget Their mobile numbers will be shared with the ward commissioners and RWAs



EEPING Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission in mind, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is trying to transform itself to match the global standards of cleanliness. Being the capital of the country, there are a lot of agencies working in the city. But the responsibility of cleanliness lies squarely on MCD. In order to optimally perform their duty and deliver a message to the country through their work, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has planned to provide its safai karmcharis with different high tech services. These facilities include a mobile phone with connection, regularisation of daily workers, social security for salaried personnel through insurance, free hold of flats through Ambedkar Housing Scheme, dumpsters in industrial area, two female toilets and a toilet for differently abled in each ward of the building, etc. These are estimated



Indian doctors are treating patients from the two countries SSB BUREAU


NDIA has been rising as a cheaper and efficient alternative for medical treatment around the world, and is a

to cost around Rs 4 crore. A special provision for the corporation’s planned expenditure has already been passed in the recent budget. The Chairman of the NDMC’s most important Standing Committee, Pravesh Vahi put down the details of this scheme in a special meeting. These details are based on the budget estimation of year 2016-17 and 2017-18. The budget proposal starts with its commitment Delhi is the capital of the country and we are responsible to keep it clean. We are helping to realise the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission by adopting hygiene and keeping our areas clean. The corporation is taking a huge step in this direction by providing their regular cleaning staff mobile phone with connection. This feature has been especially provided to the cleaning staff so to facilitate communication among the staff. It will also prove beneficial to the public as well, if they have the contact number of cleaning staff, they can contact them to medical tourism hotspot for some time now. In a recent development, India is diagnosing children from UAE and even Pakistan, which is somewhat similar to India. Suffering from a rare disease, a child from each Pakistan and UAE underwent liver transplants that granted them a new lease of life. “With the new liver both children have received the enzyme they were not born with and their eyes are pearly white. They have finally bid adieu to their constant companion - the phototherapy unit,” said Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals. 13-year-old

acquaint them of their local problems. The corporation believes that it will help felicitate cleaning by establishing a communication system in the department and improve immediately actions. All these mobile numbers will be shared with all the ward commissioners and RWA (Residents Welfare Association) members. The Corporation also believes that the success of this project will boost the respect of cleaners among the public, will emhance their performance and create a channel of communication between the public and the department. Corporation officials tell that the NDMC has taken many more unique decisions for its cleaning staff besides giving them mobile phones. It also includes regularization of daily wage employees. There are around six thousand daily wage employees working in the corporation’s various departments like engineering, education and health etc. All these employees will be regularized according to the available vacancies. In addition to that, the


department is also taking a historic step towards ensuring social security of their employee by providing them insurance. So that in event of any accident, they or their families can avail medical assistance. The Corporation has also allocated around 1500 flats in the Rohini area of Delhi under their Ambedkar housing scheme. These flats are allocated on a monthly rental bases. The plan is to freehold these flats now. Doing this, the allottee will have the ownership of the flats, the corporation is expected to profit around 45 crore from this decision. The Corporation believes that the lack of waste-yards in institutional areas raises a lot of problems. Keeping these troubles in mind the Corporation is planning to install two thousand dumpsters in these institutional areas to improve sanitation and promote cleanliness. The corporation is buying another 10 thousand dumpsters so that it can be used in other areas of the state. Given the Prime Minister’s Clean India mission, the department will build two toilets in each ward for women and one for the differently abled. The plan is to build around 500 of these toilets across the state. This will also be executed this fiscal. In addition, the Corporation has also been appointing staff on compassionate grounds. This means after a corporation employee dies, a person from the employee’s family will be employed on contract. There are a number of IVth class vacancies open in the corporation right now. There is another ambitious project of the corporation in line. Under this a ward office in each ward will be allotted for environmental management, health, engineering and other departments, also another room will be allotted as an office for the municipal officers. These offices will be used to resolve the public issues reguarding the MCD on spot. The Corporation believes that these activities will help the MCD become the first civic body to have done something of this kind.

Corporation officials say that the MCD has taken many more unique decisions for the cleaning

Khalid Mohammad from the UAE and fouryear-old Abdul Ahad from Pakistan could not be treated in their home countries due to the lack of advanced health-care. The children were admitted to the Indraprasta Apollo Hospital. The condition of both the patients was serious and doctors at the hospital had found out that only liver transplant could cure them. Experts say Crigler Najjar Syndrome deficiency results in toxic form of bilirubin to rise in the blood to a very high level, which can cross into the brain and produce irreversible complications.


FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family

Kofi Annan, World Bank Conference, 1997​

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


‘BHARAT KOKILA’: A TRUE NATIONALIST The National Women’s Day is at hand, and what better time than now to remember the astounding life and career of the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu, the first Governor of UP


RURAL SECTOR FULFILLED Finance Minister has opened coffers for agricuture and rural development sectors


N the 2017-18 budget Union Government has focused sharply on agriculture by increasing allocation for the sector, besides announcing several schemes. It’s a welcome decision for the sector on which 60 per cent of India’s population depends for survival. Agriculture, however, contributes only 15 per cent to country’s GDP. But, this sector isn’t a profitable one anymore. Every now and then we find media reports of farmers finding it prudent to throw away their harvest – mostly onion and potato – than taking it to the market because latter is more expensive proposition than the first. Farmers have been getting as low prices as 50 paise to Rs 1 per kg for their produce which we have been buying in towns for Rs 10 per Kg. What is the reason? First and foremost is shrinking per capita acreage with every passing generation. A person might be cultivating 30 acres but his three sons would inherit only 10 and their children would be able to sow on only 3.3 acres. Shrinking cultivable area also brings with it less resource. You can’t buy a tractor or dig a bore-well for such small area. One tends to either hire resources or till manually – first one is an expensive proposition and the second one an extremely slow and painful exercise. That is why the government in Union Budget for 2017-18 has suggested the state governments to boost cooperative farming in their areas. It would help the farmers get better resources, latest technology, higher yield and thereby higher income. This would mean land-pooling, cooperative farming and sharing the revenue. Another way of boosting agricultural income is corporate farming like it is done abroad. A number of food processing companies like Pepsi have already been doing this. They have been giving farmers seeds, fertilizers and an assured purchase of produce. This ensures higher quality of production, better yield and higher revenue for the farmer. May be time has come for us to do a rethink.


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:,


HE was a Bengali, born in Hyderabad and married a Malayali. Sarojini Naidu (nee, Chattopadhyay) indeed broke many a taboo in pre-independence India. She was the first woman Governor of any Indian state– of Uttar Pradesh. She was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and an renowned freedom fighter. She was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925. Her birthday, March 2, is celebrated as National Women’s Day. Endowed with extraordinary brilliance, she passed matriculation at the age of 12 from Madras University and topped in the Presidency. She was a polyglot: English, Bengali, Urdu, Telugu and Persian were her tongues. She applied her prodigious literary skills to write a 1,300-line long poem in English titled ‘The Lady of the Lake’. Impressed with Sarojini’s skills of expressing emotions in appropriate words, father, Dr. AN Chattopadhyay encouraged her works. Her educationist father wanted her to walk in his footsteps and become a mathematician. But the young Sarojini took inspiration from her mother V Sundari Devi, who was a Bengali poetess. Some time into her youth, Sarojini, with assistance from her father, wrote the play “Maher Muneer” in the Persian. Sarojini’s father distributed some copies of the play amongst his friends and relatives. He also sent a copy to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Impressed with the works of the little child, the Nizam granted her a scholarship to study overseas. She went on to study in Kings College, London, at the tender age of 16. LOVE & LEARNINGS She later joined Girton College in Cambridge. There, she had the opportunity to meet prominent English authors who inspired her to write on themes relevant to India. This led her to seek inspiration from India’s natural beauty, religious pluralism and the essence of the country’s social milieu. Sarojini met Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu, a Keralite, and a non-Brahmin physician (and this is important to mention, given the times we are relating to) while she was studying in England and fell in love. After returning to India, she married him at the age of 19. The marriage took place at a time when inter-caste marriages were deeply frowned upon in the Indian society. Her marriage was a very happy one. The couple had four children. Then, instead of taking a professional course, Sarojini decided to take up poetry writing as her vocation. No wonder she is known as Nightingale

of India. In 1905, she published her first and most acclaimed book of poetry titled ‘Golden Threshold’. Her father was actively involved in the freedom movement and had communist leanings. She learnt basic lessons in politics from him and gradually grew very close to Mahatma Gandhi. She surprised many veterans once when with a puja thali in hand, she went to put a tilak on Gandhiji’s forehead. He had kept a bag with him for collecting donations. After putting the tilak, she took hold of the bag and asked Gandhiji, “What will you do if I run away with all the money in this bag”? Everybody was shocked at her audacity. But, Gandhiji maintaining his calm demeanor smiled and said, “I won’t do anything because I know even if you take away this money, you will only spend it for the welfare of the poor.” The incident is not only illustrative of the relations between the two but also of the immense faith Mahatma Gandhi had in Bharat Kokila. Similarly in another instance, Lord Mountbatten expressed concern over Mahatma Gandhi’s security during the myriad agitations he organised. Naidu responded with now famous quote “It costs a lot to keep Gandhi poor!” She explained later, “Our volunteers always remain in his vicinity whether during a walk or a fast. Even when he goes to stay in Harijan Basti, our volunteers too go to live next to his shanty”. She was in the habit of playing practical

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

After independence,

she became the first governor of the United Provinces (now UP) and remained in the role till her death in 1949 jokes on most of the top Congress leaders. Yet, everybody took it in the right spirit. She mischievously used to call Mahatma Gandhi ‘Mickey Mouse’, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru “The Charming Prince” and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel as “Bull of Bardoli”. FREEDOM FIGHTER She met Jawaharlal Nehru in 1916, worked with him for the disheartening conditions of the indigo workers of Champaran in Bihar, and fought vehemently with the British for their rights. Sarojini Naidu travelled all over India and delivered speeches on welfare of the youth, dignity of labour, women’s emancipation and nationalism. In 1917, she helped found the Women’s India Association with Annie Besant and other prominent leaders. She also presented to Congress the need to involve more women in the freedom struggle. She travelled extensively in the United States of America and many European countries as the flag-bearer of the Indian nationalist struggle. In March 1919, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act, under which the possession of documents deemed to be seditious was illegal. Mahatma Gandhi organised the Non-Cooperation Movement to protest against this, and Naidu joined the movement. Sarojini religiously followed Gandhi’s example and actively supported his other campaigns like the one against the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, the Khilafat issue, the Sabarmati Pact, the Satyagraha Pledge and the Civil Disobedience Movement. When Gandhi was arrested after the Salt March to Dandi in 1930, she led the Dharasana Satyagraha with other leaders. She accompanied Gandhi to London to take part in the Round Table Talks with the British Government in 1931. Her political activities and role in the freedom struggle led to several stints in prison – in 1930, 1932, and 1942. Her 1942 arrest led to imprisonment for 21 months. As a result of her selfless contribution to the cause of freedom, she was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party in 1925. After the independence of India, she became the first governor of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) and remained in the role till her death on March 2, 1949. Her childhood residence at Nampally was bequeathed to the University of Hyderabad by her family and it was christened as ‘The Golden Threshold’ after Naidu’s 1905 publication. The University renamed its School of Fine Arts and Communication as ‘Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication’ to honour the Nightingale of India.


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



S per a study called ‘Media and the Mood of the Nation’, Britons overwhelmingly rated radio as the best media. In the survey, respondents recorded a 100 per cent lift in happiness and 300 per cent boost in energy levels while listening to a radio show. In another part of the study, the scientists also monitored the EEG brain scans to understand people’s reactions to radio. The results showed that radio causes the brain to engage positively to the information. Another research also points out that engagement of just auditory sense leads to greater retention of information, in case of radio. These results have very interesting implications in Indian context. Information is synonymous to empowerment in this age. Newspaper is not an option for everyone, considering the meagre literacy rate of 74 per cent. Poor electricity, high costs impede the




Radio was the only medium of information before TV and internet took over. Recent times has seen a surge in listenership and there are brighter prospects ahead pervasive penetration of TV. Radio has overcome these barriers and the ubiquity of mobile phones has led to its vast reach. The e-auction for FM licenses last year saw various media agencies clamouring for the air-space. Government also raked up some big moolah through these auctions. As per KPMG-FICCI Media and Entertainment industry report 2016, radio sector is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 16.9% by 2020, as compared to media

industry’s average of 14.3%. This clearly shows a rosy path for the radio sector. Radio’s unique adaptability to Indian standards of diversity works in its favour. Cost of information collection, processing and production is not very high. Also, vernacular languages set a localised context for the listeners. Proliferation of community radios is a case in point. It caters to the local needs and aspirations, which increases its appeal. Radio can become a boon for the farmers as it provides the quick and relevant information to them. Also, it has huge benefits in health and education sector. India has still not harnessed the true potential of radio. Government needs to handhold the radio sector and support the entrepreneurs to explore more opportunities. Maybe radio can be a strong medium to make India a happier country.


UNSUNG HEROES Dear Sir, I am regular reader of your column ‘Unsung Heroes’. You bring really nice stories which are not easily available in the mainstream media. It not only brings the good work in to the light but also inspire people to do constructive work. Your positive stories bring smile on our lips. It does inspire people for doing something creative and positive. Sumit Awasthi, Jaipur

MEENAKSHI AMMA Dear Sir, I went through your story of Meenakshi Amma. Hers is a story of grit and determination. She would have faced a lot of resistance from the society to pursue this art form. Yet she never gave up. Also, we shouldn’t forget the important role of her husband. In her context, the age-old adage switches the context – Behind every successful woman, there is a man. Astha Sahay, Ghaziabad

GERMAN BILLET Dear Sir, Apropos your oped article, “A Letter from Germany”, India is land of talent. What we lack is the system and structures to make best use of this talent. A country doesn’t get developed on its own. It requires efforts from every section of the society. We, the people of India, need to realise our stakes in the development of our nation and work collectively for it. Jaya Bhargav, Patna

NIGHT SUN Dear Editor, In reference to the article ‘Sun in the Night Sky’ of the 8th edition of your newspaper, it’s really amazing that a village like this, self sustainable in energy already exists here. This idea of using the village land and labour to produce the energy, and to secure and maintain the plant, has great potential. Other villages should emulate this idea. Balachandran N, Delhi

NEW DAWN Dear Editor, Your special story on ‘Subah’ was a fantastic read. Menstrual hygiene is a big taboo in our country. Even urban spaces and so-called educated families have their biases attached to it. Our girls have to face lot of unnecessary dilemma and doubts due to these social mindsets. Subah is creating a revolution of sorts by removing the stigma as well as providing livelihood to village women. Mohan Bidla, Chandigarh

Please mail your opinion to - or Whatsapp at 9868807712

18 Photo Feature

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Of Nation and Celebration Beating Retreat ceremony marks the grand finale of the Republic Day celebrations. The lively performances by the bands at Vijay Chowk fills every Indian’s heart with pride


Photographs by SIPRA DAS 1

3 4

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives with his cavalcade 2, 3. Arrival of President of India, accompanied by the President’s Bodyguard, an elite household cavalry unit of Indian Army 4. Commander of President’s Bodyguard asks the unit to give the National Salute 5,6,7. Massed bands of the three services playing popular marching tunes during the ceremony 5

7 6

FEBRUARY 19, 2017


Photo Feature 9




8. Navy bands displaying their full energy and talent 9. Colorful amalgamation of music at Rajpath 10. A mighty view of the Raisina Hills and Vijay Chowk from the visitor’s section 11. Illuminated North Block and South Block, as seen from Rajpath in the evening 12. The beautiful reflection of illuminated Parliament 13. Rashtrapati Bhawan, all brightened up




20 Environment

FEBRUARY 19, 2017


Snapshots Amur Falcons visit Nagaland every year from Siberia to their annual journey to Africa

A massive conservatory effort is seeing the visiting Amur falcons as the most prized guests in hunthappy Nagaland

This is the most arduous annual migration that takes the birds flying across 22,000 kilometres Till 2012, the Nagas used to hunt the birds, but now they are the main protectors



N one of the most arduous annual migrations of any bird of prey, the Amur falcon (Falco amurensis), travel from Mongolia, roost in Nagaland for over a month before carrying onwards to the African subcontinent. The annual migration route of over 22,000 kilometres includes an amazing transoceanic flight of over 3,000 kilometres during the outbound journey from Asia to Africa across the Indian Ocean. The entire population of Amur falcons leaves the breeding areas in Eastern Siberia, Northern China, Mongolia, Manchuria and North Korea from late August to September, generally travelling in huge flocks. The falcons arrive in October by batches of hundreds, and within a week add up to hundreds of thousands, roosting along the banks of the reservoir and the areas surrounding it. As part of the Amur falcon awareness campaign, signages were installed in strategically important areas and posters and leaflets were handed out among the community. A protected species under the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS), tens of thousands of these raptors congregate near the Doyang reservoir in Nagaland every year, and this is believed to be the single largest congregation of Amur falcons recorded anywhere in India.

In Nagaland’s Wokha district, as the first batch of the winter visitors arrived this year, the villagers of Ashaa, Pangti, Sungro and others in the vicinity of Doyang reservoir have been bustling with excitement. This is the ‘Falcon Capital of the World’, where the villagers have shown exemplary conservation efforts to protect the raptors and the success of Amur Falcon conservation has put Nagaland on the global map. Focused and relentless awareness in the last few years has brought about this success. The communities of Pangti and adjoining villages in Wokha District have turned the spectacular migration of these magnificent birds into a lifetime opportunity for tourists, whose jaws drop in utter amazement over the unforgettable sight. FROM EAT TO ‘MEET’ Till 2012, the local community in Wokha used to hunt the falcons for their meat when they stopped by to roost in Nagaland. This mass slaughter was documented and the news of a considerable number of these raptors being hunted and captured for commercial sale and consumption by the local communities was brought to the world by Conservation India (an online environmental portal). Doyang reservoir, the falcon’s pit-stop before

their lengthy onward journey across the Arabian Sea to Africa had turned in to a death trap for the birds. This site near the reservoir was identified as the major site where these birds were being hunted. The birds were trapped by the

hunters in mist nets lined up near the reservoir and then collected early in the morning. Besides killing them for meat, the raptors were also kept alive and later sold in the local district markets. In 2012, reports from Conservation India highlighted that majority of the birds were being hunted, prompting a Rapid Action Project (RAP) to protect the birds by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Natural Nagas (a pro-nature Naga agglomeration), with the assistance of the Nagaland Forest Department and supported by CAF India. A massive awareness campaign was initiated to gain the local community’s support and also sensitise them on the need to conserve the guests. Awareness meetings conducted in different parts of Wokhaemphasised the ecological and ethical importance of the Amur falcons and urged villagers to ensure the safe passage of these migratory birds. The local community, including the village council heads, and local forest department authorities enthusiastically participated in this campaign, demonstrating their support to the cause. The church also played a key role in spreading the message of compassion for Amur falcon, and thus motivating the community to come forward to protect the falcons during their roosting period in Nagaland. Several months down the line, the situation at Doyang has seen a remarkable change for the better. The reservoir is now one of the safest places in the northeast for the visiting raptors. And the hunters

In 2012, Conservation

India highlighted that majority of the birds were being hunted, prompting a Rapid Action Project

FEBRUARY 19, 2017 have now turned protectors to prevent any harm from coming to the falcons. The birds which used to be “ones for the cooking pot” are now the pride of Nagaland. For conservationists, to face a community who are traditional hunters and turn them from trapping falcons to protecting the birds in a short period of time was an uphill task. Community support in this case was vital. The WTI, along with the Nagaland Forest Department and Natural Nagas, initiated a series of grassroots projects to help gain community support in three villages in Wokha. FUNDING CHANGE These Rapid Action Projects were implemented, thanks to the generous support of Charities Aid Foundation India (CAF India), Stop Poaching Fund and other individual donors. Alternative livelihood support, in the form of a poultry farms was provided to 30 identified families in Wokha, who were part of the hunter groups and land owners where Amur Falcon roost. An MoU was signed and a subsequent resolution passed by the village councils

Doyang reservoir is now

one of the safest places in the northeast for the visiting raptors. The hunters are now protectors of Pangti, Ashaa and Sungro, making hunting Amur falcons illegal and punishable, which helped in reaching a zero mortality rate in Doyang, by the end of the birds’ roosting period. Ms. Zuthunglo Patton, a forest official at Doyang said, “There is a perception that Naga people had been compulsive hunters. But today the scene is starkly different. We were able to form Protection Squads of around 30 former hunters. The squads patrol the area to make sure that all visiting falcons are safe, and not a single one is harmed.” “The conservation wave for the protection of the migrating guests has already been ignited in this area. This signals a hope and a model throughout Nagaland in protecting the rich biodiversity of the state,” said Sunil Kyarong of WTI. The Amur falcon campaign was also conducted inlocal schools across Wokha targeting the school children to sensitize them onthe need to conserve the falcons.Gaining support from the community in Nagaland to protect these endangeredraptors was essential for the future of the species. The fact that wassubstantiated by reports, not a single raptor was killed in Doyang in the last threeyears.





BIODIVERSITY PARKS FOR THE CAPITAL Reviving the River Yamuna has now become just too urgent

BIG B SUPPORTS CLEANING Narmada River cleaning is gathering pace with celebrities endorsing the initiatives SSB BUREAU


In support of cleaning the river Narmada, Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has hailed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his cleaning initiative “Namami Devi Narmade” Narmada Seva Yatra, which aims at making the Narmada River free of pollution. Amitabh recently tweeted: “Namami Devi Narmade, Narmada Sewa Yatra legendary campaign initiated by MP’s CM to make river Narmada pollution free. It will surely help in spreading awareness among people across India to

wake up and start conserving their lifegiving rivers.” “Initiatives like Narmada Sewa Yatra will not only purify our rivers, but will also hand over clean rivers to upcoming generations.” “Namami Devi Narmade” Narmada Seva Yatra started in December 2016 from the place of origin of the Narmada river, Amarkantak. It will cover 1831 km on the southern bank comprising 548 villages/towns and 1513 km on the northern bank comprising 556 village/ towns, thus covering 3344 km in 144 days. The yatra will be completed on May 11.




CLEANING THE SPILL Oil spill in Chennai has left the environmentalists worried


HOUSANDS of people rushed to the sea shore in Chennai to scoop out buckets of thick oil sludge along the coastline after the collision of two tankers left the sea covered in oil. The quick response is said to save a grave impact on the marine life and save thousands of fishes and other aquatic animals. Three super sucker and submersible pumps have also been deployed to remove the oil spill. The accident, which was earlier termed as a minor one, has turned into a major one, threatening the marine ecology along the Tamil Nadu coast. Several dead turtles, crabs and other sea creatures have been washed ashore.

Researchers and scientists from the world over gathered at Sharjah to discuss the ongoing worldwide conservation efforts SSB BUREAU


HE 18th Sharjah International Conservation Forum for Arabian Biodiversity recently kicked off at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah. Organised by the Environment


O better manage the capital’s biodiversity parks, the Delhi LG Anil Baijal has ordered to set up a separate company under the DDA. Baijal’s direction came after he visited the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, a green initiative of the DDA. He said both the Yamuna and the Aravalli Biodiversity Parks have been providing ecological services to Delhi and need to be preserved. During his announcement, the Lt. Governor was accompanied by his wife Mala Baijal, DDA Vice Chairman Udai Pratap Singh and environmentalist C.R. Babu. Baijal said, “Yamuna Biodiversity Park is a unique urban landscape, contributing towards preservation of our natural heritage.” “There is an urgent need to revive the lost eco-systems of our pristine River Yamuna,” he added.

and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), the four-day workshop was attended by 100 international wildlife conservation experts and researchers from around the world. They discussed the international wildlife conservation efforts, the protection programmes and biodiversity conservation strategies, which helps assess the regional and international red list of migratory birds and vultures. The experts also reviewed the outcomes of the regional workshops in Africa, Europe and Asia, under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). They also studied the Red list of trees and the regional red list. Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, chairperson of the EPPA in Sharjah, said, “Sharjah has a proven leading position in wildlife protection and environment efforts, in general, and supports a number of international initiatives. This forum was organised by the EPAA for the 18th consecutive year, serving as a platform that will bring together over 100 biodiversity researchers and experts to share views about biodiversity and wildlife conservation.” Al Suwaidi added that the United Arab Emirates and Sharjah have played a pioneering role in developing the laws that help conserve wildlife and ensure ecological balance.

22 International

FEBRUARY 19, 2017



Chinese government has issued a five-year action plan

Quick Glance



The summit was dedicated to fight the ills that the world faces today All the countries have been urged to tackled hate speech of all kinds Richard Branson was given the Summit Award for his good work

The Peace winners have pledged to fight the evils facing humankind, especially war SSB BUREAU



EDICATING the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, concluded in the Colombian capital of Bogota, to collectively fight against the ills afflicting humanity, the last day of summit was dedicated to peace in Colombia and the challenges to the peace agreement signed between the government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed

Forces of Colombia) rebels. The final declaration of the summit was read by the 1997 Nobel winner from the US, Jody Williams, recognised for her work in banning anti-personnel land mines. In the text, the laureates call for action by governments, civil society and youth to eradicate evils such as nuclear arms, anti-personnel mines, drug-trafficking and other drug related crimes, and corruption. They also urged all countries to tackle hate speech centred on ethnicity, race, religion, gender, disability, among

TTEMPTING to fight the disease, the Chinese government has issued a five-year action plan for HIV/ AIDS prevention and treatment. In this period, the government will make the utmost effort to find out AIDS patients, reduce infections through drug needles, blood transfusion and mother-to-child transmission, minimise the fatality rate and improve patients’ quality of life. The plan, to be implemented between 2016 and 2020, has set multiple targets such as reducing AIDS-related activities of male homosexuals by at least 10 per cent and decrease mother-to-child transmission rate to less than 4 per cent, the and government mouthpiece People’s Daily reported.



Shreya Bhandriraju has been given the prestigeous award for exemplifying academic and artistic excellence


Pakistan is paying full attention to boost its education


N a bid to up the literacy rate, Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has made primary and secondary education compulsory for all children between five and 16 years of age. The education will be imparted free of coast in all public sector educational institutions. Adviser to Chief Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani told the media that under Elementary and Secondary Education Bill approved on Monday, the government will be responsible for providing free education to the students and parents will have to send their children to school. “Under the Act, parents would be punishable with imprisonment up to one month or fine which may extend up to Rs 100 per day or with both

others. The closing ceremony, besides ratifying this text, served to give awards to people who have contributed towards the development of peace in Colombia, Latin America and the world. The “Peace Summit Award” was presented to Richard Branson, whose “Virgin Unite” organisation seeks to create non-profit initiatives to help the world “eliminate wars and conflicts through practical solutions”. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos presented the Colombia charter, a document drafted during the Summit and written by the laureates which contains “Ten principles for peace proposed as a legacy for all humanity”.





N another honour for the country, an Indian-American girl has been nominated for the 2017 Presidential Scholars programme among 60 other students in the US for exemplifying academic and artistic excellence. Shreya Bhadriraju, of Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas, is among the Arts nominees announced by The National YoungArts Foundation on January 31 for the 2017 US Presidential Scholars. “YoungArts is proud to be the nominating agency for this high honour and congratulates all of this year’s nominees, their teachers and their parents,” said YoungArts president and chief executive Carolina Garcia Jayaram in a statement. “Each year, we are amazed by the artistry of the students who come through our programme, but this year raised the bar the sheer talent and tenacity of the artists coming from all walks of life and every corner of the country was astounding, and

In June, 20 Arts Scholars and 41 Presidential scholars will attend a major programme


Only in the rarest of cases India’s defence suppliers will be denied licenses

we celebrate their work and look forward to what they will do next,” Jayaram added. Following the nominations, the 60 candidates will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which will ultimately select 20 high school seniors to be recognized as US Presidential Scholars in the Arts for their academic and artistic accomplishments, leadership responsibilities, community service and outreach initiatives, and overall creativity. In June, the 20 Arts Scholars will join the other 141 US Presidential Scholars from across the country for the National Recognition Programme. During the programme, all scholars receive a Presidential Medallion presented on behalf of the US President and participate in several recognition activities.


ECOGNISING India’s status as a ‘Major Defence Partner’, the US has made necessary changes in its export control laws that would benefit India by facilitating smoother transfer of technologies and arms to it. The new rule that makes necessary changes in the export control laws “creates a presumption of approval” for Indian companies seeking to import Commerce Department-controlled military items, except Weapons of Mass Destructionrelated goods. This means that only under the rarest circumstances will India be denied licenses. “I’m pleased to see India’s status as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ a designation that we have strongly supported” said Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council (USIBC). This is a very favourable policy for Indian companies. The rule will make business substantially easier for Indian companies in the defence sector.

Bringing smiles to the face of every Indian with our bouquet of Good News

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24 Unsung Heroes UNSUNG HEROES

FEBRUARY 19, 2017



Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, he realised music is not an option, so he became a sound engineer, but the first time he saw a tiger changed him to a conservationist


EREBRAL PALSY and tiger conservationist doesn’t go together. But Hans Dalal, a tiger conservationist, wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker is breaking barriers with his resolve. When Hans was two months old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a congenital motor disorder which affects body movements and muscle coordination. Now, he is heading an NGO, Preservation of Wild Landscapes (PROWL), which he founded along with his wife Avantika Chandra in 2013. His NGO is doing commendable work in creating a symbiosis between man and animal in forest areas. Childhood was not an easy time for him; he learned walking at the age of six. His gait was wobbly, due to which the teachers were worried about him losing his balance and would refuse to take

him to school trips. But his uncle would often take him to treks in the Himalaya. Hans was passionate about music and his mother sent him for piano lessons too. Reminiscing about childhood, he says: “My brain would think in time but my fingers wouldn’t move in time. Profession in music wasn’t an option. Hence I chose the next best thing for me – sound engineering.” After completing his sound engineering degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, he worked in the music industry for seven

He quit his job and

became a community conservation officer in Ranthambor

years, with the likes of Vishal-Shekhar. A trip to Kanha in 2007 changed his life when he saw the tiger for the first time. He was enthralled by the sight of ‘king of jungle’ walking in its full majesty. “It triggered many questions in my mind – why are there so little forests, why are there so less tigers, so less wildlife. I wanted to find the answers to these questions?” Hans remembers. He quit his job and joined as a Community Conservation Officer in Ranthambore National Park. He volunteered for many wildlife conservation programmes, before founding PROWL. With PROWL, Hans has opened two fronts to boost tiger conservation. On the one hand, PROWL is tracking the movement of tigers with the help of camera traps and also training the forest officials in tracking wildlife movement. On the other, it is also building a

conducive environment for the local communities to avoid conflict with the wildlife. Hans feels that ‘providing them financial security and socially empowering them plays an important role in wildlife conservation’. His NGO has worked for menstrual hygiene of women in Simlipal, Odisha and provided health and first aid kits to forest guards in Sunderbans. He has also integrated his childhood passion in his current work by identifying the music talent in these communities and providing them a platform to perform their folk music.




HERE is one death every four minutes on Indian roads. A lot of them could have been prevented had suitable help reached in time. Dr Subroto Das, from Vadodara, was selected for Padma Shri in the medicine category for his phenomenal work in saving lives on Indian highways. Das is founder of Lifeline Foundation, which operates in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala and rescues the accident victims in time. Das feels that the award is not the end. “The award means more responsibility and inspires us more to work in this sector. We are also NDIA runninghas a training neverprogramme been short‘Vadodara of child Smart prodigies. city a CPR At city’an where agewe when are providing most training of thetoyoungsters adults about the areCPR busy andclicking first aid soInstagram that they canpictures help the accident and forwarding victims till the Whatsapp ambulancemessages, arrives,” he says. Rohan Suri has




Himself the victim of a road accident, Das realised that if help reaches on time, many lives can be saved, and hence he started the Lifeline Foundation

The young scientist has found the ideal solution for desalinisatio of sea water

On the fateful night of August, 1999, Das was travelling with his wife on AhmedabadVadodara highway when their car met with an accident. They had to wait for five hours in excruciating pain, before help reached them. That incident moved him and he decided to find a suitable solution for this. In July, 2002, he realised that putting ambulances at critical spots on highway is not a scalable solution. Instead, creating a network of ambulances, fire trucks and cranes would serve the purpose better. He founded his organisation and initiated a helpline number, 9825026000. Any accident victim can call up this number and the help immediately reaches the accident site. Hopefully, more such initiatives create safe roads for Indians in coming times.



ORE than 1.2 billion people in the world lack access to clean drinking water. This is despite the fact that more than 70 per cent of the earth is covered with water. The main problem is that most of the available water is saline and hence unfit for drinking. An Indian American teen, Chaitanya Karamchedu has discovered a novel, cost-effective way to desalinate the salt water and make it potable. Karamchedu is a senior at Jesuit High School Senior in Portland, Oregon. He was troubled by the pressing need for clean, drinking water and wanted to make it easily available. His love for science made him work for hours in school laboratory, where he struck upon this novel idea of desalination. His

approach is completely opposite to what scientists had been trying till now. He says: ‘The real genesis of the idea was realising that sea water is not fully saturated with salt. It’s not bonding with water molecules; it’s bonding to the salt.’ He stumbled upon a highly absorbent polymer during his experiments which removes the salt from the seawater easily. He has been awarded $10,000 by the US Agency for International Global Development at Intel’s International Science Fair. He also won the second prize at MIT’s TechCon Conference. Karamchedu has proved that age is just a number and it requires strong resolve and right approach to find solutions for the existing problems.

FEBRUARY 19, 2017














r u Yo heir T , e v o L oney M Valentine’s Day first appeared in Indian soil in the late 1980s and has steadily picked up steam, with various companies – from chocolate makers to rose growers, giving their best marketing push. They see big moolah in seeing you in love

Snapshots Every Mall or eating joint is painted in red – the colour of love and romance The wholesale flower industry last year touched Rs 1.80 crore in sales during V-Day Last year in America alone, more than 1.5 billion cards were sold on this day



ALENTINE’S DAY always brings happy tidings for lovers, but in the wake of demonetisation, there are others who will be over joyed, though they could be miles away from love or romance. Flower farmers and florists could make up for the devastating days post-November 8 and may even see some profit. GN Diwakar, President, KR Market Association in Bengaluru says:“Flower merchants and farmers wait for this month eagerly, as it is a money-spinner for them and allows them to make up for some of the losses incurred during the past year. Normally, farmers used to sell a bunch of red roses for `10 earlier. In the wholesale market, a red rose sells for just `1. As Valentine’s Day approaches, the rates take the escalator and can go up to even `50 for a single flower. Despite losses due to drought and demonetisation, I am hoping farmers will make a decent recovery.”

as ’s Day h e in t n le Va big become and s busines d the e g n cha of love meaning

Guess which ‘festival’ after Diwali means big business in India? It’s Valentine’s Day on February 14 and if you’re surprised, don’t be. Like Diwali, vital sectors of Indian business l o o k forward to the Valentine’s Day festivities that last all of one full week; to spur sales and improve their bottomlines. In a word it’s great for the economy! Engulfed in winterish chill, as the month of February arrives, air seems drenched with love.Every Mall or eating joint is painted in red –the colour of love and romance. The Valentine’s Day resonance was first heard in India during 1990s. So far, the Love day celebrations were limited to few westernised segments of Indian society. Gradually, over the next three decades it grew into an important commercial day. Forget Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru, places like Ranchi, Patna, Dehradun, Kanpur, Nagpur, Indore, Bhopal and Meerut too seem to be highly fascinated by this love festivity. Moreover, many youngsters who do not have a

partner also celebrate this day as an expression of love and friendship, though there is another full-fledged Friendship Day. It has got another dimension than the romantic idiom. Preeti Mehra, an undergraduate student in a deemed university, said that she has planned to buy 40 greetings cards, love bands and pink roses for all her college classmates.”We are also ordering a chocolate cake. This is our last year in college and we’re going to have a great V-Day. Expenses of `8,000 are not a big deal,” she said. LOVE COMMERCE When it comes to love and spirituality, we Indians have an advantage. The love of Radha and Krishna goes back 5,000 years in time, to temple towns like Vrindavan fabled for their Radha Krishna lore. In later centuries, love became rather explicit, going by the wall carvings in Khajuraho and the Ajanta-Ellora caves. Still later, we had the Taj Mahal, one of the World’s 7 Wonders, love poetry cast in

26 Valentine’s Day


pristine marble. Then the change happened! Blame globalisation or westernisation, blame today’s fastpaced life where cryptic messages on the mobile phone, the Internet and Facebook have tended to lessen the intensity of friendships even as every element of that friendship or relationship is laid bare for the world on social media. Today, friends break up or make up on Facebook, or WhatsApp or Snapchat, even Twitter (if you’re pressed for time). If one does not have a friend, he or she can hook up to dating apps for an instant friendship. That emotion called true love or true friendship no longer seems what it was or used to be. It seems more instant (like two-minutes noodles), which is probably why Valentine’s Day has become what it is: A high profile and loudly proclaimed event to remind everyone of us about the importance of love, of friendships and relationships in our lives. And because this is the age of globalisation and westernisation, it’s also intensely marketed to sell a range of products, from the ubiquitous Valentine’s Day Card to pink flowers, candy floss ribbons, chocolates and just

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

Love and the Saint

about anything else you can think of. And yes, don’t forget your bhujiawala around the corner, who’s even packaging barfi and gulab jamun in Valentine’s Day colours. In this day and age, it’s about smart business and even smarter marketing; love friendship, etc., is just another commodity, to be processed, packed and sold! E-commerce sites are also engaging and offering love vouchers to romantic couples for online sales. Worldwide, the figures tell it all. Valentine’s Day cards are runner’s up only to Christmas cards in the sheer numbers sold. Last year in America alone, more than 1.5 billion cards were sold on this day. According to the US Greeting Card Guild, 85 per cent of Valentine’s Day cards were bought by women. Esther Howland, the artist and businesswoman who introduced and popularised Valentine’s Day cards, was awarded the title ‘Mother of Valentine’. Her company sells the highest number of cards worldwide.

The tradition has perhaps three persons, any of who could have been the actual Valentine, but they all love as the binding thread seeing you in love


VERY February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from?Where did Valentine’s Day originate—and how did cards, the heart symbol, and cupid become associated with it? The Catholic Church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered,

sion of The expres day love is to hout wit incomplete rose to d re giving a the beloved

SHOW-ROMANCE According to an ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India)report,Valentine’s Week is the “most profitable week for the market”, and after Diwali, the highest profits are generated during the Valentine festivities. The size of the market is this large since V-Day is not a single-day fete but is celebrated throughout the week. And the business formulas are preoccupied with profits. Among the top earners in this period are restaurants, travel agencies, jewellers, giftshops selling greetings cards, confectionary (with chocolates marking the highest sales), clothes and apparel shops, all kinds of electronic goods, spas,

Claudius ordered that he be put to the sword. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greetings himself, after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasise his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

salons, hairdressers and not to forget, florists. Last year, the report predicted that Indians would spend `22,000 crore on Valentine’s Day items. With the growth trend from previous years, in the coming years it is estimated that the business will cross `30,000. The ASSOCHAM survey says for 500 corporate and e-commerce firms, Valentine’s Day sales alone is worth `15000 crore today. An industry body has valued the Valentine’s Day (V-Day) market based on a survey involving 800 executives in major metros and 1,000 students from 150 educational institutions. The survey suggests that

The Other angle The non-christian version of Valentine’s Day has a pagan ritual of Lupercalia associated with it


HILE some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around AD 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianise” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus,

the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each

choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England).

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

A look at some of the companies that are key players in Valentine’s Day celebrations.

AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION Product: Greeting Cards Annual Sale: $1.75 billion Market Cap: $514 million Global Ranking: 1 FLOWERS DOT COM INC Product: Flowers Annual Sale: $733 million Market Cap: $264 million Global Ranking: 2 THE HERSHEY COMPANY Product: Candy/Chocolate Annual Sale: $6.64 billion Market Cap: $18.03 billion Global Ranking: 3 TIFFANY & CO. Product: Jewellery Annual Sale: $3.75 billion Market Cap: $8.06 billion Global Ranking: 4 IAC/ INTERACTIVE CORPORATION Product: Greeting Cards Annual Sale: $771 million Market Cap: $3.79 billion Global Ranking: 5


Valentine’s Week

this market is growing by 20 to 25 per cent annually. Last year, retail and online marketing surged to `12,000 crore. The survey threw up other interesting data. Typically, spending for the young couple (unmarried) ranges from a low of `2000 to `50,000 and most of them come from the services sector of the economy. Married couples spend anywhere from `15,000 to `1.5 lakh. Students spend far less, from `500 to `10,000. Here’s the kicker: Men in India spend more on Valentine’s Day than women, accounting for 65 per cent of those buying gifts for friends and lovers. Comparatively, women make up only 35 per cent of those buying gifts for their men. If we look at the figure of expenses on expressing love, couples spend over 60 per cent money on personal grooming and attire for the day. Some 65 per cent is spent on taking the beloved to a restaurant, about 38 per cent splurge on buying chocolates, 40 per cent on flowers and about seven per cent buy electronic gadgets. Travel companies trying to cash in on

Global Majors

Valentine’s Day

Rose Day(7 February),when couples gift each other a rose bud, as it is the most loved thing. The day is celebrated with great zeal, happiness and enthusiasm Propose Day (8 February) The second day of the Valentine’s Week. On this day you can directly approach your love and express your feelings towards him/her.

Promise Day (11 February) Couples swear fealty to each other. Fulfilling a promise is the most important step to keep a relationship going healthy. Hug Day (12 February) The day for hugs and the carnival culminates, this is celebrated just two days before Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Day (9 February) This day is entirely dedicated to chocolates and it can’t get better than that. A chocolate enhances the charm in a relationship and also put people in a good mood.

the V-Day season offer two-night holiday packages, with the most favoured destinations being Kerala, Goa, Nainital, Mussoorie and Shimla. According to Anil Moolchandani, Chairman of Archie’s, the largest greetings card manufacturer in the country: “The expression of love without a greetings card is worthless.” Archie’s, which started printing the first Valentine’s Day cards in 1984, struggled hard to sell it till 2000. However, as an impact of globalisation, over three million cards (e cards as well asold-fashioned cards printed on paper) are sold during Valentines. With the current turnover of over `12 billion, the company has spread its wings to countries like Nepal, Srilanka and Bangladesh. Ahead of V-Day sales for greetings cards and gift items at Archie’s Ltd goes up 10 times.”We have 158 new designs of greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. We have also introduced around 250 V-Day gifts from musical gifts, crystal items, quotation books, photo frames and jewelery,” said Youhan Aria, head, corporate communications. RED EMOTIONS The expression of love is incomplete without a red rose. This is a significant ritual during Valentine’s week. Consequently, red rose too has become a credible profit formula. According to ASSOCHAM reports, pavement sellers, who earn merely `500 on regular days, are able to make over `10,000 rupees on this day. The Bangalore-based company,Kasturi Global, is placed among

Teddy Day (10 February) After some sweets, now it’s time to send cute and adorable teddies to your loved ones. As we all know females are fond of Teddy Bears and is also key to very female’s heart!

Kiss Day (13 February) Predictably the most popular day of the Valentine’s Week is the Kiss Day.

Valentine’s Day (14 February) And finally, the day which holds a lot of importance in every couple’s life.

the top five rose producing companies in the world. This company grows roses in Kenya and Ethiopia,apart from in India, and earns profit of over `500 crore annually. According to N Ramesh, President of South India Floriculture Association, February 14 is a peak time for their business. The ‘Taj Mahal’ variety of Red Rose has the highest demand among roses and its demand is expected to rise by 50 per cent this year. Flower shops are expected to notch up business worth `2 crore. The wholesale flower industry last year touched `1.80 crore in sales during V-Day, the survey said. Second only to Diwali, makers and sellers of chocolate have reported major sales during Valentine’s Week. The mushroom growth of confectionary shops and bakeries in every nook and corner of Delhi is a case in point. Since 2009, chocolate sales have grown by 35 per cent, and this trend has also been visible in smaller towns and even villages. There is no doubt in concluding that soaked with romantic love, Valentine’s Day has opened up new avenues for business in countries worldwide. Startups are also engaging themselves for sales and brand promoting during this festive week. A number of startups in different sectors like food tech, hotel aggregators, beauty and fashion are using the

opportunity to promote their brands and cultivate more customers. While major e-commerce platforms are offering discounts to customers, cab services like Ola, Uber and Meru, etc., have promotional discounts for the occasion. Other startups that are greeted with the goodies areNDTV’s Indianroots, Indify, Zovi, CashKaro,, FindYahan, UrbanClap and Vyomo, to name a few. We all know that violence is the enemy of love. But for quite some years, Valentine’s Day has become an occasion for groups like the Shiv Sena, the Bajrang Dal, Durgavahini and Sriram Sena to hit the streets determined to suppress what they regard as “un-Indian practices”. But for every act of violence and vandalism, there’s a reaction, and youth participation in such events grows even larger. So Valentine’s Day is good for business, more so at a time when Indians are beginning to understand how important trade and business are to overall economic growth. The more products are bought and sold, the more products will be made, which means more people will be employed. It’s a cycle far removed from the economic drivers of 30 or 40 years ago but underscores that the economy is growing, diversifying into different areas and bringing change. So live, love and grow!


FEBRUARY 19, 2017

HIMALAYA Sangla, Buddhist monasteries and the last village of the state located here are the major hotspots. Kinnaur can be closely understood by understanding their local lifestyle, the wooden houses in Sangla, local food and drink, snacks, tea, garden etc.

KINNAUR: THE HUB OF SILENT BEAUTY Kinnaur is not just a tourist spot or hill station nested in the Himalaya, it is also a place for spiritual rejoice. You find out that the Himalaya always has something new to give, says Ashima


BREAK from their everyday routine, relaxation or be it clearing their minds from the urban hubbub. There are many reasons for the people living in cities to visit the mountains. Many go there to enjoy the view while others go to witness the snowfall, everyone have their unique reasons. The beauty of mountains is not just frozen in the meters thick ice sheets. The bigger the mountain the greater its cultural heritage and beauty. Numerous writers and poets have dedicated their work to the Himalayan beauty. The mountains are also very dear to filmmakers. The unparalleled spiritual satisfaction attracts us to the mountains again and again. But there are still many places in the mountains that are not that known despite their unrivaled beauty. There is a great peculiarity of nature, the safer it is from human encroachment, the more beautiful it stays. That is something that makes the district Kinnaur of Himachal Pradesh unique. One of the country’s most sparsely populated place Kinnaur was first opened for outsiders back in 1989. This place is also allegedly mentioned in the Indian mythology, Mahabharata. It is said that the Pandavas stayed here during their ‘vanvaas’ (exile). In the recent times, even Imtiaz Ali’s movie

Highway showed a glimpse of Kinnaur’s beauty when Veera arrived at Kinnaur travelling through the different states of the country after her kidnapping. Like the other mountain tourist spots, this district also has a minimum human encroachment. The vibrant tribal life has perfectly saved its natural beauty. So the forever ending ocean like valleys, waterfalls, huge rocks and springs may not let your eyes and cameras rest. While the natural beauty makes this place a heaven, its lifestyle, historical significance, fairs and festivals offers an exciting dimension, which is completely separate from its beauty. Therefore if you have Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala or Ladakh on your wish list of exploration you should visit Kinnaur at least once. Although adventure enthusiasts are familiar with the place, others should also come by, because the silent beauty of this place does not only amuse you but also tempts you. MAGNIFICENT BEAUTY As you step into the mountain meadows of Kinnaur the fine beauty of the river Sutlej will be there to welcome you. Its beauty is breathtaking. The monastery and temple situated in Kalpa along with the ‘Kinnar Kailash Shrikhand’ mountain peak, Bering Nag Temple in

DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE Besides being an unforgettable experience the place also has a unique lifestyle as well. Being close to Tibet its influence is clearly evident on its lifestyle. People here are basically Buddhists and Hindus. As the rest of the country this district also has many strange and unique traditions. The women in Kinnaur also have multiple husbands, people present different social and ethical approach on this matter, despite that the role of women appears quite independent here. The family of the bride takes all the details of the groom before marriage. Also women are the head of household while they also lead in works like sheep rearing, agriculture, weaving etc. The women here wear a shawl named ‘Dohdu’, along with a cap on their heads, embedded with a silver jewel called ‘peepal patra’ on top. As far as jewelry is concerned, brides of Kinnaur are worth talking about. Dressed in the traditional designs, these jewels enthrall everyone. Covered in jewelry from the top to bottom these brides reflect the richness of their tradition. Also the bonding of couples here is a spectacle. Liquor has a special importance in the Kinnaur lifestyle, the women here do most of the work from preparing to presenting, but it is said they don’t drink at all. These women reflect the diligence of mountain women. SPECIAL FESTIVAL The lifestyle of a given place is infused within the festivals they celebrate. The festivals of Kinnaur perfectly present both the lifestyle and diversity of this place. The most famous festival of

T he most famous

festival of Kinnaur is ‘Fulach’ - meaning festival of flowers

Snapshots One of the most sparsely populated hill station, Kinnaur is ideal for solace loving people Hills covered with thick ice sheets and valley full of greenery, is breathtaking view Special shawls, jewelery are few items which one can bring as souvenirs from there

Kinnaur is called ‘Fulach’ also known as the festival of flowers. On this festival the district holds a fair in which, a person from each family goes to the mountain to pick flowers at the beginning of the festival and when they come back with the flowers they make a garland of it, these garlands are then devoted to the ‘Gram devta’ which is later distributed among the villagers. They also hold trade fair in November; called Lavi. Apart from that, nearly a fortnight-long festival ‘Fagul’ is celebrated along with ‘Losar’ in the month of December as a part of the New Year celebrations and Baisakhi in April which they have a unique way celebrating. Also other tribal festivals and performances and rituals bloom the lifestyle of this place. BEST TIME TO VISIT Hidden under snow for the winter half the best time to visit Kinnaur is between April and October. HOW TO GET THERE Kinnaur is situated approximately 235 kilometers away from the capital of Himachal Pradesh Shimla. The eastern border of Kinnaur is connected to the border of Tibet. The closest airport for air travel is situated near Shimla. Other options also include going to Shimla, after which you can take a bus or even hire a taxi to Kinnaur. Located in the northeastern areas of the state the journey to this district will be paved by the waterfalls and greenery of mountains. The roads built cutting through enormous mountains both scare and thrill during the journey. WHAT TO BRING BACK Kinnaur has many options for the people not only limited to shopping shawl, apple and saffron. Kinnauri dresses, jewelry, Chilgoza (Pinus gerardiana), grapes are the specialty of Kinnaur and also worth shopping. So set your next trip to Kinnaur and leave for a reliving experience to the mountains. The spiritual comfort of the Kinnaur awaits you.

FEBRUARY 19, 2017


JOURNEY OF COURAGE AND ADVENTURE From colossal mountains, tough paths, very deep valleys and ice deserts, or a frozen river at a scary height or a valley packed with flowers, trekking in India packs an amazing punch SFOORTI MISHRA


magine a milky white waterfall roaring and gushing down a rocky surface with lush greenery all around. Capturing the moment in its beauty and telling a story of every beautiful moment while your pathway is washed and cleaned continuously by gushing rain water. In a country like India trekking is magical as you can walk through icy deserts and tropical rainforests,

Snapshots In a country like India Trekking is magical as you can walk through icy desert If you’re a rookie trekker with a hankering for excellent coffee, Araku Valley is a must-visit Trekking destination is not just its panoramic view of lush rolling hills

climb vast Himalayan peaks or run down expansive meadows, all without crossing a national border. There is quite nothing like finishing a trek to a peak and staring down into the vast openness. And after the gut-wrenching struggle that involves short bursts of vertigo and paranoia, innumerable scrapes and cuts, buckets of sweat, aches and pains, you’re bound to feel two things. First, how unfit or fit you really are. Second and more importantly, the dawning realisation that life is about much more than existing from one day to the next, trying to beat other rats in the race. From romantic spots to crystal clear lakes and staggering heights, a glance at some of India’s most reputed trekking trails that you should visit at least once in your life. All you’ll need is a healthy pair of lungs, sturdy shoes and light weight bag. ROOPKUND TREK, UTTARKHAND

This is apt for those who love adventure and challenges. This trek will give an opportunity to see the

famous Mystery Lake. Glacial Lake is famously known as Skeleton Lake as it is believed that skeletons reside at the bottom of the lake. Trekking can take approximately a week to nine days, and the best time to visit is between May and October. This challenging trek requires one to be in good health, as it is situated at a high altitude (4,800 mts). There are three trekking routes via Mundoli, Kathgodam or Lohjang. CHEMBRA PEAK TREK, KERALA

Chembra in Wayanad is the tallest peak in Kerala, and 2,100 metres above sea level. It’s an easy climb, though the initial gradient can prove a little steep. Best to visit during September - February, the trek extends across nine kilometres, and can easily be completed within a day. However, visitors can opt to extend their trip by a couple of days. The combination of exploring Wayanad’s grassy meadows and then residing by the heart-shaped lake (Hridaya Saras) at the top is an experience to be cherished.




Drinks such as glucose salt sugar solutions provide essential nutrients to the body. Energy drinks should be packed in sealed bottles to avoid any kind of contamination. TEA AND COFFEE BAGS

Some instant coffee bags can make your mornings and evenings refreshing. CHEESE, PEANUT BUTTER AND BREADS

It will give instant energy and will give ample of energy for trekking. NUTS AND CHOCOLATES

Nuts and snacks should be packed in abundant quantity as they are rich source of vitamins, minerals. Do not carry junk food at all. Chocolates are very light for the stomach and keep people energized during trekking.


If you’re a rookie trekker with a hankering for excellent coffee, Araku Valley situated in scenic Vizag is a must-visit. It is something of a tourist spot - the Borra caves, tribal museum and Katiki waterfalls have made it pretty popular. Serious trekkers can afford to give it a miss.

rolling hills. It also presents two trekking options, both of which can be completed within one day. There is a plain 15-kilometre walk from Lonavala or a rugged 2,000-foot climb from Kondivade village where one can also view the Kondana caves. The best VALLEY OF FLOWERS, time to visit is between June and UTTARAKHAND This exotic valley is transformed into September. a colourful kaleidoscope packed with wild flowers such as zinnias, petunias CHADAR TREK, LADAKH and poppies. It also hosts several The frozen river Zanskar (also called species of butterflies and endangered Chadar that literally means sheet) animals such as the mountain leopard situated in the Zanskar Valley presents and blue sheep. A moderately an intriguing yet challenging trek, challenging climb (the entire trek can extending across 105 kilometres at take a week), the 10-kilometre valley extremely low temperatures (-25 is situated at approximately over 3,600 degrees at night). The swiftly flowing metres above sea level, and is ideal to river freezes only in the months of January to February, and can prove an visit between June - September. arduous obstacle to cross: one has to climb over icy rocks, and sleep in caves RAJMACHI TREK, MAHARASHTRA The beauty of this trekking destination at night. The view combined with ice is not just its panoramic view of lush sheets that constantly change colour however, makes it an unparalleled experience. INDRAHAR PASS TREK, HIMACHAL PRADESH

A mountain pass in the Dhauladhar range, this is located close to Dharamsala at approximately 4,300 metres, and attracts a large trekking crowd between April and October. The trek starts from Bhagsu or Dharamkot, near Mcleod Ganj, and can take from 4-10 days to complete.

30 Untold Stories

FEBRUARY 19, 2017

YADOON KI BAARAT Some distant recollections from Bollywood… RAJ KAPOOR






HIS story is of Peshawar, when Raj Kapoor developed a liking for the girl next door. Whenever Raj Kapoor used to get time he would stand near her window. It was during those days when marriages used to be solemnized at an early age. Even the girl was infatuated with him. One day Raj came to know that the girl’s marriage has been fixed and he ran and went to the girls’ house. He saw the girl standing and gazing at him in silence. Then she said: “Yeh galiyan yeh choubara, yahan aana na dobara,” and

she shut the door. Raj Kapoor was deeply hurt by this . Later on in his film ‘Prem Rog’ a similar situation was created, and the same words which that girl had uttered were picturised in a song, which later on went on to be a big hit. The song was written by lyricist Santosh Anand.




t was during those days when Rishi Kapoor was doing ‘Prem Rog’ after his super duper hit film ‘Bobby’. The seriousness with which Raj Kapoor used to do his films is known to everybody . In one of the sequences of the film , the heroine of the film Padmini Kolhapure, after being provoked, was to slap Rishi Kapoor. But Raj Kapoor was not approving the shot. You won’t believe it but one after the other Rishi Kapoor got seven slaps and his cheek turned red. When Rishi objected to

it, Raj Kapoor shouted at Rishi: ‘Who is the director of the film, you or me? This shot became perfect after the seventh slap.” Then when Raghu Karmakar, the casting director, came and said that the shot was perfect in the first take itsel,then why did Raj resort to so many retakes. Raj Kapoor’ s answer was quite interesting. He said: “I know that the shot was perfect in the first take and I will picturise that shot only, but I wanted to make Rishi realise that he should not have the pride and ego of stardom in him. I have come to know that he is troubling other directors which I will never tolerate. He (Rishi) should know that the real star of the film is the Director.”

ilm ‘Guide’ had to undergo many stages before reaching completion. A lot can be written on it. As you all know that Dev Saheb had given the responsibility of directing this film to his elder brother Chetan Anand, who was at that time busy with the making of ‘Haqeeqat’. Subsequently Dev Anand wanted his dear friend Raj Khosla to direct it, but the heroine of the film Waheeda Rehman got annoyed and objected to this proposal, as she had made up her mind not to work with Raj Khosla ever. It is very important to explain the reason why she was adamant of about not doing any films with Raj Khosla. Before the film ‘Guide’, Waheeda had worked in Raj Khoslas’ superhit film ‘C.I.D.’ In one of the sequences of the film, Waheeda was supposed to look glamourous, for which Raj Khosla had got her a tight costume, which she was to wear, but she refused. But Raj Khosla was adamant. After a lot of discussions and pressures from the production unit, Waheeda had to perforce






HERE was a time when the affair of Rekha and Amitabh were making the headlines. They were both working in Manmohan Desai’s film ‘Suhaag’. Since Amitabh’s shot was being filmed, Rekha would float into the sets even though her scene was not being filmed. Both of them would gossip for some time, then they would closet themselves in the dressing room for hours together. During that time both were at the peak of their stardom and hence nobody had the courage to tell them to refrain from this activity. On the contrary, shooting was being hampered. Manmohan Desai had a charm and a stature of his own and everybody used to call him ‘Man ji’. He ignored this activity for 2-3 days but later

B on he stopped Rekha by saying: “This is the set of my film, you can come only on the day of your shooting.” It took Rekha by surprise and she was speechless and helpless. She then turned back. Amitabh did not intervene in this matter, which is praiseworthy, and we can gather as to how much respect the directors of that era commanded from their actors, actresses and crew members.

wear that costume, and it was then that she had decided she will never ever work with Raj Khosla. She was able to keep this condition before Dev Anand and he acceded to her plea, and finally Goldie (Vijay Anand), with whom Waheeda Rehman was in good terms during the filming of ‘Kala Bazaar’, directed ‘Guide’. But during filming of ‘Guide’, she also had differences with Goldie and he also did not take her in his films after this.

EFORE telling you about their friendship it would be apt to mention about an incident related to it. It was during those days when Hema Malini was busy doing the films ‘Razia Sultan’ of the legendary filmmaker Kamal Amrohi as well as ‘Kranti‘ of Manoj Kumar. Manoj Kumar’s assistant came and told him that Kamal Amrohi wanted Hema to take a break for four days from ‘Kranti’ and to give those dates for doing his film. Though Manoj Kumar also respected Kamal Amrohi as a legendary genius but at this point of time he said: “We will see as time comes by and as the

situation demands, since Kamal Saheb is always short of dates, more so when a drunkard like Dharmender is working in the film.” by chance Hema also overheard all this conversation and she went and told Dharmender. Dharmender without giving much importance to it ended the discussion by saying that Panditji could have also discussed the matter with him, which showed his love and respect for Manoj Kumar. Their friendship relates back to the time during the days of their struggle in the film industry. When Dharmender decided that he is a failure and wanted to go back to his home, since Manoj Kumar had started earning by that time, he consoled and boosted Dharmender’s morale, held him back from going to his home as well as helped him financially by sending money to his mother, which Dharam has not forgotten till date. There is a long list of tales of their friendship which will be discussed in detail some other time.

FEBRUARY 19, 2017




Arjun Rampal talks about his film career and ups and downs in his friendships


In Conversation



AM a fitness freak. Fitness is a part of life for me. It never came to my mind to build up a six pack body. I do workouts because I enjoy them. I play tennis, do cycling, run and swim as well. I meditate also whenever I get time as it casts away negativity . Bandra’s Watson Gym is where I love to do workouts. On a personal note the idea of six pack seems non-sense to me. Many of the heroes have to maintain six pack abs for a particular film for which they have to give up many exotic and tasty

of them have tweeted that they wish every police station should have such a handsome police inspector! Laughingly… true, it is interesting that why police stations don’t have handsome inspectors? But, I have a problem that I am growing older and not younger. I like to be in the company of women folk. When the creator has made me handsome then women fan following is natural. I love to gossip with them and I have no regrets. In one of her interviews, Vidya Balan has said that your smile is very infectious and enticing, because of this you fall in the love trap time after time. Yes, I too heard about it. Vidya is herself a graceful lady that’s why she is able to detect a handsome personality. Laughs…!. Jokes apart I have not seen a better actor than Vidya. I was a great fan of her acting but after doing the film ‘Kahani-2’ with her I understood as to why she is so successful. She is capable and has the ability to portray any character she is asked to perform, and she puts life into her character which turns it into a reality. She was outstanding in ‘Kahani-2’. Had this film been a little more successful on the box office then believe me people would have appreciated her more. Since I too have a liking for these kind of roles that’s why I love working with Vidya. In one studio I was giving my shot as a police inspector for ‘Kahani-2’ after finishing it I proceeded to give a shot for ‘Daddy’ as the underworld don Arun Gawli. That is the irony of Bollywood.

foods. Once the assignment is over they again get back to their natural diet and start eating all the food which they have given up. Thus they put an end to all the hard work they had put in to build up these six pack abs. In my opinion all those people who are cautious and concerned about their fitness from the very beginning have no problems in maintaining the fitness of their body. There is no need to eat invigorating capsules for maintaining one’s body.

able to understand whether I am an actor or an underworld don. It is very difficult to talk in the way a rowdy talks, but some how I managed. I will tell you an interesting incident. The shooting of ‘Kahani-2’ and ‘Daddy’ were going on side by side. I reached on the sets of ‘Kahani-2’ after doing the shoot for ‘Daddy’ the previous night. In the midst of the shooting, once or twice I conversed in the way dons or rowdies do, that is the ‘tapori language’. Hearing this Vidya Balan and director Sujoy Ghosh started laughing and said to me ‘ Daddy get back to reality’. I was able to do the role of a policeman but for ‘Daddy’, I am nervous. You have not been seen in any film with Shahrukh for a long time. Is your friendship now mired into controversies? It makes me a bit serious and a bit angry as well. How do you know that there are differences between us. I fail to understand that who spreads all this kind of gossip. Because of our close friendship there were some misunderstandings as a result of which we used to defy each other. Now we have resolved all our differences. Disputes get sorted out when you search for solutions with a cool mind. All this has taught me a lesson.

In a fist of fury, I said few things which created differences among friends


Will Arjun Rampal be a little less visible on silver screen because he has joined politics? He laughs and exclaims that he is a mere party worker of the BJP and he will do whatever the party desires of him.But his political scedule won’t impact his professional career. Herewith excerpts from an interview with him.. Your powerful performance in ‘Kahani-2’ and ‘Rock On-2’ left on your fans wanting for. This year began with trailer of your film ‘Daddy’ taking social media

by storm. It seems last year in completely belonged to you? (Laughs out loud). Yes, it is true that the year went on well. I happened to work on the projects of my choice and my work was widely acclaimed by my fans and cine critics. This is no reason to throw the party for this. These days I refrain from parties as compared to my earlier days where I was busy in late night parties as that used to be my way of life then. But now I am coming of age and getting older, man! Your female fans will not like this statement, at least after seeing your film ‘Kahani-2’. Some

Nobody was able to make out Arjun Rampal in the trailer of ‘Daddy’ as you resembled more like Arun Gawli. I am very excited and thrilled about this role. Actually I was so engrossed in the shooting that I myself was not

Do tell us about that One should know one’s own limitations. If you emphasise on all that has been said about me as well as the arguments that I have been dragged into, believe me I was not linked directly with any one of them. I was very young full of passion and zeal and in a fist of fury said some unwanted things which created a furor and controversy amongst my friends and spoiled my relationship with them. It was like an eye opener for me. That’s very upsetting. But slowly my friends came over all those misunderstandings and matters were resolved.



FEBRUARY 19, 2017


Hadid turns Barbie Young and beautiful GIGI HADID has quickly become America’s Sweetheart of the modelling world. Now one more feather added to her cap in popularity. Hadid got her own Barbie doll just in time for Tommy Hilfiger’s fashion show. As Hadid prepared to celebrate her second collection with Tommy Hilfiger, Mattel gave fans a sneak peek at a new special doll. The toy company has released photos where Barbie and Hadid are taking on Los Angeles in their own Tommy looks. “Can’t believe that’s me!” Hadid shared on Instagram. Hadid thanked Mattel for this honour. Well, right now the doll isn’t for sale to the public.

Best Friends Forever!

Earlier it was said that two beautiful actresses could never becomes friends. But Bollywood is changing now. KAREENA KAPOOR KHAN and SONAM KAPOOR KHAN proved this wrong and became best friends forever (BFF). The two divas will share the screen together as friends in ‘Veere Di Wedding’. Well, fans will see their screen bonding for the first time, but Sonam had proved this already when she scrapped the entire shooting of the role Kareena in the film because when Kareena announced her pregnancy, her character in the film was written according to that. But the actress later decided to do the film after giving birth to the baby and so her pregnant character in Veere Di Wedding was written off. Producer of the film Rhea Kapoor said, “We are ready to make changes in the film’s script as per Kareena’s convenience.”

Saviour Kushal Rahman and Canada

Oscar winning music director AR Rahman is looking into artistic tie-ups between India and Canada. He is reportedly set to make his directorial debut with a Toronto-based company. And with this new move, Rahman is shifting his base from the US to Canada. He also shared a photograph of himself with Toronto Mayor John Tory on Facebook and thanked him for his invitation to set up base in Canada, though he said that he was well-settled and happy in Tamil Nadu, with his family and friends. The music maestro has reportedly collaborated with Canadian company Ideal Entertainment, which will be partnering in three of his films - “Le Musk”, “99 Songs” and “One Heart - The AR Rahman Concert Film”.

Actor KUSHAL TANDON saved his co-actor Jennifer Winget on “Beyhadh” set which caught fire while they were shooting a mandap scene. The actor uploaded a video of the incident where he is seen saving Jennifer from the fire. He wrote: “It’s actually so cliched... You save a girl from fire... Have always watched and imagined as a scene. But it actually happened...” Kushal also shared with his fans and followers that he suffered burns on his neck and legs. Jennifer also got a minor back burn.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 1, ISSUE - 9 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

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