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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561

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Good News Weekly for Rising India

Swachhata Samman

to dr Bindeshwar pathak

The Unnat Bharat Social Welfare Society organised a joint programme to honour Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

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narendra modi

25

travelogue

independence day speech mizoram

The PM spoke on a host of issues such as security, women, farmers, corruption and future growth

Glory to Khadi From being a symbol of freedom struggle and self-reliance to being a fashion statement, the humble fabric has come a long way

Vol-1 | Issue-36 | August 21 - 27, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

Mizoram even now is an unspoiled beauty and beckons adventurous tourists


02 Glory to Khadi

Gltoo ry Khadi SSB BUREAU

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t was in the beginning of the seventeenth century that the British first set their foot in India as a company of traders. The Englishmen had never really actively propagated their dress earlier. However, a tendency was noticeable among the younger generation of disposing the flowing cuts of previous eras and adopting a new European style of trousers. As an effective and powerful symbol of freedom struggle, Khadi came to its fore due to its association with Mahatma Gandhi and the indispensable role that he played in elevating it to the status of a national cloth. This is also evident in Khadi being the result of Gandhi’s own sartorial choices of transformation from that of an Englishman to that of one representing India. The choice of Khadi as a symbol was thus not the result of a whim. It was a well-thought-out decision of Gandhi. The key to Khadi becoming a successful tool for the freedom struggle lies in its uniqueness which picked up and re-crafted the then existing politicoeconomic critiques with its own distinctive qualities. It thus became a

August 21 - 27, 2017

material to which people from diverse backgrounds could relate to. To put it simply, ‘Khadi was the material embodiment of an ideal’ that represented freedom from colonialism on the one hand and a feeling of selfreliance and economic self-sufficiency on the other. It embodied the national int+egrity of all as well as acted as a marker for communal harmony and spiritual humility. Khadi & Independence Struggle Khadi has done exactly this in the Indian context. While, on the one hand, it became a tool to blur distinctions and cover all within its canopy, yet, on the other hand, it gave Khadi a distinct identity as a common man’s cloth. The supremacy that Khadi entailed as a national symbol was due to the reason that everybody could wear the same form of clothing without any distinctions of high and low and thus demonstrate responsibility towards the nation and the struggle going through. To opt for Khadi, therefore, was to emphasise one’s being over appearance, substance over form, and ‘character over clothing.’ The spinning wheel gradually became what can be termed as

an innovative tool for attaining swaraj. It was thought that Indians could actually regain their lost autonomy by donning the fabric and spinning, which would mean more than just struggling for independence; it would rather be a feeling of being independent totally.’ The reasons for Gandhi recognising the humongous potential of the fabric rose both from personal experiences as well as gradual national awakening. Gandhi was undoubtedly overwhelmed by the early nationalist critiques of colonialism that found the stagnation and deterioration of India’s textile industry as a major cause for India’s growing poverty. The critiques all saw the importing of mill cloth on such largescale as a hindrance to self-sufficiency.

Khadi sales rose by 60 per cent after PM Narendra Modi appeals to buy at least one khadi garment

Cheap Foreign Fabrics The advent of the Portuguese in Calicut introduced the linenlike calico fabric (named after Calicut or presentday Kozhikode) and chintz (wood-block printed calicos) to Europe. Initially used as bed covers and draperies, these hand-woven fabrics soon became popular with common people due to their comfort, durability and low costs. Worried about the threat to their

Quick Glance Khadi became famous for its association with Mahatma Gandhi Charkha symbolised a feeling of economic self-sufficiency Modern fashion designers too are increasingly fond of Khadi

local mills, governments of France and England enacted laws to ban import of chintz in 1686 and 1720 respectively. Next, they flooded Indian markets with low-cost fabrics manufactured in European mills. This, along with introduction of textile mills in Bombay, resulted in a sharp dip in the production of handwoven Khadi in India. Millions of weavers across India lost their livelihood as machine-made textiles from Manchester took over the market. The decline continued till it was single-handedly halted by a diminutive, bespectacled man who wanted to make the charkha (spinning wheel) the basis of India’s economic regeneration: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi didn’t just revive India’s flagging Khadi industry; he made the humble hand-spun fabric the symbol of all things swadeshi. When he encouraged people across India to boycott British-made clothes, spin their own yarn and wear khadi, he was encouraging them to rediscover their pride in their heritage while lending


their support to their rural brethren. Fabric of Indian Independence This understated masterstroke took the freedom movement beyond the rarefied circles of the educated social elite and out to the masses. This was also Gandhi’s way of highlighting Britain’s exploitative policies and making a huge symbolic dent on the legitimacy of the British colonial rule in India. The development of Mohandas Gandhi’s ideas about Khadi termed as the “fabric of Indian independence,” and as both a symbol of India’s potential economic self-sufficiency and a medium for communicating to the British the dignity of poverty and the equality of Indian civilization. Mahatma Gandhi used his own appearance in a communicative manner to send across essential messages. This too was done in a way that could be comprehended by one and all through his clothing practices. People create symbols through daily interactions. By fashioning himself as a symbol and an example for others to follow, Gandhi created a symmetry and transparency with which others could view him as an exemplar. He spoke wisely, but it was his actions that spoke louder, enabling him to be a more credible leader. “If we have the ‘Khadi spirit’ in us, we would surround ourselves with simplicity in every walk of life. The ‘Khadi spirit’ means infinite patience. For those who know anything about the production of Khadi know how patiently the spinners and the weavers have to toil at their trade, and even so must we have patience while we are spinning the thread of Swaraj”, Gandhi says in a famous quote. Boycott Foreign Fabric When the dhotis re-emerged in Bengal in 1905, it was seen as a sign of protest against the British policies. It signified the incompatibility of Indian and European dressing styles which were symbolic of the incompatibility of Indian and British interests. Clothes were thus an important expression against colonialism, but they still had not gained a central place in political debate. This was to change with the coming of Gandhi. The unrestrained weakening of the Indian textile industry and in turn the Indian economy in addition to the vast scale disillusionment of the masses caught the eye of Indian patriotic leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Bipin Chandra Pal, Ranade and Tilak. The Indian National Congress at its 7th Session in 1891, passed a resolution urging people to use only Indian goods to the exclusion of imported ones and gave a clarion call for ‘Swadeshi’.With the partition of Bengal (1905), the movement reached its climax leading to boycott of the imported goods particularly English cloth. In spite of this,

the movement really went through a sort of mutation only with Gandhi’s idea of swaraj and a change in politics was evident soon with his coming back in 1915. Khadi Reflects Indian Values Handspun and hand-woven cloth had been common in the Indian cultural fabric since a very long time. However, interestingly enough, only with the decline of production and usage of Indian cloth that the idea of ‘ Khadi’ as more than just a cloth entered the lexicon of nationalism making headway to being the prominent symbol of freedom from the yoke of colonialism. Khadi, the ever present fabric of the country became part of the independence struggle because of the way it was popularised by Gandhi. The vocabulary that the leader used was that of denoting the fabric as an entire way of life, a way of life that could symbolise the unity of the vast nation. Khadi came across as leading India away from the shackles of the British rule for it encompassed the values that had

Mahatma Gandhi encouraged people across India to boycott British-made clothes, spin their own yarn and wear khadi clothes

been integral to the identity of the country including first and foremost, simplicity, humanitarian attitude towards all and the virtue of being independent. This was also seen as a way to infuse dedication, discipline and perseverance among all. One of the greatest qualities of Khadi that made it so popular was its existence as a social equalizer. Though it was meant for the masses and could be worn by the poor, it also caught the eye of the sophisticated. When Gandhi remarked that swaraj in absence of swadeshi would literally be a soulless body, it was understood that if swadeshi was the soul of swaraj, then its essence would definitely lie with Khadi. The Centenary Celebration The movement for Khadi began in 1918.

Khadi-Purush

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ripurari Sharan, a Gandhian and a close associate of Vinoba Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan, developed a prototype of charkha. He resided at Sarvodaya Ashram at Shekho Deora in Bihar, and was also called Khadi-Purush for his lifelong efforts to promote Khadi. This model could be used to make various types of threads.

The movement was marked with its own changing dynamics. While initially, a clear emphasis could be seen on using Khadi as a medicine to the masses ridden with poverty due to economic stagnation, from 1934 onwards the fabric became something that the village people could use for themselves. It was no longer seen only as a commodity for sale to bring economic prosperity. The meaning became more humble. The Khadi programme was formally established in 1919, but was made clearly distinct from the medieval period’s charkha. The latter was a symbol of exploitation and helplessness of the spinners while the wheel of Khadi was to become a symbol of revolution in thought and action, as well as an embodiment of non-violence. Non-violence itself is seen as a defining characteristic of Gandhi’s idea of change, development and growth. The first Khadi production centre was soon established in 1921 in Kathiawad, Gujarat. It was in the same year that the charkha too found a proud place on the Indian national flag. For Gandhi, charkha was the genius with the support of which people could get together and attain an independent state of mind leading to their social, political, moral and economic development. He further emphasised, “I never suggested that those, who are more lucratively employed should give up


04 Glory to Khadi their lucrative employment and prefer spinning. I have said repeatedly that only those are expected and should be induced to spin, who have no other paying employment, and that too only during the hours of unemployment.’ The Social Fabric Gandhi was totally convinced with the invincibility of Khadi that he asserted, “ Khadi is the only true economic proposition in terms of millions of villagers until such time, if ever, when a better system of supplying work and adequate wages for every able bodied

August 21 - 27, 2017 person above the age of sixteen, male or female, is found for his field, in every one of the villages in India.” It is an undisputed fact that no nation having its masses unemployed or underemployed, can hope to advance in any appreciable manner, for the contributions by the unemployed would be negligible while they shall actually continue to consume and thus, would add undue strain on the working population. Charkha thus was seen as an attempt to put to use this mass of unproductive resource to some use. Gandhi fervently appealed to one

Bihar Brand of Khadi The Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, wants to promote a Bihar Khadi, with a logo and bar coding

Khadi for Gandhi was situated in a larger context in a symbolic manner wherein it was the focal point of regeneration and diversification of rural economy

and all to wear Khadi, with the intent of satisfying one of the basic needs of mankind. “Khadi is meant for everyone. Even a depraved man, a sinner, a drunkard, a gambler, anybody, can wear it. I would not hesitate to urge them to wear Khadi even though I cannot induce them to change their mode of inner life. But the sacred quality of Khadi is that it is a symbol of freedom. Those who wish to live in free India ought to wear Khadi.”

SSB BUREAU

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hadi made in Bihar has got a logo and a bar-coding system, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar promising to brand it as Bihar’s Khadi and promoting it at the national and international-level. He added that a Khadi policy was being drawn up for overall development of the sector. “We want to brand Khadi of our state as Bihar’s Khadi. We want to give it an identity in the country. Only pure Khadi will have a logo and bar-coding, which will help in the national and international markets. Only pure Khadi will get this. Our intention is to promote it in a manner to attract people,” Nitish said. He spoke about prohibition in the state and added that charkhas could be given to those who were previously engaged in liquor trade so that they can now spin Khadi thread for their livelihood. He said: “The Khadi policy will help in the development of the sector. Those who spin Khadi thread and cloth should ensure purity and quality. The cloth should be durable so that even those with average income are able to wear it without complaints.” The old-style Khadi cloth will not be attractive to the youths, said Nitish. So, he suggested that new designs be developed to cater to their taste. Nitish added: “We have entered into an agreement with National Institute of Fashion Technology for this purpose.” The chief minister was speaking to Khadi weavers at a function organised by the industries department on National Charkha Day today. The day marks the establishment of Akhil Bharatiya Charkha Sangh by Mahatma Gandhi in Patna on September 24, 1924. It was formed with an aim to utilise charkha as an economic tool to strengthen rural economy.

Strengthening Rural Economy Khadi for Gandhi was situated in a larger context in a symbolic manner wherein it was the focal point of regeneration and diversification of rural economy. He remarked, “But Khadi is the sun of the village solar system. The planets are the various industries which can support Khadi in return for the heat and the sustenance they derive from it. Without it, the other industries cannot grow.” Gandhi’s emphasis on the villages and Khadi’s role in villages also pointed towards his vision of decentralisation. Non-exploitation is the hallmark of a non-violent society. The former could be ensured only when power in all spheres including economic, social, political, was decentralised, so as to ensure vast participation of the common public. Charkha was seen as a mechanism to decentralise the economic dimension. Khadi occupied a distinguished place in the pre-iruiependence era and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave the poetic expression to Khadi as the ‘livery of India’s freedom.’ For Gandhi, wearing Khadi was symbolic of wearing freedom. Khadi thus became an indispensable tool to restore the lost ancient glory of Indian industry and commerce which led to greater confidence amongst the people. This emblem of patriotism was seen as a bad

omen for the British, who then tried to curtail the Khadi movement. However, the more it was controlled, the more powerful and widespread it became. By reviving Khadi and other village industries, national life could be reorganised on the lines of simplicity. Gandhi saw a potential market for Khadi among the town. What he wished for was an integration of town and country in a way that would stop the starvation of the peasants, that would include them in the development process fully, and that the profits made from their labour would be beneficial to them.In 1942-43, right after coming out of the prison, his ideology behind Khadi became that of making the fabric useful for the villagers themselves. His ideas came out clearly by 1944, when he left no stone unturned to bring this change into effect. Symbol of Swadeshi Khadi could thus help in building up a community that for the first time would include the non-literates in an equal capacity if not more than the literate ones. Gandhi created a new form of swadeshi movement that encouraged the production and exclusive consumption of hand-spun, hand-woven cloth of Khadi. The campaign to popularize this movement took many forms, including the organization of exhibitions that demonstrated cloth production and sold Khadi goods. On the occasion of one such exhibition in 1927, Gandhi explained the significance of exhibitions for the movement: “It is designed to be really a study for those who want to understand what this Khadi movement stands for, and what it has been able to do. It is not a mere ocular demonstration to be dismissed out of our minds immediately. It is not a cinema. It is actually a nursery


August 21 - 27, 2017 where a student, a lover of humanity, a lover of his own country may come and see things for himself.’ Clothing and other consumer goods of the Swadeshi Movement were important mediums for creating a national image, as they linked a distinct material culture of nationalism to what were seen as the nation’s basic values. The Swadeshi Movement made use of cloth in many forms, including new hats, new flags, and a new style of dress. Khadi could then be seen as a popular symbol in the so-called modern sphere of life. ‘ Khadi had been found to be a unique instrument to promote communal harmony and religious tolerance amongst the artisans easily due to their daily face-toface interaction. It appeared as a medium to come closer to lakhs of ‘harijans’ and provide them a way of living through spinning and weaving. Khadi provided a prepared platform and organisational support to launch a movement against untouchability. The charkha became an unparalleled means to provide gainful employment to a very important segment of the population - women. This was bound to raise their social and economic status and ensured dignity of labour. The boycott of English cloth was undoubtedly a boon for the cotton Khadi fabric to prosper. The dying industry once more came to life with considerable vigour. The emotional appeal of Khadi compensated to a large extent its qualitative shortcomings in addition to gaining respectability in the circles of the elites and learned people. Khadi: Tradition and Modern The journey of Khadi saw a major struggle for maintaining a balance between tradition and modernity. Both these concepts played a pivotal role in shaping a new national identity for the country. While tradition was indispensable for the nation to sustain its legitimacy and preserve the culture, modern aspects of life could not be overlooked if the nation had to compete on a global scale. Khadi was thus redefined in the following ways by its proponents which made the fabric distinct and also added an element of flexibility to the idea of Khadi for it to sustain itself. Khadi was seen as a presumably traditional product, as it was being produced by traditional means and thus could be envisioned as a material artefact of the nation. Moreover, Gandhian nationalists rendered Khadia discursive concept by defining its significance in terms of the contemporary politics and economics of swadeshi. Finally and most importantly, Khadi became a visual symbol in the sense that it gave a distinctiveness to Indian bodies by marking them exclusively in association with their region, religion, class, group etc.

Post-Independence Growth After Independence, the Indian government established the All India Khadi and Village Industries Board which later became the Khadi, Village and Industries Commission (KVIC) in 1957. Ever since, KVIC has been planning and executing the development of Khadi industry in India. It works towards promoting research in production techniques, supplying raw material and tools to producers, quality control and marketing of Khadi products. By the early 90s, Khadi had started becoming a fashion statement. In 1989, KVIC had organised the first Khadi fashion show in Bombay, where over 80 styles of Khadi wear were showcased. In 1990, the brilliant designer-entrepreneur Ritu Beri presented her first Khadi collection at the prestigious Tree of Life show held at Delhi’s craft museum, catapulting the fabric into the big league. Now an advisor to KVIC, Beri is working to take Khadi to the global arena. “Khadi is becoming increasingly popular among the citizens, especially the youth. This is evident from the fact that larger numbers of people are wearing Khadi regularly,” said Magan Patel, trustee of Khadi Mandir Trust, Ahmedabad, which sells Khadi and other village products. Patel, a retired principal and believer of Gandhian principles added, “ Khadi is not merely a cloth, but it is a thought that is extremely powerful and has an immense potential to change the face of rural India.” “This is the exact idea, what Mahatma Gandhi had in his mind, when he started with the charkha almost 100 years ago,” he said further.Describing Khadi as a symbol of simplicity and swadeshi, Patel

Glory to Khadi

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Khadi’s National Flag

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s per the Indian Flag Code, laws that govern the usage of flags in India, Khadi is the only material allowed to be used for the flag. If a flying flag is made with any other material, the offense is punishable by law with imprisonment up to three years plus a fine.

said, “ Khadi is providing employment to thousands of artisans, weavers, printers and sellers in the state and villages across the country, strengthening the rural economy.” According to Gujarat Rajya Khadi Gramodyog Board, which is engaged in promoting Khadi and other village industries, Khadi sales in the state have grown in the last few years. “ Khadi sales have increased by more than 50% in the last five years, a sign of its rising popularity on Bapu’s land,” said, DB Paruparla, the executive officer of the Khadi Board. The Khadi is spun and woven entirely by hand, and does not have any hazardous colours or chemicals,. This is why many youth prefer it,” said an official of Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) said. Modi Phenomenon One doesn’t usually associate village industries and Khadi units with big bucks. But last year, the low-profile segment notched up sales of over Rs 50,000 crore for the first time. While Khadi sales are being pushed hard by the government,

Last year, the low-profile segment of Khadi and Village Industries notched up sales of over Rs 50,000 crore for the first time

the surprise is the bumper demand for products such as honey, soaps, cosmetics, furniture and organic food items, which are produced by village industries and many of which are run by women. Data collated by Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) showed that during the last financial year, sales of village industries produce, or Gramodyog, grew 24% to just a shade under Rs 50,000 crore. Meanwhile, Khadi products notched up sales of Rs 2,005 crore, up 33% from Rs 1,635 crore in 2015-16. While the combined KVIC turnover makes it larger than several consumer goods companies in the country, Khadi sales on a standalone basis may be closing in on Bombay Dyeing and Raymond, which are yet to disclose numbers for the previous financial year. The government body has now set a target of more than doubling Khadi sales to Rs 5,000 crore by 2018-19. Although the government may have done its bit in promoting Khadi and village produce, consumers too seem to be more favourably inclined. The trend is also catchng on with consumers abroad. “Earlier, Khadi was only preferred by the political class, be it the kurta or the cap,” said brand expert Harish Bijoor. “But with consumers increasingly looking for natural products, the organisation is on a roll.” Increasingly, this seems to be turning into an international phenomenon. During a survey in 21 overseas markets, Khadiwas the most recalled Indian brand, along with yoga, said Bijoor. No wonder the government organisation is now looking at exports. “Currently, we are not doing direct exports. But we will soon kick it off. It will help make Khadi an international brand,” said KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena. Natural Fabric Industry experts attributed the organisation’s success to many domestic and international fashion designers preferring to work with sustainable and natural fabrics. There is also a buzz among millennial shoppers, who care about whether the clothes they wear or the products they use create jobs. Since Khadi


06 Glory to Khadi cloth is handspun and its products are mainly created by artisans in rural areas, it is said the brand invokes good vibes in consumers. “The KVIC model is unique. They sell through government-owned stores as well as other retail outlets,” said Arvind Singhal, founder of retail consultancy Technopak. “It is also one of the most underrated compa nies in India, which has the potential of public listing.” While low production growth was a drag on sales in recent years, during the last fiscal year, Khadi output grew by 31% to Rs 1,396 crore, while village industries saw a 23% rise to Rs 41,110 crore. As India stepped into the 21st century, a new breed of Indian designers began experimenting with this versatile fabric, ensuring that Khadi remained in vogue. While the eco-friendly fabric was already known for its rugged texture, comfortable feel and ability to keep people warm in winter as well as cool in summer, its new-age reinterpretation as a modern yet quintessentially Indian textile has made it very appealing to millennial generation. From dresses and jackets to bridal lehengas and deconstructed local silhouettes, several leading designers have taken on the fashion challenge to reinvent the humble fabric into highfashion wear. For instance, Kolkata-based designer Debarun Mukherjee feels that fashion needs to go hand-in-hand with sustainability and has thus made Khadi the leitmotif of his bridal. “Khadih as always been associated with the old; I wanted to change this mindset. I wanted to promote Khadi for power dressing. If styled well, Khadi could work for any occasion. My clothing line fits anyone who is not just looking for pretty clothes but a soul or a story in what they wear, a strong Indian identity, aesthetics and a conscience. The colour and textures of Khadi are such that it becomes an inspirational fabric. It is not decorative but a fabric which breathes. Also, Khadi is the most natural, organic fabric. Ideal for Indian weather conditions, it keeps the wearer cool in summers and warm in winters,” he says.

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The masses lost their freedom, such as it was, with

the loss of the Charkha. The Charkha supplemented the agriculture of the villagers and gave it dignity New-Age Khadi While new-age Khadi products in India are not what you would really call cheap (eg. dyed raw Khadi silk fabric is priced at more than Rs 800 a metre), it is not exclusive either. At KVIC stores, one can purchase a small charkha for Rs 550 while a bundle of raw, unprocessed cotton costs Rs 40. In short, it gives people the choice of making their own hand-spun yarn at home. A part of the warp and weft of India, Khadi continues to be special in many ways. As the world moves towards industrial fashion, this fabric of freedom continues to spin incomes for the rural poor while reminding the country of

Khadi Day : September 19

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ven KVIC has decided to take a time leap, appointing Ritu Beri as their advisor, who wishes to change Khadi’s image from boring to chic. Promoting Khadi’s organic and zero carbon footprint nature, going the e-commerce route, and partnering with non- Khadi players like Raymonds are but a few welcome steps in this direction. Creation of new designs and products like denim, trousers, and T-shirts suited for youngsters have created a vibrancy in the market. India now celebrates Khadi Day on September 19th.

its legacy of sustainable living and selfreliance. Khadi is also manufactured from silk and wool, known as Khadi silk or woolen Khadi respectively. The fabric is known for its rugged texture, comfortable feel and ability to keep people warm in winter while keeping them cool during the summer. Broadly speaking, Khadi is manufactured in two steps: converting the fiber into yarn using tools like spinning wheels (Charkha) and then weaving the yarn into fabric using looms. There are many steps like dyeing and strengthening of the fibers which can be explored in detail here. Both the spinning and weaving can be mechanized, resulting in hand-loom fabric when the first step is mechanized and mill-made fabric when both steps are mechanized. Khadi and Charkha Khadi owes its revival to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. He was the one who saw its potential as a tool to being self-reliant, independent and bringing villages back to life. In his words: ‘The spinning wheel represents to me the hope of the masses. The masses lost their freedom, such as it was, with the loss of the Charkha. The Charkha supplemented the agriculture of the villagers and gave it dignity.’ However, he soon understood that more than the production and sale of this

handwoven fabric, it’s the acceptance of the very fabric in our own daily lives that will bring the change. Gandhi made the Swadeshi Movement synonymous with Khadi. He promoted its simplicity as a social equalizer and made it the nation’s fabric. ‘If we have the ‘ Khadi spirit’ in us, we would surround ourselves with simplicity in every walk of life. The ‘ Khadi spirit’ means illimitable patience. For those who know anything about the production of Khadiknow how patiently the spinners and the weavers have to toil at their trade, and even so must we have patience while we are spinning ‘the thread of Swaraj.’ The ‘ Khadi spirit’ means fellowfeeling with every human being on earth. It means a complete renunciation of everything that is likely to harm our fellow creatures, and if we but cultivate that spirit amongst the millions of our countrymen, what a land this India of ours would be! And the more I move about the country and the more I see the things for myself, the richer, the stronger is my faith growing in the capacity of the spinning wheel.’ Since independence, the journey of Khadi has been about maintaining a balance between traditions and modernity. Khadi stands for what’s traditional, but every tradition has to undergo change to stay relevant. Khadi has seen a new wave of acceptance thanks to many fashion designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Kumar and Rohit Bal, to name a few. Brands like Fab India and Nature Alley have made their name with Khadi products.


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Swachhata Samman

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dr bindeshwar pathak special award

Dr Pathak Given Swachhata Samman Unnat Bharat Social Welfare Society organised a joint programme to honour Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and release the centenary souvenir for the Champaran Satyagraha Movement

has to live it. I request all of you to make your own contribution to keep the country clean. You should be able to say with pride that this is the cleanest place on earth, be it your home, neighbourhood or village. If you all make this mission a success, then Gandhji’s dream will bear fruit. Prime Minister Modi is the second person after Gandhiji who brought to focus the need for hygiene and toilets. I come from Bihar. Whenever I would try to talk to people about sanitation, they would ask me finish my tea before discussing the subject. How does one work with such people? But I did not accept defeat and walked my path with determination. I request all of you contribute towards Swachh Bharat so that his dream is achieved by 2019.”

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he Unnat Bharat Social Welfare Society organised the Swachh Bharat Kavi Sammelan and Swachhata Samman programme, 2017, in Indian Society for International Late VK Krishna Menon Bhavan in New Delhi. On this occasion, the Champaran Centenary Souvenir was also launched. The launching was done by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak the founder of Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement, along with Minister for Women and Child Development, Krishna Raj; BJP National Vice President Shyam Jaju; former state president of the party Satish Upaddhyay, former MLA Vijay Jolly; founder of the Happy Family Movement, Ganeshshri Rajendra Vijayji Maharaj; Rana Yashvant Singh, Managing Editor, India News, MSF Security Sanjay Nirmal, BJRNF Sanjay Jha, Chief Vigilance Officer and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association advocate PH Parikh. On the same occasion, Dr Pathak was presented the Swachhata Samman by the Unnat Bharat Society. Dr Pathak Started Swachhata Mission before the PM: Jaju Jaju said that Dr Pathak had conceived the Swachhata Mission and Toilet in Every Home Mission much before Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and not just that, he had started implementing it. “There is no shortage of good ideas in our country, but there is a shortage of people to implement them. Dr Pathak had not only conceived the idea but also implemented it. Which is what we have as Sulabh Shauchalaya

Shyam Jaju said that Dr Pathak had conceived

the Swachhata movement even before PM Modi, and not just conceive it, he implemented it today. I invoke everyone to lay great stress on sanitation so that we all remain healthy and strengthen the nation. I am grateful to the organizers for dedicating this programme for Swachh Bharat. Today the entire country trusts Modiji because they know that he not only conceives ideas but implements them. Today the entire world is congratulating Prime Minister Modi. Cleanliness is a reflection of prosperity: Krishna Raj The Chief Guest at the programme Krishna Raj said: “Swachhata was an idea conceived by Mahatma Gandhi. He had started the whole movement. We all know that cleanliness and hygiene is crucial for the country, but none of us did anything about it. But today, the Prime Minister of our country had picked up a broom to launch the movement in earnest. This triggered a thought in the minds of every Indian that a Swachh India alone can be a prosperous India. Today there are programmes being held across the country on the issue of swachhata. There is a social churning. This is not a new idea. Mahatma Gandhi had first said this, but even a century of the Champaran Satyagraha, the message had not reached every household. But today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached this message to every single Indian. “No idea ever dies away. It finally bears

fruit, may be after a long wait. My elder brother-like Dr Pathak had picked up this idea years ago. And he started making the Sulabh Shauchalayas across the country to help it stay clean. He has ignited a flame among the men and women of the country to stay clean. In India we have had a long tradition of cleaning up households on auspicious occasions like Diwali, Navratri and Dussehra. So cleanliness and hygiene is nothing new to India. We just have to ensure the our surroundings are clean and hygienic. The name of Unnat Bharat Society will be etched in the history of Swachh Bharat: Dr Pathak Dr Pathak, founder of the Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement, said that when the history of Swachh Bharat will be written, the name of Unnat Bharat Social Welfare Society will figure prominently in it. It is a historic connect that we started the movement to liberate manual scavengers, and give them their due place in society, from that very Champaran, where Gandhi had first ignited the freedom movement for India. I stayed for three months in Bettiah village of Champaran and for three days did manual scavenging with them to understand their true miseries. This is because Gandhiji had said that to truly understand someone’s problem, one

Champaran gave us the strength and showed road to sanitation: Rana Yashvant Senior journalist Rana Yashvant said that Champaran was a political laboratory for Gandhiji. It is Champaran that showed the path to both courage and Swachhata. He said that unless and until a person is clean in his mind, he will never be able to maintain true cleanliness. Dr Pathak tried to eradicate manual scavenging: Satish Upadhyay Satish Upadhayay said that earlier, issues like sanitation and educating the girl child were not in the Indian discourse. But after Modiji came to power one realised the seriousness of these issues. And if anyone has thought seriously against manual scavenging it is Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. Today, our mothers and sisters who earlier were manual scavengers are living with their heads held high. Modi has taken forward the mission of Gandhiji: Vijayji Maharaj Founder of the Happy Family Movement, Ganeshshri Rajendra Vijayji Maharaj reminded the audience that Gandhiji had said that God resides where cleanliness exists. “I have been making Saraswati Mandir for the past 20 years. When Modiji was Gujarat CM, we had got him to launch the Van-Bandhu programme and set up toilets in the tribal areas of the state. All the guests at the progremme were honoured by being given shawls and charkha by Dr Pathak and Unnat Bharat Social Welfare Society, Abhishek Mishra. Along with this, the poets at the occasion were also and were also given shawls and the charkha.


08 PM’s Independence Day Speech

August 21 - 27, 2017

narendra modi Independence Day Speech

New India: “Together We Shall...” Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a riveting speech on the occasion of this year’s Independence Day, addressing every urgent issue; Here are some excerpts...

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rom the ramparts of Red Fort, on behalf of our 125 crore countrymen, I bow and pay respects to all those men and women who have sacrificed their lives, who have undergone immense sufferings and made sacrifices for the independence, glory and pride of the country. Sometimes, natural calamities are a big challenge for us. A good monsoon contributes immensely to the prosperity of the country. However, due to climate change, sometimes it turns into a natural calamity. Several parts of the country faced natural calamities recently. Besides our innocent children lost their lives in a hospital. Our 125 crore countrymen stand shoulder to shoulder

with them in this hour of crisis and grief. I assure the countrymen that in this hour of crisis we shall leave no stone unturned to ensure the wellbeing of all. My dear countrymen, this year is a special year for independent India. We commemorated 75 years of Quit India Movement last week. This year we are also commemorating the centenary of Champaran Satyagraha and the Sabarmati Ashram. The centenary of Lokmanya Tilak’s call “Swaraj is my birth right” falls this year as well. The year marks the 125th Anniversary of the Ganesh Utsav which led to the rise of community awakening through the celebrations. It inspires us to dedicate ourselves to a cause for the country. A collective resolve of the citizens was visible during 1942 to 1947 across the country which forced the

British to Quit India within a span of five years. We will have to exhibit the same resolve from now on in the 70th year of independence to 2022, the 75th year of independence. We now have five years before we reach the 75th year of our independence. Our united resolve, strength and determination to work hard remembering the memory of our great patriots will help us to build an India of their dreams by 2022. Therefore, we have to take the country forward with a pledge to build a New India. We are aware of the power of the collective resolve, hard work, sacrifice and devotion of our 125 crore citizens. Lord Krishna was immensely powerful, but it is only when the milkmen came out with sticks in his support that they could lift the Govardhan parvat. When Lord

Rama had to go to Lanka, the monkeys of vanar sena came to his help, Ramsetu was built and Lord Rama could reach Lanka. Then there was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who empowered his countrymen to weave the fabric of independence with cotton and spinning wheel. The collective resolve and strength of the people got freedom for our country. No one is small or big. We have in our memory the story of squirrel which became an agent of change. That’s why we must remember that no one among the 125 billion people is either small or big – everyone is equal. If each one of us, irrespective of where he belongs to, strives with a new resolve, a new energy, a new strength, we can change the face of the country with our combined strength in the 75th year of


August 21 - 27, 2017

PM’s Independence Day Speech

Women Concerns My mothers and sisters, the women in the families seek employment in large numbers. And therefore we have taken a very important step to reform the labour laws to provide them the employment opportunities in the night also. In the context of women empowerment, I’d like to honour those sisters who have been forced to lead a very difficult life due to ‘Triple Talaq’. There is no recourse for them, and such victims of ‘Triple Talaq’ have launched a massive movement in the country. They shook the conscience of the intellectual class of the country, the media of the country also helped them and a movement against ‘Triple Talaq’ was started in the country.

our independence in 2022. It will be the New India – a secure, prosperous and strong nation. A New India where there is equal opportunity for all; where modern science and technology play an important role in bringing glory for the nation in the global arena. Priority: Security January 1, 2018 will not be an ordinary day – those born in this century will start turning 18. For these people, this is a decisive year of their lives. They are going to be the creator of the destiny (Bhagya Vidhata) of our nation in the 21st century. I heartily welcome all these youth, honour them and offer my respects to them. You have an opportunity to shape the destiny of our country. A proud nation invites you to become a part of its developmental journey. It is natural for our countrymen to think of our safety and security. Our country, our military, our brave-hearts, our uniformed forces, be it any force, not just the army, air force or navy, all the uniformed forces, whenever they were called upon to do so, they showed their valour, their strength; our brave-hearts never turned their back in making the supreme sacrifice. Be it LeftWing-Extremism, be it terrorism, be it infiltrators, be it the elements fomenting trouble inside our country- the uniformed forces of our country have made extreme sacrifices. And when the surgical strike was carried out, then the world had to acknowledge India’s capability and strength. Corruption Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today. Due to this, the confidence of the hardworking and honest person is increasing. An honest man now feels that his honesty matters. Today, we are celebrating a festival of honesty and there is no place for dishonesty. This gives us new hope. Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today. Due to this, the confidence of the hardworking and honest person is increasing. An honest man now feels that his honesty matters. Today, we are celebrating a festival of honesty and there is no place for dishonesty. This gives us new hope. The law against Benami property was lying in limbo for years. Now, we have come up with a law against Benami Property. In such a short time, the government has unearthed Benami properties worth over Rs.800 crores. When these things happen, the common man develops faith that the country is for the honest persons. The ‘One Rank - One Pension’ policy for our defence forces was stuck up for 3040 years. Our government implemented it. When we fulfill the aspirations of our

09

For the first time in the history of the country, while leaving in his car, PM stopped it, went down to greet the children, who were mighty delighted

soldiers, then their morale goes high and their resolve to protect the nation grows manifold. The country has many states and a Central Government. GST has shown the spirit of cooperative federalism and has given competitive cooperative federalism a new strength. The success of GST can be attributed to the hard work that has been put in to make it a success. Technology has made it look like a miracle. The global community is surprised how we were able to roll out GST in such a short time. It is a reflection of our capability and helps in building the confidence and faith of the future generations. Fast Track Growth New systems are emerging. Today roads are being built at twice the speed. The railway tracks are being laid at double the speed. More than 14 thousand villages that were hitherto shrouded in darkness even after Independence, have been provided with electricity. Bank accounts of 29 crore people have been opened, more than 9 crore farmers have got Soil Health Card. J&K Development For the development and progress of Jammu & Kashmir, its prosperity, and fulfilment of the aspirations of the citizens, not only the J&K government, but we as responsible citizens also have a responsibility. We are committed to restore the state to its former glory so as to experience the paradise that it was, once again. On Kashmir there is rhetoric and

politics. But I am clear in my belief on how to win the war against separatism, which is spread by a handful of people. The problem will be solved neither by abuse or bullets - it will be solved by embracing all Kashmiris. Strength: Democracy In the New India, the biggest strength is democracy. But we have reduced our democracy to mere ballot boxes. However, democracy cannot be confined only to ballot boxes. Hence our resolve is to see to it that we have a democracy in New India, where people are not driven by the system, rather the system is driven by the people. Such a democracy should become the identity of New India and we want to move towards that direction. Farming Glory Lal Bahadur Shastri had given the slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.” Our farmers have not looked back since then. They are now producing record harvests and scaling new heights despite facing natural adversities. There has been a record production of pulses this year. Changing India With the changes in demand and technology, the nature of jobs in our country has been changing. The Government has launched several new initiatives in the employment related schemes and also in the manner in which the training is imparted for the development of human resource according to the needs of the 21st century.

Eastern India The prosperity of Eastern India is required for India’s forward movement into the 21st century. It has tremendous potential, rich human resources, immense natural wealth, work force and it has the power to change lives. We are devoting significant attention to eastern India- Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, and the Northeast. These parts have to grow further. These are abundant in natural resources and are striving hard to take the country to new heights. Financial Inclusion 29 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened. More than 8 crore youth have received loans without any guarantee. More money has come to the banks due to demonetization which will give impetus to the economy. Our country has the world’s largest youth population. Today is the era of IT and let’s move ahead on the path of digital transaction. Let us lead from front, promote digital economy and adopt the Bhim App. Common Resolve For ‘Team India’, for the 125 crore countrymen, we have to take the pledge to achieve the goal by 2022. We will do it with dedication to see a great, majestic India by 2022. So we will together build such an India where the poor will have Pucca House with electricity and water. Together we will build such an India where the farmers can sleep without worry. They will earn double by 2022 of what they are earning today. Together we will build such an India where the youth, the women will have enough opportunities to fulfil their dreams. Together we will build such an India which will be free from terrorism, communalism and casteism. Together we will build such an India where nobody will compromise with corruption and nepotism. Together we will build such an India which will be clean and healthy, and where the dream of Su-Raj will be fulfilled.


10 Good News

August 21 - 27, 2017

kolkata conservation

The ‘Lake’ and Citizens’ Trees Now citizens will pay a small fee to adopt a tree and nurture it to bring the area back to health

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he Calcutta civic authorities have found a novel way to protect and preserve the vanishing green in the city. To start with, it has come with a wonderful proposal to adopt a tree at a very meagre price and protect the environment. The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has floated a project –“Taru Mitra” (Friend of the Tree), involving the citizens, NGOs, green activists and government representatives, whereby a person can adopt a tree against a meagre fee for a fixed period. The tenure of adoption may be extended depending on the desire of the person. The novel project, the brainchild of KMDA CEO Soumitra Mohan, is the result of a directive from the Calcutta High Court to save Rabindra Sarobar from continuous biodegradation. “Planting a tree is easier; but if the same is not properly protected and nurtured, it will wither away and the environment protection purposes will not be achieved,” Mohan pointed out when asked to explain the logic behind his project. The sprawling 73-acre Rabindra Sarobar, popularly known ‘Lake’ a Lily Pool and the Calcutta Rowing Club, along with an auditorium, of late, it has been ravaged by tree fellers.

karnataka Women’s Security

Anonymous Convers(t)ation

Taking into consideration hesitation of harassed women to complain in police stations, a team has created a prototype of a device that will aggregate complaints anonymously G Ulaganathan

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oon, harassed women in Bengaluru need not go to any police station to file complaints .Often after harassment or physical and sexual abuse of women in public spaces, many of these women do not go to police stations to register complaints, for fear of humiliation. Or some of them feel that the harassment from police stations may be worse than what they had already experienced! They are not sure if their complaints would be followed up and acted upon. In an attempt to make things easy for women, a young team from the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-B), has built the prototype of a device where women can register complaints informally. This device can be installed in public spaces around the city. Yashvanth Kondi, one of the five core members of the IIIT-B team that conceptualised, researched and designed the device, says: “The device will function a bit like an ATM kiosk and will register informal reports which will then be aggregated to get an idea of which areas are unsafe. Then the complaints will be routed to the nearest police station which can contact the victim and register a formal complaint.”

Quick Glance Some feel the harassment from police may be worse than what they had experienced This innovative device can be installed in public spaces in the city Complaints will be routed to the nearest police stations for action

The team consisted of two IIIT-B M Tech students, two Media LAB Amsterdam students, and a mentor at Fields of View, a nonprofit organisation working in tech policy research. The device will have an interface and is also meant for authorities such as the Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation which

bangalore pests

Sucker for Mosquitoes This device does not use toxic chemicals or smoke to merely repel mosquitoes, but traps and kills them SSB Bureau

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ith dengue fast spreading in most of the southern states, especially in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,, there is some sense of panic. More so because there is no particular medicine available which can contain this deadly disease. It is a fact that mosquitoes are the biggest killers and cause of many diseases in the world. Despite mega publicity and lavish advertisements, the various mosquito coils and liquids have found to be

not very effective. They also contain toxic chemical substances that cause discomfort and are quite harmful to health, especially for the children. The civic bodies like the Bengaluru Mahanagarapalike (Bangalore Corporation) and Chennai Metropolitan Authority are doing their best to educate people of the need to keep their surroundings clean. Now there is some light at the end of the tunnel. An inventor from Mangaluru has come up with a novel solution called the MozziQuit, a mosquito trapper that does

runs the city bus service (where often one comes across complaints of harassment of women either by co-passengers or by the crew). This will help the BMTC management to make public transportation friendlier to women commuters. “The concept, of course, is to generally provide an anonymous feedback mechanism for organisations with institutional linkages which can take action,” adds Yasvanth. The device is called ‘Convers[t] ation’ and the initiative is named ‘NextWave’. The team, however, makes it clear that the device is not a substitute for direct police complaints. “Victims who are interested in taking action for their individual cases should report directly to the police. Our device is meant to collect anonymous reports from women who are interested in reclaiming public spaces, of which we believe there are plenty,” he says. Once these reports are sent to relevant departments, immediately a copy goes to the police station concerned. There is no human interface and the victim’s identity is completely protected. The team is now planning to demonstrate this device to the highest authorities in the state government and probably form a startup to manufacture and market it. not use chemicals or smoke. Speaking about the invention Orwin Norohona, head of Leowin Solutions, that made the device says, “MozziQuitworks like a mosquito trapper. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide produced by humans and their body temperature. Similarly, this device has a magnet that mimics the temperature of a human body. Once they come near the device there is a suction that traps them.” The device was recently demonstrated in Bengaluru. The MozziQuit also combines a food grade additive that is made by the company itself. This, along with the heat generated from the device, combines and attracts the mosquitoes which are then vacuumed in a system integrated within the device and killed. According to Noronha, most of the devices today are only preventive in nature and do not go to the root of the problem, that is, killing the mosquitoes in huge numbers. MozziQuit is designed to do just that kind of annihilation.


August 21 - 27, 2017

Neurosciences Face Recognition

CENTRES OF THE ‘AHA!’ MOMENT

The study on brain centres in primates that help face recognition can augment cures in memory loss cases

Quick Glance Study identifies brain areas capable of integrating visual perception Macaque face processing network showed more activity in known faces This is a specific form of memory, that is highly developed in primates

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S researchers have discovered two previously unknown areas of the brain that help humans process familiar and unfamiliar faces differently. Working with rhesus macaque monkeys primates whose faceprocessing systems closely resemble our humans WinrichFreiwald and Sofia Landi from the Rockefeller University in the US, identified brain areas that are capable of integrating visual perception with different kinds of memory. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, they measured the animals’ brain activity as they responded to pictures of other monkeys’ faces. Those faces fell into three categories: personally familiar

ones belonging to monkeys that the macaques had lived with for years; visually familiar ones whose pictures they had seen hundreds of times; and totally unfamiliar ones. Unexpectedly, the macaque face processing network showed more

activity in response to the faces of long-time acquaintances. Faces that were only visually familiar, meanwhile, actually caused a reduction of activity in some areas, the researchers said. Further, the faces of animals

Quick Glance

Paleontology Humans

‘Out of Indonesia…’ Originally, ‘out of Africa’ was a term that went to explain origin of humans… now it seems they came from South Asia

Early humans could have migrated to Australia even earlier than known so far They could have migrated from Indonesia as early as 70,000 years ago Remains of early humans were also located in Sumatran rainforests

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team of researchers announced last week that early humans were living in the rainforests of Indonesia over 70,000 years ago, 20,000 years before what was previously believed.

That humans survived in these environments indicates they were behaviourally modern, and had technologies to gather resources

Researchers from the Australian Centre for Human Evolution (ARCHE) collaborated with an international team on the discovery in the Sumatran rainforest, with the results suggesting that early humans could have migrated to Australia even earlier than expected.

One of the researchers on the project, Julien Louys from the ARCHE, says that the aim of the project was to “re-discover and reanalyse” Pleistocene fossil sites. “Essentially, we knew that modern human remains had been recovered from one of these sites

Good News

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whom the macaques had known for years prompted the activation of two previously unknown face-selective areas regions of the brain associated with declarative memory, which consists of facts and events that can be consciously recalled, and area associated with social knowledge, such as information about individuals and their position within a social hierarchy. This is “a specific form of memory, that is highly developed in primates, and certainly in humans”, Freiwald said. When the researchers showed the macaques blurry images of personally familiar faces, which gradually became sharply defined over the course of half a minute or so, the activity of previously known face-processing areas increased steadily over time. But the new areas first showed little or no initial increase in activity, followed by a sudden surge an allor-nothing response that evokes what Landi calls “the sudden ‘aha’ moment” we experience when we recognise a familiar face. The new findings “opens a window to explore the interaction between face perception, memory, and social knowledge”, Landi said..

(LidaAjer),” Louys said. “We wanted to collect samples for dating, as well as looking at what sorts of environments these humans were living in.” According to Louys, the remains of the early humans that were found were also located amongst other Sumatran rainforest mammals which means it was likely that they were living in the similarly challenging rainforest environment for those of limited technological capability. “Living in rainforests is difficult without sophisticated technology, as protein is hard to come by rainforests typically have cryptic or canopy-loving animals that can be hard to catch - and carbohydrates are not common,” Louys said. “The humans survived in these environments indicates that they were behaviourally modern, and had the necessary technologies to gather these resources.” In order to survive, Louys believes that these early humans would have to have developed methods that were sophisticated for humans at that time, with adaptation to the unforgiving environment being key.


12 Sanitaion

august 21 - 27, 2017

KOLKATA

UP Namami Gange

Uttar Pradesh ODF by 2018 Twenty-four Namami Gange villages will be identified in the five states on its banks

Kolkata student’s transgender push

Quick Glance All five states on the banks of the Ganga will become ODF The Ganga Gram will focus on better cleanliness and infrastructure Thirty Swachhta Raths were flagged by the CM, Bharati and Tomar

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ll 4,480 villages on the bank of River Ganga in 52 districts and 5 states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand& West Bengal) were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) under Namami Gange initiative at the Ganga Gram Sammelan held last week at Naini, Allahabad by Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation. Later, Uma Bharati, Union Minister for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation and Tomar launched the model Ganga Gram initiative under which 24 Namami Gange villages have been identified

in the 1st phase (Uttarakhand – 3, Uttar Pradesh – 10, Bihar – 4, Jharkhand – 5, and West Bengal – 2) to make them Adarsh Ganga Grams. Ganga Gram is a joint initiative of MDWS and MoWR. The Gram Pradhans of these villages were administered oath for achieving the goal of Adarsh Ganga Gram by Uma Bharati. The Ganga Gram initiative would focus on better cleanliness and infrastructure facilities like Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), rejuvenation of ponds and water sources, water conservation projects, organic farming, crematorium and overall convergence with other government departments and projects. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath reiterated the commitment to make the entire Uttar Pradesh state ODF by December 2018 and stressed that SBM is among the top priority programmes in the state.

Uma Bharati & Narendra Singh Tomar launched the model Ganga Gram initiative under which 24 Namami Gange villages have been identified

In her address, Bharti said that a major step has been taken in the direction of cleaning the holy river Ganga by putting the required framework in place. Tomar highlighted the progress made under Swachh Bharat Mission. He said that the country has made fast and remarkable progress with sanitation coverage increasing to around 66.5% with 2.25 lakh villages and 169 districts becoming ODF. He said that the country is well placed to achieve the target of becoming ODF by 2nd October 2019. At the end of the programme, 30 Swachhta Raths were flagged off jointly by Yogi, Uma Bharti and Tomar. The Raths are mobile vans equipped with LED panels for screening Swachhta Films and also a NukkadNatak Team for community engagement in villages. The Raths would tour the entire state and create mass awareness and would help in triggering behaviour change among the community members. In this week about 300 Raths in many states will tour thousands of villages to disseminate message of swachhta. Earlier, speaking in the programme, Secretary, DWS, ParameswaranIyer elaborated the concepts of Ganga Gram and SwachhtaRath. He also presented the national scenario and status of SBM-G and highlighted the role of Jan Andolan for increasing the momentum of SBM. The Sammelan was also attended by the Deputy CM of UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya, State Minister- Panchayati Raj, senior officials from MDWS, MoWR, state officials, Gram Pradhans of Ganga Gram Villages and more than 1500 village representatives and swachhagrahi.

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ith the discussion and execution of ideas around all-gender restrooms gathering steam across the world, a college student from West Bengal has taken it forward with the installation of innovative toilet signages for the transgender community in Kolkata. As many as four toilets next to Masterda Surya Sen Metro Station in south Kolkata now display ‘Tridhara’ stickers along with the symbol (interlocked male and female forms) for the community. The idea was conceptualised by 21-year-old Sobhan Mukherjee. “I was writing about the community and attended various programmes. I realised they felt discriminated when it came to pay-and-use toilets. When I proposed the concept of signages to the local councillor Anita Kar Majumdar, she readily agreed. It requires minimum investment... for printing the stickers. All it takes is social responsibility,” Mukherjee told IANS. Mukherjee said the move falls in line with the Ministry of Sanitation’s guidelines stating that members of the third-gender community be allowed to use public toilets of their choice (men or women). “Instead of creating separate washrooms, we decided to divide the existing spaces as male, female and ‘Tridhara’ toilets and put stickers on them,” the postgraduate student in geography said. Transgender activist RanjitaSinha has lauded the move. “It is praiseworthy since he is a student. Often we are unable to push through and start something new but he has done it,” Sinha told IANS. Mukherjee has now spoken to councillors in other wards to get the ball rolling in different locations of the city.


august 21 - 27, 2017

Sanitaion

13

Thiruvananthapuram

films sanitation issues

‘better TO MAKE TOILETS THAN MOSQUES & TEMPLES’

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra shares his opinion on the importance of toilets in India Quick Glance

SHE-TOILET ON DISTRICT COURT PREMISES As many as 25 such facilities will be established this year

Unicef says that India still has the largest number of people defacating in the open: 564 million Films like Toilet: Eka Prem Katha and Mere Pyare Prime Minister are important, Mehra says Temples and mosques are important for society, but the focus of the country cannot be restricted there

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e it Akshay Kumar-starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha or his own directorial Mere Pyaare Prime Minister, films delving into the need to eradicate open defecation are “timely”, says filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who feels the nation needs to build more toilets than mosques and temples. “I really don’t know what these films will do, but they are very timely,” said Mehra. He has a point. According to Unicef India, the country has the largest number of people -- over 564 million -- still defecating in the open. Also, about 65 per cent of people in rural areas in India do not have access to toilets. While Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, released last Friday, is trying to spread the message of Swachh Bharat by delving on the importance of making toilets in an entertaining way, Mere Pyaare Prime Minister -with its intriguing title-will tell a humble story of a slum boy who wants to build a toilet for his mother. Mehra said these stories go beyond the subject of toilets. “The stories are not about toilets. Stories are about human beings... So, I hope that as a human story, Mere Pyaare... can reach out and touch hearts, and move you in a way which is very positive and thereby, the story becomes a part of a collective consciousness, rather than what just might concern a

selective consciousness. “I hope it becomes not just a talking point, but an awareness. Once there’s an awareness, something can be done about it.” He said somewhere, “the voice of the film even tells you that rather than making mosques and temples, it’s more important to make toilets”. Prodded on why he said that, the National Award-winning filmmaker clarified: “I am not defying a belief... I don’t believe in mosques and temples. I do believe they are essential to a society and people find their peace of mind and spiritual connect... But I also feel that the focus of the nation cannot be kept on that. “It needs to shift now towards giving social security, social benefits to the people of this country... Just making their lives happier.” He added: “May be what I am trying to say is that you can do without going to the mosque or temple for a day or even go without a meal, but you can’t just go without

When you take a flight to Mumbai, your plane feels like it will land on slums, and suddenly there’s a runway

going to the toilet every day. I am saying it in a practical way, and not saying it in a frivolous way or like a joke. It’s a simple biological fact of life.” The Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag director is doing his bit by being associated with the Yuva Unstoppable NGO for the cause of building toilets in municipal schools in various parts of India. Having grown up in Delhi, Mehra has been staying in Mumbai since almost three decades now. It is the “contrast between the haves and have-nots” in the country’s financial capital that irked him enough to explore a movie around it. The result is Mere Pyaare Prime Minister. Largely shot with four children, real extras from slums and National Award-winning actress Anjali Patil, Mehra took his cameras to Mumbai suburbs Amrut Nagar and Passpoli to capture the trueto-life scenes and locations where people defecate in the open. “When you take a flight to Mumbai, your plane feels like it will land on slums and suddenly there’s a runway. When I shifted to Mumbai around 30 years ago, there was one slum called Dharavi... the biggest in Asia and all of that. And now when I look around, there are a hundred Dharavis around us. There are more slums than buildings. So, I always wondered what’s life like there.” In the quest to find that, he realised that “against all odds, there’s an immense celebration there”. “Despite all the problems, people don’t give up hope. That hope inspired me to get into this film. I wanted to tell a story of inspiration.”

ssb bureau

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ocial Justice Minister KK Shylaja inaugurated and handed over a She-toilet, set up on Thiruvananthapuram District Court premises, to the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association last week. The facility has been established by the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation. Shylaja said the Corporation had established 58 electronic shetoilets in various parts of the State. The financial burden of ensuring their cleanliness and maintenance was being shouldered by the corporation. As many as 25 such facilities will be established this year. It has been targeted to set up an additional 100 she-toilets in all towns, major hospitals, and court premises within five years. Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association president Anayara Shaji presided over the function held at the Bar Association hall. District and Sessions Judge K. Haripal delivered the keynote address. Association secretary Thonnakkal Rajeev, Corporation director T. Geenakumari and Manager Recovery L.S. Mahesh also spoke.


14 Science & Technology

August 21 - 27, 2017

Seismology Heat Lines

Indian predicted Chinese temblor It is generally held that earthquakes are notoriously unpredictable, and yet, an Indian scientist predicted the recent Chinese disaster, and many others before that

Quick Glance Bapat had clearly predicted the place & magnitude of the earthquake to hit China He says that deep underground heating causes disturbances in radio & TV It is time to get prepared for the huge Himalayan quake already predicted

ssb bureau

I

ndian seismologist Arun Bapathas cautioned that in view of the large magnitude earthquake predicted in the Himalayan region, it is time to act now, and one better listens to him! The a day before the recent devastating earthquake struck China on August 8, killing close to 40 people and forcing the evacuation of thousands more, Bapat had written that this is going to happen “I daily visit the website of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for various geological, meteorological, ionospheric and seismic parameters,” Bapat, a former chief of earthquake research at the Central Water and Power Research Station in Pune, told IANS. “On August 7, around midnight, I saw a satellite infra-red photo showing a thermal high in the China-Japan region that was not there five hours earlier.” Bapat a consulting seismologist at International Earthquake and Volcano Prediction Centre headquartered in Orlando, Florida knew this was a sign

An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 did occur in

Churachandpur district of Manipur on February 24. The predicted magnitude and location were fully correct of a moderate to a large magnitude earthquake. He immediately alerted seismologists in his group in an email warning that “an earthquake should occur within the next 18 to 24 hours”. That forecast turned out to be correct. “Predicted China earthquake happened,” Hong-Chun Wu, a Chinese seismologist, responded in an email on August 8. “This only confirms that the science of short-term earthquake forecasting and prediction is really progressing,” said Bapat who had predicted the 7.2-magnitude Mexico earthquake of April 18, 2014, two months before the event. Bapat’s confidence stems from the string of correct predictions he had made using satellite readings of seismological and geophysical parameters like ‘Total Electron Content’ and ‘Outgoing Long Wave Radiation’ in addition to infra-red

images of the Earth. For instance, on April 14, 2017, in an email to the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, Bapat wrote: “During my routine check of various earthquakerelated parameters it has been found that the area near Bhaderwah could perhaps be heading for an earthquake of magnitude around 5.5 within next few days.” A 5 magnitude earthquake did occur four days later, some 80 km from Kargil, as predicted. Bapat’s prediction based on surface temperatures also turned out to be correct in the case of an earthquake in Manipur early this year. On February 23, he alerted the North-East Disaster Management Authority in an email: “The temperatures at three locations indicate the likely occurrence of an earthquake of magnitude around 5.0 within next few days. The epicenter could be within 70 km from any of

the above locations. Most vulnerable dates could be 25/26 Feb.” An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 did occur in Churachandpur district of Manipur on February 24. “The magnitude and location were fully correct,” Bapat said. “Only the date was missed by a few hours.” Satellite-borne data, freely available on IMD website, could be effectively used for short-term earthquake forecasting and prediction on a 24x7 basis, he said. Besides satellite data, there are seismic precursors arising from “seismo-electromagnetic effect” that are worth watching, Bapat said. “Before the occurrence of any moderate to large magnitude earthquake, the underground location where the rupture takes place gets heated. As the temperature rises, the geomagnetic field of the earth at that location goes on decreasing which adversely affects the propagation and reception of electromagnetic waves and communication.” The impact of this, Bapat said, can be observed by anyone with a telephone or television set. About two days before an earthquake, landline telephone communication gets disturbed; radio reception fades away about 30 to 40 hours before the event and television reception gets disturbed about 10 hours before earthquake, Bapat said. “If all mobile telephones in a radius of 15 km or more are affected, it could be a sign of earthquake within the next 100 minutes. This was noted for the first time prior to the 1993 Latur earthquake in Maharashtra, in Bhuj before the destructive quake of January 26, 2001, and prior to the 7.5 magnitude Kathmandu earthquake on April 25, 2015.” “I would like to say with sufficient level of confidence that using electronics and satellite-borne data would definitely give good resultoriented earthquake predictions. All State Disaster Management Authorities (DMAs) and the NDMA are requested to consider this seriously,” Bapat said. “In view of the predicted large magnitude earthquake in the Himalayan region, it is the right time to act now,” he added.


August 21 - 27, 2017

Science & Technology

15

human players AlphaGo & Weiqi

Artificial Intelligence Upgraded AlphaGo helps human players explore new ways of gaming

A

ssb bureau

senior official of China’s Weiqi Association (CWA) said last week that it’ s lucky for both AlphaGo and Weiqi when they met, which brought the best in each other. Riding over human player demonstrates the AlphaGo, or the Artificial Intelligent (AI), has upgraded the capability to a new level, Xinhua quoted HuaYigang, deputy chairman of CWA, as saying. Meanwhile, AlphaGo helps human players explore new ways of gaming. Hua visited Houston for an event of amateur Weiqi (or Go) tournament, which lasted two days during August 12 and 13, attracting more than 20 players with ages range from seven to 74.

AlphaGo is a narrow AI computer programme that plays the board game Go. It was developed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google DeepMind in London in October 2015. It became the first Computer

Int’l Space Station’s first supercomputer By sending a supercomputer to space, HPE is taking the first step in improving its ‘ruggedised’ computing technology

H

ewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) said last week that it will launch a supercomputer into space on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft next week, as part of a joint experiment with the US space agency NASA. The system, called the Spaceborne Computer, is designed to last for a year, which the company said is roughly the amount of time it will take to travel to Mars. “A mission to Mars will require sophisticated on-board computing resources that are capable of extended periods of uptime,” Alain Andreoil, senior vice president and general manager at HPE’s data centre infrastructure group, wrote in a blog post. “To meet these requirements, we need to improve technology’s viability in space in order to better ensure mission success. By sending

AlphaGo is a narrow AI computer programme that plays the board game Go It became the first Computer Go program to beat a human professional Go player Computer programmes would be useful platform tool across the world

Computing Space Mission

IANS

Quick Glance

a supercomputer to space, HPE is taking the first step in that direction,” he wrote. Currently, many of the calculations needed for space research projects are still done on Earth due to the limited computing capabilities in space, according to HPE. While this approach works for space exploration on the moon or in low Earth orbit, it would take up to 20 minutes for communications to reach Earth and then another 20 minutes for responses to reach astronauts once they travel farther out and closer to Mars, it said. “Such a long communication lag

Go program to beat a human professional Go player without handicaps on a full-sized 19 * 19 board. In March 2016, it beat Lee Sedol in a five-game match, the first

time a computer Go program has beaten a 9-dan professional without handicaps. In the 2017 Future of Go Summit which was held in China, AlphaGo beat KeJie, the world No.1 ranked player at the time, in a three-game match. Hua said he is glad that Weiqi is getting popular in the US as well as in the European countries, especially in the wake of the very first appearance of the AlphaGo. He believes the Internet and the computer programmes would be useful platform and tool and players across the world can take advantage of them to improve their ability.

Quick Glance HPE will launch a supercomputer into space on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft The system, called the Spaceborne Computer, is designed to last for a year and send back results This will improve calculations needed for space research projects that are still done on Earth

would make any on-the-ground exploration challenging and potentially dangerous if astronauts are met with any mission critical scenarios that they’re not able to solve themselves,” Andreoil said. The HPE Spaceborne Computer is based on the so-called Apollo 40 class systems, running an opensource Linux operating system, with a unique water-cooled enclosure, but has no hardware modifications, according to the company. Generally, in order for NASA to approve computers for space, the equipment needs to be “ruggedized,” or hardened to withstand the

For NASA to approve computers for space, the

equipment needs to be “ruggedised,” or hardened to withstand the conditions in space

conditions in space, Andreoil explained. “This physical hardening takes time, money and adds weight, so HPE took a different approach to ‘harden’ the systems with software,” Andreoil said. “HPE’s system software will manage real time throttling of the computer systems based on current conditions and can mitigate environmentally induced errors,” he said. “Even without traditional ruggedizing, the system still passed at least 146 safety tests and certifications in order to be NASA-approved for space.”


16

August 21 - 27, 2017

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible” Christopher Reeve

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

VIEWPOINT

Scavenging deaths: Strict action needed

narendra modi

the khadi Promoter Year after year, Prime Minister’s appeals to adopt Khadi have resulted in over 125 per cent jump in its sale

I

f Khadi is in vogue today, a major reason is the constant appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the people to start using Khadi. This started with his Man ki Baat programme in September 2014 when he asked people to start using Khadi. Referring to Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings, he said that by buying Khadi one can contribute towards bringing prosperity to poor. Gradually it became a rage among people in general and the youth in particular. That very year, Khadi sales jumped many folds. Year after year, he has been appealing to the appealing. He again spoke of Khadi in his programme in June this year: Last time I had asked the youth to buy at least one khadi outfit. I had not asked anyone to be Khadidhari, But the feedback I got from Khadi stores was that in a week’s time the sales had jumped up by 125%. In this way, as compared to last year the sales this year is more than double in the week following October 2. One can also use a ‘Khadi’ handkerchief to welcome people, and be a support to the innumerable underprivileged people, he said adding when he was in Gujarat, he had set a tradition of welcoming by not giving bouquets, but books or handkerchiefs instead. The Prime Minister said that everyone should stop gifting bouquets to each other and instead gift books. He is a great promoter of Khadi and it is due to Modi’s efforts that the fabric is become popular among fashion designers as well.

Editor-in-Chief

Kumar Dilip Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email: editor@sulabhswachhbharat.com, ssbweekly@gmail.com

T

oxic sewer gases killed two brothers cleaning a sewage tank without safety gear at a mall in east Delhi on August 12. Six days before, three sanitation workers died inside a Delhi Jal Board-managed sewer line in Lajpat Nagar. Another four labourers were trapped to death in a sewage tank in south Delhi’s Ghitorni in July. That this should happen in the national capital on the eve of the country’s 71st Independence Day celebrations is a national shame. According to a 2003 Supreme Court judgment (writ petition no. 583 of 2003,) no one is allowed to enter the sewers and even if someone is to enter in emergency cases, he or she should be provided protective gear. “Yet the government has done little to stop this blatant flouting of the order of the Supreme Court,” says Bezwada Wilson, Convenor, Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA). “Knowing the hazardous nature of the sewage system, this practice of sending the vulnerable communities into sewer lines and septic tanks is being routinised with impunity leading to these deaths,” he adds. SKA has compiled a list of the 60 deaths in the sewers since 1 January 2017 to 17 July 2017. As per the Supreme Court judgment, a compensation of Rs 10 Lakhs per deceased has to be provided to the affected family members. The SKA functionaries found that only 7 out of 60 cases of sewer deaths did the kith and kin of the deceased had received any such compensation. Under attack over “negligence”, the Delhi Jal

Board (DJB) has said it has the required safety equipment and that it is the workers who are not keen on wearing them while going into the sewers. This is hotly disputed by the organizations representing sanitary workers. The safety equipment is outdated and of no use and the ‘safai karmacharis’ (sanitation workers) are not trained to use them, they claim. The truth is that the sewage management system in urban India is in a shambles and nothing short of a complete overhaul will eradicate the “dirty job”. The cases of Mumbai and Delhi are illustrations. According to the norms, storm water drainage networks and sewage lines should never be inter-connected as they are designed for different kinds of load. In a well planned and managed sewage system, mixing random loads of rain water and solid waste would throw the system out of balance. However, in the national capital, natural water channels, storm water drains and sewage systems are inter-linked and supplement each other’s inadequacies – creating a deadly cocktail of solid and liquid waste, creating public health and environmental risks. The muck-filled depths of sewers and their toxicity have devoured about 70 people this year in Delhi alone. The state of the sewage system in Mumbai, which boasts of having the country’s richest municipal body, is best revealed by the recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). This report noted that Mumbai generated 2,146 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage, of which only 1,098 MLD is treated. The remaining 1,048 MLD (49%) sewage was outside the sewage collection system and was discharged into the sea or creeks without being treated. The situation in other cities and metropolitan centres in India is worse and a concerted attempt from the central and state governments is required to streamline India’s sewage system. There has to be a policy intervention from the Centre. It must come up with a plan for the entire

That three sanitation

workers should die in a gutter just ahead of the Independence Day is a national shame


August 21 - 27, 2017

The Supreme Court has

passed an order banning anyone from entering gutters, but nobody is abiding by it country stating very clearly its intentions. All state government must come up with a comprehensive plan for the modernisation of the sewage system. Modernisation of the urban waste management and a city’s sewage system through induction of new technology is however, only one part of the solution. The other part is according to the right to dignity to the sewage workers, most of who come from lower castes and have been at the bottom of the social pyramid for centuries. Despite the most stringent penal provisions in the law against manual scavenging, recent judgments by the Delhi and Madras High Courts about their non-enforcement show that Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 is only a pager tiger. Evidently, the vigorous national campaign for the rehabilitation of those engaged to manually clean insanitary latrines, and urban structures into which human excreta flows without sewerage, has been unable to break governmental indifference and social prejudice. Manual scavenging persists mainly because of the continued presence of insanitary latrines, of which there are about 2.6 million that require cleaning by hand. A determined approach to end the scourge requires a campaign against social prejudice that impedes solutions in two ways. Many communities still regard the inclusion of a sanitary toilet as ritual and physical pollution of the house, and even the less conservative are ready to accept only large, expensive and unscientific structures much bigger than those recommended by the WHO. More pernicious is the entrenched belief in the caste system that assumes Dalits will readily perform the stigmatised task of emptying latrines. Clearly, the law on punishment exists only on paper. Change now depends on the willingness of the courts to fix responsibility on state governments, and order an accurate survey of the practice especially in those states that claim to have no insanitary latrines or manual scavenging. Raising the confidence level among those engaged in manual cleaning is vital. Empowerment holds the key to change, but that would depend on breaking caste barriers through education and economic uplift. Compensation sanctioned for the families of those who died in the course of the humiliating and hazardous work should be paid immediately; only a fraction of those with verified claims have received it.

Oped

17

Impermanence Is The Only Constant In Life

mihir paul

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

Accepting the transitory nature of reality and life frees us from the chains of attachment and allows us to ‘go with the flow’

upfront

T

he only static element in a constantly changing reality and the universe is the impermanence itself. If you realize, nothing, in reality, is permanent, not your body, not your house, not your money, not even this very moment as you are reading these very words and with each breath, moments are passing from one to the other. Every moment is changing constantly. With a population of over 7 billion of us, surely happily ever after isn’t the reality for a lot of us. Things keep changing. There are always unknown factors that come into play. We live life in a rush as if it’s a race to get somewhere but this destination is often an uncertain one itself. Acknowledging the impermanent nature of reality frees us from attachment. We get too attached to materialistic things not realising we could lose it all at any moment. Our ego selves identify and own material possessions as their own and cannot even imagine the loss of any material property. But transcending the ego and realizing the impermanence and accepting loss gets you on a level where you are detached with the outcomes

in life. They don’t matter to you anymore. It’s not that you stop working or earning, you keep living normally. It’s just that you don’t get attached to anything or anyone for that matter. You love everything and everyone and can let go if need be. Realise the impermanence of life experiences. Cars passing by and they’re gone, one breath and the next comes, flipping through one channel on the television and the next comes. Things keep changing on the microcosm and also on the macrocosm, you change jobs, you get married, maybe you have kids, maybe grand kids. Embodying the present moment as much as you can, you automatically detach yourself from

these impermanent changes in experience. Embodying the present simply means paying more attention to what’s happening in the moment rather than being lost in thoughts. The present moment itself brings out love, compassion, and empathy, spontaneously and naturally when the moment arises. It’s just that your ego self-does not get the room to get attached to material things or outcomes or to leech onto other people’s energies. In fact, Impermanence is one of the three main teachings of Buddha - Suffering, Impermanence, and NonSelf. When we realise that everything in life is transitory, we stop getting attached to things that would normally rob us of our natural independence in life. We stop expecting things from life and start accepting things for what they are. With acceptance comes a state of equanimity. One must strive for this because once we start obtaining peace and happiness from within, we are already well on our ways to a happy and fulfilled life.

letters to the editor struggle. It meant specially important to the public because this was not conveyed by just anyone but the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On this great day, everyone wanted to hear the patriotic speech delivered by him. Thanks for printing this piece. Kiranmoy Nanda, Kolkata

quit india speech The article ‘Karenge Aur Karke Rahenge’ was very inspiring and heart warming. It not only forwarded the message of oneness but also to remember the heroes of the freedom

complimenting delhi The article ‘The smiling walls of Delhi’ made interesting reading because it was not just about any normal art but that which compliments the lifestyle of Delhi and its nearby places. It also portrays the different tastes of different people who come from other places and live in Delhi and how they see Delhi as such. This is an interesting way of conveying messages to a large number of people. I come from an art loving background and would

like to read more of such pieces and get to know more about new ideas in the field. Ambuja Joshi, Gwalior true philosophy The article ‘Ask “Who am I?”’ touched my mind and heart. It is a big question with a number of answers. According to a lot of people, they prefer the path of religion to either find the answer to the question or get it answered by the saints or gurus. Iskon says that chanting Hari name with lead you to peace and that could answer all the question in your mind. I myself am on the path of searching for the answer but have found no answer till now. Maybe reading more such articles in your paper will help me find myself and get to know deeper truths. Bhagwati Prasad, Jaipur

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


18 Photo Feature

August 21 - 27, 2017

Calcutta’s Rickshaws

They have been around since the end of 19th century, introduced to the city by the British. Of late, there has been much hue and cry over the ‘inhuman’ nature of these carriers, but many abroad even now take it as a cultural icon of Calcutta

Photos: dr sabyasachi datta

They have been around. For people who have grown up in the early 1970s, they were an inevitable part of life. No one found it degrading or inhuman. These rickshaw pullers came mostly from Bihar and it was a familiar sight of them having sattu mixed with water, oil, salt and pickles sitting under the shade of a tree, all of them having a meal in their shining brass plates.


August 21 - 27, 2017

Photo Feature

19

They provided easy and cheap transport. They carried people home from the bazaars. They had the advantage of being carted across the often flooded roads of old Calcutta, when taxis and buses would snarl to a stop due to water logging. Come rain or come shine, the usually smiling, friendly ‘rickshawallah’ was always there around the corner to take you to your destination. In fact, they read their papers and slept on their vehicles. But now they will put into museums within the next few years


20 Public Awakening

August 21 - 27, 2017

wedding demand

no toilet, no wedding The village has made a clear precondition for giving their daughters in marriage

srawan shukla

P

rime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission got a major boost when a Village Panchayat in Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh announced not to solemnise wedding of their daughters in families not having toilets in their houses. ‘No Toilet No Wedding’, this unique initiative was taken in Brahmananputti village under Tattiri block in Baghpat in Western Uttar Pradesh, which is otherwise infamous for its bizarre judgments of Khap Panchayats across the country. Holding a meeting last week, members of the Brahminputti Village Panchayat unanimously decided not to marry their daughters in families if they do not have toilets at their houses. “We have decided to marry off our daughters in families having indoor defecation facilities for women and girls,” said Raj Kumar Gurjar, the Village Pradhan. The Village Pradhan said that for the first time women and girls were also invited in the Panchayat meetings to seek their views on the contentious issue. “It was surprising that a majority of girls and their mothers voted in favour of our decision not to solemnise marriage of their daughters in a family which do not have toilets in their home,” said Gurjar. “Our pre-condition for any family to make our girls their daughters-inlaw would be a toilet. We will ensure that they have indoor toilets or the

In a meeting of the Brahmananputti village, the gram

panchayat, along with the rare event of women being present, decided on this unique campaign marriage is called off,” said Puja, who is having two marriageable daughters. The Panchayat was of the view that when the Central and State governments were offering a lot of subsidies under the Swachch Bharat Mission then it was ridiculous not to get a toilet constructed in the house and go to field for defecation in the open. “Majority of crimes against girls and women like rape and murders are committed due to absence of toilets at homes and they are forced to go for defecation in open fields after dark,” pointed Shanti (45). The Village Panchayat has also constituted a committee which will visit each and every household in adjoining villages to encourage them to construct toilets in their homes if they want to bring daughter-in-laws with dignity. The committee will have women and girls also as its members. Brahmananputti was given an

award from the then President Pratibha Patil for cleanliness in 2008. Despite the award, the village lacked behind in construction of toilets and majority of the villagers, including girls and women, used to defecate in open

fields. Things started changing when the Prime Minister launched Swachch Bharat Mission and directed for constructing toilets in large numbers, particularly in villages. The Village Pradhan claimed that they made good use of the scheme and now a majority of villagers are having toilets constructed in their homes. “We don’t allow our daughters and wives to go out for defecation. Some of the elders who were in a habit of still going to the fields were counselled by us and they also now use the toilets constructed in their homes,” claimed Gurjar. Uma Devi of the village pointed that despite this, our daughters used

Quick Glance For the first time the panchayat invited women and girls to attend All the ladies supported the decision of the panchayat Many married women are refusing to go home unless they make toilets

to face the same ordeal when they were married off in families having no toilets. “When we received many complaints from recently married girls then we took up the issue with the Pradhan and other members of the Panchayat. They promised to find a solution,” said Uma. “I am extremely happy that women and girls were invited in the Panchayat officially and their views were given a patient hearing by the Panchayat members. But we never thought that the Panchayat would take such a big decision in our favour,” said She. “I have told my in-laws that I will not return home till they construct a toilet in the house,” warned a Seema, a girl of the village who was recently married in a family having no toilet. The Panchayat members are in talks with Pradhans of other villages in the close vicinity to follow their decisions in order to ensure bare minimum respect for their daughters and help state government achieve open defecation free (ODF) targets by March 2018.


August 21 - 27, 2017

gender nirbhaya fund

Rs 2,200 Crore under the Nirbhaya fund

Nirbhaya Fund was set up with a corpus of Rs. 1000 cr during 2013-14. Further, an amount of Rs 1000 cr was provided in 2014-15

S.No. Name of the proposal and Ministry/ Department Emergency Response Support System, MHA

2.

200.00

12.

Creation of Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF), MHA Creation of Investigative Units for Crime against Women (IUCAW), MHA Organized Crime Investigative Agency (OCIA), MHA Cyber Crime Prevention against Women & Children (CCPWC), MHA Proposal for providing facility of Social Workers/ Counsellors at the District and Sub- Divisional Police Station Level in Delhi, Delhi Police/MHA New building with women centric facilities for Special Unit for Women & Children (SPUWAC) and Special Unit for North East Region (SPUNER) at Nanakpura, Delhi Police/MHA Integrated Emergency Response Management System (IEMRS), Ministry of Railways Development & Field Testing of panic Switch based safety Device for Cars and Buses for aiding Women’s Safety, MeiTY Abhaya Project Proposal for safety of women and girl child, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh Chirali Proposal, Women Empowerment Directorate, Govt. of Rajasthan One Stop Centre, MWCD

13.

Universalisation of Women Helpline, MWCD

69.49

14.

Proposal on implementation of Mahila Police Volunteers Scheme in two districts, namely, Karnal and Mahendragarh, Govt. of Haryana Proposal on implementation of Mahila Police Volunteers Scheme in two districts, namely, Anantapur and Kadapa, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh Proposal on implementation of Mahila Police Volunteers Scheme in two districts, namely, Surat and Ahmedabad, Govt. of Gujarat Capacity Building at Village/ District/ State level for reducing violence against women, Govt. of Uttarakhand Training women for heavy passengers vehicles, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Govt. of Karnataka Smart and safe cities free from violence against women and girls’ programme, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh Safe city project, Govt. of Odisha Installation of CCTVs in buses, UPSRTC, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh Nirbhaya Shelter Home, Govt. of Nirbhaya Fund Total

1.29

3. 4. 5. 6.

G

overnment of India has set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country. As per the guidelines of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal authority for appraisal of the schemes/ proposals received under Nirbhaya Fund. Also, Ministry of Finance has set up an Empowered Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development for appraising and approving various schemes/project proposals proposed to be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund. The concerned Ministries take up the sanction and implementation of the schemes/ proposals so appraised as they do for their other schemes/projects. Nirbhaya Fund was set up with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Cr. during 2013-14. Further, an amount of Rs 1000 Cr. was provided in 2014-15 and for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 550 cr. (each financial year) was provided under the Nirbhaya Fund. The corpus transferred to the Public Account for the Nirbhaya fund upto 2017-18 is Rs. 3100 Cr. Under the Nirbhaya fund, 22 proposals on women’s safety and security from Central Ministries

and State Governments amounting to Rs.2209.19 Crores have been appraised and recommended by the Empowered Committee as on 21.07.2017. The proposals of different Government Ministries/Organisation, appraised and recommended so far by the Empowered Committee are at different stages of implementation. The list of these projects are given in the table. Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing three schemes under Nirbhaya Fund, namely, One Stop Centre (OSC), Women Helpline(WHL) and Mahila Police Volunteer. One Stop Centres have been set up to facilitate access to an integrated range of services including medical, legal, and psychological support to women affected by violence to be funded through Nirbhaya Fund. The One Stop Centres will be integrated with 181 and other existing helplines. So far, 151 One Stop Centres have become operational. The Scheme of Universalisation of Women Helpline is intended to provide 24 hours immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence through referral and information about women related government schemes programs across the country through a single uniform number. The MWCD in collaboration with MHA has envisaged engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers in State/UTs who will act as a link between Police and Community and facilitate women

8. 9. 10. 11.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

in distress. The Empowered Committee of Officers, under the chairmanship of Secretary, WCD, which is an interministerial committee appraises and recommends various proposals/projects proposed by different Ministries/ Departments/States. The concerned Ministries then take up the sanction and implementation of the schemes/ proposals so appraised as they do for their

21

Cost of Proposal 321.69

1.

7.

ssb bureau

Gender

324.00 83.20 195.83 5.07 23.53

500.00 3.50 138.49 10.20 119.69

2.25 1.27 0.72 10.54 1.74 110.35 83.5 2.84 2209.19

other schemes/projects. This Committee regularly reviews the implementation of the projects and try to ensure judicious utilization of funds from time to time with the concerned Ministries. Furthermore, the Ministries and State Governments have been requested on 10th April, 2017 and reminded on 1st August, 2017 to send innovative proposals that can enhance the security and safety of women.


22 Environment

August 21 - 27, 2017

Technology Plant science

Plastics penalty

<50 microns = Rs 5,000 fine

Chipping in growth

The National Green Tribunal has slapped this order and also asked the Delhi government to confiscate the entire stock of such bags

The innovative technique will help ascertain the produce of every tree and the planting will be done easily and faster

ians

IANS

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n NGO planted saplings in Agra last week and introduced a Radio Frequency Identification chip to them which will ascertain the survival rate of the plants and their growth so they can be better cared for. The innovative technique is being used for the first time in the Dayalbagh campus of Agra and will help ascertain the produce of every tree. It will also ensure that the entire planting is done easily in a short period of time. The NGO, SPHEEHA (Society for Preservation of Healthy Environment and Ecology and Heritage of Agra), said the campaign will also be a learning aid for students and researchers who can obtain prefed information about these plants using a hand held radiofrequency identification reader. Since 2006, the NGO has been planting hundreds of saplings during the monsoon season in the city. Shabd Mishra, a technical consultant, told IANS: “ All plants have Radio Frequency Identification chip attached. These chips have been processed from Xtranet Technologies, Bhopal.” The produce will be used for manufacturing Ayurvedic products, the NGO said.

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he National Green Tribunal (NGT) last week imposed an interim ban on use of plastic bags with thickness less than 50 microns in Delhi. Violators will be fined Rs 5,000. Reiterating its earlier order, the bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked the Delhi government to confiscate the stock of non-biodegradable plastic bags within a week’s time. The order is applicable on low quality light polythene, which have thickness less than 50 microns.

Quick Glance The order is for low quality polythene, with thickness less than 50 microns Tribunal has imposed an environment cess of Rs 10,000 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste was generated every day, ministry says

The bench also asked the Delhi government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to file an affidavit and inform it about how its directions were being implemented in the city. The Tribunal has also imposed

Climate Change Study

Peruvian Heights

Scientists will study the glacial features atop Peru’s highest mountain, Mount Huascaran, for understanding climate issues IANS

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team of researchers and experts have launched an expedition seeking to carry out climate change studies on the snow-covered Mount Huascaran, Peru’s highest mountain. A spokesman from Peru’s Inaigem mountain ecosystems institute told Efe news last week that the aim of the expedition is to “make new explorations and get to know this glacier better, in the context of the climate phenomenon affecting the Andes mountain range”. The expedition will remain in the area for eight days, after departing from the town of Musho in northern Yungay province en route to one of the high-altitude camps on

Huascaran, which rises 6,768 metres above sea level. According to the spokesman, the team for the first time - will use advanced technological equipment, including GPS, given that to date measurements were made by field expeditions and with the

an environment compensation of Rs 10,000 on vegetable vendors and slaughter houses for throwing garbage in the open. The Tribunal had earlier banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and re-implemented the direction on January 1, 2017. On July 31, the Tribunal also slammed the Delhi government for failing to implement the orders. The bench directed the Delhi government to strictly enforce its orders and also sought a status report on the issue. The order is interim and subject to change after the DPCC and Delhi Government submit their reports next week. The prohibition applies to the entire city, especially restaurants, hotels and public and private functions. In March last year, the union Environment Ministry had stated that 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste was generated every day, out of which 9,000 tonne was collected and processed, but 6,000 tonne plastic waste was not being collected. Then Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags had been increased from 40 to 50 microns.

Quick Glance The aim of the expedition is to make new explorations and get to know this glacier This will help clarify the crucial issues around the Andes Mountain The team - for the first time - will use advanced technological equipment

help of satellites, without actually traveling to the mountain peaks themselves. Inaigem executive president Benjamin Morales added in a statement that climate change is affecting in a growing and dramatic way the world’s mountain ranges, especially Peru’s 18 mountainous zones possessing glaciers. He said that scientists recently have observed a reduction in glacier size and volume. Morales said that experts hope to obtain answers to many questions, including how the snowy peaks are being affected by climate change, what temperatures are on the highest peaks in the tropics and how much the glaciers have shrunk in the Huascaran Chopicalqui system between 1962 and 2017.


August 21 - 27, 2017

Quick Glance

Groundwater Research

south ‘watering’ itself well An international research team has found that the areas much below the Vindhyas is doing very well in groundwater recharge

IANS

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n international team of researchers, including experts from IIT-Kharagpur and NASA, has reported discernible groundwater storage replenishment in certain Indian regions, in a new study, attributing it to changes in strategy in the public and private sectors.Published in the Nature Scientific Reports in August, the study says this groundwater storage (GWS) rejuvenation may possibly be attributed “to implementation of ingenious groundwater management strategies in both Indian public and private sectors”. A research team from IITKharagpur in collaboration with NASA scientists, has observed regional-scale groundwater storage replenishment through long-term (1996-2014, using more than 19,000 groundwater

observation locations) groundbased measurements and decadalscale (2003-2014) satellite-based groundwater storage measurements, in large parts of India. While the northern and eastern parts of India are still undergoing acute usable groundwater depletion and stress, encouraging, replenishing groundwater scenarios are detected in western and southern India under proper water resource management practices, the study notes. “Our study shows that the recent paradigm shift in the Indian groundwater withdrawal and management policies for sustainable water utilisation, probably have started replenishing the aquifers by increasing storage in western and southern parts of India,” said research leader Abhijit Mukherjee from IIT-Kharagpur. The team used numerical

In India, where huge groundwater consumption is widely known, discernible GWS replenishment can also be observed in certain regions

India has been known to be hugely depleting its groundwater reserves The team from has found a happy reverse tale in the south Various restrictions is expected to start recharging the sunken aquifers

analyses and simulation results of groundwater management policy change effect on groundwater storage changes in western and southern India for this study. Mukherjee drew attention to the recent changes in Indian central/ state government policies on groundwater withdrawal and stress on management strategies. Strategies such as restriction of subsidised electricity for irrigation, separate electricity distribution for agricultural purposes (e.g. Jyotigram Yojana), construction of large-scale, regional enhanced recharge systems in water-stressed crystalline aquifers (Tapti river mega recharge project), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, enhanced recharge by interlinking of river catchments (e.g.NarmadaSabarmati interlinking), will probably start replenishing the aquifers by increasing groundwater storage in near future. Chief of Hydrological Sciences Laboratory Matthew Rodell at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, helped in interpreting the NASA satellite (GRACE) data (2003-2014) of groundwater storage changes in India for this study. The co-authors are Yoshihide Wada affiliated to International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria; Siddhartha Chattopadhyay of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; Isabella Velicogna and Kishore Pangaluru from University of California, the US; James S. Famiglietti of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the US. “We conclude that in India, where huge groundwater consumption is widely known to be leading to severe dwindling of groundwater resource in recent times, previously unreported, discernible GWS replenishment can also be observed in certain Indian regions,” said lead author Soumendra Bhanja, affiliated to Hydroscience and Policy Advisory Group, Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, as well as to Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Environment

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Climatology Glacier Growth

Karakoram’s ‘Vortex’ Cooling! The glaciers in this range spanning India, China and Pakistan are actually growing, going against global trends

IANS

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summer ‘vortex’ of cold air over the Karakoram, a large mountain range spanning the borders of India, Pakistan, and China, is causing the glaciers in the region to grow in spite of global warming, scientists have shown. “While most glaciers are retreating as a result of global warming, the glaciers of the Karakoram range in South Asia are stable or even growing,” said study co-author Hayley Fowler, Professor at Newcastle University in Britain. In their study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team reported the identification of a large scale circulation system or vortex centred over the Karakoram. In winter, the vortex affects the temperature over the whole 2,000-kilometre mountain range, but in the summer the vortex contracts and has an effect only over the Karakoram and western Pamir, said the study. This induces an anomalous cooling in summer which is different to the warming seen over the rest of the Himalayas. This Karakoram vortex goes some way to explaining why the glaciers in this region are behaving differently to those in most other parts of the world, Fowler said. “Most climate models suggest warming over the whole region in summer as well as in winter. However, our study has shown that large-scale circulation is controlling regional variability in atmospheric temperatures, with recent cooling of summer temperatures. This suggests that climate models do not reproduce this feature well,” Fowler said.


24 Sugar Free

August 21 - 27, 2017

patna no to sugar

Go, Sugar… Gud Good Many educationists, jurists, senior officers of the state government are up against the consumption of sugar in a rising campaign in Patna

Pradeep Modak

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otre Dame Montessori School principal Sister Namrata is the latest inclusion in the list of 47 eminent persons of Patna, who joined the Quit Sugar Campaign launched by Students’ Oxygen Movement a few months ago to encourage and educate people to quit sugar. Launched on May 25 this year, the movement has been gaining popularity among school students, teachers, academicians, doctors, lawyers, judges, IAS officers and other professionals. “In the last three months, more and people have joined the movement”, said Quit Sugar Campaign convener Binod Singh. He said: “Sugar is the root cause

Quick Glance The activists are spearheaded by an NGO called Students’ Oxygen Movement They claim that sugar is the most poisonous eatable in the world and should be shunned Instead, they are insisting that jaggery, or gud is more suitable for human health

More and more people, especially eminent citizens of Patna, are realising the point of the campaign and are joining force against eating sugar

of innumerable dreaded diseases and is most acidic substance in the world but has taken an important place in our meals. More acidity produces more diseases.” “Ayurveda tells that food should not contain more than 20 per cent of acidic substances; it should be mixture of 80 per cent alkaline and 20 per cent acidic eatables,” he pointed out. He said: “School children are the mainstay of our campaign. We educate them in their schools by organising lectures, seminars and workshops. And the children take the message to their parents and family members. This is campaign of the children, by the children and for the children to educate the society for quitting the sweet poison sugar. There are several alternatives to sugar as we can take Gud ( Jaggery) which contains more helpful nutrients than sugar”, he said. Expressing her happiness to join the campaign for a noble cause, Sister Namrata said: “As our school gives elementary education to kids and we

also teach them what is good and what is bad so quitting sugar will be the another good aspect to add into the education system. To remain healthy, we have to minimize the use of sugar or better to quit in our food. Kids get attracted to the food prepared by sugar s we have to tell the kids the ill effects of sugar and how to avoid it from their food habit”, she said. Sister Namrata also introduced the volunteers of Quit Sugar Campaign the teachers and students of the school. Volunteers of the campaign told the students about the several side effects of sugar and advised them to use Gud ( Jaggery) as an sweetening agent in the their food because Gud provides both calcium and iron for the body. They asked the students to become role model by spreading the message of this campaign to their parents and family members. “We believe the kids will motivate their parents and family members to quit sugar and adopt jiggery”, Singh said. Just a week earlier, Don Bosco

Academy principal Mary Alphonsa joined Quit Sugar Campaign. Don Bosco Academy holds its place among the premier institutions of the state capital for senior secondary-level education. Supporting the movement, she said: “This is surprising that children have been becoming the victims of diabetes”. “I have left eating sugar and now started eating Gud (jaggery). In most parts of the South India people prefer to eat Jaggery instead of sugar”, Sister Alphonsa said. “The root cause of diabetes in students is consumption of sugar and that’s why the disease has taken alarming shape throughout the country”, she said. The campaign began in Patna on May 25 this year and its launching ceremony saw 200 students from different schools, renowned physician Dr SN Arya, noted diabetologist Ajay Kumar and principals of several schools participating in it. Dr SN Arya said: “Quit sugar immediately if you want to live a healthy life. Intake of sugar invites diseases”. Dr Ajay Kumar said: “Sugar not only give raise the birth of diabetes in your body but it also opens the door for heart ailments, cancer and other diseases”. Supporting the campaign, IAS Officers’ Wives Association president Dr Purnima Shekhar Singh, who is the wife of Bihar government’s chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said: “Sugar is sweet and slow poison that eats our body. We should quit sugar and eat Gud (jiggery) which provides the body innumerable benefits”. Praising the campaign launched by the Students’ Oxygen Movement, she said: “The campaign shows the way to keep a safe distance from diseases. This is campaign to dash out diseases from life”. Justice Dinesh Singh of Patna High Court said: “To smile like a blooming flower, we have to adopt natural ways in our daily life and have to quit sugar”. He said from now onward, he would offer tea to guests prepared by Gud(jiggery) in his house. “I also take Gud tea at my home”, he added. Chanchal Kumar, Principal Secretary to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said: “We have take precautions in the matters of food. I have left taking sugar and I request to you all to quit sugar and remain healthy. Use Gud (jaggaery) as it is prepared naturally without any processing and use of chemicals”.


August 21 - 27, 2017

Travelogue

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travelogue Mizoram

Through the virgin woods Mizoram even now remains much of an unspoiled beauty and ceaselessly beckons the adventurous tourist saket suman

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an discomfort be fun? Why not, if it propels an unmatched adrenaline rush as you lay your heart open to the benign indifference of nature? And where? In the virgin woods of the Mizo hills, one of the least explored belts in the northeastern part of India. That “all the difference” which came into the later life of Robert Frost was defined by his decision to follow “the road less travelled,” has now become the mantra for many adventureseekers is a well known fact, but the road trip of our subject too finds “two roads” diverging “in a yellow wood”. The traveller is left with the choice to either follow the routine path that leads to Aizawl, the happening capital of Mizoram, or to tread along “the road less travelled” and discover the unseen majesty of the Mizo hills. The moment you choose the latter, an overwhelming feeling of being in the heart of nature grips you and the countless surprises that follow along the way together make for a fulfilling experience. My almost 13-hour long road trip from Aizawl airport (located about an hour away from the main city) to the town of Tlabung – 2,802 feet above the

sea level – was mostly covered during the night and much to my amazement, it turned out to be the best way to discover the region. Fancy this: On a chilly full-moon night, you are driving along a route that has more twists and turns than you had imagined, the trees and the wilderness are canopying along the immediate ends of the road and suddenly out of nowhere emerges the eerie sight of a graveyard, located along the slopes of a valley. With the bright full-moon glowing in all its glory, the graves seem almost magical – straight out of some Hollywood horror movie – while the sky adorns a milky attire. Let your creative juices flow and you can almost imagine a demon staring down at you from the bushes at the top of the hill! It takes you almost two-and-a-half hours to cover the first 40 kilometres and then you reach Hmuifang. The small town undisturbed by even the slightest bits of urbanisation is an ideal location for your first stop. There is a tourist lodge and a park

on one side of the road while you can stop at one of the shops on the other to savour some local cuisines and tea. Fall in Wilderness Almost 60 kilometres from Hmuifang consume another three to four hours and you reach Thenzawl, the site where Mizoram’s highest waterfall is located. The Vantawng Falls is located in the very heart of the wilderness, five kilometres south of Thenzawl and is a must-stop. At night you see the waterfall cascading from the hill-top in all its majesty and it almost invites you to take a dip. But be warned, it’s chilly and there are numerous poisonous snakes doing the rounds. Another two hours of drive and you reach the small Jerusalem market. At almost midnight, one can find women selling fresh organic vegetables waiting for the last bus that passes through the road. It’s a sight to behold. Not very far away from here is the “Honest Shop”, where there are no shopkeepers and the buyers are expected to leave behind the

At most shops for a mere Rs 130, you have a choice

of boiled pork, bamboo shoots, pumpkin leaves, boiled brinjal, chicken and crabs

Quick Glance ‘Road less travelled’ has now become the mantra for many adventure seekers Hmuifang, undisturbed by even the slightest bits of urbanisation is an ideal location for tourists Since there are no pests like travel agents, you can have a sedate peep into the local life

right amount at the shop. And then you reach Lunglei. This is where one should make the stop for the first night. The government-run Tourist Lodge offers decent accommodation for both budget as well as high-end travellers. Wake up early the next morning and head towards Tlabung, the most challenging part of the trip as the roads are in very poor condition. It’s almost an off-road experience as the next 90odd kms, the last leg of your journey, will consume more than six hours. But the sights along the way are worth all the pain. You come across numerous wooden bridges and the fear of dropping down straight 200 feet into the river pumps the adrenaline. Also along the way are numerous small eateries, all selling authentic Mizo cuisine. At most shops, you can have a wholesome meal for a mere Rs 130. On offer is boiled pork, bamboo shoots, pumpkin leaves, boiled brinjal, chicken and crabs. Spend the next day in Tlabung and indulge in the many ethereal experiences that it offers. There are no tour operators and you have the ultimate choice of taking a peep into the lives of the local people. The Khawthlangtuipui, also known as the Karnaphuli river, is the perfect option for boating. With Bangladesh on one side and India on the other, it takes you right into the heart of local communities by showing their lives from an unexpected proximity. It’s time to head back. Worried about the long and tiring journey? Do a reversal of plans and the entire experience will again be memorable. Take a day-ride as you return and the expectation of unexpected will always lurk around the corner. You will hear the crickets chirp, see the birds fly in strange formations, witness the locals living in their authentic style and you will be left with a craving for more.


26 Health

August 21 - 27, 2017

PCR blood test

New blood test may improve cancer treatment

diabetes risk factors

kids and diabetes

Longer sleep cycles are correlated with lower body weight and lower levels of fat mass

Children who slept longer had lower body weight and lower levels of fat mass Sleep duration was “also inversely related to insulin, insulin resistance Sleep duration does not alter other cardiovascular risks in early life

The low cost single colour digital PCR blood test can detect as few as three mutation-bearing molecules in a single reaction IANS

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tanford University scientists have developed a new type of low-cost blood test that has the potential for quickly tracking cancer growth and spread. The test requires only a fraction of a tube of blood and can detect genetic mutations in minute amounts of DNA released from cancer cells into the blood, according to a study published in the The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. “For monitoring patient tumours, only a handful of blood tests are available which are limited to only several types of cancers. Nearly all cancer patients require monitoring by whole body imaging, which can be costly, complex, and timeconsuming,” said lead investigator Hanlee P. Ji, Associate Professor at

Quick Glance

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hildren who get more sleep are at lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a study published in a US journal has said. For adults, getting too much or not enough sleep both have been linked with adiposity and Type 2 diabetes, Xinhua news agency cited the study published on Tuesday as saying.

In children, more sleep has been tied to lower levels of obesity, but research about Type 2 diabetes risk factors has been scarce, according to The Journal of Pediatrics. To explore possible connections, researchers analysed the body measurements, blood sample results and questionnaire data from 4,525 children of multiethnic descent, aged 9-10 years in England.

They found that children who slept longer had lower body weight and lower levels of fat mass. Sleep duration was “also inversely related to insulin, insulin resistance and blood glucose”, they said. “These findings suggest increasing sleep duration could offer a simple approach to reducing levels of body fat and Type 2 diabetes risk from early life,” professor Christopher Owen, who led the research at St George’s, University of London, said in a statement. “Potential benefits associated with increased sleep in childhood may have implications for health in adulthood,” Owen said. The researchers did not find an association between sleep duration and cardiovascular risk factors, including blood lipids and blood pressure. This lack suggests “sleep duration does not alter other cardiovascular risks in early life, other than by increased obesity and metabolic risks which, if sustained or accentuated, take the time to accelerate cardiovascular risks”, the researchers wrote.

Washington PNNL

Tweets can signal health issues Tweets may signal the rise of influenza, depression, and other issues IANS

Stanford University in the US. “In contrast, molecular tests like the one we have developed will enable patients to be monitored at every visit, and thus have the potential for quickly tracking cancer growth and spread,” Ji added. The test, which is called single colour digital PCR, can detect as few as three mutation-bearing molecules in a single reaction, the study said. “This test is simple enough to set up and analyse without extensive training, and therefore, it can be implemented by anyone,” noted lead author Christina Wood Bouwens of the Stanford Genome Technology Center.

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he way people express their opinions and emotions on microblogging site Twitter may signal the rise of influenza, depression or other health issues in a specific area, an analysis of millions of anonymous tweets has revealed. “Opinions and emotions are present in every tweet, regardless of whether the user is talking about their health,” said lead author Svitlana Volkova, a data scientist at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Washington. “Like a digital heartbeat, we’re finding how changes in this behaviour relate to health trends in a community,” Volkova added, in the report published in the journal EPJ Data Science. It takes health workers weeks to discover influenza trends the

Quick Glance Data scientists analysed over 171 million tweets from users They tried to find patterns of how people behave on social media During low illness periods, positive opinion, anger were expressed more

traditional way: By monitoring how many sick people visit clinics. However, by discovering trends in real time, social media could be the game-changing solution public health workers have been looking for, the researchers said. To truly tap this source of public data, researchers at PNNL sought to understand patterns of how people behave differently on social media when they are sick. Thus, the team analysed 171

million tweets from users associated with the US military to determine if the opinions and emotions they express reflect visits to the doctor for influenza-like illnesses. They compared military and civilian users from 25 US and six international locations to see if this pattern varies based on location or military affiliation. They found that how people behave varies significantly by location and group. Further, neutral opinions and sadness were expressed most during high influenza-like illness periods. During low illness periods, positive opinion, anger, and surprise were expressed more.


August 21 - 27, 2017

tv addiction waking nights

Binge-watching TV may increase insomnia

New study reveals the negative effects of binge TV viewing. The findings suggest that increased cognitive arousal as a result of non-stop TV viewing reduces sleep quality IANS

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oung adults with the habit of binge-watching television shows for over three hours in one sitting may be at risk of having poor sleep quality, increased fatigue and insomnia, researchers warned. Binge viewing is when people watch an excessive amount of the same TV programme in one sitting. The findings suggest that increased cognitive arousal prior to sleep (being mentally alert) is the mechanism explaining the effects of binge viewing on sleep quality. Sleep insufficiency has been connected to physical and mental health, including reduced memory function and learning ability, obesity, hypertension

and cardiovascular disease. “We found that the more often young people binge-watch, the higher their cognitive pre-sleep arousal,” said lead author LieseExelmans, a doctoral student at the University of Leuven, Belgium. “That in turn negatively

Sleep insufficiency has been connected mental health The more youth binge-watch, the higher their cognitive arousal

affected sleep quality, fatigue and insomnia,” Exelmans added. For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the team involved 423 young adults who were 18 to 25 years old, with an average age of 22 years. Respondents indicated they slept, on average, seven hours and 37 minutes, while 98 per cent of binge-watchers showed higher risk of having poor sleep quality. Bingeable TV shows have plots that keep the viewer tied to the screen and makes the viewer become intensely involved with the content, A racing heart or one that beats irregularly, and being mentally alert can create arousal (or pre-sleep arousal) when a person tries to fall asleep. This can lead to poor sleep quality after binge-viewing, the researchers said.

The link between emotional acceptance and psychological health has been studied and it revealed that embracing darker moods without judgment helps in coping with stress

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o you feel the pressure to put on a happy face, when you are actually sad? Beware, it can take a toll on your mental health, a study has shown. The findings showed that the pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods without judging or trying to change them may help cope with their stress more successfully. “We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health,” said Iris Mauss, Associate Professor at the University of California - Berkeley. By contrast, people who commonly resist acknowledging their darkest

Resisting to accept one’s darkest emotions can make one feel bad Those who ignored negative emotions had higher levels of well-being Constantly judging one’s emotions piles up the negativity

emotions, or judge them harshly, can end up feeling more psychologically stressed. Those who generally allow such bleak feelings as sadness, disappointment and resentment to run their course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months. “Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions,

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Binge viewing is watching an excessive amount of the same TV programme

Negative emotions help with blues

Quick Glance

brain work

Quick Glance

positivity psychology

IANS

Health

you’re not giving them as much attention. But, if you’re constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up,” Mauss said. For the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tested the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health. The results showed that those who did not feel bad about their negative emotions showed higher levels of well-being than their lesser accepting peers. And, the group that typically avoids negative feelings reported more distress than their more accepting peers.“It turns out that how we approach our own negative emotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being,” explained Brett Ford, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.

Deep sleep helps motor skills Researchers have discovered that animal brains reinforce motor skills during sleep IANS

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euroscientists at the University of California here have discovered that the animal brain reinforces motor skills during deep sleep. In a study published in Nature Neuroscience on Sunday, the researchers found that during nonrapid eye movement, or non-REM, sleep, slow brain waves bolster neural touch points that are directly related to a task that was newly learned while awake, reports Xinhua news agency. Led by Karunesh Ganguly, associate professor of neurology at UCSF, the team implanted electrodes in the motor region of rats’ brains to send electrical signals to a computer, which then drove movement of a detached mechanical device, in a system known as a Brain-Machine Interface (BMI). Tanuj Gulati, a postdoctoral scholar and lead author of the study, explained that a particular neuron may normally be devoted to controlling a limb, but a new relationship of that neuron could be created with an external device. The redirected neuron, in this case, will contribute to controlling the external device, and the researchers can track the activity of this neuron to see how the brain integrates this new association. Gulati and his colleagues connected neurons in rat brains to implanted electrodes, which controlled a mechanical water-spout. The source of water was behind a tiny door facing away from the mice. Because the spout faced away, the rats had to learn to use a computer-driven mechanism to move it toward them. As the rats explored several strategies to control the spout, they sometimes activated neurons adjacent to the electrodes.


28 Assam Textile

August 21 - 27, 2017

assam national handloom day

New Clothing for an Old Sector Chief Minister Sonowal mentioned that professional skills of the weavers would be developed to face the challenges of the textile market of present times

Quick Glance Assam has a major tradition of handloom weaving and is known for its silk cloth The Chief Minister wants the youth to take up the rich heritage of eri and muga silk making Rs 600 crore has been sanctioned to help modernise the weaving sector in the state with an eye to the future

Raj Kashyap

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ssam will soon unveil a new handloom and textile policy for modernisation of the weaving sector, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has announced. “A primary goal of the initiative would be to incorporate the latest technologies in the sector,” the chief minister said while speaking during the celebration on National Handloom Day in Guwahati. Stating that the handloom sector has a huge market opportunity in the state as well as thecountry, Sonowal mentioned that professional skills of the weavers would bedeveloped to face the challenges of textile market of present times.“Along with tourism, traditional weaving skills of Assamese weavers have vastpotential to capture the textile market. Our government will provide a conducive environmentfor making the weaving skills more modernised and attractive by utilising the latesttechnology. The new handloom and textile policy will work in this regard.” Sonowal provided details about the Centre’s plan to provide one designer in eachblock handloom cluster which will leverage the weaving skills of Assamese weavers.While urging the youth to take up weaving as a serious

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal appreciated Assamese weavers, who constitute 65 percent of the total weavers in the country

vocation, he also underscored the rich heritage of the handloom sector in the state, speciallythe eri and muga silk. Union Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta while speaking on the occasionacknowledged the problems faced by the weavers and the versatility of the handloomproducts of Assam. Saying that handloom and textile sectors provide the highest employmentafter agriculture in the country, the minister appreciated Assamese weavers which constitute 65 percent of total weavers of the country. Handloom weaving has an overwhelming presence in the socioeconomic life of Assam since time immemorial. The spinning and weaving activities were popularised and became an indispensable profession of every Assamese household during the days of Ahom regime (1228-1826). The weaving of cloth was not considered as a degraded profession; rather it was practiced by the Brahmnns as well as lower castes. The loom is a prized possession and has been

a way of life in the state.As one of the oldest and largest traditional industry, it is known equally for its pristine simplicity and unequalled charm. The techniques of weaving are handed down over generations, which are mentioned in Assamese literature and scriptures. Observers on the handloom and textile sectors in Assam have argued that the foremost requirement would be to cover weavers with poor education and economic conditions in institutional networks like cooperative societies which will help them to mobilise limited resources, provide avenues for collective action and overcome various constraints. They are of the opinion that there is an urgent needto ensure that raw materials are available to the weavers to participate in an evolving market economy and to break out of the subsistence production cycle. Research has also found that most of the weavers in Assam today are unaware of the latest designs. The Union Minister of State briefly

referred to the problems faced by the weavers and advocated synergy between traditional weaving andmodern day requirements, especially those of foreign countries.He pointed out that the uniongovernment’s decision to engage a designer in every block handloom cluster wouldadequately serve that purpose. Tamta also stated that around 26,527 weavers across the country were benefitted by MudraLoan scheme of the government and informed that apart from the projects presently beingimplemented, Rs. 600 crore has been sanctioned for promotion of eri and muga silk inAssam. State Handloom & Textile Minister Ranjit Dutta in his speech highlighted the measurestaken up by the state government for the weavers of Assam. He said that the commercial right on muga silk has been obtained and skill upgradation of weavers through108 Handloom Training Centres and 98 extension Centres have been accelerated. Duttamentioned that Rs. 20 crore has been allocated for handloom industry in Sualkuchi and ten yarn banks have been established in the state through which thread would be provided to weavers at a 20 percent subsidy. Another ten Yarn Banks would be established during the current financial year which will be managed by ARTFED. Dutta further stated that state government has already submitteda proposal to the Centre for increasing the number of Block Handloom Clusters and setting up a centre of National Institute of Fashion Technology in Assam for which 80 bigha land has been earmarked at Boragaon in Guwahati. Heunderscored the importance of the Muga Mission which has been taken up by the state government with an allocation of Rs. 100 crores for rejuvenating the Muga farms with new plantations and assistance to weavers.


North East

August 21 - 27, 2017

Guwahati Sanitation

Guwahati gets ODF status

The announcement was made by Guwahati Municipal Corporation on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day celebrations ssb bureau

NEEPCO working on hi-tech system The agency, with many dams upstream has been accused of creating floods

The declaration was made based on reports collected by municipal councillors & area sabha members The plan now is to make the city one of the cleanest in India and set a very fine example in Swachh Bharat Mission The corporation has also decided to file police complaints against citizens who aare founf littering the city

the roadside. In case the corporation comes across such case, FIRs will be filed against the erring persons,” the Mayor said. The municipal corporation has also decided to double the number of NGOs engaged in conservancy service – collecting garbage and recycling them. From next month, as many as 56 NGOs will look after the work of

garbage collection from the doorstep of every households. Currently, thirty one NGOs are engaged in the job in as many wards in the city. Moreover, from now on building bye-laws will incorporate clauses for own arrangement for the disposal of garbage by those owning buildings in the city. Guwahati produces 400 tonnes of solid waste, including nine tonnes of solid plastic waste, daily.

Quick Glance

manipur healthcare

Chopper Medicos

The government will introduce helicopter-flown doctors to reach medical care to villages in the remote areas of the state

Not much attention has been given to remove the miseries of the people regarding health related matters The chopper-flown service will save many lives in the hilly state with poor roads hampering transportation The Union Civil Aviation is mulling allocating Rs 25 crore to get helicopter services for healthcare augmentation

ssb bureau

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anipur Governor Najma Heptulla said the Central government is actively considering a proposal of the state government to introduce medical helicopter services. The service, she said, will come as a succour to for patients living in far flung areas. Heptulla was speaking at the prize distribution ceremony for the dedicated staffs of Japanese Hospital Manipur at the conference hall of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences ( JNIMS). She said that talks are on with the Union Civil Aviation to allocate Rs 25 crore to get helicopter services in the State. The Governor also expressed serious concerns over the present health scenario in Manipur. She admitted that not much attention has been given

arunachal Flood Warning

Quick Glance

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uwahati Mayor Mrigen Sarania has said that the city is now fully ODF, and said the declaration was made based on reports collected by councillors of the corporation, area sabha members, colleges and different institutions. The corporation had published a public notification last month inviting opinions and feedback from different stakeholders. No objections were received from anywhere. “The plan now is to make the city one of the cleanest in India. From now on, we will slap penalties on citizens violating the cleanliness norms,” Sarania said. He said the corporation has also decided to file police complaints against citizens littering the city. “Despite regular warning, people still tend to throw garbage at public places, particularly drains and along

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to remove the miseries of the people regarding health related matters in spite of the state being endowed with a beautiful climate and great biodiversity. “Investment for eradication of diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, cholera etc., and also for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and H1N1 especially in the context of Manipur is of great economic value. Right now, the state is also facing the challenge posed by a bout of dengue and Japanese Encephalitis. But we have great hope

that we shall overcome such viruses/ diseases,” she said. The governor appealed to the authorities of the hospital to go to the far-flung rural areas where medical facilities are almost nill to provide the much needed health services apart from establishing good rapport with their patients who are poor and needy. Giving a brief insight of the old relation between Manipur and Japan the governor said, “There is already a Peace Memorial Hospital known as Peace Park at Maibam Lokpa Ching (Red Hill) in Bishnupur district constructed by the Japanese War veterans in memory of Japanese soldiers killed here in the Second World War. The hospital is another step to foster further friendship and cooperation between Manipur and Japan.”

IANS

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he Shillong headquartered North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd. (NEEPCO) has engaged an international consultant for developing an Early Warning Systems for its hydro electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh. Of late, the power utility, which runs several power projects in Northeast, has been facing a lot of flak for the floods in downstream areas of Assam, with locals alleging that release of water from NEEPCO dams are behind the catastrophe. The NEEPCO insists that its dams have in fact helped ease the problem, by storing certain amount of water in the reservoirs, else the intensity of floods would have been more. Admitting that the flood warning system needs to be upgraded, a NEEPCO spokesman said an international consultant has already been engaged for finalisation of the Early Warning System to be operationalised during operation of the power house as well as during the flood period. The system is likely to be finalised very soon. The early warning system would provide advance information of flood or other emergency situation to enable the district administration as well as the people to take advance action for relief, rescue and other measures. A NEEPCO statement said that havoc created by monsoon in June and July has affected Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh and certain portion of NEEPCO’s hydro electric power project suffered minor damage there. NEEPCO engineers are working hard to achieve the goal of commissioning the project within six months, the statement said. The dam under construction in Pare Hydro Electric Power Project is in absolutely safe, the spokesman said.


30 Ocean Mining

August 21 - 27, 2017

west bengal deep ocean mining

Treasures Deep Under

Kolkata-based Geological Survey of India says it will pave the way for deep oceanic mining for huge wealth Quick Glance

Prasanta Paul

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he sea bed under the deep blue waters around peninsular India is home to more than 10,000 million tonnes of rich minerals and this treasure trove falls very much within the Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) of the country, geologists have revealed. Having generated 181,025 sq km of high-resolution seabed morphological data over a period of three years, scientists at the Geological Survey of India(GSI) who conducted an intensive and thorough exploration and study of the complete data, have concluded that EEZ of India is rich with high value marine mineral resources that could benefit every stakeholder in the mining and geology sectors, especially such industries as based on cement, paint, fertiliser, construction and rare earth elements. That EEZ of India in the peninsular section is a vast repository of minerals, became known in early 2014. However, the extent of its sweep and the vast treasure that has been lying untapped for years, have now appeared crystal clear to the scientists who have intensively mapped the zone for three years. They have confirmed the presence of large amount of lime mud, phosphate-rich and calcareous sediments, hydrocarbons, metalliferous deposits and micronodules. Disclosing that this huge find of treasure has mainly been spread around the coast of the country, a senior GSI official said that lime mud rich with phosphate sediments was found off Karwar, Mangalore and Chennai region, gas hydrate in the channel-levee system of Mannar Basin off the Tamil Nadu coast, micromanganese nodules around the Lakshadweep sea and the cobaltbearing ferromanganese crust from the Andaman Sea. “Our main objectives were to identify potential areas favourable to mineralisation and then evaluate the extent of marine resources,” GSI superintendent geologist Ashish Nath said. According to the UN Convention on Law of the Sea,1982, EEZ refers to a maritime zone stretching around 200 nautical miles from the coast of a

EEZ of India is rich with high value marine mineral resources that could Main objectives were to identify potential areas favourable to mineralisation and Redrafting the Offshore Areas Mineral Act, 2002, is being contemplated

These offshore blocks contain minerals such as

zirconium, titanium, thorium, tungsten and rare earth elements country. The nation which the coast belongs to has the exclusive rights for exploitation of all resources with the said EEZ. As of now, only five per cent of the deep sea floor, which covers around 60 per cent of the earth’s surface, has been properly explored, he said. Importantly of course, the find has some added significance. For a country like India which spends a large amount of foreign exchange to import mineral resources to meet the domestic demand, the treasure could prove to be a boon to the ministry of mining and allied departments. If properly tapped and economically mined, the find could very much reduce India’s dependence on these costly imports from abroad. Secondly, the GSI also believes that a deeper and extensive exploration could definitely yield a larger treasure. After the results of the data have been mapped and sent to the ministry of mines for appraisal, the elated honchos in the ministry have directed the GSI to requisition another vessel equipped to carry out shallow water drilling by early 2019 to launch a thorough mineral investigation with deeper penetration for 3D modeling of

mineral resources and geo-technical investigation. Three research vessels namely Samudra Saudikama, Samudra Ratnakar and Samudra Kaustav were used in the three-year study which was codenamed `High resolution Seabed Mapping and Natural Resource Evaluation.’ Interestingly, GSI has not limited itself to the exploration activities alone. GSI has also other roles charted out for it. GSI has teamed up with the security agencies to lend an edge to important investigations. Asked to name a few of them, Nath pointed out that it assisted the National Investigation Agency(NIA) in the investigation of the Iranian boat case in the Kerala offshore and the scientific inputs provided by GSI enabled the agency to complete the probe. GSI was part of a massive survey undertaken by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard to locate the IAF’s giant AN-32 transport aircraft that had gone missing during a routine flight from Chennai to Port Blair. Besides, GSI mounted a short survey off Visakhapatnam in search of a Navy

ship believed to have sunken, using its mapping technology installed in one of its four vessels, Nath claimed. According to him, the government would shortly be announcing the redrafted rules with regard to exploration and mining in offshore mineral blocks and allot 60 blocks under auction route in the first phase. This move is likely to bring transparency and efficiency in the entire process. This apart, the government is mulling to redraft the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002. The ministry of mines has already undertaken due consultation with various stakeholders in this regard and the redrafted rule is expected to be in place within the next six months. Once the Act is redrafted, the allotment of offshore mineral blocks would be done through auction route. In the present Act there is no provision for auction of offshore mineral blocks. Earlier the offshore mineral blocks were given through allotment route. Applications were invited and blocks used to be allotted. The entire process was not transparent. Once the redrafted rules become operational, the government wants to put under the hammer big offshore blocks in the same manner as it had successfully auctioned 21 mining blocks earlier (containing minerals like limestone and iron ore in seven states). In the first phase, sixty offshore mineral blocks have been identified which will be put on auction. These offshore blocks contain minerals such as zirconium, titanium, thorium, tungsten and rare earth elements. GSI carries out surveys in the Territorial Waters (TW) of India to assess the offshore mineral resources. TW is the belt of coastal water that extends up to 12 nautical miles (around 22 km) from the coast of a country.


sulabh sanitation

Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, New Delhi is organizing a Written Quiz Competition that is open to all school and college students, including the foreign students. All those who wish to participate are required to submit their answers to the email address contact@sulabhinternational.org, or they can submit their entries online by taking up the questions below. Students are requested to mention their name and School/College along with the class in which he/she is studying and the contact number with complete address for communication

First Prize: One Lakh Rupees Second Prize: Seventy Five Thousand Rupees

PRIZE

Third Prize: Fifty Thousand Rupees Consolation Prize: Five Thousand Rupees (100 in number)

500-1000) ti on (W or d Li m it: ti pe m Co iz Qu en tt Qu es ti on s fo r W ri nounced? rt was ‘Swachh Bharat’ an Fo d open Re the m fro y da ich uses and there should be no ho 1. On wh the all in d cte tru ns co by 2019, toilets should be 2. Who announced that l. defecation? Discuss in detai Toilet? 3. Who invented Sulabh ovement? Cleanliness and Reform M 4. Who initiated Sulabh t? ve features of Sulabh Toile t? 5. What are the distincti used in the Sulabh compos r ise til fer of ge nta rce pe d an 6. What are the benefits of the Sulabh Toilet? ’? 7. What are the benefits be addressed as ‘Brahmins to me ca g gin en av sc al nu ople freed from ma If yes, then elaborate it by s? 8. In which town were pe ste ca r pe up of s me ho take tea and have food in the 9. Do these ‘Brahmins’ person. discussing story of any such entions of Sulabh? 10. What are the other inv

Las

ritten Quiz Competition W of on si is bm su r fo te t da

: September 30, 2017

For further details please contact Mrs. Aarti Arora, Hony. Vice President, +91 9899 855 344 Mrs. Tarun Sharma, Hony. Vice President, +91 97160 69 585 or feel free to email us at contact@sulabhinternational.org SULABH INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANISATION In General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council Sulabh Gram, Mahavir Enclave, Palam Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110 045 Tel. Nos. : 91-11-25031518, 25031519; Fax Nos : 91-11-25034014, 91-11-25055952 E-mail: info@sulabhinternational.org, sulabhinfo@gmail.com Website: www.sulabhinternational.org, www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org


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August 21 - 27, 2017

NSUN

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32 Unsung Hero

POSTAL REGISTRATION NO. DL(W)10/2240/2017-19

Raja Sethi Murali

the man who does not want any child to be denied education

HERO

Denied education in childhood, he vowed not to let this happen to other children. For about 10 years now, he uses the little income he makes to help academically sound government school children

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hen he was young, auto driver Raja Sethi Murali’s parents could not afford to educate him. His father was an alcoholic, which left his mother with the sole responsibility of taking care of them. She did that by working as a daily wage labourer. The days she didn’t make any money, they slept hungry, the 45-year-old told The News Minute. Not being able to go to school impacted Raja’s life so much that he vowed not to let this happen to other children. For about 10 years now, he uses the little income he makes to help academically sound government school children . When the school year ends, he

Raja Sethi Murali

visits several such schools in Coimbatore to talk to the teachers. “They help me identify the bright students who are from poor families. I buy them school bags, books and lunchboxes,” Raja told TNM. He spends about Rs 1,700 on each of them. All his savings are spent on this, and as for him, he only has a mother to support, which he manages to do with the rent he gets from a property in Kuniamuthur. “I started with just three children and today I am able to help about 150 students yearly from 32 government schools. If the students are able to score well in class 10, they will be able to do well in their future,” he adds. In 11 years, Raja has helped close to 1,300 students. People who hear about what he does often extend support. Raja never thinks about saving for himself, for the sole reason that he doesn’t want well-deserving kids to lose out on studies because of poverty. “They have so much potential. They should have what I never did – education, food and a good future,” he said.

ers ak New New s smma kers paintings dedicated to the army SITARAM KEDILAYA

bharat parikrama padayatra

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itaram Kedilaya called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, after the successful completion of Bharat Parikrama Padyatra undertaken by him. According to Kedilaya, he had embarked on the Yatra on 9th August 2012 from Kanyakumari and completed the journey at Kanyakumari on 9th July this year. In the course of the Yatra, Kedilaya said that he had reached out directly to 9000 villages. He also says that the message of the Yatra indirectly touched an additional 20,000 villages. He interacted with lakhs of farmers and rural youth in course of the Yatra.

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Dubai-based Indian painter will be showcased his artwork here inspired by the hardships and sacrifices of Indian Army personnel as part of India’s Independence Day last week. Artist Akbar Saheb hails from Karnataka and his latest paintings dedicated to the Indian armed forces will be unveiled over the weekend, Khaleej Times reported last week. Saheb gifted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a series of paintings during his 2015 visit to the United Arab Emirates. He also gained the distinction of being the only artist with illustrations in Modi’s book, Mann Ki Baat, unveiled in May in New Delhi. He said Indian Army personnel face lots of hardships while serving the country. “India has borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Indian soldiers are securing our country and our lives. There are a lot of terrorist

Akbar Saheb attacks too. But, still, the soldiers everywhere are taking care of our country,” he told the daily in an interview.“In places like Kargil, it is so cold that they can’t even breathe properly. They have to be alert 24 hours a day no matter what. If they are neglectful, they might take a bullet.” “They are struggling a lot. But the normal public doesn’t really think about the soldiers, or what they are doing,” the artist said. After the weekend exhibit, Saheb plans to put the paintings on the auction block, with all the proceeds going to a charity that focuses on

helping Indian soldiers and their families. Many of his paintings, Saheb noted, are inspired by a longing for his homeland. “I miss my country. I miss the culture. There are thousands and thousands of languages, and that sort of culture is what I miss,” he said. He came to the UAE more than 20 years ago and composed well over 1,000 works of art on a variety of topics. Saheb’s other notable works are paintings dedicated to the UAE’s leadership as to Emirati soldiers martyred during Yemen conflict in 2015.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 36 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 - 36)  
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