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Vol-1 | Issue-5 | January 22, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

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




NOT REALLY DACOITS Fate pushed these men to the ravines, but back from jail, they are doing well

In Bundelkhand, some men are feeding the acutely poor with food collected from people



Once the victim of male chauvinism herself, this 42-year-old widow has taken up the gun and runs a kangaroo court to tackle atrocities on women Srawan Shukla/Lucknow

ER name sends a chill down the spines of road-side Romeos and those perpetrating crime against girls and women. Without firing a single shot, the barrel of her gun does the ‘faisala on the spot’ (instant justice). So much






so that she has earned sobriquets like ‘Lady with a gun’ and ‘Lady Robinhood’. This is the story of an orthodox 42-year-old Muslim widow who took up the gun for the safety and security of girls and women in the non-descript village of Mahanandpur under Sidhauli police station in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.




Om Puri’s demise shocked us all, but as he said, he’ll be remembered more now

Most of us are familiar with ugly Indians, those who push and shove in queues and litter. But The Ugly Indian you will read about below is of a different kind Robin Keshaw


AAM Chalu, Munh Band”. This has been one of the most misunderstood and misused Indian adage, since forever. “Munh chaalu, kaam band” is what rather we are known for. We Indians are habituated of concentrating most of our energies on empty talks, at the cost of actual on-ground work. But, things have been changing since 2010. On one fine Sunday morning, a group of volunteers in Bangalore decided to transform one of the most ignored aspects of Indian public life – streets. And, things they say, are changing since then, one street corner at a time. If you are walking on the 80 Feet Road, Koramangala or the flyover near EcoSpace or the Richmond Circle flyover in Bangalore, you would expect to see garbage dumped in a corner, the walls

FIGHTING VULNERABILITY Born in a farmer’s family of Pilbhit district, Sahana Begam was married to a truck driver, Mohammed Shabbir in Shahajanpur some two decades ago. Unfortunately, her husband died in a road accident a couple of years after their marriage, leaving Sahana vulnerable and distressed in a feudalistic, male chauvinist society. “From childhood, I witnessed how girls and women were being treated and were subjected to restrictions, atrocities and physical abuse by men. This had given me a steely resolve to take up the cudgels whenever the opportunity comes my way,” recalls Sahana of her

Snapshots The Ugly Indian is a group of people cleaning up Bengaluru Their model is being replicated in cities acrosss the country This growth is organic, as all such groups found TUI on social media

strewn with multiple layers of nondescript posters. If you are having a particularly bad day, add to that the stench of urine emanating from the sidewalks, strong enough to send you into a tizzy. But contrary to your assumption, you will see a clean, beautified space, decorated with colourful patterns and figures. You might want to pinch yourself to actually believe what you are seeing. These places in Bangalore are just a few examples of this brilliant initiative – The Ugly Indian. Numerous other spots in

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metamorphosis from an orthodox Muslim women to a ‘Lady Dabang’. She claims that she was well protected till her husband was alive but not after that. “I used to fear going out to the market, as I was ...Continued on Page 2

02 Bottom Line

JANUARY 22, 2017

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start by identifying a ‘spot’, which needs to be ‘fixed’. And by fixing, it didn’t WHEN ‘UGLY’ IS CLEAN mean, just cleaning the spot. As ample Bangalore have been cleaned and examples in the past have proved, it takes beautified. Not only Bangalore, it has us, The Ugly Indians, only a couple of spread to cities like Meerut, Bhopal, Pune days to restore the spot, back to its and many more. Their modus operandi is original ‘glory’. Some of the examples of quite disruptive and counter-intuitive. these prospective spots were, corners There is no organization, no fixed group, which have organically become garbage just few, random people who want to dumps, the corners which are routinely change the status quo. washed by urinating men, the walls painted red by paan-spitters, etc. MODUS OPERANDI Once the spot was identified, they The whole idea emanates from the very won’t directly jump into the cleaning name of the initiative, The business. The real Ugly Indian. We Indians purpose behind the work are one of the cleanest and would be achieved only if treet garbage it is sustainable. The most hygiene friendly when we are inside our criteria by has become so sustainability homes. A tiny speck of The Ugly Indian is for the common that we spot to survive 90 days dust is frowned upon, in Indian homes. But, as soon without any supervision. accept it as can’t be a short as we step outside the perfectly normal There confines of our homes, our term fix on this issue, as perception of cleanliness this requires changes in goes for a toss. We treat people’s behavioural our public places with utmost disregard patterns. On the other hand, the issue and indifference. Wrappers, polybags, can’t be ignored as it will defeat the paper pieces, paan stains, etc are not even whole purpose of cleaning the spot. So, a considered dirty. Garbage on streets has lot of focus has to be on influencing become so common that we have accepted people’s behaviour. The shop owners, the it as an inherent part of our societal garbage collectors, the authorities structure. The first step to deal with this involved, in short all the stakeholders of problem was acceptance. Acceptance that that specific spot. we Indians are indeed ugly. The usual way to go about it would be When the mental barrier against the lecturing, venting anger, giving sermons name was conquered, the focus was to and confrontation. The Ugly Indian keep things simple. This simplicity was to would do none of these. Instead they later become one of the greatest strengths would focus on convincing and of The Ugly Indian. The group would persuasion, which will have a long-lasting ...Continued from Page 1



Snapshots A Muslim widow in UP has showered with lewd of our village,” recalls taken up the gun against rowdies remarks,” she Kamta Devi, an elderly recounts. An incident women who supports She targets those who harass of a woman harassed Sahana’s efforts. girls and women in the villages for dowry in her Once a boy abducted Officials criticise this but do village - and police a girl of the village to not dare to file a case against her inaction, despite the rape her but ‘Lady woman attempting Dabang’ Sahana suicide twice – finally made her more recovered her the same night. She forced determined to fight against such people. the boy and his parents to marry the girl She applied for a gun license. But she the very next day. They both are living was denied, as she refused to grease the happily now. With gun in her hands, she palms of avaricious babus. Then came the regularly holds a panchayat at her Mayawati government and she applied residence to solve any crime cases. “We all again. “I thank Mayawatiji for giving me are her eyes and ears. We tip her off the license and I bought a gun to bring whenever any such case comes to notice justice to these hapless girls and women,” and Sahana Aunty solves the case within she says proudly, displaying the gun. an hour,” says Seema, a student. But there are many who disapprove of GUNNING FOR JUSTICE Sahana’s style of ‘dabangai’. “There are Once the gun was in her hands, the ‘Lady police, courts and village panchayats to with the gun’ never looked back. So far, tackle bad elements. Her ways take us she has settled hundreds of cases of back to old barbaric rules,” reacts a former physical atrocities against married women, gram pradhan not wishing to be quoted. dowry cases and taught lessons with the Even senior police and district officials, butt of the gun to roadside Romeos, which criticise her gun-toting valour. “This is included a few men in khakhi and wards against the law of the land, threatening and relatives of some mighty politicians. anyone at gun point,” complains a senior The first thing she used to do was to go police officer. But due to support from to the dowry victim’s house and point the villagers, police never dares to register any barrel of the gun towards the head of the case. Her instant justice are now lore in husband and in-laws. Recounting one neighbouring villages too, where crime such incident she says with satisfaction: against women has dropped drastically in “The woman is happily married now, with the last few years. three children, and neither her husband The National Crime Records Bureau nor his relatives ever made any further says crime against women in UP has gone demand for dowry.” But then, the gun is up by 34 per cent in the last four years. not her only weapon. She exposes, publicly From the bizarre Badayun rape case till humiliates and parades guilty men after date, there is no downward trend in the blackening faces of those who dare to Akhilesh regime, despite the young techsubject girls and women to any kind of savvy Chief Minister launching the 1090 harassment. women’s helpline. A few influential boys were eve-teasing a In a state where registration of an FIR is girl from her village for the past two years. still a herculean task and most of the times The girl was too shocked to lodge a victims do not come forward to tell their complaint or share with her parents. Once tales of victimisation, Sahana Begam has Sahana Begam came to know of this, she set an example. If a woman has the resolve took out the gun and rounded up four to fight against injustices then things can boys, blackened their faces and paraded be set right, even if they have to take up them through the entire village. “Since arms to change the feudal system and then, none of them dare wink at the girls fight the prevailing gender bias.

















Numerous groups have cropped up across several Indian cities, replicating the work and model of The Ugly Indian (TUI). This has been an organic growth, driven by social media. The photos and the stories posted by TUI in their Facebook page motivated many individuals to clone the idea in their respective areas



Cover Story


Streets have not just

been cleaned but beautified as well, as if garbage never existed



The change has been amazing. The stench is gone. The areas are not just clean but beautified with graffiti or other street arts

impact. They focused on building trust and confidence among the stakeholders. Of course, it requires time, patience and sheer doggedness. For example, in upmarket Church Street of Bangalore, it took them weeks to convince 100 odd shops to change their garbage dumping behaviour. It has been almost five years since that spot was fixed, not a single digression from the expected behaviour has been observed. When the groundwork has been done, a group of volunteers would join together with their equipment and resources to actually clean up and beautify the place. And who are these volunteers? Any Ugly Indian, who feels enough has been said already and now is the time to get the hands dirty. Gloves, brooms, paintbrushes, cleaning chemicals are procured and volunteers come in together to first clean the place systemically. Sometimes, the benevolent municipal workers also join in. Once the cleaning is complete, the volunteers put their artistic cloak on and set on to beautify the place. Very simple, minimalistic designs and patterns are used, which are aesthetically pleasing and mingles well with the surroundings. The idea is for the people to realise the aesthetic potential of the place and deter them from creating a mess out of that place again. Some other hacks like placing flower pots, building benches, etc ensure the sustainability of the spotfix. The People across all ages trying out their hands at beutifying the pillar under a flyover as part of The Ugly Indian campaign

flower pots are at the risk of getting stolen or being broken. A simple solution is to use a cheap pot, which nobody wants to steal.

want volunteers to wildly publicise the work. So much so that when The Ugly Indian was invited as an organisation to deliver a TED Talk, they chose to do it under the alias ‘Anamik INGENUITY OF THE IDEA Nagrik’, with the guy wearing a mask. What exactly has made he Ugly Indian In our society, a lot of The Ugly Indian achieves important work becomes more than 500 spotfixes in has achieved secondary to the pomp over 20 cities in last 5 500-plus years? Their simplistic and photo-ops associated problem-solving spotfixes in 20 with such events. This the significance of approach? Their novelty in cities in 5 years dilutes such work and creates a implementing workable shallow impression in the tweaks? Their gentle nudge to people’s minds of people. The behaviour? Or all of it. For example, one Ugly Indian wants to break this mould of of their criteria is anonymity. They don’t getting the work done. A work shouldn’t



be attached to someone’s identity, rather, it has to be the result of collective action. Anonymity ensures visible results without any pomp and show and also keeps frivolous candidates at bay. Now, this aspect is not just focused on ensuring clean public places, but how a simple nudge can change social psychology over a period of time. Another of their ideas, TereBins, is a perfect example of simple solutions becoming a part of the system rather than completely overhauling it. One common excuse of Indians is the lack of enough dustbins on the roads. TereBins have been designed exclusively for this purpose. They are small-sized dustbins, meant for small litter like paper cups, wrappers, cigarette packets, etc. They have been designed to be heavy, so that they are stable at their place and can’t be stolen easily. They are placed at strategic locations, keeping municipal authorities in loop. They become a part of the existing garbage collecting system, effectively reducing their workload. The litter which they had to pick from the streets are now directly picked from the TereBins. The TereBins are open for adoption at a minimal cost of Rs 2,000. The ingenuity of The Ugly Indian’s approach not only lies in their simple, workable ideas, but also in the social and psychological biases they have been able to break. A decade back, an aesthetically pleasing sidewalk on an Indian road would have sounded like a pipedream. Today, we have numerous such examples to witness. Their strong focus on integration with existing system, helps in knowledge and resource sharing with the public authorities, creating a win-win situation for both. Their simplistic design makes it easier for the model to replicate, both laterally as well as in cross-section. For example, similar model with some tweaks, can be replicated to drive National Mission for Clean Ganga. The ghats along the Ganges can be cleaned and beautified with effective local community participation. The government need to create the right support structures and with minimal intervention, ghats can be ‘fixed’. We, as a society, face a multitude of problems daily. The scale of these problems increase day by day. Enough has been said and little has been done to actually solve these problems. The time is ripe for the ideas like The Ugly Indian to prosper and proliferate, where action and visible results are the only priority. The time is perfectly ripe for the adage to live itself –“Kaam Chalu Munh Band”.

04 Offbeat

JANUARY 22, 2017


Caged! They are abducted, or sold by their own relatives, their mothers and husbands, and brought to GB Road, and this is how they live. But Kat-Katha is changing all that


The art of story enacting is now gradually fighting its way back despite competition from theatre and cinema

Robin Keshaw

it translates to storytelling. The idea of this storytelling form is so simple that Apne ghar ko chhor ke Alice, the lack of any extravagant stuff Neend ki goli tod ke Alice, intrigues a first-timer. There are no Saare taale khol ke Alice, props or external sound effects. The Sabko tata bol ke Alice stage is kept to the bare minimum, Rolam polam girti Alice, except for a cushioned mat and a couple Hai re daiyya karti Alice of bolsters. Two storytellers walk in, Ulti pulti nagri dekhi, dressed in stylish kurtas and flared Gappein moti tagdi dekhi pyjamas. They sit down and start Aadhe din ka raaj dekha, declaiming in lyrical Urdu, with a Apne sar pe taaj dekha narrative flourish, which leaves the Alice ne bas ek pahar me, audience wanting for more. Generally, Apna kal aaj dekha… the dastans are quite long, sometimes stretching for hours. S the verse of ‘Dastan Alice Folklores, fables and other known ki’ ends, the audience, form like Jatak stories (tales about which comprised of children Gautam Buddha’s previous births) and and adults alike, filled the Panchatantra (philosophical tales of auditorium with ‘wah wah’. In an austere ancient India) have existed in India setup, Ankit Chaddha and Poonam since ages. Not only the stories but the Girdhani went on to narrate ‘Alice in story tellers have also been present Wonderland’ for the next 60 minutes. since ages. But dastangoi has a different The audience was so captivated that no flavour, where the performance of the one buzzed for even a second during story takes a front seat. Critically the performance. Such is acclaimed writerthe power of Dastangoi, director Mahmood an art form which is says it’s an art fter the fall of Farooqui steadily capturing the of improvised story Mughal Empire, telling where the roles of entertainment space. dastangoi stories the author, narrator, PERSIAN TRADITION and poet are got cocooned performer In Persian, dastan means a all fused into one. tale and when the suffix Dastangoi, the art of inside books goi is added to the word, storytelling in Urdu, has




attracted a great deal of attention. ZENITH TO NADIR The origin of Dastangoi can be traced from pre-Islamic Arabia. Later, with the eastward spread of Islam, dastangoi travelled to India via Iran. As the Persian culture travelled to medieval Delhi, it brought this art form with it. Mughal emperors patronised Dastangoi; it started getting attention from all classes of society. Delhi’s Jama Masjid is a surviving witness to its prestige, as Dastangoi performances were held on the stairs of the mosque. Dastangos, or the storytellers, preferred the stories of mythology, fantasy and adventure, as they captured the fancy of the common people. The Arabian Nights, Panchatantra, etc., were the primary sources of their stories. The story of Amir Hamza, the uncle of Prophet Mohammed, was one of Mughal emperor Akbar’s favourite dastans. Hamzanama, as it is known in dastangoi circles, narrates the adventurs from the life of Amir Hamza. In the tumultous years after the Mughal Empire fell in 1857, dastangoi was starved of patrons. New forms of fictions, viz., short story, novels, etc., started capturing the space which was once ruled by dastangoi. The stories which were once narrated live got cocooned in books. Theatre started occupying the prominent space of public performance. The onset of cinema finally put this engaing art form into a comatose state. Mir Baqar Ali, considered as ‘The Last Storyteller of Delhi’, fought a lone battle to keep the art form alive. But, with his death in 1928, the art of dastangoi itself turned into what it once narrated: a folktale.

Dastangoi is a medieval story enacting art form that came to India from Persia, with Islam The key of the form is the animated performance, where the story and performer become one It went comatose after the fall of the Mughal Empire but has been recently revived

“Dastangoi was as popular as the mushaira (Urdu poetry soirees) of the 19th century,” said Mahmood Farooqui, discussing about the the art form. “It died out later because of a Victorian mindset that existed then. Dastangoi had many aspects that could be classified as ‘bazaaru’ (sluttish). It was much easier to sanitise the mushairas,” he continued. THE REVIVAL STORY Dastangoi would have become a part of the history texts, if not for the sincere efforts of Mahmood Farooqui, the Delhi-based dastango. Farooqui went through the text of Dastan-e-Amir Hamza, a massive 46-volume collection of dastans of Amir Hamza. His uncle Shamsur Rahman Faruqi had introduced him to the stories of Amir Hamza. Farooqui found it very appealing. Another dastango, Danish Hussain says about the Dastan-e-Amir Hamza: “If Mahmood and I narrate new stories from these 46 volumes for two hours every day, 365 days a year, it will take 13 years to get through the entire corpus.” Farooqui writes about it in his blog:


LEARNING THE ART The growing market for storytelling in the business world has seen top universities start courses on the same


torytelling as an art is capturing the attention of academia too. Different universities from across the world have started their courses on storytelling. One can find these courses on MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platforms like Coursera, Acumen, edX, etc. The courses have created a buzz in the online learning framework. The ‘Leadership Communication for Maximum Impact: Storytelling’ course by Northwestern University

has received rave reviews from the users and regularly features on the top three requested leadership courses. Another course on storytelling by University of Houston System, ‘Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling’ is also catching the attention of users. Acumen’s course, ‘Storytelling for Change’ picks up the nuances of storytelling and teaches the elements of storytelling which can be used for honing presentation skills.

JANUARY 22, 2017

Off Beat



BUSINESS OF STORYTELLING Corporate leaders are preferring storytelling over boring PPT presentations to get their messages across


AKSHAM MEHRA is a Category corporate houses. Manager in an e-commerce firm. His But in its modern form, storytelling is job is to get quality sellers onboard his entering new paradigms. Renowned firm’s platform and create a competitive developmental psychologist, Howard spirit among them to sell more and more Gardner had pointed out in his book, products. In the conference room, he is ‘An Anatomy of Leadership’, the power narrating a story in front of his team’s of storytelling in persuading and Director and other senior managers. He convincing people, an important trait of looks quite animated and leaders. As the world his story borrows heavily around us is getting from the ‘The turtle and complex with loads of eople are the hare’ story. Everyone information, our brains in the room is listening to looking at you, have not evolved to process him in total silence. Mehra this ‘big data’. Our brains not that slide are designed to keep it draws the parallel between the lazy hare and the simple. Stories have an complacent sellers, while engrained beauty of comparing the turtle with the more simplicity. Hence, they strike the chord entrepreneurial ones. And he went on to with the audience. They put the listeners establish the target group of sellers his into a mental mode where curiosity is team will be focusing in next quarter. activated and it is easy for them to His presentation ends with a thunderous receive the information and retain it. applause from his bosses. One might be People like Steve Jobs and Jack Ma had wondering about the role of storytelling understood these nuances quite early in in multinational companies and their careers and leveraged the power of


Ameen Haque taking a session on storytelling in a corporate setup

storytelling in their business deals and presentations. Masayoshi Son, Soft Bank founder and Japan’s richest man, had said in one of his interviews, “When I first met Jack Ma (the founder of Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba), I’d already met 20 other entrepreneurs. Everybody else was talking about business models and revenue projections, but Ma spoke about how he wanted to give even small Chinese businesses the opportunity to dream of becoming big players. After five minutes, I told Ma, ‘Take my money’. Lesson? A sharp businessperson is really a wonderful storyteller who can (From Left to Right) Danish Hussain and Mahmood Farooqui in various moods of Dastangoi. (Left below) Ankit Chaddha expressing the emotions during one of his Dastangoi sessions

“The 46-volume Hamza cycle is the crowning glory of Urdu literary tradition and the summit of a thousand years of the Indo-Islamic storytelling tradition. The sheer fecundity of the

dastan – with thousands of invented names, tools, weapons, beings, with an overflowing vocabulary – as also its immense popularity had a long-lasting effect on other forms of narratives. For sheer literary virtuosity, for its treatment and range of linguistic tenors, its use of metaphors, similes, and all the other conventions of literary and poetic conventions, the Dastan-e Amir Hamza is an outstanding achievement.” Year 2005 saw the fruits of Mahmood Farooqui’s efforts, when he along with Himanshu Tyagi narrated ‘Dastan-eAmir Hamza’ at India Habitat Centre, Delhi. The show was well received by the audience. A section of the audience was completely new to Urdu, yet the auditorium was filled with ‘wah wah’ and ‘subhan allah’. Farooqui’s moment of reckoning had arrived. He partnered

lure you into trusting him. Ameen Haque, founder of Storywallahs, trains corporate professionals in the art of storytelling. He believes that in order to sell an idea, one doesn’t only need powerpoint slides filled with data. He says, “People are looking at you, not that slide. They just shows numbers and projections, but you are the individual behind that story.” His firm trains people to ‘take their back stories and align it with their business stories’. Many corporate houses like Cognizant and Cisco are seeing the value of storytelling and hiring storytellers to train their teams.

when the saga of sedition charges against JNU Student Union President Kanhiya was raging. It was narrated by the duo of Himanshu Tyagi and Ankit Chaddha.

THE WAY FORWARD Dastangoi has certain elements which gives it its unique identity. A dastango establishes his connection with the with Danish Hussain audience through questions or small and went on to perform musical snippets. The tone, expression several other shows of and gestures of the dastango play the Hamza’s stories. More most important role in a Dastangoi dastans were developed performance. They engage the which were lapped up by audience’s senses and the audience. Numerous keep them captivated. A performances of monitors the astangoi has dastango ‘Mantoyiat’ (stories of feedback from the Indo-Pakistani literary certain elements audience and calibrates giant Sa’adat Hasan performances which fosters its the Manto), Dastan Dhai accordingly, either by unique identity cutting short the story, or Aakhar Ki (story of Kabir), Dastan Little as an art form changing the flow. Prince Ki (story of It has been more than a Antoine de Saintdecade since the lost art Exupéry’s Little Prince) were held. of Dastangoi came out of the ventilator. Farooqui’s team grew as the ‘story’ of It has enthralled thousands, and is Dastangoi started reaching places. They consistently expanding its fan base. started experimenting with different Dastangoi performances have narratives, making it contextual. The broadened their horizons by one, Dastan-e-Sedition, on the incorporating more contextual stories incarceration and trial of Dr Binayak in their gamut. The revival of Dastangoi Sen, incorporated the elements of satire and its progress can be an exemplar for to highlight the issue. The dastan was several other Indian art forms which performed last year in JNU campus, have perished in the sands of time.


06 Gender

JANUARY 22, 2017



Snapshots Stalking, not considered a crime till 2013, is increasing, as the Bengaluru incident shows Instant messaging apps and social media have been seen to attract male misbehaviour Poor upbringing and craving for instant gratification seem to be some of the factors

Before the law on rape was amended, stalking was not taken seriously, but that is changing


SSB Bureau

T took the country’s conscience by storm…somewhat like the Nirbhaya gang rape case of 2012, though not so virulently. The lady had been stalked for two weeks, at least, in East Bengaluru. Then one night, two men on a scooter chased her, came too close for her comfort. She stepped aside, knowing not what to do. The two beasts got down. One of the two pounced on her. She tried to fight back, and he pushed her towards the other man. All around, passersby were watching this but no one came to rescue her. They molested her and threw her to the ground. The entire incident was revealed in a CCTV video recorded near a house in Kammanahalli in East Bangaluru. The portrayal of women chased and harassed by spiteful jilted men in Indian films have made stalking a spiffy, romantic thing to do. Being piqued by a stalker, as movies from different parts of India show, ultimately leads to the woman succumbing to him, like in the Shahrukh Khan-Juhi Chawla starrer ‘Darr’. The film portrayed the stalker as a psychologically disturbed person who wins over the gal’s sympathy! It is indeed highly disturbing that such incidents, reported or unreported, goes on in every nook and corner of the country. Such crimes have been spiralling since a long time. And in the country’s rape capital, Delhi, there were as many as 889 cases in 2015. Despite the formulation of stringent laws, there are 9,083 trial cases reported and 4,600 cases pending. Intriguingly, 146 cases have been withdrawn. Of all the cases on stalking, 84.2 per cent are pending in various courts across the country.

SERIOUS CRIME Stalking wasn’t considered a serious crime in India until the law was amended in 2013, a few months into the tumultuous wake of the Nirbhaya gang rape case, in which the young medical student was abducted in a bus and left mortally wounded by a group of men. Before this legal intervention, most Indians seemed to consider stalking as a form of flirting and that perception infelicitously still exists. Stalking has always been considered in India as just another form of harmless persuasion in the mien of the Great Indian Romance. In fact, when the anti-rape bill was discussed in the Lok Sabha, quite a few lawmakers expressed their disapproval at the proposal of making stalking a punishable offense. COMPROMISED Karuna 22 was stabbed to death by her stalker in North Delhi but her family had

settled for a compromise with the stalker’s family. Similar is the case of Laxmi who was stabbed in Delhi’s Inderpuri. Laxmi’s family had also approached the police with a complaint against her stalker, but the matter was settled when stalker’s family gave the police a written statement that he would not trouble Laxmi. Stalking, an offence under Section 354 D of the India Penal Code is a bailable offence. Senior Delhi Police officers say stalking is more of a social than a law and order issue. STALKER MIND There can be a number of reasons why someone stalks women, from unemployment to lack of purpose in life, to plain obsession or the sheer kick of victimising the more privileged, says a prominent psychiatrist. There is an increase in intolerance, with many ‘cultureradicals’ insisting that women invite stalking by the way they dress. Impatience and lack of empathy for the others’ rights




98% 79% Maharashtra 75% Karnataka Telangana

West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Uttar Pradesh saw a decrease in the number of stalking cases in 2015

TIPS Avoid using dark and isolated places Choose crowded markets and move in groups Apps like True Caller can help identify unknown numbers Ignorance is bliss. Don’t respond to strangers Responding is construed as encouragement Share such incidents with your family Try to engage the stalker’s family otherwise seek help Avoid sharing locations on Twitter and Facebook Keep preventives like pepper spray

to exercise their choice of companions is also. Actor Shilpa Shukla thinks poor upbringing also leads to deviation, where two-minutes-noodles and instant coffeelike instant gratification at any cost seems the way out. “We need a more ethicsbased society to solve this crisis. Young kids need to be taught to respect women,” she says. In most cases, the motive could be revenge or the inability to accept the truth of rejection, or a mental turbulence that’s occurring at the time of the attack. Social activist Ranjana Kumari finds muchtouted male chauvinism as a major factor. “Men are not ready to take ‘no’ for ‘no.’ They must learn to deal with new age woman.” VIRTUAL STALKING Their craze to share everything online makes fanatic netizens more vulnerable to stalking. With Facebook and Twitter, people happily reveal their locations. Applications like Four Square share one’s moving locations. APPS MISHAPS Latika Singh (name changed), a PR professional, had to give up all her social networking after she was repeatedly tortured on Facebook by an unknown man. “He posted lewd comments on my Facebook wall and wrote vulgar messages. He also wrote his fantasies below my picture and it was mighty embarrassing. When I checked my account after a while, I was aghast to see all that,” she says. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, BBM, Viber, Line, WeChat have become prominent instruments to harass strangers. We do not follow security protocol and allow everybody easy access through apps. There is a clear need of social and legal awareness. Generally, a girl hesitates in sharing her personal life with the family. Thanks to the recent amendments in the law, today we have some legal options against stalking, which often ends up in rape. After the amendments, Section 354 D defines stalking as any man who follows a woman and tends to contact such a woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly, despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman.

JANUARY 22, 2017

Tailpiece Ganges Dolphin is listed as an endangered species in IUCN list Pollution and anthropogenic factors are main culprits





Dolphin Foundation is working for their conservation

fish attractant and for medical purposes. The Ganges Dolphin is under an all out attack!



They are unique, they are cute, but pollution, over-fishing and killing them for their highly priced oil has left just a handful of them alive


Pallavi Vatsa

HE sight of dolphins in the Ganges was a major thrill for children and adults alike. People used to spend hours standing near the river to catch a glimpse of these graceful and athletic mammals jumping out of the river, taking a leap and then, like an Olympic diver, ‘silking’ its way back into the river. That was there way of catching the breath. For despite being an aquatic animal, they cannot breathe under water. Dolphins are among the oldest residents of the earth, along with some species of crocodiles and turtles. The Ganges Dolphin is unique, and was first discovered in 1801. It is blind, and navigates and catches its prey using sharp whistling sound that rebounds from the fishes. The dolphin is the apex of the riverine food chain, so its presence in adequate numbers indicates that the water system is in good health, but unfortunately, there are not enough Ganges Dolphins left today. At one time their estimated population was around 4,000 to 5,000. Now it is between just 1,200 to 1,500 individuals. That just reiterates something we know

for a long time now: the Ganges is heavily polluted. Not just that, large scale fishing in the Ganges using massive nets is causing them accidental deaths, when they get entangled in them, simply because their whistles do not rebound from the nets as they do from fish. Pollution load of toxic chemicals, sewage and industrial effluents have killed dolphins directly. Besides, these pollutants have vastly reduced fish populations, so dolphins do not have enough food. Besides, it is also being hunted for its oil, which is used both as a

Dolphin Foundation faced enormous problems including frequent life threats by criminals

Prof. Ravindra Sinha receiving Padma Shri from President

SAVING GRACE Prof Ravindra Sinha, a resident of Patna, has grown up watching these dolphins in the Ganges. But sometime back, unable to stay a mute spectator of their misery, Sinha decided to do something about Ganges and its dolphins. Sinha soon realised that the first priority was to make people aware of the danger that surrounds these dolphins. So he and his six-member team established the Dolphin Foundation, and went to meet villagers and fisherfolk and explained things. It was a lot of trouble in the beginning. “No ferrymen agreed to sail for researches in the beginning. We had to conduct the surveys standing ashore. Often, we encountered criminals who tried to rob us but mostly let us leave unharmed when we explained our mission. In one of these encounters, a criminal almost shot me, but changed their mind at the last moment to just rob us.” It was only the efforts of Prof Sinha that led the government in 2009 to declare Ganges Dolphin, the national aquatic animal. Sinha agreed that the government is working towards the cause. He urged the country of taking concrete steps just like we did to save the tigers. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also initiated several moves to save Ganges Dolphins. Apart from generating public awareness, WWF especially stressed on developing the forests along the river banks and ban fishing in these rivers. A holistic approach is needed for Ganges Dolphin’s conservation.


BIOGAS BUS ROLLS OUT The fuel is eco-as well as pocketfriendly, at just Re 1 as ticket price


SSB Bureau

HE Kolkata municipality is planning to roll out a biogas-run passenger bus from March 30. “The bus gives a mileage of 20 km for one kg biogas that costs Rs 30,” Jyoti Prakash Das, Chairman and Managing Director of Phoenix India Research and Development

Group, an alternative energy company, told the media. This bus will have 75 seats and will have a nominal fare of Re 1 per passenger. Each bus will cost Rs 18 lakh. The renewable fuel is generated from waste. The bus is to run on the 17.5-km Ultadanga-Garia stretch and will be the first in the 12-bus fleet to be deployed along 12 routes across Kolkata. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has undertaken this initiative

under the central subsidies plan in order to counter pollution and promote the use of clean energy in the state.

Tamil devotees visited Sabarimala with an environmental message Space for Cap-

N Asokan/Chennai tion Here


VERY year the Sabarimala Temple to Lord Ayappa in Kerala receives some 10 crore pilgrims from different parts of India and the world. this puts an enormous pressure on the fragile Periyar Tiger Reserve. Following concerns from environmentalists, the Kerala Pollution Control Board originally banned the use of plastics in Bamba and Sabarimala and surroundings in 2011. But this was not implemented till February 2016, so the Kerala High Court stepped in to do so. It is Margazhi, a Tamil winter month, which is the season for Sabarimala pilgrimage for Tamil devotees. One can see a large number of people in black dhoti and barefoot as they are keeping strict abstinence. Recently, 20 pilgrims from Madurai, Tamilnadu, started for Sabarimala with a strong environmental message. Their campaign was ‘Say no to plastic’. Wearing t-shirts with the message, ‘Save the Green; Save Sabarimala’, and taking offerings to Lord Ayappa in non-plastic bags, this team of pilgrims reached Sabarimala. They also took tree saplings to be planted there. The saplings included teak wood, sandalwood and mahogony. In Pathanamthitta, they gave the saplings to a representative of the District Collector and completed their pilgrimage by trekking from Bamba to Sabarilama. Before the start of the pilgrimage, team leader R Gandhi “It is Spacesaid: for Capnecessary to protect the fragile tion Here environment in Sabarimala. It is good that plastic has been banned there. We are making our pilgrimage to bring awareness to fellow pilgrims from our state of Tamilnadu.” Yes, Ayyappa. the Lord worshipped at Sabarimala must be happy with this team of pilgrims.

08 Exclusive

JANUARY 22, 2017




Ram Babu Gurjar and Daya Ram Meena were forced into a life of banditry Many are such cases where circumstances simply push people to the ravines

Sometimes all it takes is a split second impetuousness to turn one’s life around. And that holds true for many a simple folk, who, when faced with a difficult situation chose the wrong side of law – and learned to regret it in hindsight

Unlike in romantic films, their lives become living hell, constantly tense and unfed


Ram Babu Gurjar is finally back and his son now studies in a private school


Pallavi Vatsa

AM BABU GURJAR, a farmer from Dholpur district of Rajasthan, learnt it the hard way. In his early fifties, Gurjar was content to subsist on a small piece of land which he had inherited in the remote Baripur Basaidaang village. A family man, Gurjar’s entire focus was keeping his family of five, which included his wife Angoori, three daughters and a son, happy. But fate changed all that. A scuffle over a land dispute resulted in a serious injury to one of his rivals. A complaint was lodged against him. Gurjar, like most villagers, was scared of the police and being lodged in a jail. Rather than trying to clear up his name, he decided to hide. He faced many hardships while absconding from the police. He could not meet his family, who suffered in many ways. His land had to be left uncultivated and his family was deprived of food and other necessities. Gurjar felt helpless and also regretted the plight of his family. Under severe pressure, he started working as an illegal

recovery agent in a quarry. He says: “This in turn led me to a gang of dacoits who offered me protection from the police.” For many years, his diktat ran unchecked in the areas between Agra and Chambal and the government announced a reward of Rs 24,000 for any information on him. PEACE IN PIECES During this time, even though Gurjar had enough money to feed his family but the cost was high. While his family lived in the village, Gurjar was on a constant run from the law. He was unhappy as he had lost his peace of mind. He was always wary that the police would catch him, and so couldn’t even take a relaxed nap. Gurjar also worried that sooner or later his karma would catch up with him, and wronging other human beings would have repercussions. He started hating his life as he realised that he was condemned to be a dacoit who wouldn’t be able to spend time with his family. His family too lived under a constant pall of fear. His wife Angoori said: “Police frequented our place to inquire about my husband’s whereabouts. They used abusive language and


makes life hell, as more charges are levelled against the man

intimidated me.” Tormented by guilt, Gurjar decided to surrender. He was tried and sentenced to four years of imprisonment from 2006 to 2010. When he was released from jail after serving his sentence, he saw that his family was in dire straits. His children had stopped going to school and his land was barren. But Gurjar didn’t give up. He started ploughing his land. With time, things improved and he even managed to get his only son Rustam admitted to a private school. Gurjar also became the priest at the Karas Baba temple in his village. He said: “I was in prison for four years, but I still carry the guilt of being a dacoit. Only God can help me in getting out of this guilt. And that is the reason I have decided to devote my life to Karas Baba, the local deity of cattle.” POLICE HOUNDS Even though Gurjar stuck to the straight path, the police continued to hound him. His son Rustam says: “Whenever a crime is committed in the area, the police take my father to the police station, even though he has given up his criminal activities. Sometimes they extort all his money.” The family, which is happy and satisfied to be together, hopes that this too shall pass.

But Gurjar isn’t the only one to have faced and overcome adversity. Daya Ram Meena works with an NGO and vaccinates animal. He is also the sarpanch of his village, Kharoli. The villagers love and trust him, but it wasn’t the always that way for him. Ten years ago, Meena too was a dacoit. People hated him and were scared of him in equal measure. Meena kept shifting base to avoid being caught by the police. A flicker of sadness crosses Meena’s face when he remembers the hard times. He says: “I had no peace in life and most of the time I was hungry. The police tried to trap us and we were always on the run. Sometimes we didn’t even have water to drink. When I went to one of my relative’s place so that I could get something to eat, they peeped out from the window and ignored me.” It was cruel fate which forced Meena to become a dacoit. A faint smile lights up his face as he recalls his past life. He said, “I was selected as a constable in 1981. My family and I were very happy.” Suddenly his smile disappeared and tears started welling up in his eyes as he recalls the circumstances which turned his life into hell. Meena’s sister’s father-in-law was arrested by police in a false case and beaten to death. To cover up the murder, the police threw his body on the road. SHAKEN FAITH Meena tried to get the policemen punished but it all came to a naught. A constable, who was initially suspended for the crime, was reinstated. This shook Meena’s faith in law. Greatly angered, he joined a group of dacoits, which also included his brotherin-law. During his 10 years as a dacoit, he was accused of 12 crimes, including kidnapping, murder and attempt to murder. Finally in 2000, the police arrested him. He was jailed for 13 months before getting bail. Meena then decided to get a grip on his life. He started farming and joined the NGO Manjari. He works as a cattle vaccinator. His love and affection for cattle has made him a favourite amongst cattle rarers. Meena said: “I do this so that no one loses cattle and in turn, their income, and is forced to turn to a life of crime.”

JANUARY 22, 2017

Science & Technology




The new drug will help in battling oxidative stress that causes coronary failures as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases Indian Abroad News Service

R “Smiling faces of poor women fulfills me” After coming out of jail, Daya Ram Meena, a former dacoit, has started working with the Manjari Foundation. It’s an organisation that works in the rural areas of Rajasthan to uplift the villagers. We spoke to Sanjay Sharma, the Director of the foundation What can you tell us about Dayaram Meena, his work as well as his behaviour? He is a nice, composed man and responsible towards his work. He is a man of the world, who knows how to behave with people. If you meet him without knowing his past. you wouldn’t be able to make out that he was once a robber. I can’t imagine how a man of such potential could have got derailed in this manner. How did you meet Daya Ram? Did you have any hesitation while giving him job since he had a criminal past? Daya Ram’s wife used to work with us when he was in jail. So I knew the family. I was aware of the reasons for him turning into a robber. You make one mistake and the society as well as the system can be unforgiving. They won’t let you forget and make sure to punish you. Daya Ram, the dacoit, was also an outcome of that difficult situation. Now when he wanted to People admire Meena and have faith in him, as he is concerned about their well being. This love and affection resulted him in being elected unopposed as the Sarpanch (head) of the village. NOTHING WORSE Daya Ram Meena and Ram Babu Gurjar say that nothing could be worse than the life of a dacoit. There is a constant fear in whatever you do. “Neither are you at ease, nor get proper food. Even when you sleep,

lead a normal life I am more than happy to help him. What is Daya Ram’s best quality? He talks to people specially youngsters about his life so that they can earn from his experience and never take the wrong path. He suggests that if you do anything illegal you should surrender. If you flee, they will incriminate you in other cases. His concern for the society is really worth appreciating. What is the mission behind Manjari? Manjari is my baby and helps deprived and misjudged people. We pave the path for those people and help them to get ahead in life. We give them the right solution for financial, legal or emotional issues. We have 182 branches in 423 villages and 34,465 families are associated with us. What do you find most fulfilling in your job? The bright and smiling faces of poor women. We work on literacy and technical education for village women. We give them jobs and assist them to accomplish these properly. Manjari helps these women to utilise the limited resources in the villages of Rajasthan in a positive way to lead a better life. you have to be alert, Gurjar says “Every second there is the constant fear that the police would apprehend you,” says Meena. They appeal to the youngsters that if they make a mistake, they should surrender to the police. “You will be punished for what you did and the life ahead would be bright. But if you flee, there will be more trouble that you will have to bear,” they insist. Clearly, a small mistake can have serious consequences. (With inputs from Sandip Sharma, Dholpur)

ESEARCHERS have designed molecules with the potential to deliver healing power to stressed cells such as those involved in heart attacks. The research, at a cellular level in the laboratory, involves organic molecules that break down to release hydrogen sulphide when triggered by specific conditions such as increased oxidative stress. Oxidative stress damages cells and is tied especially to heart diseases and cancer as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”We have discovered that small organic molecules can be engineered to release a molecule called carbonyl sulphide, which is the most prevalent sulphurcontaining molecule in the atmosphere, but more importantly, it converts rapidly to hydrogen sulphide under

biological conditions,” said study coauthor Michael Pluth, Professor at the University of Oregon in the US. “We developed and demonstrated a new mechanism to release small molecules that provide therapeutic hydrogen sulphide,” Pluth said. Hydrogen sulphide, a colourless gas, has long been known for its dangerous toxicity -- and its tell-tale smell of rotten eggs -- in the environment, but it also is produced in mammals, including humans, with important roles in molecular signalling and cardiac health. One of the goals of developing these small hydrogen sulphide-releasing molecules is the potential for longterm applications in therapeutics, Pluth said. Separate portions of the research were detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and in an international journal.


QUIT SMOKING APP’TLY An app-based game needs players to complete tasks and earn rewards and has 37 behavioural change techniques

Manas Mittal


ESEARCHERs have developed an app-based game that can help you quit smoking. Recently invented, this is an android-based game that stimulates various behavioural changes in smokers. The game, Cigbreak Free works like a regular smartphone game, with players having to complete tasks to progress through various levels and earn rewards. In the game, players have to swipe a certain

number of cigarettes to break them within a time limit. However, it also incorporates a combination of 37 behavioural change techniques, including showing the player the health consequences of a behaviour, gaining points for grabbing healthy items, or providing virtual financial incentives, to help individuals quit smoking, the researchers said. “We’re essentially trying to ‘gamify’ health messages and behaviour change techniques as a way of embedding them in a person’s mind, in the hope that they will then be able to quit smoking,” said Robert Walton, Professor at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Rewards in the game are a way of giving smokers instant positive feedback. “When you’re trying to quit smoking you don’t get much instant feedback except desire. Your health is better but somehow it doesn’t have the same effect as being told you’re winning or getting a gold star,” Caton explained, in the study published in the journal BMJ.

10 Good News

JANUARY 22, 2017


SMART KAKINADA Development plans are on anvil to make Kakinada smart


AKINADA MP Thota Narasimham has said Rs 1,000 crore will be spent on the beautification of Kakinada city that has been selected to be developed as ‘Smart City’. He said annually Rs 200 crore will be spent for next five years. The funds will come from both the state as well as the Centre. He said the beautification works will commence shortly and the city will also get all infrastructure facilities. Industries will be set up to generate employment, Narasimham said adding that state government was implementing several socio-welfare schemes for benefit of all.


Officials discuss the roadmap for world class universities

Quick Glance A committee has been set up to create world class universities However, they do not agree with the term world class


RARE BIRDS FLOCK G’GAON Many rare birds have been noticed by birders for the first time in almost 90 years

Indian Abroad News Service


ARE migratory birds are being spotted in and near Sultanpur National Park, including the White-Tailed Eagle and Yellow-Legged Buttonquail in neighbouring Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary, for the first time in 90 years, wildlife officials said. According to officials, about 35,000 birds have been spotted in Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary till now, as compared to over 25,000

enior functionaries of the Union HRD ministry discussed the regulations for the proposed 20 ‘world class universities’ announced in the 2016-17 budget. In the meeting, which was headed by HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, the aspects related to autonomy and regulations for these universities were finalised. It was also discussed whether the words ‘world class’ can be used in the nomenclature for these institutes. Sources said they may be called ‘institutes of excellence’. Giving more flexibility to the regulations by bringing down the corpus fund for these institutes was also discussed. It is learnt that the number of minimum students in these institutes was also deliberated upon. HRD ministry plans to create 20 world class institutions, 10 public educational institutions and 10 private ones. Government is actively pushing for reforms in higher education space.

White-Tailed Eagle is one of the rare birds to be spotted

birds last year. Besides Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, rare birds have been spotted near Mangar in Faridabad and the Aravalli forest area. “White-Tailed Eagle, Yellow-Legged Buttonquail and Lesser White-Fronted Goose have been in neighbouring Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary in Jhajjar district of Haryana, for the first time in 90 years,” DFO (Wildlife) Shyam Sunder Kaushik said. Birdwatchers said that many birds have been spotted for the first time in over 50 years. Birdwatcher Suresh Kumar said that White-Capped Redstart in Haryana’s Sonipat, GreyHeaded Lapwing, Montague’s Harrier, Singing Bush Lark and Tickell’s Leaf Warbler were also spotted at Sultanpur park. “These birds are not common here and have been spotted for the first time this year. The pattern of migratory birds coming in has changed due to urbanisation,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh Police have launched an app for women It has an international code signal of extreme distress Action is being taken to curb objectionable messages

MP e-COP Madhya Pradesh police has launched an app and portal for women’s safety in the state Puneet Dubey


MIDST a country-wide debate over women’s safety triggered by the Bengaluru molestation incident, Madhya Pradesh police have launched ‘MP e-Cop’, a mobile app and portal to facilitate girls to get immediate back-up merely with a push of a button. “There is SOS (an international code signal of extreme distress) facility in ‘MP e-Cop’, which would trigger the SMS to phone numbers fed in the app by the girls/women,” Director General of Police (DGP) Rishi

New job opportunities are coming up for the youth

Some of the birds have been spotted after 90 years

Quick Glance



This year there are 35,000 migratory birds in Sultanpur


There will be 10 public and 10 private such institutions


Quick Glance

Kumar Shukla told. Shukla said that special action plan is being prepared to tackle crimes against women. The DGP informed that girls/ women can feed up to five numbers in SOS facility available on this app. “As soon as the girl in distress would push the button, the app would send alert SMS on the five numbers fed by her in the app,” he added. Shukla also said that the plan was being made to create awareness among public on the cyber crimes. “The action is being taken to curb objectionable messages spread through social media,” he added. Rising crimes against women has alerted the police across the country. Another police officer informed that the citizens will also be able to report about their missing documents, mobiles or the missing persons that too from the comfort of their homes.


N I O N Ag r i c u l t u re Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that newer developments in the agriculture sector have led to greater employment opportunities for skilled youth in various segments. These fields are agri-warehousing, cold chains, supply chains, dairy, poultry, meat, fisheries, horticulture, agricultural mechanisation and micro-irrigation, he said, giving the details. “The youth is benefiting from these opportunities. Self-employment opportunities have also increased in these fields, which require skilled youth,” a release quoted Singh as saying at the ‘National Workshop on Skill Development in Agriculture’. He said that particular emphasis is being given to enhancement of productivity, post-harvest management, better return of farmers’ produce and decrease in agriculture-related risks.


Digital classrooms will be enabled in women’s colleges


N its bid to accelerate the digital t ra n s fo r m a t i o n of Rajasthan, global networking giant Cisco announced a slew of initiatives, including video-enabled digital classrooms in women’s colleges to cover 10,000 women students over the next one year. In collaboration with the State Institute of Education Management And Training (SIEMAT), Cisco has deployed virtual classrooms across 12 institutes in the state to provide 50,000 man-hours of training through digital classrooms. “The digital classroom solutions through SIEMAT, the Cisco Networking Academy courses in 25 government ITIs and networking of ITIs in the divisional headquarters are efforts that make us all proud,” Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje told reporters. Classrooms will facilitate training and development of IT skills for women and help build a pool of skilled professionals.

JANUARY 22, 2017

CASHLESS MARRIAGE, HAPPY FAMILIES A unique marriage took place in Badia, where all transactions related to the wedding expenses were cashless Puneet Dubey


Quick Glance No cash was spent for the wedding expenses Both families joined hands to build a toilet in groom’s home Cheques and online transfer were used to pay the vendors

Subhash Nayak of Badia village, joined hands and provided voluntary services in the construction of a toilet in Nayak’s home. The construction work began late on Sunday night and was completed before the marriage was solemnised, said Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Collector in the Chief Minister’s camp office. Kumar, who convinced both families to opt for cashless marriage, said all payments for the marriage – from

tent house rent to purchase of vegetables, groceries and jewellery – were made without cash. Even the ‘ D a k s h i n a’ (donation) to the priest who performed the marriage and gifts were presented to the couple online or through cheques, he said, adding, both families as well as the villagers were happy to be part of the cashless society movement launched across the country. Kumar said the cashless marriage was presumably first of its kind in the state following the demonetisation move. A joint account of the couple was also opened instantly and an ATM card was handed over to them after the marriage, Kumar said adding, almost the entire village turned up to witness the unique cashless marriage ceremony. It inspired many villagers to go cashless.


CHEAPER SOLAR ROOFTOPS Power from solar rooftops will be cheaper, says study


LEAN ENERGY is better and at some point we all hoped if it were cheaper as well, and soon our wishes may come true. With recommendations to replace the housing society diesel generator sets with the rooftop solar power systems, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) finds the clean energy option more financially attractive. The study said the cost of power generation from a diesel generator set is Rs 27 to Rs 33 per unit as compared to solar tariff of less than Rs 10 per unit. “In all the housing societies that CSE studied, the cost of power from solar rooftop was about half the cost of power generated by diesel generator sets,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General at CSE. According to the study, up to 3 giga-watt of solar rooftop can be installed in new residential societies over the next five-seven years. This will also help in meeting the government’s target of generating 100 GW of solar power by 2022.

MODI IN KHADI CALENDAR, DIARY Mahatma Gandhi used to be on the Khadi calendar, but the KVIC Chief sees nothing wrong, as “Modi is Khadi’s brand ambassador” India Abroad News Service


N a bid to promote Khadi across India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has modelled for the 2017 wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Most employees and officials were pleasantly surprised to see the cover photo of the calendar and diary released on Thursday, showing Prime Minister weaving ‘Khadi’ on a large ‘Charkha’, in the same classic pose as Gandhiji. Modi has been promoting Khadi for a long time through his weekly radio programme Man ki Baat, exhorting people to buy at least one Khadi product every month. According to KVIC sources, Khadi sales jumped by 38 per cent after Modi started promoting Khadi. In the table calendar and diary released on January 12, Modi comes across in his signature attire of kurta-pyjama-waistcoat, weaving




TEMPLE at Badia in East Singhbhum district was recently host to a monumental event. A cashless wedding was solemnised here, within hours of a toilet being built at the groom’s house. Prior to the marriage, the family members of the bride Sunita, a resident of Itihasa village in Chakradharpur of West Singhbhum district, and the bridegroom

Good News

Khadi on a slightly modern Charkha while Gandhi’s historic picture weaving khadi on a simple charkha, wearing his trademark loin cloth, is legendary and imprinted in the minds of the masses since generations, When contacted KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said this was “not unusual” and there have been deviations Calendar and the diary published by Khadi Village Industries Commission

in the past. “The entire Khadi industry (Udyog) is based on Gandhiji’s philosophy, ideas and ideals, he is the soul of KVIC, so there is no question of ignoring him”, Saxena told IANS. He added that Modi has been wearing Khadi since long, and has popularised it among the masses and even among foreign dignitaries, while developing his own styles around Khadi. “In fact, he is Khadi’s biggest brand ambassador, and his vision matches KVIC’s, of ‘Make In India’ by making villages self-sufficient, ‘skill development’ by generating employment among the rural masses, infuse modern technology for Khadi weaving, innovations and marketing. Plus, the PM is a youth icon”, Saxena explained. Modi already has a Khadi garment unofficially named after him - the halfsleeved ‘Modi Kurta’ - since the days he was Gujarat CM and sported it regularly in public. During the four-month period between Gandhi’s birthday on October 2 and his martyrdom on January 30, the KVIC launches special promotions and offers special rebates to boost Khadi sales across India.

STUDENTS SAVE THE TURTLES School students are saving turtles in the temple ponds


FFORTS of NPS International School, Guwahati, to create awareness among the masses to save turtles in Assam temples have earned laurels to the region as the move has won Design For Change (DFC)-Top 100 Stories Award in the DFC ‘I Can’ School Challenge 2016. As a part of their initiative, a group of 20 students visited various temple ponds in Guwahati and its adjoining areas, including Jor Pukhuri of Ugratara Temple, Kamakhya Temple, Hoigrib Madhab Temple at Hajo and many more. During their visits, NPS students collected garbage and dumped it in nearby dustbins. Apart from cleaning the water level of the ponds and putting wooden platforms for the turtles to take rest, students also placed dustbins around the ponds and distributed leaflets among the local people to create awareness for preservation of turtles.

12 Northeast Special

JANUARY 22, 2017 The root-bridge (Left) is a case of native engineering created by locals


BRIGHT FULL MOON AT MAWLYNNONG The cleanest village in all of Asia is spectacular… but only if the tourists who throng there behave! Raj Kashyap/Shillong


ULLMOON Khongla is a proud lad of 14. He studies in the local missionary school at Riwai Village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. His pride comes from three facts: that he is getting to study; and that he lives near the cleanest village in Asia Mawlynnong as well as the ‘root bridge’, a bridge entirely made of the enormously long and surprisingly strong roots of two rubber plants. The bridge, which Fullmoon (yes, such are Khasi names) shows off to the hundreds of local and foreign tourists that come to their village, had been created may be 150 years ago. The bridge spans across a hill stream that is crossable by foot in summers but in the usually rainy terrains of Meghalaya, the stream turns into a roar, rising about fifteen feet above its bed, most of the time when it rains. Fullmoon says that the ancients had devised this native engineering by joining the roots of the two rubber plants, and using cobbled stones to give it a firm walking path. Located 90 kms from Shillong is Mawlynnong Village, also referred to as ‘God’s Own Garden’. The village is the pride of the northeastern hill state after it won the acclaim of being the cleanest

village in Asia in 2003. In fact, a drive through the highway in East Khasi Hills can be an awesome experience, and undoubtedly one of the most picturesque in the entire northeast, similar to the dazzling beauty of some regions in Arunachal Pradesh. But this tiny village, overlooking Bangladesh, stands like a colossus illustrating a unique and successful example of collective efforts by a community on hygiene and cleanliness. Mawlynnong offers tourists a trek to the living root bridge at Riwai. The roots of the gigantic tree make a pathway across a stream, making it easy for villagers to commute. These bridges are unique to the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya and seen nowhere else in the northeast. There are a number of such bridges in the vicinity of the village fashioned by Khasi villagers who have, over decades, woven the roots of trees across rivulets and streams. The hardy roots slowly expand and grow to entangle themselves in a pattern that is used as a bridge over furious hill streams. Hanging over a river, the bridges are made by connecting the aerial roots of one massive tree with another. BALANCED BEAUTY The village also offers a sight of natural balancing rock, a strange natural


phenomenon of a boulder balancing Mawlynnong is the cleanest itself on another rock.The village is village in all of Asia, and is embellished with waterfalls paving the home to the root-bridge way to small streams and an abundance of orchids dangling from the trees and The people have themselves hedges. teamed up to offer cleanliness A stroll takes the visitor through the services for their village cobbled and meandering streets, skirting thatched Khasi huts which go past gardens with a wide range of Just out of Mawlynnong is the wonderous root-bridge created colourful flowers. using native engineering The village guest house, which is entirely made of bamboo, has been raised on stilts, giving it the appearance of a tree-house, with two small of polythene are banned, while rainwater bedrooms, a living room, verandah and harvesting is encouraged. Locals a machan which is connected to the cleaning the roads, picking up leaves and verandah with long bamboo poles and throwing the garbage into eco-friendly gunny bags. bamboo bins is a very common sight. It resembles a typical Khasi hut, but These bins are ubiquitous and seen the guest house’s location amidst every ten steps or so on the village road. greenery, with the gentle gurgling of a The kids are given the task of keeping waterfall nearby, gives the structure an the area around the house clean as soon element of exclusivity. as they reach Grade 1 or Grade 2 in Another interesting structure the school.People not only clean their villagers have constructed is the Sky houses, they step out to plant trees as View, an 85 feet high well, which is a part of viewing tower made their lifestyle. The rules he village, a of bamboo. From are strictly followed and the top of the tower, gateway to the ‘living- the defaulters are a stunning view of charged heavily. root-bridge’, is kept not just the village All the houses have but Bangladesh on functional toilets since clean by the the other side is – a rare feature residents, but tourists 2007 visible. among the hill villages A major landmark are playing spoilsport in the northeast. But of Mawlynnong that’s not all. Village, the Church Mawlynnong gets its of Epiphany is a 100-year-old structure own manure which is converted from that still holds an old-world charm. The the garbage dug into a pit.There are premises look soothing with a lot of extremely few concrete houses and the greenery and patches of red and orange people of Mawlynnong plan to keep it flowers blossoming around it. that way. And despite the increasing revenue from tourism, the traditional CLEAN PURPOSE occupation of cultivating betel nut, A community initiative mandates that broomcorn, black pepper, berries, bay all residents should participate in leaf and delicious fruits like oranges, cleaning up the village. Smoking and use lemon, pineapple and the local soshang


JANUARY 22, 2017


A bamboo bridge across a turbulent river (Top)and the ubiquitous cane dustbins

fruit is still thriving. VISITATION MENACE Visitors from all over the country have been flocking to the village with increasing numbers in the past decade or so.This has generated an additional source ofincome and made these shy people more outgoing, but there is an existential problem for Mawlynnong: the tourists come to see the ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ and litter it all over. Kurkure wrappers, stubs of cigarettes, paper packets are just thrown around by them, despite the easy offer of keeping the village clean by just taking a few steps and dumping the garbage into the nice, conical bamboo bins. But they do not care… it is a spectacle they have come to ‘enjoy’… it is not their village, after all! Earlier, with smaller volumes of tourists, the villagers managed to clean all this tourism mess themselves. But now with an increasingly growing number of tourists, the mess is becoming less manageable. So the village has employed women to do the upkeep so that Mawlynnong does not lose its precious status. MAWLYNNONG SPECIALS Mawlynnong has achieved hundred per cent literacy and most of the villagers are conversant with English. As of 2014, there were 95 households in the village with a population of around 500. As in other parts of Meghalaya, society is matrilineal in Mawlynnong. Property passed from the mother to the youngest of her daughters. And guess what? If a man marries into a Khasi family, he has to change his surname!

SSB Bureau

OINCIDING with its statehood day, Meghalaya government will introduce the first set of digital services under its, e-district programme from January 21 next. In the first phase of digitalization, the State Government plans to provide important certificates, including domicile certificates, birth and, death certificates, among others, digitally to the citizens. The programme will be implemented in eleven districts of the, State. Official sources said the state’s IT Department has already assured that it will adhere to the deadline set by the government in providing, the essential documents through online applications. The next set of digitalised activities will be identified by April and work will be carried out by the Department in association with NIC. Under the e-district project, the State government plans to roll out at least half a dozen services to citizens in the first phase. These services range from issuance of various certificates to disbursement of social, welfare assistance to the target population. “The aim of e-District project is to provide end-to-end services to citizens. This means that they can apply for various services using, the internet and receive the desired service again through it,” the sources said. With issues of poor internet connectivity still a major concern in implementing the digital government scheme, the State


The state’s IT department has already assured that it will adhere strictly to its January 21 deadline

government has asked the Central government to address the bottlenecks. Meghalaya has been trying to leverage IT in as many sectors, as possible to enhance efficiency and maximise the government’s reach to its citizens. The State had started off by building up core IT infrastructure like, the State Wide Area Network (SWAN), State Data Centre (SDC), State Portal and the


The state government has launched a campaign to reach out to the differently abled children to get educated


ITH the country moving forward to aid the differently abled, as evident with the recently passed Disability Bill in Parliament, the Tripura government is trying to move along with the country launching a special dive to educate the disabled in their state. The state government has launched a special drive to provide education to every child, including those who are differently abled and do not attend school, said an official. Director of Tripura Elementary Bright future: A student attends the school sitting in his wheelchair




SSB Bureau

Northeast Special

Common Services Centres to bring government services closer to citizens. Citizen centric applications have been developed to provide quality and timely services to its citizens and stakeholders. The Commercial Tax, Meghalaya Public Service Commission, Electricity Billing systems are only few such applications that have been well received by citizens and stakeholders alike. Education Department, Uttam Kumar Chakma said, “On Sunday we launched the week-long ‘Vidyalaya Chalo Abhiyan’ to bring every single child aged 6-14years to schools.” Under this drive, the programme volunteers will reach out to the differently-abled children unable to attend school and provide them with teaching at home. This is a week-long programme launched under the centrally-sponsored ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’. Chakma said that in a recent household survey, the education department officials found that only 586 children across Tripura were left out from receiving formal education before the beginning of this year’s academic session from Monday. “The elementary education department has appointed 52 observers to oversee the ‘Vidyalaya Chalo Abhiyan’ and 50 volunteers to provide home-based education to the differently-abled children who are unable to come to schools,” he added. The state already has a high literacy rate of 96.82 percent as compared to the country’s 74.4 percent. With over 3,700 schools to educate 5,69,512 students up to the 8th standard, state’s bid for educating the disabled is highly appreciable effort.

14 Health & Sanitation HEALTH NEWS IN BRIEF


The country’s largest bank gets into healthcare funding


TATE Bank of India has donated Rs 22.23 lakh from its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund to a Hyderabad organisation for a mobile clinic which will provide healthcare facilities to poor families. SBI Managing Director Rajnish Kumar handed over a cheque of Rs 22.23 lakh to Hyderabad Council of Human Welfare (HCHW) Director Mohd Rafiuddin at an event organised here. The mobile clinic, which will be on road by third week of January, will provide free medical treatment to nearly 500 people every day in slum areas. The mobile clinic has a reception desk, doctor’s cabin, a laboratory and a pharmacy store. HCHW would engage full-time doctors and send the mobile clinic to slum areas daily, Rafiuddin said. SBI, Hyderabad Circle, donated Rs 10.50 crore under CSR contributions to various NGOs towards sanitation, health and education projects, bank officials said.

JANUARY 22, 2017



ESIC hospitals in the state are being upgraded to accomodate more patients


Puneet Dubey

HE 50-bed Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital located at Guwahati will be upgraded to a 150-bedded one, the Union Labour & Employment Ministry has decided. Besides, 10 of the existing 28 ESIC dispensaries in the state will be upgraded to six-bedded hospitals, official sources said, adding that the work would be carried out in phases. Announcing this

Quick Glance The 50-bedded ESIC hospital has got 100 more beds now 10 out of 28 ESIC dispensaries will also be upgraded ESIC will cover all the districts of the northeast, not just 17

after a meeting with labour ministers of the northeastern states, Union Labour & Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told reporters that to enhance social security of the working class the ESIC scheme will cover all the districts of the northeast soon. Currently it covers only 17 districts in the region. Besides, under the National Career Service projects, 18 centres will be established in the northeast. These centres will serve as a platform for addressing all career-related needs of the youth and students seeking counselling, job search assistance services and employment. The Union Minister further disclosed that of the 7.86 lakh tea garden workers in the state, 5.5 lakh have opened bank accounts post demonetization of high value currency notes. The remaining workers are expected to open their accounts in the next fortnight, after which wages will be disbursed to them through the banking system.



Study says Mediterranean meal helps brain recover


Mediterranean diet, comprising fruits, vegetables, olive oil and fish, may help older adults to retain more brain volume, researchers have found. The also includes beans and cereal grains such as wheat and rice, moderate amounts of fish, dairy and wine and limited red meat and poultry. “As we age, the brain shrinks and we lose brain cells which can affect learning and memory. This study adds to the body of evidence that suggests the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on brain health,” said Michelle Luciano from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In addition, consuming fish and meat were not related to brain changes, they said. This is contrary to earlier studies.” It’s possible that other components of the diet are responsible for this relationship or that it’s due to all of the components in combination,” Luciano said.

The state health mission has tied up with this Hyderabadbased private sector company


HEALTH FIRST SAYS DELHI CM Kejriwal inaugurated a public toilet complex in slums


ELHI Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says that health, hygiene and education come first in his g o v e r n m e n t ’s agenda. He inaugurated a toilet complex consisting nearly 150 lavatories in a south Delhi neighbourhood. “Our government is committed to work for the poor,” said Kejriwal at the Kalkaji complex. “We have made 7,000 toilets for the people of Delhi, mainly for women in slum areas. About 945 toilets are still to be constructed,” said the Aam Aadmi Party chief.

Quick Glance The Delhi CM says health, sanitation & hygiene comes first Kejriwal says women in slums face a lot of problems CM says AAP has built 7,000 public toilets in the city


Keeping Delhi clean will be motivated by sportspersons

Raj Kashyap


N a bid to develop the healthcare facilities in Arunachal Pradesh, the Health Mission of the state government has entered into an agreement with the Hyderabad-based Mediciti Healthcare Service Pvt Ltd. As per the agreement, the healthcare service provider will maintain the biomedical equipment at the public health institutions, including those in the PHCs. Mapping and flagging of the inventories have already begun. Mediciti Healthcare Services will

Quick Glance Arunachal government has tied up with Mediciti Mediciti will keep maintenance activies in public health arena The agreement will come into force within the next six months

N administer all maintenance activities in the public health institutions on behalf of the State government. It will also perform preventive maintenance of all medical equipments under the contract and calibration of medical equipments wherever applicable under the agreement. The initiative, health officials said, would give a boost to the State’s healthcare service delivery by making available functional biomedical equipments in all the public health facilities. The agreement with the Hyderabad based firm, inked under the Biomedical Equipments Maintenance Programme, will come into force within six months. The agreement was signed on Monday Mission Director (NHM) PN Thungun on behalf of the state government.

EW Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has appointed the Rio Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik, and first female amputee to climb Mount Everest Arunima Sinha as brand ambassadors for its Swachhtaprogramme. The announcement was made by NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar at an event at Connaught Place’s Central Park. Speaking after administering the pledge of Swachhta to the audience, including students of NDMC schools and residents of NDMC area, Malik said, “If a specially-abled person like me can get international fame by wining international awards, why can’t we make the city clean?” The event was presided over by New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi. “NDMC has decided to make Parliament Street as a disabledfriendly road under Sugamya Bharat – a scheme launched by Prime Minster of India for the DivyangJan,” Lekhi said.

JANUARY 22, 2017




ENAMOURED OF SULABH’S WORK Sulabh’s work closely follows the path of Gandhi’s philosophy. Scholars from the US got a taste of it during their visit to Sulabh Gram











IGHT American academicians at Sulabh’s campus. They were shocked to hear about A former scavenger welcomes had an engrossing and Servant leadership begins with a their plight, how their life had 1. the scholars from Cardinal Stritch enlightening time when they vision. The servant leaders see the big become meaningless and colorless. University, Wisconsin, US visited Sulabh Gram. Their visit picture and don’t restrict themselves Poor women were even abstained 2. An Indian guest is accorded was part of ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’ to trivial issues. They identify from celebrating festivals. Dr. Pathak traditional welcome at Sulabh campus programme, in which they are trying complex problems early and are able organised Holi and Diwali for them. 3. Sulabh founder Dr Bindeshwar to understand the philosophy and to implement workable solutions in Now, with the effort of Dr. Pathak Pathak speaks to foreign scholars After the welcome ceremony, its work of Mahatma Gandhi. They are a timely fashion by planning ahead. they are leading a better life. They 4. time to pose for a group photo on a tour across the multiple cities, Secretary of Sarva Seva Sangh Mr. weren’t allowed to use any kind 5. A US scholar is ecstatic to show where one can find the imprints of GVVSDS Prasad, while hailing of makeup. Dr. Pathak organized Sulabh drinking water Mahatma’s work. Delhi, Wardha, the vision of Sulabh Founder, said, a fashion show for them to send a 6. A US university scholar tests the Sevagram, Mumbai “Many great people message to the society. Nancy Michel Sulabh drinking water ATM and other places are in in India worked for from Stanford was astonished to hear 7. Dr Pathak explaining the working of model of toilet am amused their list. emancipation of all these. She said, “I am amused two-pit-pour-flush 8. Foreign scholars inspecting the The scholars belong how this man can untouchables. But how this man can do so much. If he biogas kitchen constructed by Sulabh to Cardinal Stritch your work has the would not have extended his helping International Foundation do so much,” distinction of a burning hand to these poor women, their life 9. A bonfire lit by biogas prepared in University, Wisconsin, US and were a part of Nancy said about desire to root out the won’t have been so comfortable. His Sulabh toilet complex “Servant Leadership unjust system.” The effort is worth appreciation.” The Dr Pathak Programme”. The American academicians vocational program run by Sulabh social discrimination specially the philosophy of the said, “You won many school is really wonderful, she added. untouchables (manual scavengers), programme is that a leader should prestigious awards both National and While welcoming the guests, Dr. health, village development, smallbe a servant first. Prof. Mark Lewis International. All of them together Pathak highlighted the fundamentals scale and cottage industries, female Gesner, Professor, Leadership studies cannot measure the greatness of and the philosophies of Gandhi. education, equality in religions etc.” of Cardinal Stritch University said your work”. Sulabh Founder said, “The Social work is not just about about Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder Apart from Sulabh Shauchalya fundamentals of Gandhi are: truth, providing help; it is about of Sulabh Social Reform Movement, and upliftment of the untouchable non-violence, honesty and integrity, empowerment and sustainability. “You reflect this concept in your life community, Sulabh also extend help ethics and morality, no difference Gandhiji believed in these ideals. Dr with an exemplary work.” They said to thousands of widows of Vrindavan, in speech and action, trusteeship of Pathak, through his exemplary work, that he is the greatest example to Varanasi and Uttarakhand. Widows wealth, welfare of people, constructive is empowering some of the most understand Gandhi and peace. They from Vindavan were also present to work, prohibition, sanitation, neglected sections of the society and got a glimpse of Gandhian philosophy meet these American academicians. eradication untouchability and creating sustainable change. Please mail your opinion to or Whatsapp at a9868807712



JANUARY 22, 2017

“The law of conservation of

energy tells us we can’t get something for nothing, but we refuse to believe it.

Issac Asimov, Book of Science and Nature Quotations, 1988

SHARAD GUPTA A journalist with 30 years experience, working as a Senior Editor with ‘Parliamentarian’


A POWER SUFFICIENT NATION NOW For the first time in decades, India today has bounced back from power shortage to power surplus, and the credit goes to PM Modi


OF NATION’S HONOUR Food scarcity in the army is not real but created due to siphoning of food by some


HE allegations leveled by a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan of getting sub-standard food are appalling and alarming. The videos posted on social sites by the jawan have gone viral. The videos showed that after toiling for 12 hours at a stretch in freezing conditions, the jawans are served burnt parantha with tea, bland food like just boiled daal and chapatis and go to sleep empty stomach often. The video has shocked the conscience of the nation. Government and BSF both reacted instantly, aggravating the injury. The BSF fished out old cases of indiscipline against the complainant. The government transferred him out to headquarter. Let’s discuss these actions one by one. Can the complainant’s ‘indiscipline’ in the past, lessen the burden of his allegations that food allowance for soldiers is siphoned off by officers? Similarly, by transferring him out, the government seems to be holding him guilty of another act of indiscipline. This is summary justice. Our soldiers certainly need better treatment. The media is already agog with confirmation of these allegations. Army diesel, petrol and liquor are often sold in towns cantonment towns. One report claimed that markets near the Humhama BSF headquarters near Srinagar airport are beneficiaries of food items for jawans. These are sold cheap to civilians and leave the armymen hungry. These soldiers spend months in near solitude and in adverse conditions. They not only put their lives on the line at borders with Myanmar, China or Pakistan but also during rescue operations carried out during natural calamities. They are the first target of terrorists. Don’t they deserve better conditions and better food than just watery Dal and burnt rotis? After all they are the ones who put national honour before everything else.


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:,


been revived and coal shortages to thermal T is a proud moment for India. The country for the first time has become power plants were addressed during the past two years. power sufficient. The supply meets the Another reason for surplus power was the demand completely. The country has steep fall in the international price of coal, surplus power which was three per cent during diesel oil, naphtha, bunker fuel and LNG, peak hours and one per cent during non peak hours. Western and southern India was always which are used in power generation. All this power surplus. It’s only the North India and happened during last financial year. Before that Eastern India which lagged in power supply. many of the non-coal thermal power plants Now, even these areas have become power were unable to operate due to high cost of surplus. petroleum products. Last The credit for this situation year saw an unprecedented ne reason for surplus fall in global petroleum should go to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union resulting in their power is the steep fall prices Minister of State for Power, abundance and easy in the international Piyush Goyal, yet it’s not a availability. The prices one day job. The deficit was prices of raw materials fell so much that it often over 15 per cent about 10 became more profitable years ago. We have increased to generate power with the capacity slowly and gradually, yet in some petroleum products like diesel and naphtha of these years the growth was 11 to 12 per than coal. Besides, auctioning of coal mines by cent. This has been achieved by commission Modi government also added to the burden on of a large number of power generation houses, coal-fired power plants which produce almost a major thrust on renewable power and easy 70 per cent of total power generated in India. availability of coal to power stations. The Government of India has set up a Rs During this time, the highest ever 280 crore fund, sourced from The World conventional power capacity of almost 49,000 Bank, which would be used to protect megawatt was added. Gas-based power plants renewable energy producers from payment producing 11,000 megawatt of electricity have delays by power distribution firms, while at


JANUARY 22, 2017 the same time protecting the distribution firms from the shrinking market for conventional grid-connected power. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), which provides 30 per cent subsidy to most solar powered items such as solar lamps and solar heating systems, has further extended its subsidy scheme to solar-powered refrigeration units with a view to boost the use of solar-powered cold storages. The Shipping Ministry too has plans to install solar and wind-based power generation systems at all the major ports across the country by 2017, generating almost 1,000 MW power, an ambitious projection. The Government of India plans to start as many as 10,000 solar, wind and biomass power projects in next five years, with an average capacity of 50 kilowatt per project, thereby adding 500 megawatt to the total installed capacity. Government of India has asked states to prepare action plans with year-wise targets to introduce renewable energy technologies and install solar rooftop panels so that the states complement government’s works to achieve 175 GW of renewable power by 2022. This comprises generation of 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind energy, 10 GW from biomass, and five GW from small hydro

The target of power in

every village by 2018 is tough but not impossible power projects. But that doesn’t mean that each and every house has been electrified. Almost one fourth of households still lie in darkness. Power is yet to reach many villages. So isn’t this a contradiction? How can a country be power sufficient and powered deficient at the same time? The answer is: no, it’s not a contradiction. Cities and industrial towns suck too much power for their population and hence the demand grows. That’s why there are villages which have yet not known the joy of experiencing brightness of power. Prime Minister Modi had set a target for electricity to reach every village and providing round the clock power supply by 2018. No doubt it’s a daunting task but not an impossible one. The need of the hour now is not to set up more traditional power generation plants, but to reform state electricity boards, reduce transmission and distribution loss from the current 22 per cent for each of them and enhance our renewable power generation capacity. Because taking benefits of power to each household is more important than merely being power sufficient. Once the first milestone has been achieved, let’s hope the day is not far when each and every house will be lit by power - affordable power.


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



ENOWNED scholar Ernest Gellner defined nationalism in his book, Nations and Nationalism, as a ‘political principle that holds that political and national unit should be congruent’. Gellner and other modernists see nationalism as a construct of post industrial era, which emerged in 18th century Europe. As the clamour for resources increased, the modern societies started looking for strands of homogeneity to strengthen themselves politically. Nationalism stood out as the unifying force and it satisfied the need for new forms of identity. In Indian context, the idea of nationalism treads unique contours. The aspect of cultural and ethnic consistency, as is the case with other modern nations, is absent in India. Our nation thrives on the heterogeneity of race, ethnicity and culture and presents a distinctive




We can’t allow fringe elements to define nationalism. It should be seen in the widest context of pluralism

cultural mosaic. But, the occasional incidents of racial discrimination have dented the inclusive edifice on which the idea of Indian nationalism stands. The worst sufferers are the people from Northeastern India, who face the brunt of racial profiling more often. Government’s recent attempts at ‘bringing the North East region at par with other developed regions

of country’ are praiseworthy. Development of power projects, improved transport connectivity, employment generation, resolving the ethnic conflicts are few baby steps towards this integration. A lot needs to be done to prepare the social mindset of rest of India. It is always feared that nationalism carries an undercurrent of fanaticism and bigotry, which needs to be crushed at the opportune moment. The idea of India is not based on the parochial concept of sectionalism and partisanship. Our forefathers had envisioned the unity and integrity of nation, not only in broader, physical sense but for every individual in the country to accept these ideals inherently. As a nation, we need to cocoon our rich diversity from the narrowmindedness of the fringe.


KUDOS FOR JIVAMRIT STORY Dear sir, Let me congratulate you for this tabloid. Your story regarding Jivamrit is very interesting. We know fertilisers are too bad for our health. We eat green vegetables or pulses for nutrients but the fertilisers make them poisonous. I feel guilty for consuming poisonous food. If everyone in the country starts using bio-fertilizer, this problem will get solved completely. Divya Kulpati, Lucknow

ARMY NEEDS BETTER TREATMENT Dear Editor, Your special story on Indian army was an eye-opener. We hardly think about the people who keep us safe. Whatever problem our country gets in to, the only solution seems to be army. But the story of BSF jawan story getting viral on social media shakes me. It is imperative to provide the people, who keep us safe and happy taking all the pain, working long hours in adverse climatic condition, with good food. I am sure, the concerned organisations will look into this issue to keep the defense personnels’ morale high. Rajeev Raj, Chandigarh SALUTE TO KAT-KATHA WOMEN Dear Editor, Your story ‘Women after all’was vividly descriptive of GB Road area. We tend to forget that they are also women of flesh and blood. The issue has been talked about innumerable times but it should be brought to notice until the society gets sensitised towards. Salute to the young women of Kat-Katha. Bushra Shahnawaz, Delhi

YOUTH ENERGY BE CHANNELISED Dear Editor, India has 65% of its population under the age of 35. Your article, “India’s New Age Arjunas” gives an interesting insight into how this young army can be channelised to work for the betterment of society. In our times, we were more afraid to taking risks. The present generation is looking for wider impact of their work rather than restricting themselves to pecuniary benefits. Col. RK Gupta (Retd.), Noida SSB IS A WELCOME CHANGE Dear sir, Sulabh Swachh Bharat is a great initiative. The current discourse in our nation has become quite distasteful and it is mostly due to the kind of news we are fed in. One gets fed up with all the negative news being aired round the clock. In such vitriolic atmosphere, SSB is a welcome change. I wish good luck to your team and want to see more news from different development sectors in your newspaper. Vinit Joshi, Jaipur

Please mail your opinion to - or Whatsapp at 9868807712

18 Photo Feature To CJI’s Delight! JANUARY 22, 2017


Photographs by MONTU


1 4

1. Widows of Vrindavan welcoming Justice TS Thakur 2. Dr Pathak performing Sulabh Prayer and Anthem with the guests 3, 4, 5, 6. Dr Pathak welcoming the visitors from Justice Thakur’s village, Ukhral, Ramban district, Jammu & Kashmir 7. Justice Thakur in biogas-operated kitchen



8. Group picture of Dr Pathak with visitors from Ukhral, widows of Vrindavan and liberated women scavengers of Alwar and Tonk 9. Dr Pathak addressing the guests at the function 10,11. Visitors from Ukhral understanding Sulabh’s work 12. Justice Thakur checking out Sulabh drinking water 13. Justice Thakur and Dr Pathak with the guests 14. Justice Thakur with Dr Pathak at Sulabh Water ATM 15. Justice Thakur on a tour around Sulabh campus 16. Justice Thakur operating the mantle lamp powered by biogas 17. Jusitce Thakur checking out the use of biogas




JANUARY 22, 2017 10

Photo Feature


11 12





18. Justice Thakur at industrial training centre 19. Justice Thakur understanding the Two-PitPour-Flush system 20. Justice Thakur intently listening to Dr Pathak’s brief about Sulabh’s work 21. Justice Thakur at Sulabh School Sanitation Club 22. Justice Thakur at Sulabh International Museum of Toilets


18 19

20 21


20 Positive Story

JANUARY 22, 2017


CREDITING COMPASSION Roti Bank! A bank that doesn’t fill pockets with money. Rather, it fills bellies with chapaatis. Oblivious to social inequalities, people here are treated equally

Snapshots Starvation problem is very real and striking in India, with almost 20 crore people undernourished Roti Bank is a novel effort to feed the hungry by channeling food from ‘haves’ to ‘have nots’


It provides a unique model which can be replicated across the cities, tackling hunger


this stage of life he doesn’t even have the strength to earn or even beg for a livelihood. But his life has taken a new turn now. He doesn’t have to worry about his meals anymore, neither does he long for companions. He gets two meals everyday and also the company of volunteers, who feed him with their own hands.

Prasann Pranjal

HE lost her eyesight, but hunger never left her side. It was her constant companion. She used to eat anything which came her way. Poverty had left her illiterate; the only option she had was beggary. That too, at a place which is widely known for drought and SAVIOUR OF THE UNFORTUNATE starvation. In such extreme situations, The torment of hunger is only understood by those who it’s nothing less than a dream come true if one have felt it, only the ones have lived through gets two square meals a oi Bhookha who it. A person does day. This is the story of Na Rahe, Koi everything in his power Mahoba’s Chandabai. to get food. They struggle Crippled with poverty, Bhookha Na Chandabai has lived this the hard work Soye’ was the through and endure pain to earn a nightmare everyday since her childhood. She had promised vision livelihood. Poor and helpless have to beg for to struggle for every piece it. That’s what people do of meal. But now she doesn’t have to suffer the same for a for just two set of meal every day. Not meal every day. Neither does she sleep just Chandabai and Ram Prasad, hungry at night. Now she doesnt go thousands of others are getting free hunting for food but the food itself meals every day. These meals are a comes to her. For a person who has luxury for these needy souls. Roti Bank struggled for meals her entire life, this Foundation has brought a new ray of readily available food is nothing less hope in their lives. than a fantasy. She is now well fed, UNIQUE ROTI BANK happy and relaxed. Similar is the story of Mahoba’s Roti Bank! A bank that doesn’t transact septuagenarian Ram Prasad. After the in money, but in rotis. Here, a Hindu demise of his wife, he was left all alone prepares food for a Muslim, a Muslim with no one to look after him. With for a Hindu, Dalit for a Brahmin and little or no food, he helplessly lied Brahmin for a Maha-Dalit. Not just hungry and thirsty at home for days. In prepare, they even feed each other with


great love and compassion. Religion and beliefs don’t separate people, because there is only one religion here, ‘fighting poverty’ and only one belief, ‘serving the needy’. They only have one objective, Feed everyone, so that no one has to sleep hungry. INSPIRED BY STARVATION ‘Koi Bhookha Na Rahe, Koi Bhookha Na Soye’ was the promised vision for starvation hit Bundelkhand which is known for its poverty. Many deaths have been reported due to starvation and poverty in the Mahoba district of Bundelkhand. Orphans, helpless and physically challenged are the ones who are hit the hardest. They have no other option than begging for their livelihood. Empathising with these poor souls, social worker Tara Patkar, Haji Muttan,

Father Labhan and few other members of Bundeli Samaj Sangathan initiated a movement. Rather than criticising the government, these people took the initiative and established Roti Bank on 15th April 2015. Started in 10 blocks of Mahoba district and a small volunteer base, this organisation has spread to different parts of the country, in such a short time. And all of this has happened organically. With their own money and efforts, volunteers of Roti Bank are feeding thousands of hungry men, women and children and bringing about a change in their lives. TWO-ROTI INSTALLMENT Youngsters holding empty bags can be seen in the streets as soon as the sun sets. Calling out ‘Roti Bank , Roti Bank’, they reach every home. No matter who the house belongs to, be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, rickshaw puller or daily wage labour, the door opens and someone from the house donates atleast 2 rotis in their bags. People can also donate roties in to 21 Roti Bank boxes which are placed at different corners of the city anytime they want. LOOK FOR THE HUNGRY The Bank’s maxim is to provide fresh food for everyone, so the collected food is tested first. If there is slightest concern about the quality of the food, it is separated from the fresh food and is used to feed the animals. The fresh food

Roti Bank volunteer serving not just roti, but also love and affection

JANUARY 22, 2017

Positive Story



“NO ONE SLEEPS HUNGRY IN MAHOBA ANYMORE” Bundelkhand is infamous across the world for its starvation, but ‘’Roti Bank’ here is not just feeding the hungry people, but inspiring people at the same time. We present Roti Bank’s founder and social worker, Tara Patkar’s detailed interview with Sulabh Swachh Bharat reporter Prasann Pranjal.

bank named ‘Ram-naam’ where people used to submit booklets writing ‘Ram naam’ in it. Then I thought, if there can be a bank named after the Lord Rama, why not name the bank distributing food as Roti Bank. Everyone else agreed and we finalised that name.

Where did you get this idea? I have been a journalist for more than 20 years. I used to see the hardships of these hungry people suffering on the roads and footpaths. I used to wonder, what do they eat? Do they sleep hungry when no one feeds them? It used to trouble me. Then I started wondering what can be done to resolve this problem. Haji Muttan , Father Labhan, Arun Chaturvedi, Ajay Barsaiya, and few other members of Bundeli Samaj Sangathan had similar views. We all decided to start a campaign to feed the hungry for free and started Roti Bank on 15 April 2015.

What is the response to Roti bank? Ten of us started Roti Bank by contributing food from our own houses. More than 500 families joined us within three months. These days, youngsters are more eager to participate in this pious activity. Today, we have around 50 devoted volunteers, more than 500 food donating families to serve over more than thousand hungry people here in Mahoba. The struggle for food has completely vanished from the lives of these physically challenged and helpless people. I guarantee no one in

Why did you name it Roti Bank? As banks work to fulfill the financial needs of people, Roti Bank also fulfills the need of hungry people. Actually, I have spent quite some time in Lucknow for my work. There was a is registered in their books and then packed for distribution. The volunteers take these packets out to bus stops, railway stations and footpaths and distribute them among the hungry and destitutes. Apart from feeding the footpath-dwellers these volunteers also feed the old and helpless who don’t have anyone to take care of them. Anyone can also collect free food from Roti

Bank’s office between 10 AM and 8 PM. Despite being self sufficient in food production, its unfortunate that many in our country go to sleep on empty stomach. These few men in Roti Bank have achieved with their honesty and efforts, what the entire system couldn’t. Known for its poverty and starvation, Bundelkhand is now a source of inspiration for the world.

Mahoba sleeps hungry at night. What were the challenges? In the beginning, when we offered food, many rejected it. They doubted our intensions. They thought we were offering them food to trick them. Suspecting fraud and theft, police at the railway station also stopped us from distributing free food. We tried to convince the people and police of our altruistic efforts. We brought identity cards for our volunteers and started a helpline number. Overtime, people started believing in us and started taking food packets from our own volunteers. Today, when they are hungry,

Where do you get the help from? When people found out about Roti Bank, many individuals came out to help. People from far off cities of the country as well as other countries like US, Canada, and Sweden, etc., called to provide financial help. But our only objective is to feed the hungry people, so we denied all the financial help. I told them, if you want to help, make sure no one around you sleeps hungry. The best thing you can do is to feed the hungry people around you.

What is your message to society? Our goal is to end starvation. We want no one to sleep hungry. A lot of people called us to start a Roti Bank for them. We only said, start one around you. Name it Roti Bank. I feel very happy knowing more people are participating in these activities and that there are ur only than 100 Roti Bank objective is to more already functioning across feed the the country now. If people working like this, no hungry people keep one will sleep hungry in our country.


OVER 100 ROTI BANKS Inspired by the world’s first Roti Bank in Mahoba, Roti Banks are starting in various cities across the country. They all have the same objective, ‘Koi Bhookha Na Soye’. Following Mahoba, people have started Roti bank in more than 100 cities including Indore, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Agra, Hamirpur, Hazaribagh and Aurangabad.



97th rank in Global Hunger Index

15.2% of the population




39% children




194.6 million people



these people look for our volunteers for food to satisfy their hunger.


29 72 75 84 90 107

(Source: Global Hunger Index 2016)

ROTI BANK MODEL Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen addressing the hunger issue once said, “Starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough food to eat.” With his remarks, he highlighted the inequality in food availability and called it a global concern. Roti Bank is addressing the problem with its unique approach. Collecting food from homes for distributing among the hungry, these people are not just helping the needy but also creating a balance in the society. One side of the society has people starving on the roads, footpaths and railway stations, while on the other hand, people living a luxurious life in the cities are wasting it. Thousand tonnes of food is wasted by the hotels and restaurants in the metro cities alone. Enough food is wasted everyday that can feed the entire starving population of the country. If the model of Roti Bank of Mahoba is replicated in every nook and corner of the country, no food will ever go to dustbins and above everything, no one would have to sleep hungry at night.

22 International

JANUARY 22, 2017

PROFILE JACK SIM Almost a third of the people worldwide do not have access to proper toilets. But Jack Sim has risen to the challenge of spreading awareness on the issue

aspire to owning a toilet, just like others aspire to own a Louis Vuitton bag.” Sim has a two-fold approach for marketing sanitation. One is advocacy. “What we don’t discuss, we can’t improve, so we turned sanitation into a subject of aesthetics and a viable business option.” He even organises the World Toilet Summit, and runs the World Toilet College to push sanitation to the forefront of global developmental agenda.

TOILET BIZ The second approach is action-oriented. “We don’t believe in providing communities with free toilets. We believe in creating a sustainable sanitation ecosystem and establishing community ownership,” he explains. Their SaniShop model achieves this by creating jobs for local entrepreneurs and sales agents who become agents of change in their communities. “We also train janitors and sanitation providers to increase the quality of service in the sector,” Sim sums up. Initially, the idea did not go down well with anyone, understandably... toilet is a is diarrhea, which affects around 1.7 smelly thing to swallow anyway. From billion of us annually, mostly due to policymakers to politicians, everyone contaminated groundwater. took a run. Which one could expect, but Roughly 2.4 billion people across the even humanitarian activists failed to catch world do not have proper up with Jack. But, slowly, the organisation is toilets. Perspective? India’s succeeding in its population is half of that, alking toilets 1.2 billion, which suggests proselitisation. did not go well that at least two-thirds of It is the dogged Indians would not have at first, but Sim determination of organisations that resulted toilets. made it a smart in WHO / UNICEF Joint SIM CARD! Monitoring Programme proposition But this Singaporean last year saying that sanitation hero, Jack Sim, a retired between 1990 and 2015, the use of construction and real estate entrepreneur, improved sanitation facilities rose from has brought into play a different card for 54 per cent to 68 per cent globally. spreading his social message. “It’s a Arguably, achieving a world 100 per cent question of marketing toilets as a status free of open defecation is still a far symbol,” he says, adding, “Plenty of poor horizon, but people like Sim are leaving people buy cell phones as soon as they’ve no stone unturned to bring the world saved enough money. I want people to closer to that dream.


FOUR MORE IN CONGRESS The bench of IndianAmericans as legislators is growing fast in the US Congress

Space for Caption Here



ASK people how many times they eat in a day, and they know the answer. But no one knows how many times they go to the toilet. It is so basic and so very important. Yet, the stigma around toilets makes it difficult to discuss about it,” ‘sanitation soldier’, Jack Sim, the founder of World Toilet Organisation, told Time magazine. But he is changing it slowly, in fact, even making toilet owning a matter of ‘prestige’ and a ‘business proposition’, what with November 19 being first proposed by him, and now adopted by a very worried World Health Organization (WHO), as World Toilet Day!But why is the WHO ‘worried’? Naturally, because it says 3.4 million people die annually because of water borne diseases. The most common killer



TURBANS, BEARDS ALLOWED After NYPD allowed its Sikh officers to wear turbans and grow beard, the US army is also allowing that

India Abroad News Service


FTER the New York police department allowed its Sikh officers to wear turbans and grow beard, albeit a short one,

(From top left, clockwise) Ami Bera, Kamala Harris, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jaipal

the US Army heads have also been ordered to allow Sikhs to wear turbans, karas (iron bangles) and keep beards. Defence Secretary Eric Fanning signed the order recently. It said: “The soldier’s

brigade-level commander will approve a request for a religious accommodation,” by Sikhs. Till now, Sikhs had to get permission from the Army Secretary, a cumbersome process prone to delays and not automatically given. Now they need to apply only to their brigade-level commanders, who will have to give them permission except in certain cases involving their safety like exposure to poison gases. Sikh Coalition Legal Director Harsimran Kaur welcomed the new rule. “We are pleased with the progress that the new policy represents for religious tolerance and diversity by our nation’s largest employer,” she said. The order also allows Muslim women in the army to wear hijabs and men to keep beards.


N a historic breakthrough for the bilateral relationship of the two nations, five Indian-Americans have been sworn in as members of the US Congress. All five of them are Democrats, two of them, Kamala Harris and Ro Khanna are from California, while the other two, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal are from Illinois and Washington State respectively. Ami Bera, who was already in Congress, till now the only IndianAmerican in the 435-member House of Representatives, was joined by the four others, increasing the IndianAmerican contingent to five members in the Congress. One of them, Kamala Harris, is the first elected senator from California. Harris, daughter of an Indian mother and African father, has a dual identity: she is both, IndianAmerican and African-American. Dalip Singh Saund, a Democrat, became the first Indian-American Space for Capelected to Congress in tion yearHere 1956. Forty-eight years later, in 2004, Republican Piyush Bobby Jindal was elected to the House and was later re-elected in 2006. But in 2007, he was elected governor of Louisiana and left Congress. After another fiveyear gap, Ami Bera was elected to Congress in 2012.



DIGITAL PAYMENT The Future of Payments




Founder, Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement

Transfer Funds to another Bank Account

types of POs

Dial *99# from your phone


Physical Card Swiping – PTSN with landline/GPRS enabled

Welcome to NUUP Enter 3 Letters of your bank’s short name or first 4 letters of your bank’s IFSC

Enter Your Option 1. Balance Enquiry 2. Mini Statement 3. Fund Transfer-MMID 4. Fund Transfer-A/c No. 5. Fund Transfer-Aadhar 6. Know MMID 7. Change M-PIN 8. Generate OTP

Enter Beneficiary Mobile No.


types of cards & usage

Phone connected with external POS device through jack/Bluetooth



1. Pre-loaded from your bank account 2. Safe to use, limited amount of transaction 3. Can be recharged like mobile recharge

1. Linked to your bank account 2. Used to pay at shops, ATMs, wallets, micro-ATMs and online shopping

ussd based banking Can be used for payments upto Rs 5,000 per day per customer


Phone connected with external POS device through jack/Bluetooth 1. Visit your branch to link mobile number and bank account

2. No need for separate MMID; You will get your Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) and Mobile PIN (MPIN) upon registration; Can be done at ATM or online also

3. Remember your MMID and MPIN

aadhaar enabled


Seed your account with your Aadhar number at bank or with the help of banking correspondent

Step-1: INSTALL BHIM APP and open Step-2: Select Language: English or Hindi Step-3: It will asks for permission, click Allow Step-4: Click on “let’s get started” Step-5: Verify your bank account registered mobile number Step-6: Enter a 4 digit pass-code you just received on your mobile and confirm Step-7: Select the bank account you want to use with this app BHIM APP Download process completes You are all set to send/receive money

You can do Account balance Aadhar to Aadhar fund transfer Cash withdrawal Cash deposit Purchase at Fair Price Shops with AEPS Now you can do many transactions at any AEPS point without any pin or password (AEPS points – Micro ATMs)

Go Cashless India!


UPI based banking

using wallets


start using wallet to make payments

sign-up using mobile

load money using credit card or debit card or internet banking



select bank




consumer downloads the app in smartphone

24 Unsung Heroes UNSUNG HEROES

JANUARY 22, 2017



A young Naga quit a comfortable, secure job to get the youth of his region aim high on money and peace


CARCE job opportunities force youngsters to migrate from their hometowns. Neichute Doulo has stopped almost 15,000 people to migrate from his home state of Nagaland by helping them to become entrepreneurs. Neichute himself had a very secure life. He was lecturer of economics in Baptist College, Kohima, Nagaland. He left his job to give youngsters a better life and bring them to the mainstream. After leaving his job in 2000, he launched Entrepreneurs Associates (EA) to train Nagaland’s youth in basic skills and provide startup capital and marketing

network for initiating small enterprises. He promoted entrepreneurship and peace building in northeastern India. The Naga movement for independence from India has hampered economic development in this region. He changed the mindset of Naga people towards work and their contribution to the economy of the country. After more than a decade of efforts, EA has successfully launched the first generation of Naga and Manipuri entrepreneurs. This has made local markets vibrant, increased local production rate and generated local jobs. Doulo says, “I believe that this will also help the northeast region to become an asset to the country. It will not be seen as a liability and a region of problems but of opportunities and solutions”. SMALL START EA is his baby and he started this organisation with a meager amount. He remembers: “When we started, 13 of us pooled in our money and we started our journey with an initial capital of Rs 7,500. We expanded it by making greeting cards and selling leather belts and bags, which helped us to raise a few lakh rupees”. Now, EA provides financing at 16 percent interest to youth to start their own small businesses. The organisation

Alongside creating

jobs, Doulo has give peace a chance in Nagaland has expanded its services to Manipur as well. In year 2014, EA received approval from RBI as a lending institution. It has distributed around Rs 150 crore of loans. The best part of EA’s business is 100 per cent recovery. “It was a big challenge initially to motivate people. We have been able to create 15,000 jobs, either directly or indirectly, in Nagaland and Manipur,” Doulo said. Now, more than 2,700 enterprises are running successfully and over 3,500 farmers are cultivating their life and land both with the direct support from EA. As government from other states clamour to invite EA to train their youth and launch entrepreneurial activities in their state, EA’s future looks bright. Doulo, through his tireless efforts, has not only generated jobs for the youth, but has also brought peace and stability in the region, which has been convulsed with violence since decades.



CONCUSSION START-UP He is among this year’s Forbes Achievers 30 Under 30 and has started a unique start-up on checking out concussions


NDIA has never been short of child prodigies. At an age when most of the youngsters are busy clicking Instagram pictures and forwarding Whatsapp messages, Rohan Suri has

cemented his place in history. Suri is merely 17, but he has already founded Averia Health Solutions, a healthcare firm. He created an app, kTrace, which diagnoses the concussions based on eye-tracking science. Users have to use a special headset with a smartphone . The headset consists of mirrors and LED lights and costs $50, or roughly Rs 3,400. The app uses the smartphone’s video camera to record the patient’s eye movement in response to visual stimulii. The app monitors the recording and analyses it to provide information about the severity of an injury. It can also predict the possibility of improvement. Suri has been featured in Forbes’ Achiever list of ‘30 under 30’. Suri says that he got the motivation to work on the app when his brother’s concussion worsened because it went undiagnosed. He could not really accept the fate of his brother. He has used the theories of artificial intelligence, parallel computing, computer vision and multivariable calculus, subjects which he opted for during his high school. Suri is fond of working on technological innovations, particularly the technologies which cut down the cost and are scalable.

RARE SCHOLAR IN THE RBI He desires to be a ‘poor-man’s Rajan’, and he is already the second man at RBI, which Rajan quit


IRAL ACHARYA has been appointed Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. With a bright academic background, Acharya is believed to be an expert in finance. Forty-two-year old Acharya was working as a Professor of Economics in the Finance Department of New York University. He is known for his research in the field of risk analysis. In 1995, he got his degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT, Bombay. He did his PhD from Stern School of Business of New York University in 2001. He was teaching at London Business School from 2001 to 2008. Acharya was the member of Advisory Scientific Committee of European Systemic Risk Board. Along with this he has also been a member with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

VIRAL ACHARYA He confesses that he has been heavily influenced by former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. Viral used to say that if he was even 5-10 per cent of what Raghuram Rajan is, he will be the ‘poor man’s Rajan’. Echoing Rajan’s thoughts, he is also in favour of independence in decision making for RBI. He believes that the bank regulator is an autonomous institution and hence it should be accountable for its decisions. Experts feel that this appointment is an oddity, as Rajan quit because of clashes on these very ideals.

JANUARY 22, 2017










Those living in large cities are suffering from loneliness emnating from lack of human interaction


SSB Feature

MAGINE a forlorn soul standing in a balcony at night, in a high-rise building, overlooking the city, thousands of stories transpiring behind closed doors and hundred thousand open windows - some darkened and some flooded with lights. Yet, in the wide assortment of stories, someone is lonely. We know that someone is disturbed inside but we never knock the door to share the pain. This is primarily an urban phenomenon.

Despite the crammed spaces and surroundings teeming with people, the loneliness manifests in big cities, in absence of close connections, intimacy and kinship. Olivia Laing, author of ‘The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone’, says - “Loneliness is a hunger for more intimacy than you have. For me— for most people, I think—it was an acutely painful state that felt very embarrassing and uncomfortable to inhabit. You can be lonely anywhere, but there’s a particular flavor to living in a






city: one becomes so intensely aware of how richly populated other people’s lives are. The sense of being exposed or hypervisible is intensified.” IT’S QUITE HUMAN Man has evolved as a social animal. Back in the days, when we were huntergatherers, most of the human energy went into survival techniques. Staying together as a community was a win-win for everyone as it guarded the whole group against the imminent dangers. Our brains got accustomed to companionship and it became one of our fundamental traits. Circa 2017, survival has taken a backseat, yet we long for the companionship. We need the cognitive stimulus; the one we get when we interact with fellow human beings. Unfortunately, modern urban space is developing in a way, providing little leeway for such interactions. Work times are stretching and getting clamoured with tight schedules and hard deadlines. Success is continuously shifting its benchmarks, making people multitask. Our shopping needs, right from a needle to furniture sets, are ‘digitally’ taken care of. Venturing out of homes, even in the little free time one gets, is getting rare. Anushka Banerjee, a digital content developer, confesses, “The only time I get out of my home is for office. And that’s not a joke. I feel like getting choked, yet I am not finding a breathing space”. Till a few decades ago urban loneliness was not quite prevalent. However people have become more isolated with time. The need of privacy and unwillingness to compromise is significant factor behind. According to John Cacioppo, Professor at the University of Chicago for Cognitive

Snapshot Loneliness is a hunger for more intimacy than you have We need the cognitive stimulus by ineracting with others An important aspect about loneliness is the need of acceptance

Once the monolithic

structure of loneliness is branched out, it will be easier to bring it down and Social Neuroscience, “Our culture emphasis growing from childhood dependence to adult independence, what it means to be adult in social species however is not to be independent of others but to be a member on whom others in group can depend. I think some of our society’s problems relate to that misconception of what it means to be an adult in social species.” COPING MECHANISM Cacioppo says that ‘Loneliness is like an iceberg, it goes deeper than we can see’. His statement provides the initiation point for coping up with the loneliness. First step is always to understand the root cause of loneliness. Under the garb of loneliness, our psychological barriers like ego, pride, insecurities, etc might be playing out. Once the monolithic structure of loneliness is branched out, it will be easier to bring it down. Opening up to others, socializing, getting involved in the hobbies are some other ways to tackle loneliness. One very important aspect to understand about urban loneliness is the need of acceptance. There is a very thin line between loneliness and solitude. Being alone in itself is not bad; not accepting it leads to dissatisfaction. Solitude is a way of accepting the loneliness and being okay about it. It’s about appreciating one’s own company. As the urban centres mushroom around us, there is a growing need to target this sociological evil on a more holistic basis.

26 NE Special Photo Feature QUARTZ

JANUARY 22, 2017

The Amazing

Kangla Fort, Imphal,


Only recently have mainland Indians started visiting the northeast, which till now was an unexplored virgin territory, with extremely loving and peaceable hosts. We present a montage on the occasion of Foundation Day of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura



r Churc


Festival of M


Tripura Club

Manipur La


Selling spices in Manipur

Amazing Manipur


pe Manip


Goalpara trib

at laya Bo


al dance in K

aram Puja

Hornbill Festival

JANUARY 22, 2017


NE Special Photo Feature

Northeast India


Paragliding in Meg

The Magical Hills

of Meghalaya

Dance and co

stume of Meg



M Wangala Festival,

Meghalaya cave

Archer of

a Meghalay Tea Garden in

mple Bhuwaneshwar Te

Unakoti, Tripu


of Tripura


Hum Hum Fa

lls, Tripura


a Jampui Hills, Tripur


route in T

Tripura State


28 Untold Stories

JANUARY 22, 2017


UNMATCHED BRILLIANCE This actor from a small village in Uttar Pradesh stormed the Bombay film industry, despite the fact that he was stereotyped as a loan shark, reminices Ashim Chakraborty


T is not often that some thespians render characters in films that stay evergreen. But there are also a select few characters that go beyond that and become part of our daily lives. Sukhilala from the all-time great film “Mother India”, directed by the late Mehboob Khan and released in 1957 is one such film. It has been more than half a century now, and yet the mean loan shark Sukhilala remains an integral part of our lives and conversations. Even today, villagers tease money lenders by addressing them as Sukhilala. It is ironic that many of those who use the name today are not even aware of its origin. Perhaps even Mehboob Khan did not estimate that he was creating a never-to-die character when he first brought in the character of a loan shark for his 1940 film “Aurat”, though his character’s name was still not Sukhilala. And did Pandit Kanhiyalal Chaturvedi, the then little known thespian from a village in Uttar Pradesh, who gave life to the character with his felicitous acting, even imagine

that his character would become part of the reality of Indian villages? One doubts. SUKHILALA TAKES BIRTH Those were the days of blackand-white cinema. And despite the unprecedented success of “Aurat”, Mehboob Khan was not satisfied. He constantly felt that what he truly wanted to reflect as the actual conditions of Indian villages had not come out. This dissatisfaction kept nagging him over the years, and so after 17 long years, he remade the film and named it “Mother India”. Amazingly, for the role of Sukhilala, Khan had no alternative in mind but Pandit Kanhiyalal. Apart from him, Khan had not taken any other actor or actress who had acted in “Aurat”. In an interview in 1960, Mehboob Khan narrated an interesting anecdote. “When I told him that he was about to The loan shark Sukhilala in Mother India who became a rage for his acting grace, and (Right) a shot from another classic

play the role of a money lender again, a bright smile lit up his face, as if he knew that he alone would bag that role. And in fact this is somewhat true. Because though I had faced some hurdles while selecting the other actors for “Mother India”, yet, for Sukhilala’s role, no other actor came to my mind but Pandit Kanhiyalal. In fact, no one had even suggested any other actor’s name.” The heroine of the film, Nargis, was showered with uncounted awards and unceasing praise, but she herself was always in fulsome praise of Kanhaiyalal’s acting. And just before his death, during a chat with Sunil Dutt, the name of Kanhiyalal cropped up. He somberly said: “Such actors come after ages. Whenever he was acting, I would go behind the camera and watch him spellbound. It never seemed as if he was acting. He was such a courteous and simple person that he had no idea what magic he was creating in front of the lens.”

He quit studies when in Class Four and never went back to it. Subsequently, he started helping run the general merchant store that was owned by the family. Unhappy working at this, he halfheartedly started running the wheat crushing machine. In fact, he was so keenly drawn towards theatre that nothing else seemed to satisfy him. Those were times when acting was frowned upon as a career option. But his family had to bow to his determination. And he quickly bagged the role of a drunken table player in Agadhash Kashmiri’s drama “Aankh”. It was a remarkable role and he felt as if he had hit the jackpot. And then there was no looking back and he got into the busy schedule of an actor. It is on some work regarding staging of a play that first brought him to Bombay, and he stayed put there. He staged a drama he had written himself after August 15. The applause that drama received gave him his entrée into films. It started with bit roles, but his remarkable role as the loan shark in “Aurat” brought a battery of admirers to his doors.

Mother India brought him huge accolades, but it also stereotyped him

UNSCHOOLED BRILLIANCE Kanhiyalal did not finish his schooling. Scion of a wealthy family, his interests included, apart from acting, writing poetry as well as drama. He was good at poetry.

STEREOTYPE CHALLENGE A series of films followed. His greatest happiness was that he was receiving accolades for the roles he played. But “Mother India” changed his life drastically. The sheer brilliance of his acting created a deep impression

JANUARY 22, 2017

Nothing but acting interested him from his very childhood all across. But there was a flipside: he got stuck with the image and was stereotyped. But instead of getting cheesed off, he took that as a challenge. The filmmakers were like the leopard that would not change its spots. So instead of trying to convince them otherwise, he started playing the same kind of role each time in a different manner. He embraced the same role in “GangaJamuna”, (with Dileep Kumar“Upkar”, “Apna Desh” “Dushman” and “Gopi”. STALWARTS’ ACCOLADES The uncrowned king of acting, Dilip Kumar found himself astounded while acting with Pandit Kanhiyalal in “Ganga-Jamuna”. Once asked about Kanhiyalal, Dilip Saheb laughed and said: “I would get nervous during his meticulous rehearsals. During exchange of dialogues, he would react in such a unique way that it became difficult to act against him.” Coming from someone like Dileep Kumar, that really is not a compliment everyone would expect, but no doubt it was the way kanhaiyalal was. Superstar Rajesh Khanna got a chance to act with him in “Ganga-Jamuna” and “Dushman”. Once asked about Kanhiyalal, Kaka said: “He was the perfect natural actor. And despite being such a mature actor, he would listen to his roles seriously and then rehearse thoroughly. In the film “Dushman”, one of his catchphrases was “Kar bhala to ho bhala”. While shooting, I jocularly told the director, Dulal Guha, “Dulalda, with these four words, he steals the show in every scene that he acts in.” In the film “Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke”, he played the role of the elder brother of Sanjeev Kumar and Jitendra. Gliding down memory lane, Jitendra says: “To my mind, the central aspect of that film was his acting. I was new to the industry then, and even after shooting would be over, I constantly felt that I am with my elder brother. We hardly have any actor of such exalted principles and moral values. And his role in “Mother India” has to be a full chapter in the schooling of future actors.” And that chapter is enough to ensure that Pandit Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi will be remembered forever.




YOU ARE NEVER GONE! Over forty years, he defined what is realistic acting, whether it be in the parallel cinema, Bollywood, Hollywood or British films


N his trademark voice, the 66-year-old noted actor par excellence Om Puri said, “My contribution as an actor will be visible once I leave this world and the younger generation, especially film students will watch my films.” Nobody knew that these lines of his last interview would become a reality so soon. His sudden demise left everyone in a shock. In a true manner, Om Puri was a first Indian actor who left his mark in different genres and styles of cinema worldwide. Whether it’s theatre or television or films – Indian, British, Hollywood and Pakistani cinema, he did it all and left a lasting impression. There is no shortage of roles, big or small, heroic, comic or villainous in commercial or art films that does not showcase his acting skills. Om Puri perhaps best exhibited the adage in the thespian world: there are no small roles, only small actors. What with his pockmarked face and a rather obtrusive nose, he broke the stereotype of the conventional ‘good looking’ Bollywood hero by setting an example of artistic prowess. After a successful inning on stage with NSD and FTII the veteran actor started his journey in celluloid with a Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal in 1976. After Ghashiram, Om Puri played the role of a Marxist in Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza. He played a remarkable role in Mirza’s other movie, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai (1980).

But Om Puri got massive acclaim with movie Aakrosh in 1980. In Aakrosh, directed by Nihalani, he played the memorable character of a victimised tribal Lahanya Bhiku, a mute murder suspect whose silence through the picture is broken by a blood-curdling scream that reveals that his tongue had been slashed! His next breakthrough film was the 1982 gritty drama Ardh Satya, about a young policeman’s crisis of conscience as he deals with the nexus between crime and politics in India. He won the National Film Award for best actor this role.

He was the major face of art cinema, but Bollywood could not ignore him either He was the major face of the parallel cinema movement alongside his contemporaries and NSD batchmate Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, working collectively in some of the biggest Indian classics like Bhumika, Sparsh, Bhavni Bhavai, Mirch Masala, Sadgati, Arohan and the iconic film Mandi. Around this time, the so-called mainstream Bollywood directors - at war with the parallel cinema movement - realised that it was impossible to keep their doors shut for this genius. In Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, perhaps Bombay’s best comedy film ever, he plays a drunk

builder in a conspiracy to kill a land official, his rendition was a little more than ‘superb’. Then there were Chachi 420, Machis, Tamas, Kakaji Kahin, Bharat Ek Khoj... where one witnesses his versatility. The actor, who starred in around 300 movies also received the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India in the year 1990. Born in Ambala, Haryana, to a Railway officer, he was the youngest of seven children. Though he joined the theatre group Punjab Kala Manch while in college, he chose to get trained at the national School of Drama. After that he did his training at Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India. Om Puri won a slew of national awards and international fame for his work in several critically acclaimed films. After a small role in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi his international profile increased through the years in Hollywood and European films. He worked with noted actors and directors of British and Hollywood cinema. He appeared in two of Mike Nichols’ films. He starred with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007). Om Puri has left an indelible mark on Indian cinema. His trade mark was naturality. “D’Souza, tu to gaya”, he said, tumbling out of a hotel room drunk headless, in Jane Bhi Do... That one sentence may perhaps shows up what he stood for in terms of acting.

30 My Story

JANUARY 22, 2017



He has seen the best of times. He has seen the worst of times. But he still remains larger than life

how far I had waded into the dirty pool, I was doomed. I would like to narrate one incident from those dark days of my life. One day after taking a heavy doze of heroine I went to sleep. I later felt a little hungry and asked the caretaker of the house to give me some food. The caretaker cried and said: “Sanju Baba, you got up after two full days.” That was shocking and still, I could not free myself from the grip of drugs for nine long years. I finally got over with it when my father stood by me firmly and helped me kick the habit. It was due to his patience and love that I completely came out of drug addiction. REGRET OF MY LIFE I will always regret one thing, that Papa could not see me today. He was a firm believer of Gandhism. He was a very disciplined person. He raised his kids in the most ordinary way. I remember we used to go to school by bus or autorickshaw. One day Papa asked me, “Do you respect me or fear me?” I said: “I respect you.” He immediately said: “Don’t lie, you are scared of me, because you know that you are hiding something from me. Just after that I told him that drugs is taking my life away. I am not able to recognise myself, I confessed.

Ashim Chakraborty From his days of distressing addiction to the phase of deaddiction in the US, then meeting first wife Richa, going to jail and how he was humbled there, Sanjay Dutt bares all to Sulabh Swacch Bharat

LIFELONG TREASURES First of all I would like to clearly say that I have put all the controversies of my life far behind me. But I don’t want to forget a few things intentionally, things which taught me the real lessons of life. Even today I look back and ponder over those moments. In 1971, I worked as a child artist in Papa’s film Reshma Aur Shera. In the year 1981, I worked as hero in my debut film Rocky. When I unfold the pages of history, many memories come alive. In the span of 35 years, I have worked in more than 120 movies. There are many movies that I don’t want to talk about. But Vidhata, Naam, Imaandar, Hathiyaar, Krodh, Thanedar, Sadak, Saajan, Yalgaar, Gumraah, Dushman, Haseena Maan Jayegi, Vaastav, Mission Kashmir, Kurukshetra, LOC, Munnabhai MBBS, Musafir, Parineeta, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Agnipath, PK and many other such movies will always remain with me as part of the bank of

my unforgettable memories. These are lifelong treasures for me. FATHER’S SUPPORT Apart from my family, I got love from everyone. I have been educated in a boarding school. Unfortunately, I fell into the wrong company. People talked of me as rich father’s spoilt child. Those memories smother me even till today. Actually, I was quite close to my mother. But I took advantage of her love. I gradually got trapped in bad company and drugs. As it happens usually, and it happened with me too, before I knew


DRUGS COCKTAIL I was always asked what kind of drugs I was addicted to. There are no drugs in the world that I have not done. When my father took me to Miami for rehab, doctors gave me a list of drugs and I ticked every drug on it because I had taken all of them. The doctors were shocked. They told Papa: “Going by the drugs he did, he should have been dead by now.” Perhaps the doctors of America did not know that we grew up having ghee and lassi (clarified butter and yoghurt) FEARING RETURN After getting deaddicted I did not want to return to India. Despite the fact that my father was with me at every step, I had the fear of drug peddlers in my mind. But I did not lose the confidence and faith in myself. In 1985, I returned to cinema in Jaan Ki Baazi, then

Snapshots He played his first film role as a child artist in his father’s film Reshma Aur Shera

His first film as a hero was Rocky, but he messed up his life with drugs While in jail, his second wife Manyata stood by him and gave him a sense of security

eventually Takatvar, Thanedaar, Sadak, Sajan, Khalnayak. Fortunately, some of them were superhits. The world around looked like a bed of roses again. I happened to meet my wife Richa Sharma in America. We got married and our daughter Trishala came to us. However, it couldn’t last for long, as Richa’s brain cancer faded all our happiness. SELF PURIFICATION For several years, I was on tenterhooks and surrounded by controversies. Just a year back I got liberated. Five years ago, Manyata came to my life when I was going through a sticky patch. But she made me feel secure and stable. Perhaps my days spent in jail altered me altogether. I earned Rs 50 per day in jail from making envelopes and working as RJ in YCP Radio. My earnings in jail were Rs 3,800 and I spent most of it in items of daily use. My ego and pride were crushed in jail. I used to eat and live with criminals and killers. But the entire experience turned me into a really humble person. FOR YOUTH I would just like to suggest to my young friends that never take any step under pressure or just to prove some thing to someone. I would never like to say that I took drugs under the pressure of my friends. I just wanted to be part of the peer group; that is how we tend to go astray. Like many times, when a good friend reads a particular book, all his friends want to go through it as well. You should know your desires and choices. Once in a blue moon one can have a beer, especially on Saturday nights, but in moderate quantity. But stay away from drugs at any cost. It is really a matter of elation for me that despite being away from celluloid for such long years my fans admire me. I know that a few people have still not forgiven me. Then why is this craze still on? My friends and relatives says that even outside the screen, my personality is larger than life. I am a flesh and blood person. I never hesitate to ask for forgiveness whenever I go wrong. I am just a normal being.


JANUARY 22, 2017

CULTURAL POTPOURIE In this second part of the Ibis Trilogy, the author presents a world of curious cultural mixes, but is dominated by the British


by AMITAV GHOSH Price: Rs 486/- (Paperback)


S it not amazing, Puggly dear, that whenever we begin to congratulate ourselves on the breadth of our knowledge of the world, we discover that there are multitudes of people, in every corner of the earth, who have seen vastly more than we can ever hope to? And to no one is this state more attractive than to those whom it is consistently denied.” Throughout his work, in River of Smoke Amitav Ghosh writes with a global perspective that is manifest not only in the series of locations and multiplicity of characters he depicts, but also in his persistence on connections that cross imaginary boundaries. At the beginning of River of Smoke, the second volume in Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, Neel, the deported raja, whose story begins in Ghosh’s novel Sea of Poppies, remarks of a hurricane that it is “looking for new possibilities, creating fresh beginnings, rewriting destinies and throwing together people who would never have met”. Throughout River of Smoke, characters trail across fleetingly and at other times in intricate and lifechanging ways, as Ghosh probes the human imperfections and fortitude of individuals caught up in the opium trade to China. The novel begins with Deeti a central character in Sea of Poppies, while Paulette and Neel also appear frequently in the novel. Ghosh introduces a wide cast of new characters, most compelling of whom is Seth Bahram Modi, a trader from Bombay who has built his fortune

by selling opium in China. Bahram’s story is movingly complex, and Ghosh consistently maintains a humane, rather than polemical interest in this man who is a privileged merchant accepted by his British peers but always aware of his colonial origins.His love for a Chinese woman must remain a poignant secret from his extended Parsi family in Bombay. In Bahram, Ghosh vividly captures the struggles of an individual whose desires and interests are ultimately defeated by far-reaching historical, economic and political events. River of Smoke is rich in historical detailing and liberally sprinkled with Hindi, Bengali, and pidgin dialogue. It is told in a narrative

style that wears its erudition and its political insights in a light way. Paulette’s search for a mysterious camellia plant appositely captures the theme of the novel that the era of global modernity is about connections, accidental discoveries, and an unregulated flow of information between people who shape world history in an often anonymous manner. The narrative is suffused with the rich alignment of commerce and miscegenation, embracing within its large rubric a variety of set-pieces, from a Chinese boat serving authentic Indian fare to an Armenian trader interviewing Napoleon in exile on St. Helena. Though the period detail is





The Xinjiang specialty, samsa was spoken of familiarly as the samosa


Anupama Yadav

Book Review

A Scholar With A Mighty Indian Pen

MITAV GHOSH was born on July 11, 1956, in Calcutta (now Kolkata). His ambitious novel uses complex narrative strategies to probe the nature of national and personal identity, particularly of the people of India and South East Asia. He received his BA and MA from University of Delhi. At about the same time, he also worked as a newspaper reporter. He subsequently attended the Univer-

sity of Oxford, where he received his D. Phil (1982) in social anthropology. Ghosh went on to teach at the University of Delhi, the American University in Cairo, Columbia University in New York City, and Queens College of the City University of New York, among other institutions. After a stint at Harvard University that began in 2004, Ghosh turned to writing full-time and split his time between the United.

meticulously researched and lovingly described, the characters through whom the story is told are largely marginal in the world he portrays: a half-caste gay painter, an orphaned female would-be botanist, an Indian merchant in a white man’s world. Those who dominate that world are the British citizens of a global imperium espouse the doctrine of free trade in high-minded, hypocritical rhetoric that masks the amoral venality of smuggling opium. This twisting of tongues energises all of Ghosh’s writing. It allows him to engage with quiet irony in the official rhetoric of the British Chamber of Commerce in Canton and to pass it off as one style among many. The book in this way engages with the broader sweep of history, in particular the enigmatic chain of events that led to the first Anglo-Chinese opium war of 1838, without ever allowing you to forget the ways in which these headline facts had myriad and tragic consequences for millions of individual human lives. What begins, for the likes of Bahram Moddie, in possibility and freedom, ends in chaos, with the trade stalled by the Chinese emperor’s determination to rid his country of an opium plague and British desperation to defend the financial engine of colonialism. On one level, the novel, River of Smoke, that arises from this formative geopolitics is a remarkable feat of research, bringing alive the hybrid customs of food and dress and the competing philosophies of the period with intimate precision; on another it is a subversive act of empathy, viewing a whole panorama of world history from the “wrong” end of the telescope. We get a moment’s glimpse in River of Smoke, for example, inside a ship’s cabin and Ghosh can’t resist explaining how a copper tub is “attached ingeniously to the ceiling, with removable trivets”. Bahram, the Parsi opium trader from Bombay, whose story is the primary focus of the novel, likes to eat “a Xinjiang specialty called a samsa”. These were small triangles of pastry, stuffed usually with minced meat: baked in portable Uighur tandoors they were sold hot in the Maidan… . and were spoken of familiarly by their Hindustani name – the famous samosa”. Every element, no matter how small, in the novel’s world opens up to reveal the further worlds stacked up behind, which overall makes this book interesting. This novel is a stirring portrayal of the past and a prescient inspiration of the future.



JANUARY 22, 2017

Jackie Chan’s Thumka J U N C T I O N

Akshay’s Rejuvenation To rejuvenate and recharge himself, AKSHAY KUMAR, after returning from a family holiday in Cape Town, quietly left Mumbai for a ‘mystical’ journey. “Every year, he travels to a new place to find solitude. This time, he has gone to a meditation centre, two-and-a-half hours away from Kochi city,” says a source. Instead of other artificial treatments, Akshay feels that meditation helps him look radiant and increases his strength levels and concentration.

Noted Actor JACKIE CHAN’S fans will see their hero in a new avatar. Dressed in mustard kurta-pyjama, the Dragon Blade star dances away to glory in action comedy Kung Fu Yoga. The official video of Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu Yoga has released. The song is loaded with thumkas. Farah Khan has choreographed for Jackie Chan in Kung Fu Yoga. Actor SonuSood and newcomer Disha Patani will also be seen in the movie with Jackie.

Alia’s Cat Love ALIA BHATT is riding high on success these days. Besides films, she’s also planning to do social work. She says, “I am going to be very active when it comes to social work. I am already working on a campaign for animals.” She is the latest actress to join the PETA bandwagon with a cause ‘adoption’,for which she shot an ad campaign, posing with a cat and dressed as an angel. Otherwise, also her love for cats is not hidden. Alia is a proud owner of two cats herself. So for Alia, no more cat fights, only cat love.

Powering Pannu

Mega Open-air Drama Fest The story of Krishna Leela and Mathura Vijay was the theme of 11 days THEATRE FESTIVAL at Bargarh, said to be the world’s largest open-air theatre festivals. “For 11 days, the whole of Bargarh town was transformed into a very big stage” said the official website of Bargarh Dhanu Yatra. The festival is a symbolic representation of good winning over evil and is a post-independent phenomenon to mark the end of British rule. At least 3,000 artists from 120 cultural troupes from across the country participated in this mega theatre festival.

After power packed performance in the movie Pink,TAAPSEE PANNU has her hands full with projects. Taapsee stunned everyone with her performance in Pink and is now working on four different genre films - Naam Shabana, The Ghazi Attack, Judwa 2 and Runningshaadi. com. Naam... Shabana is a hardhitting woman-centric film, Ghazi Attack is about a submarine and Running a romantic flick. Pannu says she wants to take a break from the action dramas by adding colour and glamour to her career with Judwaa 2.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 1, ISSUE - 5 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-5)  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat (Issue-5)