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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Good News Weekly for Rising India narendra modi

on vivekananda

The Prime Minister constantly referred in his speech to the values espoused by Swami Vivekananda



Vol-1 | Issue-40 | September 18 - 24, 2017 | Price ` 5/-


raju srivastava

swachhata campaign in sulabh

“The responsibility of everyone The brand ambassador of towards their society should be Swachh Bharat Abhiyan decided” - Dr Bindeshwar Pathak visited the Sulabh Village

Heroes Of Swachhta Honoured President Ram Nath Kovind took the central government’s ambitious cleanliness drive to a higher trajectory with ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ campaign

02 Felicitation

September 18 - 24, 2017

Dr Pathak meeting Ram Naik and Uma Bharti

ssb bureau


r Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of the Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, was among the seven recipients who were felicitated by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, at a prominent function organised to launch ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’, a fortnight long campaign of cleanliness to culminate on October 2, to commemorate Gandhi Jayanti. A nationwide sanitation campaign, ‘Swachhta hi Seva’ was launched by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind at Ishwariganj village in Kanpur. The President administered the pledge of ‘Swachhta hi Seva’ to all present wherein they resolved to create a clean, healthy, and new India. Village champions whose immense dedication and perseverance helped in making their villages free from open defecation were honoured by the President. He mentioned how the aim of the campaign was to ensure all-round cleanliness and hygiene everywhere, with positive implications for health, sanitation, and prosperity of the people. Sanitation is a multistakeholder national movement. He said how the expeditious

Quick Glance President Ram Nath Kovind felicitates seven people working for cleanliness He also launched a new week-long programme called ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ Dr Bindeshwar Pathak too was among those felicitated at the function

Ram Nath Kovind President of India


ndia is fighting a decisive battle for cleanliness and hygiene. Today, all of them had taken an oath that committed them to ensuring public hygiene, personal hygiene and environmental hygiene.” “Cleanliness is not the sole responsibility of sanitation personnel and government departments. We should join forces and make a collective effort in ensuring the cleanliness of our houses, public places, villages, and cities.” “The responsibility shown by people of Ishwariganj village to make their village open defecation free is laudable. I hope others will take a cue from this village,” “We should make united efforts for cleanliness. It is not only the responsibility of the sanitation staff but all of us. Ensuring cleanliness will be the true tribute to Mahatma Gandhi,” he said, adding diseases, including mental illness, can happen due to unclean atmosphere.

achievement of our Swachh Bharat goals would be the perfect tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our nation. The solid and liquid waste management activities in Ishwariganj village were also launched by the President, making this the next big step in Swachhta after achieving ODF targets. The president mentioned how anyone contributing towards the Swachhta of the country is a Rastra Nirmata (nation builder). He called on the audience to become Rastra

Nirmatas and join the ‘Swachhta hi Seva’ movement. He went on to congratulate the award recipients saying that they were the real heroes of the nation-wide ‘jan andolan’. Quoting a World Bank study on sanitation, he mentioned how the lack of sanitation costs a country 6% of its GDP annually with the weakest sectors of the society being the most affected. People from all sectors - elected representatives, corporates, NGOs, women, children, senior citizens, Panchayati Raj institutions, media

Dr Pathak is probably the only reformer in India who has

bagged the maximum number of national and international awards for his work towards improving sanitation

and the youth were exhorted by the President to come forward and contribute towards Swachh Bharat with energy, vigour, and enthusiasm. The President honoured seven recipients for their contributions towards Swachh Bharat. The recipients who were felicitated represent various sectors of the society. These were – Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement; Ms Anuradha Joshi Sarpanch, Kodariya, Indore; Ms Lavanya, school student, Karnataka; Mr Banzop Kharrymbal, Sarpanch, Mawlynong (cleanest village in Asia), Meghalaya; Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairperson, India Sanitation Coalition; Mr Sanjay Gupta, Executive Editor, Dainik Jagran, Kanpur and Cadet Mansi Dwivedi, 17 UP Girls Battalion, NCC. Each of these seven awardees represented different sections of the society that pledged for a Swachh Bharat and contributed in their respective fields towards the same. Short addresses were also made by the recipients wherein they highlighted the work they’ve done in the past and their commitments towards the Swachhta of the nation. The government has identified special dates during the campaign period. September 17 has been reserved for the voluntary work and cleanliness and construction of toilets. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is scheduled to visit a village in Karnataka on September 17 and offer Shramdaan for toilet construction and general cleanliness. On September 24, citizens at

September 18 - 24, 2017

Yogi Adityanath CM, UP


he UP government has been associated with the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and has constructed 10 lakh toilets so far. The target is to construct 78 lakh toilets by December 31, 2017 and make the state open defecation free (ODF) by October, 2018. I have written a letter to all the village heads for their support in this regard. The chief minister said four districts - Shamli, Bijnor, Hapur and Ghaziabad - had been made open defecation free, while by December 31, 2017, 30 districts would be brought under the ODF category, and by October next year, all the 75 districts in in the state will become open defecation free. “We have made an anti-land mafia task force and the land freed from thus will be utilised for construction of houses for poor,” He added.

Ram Naik Governor, UP


ttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik said it was more important for a household to have a toilet than a place of worship. “Even if you do not have ‘devghar’ (place of worship), you must have toilets.”



Uma Bharti Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation


peaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Drinking Water Sanitation Uma Bharti noted the the main idea behind the campaign was to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of clean India and meet the prime minister’s target of making the entire country open defecation free by 2019. “The government is confident of fulfilling the prime minister’s vision of making India open defecation free by October, 2019,” The sanitation initiative, which is being coordinated by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, will include ‘Shramdaan’ or voluntary work. The nation-wide campaign will see mobilisation of people from all walks of life, including the prime minister, Union ministers, CMs, MPs and NGOs to undertake ‘Shramdaan’ for cleanliness and construction of toilets and make their surroundings free from open defecation. It will target cleaning of public and tourist places too. The ministry has made elaborate plans along with the state governments to reach out to poor and marginalised and provide them with sustainable sanitation services.

Parameswaran Iyer Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation


elivering the welcome address, Secrertary Parameswaran Iyer mentioned PM Modi’s clarion call for all sections of society to contribute to the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign. Giving a progress update, he said that sanitation coverage in the country had gone up from 39% to 68% since the launch of Swachh Bharat.

panchayat and municipal levels will take up voluntary work. On September 25, cleaning of public places, bus stands, and hospitals will be done. A special cleanliness drive is planned for 15 identified places on October 1. The Doordarshan will also hold a world premiere of the film ‘Toilet: EkPrem Katha’ on September 17, the birth date of Modi. On October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, which is also the Swachh Bharat Diwas, awards for essays, short film and painting competitions will be given. Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik; Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath; Sushri Uma Bharati, Union Minister of Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Lok Sabha MP from Kanpur, and Bhupendra Singh.

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak addressing the gathering

Leading Swachh Bharat Dr Pathak was honoured for his lifetime contribution to the cause of sanitation and social reform in the country to which he has been devoted to for about five decades now. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s

pioneering efforts to improve sanitation and upgrade the environment in India are making a huge impact. Truly, while people only try to follow the lifestyle of Gandhi, Dr Pathak has executed his philosophy and thoughts. Treating sanitation as his mission and human development as his goal, Dr Pathak says, “Sanitation is a mission. It is not like constructing a bridge or a road. I am happy that in my lifetime, I am able to fulfil Gandhi’s dream of eradicating scavenging and improving the living conditions of scavengers.” Dr Pathak is probably the only reformer in India who has bagged the maximum number of national and international awards for his work towards improving sanitation and upgrading of the environment. Following the words of Winston Churchill, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,’ the silent crusader has worked relentlessly for years. The result is that more than 20 million people use toilets based on Sulabh design daily in India and several thousand jobs have been created by the organisation.

04 Modi on Vivekananda

September 18 - 24, 2017

narendra modi on vivekananda

“World would have been spared 9/11 if it followed Vivekananda’s ideals”: Modi The Prime Minister constantly referred in his speech to the values espoused by Swami Vivekananda, especially fighting social evils and respect for women ssb bureau


efore 2001, the world was oblivious to the importance of 9/11. It was not their fault, it was ours because we had forgotten it. And if we had not forgotten it, perhaps the horrible 9/11 of the 21st century would not have occurred,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister was referring to Swami Vivekananda’s address at the Parliament of World’s Religions at Chicago on September 11, 1893, which coincided with the infamous terror strike on twin towers in New York in 2001. While addressing a Students’ Convention on the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Centenary Celebrations, and the

125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago Address, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, the Prime Minister said that it is in “India’s soil, its thinking and its lifestyle” to give to the world. Referring to Vivekananda’s opening line of his famous speech where he addressed the audience as “Brothers and sisters of America”, flooring the audience with his opening words itself, Modi said it was natural for us to be proud of it but those who are not respectful towards women have no right to

take pride in it. “Will we not fight against evils in our society? I want to ask young people do we respect women? Do we look at them with a feeling of regard? Those who do, I salute them 100 times. “But those who fail to see them as human beings, they should think 50 times before clapping at Swami Vivekananda’s ‘brothers and sisters of America’ (speech),” Modi said. Asserting that he was not opposed to the modern concept of celebrating days like Rose Day, Modi suggested

Referring to Vivekananda’s opening line in his famous

speech, addressing the audience as “Sisters and Brothers of America”, Modi insisted that we must respect women

Quick Glance Had we heeded Swami Vivekananda’s ideas, 9/11 could have been avoided People not believing in cleanliness have no right to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ India is rising globally on the basis of its Jan Shakti (People’s Power)

that Tamil Nadu or Kerala Days could also be celebrated in northern India as a way of exhibiting unity in diversity. “Some people oppose ‘days’ celebrated in college like ‘Rose Day’ but I am not against these. Can’t we think of celebrating Tamil Nadu Day in Haryana colleges? Punjab colleges should decide that today they will celebrate Kerala Day, sing their

September 18 - 24, 2017 songs, wear their costumes, watch their movies. Then they will ask them about their games, how they are played. “Can we not arouse a feeling of pride for every language and state in the country?” he asked. Invoking the ideals of Vivekananda, Modi made an appeal to reject the outdated ideas - ones which may have been sanctioned in the past but have now come to be detrimental to the progress of the society. He asked youth to inculcate creativity and innovation and not be just “robots”. “There is no life without creativity. Let our creativity also strengthen our nation and fulfil the aspirations of our people,” he said. Eulogising the Sanatan Dharm monk further, Modi said he had championed agricultural revolution and entrepreneurship years before it dawned upon others and his correspondence with industrialist Jamsetji Tata tells us of his ambition for “self-reliance”. The Prime Minister also admonished those who chant Vande Mataram but litter the streets and spit around. Those in the job of cleaning our streets, Modi said, have

the right of saying Vande Mataram before anyone else. “If there is anyone who should have the right to say ‘Vande Mataram’ before anyone else, it is those children of Mother India who perform the job of cleaning our streets,” he said. The Prime Minister also advised against preaching about our glorious past to justify the present saying that this should be used only in guiding the future of the country. Asserting that women were God’s creation, Modi said that no one who was disrespectful to women had the right to take pride in Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech in Chicago in 1893. “Will we not fight against evils in our society? I want to ask young people -- do we respect women? Do we look at them with dignity? Those who do, I salute them 100 times,”

Modi on Vivekananda

Modi said while speaking at a function here to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s address to World Parliament of Religions in the United States. “However, if there are people who cannot see a human inside (woman), then do we have the right to clap for ‘sisters and brothers of America’ (speech),” Modi asked. The Prime Minister said that 125 years ago, on the same day that has recently come to be known as 9/11, with just a few words, a youngster from India won over the world and showed the world the power of oneness. The 9/11 of 1893 was about love, harmony and brotherhood, he added. Swami Vivekananda did not believe in sermonising, the Prime Minister said. His ideas and idealism paved way for an institutional

Prime Minister Modi said that 125 years ago, on the same day that has now come to be known dubiously as 9/11, a youngster from India won over the world


framework through the Ramakrishna Mission, he added. The Prime Minister specially mentioned all those people who are working tirelessly to keep India clean, noting that they were the ones who had most imbibed the spirit of Vande Mataram. Student organisations, while campaigning for University elections should give more importance to cleanliness, the Prime Minister said. He said that only those who respect women can take legitimate pride in the opening words of Swami Vivekanand’s address – “Brothers and sisters of America.” The Prime Minister said, that people now say that the 21st century is Asia’s century. But long ago, Swami Vivekananda had given the concept of ‘One Asia,’ and said that the solutions to the world’s problems will come from Asia. There is no better place for creativity and innovation than university campuses, the Prime Minister said, adding that campuses should organize days to celebrate the culture and language of various States, to strengthen the spirit of “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.” India is changing, India’s standing on the global stage is rising and this is due to Jan Shakti, the Prime Minister said. “Follow the rules, and India will rule,” he exhorted the student community. In 2022, India will celebrate its 75th Independence Day and Ramakrishna Mission will be 125. Swami Vivekananda did not believe in sermonising. His ideas & idealism paved way for an institutional framework via Ramakrishna Mission. More than being in search of a Guru, Swami Vivekananda was in search of the truth. Swami Vivekananda raised his voice against the social evils that have entered our society. I want to specially mention all those people who are working tirelessly to keep India clean. He used to say, both knowledge and skills are equally important. The PM said We want India’s Youth to be the job creator, not job seeker that’s why we are focusing on skill India. He also tried to inspire the youth by saying they should not be afraid of failures as no one has been successful without failure(s). There is no better place for creativity and innovation than university campuses. There is no life without creativity. Let our creativity also strengthen our nation & fulfil the aspirations of our people. India is changing, India’s standing at the global stage is rising and this is due to Jan Shakti.

06 Swami Vivekananda’s Speech

September 18 - 24, 2017

Chicago 11 September, 1893

“Sisters and Brothers of America…”

The west had never heard – least of all, expected - of such an invocation where women came first. It took the wisdom of an Indian monk of the Sanatan Dharm for that, and the entire world was captivated...

“As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which people take through different tendencies, all lead to Thee”


t fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world. I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects. My thanks also to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honour of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, and which is every day repeated by

millions of human beings: As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which people take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee. The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach them; all are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me. Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time has come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal. Why We Disagree? I will tell you a little story. You have heard the eloquent speaker who has just

finished say, “Let us cease from abusing each other,” and he was very sorry that there should be always so much variance. But I think I should tell you a story that would illustrate the cause of this variance. A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not but, for our story’s sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with an energy that would do credit to our modern bacteriologists. In this way, it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well. “Where are you from?” “I am from the sea.” “The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?” and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other. “My friend,” said the frog of the sea, “how do you compare the sea with your little well?” Then the frog took another leap and asked, “Is your sea so big?” “What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!”“Well, then,” said the frog of the well, “nothing can be bigger than my well. There can be nothing bigger than this. This fellow is a liar, so turn him out.” That has been the difficulty all the while. I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christians sit in their little wells and think the whole world is their well. The Muslims sit in their little well and think that is the whole world. I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of

ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose. Three religions now stand in the world which have come down to us from time prehistoric – Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism. They have all received tremendous shocks, and all of them prove by their survival their internal strength. But while Judaism failed to absorb Christianity and was driven out of its place of birth by its all-conquering daughter, and a handful of Parsees is all that remains to tell the tale of their grand religion, sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of the Vedas to its very foundations, but like the waters of the sea-shore in a tremendous earthquake it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing Hood, a thousand times more vigorous, and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith. From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu’s religion. The discoverers of these laws are called Rishis, and we honour them as perfected beings. I am glad to tell this audience that some of the very greatest of them were women. If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if some people still dream of the exclusive survival of their own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity them from the bottom of my heart, and point out to them that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: “Help and not Fight”, “Assimilation and not Destruction”; “Harmony and Peace and not Dissension.”

September 18 - 24, 2017



education Initiative

Kid crusader for children’s studies He saw a boy in Ujjain studying under the dim street lamp, but the same boy led the temple prayers in pure Sanskrit. From then on, Anand Krishna Mishra has struggled to teach village children across Uttar Pradesh Pradeep Modak


e is perhaps the youngest crusader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ project in Uttar Pradesh. The 14-year-old Anand Krishna Mishra has held his ‘Bal Chaupal’ in more than 150 villages in and around Lucknow and sent hundreds of poor children, particularly girls, to schools. Anand not only counsels village children, encourages and helps them to enrol in primary schools but opens libraries with his own pocket money so that students get a chance to study text as well as good books for an overall growth. On an average, he spends about 70-80 hours four days a week in different villages to help rural students in their studies and keep them abreast of the outside world. He also carries his laptop to each village he visits to makes them aware of the mouse and keypad, and the wonders of the internet world. When his friends in school were embarking on the mobile and internet world and learning scooty to zoom by, Anand on his own chose a path which many of his friends would surely call a waste of time. But he has no regrets. “Knowledge is to share and spread. I am not doing anything extraordinary. I am only sharing what I studied with the most deserving students from a section of society where schooling, unfortunately, remained a distant dream

for their wards,” said Anand. Anand recalls an incident which motivated him to take up the teaching task at such a tender age. He went to Ujjain along with his parents when he was only nine years old. When they entered a temple late evening, he saw a poor boy studying under the dim street light. When aarti (prayers) started, that boy led it and rendered all the shlokas in Sanskrit. Impressed by the boy’s talent, his father offered him some money, but the boy refused to accept it, saying that he is not a beggar but earns to continue his studies. Anand took his father to the nearby market, bought books, copies, pens and pencils with his pocket money and returned to the temple. “The boy with his eyes welling up happily accepted my gift and thanked me for the gesture,” Anand recalled. The incident made a deep impact on his mind and on his return, Anand decided to take up the task of reaching out to poor children, particularly girls, in villages and make them study. “My heart goes out to those kids who beg on the streets or wash dishes in roadside restaurants instead of going to school,” said he. Anand discussed his thoughts with his parents, who work in Uttar

Pradesh Police, and they happily agreed to offer him all the help in his noble work. To begin with, he offered all maid servants in his colony to send their children to his house for free tuition. Initially, four or five children turned up and then slowly the number grew to 15. It became a part of his daily routine: Anand would return from school and teach these poor children. Then came the idea of holding Bal Chaupal. He held his first Bal Chaupal in Bhawani Khera village in Kakroi block in Lucknow in 2012 when he was only nine. It was an instant success. Since then there is no ending and he has so far successfully held Bal Chaupals in over 150 villages in and around Lucknow. “First I get to know them and then focus on introducing them to English and Hindi alphabets. Once I see that my students are ready to be shifted to a school in the villages, I take help from parents and village elders to ensure their admissions. But the job does not end there. I keep coming to the village to help them in their studies too,” he adds. It is painful to know that most of these children want to study and go to schools but their parents do not have the means to take the burden of their schooling. “The government is spending

His parents are bit worried about Anand’s own studies, but are also proud that he comes on top in his class

Quick Glance He is just 14 and studies in Class IX in City Montessori School Anand balances his own studies and his crusade to teach village kids He runs Bal Chaupal in 150 villages and has set up 10 libraries

so much on basic education, but still thousands of children in villages do not reach schools. The government needs to make it mandatory for all children above five years to go to schools compulsorily. There is an urgent need to bring in qualitative reforms in the basic education policy,” he pointed. Anand is now a student of Class IX in City Montessori School. His parents Anoop Mishra and Rina Mishra are now a bit worried about his studies. But they are proud that their son always manages his studies with the noble task he has undertaken. “His ranking in class is always on top. He only sleeps for five hours to manage both,” claimed his father Anoop Mishra. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Beti Bachao and Beti Padao’ project, Anand took it up as a challenge and made hundreds of girls in these villages to start going to school. “The task was initially difficult as parents in rural areas are difficult to convince when it comes to girls going to schools instead of doing household jobs. But slowly and gradually they agreed after they were told about the PM’s initiative,” he pointed. Anand’s teachers and friends now help him in his Bal Chaupal. He collects books from parents and students from the primary section to distribute them among poor and needy children. He has so far opened ten libraries in villages to ensure availability of text books to rural students. “My dream is to ensure all children across Uttar Pradesh go to schools and get quality education. The main challenge is to bring down dropout rate to zero and ensure that they go for higher studies to choose their careers. This is the only way to speed up development and improve living standard in the state,” he pointed.

08 Parliamentarian Conclave

September 18 - 24, 2017

swachhata campaign

Challenges Of Clean India, Healthy India “The responsibility of everyone towards their society should be decided” - Dr Bindeshwar Pathak



he founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, speaking on the challenges of the Swachh Bharat campaign, said that “We had an idea regarding sanitation and toilets which we implemented and that led to the decline of the practice of scavenging in some parts of the country”. He said that everyone has ideas but one always needs to have the strength to implement them. He said, “The one thing I have in common with PM Modi is that we’re both honest men with integrity”. Today, one can see how one honest PM’s work is causing major changes in the national landscape. He believes that everyone needs to be honest and loyal to the country. The country wouldn’t develop further unless these qualities are addressed first. This is the first time a government has

taken up the issue of cleanliness and sanitation. How do you feel about it? Does this empower you? The necessity is in asking oneself - what has one done for their country and society? Now everyone is openly discussing cleanliness and sanitation but back in 1969, I came to see that no village in the country had toilets. Women and girls would have to openly defecate in the dark which caused many problems and discomforts. During that time girls didn’t attend schools and if they did, they would be home by afternoon since there weren’t any toilets in the schools. Apart from this, the open defecation had environmental consequences leading to diseases like diarrhoea and cholera in children which

made it difficult to save their lives. The situation in the cities wasn’t any better. 85 per cent of the households had community toilets which were cleaned by women. Such women weren’t touched and were called “untouchable. Buddha said “only lamps can light other lamps and one must light their own lamp,” Gandhi himself said that as long as these women continued scavenging, people wouldn’t even eat with them. In 1934 in Bhuvneshwar, Gandhi said he invited people over for a meal and they refused to eat along with the people they called untouchables. Then Gandhi wrote that Indians would eat the bullets from the British but not eat with these people. The practices we follow will never allow untouchability to end.

Now everyone is openly talking about cleanliness, but back in 1969, no village in the country had a toilet

Quick Glance “Everyone has ideas but one always needs to have the strength to lead” “The necessity is in asking oneself what has one done for their country” “We have invented a technology that eliminates the need for scavenging”

Where did you get the inspiration for this? I wanted to become a professor of Sociology at Patna University but wasn’t able to do it. I even became a high school teacher and did odd jobs here and there. Later, in the Patna Gandhi Institution, we had a committee that was organised to celebrate Gandhiji’s 100th birth anniversary. In the same project, I started working as a social worker. Our SecretaryGeneral told us that the practice of scavenging is inhumane, which Gandhi wanted to end. You must complete this work. I asked him - I’m a Brahim, How can

September 18 - 24, 2017

Parliamentarian Conclave


Jagdish Chandra lights the lamp as Dr Pathak looks on

Dr Pathak shows a copy of his book on PM Modi

Dr Pathak receiving the memento after his speech

Dr Pathak with Jagdish Chandra and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Varun Gandhi in conversation with Dr Pathak

Dr Pathak handing over the memento to Pankaj Tripathi

I do this? In childhood, we touched a scavenger dome on accident and then our grandmother gave us cow dung and urine to purify us. Hundred years ago, this is just how Gandhi started Satyagraha in Champaran, we also started working towards cleanliness and untouchability in a place called Betiya. But this problem wouldn’t be completely solved by just ending the practice of scavenging. We have invented a technology that eliminates the need for scavenging. We have also invented technologies to use it human waste as compost, gas for lighting gas lamps, fuel for running the generator, and as cooking gas for home. Had we not invented these technologies, there would still be open defecation and scavenging rampant in the country. If this happened, Gandhiji’s and PM Modi’s dreams of an equal and clean India would not materialize. This is simply a thought, an idea. It requires assimilation for understanding. Whenever I would go to someone’s place they would say “Before discussing toilets, please drink some tea”. And I would reply by saying “Teas will keep coming, let’s talk work. They would ask me if I would get into a foul mood talking about toilets and dirt. Toilets weren’t discussed not only in Bihar but also the rest of the world. If one thinks about something, one must implement is too. I was married at

“We have organised a Clean India, Healthy India, Green India programme on September 17, PM Modi’s birthday”

the age of 22 and my father in-law disapproved of my work so much so that he said he didn’t want to see my face. In Bihar, we don’t raise our voices in front of elders, but at that time I had courageously spoken to him and told him that this is history in the making and that I will either make it happen or lose. We are so happy that our Prime Minister not only talks about cleanliness and sanitation but has also started a campaign for it. Politicians and social workers have discussed these things in the past but PM Modi is the only one who has brought toilets into homes. Modiji is the first Prime Minister to give so much importance and significance to toilets and sanitation. Now that we are discussing Swachh Bharat, I would like to tell you that we have organized a Clean India, Healthy India, Green India programme on 17th September - the birthday of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to statistics, many states are lagging behind in becoming free of open defecation. What changes do you suggest for these regions? The work the State governments and

Central government are doing for this is good but even today, there are 6.46 lakh villages in the country that are not free of open defecation. There is only one way to solve this. I met PM Modi to discuss this on August 18 and said that the only way to reach the ODF goals is to train villagers to construct their own toilets and to spread awareness about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation which would motivate them to build toilets. If a person makes 20 toilets a month, then in 12 months, he will construct 240 toilets. If we multiply 240 by 6.46 lakhs, then it will reach around 15 crores and we have to make only 7 or 8 crores. This way we’ll be able to reach our ODF goals in one year. Another problem s that a good toilet can’t be built with a Rs 12,000 allowance. The solution is that if the loan is received from the bank, the landlord will make good toilets. With this, people should complete their tasks responsibly, just as we do. The problem is here is that government officials come and get the work done sometimes but there’s no one to check or take responsibility for the completion of the work whether it’s a government official or

a politician. NGOs can be good or bad and it’s our job to select the good ones and assign the work to them. Out of the 15 percent cash, they can give 10 per cent to the village resident constructing the toilets and 5 per cent to the one coordinating it. If we can do this, India would be completely clean and free of open defecation by 2019. There is still a year left to fulfil the dream of the Prime Minister, and if we all work together with integrity and honesty, we can accomplish the goal. We have built toilets in many areas of Bihar and are working to make more. He said that if the enlightened people in the society do this work together then they would handle it well and they would also take full responsibility for the tasks. Dr Pathak said that Bihar’s boys can learn these technologies and help construct toilets in their villages. He said the technology is accessible to all since it is free of patents. He also said that there were a lot of employment opportunities in the field but people seldom want such jobs. He wants the youth of Bihar to come forward for this and cooperate with us all to make our villages clean and healthy. One can learn a lot by observing the work we have done in villages so far. Apart from this, Dr Pathak said that he would assist the people who have the courage to take up such work.

10 Raju Srivastava

September 18 - 24, 2017

raju srivastavA in sulabh

Sulabh Gave a New meaning To My Life

The brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan visited the Sulabh Village to see the facilities available and meet the Sulabh members Quick Glance Srivastava visited the Sulabh Water Treatment Plant He met the former scavenger sisters and widows of Vrindavan He vowed to spread awareness about cleanliness through his shows

Dr Bindshwar Pathak welcomes Raju Srivastava

Dr Pathak and the actor with Vrindavan widows

The prayer meeting at the Sulabh School

Dr Pathak gifts his book on Modi to Srivastava

Priyanka Tiwari


s it is said ‘laughter is a best medicine’ and the art of making crying people laugh is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Raju Srivastava is rich in this talent. He has not only entertained people through his comedy but also is the Brand Ambassador of Prime Minister Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Raju Srivastava came to visit Sulabh Village, during this time he visited the Sulabh Water Treatment Plant and Sulabh Public School. Along with that, he met the former Scavenger sisters, the widows of Vrindavan and the people of the Sulabh family. The inspiration of Sulabh, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak welcomed Raju

The comedian visited the Sulabh village and met the

members of the Sulabh family. The visit touched him deeply Srivastava and the guests presenting him a shawl, bouquet and memento. Dr Pathak then gave a check of Rs 2 lakh to Raju Srivastava, which he donated to the Sulabh School instead of accepting it. Adding to that Dr Pathak said “Rajuji has won the hearts of people after coming here. We are very grateful to you that you came here and saw this experiment.” Raju Srivastava said that after being on this journey of life till now, I feel that my life has now become meaningful. We have got a chance to learn a lot here. I will

work to spread the awareness. I will spread the awareness through the medium of Bollywood with my programs, that there are places in the country where Gandhi’s philosophy is still in practice, where people are devoted to their responsibilities towards society. He said that Dr Pathak has done outstanding work for the country, which can’t be appreciated enough in words. Dr Pathak and Usha Chaumar are like idols for the country, people should learn from them. He also said that Dr Pathak is very

talented and a great scholar, we should learn from him. He interacted with the students of Sulabh Public School and observed the demonstrations on the use of the toilets and sanitation facilities. Today’s children have become more aware than adults, now we need to learn from them. With this, he said that we all have the responsibility to keep the country clean, so we all need to take the initiative to keep our surroundings, neighbourhoods and streets clean. This is possible only when we will understand our responsibility and work towards it honestly. Then nobody can stop India from being clean and healthy. He said that he was going to Mumbai with a thought and a motive from his visit to Sulabh Village. Towards the end of the program, he entertained the children and the audience in the auditorium with his comedy acts on all the burning issues. Dr Pathak said that through the medium of Sulabh we have tried to fulfil Gandhi’s dream. Gandhiji used to say that we should get independence later but clean India first. The dream of Mahatma Gandhi has been realized by PM Modi. He is the first Prime Minister of the country who talked about cleanliness and toilets. He has said these things should be discussed not only in India but also in foreign countries. Comedian Raju Srivastava lives among the people and has had a profound effect on people. That’s why PM Modi has made Raju Srivastava a brand ambassador of Clean India. You have worked hard to reach here and we congratulate you for this. Sulabh helps people living on the bottom of society’s pyramid. If Sulabh did not take this initiative, then even today, the practice of scavenging would not have been over. Today, Sulabh’s initiative has made them self-reliant.

September 18 - 24, 2017



Folk Arts environment

Singing all the way to their hearts A Bangalore-based band is trying out folk art to spread the message and is succeeding

Quick Glance

G Ulaganathan


ne of the most effective ways to spread awareness about social and environmental issues among the public could be songs, rendered in folk style by talented singers and musicians. A Bangalore-based folk band is trying this out and has hit the right chord with the rural folk. “This works well, as music doesn’t just touch merely the mind, it also touches the heart,” says Janardhan Kesaragadde, composer and lyricist for the Bengaluru-based folk band, Bhoomi Thayi Balaga. Bhoomi Thayi Balaga loosely means `Kin of mother earth’. The band, which is more than a decade old, has been singing about various issues from protecting the environment to communal harmony to lifestyle issues such as health and gender discrimination. Janardhan says he met its members while working on a campaign to restore the Arkavati river – which flows through the state – in Doddabalapur in 2005. The boys and girls, who are part of the band now, had gone there

Bhoomi Thayi Balaga loosely means `Kin of mother earth’ The band touches upon environment to communal harmony, lifestyle etc. The first song was on the disappearing lakes and water bodies

The band comprises many professionals who dedicate some time and come for rehearsals and for the planning meetings

to spread awareness in the nearby villages and campaign through theatre and music. “Earlier, the group was called ‘Gangammanavokulu’, which means `Disciples of mother water’. The band was formally created in 2007 and it came to be called Bhoomi Thayi Belaga, which means relatives of mother Earth. The first song that Janardhan

composed was on the disappearing lakes and water bodies of Bengaluru, a popular number called `Benda Kalooru Bangalore’. At present, there are three lead singers in the ten-member band. Out of them, only three are fulltime members. “It’s quite difficult to sustain artists in the field of social work, especially because there are

Quick Glance

child abuse new gadget

‘Smart ear’ against child abuse

A simple audio device smaller than a matchbox called the ‘Smart Ear’ A child can put the device in her school bag, pocket It is supposed to be the parents’ ears when a child is alone

Child abuse is increasing and kids often relive the horror while narrating it, but now there is a smart solution Bengaluru Bureau


hat cases of child abuse are on the rise is known, but here comes a smart device to catch the culprits. Of late, a number of cases of teachers or PT masters abusing girls have come to light and the police are at their wit’s end to stop this completely. Is there a way to collect evidence or to know about advances on a child without being there and then punish the guilty? A simple audio device smaller than a matchbox called the ‘Smart

Ear’ has been made by a Bengalurubased organisation and it also aims to protect children from sex offenders. “A child can put the device in her school bag, pocket or even wear it without being noticed. It has very powerful technology that can pick up the audio even without directly being in contact from the source of the sound,” says Sumant Nashik, director, software development, Safehalo, the firm that has come out with this device. It is supposed to be the parents’ ears when a child is alone whether in school, outdoors or even at home.

concerns about earning one’s livelihood. But the current band members are all very committed to the various causes we support,” says Janardhan, who also mentors the band. The band comprises many professionals who dedicate some time and come for rehearsals and planning at many brainstorming sessions. The band has gone to many villages and small towns educating people about sanitation, green cover, water conservation, so on, depending upon the location and needs of the town. “we have received excellent reception wherever we go. It is also due to the fact people get free entertainment and education about issues,” he adds.

In an event of abuse, the child is not usually aware of the act being an abuse. And it becomes very difficult for the investigating agencies to reconstruct and pin the offenders. And, intensive questioning leaves a deep scar on the child’s mental health. With the device, however, the child does not need to have to recount the horrible experiences. Sumanth says the device has four microphones with a reception that is as “as good as the ear”. There is a desktop or laptop software as well as a mobile app where the analysis can be done. “There are some key analytic

tools that have been integrated, such as gender recognition as well as recognition of certain keywords that could mean danger. The speech can also be converted to text,” he adds. Another basic tool in the device is that one can also know the position of a child, whether she was sitting or walking or lying down, with an accelerometer sensor. An ultrasonic transducer (converts energy into ultrasound) can also detect sounds from people around the child. If the child has this device, no offender can get away from the arm of law and potential mischief makers will know that they cannot escape punishment.

12 Swachhathon

September 18 - 24, 2017

sanitation Swachhathon

First Ever Swachhathon organised Eighteen participants, including one from America, were awarded for their innovations in the field of sanitation and hygiene Dr Bindeshwar Pathak lighting the ceremonial lamp at the Swachhathon

Quick Glance Organiser of the event was Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Over three thousand entries were received for the Hackathon An e-book will be launched on the works of the awardees

Urooj Fatima


inistry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in a new initiative to promote sanitation and hygiene, organised an award function here last week. Ministers of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, SS Ahluwalia and Ramesh Jigajinagi, felicitated 18 participants for their innovations in these fields at the function called Swachhathon 1.0. The competition was held at All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. It was open to all and it got wide support both at national and international level. The

Sanitation coverage in the country has gone up from 39 per cent at the launch of the SBM to 67 per cent

ministry invited schools, colleges, institutions, start-ups and other groups with existing and new solutions to address these challenges. Innovators were asked to make their presentations under six categories. A total of 3,053 entries were received from India as well as from countries like the US and Peru. The competition was divided into these categories monitoring the use of toilet; triggering behavioural change; toilet technologies in difficult terrains;

executing solutions for the maintenance and operation of school toilets; technological solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste; solution for early decomposition of faecal matter. Out of over 3,000 participants, 633 entries were for rapidly changing behaviour; 229 were involved in the rapid decomposition of excreta materials; 750 were for monitoring toilet use; 552 for schools toilets, maintenance and operation; 405 for

technical solutions for safe disposal of sanitary wastes and 484 for inaccessible areas had toilets technology. The first ever Swachh Bharat Hackathon, was organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to crowd source solutions for the pressing issues pertaining to sanitation and hygiene, in various parts of the country. The Grand Jury for the final round comprised Naina Lal Kidwai, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Secretary of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer. The finalists gave a short presentation showcasing their prototype/strategy before a jury consisting of stalwarts and experts from the sanitation sector. The evaluation was based on a framework designed by the ministry that took into account the originality of the solution, utility, cost-scalability and environment friendliness. The winners of the Swachhathon were awarded by the ministers. In each category, there were three prizes. The first prize was of Rs three lakh, second was of Rs 1.5 lakh and third prize was of Rs 50,000. A total 18 participants got the prize money, including one international participant. Ahluwalia advised the officers of his ministry to bring details about all the entries which had been selected for the award for cleanliness, as an e-book. This will help and motivate people working in this field, he said. Not only this, if this e-book is ready, it will also help the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation at the level of experience in organising the second Swachhathon, the minister added. Ahluwalia also expressed happiness

September 18 - 24, 2017


SS Ahluwalia giving away the third prize to Elakiya

The second prize goes to Aishwariya

Martha V Snow from USA gets the seconf prize in toilet technology

Sashi Kumar bagged the first prize for the O&M for school toliets

A floral welcome for Dr Bindehswar Pathak

SS Ahluwalia and Dr Pathak share a jovial moment at the function

for the huge interest shown by the young innovators in Swachhathon 1.0. He said that the Swachhathon was a new concept adopted by the ministry because linking government programmes with technology and this was to fulfil the need of the hour. He acknowledged the good progress made by the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) so far and said that he was sure that initiatives like the Swachhathon would go a long way in increasing involvement of innovators and the youth in the programme.

Another Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ramesh Jigajinagi spoke about the need for innovative approaches to take the Swachhta movement forward in the country. He congratulated all the participants who contributed new ideas in the Hackathon. He expressed the hope that the ideas received in Swachhathon will help in implementing new ideologies in this civil movement and strengthening it. Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran

Iyer, mentioned that it is very encouraging to note that sanitation coverage in the country has gone up from 39 per cent at the launch of the SBM to 67 per cent today. He announced that 2.35 lakh villages have already been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the country. This progress had been verified by third-party independent agencies as well, the Minister declared. He said that the ideas presented at Swachhathon would be crucial to help


meet some of the special challenges being faced on the field in some parts of the country. He urged the innovators who participated in the Swachhathon to share these ideas with the Mashelkar Committee of the Ministry so that they may be implemented in the country. The final event was organised in collaboration with AICTE and supported by KPMG, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Water Aid, Rotary India Literacy Mission, HMEL, Accenture and Dettol Banega Swachh India.

14 Good News

September 18 - 24, 2017

women defence

Martyred Officers’ Widows Join Army Lt Swati Mahadik enlisted herself to join the Army after her husband sacrificed his life to protect the country


Quick Glance Lt. Swati Mahadik completed her passing out recently and became an officer Her husband, a valiant officer, was slain by terrorists in J&K Along with her, Nidhi Dubey, widow of Naik Mukesh Dubey, also joined



aharashtra’s hero, the late Col Santosh Mahadik’s widow Swati Mahadik was recently commissioned into the Indian Army as a Lieutenant, officials said. As she completed her parade in Chennai last week, Lt. Swati Mahadik broke down, and her family members and a senior army officers wife consoled and hugged her and wiped the tears of joy. Present on her proud moment were her two children, daughter Kartikee, 12, and son Swaraj, seven; her motherin-law Kalindi Ghorpade, her father Babanrao Shedge and her mother. Col Mahadik, who was Commanding Officer, 41 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed in a gunfight with terrorists in the jungles of Haji Naka area near the Line of Control in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir in November 2015. In his sacrifice, the expert paratrooper and a combat underwater diver saved the lives of many men under his charge. He was later posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra by the government. Hailing from Pogarwadi village in the hilly Satara district of western

Himachal Guv wants natural farming research Governer Acharya Devvrat asked scientists to conduct extensive research on zero budget natural farming by developing new farming techniques IANS

Maharashtra, Lt Mahadik fulfilled her dream of stepping into her late husband’s shoes to serve the nation through the Indian Army. A few months after Col Mahadik’s death, his widow stunned her family, villagers and the military establishment by announcing her intention to join the Army. Swati had already crossed the upper age limit for entering the army and it was only after the Indian Army and Ministry of Defence especially relaxed the age limit for her that she could initiate her new career goals. Later, she had told local media persons how she had silently resolved to join the Indian Army at the funeral of her slain husband in November 2015. She sent both her children to boarding schools -- son Swaraj in Panchgani and daughter Kartikee in

The widows of two

Indian Army officers enlisted to enrol themselves after their husbands were martyred while fighting for the country

Dehradun -- and then appeared for the crucial Staff Selection Board (SSB) which she cleared. After undergoing several rounds of other physical fitness and medical examinations as part of the five-tiered selection process, she was selected to join the Officers Training Academy in Chennai. Swati successfully completed her OTA training and on Saturday she took part in the passing-out parade to join the Indian Army as a Lieutenant in the Army Ordnance Corps. At the passing out parade, there was Lt. Nidhi Dubey, the widow of another soldier, the late Naik Mukesh Dubey, who joined the Indian Army along with Lt. Swati Mahadik. Lt. Swati Mahadik is a graduate of SavitribaiPhule Pune University and is specially trained for children with learning disabilities and autism. Welcoming two such gritty widows to the armed forces, the Indian Army said in a tweet: “SaluteThe Spirit. Lt. Swati Mahadik, wife of the late Col. Santosh Mahadik, who laid down his life for the country while fighting terrorists in J&K, and Lt. Nidhi Dubey, wife of Naik Mukesh Dubey.” “Both have strived hard to become officers today after their husbands passed away. Both of them have made all of us proud by completing the rigorous training and becoming an officer in the Indian Army.”


imachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat recently asked the scientists to conduct extensive research on zero budget natural farming by developing new farm techniques. Speaking at the convocation of Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Agriculture University in Palampur in Kangra district, he expressed concern over suicides by farmers. He said the farming sector could be improved by adopting zero budget natural farming and evolving such system where the farmers need not take loans for agricultural activities. The Governor said natural farming is healthy and conducive to the environment. “It is essential to shift from chemical farming to natural as the fertility of the soil has declined and many health problems persisted due to chemicals used in abundance in agriculture crop, which is a matter of concern.” He said the role of scientists is significant for strengthening agriculture and urged them to work with sincerity and dedication as this sector is the backbone of an economy. He said if the scientists were determined to work on natural farming, nobody could stop the state from becoming an organic state like Sikkim. Devvrat called upon the scientists to educate the farming community about natural farming practices and added that special awareness should be generated for adopting zero-budgeting for improving the existing agriculture practices in the state.

September 18 - 24, 2017

climate parasites

75% Parasites May Vanish By 2070 A study determined that most animal parasites would face extinction by 2070 due to global climate change IANS


ne in three animal parasites, one of the most threatened groups of life on Earth, may face extinction by 2070, as a result of global climate change, a study has warned. The study determined that parasites are even more threatened than the animal hosts they rely on and thus should be included in conversations about conservation. Loss of parasites, which help control wildlife numbers and keep the energy flowing through food chains, could dramatically disrupt ecosystems. On the other hand, having parasites indicates that the ecosystem has been stable. “Parasites are definitely going to face major extinction risk in the next 50 years,” said lead author Colin

Carlson, a graduate student at the University of California - Berkeley. “They are certainly as threatened as any other animal group,” Carlson added. In the study, published in the journal Science Advances, the most catastrophic model predicted that more than a third of parasite species worldwide could be lost by 2070, while the most optimistic models

Dolphin decimation

hector’s dolphins’ crisis Hector’s Dolphins, native to the waters of New Zealand, have been declining in numbers in the last 50 years IANS


he populations of Hector’s dolphin, living only in the waters off New Zealand, has decreased by 80 per cent in the last 50 years, an environmental organisation revealed on Thursday. It is estimated that there are currently only some 9,000 Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) left, after a drastic population decrease from the 50,000 estimated in 1970, which has placed it on the list of endangered species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, according to Sea Shepherd New Zealand, the environmental organisation which launched a campaign to save the marine mammals. “Many of the small sub populations are as isolated and vulnerable as the North Island Hector’s (Maui)” said

Michael Lawry, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd New Zealand. “Hector’s disappeared at such a rapid rate last century and with very little public knowledge, it was truly a silent slaughter in our inshore waters. There’s a greater public awareness now but still, a problem that can’t be solved by petitions and submissions,”

Good News airport

Quick Glance


Parasites help control wildlife and keep energy flowing through food chains Parasites are as threatened as any other life groups on the earth Having parasites indicates that the ecosystem has been stable

predicted a loss of about 10 per cent. “Slowing climate change has a really profound impact on extinction rates, but even in the best-case scenario, we’re still looking at fairly major global changes,” Carlson said. “Having parasites means the ecosystem has a diversity of animals in it and that conditions have been consistent long enough for these complex associations to develop,” noted Anna J. Phillips, a zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. For the study, 17 researchers from eight countries tracked geospatial information of 457 parasite species including worms, fleas, lice and others. Using climate forecasts, the researchers compared these will be impacted by changes in climate under various scenarios.

Quick Glance There are currently only some 9,000 Hector’s Dolphins left The population has decreased from estimated 50,000 in 1970 This species has been placed on the list of endangered species

Efe news quoted Lawry as saying. He also claimed that the connections the New Zealand government has with “some big fishing companies” might be helpful in solving this issue. The “Operation Pahu”, referring to Hector’s Dolphin’s name in The Maori language, a word which imitates the sound the dolphins make when surfacing to breath, aims to protect the mammals from illegal fishing or unregulated trade, the organisation said in a statement. A large number of these dolphins die from being trapped in fishing nets as they are unable to swim up to the ocean surface to breathe. During the campaign, activists, in collaboration with indigenous people and local scientists, will patrol the southeastern coasts of the South Island to monitor human activities in the dolphin’s habitat. The Hector’s dolphin, grey with whitish spots, usually grow to some 1.4 meters in length.

Kolkata airport to go solar

The airport is poised to commission a Rs 88 crore solar power generation plant having a peak capacity to generate 15 MW of energy IANS


he Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata will shortly beat the other airports of the country in generating its own power to feed the sprawling facility, thanks to pioneering efforts initiated by the authority in tapping solar power. The airport is poised to commission a Rs 88 crore solar power generation plant having a peak capacity to generate 15 MW of energy; the trial run to connect it with the Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) grid has just begun, according to Airport director Atul Dikshit. A total of 45,454 solar panels, each having a capacity to generate 330W have been installed over 65 acres of the airport land to the east; this is in addition to the 2 MW rooftop solar plant which the authorities have commissioned two years ago at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore. The first plant presently provides power for the lights in the airport. Airports at Kochi, New Delhi and Mumbai currently have solar power facilities, generating 12MW, 7.8MW and 2MW respectively. Once the second plant is integrated with the CESC grid, the airport’s energy bill is slated to get substantially reduced, enabling the authorities to save on power costs, Dikshit pointed out. Presently, the city airport forks out Rs six crore on an average per month on power; the final integration with the CESC grid will see the power bill come down to Rs 4.5 crore per month, yielding a saving of Rs 15 crore per annum. The airport’s authority which has signed a contract with the CESC for netmetering, will pay only for the power it will draw from the CESC grid per month. The net metering is a kind of mechanism that ensures the difference of energy used between the solar and the grid power. Even, if the airport exports excess energy to the grid, it will also be factored in the power bill.


September 18 - 24, 2017

sharad gupta

When you cease to dream you cease to live

A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications


Malcolm Forbes

Flying Trains With average speed of over 300 kms per hour, Bullet Train will boost India’s economy

Children’s Security

Soul Searching Needed While ensuring children’s security is a must, it is much more difficult to change people who are perverted


o single incident has moved the conscience of the country so vehemently, after the Nirbhaya rape case of 2012, as the brutal murder of the seven-yearold boy of a high-end public school in Gurgaon, National Capital Region. The owners of the school have been trying to get away with excuses, but this is is not the first time the school has come under the scanner. However, our concern is not a particular school. One does not know how often such things may be happening in the hinterlands. There are two issues here, one of which can be tackled but the other is so ephemeral that one does not see any easy way out. The first issue is of ensuring the security of small boys and girls within school premises. No one’s safety can be guaranteed all the time. For instance, while going to and coming back from school, there are any numbers of security issues. But within the school premises, where trusting parents leave their loved children, the security must be ensured. And it must not depend on whether the school is high-end or a small one. Simple measures like more women attendants will help a lot. But the second issue is something much more difficult to tackle: the issue of an increasingly sick and sickening mentality in society. There is a dire need to do some large scale soul searching for that.


ndia is finally all set to join the select group of dozenodd countries which possess high-speed trains euphemistically called Bullet Trains. Most of these countries are in Europe. Only exceptions are China, Japan, South Korea and USA. First such train began operations in Japan in 1964. High-speed trains normally operate on standard gauge tracks of continuously welded rail on a gradeseparated right-of-way that incorporates a large turning radius in its design. India’s first bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is likely to be completed by 2022, the year marking 75 years of India’s Independence. The foundation stone of the project, which will get a soft loan of Rs 88,000 crore from Japan, was laid on September 14 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. The first tranche of the loan, Rs 6,000 crore, was released immediately, while the remaining tranches will come after the completion of land acquisition. Japan is providing the loan at a minuscule interest rate of 0.1 per cent, and the repayment will begin only after 15 years. The interest on the entire loan will be Rs 7-8 crore a month. Initially, the route is expected to have 35 trains per day. This might increase to 105 by 2050. The trains are set to run at a speed of 320-350 kilometres per hour and will cover 12 stations – Bandra Kurla Complex, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. It is expected to run at an average speed of 250 km per hour, with a top speed of around 320 km per hour - more than double the maximum speed of the fastest train in India. Of the 508-km stretch, 92 per cent of the route will

be elevated, six per cent in the tunnel and the rest two per cent will be on the ground. The high speed train will also pass through the country’s biggest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea. The travel time will be reduced from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all stations and around two hours if it stops at only four. A greater stretch of this link, 351 km, will run through Gujarat and 156 km through Maharashtra This project will herald a new era of safety, speed and service and help the Indian Railways craft a pathway to becoming a global leader in scale, technology and skill. One of the stated objectives of the project is “Make in India”. The Project has “localised manufacture” and “transfer of technology” as twin, complementary objectives. Under the guidance of the task force comprising of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and Japan External Trade Organisation, an action is being initiated as per the agreed guidelines. It is expected that many joint ventures will be formed to take up the manufacturing of various components related to track and rolling stock. The construction sector in India is also expected to get a big boost not only in terms of works contracts but also with respect to new technology and work culture. This project is likely to generate employment for about 20,000 workers, who will then be equipped to take up construction of more such projects in India. The new areas where construction skills would be developed are ballast-less track, under sea tunnelling et al. A dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed at Vadodara. This institute will be fully equipped with equipment and facilities, such as a simulator, as exist in the training institute in

This project will start


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:,

a new era of service and help the Indian Railways in becoming a global leader in scale, technology and skill

September 18 - 24, 2017

High-speed trains

normally operate on standard gauge tracks of continuously welded rail on grade-separated right-of-way Japan. This institute will be functional by the end of 2020 and have facilities to train about 4,000 staff in the next three years, who will then be utilised for operation and maintenance. There are two types of services proposed. A “rapid train” service with only two stops — at Surat and Vadodara — and a slower service that halts at 10 stations en route. The “rapid train” would complete the journey in 2 hours and 7 minutes, while the slower service would take 2 hours and 58 minutes. Thirty-five daily services will be operated on the line, with three services per hour during peak times and two services per hour during off-peak times. The estimates are that the high speed rail corridor will have a daily ridership of around 36,000 in 2023. This is widely expected to enable the railway system to begin winning back the creamy layer of higher-fare paying passengers in inter-city routes from the haemorrhaging occurring today vis-à-vis the domestic aviation sector. India is getting cutting-edge operational technology in totality. The Shinkansen technology is renowned for its reliability and safety. The train delay record of Shinkansen is less than a minute with zero fatalities. Thus, the project is set to provide reliable and comfortable service with high standards of safety. The technology regarding disaster predictions and preventions will also be acquired as part of the project. It heralds leapfrogging technology development – just like we witnessed in mobile phones, satellite launches regional air-connectivity or metro rail. This high price must be balanced with the advantages beyond just ticket sales. Europe is considering a continent-wide HSR freight network to alleviate airport congestion, the rising price of fuel, and environmental concerns. Initially, each train would be able to carry the load of seven Boeing 737 planes. The train travel is also expected to cut down on travel time. While it normally takes over an hour and a half to board an aircraft, boarding a train wouldn’t need more than 10-12 minutes. Besides, efficient and swift transport of freight too will be a big advantage. China already has over 22000 Kms of high-speed train tracks. If we have to compete globally, we need to have many more bullet trains.



Breathe In Enlightenment Breathe Out Ignorance

mihir paul

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

Being mindful of the breath leads to inner peace and equanimity



he breath, just like our five senses, is always occurring in the present moment. You can’t breathe in the future neither can you breathe in the past unless those are simply timebased thoughts about breathing, happening in the present moment itself. Breathing is a semi-conscious process that happens all the time in all life experiences and we keep breathing from our body’s first breath to its last. The breath is even gentler than the sense perceptions that we experience through our five senses and sometimes, an easier route to get grounded in the present moment. Try it out for yourself. Close your eyes, Sit in a relaxed position and just observe your breath. Don’t try to control it. Just let your breath happen at its own pace and just observe it in a detached way without any judgment or control. Thoughts will come to distract you, whenever you get distracted, just come back to your breath. You will realize it gets easier and easier and soon you’ll be able to be aware of

your breath all day. And if you can be aware of the breath, that means you are already living in the present moment. This, in turn, means that you’re aware of your true self, your true nature. This is the easiest possible way to understanding yet it requires the most consistent effort on your part since we are all so used to paying attention to our thoughts instead of our sense perceptions or our own breathing. The practice of being aware of the moment without judgment is called being mindful. Being mindful is being present to one’s immediate experience. The more mindful you are, the less room you give to the ego to operate within you. Mindfulness

has shown to improve mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. All you really need is - mindfully breathing at least ten minutes a day. This alone will have a huge impact on your immediate experience of life. This mindfulness and awareness of the present moment through the breath brings with it - the ability to transcend the egoistic impulses. Once you can do this you will notice a lot of changes in your immediate perception. You’ll notice such dramatic changes within your own being, within your reality, and within the people around you. Your world will get as gentle and as calm as your own breath. You will naturally become loving, caring, forgiving, and extremely compassionate. Remember, it all starts with the breath. It’s never too late as long as you are breathing. Just observe it gently without judgment or control. Enjoy being alive and have extreme gratitude for that.

letters to the editor recent years we have observed a lot of environmental imbalance throughout the world, sudden change in weather conditions which some Hollywood movies have displayed as a subject and forced us to imagine the end of the world. If we want to survive we all need to take effective and major steps to prevent Ozone depletion as fast as possible. After reading the stats mentioned in the article we can conclude that we need to work fast for our future generations. Reema Mridula, Kanpur

save ozone a must The article ‘Save Ozone Layer To Save Ourselves’ is about a major problem faced by the human race. It is not just related to health problems but also to the environmental changes. In the

save the sangai The article ‘Operation ‘Save Sangai’’ is an interesting article. After reading the article I was impressed by the detailed information about this species of deer. The article inspired my mind and made me feel proud that wildlife reserve in Manipur is

doing its best to protect them. We all should pray that in the future their numbers should increase and should be a major tourist attraction for the future generations. I would like to request the paper to print more such news. Kaushalya Gupta, Ahmedabad what a lady! Swayamsiddh: Punching Traffickers in Bengal’ was a very surprising and shocking article for people living in the metropolitan cities, especially those from the higher classes . It was inspiring to learn that a girl who herself was a victim of such an incident didn’t just stop at her struggle but continued to fight against child trafficking. I salute her and wish all the best to people like her who are involved in the great initiative. Gagan Bera, Sambalpur

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18 Photo Feature

September 18 - 24, 2017

Raju Srivastava in Sulabh

Well-known stand-up comedian Raju Srivastava not only charmed the Sulabh village with his repartee but got himself enlightened about Sulabh’s work

Photos: Montu

Tickling ever yone’s funn st yle by posing y bone in his own typica l at a welcome board

er labh found come by Su village el w d n ra g e Sulabh ccorded a tava was a arrival at th Raju Srivas hwar Pathak on his Dr Bindes

A doctor in Sulabh Hospital explaining its functioning to the Bollywood actor

rs from s of former scavenge After hearing the storie strikes a pose with them ju Alwar and Tonk , Ra

cess the pro r y g in d n ita ta Unders oying the san tor of destr ins in incinera napk

est Bengal d water from W Raju with filtere used to contain arsenic which

Raju drinking w

ater drawn from

Sulabh Water


September 18 - 24, 2017

Photo Feature


atma es of Mah dkar tu ta s h it mbe ing w Raju pos Gandhi and Dr A

Dr Pathak demonstrating working of toilet using mi nimum water for areas facing sev ere water scarcity

showing Dr Pathak l toilet e him a mod

Two-pit-po ur-flu pioneered b sh toilet y Sulabh

ts and staff of Raju with studen hool Sulabh Public Sc

rns Human excreta tu

Lighting a lam


odourless after tre

p fuelled by bi


Dr Pathak presen ting a piece painting to Raju Sr of Madhubani ivastava

Pathak ava with Dr Raju Srivast

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and the Sula

Raju does speeches. H n’t believe in long is actions a re than lot of b better rouhaha!

20 Sanitation

September 18 - 24, 2017

Tourism junk

delhi Sewer Cleaning

100 per cent mechanisation

Bottles Banned In Goa’s Beaches Goa’s government is looking to ban glass bottles on the beaches as shack owners suggested that drinks should be served in cans IANS


oa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar recently told officials to find a way to ban glass bottles on beaches as shack owners suggested that drinks should only be served in cans on beaches. “Considering the demand from beach shack operators to ban the supply of drinks in glass bottles on the beaches, the Minister has directed the Tourism Department to work out a mechanism to bring in the necessary measures within the ambit of the law,” a spokesperson for the Tourism Ministry told reporters. Ajgaonkar, at a meeting with

Lt Governor of Delhi wants no manual scavenging IANS


elhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal recently directed officials to ensure 100 per cent mechanisation of sewer cleaning in the capital by March next year. The Lt Governor issued the direction at a review meeting on the issue of deaths of sanitation workers while cleaning sewers in Delhi. “LG directed that the goal of 100 per cent mechanisation of sewer cleaning should be achieved by March 2018. He also asked the concerned agencies to lay down a

SOP for manual cleaning of sewers in emergency situations,” an official statement said. Meanwhile Baijal, in another meeting, also issued directions regarding greening of the garbage mounds in Bhalswa and Okhla landfills after grading their slopes under expert guidance. Experts from IIT-Delhi and the industry along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain attended the meeting. In the

kamakhya Waste Management

temple complex being spruced up It is a joint programme of the temple management, an NGO, and a private company

the Shack Owners Welfare Society, also said that public conveniences like toilets, changing rooms and locker facilities were also being developed on the beaches under the central government’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme. “Ajgaonkar categorically stated that the government will crack down on activities such as drugs, illegal masseur activities and dance bars,” the spokesperson said. Cruz Cardozo, the Society’s President, had requested the Minister to allow the use of beverage cans on beaches, instead of bottles, which are littered on the sand and cause pollution and often injuries to swimmers, the spokesperson said. By amending the state excise act last year, the government had banned drinking in public places including beaches. Goa, a top beach tourism destination in India, attracts more than six million tourists every year. Ensure 100% Mechanisation Of Sewer-Cleaning.

Raj Kashyap


project for the scientific waste management of the Kamakhya temple complex, where lakhs of devotees visit every year from different parts of the country, has been inaugurated as part of a joint initiative of Kamakhya Devalaya, Care Assam and Eco Waste Management. Technical guidance for the project will be provided by Pradip Baishya,

president of Care Assam and, secretary of Kamakhya Devalaya Bhupesh Sarma. The scheme consists of an integrated waste segregating and processing system in the temple campus developed by Eco Waste Management. Care Assam has organised several awareness campaigns in the temple campus with the objective of sensitising the devotees on the importance of waste management and garbage disposal. On 10 September, a street play was also organized in the temple precinct to propagate the message of cleanliness and prompt disposal of the waste. Waste segregating bins have been installed inside the temple campus and leaflets with information on responsible waste disposal procedures are being regularly distributed to the public. Waste segregating bins have been distributed

Care Assam has

organised several awareness campaigns in the temple complex to sensitise people

meeting Lt. Governor also discussed the solutions for all the three garbage mounds on a case-by-case basis. The meeting was informed that National Highways Authority of India would undertake the work of segregation and utilisation of garbage of the Ghazipur mound from mid-November for use in its road project. to shopkeepers in the area as part of the first testing phase of the project. There was also a felicitation ceremony of four waste cleaners of Kamakhya temple for providing hygienic cleaning services. The project assumes importance in view of the city’s emerging problems in the disposal of waste generated every day. It is not uncommon to see large containers filled with garbage in Guwahati that are not regularly cleared. It is estimated that around 500 metric tonnes (MTs) of waste is generated every day in the city. In 2008, the management of the waste was handed over to the Hyderabad-based private sector Ramky Enviro Engineering which had undertaken the Integrated Solid Waste Management in the city under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission ( JNNURM). As per its agreement with the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), the company was to collect the waste from the households as well as roadside dustbins and dispose and process them in an environment-friendly manner. According to media reports, the company has failed to fulfil its commitment made in the agreement. It has been covering only 50 per cent of the around 2, 10,000 households of the city. Every day, the firm is supposedly processing only 50 MTs of waste, which is only one tenth of the total generated in the city. The rest is dumped openly at the West Boragaon site. Ramky’s failure stemmed from its inability to realize the user charges from the households and commercial establishments due to popular resistance. Each of the households was supposed to pay at the rate of Rs 50 per month. The rates of the commercial establishments were a bit higher.

September 18 - 24, 2017



goa Beach Use

Beach Cooking to be Banned Goa’s administration banned cooking in open areas of the beaches since it leads to the collection of garbage in public areas Quick Glance This came after the recent ban on swimming in beaches after sunset Manohar Parrikar ordered the police to crackdown on cooking in public This is to curb the collection of garbage being strewn in public areas



fter announcing a ban on swimming on Goa’s beaches after sunset, a meeting of tourism industry stakeholders chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday ordered the police to crack down on cooking in public by tourist groups, claiming it was unhygienic and resulted in garbage being strewn in public areas.

Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar told IANS that at the meeting, which comprised of representatives from state government agencies as well as tourism and travel industry

stakeholders, a decision was also taken to undertake a massive awareness drive to make tourists aware of the perils of swimming in the sea after sunset. “Cooking in the open by groups of tourists is an eyesore. It creates disturbance and garbage which is left unattended. We have instructed police to crack down on groups of tourists who travel by buses and cooking gear and then cook in the open for their meals,” he said. Tourists travelling in buses on

Open cooking is now banned in Goa following the

rampant dumping of garbage by tourists cooking in the beaches

Quick Glance

Delhi Waste Management

lg bans use of ghazipur dump

Ban came after the emergency meeting Baijal held after last week’s incident No more dumping of solid waste would be allowed in Ghazipur’s landfills Traffic has been diverted from the adjoining road as a safety measure

The Lt Governor has directed that East MCD will right away stop dumping waste in Ghazipur and send it to an alternative site to avoid accidents IANS


day after a huge portion of a landfill in east Delhi’s Ghazipur collapsed leading to two deaths, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on last Saturday banned dumping of solid waste at the site. Baijal held an emergency meeting for immediate measures to be taken in view of the incident of garbage slide at Ghazipur landfill and ordered an immediate halt to dumping of solid waste at the landfill and clearing the site

within two years. “The LG directed that no more dumping of solid waste and any other kind of silt would take place at the Ghazipur landfill site. The East MCD would be sending its collected dump to another alternative site immediately,” said a press statement from the Lt Governor. Traffic has been diverted from the adjoining road as an immediate safety measure and traffic police posted in the area to ensure proper traffic circulation. People are advised to use alternate

shoe-string budgets are regularly seen along coastal parts of the state cooking their meals in the open, something the tourism industry stakeholders have complained in the past about, claiming such lowbudget tourism doesn’t bring in revenue to the state exchequer and at the same time ruins the aesthetics of the countryside. “The sooner this is stopped the better. We have received a lot of complaints,” Ajgaonkar said. The Tourism Minister also said that the Chief Minister had repeated his resolve to come up with a law to ban swimming after sunset, even as the state saw as many as five deaths over the last few days, due to tourists venturing the sea after sunset. “We will also conduct an awareness drive, where tourists will be given pamphlets asking them not swim after sunset. The pamphlet will be given to tourists at border check-points, at hotels, restaurants and shacks,” Ajgaonkar said. Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts more than six million tourists every year.

routes, the statement said. The meeting was attended by Commissioner of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), General Manager of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Principal Commissioner (lands) DDA, experts in landfill site management and other concerned officials. NHAI will begin the process of lifting, segregating and processing the solid waste by November 2017, for which purpose the requisite processes are already being fast tracked, said the LG statement.

“The dumped waste will be used for construction of service roads and the entire landfill site will be cleared within two years,” the statement added. The NHAI has also started lifting the garbage to be used in construction of service roads from November, it added. On Friday afternoon, two persons, including a woman, were killed when a huge portion of the landfill in Ghazipur collapsed. The collapsed mound’s debris swept away a car and a two-wheeler, along with their riders, into the nearby Kondli canal. The Ghazipur landfill is among the four dump sites in the national capital and the collected waste had reached a height of 50 metres, as tall as a 15-storey building.

22 Health

September 18 - 24, 2017

Food Safety FSSAI

Working On Inspection Framework: FSSAI

To ensure the supply of safe, hygienic, and nutritious food, FSSAI is coming up with a comprehensive inspection framework IANS


he Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is coming up with a comprehensive inspection framework to ensure supply of safe, hygienic and nutritious food, an official said here on Friday. “We are working with a comprehensive approach which we are calling safe and nutritious food shared responsibility, in which we are trying to reach out to Indian homes, schools, work places, restaurants, street food vendors, railways, temples,” FSSAI Chief Executive Officer Pawan Agarwal said at a FICCI event. “On the food practices standards, we are very much far behind and this is one area of focus where we depend quite extensively on professionals who work in the food industry. We are somewhat unfortunate that general awareness about standards of food safety and hygiene is very low.” Agarwal said that a new regulatory arrangement was being put in place

to support the enforcement of regulations. He said there were about 135 food laboratories set up by the private sector, which was recognised by the FSSAI, in addition to 90 government laboratories, mostly under state governments’ control. He said the FSSAI did not have food inspectors as food inspection was largely done by state governments.

Asking the food industry for collaboration, the FSSAI chief said: “Our efforts should be building a coalition of stakeholders, who can jointly take responsibility. If we join hands together, our number of food inspectors will go above 20,000 in the US.” He said the FSSAI worked with science organisations, research institution to create standards for

biotech cELLS

converting Human Skin Cells to Motor Neurons A new method to convert human skin cells to motor neurons which bypasses the stem cell stage has been discovered IANS


cientists have found a way to convert skin cells from healthy adults directly into motor neurons without going through a stem cell state, thereby making it possible to study motor neurons of the human central nervous system in the laboratory. Unlike commonly studied mouse motor neurons, human motor neurons growing in the lab would be a new tool since researchers cannot take samples of these neurons from living people but can easily take skin samples.

Motor neurons drive muscle contractions, and their damage underlies devastating diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy, both of which ultimately lead to paralysis and early death. The technique, described in the journal Cell Stem Cell, could help researchers better understand these diseases. “In this study, we only used skin cells from healthy adults ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s,” said senior author Andrew Yoo, Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

To convert skin cells into motor neurons, the researchers exposed the skin cells to molecular signals that are usually present at high levels in the brain. “Our research revealed how small RNA molecules can work with other cell signals called transcription factors to generate specific types of neurons, in this case, motor neurons,” Yoo said. “In the future, we would like to

Quick Glance FSSAI is trying to reach out Indian homes, schools, restaurants etc FSSAI’s focus will be on food practices standards This is the first time FSSAI will have food inspectors on the ground

the food business to operate in this country. “A lot of progress is made. About 80-85 per cent of standards are in place. And balance 10-12 per cent is in final stages of being notified,” he said. “We continue to give all newer and better standards to provide scope for innovation for the food industry and global benchmark as far as new products and service are concerned.” The FSSAI has released the ‘Yellow Book’ that was aimed at children detailing how to eat right with emphasis on preventing nutritional deficiencies and making healthy choices. Agarwal said the book was launched in three categories for children in different age groups and it covered a range of topics -from food safety practices, personal hygiene and cleanliness habits, and eating a balanced diet to packing a wholesome lunch box. He said it can be adopted across schools through state education machinery as part of their curricular and co-curricular activities.

Quick Glance The study took skin cell samples from healthy adults The method exposes skin cells to molecular signals from the brain RNA molecules can use transcription factors to generate neurons

study skin cells from patients with disorders of motor neurons. Our conversion process should model late-onset aspects of the disease using neurons derived from patients with the condition,” Yoo added. Avoiding the stem cell phase eliminates ethical concerns raised when producing what are called pluripotent stem cells, which are similar to embryonic stem cells in their ability to become all adult cell types. And importantly, avoiding a stem cell state allows the resulting motor neurons to retain the age of the original skin cells and, therefore, the age of the patient.

September 18 - 24, 2017

Life thriving

how to thrive in life Thriving comes down to an individual experiencing a sense of development, of getting better at something, and succeeding at mastery


at the University of Portsmouth in Britain. “It appears to come down to an individual experiencing a sense of development, of getting better at something, and succeeding at mastering something,” he added. “In the simplest terms, what underpins it is feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something,” Brown added. The study, published in the journal European Psychologist, outlines a ‘shopping list’ of requirements for

The study outlines a ‘shopping list’ of requirements for thriving in life Thriving has been described as vitality, learning, focus, or their combinations

thriving in life. According to the list, one has to be optimistic, spiritual or religious, motivated, proactive, someone who enjoys learning and is flexible, adaptable, socially competent, believes in self/has self-esteem. Moreover, one should also have the opportunity and employer/family/ other support. The other requirements in the list include challenges and difficulties are at manageable level, the environment is calm, is given a high degree of autonomy and is trusted as competent. To thrive does not need all the components, but a combination of some from each of the two lists may help, the researchers said. Thriving has been examined at various stages of human life and has at times been described as vitality, learning, mental toughness, focus, or combinations of these and other qualities.

Myths About Coconut Oil Busted If consumed in moderation with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, coconut oil is great for the body, skin and hair


troubles widespread. Myth: It tastes coconutty Fact: Coconut oil comes in two variants: Refined and virgin/cold pressed - and not all varieties have a coconutty flavour. Refined coconut oil has literally no taste or odour, these are often refined, bleached, and deodorized so that they can be consumed easily. However, hydrogenated coconut oil should be avoided at all costs as the process can create synthetic transfats. Go for coconut oil that has been refined using a natural and chemicalfree process. And if a slight coconut flavour in your food doesn’t make it unpalatable for you then opt for the virgin variety.


Thriving in life comes down to being good at something

nutrition cooking medium

ahesh Jayaraman, medical researcher, therapist, health advisor and co-founder of health platform, and Ishika Sachdev, holistic nutritionist, bust myths around the oil. Myth: Coconut oil causes heart disease Fact: Coconut oil is as far as possible from being harmful to your heart health. The reason this myth was perpetuated was that of its large percentage of saturated fat. Advanced research has proved that naturally occurring fats aren’t what damage your heart. Instead of processed foods and those containing large quantities of refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup are what are making heart

Weight loss

Quick Glance

IANS oing well in life, it seems, is not as difficult as we tend to assume when life throws a few tough challenges at us. A new study has found that what it takes to thrive, rather than merely survive, could be as simple as feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something. Until now and despite plenty of theories, there has been no agreement on what makes a person thrive or on how people can try and ensure they do. To come up with a definitive catchall, the researchers pulled together research on what makes people thrive, from studies of babies and teenagers to studies of artists, sportspeople, employees and the elderly. “Thriving is a word most people would be glad to hear themselves described as, but which science hasn’t really managed to consistently classify and describe until now,” said Daniel Brown, a sport and exercise scientist


Myth: Coconut oil has high cholesterol Fact: Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides which are a super fuel that is used up by our bodies very efficiently. In fact, they contribute towards a better cholesterol profile. This means that either your overall cholesterol levels go down or your good cholesterol levels go up on substantial consumption of coconut oil. And ultimately it’s the ratio of your total cholesterol to your good cholesterol that determines how healthy you really are.

some not so good effects of Weight Loss Surgeries Undergoing the RYGB surgery can raise the risk of frequent sperm aberrations and lower fertility rates in men IANS


f you are an obese man planning to get under the knife to lose that extra paunch, think twice. According to a study, undergoing a type of bariatric surgery may raise the risk of frequent sperm aberrations and lower fertility rates in men. The findings revealed that men who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass(RYGB) surgery reported elevated levels of the estrogen hormone estradiol and deficiency in vitamin D, factors which could negatively impact semen and fertility. This reduction was despite improvements in weight, androgen levels and sexual quality of life following the procedure, the researchers said. “This study is one important piece in solving the puzzle of male infertility. The challenge is to see if correcting hormonal and micro nutrient aberrations are enough to reverse male infertility,” said Edward Lin, Surgical Director, at Emory University’s Gastroesophageal Treatment Centre in Georgia. In a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, only a small part of the stomach is used to create a new stomach pouch, roughly the size of an egg. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). For the study, published in Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, the team compared the long-term effects of weight loss following RYGB among a group of sexually active men attempting to conceive with a partner to the semen parameters and fertility of obese men who did not undergo bariatric surgery and to a control group of lean men.

24 Cityscape

September 18 - 24, 2017

Quick Glance

urban landscape patna

Gandhi Maidan to get total facelift

The Art, Culture, and Youth Affairs Department, in association with Sri Krishna Memorial Development Committee, will organise cultural programmes

Pradeep Modak


he historic Gandhi Maidan in the heart of Patna is all set for a grand makeover as the state government has decided to make it a city square like several other metro cities in India and abroad. It will become the most happening place of Patna, to be abuzz with different types of activities throughout the day as well as in the evenings. Gandhi Maidan has been known for hosting political rallies, fairs, government programmes, social and religious gatherings. “The heart of the Gandhi Maidan will remain the same; there will be no change at all. The theme is to beautify and make it a decent place for a family outing where visitors can avail the facilities of entertainment, shopping and refreshment”, said Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor while reviewing the construction work of Patna Haat The Art Village. Further, the Art, Culture and Youth Affairs department in association with Sri Krishna Memorial Development Committee will organise cultural programmes in the Art Village every week to add more charm to the evening. The Patna Haat The Art Village will be opened on October 1. Kishor said Patna Haat would be a major step in the development initiatives

The portable stage will be placed in a location so that visitors at the food court and Patna Haat can have the full view of the performance going on

of Gandhi Maidan taken up by the government after the launch of the food court, kids’ zone, an open gymnasium for women and new walkers’ path. The Patna Haat is coming up near the food court at gate No.7 of the Gandhi Maidan in an area of 9,000 square feet. The Haat will have 45 to 50 canopies of handicrafts and architectures such as Madhubani painting, Khatwa / appliqué work, Bhagalpuri silk, Tikuli painting, Sikki craft, stone craft, bamboo craft, Manjusha painting, jute craft, wood craft, terracotta, Lac bangles-Lahthi work, brass items, Sujni embroidery, Baan Buti and papier mache. Along with theses Bihar’s homemade products, handloom and handicrafts products will also be available in the Haat which will be decorated in such a way so that visitors can have a glimpse of state’s cultural diversity. The Patna divisional commissioner said different artefacts related to Bihar would be placed from one corner to other corner of the Haat to add more attraction to the concept. “The Art, Culture and Youth Affairs

Department will organize enchanting cultural programmes in every Saturday and Sunday of the year to make the Gandhi Maidan more vibrant,” he added. “The programme will be of different natures; it may be music (classical to modern), dance, drama and other forms of entertainment”, he said adding that the cultural activities will also promote the budding artists of the state to showcase their talents. The commissioner also made the screening of agencies seeking to conduct the show. Cultural events will be held on a portable stage and selected agencies will have to arrange everything from light, music system, musical instruments and stage decoration items. The portable stage will be placed in a location so that visitors at the food court and Patna Haat can have the full view of the stage and enjoy cultural programmes. In the summer season, the cultural programmes will be held from 6 pm to 9 pm while in winter it will be organized from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The trial run of Dussehra Mela began

Patna’s Gandhi Maidan has so far been hosting political and religious functions While that basic nature will not change, the place will be beautified It will also be home to a variety of arts and crafts activities like in Dilli Haat

on September 9 as Rini Chandra, the finalist of 2010 Saregamapa, captivated the audience. The official opening of the Dussehra Mahotsav will be held on September21. Recently, three food courts were launched at gate No. 7 and 7A of Gandhi Maidan near Udyog Bhavan. A Facebook page titled TOB Patna was also launched to mark the occasion. TOB (test of Bihar) provides information regarding the delicacies available in the food courts. It also provides the information related to forthcoming events to be held in Gandhi Maidan. A mobile App “Taste of Bihar” and a web portal, related to food stuff available in the three food courts have also been launched for the people who want to visit and enjoy their outing. The three food courts have some distinct features. For instance, the food court at gate No. 6 is a universal type as visitors from all age group can enjoy their outing with different types of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes from Chinese to deshi. The food court at gate No.7 is established keeping in view the choices of the teenagers. It has been designed by Rayan, a student of BIT (Patna campus). Innovative materials and have been used in the designing of the food court. The food court at gate No 7 is developed for the family. It also has a swing for kids in its gate and flex branding of the menu depicting tasty mouthwatering dishes of different states. The food courts open at 6 am so that morning walkers can have healthy drinks like fruit juice, green tea, Nariyal paani. At 8am, the food courts serve Rajma Chaval, Litti Chokha, Chura-Ghughani and Chinese food. From 11 am to 3:00 pm, food courts serve veg and non-veg lunch at economic rates. At 4 pm, you can get vegetable, cheese and other types of pakodas, tea in Kulhar (earthen tea cup) and famous sweet meat dishes of Bihar. Curd, milkshake, Jalebi and other milk products are also available in the food courts. The food courts serve dinner (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) from 7 pm to 9:30 pm. The master chef of food courts is Swati Shekar of Munger, who was among the top 12 contestants of Star Plus Season 1 Master Chef show. She has also written 10 books on cooking and several articles in different magazines.

September 18 - 24, 2017



Quick Glance

music heritage

Gharana-based education was the reason for their interest in music

Musicians’ Legacies

Shiraz learnt music from his grandfather and aunt Sourabh Goho learnt vocal music from his family, like Arindam Bhattacharya

Modern musicians like Shiraz Ali Khan and Sourabh Goho are a testament of what gharana-based education can accomplish


From Left to Right: Sourabh Goho, Shiraj Ali Khan and Arindam Bhattacharya


hen you are the great grandson of sarod maestro Baba Alauddin Khan, there is a heavy responsibility and pressure to take forward the family legacy, but Shiraz Ali Khan says there are huge benefits that come from receiving Gharana-based education and also when it comes to becoming a professional musician. From Alauddin Khan, the music “naturally flowed down via my grandfather Ali Akbar Khan and my father Dhyanesh Khan,” Shiraz told IANS in an interview. “I started learning the instrument under my father and my Uncle Aashish Khan at the age of five. However, whenever my grandfather would be in the country, he would teach me as well,” Shiraz added. He was part of a trio the others being pedigreed musicians Sourabh Goho (tabla) and Arindam Bhattacharya (vocals) that collaborated for a concert organised by HCL here. Like Shiraz, the other two were also introduced to the family tradition at a very early age and ended being interested in the family legacy. On his grandfather, Shiraz said: “He was always a very quiet person who spoke through his music. Belonging to the Senia gharana, Ali Akbar Khan applied gayaki (singing) for tutelage.” Shiraz said his grandfather would sing and teach him the basics and then take over the instrument to demonstrate. “A Gurumukhi approach, which I listened to and played.” “He was very sincere about his music, patient and serious, and I am trying to learn from him.”

Musicians like Arindam Bhattacharya and Shiraz recall how their families of musical legends played vital roles in their musical development

Shiraz has also studied under the guidance of his aunt AmeenaPerera in the Beenkar and Rababiya Anga styles bearing the Dhrupad form of vocal music. “At the age of eight, I also started with my table taaleem (education) under the guidance of the late Pandit Shankar Ghosh but eventually devoted myself to the sarod,” he said.

His first solo sarod recital was at the age of 15. This was followed by his performances in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. He also got a chance to commemorate his great grandfather in Kolkata. How has he benefited from belonging to a gharana? “The world knows about the people in my family like my grandfather Ustad Ali

Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi and the geniuses like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Pandit V.G. Jog, among others,” he said. “I am now considered a torch-bearer of the Maihargharana,” he added. Sourabh Goho started learning vocal music from his father -- harmonium maestro Jyoti Goho. When he was seven, his father understood his love for rhythm and for the tabla. He then took him to one of the greatest tabla legends -- the late Pandit Shankar Ghosh. “That’s when my taleem began. Since Guruji is no more, I am currently taking tabla lessons from maestro Bickram Ghosh,” Sourabh told IANS. He feels that being a musician’s son has both advantages and disadvantages. “I feel lucky and blessed to be the son of Pandit Jyoti Goho. However, there have been times when my performance was not up to the mark; so organisers I performed for never called me for their events again,” he explained. Arindam Bhattacharya inherited music from his family and went on to pursue his masters in music from Kolkata’s Rabindra Bharati University. He is a disciple of Ranjan Mukherjee, an exponent of the Patiala style of singing, and Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty’s style. “My father, tabla maestro Pandit Swaraj Kumar Bhattacharyya of the Lucknow Gharana, has always encouraged me to be focused and to do my best,” he told IANS. He stressed that it is a great privilege to be coming from a family of musicians. “Since my birth, I have been brought up with rhythm and musical notes,” he said. So far, it has been a “wonderful” journey for him, he said. “As a teenager, I started experimenting with introducing influences to classical compositions which explain the birth of a fusion band, Indian Blue, in 2002,” he said. He explained how this genre of music has been used and encouraged by his family for a long time now. “My eldest uncle, Aashish Khan, the noted sarod player and the connoisseur of the Maihar Senia gharana, started experimenting with Indian and western fusion all over the globe and excelled in it.” None of the three had any complaints to make about the struggles of a classical musician. They seemed content with whatever has come their way so far.

26 Environment

September 18 - 24, 2017


Taxation Eco-Measures

Tax doles pay off energy benefits The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s decision to make tax exemptions to those inclined towards environment protection is paying off SSB Mumbai Bureau


agpur Municipal Corporation has launched a campaign to give concessions to the people who adopt measures for environmental protection. It is noteworthy that groundwater is falling rapidly in Nagpur and areas around there. Rainfall is also low. In summers, the condition becomes worrisome. For this purpose, the corporation has been giving exemption to property holders since 2008, so that people should be aware of setting up solar

Quick Glance Groundwater is rapidly falling in Nagpur and areas around the city The corporation has been giving concessions for water harvesting Solar energy is also being given a boost in terms of tax relaxations

energy units, adopting rain water harvesting, recycling contaminated water and using it for irrigation. This will not only benefit the people but also the environment. The NMC has said that those who show activism in this work will get a discount of five per cent in property tax. If anyone has arranged both solar energy units and rainwater harvesting they will get a concession of up to 10 per cent.

According to a survey of the property tax department, more than two and a half hundred people have set up a unit of solar power. More than fifty people have started Anne-water harvesting and a dozen people have started the process of vermiculture compost for manuring. Solar energy is becoming very effective in power saving. The circulation of solar water heater has also increased significantly. The property tax department says the concession in property tax is proving to be very effective in terms of expansion of alternative sources of energy. Earlier people were ignorant about this, but now they are getting aware. It has also become a big help in the development of the city.

Morocco Summit Begins IANS


he second Climate Chance World Summit kicked off recently in Morocco’s southern city of Agadir with an aim to assess climate efforts by non-state actors. The summit, gathering such actors from around the world, called for mobilisation in order to continue the pressing fight against climate change in view of the destructive impact of the damage related to the phenomenon. During the three-day event, the focus will be on reviewing the global climate action agenda set at the UN climate conferences and to assess the progress made by nonstate actors across the world. It will encourage the pooling of experience and innovations, pinpointing more effective solutions and seeking new initiatives from climate action.

project bio bridge

Jacqueline Supports Bio Bridge Project The Body Shop India’s CSR initiative was supported by the actress who has pledged to contribute



ollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez is a big supporter of everything related to nature and keeping her ethos intact, the actress recently came out to support Bio Bridge project in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills.

It is a CSR initiative by The Body Shop India that has pledged to help p r o t e c t the endangered Indian Elephant and Western Hoolock Gibbon by constructing the Bio Bridge with every transaction during a three-month long campaign commencing from this month. “I actually feel very strongly about environmental conservation. I feel we are on such a beautiful planet and so much we can and we must do to protect bio diversity. I worked in various projects in green conversation in Mumbai and Sri Lanka,” Jacqueline said. “Even though all these are deeply satisfying, I do believe that there is so much more I can do,” she added at the announcement of the project last Tuesday. “I think that as a celebrity, we have an amazing opportunity to urge, mobilise

and motivate fan to do their bit and this can make a huge difference,” said “A Gentleman” star. The India Bio Bridge programme is a part of the brand’s existing commitment to protect and regenerate 75 million square meters of habitat as part of its Enrich Not Exploit commitment, launched last year. Partnering with World Land Trust(WLT) and its local partner Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), The Body Shop will build a Bio Bridge in the Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya state of India, protecting and regenerating a corridor of land for endangered animals to pass through safely. Shriti Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer of The Body Shop India, says they are very happy that Garo Hills has been selected as one of the locations. “Having a project in India is a great platform not only to benefit the Garo Hills biodiversity of the area and encourages them to play their part in the

Quick Glance Jaqueline Fernandez came out to support the Bio Bridge project in Meghalaya The Bio Bridge project is a CSR initiative by The Body Shop India The initiative has peldged to protect the endangered Indian Elephant

conservation efforts,” she said. Speaking on the initiative Sunil Kyarong, Joint Director and HeadWild Lands, Wild Life Trust of India, said: “The Garo Green spine is critical in North East India supporting about 1000 elephants connecting two treasure houses of biodiversity- the Nokrek and the Balphakram National Park. The Garo community, with our support, takes it upon themselves to stitch together this landscapes by demonstrating the finest examples of community led and owned and conservation initiatives.”

September 18 - 24, 2017




Latin America Plantation

Climate Change To Hit Coffee Researchers estimate climate change could reduce coffee growing areas in Latin America drastically IANS


hanks to global warming, your morning cup of coffee could be a lot more costly in the years to come. Researchers have estimated that climate change could reduce coffee growing areas in Latin America, the world’s largest coffeeproducing region by as much as 88 per cent by 2050. The study published in the journal

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offers climate change’s projected impacts on coffee and the bees that help coffee to grow. “Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities on earth, and needs a suitable climate and pollinating bees to produce well,” said study co-author Taylor Ricketts, Professor at the University of Vermont in the US. “This is the first study to show how both will likely change under global warming in ways that will hit coffee producers hard,” Ricketts said. While other research has explored climate-coffee scenarios, no other study has explored the coupled effects of climate change on coffee and bees at the national or continental scale. The study was conducted with advanced modelling, spatial analysis and field data. It forecasts much

Quick Glance Climate change induces vegetational shift so agriculture is affected Due to this, there will be a decrease in the coffee growing areas This will be because of pollinating bees not surviving the growing heat

greater losses of coffee regions than previous global assessments, with the largest declines projected in Nicaragua, Honduras and Venezuela. “Coffee provides the main income for millions of the rural poor, so yield declines would affect the livelihoods of those already vulnerable people,” Ricketts said. The scientists projected a slight increase in coffee suitability in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Costa Rica, mainly in mountainous areas where temperatures are expected to support coffee growing and more robust bee populations.

Longevity clean air

Increased Life Expectancy

Studying the AQLI of Indian cities, researchers discovered that Indians would live longer on average if air pollution was tackled IANS


ndia being one of the most polluted countries globally, just meeting the international air-quality standards can add “four years” to the average life of people here, while meeting the national standards can add one year, says a study. The study released by the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago (EPIC), which used “Air-Quality-Life Index (AQLI)” to analyse conditions in 50 most polluted Indian cities, also found that meeting the international standards can add nine years, and even following national standards can add six years to the life of people of Delhi . AQLI is a tool which can be used to quantify the number of years that air pollution reduces lifespans around the globe. Based on the particulate matters (PM 2.5), or particles in the air with diameter less than 2.5 mm -- one of the major and common pollutant with direct consequences on the life expectancy, the

EPIC used AQLI to compare the pollutant (PM), population and the prescribed standards to derive how much extra years people could live. The standards prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for PM 2.5 is 10 units, while the Indian standard keeps it at 40 units. However, in the 50 most polluted cities, the pollutant (based on 2015 data) were found to be over nine to two times higher than the WHO standards. There was hardly any data after 2015, a researcher told IANS. Speaking of Delhi alone, the PM 2.5 in 2015 was 98 units. “The AQLI reveals that if India reduced its air pollution to comply with the WHO’s air quality standard, its people could live about 4 years longer on average, or a combined

more than 4.7 billion life years,” the study stated. The data reveals that the greatest gains of controlling the emissions would be seen in the country’s largest cities. “The people of Kolkata and Mumbai could live roughly 3.5 years longer if the country met WHO standards,” the study pointed out. The other cities with a potential considerable improvement in the average life expectancy if WHO norms are followed include (7.6 years), Agra (8.1 years), Patna (6.9 years), Bareilly (7.8 years) and Kanpur (7.2 years). Other major cities are Bengaluru (1.4 years), Chennai (1.7 years), Hyderabad (2.3 years) and Jaipur (4.3 years), if WHO standards are adhered to. “High levels of air pollution are a part of people’s lives in India, just

China to go biofuel by 2020 IANS


hina plans to use bio-ethanol gasoline across the country by 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Wednesday. “The plan was unveiled as the country is pushing the use of biofuel, which is renewable, applicable, environmental-friendly and tech-savvy. It is an ideal alternative to fossil fuel,” a NEA official quoted. More than 40 countries and regions consume about 600 million tonnes of ethanol fuel every year, accounting for around 60 per cent of the world’s annual gasoline use. China is the world’s third largest bio-ethanol producer and uses nearly 2.6 million tonnes a year. as they were in the U.S., England, Japan and other countries in the past. The last several decades have seen tremendous progress in many of these countries, but this progress did not happen by accident, it was the result of policy choices,” said Michael Greenstone, the EPIC Director. Greenstone added that as India navigates through the conflicting goals for economic growth and environmental quality, AQLI provides a tool to make the benefits of policies to reduce air pollution concrete. Currently, EPIC India is working with the central and state governments in India to implement world’s first emissions trading programme for particulate pollution. An estimated 4.5 billion people around the world are currently exposed to particulate pollution levels that are at least twice the WHO norms. According to a 2016 report by the World Bank and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the University of Washington, 5.5 million (55 lakh) people die prematurely every year due to household and outdoor air pollution globally, with 60 per cent deaths caused in India and China. In China and India, less than one per cent of the population lives in areas which meet WHO guidelines on air quality termed safe for breathing. The 2016 study showed that India lost 1.4 million lives to air pollution in 2013.

28 Palaeontology

September 18 - 24, 2017

West Bengal Palaeontology

Pre-dinosaur herbivore discovered

Findings of a horned herbivore that roamed the earth the world even before the dynosaurs is causing sensation

Prasanta Paul


id a horned 4-metre-long quadruped herbivorous reptile, believed to be a distant relative of the dinosaurs, roam over a wide region of central India 250 million years ago? Fossilised remains stumbled upon by a group of palaeontologists and researchers from India and Argentina firmly indicate that the giant animal that probably had a long neck and a small head with a pair of large horns directly above the orbits, might have a free reign in the region. Saswati Banerjee, Saradee Sengupta of the Geological Studies Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata and Martin D. Ezcurra of Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales in Buenos Aires, Argentina who had teamed up to undertake the search, research and study of the findings, have concluded that the

reptile might have beaten the dinosaurs at least by one hundred million years. The creature, believed to be a distant relative of the dinosaur, became extinct nearly 200 million years ago. The findings have obviously set the clock of history of evolution on a reverse mode as they directly question the accepted notion that such horned species were found among the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period(about 140 million years ago) belonging to the Mesozoic era. And secondly, which is more important than any other parameters, it is so far the oldest fossil of a horned reptile ever to be

discovered anywhere in the world. Naturally, the findings have been ranked among the top five scientific papers to have been published so far. “The latest findings question the oftaccepted view that horns were found among the dinosaurs during the Mesozoic era (about 252 to 66 million years ago). Our research proves that horns had developed in a distantly related group at least 100 million years earlier than the first known dinosaur having horns,” Saswati Banerjee, a professor with ISI, Kolkata, said. Apart from this, what makes the findings unique and significant is its discovery in a location of India, prompting the researchers to name the new species Shringasaurus indicus. The word Shringasaurus is a combination of Sanskrit and Greek; Shringa refers to the Sanskrit word which means horn while sauros is a Greek word meaning reptile. The findings published on August 21, 2017, in Scientific Reports – a journal of the Nature Publishing Group— are likely to shed new light on the history of evolution; they also establish the fact that this reptile had once roamed the SatpuraGondwana basin of Central India more than 245 million years ago. Apparently, they belonged to the Triassic period that was believed to have lasted between 251 million and 199 million years ago. Obviously, it preceded the Jurassic age when dinosaurs existed. Talking about the features of the animal, Saradee Sengupta who co-authored the paper, said that the animal was at least four meters long, quadruped and was quite tall at the hip, between 1.25 and 1.50 metres – having a long neck and small head. One of the most striking features of the reptile is its pair of large horns in the skull, directly above the orbits. It also had leaf-shaped teeth with small cusps, indicating that it was a herbivore. The animal belonged to a group of reptiles that appeared in the Early or Middle Triassic period and

The findings published on August 21, 2017, in Scientific Reports, are likely to shed new light on the history of evolution in the world

Quick Glance Evidence shows that a large herbivore had roamed the earth The discovery was made by a team of scientists from India and Argentina The findings have set the clock of history of evolution on a reverse mode

became completely extinct close to the end of Triassic age, ie, 200 million years ago. Nearly 95 per cent of the marine species were believed to have become completely extinct after the PermoTriassic extinction and a similar biodiversity loss was reported to have occurred in the terrestrial realm as well. Thereafter, a massive biotic recovery took place that profoundly impacted the ecosystems, reshaping the origin and early diversification of several groups of modern plants and animals. During the early evolution of archosauromorphs (the crocodiles, dinosaurs including their descendants, the birds and their ancestors) the members of this group acquired a considerable morphological diversity, including highly specialized herbivores, large quadruped predators, flying creatures and long-necked marine species. “The anatomy of Shringasaurus expands the morphological diversity of early archosauromorphs and compliments the understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms involved in their diversification,” Saswati Banerjee explained. The researchers who carried out extensive excavations in the SatpuraGondwana basin in central India during the last one decade, had come across several bones and fossils of prehistoric animals in the red mudstones of the Middle Triassic Denwa Formation. The latest discovery was made when the team members were analyzing the fossilized bones. According to Martin D Ezcurra, Argentine scientist, the discovery makes a stunning statement on this period owing to the existence of the pair of large horns on the skull of the animal which was completely unexpected among this group of reptiles.

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30 North East

September 18 - 24, 2017

assam education

6,172 TET Teachers recruited Assam’s CM, Sarbananda Sonowal participated in a ceremony to hand out appointment letters to 6,172 TET qualified teachers acknowledging their necessity in Assam. ssb bureau


eachers must commit themselves to the cause of creating capable citizens for the country as primary school teachers are the agents of change for the society who can instil good qualities in the students from a nascent stage,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said while taking part as the chief guest in the ceremony for distributing appointment letters to 6,172 TET qualified teachers at elementary schools under Sarba Siksha Abhiyan, Assam at Veterinary College Playground, Khanapara in the city. Urging the newly appointed teachers to take up the responsibility of spreading light of education in the far flung and remote areas of the state, Sonowal said that teaching is not a mere profession but an opportunity to serve the society and to become partners in nation building by shaping the future generations of the country and he urged the teachers perform their duties with Gyan (Knowledge), Bhakti (Devotion) and Boiragi (Sacrifice).

“For building a society based on equality where all people are empowered to lead a life of dignity and to meet modern day challenges like corruption and increasing crimes, the education system must produce citizens with high moral values and integrity,” Sonowal said.

Saying that the government is striving to facilitate an environment for growth and economic progress in the state so that meritorious and brilliant students do not need to go outside the state for finding employment and live a better life, Sonowal

climate change agriculture

Cow dung and fruit trees

Traditional wisdom helps Assam cope with climate change ssb bureau ubhadra Kumari had to wait a nervous few weeks before the flood waters abated from her paddy field and she could start planting rice saplings. “We are behind the ideal time for planting the saplings because of the floods,” says the 35-year-old farmer while working on her field in Assam’s Biswanath Chariali district. “But even so, we will be on time for harvest. The elders in the village have predicted more rains, but this local variety of rice will be able to withstand it.” This local rice variety is bao, an indigenous, deep-water or floating river variety that fares better than


hybrid varieties during intermittent submergence from flash floods. Bao is also more tolerant of drought-like situations – another common feature in Assam thanks to climate change. Faced with sudden and ruthless weather pattern changes that threaten their livelihoods, farmers like Subhadra have turned to what their forefathers relied on for centuries -- traditional or indigenous technical knowledge. Today, indigenous technical knowledge in agriculture is being studied and evaluated the world over for scientific reasoning and better application. In Assam, returning to traditional varieties of rice has, for one, proved to be beneficial to farmers who

Quick Glance TET teachers were appointed under Sarba Siksha Abhiyan These schools are located at Veterinary College Playground 17,000 TET teachers have already been recruited

informed that State Government’s plans to build International Trade Centre at Guwahati with twin towers of 65 floors and expansion of the Guwahati city for creating State Capital Region are steps towards making Guwahati the gateway to Southeast Asia. The Trade Centre will bring global industrial players to the state who will set up their bases here for doing business in South East Asia and it will create a lot of employment opportunities for the youth of the state, Sonowal quipped. Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for the Northeast region to become the new engine of growth for the country, Chief Minister Sonowal said that some elements are trying to foment trouble in the state by inciting the people of different religious faiths and linguistic groups against each other and he called on the people to maintain age old peace and harmony to defeat all such designs of forces inimical to the state’s growth and development. “It was our electoral promise to recruit 28 thousand TET qualified teachers and we are on our way to fulfilling that

promise” Sonowal said while informing that an ACS Training Centre would be set up at Umrangsu in DimaHasao District covering an area of 1000 bighas which would be able to provide training to not only Assam Civil Service officers but also to officers of other state civil services as well. Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that till now 17,000 TET qualified teachers have been recruited in three phases and another 10,000 teachers would be given appointment on September 8, 2017. He expressed happiness that TET has made the teacher recruitment process in the government schools completely transparent and eliminated all scopes for corruption from the system. Urging all TET qualified elementary school teachers to enrol themselves at the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) website by September 15, 2017, for obtaining D.El.Ed. (Diploma in Elementary Education) within March 2019, Sarma stated that without the Diploma all those teachers working in the state would have to lose their jobs as Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 has mandated teachers to have D.El.Ed as the minimum qualification for teaching from April 1, 2019.

face multiple floods, and who now must deal with drought-like conditions in equal severity. The present situation of three to five flash floods during the monsoon season – each lasting seven to 15 days – is likely to get worse in the future due to climate change. “The advantage of traditional rice varieties is that they can be planted a little later than usual if there are floods, and even then they can withstand a submerged field,” says Dr Tomizuddin Ahmed, chief scientist at the Regional Agricultural Research Station in Jorhat, Assam. Tea growers have also made a return to traditional knowledge. Tea is the most important cash crop in Assam – its cultivation occupies more than 200,000 hectares of land -- but climate change has led to a surge in new pests and an increase in the use of chemicals to manage them. Gobin Hazarika, who owns a two-acre tea garden in the Lakhimpur district, relies completely on nature to ward off pests. “I have

planted neem trees, a natural pest repellent, amid the tea bushes. Sometimes I also burn tobacco leaves,” he says. Planting fruit and berry trees has also proved successful for Abrar Choudhury, senior manager at a Goodricke tea garden and chairman of the Assam branch of the Indian Tea Association. “The birds prey on the pests in the tea bushes,” says Choudhury. “We have also planted rows of bright flowers such as marigolds which attract the insects that are natural predators of the pests. Our pesticide use has come down considerably as a result.”

September 18 - 24, 2017

economy new ventures

Manipur Earmarks Rs 35 cr For Startups

The local government is investing heavily to promote start-ups and encourage the youths of the state to generate self employment

SSB Bureau


nder the ‘Startup India’ initiative, Manipur government has earmarked Rs 35 crore to encourage local entrepreneurs. Chief Minister N Biren Singh informed this while launching Romi Industri es’s fifth factory outlet at Kwakeithel Thounaojam Leikai. Singh said that his government will promote start-ups to encourage youths of the state to generate selfemployment and improve the state’s economy. “The tendency to run after white collar jobs after completion

Under the ‘Startup India’ initiative, large amounts have been earmarked to encourage the growth of these ventures and push self income generation

of education should be done away at this age. One can start his or her own company and enjoy working under your own conditions at the tip of a

This is to promote start-ups and to encourage the youths of the state This is part of the ‘Make in Manipur’ campaign

finger if you are skilled and qualified,” Singh said. To encourage and promote ‘Make in Manipur’ mission, the chief minister said that government offices and homes have started using locally produced commodities like curtains, table cloth etc. He also urged banks and public to cooperate with entrepreneurs in giving loans and support. Romi Industries deal with bags, sweaters, mufflers, sports-wear and T-shirts and now shoes mainly for school going children. The proprietor Khumbongmayum Dhanachandra, who is a college dropout, started a business in 1996 making purses in his father’s tailoring shop. He plans to expand his business in the whole of North East. “This shoe making factory is the first of its kind in the entire North East as it has the fully automated single colour direct sole injection machine which are available only in selected cities of India,” he added. The shoe factory can produce items like school shoes, sports shoes, canvas and sneakers up to 4000 pairs per day. Dhanachandra said efforts are underway to open similar shoe factories in the other North East states to expand a local brand to a larger audience with the motto of ‘One stop manufactory for all institutional wear’.

The government of Nagaland has introduced the Direct Benefit Transfer System for MGNREGA workers


o ensure transparency and check corruption, Nagaland Government has decided to introduce the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system for MGNREGA scheme starting from the current financial year. According to Rural Development Secretary KeleiZeliang, henceforth the wages of the MGNREGA workers would be directly credited to the individual accounts of the job card holders who have actually carried out the works on the basis of Rs.177 per


Rs 35 crore has been earmarked to encourage local entrepreneurs

Nagaland ushers in major change day as daily wage through National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS)– Public Financial Management System (PFMS).“The DBT system would ensure transparency and check corruption at all levels,” he said. Currently, the wages of MGNREGA workers were being paid in cash. Kelei said every job card holder must have a bank account duly linked with Aadhaar to avail the benefit of the DBT system. The government intends to do away with the cash payment practice completely, he said.


Quick Glance

corruption mgnrega

ssb bureau

North East

“Any job card holder who needs employment must ask for work from their respective designated block development officers. Every job seeker will be given employment within 15

Assam-Google sign Mou

Government is working for technology driven development ssb bureau


n a bid to take internet connectivity to the remotest part of the State, Government of Assam has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Google India Pvt Limited. Secretary Information Technology Department NitinKhare and ChteanKrishnaswami, Country Head (Policy) of Google India signed the MoU on behalf of Government of Assam and Google respectively in presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal said that in the 21st-century technology ruled the roost and to carry forward the fruits of development to even the remotest part, State Government has upped its ante to use technology increasingly. He also said that the MoU signed with the Google would be the latest addition to the arsenal of the State Government to make technology-driven development a reality in the State.

days. On being provided employment and measurement of work taken thereof, muster rolls will be filled and uploaded in the NREGA-Soft MIS,” he added. The project officer will prepare the bills, digitally sign them and generate Fund Transfer Order (FTO). Once FTO is generated, Kelei said it would directly go to the Program Division of the Ministry of Rural Development (New Delhi), who will then sanction and transfer wage amount straight to the workers account through PFMS. Kelei has asked all MGNREGA workers both under bank covered blocks and unbanked blocks in the State to open their bank accounts immediately. The secretary said the government has directed all the BDOs and junior engineers to remain in their respective station and assist the job card holders.


September 18 - 24, 2017



32 Unsung Hero



CRPF Men Rescue Sick Tribal Woman


While her husband and relatives were away, her children were near her and crying when CRPF men showed up


entral Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel carried an ailing tribal woman on a make-shift stretcher on foot for about seven kilometres in the N axal-affected Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. A team of CRPF personnel from 195th Battalion was returning last week after an anti-Maoist operation in the limits of Katekalyan police station when they spotted a woman, around 40 years old, lying by the roadside at Naynar village. “When they made inquiries, the woman, named Kosi, murmured that she had high fever,” said a CRPF official.

CRPF men carrying the tribal woman in Chhattisgarh

While her husband and relatives were away, her children, including a two-month-old baby, were near her and crying. Airlifting her by helicopter was not possible as the village is surrounded by dense forests, and summoning an ambulance would have been of no use as the only road linking the village with the outside world had been damaged by Naxals, he said. The CRPF men then made a stretcher of bamboo and carried her and the baby on their shoulders for seven km, crossing hills and a river, to reach Gatam village. From Gatam, an ambulance took her to the community health centre at Katekalyan in the district. “The woman and her baby are now in hospital, under close supervision of specialists,” the official said. The CRPF, deployed extensively in Chhattisgarh for anti-Maoist operations, has set up four `field hospitals’ in Bastar division – three in Sukma and one in Bijapur districts – which cater to the local people too apart from its own personnel, he said.

rs ak New New s smma kee rs Mansour

One Field Sachin Tendulkar Couldn’t Score In

Scoring tons on the cricket field, Tendulkar was never a good scorer in the field of academics

Breaking the Age Barrier Mansour, an Indian-origin resident of Dubai, now has a student pilot permit


14-year-old Indian-origin schoolboy in the UAE has become one of the youngest pilots to fly a single-engine aircraft. Mansour Anis, a Class 9 student at Delhi Private School in Sharjah, received a certificate for his first solo flight from an aviation academy in

Canada last week. His flight was for about 10 minutes, during which he taxied the aircraft from the parking bay to the runway, took off for a flight of about five minutes and landed back. Mansour, who flew a Cessna 152 aircraft, now has a student pilot permit. Apart from the flying test, he has also passed a radio communication test. “He broke the previous record of a 15-year-old German pilot and a 14-yearold US pilot who took 34 hours of training. Mansour flew solo just after 25 hours of training,” his father Ali AsgarAnis said.

sachin tendulkar


nown worldwide for his exceptional batting skills, legendary batsman, Sachin Tendulkar revealed his lack of

mastery in the field of academics in a tweet. Recently, Tendulkar shared a childhood picture on social media. He wrote, “I never was a good scorer in this field, #ThrowbackThursday,” where Sachin is seen holding a book. Sharing the picture Tendulkar joked that while he could score well on the cricket field, academics was one field he was never good at. Sachin was notorious for his pranks during his childhood. Retiring in 2013, he completed his 200th Test at the Wankhede Stadium.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 40 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain

Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 40)  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 40)