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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Vol-1 | Issue-44 | October 16 - 22, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

Good News Weekly for Rising India BIHAR MUSEUM


Formally inaugurated by state chief minister Nitish Kumar, it houses rare collections



‘Hugging Saint’, Mata Amritanandamayi, whose 64th birthday celebrations last week was attended by President Ram Nath Kovind



85% NOW USE TOILETS UNICEF Survey finds that the benefits far overweigh the costs of eliminating open defecation




A Japanese calligrapher is now a celebrity among Arabic and Urdu calligraphers

02 Cover Story

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


Young Suvarna (Mata Amritanandamayi)



UVARNA’S father passed away when she was just three years old. Raised by her single mother along with her three brothers, she was encouraged to stay home and help out around the house. But Suvarna had a dream. She wanted to learn the traditional technique of sculpting wood. Suvarna’s family discouraged her - they didn’t feel there was any future in learning a dying art form. But Suvarna persisted and finally, they let her join Mata Amritanandamayi School for Sculpting. In 2010, Suvarna won the award for Best Sculptor in her home state, Kerala. She was the first woman to do so. Now she’s writing a textbook on

traditional wood sculpture, to make sure that this ancient art form has a future as bright as hers. This is just one of the millions of life-changing stories that are being spawned by the spiritual leader, humanitarian and social worker Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known throughout the world simply as “Amma” or “Hugging Saint”. She has served the world-community for decades, imparting health, education, development, and inspiration. Through her acts of love, inner strength and self-sacrifice, Amma has endeared herself to millions and inspired thousands to follow in her path of selfless service. Her entire life has been dedicated to alleviating the pain of the poor, and those suffering physically and emotionally.

Mata Amritanandamayi concludes her programs by

embracing each person attending the event to bestow her unconditional love on people from all walks of life

Mata Amritanandamayi concludes her programs by embracing each person attending the event to bestow her unconditional love on people from all walks of life. Far from a brief book-signing or walk along the rope line, these personal, one-on-one meetings take up the vast majority of Amma’s time. Amma has given this motherly embrace, known as her darshan, to more than 36 million people throughout the world. She has been known to give darshan for more than 22 hours without interruption. Mata Amritanandamayi may well be on a first-name basis with most people who come in contact with her. When people pour out their hearts to Amma, she offers them emotional solace, spiritual guidance, and concrete solutions to their problems. Receiving Amma’s embrace, many feel inspired to offer selfless service to those in need. In this way, this simple yet powerful act as a mother’s embrace - has become both catalyst and symbol for the growing international network of humanitarian initiatives that are Embracing the World. Truly a citizen of the world, Mata Amritanandamayi holds free public programs throughout India, Europe, the United States and Australia, as

Quick Glance Mata Amritanandamayi was inclined towards spiritualism since childhood Having seen poverty and suffering closely, Mata Amritanandamayi decided to alleviate them Mata Amritanandamayi launched a mutt and several other welfare projects ever since

well Japan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Africa and South America. In her talks, she offers words of wisdom and guidance on both personal fulfillment as well as the most pressing matters of our time. From climate change to terrorism, cross-cultural tensions to poverty and women’s rights, Amma’s observations invite each of us to get involved in the process of rebuilding a concerned and caring society. Throughout her life, Mata Amritanandamayi has embraced and comforted more than 34 million people. Amma inspires, uplifts, and transforms through her embrace, her spiritual wisdom and through her global charities, known as Embracing the World. When asked where she gets the energy to help so many people, she answers: “Where there is true love, anything is effortless.” While Amma is widely regarded as one of India’s foremost spiritual leaders, Amma says that her religion is love. She has never asked anyone to change their religion but only to contemplate the essential principles of their own faith and to try to live accordingly. THE BEGINNING Born as Sudhamani Idamannel in the fishing village of Parayakadavu, which falls in the state of Kerala on 27 September 1953, she had only four years of formal education. Neither did she have the chance to study scriptures under any enlightened teacher. Contrarily, she spent her childhood and youth taking care of her family, dedicating all her chores to Lord Krishna and it was through this selfless act and devotion that she gained the highest knowledge. Very

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017 soon, she began to attract serious spiritual seekers, who were drawn to her as much by her spirituality as by her love and compassion. Her father, Sugunanandan Idamannel, was engaged in the fishing trade, maintaining his family by selling fish. He and his wife, Damayanti Idamannel, had seven children, out of whom Sudhamani was born third. She proved to be extraordinary from her very birth. It is said that unlike other children, Sudhamani was born with a divine smile on her face. She had later said that even at birth, everything seemed familiar to her. She was also aware that the world was nothing but ‘the play of Consciousness’ and so she did not cry. THE DIVINE AURA As time passed, it became more apparent that Sudhamani was different from the rest, learning to talk and walk when she was barely six months old. Even as a child, she was very devoted to Lord Krishna, possibly their family deity and was seen constantly taking His name. By the age of three, she was constantly singing devotional songs, which she must have picked up from his family members or neighbors, delighting everyone around her. But within two years, as her spiritual mood became more intense, her parents became concerned about her. By the age of five, she began to compose hymns to her beloved Krishna. By and by she also started spending more time in the meditative state, singing and dancing to her Lord on the seashore. To restrain her conduct, her parents severely scolded her; but she remained devoted as ever. Also at the age of five, she began her education at the village school; but she was not destined for the worldly education. As she reached nine, her mother became ill and in spite of being a brilliant student, she was withdrawn from school to take up the household responsibilities. AWAKENING OF MOTHERHOOD Although Sudhamani was still very young, her days were now spent in cleaning the house, washing the utensils, cooking food and feeding her family. The household cows were also her responsibilities and apart from gathering grass, she went from door to door seeking vegetable peels and rice gruel for them. Thus waking up before dawn and working constantly till midnight, Sudhamani led an apparently gruelling life. But in reality, she was happy for she worked not for her

family, but as a service to her Lord Krishna. In addition, she would take the Lord’s name incessantly with every breath. As she cooked she thought Lord Krishna would now come for his meal. When she cleaned the courtyard she thought that her Lord would soon be there. Thus she experienced a constant flow of divine thoughts, no matter where she was or what she was doing. While she was happy with her spiritual experiences she was also troubled by the sufferings she saw around her. While collecting vegetable peels, young Sudhamani noticed that many people were starving or sick without recourse to food or medicine. She also saw how an elder generation was neglected by their family. Even as a young girl, she drew attention with the many hours she spent in deep meditation on the seashore. She also composed devotional songs and could often be seen singing to the divine with heartfelt emotion. Despite her tender age, her compositions revealed remarkable depth and wisdom. When she was nine years old, her mother became ill, and Mata

Cover Story


Throughout her life, Mata Amritanandamayi has

embraced and comforted more than 34 million people. Amma inspires, uplifts, and transforms people Amritanandamayi was withdrawn from school in order to help with household tasks and the care of her seven siblings. As she went door-todoor gathering food scraps from neighbors for her family’s cows, she was confronted with the intense poverty and suffering that existed in her community, and in the world beyond it. CONCERN FOR THE SUFFERING Young that she was, she began to contemplate on the suffering, praying

to her Lord for recourse. Slowly, she began to feel an urge to reach out and help those in need. Despite her young age, the mother in her had started awakening. She now began to donate food and clothing to the needy, physically taking care of those who did not have anybody to look after them. Her parents, who were equally poor, could not appreciate her acts of kindness and severely punished her for it. But she continued with her service. While the days were spent in

04 Cover Story

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

service, she spent the nights in intense meditation. As she reached her teens, her spiritual quest became more intense. To cure her, of what her parents considered madness, they sent her away to a relative’s place, where she was kept busy with constant work. When it did not help, her parents tried to marry her off; but by then, Sudhamani, had chalked out a different life for herself and so she refused to get married. Although this made her parents angry and herself an object of ridicule she remained steadfast in her decision. KRISHNA BHAKTI By the time Sudhamani had reached her late teens, she was established in an inner bliss. But at that time, her divinity was well-hidden. Although she sang and danced in ecstasy, experiencing supreme love, nobody realized the state of her spirituality until one fateful day at the age of 22. One day in September 1975, as she was returning home with a bundle of grass, she heard last verses of Shrimat Bhagavatam being recited from a neighboring house. At the end of it, as the devotees started singing songs in praise of Lord, she suddenly fell into a trance. Running inside the house, she stood among the devotees, fully immersed in the thoughts of Shri Krishna. Feeling one with Him, she automatically took up the postures of the Lord and witnessing the divine mood, the onlookers bowed down in reverence. From now on, she felt identified with Lord Krishna, very often going into deep Samadhi. At other times, remaining immersed in ‘Krishna bhava’, she danced and sang, taking care to keep her spiritual experiences hidden from others. One day, wishing to remain one with her Lord, she decided to give up her body in ‘samadhi’. But just then,

she heard an inner voice, urging her not to do so, but work for those who were leading miserable life on this earth. Sudhamani now spent the greater part of the day on the seashore near her home. Slowly, she began to develop a band of devotees, who went to meet her on the sea beach. Concurrently, a group of young men, who called themselves ‘Rationalist’, began to oppose her. Seeing the harassment meted out to his daughter by the ‘Rationalist’, Sudhamani’s father converted their cowshed into a proper room. Thereafter, she began to meet her devotees there, singing and dancing in ecstasy. AS MATA AMRITANANDAMAYI Soon after Sudhamani experienced the presence of the Universal Mother in her. From that day onward, she began to see everything around her as her own ‘Atman’. She now became ‘Amrita’, the divine nectar, embracing the entire mankind as her own self. Her love and compassion began to attract a large number of devotees, who began to pour in from distant places just to spend a few minutes with her. While she alleviated their misery by her miraculous power, she was more interested in guiding them into the right path. From 1979, more serious spiritual seekers, intending to lead a monastic life, began to come to her. The first to come was a young boy called Balu, who would later be known as Brahmachari Amritatma Chaitanya. Calling her Mata Amritanandamayi, they started residing on her parents’ property. In 1981, with the permission of Sugunanandan Idamannel, they built a few thatched cottages on that property. Thus was laid the foundation of, what later became known as Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM). By and by, her fame began to spread

Even as a child, she was very devoted to Lord Krishna, possibly their family deity, and was seen constantly taking His name, or what is called japp

abroad and in 1986, she told a gathering that she had children all over the world and they were crying for her. In the following year, on the invitation of Kusuma Gretchen Venkatesh, she visited California. This was her first visit abroad. TAKING SANYAS In 1989, she initiated Brahmachari Amritatma Chaitanya in ‘sanayasa’, giving him the sanayasa name of Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri. In her address to the assembled devotees on that day, she expressed her happiness on being able to dedicate her son to the service of the world. Since then, she has initiated many more in the holy order of ‘sanyasa’, dedicating them for the good of the mankind. Concurrently, she remained ‘Ammachi’ to millions of householders across the world.

Whoever goes to visit her always gets a warm hug. It started when, out of compassion, she hugged certain devotee, who burdened with great hardship, fell on her lap crying. Seeing this, others too wanted to be hugged and thus the tradition was born. Known as the ‘Hugging Saint’, she has hugged more than 33 million people throughout the world. It led to the formation of Mata Amritanandamayi Math with Ammachi as its founder and chairperson. Today, it has branches in forty countries and everywhere they work for the upliftment of the local people, fighting hunger, empowering women, opening schools and institutes of higher education. More importantly, she continues to guide her children into the right religious path, imparting the teachings of the Vedas in simple language. Where Mata Amritanandamayi encountered people in need, she brought them food and clothing from her own home. She was undeterred by the scolding and punishment she received from her family for doing so. She also began to spontaneously embrace people to comfort them in their sorrow. Responding to her affectionate care, they began to call her Amma. Amma was deeply affected by the profound suffering she witnessed. According to Hinduism, the suffering of the individual is due to his or her own karma — the results of actions performed in the past. Amma accepted this concept, but she refused to accept it as a justification for

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

Cover Story


PREZ LAUNCHES NEW SCHEMES President Ram Nath Kovind launched several projects in Kerala to mark 64th birth anniversary celebrations of Amma


N an initiative to provide clean water to rural India, President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Mata Amritanandamayi Mutt’s Rs 100 crore project at the math headquarters in the coastal hamlet of Vallikkavu as a part of the 64th Birth anniversary celebrations of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. In another initiative, he launched a Jivamritam filtration system project that is meant to provide clean drinking water to 10 million villagers. Kovind on his first ever trip to the southern state after taking charge as President, said such services are the greatest of them all. He also appreciated the courage and bravery of Indian soldiers he met during his visit to Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre in the Border town of Leh. “Bravery of our soldiers on the one hand and the compassion, love, and wisdom of our spiritual leaders on the other are the two thick pillars on which we rest our hopes,” says Ram Nath Kovind. President called Kerala one of the leading spiritual homes in

inaction. Amma contemplated the principle of karma until she revealed an even more profound truth, asking a question she continues to ask each of us today. “If it is one man’s karma to suffer, isn’t it our dharma (duty) to help ease his suffering and pain?” MOVING AHEAD With this simple yet profound conviction — that each of us has a responsibility to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate — Amma moved forward with confidence in her life of service and compassionate care for all beings, uniquely expressed by the motherly embrace she offers to all who seek solace in her arms. In Amma’s community, however, it was not permissible for a 14-year-old girl to touch others, especially men. Amma explains, “In India, women are expected to remain in the background. It is said that ‘Even the walls should not hear them.’ My family could not understand my way of reaching out to people; they had

India. Citing spiritual leaders and social reformers of Kerala like Adi Sankaracharya, Sree Narayana Guru, and Ayyankali, he says, the greatest service was to help the poor and downtrodden and enable them to achieve their true potential. The President lauded the state’s rich tradition of religious harmony and secular perspectives. “It was

no idea of the spiritual principles.” But despite adverse reactions, Amma followed her heart, later explaining, “A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of the creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.” Amma says that love expressed is compassion, and compassion means accepting the needs and sorrows of others as one’s own. PHILANTHROPY Mata Amritanandamayi is the guiding light of Amrita University. Amma’s concept of education, stress on research and commitment to

in Kerala that the Christian community in the country landed first and also has the first mosque. The Jews and Romans also settled here while all of them co-existed respecting each other’s beliefs. Each community has given space to another, and it is an honoured legacy,” the President said. “The spiritual consciousness beyond religion is evidently

instilling universal values have come together to shape Amrita University into an institution where the latest advancements and discoveries combine with compassion and service-mindedness. In 2010, when the State University of New York honored Amma with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Speaking on the occasion, she said, “It is Amma’s prayer that we develop the expansive-mindedness to embrace both scientific knowledge and spiritual wisdom. We can no longer afford to see these two streams of knowledge as flowing in opposite directions. In truth, they complement one another. If we merge these streams, we will find that we are able

Mata Amritanandamayi has built more than 45,000 homes for the homeless poor throughout India, is currently providing scholarships for more than 46,000 impoverished

reflected in the spiritual heritage and social reformation of the state. It is inevitable in any such state to give equal opportunities for good education, good health and affection towards fellow beings,” he added. He also distributed certificates to 12 villages which became open defecation-free under ‘Amrita Serv’ project for the integral development of communities. The President also distributed certificates for nearly 2,000 free surgeries to be held at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. The operations that cost Rs 53 crore includes 200 heart surgeries, 70 brain surgeries and 20 kidney transplants. The Jivamritam project, that is initiated to provide clean drinking water will have specially designed filtration systems that will filter the water to its best. This will provide clean potable water in 5,000 Indian villages. This whole project is funded by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, popularly known as ‘Amma’ among her devotees has worked precisely in these areas of social service.

to create a mighty river—a river whose waters can remove suffering and spread life to all of the humanity.” Aside from serving as the Chancellor of Amrita University, Mata Amritanandamayi also runs the vast humanitarian mission known as the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, the headquarters of which is home to one of Amrita University’s five campuses. Housing for the poor Mata Amritanandamayi Math has built more than 45,000 homes for the homeless poor throughout India, is currently providing scholarships for more than 46,000 impoverished children, and has helped more than one lakh poverty-stricken women form self-help groups, and much more.’ Mata Amritanandamayi is also a spiritual guide and teacher to millions throughout the world, giving people through her teachings and emotional support the strength to face the challenges of life with peace and

06 Good News

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

mental equanimity. Her days are spent receiving thousands, placing men, women and children on her shoulder, addressing their concerns and instilling in them the confidence and inner strength to move forward in life. In this manner, more than 34 million people have come to Amma for her darshan. EMBRACING THE WORLD Embracing the World is a global network of local and regional charitable organizations and projects which grew out of the India-based charitable projects of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Currently active in more than 40 countries around the world, Embracing the World exists to help alleviate the burden of the world’s poor through helping to meet each of their five basic needs — food, shelter, education, healthcare and livelihood — wherever and whenever possible. It believes that having these needs met is the fundamental right of any human being and that it is the responsibility of each of us to strive hard to ensure that one day, every human being can live in dignity, safety, security and peace. LESSONS IN EQUALITY Amma teaches that everyone — rich or poor — has the power to make a difference in the life of another and that no selfless gesture is insignificant. Rather, it is the selfless actions we perform for one another that hold the

Currently, 500 children live in “Embracing the World”,

being provided nourishing food and loving care from a highly dedicated and affectionate staff keys to true peace — peace in the individual, peace in the community and peace among diverse cultures, nations and faiths. Amma’s centers in many countries contribute to this humanitarian effort by inspiring people to serve selflessly in the building of a better world. Each project began in response to the needs of the world’s poor who came to unburden their hearts to Amma and cry on her shoulder. More than 20 years ago, the administrators of a local orphanage confessed to Amma they were out of funds and that before long, they would have to turn the children out on the street. Amma diverted money that had been saved to build her first prayer hall and used it to assume care of the orphans. With this, Embracing the World was born. Currently, 500 children live there, half from poor tribal communities. With the nourishing food and loving care they receive from the dedicated staff, the children gain the confidence and the strength to move forward in life. Today, more than one in three go on to earn college degrees, all of which are fully sponsored by

Embracing the World. IN SERVICE OF MANKIND Mata Amritanandamayi believes that just as a bird needs two wings and a tail to fly, a seeker must practice devotion (bhakti), action (karma) and knowledge (jnana) if s/he wants to attain the ultimate bliss. Therefore, along with meditation and bhajans, she dedicated her disciples to the service of the mankind. In 1997, she launched a housing program, Amrita Kuteeram, with the aim of building 25,000 homes for the homeless throughout India. Once the initial target was reached in 2002, they continued to build more houses across India. In 1998, she launched Amrita Nidhi, a program that provides a monthly pension for 50,000 physically and mentally disadvantaged individuals and widows. In the same year, The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) or ‘Amrita Hospital’ was launched in Kochi at her inspiration. From 2001, the math has started sending volunteers and necessary resources wherever there is a natural calamity or other kinds of disasters.

Amma is also very conscious about cleanliness and the lack of sanitation in rural India. Since 2012, her organization has taken up an annual program of cleaning the Pampa River and Sabarimala Temple pilgrimage site. In 2015, she donated USD15 million to the Government of India for constructing toilets for poor families living on the banks of the River Ganges. In the same year, she has also pledged another USD 15 million for toilet construction in the state of Kerala. AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS Over the years, Amma has received many awards from different national and international organizations. Chief among them are Hindu Renaissance Award from Hinduism Today (1993) and the Gandhi-King Award for NonViolence from The World Movement for Nonviolence (UN, Geneva, 2002). In 1993, Mata Amritanandamayi was elected ‘President of the Hindu Faith’ by the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Chicago. In 2010, The State University of New York awarded Ammachi an honorary doctorate. In 2012, Mata Amritanandamayi was included in the Watkins’ list of the top 100 most spiritually influential living people in the world. In 2014, American liberal website, The Huffington Post, included her in the list of 50 most powerful women religious leaders.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

Good News




The “Zoohackathon” initiative awarded the teams – ‘Geeksforgreen’ and ‘Zoodesign’ for their wildlife tracking web applications Quick Glance Web applications to detect and alert authorities of human intervention Zoohackathon is to help reduce demand for illegal wildlife products The wildlife crime is one of the fastest growing crimes globally

Team Zoockathon



EB applications and tools to detect and alert authorities of human intervention in reserve forests and monitoring of illegal wildlife trade through social media were among the ideas awarded here at “Zoohackathon”, an initiative supported by the Union Environment Ministry. As wildlife criminals use

sophisticated means to ensure a smooth flow of trade, the two-day Zoohackathon brought together young developers, designers and experts to create web applications and tools to help reduce demand for illegal wildlife products. The awards were given away on Sunday evening at the WWF-India secretariat here. The competition was supported by the US Embassy, Ministry of

Environment, TRAFFIC India and WWF-India. Two outstanding ideas and tools developed by teams -- ‘Geeksforgreen’ and ‘Zoodesign’ -- were awarded. Geeksforgreen is a quantification tool (web application) that can be used to monitor social media for trafficking of wildlife articles on online platforms. The runners-up, developers of Zoodesign, came up with the idea of an eagle-eye tool to filter and

analyse infra-red motion images shot through camera traps in forest areas to sound an alert whenever there is human intervention (poachers) in the protected areas of the forests. The wildlife crime is one of the fastest growing crimes globally, with the environment crimes having an estimated turnover worth over $200 billions, according to a 2016 Interpol report. “Poaching and illegal wildlife trade is a serious issue and wildlife criminals are using new and sophisticated means to source these wildlife products and sell them to the consumers. The solutions developed today will go a long the way in helping to curb wildlife crime in India,” said Ravi Singh, the WWF-India CEO.



Scientists warned that mid-air turbulence is likely to increase by up to three times in the coming decades



CIENTISTS are trying to develop technology that will help cut mid-air bumps. Air turbulence is likely to increase by up to three times

Quick Glance The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters The largest increase in turbulence would be on cruising altitude Global warming strengthens wind instabilities at high altitudes

in the coming decades due to climate changes, increasing the risk of injuries, warn scientists including one of the Indian-origin. Climate change will significantly increase the amount of severe turbulence worldwide by 20502080, said the study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The expected turbulence increases are a consequence of global temperature changes, which are strengthening wind instabilities at high altitudes in the jet streams and making pockets of rough air stronger and more frequent. “The study is another example of how the impacts of climate change can be felt through the circulation of the

atmosphere, not just through increases in surface temperature itself,” said Manoj Joshi, Senior Lecturer in Climate Dynamics at the University of East Anglia in Britain. Severe turbulence involves forces stronger than gravity

and is strong enough to throw people and luggage around in an aircraft cabin. Flights to the most popular international destinations are projected to experience the largest increases, at a typical cruising altitude of 39,000 feet becoming up to two or three times as common throughout the year over the North Atlantic, Europe, North America, the North Pacific and Asia. “Air turbulence is increasing across the globe, in all seasons, and at multiple cruising altitudes. This problem is only going to worsen as the climate continues to change,” said lead researcher Paul Williams, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading.

08 Bihar Museum

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017



Formally inaugurated by state chief minister Nitish Kumar, it houses collections dating from 400,000 BCE to 1748 AD PRADEEP MODAK


HE long wait is over. The Bihar Museum is open for visitors; a day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dedicated the museum and its different galleries to the people of Bihar. Built on a 13.5-acre plot on Bailey Road the state-of-the-art museum has rich treasures of artefacts in its galleries, rooms, corridors and courtyards from 400,000 BCE to 1764 AD. Japanese architects designed the museum in such a way that the visitors may feel the sense of time by walking through spaces to understand the context of history in the present moment. They also envisaged travelling through the museum as in a Journey to

show the epic scope of the narratives of history. The museum has a dispersed plan and it stretched out long, not high, just two floors. The architects brought in the concept of ‘Oku’ to enhance visitors perception that is moving from cloistered spaces to open spaces, alternating between anticipation and contemplation. The museum at present contains more than 3,000 artefacts from different

periods of history and the major attraction is Didarganj Yakshi a 5 feet 2-inch tall statue, which embodies close to perfect standards of feminine beauty of ancient India. The statue is made of Chunar sandstone and finished to an incredible mirror-like polish. Yakshi is brought here from Patna Museum despite strong protest from historians and academicians. The state government has adopted

Japanese architects brought in the concept of ‘Oku’ to

enhance visitors’ perception of cloistered spaces to open ones, alternating between anticipation and contemplation

Quick Glance The most valuable items have been brought in from Patna Museum under protest from scholars The government has ordered that only items after 1748 can remain in Patna Museum Items like the Didarganj Yakshi, the coins collection and Buddha’s life are hot draws

a policy that artefacts dated till 1764 would get its place in the Bihar Museum while the rest artefacts belonged to the year 1764 and after would be displayed at the Patna Museum, which was established in 1917and completes 100 years this year. The Didarganj Yakshi has several interesting stories on its finding. Reports on how the statue was found, vary. A Patna Museum publication describes how in the letter of E.H.S. Walsh, then Commissioner of Patna, credit is given to a man by the name Ghulam Rasul, who saw the base sticking out from the muddy banks by the riverside near Didarganj. Rasul then proceeded to dig up the ground to find the statue. Though there are other

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

The Didarganj Yakshi statue is remarkable for its accuracy and its rare shine, despite the damages suffered over centuries

anecdotes, this seems to be the most authentic. The statue suffered damages over the years it lay buried. The left arm is missing and the Yakshi’s nose is chipped. Despite these disfigurations, the statue exudes a romance and magic of a time gone and is a breathtaking example of the superior level of craftsmanship thousands of years ago in Bihar. Among the other attraction, the coins gallery is attracting the visitors most. The earliest currency in India was the punch-marked coin. These were made since the Mahajanapadas, which were the first 16 kingdoms established in northern India during the 6th century BCE. The coins had their own nomenclature and were based on units called ratti which were a fraction of a gram. With the rise of the Magadhan Empire as the most prominent, coins became streamlined into five distinct recognizable symbols. The museum also covers the distinguished aspects of glory for Bihar that how Prince Siddhartha of Lumbini

(Nepal) became Gautam Buddha more than 2500 years ago. There is fun as well as things of learning in the Children’s gallery of the museum. The Orientation Room’s exhibits are designed to engage children by transporting them to natural environments and making them curious to learn. A storybook-style illustrated map of India with important places and major transportation routes greets the children at the Orientation Room. A large sculpture of the sparrow and related exhibits illustrate to young children why the state bird, the sparrow, is endangered. Images are brought to life through flat screen monitors and lenticular printed graphics. Animated animals and historical figures pop out inviting children to discover more about them. Special events of the day can be seen in “What’s On Today”, projected on screens fitted within birdhouses on a stylized tree of Sikki grass. Enter a miniature version of Pataliputra, past the gates of the Mauryan City Wall. Here, you can read

about Patna of earlier times as described by Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to Chandragupta’s court, in his account titled Indica. S Past the Toran Gates, answer seven questions which reveal “What does it take to be a king?” The Mauryans wore very elaborate headgear and the wall of mirrors has a number of mirrors with headgear sculpted into the frames. You will be able to see yourself with a fashionable Mauryan hairstyle or headgear! History of rulers including Sher Shah Suri is also well depicted in the museum. Enter through a zigzagging medieval wall into Sher Shah’s territory to find yourself in a street market and Caravan Serai along the old highway of the Grand Trunk Road. On the street, you can see an old wooden balance beam weighing scale. Hear and see stories about Sher Shah’s adventures projected from inside a well.Read from scrolls about Sher Shah’s prowess! You can examine his study where several interesting stories

Bihar Museum


and artefacts are concealed in the compartments of Sher Shah’s writingdesk. The museum tastefully decorates its arts and culture section. The primary exhibit is a curved wall with a grid of panels displaying Madhubani art. Some of the sections hold display monitors and films depict animated dancers painted in Madhubani style. Children will enjoy watching these animated paintings which are accompanied by music. A large Mauryan-style terracotta horse painted in Madhubani style is a centerpiece attraction. Earlier, some parts of museum namely Children Gallery, Orientation Theater and Orientation Gallery were thrown open for the visitors in August 2015 with a formal inauguration by the Chief Minister Kumar. The museum was closed for the last six months for the consecution work and now it opens with a bang. In the contemporary art gallery, paintings dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi are on display. Fifty paintings of 40 artists including Nandlal Bose, Ram Kinkar Bainj, Jamini Roy, KG Surbamanium, MF Hussain, SH Raza, Pramod Ganpatey, Vijay Kaushik, Shyam Sharma and other noted painters have been put on display with a theme of how visual arts artists visualized Mahatma Gandhi.

10 Sanitation

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


TELUGU FILM’S A HIT! ‘Mahanubhavudu’: Compulsively Obsessively Clean! The director says he is happy to know that his romcom is helping spread the message of cleanliness beyond regional boundaries



ILMMAKER Maruthi Dasari is on cloud nine with the overwhelming response to his latest Telugu romcom”Mahanubhavudu”. He says he is thrilled they are able to spread the thought of cleanliness through their film. In the movie, actor Sharwanand


suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He likes everything around him to be spotless. “We believe the hero’s obsession for cleanliness goes in tandem with the Swachh Bharat campaign. We are happy we’re spreading (awareness about) cleanliness through our film. I feel like contributing to a national cause through my film and it gives me immense satisfaction,” Maruthi



As part of the plastic ban, the CM has exhorted officials to make Swachhata a personal agenda IANS


OVERNMENT offices in Goa will soon ban all plastic from their premises as part of a Swachh Bharat initiative, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said. Parrikar said he exhorted government officials to make Swachh Bharat a “personal agenda”. Addressing the media at the Secretariat, Parrikar also said the BJP-led coalition government was targetting near total coverage of government financial transactions via digital mode by March 2018. “We are preparing the memo and no plastic will be used by government


Quick Glance


In the movie, actor Sharwanand suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Released last week in cinemas, the film has struck gold at the box According to trade analyst Trinath, “Mahanubhavudu” is a festival

told IANS. He added that he has been getting compliments from all quarters. “I think we were able to take this thought (of cleanliness) through a powerful medium like cinema to the masses. A lot of people have appreciated the fact that the film offers more than just entertainment,” he said. Released last week in cinemas, the film has struck gold at the box office. With an opening weekend worldwide gross of over Rs 30 crore, the film has emerged as the biggest opener in Sharwanand’s career. According to trade analyst Trinath, “Mahanubhavudu” is a festival winner. “Amidst stiff competition from ‘Spyder’ and ‘Jai Lava Kusa’, which released for Dussehra, ‘Mahanubhavudu’ managed to strike big at the ticket window. It has clearly emerged as a festival winner, considering it’s a small film in terms of budget and scale,” Trinath told IANS. Produced by UV Creations, the film also stars MehreenPirzada.

Quick Glance Government offices in Goa will soon ban all plastic from their premises It is targetting near total coverage of financial transactions digitally Last week the CM spelt out his government’s vision for Swachh Bharat

department,” Parrikar said. The Chief Minister said that last week he addressed a meeting of all government departments where he spelt out his government’s vision for Swachh Bharat, which included banning the use of plastic from government offices. “I have told them to consider it as their personal agenda. They should not use plastic in government offices,” Parrikar said. Parrikar said his government was targetting 99.99 per cent coverage for government financial transactions to go digital by March 2018. “We plan to achieve that target or come close to it,” Parrikar said.

AKSHAY SALUTES ‘CLEANING SOLDIERS’ The actor shared a video on Twitter, saluting and acknowledging the hard work of sweepers, garbage, and sewer cleaners IANS


CTOR Akshay Kumar has acknowledged the hard work of the sweepers, garbage and sewer cleaners among many others and has called them the country’s “cleaning soldiers”. Akshay last week shared a minute-long video on Twitter. “Salute to these dedicated yet unequipped soldiers,” a line in the video read. The “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” actor captioned the video: “A job well done which we usually forget to acknowledge… serving the country in their own way, my salute to these ‘Cleaning Soldiers Of India’.” Akshay will next be seen in “Padman” and “Gold”. Directed by R. Balki, “Padman” is a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantha, a man who created a revolution in the field of affordable menstrual hygiene. The film is being helmed by R. Balki and also features actresses Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017





Quick Glance The potholes were battered by heavy rains during monsoon This is to increase public safety and ensure hygiene This was in response to recent accidents and the threat of dengue

The city civic body of Bangalore received a deadline from CM Siddaramaiah to fill its 15,000 pothole across the city IANS


ARNATAKA Chief Minister Siddaramaiah set a 15-day deadline to city civic body to fill about 15,000 potholes across Bengaluru, battered by heavy rains during the monsoon season. Facing flak over the worsening conditions of the city roads that claimed three lives in a week, a miffed Siddaramaiah pulled up officials of the Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike (BBMP) at a special meeting held after he inspected the accident spots. “As the monsoon season has

An elderly couple were

crushed to death by a bus after they fell down from their scooter on a potholes-ridden flyover

ended and rains are almost over, I have directed the BBMP to fill all the potholes in 15 days and asphalt the arterial roads by this month-end,” he told reporters later. Anguished over the death of a 47-year-old woman on Sunday when

she fell from a scooter that skidded while her nephew was negotiating a gaping pothole and was run over by a lorry, the Chief Minister admitted that BBMP had no expertise or machinery to fill potholes during the rainy season. “No one should die or be injured due


DANES TO HELP SMARTEN CITIES Danish waste water treatment company Aarhus Vand A/S will lend its expertise in waste management and sewage treatment to India


ANISH waste water treatment company Aarhus Vand A/S is looking at India’s Smart Cities project to lend its expertise in setting up integrated sewage treatment plants with a focus on generating power, company officials said. To start with the company is looking at Udaipur in Rajasthan to provide its domain expertise, officials told visiting international journalists at its Marselisborg sewage treatment

plant in Aarhus, around 300 km from here. “Owned by Aarhus municipality, the company while treating waste water generates power from bio-gas, fertiliser, and enable district heating system. The company also plans to recover phosphorous from the waste water,” said Lars Schroder, Chief Executive Officer, Aarhus Water Ltd. When pointed out the presence of sewage treatment plants in India, including in Udaipur and the absence for the need for district heating system, officials said Aarhus would provide its expertise in safe power generation from methane. “In India the focus is on treatment

of sewage water and not on energy. It may look easy to operate a waste water treatment plant, but it is not so. Power generation using methane has to be handled very carefully,” said Per Overgaard Pedersen, Chief Engineer, Production Department and Research Development.At its Marselisborg sewage treatment plant, Aarhus powers its gensets with biogas produced while treating the water. The power generated is used to run the plant and also wheel the surplus to the grid. For a water and waste water treatment company power cost accounts for a major share, officials said. According to Pedersen, the next

to potholes anywhere. It’s unfortunate that three persons, including two woman have lost their life owing to potholes and bad conditions of the roads in the city,” he said. An elderly couple were crushed to death on October 3 by an inter-state bus after they fell down from their scooter on a potholed-ridden flyover in the city market. Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George, BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad and city Mayor Sampath Raj accompanied the Chief Minister for inspecting the battered roads and the deteriorating infrastructure across the city. “Record rains this year have damaged several roads in the city, resulting in thousands of potholes and cracks on them. I have directed the mayor to make the city pothole-free and initiate measures to clean-up the city,” reiterated Siddaramaiah. “BBMP has handed over those roads where the metro project’s second phase is being built across the city to the BMRCL for asphalting and maintaining them,” he added.

Quick Glance The company is looking to start from Udaipur, Rajasthan Aarhus would provide its expertise in safe power generation from methane Aarhus will discuss with Udaipur municipal authorities in November 2017

round of discussion with the Udaipur municipal authorities is expected to happen in November 2017. Apart from treating around 32 million cubic metres of waste water per year generated by around 350,000 people of the town, the 90 million euro turnover Aarhus also supplies drinking water to the populace and provides energy for district heating system.The company supplies around 15 million cubic metres of drinking water per year here. Pedersen said the company is setting up a phosphorous plant at an outlay of around two million euros.

12 Women Entrepreneurs

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


A ‘DOKLAM’ IN BUNDELKHAND: CHINESE POTTERIES RETREAT! After cheap Chinese diyas and idols of gods swept out traditional potters, two women decided to take up the cudgels, and the Chinese products are now out



WO graduate women potters in Bundelkhand are giving the Chinese earthen potteries and statues a run for their money. The two young entrepreneurs from Jhansi have almost wiped out Chinese earthen potteries from the district and adjoining areas. Anita (23) is doing her postgraduation and Ragini (21) is an undergraduate from Bundelkhand University. Both volunteered to join the family business when their father suffered huge losses two years ago due to invasion of Chinese diyas, statues and other earthen potteries. Suddenly, people in Jhansi discarded the traditional diyas and statues opf Lord Ganesh and Goddess Laxmi on Diwali and preferred Chinese items, which were machine-made, cheaper and more durable. Majority of potters, who were engaged in making traditional Diwali items for generations, were rendered out of business. They either quit or started some other business for survival. “I had to sell diyas and statues in less than half the price due to increased competition thrown up by Chinese items. It almost made me go bankrupt. I was about to give up my business when my two daughters came forward to take up the business from me,” said Vijay Ram, father of the two women potters. Vijay said that traditional art is passed on from one generation to the other and his family has been making earthen potteries and statues for the past 100 years. “But I had decided to keep my five children out of it and encouraged them to study and seek jobs, instead of carrying on with the

Quick Glance Two years ago, Chinese potteries finished off traditional ones, being inexpensive Two women from a potter’s family found sturdier clay & better techniques Their marketing is brilliant, they have products like terracotta kitchenware

“My dream is to set-up a factory-cum-workshop where we could train and employ young girls to carry forward the traditional art”– Anita

same business,” said Vijay, who has four daughters and a son. After his father’s death at an early age, Vijay had learnt the dying art from his mother Premvati, who is now 71. “My son (Vijay) was very small when my husband died. I had no choice than to teach him skills of making earthen pottery. He picked up fast to keep the family tradition alive. People would come and watch him for hours when he spun the potter’s wheel and give shape to clay in making potteries and statues through his fingers,” recalled Premvati. But Premvati and Vijay had no inkling that one day his skills will be taken over by the Chinese. “I had never thought in my wildest dream that people will prefer to buy foreign diyas and statues over those made locally,” said Vijay. Though Vijay never wanted his daughters to take a plunge in the family business, but Anita and Ragini picked up the skills in a natural way. “It’s in our blood. When my father would go to market to sell his products, I would spin the wheel and request my grand-

mother to hone whatever little skills they acquired by watching their father,” said a confidant Anita. “Initially, my father resisted the move but when we shared our business ideas he agreed to give a try,’ said Ragini. Anita and Ragini used special clay to make diyas and earthen potteries which are cost-effective, durable and last long. Both, however, refused to share details of how they developed this special clay. “Diyas and potteries made from this clay are sturdy, shiny and require less time in the furnace. This reduced our raw material and cost of production by almost half,” pointed Anita. Both the young women potters initially made diyas and clay potteries. With the end product better than even Chinese items and cost-effective, her entire stock was sold out within days. “After seeing my products, orders were doubled. Some shopkeepers suggested that we make statues of Ganesha-Laxmi also for Diwali,” said Ragini. The young women entrepreneurs adopted some newer marketing techniques too. They targeted whole-

sellers, retailers and NGOs promoting traditional forms of art. “Our marketing strategy worked. We would keep the pricing as per the bulk buying and client profile. This helped us increase our profit margin” claimed Ragini. Last year, both the women potters pocketed Rs 1.5 million from sales. They were earlier living in a thatched house. Both of them have now constructed a double-storeyed house on the same piece of small land. This year, they have received huge orders not only from other districts of Bundelkhand, including Madhya Pradesh, but also from other places of Uttar Pradesh. “We had started Diwali preparations three months ago after receiving advance orders. We are targeting to double the sale to Rs 3 million this year. I am happy that our items are much in demand and have almost wiped out Chinese items from the market. Strained relations with China and boycott of Chinese goods this Diwali has also added to our growth,” pointed Anita. Anita now plans to get her younger sister get her Ph.D in clay potteries from Bundelkhand Univerity. “I want to research on making of clay potteries and come out with a newer technique so that the traditional arts never die and compete with the onslaught of machine-made items,” she said. For her, Anita says that she is planning to experiment making costeffective Turkish terracotta potteries for use in kitchen. “The world is changing and if we do not adopt to these changes we will be out of the market again. I see a good fortune waiting in promoting traditional terracotta cookwares. They are environment-friendly, costeffective, gel well with Indian style of slow cooking and most importantly, retain the original flavour and food values,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes. The young potters are also planning to buy a mechanical potter’s wheel to cope with ever-increasing demands of their clay potteries. “My dream is to setup a factory-cum-workshop where we could train and employ young girls to carry forward the traditional art,” said she.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


Stories from South





The sale of loose cigarettes has been banned with effect in the state, with stringent punishment for violators loose

A nurse was diagnosed with a tumour that needed surgery while fully awake, so she watched Baahubali 2



HE Karnataka government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes and tobacco products with immediate effect. Taking a step further to ban smoking in public places, the state government has taken a bold step by issuing a formal notification banning sale of loose cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco products with immediate effect. Sources in the Health and Family Welfare Department say that though the blanket ban on smoking in public places has cut down on number of smokers considerably, the loose sale of tobacco products remains a key

issue. The smokers continued with their habit by picking up couple of cigarettes from shops and going to lanes and bylanes to escape the law enforcing agencies. Several health volunteers, oncologists and social activists had been urging the government to impose ban on even the loose sale of cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco products in the greater

Quick Glance The ban includes not just cigarettes but also beedis and chewing tobacco Since most people cannot afford to buy bulk, this will cut smoking Violators will be jailed for a year, or fined Rs 1,000, or both

interest of the public health. There has been a number of campaigns through walkathon, marathon running, etc, to highlight this menace. “Banning loose sale of tobacco products prompts people to buy them in larger quantities and it would pinch their pockets. As many would have picked up the habits without the notice of their family members would fear to buy products in such large quantities and think towards quitting the habit,” a senior officer of the health department reasoned. It will also help labourers and daily wage earners to stop smoking as they cannot afford to buy in packs or in bulk. Even though the government notification was issued on September 11, the order has come to effect from the end of the month. The order complies with the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003 (COTPA). “Any person found violating the provisions of the act and order will be punished as per the provisions under the section 20 of the COTPA Act,” the notification said. The Violators will face jail term of up to one year or fine of Rs 1,000, or both, in the case of first conviction. A repeat offence stipulates imprisonment up to two years and fine up to Rs 3,000. The government is preparing its machinery for an elaborate clampdown across the state in the coming days. “The ban will also be a deterrent to youngsters who start the habit of smoking by buying loose cigarettes,” says SJ Chander, convener of the Consortium for Tobacco Free Karnataka, Bengaluru.



ILMS are said to be the opiate of the masses, especially in India. And in states like Andhra Pradesh, this goes beyond imagination. Interesting news which has come last week, a 43-year-old woman was kept entertained by watching the Telugu blockbuster ‘Baahubali 2’ while neurosurgeons performed a brain surgery in Guntur town. This information has been revealed through a post in the social media called ‘Baahubali Surgery’, as the patient watched the blockbuster movie even while the entire procedure went on. “We played the movie on a laptop placed beside the operation table while performing ‘Awake craniotomy’. The patient needs to be awake in such surgeries as a tumour is located in the area of the brain that controls speech and movements. Further, the surgeons would have to take out many roots to remove a tumour and also assess the condition of the patient constantly,” Dr Hanuman Srinivas, Department of Neurology, Guntur Government Hospital says. The patient, V Vinaya Kumar, is a staff nurse at the Public Health Centre at Markapuram in Prakasam district. She suffered two episodes of seizure and collapsed

Quick Glance The doctors needed to perform a critical surgery, ‘Awake Craniotomy’ They brought in the latest equipment, Intra Operative Neuro Navigation The operation lasted 90 minutes and was a great success

during night rounds on September 12. She was referred to the GGH here, where a tumour was diagnosed in the left sensory cortex that affected her right hand, tongue, and lip movements. She agreed to undergo a surgery after being counselled by the Head of Department, NV Sundarachary. Doctors usually prefer to play music to keep the patients awake. But in this case, the patient was given the choice, and she preferred to watch her favourite movie, Baahubali 2. During the surgery, which lasted for over 90 minutes, the woman was asked to hum a few songs from time to time, so that doctors could see if she was responding. The surgery was performed at Tulasi Super Specialty Hospital on the new machine, Intra Operative Neuro Navigation, which was specially brought from Bangalore. The operation was successful and the patient is reported to be recovering.

14 Health

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017



OIL BOOSTS SALAD BENEFITS The findings showed that eating salad with soybean oil promotes the absorption of seven different micronutrients Quick Glance


FARSIGHTED KIDS LESS ATTENTIVE IN SCHOOL Farsightedness or hyperopia, an eye problem, affects around four to 14 per cent of preschoolers IANS


S your kid finding it hard to be attentive in school? Beware, he or she may be suffering from farsightedness, researchers say. Farsightedness or hyperopia an eye problem where distant objects may be seen more clearly than objects that are near affects around four to 14 per cent of preschoolers. According to the study, preschoolers or kindergartners who suffer from hyperopia face attention problems that affect their academic performance. Such kids also face early learning problems. “Preschool and kindergarten children with uncorrected farsightedness have decreased early literacy and face more deficits in addition,” said Marjean Taylor Kulp, Professor at the Ohio State University in the US. Hyperopia often goes undetected in younger children. Optical glasses are not always recommended in such cases, the researchers said. “It’s important for us to identify these children and especially identify those who are having learning difficulties because of their vision,” Kulp noted. For the study, published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, the researchers tested preschool children with moderate farsightedness and normal vision. The study found that the children who were moderately farsighted scored more poorly in the attention-related tests..


OVE to eat salads? Adding a spoonful or two of soybean oil as dressing may help you derive the optimal nutritional benefit from your veggies, suggests a research. The findings showed that eating salad with added fat in the form of soybean oil promotes the absorption of seven different micronutrients that promote human health including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation. These nutrients include four carotenoids alpha and beta carotene, lutein and lycopene two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K, said researchers from the Iowa State University in the US. The oil also promoted the absorption of vitamin A, which formed in the intestine from the alpha and beta carotene. “The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the

The nutrients include four carotenoids alpha and beta carotene, lutein and lycopene The amount of oil added had a proportional relationship with nutrient absorption Eating the same salad without the added oil lessens likelihood of body will absorb nutrients

nutrient absorption,” said Wendy White, Associate Professor at the varsity. The study also found that the amount of oil added to the vegetables had a proportional relationship with the amount of nutrient absorption. That is, more oil means more absorption. Conversely, eating the same salad without the added oil lessens the likelihood that the body will absorb the nutrients. The study showed that the results may ease the guilt of countless



dieters who fret about adding dressing to their salads. For the study, appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the team included collegeage women who consumed salads with various levels of soybean oil. The results showed maximal nutrient absorption occurred at around 32 grams of oil, which was the highest amount studied, or a little more than two tablespoons. However, some variability was observed among the subjects.

Quick Glance 60 per cent working professionals in Tier 1 cities are stressed People in Sales and Marketing are more stressed than others For the study, the team analysed over one lakh interactions

The major worries of working professionals are tight deadlines, missing targets, coping with pressure, office politics, etc. IANS


MONG Indian citizens, 31 per cent working professionals in Mumbai suffer from stress, revealed a study last week. The study, conducted by Lybrate, an online doctor consultation platform, revealed that nearly 60 per cent working professionals in Tier 1 cities are stressed. This includes Delhi (27 per cent), Bengaluru (14 per cent), Hyderabad (11 per cent), Chennai (10 per cent) and Kolkata (7 per cent). The major worries of working professionals are tight deadlines, missing targets, coping with pressure, office politics, long working hours, indifferent and unsupportive managers

and work-life balance. “People feel uncomfortable talking about stress with family members and friends. But it is important to bottle out any sort of frustration or stifling emotions in a healthy way,” Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, Lybrate, said in a statement last week. “It is very important to

recognise what is bothering you and causing you stress, so as to deal with it effectively. Unattended stressful feelings or emotions can lead to major health problems in the long run,” Arora added.Further, the study found that working professionals from Sales and Marketing background (24 per cent) are more stressed as against those in professions such as Media and Public Relations (22 per cent), BPOs (17 per cent), Travel and Tourism (9 per cent) and Advertising and Event Management (8 per cent). For the study, the Lybrate team analysed over one lakh interactions of working professionals with doctors that happened on the platform over a period of 12 months, starting October 10, 2016.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017




The annual cost of treating these consequences is estimated to reach $13 billion or cumulative costs of $90 billion between now and 2025 IANS


HE annual cost of treating the consequences of obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, depression and many types of cancer will reach a staggering $13 billion in India by 2025, according to a new experts estimate. The global annual medical cost of treating these serious consequences of obesity is expected to reach $1.2 trillion per year by 2025, data from the World Obesity Federation released on Tuesday showed. In India, the annual cost of treating these consequences is estimated to reach $13 billion or cumulative costs of $90 billion between now and 2025. The percentage of Indian adults living with obesity is set to jump to

around 10 per cent (3.1 per cent male and 6.9 per cent female) by 2025 from 7.5 per cent (2.3 per cent male and 5.2 per cent female) in 2014, the new analysis, ahead of World Obesity Day on Wednesday, revealed. The data demonstrated how investing in the prevention, early intervention and treatment of obesity is a cost-effective action for



Household tasks and child care are still not being shared equally, even among couples who we expected would have more egalitarian views IANS


O you think your mom works less than your dad? No, in fact she may be more hardworking, as researchers have found that dads are often seen having fun while moms work around the house. The study published online in the Journal Sex Roles found that three months after the birth of their first child, on days when couples were not working, men were most often relaxing while women did housework or child care. “Household tasks and child care are still not being shared equally, even among couples who we expected would have more egalitarian views of how to share parenting duties,” said lead author Claire Kamp Dush, associate professor at The Ohio State University. The researchers conducted a

study that included 52 couples who participated in the New Parents Project. They were asked to complete their own time diaries for a working and a non-working day during the third trimester of the woman’s pregnancy and about three months after the baby’s birth. On working days after the baby was born, the time women and men spent doing housework and child care was more equal than on non-working

Quick Glance




The percentage of Indian adults living with obesity is set to jump Global annual medical cost of treating these maladies will reach $1.2 trillion Investing in prevention, early intervention are best solutions

governments and health services. Investment can also help to achieve the 2025 targets set by the World Health Organisation to halt the rise in obesity and to achieve a 25 per cent relative reduction in mortality from noncommunicable diseases. “Obesity is now a worldwide epidemic which absorbs a vast amount of our healthcare resources. The annual medical costs of treating the consequences of obesity such as diabetes and heart disease is truly alarming,” said Ian Caterson, President of World Obesity Federation. “With an estimated 177 million adults suffering severe obesity by 2025, it is clear that governments need to act now to reduce this burden on their national economies,” Caterson added.

Quick Glance The study included 52 couples who participated in the New Parents Project Among pre-natal couples after three months, mothers worked more On days off, men were relaxing 46 per cent of the time than their partners

days, although women still did slightly more work, the results showed. But men made up for it on nonworkdays, when the amount of time they spent in leisure activities actually doubled between when their partner was pregnant and three months after the birth. “On non-working days, parents are more evenly splitting housework and childcare,” the researcher said. On their days off, men were relaxing more 46 per cent of the time while their partners did child care. In contrast, women were engaged in leisure only 16 per cent of the time when their partners were taking care of their child. Results were similar for housework, where fathers took 35 per cent of the time off while their partner did tasks like cleaning. Women took 19 per cent of the time off when men did housework.


The decisionmaking organ striatum is more strongly activated in female brains during prosocial decisions than during selfish decisions IANS


VER wondered why women are more lenient in rewarding tokens than men? It is because the female brain responds more strongly to the prosocial behaviour than the male brain, which responds more to the selfish behaviour, finds a study. The findings showed that the striatum an active decisionmaker located in the middle of the brain and responsible for the assessment of reward is more strongly activated in female brains during prosocial decisions than during selfish decisions. “The reward and learning systems in our brains work in close cooperation. Studies show that girls are rewarded with praise for prosocial behaviour or helping behaviour instead of selfish behaviour,” said Alexander Soutschek, post-doctoral student at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. “With this in mind, the gender differences could best be attributed to the different cultural expectations placed on men and women,” Soutschek added. The study, published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, also revealed that when the researchers applied medication to the participants, both the males and females behaved differently. Under these conditions, women behaved more selfishly, while men became more prosocial. “These results demonstrate that the brains of women and men also process generosity differently at the pharmacological level,” Soutschek added.


OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

YOGESH VAJPAYEE A senior journalist with over 40 years of experience with newspapers like National Herald, The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Telegraph and The New Indian Express



UNICEF Survey finds that the benefits far overweigh the costs of eliminating open defecation in India under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)



Religious sentiments have to be respected but so should be future of our children


OUTH KOREA has embraced an innovation. It has inserted water jets in LED lights that line up a road meridian. The lights now sparkle in the night while during the day time, the jets clean the road at least twice a day. This has reduced suspended particulate matter to almost one third in ultra-crowded Seol. Is there a lesson for Indian metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai in this? Yes, of course, since these are some of the most polluted cities in the world. And, in times when India is engrossed in debating pros and cons of Supreme Court’s decision to ban sale of crackers to reduce pollution levels, such positive news gives some food for thought and acts as inspiration to something for the environment. Year after year, we have been seeing photographs splashed across newspaper pages and TV screens depicting thick smog that envelops Delhi and surrounding areas on Diwali night and sits there for days altogether. Sometimes, governments blame it on the farmers who burn their crops to make way for a fresh crop. But, everyone knows the truth. No doubt, religious beliefs have to be respected. But, no religious sentiment should be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere for the generations to come. Every year, the smog is getting thicker. Let’s all respect the court verdict for the sake of our children.


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:,


just concluded independent survey conducted by the UNICEF shows that the benefits far overweigh the costs of eliminating open defecation in India under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The survey also found that 85 per cent of the household members use their latrine to defecate—a major behavioural change. In a fully Open Defecation Free (ODF) community, considering medical costs averted, the value of time savings, and the value of mortality averted, the financial saving for each household is 50,000 Rs per year.In terms of cost benefit ratio, considering in one hand the expenditures from the households and from the government, and in the other hand the financial savings induced by improved sanitation, the study found a costbenefit ratio of 430% on average, this means that Rs 1 invested allows a saving of Rs. 4.3 Rs. The benefits are highest for the poorest quintile of the population. The survey was conducted across 10,000 rural households randomly selected in 12 states. “Lack of hygiene and sanitation contributes to spreading fecally transmitted infections (FTIs); this is not only diarrhoea, it is also worms, helminths, and other intestinal parasites,” says Nicolas Osbert, the chief of WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) UNICEF India, while sharing the findings of the survey.. This is mainly due to widespread open defecation practice. This lack of hygiene and sanitation, particularly affects the poorest communities, and the most vulnerable children. It is estimated that in 2015, 117,000 under five children died of diarrhoea alone (WHO – 2015). This translates into more than 13 child deaths per hour and accounts for 22 per cent of the global burden of under- 5 mortality due to diarrhoea. Repeated FTIs damage the capacity of young children to absorb nutrients, for its entire life; because of this nutrition issue, children

become stunted, this means that their body and brain do not develop normally. In India, 39% of children are stunted. There are many other issues due to poor hygiene and sanitation. For instance, as a consequence of weak infection prevention and control in health care facilities, sepsis (common healthcare-acquired infection) is directly responsible for 11% of maternal and 15% of new-born mortality deaths in India. With regard to economic development, India is paying a heavy price because of these preventable water-borne diseases: a study from the World Bank published in 2008 shows that the total economic impacts of inadequate sanitation in India was amounting to US$53.8 billion per year, equivalent of 6.4 per cent of India’s GDP at the same period. The SBM has been able to create a ‘once-ina-generation’ movement with the alignment of public sector interest, public budgets, and social awareness behind the formerly intractable problem of open defecation. At the early stage of the SBM, in 2015, it was estimated that around half a billion people were defecating in the open. According Parameswaran Iyer, the drinking water and sanitation secretary, five states, nearly 200 districts and nearly 2.4 lakh villages across the country have already declared themselves as ODF. More than 1.5 lakh villages have ranked themselves on the village swachhta index based on solid and liquid waste management in villages. What is more significant, bBeyond the hundreds of thousands of toilets being built, a genuine prioritisation of behavior change interventions is taking place. With the support of UNICEF and other partners, Sanitation armies are being created in the field and their capacities for community mobilisation are being built. This is a crucial shift from the hardware engineering to the social engineering to tackle the issue of open defecation, and we

The lack of hygiene

and sanitation, particularly affects the poorest communities, and the most vulnerable are children

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

To date, Nearly 239,000

villages and 196 districts reported to be Open Defecation Free. This is outstanding must make sure that this reaches every corner of the country. Behaviour change is a complex issue, particularly in India where open defecation is a deeply rooted habit for many households. Hence, this requires the mobilisation of the entire Indian Society, including the government, civil society, the private sector, the religious leaders.The media who also have a critical role to play, to pass the message: use a toilet, WASH your hand with soap, to put pressure on performances and sustainable achievements, and also to shed the light on the unknown heroes on the ground who create Open Defecation Free villages, blocks and districts. Another key differentiator is the focus on verification and sustainability. The government has instituted a multi-tier bottom-up verification system, with the support of UNICEF and other partners. They are also carrying out national third party surveys, household surveys to ensure that States are on their toes. To date, Nearly 239,000 villages and 196 districts reported to be Open Defecation Free. This is an outstanding achievement. The work does not end there. Government’s guidelines specify that surveillance must continue after the verification of the ODF status to ensure sustainability.The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) recently organised a Swachhathon, the Swachha Bharat Hackathon, to “crowd source solutions for the pressing issues pertaining to Sanitation.” Behavioural Change is fundamental to Swachh Bharat Mission. Several interpersonal techniques through community approaches to sanitation are being used across the country to trigger behaviour change. But old habits die hard. And behaviour change takes time. Some people continue to defecate in the open even after having a household toilet.India’s youth can play a major role in bringing about this much needed behavioural change. In this direction the MDWS has written to HRD and other ministries to involve youth and other stakeholders and come up with innovative solutions for above-mentioned points. The solutions sought, the Ministry said, should be “scalable, non-coercive, socially acceptable and yield instant or immediate shift in behaviours.” This is the right approach. While putting up an effective infrastructure is necessary to achieve the goals of the SBM, the first – and of course, the most important – is the problem about behavioural change.





Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

We experience both in our daily lives. The one you experience more dictates the nature of your future



OVE AND FEAR are experienced as two of the strongest of human emotions that drive us in our daily lives. They imprint in our memories since childhood and affect our future actions. Love and fear are entirely polar opposite emotions/feelings/energies that exist in the universe and thus have polar consequences in life when we cultivate said emotions/feelings/energies. Fear – The Life Repellant Fear is the most significant negative emotion we experience in our lives. Whether it is fear of loss, fear of death, fear of theft etc., it affects us spiritually, mentally, physically, and physiologically. We already know when we feel fear the body produces abundant amounts of stress hormones like cortisol so apparently, that’s a hint that something isn’t going right there. Some people like to think of fear as a positive motivator in life in that fear makes on take charge of their life and go and take risks. But usually being in a negative state of body, mind, and spirit can’t lead to positive life experiences. There is a universal law of attraction

that exists in regards to our emotions/ feelings and life experiences, and that is – Like attracts Like. Thus perceptions of fear draw further stressful negative experiences. Fear can be thought of as a resistor to Life Energy. It opposes life instead of letting it flow. Fear only attracts more Fear and nothing else. Ego’s foundation is based on Fear. Why? Our thoughts are conditioned to fear everything since childhood. We are taught to fear death, fear punishment, fear loss, fear of losing a job, fear following our passion, and fear everything! When our minds are running the show, then we are resisting life itself! And the cycle continues.

Love – The Attractor Love is the highest emotion/feeling/ energy we experience in our lives. Love fills our being with joy, pleasure, peace, and fulfilment. Love in our life affects us in the same way fear does, so Love also affects us spiritually, mentally, physically, and physiologically in the same way Fear does but this time positively. For example – When feeling love, the Thymus gland produces white blood cells that boost immunity. Since like attracts like and love stands high up on the ladder of human emotions/feelings/energies we tend to bring the best of ourselves in our lives, and life gives its best to us in return. These are often called “lucky coincidences” or “synchronicities” when you are lovingly working towards a focused intent in the present moment and what you want tends to be facilitated by you being at the right place at the right time just by the stroke of “luck”. Well, this is love at work. Love is attracting Love itself. Love comes from your true self. Your highest self. Love is everything. It is the glue that keeps reality together. Keep loving and spread the love!

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR negativity about we Indians being inert, unresponsive to basic need for change. The resounding success of the Swachhta movement has changed that image. It is a change that we needed for centuries. And though Mahatma Gandhi brought the issue up first, the present government has given it a formal shape. Naina Kanshi, Lucknow

SWACCHTA SUCCESS The report on 3 Years of Swachh Bharat brings to the fore one of the most reassuring facts that Indians can be persuaded to clean up their own mess. There has been a persistent

TWO GANDHIANS We are grateful to Sulabh Swachh Bharat for brining out two sterling article son two sterling Gandhians, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayprakash Narayan. JP was with the Mahatma ever since the Cahmparan satyagrah, and though he did not agree with Gandhi on some issues, his and Gandhi’s vision of village economy being the backbone of the Indian economy are merged. Both,

Dr Lohia and JP were Gandhian socialists and have left deep impacts on the political scenario of the country. Nandanlal, Chandigarh BONE FIXING I am totally in love with your Science & technology section, which brings us such prime information week after week. But last week was best, with the report on how a bone can be fixed with another hard bone as the screw, without using any metallic part. Last yer I had an operation in fixinf plates on my fenur, and this year I had to get the screws removed. I am sure I could have been spared the second ordeal has this technology been available then. Anyway, here is hoping that Indian scientists develop such a technique so that we can have it at a low cost. Shrawani Basu, Kolkata

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18 Photo Feature

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


Hosting of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup shows India has passed the soccer body’s strict regulations. But more than that, the exposure that it is bringing to the new crop of our footballers will pave the way for a glorious future


OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017

Photo Feature


The function organised at the IG Stadium included many cultural programmes, dances, and plays that showcased our festivities and culture. The event was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Sports Minister Rajayavardhan S Rathore and top other government personalities

20 Science & Technology PROTEIN

PROTEIN CUTS DEATH RISK Retrocyclin-101 protein targets the harmful inflammation the virus triggers in the host IANS


ESEARCHERS have identified a small protein that could potentially improve the symptoms and mortality associated with the flu and possibly other types of infectious illness as well. The protein called retrocyclin-101 (RC-101) is unique in that it not only targets the flu virus itself, but also the harmful inflammation the virus triggers in the host.“Every year, thousands of people across the country die from the flu or its complications – despite widespread use of annual influenza vaccines,” said lead author Daniel J Prantner, a research associate at the University of Maryland. For the study, published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, the team studied the effects of RC-101. The researchers studied human immune cells, and found that RC-101 had two positive effects.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


PLUMBER’S CHOICE: HUMAN BRAINS Researchers discovered lymphatic vessels in the outer coating of the brain, presenting a novel waste disposal system for lymph nodes IANS


Y scanning the brains of healthy volunteers, researchers have found long-sought evidence that our brains may drain out some waste through lymphatic vessels, the bodys sewer system. The research team discovered lymphatic vessels in the dura, the leathery outer coating of the brain. The results, published online in the journal eLife, further suggest that the vessels could act as a pipeline between the brain and the immune system. “We literally watched people’s brains drain fluid into these vessels,” said

Quick Glance The research team discovered lymphatic vessels in the dura Lymphatic vessels are part of the body’s circulatory system They transport lymph, immune cells and waste, to the lymph nodes


BIO-CLOCK MYSTERY REVEALED Nobel Prize in or Medicine, 2017 three American scientists were honoured for discovering the mechanism of circadian rhytms IANS


HREE American scientists have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for unravelling secrets of how the body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm works – a discovery that will help doctors understand the mechanism behind sleep patterns, hormone release, blood pressure and body temperature. Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were able to peek From Left to Right: Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young

Daniel Reich, senior investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the US National Institutes of Health. “We hope that our results provide new insights to a variety of neurological disorders,” Reich said. Lymphatic vessels are part of the body’s circulatory system. In most of the body they run alongside blood vessels. They transport lymph, a colourless fluid containing immune cells and waste, to the lymph nodes. Blood vessels deliver white blood cells to an organ and the lymphatic system removes the cells and recirculates them through the body. inside the human biological clock and elucidate its inner workings, the Nobel Prize committee said in a statement here on Monday. The winners will share a prize of 825,000 British pounds. “Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions,” said the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet. The research conducted on fruit flies isolated the “period” gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. This gene contained instructions for making a protein called “PER”. As levels of “PER” increased, it turned off its own genetic instructions. “PER” protein was found to accumulate in the cell during the night but degraded during the day. Thus, “PER” protein levels oscillate over

The process helps the immune system detect whether an organ is under attack from bacteria or viruses or has been injured. Until very recently, researchers in the modern era found no evidence of a lymphatic system in the brain, leaving some puzzled about how the brain drains waste, and others to conclude that the brain is an exceptional organ. Brain scans and autopsy studies of brains from non-human primates confirmed the results seen in humans, suggesting the lymphatic system is a common feature of mammalian brains. “These results could fundamentally change the way we think about how the brain and immune system interrelate,” said Walter Koroshetz, Director, NINDS. The researchers said they plan to investigate whether the lymphatic system works differently in patients who have multiple sclerosis or other neuroinflammatory disorders. “For years we knew how fluid entered the brain. Now we may finally see that, like other organs in the body, brain fluid can drain out through the lymphatic system,” Reich said.

Quick Glance Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were the scientists Circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock Circadian rhythms explain sleep patterns and hormonal schedules

a 24-hour cycle, in synchrony with the circadian rhythm. Chronic misalignments in this clock, as a result of our lifestyle and our external environment, is associated with increased risk for various diseases as well as the temporary disorientation of jet lag that travellers experience while shifting between different time zones. The scientists also discovered a gene called “timeless” and Young found one called “doubletime”, both the genes affecting the stability of “PER”. Hall was born in New York, Rosbash in Kansas City, and they both worked at Brandeis University. In 2002, Hall became associated with the University of Maine. Michael Young was born in Miami and worked at Rockefeller University in New York.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017



Three American scientists from LIGO have won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their contribution to detecting gravitational waves

Science & Technology

Quick Glance


HREE American scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their contribution to detecting gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabrics of spacetime which were predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago. The scientists were awarded the Nobel prize “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced here on Tuesday. The 9 million Swedish kronor (825,000 British pounds) prize was divided. One half was awarded to Rainer Weiss of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne -- both from California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Originally predicted in the early 20th century by Einstein, gravitational waves were not detected until 2015, when LIGO identified the first such signal from two merging black holes. “The 2017 Nobel Laureates have, with their enthusiasm and determination, each been invaluable to the success of LIGO,” said the Royal Swedish Academy. “Pioneers Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne, together with Barry C. Barish, the scientist and leader who brought the project to completion, ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed,” the Academy added. The international LIGO Science

Confirming Einstein’s

theories on relativity, three scientists were given the Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering gravitational waves

Collaboration (LSC) consisting of about 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes from about 15 countries, including from India, announced the first detection on February 5, 2016 and second one on June 15, 2016. “I view this more as a thing that recognises the work of about 1,000 people, a really dedicated effort that’s been going on for -- I hate to tell you -- as long as 40 years,” Weiss told the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, acknowledging the contribution of other scientists in achieving the scientific milestone.


Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabrics of space-time continuum The Nobel Prize was worth 9 million Swedish Kronor Gravitational waves were first predicted by Albert Einstein

From Left to Right: Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Throne



There was a very significant presence of Indian scientists in this milestone scientific achievement. There were 37 authors from nine Indian Institutions in the scientific publication presenting the first discovery of gravitational waves published in the Physical Review letters by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration. There were 39 authors from the same nine Indian institutions in the publication for the detection of the second black hole merger event. Currently, Indian participation in the international LIGO Science Collaboration, has over 60 researchers, constituting five of the members of the LSC, making it the fourth largest national participant. LIGO discovered its third gravitational wave on January 4, 2016. The fourth gravitational wave, observed on August 14, 2017, was made using two LIGO detectors in the US – loacated in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington – and the Virgo detector in Italy. This was the first time gravitational wave emitted by a merger of two black holes was observed using three detectors -- a critical new capability that allows scientists to more closely locate a gravitational wave’s birthplace in space. India is also working towards setting up its own LIGO observatory. The mammoth LIGO-India project, for detecting gravitational waves, completed a year in February. “Scientists expect to hear space-time rhythms from Indian soil within next six to seven years,” according to Karan P. Jani, one of the many US-based Indian researchers working on the project. LIGO India is a joint scientific collaboration between LIGO laboratories of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the US, and three leading Indian institutions, namely, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar, and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore.

OUR LOOKS FROM NEANDERTHAL ‘PAPAS’ The genes of our Neanderthal ancestors have contributed to human skin tone, hair colour, sleep patterns and mood IANS


EANDERTHAL genes have contributed to human skin tone, hair colour, sleep patterns, mood, and even a person’s smoking status, find a study. The study, led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, explored the “influence Neanderthal DNA might be having on ordinary variation in people today”, said Janet Kelso, a biologist at the institute. Earlier studies had suggested that human genes involved in skin and hair biology were strongly influenced by Neanderthal DNA, Kelso said. But it had not been clear how. “We can now show that it is skin tone, and the ease with which one tans, as well as hair colour that are affected,” Kelso said. The researchers, reporting in the American Journal of Human Genetics, observed that multiple Neanderthal alleles contributed to skin and hair tones. Further, some Neanderthal alleles are associated with lighter skin tones and others with darker skin tones. The same was true for hair colour. “These findings suggest that Neanderthals might have differed in their hair and skin tones, much as people now do” added Michael Dannemann from the institute. Importantly, Kelso noted that the traits influenced by Neanderthal DNA, including skin and hair pigmentation, mood, and sleeping patterns are all linked to sunlight exposure.

22 Environment

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017




Citing reasons as “Exceeding EPA’s statutory authority”, Pruitt, Head of EPA, announced his decision to repeal the plan

BRINGING THEM ALL TOGETHER Samsara Festival 2017 was attended by noted legislators, scientists, environmentalists and artists IANS




COTT PRUITT, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said he will on Tuesday formally announce a repeal of the Clean Power Plan, a signature effort by former US President Barack Obama to curb greenhouse gas emissions. “The war on coal is over,” Pruitt said in a televised speech at an event in the US coal state of Kentucky on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported. “Tomorrow in Washington D.C., I’ll be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule.” Pruitt claimed that the Obama administration was “using every bit of power, every bit of authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers in how we generate electricity in this country. And that’s wrong.” A copy of the leaked proposal obtained by US media showed that Pruitt will scrap the plan citing reasons that it “exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority.” “The EPA welcomes comment on the legal interpretation addressed in this proposed rulemaking,” wrote the leaked proposal.

Gina McCarthy, the EPA administrator under Obama who released the Clean Power Plan, said in a statement that a proposal to repeal it “without any timeline or even a commitment to propose a rule to reduce carbon pollution, isn’t a step forward.” “It’s a wholesale retreat from EPA’s legal, scientific and moral obligation to address the threats of climate change,” McCarthy said. “The (current) administration is using contrived problems with our energy system to take money out of consumers’ pockets and giving it to fossil fuel companies, so they can force a shift away from clean energy and back to dirty fossil fuel,” she said. The Obama administration issued the plan in October 2015, requiring coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. However, the US Supreme Court voted five to four later to put it on hold. In March this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, directing the EPA to “suspend, revise, or rescind” the Obama-era rule. Trump, who once called climate change a “hoax,” also announced in June that his country will leave the Paris Agreement on curbing global warming. His position on climate change was

Quick Glance EPA’s Clean Power Plan will be repealed The Clean Power Plan gave EPA unchecked powers The plan was issued during the Obama administration

met with widespread criticism both at home and abroad. A US environmental organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council, tweeted that the Clean Power Plan is the most important step the US has ever taken to curb dangerous impacts from climate change and that if the plan is repealed, it will take the EPA to court. Myron Ebell, head of the non-profit libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, however, cheered the repeal as a step “designed to get the economy moving again.” “If it had gone into effect, the ‘Clean Power’ Plan rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from coal and natural gas power plants would have been one of the most expensive regulations ever imposed, causing electric rates for consumers to go up and threatening the reliability of the electric grid,” he said in a statement.

UNDREDS of people including noted global environmentalists, legislators, scientists, artists took part in the week-long “Roundglass Samsara Festival 2017”, that concluded on Sunday in the city, aiming to create a dialogue surrounding environmental issues. Kenyan ecologist Mordecai Ogada, New Zealand conservationist Barbara Maas, former President of the south Pacific island nation of Kiribati Anote Tong, former Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar and several other industry leaders and musicians were part of the fest. “The festival is to encourage inter-disciplinary dialogue between legislators, scientists, filmmakers, environmentalists, artists etc to find solutions to the ecological crises in the country and promote environmental conservation,” said the festival president Ricky Kej, a Grammy Award winning musician and conservationist. This year was the first edition of this global environment and sustainability fest. The organisers plan to make it an annual event. Starting October 2, the festival hosted an art exhibition, presenting artworks by renowned nature photographers and animation film designers, an international film festival, and a conclave that had discussions from the noted ecologists and lawmakers. The art exhibition with works of popular nature photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, veteran artist Dhimant Vyas and others will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru till Tuesday.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017



Quick Glance



The previous order banned the sale and stocking of firecrackers in 2016 The ban will be lifted from November 1 This is in response to prevent the deterioration of air quality in Delhi

Restoring the November 2016 order, the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR this Diwali



HE Supreme Court ruled that there will be no sale of firecrackers in Delhi and National Capital Region during Diwali, as it restored a November 2016 order banning the sale and stocking of firecrackers there. A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Ashok Bhushan, while restoring last November’s order, said: “We are of the view that the order suspending the licences should be given one chance to test itself in order

The Supreme Court

moved to ban firecrackers once again this Diwali to curb the air pollution that affects its citizens annually AUTOMOBILE

to find out as to whether there would be positive effect of this suspension, particularly during Diwali period.” However, the court said that the September 12 order lifting the ban on the sale and stocking of firecrackers in DelhiLONGEVITY NCR will be back into effect from November 1. Pointing to the adverse impact of the bursting of the fire crackers that is witnessed year after year, Justice Sikri speaking


M&M BAGS EESL CONTRACT Mahindra & Mahindra signed a contract to supply the staterun EESL with 150 electric vehicles IANS


HE state-run Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) said automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has bagged a contract to supply it 150 electric vehicles. As per the order, EESL will source 150 electric vehicles from M&M in phase I of its mega tender process to procure 10,000 electric vehicles. According to the state-run firm,

post the tender opening, Tata Motors had emerged as the lowest bidder and M&M as the second lowest bidder. “Mahindra has agreed to match the lowest bidding pricing for phase I and has therefore, qualified to supply 150 electric vehicles, as per the tender conditions,” the company under the administration of central government’s Ministry of Power said in a statement.

for the bench said: “The air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby, it leads to closing the schools and the authorities are compelled to take various measures on emergent basis, when faced with ‘health emergency’ situation.” This very situation, the court said, had occurred on the very next morning after Diwali in the year 2016 “The delivery date of electric vehicles for phase I is 30th November 2017.” The purchase orders for supply of the rest of 9,500 electric vehicles is scheduled for the phase II. “Both qualified parties, Tata Motors and Mahindra, will have the opportunity to supply their respective number of vehicles, as per the terms of the tender and Mahindra matching the lowest bid pricing for phase II,” the statement said.

and “resulted in passing the order dated November 11, 2016”. “This order prevailed during the year but the impact and effect of this order remains to be tested on Diwali days,” the judgment said. Going by these considerations, the court said, “We are of the opinion that the judgment dated September 12, 2017 passed by this Court should be made effective only from November 01, 2017.” Making it clear that though it was not tweaking with the various directions issued by September 12 judgment, the court said that the affect of September 12 order “would not be given effect during this Diwali, and, therefore, we are making it effective only from November 1, 2017”. The court said that all the temporary licences that police had issued in pursuance to September 12 order stands suspended forthwith “so that there is no further sale of the crackers in Delhi and NCR”. Further orders in this behalf can be passed on assessing the situation that would emerge after this Diwali season, it added.

Quick Glance Mahindra & Mahindra has a mega project of 10,000 electric vehicles Tata Motors has emerged as the lowest biddre followed by M&M Mahindra has agreed to match the lowest bid and sell 150 vehisles

EESL’s plans to replace the petrol and diesel cars used by government and its agencies over a 3-4 year period. The total number of vehicles used by the government and its agencies is estimated to be five lakh. The court said that all the temporary licences that police had issued in pursuance to September 12 order stands suspended forthwith “so that there is no further sale of the crackers in Delhi and NCR”. Further orders in this behalf can be passed on assessing the situation that would emerge after this Diwali season, it added.

24 Off-Beat

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017



IAS ROHINI BREAKS 170-YEAR GLASS CEILING She is the first woman district collector of Salem district in those many years, rising from the cinders of an impoverished childhood

Quick Glance When her father said the problems were with the DC, she decided to become one She passed her UPSE without any coaching Her sole focus is now on developing infrastructure in Salem, Tamil Nadu



little girl 23 years ago was pained to see her father struggle against red-tapism and realised that her answer to the world be to become an IAS officer, since her father said that it is the DC’s office where everything gets stuck. She not only achieved that but today, Rohini Bhajibhakare, IAS, now Rohini Bidari, has become the first woman collector of Salem district in Tamil Nadu since 1790. That’s a solid 170 years and 170 DCs later It took Rohini, daughter of a Maharastra farmer to smash the glass ceiling and show women the way. When Rohini was nine years old, she would be heartbroken at how her father struggled with red tape while accessing government benefits for farmers. Troubled by his state she once asked him who was the authority responsible for ensuring he received his due, when he answered, ‘the district collector. From that moment on, little Rohini knew, who she had to become. Twenty-three years later, the only way is still forward, with no looking back. Having completed her education

from a government school and engineering from a government college, this young IAS officer cleared her civil service examinations without any private coaching! It was as a student in a government institute she realised that despite having good teachers, the only thing the institutions lacked was infrastructure. And this became something she aims to fix in Salem. Her will to provide equal access to education for all reflected in her actions during one of her visits to the villages in Salem. While monitoring the development activities, she insisted on a surprise visit to a government elementary school near Attur. Entering the Karutharajapalayam village school, she was surprised to see children playing on the playground during their lecture times. When asked about why they weren’t in their classrooms, she was told that they had been waiting for their teachers to come, most of whom were protesting with the Joint Action Committee of Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Organisations -Government Employees’ Organisations ( JACTTO-GEO). She wasted no time in getting the

When she found school children playing because teachers were absent, she immediately started taking classes

students back to class and started teaching them. For students of Class 1, 2 and 3, she taught Tamil and English. She asked them to never give up on their dreams and aim to reach higher. It was only a matter of time, till she directed the education department officials to arrange teachers for these students. Her earlier stints include being the Additional Collector (Development) and Project Officer for the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) for Madurai district. The two men who have stood by Rohini in all her endeavours are her father, Ramadas Panduranga Bhajibhakare and her husband, also Madurai Superintendent of Police, IPS VijyendraBidari. Says her husband: “She is a very positive and sensitive person who believes in making women employees confident.” Despite both of them holding extremely important public posts, when at home, they support each other in household responsibilities, The Hindu reported. “The best thing about my husband is he is extremely supportive and nonfussy about so many things at home. I am not a great cook, but that is never an issue. He never bothers if I am late from work. When I travel, he takes care of our son,” she told the publication. During the course of her administration, execution of plans wasn’t the only challenge. She worked on her spoken language skills to learn the Madurai dialect to avoid any linguistic barriers. Rohini believes her appointment will serve the purpose of women empowerment. “It is important that women are made part of the decision making the process at the highest levels,” she told the News Minute.

SIBLINGS BACK AFTER 60 YEARS! The adopted son of a scottish family had lost touch with them, till this time Facebook brought them back together IANS


IXTY years ago, an Indian boy, Asgar, was adopted by a family in Glasgow, capital of Scotland. And his relationship with his adoptive sister, Ida, was the best possible among siblings. But somewhere down the years, the family split up, and brother and sister lost track. After leaving Glasgow, Patel founded Patel Roadways, which has grown into one of India’s largest logistics businesses. In 2013, the Arabian Business website estimated his personal net worth at $615 million (£467.5m). Now 83,- Ida Wilde told The Daily Record that she last saw her brother Asgar nearly six decades ago - until he recognised her in a Facebook photo from a family wedding. “I hadn’t seen Asgar for so long. It turns out he’d spent years searching for his adopted Scottish family but we moved out of Glasgow and he couldn’t find us,” sister Ida says. “Then out of the blue I got a message on Facebook from Asgar and it was just lovely to hear from him again. I couldn’t believe he had spotted my photograph after all these years - it was a miracle really. “I’d said goodbye to a wee boy and now he was returning a hugely successful multimillionaire. It was surreal.”Patel was one of thousands of Indians who came to the UK to escape the violence that followed the Partition of India in 1947. After the British Raj was dissolved, two newly independent countries were created: India and Pakistan. Two former Indian provinces, Bengal and Punjab, were divided along religious lines. The division of the two countries displaced more than ten million people, and led to between one and two million deaths. Asgar’s father was himself a wealthy businessman who wanted to find refuge for his four children in the UK. The businessman visited Ida Wilde at her home in August, and has invited her to visit him in Dubai.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017




WRITE, AN’ I’LL CATCH-YA Aditi Surana had the intuitive skill of telling people about themselves just by reading samples of their handwriting



ROM a young age, Aditi Surana could identify people’s behavioural traits from their writing strokes. Honing this special ability, she has emerged as a “graphologist” with testimonials from the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Naseeruddin Shah and former President PratibhaPatil. And she has learnt use her talent to help people with their relationships, anxiety disorders and health issues. Handwriting is nothing but brain writing, she contends. “I believe people may lie, but bodies are honest. Handwriting, after a point, becomes brain writing, making it one of the most honest tools to read what is happening within the human mind,” Mumbai-based Surana told IANS in an email interview about the art of graphology. At 14, she realised that her dyslexia allowed her to look deeper into people’s writing strokes, which she began to work on through intensive study and international certifications in graphology. The study she does is based entirely on permutations and combinations of strokes, she said.

Quick Glance At 14, she realised that her dyslexia allowed her to look deeper into people’s writing Honing this special ability, she has emerged as a “graphologist” Testimonials include those from Sachin Tendulkar, Naseeruddin Shah

Though graphology is considered worldwide as a pseudoscience, Aditi says she has helped people get out of insomnia, anxiety disorder and other health issues

SCIENCE OR NOT, IT HELPS Searching through portals such as Wikipedia and others, one finds a real discussion on the issue


RAPHOLOGY (or graphoanalysis) is the analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting purporting to be able to identify the writer, indicating psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluating personality characteristics. It is generally considered a pseudoscience. Graphology has been controversial for more than a century. Although supporters point to the anecdotal evidence of positive testimonials as a reason to use it for personality evaluation, empirical studies fail to show the validity claimed by its supporters. Jean-Charles Gille-Maisani stated in 1991 that Juan Huarte de San Juan’s 1575 Examen de ingenios para las ciencias was the first book on handwriting analysis. In American graphology, Camillo Baldi’s Trattato come da una lettera missiva si conoscano la natura e qualita dello scrittore from 1622 is considered to be the first book. Around 1830 Jean-Hippolyte Michon became interested in handwriting analysis. He published his findings

shortly after founding Société Graphologique in 1871. The most prominent of his disciples was Jules Crépieux-Jamin who rapidly published a series of books that were soon published in other languages. Starting from Michon’s integrative approach, CrépieuxJamin founded a holistic approach to graphology. Alfred Binet was convinced to conduct research into graphology from 1893 to 1907. He called it “the science of the future” despite rejection of his results by graphologists. After World War I, interest in graphology continued to spread in Europe as well as the United States. Thea Stein Lewinson and J. Zubin modified Klage’s ideas, based upon their experience working for the US government, publishing their method in 1942. In 1929 Milton Bunker founded The American Grapho Analysis Society. Its system split the American graphology world in two. Students had to choose between graphoanalysis or holistic graphology. Anecdotal evidence indicates that 10% of the members of IGAS were expelled between 1970 and 1980.

Although across the world, graphology is only considered a “pseudoscience”, Surana contended she has taken graphology a step ahead to help people with insomnia, anxiety disorders and other health issues. “Every single disorder and disease occurs when the mind or body is out of ease. The human mind is very powerful and, in my experience, reintroducing the rhythm and ease into one’s body and mind is much more effective than fighting illness,” 33-year-old Surana explained. “Through permutations and combinations of 800 distinctively different strokes I’m able to get a fairly accurate picture of a person’s psyche. Like psychology, graphology is an empirical study,” she maintained. She puts her observations of a subject’s handwriting into a form of therapy called grapho-therapy that aims to bring conscious changes in one’s handwriting as a means of achieving a change in one’s personality. “I have spent almost 15 years identifying and researching this exact correlation between specific strokes and probable shifts it can create. We have found that 30 mind blocks/concern areas can be improved through the use of grapho-therapy,” Surana added. The graphologist said she also helps couples with their relationships. “We dwell deeper into every single aspect of a relationship and look at methods that can change the way you look at others in the space of a relationship.” She has also helped over 45 companies equip themselves with the “right” logos. “A logo is the signature of a company. The science of selection of the font, colour, symbol and spacing play an important role.” She has managed to overwhelm many celebrities from Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Naseeruddin Shah, John Abraham to former President PratibhaPatil and many others with her study of their personalities. “It was a great honour to analyse the signature of the former President of the country. However, after the initial greetings, every person becomes a person I am assessing. We all are similar in that sense,” she recalled. “Learning graphology is a great tool to read personalities and maximise the effect of our interactions with each other,” Surana shared. Being able to read people’s minds is like having a special gadget in hand, she admitted.

26 North East

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


Quick Glance


The state animal, endemic to Manipur, will be showcased along with the Loktak Lake as a special draw for global tourists and prove the state is no longer trouble-torn



REPARING to host the next edition of Sangai Festival, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said that the new government is on the mission mode to showcase the uniqueness of Sangai (Brow-Antlered Deer) and promote the peculiarity of Loktak Lake to the entire world. Singh was speaking at the website launch of Sangai International half marathon which will be held on November 19 as a precursor to the Sangai Festival.

Manipur celebrates the “Manipur Sangai Festival” from 21st to 30th November every year. The ‘Festival’ is named after the state animal, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur. It started in the year 2010 and has grown over the years into a big platform for Manipur to showcase its rich tradition and culture to the world.

The festival helps promote Manipur as a world-class tourism destination. Every edition of the festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of arts & culture, handloom, handicrafts, indigenous sports, cuisine, music and adventure sports of the state. The marathon, sponsored by Manipur Tourism and supported by Athletic Association of Manipur, would cover areas of Sendra, Thanga, KeibulLamjao and Moirang in the route map covering 21 kilometres. Seeking the love and support of the people of the state, Singh said that ministers, MLAs and people of the state should support such mega event so as to promote the importance of Loktak Lake and Manipur as a potential tourist destination in the country. He further stated that the state should strive to include the Sangai half marathon in the half marathon destination calendar/list of the world from next year.

Expectedly, the border town of Moreh will draw a lot of foreign tourists and is being tidied up


Planned over an area of 15,000 square metres, the landfill will take in only ejects from the processing plants and waste which cannot be processed or recycled


EGHALAYA Urban Affairs minister Ronnie V Lyngdoh inaugurated the phase 1 of the sanitary landfill built at Marten near the state capital for disposal of processed rejects and inert waste. The landfill was designed for disposal of only the rejects from the processing plants and waste which cannot be processed or recycled. The project is being developed over an area of 15,000 square meters. The area is part of 18 acres of land diverted

The Sangai International half marathon will be held on November 19. A website has been launched The chief minister also launched a promotional video for the upcoming Sangai half marathon

The chief minister also launched a promotional video for the upcoming Sangai half marathon. Those who are willing to participate in the half marathon can register themselves through the website (, he added. Registration remains open until November 4. Referring to the launch of the ‘Imphal Evenings’ in the state, the CM said that it is the initiative of the new government to show the world that Manipur is no more a trouble-torn place and nightlife exists in the state. Meanwhile, public works minister Thongam Biswajit Singh has instructed engineers of the department to take up repairing and beautification works of certain roads in view of the Sangai Festival. Instructing the engineers to submit estimates for repairing of all important roads in and around Sangai Festival venues, the minister said once the whole estimate is finalised, the officials may start work on a priority basis. Observing that the border town of Moreh will attract many tourists during the festival, Biswajit instructed that the roads including the one approaching gate No 1 and 2 and IVRs in the town should also be repaired and mended.

Quick Glance


Manipur celebrates the “Manipur Sangai Festival” from 21st to 30th November every year

by the forest department to the Shillong Municipal Board for the use of waste disposal and management. In the first phase, 6,500 sqm has been developed for the purpose under Tranche 1 of North Eastern Region Capital Cities Development Investment Programme (NERCCDIP) at the cost of Rs 7.57 crore. “Since the landfill has a design life of three years and nine months, we are looking even now at other observations to get rid of waste with a minimum requirement of land,” Lyngdoh said. The first phase of the project for the development of sanitary

landfill include the components of retaining walls – 191.67 meters, approach road – 600 meters, groundwater reservoir- 1 lac liters,

The area is part of 18 acres of land diverted by the forest department In the first phase, 6,500 sqm has been developed for the purpose Both phases of landfill will cater to proper disposal of the inert waste

storm water drain around the landfill, leachate tank- 30cum/day, liner systems and leachate collection system. The sanitary landfill in the balance area (8500 sqm) including ancillary works at a contract cost of Rs 19.33 crore. Work started in April 2016 and the construction period for the phase is 24 months. The work was taken up under Tranche 2 of the programme. Both phases of the sanitary landfill will cater to proper disposal of the inert waste and reject from the processing facilities for about 10 years.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


Quick Glance

GOVT OFFICIALS TO BE GIFTED KHADI SHIRTS On the famous Bohag Bihu (spring festival) day next year, the employees will get a pair of khadi shirts and will be encouraged to wear them at least once a month



HE Assam government will gift a pair of Khadi shirts to state government employees who will be encouraged to wear it once

a month. Assam Khadi & Village Industries Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government has earmarked Rs 12 crore for the project of which Rs 5 crore has been also sanctioned in the

North East


budget. “We plan to gift the Khadi shirts to the employees on April 14, on BohagBihu day – the Assamese New Year day,” Sarma said, addressing a function organized on the occasion of the 149th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at the Assam Khadi & Village Industries Board office premises at Guwahati. The shirts will be made by the Assam Khadi & Village Industries Board. The Board has already begun working on the project and has engaged hundreds of weavers in it. While the yarn is being purchased from outside, the cloth is being weaved at the 47 centers of the board spread across the State. The necessary infrastructure has been put in place for the unique project. “This project will empower the weavers in the villages. We also intend to

provide Khadi school uniforms. If 40 lakh school students will wear Khadi uniforms, the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi will be taken to every nook and corner of the State. These projects will also bolster the Assam Khadi & Village Industries Board,” Sarma said. The board organised an allreligion prayer session and held commemorative activities and cultural events during the day while Gandhiji’s favorite devotional Bhajan, “Raghu Pati Raghav Raja Ram” was also rendered in his fond memory. Sarma paid floral tributes at the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and hinted on rolling out definite measures to revamp the Khadi industry in Assam during his speech. He stressed on Gandhiji’s dream of the spinning and weaving movement that was elevated to an ideology for self-reliance and self-government. He said, “It was for economic, cultural and social reasons and not merely political that Bapu established the Khadi Movement.” Besides clothing, the Khadi board is also engaged in making leather shoes and Ghani oil. The board had made and sold over 15 lakh National Flags on the eve of Independence Day this year.

Assam and North East. He also termed the aircraft will be helpful to delve a big boost to Narendra Modi’s dream of regional connectivity. In addition, to improve the air connectivity in the state, the government is planning to construct heliports in different parts, especially remote unconnected areas. The Chief Minister said the government plans to build heliports in the remotest areas of the State where airstrips cannot be built due to hilly topography. He said heliports would be constructed in Umrangso in Dima Hasao district, Karimganj, South Salmara-Mankachar, Dhubri and Majuli. Sonowal said that in the era of science and technology if the State has to develop rapidly, importance must be given to the improvement of all forms of connectivity. “If this is not achieved, we cannot think of establishing links with the international markets for trade and commerce,” he said. “I have also requested Union Minister for Shipping

Nitin Gadkari to facilitate landing of Amphibian aircraft on the Brahmaputra so that Majuli is connected with Guwahati and other areas,” Sonowal said. Earlier this month, Sonowal flagged off the Spicejet daily direct flight from Dibrugarh to Guwahati at Mohanbari Airport in Dibrugarh. Dibrugarh in Upper Assam is Spicejet’s fiftieth destination. The DibrugarhGuwahati-Silchar route is expected to facilitate increased trade and commerce in the region. The new daily flight between Dibrugarh and Guwahati will be a boon for people in some districts of neighboring Arunachal Pradesh as well. Appreciating Spice jet for giving a new impetus to air connectivity within the state, Sonowal said that Barak valley will now have a flight from Dibrugarh. He also expressed hope that the new Spice jet flight would be able to fill the void created by the suspension of operation by Jet Airways from Dibrugarh to Guwahati three months back.

Assam Khadi & Village Industries has earmarked Rs 12 crore for the project Along with khadi uniforms, this is expected to boost the khadi weavers The Khadi board is also engaged in making leather shoes and Ghani oil


AMPHIBIOUS AIRCRAFT FOR REMOTE AREAS Chief Minister Sonowal said that when introduced the aircraft will lead to speedy development of Assam and North East SSB BUREAU


IVEN its amazing mix of land routes and waterways, the government is mulling amphibian crafts that transcend such difficulties, and hence a maze of amphibian aircraft ports, as well as heliports, are being planned to improve connectivity and help markets grow. Assam is tipped to be the first in the country where amphibious aircraft would be put into service. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Quick Glance Assam will be the first to put amphibious aircraft into service The aircraft can take off and land both in water bodies Government is to construct heliports in remote areas

said once operated the service of aircraft besides being helpful in improving the economy of the state, would also revolutionize the connectivity of the region. Sonowal was speaking to journalists after witnessing a demonstration of an amphibious aircraft designed by Setouchi Holdings of Japan at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati. The aircraft has been designed for the 21st century which can take off and land both from short, unimproved strips and water bodies. Such a groundbreaking initiative will be the first in the country and it has been thought of to be introduced in Assam to improve regional air connectivity. Once the aircraft is introduced the smaller places which have hitherto remained unconnected due to infrastructural bottleneck can be brought into the flying map. Sonowal said that when introduced the aircraft will lead to the speedy development of

28 Revival

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017


CENTRE’S ‘PAPERBACK’ APPROACH In a welcome move, the Centre is taking several steps to revive the sick Hindustan Paper Corporation, limiting its liabilities and allowing private sector participation

Quick Glance Due to shortage of working capital, the production in both the units has been suspended The decision of the revival plan was taken at a meeting of the inter-ministerial group

Courtesy: Indian Express

A Cabinet note is also being prepared for settlement of the company’s liabilities



HE Centre will allocate Rs 1,000-crore for the revival of the Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) through the involvement of private sector. The PSU has two units in Assam and a joint venture with the state government in Nagaland. The decision of the revival plan was taken at a meeting of the interministerial group chaired by the Prime Minister last month. The inter-ministerial group has been directed to initiate steps for the turnaround of HPC and the government think-tank NITI Aayog has been entrusted with overseeing implementation of the revival plan. A Cabinet note is also being prepared for settlement of the company’s liabilities to the tune of Rs 1,000 crores, including payment of salaries to its 1,500 odd employees. Employees of Nagaon and Cachar paper mills in Assam belonging to HPC which comes under the administrative control of the Department of Heavy Industries have not been paid salaries for 10

months and a year. Due to a shortage of working capital, the production in both the units has been suspended since October 2015 and March 2017, respectively. HPC group has four paper mills, two of which are units and two are subsidiary companies. HPC is the holding company for Hindustan Newsprint Ltd and Nagaland Pulp & Paper Company at Tuli in Mokokchung. Over a period of three decades, HPC has built up a total capacity of about 3.35 lakh tones of paper and newsprint. While roping in private players is a practice commonly followed by state-run PSUs in the services sector, it is considered a “paradigm shift” for companies operating in the manufacturing sector. Currently faced with severe raw material shortage as well as that of

capital to revamp its decades-old machinery, its two mills in Assam have been in bad shape for several years now. While the Panchgram unit has remained shut, the production of its Jagi road unit has drastically gone down. It was in September last year that the Centre had promised to provide a Rs 800-crore package to the HPC to revamp its two units. Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had announced that the state government would relax VAT on bamboo and coal for the two paper mills. Production in the Jagi road unit was so disappointing that it failed to supply on time printing paper to the state government to print free textbooks for school students on time despite the education department making it an advance payment. In January, education

While roping in private players is a practice commonly followed by state-run PSUs in the services sector, it is considered a “paradigm shift” in the state sector

minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the department would be compelled to blacklist the paper mill for its failure to supply the committed quantity of paper. Official sources claimed that illegal “tax” collection by police and unwarranted interference by some forest department officials in the free movement of bamboo laden trucks have hit hard the productivity of the units in Assam. It is estimated that 70 percent of the country’s growing stock of bamboo is in the Northeast. The Assam department of environment and forest had carried out detailed survey some years ago which revealed that a minimum 7.17 lakh MT bamboo can be harvested every year in the state following a fouryear rotation cycle. It was further noticed that the two units of HPC located in Assam need a total stock of 8 lakh MT bamboos as raw material per year for running at the management of bamboo resources. Despite the continued focus on digitization, India’s demand for paper is expected to rise 53 percent in the next six years, primarily due to a sustained increase in the number of school-going children in rural areas. According to media reports, the rising cost of imported waste paper has started to push the mills to source more quantities from the domestic market. The availability of raw material has improved compared to last year. The availability from the catchment area is much better and that is why the raw material cost has gone down by 5-10%.

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017




Calligraphy DRAWS


Yuko Takaji, a Japanese calligrapher saw what she thought was a picture, but realised it is calligraphic Arabic for ‘Allah’. Her love now for Arabic calligraphy is a lasting one

Quick Glance She learnt Urdu from Tokyo University and wanted to do something few dare to do She learnt Japanese calligraphy. Found same art in Arabic different She is learning ‘ruq’ah’ and is keen to continue learning till the ‘nasta’liq’


From its old elongated exquisite style, the Ruq’ah is now transforming into a faster, simpler, though equally elegant form


UQ’AH or Ruq’ah is a calligraphic variety of Arabic script. The Ruq’ah style of handwriting is the most common type of handwriting. It is known for its clipped letters composed of short, straight lines and simple curves, as well as its straight and even lines of text. It was probably derived from the Thuluth and Naskh styles. It is clear and legible, and is the easiest script for daily handwriting. The demonstration underneath is not typical since it uses full vowels, which are rarely used in handwriting Ruq’ah is also known as Ottoman Font in Turkey and most of the documents from Ottoman Empire era are written in Riq’ah. It has emerged from Mashriq region of the empire. Due to ease of writing, Ruqʿah was the



ALLIGRAPHY may be dying in an increasingly digitalised world, but the sheer love of the art has attracted a Japanese girl to India. At a time when very few youngsters are taking to Arabic/Urdu calligraphy, Yuko Takaji took up the brush and is learning the intricacies of the art from Muqtar Ahmed, a Bengaluru-based calligrapher. For someone born and brought up in Tokyo, Urdu is an alien language, but the 32-year-old speaks it with a fluency few can match even in the subcontinent. After learning Urdu from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), Takaji decided to explore something which only a few dare to experiment with. It looks strange as there are no similarities between her mother tongue and Urdu. She learnt calligraphy in Japanese but the same art in Arabic/ Urdu is a totally different ball game but she was determined. It was 15 years ago that she decided to try her hand at Arabic

Takaji has also visited

Pakistan many times and feels that calligraphy can bring the people together calligraphy. “I saw a picture in a book. I thought it’s just a picture but was surprised when I read the caption that it’s made from the word ‘Allah’. It was so beautiful and I decided that I should learn Arabic calligraphy,” Takaji told IANS. “There is a huge difference between Arabic and Japanese characters. I like Arabic characters because they look so beautiful,” Takaji said. She learnt ‘naskh’, an initial style of calligraphy, from her teacher Koichi Honda in Japan and, on his advice, came to India to learn other styles. She is currently learning ‘ruq’ah’ (See Box) and is keen to continue learning till the ‘nasta’liq’ level. She aims to master the art to the stage where she can write

the characters the way she wants. She first visited India in 2011 and learnt the basics at a madrasa in Delhi for a week. She came again in 2012 and this time spent a month to learn the art. Takaji has so far visited India 16 times, not just to learn calligraphy but also to explore different parts of the country. Takaji, who has also visited Pakistan, and believes calligraphy can serve as a medium to bring the people of the two countries together. Muqtar, who is trying to revive calligraphy, is happy that the art is getting support from an unexpected quarter. “There are 17 Urdu/Arabic calligraphy centres in Japan and 350 Japanese are learning this art,” said Muqtar, whose works were displayed at

most common font in Ottoman Turkey. In the mid-19th century, in the Ottoman Empire Government offices in Istanbul, Ruq’ah was born. Before its arrival the government offices – called the Bab-ı Ali, or the Sublime Porte – used four different script styles: Ta’liq, Siyakat, Diwani and Jaly-Diwani . Each style had its own specific use, either for legal or fiscal documents, or in the case of Diwani and Jaly-Diwani exclusively used by the Ottoman Royal Chancery, and made purposefully complicated to ensure confidentiality and protect court documents from forgery. To resolve the complexities of this four-style system, Ta’liq and Diwani were recreated as a single, new handwriting style. Stripped of all needless elongation, decorations or lifting of the pen, Ruq’ah is made to be fast and efficient. With individual letter-shapes reduced to the minimum horizontal and vertical strokes, it became the simplest form of the Arabic script. By estimation, this simplification saved the government scribes an average of two seconds in every word, meaning a saving of 16 minutes for a 500-word document. an exhibition at Kyoto City International Community House last month. Muqtar, who teaches calligraphy at the Institute of Indo-Islamic Arts and Culture in Bengaluru, said more youngsters in Japan were learning calligraphy. “They understand the importance of this art, which brings out the best in a man. Unfortunately, this is not happening in India where calligraphy once enjoyed royal patronage,” said Muqtar, who plans to work together with some calligraphy centres in Japan by imparting skills to their students. Muqtar, whose art has been recognised at many international events, said three Americans also learnt calligraphy from him.

30 Sneha Neer

OCTOBER 16 - 22, 2017



The West Bengal government has done yeoman service to the community by gifting than a store in the heart of Calcutta’s intellectual fermentation Quick Glance Usually, at SnehaNeer, transgender, like any other community, excel in the arts Till now they were spread across and did not have a common platform to express their creativity Now they are already planning to go online and with other business expansion plans



ABINDRA Sadan. The heart of Calcutta’s intellectual fermentation and revolutionary ideas, with the cine complex Nandan just next to it, and come evening every single day of the year, it becomes the hub of those who are willing to fight to live another day. Whether it is some small tea seller, or the famous chopper dukan (non-veg snacks shops) if your address is Rabindra Sadan, you can rest assured that money will come in pouring. Now the place is set to see another revolution: a community store that will exhibit and sell solely products made by the transgender. The store has been gifted to the so long beleaguered community by the West Bengal Government. The store has been christened ‘SnehaNeer’ (Nest of Love) and will showcase handicraft items, junk jewellery, special fashion items and other homemade products, exclusively crafted and produced by them. Ranjita Sinha, a member of the transgender board and one of the leading activists of the community, has come forward to organise space for the store.

Predictably, the store was a rage during the recently concluded Durga Puja, West Bengal boasts of several transgender self-help groups scattered across the state whose members are experts in making handicraft products. Now for the first time, they have an organised place to either market or showcase their products. Says Anuradha Das, who herself has been in the forefront of a Calcuttabased woman’s organisation that has been trying to do things for people like jailed women: “I am overjoyed! It was so crowded that I could not buy everything I would have liked to but just look at their quality of work. I am sure this will be a roaring success.” And the word is spreading fast, with Calcutta-people more open than many others in pouncing on novel ideas to support noble causes. The community is expecting high sales during Kalipuja, and after it is the hotselling winter season. “This was definitely a challenge for them, for, various products made by

them are currently being sold without the transgender community getting any recognition for it,” Sinha explained. “The new store is likely to give them a big boost as this will not only offer them a platform to display their products, but also provide them with a means of steady income.” That many transgender are really talented and can excel when given a chance has been proved beyond doubt as the store has started witnessing impressive footfalls from curious customers. “This’ll have a positive impact on them as, the more the interaction with the society, the better for them. In other words, it’s going to narrow the distance as well as the perception of people about the transgender,” claimed Sinha. From begging or doing other menial jobs, the transgender in the state are coming into their own. And what better for the government to open the doors of income generation rather than doles

The community is expecting high sales during Kali

Puja, and after that it is the hot-selling winter season

Already, the self-help groups spread across the state have slowly begun to assemble their products from various districts. Once the products gain acceptance and attain popularity, the groups would think of expanding the network in various ways. Sinha, who is in dialogue with these groups, has charted out plans for expansion. First, in near future, SnehaNir will have its own portal to enable the community to sell their products online. Secondly, it might foray into other areas such as opening a kitchen in the vicinity from where it can launch a home delivery service which is, in fact, gaining a lot of momentum in the city. In other words, the community wants the people in general and the government, in particular, adopt a more sensitive approach to it so that the taboo, often associated with the community, is gradually removed. “We expect the government to organize workshops that will tap the potential and promising ones in the community and teach them how to improve their craftsmanship on a regular basis. This apart, the government can bridge the gap between the community and the corporate world so that this project is taken up on the corporate level as part of the CSR activities,” Sinha said. At a time when the transgender students hardly find any space in universities or their own homes, projects like SnehaNeer will help people become aware of genderneutral talents and their potential and the community will no longer have to live a life of cast always.

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32 Unsung Hero





Vinay now spends his time spreading awareness about myths and taboos around menstruation in differently-abled girls


AILING from a small UP village, Vinay Kumar would still be working as a construction labourer had it not been for his chance encounter with Amit Yadav, a differently abled friend who inspired him to pursue education and social work. Now Vinay educates disabled girls about menstruation. Vinay’s parents lacked the resources to educate him further. After class 12, Vinay moved to Noida to work as a construction worker when his friend Amit, a law graduate with polio, met him and urged him to not give up on education and even offered to


fund it. Vinay was keen on becoming a journalist after some introspection. Leaving his government job after graduation, he applied to become a Gandhi Fellow. He was assigned a project to work in the government schools of Mumbai and Thane. Since Vinay was interested in theatre, he often participated in plays and skits along with slum kids who studied in the government schools. His desire to do drama with disabled kids took him to the school – Ummeed in Mumbra, Mumbai. There was one incident that altered Vinay’s career path completely.

Vinay and the director of the school were approached by a lady, asking if she could recommend a place where she can get her disabled daughter’s uterus removed. While first, he thought it was because of some medical condition but later learnt that the disabled kid’s parents opted to remove their daughter’s uterus to avoid sanitation problems during menstruation and also to avoid the shame of their daughter getting impregnated if she were assaulted. “‘How can we deny something so natural’ was the first question I had in my mind,” says Vinay. Contacting Shuma Banik and Vijayata Pandey, Gandhi fellows who were working against menstruation taboos in Surat with their campaign – Happy Periods, Vinay sought their help. Since then, he has been working tirelessly to spread awareness and dispel taboos that people believe in regarding menstruation.





N emerging hip hop artist and law student, her dream is to become a recording artist Crowned Miss India Worldwide 2017, Madhu Valli is a student of criminal law at George Mason University in Virginia and an emerging hip hop artist. The runner up at the 26th edition of the beauty pageant was Stephanie Madavane from France. Sangeeta Bahadur from Guyana secured the third position at the pageant which had contestants from 18 countries. “I want to be the next biggest bridge between Bollywood and Hollywood,” Valli, 20, said, a day after winning the pageant. Valli’s latest album was released a day before the pageant. Music is her passion and she aspires to become a recording artist. She has been learning vocals since the age of 8. Providing a platform to showcase Indian culture, the beauty pageant attracts people

of Indian origin from across the world. “I definitely want to speak to a lot of young Indian American women about women empowerment and positive self- image,” Valli said. “I love both my countries, India and the US and I always wanted to discover a way to be a leader in both!” she said. Sarita Pattnaik from Texas was crowned Mrs India Worldwide. An interior designer by profession, she is a mother of two who also wants to be a social activist and be the voice for women’s empowerment. The Miss India Worldwide is organized by New Yorkbased India Festival Committee which is is the only international Indian pageant with affiliates in over 35 countries and considered among the top ethnic pageants in the world. Mrs India Worldwide was launched last year, providing a platform to married women of Indian origin.



IAF’s most potent combat aircraft, Mig-21 Bison, will be flown by the force’s first three women fighter pilots


ET to script history, the three women pilots – Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawan aKanth and Mohana Singh will fly military jets after completing a strenuous training programme within three weeks. “The present consideration is to put them to Mig 21 Bison squadron. Our opinion is that it will sharpen their skills as the aircraft has more manual features than other sophisticated aircraft,” Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said. After honing their skills in flying Mig 21 Bisons, the three women can fly other jets. After the three women were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis. They will steer combat jets in November.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 1, ISSUE - 44 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 44)