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Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016
Vol-1 | Issue-13 | March 19, 2017 | Price ` 5/-
Good News Weekly for Rising India
AKSHAY IN SULABH
A major shift in paradigm, started by the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan
The heartthrob of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar visited Sulabh Campus
FACE TO FACE
Alia seems more mature now, and admits she has matured and is happy about it
TRIBUTE PM’S SPEECH ON SPIRITUALITY
PM MODI’S TRIBUTE TO PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA Though some people are commercialising Yoga today, it is not the end, but the entry point of spiritualism, says PM SSB BUREAU
ODAY is March 7. Exactly 65 years ago, a great soul left behind its physical abode, the body, and became an article of faith for all ages to come. This day, we have gathered here for a very special occasion. I am grateful to Shri Shri Mataji and pay my obeisance to her, because I am told that she is attending just such a programme in Los Angeles. As Swamiji says, today, 95 per cent of the people of this world have been enabled to read Yogiji’s autobiography in their own languages. The question that arises in mind, though, is why is it that
EVENT AKSHAY KUMAR IN SULABH
WHEN A FILM STAR VISITED SULABH
Akshay wanted to have a look at how Dr Bindeshwar Pathak is alleviating sanitation and energy problems SAURABH SINGH
T was meeting of two legends. One is a reel-life hero and other a real life hero. But both have only one agenda – nation building, development and nationalism. One is Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and the other is Sulabh International chief Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. Reason for the meeting was
simple – Akshay wanted to know how Dr Pathak is changing the world by providing personal hygiene and sanitation solution to everyone. To know in depth Akshay visited the sprawling Sulabh International Campus in Dwarka, New Delhi. Another reason for the dashing actor’s visit to Sulabh is his soon to be ...Continued on Page 2
Quick Glance Yoganand preached Yoga as the easiest entry point for spiritualism Though he moved abroad to preach Yoga, he never forgot Bharatvarsh Some people have made Yoga the end-all of spiritualism
people across the world, who do not know us, do not understand our language, nor are familiar with the dress, which for them is a mere costume, why are such people attracted towards reading his works? Not just that, they translate these ...Continued on Page 3
02 Akshay in Sulabh
MARCH 19, 2017
...Continued from Page 1
WHEN A FILM STAR VISITED SULABH
released film â€˜Toilet- a love storyâ€™. The film reveals the difficulties of defecation in open areas. The film revolves around the pay and use toilet scheme in which the main protagonists want to put an end to open defecation. In addition to this theme, the film is about a love story. Akshay Kumar has always been interested in finding solution to open defecation problem and wanted to find a solution for it. On the other hand, Sulabh International Complex is a place which offers solutions to all the problems related to sanitation. Dr Pathak has prepared a blueprint of the same. This is why he came to meet Dr. Pathak. Akshay met all the groups of the Sulabh family and discussed various issues concerning the problems of open defecation with them. The moment Akshay arrived in the Sulabh Campus and stepped out of the car, he was greeted by the loud whistles of his fans, who had been waiting for him on the top of neighbourhood buildings. Dr. Pathak welcomed him with a garland of roses. Mrs. Pathak gifted him a shawl. Under the flashing lights of cameras and videos, Akshay was introduced to the widows who had come from Vrindavan. Dr. Pathak informed him how the colourless life of these widows was filled with colour by the Sulabh Organization. Akshay was very happy to learn that these widows now not
Sulabh is bridging the gap between rich and poor by providing toilets to the latter, says Akshay
Quick Glance Akshay Kumar was warmly welcomed by Dr Pathak in Sulabh He was all praise for various facilities available in Sulabh
only celebrate festivals like Holi and Diwali, but have also walked the ramp. Dr. Pathak said that they also create handicrafts which are sold at Sulabh stalls. This helps them to make a small earning. These ladies presented him with a shawl. Akshay Kumar next met sanitation workers. Dr. Pathak informed him how these women, who once used to be manual scavengers, carrying night soil on their heads, are now living a life of dignity. Through the efforts by the Sulabh Organization their lives have changed in such a way that they are able to recite shlokas from the Gita and the Vedas. Earlier people did not allow them to come close or sit in their houses. But now things have changed and these women are looked upon with respect in the society. This group offered Akshay a bouquet of flowers. After this, Akshay met patients affected earlier by arsenic. These people were dying a slow death but have recovered due to the efforts of Dr. Pathak. Akshay Kumar was surprised to find how the work that could not be achieved by the government was done so effortlessly by Dr. Pathak on his
own. He was told that the taps and wells that contained water infected with arsenic were identified and an awareness campaign had been launched among the public. Today all these areas in Bengal have become completely free from arsenic. Knowing that hailing from Delhi, Akshay was familiar with Punjabi, some women sanitation workers spoke to him in Punjabi discussing with him about the change in their lives. They appeared contended and happy with the developments. Then came the moment to visit the Sulabh laboratory. Dr. Pathak informed Akshay about various products and by-products of human faeces, one of them being biogas. Demonstration was given as how a cooking stove works on biogas and he himself cooked a papad on the stove. Akshay inspected a biogas generator and himself switched on the light. The solid matter remaining in the plants were used as manure in the fields as fertilizers for crops. Many such plants have been installed throughout the country. Similar plants have been installed in Kabul, Afghanistan, resulting in the working of cooking stoves in hundreds of houses. Akshay
Lauds Dr Bindeshwar Pathak for achieving so much effortlessly
was impressed to see how something which is considered as dirty could be so useful to mankind. This not only helps to get rid of the excreta but also meets gas and electricity shortage. It is often said that the third world war will be waged on drinking water. It is important to ration water while also maintaining hygiene. Normally, maximum water is used in the toilet about 20 litres of water per visit. Akshay Kumar saw different kind of toilets designed by Sulabh International to solve this problem. He also tried to understand their working. He showed keen interest in them and said it is heartening to see how these toilets will bridge the gap between the rich and the poor as so far the latter did not have access to toilets. The museum built in the Sulabh premises was his next stop where he came to know that the tradition of making toilets was present in ancient India as well. Taking leave in the end, Akshay told the SSB team that he was very happy to come to Sulabh complex and promised to visit it once again.
MARCH 19, 2017
Modi on Spirituality
...Continued from Page 1
PM MODI’S TRIBUTE TO PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
into their own mother tongues and reach his words to others. These are the sacraments of spiritualism which they feel like sharing. When we visit temples, we are given Prasad, minuscule amounts of it. Still we bring that home and share it in tiny portions with the rest of the family. Sharing anything divine is a great pleasure. We are sharing as Prasad whatever we have got from people and this gives us tremendous spiritual pleasure. And that is what we talk of the pathway to liberation. There are many who believe, this is but one life, who knows what lies ahead? Then there are people who feel they must walk the path of liberation. But Yogiji had a holistic vision of this journey and so he did not talk about liberation, but walked the path withing us. He speaks of how deeper you can travel within yourself, who much you can merge inside yourself. Spiritualism is a blessed journey. And our saints, seers, spiritual preachers have given the right direction to walk that path and reach the desired goal. And from time to time, this has become our heritage. Yogiji’s life was marked by the short period he lived, which could itself be a spiritual indicator. Often, Hath Yogis are berated, but he discussed in a sharp manner the positive aspects of Hath Yoga. He guided everyone’s Kriya towards the path of Yoga. I believe that of all the forms of Yoga, Kriya Yoga has established a firm place for itself, which gives us the strength needed to reach within ourselves. There are many forms of Yoga that need physical strength. But Kriya Yoga needs our internal strength. Yogiji used to say, brothers, I do not want to die lying on a hospital bed. I want to wear my shoes, walk the path to recount my Mahabharati and bid my final adieu. Thus it is that he bid adieu to our Bharat and went west to preach his wisdom. But there was never a moment that Bharat was not in his thoughts. Yesterday I was in Kashi. And while returning from Benaras, I was emersed in Yogiji’s recollections of Benaras in his autobiography. He did take birth in Gorakhpur, but spent his entire childhood in Benaras. And the entire spiritualism of that town, and the blessings of Holy Ma Ganga, deeply influenced, shaped and informed his boyhood and it flowed just like Ma Ganga’s holy flow. That is the same spiritual flow that persists in all of us even now. Even on the last day of his life, he had been active in his work field. That day there was a function at the place of the Indian ambassador to the US. Yogiji was speaking of the essence of Bharat, and even as he spoke, may be during a short time to change his clothes, he left us, leaving behind his profound last few words, packed with patriotism. He was
And while returning from Benaras, I was
immersed in Yogiji’s recollections of Benaras in his autobiography speaking of the land where the Ganga, the jungles, the caves, the Himalaya, all dream of uniting with God. Now just see the breadth of his vision. He says that it is not only humans, but the Himalaya, Ganga, caves and even jungles desire union with God! I am grateful that my body has also touched that holy land. Those were the last words from the soul that resided in that body. Then that soul departed and permeated into all of us. Adi Shankarachraya had preached Monism. Where there is no Dualism, there is Monism. Where there is no ‘me’ and no ‘you’, that is the essence of Monism. The person who does not belive in himself and God as separate entities, and feels, God is in me and I am in God, that person practices Monism. In one of his poems, Yogiji said just this. May be not in such precise terms, but when I got through the interpretation of this, I reached very close to this non-dualism, or Advaita. Yogiji used to say, I have become one with Brahma and Brahm has merged with me. This is the essence of Advaita. Knowledge, the pursuer of knowledge and the One to be known have all become one. Like we say, Siddhi is attained when Karma and Karta, or the doer, becomes one. The doer does not have to act, and action does not await the doer. That is when the unique state of Siddhi is reached. Which means that may be the peace I had yesterday is of no use today, and today I need a new form of peace. And that is why he says in the end, “Aum Shanti, Shanti.” This is not a protocol, but an attainment after years of penance.
It is about the Parmanand, or Unending Bliss, eternal Samadhi that is beyond all our desires and hopes. This wisdom Yogiji had expressed in one of his poems. Like the air, which we need all the time and which is always present. But if we even want to move a hand, the air says, “Nay, wait, let me pass.” And we want to place the hand in a different direction and the air says, “Nay, wait, for I wish to blow thither.” Yogiji has done just that, teaching us to to feel the essence but without any distraction. This philosophy says, well, he is not able to do this today, but may be he will do it tomorrow. This patience is seen in very few traditions of world views. Yogiji’s flexibility is imbued with this philosophy. He established this institution, but it turned into a revolution, and became a permamnent state of spiritualism, and this may be the fourth generation practicing this. But there did not set in any delusion, nor was there any distraction. This would not happen had this institution been an establishment-oriented process. So in a movement that is not bound by time and is timeless, in that movement, generations come and go without any altercation with the institution. It makes small things about adjustment and moves on its holy path. One of the seminal contributions of Yogiji is that he has given us a set-up in which he is not bound by laws. Just like a family does not have a formal constitution but still keeps running, Yogiji has similarly created a set-up in which the processes proceed in an easy-flowing manner. And today, having tasted its spiritual bliss, we
are running the system. The world today is driven by economics, by technology. And that is why, everyone tries to weigh the world on the scales he is accustomed to. I will try to understand you from my way of thinking. If that thinking changes tomorrow, I will come to a different estimation of you. These are the results of our conditioning, our perspectives and environments. This is precisely why when the world speaks about India, it speaks in terms of our huge population, our GDP, employment and unemployment statistics. These are the world’s own scales of measuring countries. But there is another way India can be weighed, another scale, and that is our spiritualism. It is unfortunate that people confuse spiritualism with religion. These are two distinctly different things. Our former president Dr Abdul Kalamji used to say that the true worth of India is its spiritualism. And this process of spiritualisation has to be unending. To that end, Yoga is a simple and easy entry point. If you try to make people explain the meaning of ‘Atmavat Sarvabhuteshu’, they won’t understand. In a world where people believe in ‘eat, drink and be merry’, if I tell me ‘Tain tyaktain bhunjitah’, they won’t be able to make anything out of it. But if I tell someone, please hold your nose like this for a while, you will feel good, he might just say, “Well, why not start this?” That is why Yoga is the easy entry point of spiritualism. No one should take this as the final point. But well, today wealth has power. And so, the commercialization of Yoga is taking place today, like you pay so many dollars and attain this or that level of Samadhi, and some people have made Yoga the end-all of spiritualism. Yoga is not the end, it is the path to reach that final essence. Like when our car is travelling on hills and gets stuck, then we have to spend a lot of energy to push-start it. But once it starts off, the track becomes smooth. Yoga is that process. Then one does not have to make much of an effort, the process itself takes you along. This is why it is natural to remember Kashi. Our saints have very succinctly made things easy, and I recall a couplet of Sant Kabir Das and to my mind that is perfectly apt for Yogiji. He says, Yogis live for ever, across ages. Neither do they arrive, nor depart. Today, as we celebrate the life of Yogjiji, this rings out perfectly true. While prostrating before that great Yogiji, I express my heartfelt gratitude for giving me the opportunity to spend some time in this holy environment. Let me end here by expressing my pranam to Yogiji’s great tradition, to all the saints, and to all the citizens of this country who are proceeding on the path of spiritualism.
MARCH 19, 2017
BYPASS SURGERY FOR JUST `35,000/It is one of the finest hospitals, with some of the best doctors, started by a workers’ initiative. The Shramajeevi Hospital in Belur, Howrah district of West Bengal could be an example of how inexpensive yet effective health services can be dispensed
ANAB MOHAMMAD ASHRAF (17) was a casual labourer of a small engineering unit of Liluah near Howrah, who used to wash galvanised tools with acid. He had to use his mouth to pull the acid from the jar. One day while working, he was joking with his friends and by chance, sucked in some of the acid. The acid burnt his intestine. No hospital agreed to admit him, though he was fast sinking. As a last effort, his friends took
him to Shramajeevi Hospital at Belur. He was immediately admitted there. The doctors replaced the burnt portion of his small intestine with parts of his large intestine and saved his life. Ashraf is now married, working in another factory and has a child. Mahendra Mahato, Bhogendra Jha and Sanat Das, who were involved with the Belur Shramajeevi Hospital since its inception, narrated his tale to SSB. Belur resident SK Ghosh, a retired government employee, was astonished after he got himself operated at this
The hospital is a gift to society by the workers of sick and closed Indo-Japan Steel (IJS Limited) factory and its subsidiary, Grand Smithy
hospital. He said, “I had a lump on my left arm. A Kolkata-based hospital quoted a Rs 10,000/- package and a day’s hospitalisation. One day, while I was passing by the Belur Shramajeevi Hospital during my morning walk, out of sheer curiosity I entered the reception area and asked whether the lump can be operated there. The staff took me to the doctor, who told me to wait for an hour and assured that I will be back home after a short rest. I asked my wife to come with Rs 10,000/-, which we had kept aside for the operation. When I went to make the payment after the operation, I was surprised. The bill was less than Rs 200/-. I had some doubt that there must be some mistake and went back. But the staff at the cash counter said that the doctor only charged that much, as this was the cost of the operation. I
Snapshots The hospital was started by the workers’ union of a Steel Company out of a shed The doctors are the finest but work for free mostly, because of their social commitment The hospital is now extending services to Sunderbans in West Bengal
saw a poster asking people to donate money generously for another project of the hospital. I donated the money remaining with me for this project.” These are just two instances how the Shramajeevi Hospital stands by the patients and the poor people. Subrata
MARCH 19, 2017
Chakraborty, an office bearer of the Belur hospital told this correspondent how the cardiac unit was built. TAKING HEART “A manual labourer, engaged in construction in this hospital, was found all the time taking rest, though his job was to carry bricks. The contractor was scolding him repeatedly, but in vain. Our volunteers talked to the labourer, and came to know that he has some wheezing sound in his chest. The moment he was taken to the doctors, they discovered a hole in his heart, stating that he would need urgent surgical intervention. Such an exhausting job would kill him. “On the other hand, if the job is taken away, he would have to starve. But the hospital at that point of time had no cardiac operation facilities. After a meeting between the doctors, volunteers and the authorities, it was decided to set up a cardiac unit to cure this young labourer. So a call - ‘Hriday Chhuye’ (Touching the Heart) - was given to collect Rs one crore, the bare minimum requirement to set up a heart operation facility. A tableau and cyclerally went from Sarberia and Malancha of Sunderban to Siliguri in North Bengal, and in 15 days, they collected Rs 40 lakh. Besides, the AIBEA, Dr Maloy Chowdhury of IIPM and several others donated generously. The target was achieved within eight months and within the next two months, the young labourer was operated upon. On the 365th day of the collection call, the heart department was inaugurated by that labourer in the presence of a host of ministers and other dignitaries,” Chakraborty narrated to SSB. This is what Shramajeevi Hospital is, charging only Rs 35,000/- for open heart or bypass surgeries, while no other hospital, including the
It had to withstand
government-run medical colleges, can afford to even think of such meagre fees. W h i l e pathological labs were charging Rs 60 for TC-DCESR tests, this hospital charges only Rs 15. This has forced corporate hospitals to half their rates, climbing down to Rs 1.50 lakh for bypass surgeries. Phani Gopal Bhattacharya, President of the Belur Shramajeevi Swasthya Prakalpa, said, “We know that we are charging even less than what the government hospitals charge. We want to provide medical services to people at the lowest rate. We have found that the cost of medicine is about 40 per cent, which is beyond our control. But the rest of the expenses can be controlled.”
union thought of starting a weekly health camp at Jagriti Hindi Vidyamandir at Kamarpara, Liluah, every s a t u r d a y afternoon. To do so, they formed the Belur Shramajeevi Swasthya Prakalpa Samity (BSSPS). “This was the beginning in 1983. Later, we started a four-bed hospital with the government’s permission in 1994,” Brahmadeo, a worker of IndoJapan Steel, said. “The camps started drawing huge response from the adjoining labour families. Considering their demand, doctors started cataract and hydrocele operation at the camp once or twice in a year. The union also engaged its members to manufacture and market acupuncture needles all over the nation under the Union’s banner to earn the livelihood of the workers.
attacks by mafias and political outfits and faced prolonged legal battle in the court
SOCIAL GIFT This hospital is a gift to society by the workers of sick and closed Indo-Japan Steel (IJS Limited) factory and its subsidiary, Grand Smithy. In early 80s, the factories were often witnessing ‘Closures’ and ‘Suspension of Work’ due to market shrinkage. During that period, workers used to seek help from the society to feed them, but would forget the benefactors when the factory reopened. During this time, junior doctors were on a warpath against the government. The People’s Health Service Union of junior doctors were reaching out of hospitals to the poor people to provide health services. They were approached by the only independent (read non-CPIM) workers’ union of the IJS Limited. The
SPREADING OUT The journey, started 34 years ago, was not easy. It had to withstand attacks by mafias and pro-owner political outfits and faced prolonged legal battle it the court, only to win all the time. The BSSPS now runs a chain of hospitals. The first one is situated at the factory premises at Belur in Howrah district. Another 500-bed super-speciality hospital came up at Srirampur in Hooghly district, where treatment for General Medicine, Orthopaedic, Paediatric, Gynae, Ear-Nose-Throat, Skin, Kidney, Heart, including bypass surgery, Eye and even oncology is going on. Another new hospital is coming up on a 100-acre land donated by the Ruj
family at Kopai in Birbhum, a few kilometers from Rabindra Nath Tagore’s Viswa Bharati University. It has associate hospitals like Krishijeevi Hospital at Sarberia in Sundarban and its clinics at Konnagar, Ranaghat and some more towns. The Krishijeevi Hospital has started to reach out to remote villages of Bali and Manipur islands in the deltaic Bay of Bengal area. Another medical set-up has started functioning at Kaliagunj of Murshidabad. To minimize cost of treatment, doctors and volunteers perform their duties just for paltry honorarium. A specialised doctor gets only Rs 500 for a gall bladder operation, while he could earn 10 to 20 times more at any corporate hospital. The GDA and helpers are volunteers. About 50 such doctors and a band of 350 voluntary health workers are performing this work daily. Dr. Anil Saha, the Secretary of BSSPS, said, “We are treating an average of 400 patients daily. More than 300 patients are admitted and getting indoor treatment. The money they pay is divided into three parts. The first part is the cost of treatment and the second part is the running cost, and the last part is to pay for staff and volunteers.” Now it has ventured into establishing a blood bank with separator for Hooghly and Howrah districts. The Samity is establishing a Shramajeevi Pathshala, which will have paramedical courses under Jadavpur University. Talks are on with Bengal Engineering & Science University (former Shibpur Engineering College) to start BioMedical course there. The Samity has declared its target to have one hospital or health centre in each block to provide health services at the cheapest rate.
MARCH 19, 2017
BRAINSTORMING SESSION While failure is a lesson in life for oneself, success also gives a learning but to others. Successful entrepreneurs at the E-Summit doled out many pearls of wisdom
VERY successful person has a story to tell. In the field of business, such success stories emerge to help others forge their own path. The two-day E-Summit program at JSS College, Noida, was an illustration of the same. The speakers encouraged the youth in the audience to carve out their own careers. The Inaugural program on the first day began with the lighting of the lamps by the guests. The students presented a welcome show. The Chief Advisor of JSS, BK Gupta threw light on the subject of entrepreneurship. Taking it up in the context of the Bhagvat Geeta, he spoke about Karma and Action, and said that entrepreneurship implies action. He defined entrepreneurship as a work of deep responsibilities which leads to various benefits through creative ideas. He emphasized upon the fact that we should try to improve every day and raise one’s value as entrepreneurs. He prayed for the brilliant future of the young. Dr. Vandana, the guest of honour of the program, is a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship who has attended national and international conferences on the subject. Dr. Vandana termed entrepreneurship as the need of the hour but also said that it is something that cannot be taught only in
Entrepreneurship was not an easy choice.
It involves much patience, risks and competition classrooms. Classroom teaching can make it simpler but it is not possible to learn i absolutely in a class. She said that leadership qualities are characteristics that have to be developed in one’s own self and this cannot be learned in any school. After this the invited entrepreneurs were asked to speak. In about 20 minutes speech, each speaker presented views and imparted guidance for the young people. Almost all the speakers seemed to agree upon the fact that success is not taught but can be achieved through practical experience. Himanshu Goel of IBM expressed happiness that today’s youth are fortunate as they have several options. Abhay Ruthi from IXIEO said that you cannot become an entrepreneur simply because you want it; just a dream is not enough, the desire to work hard and self-confidence too is necessary. The regret is poisonous for an entrepreneur; and the cure for this is patience and trust in oneself. If people ridicule us, we feel more defeated in our failures. It is better to perceive failure as a lesson to work even harder. Harmeet Chawla, Managing Director, HCOAP said that
success is success whenever it comes. He said an idea alone has no value, what makes it valuable is to give it shape. One has to climb the stairs to success one self, nobody can take us there. Other entrepreneur too spoke to encourage and guide the youth of today. Many companies had put up their stalls showcasing their company profiles. Speakers’ suggestions would go a long way to offer new paths to the young hopefuls. It is seen that the youth of today are passing through the phase when it is becoming common to be contented with a good job. The goal is simply to earn money whether the work is interesting or not. Working day and night, the young become busyin preparing for government jobs. The satisfaction of doing a particular job too is an important aspect. The time has come to do our work in our own way. A new India is being developed through creative ideas and a new blue print. The e-summit will go a long way in fulfilling this mission. The Speaker on the second day of the Summit indicatated that the
Snapshots A number of successful entrepreneurs shared their stories at E-summit They spoke on how to make a difference in society and bring change in lives of the people Identifying and understanding the obstacles will lead the mind to discovery of solutions
amazing power and energy of successful entrepreneurs, imaginative and young, is at times infectious. The audience listened in rapt attention as the invited speakers unfolded the magic of their achievements coupled with oratory. Deep Bajaj (Founder, Pee-BuddySirona), the first speaker at the JSS Academy, Noida on the second day of the Entrepreneurship Summit event, shared with the audience her strong desire to work at something that would make a difference in society and create a change for people in the country. The other speakers invited to talk about their experiences in the individual fields of professional interests included Dr. Prerna Taneja (Co-founder, Global Womem Network), Garv Malik (Digital Marketing, Shuttl), Manik Mehta (Co-Founder, Leaf Wearables), Rahul Tyagi (Vice-President, Lucideus), Arush Kakkar (Founder, Corseco) and Amanjot Malhotra (Founder, Partiko). Deep Bajaj discussed the different factors related to entrepreneurship for an upstart group working in the area of sanitation, toilets in particular. Public toilets are usually in sufficient as per public requirement and are also quite unhygienic to use, leading to the danger of a number of infections. Working women are particularly affected by the lack of hygienic toilet facilities. Deep Bajaj pointed out to the efforts of her organization PeeBuddy to address this need in working places. The other speakers also expressed their opinion on the subject, viewing it as a common problem. Research in this area took a significant stride after the introduction of the plastic toilet device in Europe. The working of such a project keeping in mind subsidised prices too was a factor that needed attention. In the area of sanitation work and public toilet facilities, a close research of data and cost was therefore of much significance. The speakers Deep Bajaj, Dr. Taneja, Malik and Mehta talked about their take on entrepreneurship in their individual fields. There are periods when a new entrant can feel at an utter loss as to what to do next. But what drives a successful entrepreneur are a few
MARCH 19, 2017 considerations like the ‘Why’ of the project-which is crucial for an upstart; the matter of ‘Attitude’ in seeking help, expression of gratitude, and even the thought of ‘ Karma’! Women entrepreneurs, the speakers insisted were a determined group. The new women heading organizations know that they deserve to be in the competitive corporate world and they must grow and chart their path to success. Finally it is not about the plan but how it is done that counts. Rahul Tyagi stated that as an entrepreneur, he was a man of demonstration, not frustrations. His group had to stuggle a lot, faced difficult conditions financially, the Lucideus team passed many sleepless nights to locate funds for the projects. But the group now boasts of more than a hundred clients, a success achieved without any assistance from the government. Manik Mehta (Leaf Wearables) related his experience of starting in life as an ‘army brat’ who changed nine schools before arriving at DCE, New Delhi. Mehta discussed the recurring fear of failure and of the tendency to become lazy about goals. He said that simply.Arush Kakkar(Founder, Corseco) declared that there is no time to waste on thoughts of possible failure and little time to pause between the production, especially of food items, and its delivery. Therefore, a startup should prepare himself for quality work as well as the deadline. In the post-lunch session, the entrepreneurs invited to speak included Amit Mishra (Founder, ID8 Ventures), Dhianu Das (Luxury Ride. In), Akshay Saxena(Avanti Learning Centres) Sahiba Sethi (Hello Meets) and Aashish Beergi (Mash Projects). Sameer Garg (Founder, Billion Ables) spoke about the pressing need to involve more and more people who are differently- abled. In the world inhabited by billions of people, he said, disability is perhaps the largest minority group. He asked the audience to imagine themselves being confined to a wheelchair for life. It will make one realize how simple dreams can become a difficult goal in such a condition. If, like the mission of ‘Billion Ables’, an entrepreneurship project can make a difference in the lives of the differently-abled, it will not only help that individual but the entire society in development. Pankaj Jain, in his speech, accepted the fact that entrepreneurship was not an easy choice. It involves much patience, risks and competition. He asked the audience how many of them would take it up as a full-time work. Still, there are rewards and successes for those who pursue and are not afraid of failures. If they do, the result would certainly be sheer joy.
Dr. Pathak Awarded
AWARD SWADESHI VIGYAN
SULABH GETS APPRECIATION IN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY
Plastic is a big problem for environment today. But, we can make tiles by recycling it. Emulating Sulabh’s concept, now toilets are being made up of these tiles only
machine makes small pieces of plastic bags and cups, then it goes to another machine where it is moulded on a certain temperature and then these tiles are prepared. PLASTIC IS HUMAN FAULT Answering a question, one scientist said, if disposal of plastic is growing into a big problem, it is because of erratic human behavior. In this situation these plastics should be recycled. Plastic has become our need and the situation is fast becoming volatile. So, definitely it’s the human behavior which is responsible for such explosive situation and not the plastic.
HE seminar held in physical laboratory of Delhi was really important in many ways. Here, Indian scientists had gathered to discuss ‘rural housing’ and subjects related to it. Many eco-friendly options were also discussed. The chief guest of program was founder of Sulabh Sanitation Mission, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. Work done by Dr Pathak in the field of santitation and cleanliness was appreciated and scientists came up with new techniques for making toilets and exhibited their willingness to help Sulabh. People now are aware about the need of toilet, thanks to initiative of Dr Pathak. Various modes of construction were demonstrated in this seminar. Researchers hard work and farsightedness was clearly on display. All the options of constructing a house, whether it is made up of bamboos and woods or constructed by recycled waste were discussed here. In this, discussion and conversation lots of thoughts emerged and opinions were emerged. The opinions and projections of researchers and scientist were based on their research was done at ground level. Before making their opinion they studied different villages, lifestyles, problems related to cities, and the deep studies of their solution which resulted in their projection and opinions.
Dr Pathak was given
Swadeshi Vigyan Award for his work in the field of sanitation TILES OF RECYCLED PLASTICS The main attraction of the seminar was the tiles made up of recycled plastic. They had also on display a dummy toilet made up of recycled tiles. Such creative thinking is bound to solve the problem of not only toilet buiilding but also that of managing plastic waste which is turning the cities in to garbage dumps. With the speed at which garbage is piling up, it won’t be easy to manage it in the near future. In this situation, making tiles out of this recycled plastic is definitely going to be a creative step and herald the dawn of a new era. PLASTIC WASTE IS A BIG ISSUE Waste problem is a serious issue now. Between the degradable and nondegradable waste, plastic is the root problem of all. The issue to ponder over is, whether plastic a problem or a human behavior? To seek an answer to this issue, many scientists are doing research and coming up with new options. The technique of changing plastic proposed by scientists and students is worth appreciation. In this process, one
SULABH AND SCIENCE Environment and cleanliness are two major issues. For the regular development of society and coming generation it is very important for both the issues to be taken care of properly. Scientists are innovating eco friendly ways and their contribution in this field is incredible. It is heartening to know that these scientists are appreciating the work of Sulabh and want to get associated with its work. Because of Dr Pathak’s laudable work in this field, our countrymen are at ease while discussing such issues. In the absence of discussion it was becoming a social as well as technical problem. Today with the efforts made by Sulabh, these problems have been discussed and resolved too. INDIAN CONCEPT There is no doubt that development based on Indian concepts can only give us a healthy environment. Our scientists are working to promote these concepts. In this program, many researchers have projected eco-friendly construction techniques. Like constructing houses with bamboo sticks, numerous recycling techniques are promising a golden future for the country. LIMITED USE OF RESOURCES The seminar also discussed that over-use of resources is a problem. Increasing urbanization and population explosion are also serious issues. If limited natural resources are getting exploited then the problem is going to aggravate.
08 Good News
MARCH 19, 2017
NEWS IN BRIEF
STRENGTHEN GENDER EQUALITY India signs MoU with UN for promoting gender equality
HE Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, recently approved the signing of agreement between India and UN Women’s Organisation to strengthen gender equality in governance institutions, said a cabinet communique. It said that the MoU between India and the UN Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj to improve the opportunities for gender equality through legislation, policies and programmes in ministry’s institutions. Activities under this MoU will be implemented at the district and sub-district level in six states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Odisha, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
DELHI HIKE IN EDUCATION The education allocation is 24 per cent of the total
INDIAN BLIND CRICKET TEAM T-20 CHAMPS The Indian team beat Pakistan in the T20 World Cup
UT of the Indian mainstream sports that is cricket, Indian Blind Cricket Team has also performed exceptionally well in the recent Blind Cricket World Cup, registering victory over Pakistan in the finals. The Indian Blind Cricket Team won the T20 World Cup, putting rest to speculations. The finals took place in the
APP MATCH MAKING
APP FOR THE HANDICAPPED The new app has been designed for these people PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
HE Delhi Government has allocated Rs 11,300 crore, almost a quarter of its Rs 48,000 crore budget, for education, said Finance Minister Manish Sisodia while delivering the budget speech in the Delhi Assembly. “The allocation for education is 24 per cent of the total budget. We were the first government to allocate maximum share to education and this is the third year that we have been doing this,” he said. Last year, it allocated Rs 10,690 crore for education. Out of its Rs 48,000 crore budget for 2017-18, the government has earmarked Rs 5,736 crore for health, Rs 5,506 crore for Transport and Rs 3,467 crore for Social Security.
SPORTS BLIND CRICKET
IFFERENTLY-abled persons will now be able to find the perfect match for themselves, thanks to a new mobile application that is making the phenomenon of love more inclusive than ever before. Similar to the existing dating application Tinder, ‘Inclov’ which started off as an offline matchmaking venture in 2014, gives individuals with special needs an opportunity to find a partner who can be compassionate and thoughtful towards their condition. “My co-founder Kalyani Khona came up with the idea in July 2014 and it started off as an offline matchmaking agency where profiles were matched manually. Like any other application, an individual is expected to input basic details like ‘Name’, ‘Image(s)’, ‘Age’,
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. India chased down the target of 198 runs with nine wickets and 14 balls to spare. Pakistan had opted to bat first upon winning the toss, scoring a total of 197/8 in 20 overs. Later, Prakasha Jayaramaiah, the Indian opener, scored 99 runs, with the other opener Ajay Kumar Reddy scoring 43 runs, raising hopes for the team. Prakasha finished the game, with India scoring 200/1 in preference of gender along with professional and educational details. “They are also required to mention additionally the type of disorder or disability they have, to offer users a transparent and seamless experience while making choices. You will be shown five curated, new profiles every day and you can send a chat request. Once the request is accepted, the two users can chat with each other on the app and at their discretion exchange personal information,” says Shankar Srinivasan. “People with all kinds of disabilities can register - physical, intellectual (or mental), learning, health disorders and of course, people without disabilities/
Quick Glance Inclov is a mobile-based app specially designed for handicapped It is meant for use by individual with special needs But the founders say they now need to develop background checks
The Indian Blind Cricket Team have won T20 World Cup The Indian batsmen smashed the rival bowling to make 200/1 The government has said it will give Rs 5 lakh each to the players
just 17.4 overs. The government has announced a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh for each member of the victorious team. “Each player of the blind cricket T20 World Cup winning squad will receive Rs 5 lakh prize money,” said Union Minister for Sports Vijay Goel. Speaking at the launch of the Delhi Gramin Khel Mahotsav, Goel also said that the government is committed to support the differently-abled players. The team also met the Prime Minister, where Modi complimented the team members for their achievement and urged them to do even better in future. The team members presented the PM with an autographed bat, a ball and a team jersey with his name on it. Modi too, autographed a bat and a ball for the team. Now, with an aim to promote indigenous games and unearth talents from the remote parts of the country, the Sports Ministry will hold a multisport championship, Delhi Gramin Khel Mahotsav from March 25 to 31. Goel said, “The festival will help involve rural youths in large numbers to participate in popular sports.”
health disorders - since this is an inclusive app and anyone is allowed to sign up and match!” says Srinivasan. “We currently review every profile that comes on board and curate the information with the user. We are yet to set up a thorough background check process but we are beginning with that in the next month which comes as a part of the assistive matchmaking service,” says Srinivasan. The application, which is “fully accessible” to people with all kinds of disabilities, including those who are visually impaired, is likely to see the addition of several new features to make it more accessible.
MARCH 19, 2017
JNU ‘BEST UNIVERSITY’
President Pranab Mukherjee says it has shown outstanding performance on all the required parameters PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
RESIDENT Pranab Mukherjee presented the visitor’s award for the best university to Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University while noting that the research activities in the Central universities should align with the developmental challenges of the
HE security at Delhi airport was rated better than in prominent airports around the world, including in London and Dubai, said Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Director General OP Singh. The airports of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai were also rated better than Dallas/Fort Worth International and Los Angeles, he said. Citing the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) rating by the Airport Council International, headquartered at Brussels in Belgium, Singh said many airports in India were better than international airports in the US, Heathrow in London, Charles de Gaulle in Paris, Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, and Frankfurt am Main International in Germany. “In 2016, the ASQ rating on four parameters of Delhi, Mumbai,
Quick Glance Security at Delhi airport has been rated above that of London This has been done by the Brussels based Airport Council International The parameters included staff courtesy and feeling of safety
country. He also urged all the universities to continue the good work and use their “best minds” to convert new knowledge into innovative products to directly benefit the common population. The president said, “Innovative minds should create tools and implements that alleviate the drudgery of farmers, workers, artisans and weavers. The number one barometer for successful outcome of research and innovation should be its beneficial applicability to a wider section of the population. The areas for research activity should align with the developmental challenges of our nation. The best minds in our
Quick Glance President Pranab Mukherjee gave away the award to JNU The award was for JNU’s ‘unrelenting pursuit of excellence’ The Innovations award went to environment department, HPU
universities should apply themselves to work out solutions in areas like sanitation, urban transportation, sewage disposal, clean river systems, healthcare and drought-resistant farming.” On JNU, he said it has “been adjudged the best university for its unrelenting pursuit of academic excellence. It has shown outstanding performance in all key parameters like quality of students and faculty, training of faculty, citations, publications, research projects, foreign collaborations, seminars and innovation exhibitions”. The President also presented the visitor’s award for innovation to Deepak Pant, Department of Environmental Science, Himachal Pradesh University for developing a reactor for direct conversion of waste plastic to LPG in small scale. The President further said that the honours recognise the singleminded devotion and painstaking work in the pursuit of excellence of the winners.
NEWS IN BRIEF
WOMEN CATERING IN INDIAN RAILWAYS The government has created a 33% sub quota for them
N a policy aimed at empowering women, the Indian Railways has given 33 per cent sub quota to them in each category of minor catering units at all stations. “Under this policy, a sub quota of 33 per cent for women in allotment of each of the reserved catering units is being
introduced on Indian Railways in order to extend economic empowerment for women. It is also in compliance with the announcement made in Railway Budget 2016-17,” the statement said. It said, “The 33 per cent sub quota for women in each category shall ensure allotment of minimum 8 per cent stalls to women.
DELHI BEATS LONDON
CISF, which mans security at all Indian airports has thus become the best airport security organisation
MORE POWER TO RAJASTHAN The NTPC has installed 160 MW at the Bhadla project
S Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai airports is better than the world’s prominent airports. The parameters include courtesy and helpfulness of security staff, thoroughness of security inspection, waiting time at security inspection and feeling of being safe and secure,” Singh said. The ASQ obtains monthly feedback from passengers on 36 parameters, of which the four
are related to security. All airports use the same questionnaire and follow the same methodology, Singh said while addressing an annual conference here at the CISF headquarters. He said the survey was the world’s leading airport customer satisfaction benchmark programme with over 200 airports in more than 50 countries surveying their passengers every month.
TATE-RUN power giant NTPC announced commissioning of 45 MW solar capacity at Bhadla in Rajasthan taking the total installed capacity of the project to 160 MW. A senior official said, “The 45 MW of Bhadla solar power project of NTPC in Rajasthan has been commissioned today. With this, the installed capacity of Bhadla solar power project has become 160 MW and that of NTPC’s solar power projects has become 520 MW.” Last month, NTPC had commissioned 115 MW capacity out of the 260 MW Bhadla solar power project. It has planned capacity addition of 1,000 MW.
10 Health & Sanitation SANITATION NEWS
MARCH 19, 2017
WHO HEALTH AGENDA
WHO FOR NATIONAL FRAMEWORK ON HEALTH
To clearly define roles of Centre and the states SSB BUREAU
MINISTER HAILS ROLE OF RURAL WOMEN Lauds them for making Swachh Bharat a mass mission
NION Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has lauded women living in rural areas of the country for making “Swachh Bharat Mission” a massive “Jan Andolan” (mass movement). Inaugurating “Swachh Shakti Saptah”, a week-long programme of activities across the country to highlight their role in the campaign and to recognise their leadership, in Gurugram, the minister said that there would be nationwide events to honour them. Tomar, Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said the week would culminate with a megaevent in Gujarat, named “Swachh Shakti 2017”, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address 6,000 women Sarpanches and honour them for their contribution to the campaign.
HE WHO has stressed on the need for a national framework defining roles of the Centre and the states to address health issues and ensure convergence and portability. This will also give the states the flexibility and freedom to choose their own path and progress at their own trajectory, says WHO Representative, Dr Henk Bekedam. “Diversity and equity are the two most crucial aspects of large economies like India. It is important to recognise diversity and also different health needs necessitate different approaches. Health is a state subject in India. As the Centre and states are at varying levels of development, there is a need to be cognisant of this reality,” Bekedam told. “It will therefore be important to agree on a vision for the health sector
Quick Glance WHO wants a national framework defining roles of Centre & the states The agreed framework will help ensure convergence and portability India’s status as polio-free country termed as biggest achievement
and develop a national framework that defines roles of the Centre and the states. The agreed framework will help ensure convergence and portability. This will also give the states the flexibility and freedom to choose their own path and progress at their own trajectory,” he elaborates. Praising the Centre’s role in adopting several policies such as the Draft National Health Policy 2016, the National Health Mission among others, the WHO official said it should focus on positioning health higher on its agenda with greater investment in the public health sector. Bekedam, who took charge as the UN body’s representative to India in 2015, further advised, “The country should also accelerate effective financial protection,
OPENING MOHALLA CLINICS
MOHALLA CLINICS GROW IN DELHI Leiutenant Governor Anil Baijal announces opening of 1,000 more such clinics
Quick Glance LG hails state government’s work in the field of health & sanitation More than 100 mohalla clinics already functioning in Delhi Government to open 1000 more such clinics, says the LG
ORE than 100 Mohalla Clinics have come up in Delhi and their number will increase to 1,000 in six months, Lt Governor Anil Baijal said. Addressing the Delhi assembly on the opening day of the budget session, Baijal listed the achievements of the Delhi government in the last two years. This was Baijal’s first address to the house after he assumed office in December. Primarily focusing on the health and education sectors, Baijal said his government started work on constructing 8,000 new classrooms and 20 new schools, out of which 14 schools had been completed. He said over 100 Mohalla Clinics where people have access to doctors,
protection from diseases, fast-tracking the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) agenda and a strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system.” On whether the objectives of the National Health Mission pertaining to the Universal Access to Equitable, Affordable and Quality Healthcare Services was achievable or not, he sounded positive reiterating on the need for a framework for it. “The objectives are achievable but what is needed is a clear framework of accountability and programmatic adjustment based on the progress made. The vision to achieve ‘Health for All’ is possible - but for this, the process needs to be owned and led by the country.” On the WHOs role in helping India implement the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Bekedam says, “UHC is an overarching umbrella and key to achievement of all SDG-3 targets and intrinsically linked to reducing poverty and inequities. We are working closely with the government in this area and will continue to share global best practices and lessons learnt from other countries.” He hails India’s attainment of polio-free status as one of the biggest achievements in the annals of public health. “While retaining the essential polio functions of surveillance, outbreak response and containment, we will, in consultation with the government, provide support to address new and emerging public health priorities,” Bekedam says.
tests and medicines for free - were already working and their number would be increased to 1,000 in the next six months. He added that 122 polyclinics -- secondary healthcare centres -- would also be completed in the next one year.
“My government is working with complete commitment towards improving the health facilities available to the people of Delhi,” Baijal said. In his 25-minute address to the House, the Lt Governor also
talked about significantly increasing the minimum wages for the city’s labour class. Last week, Baijal approved the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s proposal to hike minimum wages by around 37 per cent. Talking about Delhi Jal Board’s initiatives, Baijal said water connections had been provided in 1,175 unauthorized colonies. He said the government was providing 20,000 litres of drinking water free of cost to every household. Baijal said the government had approved the fourth phase of Delhi Metro which will be completed by 2021. “The third phase will take the Delhi Metro’s operational network from 179 km to 330 km by June 2017,” he said.
MARCH 19, 2017
Health & Sanitation
DELHI HOSPITAL TREATS RARE BONE CONDITION
Tumour-induced osteomalacia is an extremely rare disorder which causes various abnormalities including extremely fragile bones
SULABH TO CLEAN 200 HARYANA PONDS Volunteers clean a Gurugram pond in flat two hours SSB BUREAU
HILE the country is focused on cleaning the rivers of the country, noted NGO Sulabh International has offered the Haryana government to clean at least 200 ponds and other water reservoirs of Gurugram under the ‘Clean India Campaign’. The founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak speaking at launch of cleanliness drive at a polluted pond and temple premises in Gurugram’s Wazirabad village said, “We have been associated with the Clean India Campaign for long. As part of it, we can clean nearly 200 ponds and reservoirs in Gurgaon (Gurugram) which are in filthy condition.” The cleanliness drive saw participation of over a hundred school children. Over 150 students and childrens from the locality volunteered along with the Sulabh International founder, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak in cleaning the 10-foot deep dirty and stinking pond in Sector 53, within two hours. The activity took place as a part of NGO’s participation in nationwide Swachh Bharat Mission. Volunteers included non-resident Indians along with some foreign research students. Dressed in white T-shirts and a cap, students and volunteers entered the pond and removed dirt that had settled below the water level. Dr Pathak said, “We have dedicated volunteers who research such things. Social worker Pam Kwatra told me about this pond and I immediately launched cleaning drive, which is our mission. We are doing such works in Kurukshetra, Varanasi and other locations.” He also added that Sulabh is looking for an opportunity to clean all ponds in the city. Not to mention the Social Service Organisation, Sulabh International has also been assigned the work of cleaning many railway stations by the Railway Ministry.
OPEN DEFECATION FREE DISTRICT
OCTORS here have successfully treated a 41-year-old man with an extremely rare tumour-induced condition that caused bone fragility, fractures and left him wheelchair-bound. Tumour-induced osteomalacia is an extremely rare disorder where benign small soft tissues or bone tumours develop in the body and start secreting a substance that inhibits the absorption of phosphates, causing a cascade of biochemical abnormalities including extremely fragile bones. “So rare is this condition that many doctors fail to get to the root of it. A majority of these tumours are located in the extremities (skin, muscles, and bones) or around the head, but they may occur in almost any part of the
Quick Glance Tumour-induced osteomalacia causes bone fragility and fractures These tumours grow slowly and often remain hidden undetected Tumour inhibits absorption of phosphates, weakening the bones
Kamrup Metro emerges as first ODF district in Assam
K body. These tumours grow slowly and often remain hidden or undetected until clinical features reach a fairly advanced stage,” Deep Dutta, Endocrinologist at Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka said in a statement. Progressive weakness in legs over three years coupled with a fracture had left Ravi Sharma (name changed) wheelchair-bound. Doctors found that he had extremely low serum levels of phosphorus (1mg/dl) -- key structural component of bone apart from calcium -- in urine, which led to skeletal weakness and fractures. An FDG-PET scan confirmed the presence of tumourinduced osteomalacia at the lower end of the femur bone and later a CT-scan revealed an extremely small lesion of 1 cm diameter, and was successfully removed by the doctors.
NEW FINDING HEART
NEW METHOD MAY REGULATE HEART RATE Origin of irregular ‘storm waves’ in heart causing AF identified SSB BUREAU
ESEARCHERS have developed a new algorithm to identify the origin of irregular electrical ‘storm waves’ in the heart, a finding with major implications for the future treatment of a killer cardiac disease. Atrial Fibrillation - one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm - is caused by these waves and is a major cause of stroke as it increases the risk of blood clots inside the heart. Current methods involve the use of a catheter to isolate the storm waves. However, this is very invasive surgery and it is extremely difficult to identify
AMRUP Metro has emerged as Assam’s first open defecation free district, having achieved the target set under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). In fact, according to Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner, Dr M Angamuthu, Kamrup Metro, is the first district in the Northeast to have completed the schemes envisaged under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) before the targeted schedule of March 31. The total number of individual household latrines targeted in the district was 25,114 and it has been achieved. Altogether 22 gaon panchayats under four development blocks – Dimoria, Chandrapur, Rani and Bezera – have been covered under the scheme. The total cost involved in fulfilling the target was around Rs 24 crore. The areas covered under it are Dispur, Guwahati West and Jalukbari.
the origin of the waves in order to treat the condition, said researchers from UK’s University of Manchester. In the study, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, researchers used a virtual human hearttorso and a 64-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) vest to study the correlation between the origin of the storm waves and the features of the ECG signals.
Atrial Fibrillation is the most common form of abnormal heart rhythm AF is caused by irregular electrical ‘storm waves’ in the heart Researchers have identified origin of these ‘storm waves’
Using the properties of the atrial activation and the signals, they were able to develop a novel algorithm which could pin down the location of Atrial Fibrillation non-invasively, besides identifying different types of the condition. Atrial tachy-arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AF), atrial tachycardia (AT) and flutter (AFL), are the most common cardiac arrhythmias, predisposing to heart attack, stroke and even possible cardiac death. Atrial fibrillation presents the greatest complexity and occurs in about 1-2 per cent of people and studies have shown that it is on the rise in the developed world due to the ageing population.
12 State News
MARCH 19, 2017
STATE NEWS IN BRIEF
NORTHEAST’S TRADITIONAL FARMING
Thahekhu Village to become first cashless village in Nagaland
HE Dimapur district administration in Nagaland has decided to launch a “Digi Dimapur” campaign in line with the Digital India initiative to encourage cashless payments. District administration has adopted Thahekhu Village to make it the first cashless village in Nagaland. The district administration
would also co-ordinate the activities with various agencies like banks and government offices to launch awareness campaigns and digital drives. All government offices and utilities beginning with the DC office in Dimapur would also go cashless in a time-bound manner.
DIGITALLY EQUIPPED POSTMEN Post office to turn in to a bank following demonetisation
HE importance of postmen would be restored in this digital society. Now, they are digitally equipped after getting cyber training. They will move home to home for opening new banking accounts through necessary
documents. The Post and Telegraph Department has decided to launch a campaign in four districts of Bihar for opening accounts in India Post Payment Bank. A target has already been fixed like commercial banks functioning across the country. In the first phase, Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Purnea and Bhagalpur would be covered under the scheme of India Post Payment Bank.
STATE NEWS IN BRIEF
FREE MEDICINES FOR LIFESTYLE DISEASES Kerala Health Minister makes the announcement
1000 farmers and 100 scientists among participants RAJ KASHYAP
HE ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region located at Umiam in Meghalya organized a three day Exhibition-Cum– Workshop on ‘‘Traditional Farming and Indigenous Foods of North East’’. More than 1,000 farmers from eight states of north east India and 100 scientists and experts participated in the event. The programme was organised to provide a platform for interactions among the artisans, traditional farmers, rural entrepreneurs, academicians, researchers and consumers to explore the possibility of entrepreneurship development in the traditional food sector of the North east. The workshop provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and highlight the challenges that indigenous people face in practicing indigenous farming. Sharing thoughts and ideas provided opportunity to blend traditional and modern scientific
knowledge for developing sustainable technologies for hill agriculture, officials said. Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research Education, Government of India and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research was the Chief Guest of the inaugural program. The institute has produced wonderful technologies and various products for the benefit of the hill farmers, he said speaking at the function.“The region is bestowed with immense natural resource which needs to be tapped and utilized for the benefit of the people. Agriculture is the culture of the region and the Institute needs to focus of the prime task of bringing youth back to agriculture,” he said, adding that focus should be laid on developing entrepreneurs. The region has tremendous opportunities for organic farming which needs to be effectively harnessed.
INANCE Minister Thomas Issac, while presenting the budget for 2017-18 in the Kerala assembly, announced free medicines through govt hospitals for people suffering from lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol. “I am setting aside Rs 10 crore for revamping facilities at the Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals which will be producing these medicines,” said Issac, who hails from Alappuzha district, where the factory is based. In Kerala, 22 per cent of the population above the age of 25 has been diagnosed with diabetes and is heading to become the diabetic capital of the country.
BRAHMAPUTRA Five-day festival to promote culture and tourism of NE RAJ KASHYAP
IMING to promote the state and its culture, customs, traditions, tourism, inland water potential, trade, investment option, commerce and industry, Assam government will kick off a mega festival, christened as ‘Namami Brahmaputra’, on March 31. The five-day festival will be organized in 21 districts along the mighty river from Sadiya in the eastern corner of the state to Dhubri in the west. According to the organisers, a number of states of the country have launched attractive and vibrant campaigns to create a positive perception and ecosystem for promotion of tourism and attracting investments. “Though this festival, we are going to promote our state and our culture, custom, tradition, tourism, inland water potential, trade, investment
option, commerce and industry etc. Brahmaputra is our culture, civilisation, economy and lifeline. Namami Brahmaputra has been conceptualised to offer our collective gratitude to the mighty river which has given so much and which has potential to give much more for our development and prosperity,” the festival spokesman, AP Tiwari said. As part of the festival, a team of government officials will visit all the state capitals and major cities. They will liaise with local tour operators, tourism departments of the respective states, industry bodies and will also organise road shows with students to generate
awareness about Assam’s culture and immense potential. “The whole idea is to create a positive image of the state everywhere,” he added. Branding and promotion is being carried out in all the major airports of the country. Articles have been published in in-flight magazines to promote the state’s culture, potential and possibilities. The event will feature indigenous sports, cultural performances, business meets, seminars and symposiums, exhibitions, river eco-systems and interpretation zones, programmes related to history, tradition and legends etc.
MARCH 19, 2017
Quick Glance Himachal Pradesh Govt signs MoU with Singapore Government A smart integrated township to be developed on the outskirts of Shimla Township to be connected with three national highways
URBAN DEVELOPMENT HIMACHAL PRADESH
HIMACHAL PRADESH TO DEVELOP A SMART TOWN Singapore Government will help develop smart township on the outskirts of Shimla town to decongest the state capital INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
HIMLA The Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) recently signed a deal with the Singapore government for developing a smart
integrated township on the outskirts of Shimla town to decongest the state capital. The Singapore Government has committed to invest Rs 2,500 crore for developing the state’s first ‘smart hill town’ on 450 bighas of land.
PENSION FOR DISABLED
The government will increase the pension for differently-abled people under CM Disability Pension Scheme.
NAUGURATING the Composite Regional Centre for Persons with Disabilities here, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on tuesday said the
government will increase the pension for differently abled people under the CM Disability Pension Scheme. He also said that the ensuing budget will see substantial increase in funds for their welfare. The Central government
Sharma said that the township would be developed at Jathiadevi near Jubbarhatti airport, some 20 km from Shimla. He said the town is expected to provide opportunities in hospitality, health and wellness and education sectors. He said it would have a special economic zone, international education zone, integrated townships, an entertainment zone, a convention centre, parks and shopping malls. The development of the integrated township is an ambitious project which would go a long way in decongesting this highly populated city, he said, adding there has been 10-fold increase in the population of Shimla that has resulted in congestion and over-utilisation of infrastructure. Shimla was developed by the British colonial rulers for 25,000 people. HIMUDA, which is headed by Sharma, has acquired 32 hectares of land for developing the township at Jathiadevi, which is connected by three national highways.
NEWS IN BRIEF
SUBSIDISED COMPUTER FOR STUDENTS Announcement made during presentation of Gujarat budget
HE Vijay Rupani government’s maiden as well as the last budget before the December 2017 elections, presented by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, promises freebies and schemes for people. While no new taxes have been proposed, Patel, who holds the finance portfolio, promised subsidised computer tablets to 3.5 lakh first-year college
students as well as poor students of 100 smart schools set up by the state government. He also promised free uniforms and textbooks to over 60 lakh primary school students, cycles to 45,000 girl students and 100 per cent tuition fee exemption to girl medical students.
DEENDAYAL RASOI YOJNA
Arunachal Pradesh to increase pension for differently-abled persons
MP Govt to provide subsidised food to the poor
Govt. to fully implement the 5% job quota for disabled Disability equipments also given to the beneficiaries
has announced Rs 20 crore for establishment of the centre and also 17 posts have been created to fill various vacancies to run the institute. Khandu also said the government departments will have to fully implement the 5% job quota for the disabled. For the benefit of disabled persons, he announced that a sizable amount will be earmarked for organizing paralympics in the state in the coming budget. Earlier speaking on the occasion, MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju appealed to the people to change their mindset towards differently abled people as they too have equal rights to live a respectable life. The Union Minister lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving official recognition to disabled persons as ‘Divyangjan’ from their earlier nomenclature of ‘viklang’. Later in the programme, disability equipments were distributed among beneficiaries.
N order to provide food at subsidised rate to the poor in urban areas, Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya announced ‘Deendayal Rasoi Yojna’, while presenting Madhya Pradesh’s Budget for 2017-2018. He said a sum of Rs 10 crore will be allocated for creating necessary infrastructure to implement the scheme. The minister said: “Year 2017, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, is being celebrated as ‘Garib Kalyan Varsh’. To mark the year, ‘Deendayal Rasoi Yojna’ is being launched.
14 Science & Technology
MARCH 19, 2017
ENERGY SOLAR PUSH
SUNLIGHT-PURIFIER FOR POOR
‘Solar Stills’ have been around and used for purifying water, but the use of nanomaterial makes it sustainable and viable
NE-TENTH of the world’s population lacks clean water. Now, researchers report they have developed a cheap solar still, which uses sunlight to purify dirty water
up to four times faster than a current commercial version. The raw materials cost less than $2 per square meter. The technology will “allow people to generate their own drinking water much like they generate their own power via solar panels on their house roof,” the researchers
Scientists have discovered to make rubber tyres by replacing carbon black with tomato peels and eggshells
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
YRES of the future could come from the farm as much as from the factories, as researchers have found a way to turn waste tomato peels and eggshells into sustainable rubber. The researchers discovered that food waste can partially replace carbon black, the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tyres for more than a century. In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications
for rubber. The method for turning eggshells and tomato peels into viable replacements for carbon black was developed by Katrina Cornish and colleagues from The Ohio State University in the US. “Ground eggshells and tomato peels caused synergistic effects for instance, enabling strong rubber to retain flexibility,” Cindy Barrera, a postdoctoral researcher in Cornish’s lab said in a statement. While the findings could make the manufacture of rubber products more sustainable, it also keeps waste out of landfills. The researchers found in tests that eggshells have porous microstructures that provide larger surface area for contact with the rubber, and give rubberbased materials unusual properties. Tomato peels, on the other hand, are highly stable at high temperatures and can also be used to generate material with good performance.
Quick Glance New cheap technology developed to use solar power to purify dirty water
at the State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo claim. Solar stills have been around for millennia. Most are simple blackbottomed vessels filled with water, and topped with clear glass or plastic. Sunlight absorbed by the black material speeds evaporation, which is trapped by the clear topping, and funneled away for drinking water. Most pollutants don’t evaporate, and so are left behind. But much of the sun’s energy is wasted in the slow heating of a full vessel of water. Even the best stills need to be about 6 square meters in size to produce enough water for a single person for a day. Qiaoqiang Gan, an electrical engineer at SUNY Buffalo, saw that problem first hand. His laboratory was already developing new nanomaterials which had the capacity to absorb sunlight through solar power cells, and wanted to also use them in a solar still. But it quickly became apparent that the material’s cost would never allow the technology to be viable. So Gan began looking for cheaper alternatives.
People will be able to purify water through this technique in their homes Fibre-rich paper and polystyrene foam will be used to purify water
His team’s new device has three main components. Gan and his colleagues start with a fiber-rich paper, like the paper used to make currency. They coat this with carbon black, a cheap powder left over after the incomplete combustion of oil or tar. Next, they take a block of polystyrene foam—the stuff used to make coffee cups—and cut slices through it making 25 connected sections. The foam floats on the untreated water and acts as an insulating barrier to prevent sunlight from heating up too much of the water below. The researchers then layer pieces of their paper over each section, folding the ends down so that they dangle into the water. The paper wicks water upward, wetting the entire top surface of each of the 25 sections. Finally, a clear acrylic housing sits on top.
CELEBRATIONS NATIONAL SCIENCE DAY
Specially abled children in Delhi, Ludhiana and Chennai learn astronomy as part of National Science Day celebrations INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
HYSICALLY and visually impaired children and youngsters in Delhi, Ludhiana and Chennai got an opportunity to learn various aspects of astronomy as part of the National Science Day celebrations in the country, said New Delhi-based Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) Organisation. The National Science Day was celebrated on February 28 to commemorate the discovery of Raman Effect in 1928 by the renowned Indian physicist and Nobel Laureate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman in India. In accordance with this year’s theme – ‘Science and technology for speciallyabled persons’ – SPACE organised skill development classes viz. air rocket construction and launching, weigh yourself on different planets, catch the meteors, ring the planet, astronaut can you be one, take a picture as an astronaut and dress as an alien and astronaut, the organisation said in a statement.
Children and youngsters -- from the Asthavakra School, Rohini, Sparsh Foundation, Kalyan Vihar and Model Town in Delhi, Nirdosh School, Sarbha Nagar in Ludhiana and Sankalp-Open School and Learning Centre in Chennai, participated in the initiative by SPACE. The organisation has successfully organised various programmes such as astronomy fairs and competitions with the objective to create enthusiasm among people and to inculcate scientific temper among the students.
MARCH 19, 2017
TRANSPORT ONLINE APPLICATIONS
APPLY ONLINE TO DELHI TRANSPORT Delhi Government allows online applications and payments for eight services of transport department
ESIDENTS of Delhi would now be able to apply online for various transport department services, including driving licenses and duplicate vehicle registration certificates, announced Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. People would be able to submit application forms and make payments for eight services without having to visit the transport department offices. Inaugurating the online services at Delhi Secretariat, Kejriwal said people would
need to visit the government office only once throughout the procedure, and the government was working to do away with that as well. “This is just a beginning. Our aim is to make the entire system online so no one has to visit the offices at all,” he
DIGITAL GOVERNMENT 98 per cent of total government transactions in the current financial year have taken place through the digital mode SSB BUREAU
ontroller General of Accounts (CGA) Archana Nigam has said that 98 per cent of the total government transactions in the current fiscal, pegged at Rs 6.05 lakh crore in terms of value, have happened through the digital route. “In financial year 2016-17 so far, government payments to the tune of Rs 5.95 lakh, out of the total payment of Rs 6.05 lakh crore, were routed through the electronic mode. Ninetyeight per cent of total payments in value terms and 95 per cent in volume terms have been routed through the e-payment mode,” Nigam said at the 41st Civil Accounts Day function. “Introduction of e-payments through the banking system has facilitated prompt collections and payments,” she added. Nigam said that Public Financial Management System (PFMS) has helped the government to effectively monitor utilisation of funds transferred to states and implementing agencies, especially in respect of national priority schemes, through Direct Benefit
GOOGLE TECHNOLOGY HELPING ECOSYSTEM Scientists are collating images extracted from Google Street View to understand how street trees regulate ecosystem
SING nearly 100,000 images extracted from Google Street View, a team of researchers has developed a method to map and quantify how street trees regulate ecosystem services. With urban populations exploding in megacities like Tokyo, Shanghai and Delhi to well over 20 million people, it is important to understand how green spaces contribute to urban sustainability, said the researchers from the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre, a research outpost of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich).
FINANCE DIGITAL ECONOMY
said. The services that would be available online include transfer of vehicle ownership, changes in vehicle registration certificates, no objection certificates to sell vehicles in other states, payment of road tax, vehicle fitness fee, and allotment of fancy registration numbers. The chief minister said the move was a step towards ending corruption in the deparment. “This move will not only bring transparency but will also put an end to the inconveniences faced by people,” Kejriwal said.
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
Science & Technology
“In addition to cooling urban microclimates, these trees, which are integrated within dense urban street networks, also provide other benefits such as reducing the risk of flash flooding and cleaning the air,” explained Peter Edwards, Principal Investigator and Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre.
Transfer (DBT). “Beneficiaries of these schemes now receive funds directly into their bank accounts at the local level. Consequently, there has been significant reduction in leakages and increase in savings to the government. Benefits of automation in the payment processes have led to further improvements in financial reporting and accounting,” she said. Nigam said, “Significant headway has also been made in the area of treasury integration. At present, 23 states have been integrated. Efforts are on to achieve 100 per cent integration by March 31.” The Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) was created by the amendment of the CAG (Duties, Powers & Conditions of Service) Act, 1973, on March 1, 1976. With this major reform in public financial administration, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) was relieved of the responsibility of compiling the accounts of the Union government. For discharging the payment, accounting and internal audit function in the Union government, the office of the CGA was set up.
Quick Glance Street trees not only cool urban areas but also check flash floods Techonology being used to quantify trees needed to keep areas cool Images help in tracking quantum of solar radiation reaching the Earth
Trees and plants offer some relief, especially in urban areas with higher ambient temperatures, by providing shade and increasing evaporative cooling. Urban green spaces such as parks, gardens and urban river networks deliver ecosystem services to cities reducing flood risk, cooling urban micro-climates, and creating recreational spaces. To decode this further, the team analysed hemi-spherical photographs using an algorithm to quantify the proportion of green canopy coverage at 50 metre intervals across more than 80 per cent of Singapore’s road network. Google Street View’s technology allowed researchers to tap into a standard dataset of panoramic photographs and streetscapes that use a global positioning system (GPS) to map images to specific
locations. The high resolution images allowed researchers to estimate the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. The team found that increasing the cover of the street tree canopy could reduce ground surface and air temperatures on Singapore’s streets. In addition, the relative area of the canopy may also serve as an indicator of evaporative cooling from leaves and rainfall interception. “The study shows that trees are extremely important in providing shade in Singapore and this shade could improve thermal comfort for people,” said Dan Richards, a postdoctoral researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory. Since Google Street View covers many of the world’s cities, the method could be readily applied to quantify the proportion of canopy coverage and solar radiation in other tropical cities. If Google Street View images were collected during the growing season, the method may also be adopted to assess cities in temperate zones which experience a seasonal loss of tree leaves, the team noted in a paper appearing in the journal ‘Ecological Indicators.
MARCH 19, 2017
The Pessimist Sees “Difficulty In Every
Opportunity. The Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty.”
Winston Churchill EX PM, United Kingdom
SHARAD GUPTA A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications
WHERE WOMEN DARE Women have not only been competing but outsmarting men in several fields. Stories and surveys from rural India, establish women sarpanchs’ superiority over their male counterparts.
EXTENDING MATERNITY LEAVE
A STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION Now women will be able to take better care of their newborns
BOUT 18 lakh women working in the organised sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill passed by the Lok Sabha, months after the Rajya Sabha, is expected to bring cheers to crores of expecting women. So far, they were entitled to only 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and any leave taken after that used to be ‘leave without pay’. It takes India to the third position in terms of the number of weeks for maternity leave, after Canada and Norway, where it is 50 weeks and 44 weeks, respectively. The new law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people, and the entitlement applies only up to the first two children. For the third child, the maternity leave entitlement will only be for 12 weeks. This allows the mother to take care of a child during the most formative stage. It also provides maternity benefits of 12 weeks to the commissioning mother – the biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman, and the adopting mother, if she adopts a child below the age of three months. It covers women in factories, mines, the circus industry, plantations and shops or establishments employing 10 or more persons, except the employees who are covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948. Indian Labour Conference had recommended enhancing the maternity leave from existing 12 weeks.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
NTERNATIONAL Woman’s Day has just gone by. We heard and read grand speeches on how women have been doing well in various aspects of life. Indeed, they are progressing. And in some ways, are ahead of their male counterparts as well. We need to learn from the past to secure our future. The campaign against tree felling in Uttarakhand, widely popularized as ‘Chipko Andolan’ was started by a woman, and inhabitants of Gopeshwar district of Garhwal were in for a shock when they were refused permhission to cut trees to make farm equipments while forest department permitted a sports good manufacturing company to cut 300 trees to make tennis racquets. March 25, 1974 – labourers arrived by the truckload to start logging operations. Gaura Devi, the head of the village Mahila Mangal Dal, at Reni village, led 27 other women to the site and confronted the loggers. When they failed to persuade and were being threatened with guns by the loggers, the women resorted to hugging the trees to stop them from being felled. Women kept an all-night vigil guarding their trees from the cutters until they relented and left the village. The next day more people joined in the protests. After a fourday stand-off, the contractors abandoned the idea and the government allowed villagers to make use of farm produce including timber. Precursor to this movement was the agitation kick-started in Rajasthan by a lady called Amrita Devi. WOMEN SARPANCHS BETTER The 73rd constitutional amendment ensured at least 33 per cent seats in village panchayats to women. Now, more than 40 per cent of local council leaders - both rural and urban - over 10 lakh leaders, are women. And a number of studies have established that women sarpanchs have been faring much better than their male counterparts. Vandana Bahadur Maida of Khankhandvi village, in Madhya Pradesh, was the first female head of her village panchayat, elected after superseding her husband. A cursory inquiry in the village is enough to elicit positive response about her. She has been making efforts to make them aware of various government schemes to enhance their health, sanitation, education and agriculture. She has been thinking of ways to bring longlasting changes to her village. Women are known to be more sensitive to basic needs
of their people. On being elected Sarpanch of Pachhmata village in Rajasthan, Pratibha Choudhary, for example, accorded priority to ensuring that every family in the area was able to perform the last rights of their loved ones in a proper manner. To many, this may seem like an unusual issue. But Choudhary had observed the financial difficulty and emotional trauma that a family had to endure in the face of this problem – to arrange for firewood for the funeral pyre. Much to the relief of villagers she started providing firewood for pyre free of cost. As she had seen poor families and those from the lower castes, struggle to buy wood to cremate their deceased. MORE INDEPENDENT, MORE MONEY Latest studies confirm that women panchayat leaders no more depend upon their husbands or fathers to discharge their duty. Nearly 60 per cent of women panchayat leaders, in a recent study, were found to be functioning independently. These women had at their fingertips knowledge of panchayat accounts and government programmes executed through panchayats. Two were not allowed to function independently, but they were familiar with the accounts and programmes. Women panchayat leaders in Tamil Nadu invest 48% more money than male counterparts in building roads and improving access. According
The campaign to
protect trees in Uttarakhand in the mid-70s was led by women
MARCH 19, 2017
The survey revealed that women sarpanch had far greater impact on socio-economic lives of villagers
to an India Spend study in water-scarce Sivagangai in Tamil Nadu, although male and female sarpanchs spend equal amounts on water infrastructure, such as borewells and pipelines, women leaders invested more money in sophisticated water systems to ensure pure water for their constituents. While women tend to spend more on improving infrastructure, men tend to invest up to 1.5 times more on regular maintenance, such as repair of water and street lights. The study also concluded that men sarpanchs spent up to six times more on installing lights. Doesn’t that imply that women are more mature and honest leaders than men? BETTER UNDERSTANDING, IMPROVED DELIVERY In yet another study, Banerjee and Dulfo conducted a survey of the intended beneficiaries to understand what kind of services they perceived they have access to. They randomly selected 16 villages with female sarpanch and 16 with male sarpanch, in the Sangli district of Maharashtra. From each of these villages, 20 female villagers were randomly selected. An ‘Index of Services Availability’ (IOSA), was developed to measure the quality and quantity of services available to the women respondents living in these 32 villages. The survey focussed on services and issues that are particularly relevant to women like drinking water, toilets, drains, schools, fair price shops, self-help groups and Janani Suraksha Yojana, alcoholism etc. The survey found that the male sarpanchs had higher socio-economic and educational status and had better political connections vis-à-vis the female sarpanchs. But, female sarpanchs had greater impact on socioeconomic aspects of fellow villagers’ life. The availability of basic public services was found to be significantly higher in femalesarpanch villages as compared to male-sarpanch villages, in cases where the election had been held 3-3.5 years prior to the survey. However, this result could not be seen in villages where election had been held one year or less, before the survey. This implies that female sarpanchs take some time to understand the rules and processes and become more effective relative to male sarpanchs over a period of time. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also acknowledged women’s superiority in delivering public services. Addressing about 8,000 women sarpanches from across the country on the occasion of International Women’s Day this year, he said, “The women have broken so many myths. They have shown how a positive change has begun in rural India.”
GEETA SINGH The author is the Managing Editor of Parliamentarian and has been writing on socially burning issues as well as culture matters for over two decades
In a major shift in paradigm, the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is ensuring economic prosperity together with rising well-being of its people
APPINESS is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.” This quote of Dalai Lama reciprocates and reflects in a true way through a tiny but magical and snow-clad ‘Land of the Thunder Dragons’ or a country that we all know as Bhutan. This landlocked country in South Asia is nestled with physical and spiritual beauty. With a population of less than a million, it is a nation where monks are more important than soldiers. It is a place where the amount of oxygen in the air is so much that you feel fresh throughout the day. In Bhutan, no person is seen in haste. You will not find commercials on the walls and the streets, and cities do not have a grand shopping mall or traffic lights. Far removed from the crass materialism world, the visionary Buddhist rulers of this country imputemore importance to self-satisfaction and inner happiness. Where the emphasis the world over is on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or parameters based on economic development, Bhutan measures the quality of life of its citizens in terms of GNH i.e. “gross national happiness”. This is a big difference, which separates
Bhutan from the whole world. Coined by the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970s, this is a single-number index developed from 33 indicators categorised under nine domains. Among these, sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance are the four pillars which together form GNH. Since 1972, GNH has been implemented and mortality rate has declined, and longevity has increased, almost doubling, and access to infrastructure, education and health has reached almost the entire population. In 2011, Bhutan launched this international focus on happiness and proposed a World Happiness Day to the
United Nations. Following in Bhutan’s footsteps, the UN General Assembly declared March 20 as World Happiness Day in 2012, and since 2013 the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness and wellbeing as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world. The UN just launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals that seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness. According to the World Happiness Report, 2016, Denmark ranked 1st as the ‘happiest country’ in the world, displacing Switzerland. Now the world is paying attention to Bhutan’s ideas to understand the importance of happiness and real prosperity. In 2010, the United Kingdom introduced ‘Well Being and Happiness Index’ in its country. Similarly, in 2013, the Ministry of Happiness and Tolerance has been created in Venezuela and UAE. And in India, too, Madhya Pradesh has become the first state to create a happiness department called ‘AnandVibhag’.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR DOWN TO EARTH Newsmaker, Issue 12. Lata Mangeshkar deserve all the praise she gets. She have worked her way up the industry with sheer talent and skills. But even after so many years of success, she down to earth and one of the most humble people in the industry. Gourav Mittal, Delhi SIMILAR OPPORTUNITIES In reference to the article “Chorian Choron Se Kam Hain Ke” of issue 12. Its true that women have gained a substantial status in the arena in the past few decades, but why should they suffer through the social inadequacy. We promote boys for sports, why not girls as well. They deserve similar opportunities. Shalu Mishra, UP
UNSUNG HERO It looks like women are leading the way in every field. Establishing a government department must itself be a huge challenge, and to perform so efficiently in the process is most appreciable. It was really amazing how a single woman completely put an end to all the food adulteration in Kerala. Saurav Changol, Punjab
RISING STARS Women have proved they can do anything. The picture of women painted in the article ‘Young and Gunning’ is hard to get out of my head. It changed my perspective towards women. I realised, they don’t need our help anymore, if anything they can not only help themselves but are now helping us. Its now time for us to tighten our belts to stay in the same league as them. Mohd. Adil, Pakistan COLORS AND VRINDAVAN The colourful page of photo feature in the 12th issue of Sulabh Swachh Bharat brought joy to my eyes. Looking at the widows of Vrindavan, happy and playful made me happy. Dr Pathak has really changed their lives forever. Pradeep Bhavani Shankar, Jharkhand
Please mail your opinion to - firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp at 9868807712
18 Photo Feature
MARCH 19, 2017
MEGASTAR IN SULABH CAMPUS The heartthrob of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar visited Sulabh Campus on 3rd March, 2017 to interact with Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement. Some glimpses from that visit
Photos: JAIRAM & MONTU 1
1. Cinestar Akshay Kumar being accorded a royal welcome by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement 2. Girl students of Sulabh Public School offering rose petals to the megastar 3. Akshay Kumar acknowledging the greetings of an ecstatic throng of Vrindavan widows 4. The rehabilitated scavengers of Tonk and Alwar with the celebrity 5. The star having a glimpse of arsenic water now made potable 6. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Shrimati Amola Pathak and Akshay Kumar in front of Sulabh Swachhta Rath 7. The star evinces keen interest in safe usable water made from biogas waste
MARCH 19, 2017 9
8. Lighting the mantle lamp, which uses biogas from the Sulabh Toilet Complex as the source of energy 9. Watching a demonstration of the use of Sulabh biogas for warming oneself during winter season 10. A generator being run on biogas 11. A radiant Akshay Kumar, all smiles in the Sulabh Kitchen run on biogas 12. In rapt attention, at the health center 13. Akshay Kumar and Dr Bindeshwar Pathak in front of the water ATM 14. The Bollywood star keenly examining the compost made from human excreta 15. Akshay Kumar keenly observing the various objects on display at the Sulabh Toilet Museum
MARCH 19, 2017
RIVER CLEAN GANGA
PATNA GANGA PROJECTS GET FUNDS
The amount will be used to set up cleaning infrastructure
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
HE Centre last week awarded projects worth Rs 1,050 crore to develop adequate sewage treatment infrastructure in Patna to keep the Ganga river clean under ‘Namami Gange’ programme. According to a Ministry of Water Resources statement, the amount will be spent on setting up two Sewage
WILDLIFE PROTECTION COMMITTEE Nepal has also agreed to cooperate with the core committee
HE Department of Forests and Environment has chalked out a programme to connect local people of the forest side to protect the wild animals. A core committee of environmentalists and wildlife loverx will be formed. The decision is taken by the department after a high level meeting of Co-ordination committee held recently in the state Capital. The authorities of Nepal and UP assured to the authorities of Bihar to protect wild animals migrating from Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve Area(VTR). The Nepalese counterpart requested the same to the authorities of Bihar and UP. It is to be mentioned here that the three forest areas are interconnected.
Treatment Plants (STPs), renovation of one existing STP, construction of two pumping stations and for laying new underground sewage network of about 400 km. “Contracts to build the STP of 60 million litres per day (MLD) capacity and laying of new underground sewage network of 227 km in Saidpur zone of the city have been awarded to UEM India Pvt. Ltd. and Jyoti Build Tech Pvt. Ltd at a total cost of Rs 600
AIR POLLUTION RESTRICTIONS The city needs urgent systems to curb toxic air PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
HE Delhi government can impose some restrictions on people to fight air pollution once the public transport system is strengthened, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. During a programme, Kejriwal dropped a hint that the government may levy congestion charge on car users after a robust public transport system is put in place in the national capital. “We have to strengthen public transport first in such a manner that if we make travel by car dearer in the city, at least public transport should then be available easily,” he said
Patna will get Rs 1,050 crore under the ‘Namami Gange’ project STPs will be set up at various places in the city’s river banks Two new pumping stations will also be set up
crore,” the statement said. “Three other firms – Larsen & Tourbo Ltd, Voltas Ltd and GAA Germany JV – have been awarded separate projects in Beur zone of the city worth over Rs 450 crore to build one STP of 23 MLD, renovate existing STP of 20 MLD and lay down new underground sewage network of about 180 km,” it added. The scope of work also includes creation of main pumping stations of 83 MLD and 50 MLD capacity in Saidpur and Beur zones. The contracts include the cost of operation and maintenance of STPs and sewage networks for a period of 10 years. These projects not only aim to treat the current sewage generation in respective zones of Patna, but also take into account the sewage estimates of next one decade, considering the expected rise of population in the city,” it said. Patna city, spread in an area of more than 100 sq km, is sub-divided into six sewerage zones -- Digha, Beur, Saidpur, Kankarbagh, Pahari and Karmali Chak. Contract for sewage related projects in Karmali Chak zone are expected to be awarded shortly, said the statement. while addressing a gathering. The other ways to improve the city’s air may also include increasing registration fee of cars.The Chief Minister said taking cues from abroad, the government had implemented odd-even scheme last year, but it was a temporary solution, not a permanent one. “The big challenges we are facing today are pollution and traffic. The volume of traffic has increased on city’s roads such that there is need to augment public transport. “There are several other practices which suggest us to levy entry fee in congested areas during peak hours, on lines of rules in foreign
ASCERTAINING DOLPHIN NUMBERS A Ganga survey will reveal the number of Dolphins surviving
HE Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin. The survey will create a baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve quality of the river water. The first leg of the census was launched on March 1 from Narora in Uttar Pradesh to Bijnor (covering distance of nearly 165 km to establish the number of the national aquatic animal. Counting in the Allahabad to Varanasi stretch (close to 250 km in length) is expected to be launched this week.
Quick Glance Delhi is all set for creating a robust public transportation system Later the government may clamp a congestion levy The government may also increase charges for new car registrations
countries,” he said. He also said this can only be implemented once our public transport is reliable. “If we don’t strengthen public transport and put several restrictions, people will then throw shoes at us,” he said. “Once we ensure last-mile connectivity and augmentation of public transport in city, we can then put some restrictions and people would support us. We can request public to abandon their vehicles and use public transport,” he said. Under the graded response plan of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which is being implemented by Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), odd-even scheme will come into force when pollution level touches emergency proportions in the city.
MARCH 19, 2017
HIMALAYAS GLOBAL WARMING
There is no doubt that the Himalayan glaciers are continuously melting, but not as rapidly as feared earlier PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
HE Himalayan glaciers are retreating but not at a rapid pace and no abnormal trend in their melting was documented in recent years, the government said. Union Earth Sciences Minister, Harsh Vardhan
in a written reply in Lok Sabha said the glaciers in the eastern and central Himalayas are retreating “continuously”, while some in the western parts of the mountain range are reportedly advancing. “The rate of melting/recession varies from glacier to glacier and depends on
THE RO-RO SOLUTION
The system will see fully loaded trucks carried on railway wagons to decongest the highways and reduce pollution SSB BUREAU
N environmental NGO has advocated adopting long-term and area-specific approach to curb pollution while lauding the Railways’ roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) services to carry loaded trucks on wagons to decongest roads and reduce harmful emissions. The Greenpeace India said movement of goods through public transport systems such as railways is a cleaner way of transportation compared to the truck-based system. It said this will reduce pollution, curb greenhouse gases’ emissions and bring down energy consumption. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched Ro-Ro service from Gurugram to carry loaded trucks on wagons so as to decongest the roads in NCR and tackle the problem of pollution.
“We need to look at not just bypassing Delhi and reducing entry of few trucks to Delhi, but reducing pollution everywhere by adopting long-term and regional approach,” Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, Greenpeace India told. About 66,000 diesel-guzzling trucks pass through Delhi and its adjoining areas every day and the railways’ RoRo services aims to reduce carbon emission and road congestion by taking them off roads. There are eight entry-
Quick Glance The study says glaciers are melting without any abnormal trends The glacial melt is not being seen uniformly across the Himalayas Many glaciers have been taken up to study their interaction with climate
the topography and climatic variability of the region. “Studies have revealed that the Himalayan glaciers are retreating in general, but not at a rapid pace. There is no abnormal trend in melting documented in recent years,” Vardhan said. He said the Ministry of Earth Sciences monitors six glaciers -- Sutri Dhaka, Batal, Bara Shigri, Samudra Tapu, Gepang Gath and Kunjum of Chandra basin -- for mass, energy and hydrological balance. “The National Centre of Antarctica and Ocean Research (NCAOR) has established a high altitude research station in the Himalayas called Himansh at a remote region in Lahaul-Spiti to study and quantify the Himalayan glaciers’ response towards climate change. A number of glaciers have been taken up for long-term measurement on glacierclimate interaction in different parts of the Himalayan region by some of these agencies,” Vardhan said.
PAPERLESS MAHA COUNCIL Members will now access everything in Notebooks
HE Maharashtra Legislative Council has gone paperless, with every member being provided detachable touchscreen Notebooks to access business of the House. Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar announced the decision to computerise legislative business of the House. Members will now be able to access starred questions, calling attention motions, committee reports, reports of the governmentrun corporations, archives of business of the House since 1937. Nimbalkar said that it is a first step towards taking forward Prime Minister’s Digital India initiatives. “If all the members cooperate then we shall be making Maharashtra Legislative Council, the first House in the country to go
Quick Glance Ro-Ro system launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu NCR’s eight entry points will be covered under the Ro-Ro scheme Greenpeace says any solution has to be comprehensive, not piecemeal
exit routes in the NCR which will be covered under the Ro-Ro services. Dahiya said pollution and its impacts are restricted not just to Delhi but affect the entire country and specifically all the places across Indo-Gangetic Plains are polluted to nearly the same level as Delhi. “So any action to be taken has to have a holistic perspective and longterm and permanent solutions,” he said. He pointed out that fossil fuel consumption in energy and transportation systems has to be reduced across geographies if the country has to attain clean air and wants to reduce negative contribution to climate change. About 30 loaded trucks were transported on flat wagons from Garhi Harsuru station in Gurugram to Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh to mark the launch of the Ro-Ro services. “The Ro-Ro is a boon for Delhi as it would have a direct impact on its air ambient quality and the capital would breathe clean air,” Prabhu said.
paperless,” Nimbalkar said. Taking part in the debate, Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap (Congress) wanted the chair to give prior information to the members of any updates and also include them in the process. Senior Sena Minister for Public Transport, Diwakar Raote took objection to the Notebook displaying content in English. Pacifying him, Nimbalkar said that the members will get content in Marathi as well. Making an intervention, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde drew the attention of the chair to the Wi-Fi network not working. To which, Chairman Naik-Nimbalkar informed the House that out of the two networks of Jio and Aaple Sarkar of the government, the Aaple Sarkar network was not functioning properly. “In few days the problems will be sorted out,” he said. The chair added that the House will opt for a faster network. Nimbalkar also accepted Jayant Patil’s (PWP-I) suggestion to keep two or three technical personnel on a standby to assist members getting used to the new technology.
MARCH 19, 2017
INTERVIEW PRIYA HINGORANI
“Be strong, fight for your rights” PRASANN PRANJAL
PPARENTLY, like any other male dominated fields, there is an obtrusive gender gap in judiciary. Being a woman in the same field with her persevarance and capabilities Priya Hingorani is a renowned lawyer and human rights champion who has argued several landmark cases dealing with crime and various issues concerning women. For almost three decades this senior lawyer has been fighting for justice in the field of Human Rights, crime and pivotal issues related to women. In a special interview with Sulabh Swachh Bharat, Priya Hingorani shed light on society and justice. Here are some excerpts: You have been in this profession since 26-27 years. What are the challenges you had to face in this male dominated field? No doubt, it has always been a men dominated field. When i joined in 1990, we had to double our efforts to prove ourselves. I reckon those were the days when there was not even a single lady law officer.Judges were also less in number. During those days acceptance was apparent. But there was an urge to prove ourselves equal to men, thatwe can also excel in this field. However, in the year 1961 when my mother Kapila Hingorani joined Supreme Court there were only four women in the court. During that time the survival was tough. It is a matter of relief that women don’t have to face such issues now. But still challenges prevail. I have been advocatingwomen’s rights since a long time. These days i am imparting training on sexual harrasment issues to women in MNC’s of Hyderabad,Bengaluru, Gurugram and many other places. I am also giving advice to women on surrogacy. You have been advocating for women rights since a long time. There are many stringent laws protecting women. But in cases of eveteasing and molestation, the laxity in attitude of police is quite challenging. The laws are quite strict for women as Justice Verma Committee report and various amendments have changed the situation to a major extent. Under IPC, new sections have been added for eve teasing, molestation, and stalking. A new act has been formulated for sexual
Priya Hingorani comes from a family of two well-known lawyers, her mother and father She has been advocating the case of women’s rights, from triple talaq to now surrogacy She has also fought and won cases for PSU and GREF workers as well
Because when a man refuses to marry due to mutual differences or any reason,women file false rape cases. In this case, the law is more often misused than used as intended. But all other laws are empowering women. Since the last few decades there have been a large number of divorce cases. What do you think are the reasons behind that? There are many reasons.Youngsters and elite families lack patience. Their economic independence makes them fearless. Whereas, in middleclass families, after several years of marriage,they request for divorce. Violence and extramarital relations are major reasons and now there is no stigma attached to divorce, which makes it easier.
When I joined the profession, it was tough, as there was not even a single law officer
harassment. If those who are in power exploit women, there are separate provisions for that. After Tarun Tejpal’s case a new section was incorporated. Women can register Zero FIR in any police station on any crime against them. Action will be taken immediately.
case one can complain in the women’s cell of the police and call on the women helpline. In every city there is a vigilance cell. One can complain about the same police official by his name in that cell. Within 24 hours, proceeding will begin against the police official.
As compared to big cities women still face trouble in registering FIR in small cities as the police ask a plethora of such questions that deters them from registering the case. What will be apposite to do in this arena? If a police official denies registering FIR or asks unsuitable questions, in that
Do you think the present laws regarding women are appropriate or are there still a need of amendment according to you? The provisions are appropriate as per the present scenario, as in many cases women misuse their rights. Especially in consensual relationships (live in as per mutual decision) women misuse it.
Be it the fear of unsuccessful marriage or any other reason, these youngsters prefer to live single these days. What are your views? I am also single and am still enjoying my life. But that certainly does not mean that I amagainst marriage. Infact, I believe marriage is a beautiful institution. According to me, if you get the right life partner youshould surely get married. In our country, especially for our parents, marriage is their ultimate goal. However, wrong marriages lead to divorce. It is often seen that it takes a long time in court to concluded a divorce petition. Why is it so? After filing divorce petition both the parties are made to meet a counselor in the family court. At each stage there is anattempt for settlement. They try to resolve the issues through mutual understanding. In many cases people come opt for settlement. But if one side is not ready the case may take 4-5 years
MARCH 19, 2017 in court. If both parties are ready for mutual divorce, it is resolved in shorter time. According to Hindu Law, a couple can get a divorce with mutual understanding and judicial assistance. But what are your views on the triple talaq in Muslim law, and its potential changes? There is no problem in the Muslim law as long as the actual procedure of divorce is followed. According to the Muslim law, when ‘talaq’ is said for the first time, the couple is supposed to consult a councillor. Both partners are given time to think it over. If ‘talaq’ is uttered again, the same procedure is to be repeated. The couple can get divorced if they still want to be separated after the counselling and reconciliation period. However, in reality the procedures and stages are almost never followed. Without the women’s consent, men end the relationship byrepeating ‘talaq’ three times. Muslim law board says the procedure is followed, hence the practice is fine. But IsratBano and many more women like her say nothing of that sort happens. Triple talaq is declared and they are evicted out of their own houses. In Hindu law, a couple can re-marry their spouse after divorce. But in Muslim law, in order to re-marry the ex-husband, the woman has to follow ‘Iddat’, according to
which, the women has to marry another man and divorce them, only then can they get back with their former husband. It’s outright wrong. All the rules are made for women, not for men. This is the reason the triple talaqsystem needs review. Anyway, we will look for the solutions through the Supreme Court hearings. Along with human rights and women’s rights, these days you are also spreading awareness amongst the women about surrogacy. What are your thoughts on the surrogacy laws in India? Presently, there is no law regarding surrogacy in India. However, we are trying. The bill is pending in the parliament, but there are some issues. Surrogacy has become a huge market these days. We are also opposing the commercialisation of surrogacy. That is because, as of now, the surrogate’s healthcare is not taken care of, neither is there any post pregnancy compensation for them. They don’t even avail proper medical facility. These days fertility clinics have made a package, they give a part of the total money to the surrogate mother while they keep the rest of it, or they hire a middleman. The agreement is highly secretive. The agreement between the couple and surrogate mother doesn’t mention the amount of money involved. This requires transparency, and it’s important to avail post delivery compensation for the surrogate mother.
AVIATION AIR INDIA
WOMEN CREW’S WORLD RECORD The carrier has created a world record with all-women crew
Surrogacy is kept
highly secret and there is no law to ensure the basic rights of surrogate mothers
HER CASES KARISHMA KAPOOR: Sanjay Kapoor divorce case ARIER CASE OF BIHAR: Jharkhand PSU workers. 40,000 workers were the benefactors GREF: Cleared jurisdiction status of GREF workers TRAFFICKING: Freed girls from trafficking racket back in 1992-93 VEERMATI VS HARYANA CASE: Three girls were kidnapped and raped. Some ministers were involved in the case. She brought justice to the girls SHAKIL BANO VS RAJASTHAN: Brought justice for the dowry harassed women RANCHI’S DIASABLED: Fought for the rights of Ranchi’s mentally disabled
Certainly you have done a lot of good work over the last three decades, but what would you have chosen for a career if not advocacy? This is actually my family profession. Both my parents, father NH Hingorani and mother KapilHingorani, were well known advocates in the Supreme Court. I have grown up listening to lawyer’s rants and words like law, advocacy and justice. So, it was inevitable for me to join the practice. But if I hadn’t joined advocacy, I would have certainly joined the police force, because I love solving crime. You are fighting for rights fearlessly.In this era, what message would you like to give to your fellow women? Be strong, fight for your rights. Women should be aware. Create awareness for each other. Help each other. I for one want all women to be self sufficient, live on their own and give good morals to their kids. I never fear, all I want is no women should fear anything.
ATIONAL passenger carrier Air India made a world record announcing that its all-women crew has operated an ‘around the world’ flight on the New Delhi-San FranciscoNew Delhi route. According to the airline, flight AI 173 which took off from IGI Airport on February 27 to San Francisco, covered a distance of around 15,300 km in 15 and a half hours over the Pacific route and on the return journey from San Francisco over the Atlantic. The return leg of flight AI 174 touched down at IGI airport here on the evening of3RD March. “The entire flight was operated by the women staff of eight departments.
These departments included cockpit crew, cabin crew, check-in staff, doctor, customer care staff, ATC (air traffic control) and the entire ground handling from operator to technician, engineer and flight dispatcher and trimmer,” the airline said in a statement. “Line operation safety audit was done by Harpreet A De Singh, ED (executive director) Flight Safety, Air India. This is the first time that this audit was done by a female officer for around the world trip. Currently, Air India operates to 41 international and 72 domestic destinations with a state-of-the-art fleet comprising of wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft.
GENDER EQUALITY IN INDIA
Gender equaility is not just politically correct, it is vital for the growth of the country’s economy in terms of GDP
ENDER equality is crucial in raising the GDP of a country, a top Uttar Pradesh police officer said. “The need for gender balance is critical in raising a country’s GDP. Safety, security and dignity of women are paramount for gender balance and growth,” Director General of the Uttar Pradesh Police Mahila SammanPrakoshth, SutapaSanyal said. Sanyal was speaking at a workshop on “Women’s Safety at Workplaces” held at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).”In a full potential scenario, roughly 26 per cent could be added to the global GDP,” she said.
Sanyal urged employers to provide a work environment that helps women to realise their full potential and achieve gender balance. The FICCI-Ernst & Young report -- “Reflections on the State of Women Safety at the Workplace in India” -- released by Sanyal, said that to tackle sexual harassment at the workplace, there was a need for invoking a strong commitment and create a mechanism to address different perspectives. The report suggested ways for enhancing women safety, including deployment of technology, adopting a zero tolerance policy, dealing with cultural matters and engaging thirdparty service providers.
MARCH 19, 2017
Quick Glance Gyalwang Drukpa is the head of Bhutan-based Buddhist sect Buddhism is concerned about issues like environment and gender The US has honoured the order for for fostering gender equality
US LAUDS BUDDHIST WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT The felicitation programme saw Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, along with heads of various Muslim and Jain denominations INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
UDDHIST leader and environmentalist, the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa – the spiritual head of the 1,000-year-old
Drukpa Order – was felicitated in a US Congressional resolution for empowering women in the Himalayas and supporting green initiatives, his private office said. The Gyalwang Drukpa was presented with a US
BUSINESS WITH TRUMP A top expert says that there is now a new sense of doing business in India and American investors are upbeat INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
CCORDING to Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, Indian companies can find opportunities in US President Donald Trump’s massive $1 trillion plan for infrastructure development. There was optimism in the new administration for the growth of trade and investment; she told reporters after meetings with
senior US official during her visit here with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to scope out the new Washington power structure and to present India’s perspectives. Teaotia met with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who has had investments in India and was a member of the Chairman’s Circle of the USIndia Business Council. There was now a sense of ease of doing business in India and US companies that have invested there have had good results, she said. Indian measures in areas of protection of intellectual property rights and dispute resolution have further strengthened the case for investments in India, she said. Investments have not been a one-way street and Indian companies have also invested in the US in manufacturing, chemicals and technology, she said. And more opportunities were being created for them.
Congressional resolution from Carolyn Maloney, the US Congresswoman for New York’s 12th Congressional district, during his birthday celebrations. The resolution recognises the Gyalwang Drukpa as a world-renowned humanitarian, environmentalist and champion of gender equality, besides recognising his efforts to provide relief services to tens of thousands in the Himalayas following the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The resolution mentioned his initiatives to protect soil erosion and support clean air through his one million trees project, besides empowering, educating, protecting and inspiring girls and women in the Himalayas and around the world. Besides Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from the Art of Living Foundation, the gathering saw the presence of All India Organisation of Imams of Mosques chief Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Jain spiritual leader Acharya Lokesh Muni and Mahabodhi International Meditation Center founder Bhikkhu
Sanghasena. US administration officials were also in attendance of the birthday celebrations that will culminate on March 8. Just two months after the flash-floods that devastated Ladakh in 2010, the Drukpa Order with around 9,000 volunteers, planted 50,033 willow saplings in 33 minutes and 25 seconds over 112,000 square yards. According to the spiritual leader, planting trees is not only impactful but also an important gesture. The Gyalwang Drukpa also founded the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery in Kathmandu which is a unique instance of gender reversal with nuns running the administration. Over 300 nuns receive modern education, besides training in ancient Chinese martial arts. Spiritual teachers, monks, nuns and devotees from across the globe gathered in the nunnery here to participate in the birthday celebrations. The spiritual head of the 1,000-year-old Drukpa Order based in the Himalayas is associated with the Earth Awards Selection Committee that recognises viable innovations that improve the quality of life. He is also heading the 17th century famed Hemis monastery of Drukpa lineage in Ladakh, the largest such in the Himalayas. Contract for sewage related projects in Karmali Chak zone are expected to be awarded shortly, said the statement.
LANKA MOST POPULAR
It was known as a tourists’ paradise and has now been awarded
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
n an unprecedented development, Sri Lanka won the “Most Popular Tourism Destination Award” at the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) in China, confirmed the Foreign Ministry releasing a statement. The island nation won the prestigious award for the second consecutive year which is a testament to its growing
popularity among Chinese travel enthusiasts, Xinhua news agency cited the statement as saying. China has been Sri Lanka’s second largest source market for tourism since 2014. The volume of visitors to this event has been increasing annually and this has enabled Sri Lanka to gain greater exposure and visibility for its unique destination brand, the statement said.
MARCH 19, 2017
INDIAN-AMERICANS NOMINATED The nominated finalists will be interviewed through March till April to select the toppers SSB BUREAU
Quick Glance The scholarship is a living monument to the 33rd President It is given to students who excel and have leadership potential Though the final award is awaited, seven Indian-Americans are listed
315 institutions before settling on the 199 students from 136 institutions. The Indian-American finalists are: Shreya Ganeshan of the University of Georgia, Anjali Misra of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Samarth Gupta of Harvard University, Megan Patel of Georgetown University, Maya Durvasula of Duke University, Manju Bangalore of the University of Oregon, and Anjana Murali of the
EARTH’S OLDEST FOSSIL The fossils of the bacteria are between 3.7 and 4.3 billion years old and used to feed on iron, scientists say PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
CIENTISTS have discovered remains of microorganisms in Canada that are between 3.8 and 4.3 billion years old, providing direct evidence of one of the oldest life forms on the Earth. Tiny filaments and tubes formed by bacteria that lived on iron were found encased in quartz layers in the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (NSB) in Quebec, Canada. The NSB contains some of the oldest sedimentary rocks known on the Earth, which likely formed part of an iron-rich deep-sea hydrothermal vent system that provided a habitat for Earth’s first life forms between 3,770 and 4,300 million years ago, researchers said. “Our discovery supports the idea that life emerged from hot, sea-floor vents shortly after planet Earth formed. This speedy appearance of life on Earth fits with other evidence of recently discovered 3,700 million year old sedimentary mounds that were shaped by microorganisms,” said Matthew Dodd from University College, London (UCL) in the UK.
US TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP
EVEN Indian-Americans have been selected for this year’s prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which is given to college juniors on the basis of leadership potential, public service and academic achievement records. The finalists will be interviewed by the foundation’s regional review panel from March 3 to April 7, with the scholars being announced on April 21, the American Bazaar online reported. The foundation reviewed 768 potential scholars from
“These discoveries demonstrate life developed on Earth at a time when Mars and Earth had liquid water on their surfaces, posing exciting questions for extra-terrestrial life,” Dodd said. Prior to this discovery, the oldest microfossils reported were found in Western Australia and dated at 3,460 million years old but some scientists think they might be non-biological artifacts in the rocks. Researchers, including those from
University of Pittsburgh. The highly-competitive federal scholarship carried an amount of $30,000 for graduate study. The US Congress created the scholarship in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd President, Harry S. Truman. Since its creation, the foundation has supported almost 3,000 Truman scholars who are making a difference in all corners of the nation and the globe, said the report. The scholarship is for graduate education. Congress created the scholarship in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd president of the US. The Truman Scholarship is the official federal memorial to its namesake president. The Truman Scholarship’s “sole aim is to pick out people with potential to become leaders”.
University of Ottawa in Canada, systematically looked at the ways the tubes and filaments, made of haematite - a form of iron oxide or ‘rust’ - could have been made through non-biological methods such as temperature and pressure changes in the rock during burial of the sediments, but found all of the possibilities unlikely. The haematite structures have the same characteristic branching of ironoxidising bacteria found near other hydrothermal vents today and were found alongside graphite and minerals like apatite and carbonate which are found in biological matter including bones and teeth and are frequently associated with fossils. They also found that the mineralised fossils are associated with spheroidal structures that usually contain fossils
There’ll be ‘traffic jam on Mount Everest this year
HE Mount Everest base camp received more than 113,000 tourists last year, with a yearon-year increase of 91 per cent, the local tourist administration said. Among them were more than 5,100 foreign visitors, Xinhua news agency reported. The Tingri county government has been making efforts to offer a better travel experience to visitors in recent years. Nepal has repaired roads from the county to the base camp and ensured the power supply for the camp.
Quick Glance Filaments and tubes formed by the bacteria have been found These were encased in the quartz layers in the NSB in Canada This means life formed from hot, sea-floor beds after earth formed
in younger rocks, suggesting that the haematite most likely formed when bacteria that oxidised iron for energy were fossilised in the rock. “We found the filaments and tubes inside centimetre-sized structures called concretions or nodules, as well as other tiny spheroidal structures, called rosettes and granules, all of which we think are the products of putrefaction,” said study lead, Dominic Papineau from UCL. He added, “The structures are composed of the minerals expected to form from putrefaction, and have been well documented throughout the geological record, from the beginning until today.” “The fact we unearthed them from one of the oldest known rock formations, suggests we’ve found direct evidence of one of Earth’s oldest life forms. This discovery helps us piece together the history of our planet and the remarkable life on it, and will help to identify traces of life elsewhere in the universe,” Papineau said. The study was published in the journal Nature.
26 Disabled Day Special
MARCH 19, 2017
Arunima Sinha was
thrown off a train and lost her right leg, and yet, the gritty lady climbed Mount Everest women disabled bearing the brunt of low access to education and health facilities as well as vocational training and labour market. Lower labour market participation is one of the main pathways through which disability leads to poverty. CHANGING SCENARIO Disability is now getting social attention. According to 2011 census, 2.2 per cent of Indian population was disabled Men comprised 2. 74 per cent and women 2.01 per cent, it is higher in rural areas with 2.24 per cent and urban it was 2.17. It is higher than 2001 as the categories have increased. It has been rightly said that ‘disability is a state of mind’.
CHALLENGES FIGHT AGAINST DISABILITY
DIVYANG: JOURNEY’S OF GRIT! Disability is a ‘state of one’s mind’, and now there is a more progressive way of looking at it. And many Indian ‘divyang’ women have achieved a lot, for they perhaps did not feel handicapped ANUPAMA YADAV
ANHAIYA DEVI, born in the family of a daily wage labourer, has been sightless since childhood. Yet as a busy midwife she has assisted in the births of hundreds of children. A resident of Sahapur village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, she learned midwifery from her sister-in-law. She hasn’t looked back since, despite personal setbacks. Kanhaiya Devi is a much-in-demand midwife as she is known for her deftness.She can predict the exact delivery time by merely touching a pregnant woman and she is also a pre and post natal massage expert. “I feel proud that these children are today spread across the country and the world and doing very well,” says Kanhaiya Devi. “If somebody says ‘vikalang’ (physically challenged person)we immediately start looking at the defect in his or her body. If we start calling them ‘Divyang’ then it immediately changes the perception to focus on what is the special part of the body with divine powers given by God. This will create a change in the mindset of the people,” Prime Minister Modi suggested in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in 2015. CIVILISATIONAL PHILOSOPHY Philosopher Sir Karl Popper has said man has done wonderful things, has reached the moon and is now going to Mars.In medicine, the longevity has increased. With many achievements in art and culture, every decade our civilisation is advancing. But Sir Popper
argues that this is not the right indication of ‘civilisation’. The indication of civilisation is how we take care of disabled the underprivileged: the divyaang. Daughter of an iron trader inMuzaffarpur, Bihar, Sangeeta runs a residential school for visually impaired, besides being the brain behind Shubham, an NGO that helps poor children from the villages in its vicinity. Being sightless, she found all her efforts to study in a school for normal children thwarted but her academic result was spectacular. She went to school for visually impaired and passed with flying colours, ranking tenth on the merit list. She went on to acquire MPhil and PhD degrees breaking all the barriers. Similar is the journey of Goa born Navin Hirao Potnis, who lives in Mumbai. He has been sightless since birth. He earns his living by making super enamel copper wire for ceiling fans and earns around Rs 7,000 a month. Another is the story of Vishal Vidyanath Rao, a 29-year-old congenitally sightless who graduated in political science,draws inspiration from a variety of stimuli as he can adroitly knit a fisherman’s net, but music is his greatest inspiration. This visually impaired Mumbai resident is no mean flautist. He is now learning to play violin as well. He has immense confidence in his ‘power of concentration’ which he says help him to pick up musical notes quicker than most. “I enjoy beauty of all sorts, it does not matter how it is conveyed through sound, touch or smell,”says Rao.
WELFARE STATE TOver the years, there has been an apparent rise in social awareness among people. The idea is to create awareness that such people should not be neglected in the true spirit of social democracy, where none is left out. It gives a framework in which policies can be initiated and also the greater hopes of civil society initiatives. According to 2011 census, 2.2 per cent of Indian population was disabled. Men comprised 2.74 per cent and women 2.01. Certainly, our religious leaders have been paragons in creating awareness through their magnanimous actions, like Mother Teresa. Swami Vivekananda coined the word Daridra Narayan for economically disabled. ILO SPEAKETH International Labour Organization(ILO) report says that employment rates vary with geographical location, gender, education and the type of disability with the rural and
The story of Deepa
Malik is an inspiring battle of life and death and emerging victorious against all odds
ARUNIMA SINHA In 2011, ArunimaSinha a 24 year old national level volley ball player was thrown off the moving train by thugs for refusing to give the gold chain. She lost her left leg when a train went over it. But she did not succumb to her debility as she decided to climb Mount Everest and she did achieve her goal. She was also awarded Padma Shri. DEEPA MALIK The story of Deepa Malik is an inspiring battle of life and death and emerging victorious against all odds. A budding sports woman and cricketer from Rajasthan despite suffering paralytic shock at the age of 8 with seven broken vertebrae and frequent MRI scans in the absence of titanium plates could not quell her zeal and zest for throwing javelin in 2006. And indeed paralympic glory in Rio.
MARCH 19, 2017
Snapshots Prime Minister Narendra Modi first used the term ‘Divyang’ to replace the word ‘Vikalang’ Rural disabled women face the brunt of low access to education and health facilities Remarkably, some Indian Divyang women have achieved a lot, even summiting Everest
DEVENDRA JHAJHARIA The famous Paralympic javelin thrower from India won his second gold medal at the Rio Paralympics in F46 event. Born in a low income family in Churu district Rajasthan. Devendra lost his left hand at the age of eight accidentally touching electric wires while trying to climb tree. However, his life changed altogether when he started participating in para athletics in 1995 while in school.
PREETI MONGA Sightless since the age of six, Punjab born Preeti Monga is a 49-years-old Public Relations Executive with an eye hospital in Delhi.Her life is a living testimony of courage and strong will power. She was a student of Loreto Convent, Delhi Cantonment until standard 8. She was expelled because of her condition. She had to sit at home for a while but despite all setbacks, she achieved her success. JAWAHAR KAUL A teacher and anti-corruption activist, Kaul is Secretary General of the All India Confederation of the Blind, New Delhi. Robbed of his eyesight by small pox when he was five he did his Masters from Jammu University and took up the job of teaching the visually impaired. He says, “Who says I am blind? I cannot see with my eyes but I can see with my heart”. Kaul is also an anticorruption activist. It was his initiative that led to the arrest of Haryana official who had demanded speed money to let him set up a school in Gurgaon. Kaul videotaped the encounter and used it as evidence. Eventually, the corrupt officer was jailed for three months.
WHEN TEACHERS ARE STUDENTS Snapshots
The Indian education system doesn’t focus much on capacity building of teachers, but BITS Pilani, has taken an unprecedented effort in this direction
BITS Pilani has moved into the largely neglected area of capacity building of teachers TLC is a unique initiative by the institute to nurture and promote the holistic teaching culture TLC has organised various talks and workshops for the professors and students of BITS
SUDHA CHANDRAN Born in Kerela, the 50-years-old dancer met with an accident when she was just 16. Doctors overlooked a small injury in her leg and plastered it that led to infection. The only option left was to amputate her leg. However, she overcame this by getting prosthetic Jaipur foot and became an acclaimed Bhartanatyam dancer. SADHNA DHAND Suffering from brittle bone disease 57-yearold Sadhna lost her hearing at the age of 12 and stands 3.3 feet tall. But it could not stymie her from pursuing her passion for painting. She has won the national award and several awards for painting and photography at the state and national level. Now, she conducts classes at her house for teaching this art.
ECTURE halls at BITS, Pilani are habituated of hosting students and professors of this premier institute on any given day. But, on a Sunday morning, it was beaming with individuals who are not usual visitors. The hall is packed with 26 school teachers from nearby schools, and they are accompanied by around 40 students. They are attending a two-day workshop organised by the ‘Teaching Learning Centre’ of BITS, Pilani on the theme of ‘Outcome Based Learning’. Teaching Learning Centre (TLC) is a unique initiative by the institute to nurture and promote the holistic teaching culture. It was envisioned as ‘an entity that fosters the teaching-learning experience and acts as a forum for discussing teaching pedagogy and evaluation techniques’. Prof SK Choudhary, Faculty In-charge of TLC, Pilani campus, observes, “Our institute is taking long strides in the field of research and innovation. At the same time, we need to focus equally on the teaching-learning paradigm to ensure a productive scholarly environment in the campus. In today’s world, the role of teacher is not restricted to information-provider. A modern teacher is a facilitator and enabler and we, at TLC, are looking at ways to ensure that.” TLC has organised various talks and workshops for the professors and students of BITS, Pilani in the past. But this workshop is different. As Kumar Shankar Bhattacharya, another faculty member associated with TLC, explains, “This time, we wanted to broaden
our horizon and incorporate the fundamental space of teaching-learning paradigm – schools”. Fifteen schools from in and around BITS campus were invited to the workshop, which was conducted by the alumni of BITS, Pilani who are involved with Teach For India foundation. THE WORKSHOP The workshop started with a welcome speech by Prof Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor of BITS, Pilani. He pointed out the need of ‘outcome based learning’ in educating our school children, at the same time he warned that a teacher should not be obsessed with outcome all the time. He said that for arts and humanities, outcomes won’t have an objective definition, hence a teacher needs to be careful. Chief Guest of the function, Maj Gen SS Nair (Retd), Director, Birla Education Trust, in his keynote address highlighted the importance of student learning in school education. He stressed that teachers should keep them updated with new research in pedagogy and learning, to prepare 21st century citizens. Later, the facilitators took a session on Bloom’s taxonomy (progression of student learning), learning indicators in English and Science, scaffolding the assessments according to students’ need and measuring the outcomes. Shasank Mishra, who graduated from BITS, Pilani in 2015, was one of the facilitators. “Science in our schools is treated as a subject. I see it as a way of thinking. I feel that within the framework of our school curriculum, teachers can make science much more fun and interesting, if they have a clear idea of
learning outcomes for every topic. The scientific skills like observation, recording, hypothesising, questioning, etc can be included in the lesson planning itself to bring out the best in the kids.” Mishra teaches secondary grades in a low income private school in Shahdara, Delhi, as part of Teach For India fellowship. SIMULATED METHODOLOGIES Day two of the workshop was dedicated to demonstrating the teaching methodologies in a simulated class environment, where students from different schools also participated. For the English class, storytelling was used as an effective medium to map teaching with student learning. For the science class, students deep-dived into the concept of magnetism using scientific activities. Kanika Shekhawat, who teaches Science at Smt. Janki Devi Mandelia School, Pilani had a lot of takeaways from the workshop. She said, “Our classrooms are becoming very mechanical, where students’ participation is dropping. We need to create a joyful environment in the classrooms, where every child is learning as per his/her own pace and excelling in life.” Teacher training was one of the key focus areas of Right to Education Act. Government agencies, viz CBSE, NCERT have been conducting teacher training workshops across the country. It was very heartening to see a private university like BITS, Pilani stepping up to acknowledge the need of teacher training and conducting such an engaging workshop. More such efforts are needed to create better teaching paradigms in the country.
28 Face to Face
MARCH 19, 2017
FACE T0 FACE WITH
TO FACE WITH
“I am Still a kid for my family & friends” Her film ‘Udta Punjab’ may have come a cropper at the box office, but she is still a confident candidate for the awards with her upcoming film. She seems more mature now, and admits she has matured and is happy about it. On the other hand, there are constant rumours about her many ‘affairs’, which she clarifies are pure friendships. In a recent interview, Alia Bhatt opens her mind on her real and reel lives.. ASHIM CHAKRABORTY Many critics feel that there is no comparison between Alia of the first film ‘Student of the Year’ versus Alia of today ? Well, I accept that as a compliment. It is the wish and dream of every actor to attain versatility as time goes by. It should always be one’s endeavour. I am 23 years of age. I was unaware why I have a girlish image in the industry. I fail to understand why people tease me by pulling my cheeks. I had done a film ‘Highway’ with Imtiaz and I am sure that I never looked like a kid in the role, but I still was not able to impact the audience, which is sad. Then I thought that after seeing my film ‘Udta Punjab’, I will be able to shed that image, but on the contrary this film got entangled with the censor board and was not able to attract the audience. Finally, watched
MARCH 19, 2017
Snapshots The petite, 23-year-old has been seen as more of a girl by filmmakers and the audience Now she says that after Udta Punjab, she has matured and is happy about it She now wants people to see her as a grown-up woman in her own right
Dear Zindagi and must have realised that I am no longer the small girl. But many people like to remain as kids… Yes, I also want to remain a child at heart, but as far as acting is concerned, I don’t want to. In fact an actor should not have any kind of image. Only then you will be able to get and do all kinds of roles and characters. I feel that versatility plays an important role in the character of an actor, in the absence of which you cannot sustain for a long time. But for my family and friends I will always remain a kid and they will have to bear with me all their lives! Only time will tell how big you have grown for the film industry, but I must confess one thing that there is a massive transformation in the Alia I met during the release of Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya in 2014. What kind of a change? You are looking quite mature. Thank you so much. Even my friends feel the same. Earlier I used to just frolick, but now I guess I have grown a bit. Tell me, are there things which you were unable to do after becoming a celebrity? Basically, I have witnessed celebdom of my father since my childhood, hence the life of a star is not new to me. You will agree that every coin has two sides. On the one hand, I received publicity and respect, and on the other hand, I have to forego many things. Like, I cannot move about freely. I cannot sit and eat pavbhaji on the roadside tuck shops. I cannot attend the college fest with my friends and do headbanging. I remember the words of my father, who said that it is the naked truth and the darker side of the life of a celebrity that one has to say many lies, in spite of your conscience compelling you to tell the truth. Now understand his words in totality. But in the midst of all this, I must confess that I am happy with this life…. and I want to stay in this industry for the whole of my life. Hope this is not a lie ? No.. No… this is true and I have said it
from the depths of my heart. You got an opportunity to work with Shahrukh so soon ? As far as the film is concerned, when Gauri Shinde read out the script to me, Shahrukh Khan had still not signed on. Gauri told me that after the sitting with the script with me, she will be going to meet him. So if you are thinking that I did this film because of SRK then you are truly mistaken. By the way, who doesn’t want to work with Shahrukh? It is a dream come true for everyone to work with him. But I did have such kind of dreams (laughs), and may be that’s why it has been fulfilled so soon. Well, some people feel that Shahrukh is haughty and egoistic? Yes, I also feel the same way that he is arrogant, But his arrogance is commensurate with his stature, his figure as a superstar may be. He becomes arrogant once he is in front of the camera. Otherwise he is very humble and down to earth off camera. On talking to him, you will feel as if you are talking to one of your family members.
somebody says that there is an affair going on between me and Sid? I would like to be an open book in my professional as well as my personal life. But will you deny about your close friendship with Varun Dhawan, right? I will never deny my friendship with anyone, but please don’t call it an affair. What is this that I am being associated with Varun Dhawan along with Siddharth Malhotra? If we are doing a film together does not mean that we are into a relationship. There is pure friendship and nothing else. But because of all this gossip, these two boys have suffered, a lot as they are not being given a lift by the other girls ….. Everybody thinks that they are my boyfriends. Do you order aloo chaat and French Fries as soon as you hop into a
Face to Face
Seems that spicy food is your weakness? I was born and brought up in Mumbai. Maybe that is the reason I like spicy food. But I have to restrain myself to some extent in order to keep myself physically fit. In spite of all this, Delhi and Hyderabadi food are also my weaknesses. Green vegetables and fruits comprise a portion of my food as well. Are you a hard core foodie by nature? Yes, you can say that. It happened many a time that I enjoyed spicy and tasty food during my shoots in the afternoons or in the nights. The best part of it was that I did not feel lethargic after having that much but did the shooting with the same zeal and zest as it was at the start of the day. Which is your favourite season? I love all the seasons. Like in the
“I have shifted to a new house because my father taught me to be independent, but does not mean I am no longer with the family”
Alia , you have really grown up as you have shifted in your new house, leaving your family behind…. Yes, it was my desire since years to shift, as it was the will of my father that I live independently. But to live separately doesn’t mean that you are cut off from your family. Here I am facing a serious problem, that since I am unable to cook, I have to depend on chefs or on home deliveries… You have an upcoming film with Varun Dhawan? Yes we are working together in Shashank Khaitan’s film Badrinath Ki Dulhania, which is a romantic comedy film and a nice effort by the director. I hope that it will be liked by the public.
Your friendship with Siddharth Malhotra is in the air. This is nothing new to me. The media is always trying to giving a hype to my personal life. First it was Varun, then Randeep Hooda, then Arjun Kapoor and now it is Sid. But I don’t mind as this kind of interesting gossip gives you publicity. So why will I oppose if
restaurant? It is not like that, but I am a diehard fan of French Fries and if they are made with love by my mom, then there is nothing that compares. Whenever my mom is free at home, I always request her to make French Fries. You know my mom is a very good cook. In my free time during evenings I relish eating French Fries. I cannot control myself on seeing chaat and pani puri. My favourites. I like all the delicacies made with potatoes, but French Fries are my absolute favourite. In our house everybody likes potatoes and order for aloo fry. It goes without saying that when you have tempting food placed in front of you one forgets all the funda of health and dieting. In non veg, I have a weakness for chicken chilly and chicken lollipop and I cannot hold myself back if these two dishes are placed in front of me.
winters, I would like to visit the places where there is snowfall and would like to make snowballs and to hit my friends with them. I like to drench myself in the rains. I am not that happy about the summers. I am unable to restrain myself to the AC rooms and even feel uncomfortable in front of the arc lights of the AC studios. How conscious are you with regards to your fitness? I am a bit lazy that way. But, yes I practice all that which is required to keep you fit and in good health. I make it a point to take a shower, which rejuvenates me after coming back from the hectic shoot. In summers, I take showers three or four times instead of just twice. I enjoy myself in the bath tub full of foam, sometimes I also put petals and aroma oil which infuses a new energy in me.
30 Vintage Cars
MARCH 19, 2017
The seventh Vintage Car and Concours fete was organised, starting from India Gate The Concours d’Elegance show had some majestic cars vying with each other The Barn Find segment of old, almost derelict cars also held the visitors in awe
rarity and of great value.” He added “Antique cars, consequently, are at the centre of the car collector hobby and vintage rally shows, but later models too find attention for their unique designs and features. High insurance amounts are possible for old cars based on ‘condition rating’ and ‘point system’. Many categoriesthe date of production, restoration, show quality, and so on, determine its value.”
DRIVE THRU PAST
The classic Delhi vintage car rally this year was bigger and better, with the barn find and Maharaja Cars categories enthralling aficionados
ndia Gate experienced an unexpectedly large crowd of tourists and spectators to spend their time last weekend. But other than them, there was also a separate group which had come to watch the vintage car rally presented by 21 Gun Salute, celebrating its seventh edition,showcasing more than 59 vintage cars, bikes, station wagons, Maharaja cars and jeeps. Among these categories there was a new addition of barn find vehicles. The event was programmed in a way that it entertained the visitor and judges for complete three days starting from February 17. The seventh edition of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally &ConcoursShow, was inaugurated at the India Gate Grounds (August Kranti Park), New Delhi on February 17. The show was attended by car aficionados and connoisseurs of art and culture. The Chief Guest for the first day of this 3-day mega event was VinodZutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Governmentof India, who inaugurated the display of Vintage & Classic cars. The event itself was like a fest starting from the display ground, sponsors stalls and including dance and cultural programmes. The event was sponsored by Incredible India, which is the tourism ministry’s brand, Toyota, Amazing Thailand, Himachal and Tamil Nadu tourism departments, and so on. They even organised an art event where the owners with artists made portrays of their vintage vehicles. On entering the ground there was the display of a number of old models in cars, with different body styles, parked in a lineup.
BARN FIND The Barn Find category also attracted crowd attention.Barn find is a term for derelict old cars with all their defects, dents, cracks and rust. Usually, such cars are found in barns, hence the name. People were amazed to see the way the cars were restored and maintained, in good running conditions. There was a Royal Fire Engine which broke all stereotypes and made the visitors think how a fire truck like that could move on its own. One could feel the 1930s and 1940s in the air! Exquisite cars and the owners were standing next to their vehicles and showing off all the special features of their vehicles. Some of the owners started the old engines
of the estate cars which had the smell of engine oil spreading in the atmosphere. We heard a child asking someone “What are vintage cars?” people turned and saw a ten-year-old asking his grandfather this simple question. It was touching moment. The old man replied that “The distinction between antique, vintage, and classic cars varies in countries and car clubs, but a vintage car is generally viewed as a classic. The Vintage era of cars runs between 1919 to 1930. In 1929 the stock market in the West crashed, resulting in a serious lay-off period for auto workers. The automobile production, therefore, slackened between 1930 to 1950 and the old cars became a
Roni Khurshedcher Khan, then just 16, initiated
Vintage Car Rally in 1963 from his residence in the Malabar Hills of Mumbai
VINTAGE HISTORY It had found a beginning in postindependence period. One such beginning was when RoniKhurshedcher Khan initiated it in 1963 from his residence in Malabar Hills, Mumbai. He was then just 16 years old! His collection of cars still finds a place of pride with their present owners. The interesting fact is that at one point in time, history, heritage and culture, along with the rare collection of machines of yesteryears, attracted many visitors from the city who
enjoyed the grand festivity that showcased the rich Indian legacy and narrated a vintage car-fable at India’s most celebratedhistoric site, the India Gate, Delhi. Vintage and classic cars from Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Tamil Naidu, Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra and various other parts of the country were present. Beside these, more than 100 masterpieces of bygone era - the Maharaja Cars and international cars, restored and in good condition, were showcased. International beauties like the 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, 1967 RollsRoyce Phantom V and many more saloons and convertibles, from the imperial houses of Rolls Royce, Stutz, Buick, Ford, Chevrolet, Austin Martin and Bentley, like the 1922 Moon, 1927 Lanchester and 1933 Cadillac V12 7 Passenger Limousine, were the centre of attraction at the show field. Nitin Dossa, President, Vintage & Classic Car Club of India was present at the show. A collector at heart, the man has a pronounced taste for vintage and classic cars. He, along with other VCCCI club members, participated with 30 cars at the Concours Show. The event is a brainchild of Madan Mohan - one of the country’s biggest vintage car collectors.
MARCH 19, 2017
SURYA SEN SINGH
SCHOOLING THE RURAL POOR
This engineer from Ghazipur, now working in Mumbai, had gone through poverty and has now set up a school for the poor
URYA SEN SINGH struggled through poverty and lack of infrastructure to get education. He is now an engineer in a corporate company located in Mumbai. But the 31-year-old engineer didn’t forget his formative values. Those values were formed when he was struggling against poverty, and he is firm that he will personally do whatever he can for children from his kind of background. He works hard to ensure children in rural UP get the education they deserve. Doing corporate job, he also funds a school in Ghazipur district, a remote area of Uttar Pradesh that teaches poor kids, especially girls for a mragre fee of Rs 200. Not only that, the school also promotes girl students for higher education. Singh is
now also working to open a library in the district with the aim to provide free and easy access to educational material to the poor children. As a child, Singh has witnessed extreme poverty, and one of the things poverty affects the most is education. Singh, however, was one of the lucky ones. After completing class 10th, he went to Lucknow in order to receive higher education. He became an engineer and took a job in Mumbai. But he couldn’t forget the struggle he had to go through to get there, a struggle most of his fellow villagers couldn’t afford to pass through. Poverty creates illiteracy and illiteracy creates poverty, and the vicious cycle goes on. Unless someone breaks the
chain, this cycle will be perpetuated, as is the case in most places in the country, and that is exactly what Singh did by opening a school near his village. He founded the Ajivam School near his village Kansahari, Ghazipur district, back in 2015. He said, “There are other schools in Ghazipur district as well, but I clearly wanted to start something specific that would encourage children from the village to come out and study.” The school has classes from lower kindergarten to class 5 and charges fees as little as Rs 200 to 500, depending on the
student’s financial condition. With the school he aims to at least teach every child in the nearby villages at minimal costs. Although the school is not affiliated with the CBSE board, it runs on its own curriculum and is on the path to receive its affiliation as soon it starts teaching students up to 8th class. While Singh lives in Mumbai, his father and brother live in the village, taking care of the school. He calls up his family many times every week to check in on the developments and requirements of the school. The school started its first year with a small number of 49 students which has now grown to 160 students and nine teachers. The number of students increases every year. As the school grows, Singh is now working to open a public library in the district. Lack of resources kills the passion for learning. Poverty forces the students to compromise with their studies leading to many dropouts. Hence, Singh has decided to open up the library. Singh’s idea is that even if the village students drop out due to financial stress on their families, they will at least keep reading books and learn. While he used his own money to set up and run the school, the library is a much expensive and diverse concept. Therefore, Singh is now raising funds for the project.
AISHWARYA R DHANUSH
She wowed audiences at the UN with her classical dance on the occasion of women’s day
filmmaker at core, the daughter of Rajnikant, classical and NDIA has never been danseuse short of child United At Nation’s women’s prodigies. an age when most organisation’s Goodwill Ambassador, of the youngsters are busy clicking Aishwarya Dhanush, and recently gave a InstagramR pictures forwarding Bharatanatyam performance at the New Whatsapp messages, Rohan Suri has
York headquarters of United Nations on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8. The event guested diplomats from across 190 countries as well as India. Before the event, Aishwarya told she will be performing for the song “Maithrim Bhajathey”, sung by the late MS Subbulakshmi in the UN decades back, to highlight the need for peace. The event was organised by India’s Permanent Mission to UN, and co-sponsored by America Tamil Sangam, a US-based Tamil association. Aishwarya said her hourlong performance at the UN headquarters in New York was scheduled on March 8 while thanking Syed Akbarudeen, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN for coming up with such an idea. Aishwarya was chosen as India’s goodwill ambassador for the UN women’s organisation back in 2016. A megastar in South India, she is also an author as well as an excellent classical dancer. Prakash M Swamy, President, America Tamil Sangam, said Aishwarya was the fird Indian danseuse to give a performance as the others in the past included singers or performers on instruments such as Pandit Ravishankar and musician A R Rahman among others. Aishwarya is also set to deliver a talk at Columbia University on Indian Women Filmmakers and will later be felicitated by the Tamil Sangam and Indian Association of Long Island at an event this week.
YARDS AHEAD! The counter-terrorism expert is now heading Scotland Yard and is the first ever woman to do so in its 188-year-old history
RITAIN is experiencing the wind of change in Scotland Yard ever since the 56-year-old Cressida Dick has been selected as the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner. She has became the first woman to take charge of the London’s police force in its 188year history. The Metropolitan Police or Met, as it is commonly known, is the largest police force in Britain.
Dick has taken over from Sir Bernard HoganHowe, who resigned from the post of Metropolitan Police commissioner last month. Dick, 56, was previously the UK’s national policing head on counter-terrorism but left the Metropolitan Police to join the Foreign Office. She emerged as the front runner after candidates who had applied for the post were interviewed by a panel, which included UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd and London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan. Dick said in a statement, “This is a great responsibility and an amazing opportunity. I’m looking forward immensely to protecting and serving the people of London and working again with the fabulous women and men of the Met.” The experienced counterterrorism officer Cressida Dick is an Oxford University graduate. She becomes the senior-most officer in the country, heading a force of some 43,000 officers and staff and controlling a budget of more than 3 billion pounds. Highly respected and popular with ordinary officers, she started off at the Scotland Yard as a constable.
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1. SURESH PRABHU (Union Minister for Railways) 2. PRAKASH JAVADEKAR (Union Minister for Human Resource Development) 3. PIYUSH GOYAL (Minister of State [IC] for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines) 4. VIJAY GOEL (Minister of State [IC] for Youth Affairs and Sports) 5. MUKHTAR ABBAS NAQVI (Minister of State [IC] for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs) 6. DR BINDESHWAR PATHAK (Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement) 7. RAJEEV SHUKLA (Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha) 8. FEROZE VARUN GANDHI (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha) 9. POONAM MAHAJAN (MP Lok Sabha & National President, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha) 10. SUSHMITA DEV (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha) 11. PRIYANK M. KHARGE (Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka) 12. GEETARTHA DARSHAN BARUA (Director, Aduro Impact Technologies Private Limited) 13. AVINASH SAXENA (Co-founder, Roposo) 14. SAURAV KUMAR (Founder and CEO, Cube26)
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Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 1, ISSUE - 13 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