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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561

Vol-1 | Issue-22 | May 15-21, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

Good News Weekly for Rising India

03

felicitation

bhasha sammalen

Dr Bindheshwar Pathak was awarded at the Shirdi Sahitya Sammelan by AISBSSS

06

initiative

garbage money

Shikha Shah is making, and selling, wonderful artefacts made from garbage

22

interview

the sentinnel

DG CISF OP Singh speaks of its great responsibilities and its ‘beautiful future’

swachh bharat mission

Three years after the kick-off

corporates open purse strings for SBK Top business houses were among prominent donors to the government’s Swachh Bharat Kosh in the first two years

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tate-owned public sector units (PSU), private businesses and philanthropic individuals contributed Rs 245 crore to the funds pool in the 2016-17 towards Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK), a corpus set up and controlled by the government to mobilise funds for building toilets across the country. The bulk of the money, Rs 212 crore, came from PSUs such as Power Finance

Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation, and the Power Grid. Big corporate names were missing from the donor list, while small, lesser-known private companies, charitable organisations and individuals contributed Rs 33 crore. The corpus got Rs 253 crore in 2015-16, and Rs 159.61 crore were generated in the launch year. With private individuals, private companies and public enterprises pooling in money for the cause of

Quick Glance Rs 245 crore donated to Govt’s SBK in the last financial year Over Rs 650 crore has been donated to SBK during past three years Donors include not only corporate and PSUs but individuals as well

Swachh Bharat Mission, Prime Minister’s vision of Open Defecation Free (ODF) India has got a major boost. Besides individual and corporate doners, both centre and state governments have been carrying out the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with a never-see-before zeal and candour. Government has been giving away Rs 12000 to each family that wishes to construct a toilet at his house. As a result an undeclared competition has ...Continued on Page 2


02 Swachh Bharat Mission ...Continued from Page 1

may 15-21, 2017

corporate open purse strings for SBK

TOP FIVE PSU DONORS TO SWACHH BHARAT KOSH IN 2016-17 Power Finance Corporation

` 54.82

Rural Electrification Corporation

` 50

Power Grid Corporation

` 30

Airports Authority of India Nuclear Power Corporation of India

Top non PSU corporate/ organization individual donors in 2016-17 V Rethinam

Member Executive Committee New Delhi

` 1.5 crore Vidya Devi

Kantakapur Trust, Mumbai.

` 52 lakh Modine Thermal System Pvt Ltd.

` 20 ` 17 give the project the initial push. Thereafter, it followed its existing CSR programmes. “We participate in a diverse range of CSR activities every year. These efforts can range from donating money and actively working for various causes. In line with this vision, we have participated in the government’s Swacch Bharat Yojana programme in 2014,” a company spokesperson said. Nestle has its sanitation programme providing drinking water and building toilets, as part of its CSR programme. “We continue to engage with stakeholders, including farmers,

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Director, Rohit Jewellers, Kolkata

` 13.7 lakh Praveen Aggarwal

Director, Quality Bag Exporter Pvt. Ltd, Kolkata

` 10 lakh VR Ryankar

Retired lecturer, Bidar, Karnataka

` 10 lakh been triggered between various cities and states to get the distinction of ODF as soon as possible to ach. In the first two years top business houses — Bajaj, Larsen and Toubro, Fidelity Business, Nestle, ITC, GE, and Merrill Lynch — were among prominent donors. They had significantly contributed to SBK although they have their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. Private magnanimity towards the government’s signature campaign to build toilets and free the country of open defecation is not surprising as most of the business houses run their CSR programmes. A Bajaj Allianz General Insurance executive said the company contributed in the first year to

the corpus to Swachh Bharat Mission which was kick started by PM Modi on October 2, 2014

experts, NGOs and the government, and take up activities important for society. Our CSR initiatives are based on national priorities, including Swachh Bharat,” said a Nestle India spokesperson. There is a clause that says private entities contributing less than Rs 10 crore to the corpus don’t have the power

Man Donates Big

` 39 lakh Rohit Kataria,

Private entities contributing less than Rs 10 crore to

A retired employee has been donating one third of his pension for cleanliness drive

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wacHh Bharat Abhiyaan, initiated with the aim to make India dirt and garbage-free has touched the lives of million of people of India. For the first time, a person no less than the Prime Minister of India spoke about cleanliness from the ramparts of the Red Fort during his Independence Day Speech on 15th August 2014. On 2nd October that year the Prime Minister personally wielded the broom and led from the front in the endeavour to create a Swachh Bharat. Time and again, he has spoken about cleanliness and brought it at the forefront of public discourse. Be it an official programme or a political rally, the topic of cleanliness regularly finds a mention. No wonder people from all walks of life have supported Swachh Bharat Mission with unparalleled vigour. The media too has supported the movement. An example of how Swachh Bharat Mission and the Prime Minister’s words have influenced the nation can be seen in the actions of Chandrakant Kulkarni.

Chandrakant Kulkarni, retired government employee, belongs to a middle class family and is a pensioner drawing a monthly pension of Rs. 16,000 per month. Inspired by the Swachh Bharat Mission, he decided to contribute Rs. 5000 per month to the cause and that too not once, but in the form of 52 post dated cheques which bear a date for each forthcoming month! A pensioner giving almost a third of his salary for a clean India. This illustrates the trust the Prime Minister’s words have created in the minds of the people and how citizens are feeling that they are an integral part of taking the nation to new heights of progress. Shri Modi on his part has shared numerous such anecdotes of how people are coming together to create a ‘Clean India.’ Most of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programmes have atleast one anecdote based on cleanliness. As PM, Shri Modi has surely succeeded in creating a mass movement for cleanliness that always augurs well for the growth of India.

to influence or decide where and how the money should be spent. That could be a deterrent for them while in CSR they can decide the place and type of toilets to be built. Naina Lal Kidwai, former FICCI president and the chair of India Sanitation Coalition, said corporate organisations like to run their own CSR programmes where they have a direct say in the execution of projects. “This ensures that a project for which money is spent is sustainable. Corporate like L&T are directly engaged in implementing sanitation projects in states such as Rajasthan. In governmentrun corpuses, they do not have much of a say. This might deter some of them from coming forward.” Besides, the government charges a Swachh Bharat cess on all taxable services to fund its programme. “One of the reasons for the tepid response can be the feeling that individuals are already paying a Swachh cess. So why contribute again?” a government official said. Among private organisations, the largest contribution came from the Kerala-based Mata Amritanandamayi Math, which gave Rs 100 crore in 2015. But 2016-17 was a different story. The top contributor was Ganeshji Mandir Trust on Baba Kharak Singh Marg in New Delhi. It gave Rs 1.5 crore. Mumbai-based Vidya Devi Kantakapur Trust donated Rs 52 lakh, while Kanchipuram’s Modine Thermal System Private Limited gave Rs 39 lakh. The SBK governing council has appealed for more generous donations. “The response has been forthcoming,” a finance ministry official said. Money from the corpus is given to the states to build toilets in rural households and government-run schools.


may 15-21, 2017

Prestigious Award to Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak

03

felicitation

honoured at shirdi by aisbsss Dr Pathak was honoured with a memento and a letter at the national convention of the All India Sarva Bhasha Sanskriti Samanvay Samiti

Dr Pathak being felicitated by Swami Dr Pragyanand Giri and Pt Suresh Neerav (Left); Dr Pathak reciving the momento (Top) and Dr Pathak receiving the appreciation letter (Above)

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three-day national convention “Shirdi- Sahitya- Sammelan”, organised by All India Sarva Bhasha Sanskriti Samanvay Samiti, New Delhi, was inaugurated on 9th May, 2017 by the lighting of a lamp in Shirdi (Maharashtra). The theme of the programme’s thought-session was: ‘The relationship between religion and

politics’, on which the speakers presented their ideas. Padma Bhushan Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, inaugurated the event. The dignitaries present at the event were Chief Guest Rakesh Sharma, chairperson Swami Dr Pragyanand Giri, keynote speaker Rakesh Pandey and speaker Shyam Snehi. Dr Madhu Chaturvedi gave a vote

of thanks. More than 100 writers from all over the country also attended the festival. On behalf of the All India Sarva Bhasha Sanskriti Samanvay Samiti Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was offered angavastram, memento and certificate of appreciation. Suresh Neerav read the appreciation letter in honour of Dr Pathak and Dr Rukh Chaturvedi read the prize

citation. On this occasion Pandit Suresh Neerav’s book, “Netaji in Hell” was released. Several poets, journalists and social activists graced the function by their presence. A book exhibition was inaugurated by the guests on this occasion. Dr. Neelam Sharma gave a vote of thanks. The program was concluded with National Anthem.

Dr Pathak said that “in the wake of Swachh Bharat Mission it was disturbing to know that almost 50 per cent Indians do not have toilets and thus millions of people still defecate in the open. This can be addressed by Sulabh’s 50,000 strong voluntary workforce spread across the country. With the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission, Sulabh has partnered with a large number of corporate houses, such as the Bharti Foundation, ONGC, Maruti, HDFC Bank, SBI, THDCIL, etc. Recently, we have built nearly 12,000

toilets in rural areas of Punjab, he further added. He summed up by saying that “if a right synergy is generated for the sanitation movement, it will ensure a combination of skill development, speedy implementation, and desired result produced. It will give India not only freedom from filth, but also generate employment for a large number of people in the form of sanitation motivators, masons, and artisans engaged in production of construction material involved in toilet construction”.

sulabh & csr

“corporates can partner on swachhta” Addressing the CSR Conclave of the PHD Chamber of Commerce, he said more work needs to be done togather SSB BUREAU

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r Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation Social Reform Movement was amongst the distinguished speakers at the “India International CSR Conclave & Awards 2017”, held on May 11 at PHD Chambers of Commerce & Industry, New Delhi. The Conclave is an ideal platform for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) professionals to discuss how organizations use CSR to integrate

economic, environmental and social objectives with their operations and growth. The expert speakers and panelists at the Conclave provided an in-depth analysis of contemporary CSR issues, trends, challenges, standards and strategies. Dr. Pathak in his address briefed the gathering on the challenges of sanitation in India in the wake of Swachh Bharat Mission and what the government, business houses and Sulabh International can do together to make India clean and healthy.


04 International Family Day

may 15-21, 2017

International Family Day may 15

Family Still Matters in India

The trend of nuclear families in India is increasing but still there is a sense of oneness Quick Glance

Anupama Yadav

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rom dawn to dusk the living room of Parikshit Sharma is full of energy and endless chatters of the family members and delicious meals served together. The three brothers have been living together with their parents in the same house for 30 years in Sultanpuri at North West Delhi. Here, every day seems to be an occasion, a celebration. “There are ten people in my house. My mother wanted all of us to stay together. Money was never an issue in our house as we earn together from our family business. Life is more stable and there is no fear” says Sharma. The International Day of Families annually held on May 15 celebrates the importance of families. Notably, the year 1994 was proclaimed as International Year of Families by United Nations. In an interesting interview in the year 2009, Oprah Winfrey asked the Bollywood icon Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan that ‘Both of you live with your parents. How does that work?’ Abhishek asked Oprah, ‘Do you live with your family. No, how does that work?’ His response convulsed the audience with laughter. However this conversation also shed light on the inevitable reality that the joint family system is still flabbergasting for most of the individualistic countries, where if you aren’t living on your own at 25, shows something is wrong with you. The 2011 Census highlights that in Delhi, 69.5 per cent of the household have only one married couple and less than 6 per cent of all Indian households have nine or more people living in them. Nuclear families are on rise due to job relocation, growing real estate market and changes in cultural

The International Day of Families held on May 15 celebrates the importance of families in all communities Family is a place where people live together, eat together be with each other and grow together Less than six per cent Indian families now have more than nine members staying under one roof

Demographic shift and economic advances have fostered nuclear families, but Indian familial bonding is still far ahead of that in the West

attitudes. Perhaps, family is the ideal scenario where everybody lives together eat together and grow together. But there has been an apparent transformation in that structure too, as the concept of modern joint family is replacing the old joint family system. Interdependence between the family members in large families has been

replaced by independent living and self-sufficient approach. Moreover, changing gender roles, greater employment opportunities and technological advance has brought tremendous change in our family structure. Living Refined Life Anita is 30 year old primary school

teacher living in Indore. Her husband Manish is a financial analyst in a reputed MNC. Together they earn around 90,000 every month. Their daughter Yashvi studies in English medium CBSE School. They all are busy in weekdays but weekends are leisure time for them. The income may not seem a lot but certainly for Anita it’s a big leap as her parents belong to a lower middle class. She grew up in a joint family in small town in Shivpuri. Her father was a clerk with a public sector bank and mother is housewife. Her mother is an illiterate but she made sure that Anita would complete her graduation. Yashvi’s dream is to attain the highest degree and become a lawyer. This is not just the story of Anita but millions of Indians whose lives have ameliorated a generation ago in education, income and better standard of living. Since last decade there has been a considerable shift as consumption Economic growth and urbanisation are rapidly expanding the affluent middle class in India. With 10 million people moving to urban areas each year and incredible growth in service industries, par t i c u l ar l y tec h n ol og y, telecommunications and business process outsourcing, India has a vibrant affluent middle class. New global research reveals distinct motivations and attitudes amongst this group which go beyond traditional demographic and geographical


may 15-21, 2017

International Family Day

05

narendra modi on family values

India’s Sparkling Values Narendra Modi has heaped praise on Surat’s diamond merchants and realtors for their family values, but those values are also observed countrywide

Nuclear families are on rise due to job

relocations, growing real estate market and changes in cultural attitudes boundaries. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development expects this group to increase from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 4.9 billion by 2030. This expansion is global but the pace of change is particularly fast in China, Singapore, India, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. Rise middle affluent class Since 1990s, there was a notion that middle class will rise in a span of time but it could never be the largest segment. However, by 2025 affluent consumer segment will become the largest segment accounting for about 40 per cent of consumption up from about 26 per cent in the year 2015. This section resembles global middle class consumer that indicates considerable growth of middle class for the first time in literal sense. Beyond the basic spending Over the past few years there have been apparent changes in spending patterns of Indians. There is considerable rise in total amount spent on education, leisure and telecommunication which are driven by greater demand and change on supply side. From food to consumer durables there is demand of greater high priced things. Expanding Urban Segment India’s rate of urbanization has been very different from most other countries as it is not confined to few cities, like Indonesia or Thailand, not as fast as in China and it is not as dispersed as in the US. It has been uniquely Indian. It is estimated that about 40% of India’s population will

live in urban areas by 2025, accounting for more than 60% of the total consumption. nuclear family set-up There are multiple factors behind the rise of nuclear family which has been slow and steady phenomenon. Today, nearly 70% of Indian households have a nuclear construct, representing a 13% increase over the past two decades. While this has many social implications, from a pure consumption point of view, it presents a unique opportunity for the same income level; nuclear families spend 20-30% higher per person than joint families. Undoubtedly, any social structure goes through its own thesis, antithesis and synthesis, as per the abstract term of the German Philosopher George Friedrich Hegel. It will be prejudiced to be on one side of the hedge and criticizing the other side. Significantly, joint family and nuclear family has its own pros and cons when it comes to lifestyle, outright development and sense of responsibility among the family members. “The spirit of togetherness with mutual respect is far better than living together under the same roof with bitterness. It is how you conduct relationships that matters most,” says Bhawna Malik, a counselor in Mata Sundari College. Maya Angelou, the American poet, memoirist and civil right activist has rightly said, “Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

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iamond and real estate barons from Saurashtra who have scripted several rags-toriches stories in Surat came in for some lavish praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who extolled their family values of large-heartedness and attachment to their natives. Describing them as the sons of soil, many of whom have risen from abject poverty to become crorepatis, Modi said that their donations for social causes and the urge to give back to the society was inspirational. Modi drew an applause when he said that Rs 500 crore they have contributed for the multi-specialty hospital is “nothing” compared to the treasure of family values of generosity and selflessness that they own. “These are people who have grown up in rural poverty. Throughout the year, their parents only hoped for good monsoon and never discussed whether the children would get proper education. Despite meagre rains. ..despite poor crop that was not even sufficient to feed their own family, these farmer families would ensure that guests don’t remain hungry. They didn’t mind even thieves stealing the handful harvest or birds and animals feeding on them,” Modi said, drawing thunderous applause from the audience. “These are the family values of Gujarat farmers,” Modi said, recalling how he had relished bajri rotlo and khichdi at the homes of many of them. “Because of these morals of giving back to the society, many don’t even get

Quick Glance Modi said more than their wealth what matters is their family values Value system comprises beliefs that parents pass on their children Most family values that parents teach their children in India are similar

sound sleep unless to do an act of donation,” he said. Recalling how he too had grown up among such families, Modi rued the fact that there was a disconnect with them now. “I sometimes feel that these people have got disconnected with me. I have become the PM for them. But if there is one exception, it is Surat that has showered the same praise and affection on me. I don’t feel the tag of PM here.” Values can be defined as certain attitudes and beliefs that a person follows in his conduct. Those standards as per which an individual judges his own actions, whether he is right or wrong can be called as values. Value system comprises of all those beliefs and viewpoints that the parents pass on their next generation, they further pass it on to their offspring and so, the legacy goes on and on. Now let us come to the ‘Indian Family Value System’ what is it and how does it influence individuals. In the Indian culture, there are certain rules and regulations that each and every child is taught right from his childhood. Examples of Indian family values are a young person should always touch the feet of his elders; he should never speak in a high or rude tone to elders.


06 Initiative

may 15-21, 2017

initiative scrapshala

Making a fortune out of Trash A young woman entrepreneur has set up a business of upcycling waste into beautiful objects

Quick Glance Shikha Shah has set up a workshop called ScrapShala in Varanasi She had to face resistance from her family and peers for this project In the past one year she has upcyled 25,000 kgs of solid waste

Srawan Shukla

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his may sound bizarre but this young women entrepreneur gives life to trash and discarded items. She is out to prove that recycling and landfills are no longer sustainable methods to deal with solid waste management in India. She has rather created a fortune out of trash. A new change-maker to keep the environment clean, 28-year-old Shikha Shah is upcycling them. Upcycling is generally a process of giving a new life to the scrapped materially without changing its chemical and original component. Environmental Scientist world over have found this process user-andenvironment-friendly, creative and less energy consuming than recycling solid waste materials. Coming from Varanasi, Shikha Shah seems to have finally found a solution to waste generation and management in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, Varanasi. She upcycled over 10,000 kgs of solid scrap material and over 12,000 of plastic and glass bottles in less than a year by turning them into items of arts and crafts and re-usable. It’s a new beginning in the direction of checking the waste generation and protecting environment. She opened her ScrapShala in January 2016 with the help of her mother Madhu Shah and friend Kriti Singh. Within a year, the small idea turned into successful silent revolution and business venture. Items she designs in her ScrapShala from solid waste and discarded items are now being sold on 18 online sites worldwide including Amazon, Snapdeal etc. She thus broke the ongoing cycle of buying new products and discarding old ones. This small beginning may go a long

Items she designs in her ScrapShala from solid waste and discarded items are now being sold on 18 online sites worldwide

way in saving environment and giving a new direction to waste generation and management, if replicated in other parts of the country. As usual, for a girl of a marriageable age, the journey was not so easy. Breaking away from the dominance of patriarchal society and old values from generations was a tough task for this young Post-Graduate in environment science. Coming from an orthodox business Marwari family, giving wings to her fledgling dreams and ideas was an arduous journey. After doing her schooling from Varanasi, Shikha moved to Delhi. She did her Graduation from Hansraj College in Zoology in 2010. On pressure from family, she made unsuccessful attempts to enter into medical field. Finally, she joined TERI University to do post-graduation in environment science with specialization in water resource management. During this period she travelled extensively to other parts of the country for internship and training. “Whenever I spot mounds of garbage and waste, I would always think about how to make good use of discarded trash,” recalls Shikha. Luck seems on her side. After postgraduation, she got a job in Reliance Foundation as Assistant Project Manager where she got the exposure to social entrepreneurship. During her travel to interiors in Madhya Pradesh under “Bharat Jodo Abhiyaan”, she was fascinated by how rural folks were upcycling trash to give it a

new life and re-use it. “Like my mother, they would not allow anything go waste as garbage. There I realized how my mother used to teach us that nothing is wasted unless you trash it. Everything can be re-invented and given a new life,” says the young entrepreneur. Shikha recalls that she would curiously watch her mother stitching something useful from our old clothes be it pillow covers, rugs or door mats. Thus, Shikha candidly admits that there is nothing new in her idea of upcycling dry solid waste. The idea had been in practice since stoneage in every household. But it takes guts to give shape to the idea.

Adamant to do something on her own, she quit the cozy corporate job at Reliance and returned to her hometown Varanasi. The city of Ghats and temples had changed a lot in nine years. The town was accorded special status after it sent Narendra Modi to Lok Sabha in 2014. After coming to Varanasi she kept blogging, reading, discussing her ideas with mother and friends. After four months, she got an opportunity to join Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) Cell at IIT Madras. “Working at RTBI and meeting with different set of people exchanging and discussing new ideas with them gave me exposure into social entrepreneurship,” claims Shikha. During her stay at the IIT Madras, she also got adequate experience in technology part which was missing in her life. “Since the idea of upcycling was constantly in mind my, I studied a lot about few companies, including US-based CerraCycle, involved into it to come up with my own indigenous version,” says She. She also met cross section of start up businessmen to understand the ground realities about implementing an idea. She got insights to understand about initial hiccups, investment, hardships, skilled manpower, marketing and business


Initiative strategies. Why did she choose upcycling for waste management? “Recycling is a business idea while upcycling is a social one involving a set of like-minded people to make it happen and successful,” she answers. In India, recycling is a costly affair and requires huge investment as well as resources. Moreover, days of land-fills are also over as there is hardly any space left even in smallest cities in the country to dump garbage and solid waste material. After doing enough ground work, she was ready to take a plunge into social entrepreneurship. She came back to Varanasi in November 2015 from IIT Madras and discussed the whole idea with her mother Madhu Singh. There was a strict no from elders in the family. Her grand- parents, Kamla and Ramji Lal, turned down her plea to be a business woman when they were financially comfortable and her father Sanjeev and brother Saurabh were there to look after the family business of manufacturing pipes. But her mother Madhu encouraged her. After two months of brainstorming session, she started making rounds to Varanasi Nagar Nigam officials to explore the possibility of upcycling solid waste they generate. After seeing her presentations, they all assured her their support. Her friend Kriti Singh too was excited to join Shikha. The two would travel to different parts of the city to meet kabadiwalas, artisans, designers, fine art students and a cross section of people to discuss the idea of upcycling solid waste and re-inventing decorative and re-usable items from them. Soon they created whatsapp groups exhorting people not to throw away their

Inspired from Prime Minister Modi Shikha says that the Startup India project is benefitting not just urban, but rural youth as well solid waste trash, plastic and glass bottles, old furniture, metal scrap, rubber, tyres, cardboard and even textile waste but to inform them for pick up. The response was encouraging. “The idea of ScrapShala came to our mind once we got positive response from all corners,” says Shikha. It was opened in January 2016 at their family house. A team of artisans including painter, carpenter and intern designers was engaged. She invested Rs 20,000 to buy her first solid waste trash. Suddenly, a stream of boys and girls started flocking to her threegeneration old Haveli at Gurudham Colony near BHU to work at ScrapShala. Her grand-parents were not happy with garbage being dumped at home and a lot of males coming to their home. They found it a disrespectable job. But soon their apprehensions were grounded once the ScrapShala started upcycling trash into beautiful and decorative items. “When our first buyer, a café owner, came at ScrapShala and lauded our innovative efforts, the family was finally at ease that we are doing something worthwhile for the society,” she claims.

Transforming lives

This enterprise has not only ushered financial wellbeing but also greatly changed people’s mindset towards waste

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crapShala has transformed lives of many people. Manarey Prajapati, a small-time painter at ScrapShala would get irritated at even slightest change in design and colour combination by his mentor Shikha. Today, an illiterate Prajapati, works on laptop and iPad. In less than a year, there is huge change in his attitude and life-style. A person who was not making even Rs 50 a day, Praja[ati is sending his kids to school. “We are amazed when he speaks to clients and uses few words in English to explain the design or art he created on the upcycled scrap material,” shares Shikha. Similarly, Pradeep Kumar, a carpenter would also throw tantrums when asked to work on scrapped old

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wooden items. He would often mumble that what a waste of time working on scrapped woods and add in the same breath that he could have created that item within half an hour had he been allowed to work on new wood. Youngest in ScrapShala, Kumar (21) today regrets how much wood he used to waste working on new woods to create an item. “Management of waste is key to our creation and business. I am happy that my staff members have mastered this art sooner than I expected. If more and more people join this silent but effective revolution in the direction of environment protection, waste generation in India would come down drastically,” claims Shikha.

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he young woman entrepreneur was very much impressed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cleanliness drive, Make in India campaign and Startup India programme. Shikha has no hesitation in admitting that her ScrapShala is a product of PM’s policies. “The Startup India initiative has changed the vision of the young entrepreneurs like me. Its effects can now be seen not only in urban but rural areas also, where youth are giving shape to their creativity and From house to house to word of mouth, innovations at ScrapShala soon became the buzzword in Kashi. People would come not only to buy items but also donate their trash. Encouraged by the response from the people of Varanasi, ScrapShala held its first Exhibition at Assi Ghat only to draw attention of foreigners and overseas buyers. Shikha then opened an online store to promote her sale and take it across the world. Soon the demand and orders started flooding in from online sellers including giants like Amazon, Snapdeal etc. At present, 18 online sellers are in ScrapShala’s client list. For ScrapShala it was time to grow. The ScrapShala moved into a bigger and independent space. It now has a staff of about 15, including eight permanent employees. Being a girl was the biggest challenge, Shikha faced to begin her journey as woman entrepreneur. Investors would also shy away with a question that “what will happen to the business when these girls are married off. But the young entrepreneur has overcome all the challenges through a well chalked out business and community strategy. She is now out to play big in environment protection through her

She got the idea from

rural folks who upcycle trash to give it a new life to household objects and try to re-use it

taking their innovations to the world through the programme,” claims Shikha. Shikha claims that earlier 80 per cent of parents did not know about this initiative at all but today even they are now encouraging their wards to develop their hidden skills through this programme and instead of taking up jobs create jobs for others. ScrapShala alone has so far given direct jobs to about 15 and plans to take their numbers to over 100 within next one to two years. ScrapShala and making a fortune from the trash discarded by people. “My future plan is to set-up a big upcycling production house in Varanasi to supply our products to each part of the country and world over,” she chuckles. To achieve her dream, she has already drawn up a plan. ScrapShala team is not only creating a team of scrap donors from each and every household in Varanasi but also tying up with educational institutes, industries and builders for increasing supply of raw material. She is also trying to have tie-ups with the big corporate houses and industrialists through their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to contribute their bit in environment protection by investing and buying their upcycled products made from scrap. “I am also planning to engage a new set of artisans and designers and working on different waste materials to design new categories of upcycled products for creating a niche market for ScrapShala,” she adds. “Bring a trash and take away an upcycled gift” is the new motto of ScrapShala to create environmental awareness among people of Modi’s constituency. People would often get a surprise upcycled gift when they donate scrap material to ScrapShala. After innumerable awareness campaigns, today Shikha and her ScrapShala team can proudly say that they have successfully created a team of generous group of donors, both individual and industrial, who donate their trash to help keep their neighbourhood and PM’s constituency clean and environmentfriendly.


08 Good News

may 15-21, 2017

good news in brief

welfare martyred families

IAS TO ADOPT FAMILIES OF SLAIN JAWANS

philantrophy

Vivek Oberoi with cancer patient kids to Malaysia He says he is thankful to God for giving him a chance to bring smiles on the faces of suffering kids

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ctor and social worker Vivek Oberoi is taking children from the Cancer Patient Aid Association (CPAA) on a trip to Malaysia in the summer holidays. Vivek is the brand ambassador of the Association. He has been celebrating his birthday with CPAA children for the last 13 years. He also participates in fundraising activity held for the association. Apart from this, every year Vivek keeps doing something or the other for these children. He donates toys or spends his time with them, takes them a movie or for a film shoot. This year Vivek decided to take children to Malaysia in the holidays because these children expressed their desire to go abroad and to board a plane. Vivek wants to take personal care of children in their journey abroad and wishes to share happiness with them. Vivek will spend five days in Malaysia with the children. Vivek Oberoi says, “I am glad that God has given me a chance to bring a smile on these children’s faces, seeing them smiling is always a gratifying experience.” Vivek is currently shooting a South American film “Vivegham” in Serbia. He will soon be seen in Yash Raj’s forthcoming film “Bankchor” and Excel Entertainment’s web series “Powerplay’”

The IAS Officers Association wants to ensure good education to the children of the martyrs and financial assistance to the families

SSB Bureau

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n a major humanitarian initiative, elite Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers have offered to support the families of the security personnel martyred while combating naxalites or terrorists. As per the proposal, about 600 to 700 officials from 2012-15 batches will be adopting at least one family in their appointed area of posting. They will choose the family from the state of their posting (parent cadre) to ensure better communication and ease. They will continue the support for at least 5-10 years depending upon the family’s need. The idea is to ensure that the children of these personnel receive good education and the other family members get the financial assistance and the due compensation as prescribed under the government’s compensatory policy. It has been proposed that an association of IAS officers across the nation will be voluntarily adopting a family the martyred personnel belonging to the defence, CRPF or state police forces. “The officer will not be required to provide any direct financial assistance to the adopted family, but support and handhold its members on a sustained basis so that they live with a sense of security and assurance that the country is taking care of them in their hours of crisis and tragedy”, said Sanjay Bhoosreddy, honorary secretary of the Indian Civil and Administrative Service (Central) Association.

They will need to approach the families and voluntarily offer the role of facilitator who will help them get their dues like pension, gratuity or allotment of services like petrol pump, jobs or assist their children in getting school admission or getting them trained in specific skills under the government’s Skill India or Digital India Programme. The provision also intends to help the dependent family members out through financial institutions, if they are interested in investing in some sort of business or a startup. The officers taking up the role of the facilitator under the initiative will mostly belong to the sub-divisional, additional district or district magistrate level. “Senior officers, or those from state civil services, can also adopt such families voluntarily,” said Bhoosreddy, a joint-secretary level IAS officer who is currently posted in New Delhi as a chief vigilance officer of the MMTC. “We are requesting the state

“We want to ensure they live with an assurance that the country is taking care of them in their hours of crisis”

Snapshots The offer is for families of martyrs of naxal and terror operations The assistance will ensure quick disbursement of pension and other dues Martyrs’ wards will be helped in acquiring skills to land a good job when they are adults

governments and the central government to issue necessary instructions in this regard to all concerned so that this arrangement gets institutionalized at the earliest. The state governments have already been asked to share with the Association the details of such families,” he said Similar particulars will also be sought from the Defence Ministry or Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP or others, stated Bhoosreddy. He also mentioned the possibility of influence that the IAS officers had on the local administrative machinery, which could be “positively channelized to support and help the families of the martyred soldier in an effective and sustained manner”.


may 15-21, 2017

Quick Glance

women tax

Lower taxes for single women?

A national policy for women is expected to be unveiled soon with a bevy of pro-women provisions

SSB Bureau

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cknowledging that women are a disadvantaged section despite comprising nearly half of the population of the country, the Centre is considering lowering income tax for single women, introducing Aadhaar-linked health cards for free basic health check-ups for

women and cashless medical service for those who are pregnant. A national policy for women, framed by a group of ministers headed by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, is expected to be unveiled soon. It proposes a lower rate of income tax for single women as it takes note of a growing segment of the population; there has been a 39% increase in this category between 2001 and 2011. Tax exemption on all menstrual hygiene products has also been proposed to ensure easy and affordable accessibility of these products. Building public toilets for women have been mooted. The survivors of gender-based violence will be provided free medical and legal support, counselling and shelter. Noting the gender bias that often results in less attention being paid to the welfare of women, the policy

gender sky’s the limit

Aishwarya’s Commercial Pilot License Coming Her father did not have Rs 25 lakh to train her as a pilot, but they got the money from local authorities and now she will take off ssb bureau

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n another few months, the daughter of a bus conductor will get commercial pilot license. Aishwarya Patel, daughter of Ganpat Patel, has already completed 185 hours of her scheduled 200 hours of flying training for the CPL and is on way to acquire Airline Transportation Pilot Licence (ATPL) at the age of 21. Aishwarya, who studied in Sanskar

Quick Glance She is the daughter of a bus conductor wanting to fly planes Her grit, along with help from local authorities helped her do that Now within months she will have her commercial pilot’s license

Bharti School, passed class XII in science stream with 70 per cent marks. “I nurtured the dream of flying an aircraft. However, my family’s financial condition didn’t make it easy for me,” Aishwarya said. Ganpat Patel, a bus conductor with Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC), was not in a position to spend Rs 25 lakh required

Women are disadvantageous despite being half of India The Centre is thus mulling a tax cut for single earning women

Good News

09

good news in brief recycling

Funeral wreath Funeral wreaths are to be recycled as organic manure

There could also be other assured health benefits for them

proposes a health card that takes care of check-ups for anaemia and cancers; a cashless service for pregnant women and a comprehensive health insurance for critical ailments. These steps are marked for “urgent action”. Increased participation of men in sterilisationprogrammes and government assisted living facilities for elderly women, especially widows, will also be priority once the Cabinet approved the policy. A separate section outlines the “areas for immediate action” on suggestions of the GoM. The policy also looks at increasing women in the workforce by 50% by 2030, with measures such as a complete registration fee waiver for girls appearing in competitive or entrance exams conducted by government agencies, free coaching and more hostels in cities and towns for working women.

for his daughter’s flying training. “My father always encouraged me to chase my dreams. We approached jilla niyamak office and the state government sanctioned me a loan of Rs 25 lakh at just 4 per cent interest,” Aishwarya, who lives in Jahangirpura, said. She completed her theoretical training and 185 hours of practical flying training in Shirpur in Maharashtra. She would do the remaining 15 hours of flying training in Hyderabad. “I can’t afford to fail in any of the tests because we have limited resources. I always ensured that I cleared every examination in very first attempt,” said Aishwarya. Her elder sister Krishna is studying for diploma in engineering in Surat. Aishwarya said: “If you have the will, then you can achieve anything. I want to be the commander of a big commercial aircraft one day.” SSB had earlier reported the tremendous struggle and grit with which Aishwarya had lifted herself in a men’s bastion, and now her dream is taking off!

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s the demand for flowers is increasing, production is also growing in the same proportion. But there is a problem in disposing them. The piles of flowers in the dumping ground, is a major cause of concern. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation has found an idea to solve the problem. They decided that these flowers which are brought to the cremation ground could be converted into organic manure. The administration has geared up for the job. This project will start from vacant land near the Limestone Cremation Ground. It will be implemented in more places after this. The demand for organic manure from these flowers was there for a long time. These fertilisers will be used in municipal gardens. The manure will also be sold in the market so that the municipal council can also enhance its income.

sanitation

assam sets record

It has surpassed the target set for toilets for this year ssam has surpassed the target set for construction of household toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) during the 2016-17 fiscal. Public Health Engineering (PHE) minister Rihon Daimary said that 10.54 lakh toilets were built in the rural areas of the State during the last fiscal as against a target of 8.50 lakh. The Central government had allocated a total of Rs 747 crore during the last fiscal and the entire amount was spent, he said.

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10 Health

may 15-21, 2017

health news in brief

skin disease Eczema

Eczema Cause Revealed

Scientists have found deficiency of a protein for triggering the disease SSB Bureau

KROX20 Cure for Balding A critical protein that generates the hair shaft can bring this about

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he presence or absence of a group of cells may be behind your balding, or greying hair, as well as the cause for those lush tresses, researchers say. The findings showed that a protein called KROX20 commonly associated with nerve development turns on in skin cells that become the hair shaft. These hair precursor, or progenitor, cells then produce a protein called stem cell factor (SCF) essential for hair pigmentation. In the study, when researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, deleted the SCF gene in the hair progenitor cells in mouse models, the animal’s hair turned white. When they deleted the KROX20-producing cells, no hair grew and the mice became bald. The results, published in the journal Genes and Development, could one day help identify possible treatments for balding and hair greying. If cells with functioning KROX20 and SCF are present, they move up from the base, or bulb, of hair follicles, interact with pigment-producing melanocyte cells, and grow into pigmented hairs. But without SCF, the hair in mouse models was grey, and then turned white with age. Without KROX20-producing cells, no hair grew, the study said. “With this knowledge, we hope to create a topical compound or to safely deliver the necessary gene to hair follicles to correct these cosmetic problems,” said Lu Le, Associate Professor at the university.

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eficiency of a protein that acts as a skin barrier is responsible for triggering eczema -- an itchy inflammation of the skin. Atopic eczema is a common skin condition and often found in children in the first year of their life and persists into adulthood with severe itching that has profound effects on wellbeing and may lead to sleep disturbance. The findings showed that the lack of protein filaggrin impacts other proteins and pathways in the skin, which in turn drive the development of eczema. “We have shown for the first time that loss of the filaggrin protein alone is sufficient to alter key proteins and pathways involved in triggering eczema,” said Nick Reynolds, Professor

Dermatology at Newcastle University in England. “This research reinforces the importance of filaggrin deficiency leading to problems with the barrier function in the skin and predisposing someone to eczema.” For the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ( JACI), the team

Quick Glance Lack of protein filaggrin impacts other proteins in the skin This condition drives the development of eczema The discovery may clear the path to find an effective drug

developed a human model system. Using molecular techniques, the upper layer of the skin (epidermis) was modified, to become filaggrindeficient, as observed in the skin of patients with atopic eczema.The model enabled the researchers to discover proteins and signalling pathways directly downstream of filaggrin, and most importantly, identified a number of key regulatory mechanisms. These included regulators of inflammatory signalling, cell structure, barrier function and stress response. This mapping provides new understanding of the mechanisms involved and suggests targets for future drug development, which could treat the underlying cause rather than treating the symptoms, the researchers said.

disease energy drinks

Energy drinks can kill some

The potential cardiovascular risk of energy drinks continues to emerge as an important public health issue

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ven a small amount of caffeinated energy drinks may trigger serious cardiac events in some people with a genetic heart condition that can cause rapid, irregular heartbeat, a study has warned. The researchers assessed the risk of cardiac events following consumption of energy drinks in patients diagnosed with congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS), a condition that affects one in 2,000 and that can cause rapid, irregular

Quick Glance Findings say risk of cardiac events increase after taking energy drinks Even small amounts of this can cause changes in the heart The results showed three patients had dangerous QT prolongation

heartbeat that can lead to sudden death. The study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, showed that even small amounts of energy drinks can cause changes in the heart that can lead to life-threatening arrhythmias or improper beating of the heart. “The potential cardiovascular risk of energy drinks continues to emerge as an important public health issue,” explained lead investigator Christopher Semsarian of University of Sydney and Centenary Institute, Australia. “The population most at risk is teenagers and young adults, representing the population these drinks are most heavily marketed towards. Since energy drinks are widely available to all ages and over the counter, it is important that cardiovascular effects of these drinks are investigated,” Semsarian said. The study was designed to assess the acute cardiovascular responses to

energy drink consumption in patients with familial LQTS and to discover whether any identified cardiovascular effects correlate with changes in blood levels of the active ingredients - caffeine and taurine. Investigators recruited 24 patients aged 16 to 50. More than half were symptomatic before diagnosis and receiving beta-blocker therapy. Participants were assigned to energy drink or control drink groups for the first study visit. The energy drink consisted of two sugar-free cans totaling 160mg of caffeine and 2000mg of taurine, totaling 500ml. The control drink was a cordial-based 500ml drink with no caffeine or taurine. The results of the study showed that three patients exhibited dangerous QT prolongation following energy drink consumption and two of the three had sharp increases in blood pressure.


may 15-21, 2017

health solar lighting

Rural clinics saved! With tens of thousands of rural healthcare clinics, without reliable power supply, the government is now running a solar project

Ians

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or Dr Vinayak Salunke, flashlights worth less than $10 each are one of the most valuable assets at the Vihamandra health centre in Aurangabad of Maharashtra. With the clinic serving a population of 48,000, Salunke must prepare for up to six hours of power cuts daily, rather like a surgeon scrubbing up for

surgery.”We don’t have power backup, so the torch batteries are vital. We check them every day,” he said. “We also monitor the temperature of our refrigerator constantly to make sure vaccines and drugs are safe. It’s become a way of life now.” The health centre is one of tens of thousands in India with little or no power supply that are now looking for alternative ways to stay functional. Across several states in India, government health centres are gradually turning to solar energy for a reliable power supply to store their vaccines, operate infant warmers, sterilise equipment and cut the time spent caring for patients. Up to now, solar has been deployed at such facilities mostly on a small scale, not as the main source of electricity. To change that, a pilot project launching this month in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana states aims to set up replicable, cost-effective solar power plants at health centres the first point

Quick Glance Nearly 35 million people in rural India relied on un-electrified clinics Government health centres are turning to solar energy for support A pilot project aims to set up costeffective solar power in clinics

of access to a doctor for rural residents and evaluate their impact on healthcare delivery The Indian Council of Medical Research and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a non-profit research institute, are collaborating to light up three centres and meet their essential operational requirements. “The aim... is to create resilient health systems in rural India, benefiting primarily women and children,” said SoumyaSwaminathan, director-general of the medical research council. “Illnesses do not come based on the time electricity is available. Any time a patient comes, electricity should be available to enable quality health services.” Nearly 35 million people in rural India relied on un-electrified primary health centres as of 2015, according to government data. Courtesy: Thomson Reuters Foundation

genetics MOTHER TONGUE

Mother Tongue Unforgettable! Kids adopted in a new country have an advantage in learning their native tongue as adults SSB Bureau t is said in common lore that unborn kids start learning their mother tongues even while in the womb. In fact, Mahabharat’s legendary warrior Abhimanyu had learnt the entire strategy of entering the Chakravyuh while still unborn. Could this be true, after all.New evidence suggests that the earliest traces of a language can stay with us into adulthood, even if we no longer speak or understand the language itself. And early exposure also seems to

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Quick Glance The earliest traces of a language can stay with us into adulthood This happens even if we do not speak the language as adults Language learning can be retained subconsciously, the study says

speed the process of relearning it later in life. In the new study, recently published in Royal Society Open Science, Dutch adults were trained to listen for sound contrasts in Korean. Some participants reported no prior exposure to the language; others were born in Korea and adopted by Dutch families before the age of six. All participants said they could not speak Korean, but the adoptees from Korea were better at distinguishing between the contrasts and more accurate in pronouncing Korean sounds. “Language learning can be retained subconsciously, even if conscious memories of the language do not exist,” says Jiyoun Choi, postdoctoral fellow at Hanyang University in Seoul and lead author of the study. And it appears that just a brief period of early exposure benefits learning efforts later; when

Choi and her collaborators compared the results of people adopted before they were six months old with results of others adopted after 17 months, there were no differences in their hearing or speaking abilities. “It’s exciting that these effects are seen even among adults who were exposed to Korean only up to six months of age— an age before which babbling emerges,” says Janet Werker, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, who was not involved with the research. Remarkably, what we learn before we can even speak stays with us for decades.

Health

11

health news in brief

Coffee, Sleep Reduce Pain

Caffaine has successfully blocked pain hypersensitivity

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ather than taking painkillers, patients with chronic pain might benefit from better sleeping habits coupled with daytime alertness-promoting agents such as coffee, suggests a research. The study, conducted on mice, revealed that five consecutive days of moderate sleep deprivation can significantly exacerbate pain sensitivity over time in otherwise healthy mice. Common analgesics like ibuprofen did not block sleep lossinduced pain hypersensitivity. Even morphine lost most of its efficacy in sleep-deprived mice. In contrast, both caffeine and modafinil drugs used to promote wakefulness successfully blocked the pain hypersensitivity caused by both acute and chronic sleep loss. “This represents a new kind of analgesic that hadn’t been considered before, one that depends on the biological state of the animal. Such drugs could help disrupt the chronic pain cycle, in which pain disrupts sleep, which then promotes pain, which further disrupts sleep,” said Clifford Woolf from Boston Children’s Hospital in the US. For the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers measured the effects of acute or chronic sleep loss on sleepiness and sensitivity to both painful and non-painful stimuli. They then tested standard pain medications, like ibuprofen and morphine, as well as wakefulnesspromoting agents like caffeine and modafinil. They also developed a protocol to chronically sleep-deprive mice in a non-stressful manner, by providing them with toys and activities at the time they were supposed to go to sleep, thereby extending the wake period.


12 Christian Missionmanity

may 15-21, 2017

CASA social service

Serving Humanity since Independence

Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action not only helps the needy but also empowers them

Quick Glance ashima

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hurch’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) is dedicated to the service of humanity for past 70 years. Its proclaimed aim is not only to assist and help those in need but also empower them by making them aware of their rights and the process through which they can seek support. CASA began its work seven decades ago in India when the country became independent. In the horror and suffering that followed the partition, CASA stepped forward to provide help to the countless homeless and lost migrants. Ever since CASA has been actively working to assist, empower and rehabilitate people in distress in 249 districts of 26 states in India. self help CASA’s mission is to enable the people who are in need of outside help to realise how they can provide opportunities for themselves. The motive is to help these people form associations, leading to further improvements in their condition. They can find out which plans or projects are there for their welfare. For example, it was only due to CASA’s intervention that programs under MANREGA and National Food Security Act could be implemented in the rural areas successfully. The

CASA’s intervention ensured that programmnes

under MANREGA and National Food Security Act could be properly implemented marginalised and the poor are often ignorant about the schemes launched by the government to help them; they are not aware of the offices and authorities whom they must approach to receive the benefits that have been earmarked for them. This is why many government schemes don’t reach them. It is CASA’s effort to usher in awareness among the people. The Beginning Partition was one of the most violent and tragic happenings in post- independence India. CASA stepped in at this moment to help the migrants who entered the country after facing the hardships of displacement. CASA had a lot to do to help these unfortunate peoplein relocating themselves in a new place and in new circumstances. Today CASA is working in many new areas like Women’s empowerment, offering opportunities for womens health, sanitation, training in skills like fabric painting, embroidery, vocational skills, IT literacy etc . One of the major problems in India

today is the exodus of rural population into urban areas. People are coming from villages into cities to find work and employment. A serious problem is related to residential space crunch. CASA is doing a yeoman’s job in creating job opportunities possilble

CASA started work in India around the time of partition’ It is actively working in 249 districts of 26 states in the country It is providing employment in rural areas to check migration

in rural areas so that migration can be checked. The state is being duly helped by CASA in providing employment in rural areas. Disaster Management Disasters have a serious impact on

Main Objective

CASA basically functions with the Christian values of peace, justice and universal brotherhood

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he main objective and motivation behind CASA are the basic values on which Christianity is based: the princilples of peace, justice, and brotherhood. The mission is to help people in all kinds of disasters, caused by nature or by man. Dr Sushant Aggarwal, director, CASA, says that

God has not made any distinction between his creation, he has not made people rich or poo r. All discrimination is made by mankind, due to man made systems. These can be removed only if we are determined to do so to help those who have been denied their basic needs in life.


may 15-21, 2017

School Admission

13

school admission

EWS admissions, no more a black box Delhi HC in a landmark judgement has eased out the admission process under the EWS quota of Right to Education Act, benefitting thousands in the process robin keshaw

S CASA offered the much needed relief during the Uttarkashi floods and landslides which led to great loss of lives and property

human beings. During such times in the country. CASA has been at help of the affected people. One may recall how the organization came forward to offer assistance to victims during the 2004 Sunami that caused havoc in Indian coastal areas. The extraordinary contribution made by CASA’s Disaster Risk Reduction program has made a great difference to people who suffered loss during these calamities. CASA offered much needed relief during the Uttarkashi floods and landslides which led to great loss of lives and property. The organization also provided relief to people during the floods situation in Kashmir. Both these calamities were the source of anxiety and suffering to thousands of people. The Long-term Rehabilitation Program by CASA too was a step in this direction. In 1960 CASA backed the Food Support for Community Mobilization or Food for Work Project for the poor and the homeless. 3000 metric ton of foodgrains were made available per year for the people in acute conditions. Efforts were also made in encouraging water- harvesting, construction work and employment initiatives. Social service Tradiditional concept of social welfare is through charity. The important factor is how and what can be done to help those who require it. There is no expectation from the

recipients. But the modern concept of social service is different. It places importance on empowerment, on self reliance and self respect. Nirmal J Singh, the Head of Emergency, CASA, says that the traditional view in ‘need- based’, that is, the work ends once the needful is done. A later phase of social service was ‘issue based’, that is, a particular matter was the focus of attention. But the more recent vision of social work is ‘Rights’ based. In this the receiver is involved in the development process; alternative paths are discovered so that continued dependence on others is avoided. In rural regions emphasis is laid on factors like discussion, participation and partnership.The people who need help are trained to find ways to solve their difficulties on their own. This improves their leadership qualities and sense of responsibility. Challenges Nirmal J Singh, the Head of Emergency, says that the organization begins to work from the grassroot level as problems are usually based at the most basic and fundamental social level. Caste, therefore, was one of the major issues they had to face in their work. At that plane in society, people with rigid mindset who could not think beyond caste, created difficulties and obstacles. This was not unexpected. But despite challenges, the organization continued to work with courage and determination.

chools are the melting pot of social inclusion. In this light, Section 12(1)(c) of Right to Education Act which mandates all private schools to reserve 25% of its entry level classroom seats for children belonging to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and socially disadvantaged group (DG), has been a landmark step to build pluralism in society. However, the implementation of Section 12(1)(c) has been poor across the states. The fill rates have been low and access to information pertaining to admission, obscure.

right of admission. A PIL filed by Anurag Kundu, an education scholar and others, in Delhi High Court requested the Court to direct the municipal bodies to display the information correctly on their website. The petitioners also argued for a robust grievance redressal system, so that parents are not harassed unnecessarily. Justice Gita Mittal, acting Chief Justice of Delhi HC, heard the matter and directed the municipal bodies to comply with the request of petitioners. HC directed all three municipal corporations to put all the information regarding the number of vacancies and the complete details of admission

Quick Glance The HC has ordered admission of EWS students in private schools This has become a landmark decision to promote pluralism The ruling orders all information be made available online

In Delhi itself, the three municipal corporations recognise more than 1000 private schools who are mandated to take admission under Section 12(1)(c). The total number of seats available for admission is around 12,000. However, due to lack of transparency (information regarding number of seats, documents required, procedures), parents and children have to run from pillar to post to avail their legal

process, in the public domain by February 1st of every year. The order also mentioned that schools ‘shall provide complete information with regard to the updated grievance redressal mechanism to the Municipal Corporation on or before 1st February of each calendar year. The judgement stands to benefit thousands of parents and children, who were kept in dark about the whole admission process, thus allowing schools manipulate. Anurag Kundu termed the judgement historic as he believes that transparency and accountability are the cornerstones of a strong democracy. He is hopeful that such steps would be replicated across the country, to realise the grand vision of social inclusion in schools.


14 State News

may 15-21, 2017

State news in brief maharashtra

Junk food banned Pizzas, burgers and wafers will vanish soon

arunachal pradesh organic farming

a three-year deadline is set

The state to junk agro-chemicals over the next three years

Raj Kashyap

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a h a r a sh t r a administration has banned junk food in school canteens. The ban includes eatables like Burgers, Pizzas, Potato wafers, Maida items, Chocolate, Jalebi, Boondi, Gulab jamun, Pastries, Noodles, Fried chips, Jelly, Gol gappa etc. A clear direction to the School Education Department has been given by the government in this regard, which should be implemented immediately. It has been widely reported that Junk food is harming children’s health. Therefore, it is necessary to ban the sale of junk food. Anxiety about the health children has been expressed by the administration. Their guidelines say that the use of the sugar is high in eatables sold in the canteens.

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etting a time frame of three years to turn Arunachal Pradesh into an organic State, Chief Minister Pema Khandu called upon all concerned departments to tighten their belts and prepare a sound road map to achieve the target. Chairing a meeting of the Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB), along with Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Agriculture Minister Wangki Lowang, Khandu said the state government would do everything possible to strengthen the APAMB so that it becomes a viable platform to link-up farmers and buyers in a sustainable manner. “We often talk of our huge potential in agri-horti products, but we have failed to tap these resources economically and have done little to economically strengthen our farmers,” Pema observed. The Chief Minister informed that the state government has taken the sector

Quick Glance

assam development

karbi hills to get special focus

Assam Chief Minister focusses on development of the terror-infested areas in the state ssb bureau

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ith a view to accelerate the pace of development in the hill districts of the state, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has recently laid the foundation stone of several projects in Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts. The Chief Minister during his daylong tour kick started the works for construction of a Civil Hospital, DIET, Polytechnic Institute, B.Ed College at Hamren, Public Hall at Baithalangsu and Science College at Dongkamokam. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal assured that the Government of Assam would ensure safety and security of all people living

on top priority and also kept enough budgetary provisions to explore and enhance productivity. He said that the Board has to revive its marketing committees in the districts, which are almost defunct, and usher in a new window for facilitating marketing produces. He also directed the departments and the Board to collect real-time data of produces from the districts to enable experts in suggesting workable and profitable proposals for marketing. Lamenting that departments like agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry are not doing

in the hill districts and uphold the selfesteem of the Karbis. The Chief Minister also reiterated his commitment to usher equal development of all communities and strengthening better ties and harmony amongst them all. “Government of Assam is fully aware of both challenges and opportunities in development of Six Schedule areas

The CM laid the foundation of a number of developmental projects These include hospital, B Ed college and a science college The grants for the two Karbi Anglongs have been hiked by 20 %

of the state. The area specific special requirement of Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong district will always be priority of the Government and they will continue to get special attention”, Sonowal said adding that in the 201718 Budget, Govt. of Assam has made an all time higher allocation of funds to the Councils. This amount is about 20% more than last years’ budget. The Chief Minister also mentioned that an amount of Rs.50 crore as onetime special grant for undertaking various developmental works in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council area is allotted. “Since, there is only one Government college in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council area, it is proposed in the Budget 2017-18 to set up one more

Quick Glance State Government has been laying special emphasis on organic farming APAMB to collect real-time data of produces from the districts A scientific approach in marketing agri-products has to be developed

justice to their responsibilities, the Chief Minister said that officers of these departments have to change their mindset as well as their work culture. “The state government will reward outstanding officials but at the same time will not hesitate to take action against non-performing officials,” he said. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein called for scientific approach in facilitating marketing of agri-horti produces. Citing the many cold storages constructed across the state are lying defunct, he said there is no point in creating infrastructure worth crores if these are not put to use as intended. Mein suggested taking the help of NABARD in financing the Board so that it could play a pivotal role in facilitating marketing of local produces, besides earning revenue for the state. Agriculture Minister Wangki Lowang too emphasized on strengthening the Board by redefining its roles and responsibilities. He said that the Board needs to be professionally fine-tuned for better output.

Government college for Science stream”, the Chief Minister said while laying the foundation stone of Science College at Dongkamokam. The setting up of B.Ed. College and DIET will further improve the academic environment in KAAC, Sonowal added. Maintaining that proper harnessing of tourism potential can bolster manifold economic growth in Assam, Chief Minister Sonowal appreciated the vast resources available in the hill districts and assured that the Government would unleash series of activities to promote the tourism potential of the autonomous council areas. Underlining the “Discovery of Assam” initiative, which is launched by the state Government to unearth the uniqueness and vast pool of resources of the state to highlight a positive image of Assam in the global arena, Chief Minister Sonowal commented that this project would also benefit Karbi Anglong. The Chief Minister further promised to vigorously carry forward major initiatives to transform the education, health, communication, employment, youth empowerment, agriculture and tourism sector of the hill districts.


may 15-21, 2017

ODF

15

andhra pradesh open defecation free

Bollavaram shows the way In Guntur, villagers of Bollavaram came together and ensured that the gram panchayat became open defecation free anupama yadav

“I

neither had a toilet at my mother’s home nor at my mother-in-law’s home after marriage. Sadly, open defecation was a regular practice but I do not want my daughter- in- law to face similar problem. So, I constructed toilet in my house and asked her mother to get a toilet constructed in her house too”, says Shamshun, a resident of Bollavaram in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. What inspired her to take this initiative was the Swachh Bharat Scheme. There have been many such paragon in different states who have achieved open defecation free badge, however the core challenge on this way is to maintain that status and motivation. The Panchayat Team and community at Bollavaram in Muppala Mandal of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh is all set to focus on post achievement consequences. Be it awareness among people or keeping a check on them, the team is persevering to devise mechanism where everyone watches over the others. Strikingly, in this village whoever finds someone defecating in open complaints to the Sarpanch of the village, thereby Sarpanch counsels them and levies a nominal fine. Besides, the Sarpanch also rewards those who pass on the information of open defecation. Total number of household in Bollavaram Panchayat is 353 with a total population of 1433. Remarkably, Bollavaram was one of the first to be declared ODF Panchayat in 2015 itself. Under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission, Mandal officials discussed the indispensability of Sanitation with the Sarpanch and Panchayat Secretaries especially the dire need to apprise and motivate the community members to attain complete sanitation. The GP team - Panchayat Secretary, Sarpanch, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers - took up the initiative to visit all household explaining the indispensability and need of sanitation. The first step was construction of toilet. Few household did not show interest in getting the toilets constructed. The team persuaded the people by telling them that toilet construction is about dignity of women, health and overall well-being. As soon as Shamshun came to

know about Swachh Bharat Scheme in a meeting conducted regarding the scheme by Sarpanch and officials, she came forward to construct toilet utilizing the subsidy given under the scheme. To reckon, in 1937, Gandhi received a letter from a villager living in Birbhum, a district in India’s eastern state of West Bengal. The writer asked Gandhi how he perceived an “ideal village” and what problems he thought plagued Indian villages. His response appeared in a 1937 edition of “Harijan,” another weekly publication, which Gandhi began editing in the early 1930s. “An ideal village will be so constructed as to lend itself to perfect

government support,” The most grappling problem in the construction of toilet was the financial paucity. The household showed unwillingness to come forward to construct individual household latrine as there was a fear of receiving the fund after the construction. Another issue was the space where household wanted to reconstruct toilets. However, the Gram Panchayat team spoke to the households individually and explained that household have to construct their individual household latrines till the scheme lasts. The Gram Panchayat team also participated in deciding the

Shamshun, a resident of Bollavaram in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh

An ideal village will be so constructed as to lend

itself to perfect sanitation - Mahatma Gandhi wrote in a seminal article in Harijan sanitation…The very first problem the village worker will solve is its sanitation,” he wrote. The government of India with succor of partners like UNICEF is quite serious about the challenge of open defecation free country. The government has a target to make India open defecation free by 2019 and UNICEF India is a key partner in its flagship programme to achieve the target through the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). A Bollavaram resident says, “Once I understood the importance of having a toilet at home and the benefit for myself and my children, I put in my own money even before receiving

space where the individual household latrines should be constructed so that it does not have to be demolished or reconstructed. Moreover, despite all motivation, the Sarpanch contributed some money and also got some discount on the raw materials to lessen the burden on the families facing financial strain. The next challenge was to convince them to use it habitually and breaking their notion that toilets are used only when there is no more available space for open defecation. Significantly, it seems that having toilet in home has become a symbol of pride now. There is an apparent rise in street plays, puppet shows

Quick Glance The Sarpanch convinced every resident to have a household toilet Sarpanch’s team also ensured discounts in purchase of material Bollavaram became open defecation free in by 2015 itself

rallies and discussions to sensitize the communities and educate them the significance of cleanliness. Indeed, the Swachh Bharat Mission has galvanized country’s sanitation sector to fulfill the ambitious goal to make India open defecation free by 2 October 2019 on 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the sustainable approaches is community led total sanitation. This involves bringing up the residents of community to participate in their own way and create awareness among people to develop healthy sanitation habits. Recent findings of Swachh Sarvekshan Survey threw light on cleanliness of the nation on various parameters including waste collection, ODF status, citizen feedback and individual observation by ranking 434 cities. The aim of the survey was to monitor the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission. The Indore Municipal Corporation claimed to have covered all its wards with door to door solid waste collection, instituted waste segregation and installed tracking devices for garbage trucks. It is quite laudable that Indore uses the plastic generated in the city for road construction and repair. A World Bank study estimates that the resulting loss to the Indian economy is 6.4 per cent of GDP because of improper sanitation. In over two and a half years since the beginning of Swachh Bharat Mission more than 1, 80,000 villages, 130 districts and three states have been declared open defecation free. It is worth considering that cleanliness has become a pivotal issue now and more and more states are trying to get the badge of open defecation free state. This manifests that Swachh Bharat Mission will become a reality soon. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi puts it, “If people of India can reach Mars with minimal expenditure why can’t they keep their streets and colonies clean.”


16

may 15-21, 2017

sharad gupta

“Courage is grace

under pressure” Ernest Hemingway

A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications

VIEWPOINT

Will Amaravati be a Model City? India needs new cities to sustain its current growth rate

monsoon mission

must start now Once rains start, the usual afflictions will resurface

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eather is extremely hot. Sun is scorching and unrelenting. The pleasant feeling of Monsoon is at least two months away. And that presents us with an opportunity to utilise this period to prepare to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases in post-monsoon season. Diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria, Yellow Fever and Japanese Encephalitis have been claiming hundreds of lives in the Gangetic plains. This year, some cases of dengue have been reported in the summer season itself. It is the bounden duty of the government to safeguard people’s health. Municipal corporations need to clear the drains to prevent flooding. They also have to raise the awareness level to check accumulation of stagnant water in or around homes to prevent the breeding of deadly mosquitoes that carry these germs. They need to carry out intensive fogging with the onset of monsoon to kill disease carrying mosquitoes. Government should also sensitise the medical and paramedical staff about these diseases so that people should not face scarcity of beds or proper medical care, especially in rural areas. The Narendra Modi government has already taken long strides in fields of science, technology and medical care. It only needs to coordinate with state governments to prevent the annual calamity and how they can make healthcare at grass root level more efficient.

Editor-in-Chief

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: editor@sulabhswachhbharat.com, ssbweekly@gmail.com

A

s India is moving full steam to become a global economic superpower, there are few areas of concern as well. Most of the growth is driven by urban megapolis from sectors like automobile, software, entertainment, telecommunications; where as sixty per cent of Indian population depending mostly on odd jobs or agriculture. With agriculture still not a profitable venture; farmers have been migrating to the cities after selling their lands thus straining the urban infrastructure. It is therefore, imperative for the government to maintain a focus on urban infrastructure. Economists and urban planners the world over have concluded that India’s growth story will now be fuelled by new-million plus mega cities likely to come up as part of government’s thrust on building smart cities. Modern India has already seen two wellplanned cities so far – Chandigarh and a more recent one in New Raipur. Both have been doing well. Yet, it is a third one –Amravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh; which will be the cynosure of all eyes. It will be one of the few Greenfield cities in India. Capital city building calls for a framework of working with experts guided by mature capabilities for synthesis achieved through dignified architecture. Of immense importance is the very process of capital city building – sound institutional mechanisms right at the inception that are likely to substantially determine its future. Amaravati would have high rises, inland waterway and a well-defined elevated metro corridor. It is being planned to be a administrative and financial hub much in the fashion of Singapore, London’s City and New York’s Manhattan, a city to go to work in but not affordable enough to live in for the salaried classes. It will have a well laid-out plan for residential areas bordering the river front, away from the core of the commercial hub. One major highlight is the inclusion of greenery, the hallmark of

Singaporean constructions, in the design of the seed capital area. Masterpieces in art and architecture serve as cultural anchors, icons and symbols of reassuring pride, and hope for the societies that produce them, even as they enrich and ennoble everyday life. The role of master architects, artists and craftsman hence is ever invaluable. Report of the expert committee formed to incorporate Telugu culture and history in the design of Amaravati is expected to be out soon. The government aims to develop Amaravati into the best city of the century. But there is a crucial policy question that often gets neglected: Is developing a new city necessarily a better option than expanding and improving existing cities? The evidence suggests that allowing existing urban centers to grow may be a more efficient strategy than creating new urban areas. On the other hand, economist Ruchir Sharma criticized India for its inability to create new cities with million-plus populations. Sharma laid out the statistics: Over the last three decades, China has converted 19 of its less than a quarter-million cities into boom towns of greater than a million. India has achieved this feat in just two cities and that too with some help from the redrawing of maps. Perhaps both of them are correct. The key lies in understanding the phenomena of urban economies and diseconomies. Concentration of firms and population in an area leads to higher accumulation of knowledge and labour to draw from. It also reduces the transportation costs

Amaravati is being

planned to be an administrative and financial hub much in the ilk of Singapore, London City and New York’s Manhattan


may 15-21, 2017

India needs new, big

cities with good infrastructure to promote business and also preserve spaces for social interaction and lowers the transaction cost in general through the creation of a large enough market. This leads to a rise in productivity and the concentration of yet more people and firms in the locality. But there are costs to this agglomeration. Massive demand for scarce land makes real estate prices shoot up. Traffic gets clogged, the air gets polluted and the crime rate picks up. So clearly, there is an optimal size of the city over and above which the utility for all the residents declies with the increase in every single household. But the net utility is still higher than a newer city unless the latter gains a critical mass of firms and population for the agglomeration economies to show effect. So, Sharma’s criteria of creating new million-plus cities is a reasonable one because at that level of population, cities become the desired growth engines and can help reduce the burden from other megacities which are well above their optimal size limits. This is not an argument for government intervention to limit megacity sizes but merely one for creating new but big enough cities or turning smaller cities into bigger ones. The second-tier cities improved their infrastructure and tapped into their labour cost advantages to attract manufacturing firms which created a virtuous cycle of further concentration of firms and migration of population. The lack of a manufacturing revolution in India because of infrastructural deficiencies and regulatory maladies like employment-unfriendly labour laws has contributed to the under-proliferation of large new cities. The few attempts that have been made to create new urban areas have been deeply flawed from inception. Take Lavasa, for example. The private developer behind the project has expressed apprehension about the growth of slums in the hill city. This fear is unfounded as the presence of slums which provide cheap entry into an urban economy indicates the ability of a city, to attract the least fortunate. Governments think of new cities as their projects for subsequent elections, and a number of consultancy and real-estate firms are ever willing to have a share of the pie. But this is not a recent trend. Post-war Europe led the way in the 20th century. India needs a lot of new, big cities which provide good infrastructure to attract firms and also preserve a space for social interaction among all strata of society. One hopes that Amaravati and other such projects will learn from history.

Oped

17

Let’s stay together

robin keshAw

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

India has been a paradigm of strong family values and ethos. But, with changing times, these values are deteriorating. There is an urgent need to reverse this trend

upfront

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ocial we fail to understand what we are and what we are trying to seek. Social structures of a culture are the bedrock of its identity. For individualistic culture in western societies, family hasn’t been the central theme of their progress. In contrast, Indian social vehicle has always been driven by the sociological unit of family, which is an important characteristic of the collectivist nature of Indian society. It is believed that our rigid caste system is a result of this approach. But, in more ways than one, the collectivist trait has advantage over the individualistic one. It raises the individuals, for whom personal goals are as important as the collective good. However, things have changed way too fast in last decade or so. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of people living alone has risen by 10 per cent. As per 2011 census, almost 15 million elderly

Indians (above 60 years) are living alone. Such statistics clearly point to a trend where we are becoming increasingly individualistic. Rapid ubranisation has given rise to the nuclear families. Numerous research has pointed out that children in joint families have better

social skills than the ones in nuclear families. Clearly, the current trend in India calls for a much wider introspection on our family ethos and values. United Nations has declared ‘Families, Education and wellbeing’ as the theme for this year’s International Day of Families. It

‘focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members.’ Indian art and culture is going to play a significant role in endorsing the importance of families. Critically acclaimed movie, Mukti Bhawan, showed the degradation of family values in a much nuanced way. Cinema can play a very important role in highlighting the need of strong family values. Children learn about the family values from what they observe from their parents. In all likelihood, they are going to replicate same attitude, when they grow up. School system can play very crucial role in making the young minds understand the importance of families. On individual basis, the spirit of family should be celebrated on regular intervals. As a society, we collectively need to understand the importance of what Michael J Fox has said, “A family is not an important thing, it’s everything”.

letters to the editor man. He was a movie star, a political figure, a spiritual follower of the godman Rajneesh, a popular friend to his colleagues in the film world and an icon for more than one generation. The article traced his growth as a star and a human being. He will be remembered for long. Thanks for writing a sensitive piece. Sahil Sharma, Pune

Celluloid icon The article on film actor Vinod Khanna who passed away recently, was a touching tribute to the versatile

kudos to police The article on ‘De-addiction Centres’ started by Delhi Police shows the human face of the police force. It is an important initiative because the role of the law enforcement bodies is not merely to punish but also to help society to reform and rehabilitate offenders, especially children. I think the police should encourage more such programs. Punit Malhotra, Delhi

inspiring story The article ‘83% Indians Find Swachh Bharat Mission Is A Success!’ is a inspiring story that made me feel honored to be a citizen of this nation which is governed by someone like Narendra Modi that took the initiative of cleaning this nation, seriously. I always thought that whether I could be able to see this nation clean, but now I can proudly say that things have changed. This initiative has shown that in a little bit of time we could clean the nation and mend our dirty habits of throwing the waste out on the streets. The report analyzing the cleanliness would create an interest in cleaning the states even more and at a faster pase. With this report I would like to read more of such news regarding the matter. Chitransh Verma, Civil Lines, Allahbad, Uttar pradesh

Please mail your opinion to - ssbweekly@gmail.com or Whatsapp at 9868807712


18 Photo Feature

2

may 15-21, 2017

National Film Award President Pranab Mukherjee, Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu and MoS, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore gave away national film awards at a glittering function

Photos: sipra das 1

1. Dada Saheb Phalke Award to K Vishwanath 2. Manoj Joshi with Akshay Kumar 3. Thespian Mohan Agashe being awarded 4. Akshay Kumar wins Best Actor Award 5. Surabhi Lakshmi is the Best Actress 6. Another dignitary being awarded 7. Sonam Kapoor wins Best Actress for Neerja 8. 9. 10. Dhanak was adjudged the Best Children Film while Marathi film Kaasav was declared Best Feature Film

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may 15-21, 2017 12

Photo Feature

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11.12.13: Telugu film Santhanam Bhavati was awarded for providing wholesome entertainment while Marathi film maker Rajesh Mapuskar was adjudged Best Director 14. Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor with K Vishwanath 15. Sonam and Surabhi Lakshmi congratulating K Vishwanath for getting Dada Saheb Phalke Award 16. Manoj Joshi and Surabhi greeting K Vishwanath 17. Mohan Agashe 18. Akshay Kumar with Sonam and Surabhi 19. Akshay Kumar’s wife Twinkle & son Aurav

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20 Sanitation

may 15-21, 2017

monsoon

assam sanitation

Swachhata tutor nasihur rahman

The principal of a girls’ madarsa has been conveying the importance of sanitation and hygiene among the people

diseases

Sanitation Drive in Delhi ahead of Monsoon

Quick Glance Mufti Nasihur Rahman has become an ambassador of Swachh Bharat Mission He has been running the awareness campaign for past three years

The move is likely to curb the menace of vector borne diseases like chikungunya and dengue

In some villages the Maulana himself constructed toilets

T

he North Delhi Municipal Corporation has launched a twomonth long special sanitation drive in view of the impending monsoon season as well as to augment efforts under the Swachh Bharat mission. The drive would be launched in coordination with all departments of the corporations, NGOs, RWAs, market associations and other stakeholders. “A special focus of the drive is to seek maximum possible participation and involvement of citizens. Special areas that would be attended during the drive are removal of malba and garbage from public places and dhalaos, silt removal and lifting, sweeping and cleaning of roads, pavements, lanes, bylanes, religious places etc and cleaning of public conveniences, public toilets by spray of disinfectants,” the NDMC said in a statement. “Repair or maintenance of roads, painting of tree guards, road side dustbins etc, upkeep of streetlights, maintenance of water harvesting points, upgrading or rectification of road signages and road marking would be taken care of by engineering department of NDMC during the drive,” it said. “Pruning of trees, cutting of grass and removal of horticulture waste from parks, roadsides and plantation of trees is another important aspect of the two-month drive. Removal of illegal posters/banners/ handbills, encroachment from public roads and unauthorised vehicles would be part of the drive,” the statement said. A special focus of the drive would be on anti-larva measures on stagnated water to prevent breeding of mosquitoes, and curb the menace of dengue, malaria and chikungunya. Besides, impounding of stray cattle and curbing illegal slaughtering and sterilisation and vaccination of stray dogs would be given special attention during the drive, NDMC said.

P

IANS

rime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ has found a prized supporter in the principal of a girls’ madrasa in Assam’s Darrang district, whose zeal to convince people about proper sanitation and hygiene earned him the sobriquet ‘Swachhata Maulana’. Mufti Nasihur Rahman, Principal of Al Jamiatul Islamia Mangaldai Banat Madrasa in Mangaldai, has taken an initiative to convey the importance of sanitation and hygiene in public places to ensure a disease-free society. “For the last three years, I have been regularly visiting the villages around Mangaldai to impart the importance of cleanliness among people but we still have a long way to go,” he said. Prime Minister Modi may not be very acceptable among the Muslim community but “we appreciate this particular mission of his and thank him for initiating it.” Last month, the Mufti went to the nearby No 4 Nangli Char, a habitat on one of the islands on the Brahmaputra, where he had to stay overnight and when in the morning he asked the residents to show him a lavatory, the villagers informed that they had always defecated in the open. The Mufti asked them to bring a spade, a few bamboo poles, and some thatch. In a while he had constructed

a toilet and that changed the history of sanitation in the village. “The next time when I visited the village, most of the houses had a toilet and open defecation had considerably reduced,” he added. The priority is to create awareness about cleanliness in the surroundings, stop open defecation by constructing toilets and ensure clean drinking water facilities through earthenware filters. “Islam is not against hygiene and cleanliness and, in fact, Koran points out that cleanliness is ‘iman’ (honour). We had forgotten it and now want to create a movement that can revolutionise the mindset of the community towards health, hygiene and sanitation,” he said. The Mufti, however, points out that his efforts are not confined to any specific community but the areas near his school are mostly inhabited by the Muslim community, along with tea garden labourers in some villages. “Initially, we found that people are not very interested in following the basic rules of hygiene and sanitation. They are so steeped in poverty that they do not even have proper dwelling places and as such they hardly give attention to toilets and sanitation facilities,” he added. The Mufti pointed out that on several occasions he had tried to help them financially but it is not always possible to do so and as such, “We want

to involve more people, particularly the youths, and extend the campaign in all the nearby areas.” The annual day function of his madrasa was held recently and true to his mission, the day’s proceedings started with a cleanliness drive. He is often invited by different institutions and NGOs to visit their areas and share the story of his sanitation mission which has earned him the title of ‘Swachhata Maulana’. He was also invited by the UNICEF to a sanitation conference as a part of faith leaders who can initiate change in the field of sanitation and hygiene. “We had invited him to the Assam Conference on Sanitation held in February at Guwahati as a part of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) with the aim that they go back to the community to create sanitation awareness among them and we are pleased about his efforts in this direction,” UNICEF’S Communication Officer Tahseen Alam said. Social and PR activist Nurul Islam Laskar pointed out that it is, indeed, heartening that the Mufti has brought a madrasa to limelight for a good and socially relevant issue when madrasas have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. “It is all the more praiseworthy as all the students of his madrasas are girls. We hope this initiative succeeds and spreads to every nook and corner of the state,” he said. A Professor of Information Technology in North East Hill University (NEHU) Dr Md Iftekhar Hussian, who belongs to the Mufti’s village, pointed out ‘Swachhata’ is very much a part of Islam and the Swachh Bharat Mission must be accepted and promoted for the betterment of both society and the nation at large.


may 15-21, 2017

Sanitation

21

The model was used

not only in their school but also in the others, where it was replicated successfully

innovation sanitation

urinal made from water can Five 13-year-old boys create a low-cost urinal from 20-litre water bottles in Tamil Nadu school ssb bureau

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persistent stench was present in the classrooms of Panchayat Union Middle School in Kurumbapatty every day. This was due to the lack of proper facilities in the school, as a result of which the walls were being used as urinals. The school, located in the Thirucharapalli district of Tamil Nadu, saw many students falling sick and taking leave. Realising that this stench was the primary reason for so many students falling sick, five students from the school decided to take matters into their own hands and turn things around. A non-profit organisation, Design for Change, has devised a simple four-step formula, Feel-ImagineDo-Share. This formula inspired these five boys to find a solution to the problem on their own. These 13-year-old boys – Supikpandian,

Quick Glance Boys in a school were found falling ill and dropping out The real reason was found to be the stench from urinating on the wall Guided by an NGO, five fellow students solved the problem

Santhosh, Dhiyanithi, Ragul, and Prabaharan – formed a committee to carry thorough their very own investigations into the matter. On trying to find the source of the stench, they soon realised that the reason for the same was the school toilets. Since the toilets were illequipped, the boys had to resort to urinating on the compound walls or floor. As they were urinating on the floors, their sandals and feet were sprinkled with drops of urine. When these students entered the class, the stench was carried along with them. This, along with the poor drainage system of the toilet, resulted in numerous urine infections. As a solution to the problem, these boys came up with the idea of designing urinals from 20-litre water cans, and have also developed a proper grid of pipelines for the disposal of waste. They termed this invention of theirs the ‘Safe Mode Pissing System’ or SMPS. They registered themselves in the Design for Change-organised challenge called ‘DFC I Can School Challenge 2016’ . They were given thirty days to brainstorm and come up with an idea that they could execute. The result was this urinal plan, which received the ‘Boldest Idea Award’. As a part of the award, the students were given medals and Rs 50,000

cash prize. The students observed a striking resemblance between an upside down 20-litre plastic bottle and a urinal. Under the guidance of Kesavan D, they further thought of cutting the bottle longitudinally to build urinals. Their invention costs only Rs 600. One of the biggest reasons for them zeroing in on water cans was how reasonable they are. Kesavan said, “I am very proud of their creativity. This idea not only helped their school, but also their neighbouring school. We went to that school and gave them tutorials on how to use it. They have now given away their original urinals and are using ours. This is a proud moment for our school and our district.” While speaking about the tight budget, Kesavan said, The boys wanted to do something that would be affordable for their friends and family. They didn’t want anyone to double think before buying the urinals because of the cost. Once they built the urinal, they

started working on how to fit them into the toilets. Using the funds that had been collected from the students and teachers, other necessary parts like pipes were bought. The walls of the toilets were repainted to bright green, and the drainage system was then set up in such a way that urine could exit easily through pipes connected to the bottle necks. A line of drip irrigation pipes were set up above the urinals to flush after use. The students are now visiting different schools and explaining the problems that come along with unsanitary toilets. Speaking on the impact of their project, the students said, “We can implement this project not only in schools, but also in houses and public places. We can prevent urinary infections and stenches by implementing it. This will reduce the number of patients in the community. Through this project, we can make the country clean and hygienic. We can observe the motive of the scheme Swachh Bharat Clean India.


22 Interview

may 15-21, 2017

interview OP Singh, DG, CISF

“I like being, also being called an honest policeman” The force, like CRPF, BSF or ITBP, was formed to meet a special need: protecting our growing industrial outfits, especially critical ones of the government such as airports. Yet, the CISF also does other crucial work, including providing security to important persons in case of threat perceptions. But running a mammoth organisation where force members are under constant stress also calls for a human face

Quick Glance CISF was born in response to an industrial calamity CISF has the responsibility of protecting the national property Today, CISF has also the mandate to protect critical infrastructure

reeta singh CISF is a semi-military force but it is not stationed on the border. You were in the NDRF and are currently in CISF. In this situation, what special features do you find in the CRPF? See, all the paramilitary forces are Central Armed Police Forces. Whether it is CRPF, BSF, ITBP, they all do the same work, they all have the same character. The oldest is the CRPF, which was born in 1939. An important event is that in 1969, a calamitous fire broke out at the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) of Ranchi, and due to this there was a rise in communal tension. The local police was unable to control the situation. At

this time, our planners thought that there should be a special force for industrial security. Then emerged the challenge to give these ventures security and protection in a professional manner. A committee was formed to consider this challenge and it proposed the formation of a new force. In this way CISF was entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the national property along with industrial security. CISF profiles have changed over the time. The most important of all is the responsibilities of airport safety. For the first time we were deployed in Jaipur in 2001. Today the CISF’s responsibility is to protect the 59 airports of the country. Today, the CISF’s profile is such that it has transcended the industrial to include the

critical infrastructure. As a result, today we are not only protecting public sector undertakings but also for nuclear energy units, space research centers, Delhi Metro, airports and ports. Today, under our security surveillance, there are 332 units. Gradually, we have also started providing protection to private sector undertakings. Actually all, after the 26/11 attacks, it is believed that India has become an insecure territory. Companies such as Infosys and Reliance have approached the Indian government and demanded that they should be given a professional security force so that they can reduce their ‘Quick Response Time’ and show the whole world that they are not only safe but that their economy is also safe.

What are the private sector companies, which you are providing protection and do you charge them? Yes, we accept charges from them. There were seven private sector companies in 2009-10 and now there are nine private sector companies, to which we are providing protection. These include Infosys, Reliance’s Jamnagar unit, Electronic City (Bangalore), Coastal Power Limited (Gujarat), Tata Steel (Kalinganagar), Patanjali and IT Park Reliance (Mumbai). It is definitely a matter of great responsibility for us that even private sector enterprises should rely on our security as much as the public sector. Since we have a high level of competency and efficiency, we also work on security related counseling. So far, we have given 134 units this kind of service. With this kind of work, we made crores of rupees, which we passed on to the government. Indeed, the CISF is the only force in the country, which works on a cost-reimbursement basis. Whomsoever we provide service, we charge them in return, whether they are public enterprises, private organisations or airports. Tell us something about commando training? Commandos are needed because ‘Quick Response Time’ is very important in emergencies. The services of commando protection are usually given to those who stand a greater risk in terms of security. We do not protect them on VIP bases, but in terms of the levels of security risk risk perception. For instance, commando


may 15-21, 2017 protection is being given to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union State Home Minister Kiran Rijiju and others. There are 75 people who are being given protection under different categories like X-Y and we have around 2500 soldiers doing this work. Firstly, we keep changing the order of duties of these soldiers, secondly, we give them intensive training to make them physically, mentally and strategically efficient. Just a few days back, we started a strategic branch in the National Industrial Security Agency, Hyderabad. In this we are training soldiers to work in various extreme conditions, from special physical skills to handling difficult and aggressive conditions. One more aspect that is remarkable about CISF is that we use a lot of technology. It is important for us also because the security of many government buildings and offices is our responsibility, for example, North Block, South Block and CGO Complex in New Delhi. To safeguard these places, we cannot depend on manpower alone, so from detectors to scanners we chalk out security management through latest technology. What would you like to say about the mental pressure upon soldiers. What steps are you taking to ease their stress conditions? Yes, you are absolutely right. Whether the case is of the BSF, the CISF, or that of the CRPF, all the soldiers engaged in internal security have to do a lot in terms of hard duty. At the natural level, the jawans are under professional stress, secondly there are many other psychological pressures on their minds. To combat this, each Force has developed some mechanisms, so that we can reduce or eliminate the stress of the soldiers. One thing more about which I would like to speak in this regard is the ‘CISF Wives Welfare Association’, which we call the ‘protectors’. In it the DG’s wife is the president and wives of other officials also handle different responsibilities. Do you have data of beneficiaries? See, it is a dynamic process. Counselling always takes place. It does not matter that it happens once or twice a month. Apart from this I meet people myself. I have issued a new order that any young person can email me directly about his problem, or he can call. If you want to go to our website online, you can talk to us online. I meet the troubled jawans on every Monday. Last Monday, I listened to the problems of

Interview

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Rapid Fire Round

The DG took some shots at his many personal aspects, but never once ducked for cover!

about 50 soldiers. We take such initiatives from top to bottom at every official level. Similar initiatives are taken by the ‘protectors’ also from their side. Recently, a separate leave committee has been formed for the holidays. Now the jawans themselves will also be able to see the transparent ways, how we decide to grant holidays based on priorities basis. Apart from this we also take many initiatives at the local level. Some soldiers say that they do not get leave when they ask for it. The permission for leave comes after two to three months, when it is no longer needed. It is wrong to say that the jawans do not get leave when it is needed. Actually, we have 1 lakh 80 thousand soldiers. It is important to consider while granting holidays that our core duty is not affected in anyway. Then we are here only to do duty, not to take holidays. It is important to keep in mind that our duty is not affected. Suppose someone’s marriage is going to take place and someone else’s niece wants to get married, in this case then we would like to grant leave first to the one who has to attend his / her own marriage, based on priority. Is there a food committee in the CRPF? There are frequent reports of jawans in the forces getting poor food. Look, it has been in operation here since the very beginning and we have given this system a lot of importance. We have a lot of quality in terms of food. The biggest reason for this is that at the grassroots level, we have created a mess committee, which is conducted by the jawans themselves. There is a separate purchase committee for purchase and sale of food items. In this, the jawans bring samples from the market and buy food stuffs themselves. The MAC Committee ensures that the food is made in a good manner. We have also ordered audit. We have said that every local

“CISF has a very beautiful future and that is why it is called a future force, and is going ahead in a big way because of industrialisation”

The most beautiful place in the country? Rajasthan What do you like to do in the moments of leisure? Read books What are you reading these days? I read many books. Especially some books on stories based on national security. I am also reading some books about foreign affairs. Your most favourite author? Jhumpa Lahiri Favourite perfume? Police Your hobby? Watching TV and movies, in addition to playing badminton, tennis and golf How did you come in CISF? I started as a lecturer in a college. After teaching for a year at the University of Delhi, I joined the police force. I like this profession, so I chose it. I like being, also being called an honest policeman The most beautiful moments? What can be more satisfying than providing my services for justice and security What can give greater satisfaction than this? Favourite hero? Hrithik Roshan Favorite heroine? Priyanka Chopra Which movie have you seen recently? Akshay Kumar’s ‘Airlift’ Any other dream? Become a lawyer. Whom do you admire now after becoming IPS? I admire only myself

commander will meet the nutrition expert and he will tell them how many calories are needed for a healthy diet. You provide security to some very important, who tend to create problems at airports... The VIPs in themselves are not a problem. Everybody wants to live life like free people. But access control at the airport is ours. Only those who have valid IDs and tickets will be allowed to come in. Many times, people do not have valid IDs, and even their tickets forged. In such a situation, we have to make complete inquiries and many times it appears that a man is not allowed to enter. Women’s recruitment in CISF is being done on a large scale. What are the welfare schemes for them? It is true that the CISF has more women than other organisations. Some 5.63 per cent of our total workforce are women. The problems of women are of a different kind. So, the welfare angle for them is different. Many of our women jawans are stationed at Delhi Metro stations and airports where a large number of women travel. It is important to take care of their security separately. Some of their problems include the care of children, maternity leave, etc.

I think that ‘Protector’ plays an important role in this work. Yes, the role of the ‘protector’ is very important in this connection. Regarding this, the ‘protector’ organises regular meetings and workshops, in which young girls and women are told how they can make themselves more professional. It also advises them about how to create a balance between home and outdoor work. What are the new plans for the future? CISF has a very beautiful future and that is why it is called a future force. It is very clear that we are going ahead in a big way because of the way industrialisation is taking place, manufacturing units are multiplying and foreign investments have increased. In the aviation sector alone evolution there has been increase at rate of 23 percent. Our role in these circumstances is also increasing. We will have a significant role in the progress of our country. In the next five to ten years, not only we will have to expand, but we will also have to maximize the inclusion of technology and quality in this expansion. With the goals reaching from Digital India to Make in India, we have to meet our high standards which include service at the door-step, and security smile and humility. This will be our biggest achievement in the future.


24 Gender

may 15-21, 2017

differently abled

biking goa to karwar

enabled by will

Woman biker rides 2,000 km

How a differently-abled woman fought off her handicap to get basic amenities ians

Lieutenant Commander Pooja Rajput says women should travel without pre-conceived notions

“W

here there is a will, there is a way,” goes the popular adage. But like most popular adages, it’s easier said than done. When fate hands us a rough deal, very few have the courage and willpower to overcome the challenge and set an example for the less fortunate ones. Mirda Devi from Garnala Kotda Panchayat in Rishabhdev Block of Udaipur District is one such courageous person. Mirda Devi is a differently-abled widow living with her son and daughter in law. Ever since her husband passed away, her son has had to shift to the neighbouring district of Ahmedabad in Gujarat to find work as a construction labourer. She lives with her daughter in law and survives on the money sent home by her son with some additional support in the form of disability pension by the State Government. Occasionally she also finds work through the MGNREGA Scheme. The fact that she suffers from a disability has added to the challenges. Having to defecate in the open was both physically demanding and a socially shameful act for her. Not one to be bogged down, Mirda Devi was inspired by the Swachh Bharat Mission and vowed to construct her own toilet. In doing so, she has not only salvaged her and her daughter in law’s dignity, but also set an uplifting example for the whole village. With adequate assistance from the block SBM team of Rishabhdev, she has now nearly completed the construction of a twin soak-pit toilet. She is also energetically involved in the construction of a new house sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Aawas Yojana (PMGAY). The district administration has also motivated her to join a self-help group under the Rajeevika scheme, so that she may find a more stable means of livelihood for herself and her family.

Quick Glance Lieutenant Commander Pooja Rajput is an officer with Indian Navy A woman on a big bike like Harley Davidson sometimes attracts a lot of unwanted attention, she says She also advises women to learn some self-defence techniques as it may help in some situation

Anjali Ojha

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ending out a strong message of empowerment, Lieutenant Commander Pooja Rajput, who undertook a 2,000-km solo coastal ride on her Harley Davidson, says women should travel without any pre-conceived notions. The Indian Navy officer, who counts long-distance riding and photography among her passions, also undertook the solo journey to gauge the safety of travellers like her in India. Rajput travelled from Goa, to Mangalore, Coorg, Muzhappilangad, Ooty, Coonoor, Calicut, Moodabidri, and Karwar from April 8 to 15 this year. Asked if she faced any difficulties, Rajput said: “Being a naval officer, the training which you get for becoming one solves most of the issues on the road.” But was she worried about her safety? The officer, said she, was prepared. “When you are a woman riding on a 1,600 cc superbike, it attracts lots of attention and there are lots of curious people on the road who try to stop you, of whom you should

Naval officer Puja

undertook the solo journey to assess difficulties that women like her might have to face on the roads be aware. They can cause an accident,” she said. Recalling one such incident, Rajput said, she overtook a bus, and the driver started honking and recklessly tried to overtake her. “I was right behind the bus, the bus could not pull up and started slipping backwards. With great difficulty I managed to manoeuver my bike to the left,” she said. “Some people are very rowdy on the road. A woman on a bike sometimes attracts a lot of unwanted attention. On a smaller bike maybe people just pass by, but I get noticed more because of my superbike,” she said. Her advice to women is not to be scared of venturing out on their own – and be prepared rather than

afraid. “You need to get out of the house. Sitting in your home and thinking that something would go wrong should not be on your mind. Go out and assess yourself on the road,” Rajput said. She also advised women to learn some self-defence techniques. “I have a knife with me all the time, I have an iron baton, and a pepper spray... All these things are in my jacket pocket, or my pants pocket,” she said. The route chosen by her comprised everything from beaches, coastal roads to majorly serpentine roads and hilly terrain with lots of hairpin bends that tested her abilities and her superbike. “The hairpin bends one after the other put a lot of strain on an individual’s body, especially with the heavy weight of the superbike. Crossing the hills on the way to Ooty with five narrow and steep hairpin bends was a test of my riding abilities,” Rajput said. She said that through her travels, she also met many people who encouraged her. “There were a lot of people who were very happy to see me. At petrol pumps, families would ask to be photographed with me,” she said. “Throughout the journey, the narrow roads and small bridges which made for picturesque images were breathtaking. Riding through the roads in the wildlife sanctuaries was an experience in its own and cannot be described in words,” Rajput concluded.


may 15-21, 2017

equality

SSB Bureau

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US fund raising

The School of Equality

A woman lawyer has started training for police officers, lawyers and judges, urging them to reconsider gender stereotypes

Gender

US funds for poor indian girls A young girl from Delhi gets opportunity to be part of a fund raising event in America

“I

became so frustrated with the normalisation of gender injustice,” says Gulika Reddy, a 27-year-old human rights lawyer. Pacing the floors of courtrooms, Reddy had witnessed in sharp focus some of India’s most abhorrent instances of gender unfairness: courts asking victims of domestic abuse to ‘adjust’ to their circumstances; rape survivors urged to marry their rapists. “Growing up in India I have faced biases as a woman,” Reddy says. “I studied law because I thought it was a powerful tool for change. But I found law cannot address problematic norms unless attitudes change too.” With this in mind, she set about organising programmes for police officers, lawyers and judges in which she urged them to reconsider sexist preconceptions. But these welleducated professionals seemed incapable of shifting deeply entrenched beliefs. “It is very difficult to change the attitudes beyond a certain age because gendersocialisation starts early,” Reddy explains. “I realised that intervention needs to be embedded into the education system, starting right from grade one.” Gender stereotypes are often found in school books in India. So the Schools of Equality was born. The non-profit organisation encourages children to kickstart change by shifting their attitudes toward genderbased violence and injustice. Beginning in 2014 in the city of Chennai with 165

students, it has now reached more than 2,700 young people in 11 educational institutions across three states in the south of India: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Art, theatre, film and group discussion are used to teach children about gender parity, human rights and equality, all accompanied by a healthy dose of fun and a sense of play. The students are aged between six and 17 and attend schools in the existing, conservative academic system.

Quick Glance harsh ranjan

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t one time, Roshanara almost dropped out of school due to family pressure for an arranged marriage. But now she will be visiting New York City and Washington, D.C., to speak at Room to Read’s annual fundraising event on May 15, 2017. The gala dinner will be held at the rooftop of Jones Day overlooking the Capitol Hill. Roshanara will thus, have an opportunity to raise funds for girls like her in need of life skills training and mentoring. Roshanara’s life changed after joining Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program (GEP) in Delhi. Due to Room to Read’s life skill training, today she pursues her studies from Jamia Millia Islamia University and has even worked part-time at a doctor’s clinic to support her siblings’ education. She learnt communication and interpersonal skills and “how to gain the support of my parents and to impress upon them the importance of educating a girl”. Not only did she change her life but is an active alumnus and has been leading events organised in support of girls’ education. She has mobilised many girls to join life skills training of Room to Read.

India is home to 36 per

cent of the world’s total illiterate population India is home to over one billion people, with 36% of the world’s illiterate people living here. Room to Read believes that change has started with children getting education and has now been operating across eight states in India. “There are more than 11,000 girls like Roshnara who have utilized life skills training to their advantage. GEP is important to bring the gender parity in education and 84% of girls complete their secondary education who are enrolled in life skills program of Room to Read” emphasizes Randeep Kaur Director of GEP, Room to Read, India. The Gala Dinner in New York will feature appearances by Room to Read Founder John Wood, Girls Education Program Alumna Roshanara, and special guest, Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to the United States. On this special night, ‘Active for Education’ will change the lives of 20,000 children in India. Two award winning short documentaries were recently

Roshanara had almost dropped out of school to get married Room to Read provided her life skill training to survive & thrive Now, it’s a payback time for her by raising funds at a US event

screened for select audience. These short documentaries was awarded The Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity in the electronic documentaries category and also awarded 2nd place in the short film category contest by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Both recognitions are for videos produced by the organisation which highlight the impact of its Girls’ Education Program, which supports girls in nine countries to complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Sourav Banerjee, Country Director of Room to Read explains the strategy, “Room to Read concentrates efforts during a girl’s transition into secondary school in 6th and 7th grades when she has a high risk of dropping out of school because we know that wages for girls increase by 15–25 per cent for each additional year a girl remains in secondary school.”


26 Environment

May 15-21, 2017

northeast wildlife

MORE TIGERS IN ASSAM now A recent tiger census shows promising results of a successful anti-poaching campaign

raj kashyap

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he tiger population in Assam has registered a growth in at least two reserves since the census conducted last year. Director of Manas National Park H K Sarma informed the media that there were 30 tigers in the park which marked an increase of 16 from the last count. He explained that the Panbari sector which covered about one-third of the park had also been included in the latest census. Assam has four tiger reserves that includes two World Heritage Sites – Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park. The latest addition was the Orang National Park on the north bank of the Brahmaputra in Sonitpur district. Of the 24 adult tigers in Manas, 12 are male and 11 female and the rest are sub adults. In the latest census, Orang National Park has recorded 28 tigers while the figures for Kaziranga National Park and Nameri National Park have not yet been announced. Officials, however, indicated that the population is likely to go up in both the parks. Besides the four in Assam, the northeast has three more tiger reserves - Pakke and Namdapha in Arunachal Pradesh and Dampa in Mizoram. Tiger conservation has consistently been improving in all the parks in the region ince the past few years. The population

Quick Glance Tiger population in the northeast is on the rise despite terrorism

The population of elephants and the one-horned rhino has also gone up considerably

Park officials are out to root out rebels and poachers from reserves Besides tigers, elephant population too is growing in the same region

of tigers has gone up from 201 in 2014 from 148 in 2010 with Assam registering the highest. The Northeast also has two tiger conservation units, one comprising Manas Tiger Reserve which stretches across Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh while the other includes Kaziranga and extending up to Meghalaya. It may be mentioned that several national parks in Assam had suffered destruction of forests and wildlife habitats during the peak of insurgency. Manas had been the worst affected with both the Bodo rebel groups – Bodoland Liberation Tigers and National Democratic Front of Bodoland – having established temporary camps inside the park. The prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site tag was removed and it was only in 2011 that the status was regained. Since then, the park officials have gone on an overdrive to root out rebels and poachers from the reserve. The park will have more tigers if the contiguous Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan is also taken into

account. The Manas River flowing through the Park demarcates the border between India and Bhutan. The Park has vast deciduous forests where the dense cover often cuts out the light. Its wet grasslands are the home of the rhino, water buffalo, elephant and tiger. Manas is noted for its population of the rare golden langur - found only in this part of the country. They are often spotted in the tall trees. The park provides shelter to at least 55 mammalian species, 36 reptilian species and 3 amphibian species, thus making it the greatest protected area in India in terms of numbers. Besides tigers, the population of other wildlife species has also registered an upward trend in Assam. The number of wild elephants has increased in the state with 5,620 of them counted in 2011 as against 5,246 in 2002. Deforestation and encroachment on the corridors has however resulted in the escalation of man-elephant conflicts in recent years. The highly endangered one-horn rhino population has also gone up from 1,672 in 1999 to 2,201 in 2009, when the last census was done, official said,

adding that the positive trend could be maintained in the future and poaching brought under control. Poaching — especially of the onehorned rhino — has emerged as the biggest threat in Kaziranga and Orang National Parks. According to an estimate, the black market price of rhino horn can be as high as USD 300,000 per kilogram of horn in China and some other parts of South East Asia, primarily because of its use in the manufacture of traditional medicines reputed to cure everything from hangovers to impotence. The same black market also leads to poaching of tigers. The involvement of local militant outfits in poaching in the parks in Assam has been suspected. Just days after it was declared a tiger reserve, officials at Orang stumbled upon an M16 rifle during a patrol three years ago, confirming suspicions that poachers are now using more sophisticated weapons. Months later there was a similar incident in Kaziranga . These weapons are found only with militants and reported to be sold by gunrunners at selected spots in Myanmar, China and South East Asia at high rates.


May 15-21, 2017

mumbai environment

Green Kidz by Garden Shoppe Workshops being organised for children on environmental issues during summer vacations in the megapolis ssb bureau

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number of workshops are usually organised for the mental development of children during these summer holidays. Workshops on drama, dance, personality development as

well as training in other areas shall be arranged. But Agrochemical Industries has chosen to tread a different path. A project called ‘Green Kidz’ has been started by this company’s Garden Shoppe. In this basic education to urban children about gardening and agriculture will

Quick Glance Workshops will be organised for the mental development of children Agrochemical Industries is launching a project on environment called ‘Green Kidz’

Environment

27

enviro-news australia

GEO energy

Untapped geothermal power could provide energy

The specific purpose will be to train children on issues of environment, pollution and water conservation

be taught. Information related to water, land, soil and horticulture will be provided to them. The specific purpose behind the project will be to make children aware of the environment, pollution, water conservation, etc so that they develop interest in these subjects. This project will be launched in metro cities across the country. This company believes in a green environment, and this initiative will promote a clean environment in millions of homes. Horticulture and gardening workshops will be organised at the end of the week in Mumbai’s housing societies. Information about fertilisers and soil maintenance, along with quality, methods of horticulture will be given. Plants and flowers will be introduced to children. This will not only increase the interest in them, but they will also be motivated for gardening in their respective homes.

ssb bureau

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ne per cent of Australia’s geothermal power could provide enough energy to last 26,000 years. Sure, we’ve got a long way to go before we’re actually able to use that energy, but the fact that such energy is available paints a much brighter picture of our energy future, especially since geothermal power is one of the lowest priced forms of renewable energy. The Australian Geothermal Energy Association reports that current government policy allows up to 2200 megawatts of geothermal energy to be developed by 2020, which would represent 40% of the government’s current renewable energy target. The Australian government has also announced that they will invest $50 million to help develop geothermal power.

ocean oxygen

Oxygen levels declining in Oceans Warming of ocean water is affecting the amount of oxygen in them, say researchers ians

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he amount of dissolved oxygen contained in the water of oceans across the globe -- an important measure of ocean health -- has been declining for more than 20 years, says a study. For the study, the researchers looked at a historic dataset of ocean information stretching back more than 50 years and searched for long term trends and patterns. Oxygen levels started dropping in the 1980s as ocean temperatures began to climb, said the study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Quick Glance Temperature of ocean water is rising due to global warming Loss of oxygen in ocean water is due to rising temperature This will impact the habitat of marine organisms worldwide

“The oxygen in oceans has dynamic properties, and its concentration can change with natural climate variability,” said lead researcher Taka Ito, Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US. “The important aspect of our result is

that the rate of global oxygen loss appears to be exceeding the level of nature’s random variability,” Ito said. Falling oxygen levels in water have the potential to impact the habitat of marine organisms worldwide and in recent years led to more frequent “hypoxic events” that killed or displaced populations of fish, crabs and many other organisms. Researchers have for years anticipated that rising water temperatures would affect the amount of oxygen in the oceans, since warmer water is capable of holding

less dissolved gas than colder water. But the data showed that ocean oxygen was falling more rapidly than the corresponding rise in water temperature. “The trend of oxygen falling is about two to three times faster than what we predicted from the decrease of solubility associated with the ocean warming,” Ito said. “This is most likely due to the changes in ocean circulation and mixing associated with the heating of the nearsurface waters and melting of polar ice,” Ito added.


28 NGO

May 15-21, 2017

ngo chintan

A Life Transformed A rag-picker’s life changed for the better with help from Chintan, an NGO

Quick Glance Saira Bano has been a rag-picker in Delhi for past 30 years Chintan taught her to pick up only e-waste for recyclers She is well off now to send her five children to school

SSB bureau

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hirty-two-year old Saira Bano has always lived on the landfill in Bhalaswa in North Delhi, the place where most of Delhi’s trash is dumped every day. Saira was just six months old when she came to Delhi along with her parents, two brothers, and two sisters, from Kolkata in West Bengal. Saira never got to go to school. She spent her time picking trash on the landfill, with her parents and siblings. They would spend the day separating paper, plastics and a hoard of other recyclable materials from soggy discarded food. They would gather and separate used sanitary napkins and diapers, rusted blades, needles and syringes – stuff thrown indiscriminately into the city’s mixed garbage. Her family has worked hard and struggled from dawn till dusk on a dangerous landfill where severe burns from spontaneous combustion

spark

SPARK in Science Activity Government takes an initiative to synergise scientific activities IANS

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PARK (Sustainable Progress through Application of Research and Knowledge) is a proposed initiative to synergise science activity

of methane-rich waste were the norm. The mounds of soggy wet waste were treacherous, and the workers often slipped and fell right into in it. Trucks carrying garbage would sometimes drop an avalanche of trash, almost burying hundreds of waste pickers all over the landfill. This was the only life Saira and her family knew. Growing up, Saira’s hard life continued. The living conditions were dismal. They had no electricity, safe drinking water or access to clean toilets. Her husband Lutfar, also a waste picker, despaired over not being able to make their lives and those of their five little

children better. In 2012, Saira attended a meeting held by the Safai Sena, an association of waste pickers, doorstep waste collectors, itinerant waste buyers and small waste traders, in her community. They talked about formalising and training waste pickers to enable them to obtain more dignified livelihoods. Saira was curious, if not entirely convinced. She joined Safai Sena and its partner Chintan. As it happens, she found herself being trained to pick up electronic waste, and selling it to authorised dealers. She knew all about e-waste, in any case, having found so much of it in the trash. Saira began to focus on e-waste only. She began collecting electronic waste from households and shops. She would collect old mobile phones, laptops, monitors and other electronic devices that people indiscriminately disposed of. Saira now became a part of a whole

People like Saira have prevented e-waste from

being burned or poorly recycled, and helped stop generating dioxins and furans in India. A new, more efficient way of managing science is surely welcome, but one needs to put in a lot of thought before taking any action. The existing systems of science governance in this country are robust with departments reporting to ministers who in turn report to the Union Cabinet. There is no lack of sound advisory bodies and committees within these departments. As for overarching bodies, we already have the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister and the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. Why

new initiative by Chintan to convert ‘toxic’ to ‘green’ and generate livelihoods, specifically for women. By her own interest, she became part of Chintan’s Responsible Electronics Initiative, which trains informal sector actors to serve as grassroots e-waste collectors and sell to an authorised recycler. Saira now sells the electronic waste via Chintan, authorised by the Delhi Government to collect e-waste for safe recycling, to an authorised recycler. She is directly paid by the recyclers for her work. Chintan comes in use to collectors like her because, no matter what, they collect very small amounts. Under the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016, only authorised collectors can collect e-waste which they must store in selfrun authorised collection centres, which are hard and expensive to run. Besides, the recyclers accept large quantities of e-waste only. Saira and others collectively gather enough e-waste, along with Chintan’s own e-waste drives, to attract recyclers. By doing this, Saira has not merely conjured up a livelihood for herself, but prevented e-waste from being burned or poorly recycled, generating dioxins and furans. Very few people will ever acknowledge this, but it is people like Saira - poor, illiterate, but enthusiastic about being trained for the future, who truly help India to keep its promise in the Stockholm Convention – that of phasing out furans and dioxins. Saira’s work has thus been rechanneled into something that brings her dignity and a far more stable livelihood. And even if the electronics manufacturers don’t boost their efforts, they are the cutting edge force who can implement responsible electronics in India. “I can now send my 5 boys to school. I never touched fresh clean paper as a child working on the landfill, but my boys will,” says Saira with a satisfied smile on her face.

are there two such similar bodies? Have any of their recommendations resulted in concrete actions? In the end, they have remained toothless. Do we need a third such body? The science departments are too different from one another to come under the purview of one “overarching” body like SPARK. The Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology are purely funding and outreach organisations. The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has a special and tricky mandate which involves interaction with industry.


May 15-21, 2017

indo-france congratulation

ssb bureau

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resident Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated Emmanuel Macron, the President-elect of France, on his victory and said that India looks forward to strengthen bilateral ties. “I warmly congratulate you on your election to the office of President of the French Republic,” Mukherjee was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Thursday. “In giving you a decisive mandate, the people of France have demonstrated their confidence in your leadership and vision,” he said. Mukherjee said India looked forward to consolidate bilateral relations further with Macron’s new government. “I am confident that the long-standing friendship, mutual trust and understanding between our two nations will continue to strengthen in the years to come.”Macron, 39, was elected France’s next President on Sunday after he emerged victorious over his far right rival Marine Le Pen. Macron’s win has let India breathe easier, for his rival candidate, Le Pen had created a scare with her rabid rightist campaign promises such as her antiimmigrant policies and getting out of the European Union. While Europe is loudly cheering the victory, India’s breather is on the immigration issue. Already Australia and the US has imposed huge restrictions on inward migration of skilled workers, and India supplies a bulk of that. With Britain too under a rightist leader, Theresa May, had France also gone the US way under Le Pen, India’s economic playfield would have become seriously restricted.

29

education bangladesh

coming out clean

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A street cleaner’s daughters are now going to graduate

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here is nothing a parent won’t do to fulfill the dreams of his children. To ensure they succeed against the odds. One such incredible story of an extraordinary father has gone viral online. GMB Akash, a Bangladeshi photographer, shared the story of a daily wage street cleaner, who made sure that his daughters completed their education and went to university, even though he had put himself through humiliating work to make ends meet. In the post, where the loving father has been identified as Idris, the man talks about how he was too ashamed to tell his family that he was a cleaner and would instead tell them that he was a labourer. In order to make sure

they believed him, he would take baths in public bathrooms before heading home, so they wouldn’t be able to gauge his occupation from his body odour. He was willing to do anything to make ensure that his daughter went to college. Idris told Akash, “I wanted my daughters to go to school, to educate them. I wanted them to stand with dignity in front of people. I never wanted anyone look down at them like everyone looked down at me. People always humiliated me. I invested every penny of my earning for my daughters’ education. I never bought a new shirt, used the money instead for buying books for them. Respect, which is all I wanted them to earn for me”. His dreams almost came true when his daughter finished her schooling

After work all the cleaners came to me and handed over their one day’s income

Quick Glance Idris used to work as a daily wage street cleaner in Dhaka He would take bath in public toilets to get rid of body odour Yet, he got his three daughters educated to college level

and got admission into a college. But on the day when he was supposed to have go home with the money to admit her, he realised that he was falling short on cash. Unable to face his loved ones, he sat next to a pile of rubbish in tears. This is when something extraordinary happened. He recalls, “After work all the leaners came to me, sat beside me and asked if I considered them as my brothers or not. Before I could answer they handed their one day’s income in my hand. When I was refusing everyone they confronted by saying, ‘We will starve today if needed but our daughter has to go to college.’” Thanks to their incredible generosity, he was able to pay for his daughter’s admission fee, who is now all to set to graduate from college. “That day I did not take shower. That day I went home like a cleaner. My daughter is going to finish her University studies very soon,” a proud Idris said. The honour earned by his daughter wiped out all the shame from his life. Moreover, on finding out what their father did, his other daughters made him quit and took part-time jobs themselves, while also focusing on their education, to support the family. Three of them now do not let him to work anymore. They have been giving tuitions. The eldest one often takes him to his erstwhile working place, feed all his former coworkers, whose sacrifice allowed her to pursue her dream of becoming a graduate. They laugh and ask her why she feeds them so often. The young woman tells them, “All of you starved for me that day so that I can become what I am today.” Then with visible emotion, she says: “Do pray for me so that I can feed you all, every day’, Idris quotes her as saying, adding, “Nowadays, I do not feel that I am a poor man. How can one be poor if he has such gems as his daughters?”


30 Women Empowerment

May 15-21, 2017

skills development uttar pradesh

a school with a future vision It took the resolve of one man to transform the lives of 1,267 young women in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

Quick Glance indira seal

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ntrepreneurship is one of the most egalitarian and non-discriminatory traits. It transcends literacy, age, gender, caste and religion. It only takes an entrepreneur to transform grains of wheat into a loaf of bread; the value addition is about five times. Transform a block of raw iron to steel; the value addition is about 10 times. Imagine the value addition potential of transforming young girls into articulate, assertive women by imparting good education and offered better opportunities; the value addition will be infinite. This is the challenge that Virendra (Sam) Singh, 76, a retired Dupont South Asia head, decided to take on when he relocated to his ancestral village of Bichaula in Anupshahr block of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, after having spent 37 years in America. The village, with an abysmal 55.57 per cent female literacy rate and an appalling child sex ratio at 821 girls per 1000 boys, offered Singh the perfect

Jeered in the US about ‘one billion hands doing

nothing’, Sam Singh decided to start empowering women at his own expense laboratory to find his answer to a jeer he faced back in the US. Someone had told him, “One billion pairs of hands and what have you done with them?” It kept ringing in his ears. “Through value-based education, we empower the girls, teach them new skills and help them earn money. We teach girls not to run away, but rather transform the villages they get their identities from. I may have not been able to reinvent a billion pairs of hands, but I have made a beginning,” says Singh, recalling how ashamed he felt on seeing the front page of “The New York Times” carrying a picture of Indian children rummaging for food in a garbage dump. In 2000, Singh chose to invest 100 acres of his family land and $1 million from his retirement savings to start the Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES), an all-girls vocational school

offering free skill-based training and education. “Pardada Pardadi” in Hindi means great grandparents. PPES is attempting to undo the deep-rooted, feudal mindset that has restricted many women in India from attending schools and opting for better choices for themselves. “The hierarchical system trains you in a different kind of leadership that makes a person patriarchal. But when you leave your country, you become more conscious of it,” said Singh, suggesting how girls in India are often seen as liabilities, to be disposed off at marriage and good enough just for domestic chores. Singh reflects on how conversations about India and its imposing poverty were common in the west. Discussions built around the themes of developing a self-sustaining model for empowering

He had a top job in the US, but settled in his own village In his Pardada-Pardadi school, he teaches girls major skills He invested $1 million in his school over his 100 acre land

the poor in India were common. One of his colleagues had come to him saying how a model actually existed in India itself, that a person called the Dalai Lama was already doing it. “He had no idea who the Dalai Lama was, but quipped we knew much more about marketing,” recalled Singh. Singh went to Dharamsala to get a handle on the Dalai Lama’s socio-economic engineering of linking the handicrafts produced by school children to the local markets. He later modified the model to suit PPES. Besides offering to equip girls with skills like sewing and embroidery, PPES gave villagers an offer they couldn’t refuse. For every school day attended, PPES offered to deposit Rs10 in a bank account opened against the girl’s name. This deposit would amount to Rs 35,000 by the time she finishes school.


May 15-21, 2017

Women Empowerment

their clothes, it began manufacturing low-cost sanitary napkins. Today, the facility manufactures about 18,000 pads every month and distributes them at a nominal cost. However, the biggest challenge for PPES was to change the way families saw their daughters. “How will education help my daughter? In the end, she will have to cut grass. She might as well start doing it now,” was the common refrain. Singh realised that while solving one problem, he was creating another. Even though girls were skilled, there weren’t any employment opportunities for them. “I understood why the society was so resistant to change,” he says. He started setting up women’s self-help groups under the PPES umbrella and hired a marketing head whose job was to find ways to sell quilts, bags and pillow covers that the girls were taught to stitch at school. A part of these funds are now used to run the society. The society has opened a 2,100 Additionally, the girls are given three meals a day, textbooks, school uniforms and, depending on distance from the school, a bicycle. “No amount of pity or charity can solve the problem. It is a business problem that only business can solve. We impart education, but essentially it’s a roti-driven model,” says Singh whose primary goal is to educate at least one girl from each of the 50,000 families in Anupshahr. After much persuasion, 45 girls joined PPES, but 26 dropped out after the first year. “The majority of the girls came on the first day, collected their stipend and never came back as their fathers took away their money. Parents simply sold off the textbooks, the uniforms and the bicycle. Absenteeism was also a persistent problem as the girls were helping raise their siblings or doing household work,” says Singh. This got Singh to rework his business model. Now girls are entitled to money only after they finish school or if they get married at the age of 18 years or above. The school doesn’t enrol married girls, thereby reducing the incidence of child marriages. Girls not wearing proper uniforms and latecomers are sent back home. Those, absent without prior approval or skipping school beyond the annual paid and unpaid holidays, lose Rs20 a day. High attendance and achievements are rewarded. Reeta Kumari, a student, says, “We never saw electricity or books before coming to PPES. Now, we realise what value education can bring to life. And our parents value us better.” Over the last year, PPES has built 71 toilets in the homes of its students. Families were asked to pitch in with a

When PPES realised that girls stayed away from

classes due to menstruation, or soiled their clothes, it started making inexpensive sanitary napkins token Rs500. The total cost comes to Rs16,500 per toilet. But it comes with a rider that incentivises attendance. Only those enrolled with the school for two years or more and boasting of a good attendance get the toilets. This is significant, considering almost 53 per cent Indians still continue to defecate in the open, according to a 2013 UNICEF report. When PPES realised that girls hitting puberty missed out on their classes for weeks or they soiled

square feet boutique in the glitzy MGF Plaza Mall in Gurgaon, as well as sales outlets in Meerut and Bhopal. The items are also available online on its website. The society has managed to attract funds from SM Sehgal Foundation, India, and the USAID (US Agency for International Development). Axis bank, an Indian bank headquartered in Mumbai, has recently agreed to grant up to Rs1.4 million to the society

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over a span of three years. Some 50 individuals, ranging from a UK-based entrepreneur to a Mumbai-based public relations executive, are sponsoring the annual education of 71 girls at Rs17,000 per year. The society is also training girls for employment in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and has set up a call centre with the Gurgaon-based Broadway Theatre clone Kingdom of Dreams as one of its first clients. Singh is now looking for companies to hire the girls. “It is because of PPES that I look forward to life. I lost my father many years back and my mother is paralysed. We are five siblings trying to make a living. I want to work in the BPO sector and use the earnings to start a small business in my village,” said Geeta who has completed her class XII from PPES and is now undergoing BPO training. It is worth noting in this context that not only is the rural Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) in India as low as 25 per cent of the overall FLFP of 23 per cent, but despite their importance to agricultural production, rural women have little security in terms of ownership, inheritance, settlement programmes and production credit. Singh knows he has a still bigger challenge ahead of him – to ensure that PPES continues to perform and transform even in his absence. His hopes lie with Renuka, the chief operating officer, and his two daughters Renu and Ena who are presently in the US. Singh is hopeful his daughters will take over the mantle. After all, he too was the pampered son of a wealthy feudal clan who could have lived luxuriantly off his retirement money abroad while lamenting on the sorry state of affairs in India every once in a while. “If there is a system in place, ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. I have just put a system in place. Hope all the other things will now fall in line,” says Singh. After 13 years, PPES is a large, plain building with several class-rooms, workshops, offices, a computer lab and apartments for teachers, all built around a large courtyard where the children also eat their daily meals. The school campus is dotted with inspirational messages. Corridors have large framed posters of women achievers like painter Amrita Shergill, former Indian President Pratibha Patil and former Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi. Classrooms are named after women like Helen Keller and astronaut Kalpana Chawla among others. “We had all kinds of problems getting 45 girls to attend the school. After 13 years, I have 1,267 girls,” said Singh. That is 1,267 lives changed.


Honoholi K Chishi-Zhimomi

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NSUN

the Churchmaker

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She started the church 13 years ago and it is now being completed with the help from 2,000 workers

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tanding tall and majestic, on the hilltop over Zunheboto town in Nagaland, the Sumi Baptist Church has created history by becoming Asia’s largest church. Architect Honoholi K ChishiZhimomi, of the firm Akitektura and a mother of three, has inspired many with her creation, which is not just about her vision but her sheer grit.. Aftare having studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi and acquiring a Master’s degree from the University of Adelaide in Australia, Zhimomi specialised on monumental buildings, which she designs in both contemporary and Gothic designs. Born and brought up in Nagaland, 38-year-old Zhimomi designed the Sumi Baptist Church at a cost of Rs.

the opportunity to design such a wonderful building for God, and I must say that the inspiration truly comes from God,” Honoholi K Chishi-Zhimomi said. The egg shaped church has a sitting capacity of 8,500 with 27 rooms. The blue dome and white turrets of the Sumi Baptist Church can be seen by around 20 villages in Zunheboto district alone. “I am happy for her way of life as an

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may 15-21, 2017

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32 Unsung Hero

36 crore with the help of about 2,000 workers. “This Zunheboto Church was designed 13 years ago and construction has been going on for 10 to 11 years. So it has been a very long project but a good one. Now, when I look back especially the design and how everyone is very happy, it makes me very happy to hear all the good inputs and feedbacks. It is truly an inspiration from God. It is His house and I am very privileged to have had

architect and as a good wife of my son and as a good daughter-in-law. I am very happy for my children and she is very happy with my children, with my wife and myself and everyone in the family. She does not only know the art of architecture, also knows the art of family, friends, and relatives. I am very happy to have a daughter like her,” father-in-law ThehezheZhimoni said. Christianity is the predominant religion of Nagaland. The state’s population is 1.988 million, out of which 90.02% are Christians. The 2001 census recorded the state’s Christian population at 1,790,350, making it one of the three Christianmajority states in India and the only state where Christians form 90 per cent of the population.

It is God’s house and I am very privileged to have had the opportunity to design such a wonderful building

s e re kk N eNw m aa e wssm rs Dr Vikram Vishal

JANARDAN BHATT

CO2 Trapper Give-All 84 The scientist has found how to trap the greenhouse gas inside rocks underground

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r Vikram Vishal, assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, has won the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) medal for Young Scientist 2017 for his discovery of a mechanism to capture CO2 from industrial units and inject it underground. “Natural gases have remained trapped in deep underground rock structures for several million years. This provided the idea to inject and store the greenhouse gases in rocks and prevent their release into the atmosphere,” says Dr Vikram Vishal.

Though this is not the first time Bhatt has done this, giving Rs one crore to the Army is unique

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harity by celebrities and power brands are a common tale, and some have made this as a tax saver in marking them as Corporate Social Responsibility. But an 84-year-old retired bank employee has tugged heartstrings by donating his entire life savings amounting to Rs. one crore to the National Defence Fund. Hailing from Gujarat’s Bhavnagar, Janardan Bhatt and his wife donated Rs one crore to national Defence Fund from their savings.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 22 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

SULABH SWACHH BHARAT (Issue - 22)  
SULABH SWACHH BHARAT (Issue - 22)  
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