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Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016
Vol-1 | Issue-18 | April 17-23, 2017 | Price ` 5/-
Good News Weekly for Rising India
WORLD EARTH DAY
SUNIL WEDS SHEELU
AIM: SAVE EARTH
UN PEACE MESSENGER
That could have been a poster for advertising their wedding but here’s what true love means
We are lagging behind the given deadlines that had been set for tackling climate change
Her dedicated work for teaching girls has brought Malala this honour
BHAIYYUJI MAHARAJ SOCIAL SERVICE
MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI
Bhaiyyu ji Maharaj doesn’t don saffron robes. Hogged by luminaries, he is untouched by their powers. His only goal is to remove the sufferings and make India great again TRIDIB RAMAN / INDORE
ATE is the same and so is the time. The only difference is that this happened a year ago. While receiving his honorary D.Litt.
Quick Glance He announced renunciation of public life last year He is running hundreds of welfare projects in MP and Maharashtra He asks people to plant a tree as his guru dakshina
in a convocation function of DY Patil University last year, Bhaiyyu ji Maharaj sprung a surprise by announcing retirement from public life. He was apparently not comfortable being surrounded by the rich and the famous round the clock. The announcement created quite a stir. But he kept on sporting his known familiar stoic smile. For, he is not a typical saint. He doesn’t don saffron robes. Neither sports long tresses and beard like a typical ‘baba’. He is a family person. He likes to put on everything – from a track suit to a suit, kurta-
ASSAM’S CLEANEST VILLAGE
For the residents of Rangsapara, perfection is a road, not the destiny YOGESH VAJPEYI
ECADES before former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh’s remarks that India needs more toilets than temples and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impassioned call to build more toilets than temples, community
leaders of Rangsapara in lower Assam’s Goalpara district met in December 1999 and took two major decisions that were to change their lives: No villager will defecate in the open, and there will be an end to drunken brawls that disturbed the community’s peace. “A committee of 10 members was formed at the dawn of year 2000 to ...Continued on Page 3
02 Cover Story ...Continued from Page 1
APRIL 17-23, 2017
MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI
SERVICE HIGH PRIEST There is hardly any field of service in which Bhaiyyuji is not running a project Bhaiyyu ji Maharaj’s spirituality lies in his service. He considers service as the greatest religion in the world. He has been running 281 projects in different fields, from bringing devadasis to the mainstream, helping the poor and tribal students, cleaning rivers to spreading green cover, easing farmers’ pain to relieving the sick of their ailments. It can be easily said that there is hardly any field in which Bhaiyyu ji is not running a project. WATER ISSUES Started with a resolution to create 151 water bodies every year, 739 water bodies have been constructed in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh under this project. Needy villagers have been given 276 water tanks free of the cost to ensure water supply.
pyjama and a dhoti. Yet he is a saint. He is a multi-faced personality. He likes fencing, enjoys cricket, has done modelling, and is a practicing farmer, a perfect husband and a father. PERSONALLY SPIRITUAL He is into spiritualism but does not like to make a show of it. That is why his announcement about retiring from public life created such a stir. He can be spotted anywhere and everywhere – from Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast to Narendra Modi’s Sadbhawna Upvas; from Prime Minister’s swearing in ceremony to a common man’s house warming ceremony. But where does his heart lie? Who are the people, whose company he cherishes? There is no need for such queries because he has a crystal clear vision of his life-goals. In the words of Ravindra Nath Tagore… Desh ki Maati, Desh Ka jal, Hawa desh ki, desh ke phal, Saras bane prabhu saras bane, Desh ke ghar aur desh ke ghat, Desh ke van aur desh ki baat, Saral bane prabhu saral bane, Desh ke tan aur desh ke man, Desh ke ghar ke bhai bahen, Vimal bane prabhu vimal bane. BABY WISEMAN Bhaiyyu ji wants this simple, good and pure life for every citizen of India.
His life and its vigour are directed at achieving this goal. This is why before understanding the import of Tagore’s poem, he tried to imbibe the true meaning of life. But, what is closest to his heart is serving humanity, especially the deprived. He wants to wipe away the tears from every eye. He treats everybody’s problem and pain as his own. He feels everybody has the right to have food and dignity. This is what makes him different from a typical religious saint. He, first of all, comprehended the darkness behind the glittering lives. He could identify tears, compulsions, poverty, hunger and inability from his childhood itself. That made people call this child who used to deliver pearls of wisdom from when he was very young – Bhaiyyu ji and later suffixed Maharaj to it. At the time, nobody would have realised that the child whom they used to lovingly call Bhaiyyu ji Maharaj would ascend to such heights and indeed become a saint. The person running hundreds of projects and helping lakhs of needy and deprived, catapulted
SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME Bhaiyyu ji is especially concerned about children abandoning studies due to poverty. That is why he has resolved to give the scholarship to 11,101 talented poor students. So far, 7,88,340 students have been benefitted from this scheme. CRIMINALS’ KIDS Who cares for children of those locked behind bars? But Bhaiyyu ji is sensitive to these people also. That is why he decided to impart free education to children of prisoners, and 4,321 such children are already being given free education. PARDHI TRIBALS Bringing Pardhi tribals into the mainstream is one of his priorities. He got a hostel for such children at Buldhana in Maharashtra where 700 tribal students are studying.
to the national centre stage when he was summoned by Anna Hazare for a meeting. Anna was then fasting for a strong Lokpal (ombudsman) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Bhaiyyu ji not only met Anna but also persuaded him to end his fast.Another such instance came when he persuaded Narendra Modi to end his Sadbhavna Upvas. The long list of his disciples has politicians, film stars, industrialists and corporate besides dignitaries like RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. But, he doesn’t like throwing his weight around. He doesn’t relish even the ever-growing list of followers. Neither does he want a position, nor recognition. He only wants to immerse himself deeply into serving the people without any expectations and without getting tired. He is out to paint such a picture of the country where pillars of development are being erected on the strong foundation of spiritualism. He doesn’t accept guru dakshina. He only asks people willing to donate him, only planting trees. That demonstrates that he is as commitment to the environment as he is for the welfare
He was catapulted to the centre stage when he
persuaded Anna Hazare and later Narendra Modi to end their respective fasts
KANYADAAN SCHEME Bhaiyyu ji has resolved to get 251 girls married every year. So far he has solemnised 7,709 marriages. MEDICAL CAMP Only a healthy body breeds a healthy mind. That is why Bhaiyyu ji Maharaj has decided to put 101 medical camps every year. As many as 2,56,540 patients have already been treated at these camps. RELIGIOUS RUINS He has pledged to renovate neglected religious structures. So far, he has got renovated 12 such places belonging to different religions and sects. PLANTATION SCHEME Bhaiyyu ji has been planting 1,11,111 trees every year. Out of his concern for the environment, he has so far planted 19,47,323 plants.
of the needy, the deprived and the helpless. There is hardly any work left in the fields of education, health, environment, public welfare and social service which doesn’t have his active participation. Bhaiyyu ji is the strongest support system for the deprived. He is the best medicine for those suffering from ailments. He is the teacher for the illiterates. He is the guardian angel of the orphans. Everyone finds something in him for himself. That is why he lent his name as the father of 51 children of Pandharpur’s sex workers. He opened a residential school for 700 tribal children in Buldhana. He was showered with stones when he went to meet Pardhi tribesmen for setting up this school. But, accepting defeat or retracing steps is not part of his nature. He is running several ashrams in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra helping people in various walks of life. WASTEFUL HONOURS He doesn’t like accepting garlands or coconut. He terms these as wasteful expenditure. He wants this money to be spent on the poor. Each penny counts for him and with help of such pennies, his trust has been offering over ten thousand scholarships so that children can get a better education, become a better citizen and contribute their bit in nation building.
APRIL 17-23, 2017 ...Continued from Page 1
ASSAM’S CLEANEST VILLAGE
enforce the decisions. The villagers were warned that a fine of Rs. 5,000 will be imposed on anyone breaking the rules,” says Robert John Momin, who has been heading the committee since inception. This scribe visited the village recently when it was declared the cleanest village of Assam and rewarded with a sum of Rs 5 lakh by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Asked about the difficulties he faced in enforcing the rules of cleanliness and communal harmony and in how many cases deterrent punishment had to be imposed, Momin’s face lights up with a smug smile: “The need never arose because everyone complied.” For the last 17 years, there has not been any case of open defection, violence or anyone consuming drugs, alcohol or smoking in the village, which has 88 households and a population of 475, all Christians. In the midst of high decibel advocacy by the central and state governments and sustained efforts of international organisations like UNICEF and WHO to achieve the elusive target of open defecation free India and total sanitation, Rangchapara is a living example. It shows that community-driven initiatives are the most effective and more sustainable than official carrot and stick approaches. The villagers hankered for no reward or government largesse when they set the goal of cleanliness, healthy life and communal harmony way back in 2000 and went about achieving it quietly in a sustained manner. Nestled in the picturesque plains of Assam at the foot of Garo
Kucha toilets have gone, half a dozen Tara
hand pumps supply safe drinking water, and cleanliness has become a mantra for them hills in Madhalaya, this sleepy village is inhabited by members of the Garo tribe. True to its conviction, it is not only Assam’s cleanest but also the most peaceful. “The village remained totally unaffected when violent clashes between Rabhas and Garo tribes broke out in East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya and spilled over to this area a few years ago,” points out Jenoritha Sangma, a village housewife. Nearly half a dozen tribesmen were killed and tens of thousands forced to flee during ethnic clashes between the rival tribes along the border of Assam and Meghalaya in 2011. The inhabitants of Ranchapara may have achieved all this on their
own, but the government intervention and funds helped. The kucha toilets built by the villages have been converted into pucca fly roof toilets. Half a dozen Tara hand pumps from Bangladesh have been installed to ensure there is no shortage of safe drinking water. The two village schools have been spruced up. A round taken in the village reveals that the toilets are clean and in use. There is no litter outside homes or public premises like the church, the schools or the village library. Waste water is not stagnating anywhere. You can find a dustbin after short distances, where the inhabitants dispose of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste separately.
“Similar interventions were undertaken in other villages within the panchayat and things are improving,” says Ratna Devi, Sarpanch of the Bijlana panchayat. “But results there are not comparable to those in Rangchapara because of deeper community involvement of the inhabitants here,” she hastens to add. A convincing indicator of this is the state of the health of children in Rangchapara. In a state that has the second highest Infant Motrtality rate in the country, not a single death of children below the age of five has been recorded during the last six years. “We take care that the infants are cleaned and looked after and school going children wash their hands before eating,” says Jenoritha Sangma, mother of six children. It is this sense of community awareness of health and hygiene that helped Rangchapara get the status of Assam’s cleanest village. The award has been instituted by the state government and its public health engineering department (PHED). The criteria included community mobilisation, presence of pucca toilets and their condition, waste water management and awareness of health and hygiene among others. The Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development (OKD), was asked to evaluate each of the shortlisted villages that qualified after preliminary screening. It picked up Rangapasara from among the five finalists. For its villagers, perfection is a road, not the destiny. And they are confidently walking that road.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
SUNIL WEDS SHEELU That could have been a poster for advertising their wedding, and though that did not happen, here’s what true love means
her cousin’s absence. One day, he raped Sheelu and threatened her not to tell Ramu, or he would kill her. It continued for some time untill she got pregnant. When Ramu threatened to lodge an FIR, Naresh married Sheelu at a temple. But his family members never accepted her. A forced abortion followed. Instead of lunch and dinner she was served physical assault. She gave birth to her first daughter Palak, only to infuriate her in-laws and husband. Another daughter followed next they kept Palak and threw pregnant Sheelu and her youngest daughter out of the house. The third daughter took birth in a cremation ground.
Y wife Sheelu and our children are the best dowry I could get,” says Sunil from Kanpur. And he says the with conviction. Coming from a man from the highly male chauvinistic northern India, this is a surprise. What will surprise you even more is how he brought that dowry home. Sunil has a two-bed room house and Sheelu and her daughters are happily living with him. “I am proud of my mother. Now I have a father too who is very nice to my mother, me and my sister,” proudly says Vanshika. So obviously, Sunil is not Vanshika’s biological father. But then he is the true father, who rose above all social issues and risked ridicule to marry Sheelu, who was repeatedly raped and gotten pregnant twice, and had been living in a crematorium.
HORROR STORY This is a story of a woman who was repeatedly raped at the age of 13-year till pregnant; forced to bear the pain and trauma of forcible abortion; was socially ostracised and was then forced to marry her rapist. Her ordeal did not stop there. Sheelu originally belongs to Bilgram in Uttar Pradesh. Her parents passed away when she was only two. Her cousin brother Ramu was taking care of her since then. When she was 13, Ramu shifted to Kanpur to work in a factory along with her. She never went to school, as they had no money to pay the fees. Her job was to look after chores at home and maintain a small dingy room her cousin had taken on rent. Ramu had a few friends who kept visiting her room and she would happily offer tea and snacks and sometimes dinner to them. One of them, Naresh was Ramu’s closest friend and would visit her room during
Sheelu politely refused to work as a household help and struggled to take men on by running her rickshaw
HARD STRUGGLE Sheelu took her daughters to a place known as Hanspuram Awas Vikas Colony in Naubasta in Kanpur. She erected a make-shift home at empty roadside corner with a polythene sheet. She did odd labour jobs and worked in a factory for two years. Then she requested a rickshaw puller to take her to the person giving out rickshaws on rent. Seeing a woman, the owner first refused to offer her one on rent, without a security deposit, but then Sheelu begged of him to keep her two daughters till evening when she earns enough to pay rent and their livelihood. With two small daughters and the trauma of her own sexually abused body, Sheelu Kashyap (now 26) was suddenly exposed to the exploitative world again. Almost daily, she was approached by pimps at the cremation ground, her shelter home, to earn easy money for offering her bruised body and soul to sex-starved males. But she drove them away with a kitchen knife she always carried. GENDER BURDEN “I was aghast. No one would offer a job or help. For every woman, the only job is to satiate men’s lust for money. And free of cost, if married,” Sheelu says with clear ridicule. One day, a drunken middle-aged man saw her in the cremation
Quick Glance At the age of 13, her cousin’s best friend raped her repeatedly and she became pregnant Thrown out of home, she took to plying a rickshaw to feed herself and her two daughters Incredibly, one day Sunil entered her life, desired to marry her, and they all are now happy
ground. She doesn’t remember his name but he gave her a piece of advice that the only way to fight the world is to stand on your feet by securing your financial independence. First I flashed the knife to shoo him away, but he laughed and said that it will not shape the future of my daughters. “Duniya se jeetna hain to mehnat se kaam karo aur duniya tumhe izzat dega (work with honesty if you want to be respected by the world)”, Sheelu recalls his words; they reverberated in her mind the whole of that night. She got the cue how to take on the world. “I never saw that man again,” she mutters, but admits that his advice changed her life. Seeing her steely courage and persuasion, the rickshaw owner finally agreed. “I pedalled for life that day. Each pedal was for survival. I targeted women clients, mainly because men would give a lusty look and ignore me when I refuse to take them to their destinations, which were secluded places,” she recalls. She earned Rs 135 by evening. Soon she earned sympathy of the co-dwellers in the mohalla and made her home on the street. “We offered her jobs at our home, but Sheelu would always politely refuse, saying that she wants to enter
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Pimps would constantly visit
GAINING GROUND Soon, the story of a woman rickshawpuller spread in other areas also as she would move around to the farthest areas in Kanpur to drop her clients. “She would always give a smiling look and talk in courteous manner, and most of her customers ended paying her more than what she would charge as fare,” says Shivkumari, another regular client. For six months she worked hard to pay rickshaw rent, feed two little daughters, buy home utensils and keep saving money to send her daughters Vanshika (8) and Pari (5) to an English medium school. A friendly lady helped her get an e-rickshaw on loan. That changed her economic condition and saved her from physical labour besides finding more time for her daughters. Initially she faced problems in getting some doughters admitted to a school, but after hearing her story, the principal of MSRD English Medium School at Khadepur gave Vanshika and Pari admission. She pays Rs 2000 as fees and 700 for school van. “Both her daughters are very studious and are learning English very fast,” says their teacher Puja Tiwari. ENTER SUNIL But life suddenly changed for Sheelu and her daughters six month ago when Sunil Kumar met her. He convinced Sheelu to marry him and said, he will take good care of her daughters. Sunil is a factory worker in Kanpur and earns just enough for their comfortable living. “I sold my e-rickshaw, paid back bank loans and opened fixed deposits in the names of my daughters with the remaining money,” chuckled Sheelu. “When Sheelu told me her story I decided to marry her to get her a secure place in society, so that no one dares to point a finger at her. I got the best of dowry in the form of two sweet daughters. We are a happy family now,” claims Sunil.
KENYA GOES FOR ONLINE MONITORING
her in the crematorium asking her to get into prostitution, but she drove them off with a kitchen knife the male bastion to prove that she can come out of kitchen chores to make a living for her own children. It was a different kind revenge from what she suffered in life at the hands of this male-dominated world,” claims Urmila, her regular client.
This will enable public health officials in rural areas facilitate rapid acceleration of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign, experts say Quick Glance The online portal could help coordinate monitoring of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) It could aid Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation processes, and processing of data The portal has empowered public health officers to provide timely sanitation and hygiene data
ENYA has launched an online monitoring , evaluation and reporting system to improve capturing data on sanitation and hygiene status, a conference has heard. According to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, the country has open defecation rate of 14 per cent, with countries such as Wajir and Turkana having a rate of 76.7 and 82.2 per cent respectively. “The portal has empowered public health officers to provide timely sanitation and hygiene data from their working stations.” Kepha Ombacho, Kenya
Ministry of Health. The online portal could help coordinate monitoring of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and enable public health officials in rural areas facilitate rapid acceleration of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign, experts say. Kepha Ombacho, the director of the country’s public health, told SciDev.Net during a conference on sanitation held in Kenya last month: “The portal has empowered public health officers to provide timely sanitation and hygiene data from their working stations to the Ministry [of Health] headquarters where it will be placed online for public consumption.”
The portal is user-friendly for both, government
and partner agencies, allowing uniform data to be presented at international conferences
Ombacho added that the portal could help detect cholera outbreak faster by linking it to hand washing practices or lack of toilet. It could aid Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation processes, and processing the data to generate realtime reports for quick decisionmaking, he explained. CLTS is an approach for mobilising communities to address their sanitation problems. Tobias Omufwoko, country coordinator of WASH Alliance in Kenya, added: “The hub now allows generation of real-time information from all parts of the country on equal measure.” Omufwoko indicated that the hub is user-friendly for both government and partner agencies, adding that it has ended the presentation of contrasting data at international conferences by the government and partner agencies. Jimmy Kariuki, UNICEF’s WASH officer for sanitation and hygiene promotion in Kenya, agreed and added: “The previous system of monitoring CLTS could not be accessed at one time, hence the need for a robust system that hold partners responsible in their work.” According to Kariuki, the realtime monitoring gives public health officers shorter time in getting data on the status of sanitation in villages within their jurisdiction and approving ODF status of a region. UNICEF funded the system’s development to help Kenya achieve its vision of attaining ODF status by 2020, Kariuki adds.
06 Climate Change
APRIL 17-23, 2017
WORLD EARTH DAY APRIL 22
AIM: SAVE EARTH
It is evident from available facts that we are lagging behind the given deadlines that had been set for tackling climate change
Earth Day was first celebrated in America in 1970 Between 1880 and 2012, temperature has risen by 0.85 degrees C Climate change has bound almost all nations together
in preservation of the environment. It says that the jungle works like a safety net, especially for the poor. The disappearance of forests is a subject of worry. From 1990 to 2012 the carbon emission has risen by fifty percent. Ozone layer depletion is also a matter of concern. After various efforts, we are hopeful of making some recovery by the mid of this century. 2. The second point is about the attempt to prevent the destruction of biodiversity. Bio diversity is a very important aspect of the ecosystem. 3. A large section of the world’s population is deprived of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. Clean drinking water is the fundamental right of all people. Therefore, it is the subject of priority at the international level to make it available to all. But as it is obvious, on a practical scale, we are very far away from this aim. 4. The aim is to provide a better standard of life to the population living in slums by the year 2020. Since every individual plays an equivalent & important rode in the process of human development, a good standard of life should be available to everyone. ASHIMA
HE one fact that unites us at the international level, a fact that keeps the interests of all countries in mind, is to make our Earth worth living, with all its natural resources and hospitable environment. Earth Day represents this unity. Earth Day was first celebrated in America in 1970 in response to the rising environmental dangers, and to warn people against them. Along with this, every year in the last week of March, Earth Hour is celebrated throughout the world since 2007. It is backed by World Wide Fund. According to this, the idea is to stop usage of electricity for one hour. It is a move to unite all the countries of the world from social and commercial perspective. In the context of World Earth Day, we need to examine the list of goals that have been decided upon by the experts. In this list, the seventh aim is dedicated to ‘Ecological Balance’.
Between 1880 and 2012, the temperature of earth has risen by 0.85 degrees Celsius. The reason for this increase has been environmentchallenging activities in the past fifty years. The world’s resources are limited and the actual yardsticks of development will be decided upon only if environment becomes an issue. But unfortunately, in the race for development, countries have indiscriminately exploited the environment. It is to be noted that the UNO has included the right to live in a pollution free environment as an important postulate of human rights. Developmental ambitions, in this sense, become more pertinent because along with the question of rights, they lead us to the vision of
an equal society for which a time frame has been decided. The subject of environmentation has been conveniently side lined. Environmental degradation is a difficult fix. Therefore, it would be helpful to view environment not only as a problem but also as an aim. DEVELOPMENT PLAN 7 The seventh plan in the development aim is about the balance factor in environment. The definition of this is very wide. It speaks about adopting those methods that follow the inscription of sustainable development. It has been categorised as follows – 1. This point discusses those principles and programmes that help
The environment is the only factor that benefits all nations and brings them on the same platform, because everybody needs to breath clean air
WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS? It is evident from facts that we are lagging behind the set deadlines. The concerns regarding global warming remain as they were. The levels of pollutions are not improving at all. Not achieving the aims even after defining them, is a great mis service. Although most of the countries show seriousness about their intentions in this matter, yet on a practical note not much difference is witnessed. It should be remembered that United Nations had given the call in the beginning of the Vienna Treaty that in the Environmental Plan a reduction of fifty percent in the use of Chlorofluorocarbon was a necessity by the year 2000. OZONE GUARD Playing around with the ozone layer which protects us from the ultraviolet rays of the Sun is a direct risk. Methyl bromide, which is present in soil, vehicle fuel and other objects of use, plays the main role in destroying
APRIL 17-23, 2017
has increased by 0.85 degrees in the past 100 years. The rise in temperature in the past 50 years was due to antienvironmental activities. Reduction in ozone layer threatens our survival
1. To end poverty and hunger 2. Primary education for all 3. Women empowerment 4. Reduce infant mortality rate 5. Encouraging maternal health 6. Ending diseases like HIV and Malaria 7. Ecological balance 8. Partnerships for global development
NO SUPERMEN Leonardo Dicaprio, the main actor
“Our Earth has started
sounding the danger alarm. This is the time to wake up, otherwise it will be much too late.”–Leonardo Dicaprio
The Earth’s temperature
WHAT IS THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN?
the Ozone layer. But the race for development makes us forget that carelessness would cost us even our life- breath. Some decades ago, scientists had noticed a hole in the Ozone layer over the Arctic ocean. The ill effects of this was seen throughout the Arctic region in the past few years. There has been a rise in cancer of the skin in Australia due to ultra-violet rays of the sun. Despite this some improvement has been noted in the Ozone layer. According to a study by the U.N., it is said that this the result of a firm political motivation. This study was conducted by WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme). But in the Montreal Protocol, the same UNEPstated that the use of Methyl bromide was to be ended completely, by the developing countries by 1996, and the developed nation by 2010. But this not happened. Therefore, a slight improvement is one thing, but a check and control is an entirely different matter. Today we are busy defining our developmentambitions, and trying to achieve them. But at the same time, we have failed to protect the Ozone layer.
EARTH DAY Started in the US in 1970, increasing environmental degredation and people’s awareness of it has made it a global ceremony
ARTH DAY is being celebrated since 1970. It was flagged off on 22 April,1970 by America’s Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson. He launched the Earth Day celebrations to make people realise and to become aware of the rising pollution and environmental dangers. In the year 1980, it was only observed in America. But gradually it came to be observed throughout the world. Now people all over the world from the movie ‘Titanic’, often makes frank comments regarding the environment and the earth. According to him, “As we enter the 21st century and its development frame, we must learn to give a place of priority to environmental issues, that is, if we claim to be realists in matters related to the development process.” He also says “Our Earth has started sounding the danger alarm. This is the time to wake up; otherwise it would be much too late ”. We have created a happy illusion about the idea of development in human civilization. Many of our films, sci-fi films, action films, and animation films are a proof of this illusion that we have created. In these films and T.V. series, it is projected
are becoming conscious and are trying to save the earth. From the year 2007, onwards in the last week of March, ‘Earth Hour’ is being observed. This is being backed by ‘World Wide Fund’. During this, all lights are switched off at all places for one hour at night on a date decided earlier. The beginning of the Earth Hour took place in Sydney and now it is observed in more than 130 countries of the world. that whenever there is a threat to the Earth, a superhero with magical powers will arrive and save the Earth from all problems. These films might be very attractive from the entertainment point of view. But we knew that in real life, when the earth is in trouble, then no superhero will come to rescue it. It is important to give attention to realistic films, not entertaining films. In this respect, it is important that we listen to the ‘hero’ like Leonardo Dicaprio instead of waiting for superheroes to come. In this way, we will not keep waiting for a superhero who might never come. GREEN BUILDING Each Day tons of garbage is being
collected upon the earth. Most countries of the world including India are using maximum nuclear energy to meet their power/ electricity requirement. We agree that electricity is one of our major necessities, but this alone is leading to environmental imbalance and raising the water- level in the oceans. ‘Green Building’ is in this respect very helpful in minimising pollution and saving the earth. The production of Green Building is done in such a way that it helps to create environmental balance. According to TERI, that is the Energy and Resources Institute, if green building is used for the construction of buildings, then India can save more than thirty-four thousand megawatts of power. It is a matter of surprise that there will be enough supply of electricity to a small town or to half the population of a metropolitan city like Delhi. In addition to this, it will lead to the saving of forty to forty-five thousand crore of rupees each year. However, the cost of the green building is five to ten percent more. SELF- HELP Whenever any crisis knocks at the door of the world, we tend to expect help only from the administration, government or policy makers. But in this process, we forget that if we all are affected by this problem, then even our small attempt to help, can be very beneficial. Activities like growing more trees, avoiding wastage of water, switching off the car engine while not driving, minimum use of air conditioner, using alternative sources of energy, saving electricity, protecting natural resources as far as possible – these are the lessons that we were taught in the schools. These steps might not 0seem to be very important in environmental protection but they actually go a long way in helping to solve the situation.
08 Good News
APRIL 17-23, 2017
NEWS IN BRIEF
OZ TO TRAIN FOUR LAKH TRAINERS
The Australian education minister announced this recently
TRANSPORTATION MOUNTAIN TUNNEL
PM MODI INAUGURATES KASHMIR TUNNEL
The state-of-the-art Chenani-Nashri tunnel is India’s longest The 10.98 km tunnel has been built at a cost of Rs 2,500 crore It has traffic and fire control systems and video surveillance
This ‘Patni Top Tunnel’ will now enable for people to travel even during snowed out winters and bypass avalanches
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
rime Minister Narendra Modi last week inaugurated the stateof-art Chenani-Nashri tunnel -the longest in India -- and took a short walk and a jeep ride inside the tube. The tunnel, that connects Udhampur and Ramban districts of Jammu and Kashmir, bypasses a dangerous hilly terrain of over 30 km of the strategic Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. The 10.98 km long tunnel built at a cost of over Rs 2,500 crore is situated at an altitude of 1,200 metres. It has traffic and fire control systems, video surveillance, FM connectivity and transverse ventilation systems. In addition to saving nearly two hours of travel time, the passage of traffic through the tunnel will result in a daily saving of Rs 27 lakh in terms of fuel used by vehicles.The tunnel, which took over five years to build, will also bypass some 44 avalanche - and landslide -prone spots on the nearly 300-km-long highway.
ustralia will collaborate with India to build capacity of four lakh trainers and assessors over the next few years, Australian Minister for Education Birmingham said. “We believe we can help because you acknowledge our experience in a very successful vocational education system,” he said at the 4th Australia-India Skill Conference, 2017. Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull was present. Birmingham said Australia is well placed to help India in reaching its target in training, and added that the programme would also look at scaling up the number of apprentices in India.
WEST BENGAL PORT
HALDIA PORT BEST IIT-KGP TO LEAD UKINDIA JOINT VENTURE It will be a Vurtual Centre on Clean Energy
IT Kharagpur will lead a UKIndia Joint Virtual Centre in Clean Energy in partnership with a consortium to develop innovative solutions for integration of renewable energy and storage into the Indian and UK power grid, a statement said recently. The multi-institutional centre at IIT - Kharagpur named UK-India Clean Energy Research Institute (UKICERI) will work towards technological innovations on a range of issues related to power network, storage and solar PV systems: all to promote massive scale integration of solar power at different voltage levels for on and off-grid.
It has scored highest on all aspects of cleanliness PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
he Haldia Port of West Bengal has emerged as the cleanest in a first-ever ranking of all major Indian ports on sanitation parameters, the Shipping Ministry has said. The ranking of all 13 Indian ports was conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI) during the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ observed from March 16-31, Shipping Ministry Secretary Rajive Kumar said. “While Haldia and Vizag ports bagged the first and second ranks respectively, almost all ports have achieved the benchmark for cleanliness or are well above it,” Kumar said.The ranking was based on the efforts made by these ports to address waste generating sources with respect to port operation, office area, township area and the response to incoming ships. The ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ was a major sanitation and cleanliness campaign launched by Shipping Minister Nitin
Gadakari on March 16. Kumar said the campaign achieved solarisation of all 193 lighthouses across India. “Clean and green solar energy is now used by the lighthouses.” Kumar added that emphasis was also laid on setting up of ‘green ports’ for
Quick Glance Almost all the ports have achieved the benchnarks set out Haldia and Vizag ports came out first and second in the contest A consultant has been appointed for developing ‘green ports’
sustainable, environment-friendly, longterm development of ports which will be benchmarked to international standards. “A consultant has already been appointed for this and the tendering process would be completed within one year,” he said. Joint Secretary of the ministry Pravir Krishn said that the sanitation campaign resulted in renovation of 538 toilets and 265 office rooms. “Around 195 km of roads were repaired across major ports and others organisations, 65,498 new trees were planted and 63,696 tonnes of trash was disposed.” The campaign also included digitisation of paper work in the ministry and about 10,000 files have been scanned or weeded out, he said.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
PRODIGY SAVING HONEY BEES
12-YR-OLD’S ROBOTIC AID FOR THE BEES
Vignesh, a Class 7 student, is part of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” India’s youngest ever team to qualify for the First Lego League to be held in Denmark next month SSB BUREAU
“So we thought of building a solution that can safely relocate the beehive without harming the bees,” Vignesh said.
ust like any other girl her age, 12-year-old Kavya Vignesh likes to have fun when she is not studying. But unlike many others, she likes to make those moments memorable by creating something that helps solve some real-world problems. Yes, you read that right. These days, she is busy giving final touches to a robot that has the potential to save honey bees in residential areas and for making a presentation of her bot at an international robotics event to be held in Denmark next month. Vignesh, a Class 7 student of Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj, is part of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” India’s youngest ever team to qualify for the First Lego League - European Open Championship in Aarhus, scheduled for May this year. The high sounding tongue-twister word created by Richard Sherman now officially means ‘excited approval’. Using a combination of robotics and hi-tech components, Vignesh has developed a Bee Saver Bot that removes honey bee hives the species primarily responsible for pollination and honey production around the world safely and carefully without harming them or humans. “I have been practising Robotics since I was nine. My aim in life is to use the power of robotics to solve some real-world problems,” Vignesh says. Over the past three years, she has won several robotics championships
Snapshots Honey bees are the creatures that gives us every third bite of food by pollinating flowers In cities, they are endangered because whenever people find them the hives are burnt down Kavya has developed a robot that takes away the bee hives and relocates them safely
She is the youngest talent in the country to qualify for the First Lego European Open Championship in Denmark next month
(Delhi Regional Robotics Championship 2015 and 2016) and is now excited about representing India in the forthcoming international competition. LIGHTNING MCQUEEN The robot Lightning McQueen is made using Lego Mindstorms EV3, the third generation robotics kit in Lego’s Mindstorms line. Lego Mindstorms is a programmable robotics construction set that gives you the power to build, programme and command your own LEGO robots. The Lightning McQueen uses EV3 large motors, colour sensors that are used for line following, gyro sensor to take accurate turns, and pneumatics for multi-tasking. The First Lego League Championship is organised by FIRST Scandinavia foundation in cooperation with the city of Aarhus, Aarhus University, Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering
and IT-forum. It will witness some 100 teams and 1,000 children from all over the world competing on their skills in construction, programming and presentation of ideas and solutions while also sharing their culture, values, making friends and having fun. Here’s why Vignesh chose only honey bees. “We chose honey bees, because they are mostly overlooked. Bees are mostly killed by us humans through pesticides, colony collapse disorder and many more ways,” Vignesh said. “We learnt that more than 85 per cent of the world’s crops are pollinated by honey bees. Every third bite of food comes from a bee pollinated crop or animal that depends on bee pollination,” she emphasised. In general, when people see a beehive near their houses and in parks and the like, they tend to call the pest controllers, who burn the hive, killing nearly 20,000 to 80,000 bees.
SAVING BOTH The ‘Bee Saver Bot’ scans the beehive, and relocates it by building an enclosure that safely transports the beehive to the nearest bee farm, without harming any humans or bees. “This solution can save millions of bees from getting hurt and actually relocate them back to bee farms from where they can be back on the fields where they contribute so much to our food chain,” the robotic champion noted. In her efforts to participate in the event, Vignesh started crowdfunding through Fueladream a Bengalurubased platform that allows for pooling of funds for a cause. “Although crowdfunding in India has been relatively a new concept, it is growing very quickly,” Ranganath Thota, Founder and CEO at Fueladream, says. “Funding is the biggest challenge for students in India. Crowdfunding is a very democratic way to tell your stories and use social media and friends to raise money,” he added. Vignesh’s achievement also earned her praise from Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha. “Proud of 12-year-old Kavya Vignesh, representing India at the European Robotics Championship in Denmark,” Sinha said in a tweet. Vignesh, who is also a digital graphic designer, said that she looks up to her mother, Shikha Suman, founder of a health-tech start-up, as her role model. “Believe in your dream and do whatever you want and don’t let anyone bring you down,” Vignesh said as a message to children. To parents who put all their focus on their children’s studies alone, Vignesh says, “All work and no play may make children dumb; so they should balance out studies as well as such extra-curricular activities.”
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EDUCATION LONE CRUSADER
A GOOD SAMARITANâ€™S SCHOOL
A retired teacher has taken up the task to bring poor slum children under her warmth and care, surprising many, inspiring a few and yet setting an example for all
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Quick Glance A school teacher turns a park into a place of learning for poor slum children after her retirement
HE extraordinary resolve that 64-year-old Jaya Batra could make in her retired life has stunned most people who know her or come across her. Batra says that the remaining years of her life are going to be dedicated to the boys and girls living in slums who have probably been deprived of basic amenities of life by our society. She not only teaches the children in a park near her residence but is also anxious that these children should not end up with any inferiority complex amid severe lack of resources that they face. To overcome this she tries to fill the gap with the financial assistance coming from
some friends and acquaintances. Avantibai Park also known as Hathi Park in Indirapuram on the outskirts of Delhi is her virtual battlefield. She has also sown the seeds of a foundation for the overall and consistent development of poor, needy and deserving children. It is called Jaya Kendra Help Foundation. In this she has taken help from many people who have contributed in their own way. The people and agencies who have been giving
economic support for the daunting task undertaken by her include Umesh Gupta, chairman, Geddes Vice Club, Pramod Joshi, social worker, Swati, Yoga teacher. New branded clothes for winters, sports shoes, milk, films in multiplex cinemas and meals at five star hotels were offered to children by Indirapuram ATS Housing Society Senior Citizens Club. Besides this, a few kind hearted people have adopted some of the poor children
She mingles with the children with great warmth
under the shade of a tree as though there is nothing bigger than shaping the future of these children
This is how she overcomes a life timeâ€™s nagging feeling of stark discrimination among children Her efforts bring together many public-spirited persons and assistance pours to run the school
and promised to bear all cost of their education. Batra has also taken the initiative to provide and feed milk with protein supplements to the slum children and poor rag pickers. Her attempt is that those children, whose parents live in slums and who consider rag picking to be their fate, should receive the basic amenities enjoyed by the children of better placed citizens and like them become decent citizens, bringing pride to
APRIL 17-23, 2017 their families and the country through the right kind of education. Thus, an open ground in Hathi Park has been turned into a school of sorts for these poor children. Jaya is committed to giving the children all the sports facilities which they might have never received. She mingles with the children with great warmth under the shade of a tree as though there is nothing bigger than shaping the future of these children. Even on Sunday mornings when the park becomes crowded as people jog or take a stroll in greater numbers than other days, Jaya is busy among these children with a bucket of hot milk and a steel glass ensuring that all the children take milk. She keeps a watch so that no child misses out on the milk and there is no quarrel among them. She not only gathers information about whether polio drops have been administered to these children but she also makes it a point to bring the volunteers with polio drops for the children. She takes no interest in talking to people who approach her out of curiosity after walking around in the park. On the other hand when she is persistently questioned as to why she has been doing this kind of work at her advanced age, she prefers to be silent after giving at best an account of the past two to three years. When this reporter asked her the same question, she was first taken aback but soon explained that during her teaching experience of over three
decades or so at Green Field School in Dilshad Garden, the only subject that kept her nagging was why should there be discrimination among children vis-à-vis education. While some children go to school in air-conditioned buses, play Judo Karate, table tennis, volleyball, soccer, skating, relay race, musical chair besides practicing Yoga and music, there are hundreds of kids from the same age group living in slums who are cursed to sift through garbage with their bare hands and pick rags. What is education? What
Batra not only teaches the children near her home,
she is always worried that they should not grow up with any inferiority complex in life
At Green Field School in Dilshad Garden, the only
issue that kept nagging her was why should there be discrimination among children vis-à-vis education are the means of education that can shape their future? To understand these questions they have neither the time nor anyone around to look to and explain it to them. Batra says that her husband used to work in a large media house. In the spare moments of leisure, he used to say that social service should also be a part of our life. “At that time I did not understand this so well. The reason I had two children to look after in those days. A son, Naman Batra and daughter, Annapoorna Batra. But when my husband died suddenly and the responsibility of bringing up the two children fell upon me, I realized that my husband was so right,” recalls Batra. After giving good education to her son and daughter and when both got Hotel Management jobs, Batra started feeling alone and remembered her husband’s words all the more. Thus, she decided that the remaining time of her life would be spent working for the poor children – more so since her two children were working in good positions in fivestar hotels. Batra says that she does not need anything at this late stage of her life for which she may need to work any more. Therefore, she took up the challenge to shape the future of deprived children who lurk and roam around the park aimlessly. They used to do odd jobs or work as rag pickers but today they were
better clothed and with shoes on. Some of them attend tuitions in the evenings from teachers arranged with her help. Some children who studied and were under her care have taken admission in public schools. “A few children are studying in higher classes and we are bearing the entire cost of their education. In the beginning there was some difficulty but gradually many other people came forward to help, many others are joining us. Several educated women are teaching these children without any payment. They include Devyani Chakraborty, Manju Singh and Anita Vats. Anita’s husband JN Vats too helps. JN Wats retired as Chief Manager from National Insurance Company,” says Batra, adding that she is always worried that these children do not lag behind in receiving basic amenities in life. Batra who thinks about poor children all the time, points out that two youth, Chandan and Gajendra, teach them skating. Umesh Gupta gives them dress for Judo Karate and other sports equipments, Swati has provided them dresses for Yoga. After giving them tuition, in the evening and arranging for their school uniform, food and milk, Batra has also found opportunities to escort these children to five star hotels for meals on two occasions and has taken them to attend a few cultural events. Unbelievable and yet possible – isn’t it so?
12 Health & Sanitaion HEALTH NEWS IN BRIEF GENE STUDY
NIGHT OWL GENE Carriers of the gene have sleep problems at nighttime
RE you a night owl and have trouble getting up in the morning? It may be because your internal clock is genetically programmed to run slowly, researchers have found. The findings showed that a mutation in a gene called CRY1 alters the human circadian clock, which dictates rhythmic behaviour such as sleep/wake cycles. People who are carriers of the gene variant experienced nighttime sleep delays of 2-2.5 hours compared to non-carriers, the researchers reported in the journal Cell. “Carriers of the mutation have longer days than the planet gives them, so they are essentially playing catch-up for their entire lives,” said lead author Alina Patke, from the Rockefeller University in New York City, USA. Night owls are often diagnosed at sleep clinics with delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD) where a person’s circadian rhythm is delayed from the typical day/night cycle. Mutation in CRY1 led to the development of DSPD, which affects up to 10 per cent.
FIGHTING ALZHEIMER’S NATURALLY
This could be a new approach to neurologic diseases
ESEARCHERS have found that a compound produced by a certain soil bacterium has unusual properties that may help address neurologic damage such as Alzheimer’s disease. The natural compound, called Rapamycin, was first discovered in the soil of Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean. “It’s possible this could provide a new therapeutic approach to neurologic disease,” said Viviana Perez, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University in the US.
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VACCINE EFFICACY ENHANCER
The researchers purified a protein found in a bacteria and used it as an accessory to provide a better vaccination response
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
ESEARCHERS in the US have discovered a protein that could help make vaccinations more effective and also provide protection from other diseases such as cancer. The researchers purified a protein found on the exterior of bacteria (neisseria
meningidis) and used it as an accessory to provide a better vaccination response. Typically, vaccines can either increase the amount of antibody production or they can stimulate cells (called cytotoxic T cells) to directly kill the offending agent. The protein, called PorB, is unique in that it can do both, the researchers said. The study, published online in the
BIG WOMEN AND HEARTBEAT ISSUES Due to a combination of factors such as height and weight, bigger women have more chances of irregular heart beat PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
IG women taller, heavier females with a greater body surface area have a nearly threefold greater risk of atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat than small women, says a 30-year study involving 1.5 million women. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, with a 20 per cent lifetime risk. It occurs most often in people over 60 years of age and increases the risk of stroke and heart failure. “We found that bigger women have a greater risk of atrial fibrillation,” said study author Annika Rosengren, Professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
“There was a stepwise elevation in risk with increasing body size. The group with the highest body surface
Vaccines can increase the amount of antibody production This has wide implications as it helps improve fight against bacteria The study deepens the info on how vaccines and their work
journal Scientific Reports, may lead to greater understanding of how vaccine enhancers work and can best be used. “This study has wide implications as it could not only be used to help the body identify and fight off bacterial infections, but it could also potentially help the body use its own machinery to fight off other diseases like cancer, HIV, and influenza before they have a chance to establish within the body,” explained corresponding author Lee Wetzler, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in the US. In this study, the researchers used two experimental models. The first model was given a vaccination with antigen and mixed PorB, while the second model was given the antigen alone. The model that received the PorB had an increase in the response to the vaccine antigen, evidenced by an increased number of activated cells in the lymph nodes and a gain in the production of cytotoxic T cells, as compared to the vaccination with the antigen alone.
Quick Glance Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder It occurs mostly in 60+ persons and increases the risk of stroke Big people have a larger atrium, which is where the problem occurs
area had nearly three times the risk as those with the lowest body surface area,” Rosengren said. Body surface area (BSA) is influenced by both height and weight. Women were divided into four groups according to BSA. Compared to women with the lowest BSA, those with the highest BSA were 9 cm taller, 28 kg heavier, and had a higher body mass index (BMI: 21 versus 28 kg/m2). “Atrial fibrillation is the result of obesity-related metabolic changes but there is also a second cause,” Rosengren said. “Big people not necessarily fat, but big have a larger atrium, which is where atrial fibrillation comes from. People with a bigger atrium have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation,” she explained.
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Health & Sanitaion
Quick Glance Six-month-old infants are still in an early developmental stage But they can already understand the power dynamics between people This suggests that recognising heroism is innate ability in humans
BABIES AND SUPERHEROES
Infants as young as six months old are capable of recognising the heroic acts of justice on TV shows INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
VER wondered why babies love and adore superheroes? It may be because they are born with a sense of justice a concept portrayed through the heroic acts of the characters, researchers say. The findings showed that infants, as young as six months old, who can
barely talk, are capable of recognising the heroic acts of justice and thus find themselves drawn to figures who protect the weak. This also explains why kids and adults alike have a never-ending love affair with superhero stories in popular culture, the researchers said. “Six-month-old infants are still in an early developmental stage
POOR SLEEP, LOST MEMORY
Sedative free sleep can help ward off mental ailments
NMET sleep needs of the elevate their risk of memory loss and a wide range of mental and physical disorders, says a study, The researchers, however, warned that the pills designed to help us doze off are a poor substitute for the natural sleep cycles that the brain needs in order to function well. “Don’t be fooled into thinking sedation is real sleep. It’s not,” said the study’s senior author Matthew Walker, Professor at University of California, Berkeley in the US. Restorative, sedative-free slumber can help ward off mental and physical ailments, said the review article published in the journal Neuron.
HEMA’S HOME DELIVERY WATER
Water will be farmed from six kilometres away, carried to Sonkh and sold at Rs two per litre
Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability
MOKING causes one in 10 deaths worldwide, half of them in just four countries China, India, the US and Russia, a new study reveals. The Global Burden of Diseases Report was based on smoking habits in 195 countries and territories between 1990 and 2015, the BBC reported. It found that nearly one billion people smoked daily in 2015 - one in four men and one in 20 women. Despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth has seen an increased number of smokers, it warned. Researchers said mortality could rise further as tobacco
HEALTH NEWS IN BRIEF INSOMNIA
HEALTH POTABLE WATER
SMOKING DEATHS INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
and most will not yet be able to talk. Nevertheless they can already understand the power dynamics between different characters, suggesting that recognising heroism is perhaps an innate ability,” said David Butler from Kyoto University in Japan. For the study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, the team conducted a series of experiments where infants were shown animations of one geometric character chasing and bumping into another, as a third character watches from a distance. In one version, this third party character intervenes, and in another, it escapes in another direction. When the infants were then shown real life replicas of these intervening and non-intervening characters, they were more likely to choose the intervener, the researchers said.“In human society, selflessly protecting the powerless is considered an act of heroic justice,” added Yasuhiro Kanakogi from the Kyoto University.
companies aggressively targeted new markets, especially in the developing world. “Despite more than half a century of unequivocal evidence of the harmful effects of tobacco on health, today, one in every four men in the world is a daily smoker,” said senior author Emmanuela Gakidou. “Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability, and so to further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control to further reduce smoking prevalence and attributable burden,” the BBC quoted Gakidou as saying. The number of tobacco-related deaths - more than 6.4 million in 2015 increased by 4.7 per cent, the study showed.
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
JP MP and veteran actress Hema Malini last week picked up a broom in Sonkh, near Mathura, to drive the message of cleanliness, and launched a service for home delivery of drinking water. She launched a “Home delivery water supply service” in Sonkh, which is a dark block and suffers from toxic underground reserves considered a health hazard. The water to the town will be brought from a tube well some six
km away in cans and jars and supplied to people at their homes at a nominal price. Hema said supply of safe potable water was a need of the town. “Now RO water would be available to all,” she said. Water will cost 20 paise a litre and Rs 2 for a can of 10 litre. After the launch programme, Hema participated in a cleanliness drive with municipal chairperson Manisha Gupta, with a broomstick. School children then took an oath of cleanliness – “Mann bhi saaf, baahar bhi saaf”.
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QUALITY CARE AT GURUKUL
Started by Acharya Shri Roop Chand Maharaj Ji, this unique school insists on holistic and all-round education, firmly based on ethics Quick Glance The institute makes an attempt so that confidence and selfesteem does not remain low Yoga is taught to help the children fight the stresses of today’s world and learn better Gurukul management says that even if the numbers are low, good quality must be ensured
Samata Sree is extremely serious about the future of these children and keeps a close watch on their needs. She says that talents within the children are in themselves the sign of success.
ANAV Mandir Gurukul’ situated in Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan is ensuring a golden future for children. A collective effort initiated by some Jain sadhus and sadhvis, this institution attempts to fulfill all the requirements of children and helps them to become good citizens. Within the premises, not only are all the facilities provided to children but financial assistance too is given for higher education which includes expenses for coaching. People here are of the opinion that only so much work should be begun which can be
completed in a proper manner. Therefore, the idea is that even if the number of children is limited, there should be a good arrangement for their education and no lapse should take place in the process of their development. VISIBLE SUCCESS The success of the plan can easily be imagined on meeting the disciplined and active children in the Gurukul. The campus provides facilities like a
bus, dining hall, digital library, playground and so on. In brief the attempt is that children should be provided with all facilities that will help in the development of their talents. A number of trophies and medals showcased in a self in the Gurukul premises is the evidence of the success of children here in various fields. But the glitter of the prizes also reflects the hard work and dedication put in by the sadhus and the sadhvis. In the Gurukul, Sadhvi
The campus provides facilities like a bus, dining hall, digital library, a playground and so on
GENESIS Manav Mandir Gurukul was started in 1993 on Mahavir Jyanti Day. Achrya Shri Roop Chand Maharaj Ji laid the foundation of this institute keeping in mind the principles of ‘devotion’ and ‘service’. The very same principle is taking shape today. The Gurukul runs under the supervision of Acharya Ji. His attempt is that the children whose responsibilities are taken up by the institute should be cared for in a proper way. ‘Good education, good health, good upbringing’. Sadhvi samata Sree places emphasis on these three elements in good education. She says that her aim is to develop these three traits in children’s lives. If a child is able to develop these three principles in life then there is no need to attain a fourth dimension. Because in every new path of life, the child becomes capable of developing himself. Our aim is to help to child develop this independent capacity on his own. As the world progresses forward similar innovative dimensions are seen in the field of education. It is no more limited to conventional education, there is the need for professional degrees also, following the rise in competition. It is obvious that this has affected education from
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the primary level to the level of higher education. The point to be noted is that Manav Mandir Gurukul is careful about the requirements of each and every child and provides him the same from the best quarters available. There is record of such children whose needs from coaching to the fees for courses had to be met. But Gurukul came forward right at the time of their needs and ensured that the needed amount of money was transferred to them to help them move ahead uninterrupted into a bright future. This includes coaching for Civil Services, on-line coaching, photography course and fees for other courses that were met by the Gurukul. NOT GIVING UP Sadhvi Samata Sree says: ‘Although as per the rules our responsibilities end when a child reaches adulthood, but still at that age, both kinds of roads, good and bad, are open for them and it is our attempt to see that the child chooses the good path. After growing up and becoming an adult, the child has to go out, earn an income, struggle against odds and face various kinds of problems. Our attempt is to understand his requirement and offer him help. It is a subject of great happiness for us if they go ahead and settled down well in life, but we keep telling them that we have helped to make you a good citizen and now it is your responsibility to go on and help a hundred more people. We tell them that the work to serve humanity should continue. Sadhvi Samata Sree says that Acharya Roop Chand Ji believed that along with religious preaching
Even after the students become adults, when the school’s responsibility ends, it counsels them
we must also do constructive work. Whether we have passed or have failed in our mission is dependent upon the success of the children, which alone is the certificate of our enterprise. When the children make any kind of achievement then we get the impression that it is now that our efforts have actually succeeded. Our children take part in religious activities as well as many other areas. Expressing her happiness, she adds: ‘The school management people say that these children are so active that in the competitions half the number of seats is won by children from Jain Mandir. DISCIPLINE: A NECESSITY Sadhvi Ji explains that discipline is a clear indicator of a good life. In the campus the children are encouraged to take interest in studies and also in sports. After coming to school the children have slots for study, periods for games and time for meals but the most significant fact is that work like gardening the plants and similar activities too are done by children. The campus has all the facilities but to teach the children the value of work they are asked to attend to small jobs. For instance cloths are washed in the washing machines but the senior children are told to iron their own cloths. This instills discipline in them and the children do not become lazy. They in fact realise the value of the conveniences provided to them. A sense of service is borne through such work and it
leads to overall development. Childhood is the period in which such training is essential to help them to grow up into good and useful citizens. The children here understand this fact very well. TEETHING TROUBLES The first step taken in the direction of social service is often full of difficulties. The founders Manav Mandir Gurukul too faced their share of many difficulties but they did not allow these to affect the children or deprive them of any amenities. On the other hand, their attempt was to ensure good upbringing for all these children. In the beginning there were eight children, but today 35 children live in the campus and all enjoy good health, education and facilities. Jain Mandir is committed to bringing up these children without monetary help from any government source. No financial assistance is received from the government. The Mandir bears the total cost of funding these children. In fact in the beginning it was resolved that the children should be made capable without any economic support from the government. YOGA CENTRAL A unique feature of the Mandir is that it has its own arrangement for yoga training. The children surprise us by performing very difficult asanas with amazing ease. The students who have won shields in creative
competitions include those winning in yoga performances. The yoga teacher, Arun Tiwari, is undertaking the work of training these children very effectively. In today’s world, in which life is branching out in varied directions, the activities and the rush of work is increasing and for people, anxieties in life are multiplying and health is being most badly affected. Manav Mandir Gurukul begins training children in this direction from the very beginning, and it is a pleasing fact that it is making the children sensitive to the matters relating to their health. In the race for success in the contemporary world, health is given a back seat leading to dangerous results. Mental development depends upon physical well being. All this makes yoga training a very important part of education and Manav Mandir Gurukul is fulfilling its responsibility. NOT AN ORPHANAGE An orphanage is basically an institution in which children who are deprived of parental support are offered help and assistance. Sadhvi Samata Sree offers a great deal of love and attention to the children. She says that giving facilities to the children by starting an orphanage was not her mission. Merely providing meals to children and meeting their daily needs is not everything. The institute makes an attempt so that confidence and self esteem does not remain low while efforts are made to raise their mental levels. The Mandir is committed to provide good upbringing, instill a sense of responsibility and create good citizens who do not merely enjoy facilities but also realise the value of service.
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There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
The author is a journalist with over 30 years of experience in working with various publications
WASH IS NO EYEWASH WASH stands for water, sanitation and hygine and the expenditure for this by various countries has come under WHO’s lens. Thus the focus should all the more on Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat drive
ALARMING HEALTH CONCERNS
A WAKE UP CALL
Dengue and Chikungunya have sent alarm bells ringing by manifestating during dry summers also
ENGUE and Chikungunya are vector-borne diseases which are known to manifest in deadly form during autumn – August to October, before weather turns cool enough for their carrier - Aedes mosquito. This mosquito breeds in stagnant fresh water accumulated in some place due to lack of cleanliness. During rainy season, coolers, earthen pots or old tyres kept in the open become ready breeding grounds for Aedes mosquito. That is why municipal corporations launch antidengue drive every year during rainy season. The corporation employees remove anything which could hold water thereby becoming mosquito-breeding ground besides doing intensive fogging and putting anti-mosquito chemicals in ponds etc. Despite the drives, Dengue and Chikungunya assume epidemic proportion killing hundreds of people every year. As if this was not deadly enough, the mosquitoes have started infecting people during summers also though not as massively as during the rainy season. A study done by National Institute of Malaria Research has found the mosquito breeding in overhead water tanks during the summer from March to July. This study has again brought the focus on the need for cleanliness and hygiene. We can’t treat it as responsibility of municipal corporations or health department people. Each of us has to understand our responsibility. A small carelessness on anyone’s part can jeopardize life of our own – family members, friends and neighbours. It is the time to wake up and sensitize others as well.
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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
HO, or World Health Organisation, has expressed its concern over a discernable slowing down of expenditure on water and sanitation in many countries of the world. And it is no secret that most of these States being referred to by the organisation are developing nations. This takes attention to millions of people, mostly women and children, who face grave risk and threat all the time. Many of them are already languishing amid continuing lack of safe drinking water and suitable sanitation facilities. And their economic level as a matter of rule rather than exception is so low as to hardly be expected of them to meet the high cost of treatment in case of being struck by anyone or the other deadly disease that this may cause. Though back home, or in India, the WHO worries may not be so relevant because of a robust sanitation drive taken at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, yet the warning served by WHO’s Genevabased Director Department of Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health, Dr Maria Neira, leaves little room for complacency in this respect. She said through a Press release issued by WHO on Thursday, or April 13, “Today almost two billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause more than 500,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma.” As per a WHO report such sorry state
of affairs is because many countries are not spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which were set and adopted by the United Nations about two years ago and are to be attained in 15 years thereon, or by 2030 to be precise. WHO also points out that some of the countries that have now tardily been moving with their spending on water, sanitation and hygiene, or WASH for short, have had in the past spent much more than what is the case now. This funding gap is rampant and, according to WHO, 147 countries have previously tried to mobilise the resources required to meet the Millennium Development Goal, or MDG, with the target of cutting the number of those people who could be without safe and, thus, improved source of water to half; and 95 countries met the corresponding target for sanitation. The SDG targets are more ambitious than those of the MDG calling for even higher levels for funding. Thus, greater mobilisation of resources for public spending in these crucial areas is greatly called for. The countries were supposed to augment resources through innovative taxation and tariff revisions. India had had already been put on alert by the present Government after it took over the reins of the country three years ago. So much so that a cess was brought and added to various taxes towards the end of the year 2015 to meet the expenses of cleanliness drive launched under Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission. The
“Today almost two billion
people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk” says Dr Maria Neira
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Open defecation has
been a habit rather than being a compulsion all the time age old practice of open defecation was taken head on and millions of toilets were constructed both in private households and in public spaces with the hope that this would do away the stigmatised image of the country because of the practice of open defecation. There have been quite a few indications of this making a dent on old and nasty practice. Huge sums have been invested by both the people and the Government in construction of toilets and the pace with which this is on promises that the country would become open defecation free sooner than what has ever before been thought of. Yet, the battle for this has to be relentless. More so, since open defecation has been a habit rather than being a compulsion all the time. Thus, the WHO concerns vis-à-vis sanitation may not be as relevant for the country now as those for water and the hygiene that accompanies it under WASH could be. Thus, the focus calls for to be broadened. This is also so because vast parts of the country are more or less arid, courtesy tropical weather that the approaching summer now reminds all the more. There have also been complaints about toilets being without water and thus the lurking fear of their drying up and turning out to be not worth using. So still more efforts as also resources are called for though India is spending much more now under the head what WHO calls as WASH. As per the organisation’s own estimates the sum set aside for WASH in India was a whopping 3554 million US dollars for the last year. Yet, for the same period of time, as per WHO, China had spent $53794 million and Brazil $9240 million. So the difference is still huge. And, thus, there is all the more need to put in more resources for what is called as WASH in the international arena. This has to include all its components, or water, sanitation and hygiene. Once the expenditure is at least doubled for WASH its savoury effects would become more visible. This is all the more necessary since for ages the approach to health in India has been curative rather than being preventive. Maria Neira’s concerns listed the diseases that are mainly water borne and can come with the water that can well be contaminated with something as bad as faeces. So the alarm bells should not stop ringing or go unheeded.
The author is a graduate in Computer Science from BITS, Pilani. He is presently helping to settle a migrant community, focusing on their education needs
N 2007, a study (Bertrand et al) was conducted to understand the process of getting a driver’s license in Delhi. The study tested the driving ability of those individuals who had hired a tout to get their license. An overwhelmingly two-third of them failed the test, yet legally they were allowed to be behind the wheels which they didn’t know how to manage. Juxtapose this with the number of deaths on Indian roads in a year, 1.5 lakhs reported and you will realise, how our systems have failed to keep our roads safe. In this context, the recent passage of Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by Lok Sabha is a monumental effort, with all parties supporting the Bill. If Union Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari’s thundering words are an indication, things seem to be moving in right direction. “Even I, being a minister, will not be
THE CREMATION GROUND CALLED ROAD
Indian roads have been monstrous killers, exterminating one individual every 4 minutes. Recent clamour around road safety is set to bring positive changes.
able to get a licence without going through the processes of passing the exams and tests”, he said. As per the Bill, The services like issuance of license would be made transparent by digitising them. Stronger punitive actions would be taken against the officials, in case of delay in issuing of the document to the eligible individuals. The Bill also has provisions for higher penalties in case of traffic violations and seeks to reduce road accidents by making vehicle
manufacturers accountable for design defects. The earlier drafted, Road Transport and Safety Draft Bill, 2014, had envisaged a Motor Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority of India, which would have been accountable only to Parliament. This Authority would have been responsible to set safety norms, and finance road and vehicle safety programmes. This would have brought uniformity in the regulation and plugged the loopholes. Unfortunately, some states found this an encroachment in their domain and the ideas was shelved. Apart from the Bill, several other executive actions by government, viz identification of black spots, measures for better road designs, etc should be lauded. “I believe saving lives is more important than building highways. Once we (NDA government) complete 5 years, we would be able to save 50 per cent lives lost due to road accidents”, Gadkari had said during his speech. More power to Minister and his initiatives.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR society by sharing and exchanging newspapers and periodicals. It inspired me to read and know more about Dr Ambedkar and his thoughts. I wish that others also show interest in promoting paper board like programme for exchange of books among readers. We are in need of such libraries for the development of the society. Neeraj, Noida, U.P.
QUITE IMPRESSIVE The article on ‘Paper Board’ was very impressive. This was a very innovative and interesting way of improving and helping the
GREAT EVENT I am writing this letter to inform you that I was amazed to visit the Youth Conclave at Ashoka. It inspired me a lot. Even the article covering the event was written so well. I loved the speech delivered by Mr. Piyush Goyal and Mr. Varun Gandhi. With the event’s coverage in your newspaper I got the chance to share their views with rest of my family and
friends. Everyone encouraged me to attend more events of this sort and inform them too. I am a regular reader of your newspaper because I find it to be refreshingly different from others and a lot more informative too. Trisha Yadav, Faridabad A GOOD WARNING After reading the article ‘Depression and Beyond’ which was written quite well I wonder, if most people are aware of the problem that touches so many lives. It is true that in this competitive world, we are hankering after more and more success. This makes us lose track of the more meaningful things in our life. It is good to make the public conscious of the different forms of depression so that early treatment can be found. Kapil Yadav, New Delhi
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18 Photo Feature
APRIL 17-23, 2017
EAST & WEST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had two crucial diplomatic assignments, meeting Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull
Photos: SIPRA DAS 2
1. Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan 2. Modi welcomes Sheikh Hasina 3. Sheikh Hasina takes the Guard of Honour 4. Hasina is introduced to top officials 5. At the joint addressal by the two leaders 6. Foreign ministers exchange documents of an agreement 7. The Teesta water issue brought Mamata Banerjee to Delhi
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13 8. Modi approaches Malcolm
9, Modi arrives to greet Australian PM Turnbull 10, 11. Greeting Australia 12. Guard of Honour 13. The two leaders proceed for official business 14. Outside South Block 15. Confident assurances
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COLLEGE TO SCHOOL
India is a land of vast untapped potential. Often, we tether ourselves with big ideas and forget simpler solutions. Zakir Hussain Delhi College’s outreach team is showing us a way.
Basti Khwaja Mir Dard is a run down neighbourhood that houses the sufi poet and theologian’s tomb
andwiched between the iconic Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civic Centre (tallest building in Delhi) and Zakir Hussain Delhi College (oldest educational institution in Delhi) is a narrow lane, which takes you to Basti Khwaja Mir Dard. The tedium of the community is broken as one inches closer to the masjid. Adjacent to the masjid, a large hall is bustling with energy. More than 40 students have gathered here with their report cards and they are sharing their results with the gathering. Dressed in a plain white kurta, Dr Devesh Vijay, Professor of History at Zakir Hussain Delhi College (ZHDC), is listening intently to the kids and adding his comments to bolster their confidence. “Last year, I fetched 61 per centmarks in 8th grade. This year, I have scored 83 per cent and stood third in my class,” says Arba with a confident gleam in her eyes. More than two third
Quick Glance The UGC’s directive to colleges to strengthen their outrach programmes triggered the move With the help of the pradhan of the Basti, they requested the children at the madrasa to come for classes The kids eagerly wait for Saturday, when the children at the school are shown good movies
of the students have improved their performances from last year’s. As a reward, Ajay and Mozammil, students from ZHDC, are handing chocolates to the high performers and a cheerful applause ensues. Both of them have been a part of ZHDC Outreach Committee, and along with their teammates, they have been teaching the community students on a regular basis. A JOURNEY BEGINS This community is named after Khwaja Mir Dard, the legendary sufi poet and theologian. The Basti houses his tomb, which despite being a five minute ride from Connaught Place, is unknown to many. The dilapidated condition of his tomb is a witness to the deplorable state of the Basti, which houses around 1500 families. Most of the inhabitants are daily wage labourers or street hawkers. The houses are cramped, daily incomes are low and hopes of a good future, bleak. But, then an UGC directive to the colleges, to strengthen their outreach and extension programmes, set the ball rolling for Basti Khwaja Mir Dard. Dr Vijay reminisces: “I have always believed that colleges should be at the forefront of societal change. They have enough energy, time and talent to benefit the society, especially in their neighbourhood communities. There are always good people who want to do the social good. The UGC directive just gave me and my colleagues the right impulse to start our
programme for the Basti.” On a sultry July afternoon, Dr Vijay, his colleagues and some of the students from ZHDC visited the basti. They realised that problems were too many to start with – poor health and hygiene, unemployment, lack of educational support, etc. As they say, right intentions always attracts right individuals. In Babloo Pradhan, a 40 something Pradhan of the basti, the ZHDC team found their man Friday. He took them to the local madarsa, where some 100 odd children come for their after-school classes and proposed to take remedial classes for the kids. He also promised the team full support from the community. Very soon, the parents were persuaded, logistics were procured (old cupboards from the college, books and stationery) and the remedial classes began. MASTI KI PATHSHAALA There were initial hiccups and what-ifs, primary one being the consistency and affection of the students. Mozammil, one of the student volunteer, recalls, “I was very hesitant in my first few classes. But, as the ice broke, the kids showered so much love and started valuing our instructions. Now, I have become so close with the kids that I come here whenever I find time. I don’t miss my home much.” He is from West Bengal and is pursuing his graduation in Bengali (Hons.) from ZHDC. The programme runs daily classes in the madarsa. Every day, the professors
and the student volunteers take turns and teach English, Science, Geography, etc to the kids. The kids absolutely love their new sirs and madams. “Suman ma’am is the best. Her classes are so entertaining and she never shouts or scolds us”, both Nazia and Hida say in unison. Gulapsa silently points to Ajay, who was giving some instructions to another student. Girls in the madarsa outnumber the boys with a large margin, which might be a surprise to many. The kids eagerly wait for Saturdays, as it is the fun day for them. The team has taken permission from the college administration to allow the kids to use the college facilities for their learning and entertainment. On Saturdays, kids are brought to college campus and different movies are shown to the kids. The movies like Neel Battey Sannata, I am Kalam, etc are showcased in the college auditorium to inculcate the qualities of grit, ambition and hard work in the kids. Dr Vijay calls it ‘aesthetic approach to ethics’, where the values are built through the medium of art. Every movie show is followed by discussion, where kids present their thoughts and opinions about the movie. The physical spaces we live in, morph our mental space and bandwidth too, albeit in a nuanced way. The cramped rooms and narrow lanes can crumple the mental faculties and won’t allow for the unfettered cognitive growth of children. ZHDC team decided to take the children to visits around the city. Science museum was their first outing. Every single kid a first-hand experience of the magical world of science. The next on list was Select City Walk mall in Saket. The kids had time of their life in the mall. Abdullah says with unbridled excitement, “I felt like, I have reached another world.”
APRIL 17-23, 2017
BREAKING BARRIERS As in every project, this novel approach too met with resistence in the beginning, but some people finally prevailed
R DEVESH VIJAY is Associate Professor of History at Zakir Hussain Delhi College. He is also one of the convenors of the Outreach Committee of the college which is leading the initiative in Basti Khwaja Mir Dard. Our correspondent caught up with him to understand more about it What was your motivation when you started the programme? I always have been a supporter of community-based programmes in the college. It doesn’t require extra funding and there is no question of ideological clashes. It removes the chances of friction with neighbourhood. The students and teachers have enough time to utilise it productively and it provides a big learning experience to them. So, I see a win-win situation for everyone. For me, it was completely inexplicable that such programmes don’t run in our colleges. UGC’s directive acted as a catalyst for us and now I wish that UGC makes this mandatory for every college
THE BUMPS AND THE JUMPS For the ZHDC team, support from the community was a primary concern. But, in Babloo Pradhan, the team found a very cooperative and genuine individual. He ensured that all the logistical needs of the team was met. He encouraged the local youth to assist the professors and students of ZHDC in taking the classes. Naseem Ahmad and Sania Parveen are the regular ones at the madarsa. Naseem has spent his entire childhood in basti and rues the fact that low awareness has led to premature death of many dreams. “There has been one doctor and one engineer from our basti. With this programme, I am very hopeful that dozens of children will find the right way to achieve their dreams”. Naseem is currently pursuing his Masters in history through distance learning. There was some resistance from certain quarters of college too, as they were apprehensive that allowing the kids to use the college facilities would affect its ‘security’. The apprehensions were misplaced and for more than six months the kids have been using the sports
to have such programs. What were the challenges you faced? How did you deal with it? There was some resistance from a small section of people and they tried to act against our work. I believe such inertia is part of every society. There will always be some people who will oppose a new idea and try to sabotage it, but there will always be a substantial number of people who will support. Our college administration has been very supportive of our initiative. In fact, our Principal, Dr R Prabhakar Rao takes a personal interest in our
work. Dr Abdul Farooqi, convenor of the Outreach Committee has been leading from the front. Some of my colleagues have provided unconditional support and actively participate in our work. We have taken inspiration from Gandhi and tried to show extreme respect, even to the adversaries and this has worked for our own good. How do you see your experience in the larger context of societal development in India? In every society, there are a few people who want to do good work, and a few bad ones who try to
The children have been shown some very good films, like I am Kalam and Nil Battey Sannata
ground and auditorium of college, without any issues. In fact, Dr Vijay sees this as a better utilisation of the resources. “Anyway, the sports ground and the auditorium are not used during the weekends. I see this more as a trust issue of certain people. We ensure that no damage is done to the property, as there are always student volunteers and local youth accompanying the children.” Back in the community, finances are becoming an issue for the madarsa. The new head of the madrasa, Shamsuddin, laments, “Ours is a very poor community. We can’t charge from the parents. Our only source is the rentals we get from renting the space for marriages and functions. But, it is irregular and
insufficient. If we have enough money, we can provide nutritious meals and uniforms to the students. We can also buy good books for them.” He expects that government agencies and wellintentioned individuals will come forward for their help. GOODNESS MULTIPLIES The efforts of the ZHDC team highlights a completely unexplored angle of university education. University space is a fertile ground for the youth of our country to develop sensibility towards society building. But, its full potential has never been tapped. Students pass out of the universities and aspire to become good professionals. But, in this
oppose such work. This is a constant. In the European culture, even those who don’t actively participate in social work, don’t sit idly at the periphery. They curb the growing influence of these adversaries and allow the good people to continue their social work. In India, this tendency is absent. We are a timid set of people, a result of years of repression. Hence, most of us don’t raise our voices even when we see the fringe trying to sabotage the good work. This needs to change and the good work needs to have cascading effect on society. If something like this is made mandatory by UGC, think of the millions of lives, we can improve. What are the future plans of Outreach Committee? We have very ambitious plans and we want to work for health, hygiene, livelihood, also. Right now, our immediate agenda is to train the youth in home based crafts and also provide other skill development opportunities to them.
rat race, somewhere they forget to become good individuals. A lot of answers to our societal problems can be found, if more such initiatives are taken up and encouraged. Ajay is pursuing his B.Sc (Hons.) in Chemistry and wants to become an IAS officer. He has been a regular volunteer and enjoys his time there. “Earlier my ambition was to become an IAS officer. I had no idea what I will do after becoming the IAS officer. Here, I have learned different new skills, especially problem solving and communication skills, which is going to help me in the long run. Above everything, I have learned that love is very powerful”. As the session was about to end, kids were told about the importance of hard work in nation building. To this, Sufia raises her hand and takes permission to sing a song. In her sweet, melodious voice, she starts singing ‘Saare jahaan se achha, Hindustan hamara’, and other kids follow her lead. As the kids walk out of madarsa, chirping and laughing, voice of a new India was distinctly audible in the background.
22 Home to Hospital
APRIL 17-23, 2017
HOSPITAL FOR POOR
AN MP’s POOR SAVVY HOSPITAL
Pappu Yadav turned his large Delhi bungalow into a health facility where poor patients from Bihar as also elsewhere throng for treatment SATYAM
N these times when politics is often taken as a means to mint money a Member of Parliament from Bihar Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav has turned his official residence in New Delhi’s Central vista into a virtual hospital with quite a few wards that cater to the needs of poor patients coming from far off places. Patients from not only Bihar but also elsewhere can be found either waiting for treatment by specialists from Delhi’s reputed hospitals, or recuperating, or convalescing in his sprawling bungalow at Balwant Rai Mehta Lane in Lutyens Delhi. And, thus, in this hospital of sorts patients with diseases like cancer, jaundice or liver disorder, arthritis, heart trouble, paralysis, dengue, chikungunya, malaria, dehydration, chronic fever, tuberculosis, diabetes, physical disabilities and deformities, besides pains of varied sorts look for treatment and recovery. The MP helps these patients to get appointment with suitable or expert doctors spread over Delhi’s government hospitals as well as private hospitals depending upon the ailment or the case for proper diagnosis and the treatment that it may warrant. The hospitals from where these patients get their treatment or advice for this include All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjang, Ram Manohar Lohia, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Lal Bahadur Shastri and GB Pant. These are besides private hospitals like Sir Ganga Ram, Apollo, Fortis, and Max. Hundreds of patients are advised to consult the doctors according to their needs every day. To ensure that the patients are not inconvenienced, Rajesh Ranjan has appointed about a dozen employees to supervise this work. The MP says that in order to get some positive work done in life and to use the large flat for a good and worthwhile
Quick Glance Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav’s Balwant Rai Mehta Lane residence serves as hospital for poor patients
purpose, he has government, a been doing this few rooms have He refers those in need of work for the past been built by the treatment to doctors in twenty years. He MP himself. various hospitals does not care There is Free care and food is offered to the about the arrangement of patients besides financial assistance expenses and he t o i l e t s , in deserving cases by the MP views the work electricity and as a mission of fans. Information his life. He has made another similar about the patients’ condition is mini-hospital in the capital of his gathered from every patient both in home State, Patna, where again all the morning and evening. As soon facilities are being provided. as the MP gets the opportunity, he Employees from the large hospitals himself visits the patients and in Patna treat hundreds of people in discusses their illness. a similar manner. The MP also visits hospitals in There are about 20 large rooms at Delhi. During the time of rise in his residence in Delhi. In addition to cases of dengue and chikungunya in the rooms provided by the Delhi he visited many hospitals and
The MP helps these patients to get appointments with suitable expert doctors spread over Delhi’s government hospitals as well as private hospitals
directed the hospital staff to treat patients with care and compassion. There are many patients from his home district as also from all districts of Bihar. Besides these many patients from other states of the country also come and given a place to stay at his residence. At present, patients like Motilal Kaisar from Madhubani, Asharfi Mandal from Supaul, Motilal from Motihari, Laxman Yadav, Laltu, Raju from Madhepura are housed at his residence. Some of them are suffering from as serious an ailment as cancer. Banarsidas from Chauseya Lauvalgam in Madhepura in Bihar has been living in the improvised health facility for months for the treatment of a strange disease afflicting veins. Lakshman Yadav from Katihar is an orthopaedic patient while Supaul’s 61-year-old Priyavastha Paswan is suffering from fluid accumulation in the back. Sixtyfour-year-old Ramji Shah of Madhepura Chausa suffers from piles. Amarkant from Ranipur in Bhagalpur is anaemic and Sanju from Murliganj has come to the MP to get his child treated. Kamla Devi from Hajipur, Vaishali, is troubled by her husband’s veins disease and Badri Yadav from Purnia needs to get his eyes treated. Sunil Deepak from Saharsa, Pramod Rai from Chausa, Sudheer Pandit and Anil Bhagat from Madhepura are suffering from lever problems.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
RAILWAYS TRACK LAYING
NFR: MAJOR CHALLENGES NFR gets to work for only four to five months a year, as the region witness’s intense rain from March to end-October RAJ KASHYAP
“If the common people have brought me here, then my whole life should be dedicated to them,” says Rajesh Ranjan
Shivnarayana from Saraigarh in Supaul has bowel problem and Saharsa’s Pramod Rai has kidney problem. Other patients include Raman Rakesh Rajiv from Rupauli, Purnea, Vinod from Bhagalpur, suffering from a hole in the heart. Harivansh from Sarasia is paralysed and Madhubani’s Deo Pandit, Nasir Ansari and Alauddin too have come for their treatment. Dhanik Lal from Dhurbilas, Purnea, is being treated for mouth ulcer for the last three months. Thirty-year-old Ranjit is being treated for fluid accumulation in the lungs. There are about five hundred such patients receiving treatment with the help of the MP. Rajesh Ranjan has for long been in politics. He has launched his ‘Janadhikar (or Peoples Rights) Party’. He has won elections from Madhepura, Saharsa, Supaul, and Purnea. His wife Ranjita Ranjan is also a member of the Lok Sabha from Supaul in Bihar. She stays in Delhi in a nearby bungalow. Her husband says that if such a huge house is allotted to the MPs, they can use it for some good work or social service. “Only one room is sufficient for me, the other rooms are for the people. I do not want to rent out the place or open a business office. I have been serving the society since childhood, and I will continue to serve the common people in the same way irrespective of ups and downs in my life. This is my main purpose. If the common people have been brought me here, then my whole life should be
dedicated to them,” says Rajesh Ranjan. In times when chikungunya and dengue fever were rampant in Delhi many patients suffering from these or other serious diseases could not find place in Delhi’s hospitals. And, thus, the MP offered them help by providing a bed in his house-turnedhospital. This deserves to be emulated by other MPs while the government should take a note of this. More so since about half-a-dozen cooks are busy preparing food in morning and evening for the poor patients and about a dozen or so volunteers prepare a list of those arriving for treatment from remote areas of the country. The volunteers record the diseases the patients suffer from and write letters to the directors and administrators of Delhi’s main hospitals. This work goes on from morning to late nights and sometimes an ambulance is required in the night to send patients to proper hospitals. Medical superintendents of most hospitals know that they have to treat patients staying in the MP’s house. The house is equipped with fridge, TV and always has usual medicines like pain killers. Financial assistance too is provided in deserving cases. Some of the patients stay in the facility for weeks while other may take months. All the patients are treated with warmth and politeness. This serves as a great emotional support amid otherwise daunting circumstances.
HE Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has to confront many unique challenges in laying tracks in the mountainous northeastern region due to its topography and the danger of natural calamities, a top official has said. According to Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) Shailesh Kumar Pathak, the NFR gets to work at optimum pace for only four to five months a year as the region witnesses intense rain from March to endOctober with the actual monsoon running from June to September. “As the Himalayan region, specially the northeastern states, are siltation- and landslide-prone areas, the railways have to take additional measures to deal the natural adversities. A lesser working period makes the task more challenging for railway engineers and others,” Pathak told IANS while on a visit here. He said the per-kilometre cost of laying single-line tracks in the mainland states is Rs 7 crore and for double line tracks Rs 10 crore. “These costs are much higher in the northeastern region due to terrain, marshy land and various other hostile factors.” The CRS was in Tripura for inspecting the newly-laid 9.26 km Udaipur-Garjee section of the
Quick Glance A lesser working period makes the task more challenging for railway engineers and others The Rs 1,150 crore Sabroom projectwill enable transportation from and to the landlocked states In 2008, Tripura was the first state capital in the northeast to get rail connection after Independence
114-km-long track that links Agartala with Sabroom in southern Tripura. With Sabroom just 75 km from the Chittagong seaport in southern Bangladesh, the Rs 1,150 crore project, to be completed by 2019, will enable the ferrying of men and material from and to the landlocked northeastern states. An NFR engineer said that due to the large number of rivulets and small rivers, many small, medium and big bridges, besides many tunnels, have to be built in the northeastern region. He noted in this context that India’s longest 11.55 km rail tunnel is now under construction as part of the 111-km-long Jiribam-TupulImphal line that ends in the Manipur capital. This is longer than the the 11.2 km Pir Panjal tunnel on the Banihal-Qazigund line in Jammu and Kashmir. Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has said there are ambitious plans to connect, by 2020, all the eight capitals of the northeastern states. In October 2008, with the extension of the metre gauge track up to Agartala through southern Assam, it became the first state capital in the northeast to be brought on India’s rail map after the country’s independence. Subsequently, the metre gauge was converted into broad gauge.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
ENVIRONMENT PLASTIC SOLUTIONS SWEET SOLID WASTE
PLASTIC EATING FUNGUS FOUND
PETHA PROBLEM: SWEET SOLUTION
It can grow on the surface of PU and break chemical bonds between plastic molecules or polymers through activity of its enzymes
The team at Go Get Garbage organisation has taken it upon themselves to clean up the mess while keeping the heritage of the petha intact SSB BUREAU
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
N a discovery that may spell good news for the environment, a novel fungus capable of degrading polyurethane (PU) plastics has been identified by Chinese researchers. Aspergillus tubingensis fungus was isolated by a research team led by Xu Jianchu, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “The fungus can grow on the surface of PU and break the chemical bonds between plastic molecules or polymers through activity of its
Quick Glance Aspergillus tubingensis fungus was isolated by a research team from a top Chinese Academy Plastic waste is difficult to decompose, pollutes soil and water, and poses risks to human health Fungus biodegradation is an important way to treat pollution caused by plastics, the finding says
enzymes. “Meanwhile, the fungus also uses the physical strength of its mycelia to help break apart polymers,” said Xu. PU is a type of synthetic polymer widely used in the manufacture of plastic-related materials. It can be applied in various industries, including medical treatment, construction and automobiles. The research was published on March 15 on the website of the international journal Environmental Pollution. Plastic waste is difficult to decompose, pollutes soil and water, and poses risks to human health. “Fungus biodegradation is an important way to treat pollution caused by plastics,” said Xu, adding that the efficiency of degradation was affected by various factors, including PH, temperature and the types of the medium used. He said researchers would gradually figure out the ideal conditions for the rapid growth of the fungus, laying the foundations to solving the garbage problem.
gra is not just a Taj affair, it is also a petha affair for those who love it. Pethas are soft, translucent candies made from winter melons, also known as ash gourd. Historical records, and the people of Agra, mention that some of the earliest instances of pethas were found in the royal kitchens during the reign of Shah Jahan. Today, hundreds of stores sprinkled across Agra offer the original pethas and their many flavoured iterations. Delicious as they are however, pethas are one of the largest sources of waste in the city. The team at Go Get Garbage, an Agra-based waste management initiative, has taken it upon themselves to clean the mess while keeping the heritage of the petha intact. Agra is a city of contrasts, dominated by a global tourism on one hand and by low civic standards on the other, says Rahul Jain, IIT-Roorkee alumni and founder of Go Get Garbage. Along with hospitality and leather manufacturing, the petha business comprises one of the city’s key industries with staggering production — and waste — estimates. With the number of operational petha units in the city, the quantity of petha waste generated each day is estimated at 200 tonnes. This adds up to 70,000 tonnes of waste every year, all of which is dumped in the open, leading to infections, contagious diseases, and pollution. “During the early months, we engaged with students and community members, guiding them on basic segregation and actionable ideas,” says Rahul. “We were able to guide communities to convert as much as 97% of their household waste through composting, recycling and reusing or donating.”
Quick Glance The pethas of Agra are very famous and there are hundreds of manufacturing units Waste from the production process is a monumental 70,000 tonnes a year Now a group, Go Get Garbage, is teaching farmers how to make organic fertilisers from that
As they gained in positive response in the city, the Go Get Garbage team transformed into a full-fledged initiative, intent on providing solutions. “We saw a lot of improvement, and we felt the need to offer visible demonstrations of what could be done.” The petha industry turned out to be an impactful area. It is also easier to manage petha waste than one might imagine. Being made from winter melons, the waste is biodegradable. If stored separately and kept clean, the remains of these fruits make for excellent fertilizers that replenish the soil and remove toxicity. Rahul and his team have engaged with Agra’s petha manufacturing associations to convert petha waste into compost. The team is now setting up plans for a waste treatment facility with the aim to produce up to 250 tonnes of compost or fertilizers from petha waste. “We are in conversation with farmers in and around Agra to use these fertilizers,” Rahul says. “Many of these farmers are switching from inorganic to organic farming now and they require clean organic fertilizers for cultivation.” Currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign for the plant, the team hopes that funding from government and CSR sources will help them make the process more economical and beneficial to farmers as well.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
LOCALS STRIVE HARD TO REDEEM A RIVER IN MUMBAI
Once carrying as clean water as to be worth drinking, the Poisar River turned into a virtual gutter, courtesy human greed. But now the people have woken up to clean it
Snapshots Mumbai’s Poisar river was badly encroached upon destroying its banks and catchment area Twelve years ago there has been flooding as the river remains virtually choked Now a people’s initiative is trying to stem the rot and revive it and bring back its normal flow
HE savoury effects of a people’s initiative to clean the waters of Mumbai’s river, Poisar, are now becoming visible. Meandering its way from the hills of Sanjay Gandhi National Park to Dahisar and Borivali before becoming one with the Arabian Sea, the river was once so clean as to be the source of drinking water to numerous villages and suburbs that nestled along its banks. The water used to be clean and people living around used to immerse the images of Lord Ganapati into it instead of the sea at the end of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Sadly, as the years went by the vicious nexus between municipal officials on the one side and the strong lobby of avaricious builders and developers on the other took over its banks and encroached upon it up to its seams, constricting and choking it so severely as
APEX COURT: CLEAN AIR IS A MUST The time has come for a collective effort to be made for this, the court said
The people inhabiting the nearby slums have
been requested to avoid urinating and defecating anywhere near the river to mark its virtual death. Today this once gurgling stream has turned into a listless gutter. The muck from the houses around finds its way into the river. This has robbed it of its pride and chastity. The deep and pungent stench emanating from it all the time carries a constant threat of an outbreak of one disease or the other. The residents living around had to pay a heavy price of sullying the river. Twelve years ago a sudden cloudburst had swelled Poisar perilously and its waters stormed into numerous houses in the vicinity. People caught many diseases due to flooding of streets and residential enclaves. This
HE Supreme Court has said the time has come for all to realise that a collective effort is needed to clear up the polluted air and the automobile industry has a huge role to play in this. Asking the industry to wake up to their responsibility, the apex court said that “It is time to realize that a collective effort is needed to clear the air”. The court said this in its reasoning for banning the sale of BS-III emission norm vehicles from April 1,
woke up the State government and municipal corporation to the long drawn plight of the river but as the waters receded the sad state of the river was conveniently forgotten and the officials lapsed into their habitual slumber. Yet, recently the people of Krantinagar that jostle together with Kandivali East took a noble step by deciding to undertake a mission to clean the river and restore its serenity of yore. An appeal was issued to everybody to desist from dumping any kind of waste into the the river. To raise the level of consciousness a river march was taken out and residents went around appealing
and convincing each other to take part in the drive to save the river getting from bad to worse. People took a solemn vow to keep its banks free of all kinds of waste and muck, including plastic and polythene bags. People’s such well -meaning move is now showing results. The locals have been joined by their legislator and municipal councillor who now support the move. Efforts are on to avoid all concrete work around the river and big machines have been brought in to take out muck from Poisar and to dredge it deep to restore its depth and flow. In the first round, about 40,000 kilos of silt and muck have been taken out. The people inhabiting the nearby slums have been requested to avoid urinating and defecating anywhere near the river. Officials have now assured to construct bio-toilets so that the river is no longer abused and its waters could get clean. The ranks of those who decided for the upkeep of the river are swelling every day. This holds a great promise for the restoration of Poisar to its old glory and charm.
this year. Referring to the automobile manufacturers arguments that they were permitted to manufacture BS-III compliant vehicles till March 31 and any prohibition on the sale and registration of such vehicles from April 1 would affect their commercial interest, Justice Madan Lokur speaking for the bench said, “In our opinion, the interveners have completely ignored the history of the last decade or so which led to the introduction of Bharat Stage norms and their implementation in a phased manner.”
26 State News
APRIL 17-23, 2017
ASSAM RIVER CLEANING
BRAHMAPUTRA: DREDGING SOLUTION The massive river, which at points is 14 km wide, can become a waterway to South East Asian countries, boosting trade
HE Brahmaputra river in Assam will be dredged with the goal of making the waterway navigable once again and preventing the twin dangers of flood and erosion in the Northeastern state. The expenditure of the exercise will be borne by the Centre and a loan from the World Bank. It is estimated that a total of 871 km of the Brahmaputra will be dredged and survey of 300 km of the river has been completed so far by the state PWD department, Inland Water Transport director, BB Dev Choudhury revealed at a programme in the All India Radio News a few days ago. He explained that dredging will open up new vistas for Assam, as the state will get access to Chittagong port in Bangladesh which will benefit more than five million people in the state involved in the water transport system. He added that water taxi service will be introduced in Guwahati and an expressway built along the river after dredging which will also boost tourism in the landlocked state. Dredging is a measure to dig out sediments from the river-bed and is usually used for clearing river mouth or narrow constrictions. Dredging, it is believed, will increase the water retention
Dredging of the river is expected to be a
continuous process, and the World Bank has sanctioned Rs 980 crore for the scheme capacity of the river, with the result that the pressure on the banks would be reduced. As a result, erosion will be reduced as well. BURNING POLL ISSUES Erosion and floods are burning issues in Assam and they emerge as major issues during the elections. The master plans prepared by the Brahmaputra Board suggested construction of hydel projects over the major tributaries of the river for stemming floods. However, this has not materialised so far. Thousands of crores have already been spent to check erosion in the past few decades both by state and central agencies, but the situation has only turned worse. Majuli, Kamrup and Dibrugarh are some of the worst affected districts. From 1912 to 1996, it has been estimated that the Brahmaputra has eroded more than 2,358 sq km of land. From Dhubri to Sadiya, the river flows for a distance of 891 km. It is also one of
the most braided rivers in the world with width variation from 1.2 km at Guwahati to more than 10 km at Dibrugarh. Dredging of the river is expected to be a continuous process and the World Bank has sanctioned Rs 980 crore for the scheme. Speaking at the North East Tea Conclave last year, Assam industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that opening up of the river will reduce the cost of transportation of goods which could make the state an export hub. The Centre’s Act East Policy has laid emphasis on trade with South East Asian countries and “opening up the waterways will be the first step in this direction,” the minister said, adding: “With the opening up of the waterways, Assam will get a readymade market in Bangladesh and West Bengal.” Patowary informed that the Centre has also agreed to strengthen air connectivity within Assam by setting up more helipads so that tea growers, buyers, packagers and other manufacturers can interact without
Quick Glance Desilting of the river is a dire need to stop annual floods and erosions Dredging is very expensive and earlier attempts had failed Trials with advanced equipment this time has shown better results
wasting much time. With an annual discharge rate of about 19,830 cubic metres per second at its mouth, Brahmaputra becomes the fourth biggest river in terms of discharge. According to some estimates, Brahmaputra transports approximately 13 million tonnes of suspended sediment per day during floods. The decision to dredge the river had been echoed two years earlier by a Parliamentary Standing Committee that suggested dredging as a solution to the annual mayhem of flood and erosion in Assam. It appealed to the government to explore low-cost technologies for the exercise. However, some experts and retired government officials are sceptical about the outcome of the project. They are of the opinion that dredging is not a feasible proposition to put an end to erosion in Assam. A retired official who stays in Majuli pointed out that the Assam government had undertaken to dredge the Brahmaputra on an experimental basis in 1975, but the high cost ensured that the exercise remained confined to small stretches only. The result of this small experiment was not very convincing. It was not until 2010 that the government began another scheme at a small stretch at Rohmoria to check erosion with equipment brought from Kolkata. The outcome was, however, positive this time around but the exercise was halted due to heavy expenditure. The Brahmaputra has been expanding – ranging from 2 km near Guwahati to 14 km at places like Sadiya and Dibrugarh which is considered a major hurdle for dredging. No river in the country had as many braided channels (small streams splitting from the main river) as the Brahmaputra. A report submitted by IIT-Roorkee in 2012 suggested “comprehensive watershed management as well as development programmes for controlling deposition of sediments in the river system. It has made a case for cost effective control measures such as single or multiple tier Jack Jetty system along with submerged vanes as per site condition feasibility.” Besides dredging, the Assam government has also decided to fast track the projects that will link Majuli by bridge with both the banks of the Brahmaputra as a means to reduce the speed of the water that hits the banks of the river island. After the schemes are completed, the island will be connected to Lakhimpur and Jorhat.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
COW ALERT FOR DRIVERS The menace of stray cattle is huge for drivers anywhere in Indian cities, but now there is an app solution from Gujarat
Haryana has succeeded in reverting its skewed sex ratio, which had once led families to look for brides from other states
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
OR the first time in the history of Haryana, the sex ratio in the state has touched the 950 mark. Haryana is notorious for its skewed sex ratio. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said yesterday that the sex ratio at birth stood at 950 girls to 1,000 boys in March this year. This was for the first time in the history of the state, he said.
WEST BENGAL LOST ISLAND
INDIA LOST TSUNAMI PROTECTING ARCHIPELAGO
Latest research by Indian oceanographers show that the island chain had once stood up to 1,000 metres above the sea INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
chain of islands that once existed in the Bay of Bengal now lies buried under water, according to a new study by Indian oceanographers. If this long island chain that stretched from north to south had not been swallowed by the sea, it could have offered a natural barrier against tsunamis like the one that killed thousands in 2004, they say. These islands had existed during the Late Cretaceous age about 68 to 80 million years ago, according to their report in the journal Current Science. Currently they lie as a “ridge” buried beneath the enormously thick sediment discharged by the Ganga and Brahmaputra river systems.
The ridge, known as Eighty-five East Ridge so named because it runs nearly parallel to the 85 degree east longitude extends north-south for about 2,500 km from the Mahanadi Basin in the north Bay of Bengal to the Afanasy Nikitin Seamount in the equatorial Indian Ocean. “That part of the ridge in the Bay of Bengal that once hosted the islands “is completely buried under
GUJARAT TRAFFIC HASSLES
SEX RATIO BOOST IN HARYANA
Khattar said that the state had, after the launch of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Haryana, accepted the challenge of improving the skewed sex ratio. It launched a massive campaign in the state by strictly implementing Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971, and running sensitisation-cum awareness campaigns promoting girl child. An official release quoting Khattar said more than 430 FIRs have been lodged in the state under the PCPNDT Act and the MTP Act in the last about two years. Out of these, more than 80 FIRs were registered after inter-state raids in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab.
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
NDIAN engineers have developed a real-time automatic obstacle detection and alert system to help cars avoid colliding with cows on the road, a common sight in this part of the world. The system uses a dashboard camera and an algorithm that can determine whether an object near the vehicle is an on-road cow and whether or not its movements represent a risk to the vehicle. A timely audio or visual indicator can then be triggered to nudge the driver to apply the brakes whether or not they
Quick Glance Many states are trying to tackle the problem of stray cows on streets Gujarat engineers have now developed an alert for motorists It uses a dashboard camera and can sense approaching cows
the Bengal Fan sediments,” says the report by KS Krishna and his fellow researchers at the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa. According to the authors, “In spite of more than three decades of research carried out by scientists from different countries, the origin of the ridge still remains a mystery.” In their research, they studied the seismic structure of the ridge. Their study showed that at the time of ridge emplacement about 80 million years ago, the ocean floor was around four kilometres below sea level and about 500 to 1,000 metres of the ridge summit existed above sea level. The researchers say their study has provided strong evidence to indicate that the ridge peak remained above sea level as an island for a short period during the Late Cretaceous age before it subsided “due to thermal subsidence and volcanic load”. It may have taken about 6 to 12 million years for all the peaks of the ridge to subside below the sea level, says the report. “The processes of thermal subsidence and sedimentation load together placed the island chain below the sea level, and then below
have seen the animal. “The proposed system has achieved an overall efficiency of 80 per cent in terms of cow detection,” the researchers said in a study published in the Indonesian Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. According to researchers Sachin Sharma and Dharmesh Shah of the Department of Electronics & Communication, at Gujarat Technological University in Ahmedabad, the proposed system is a low-cost, highly reliable system which can easily be implemented in automobiles for detection of cow or any other animal after proper training and testing on the highway.
Quick Glance These islands existed during Late Cretaceous age, 68 million years ago Part of the ridge that once hosted the islands is completely buried Had submergence not happened, the Ridge would have remained
the thick pile of Bengal Fan sediments.” In conclusion, the authors say that “the 85 deg.E Ridge remained as a series of island mounts with variable reliefs in the middle of the Bay of Bengal during the Late Cretaceous and got completely submerged below the sea level around 68 million years ago”. “In case such submergence had not happened, the 85 Deg.E Ridge would have remained an island chain analogous to present day Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean and Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean,” they say. “Then it would have acted as a ‘natural geo-wall’ protecting mainland India from devastating tsunami waves generated near the Sundasubduction zone.” Now, an important question. Did India lose additional land part under her territory? “The answer,” the authors say, “is probably an unfortunate yes.”
APRIL 17-23, 2017
BANGLADESH SHEIKH HASINA
SHEIKH HASINA: A VERY SPECIAL GUEST
The UN Secretary General honoured her for the difficult missions she undertakes in warravaged refugee camps and appointed her for the UN
Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke with protocol to receive the Bangladesh premier at the airport itself, as she happens to be a strong bulwark against terroris as well as China
B MALALA: UN’S PEACE MESSENGER
ALALA YOUSAFZAI, the youngest Nobel laureate, has broken another age barrier and become the youngest UN Messenger of Peace, an honour she shares with Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. Hailing the Pakistani teenager as “the most famous student in the world” and the symbol of the cause of education for all, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed her recently as the Messenger of Peace for girls’ education. After receiving her appointment, Yousafzai, who survived a terrorist attack for campaigning for girls’ education, said: “I have a second life for the purpose of education and I’ll continue working.” People drawn from the arts, entertainment, sports, science and public service are appointed Messengers of Peace, each with special missions. Nineteenyear-old Yousafzai became the 13th Messenger of Peace, joining, among others, actor Michael Douglas, naturalist Jane Goodall, and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan. The Taliban attacked her in 2012 in Pakistan’s Swat valley for defying their edict banning girls’ education and campaigning for the right to schooling. She was critically injured and was treated in Birmingham, where she now lives. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Kailash Satyarthi, the
ANGLADESH Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was last week accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Hasina. She was then accorded a ceremonial guard of honour. Later in the morning Hasina paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat. In a special gesture, Modi personally received his Bangladeshi counterpart at the airport. Hasina is on a four-day
Quick Glance Malala had been injured in Pakistan’s Swat Valley by the Taliban for educating girls She was given the Nobel Peace Prize for her dedicated work on girls’ education She shares the glory as UN Peace Messenger along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron
Indian child rights activist. DIFFICULT MISSIONS “You have been going to the most difficult places, where education has more problems in becoming a reality,” said Guterres, who was the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as he recalled her work in refugee camps and the two schools her foundation has set up in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. “If we want to go forward, we have to give education to girls. And, once you educate girls, you change the whole community, the whole society,” Yousafzai said. She said fathers and brothers equally have a role in promoting girls’ education. Of her emergence as the leading campaigner for girls’ education, she said: “It wasn’t that I was very intelligent or very clever or I had some special kind of training or something. All I had was a father and a family who said, ‘Yes, you can speak out, it’s your choice’.”
“All I had was a father and a family who said, ‘Yes, you can speak out, it’s your choice’.”
official visit to India. Two very crucial issues were discussed at the meet: the first is the vexed problem of sharing the Teesta River waters between India and Bangladesh,; and the second was the problem that is aggravating in both countries: terrorism. Modi had in a tweet said: “Will hold talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during which we will discuss ways to further deepen ties between India and Bangladesh.” At 3.30 pm last Saturday, Hasina and Modi joined a programme to honour Indian soldiers martyred in the 1971 war, at the Manekshaw Centre. This is her first bilateral visit to India in seven years. She last visited the country in January 2010. Following the bilateral summit, over 20 agreements, including a civil nuclear and two memorandum of understanding (MoUs) on defence cooperation, were signed.
NEPAL ALLOWS INDIAN NAVY TEAM ON EVEREST The expedition will start at 50 metres below sea level in Submarine Sindhuraj and reach the highest point on Earth
N a rare friendly gesture from Nepal, it has decided to allow Indian Navy personnel for an expedition to the Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain peak once again, officials said on Monday here. The mission is named “Sagartal se Sagarmatha”, and involves 24 avid climbers from the Indian Navy. They will scale the Everest. The flag-off was conducted 50 metres below the sea surface in Submarine Sindhuraj. Sagarmatha is the Nepali name for Mt. Everest. Charge d’Affairs at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, Binaya Kumar will see off the expedition that is expected to scale the mountain in May. Coordinator of the expedition team, Sanjay Kumar Kulkarni said in a press conference here: “We are climbing Mt. Everest with the slogan ‘From the Sea to the Everest’.” The Indian Navy team would leave for Jiri, a northern city of Nepal
and begin trekking to the Everest base camp. Acclaimed Nepalese mountaineer Mingma Sherpa will accompany the Indian team, the officials said. The team has already been drawn from personnel serving on the nuclear submarine INS Chakra and the destroyer INS Chennai, from the flying arm and from the Marcos (Marine Commandos) of the Indian Navy. The team would be taking the original route that was used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to scale the Everest way back in 1953.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
PLEA TO BOOST MARICULTURE Diverse sectors come together to find ways to boost mariculture and augment the production of marine fish and other organisms
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
RIME Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Premier Malcolm Turnbull last week jointly inaugurated the TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Centre following delegation-level bilateral talks here. The two leaders inaugurated the centre via video-conferencing from Hyderabad House. Jointly addressing the media along with Turnbull, Modi said that the centre was a classic example of bilateral cooperation in the cutting-edge science and technology. TERIDeakin Nanobiotechology Centre (TDNBC) at TERI’s Green Campus in Gurugram, Haryana, is a pioneer research centre in the field of nanobiotechnology research in India. The centre offers joint PhD programme by TDNBC, India, and Deakin University (DU), Australia, where selected students are provided fellowships, jointly supervised by both TDNBC and DU, and receive degree from DU.
Strand has developed a liquid biopsy test to detect cancer
N D I A N b i o informatics firm Strand Life Sciences on Tuesday unveiled a liquid biopsy test to detect cancer from a blood sample for effective monitoring and treatment of the dreaded disease. “As a minimal-invasive tool, our liquid biopsy test can precisely detect early presence of cancer or tumour, its recurrence and response to therapy, more than conventional diagnostic methods,” said Strand.
NANOBIOTECH CENTRE Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull inaugurated the TERI-Deakin Centre
Science & Tech
meeting of think-tanks from various sectors here last week urged Indian industrialists to invest money in mariculture in order to increase fish production in the country. The meeting was held here at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) to mark 37 years of research, education and development of mariculture, or the branch of aquaculture involving cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds or raceway filled with seawater. Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s Deputy Director General J.K. Jena asked the industrialists in the sector to come forward and concentrate on mariculture besides their entrepreneurial initiatives in shrimp farming.
“Since the Union Government is deliberating on eradicating poverty in India by 2030, it will promote and encourage all initiatives to increase the production in food and nutrition sectors,” he said adding that mariculture was one of the best alternatives for ensuring the food security in the country.The meet proposed to formulate industrial advisory bodies with the participation of scientists and industrialists to accelerate mariculture entrepreneurship. Experts opined that consortium of experts from research, industry, banking was required to elevate the mariculture industry from mediocre levels to corporate level. Representing the industry, industrialist P. Surendran said mariculture was one of the emerging and prospective sectors for entrepreneurs. CMFRI Director A. Gopalakrishnan said private-public partnership was
MONSTER TO FLY PAST!
The asteroid is about 2,000 feet in size. It is expected to fly by Earth from around 1.1 million miles
The meeting was held here at the CMFRI to mark 37 years of research DG ICAR asked companies to come forward and focus on mariculture The meet proposed to formulate industrial advisory bodies for this
need of the hour to boost mariculture in the country. “We have to emulate the successful mariculture models implemented by the Southeast Asian countries where mariculture has grown significantly catering to the food and economic security of those countries. The Chinese model of developing seafood based products from plant-origin materials such as seaweeds and micro algae can complement our requirements on growing demand for seafood,” he said.
100 MORE INCUBATORS The Central S&T Department has set up 100 incubators across the country to support start-ups in innovations
INDIA ABROAD NEWS SERVICE
LARGE near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19th, US space agency NASA has said. The space rock, known as 2014 JO25, is estimated to be 2,000 feet in size. It is expected to fly by Earth at a safe distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometres), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. “Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size,” NASA was quoted as saying. Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming approach is “the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile (five-kilometre) asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004,” NASA said. The next known encounter of
an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the half-milewide (800-meter-wide) asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at one lunar distance. In addition, the encounter on April 19 is also “the closest this asteroid has come to Earth for at least the last 400 years and will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years,” NASA added. The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after April 19. It is predicted to brighten to about magnitude 11, when it could be visible in small optical telescopes for one or two nights before it fades as the distance from Earth rapidly increases, NASA added.
NDIA will invest Rs 200 crore to set up 100 more incubators across the country to support start-ups in innovations, a top official has said. “As we want to double the number of incubators over the next four years, we will spend Rs 200 crore on setting up 100 more incubators under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme,” Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma told reporters at an event here. The S&T Department has set up 100 incubators across the country to support start-ups in innovations, and also finalised locations to build five of the 50 super-computers this year. “Of the five super-computers, one each will be housed in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur International Institute of Information Technology at Pune in Maharashtra.
30 Book Reviews
APRIL 17-23, 2017
PATHWAYS TO GREATNESS
He shifted focus from the economic development of India by 2020 In this book he has spoken about the development of our strengths
In “Pathways to Greatness”, Kalam shifts focus from the economic development of India by 2020 to the development of our strengths
He has identified what makes our nation great
strength or something more? It is only a matter of time before India is termed economically developed. But a nation has to learn to survive in tough times too. And for that what is most important is national character, born out of the value systems that exist in our families, what schools teach students, and the culture of the nation. In “Pathways to Greatness”, Kalam shifts focus from the economic development of India by 2020 to the development of our strengths, offering key lessons that will help India withstand the forces of change. He identifies what makes a nation great and also compares the standards of living of other nations with India’s. He draws on his travels and his interactions with people. He evolves unique oaths for citizens from all walks of life to ensure that a better life becomes possible for everyone. In the book that he completed just a few months before he passed away in 2015, one of India’s best-known icons writes how our nation can become a leader on the pathways to greatness.
this book just a few months before he passed away in 2015
AKE lessons from former President APJ Abdul Kalam to ensure that a better life becomes possible for everyone. What makes a nation great? Is it simply economic prosperity and military SSB BUREAU
HE book titled “Master on Masters” was unveiled last week by Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar in the presence of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s wife Subhalakshmi and sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash. The book release was followed by a reading session and conversation between Karan and the Ustad that revolved around sharing memories, changing culture of music and how technology has taken away heart-toheart connection amongst people. In the book, published by Penguin Random House, Khan recalled his earlier memories with iconic musicians like Bade Gulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Ustad Alla Rakha, Kesarbai Kerkar, Kumar Gandharva, Bhimsen Joshi and Ustad Bismillah Khan, among others. As the book is filled with anecdotes, Karan read out one of the excerpts on
Quick Glance Younger generation shows respect to seniors but the gestures have changed Parents are too busy and don’t spend time to teach their children etiquette If parents dont have time for their kids, they shouldn’t bring them to this world
MASTER ON MASTERS
The book by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan talks about Bade Gulam Ali Khan, Ustad Alla Rakha, Kesarbai Kerkar, Kumar Gandharva, Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Bismillah Khan and others famous ghazal singer Begum Akhtar that reflected how in yesteryears young musicians used to pay respect to their seniors. Talking about the same, Johar said: “I think the younger generations also show their respect to their seniors but, yes,
the gesture and attitude has changed. Earlier, we used to touch our elders’ feet, now youngsters shake hands.” On the other hand, Khan, emphasising on sensible parenting, said: “Paying respect to elders is part of our culture that we learn from our parents.
read exerpts from the book on how in the past, young musicians used to pay respect to their seniors
These days since parents are too busy and do not spend enough time to teach their kids, they remain unaware of our roots, our traditions.” Khan added that “if parents do not have time to spend with their children, they should not bring them into the world in the first place”.
APRIL 17-23, 2017
SATYAJIT RAY DEATH ANNIVERSARY, APRIL 23
LEGENDS NEVER DIE
Master filmmaker Shyam Benegal shared his toughts on Satyajit Ray with Ashim Chakraborty
ATYAJIT there was R AY. . . humanism. His There has protagonists were never been, nor not in the mien of will there be, an what we were artist as great as accustomed to see. him in the world of The hero must be a cinema. He was the flawless human, first filmmaker in and the villain the country who ought to be the broke away nadir of negativity. SHYAM BENEGAL completely from all He never liked that traditional film kind of Shyam Benegal is an Indian making in the characterisations. director and screenwriter. With country and took For him all human his first four feature films Ankur, Nishant, Manthan and Bhumika Indian cinema to beings were a mix he created a new genre, which has the world. There of many aspects. now come to be called the have been many This was perhaps “middle cinema” in India extremely talented the most singular filmmakers before contribution of Ray, but none of Ray. None of our them had broken away with past films show this. Whenever he tradition as he did. He shook us all made a film from any story or novel, and set us free from that stagnation. the end product did not seem a sort I have still not forgotten that of filmic translation of the original beatific experience of watching work. He would bring in new “Pather Panchali”. The day I heard elements to the storyline. It was that the film would be released I uniquely new. He was the first to reached Calcutta. I was still in have achieved this. He showed us college but had made up my mind that film was a distinct art form. to make films as my career. By then “We could never have imagined I had formed certain ideas of my his magical use of lighting and own about film making. But all sound. There has never been a those ideas were shattered after filmmaker who has made such watching “Pather Panchali. I controlled and judicious use of realised that I need liberation from sound, be it background or those ossified ideas. dialogues. He was a past master of “Ray brought us to a world where creating screenplay. Usually scripts are not easy reads. But the reading of his screenplays had a charm of its own. The thing is he AY TOTALLY was unique in all his aspects. “There are thousands of directors, BROKE FROM but how many can equal him? I only names such as Akira TRADITION AND think Kurosawa, Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman, Charlie Chaplin are a MADE INDIAN handful of names that can be CIMEMA TRUELY uttered alongside Satyajit Ray’s. And I am certain that as long as cinema survives, this truth will GLOBAL prevail.”
32 Unsung Heroes
APRIL 17-23, 2017
UNSUNG HEROES OMKARNATH KATHARIA
sweltering heat without bothering about the hot sun. At that time Omkarnath realised that the condition of street vendors was much worse than his own. He decided that as far as it is possible he will try to help such people. From that day till today Omkarnath offers vendors with something to eat and drink.
AUTO MOTIVATED DELHI DRIVER
He used to think that his own problems were the worst, but seeing the street vendors conditions, he started helping them
HE life of a street vendor who tries to fulfil his requirements by selling things at the traffic signal is not easy. He earns a very small amount in winter, summer and rainy season without eating or drinking water throughout the day. Sometimes there is no income after working hard all day. Often, there are people who are helpful toward the hungry and the poor but at the traffic signal there are hardly any people who have time for them. But there is a person in Delhi who is making an effort to find a remedy for the hungry and the destitute. The name of this protector of humanity is Omkarnath Katharia. It is not as if he is a business
tycoon or a rich man but he is emotionally rich. Omkarnath is an autorickshaw driver by profession. He helps the needy people standing at traffic signals from the meagre income he earns every day Omkarnath keep snacks, chips, biscuits and water bottles with him in the autorickshaw. From morning to evening whenever he crosses a traffic signal he stops to offer food items to the needy people at the traffic signal. This has become his daily routine now for several years. INSPIRATION FROM OWN PROBLEM The inspiration behind Omkarnath’s concern for street vendors is quite
unique. Generally, people are inspired by other people but Omkarnath has been motivated to help street vendor due to his own difficulties and problems. Actually, Omkarnath often felt guilty that he did not have enough time with his family. Driving the auto throughout the day he felt that his problem was the most serious. But one day when he noticed the street vendors closely, a change came in his attitude. Once in 2012 he saw a street vendor trying to sell his wares in the
FREE SERVICES TO NEEDY PATIENTS In addition to providing food and drink to street vendors he also gives free rides to the people coming and going to the hospitals. Omkarnath offers free lifts to patients who do not have money for transport. Without taking any fare what so ever he also takes them home from the hospital. By providing services to the society despite his low income Omkarnath is giving a good message to society.
DR DALJEET SINGH
DR BC ROY AWARDEE
He has developed a a nodal treatment system for neural tube defects under NCHP
R DALJEET SINGH was awarded the prestigious Dr BC Roy Memorial Award in the field of medicine. Dr. Singh is working at Delhi’s GB Pant Super Specialty Hospital. On behalf of the Medical Council of India (MCI), these awards are given to doctors working in extraordinary medical fields. In the recent past, the President of India Pranab Mukherjee honoured him with this
award. Dr Singh is a renowned neuro surgeon and is also headshospital’s department. He has been declared as an eminent teacher by the MCI. Significantly, Dr Singh has been a member of the Neuro Society and India for the past two decades and has made an invaluable contribution neuroscience education. Dr Singh is also known for developing a modal treatment system for neural tube defects in the National Child Health Programme. He has also been the President of the Delhi Neurological Society. During his tenure, he achieved many successes in the field of neurology. He has also played an important role in setting higher standards in the field of medicine. Dr Singh worked as a consultant of the Delhi Medical Council which deals with the complaints of medical negligence against the doctors. Besides, he has also played an important role as a member of the Ethical Committee of many medical institutions. According to Dr Singh, any award enhances the sense of responsibility, that’s why he has increased his responsibilities towards the profession. He is trying to get patients find the right treatment but also to get it easily and at the right time.
AWARD FOR COURAGE At six, atexia hit and disabled her, and yet, she topped her school and passed the tough bank PO’s examination
HERE are people who try harder all the time, and do not give up. Pooja from Haryana is such a lady. Divyang Pooja got her first bank job in her early youth and now the Ability Award has been given to her in 2017 by the Ability Foundation of Chennai. As a reward, she was given a trophy, certificate and Rs one lakh. Pooja was the only Divyang in Haryana who got this honour. She lives in Rewari. She did not allow her disability to become a weakness, and she was able to fight against that challenge. Pooja got the bank job due to her willpower. She was normal and healthy at the time of birth, but after six months she started having a strange disease. The sensation in her hands and feet became poor, and soon they stopped. Upon meeting with the doctor, it was found
POOJA that she had a disease called Atexia. Despite all this, the family members of Pooja helped her in every possible way and prayed for her wellbeing. Slowly, Pooja grew up but she did not give up her struggle. Having attained a postgraduate degree in Commerce, Pooja, who has been a topper in her studies since childhood, became a bank officer in 2014 after passing the tough Probationary Officers entrance examination. She is doing her job with dedication and, like the other employees, deals with all the work in the bank. She holds the pen between the fingers and uses the laptop and mobile with the help of her elbows and fingers. It is her dream to become an IAS officer and she is trying it through hard work.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 1, ISSUE - 18 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