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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Vol-1 | Issue-32 | July 24 - 30, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

Good News Weekly for Rising India

narendra modi

“Gift a Book...”

In a welcome step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun to implement a changed work culture himself

ram nath kovind

First Among Equals

The story of Ram Nath Kovind’s journey from Paraukh village to Rashtrapati Bhawan is an inspiration


thai princess

sulabh visit

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Kingdom of Thailand visited Sulabh


trump village

Sulabh in Marora

A look into the developmental work being carried out by Sulabh International in Trump Village

02 Ram Nath Kovind

July 24 - 30, 2017

Quick Glance Ram Nath Kovind hailed from a very poor family in Kanpur He was elected 14th President of India defeating Meira Kumar He is the second Dalit to occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan after KR Narayanan

Kovind with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah

Saurabh Singh


araukh is a small nondescript village in Kanpur Dehat. No one had heard of the village until last month. But, July has changed it all. After all, a son of the soil, Ram Nath Kovind, has been elected 14th President of India. It is the victory of Indian democracy which has once again proved its strength by promoting a low profile Dalit lawyer, to the highest office in the country. After he became a Rajya Sabha MP in 1994, Kovind used his funds to develop his ancestral village by getting roads, high schools for girls, a State Bank of India branch and ensured electricity meters were installed in all homes. He even donated hs ancestral house to run a community centre. He is the second Dalit to enter the Rashtrapati Bhavan after KR Narayanan. But, there is world of difference between the two. While Narayanan belonged to the affluent class among Dalits as before entering politics, he was a Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer who had served in Indian embassies in many countries. Kovind on the other hand, hailed from a dusty village, used to cycle 19-20 kms a day to study in Kanpur, was a very low key leader. In first remarks after the triumph, 71-year-old Kovind, former Bihar Governor, recalled his ‘kutcha’ home of mud walls in Paraukh village

“I want to tell the poor and the hungry that

Ram Nath Kovind of Paraukh village is going to the Rashtrapati Bhawan as their representative” where “the thatched roof was not be able to stop water from dripping inside during the rain” and “we all brothers and sisters would huddle around a wall, waiting for the rain to stop”. “There would be so many Ram Nath Kovinds in the country today, getting drenched in the rain, doing farm work, labour and sweating it out so that they can get their evening meals. I want to tell them that this Ram Nath Kovind of Paraukh village is going to Rashtrapati Bhavan as their representative,” the President-elect said. “I never aspired to be the President. My win is a message to those discharging their duties with integrity. My election as the President is an evidence of the greatness of Indian democracy,” he said. “I am feeling emotional.” Expressing happiness over the “extensive support” for Kovind in the electoral college, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure.”

When they met soon after, Modi offered Kovind a sweet and a stole while BJP president Amit Shah looked on. Shah said Kovind’s elections was a “victory for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised and their aspirations”. He is a simpleton who enjoys his earthiness. He doesn’t believe in showing off. Arrogance is one vice which hasn’t touched the new President at all. He eats simple food and loves to remain so low key that even his children’s friends didn’t know that their’s friend’s father was a Member of Parliament (MP) who later on went to become Governor of Bihar and then President of India. His daughter Swati was an air hostess with Air India for a while. But, none of her colleagues knew that she was Kovind’s daughter because she never used her caste identity or her surname. They did not suspect anything special when she applied for privilege leave after Kovind filed his nomination for Presidential election. They came to know only couple of days before the actual announcement that one of their

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak greets newly elected President

colleagues was going to change her address. She along with her father will now live in Rashtrapati Bhawan. After the announcement of the result, Swati said, she was proud of her father’s human qualities -- as a loving parent and a caring person. “It is a very proud moment for us. The country is celebrating. He has been connected with people through social work. He is a loving father and a very caring person’’ “When he had become the governor of Bihar, we used to think this was the highest post, we didn’t think beyond that. But, now it feels different as he will assume the highest office of the country. But, there is no change in his personality. He is a down-to-earth person and is still the same person he was while holding the post of governor,” a beaming Swati said. Kovind’s better half, Savita too is equally unassuming. She has been taking care of her husband’s personal chores despite domestic responsibilities. “Never thought he would ever become President of India. But he has risen by dint of his hard work and honesty,” Savita said soon after her husband Ram Nath Kovind was elected as the country’s next president. His childhood friends in his ancestral village Paraukh, in Kanpur Dehat, too testify that Kovind was a child of

July 24 - 30, 2017 many books and few tricks. “While we would play, Kovind would sit on this podium glued to his text books. We used to tease him a lot for being bookworm but he would just smile and keep concentrating on books,” pointed Jaswant Singh, who studied with him till Class VIII. Another friend Virendra Singh recalls that while they used to be caned by their teachers in school for not doing homework, Kovind would always stand first in the class. “While we were confined to our fields after Class V, Kovind was lucky that his father and sister recognized his talent and sent him for higher studies,” he says. It is celebration time in Paraukh village. A podium next to his ancestral house in Paraukh, where he used to study, has become a revered place. People sat on it with harmonium and dholak and sang their childhood melodies for hours to celebrate the occasion. “Villagers have decided to continue holding prayers on this podium till he is elected to the highest office in the country,” said a 72-year-old childhood friend of Kovind. No one had visited Paraukh village when Kovind was made Governor of Bihar in 2015. But suddenly the village is shot into limelight. Mediapersons, TV Channels and their OB vans make a beeline in the village to capture a glimpse of this otherwise non-descript village from where a Dalit is likely to be ensconced on country’s top post. “For us, it was like going down memory lane showing mediapersons after six decades to capture a glimpse of where Kovindji used to study, sleep

and eat food or share anecdotes related to his childhood days,” pointed Jaswant Singh. “Things have changed in his village also but it still carries many of his sweet remembrance which were fondly recalled when he was elevated as Bihar Governor,” said Virendra Singh. Born on October 1, 1945 in Derapur village Jhinjhak bloc in Kanpur Dehat, about 100 kms from Kanpur, Kovind was youngest among five brothers and two sisters. He got his primary education from a school in Khanpur village under Sandalpur bloc in Kanpur Dehat. His father Maikulal Kovind was a priest in a temple in his native village. He eked out a living for his family of nine children by running a small grocery store and he learnt his first lessons under a peepal tree. His family belongs to the community of Koris, who have traditionally been weavers. They owned no land. Kovind was quite, suave and meritorious since childhood. His mother died when he was only fiveyear-old. His elder sister late Gomti Devi raised and shaped his future. His father sold off his land in village to arrange money for his higher studies. Since there was no light in the village, he would confine himself in a dingy store room to study under lamps. Kovind travelled about 8 kms daily to Payagpur Dilwal to pass out Class VIII. Seeing his passion for studies, his father send him to Kanpur along with his sister. One of his brother Ram Swarup also shifted to Kanpur to support Kovind. His father Maiku Lal was a respected person in the village and was a member of the village panchayat. Kovind

Kovind would not eat food till his sister served him. Once his sister went out, he did not even touch food until she returned and cajoled him

Ram Nath Kovind


Ram Nath Kovind with family and friends

always accompanied him in panchayat meetings and there he decided to take up law and politics to help dalits, poor and downtrodden get justice and brought to mainstream of the society. He took admission in BSND Shiksha Niketan, Kanpur from where he passed out Class XII. He did his Graduation from DAV College, Kanpur and obtained law degree from the Kanpur University. “He worked as steno in court room to pay up his fees for the law degree,” recalls his brother Ram Swarup. Kovind would not eat food till his sister served him. Once his sister went out, he did not touch food till she returned and cajoled him. “My mother used to share that after that incident she had made it a point to be at home during my maternal uncle’s lunch and dinner time,” recalls his nephew Shyam Babu. Kovind’s nephew claimed his mother would save money to buy his books and pay up his fees. Kovind would often share with his friends that whatever he is today it was because of his sister who raised him like mother. After the death of his father, he stayed away from his native place. His brothers also settled elsewhere. “He does not have much connection left with his native village anymore except for few occasional visits,” points his another childhood friend Jaswant Singh, who studied with him till Class V in village school. He shifted to Delhi in 1971 and started practicing at the Delhi High Court and later at Supreme Court. He also tried his hands at Civil services. After failing twice, he cracked the exam in third attempt in 1975 but did not join as he was selected for the allied services. He got married in 1974 with During the time when Ram Nath Kovind was the Governer of Bihar

Savita. He had a son and a daughter. His son Prashant is a businessman while daughter Shweta works in an Airlines. Kovind has a mini HIG house in Kanpur’s Dayanand Maharishi Dayanad Vihar Colony but no one lives there since he and his family shifted to Delhi in early 70s. In 1977, he became the OSD of the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and later on joined the BJP in 1991. Kovind was among the first lot of Dalit faces who joined the saffron party. He unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls twice on BJP ticket from Ghatampur and Bhognipur in 1990 and 2007 respectively. “Though entire village supported him but it was not sufficient to break the caste politics to ensure his victory,” pointed Virendra Singh. Later, he was elected to Rajya Sabha twice from Uttar Pradesh in 1994 and 2000 till 2006. He was perhaps the only BJP Spokesperson who never showed up in TV debates. He was made the Bihar Governor in 2015. Kovind was also made President of the BJP SC/ St Morcha. In 2002, he represented India in United Nations to address the General Assembly. But suddenly this dalit ideologue came out of blue to upset the opposition’s presidential poll calculations. Kovind’s caste, his social, political, and constitutional understanding and his farming and humble background and noncontroversial image stumped the opposition and critics of Modi and Shah. Kovind has been an absolutely non-controversial person. He always kept himself away from the limelight yet working studiously for the party organisation or for the responsibility assigned to him by the party. Kovind has been so low-key that most people didn’t recognise him before being selected as Presidential candidate.

04 Gifting Books

July 24 - 30, 2017

narendra modi gifting books

“Gift a Book not Bouquets” In a welcome step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun to implement the changing work culture himself

Quick Glance

SSB Bureau


he leader is the one who sways the people, rather entire country with his words and acts. But, what are the qualities that a leader needs to possess? How a person gets elevated to a leader rather national leader? These questions might than a seem irrelevant when one looks at the personality of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Because, the search for a great leader ends at Modi’s doorstep. He possesses all the qualities of an epochal national leader – fearless, courageous, confident, inspirational, one who encourages creativity, positive and ever-optimist. Besides this, Modi, the charismatic leader that he is, in his usual stride keeps doing things which are worth emulating. His initiative to ‘Gift a Book instead of Bouquets’ is one such thought which is inspiring millions. He doesn’t believe in just preaching. He has in fact, already started implementing what he preaches. He has already started gifting books to people. After declaration of Ram Nath Kovind’s election as next President of India, Modi presented him with a solitary rosebud. BJP president Amit Shah too complied with PM’s sentiments and presented Kovind with a solitary flower only. Respecting Prime Minister’s sentiments, Union Home Ministry has written to all state government to emulate the Prime Minister. In a letter written to chief secretaries of all state governments and administrators of union territories on July 12, Home Ministry has appealed them to honour PM’s wish and ensure its full compliance. In its letter Home Ministry has said representatives of state governments during Prime Minister’s visit to their state, should not present him with a bouquet. If they really want to welcome him with flowers, they may gift him just one flower. At best, along with the flower they may present him a khadi handkerchief or a book. The Prime Minister had issued this appeal on June 19 and Home Ministry was forced to write this letter because state governments had still not stopped using bouquets as the sole mode of welcoming the dignitaries. The appeal was issued by the PM while apeaking at ‘PM Panikkar National reading Day’

PM appealed to all colleagues to gift a book instead of bouquets Union Home Minister wrote a letter to all state govts for this PM is presenting an example from his own conduct

Prime Minister is not only making policies for the people, he is also acting as the nation’s conscience keeper

function in Kochi, Kerala. He had urged people to present a book instead of expensive bouquets which are rendered useless after couple of days while books are ever lasting friend of a human being. In a month-long festival, which is an annual event, the Prime Minister said that there is no greater pleasure than reading books and no greater power than knowledge ferreted out from books. That is why PM Modi has himself started implementing the idea. He has decided that whichever state he visits now, he will not accept bouquets but only a flower along with a book or Khadi handkerchief. According to PM’s vision, flowers are ephemeral while books are permanent. Anybody who prefers permanent happiness and positivity in life would select books as his companion, not flowers. PM Modi is endowed with a personality which not only comes up with such innovative ideas but also inspires others to go for them. Modi

had started this tradition when he was Gujarat chief minister. He considers flowers and bouquets as wastage of public funds. That is why PM’s initiative is being seen as a path breaking idea. Modi is hell-bent on improving governance and ending social ills ever since he took charge as the Prime Minister. He is not only making policies for the people, he is also acting as nation’s conscience keeper. Every moment he keeps on thinking about something or the other and comes up some innovative idea. His chivalry was on display on the day of polling for Presidential election. He reached the polling centre slightly before the scheduled start of polling. All officers were taken aback by seeing the PM reaching to cast his vote before time. Modi himself tried to lighten the mood by saying, ‘ don’t worry. It’s a habit. I used to reach school before time.’ He waited patiently for the preparations to be over and voting to begin and was still

the first person to cast his vote. It may seem like a small incident but conveys a message loudly. Who can forget October 2, 2014? Because, this was the day when the world saw a Prime Minister coming out on streets with a broom and kicking off a cleanliness drive. It was PM’s way of disseminating the message of ‘Swachh Bharat’. When people will see their Prime Minister cleaning streets, they will not remain idle. They too will take up brooms and clean their respective areas. We have seen well known sports persons, film stars and other celebrities propagating PM’s message of cleanliness. The movement has picked up since and has been reaping dividends. The cleanliness index has from 42 to 64 per cent during the past three years. Another incident illustrated has PM’s inclination towards cleanliness. This happened on April 11, 2017 when Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s book ‘Matoshree’ was to be released. Prime Minister Modi was the chief guest. After releasing the book in the Balayogi auditorium in the Parliament Library building, PM held the wrapping paper in his hands for few moments before folding it and keeping in the pocket of his jacket. This brought entire audience on their feet and they clapped loudly in appreciation of PM’s gesture. Although PM did this out of habit, but for people it was a trendsetting moment. It also reminds us of the way Modi during his visit to the Parliament House, bowed at the stairs of the building which he described as “temple of democracy”. His message to fellow MPs was that Parliament is like a mother. He later on said that he bowed at the footsteps of Parliament because it has created the system which allowed a person with an economically backward background to reach the top post of the country.

July 24 - 30, 2017

Thai Princess


Dr Bindeshwar Pathak gives Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda a tour of the Sulabh International Campus with her entire entourage.

thai princess sulabh visit

Thai Princess in Sulabh

The Princess appreciates great work done by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Sulabh International SSB Bureau


eneral Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Kingdom of Thailand with a group of 100 staffs visited Sulabh International campus for the second time recently. Her Royal Highness was accompanied with 100 cadets of the Thai Army and officials from its Delhi based Embassy. Due to some personal reasons, the reception was kept simple and brief. Immediately on arrival, she was received by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement. Then the entourage was led to the auditorium where she was offered

garlands, bouquets, shawl and some gifts. In his brief speech Dr Pathak mentioned about the objectives and work of Sulabh. Thereafter the guest saw the models of Sulabh technology based two-pit-pour flush compost toilets. At the Sulabh Toilet Museum, she took a lot of interests in half a dozen major exhibits including the sewer of Harappan civilisation of 2500 BC at Dholavira, book-shelf type toilet from France, Throne like chamber-pot of French Emperor Louis xiv. The guest was also shown Sulabh Biogas Plant, Biogas Kitchen and Swachchta Rath. After several discussions on sanitation, over a cup of tea, Her Royal Highness and her entourage bid us

goodbye on a happy note. Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, born Princess Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda Kitivadhanadulsobhak on 2 April 1955 is the second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej also known as King Rama IX and Queen Sirikit of Thailand. EDUCATION Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn enrolled in Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, with focus on history, Thai and oriental languages. Although Her Royal Highness often had to accompany Their Majesties the King and Queen on royal up-country visits, she has put more effort into her study and class assignments. In addition, she regarded the university experiences as

The Princess took a lot

of interest in half a dozen major exhibits including the sewers of Harappan civilisation of 2500 BC at Dholavira, book-shelf type toilet from France and more

invaluable for it gave her knowledge while at the same time provided her great opportunity to get to know people from all walks of life. ROYAL DUTIES In addition to the teaching career in CRMA, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has many different duties to perform every day. Some are familiar public duties, such as ceremonies, receptions or visits within Thailand or abroad. Besides, Her Royal Highness carries out official duties and public engagements as her Royal Duties for the benefit of the Thai people. She also represents Their Majesties in various royal functions and performs The Royal Duties assigned by Their Majesties, the King and the Queen. Especially the duties in overseeing the management of philanthropic organizations and foundations. Philanthropy Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has donated nearly 27 million baht to the foundation of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, representing her teaching salary at the academy over 35 years plus interest. Col Wanchana Sawasdi, Assistant Spokesman for the Defence Ministry, said on saturday that the princess presented a cheque worth 19.2 million baht to Lt. General Sitthipol Chuensamran, Director of the military academy, when he led students to visit the princess’s private museum Baan Suan Pathum in Pathum Thani.

06 Trump Village

July 24 - 30, 2017

Dr Pathak with Sulabh Team and village residents

Sulabh International marora village

US Republican in Trump Village Puneet Ahluwalia inspects developmental work being carried out of Sulabh International in Marora SSB Bureau


r Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, along with Mr. Puneet Ahluwalia, Member of Trump Asian Pacific Advisory Committee 2016 of ruling Republican Party, inaugurated toilets and a vocational training centre at a village in Marora panchayat in Nuh district of Haryana on July 18. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has made a small but significant effort in cementing Indo-US ties, as part of which work on toilets and other development activities have been launched about few weeks ago in Marora panchayat. As an honour, the village was recently dedicated after the US President Donald Trump by Dr Pathak. Sulabh has adopted the village for

a social welfare programme which is on track and to make the village opendefecation free keeping in mind that the people of the village will lead a better life. The rechristening of the village after the new President of the United States is a goodwill gesture and is a tribute to the strengthening bilateral ties between India and the US. Sulabh International has been working in some villages of Mewat for quite some time. The Trump Sulabh Village, originally called Morara, was

chosen and adopted by the NGO in consultation with villagers for its further social welfare activities. Ahluwalia inaugurated the newly built toilets and vocational training centre for women a girl’s of the village. “I feel privilege to part of the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make villages free from open defecation,� said Ahluwalia. The toilets have been built by Sulabh International, which has undertaken

Naming of village after President Trump will help in highlighting the important issue like sanitation at an international level

Quick Glance Dr Pathak had adopted Marora and renamed it Trump Village He had started developmental work in the village on June 26 Five toilets completed and work in progress on 90 others

the renaming exercise. Marora has 165 families and a total population of around 2000. Only 20 out of 165 houses of this Muslim dominated village has toilets, and most of the people are manual labourers. The announcement to build toilets in Marora was made a day after Haryana government had announced its rural areas are to be free from open

July 24 - 30, 2017

The newly built Vocational Training Centre and Toilet

Dr Pathak posing with the chief guests

defecation, leading to speculation about the real reason behind the administration’s reaction. Welcoming the move to name a village after Trump, he said it will help in highlighting the important issue like sanitation at an international level. “The village was named after US president to honour the leader of free work. It gives an inspiring message to the world leader to make social and economic change in the life of common people,” said Ahluwalia adding that women of the village were happy as the initiative has given them their dignity back. He said before constructing a temple and mosque no one needs permission from god, similarly for dedicating something to the leader of free world should not create any trouble. To ensure total sanitation coverage, Sulabh International has initiated toilet construction for over hundred houses. Five Sulabh toilets were inaugurated and handed over to the families on Tuesday. The construction is in full swing and all toilets will be constructed within one month. Sulabh International founder and chief, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak said as an honour, we want to dedicate the village in the name of US President Donald Trump and put nickname the village as “Trump village”.

Trump Village


Dr Pathak inaugurating the Vocational Training Centre

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak delivering a speech

Children of Trump village posing with Dr Pathak and elders

Sulabh International has initiated toilet

construction for over hundred houses in the village. All toilets will be constructed in a month “We are trying our best to get due approval by the government authorities in this respect,” said Dr Pathak. He said that putting name of President Trump is a symbolic gesture to pay respect to him. We are confident that the people of the village will lead a better life and at the same time go a long way in strengthening bilateral ties between India and America. Speaking on the occasion Dr Pathak said, “One could control his hunger for a while, but could not check the pangs to answer natural call. If anybody sitting here, needs to go to toilet, he can’t wait even for a moment. He will rush immediately. That’s why there is an urgency to build toilets. We are fortunate in getting support of Mr Ahluwalia with which we can construct toilets in many villages. We will adopt villages and will try to fulfill the PM’s dream of a Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019.” Dr Pathak and Puneet Ahluwalia were welcomed in the village with traditional headgear. Dr Pathak too reciprocated the gesture by presented bouquets to village

sarpanch. Puneet Ahluwalia’s mother Harjeet, brother-in-law Amar Gulati and sister Parmita Gulati were present on the occasion. Dr Pathak said, he was a doer who never waited for anyone or anything to get going. He had announced to start work on 95 toilets during his last visit. Five of them have already been completed while work is going on on remaining 90 toilets. All households in the area will have their own toilets within a month or so, he said. He said toilets were a necessity for our mothers and sisters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too gave a clarion call for Swachh Bharat on August 15, 2014 emulating Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of cleanliness. He has dreamed that each household should be equipped with a toilet by Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary i.e. 2019. I am helping him in realizing the dream. I am doing this work for past 50 years. I don’t have any power nor do I have much resources. Still, with people’s

help I have created a world of my own which is called Sulabh Sukhad Sansaar (Sulabh’s happy world) where people of all caste, creed live together in perfect harmony. Besides cleanliness, we are also working in the field of education, skill development, health and jobs. We will undertake all these tasks in Trump Village within one month or so. Puneet Ahluwalia lauded the efforts being made by Dr Pathak. He was happy to know that five toilets had been constructed in Trump village during past 25 days and work was going on on rest of 90 toilets. It’s a stupendous task and Dr Pathak is handling it deftly, he said. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Ahluwalia said, “God lives in clean houses. That is why, I wish that when I come here next time, I want to see a clean village”. He appealed the people to work together and rebuild the Golden India of yore. He also appealed to the Indian diaspora to help build at least one toilet to make the PM realize his dream of a clean India. Haji Ibrahim, the sarpanch of Marora village, thanked Dr Pathak profusely for having adopted his village. “Now we are getting electricity. Toilets are being constructed. This all is because of inspirational leadership of Dr Pathak. People should learn from his example and follow him.

08 Good News

July 24 - 30, 2017

good news in brief

programme literacy

Social Innovation Programme for illiterate women Female Members from over 200 JJ colonies participated in a Tata led programme for literacy sATYAM

Ganesh mahotsav

Ganapati Pandals to play tunes of cleanliness in Mumbai

Instead of speeches on cleanliness, the Solid Waste Management Department seeks to promote cleanliness via songs played during Ganesh Mahotsav ANAND BHARTI his time the euphemisms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cleanliness campaign will also be heard in Ganesh Pandals. There will be no speech in it, but an effort will be made to bring awareness through the lyrics of songs on cleanliness. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation has prepared a song for Ganeshotsav that will be everywhere and will encourage people to sing along. The singers are confident that after listening to that beautiful and inspiring song, people will begin to realise their own responsibilities regarding cleanliness. This initiative has been taken up by Uda Shirurkar, an official of the Municipal Corporation, which has been executed by the Solid Waste Management Department. Through this song, the message will be transmitted to the Mumbaikars to not use plastic bags, to keep the house, roads and surroundings neat as well as classification of wastes etc. A CD of this song will be provided to all Ganesh Pandals so that the devotees who come to visit Ganapati can hear it too. Apart from this, it will also be played on FM during the event. The Ganapati festival is set to begin on August 25.



ata, Delhi’s private power company, as a part of its social obligation, supported the members of the NGO Abha by organising a program. In the function, the participants were women members of more than 200 JJ Colonies, affiliated to the company’s social innovation initiative. In the program, the women who had worked for women’s empowerment and health awareness were felicitated. Through different mediums like music, dance, poetry, dramas etc. these women were honoured for their efforts to bring about a change in the society. Women members in Abha NGO are representatives of the different programs held under the Social Innovation Initiative, a partner concern of Tata Power. These women work for

Quick Glance Tata tied up with NGO Abha for organising a literacy programme The literacy programme targeted illiterate women and students Tata Power-DDL has organized several social welfare activities

Praveer Sinha, CEO and MD, Tata Power-DDL, inaugurating the 17th vocational training cum tutorial centre at the Lal Bagh JJ cluster near Azadpur in Delhi

the JJ colonies with the help of the company in a variety of programs and activities, and to bring much-needed benefits to the society. Speaking to the participants, Praveer Sinha, CEO and MD (Tata Power-DDL) said that in Tata Power-DDL, they constantly strive for the betterment of the disadvantaged sections of the society through its Social Innovation Initiative. The NGO members are more focused on empowering women. Initiatives like Abha support women socially as well as by providing them with a regular income. Tata Power-DDL has organised several social developments and welfare activities for illiterate, uneducated

women, students and youth in the JJ settlements in North and North Western Delhi under the Social Innovation Program. Thousands of people from the disadvantaged sections receive the benefits and the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. According to the company’s main objective, the mission is improving the quality of life in the community. In North and North-West Delhi, within the power distribution areas of 223 slum colonies, they have opened 350 women literacy centres, 18 professional training centres, tutorial classes, provision of safe drinking water to school-children and slumdwellers. 45 RO Water Plants, 4 Mobile dispensaries, Blood Donation Camps, SC & ST Community assistance too are provided. There are more than 3 lakh people benefiting from this initiative. A commitment towards work for the disadvantaged sections of the society, at both the national and international levels, have been rewarded. The Company has been awarded the 3rd Asian Universal CSR Practice Award and India Power Award for Social and Community Impact. An award is given for empowermentinitiatives for women, under the Blue Economy category, is the Scotch Order of Merit and Silver Award 2016.

sensor quality of water

New 3-D printed water sensor may cut risk of waterborne illness IANS


sing a 3D printer, researchers have designed a tiny and costeffective sensor that can monitor drinking water quality in real time and help protect against waterborne illness, such as E. coli infections. The sensors used in the device are wireless, which report back to the testing stations and works independently – meaning that

if one stops working, it does not bring down the whole system. And since they are made using 3D printers, they are fast, inexpensive and easy to produce, the researchers said. “This highly portable sensor system is capable of constantly measuring several water quality parameters such as turbidity, pH, conductivity, temperature, and residual chlorine, and sending the data to a central system wirelessly,” said Mina

Hoorfar, Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. The device is also reliable and sturdy enough to provide accurate readings regardless of water pressure or temperature. The new miniaturised water quality sensors are cheap to make, can operate continuously and can be deployed anywhere in the water distribution system, Hoofar said.

July 24 - 30, 2017

Good News


good news in brief

mumbai river

Fadnavis steps up to save rivers With Mumbai’s main rivers becoming dirtier by the day, The Chief Minister takes it upon himself to get the rivers cleaned ANAND BHARTI


hief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed for further efforts to give new lives to the four rivers existing in the heart of Mumbai city. For the past three to four years, some private organisations have taken concrete steps towards their revival from their end. Local citizens and activists of political parties also joined them. A ‘River March’ was also conducted for spreading awareness, the results were promising. Now, the Chief Minister himself took the initiative and convened a meeting at his residence. In that, he

instructed the officers to prepare a plan to completely eradicate pollution from the four rivers - Mithi, Dahisar, Poisar and Oshiwara and bring it into effect. It was also expressed in the meeting that the rivers were dirty due to the pollution, Dhobi Ghat, and Stables caused by the trains near the site. Drains threw in rivers, chemicals from factories, swarming of plastic bags, defecation, and city nalahs have flooded and polluted the rivers. Simultaneously, the encroachment on the banks of the rivers has reduced their width. It was said that Mumbai’s rivers were as clean as drinking water in the past. The difficulties encountered in

Quick Glance

park facelift

RWA for further rejuvenation of parks RWA members gathered to give the local park a facelift with renovations and additions of swings for children ssb bureau


WA of New Aryanagar in Ghaziabad and the other people in the area have renovated the Dayanand Park and made it fit for children to play. In January 2017, President of RWA, Sandhya Tyagi had informed the municipality and the mayor regarding the poor management of the park. But no action was taken even after an assurance was given. Since then the RWA women decided to give a new look to the park at its own expense. A team of 14 members started work in the park from January to prepare badminton courts. Dayanand Park of New Aryanagar was used by locals as a garbage dump. Due to broken tracks, swings and gate in the park, the local people were facing a lot of trouble. In the evening, the children could not play in the park. Loafers and alcoholics made the park their base. The RWA members decided to fix the difficulties of the park. After getting approval from the local people in this context, the construction of the park was begun. The RWA

the way of cleaning the rivers were also discussed in detail. It is expected that the Chief Minister’s intervention and his positive initiative will be successful in reviving the rivers once again. In this meeting, MLA Yogesh Sagar, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Manisha Chaudhary, Municipal Commissioner Ajay Mehta, forest guard N. Dr P. N., Secretary, Vasudevan, and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.

president Sandhya Tyagi said that there was overgrown grass on the field. Along with this, piles of garbage were heaped up. After talking to the people, everyone decided that the park should be rebuilt. The construction of the park started in

The RWA members of

New Aryanagar took the responsibility upon themselves to renovate the park

Residents of New Aryanagar RWA took wanted to rejuvenate the park They began reconstruction of the park in February 2017 The people funded the reconstruction from funds raised

February 2017. It was completed in July. In this context, a request was made to the mayor Ashu Verma and councillor Naresh Pal, for the construction of tracks, tiles, and grass for the park. But no demand was met. The construction of the park is going on for the last 6 months. RWA president Sandhya Tyagi, who has arranged for security in the area, said that once again greenery is returning to the barren park. Four big gates have been erected around the12 hundred yards park. Simultaneously, the construction of swings and badminton courts for the children is on. The local people are very happy with the construction of the park. The construction started with Cleanliness Drive. All the people laid the foundation of the cleanliness drive in the field. The people of New Aryanagar collect money from the local people every month, which is 50 to 100 rupees. About 100 families give this money for the work. The salary to the security guards is given from this money and the remaining amount is used for plants and the construction of the park.

Van Mahotsav organized in Gurugram Banyan trees were planted by girls to inspire the locals. An awareness rally was also organized PTI


an Mahotsav was held on Sunday in Lord Shiv Mandir premises at Jamalpur, Gurugram. In this program, students gave the message of environmental protection by planting banyan saplings. Van Mahotsav was inaugurated by District Councilor Vijay Pal Yadav by planting a banyan tree. After this, girls of Bal Kalyan Senior Secondary School made the villagers aware about the importance of forests in human life. An awareness rally was also organised on this occasion. In addition to the banyan, peepal, neem, and Gulmohar trees, 101 varieties of shade-giving plants, ten to twelve feet tall, too were planted. On this occasion, District Councilor Vijay Pal Yadav said that unfortunately, the plantation in human life has become a mere show. “People tend to plant trees only to be photographed and highlighted in the social media. We all have to change the ritual of appearances. School children, especially daughters, have now taken a unique initiative by planting and also for the protection of plants.” He said. Due to the initiative of the girlstudents, people will be inspired to do likewise. He said that soon he will meet with all the councils of the Zilla Parishad and run a special plantation campaign. In this, the members of the village’s Sarpancha Panchayat Panchayat Samiti will be included as well as the members of other social institutions. On this occasion, among those present were Rao Ravindra Singh, Jamalpur, Rajendra Singh, Tajnagar, Satya Prakash, Ankita, Indu, Deepa, Sujata, Pooja, Radha, Neha, and others.

10 Cyber Space

July 24 - 30, 2017

security cyber space

Internet: Lost Innocence

A Report from Securing Cyber Space – 2017 organised at India International Center, New Delhi

Quick Glance Securing Cyber Space 2017 was held as a run-up event to GCCS The event was inaugurated by MoS electronics and IT PP Chaudhary India has climbed up 11 positions in United Nations e-governance index

mrigank devam


n 14th & 15th July, India International Center was abuzz with people keen to hear government officials and delegates on policies and current state of cyber ecosystem in India. The occasion was the opening of a two day conclave on Securing Cyber Space -2017, the first run-up event to Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS). MoS Electronics & IT PP Chaudhary inaugurated the event and shared the vision outlined by PM Modi for a digital India. MoS PP Chaudhary’s Global Conference on Cyber Space, an international event that focuses on state of cyber ecosystem globally, will be held in India on 23rd and 24th Nov 2017. The Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) aims to deliberate on the issues related to promotion of cooperation in cyberspace, norms for responsible

behavior in cyberspace and to enhance cyber capacity building. Ministerial delegates from more than 50 countries and two thousand delegates from more than hundred countries will join the conference. The magnitude of the event makes it the biggest edition in the six year history, since its inception in 2011. Ministry of electronics and Information Technology, Digital India & National e-Governance Division has left no stone unturned to ensure that this mega event attracts the attention of the stakeholders from the ecosystem across the globe. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s

vision of Digital India has not only introduced millions of Indians to digital world but has also made them more aware about various schemes launched by the government. PM Modi’s vision of empowering Indian economy through creative use of technology has created lasting impact on youth and old alike. For the first time in the history of modern India, Indians feel empowered and can engage in dialogues with their representatives. The adoption of Digital India is not just limited to cities but also to remote villages which have experienced a communication and identity vacuum since independence.

The Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) aims to deliberate on issues related to promotion of cooperation in cyberspace

A testimony to the growing and transparent digital India is the fact that India has climbed up 11 positions in United Nation’s e-governance index since 2014 and there been a whopping three fold growth in e-governance transactions per day. The Conclave was organized by Policy Perspectives Foundation led by former Intelligence Bureau chief PC Haldar & Cyber Peace Foundation led by Vineet Kumar. MoS Electronics & IT PP Chaudhary said “Cyber Security is the need of the hour because the entire globe is boundary-less”. He emphasized on the role of collaboration between nartions on strengthening cyber security. Cyber security, he said, cannot be responsibility of a single identity. It is larger issue and academia, policy makers and civil society must unite to strengthen the ecosystem. The MoS also cited the need of high speed internet connectivity to connect 250,000 gram panchayats for effective and prompt e-governance. Transitioning to inclusion which has been one of key pillars of Modi government he said financial inclusion requires strong cyber security so that the stakeholders and users are assured of it’s seamless and secure functioning. He addressed the social aspects of cyberspace by stressing on strict law enforcements to combat extremism and hate speeches. Referring to the recent hacking attacks, he said that it should be taken as an alarm and all the stakeholders should unite to ensure a secure cyber space. In his appeal to academia, think tanks, members of the civil society and policy makers he said that a collaborative effort will take us far in achieving the dream of Digital

July 24 - 30, 2017

Cyber Space


(Clock-wise from left top) Left to right) Ranjit Lal, MoS Electronics, IT PP Chaudhary, Dr Ajay Kumar, and Dr Gulshan Rai

India. Ranjit Lal, Director – National e-Governance Division addressed the opening by emphasizing on the goals of GCCS. The themes of GCCS this year are cyber for inclusion, cyber for security and cyber for diplomacy. He also encouraged the attendees to participate in the event and contribute to the event by sharing their ideas on the website. Mr Lal said that there are 15-20 run up events planned till 23rd Nov, 2017. These events will be in the form of B2B events, webinars and seminars. Dr Gulshan Rai, India’s first cyber security chief was also present at the occasion and started his keynote on by stating how hard it is in the current scenario, to predict the outcomes of technology given the rapid pace of its evolution. Dr Rai mentioned ‘Governance of Internet’ and ‘Governance on Internet’ are two different things but closely interconnected by the users that are audience in later and stakeholders in the former. He said, unlike nuclear where the term proliferation is rapidly used, control is used for cyber even though proliferation of offence tools has increased Digital India promises inclusion on all the levels. Dr Ajay Kumar (IAS) Addl. Secretary Ministry of Electronics & IT told us that in addition to capacity building, many govt. schemes can be accessed digitally so and people have

The themes of GCCS this year are cyber for inclusion, cyber for security and cyber for diplomacy. There are 15-20 run-up events to GCCS planned till Nov 23

do spend hours standing in queues. To equip the new digital citizens of India, digital literacy programs are in place and from 2014-2016 alone 82.7 lacs candidates have been successfully trained in the under Digital Literacy. Dr Kumar also mentioned that content in regional languages is now available so that rural India doesn’t feel isolated when they log on to internet. Major services delivered through digital kiosks are voter ID card, utility bill payments, Aadhaar services, land records and numerous others that makes Digital India a combination of convenience and efficiency. GCCS could not be better timed. Since cyber is borderless, the nations must unite to combat and regulate the policies that ensures security and safety of citizens and businesses alike. While the corporation have deep pockets to spend on cyber security, the citizens rely on government and service providers to keep their internet life safe and secure. The conclave also focused on various aspects of digital life and conducted round tables on socio-tech issues such as safety of women and child. Ms Karnika Seth, a distinguished cyber

lawyer at Supreme court of India who contributes regularly to forums and has authored a book titled “Protection of Children on Internet” shared how frequently she gets cases related to online abuse and the laws around it. Ruzan Khambata, who started Police HEART (Help Emergency Alert Rescue Terminal) a pilot project active in Ahmedabad uses technology that tracks your location and triggers immediate action from police. Being borderless, once considered as the biggest virtue of internet now calls for more regulation and surveillance. Today, anybody with good or ill intent, can virtually travel at the speed of light halfway around the planet. For cyber criminals, this technology has been a boom, as they hop from one country to another virtually hacking their way in an effort to frustrate law enforcement agencies. This ability to country hop, one of internet’s greatest strength creates enormous jurisdictional and administrative problems for police and is often the main reason why cyber crime investigation is so challenging and often feckless. A police officer in New Delhi has no authority to

make an arrest in a remote Chinese province. North Korea wasbeing linked to attacks on banks in 18 countries, according to a new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. The stolen money is likely being spent advancing North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, according to two international security experts. These kind of cyber attacks present multiple dimensions of problems that sprout from them. Financial frauds and then using the money to fund terrorist outfits are some the issues that nations have to combat on a regular basis. Banks and security researchers have previously identified four similar cyber-heists attempted on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam. Global financial and economic losses from the “WannaCry” attack that crippled computers in at least 150 countries could swell into the billions of dollars, making it one of the most damaging incidents involving so-called ransomware. Cyber risk modeling firm Cyence estimates the potential costs from the hack at $4 billion, while other groups predict losses would be in the hundreds of millions. The attack is likely to make 2017 the worst year for ransomare scams, in which hackers seize control of a company’s or organization’s computers and threaten to destroy data unless payment is made. In 2016, such schemes caused losses of $1.5 billion, according to market researcher Cybersecurity Ventures. That includes lost productivity and the cost of conducting forensic investigations and restoration of data, said Steve Morgan, founder and editorin-Chief of Cybersecurity Ventures. In 2016 alone, cyber attacks against financial services cost consumers more than USD 10 Billion. Most of the times it is not the CIOs, Cyber Security Officers or other professionals who identify these attacks, it is most the angry consumers who draw attention of authorities to these mis-happenings. Cyber is now considered 5th domain of war (in addition to Land, Water, Sky & Space). As India is waking up this this Information revolution, it is important that we go prepared and geared to this unknown territory filled with cyber crime perpetrators and syndicates that are always on a look out for soft targets. Amidst, the challenges that this connected world pose to us, India hosting GCCS can be seen as a vote of trust from the world and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology should be applauded for this achievement.

12 Sanitation

July 24 - 30, 2017

sanitation swachh bharat mission

PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission is effective: Centre Sanitation coverage in rural India has gone up from 42% to 64%. Many villages and districts have been declared ODF Quick Glance Swachh Bharat Mission is extremely effective in developing sanitation access Nearly 1.5 Lakh villages have been declared ODF since its launch The ministry has also instituted National Level Monitors to verify all ODF regions

ssb bureau


he Centre has announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is indeed working. A Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation report suggests that the sanitation coverage in rural India has gone up from 42% to 64% since the launch of SBM, and the Rapid Survey of Swachhta Status of the NSSO conducted in May-June 2015 said that 95.6% of people who had toilets, used them. “The metric ‘Open Defecation Free’, which was defined in 2015 immediately

heritage New zealand


Dunedin’s oldest public toilet is put under the microscope

following the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission is essentially a measure of toilet usage. Unless every member of every household in a village uses a toilet for defecation, the village cannot be declared ODF.” And by that measure, many different cities and villages including entire states have been declared ODF(Open Defecation Free). The government announced

that many independent verification mechanisms are in place for SBM. In 2015, the NSSO carried out the Rapid Survey of Swachhta Status in May-June. At present, the Quality Council of India is performing a similar exercise covering nearly 1,00,000 households. The ministry has also instituted National Level Monitors to verify all ODF districts, with a special focus on

With statistics to back it up, PM Modi’s Swachh

Bharat is becoming successful in providing sanitation access and making villages and districts ODF sSB bureau


he latest heritage building to have its future scrutinized is the oldest public toilet in Dunedin. Built in 1912, its doors were bricked up after 1976 and the interior was preserved. The building is octagonal that appears to be leaning. It also has a huge crack in its brickwork on one of the walls. Jendi Paterson, Recreation planning and facilities manager, said a heritage report on the building was being compiled by a consultant.

“Once we’ve got a draft back we’ll liaise with Heritage New Zealand, and have a look at the options.” One can’t draw any conclusions as any decision on what might be done with it would have to wait until the

the villages on the banks of the river Ganga. An Independent Verification Agency (IVA) has also been hired as part of the World Bank loan, which is less than 10% of the total projected government outlay (Centre and States) for the mission. The World Bank loan agreement was signed on March 30, 2016. The ministry says there is a multistage verification system at the district and state level for Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages. As per the SBM guidelines, a village needs to be verified within three months of the declaration of ODF. “Of the 2 lakh ODF declared villages, nearly 1.5 lakh have been declared ODF only in the last year. Over 1 lakh villages have already been verified,” it says. SBM aims for behaviour change through IEC. The Centre is spending around 3% of the Union SBM budget on Information, education and communication (IEC), while the States are expected to spend 5% of their respective State and Centre budgets on IEC.

report was completed. Once the report was finished there would be discussions with the council’s heritage planner and Heritage New Zealand Council archivist Alison Breese said the building was almost demolished in 1976 and a public notice was placed in newspapers of the time. Since bus drivers were using them, the building was spared. It was uncertain when both doorways were bricked up. Now the council’s heritage planner eagerly awaits the reports.

July 24 - 30, 2017



news in brief

emotion toilet construction

TRIGGERING SENTIMENTS TO CONSTRUCT TOILETS The government has adopted an in-your-face approach to trigger public sentiments during village meetings

SSB Bureau


fter asking people ‘directly’ to have toilets constructed and used did not create the desired impact, the state government has initiated this ‘explicit’ approach through which people are shown pitfalls of defecating in the open. It is a way of ‘triggering’ the public emotions during village meetings to encourage people to use toilets. Surveys and meetings are conducted through master trainers trained by the panchayati raj department in all districts, under the Community-Led Total Sanitation Programme (CLTS). This is where villagers are made to realize that toilet is relevant. This is done by asking simple questions like “how much does a person excrete at a time”? And the options are given – 200gm to 400gm; 400gm to 600 gm; or more than 600gm. As most people answer 500gm per individual, then a family of five would excrete 2.5 kg of fecal matter at one time. Four families excreting that amount would come to 10kg of fecal matter

Quick Glance Villagers are handed out surveys with questionnaires on sanitation habits and toilet usage patterns The villagers are shown how fecal matter ends up being re-consumed via houseflies Questions are designed based on 13 tools that include socially relevant subjects

being left out in the open. This way of answering has an impact on the villagers Then follows a video clip made by the panchayatiraj department, wherein a master trainer is shown standing at the spot where someone defecated a few minutes ago. Villagers stand with their nose covered. The trainer asks the villagers, “Can anyone tell whose is this?” He asks for a glass of water and then asks a woman to give a strand of her hair. After putting the strand of hair in the fecal matter, he picks it up and puts it in the glass of water. He asks the villagers if the color or the odour of the water changes.

The government is utilizing explicit triggering campaigns to encourage villagers to construct and use toilets

People say no. The trainer then explains: “Legs of the housefly are same as this hair, it first sits on the excreta left by you and then on your food. And you eat it.” This is how the message is driven home. The idea is to keep questioning people about their excreting habits. As villagers go on answering they themselves realize it adds up to a huge volume. If they still do not see its mound in the village, it means the waste is going somewhere. Where? That’s the point,” said state consultant, Swachh Bharat Mission, Panchayati Raj, UP, Sanjay Singh Chauhan. People, through sentimental triggers, are made to realise that they could be consuming their own fecal matter unintentionally. “We also ask villagers if the housefly falls in their cup of tea what do they do. They say they drop the tea. But what if the fly falls in a vessel of 5kg milk?” says Chauhan. Villagers say they take the fly out and keep the milk. And, that’s where the villagers are made to think they could be taking back their own waste. In most of these `trigger’ sessions, many villagers vomit. And therein lies the success of the exercise. Villagers, while `triggering’, are not even asked to construct a toilet but it is through questions they are made to realize that constructing toilet is the best option. It should be constructed and used for health, convenience and privacy. Also, each one of them is asked how much time do they spend out in the open defecating for statistics. Questions are designed based on 13 tools that include aspects like `mahila ka samman’ (dignity of women) and other socially and environmentally relevant subjects. By end of the `triggering’ sessions, most villagers want to know how can they make their village opendefecation free. And it is then that they are asked to make and use a toilet.

toilet award

Northern Territory dunnies among world’s best Good design and a great view were some of the criteria used to decide the winners of the Toilet Awards SSB Bureau


he best loo with a view award was given to the picturesque toilet perched over a cliff on the Cobourg Peninsula in Garig Gunak Barlu National. And Kathleen Buzzacott Art Studio in Alice Springs was the joint winner of best design. “A good public toilet had a ‘trickle-down effect’ into the local economy, by enticing tourists to stop and look around said Judge Bronwyn White. She said the Cobourg toilet was a clear standout. “To be able to sit on the toilet and be able to watch the crocodiles and nature — there’s no other toilet like it,” Ms White said. “Someone said it’s like watching a live National Geographic show from the toilet.” The “waterless, odourless and environmentally friendly” bog converts waste into -organic humus. Guests can enjoy a view of crocodiles basking on sands and see blacktip reef sharks hunting. Built in 2016, The Alice Springs loos was painted by the art studio’s owner.

14 Gender

July 24 - 30, 2017

rural banking

Rural women get access to banking Chentna Sinha’s Mann Deshi Mahila Bank provides for 310,000 rural women’s banking needs.

ssb bureau


mpowered women can help to bring entire families and communities out of poverty. Social entrepreneur Chetna Sinha’s cooperative bank for illiterate female workers is a testament to that. Founder of Mann Deshi Foundation, Chetna Sinha runs an Indian cooperative bank for over 310,000 rural women. Chetna Sinha has successfully set up an Indian cooperative bank for 310,000 rural women which is doing US$100 million worth of banking and micro-financing. “People assume poor people want access to credit but they want to plan their lives,” says Mrs Sinha, who visited Dubai recently and spoke at the Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum. “Rural women want to control their savings.” Mrs Sinha, an economics teacher from Mumbai, met her husband Vijay when they were student activists who moved to his village of Mhaswad, in West Maharashtra where they got married.

What rattled her was when she discovered that an illiterate woman blacksmith, who sharpened farm tools for a living and saved $1 a day, had been refused a bank account because she was not an “affordable client”. Mrs Sinha, 57, went to the banks with her and hit the same walls. Eventually, drawing on her past experience as an activist, she decided to just create a women’s bank herself. The Mann Deshi Mahila Bank opened in 1991 but officially received its banking license in 1997 because it was refused by the reserve bank on grounds of licensing a cooperative of illiterate women. To counter this, Mann Deshi started literacy classes for the women. Frustrated by this, Mrs Sinha received her license after she

challenged the authorities to calculate the principal interest on any amount faster on a calculator than she could in her head. “The margins may not be high but it does not mean there is no business,” says Mrs Sinha, whose aims to provide for one million Indian women entrepreneurs by 2020. She also admits to a lot of mistakes that were made in the early days – the first being to assume that all the village women needed to start banking. Mrs Sinha built a team of field agents to visit them with doorstep banking to avoid losing a day’s wages travelling when they deposited their cash Micro-ATMs were devised since they didn’t want passbooks since

Social Entrepreneur of the year, Chetna Sinha earns the respect and admiration of many other social entrepreneurs working for the common good

Quick Glance The Mann Deshi Mahila Bank is doing $100 Million worth of banking She started doorstep banking to facilitate rural women The foundation runs a business school, and a financial hotline

they didn’t want to their savings and spending revealed. The micro-ATMs were hand-held machines that used their thumbprint to link to their Indian “UID”, or national identity. “In spite of their poor education, they are smart enough – and technosavvy,” says Mrs Sinha. “We do not need poor solutions for poor people.” The bank gives savings plans, micro loans daily, and insurances while the Foundation runs a business school, a radio station, a financial hotline and has built a significant number of water banks in the drought prone areas of the state and also donated over 10,000 bicycles to help the girls attend classes. “Focusing on women in terms

July 24 - 30, 2017





A mentorship programme conducted by Google and industry experts is underway. The women from the startups would be initiated into the Launchpad Accellerator Programme

enterprises have been able to address many prevalent and challenging social issues affecting them and their communities of empowerment and job creation is a proven method to bring entire families and communities out of poverty all over the world,” says Medea Nocentini, co-founder and chief executive of Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3), a UAEbased social enterprise that works with some 300 social entrepreneurs. “Businesses benefit from diversity, increasing business success and ultimately economic improvements.” “Women running social enterprises have been able to address many of the most prevalent and challenging social issues affecting them, their communities and their children worldwide,” says cofounder Pamela Chikhani, who is also the corporate head of business development and communications for the Oasis Investment Company. “Women bring different perspectives and approaches to business. At Reach, we believe that bridging the gender diversity gap in the workplace, by engaging female leaders in positions of influence to serve as role models, is critical. “Inspirational female leaders such as Chetna Sinha are positively impacting the world by demonstrating vision, developing social enterprises with strong business fundamentals and acting as a powerful role model for other women.” Mrs Sinha was named Indian social entrepreneur of the year in 2013 and in 2015 one of 15 women changing the world by the World Economic Forum. “There is a charm in creating role models,” says this queen of all role models modestly.

community and presence in urban and rural India as well as in Singapore. It was founded by Bhargavi A.R. and Ankur Vohra. Clinikk Healthcare: Bengalurubased Clinikk is a personalised health concierge for blue collared workers and their families. Its health assistant is the single point-of-contact of an entire subscribed family for any medical need. It was founded by Bhavjot Kaur, Vishal Deep Raja, and Suraj Baliga.

ssb bureau


leven startups led by women entrepreneurs have been selected by global tech giant Google to train them. These startups would come under the Launchpad Accelerator Programme. The selected women entrepreneurs will get a chance to help promising startups achieve rapid progress in a short time through the mentorship program. This will be accomplished via focused 1:1 mentorship from Google and leading Industry Experts. Being in collaboration with Google’s Women Techmakers initiative and Google’s Women@program, the mentorship program includes leadership workshops driven by Google as well. The Shortlist Of Women Entrepreneurs -Led Startups Guvi Geek Network Pvt. Ltd: Chennai-based Guvi is an online tech skill accelerator in vernacular languages. Guvi targets the users who have language challenges to acquire new skills. GUVI started off as a Youtube Channel with 400+ technical videos in vernacular languages. In 2014, it was incorporated as a startup. Guvi was incubated in IIT Madras. Evibe Technologies Pvt Ltd: Bengalurubased Evibe is an online marketplace for party services. It was founded in February 2014 by B Anjaneyulu Reddy and Swathi Bavanaka. Users can select options ranging from a private farm for a birthday party to theme cakes etc. with a few clicks.

PlexusMD: Ahmedabad-based, Plexus MD is an online networking platform that connects healthcare professionals and organisations. It helps doctors stay updated on the latest news and developments in their speciality, access 500+ open access journals across the world. It was founded in 2014 by IIM alumni Rohan Desai and Binal Doshi along with Kinnar Shah. Omnify: Bengalurubased Omnify is a scheduling and ecommerce platform for small businesses that run schedulebased services. It acts as a global SaaS platform for SMEs. It was launched in 2016 by Manik Mehta and Kabandi Saikia,

Talking Street: Bengaluru-based Talking Street provides food suggestions to travellers. It helps travellers and foodies experience local food culture by helping them discover the most popular eateries that are frequented by local foodies. It was founded by Maheima Kapur. Bengaluru-based PregBuddy: PregBuddy is a week-by-week pregnancy tracker. It is a comprehensive health monitoring & concierge platform for women around the world. It provides personalised care via health experts & doctors: from preconceiving to the early years of motherhood. It was founded by Subhadeep Modal and Sivareena Sarika.

The selected women

entrepreneurs will get a chance to help promising startups achieve rapid progress in a short time

CampusTime: Bengaluru-based CampusTime helps universities/colleges set up their private social network. It enables students to connect with everyone at the campus and get access to part-time jobs and internships opportunities. It was founded by Amruta Desai.

L e tsEndors e : Bengaluru-based LetsEndorse is a social venture. It enables intelligent knowledge harnessing of practicable social models, builds collaborations for co-creating and scalingup of solutions. It also fosters mobilisation of funds/resources from various stakeholders transparently for accelerated intervention. It was founded by Monika Shukla and Varun Kashyap.

Fundamentor: Bengaluru-based edtech startup Fundamentor develops life skills to bridge the gap between academics and professional success. The product claims to have more than 5,000 subscribers, 16,000+ parent and user

Mishipay: Bengaluru-based MishiPay is a self-checkout technology for retail. The app allows shoppers to self-scan and pay for any item in the store and simply walk out with it. It was founded by Mustafa Khanwala and Tanvi Bhardwaj.


July 24 - 30, 2017

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffett

sharad gupta A journalist with 30 years experience of working with various publications


Poor turning diabetic Mechanised transport has been leading to a sedentary lifestyle among urban poor thereby causing diabetes


Water Management is the Key

River-linking and water-harvesting will solve most water woes


he autumn is at full bloom. Almost half of Indian states are reeling under devastating floods. Still, there are areas which haven’t received enough rains this year. With the launch of a series of meteorological satellites, we have started predicting the onset of monsoon and its intensity fairly accurately. But, we haven’t learnt advance planning to avert disasters like floods. Take for example, a cloud burst in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir earlier last week killed at least six persons. If one scans advance predictions of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), one would find that it had accurately predicted excessive rains over Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly, IMD has been predicting scanty rains or deficient rains in parts of India. With slightly better water management, we can avert both crises – drought as well as floods. River-linking is a good idea. We can see its result in Gujarat where Narmada water flowing into Sabarmati, provides a beautiful riverfront in Ahmedabad. Through river-linking we can take excess water from flooded areas to drought-prone areas and avert both tragedies. We also need to tap the rain water – a large amount of which flows off into the sea through drains, rivulets and rivers. It can solve deficient water problem of large tracts of India. Moreover, this is the time for everyone to plant at least one sapling. That means, 125 crore saplings every year. Even if half of them survive, our green-cover will expand exponentially and more trees means more rains and less water skimming though to oceans.


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:,


iabetes, one would presume, is a disease of the affluent. Doctors too tell you that it is caused by a sedentary lifestyle hence labelled a lifestyle disease. Basically, it is related to input and output of calories. If the input calories are consistently higher than the output, the excess calories get deposited as fat. The obesity gradually leads to diabetes. That is too simple explanation, it would seem. But, one would get startled to know that the ‘lifestyle disease’ is now spreading like wildfire among the poor as well – though for now only in the cities, who are euphemistically labelled ‘urban poor’. Basis of this sweeping statement is a study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, on June 7, 2017. The study has been conducted by V Mohan, one of India’s pioneering diabetologists. He was one of the authors of a 15-state study on diabetes in India funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research and India’s health ministry. At 16.7%, India had the highest share of the world’s diabetics in 2015 after China (26%), according to Diabetes Atlas 2015. This obviously, is the result of sedentary lifestyle and bad food choices. A datachurning site Indiaspend has done a fantastic job of dissecting Mohan’s report. The standard of living among the urban poor has improved. With this, their lifestyle too has been changing. Their physical activity has gone down. They get mechanised

transport, their eating habits change. They start eating unhealthy foods and the brunt of the diabetes epidemic now has shifted to the poor. So, in this sense, behavioural change cuts across all classes, the report has concluded. The 15-state survey showed that 47.3% of the 3,938 respondents identified as having diabetes had not been diagnosed. In 2015, about 52% of India’s 69.2 million diabetics remained undiagnosed, IndiaSpend reported on October 13, 2016. Except Punjab, more respondents reported prediabetes– high blood glucose that hasn’t matured to full-fledged disease – than diabetes. This implied that in the future more Asians are likely to develop the disease, as research shows they have a greater tendency to become diabetic than other populations, the Lancet study said. It is important to ensure early detection of diabetes – an impairment that reduces the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and vision loss. Mohan, 63, provides free diabetes care to about 9,000 patients. This includes four Chennai colonies he has adopted. He has also provided free diabetes check-up to about 10,000 autorickshaw drivers in Tamil Nadu’s capital, according to his website. A graduate of Madras Medical College, Mohan is a fellow of all the four Royal College of Physicians in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Dublin, the American College of Endocrinology and all the three science academies of India. For his contribution to the field of diabetes, Mohan was awarded the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in India, in 2012. In 2002, India contributed only 1% of the world’s diabetes research even as it shared 14% of the global disease burden. The burden increased to 17% in 2015. The study found that mainland states saw more cases of diabetes (8.3%) than the north-east (5.9%). The

If input calories are

higher than the output, the excess calories get deposited as fat. Obesity leads to diabetes

July 24 - 30, 2017

Rising diabetes incidence among urban Indians is partly because they are aping the food habits of the West

differences could be due to ethnic differences or even genetic differences. It could be related to lifestyle, for example, the cereal type consumed. Even more importantly, it could be related to physical activity, which is much higher in the north-eastern states that have a hilly terrain. The study says the main factors driving the diabetes epidemic in both urban and rural areas are obesity, age, and family history of diabetes. It also points out that in urban areas less affluent individuals have a higher prevalence of diabetes than their more affluent counterparts. Scientists are still trying to find out the reason for this unusual phenomenon. The diabetes epidemic is now spreading to those individuals who cannot afford to pay for its management. In such a scenario, the government could provide free treatment for those who cannot afford to pay. Indians thus, remain one of the biggest out-ofpocket health spenders. To ameliorate their problems tax deduction for diabetes expenses could be one solution. The other is to provide widespread insurance which can also pay for out-patient treatment. Better control of diabetes will result in lower rates of complications that are more expensive to treat than diabetes itself. Diabetes also leads to other major complications such as stroke, kidney failure and vision loss. For that we need massive awareness programmes. We have to teach people about the importance of diabetes and its good control. We should also convey the message that good control of diabetes and related co-morbidities like blood pressure and lipid disorders can prevent diabetic complications. Finally, there should be facilities for screening not only for diabetes but also for its complications. Rising diabetes incidence among urban Indians is partly because they are aping the food habits of the West. As the epidemic of diabetes matures, the more affluent and educated classes of society begin to take care of themselves because knowledge and awareness levels are better. They also have the facilities to look after their health. Hence, the diabetes rates begin to level off in the upper classes. It is high time that everyone starts taking care of his health. We cannot leave everything to the government. We need to exercise well – walking at least 3-4 kilometres at a brisk pace. We need to wake up now because as doctors say – diabetes is a silent killer. It leads to hypertension, cardiac problems – because it thickens walls of blood vessels – and also affects kidneys. By the time, one starts treatment it become too late.



Meditation is the gateway to the soul

mihir paul

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


Meditation is your natural state, it’s a way of life


editation isn’t some mystical state one needs to achieve in order to be “enlightened” and become “superhuman”. Meditation simply means having a Present Moment- based focus of attention and awareness and less of an Ego/thought based awareness. Meditation isn’t an activity you do at home for a couple minutes a day and repeat it like an exercise, Meditation is your natural state, it’s a way of life. You were born that way but you simply have forgotten how to get there because of years of mental, psychological, biological, societal, and social conditioning that formed your Ego. The easiest marker you can follow is your own breathing. Breathe consciously as much as you can throughout the day. It’s basically being aware of your breath as it goes in and out of your body. If you can consciously breathe most part of the day, you can stay grounded in the NOW for a majority of the entire day. Thus meditation becomes your life. You

are home. Usually, all of us have an idea that even though we’re having a human experience, a part of us is immortal and immutable. We call that part our soul or spirit or atman (in Hindi). We understand that within our being, there is something that exists beyond birth and death. This knowledge isn’t there mistakenly. No matter what notions we have about the nature of this immortal soul/spirit, we can’t deny that its there. Our spirit is our presence. Our presence is our experience/awareness in the NOW. Our Now is always

the same and stays the unaffected by time. Our Now is the one thing we share with everyone and everything. The Now is the one common factor among all living and nonliving beings in existence. Our bodies, minds, feelings, perceptions might be different but our Now or rather our presence stays the same as the single common denominator that connects us all to reality. Once you realise that your body, thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions are all temporary, appearing against the unchanging presence that you are, is when you realise the true nature of your soul/spirit. Your soul/spirit is one with your presence and one with the present moment, which in turn is one with existence itself. It’s timeless unaffected by birth and death and is one with unconditional love, happiness and everlasting peace.

letters to the editor reading it. The book covers the history of the legendary leader – Narendra Modi in detail. Dr Pathak has done a fine compilation of both well-known and less -known facts and has presented this book to the reading public. It is encouraging to know that people like PM Modi and Dr Bindeswar Pathak have spent years trying to do service for the welfare of the common people. Thank you for writing about positive events like this. Praveen Gupta, Meerut

a fabulous book The article “A Fabulous Book” has done the job of informing readers like me about two good people. I have procured the book now and have been

the age of E-Cars The article ‘the age of E-Cars’ has touched my mind and heart. After reading this article I was impressed with the news that the government is concerned and wants to support this idea. It might help the nation in great ways. But the question that flickered in my mind was that

at present we have at least three proper E- vehicles in India {Toyota Prius, Mahindra Reva, Chevrolet Volt}. But how many of these cars are feasible and affordable for a common man. Would these even satisfy his requirements? These questions came to my mind after reading this article. But if the government works on these aspects then this plan cannot be stopped at any cost. Kunal Choudary, Delhi rooted to villages ‘Developing Villages and Cities Alike’ is an important comment on the need to improve both agriculture and industry. For this, India needs leaders like Modi who consider themselves to be ordinary citizens. National leaders should understand the problems of farmers. Meeta Patel, Baroda

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18 Photo Feature

July 24 - 30, 2017

Mega Textile Trade Fair

India’s first ever Mega Textiles Trade Fair - Textiles India 2017, was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Photos: sipra das

The event had sector specific theme pavilions which focused on countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Japan, China, South Korea, Turkey, Australia, and various Indian states like Assam, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh

July 24 - 30, 2017

Photo Feature


The textile fair was addressed by Union Textiles Minister, Smriti Zubin Irani who emphasized on the importance of such events. She mentioned how the trade fair brings together textiles, traditions, and technology under one roof. Trade fairs like these give PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ dream its wings.

20 Organic Manure

July 24 - 30, 2017

Aalapur village Organic Manure compost

Secret Ingredient of Farmer’s Rags to Riches story Bundelkhand farmer makes a multimillion dollar business from his special vermicompost

Quick Glance Gyasi Ahirwar was forced to quit farming due to repeated crop failures Ahirwar set up an organic manure compost production plant Today, his plant rakes in over Rs 5 cr annually

srawan shukla


epeated crop failure forced him to abandon farming. An illiterate, Gyasi Ahirwar had no means for survival. He learnt techniques to make organic manure compost. Within a year, he set up a plant to earn millions and also shared his indigenous technique with the agriculturists of Italy and Germany. His story is truly a rag to riches tale. His story is the transformation of a small time farmer to a multimillionaire. A resident of Aalapur village, some 20 km from Lalitpur district headquarters in parched Bundelkhand, Ahirwar is now the biggest supplier of organic manure compost in the region. Farmers from different parts of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan pay him to advance for the supply of high-quality compost he develops in his plant, spread in acres of land. With the expansion of his business, he bought extra land to restart farming. Today he has 20 acres of land. He grows organic vegetables and other crops to earn more profit. He has made a place for his organic products in the country. His organically grown vegetables are in high demand in Delhi, Uttarakhand, UP and Madhya Pradesh. A few chains of hotels have also tied up with this farmer for regular supplies of organic

Despite repeated crop failures and illiteracy, Ahirwar

created a successful business by selling vermicompost to farmers and governments across the country vegetables grown in his farmhouse. “They are bigger in size and contain the original flavour, sweetness and other natural ingredients which are usually killed when we use chemical fertilisers and pesticides to grow vegetable and crop,” claims Ahirwar But for Ahirwar, the journey was not that easy. Farming is a difficult proposition in parched Bundelkhand, which is the most backwards area of Uttar Pradesh. But, unfortunately, 80 per cent of the total population in the region depends on farming due to lack of industries and job avenues. Drinking water is scarce and irrigation facilities are absent in the region. Majority of the farmers have to depend on the rain God to cultivate their lands. Natural calamities and repeated crop failures have made Bundelkhand earn the notoriety of reporting a maximum number of farmers committing suicides in the past one decade. Ahirwar was no different. “I took a loan to cultivate the crop. But for three consecutive years crop failed me. I didn’t know what to do. I dropped the idea to continue with farming. But I

was illiterate to get a job. Survival of my family was the biggest question and on top of that money-lenders were after my life to return their dues and pay up interest,” recalls 60-yearold Ahirwar horror of his days of struggle. “But did I not give up. I took training at different places in making vermicompost. I returned to my land and village again. Dug a big hole and bought about 20 kgs of earthworms. We had animals so cow dung was not a problem. Organic wastes are aplenty in villages. Within three months, I developed high-quality organic manure compost,” recalls he. First, his family members questioned his new venture. They had a pertinent question. Who will buy his organic fertiliser when farming was on the downslide in the entire region? By visiting many places in different parts of Uttar Pradesh, Gyasi Ahirwar had already set his own marketing plans. He started selling indigenouslydeveloped organic fertiliser to farmers outside Bundelkhand at a price lower

than the ones available in the market. Within three months, he started getting repeated and new orders. But to match new orders, he had to increase his production. Emboldened by his success, he took a loan of Rs 10 lakhs from a bank with great difficulty to set up an organic fertiliser plant. The production was increased manifold. Today, he supplies organic compost to all major government agencies, big, small farmers and NGOs promoting vermicompost to check indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Ahiwar claims that his organic manure has all the natural ingredients to act as pesticides. “Those who use it do not need to spray pesticides on their crops. My compost gives them protection from various diseases,” claims he. Today, Ahirwar’s annual turn of his high-quality organic manure is no less than Rs 5 crore. Farmers from about 14 districts of Madhya Pradesh are his regular clients. “People have lost the taste of naturally-grown vegetables and crops which used to be part of our daily palate. I make an effort to grow them on my 20 acres farm-house to bring back that taste. I encourage others to go for traditional farming and dissuade the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides which not only kill natural flavours in the crop they grow but also make them lose fertility of their soil,” he adds. Besides working in his organic fertiliser plant and farm-house, Ahirwar also trains farmers and village youths in making organic manure compost. For the 15-day certification training, he charges only Rs 500.

July 24 - 30, 2017

Manual Scavenging


court order manual scavenging

Do not engage manual scavengers: madras High Court HC cites 2013 statute to Centre and Tamil Nadu Govt to bar persons from engaging or employing scavengers Quick Glance

press trust of india


olding that manual scavenging was prima facie a contravention of human rights and the right to live with dignity as per the Constitution, the Madras High Court today directed the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that there was no engagement of manual scavengers. The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave the direction on a PIL filed by Safai Karmachari Andolan of Chennai. The bench said, “Section 7 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 bars persons from engagement or employment for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.” It said, “It is true that those engaging manual scavengers in violation of Sections 5, 6, and 7 of the said Act render themselves liable to a penalty under sections 8 and 9 of the said Act.” However, it was imperative that the respondent authorities immediately take steps to ensure that there was no contravention of Sections 5, 6, and 7 of the Act, it said. The bench also issued a notice to the assistant solicitor general representing the Centre and the government pleader of the state. It said the Act clearly states that any contract, agreement for the purpose of manual scavenging shall on the date of commencement of this Act be

HC directed the TN govt to bar and criminalise the engagement of scavengers A total of 30 people have lost their lives from manual scavenging Supreme Court has made it clear that this applies to all states and union territories

Madras High Court has issued a directive to

Tamil Nadu Govt and Central Govt to prohibit and criminalise the engagement of manual scavengers terminated and the same shall be void and inoperative and no compensation shall be payable there of. The petition submitted that as per an RTI query, a total of 30 persons have lost their lives by manual scavenging in the districts of Chennai, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, Madurai, Trichy, Villupuram, and Virudunagar between January 1, 2014, and March 20 this year. A survey conducted by the Tamil


Highest bidder gets Toilet Seat Art Barney Smith has been nurturing his hobby of turning trash into artistic treasure for last five decades with over 1,000 custom toilet seats.

ssb bureau


year old Barney Smith has created over 1,000 custom toilets seats for his garage museum in Alamo Heights. Spending nearly half his life creating friendships through his love for seat art, he is now ready to part with his collection and auction it off. Smith’s had

Nadu government on June 13, 2017, showed that there were 363 manual scavengers in the urban areas and none in rural areas, it claimed. The petition expressed shock over the state government’s “unwillingness” to invest time and effort in identifying those involved in manual scavenging and rehabilitate them. In the light of the introduction of the Act, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the duty was cast on all the

states and Union territories to fully implement it and take action against the violators, it said. It sought a court direction to the Ministry of Social Justice and Employment and the state government to forbear them from engaging manual scavengers including through contractors and terminate the tenders and contracts, if any, awarded to those who have engaged manual scavengers. It said a FIR should be lodged, criminal proceedings against all persons suspected of engaging manual scavengers initiated and payment of full amount made in all cases where a death has occurred as a result of manual scavenging. It said the recovery of the same should be made from the person who actually engaged a manual scavenger. Recording the submissions, the bench directed the authorities in the state and central governments to file their counter within two weeks and posted the matter to August 21. a 50 year old hobby of turning trash into treasure. Smith is the owner of Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum with 1,200 spectacularly decorated toilet covers that he has created his art on. Thousands of art lovers from around the world have stopped by his museum in Alamo Heights. Smith is very passionate about his art and his museum. He enjoys talking to visitors and working on toilet seats until early mornings. With only three years from reaching centenarian status, he and his family have decided to part ways with the exhibit and auction it off. “He’s 97 years old and he just can’t keep going out there everyday,” his daughter Julia Murders said.

22 Environment waste dumping ganges

No waste dumping within 500m of Ganga 500 Metre no-dumping radius established on Ganga between Haridwar and Unnao by NGT

July 24 - 30, 2017

solar power delhi schools

Delhi schools to harness solar power Proposal to set up photo-voltaic panels on rooftops of Delhi Govt schools


overnment schools in Delhi may soon light up with solar power as the Aam Aadmi Party government is considering a proposal to set up photovoltaic panels on rooftops of all its school buildings. The move will give momentum to the Delhi government’s flagship programme to make the national capital a solar city. The government, in its Solar Policy, targets to generate 2,000 MW electricity through solar power by 2025. Officials said the proposal to light up Delhi schools with solar energy was ready and would be implemented soon. “In the initial phase, solar panels will be set up on the rooftops of 25 to 30 school buildings in the city in the next few months,” a Delhi government official told IANS, declining to be named

trade Myanmar

Elephant skins used for medicinal purposes are in high demand in Myanmar

rade in elephant skin for use in traditional medicine has increased in Myanmar, alarming conservationists and authorities who have monitored the species’ decline. Hand-sized coarse pieces of elephant skin are available for sale in major markets in the country and are sought by clients for their medicinal properties as per local beliefs. “We have always seen elephant skin for sale. The problem is not new, but yes, the demand is growing,” Chris Shepherd, the Southeast Asia director of wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, told Efe news. Shepherd said the network had found elephant skin in areas as diverse as the Mongla region in

In the initial phase, solar panels will be set up in 25-30 schools

eastern Myanmar, bordering China, and the famous “Golden Rock” in the south. “The main destination is China, in places such as Mongla Chinese currency is used, Chinese is spoken and the clients too are from that country. However, there is also local consumption,” he explained. Laminated strips of elephant hide can

be found along with other valued parts of the animal, such as tusks and hooves, and different birds, felines, primates and reptiles. The government and conservationists are not in agreement on the number of elephants killed by traffickers. While the authorities say that at least around a dozen pachyderms were killed last year, nonprofits claim the number is more than 50 and report an increase in hunting in 2017. Elephant skin costs around 150,000 Myanmar kyat ($110) for a kg and is used in traditional medicine to cure eczema and other skin problems and for bleaching treatments. A 10-year plan with the aim of boosting the protection and conservation of elephants was launched.


Traditional T medicine threatens Myanmar’s elephants

Targets to generate 2,000 MW electricity via solar power by 2025

because the policy is still under wraps. “In this manner, initially the government is eyeing power generation of 20 to 30 MW solar electricity. After successful implementation of this project, the government will extend it further,” the official said. He added that the government was of the view of that maximum utilisation should be made of school buildings in generating solar power and turning them into “green buildings”. Explaining why the government was targeting school buildings, the official said such structures were best for solar power because they contain a larger expanse of shadow free area. “Most of the government schools buildings have big flat rooftops and do not have parapet wall which gives larger expanse of shadow free area giving maximum exposure of solar panels to the



Delhi govt plans to give momentum to Delhi’s flagship programme

sun. This condition is congenial for solar power generation.” He clarified that residential buildings had less expanse of shadow free area because of parapet walls, water tanks and other constructions on rooftops. According to Delhi’s solar policy, deployment of solar panels on government and public institutions is mandatory. The policy says that the government or public sector buildings constitute one fourth of the total solar power potential of the city. The Delhi government last year notified the “Delhi Solar Energy Policy” to rapidly develop decentralised renewable energy sources, especially solar, and reduce its current dependence on unsustainable and centralised fossil fuel energy. It says the city is blessed with almost 300 sunny days and the rooftop space available for solar panels is estimated to be 31 sq km, giving Delhi a solar energy potential of 2,500 MW. The government has also released the list of empanelled companies so that domestic consumers can get solar photovoltaic panels on their rooftops and avail 30 per cent subsidy offered by the government. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Management Centre, which comes under the Department of Power of the Delhi government, is responsible for the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation in the capital.

SSB Bureau he National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday ordered that there can be no landfill sites or garbage dumping within a half-a-kilometre radius of the Ganga between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. The bench also announced a penalty of Rs 50,000 on anyone dumping waste near the river. During the hearing of a petition regarding the cleaning and rejuvenation of the Ganga, NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said a huge amount of money had been spent on cleaning the river but desired results were not visible. In a 543-page order, the green panel said all area within 100 metres of the river should be declared “no development zone”. The NGT had in April directed 13 polluting industries situated along the tributary or major drain of the Ganga river to be shut down. In December, it imposed a ban on the use of plastic from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river.

Quick Glance

July 24 - 30, 2017

Environment flood US

species vulture

Three Indian vulture species in global list for highest protection India is set to play the leading role in conservation efforts for vultures Oriental white-backed Vulture

Sender-billed Vulture


Higher seas to flood US cities: Study New Study from the UCS lists hundreds of US cities that will be inundated with water in the next 20 years

SSB Bureau




en critically endangered vulture species in the world, including three from India, are set to get the highest degree of protection, according to conservationists. India, ahead of the international talks in October, has proposed that it would play a leading role in efforts to conserve nature’s scavengers, convention organisers said on Friday. Three of the nine species of vultures in India – Oriental white-backed, Sender-billed and Long-billed Oriental white-backed, Sender-billed and Long-billed are on the brink of extinction. The Bombay Natural History Society with the assistance of British charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is breeding them in captivity. Ten vulture species, including some critically endangered ones, have been proposed for listing for the highest degree of protection, the United Nations Environment Programme said. Currently, they are classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ or ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of species threatened with extinction. It said that Iran, at a meeting of the convention’s scientific body to decide on the wildlife species to be proposed for listing, recommended the Indian gazelle or chinkara for listing. The meeting concluded in Bonn on Thursday. More than 120 countries will gather in Manila in Philippines for the 12th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation

Long-billed Vulture

Quick Glance 3 Indian vulture species are on the brink of extinction The Indian vultures among other 7 have been listed as protection priority Urgent action is needed to ensure the survival of these species

of Migratory Species of Wild Animals or CMS COP12 from October 23-28 to address a range of issues facing the world’s endangered wildlife. A high number of proposals for greater protection under the convention have been tabled for negotiation, including very well-known species such as the chimpanzee, giraffe, leopard, lions and the whale shark. Countries convening in Manila will also seek to avert a total collapse of vultures in Africa, through a multispecies plan aimed at promoting countries to take urgent action on the ground to conserve these cornerstone species that are critical for providing essential ecosystem services for human health. Threats such as lead poisoning, underwater noise, unsustainable tourism and renewable energy conflicts with animals will also be at the centre of the

intergovernmental negotiations, the UNEP said. “The particularly high number of animals proposed for protection under the convention is a worrying sign of the decline of international wildlife across the board,” an official statement quoting convention Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers said. He said urgent action is needed to ensure the survival of these species and CMS COP12 will be a major opportunity for governments collectively to decide how they can cooperate on a way forward. The Przewalski’s horse, a relic from the Ice Age, is the only remaining successor of the wild horse. Fewer than 400 animals live in the wild. The Gobi bear, cousin of the brown bear and the only bear living in a desert, and the African wild ass, the most endangered equid in the world, may be granted better protection at COP12. Illegal killing of birds threatens populations between Europe and Africa and an intergovernmental task force working over the last three years has made good progress and the model is proposed to be replicated in Asia, the convention organisers said.

igher sea levels due to climate change will flood hundreds of US cities including New York, Boston, San Francisco and Miami, in the next 20, 50 or 80 years, according to a study. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a study Wednesday listing the cities that will be inundated with water in the years to come, with inundation defined as a “non-wetland area is flooded at least 26 times per year or the equivalent of a flood every other week”, reports SSB. “Between 165 and 180 chronically inundated communities in just the next 15 to 20 years; between 270 and 360 in roughly 40 years, depending on the pace of sea level rise; and 490 by end of century with a moderate sea level rise scenario,” co-author and senior climate analyst for UCS, Erika Spanger-Seigfried said. “With a higher sea level rise scenario, that number rises to about 670; that’s about half of all of the oceanfront communities in the lower 48.” Ninety communities are considered “inundated today”, mostly in Louisiana and Maryland, where seas are rising and the land is sinking. “This study highlights something it’s really important for people to understand. Sea level rise means sharp growth in coastal flooding. In fact, most coastal floods today are already driven by human-caused sea level rise,” SSB quoted Strauss as saying. Although the West Coast seems to be spared the brunt of inundation over the next few decades, even places like San Francisco and Los Angeles will be on the list by 2100.

24 Mobile Payments

July 24 - 30, 2017

mobile payment Yashna Surekha

They were way ahead on Aadhaar

Surekha came up with an idea similar to Aadhaar Pay two years ago before anybody had even heard of it Quick Glance Bengaluru’s Yashna Surekha won a $100,000 grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Surekha with her teammates created a project to enable merchants accept mobile payments Surekha’s team was one of the 59 teams picked from 1,800 applications (Left to right) Yashna Surekha, Assistant Professor of Engineering Sarah Moore and Darpan Bohara



ashna Surekha, a 22-yearold Bengaluru girl has won a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with two of her friends. Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates once said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Yashna Sureka’s story has a similar ring to it. She and her team of three came up with the idea similar to Aadhaar about two years ago before we even heard about it. It is being used widely today as the Indian Government’s Digital India campaign, which ruined the trio’s plans. However, she has been awarded the grant from the Gates Foundation earlier this year. The Bengalurean studied at Mount Carmel College for a year before she decided to change course

early on and moved to Smith College, a women’s liberal arts college in Massachusetts, just outside Boston. There she met a few like minded people and formed a team. “We are a trio. Darpan Bohara, who hails from Nepal, Christine Yee who is a Chinese American and I. We had similar interests as I did. Christine and I are Economics majors and Darpan is doing her Computer Science,” Yashna explains. “As part of our curriculum, we would identify things on our campus that were a problem and come up with solutions. It could be a slippery slope causing accidents, or an architectural dent. The three of us happened to

be put in the same group for these projects, and since two were from an economics backgrounds, finance attracted us. We came up with the idea for something like Aadhaar Pay. We were among 59 picked out of 1,800 applications from across the world. We were awarded $100,000 as a grant. ” What actually is Aadhaar pay? This project would be working on the lines of “Enabling Merchants’ Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments.We proposed to create a fingerprint authorization system, in partnership with a local bank as well as Aadhaar, in order to ensure scalability, portability, security, and

Bengaluru student, Yashna Surekha with her

teammates came up with an idea for mobile payments secured through biometrics long before Aadhaar Pay

creativity,” she says. The idea was proposed to Axis bank initially, but today the team works with IDFC. When the Indian government’s Digital India initiative, Aadhaar Pay was officially launched, sadly, the trio did not get credit for it. “As a result of these developments, we decided to stay committed to our idea by working toward the merchant and customer adoption of Aadhaar Pay by serving as business correspondents specifically targeting small business merchants. Then demonetisation happened, and Axis Bank could no longer partner with us due to their Aadhaar related jam. We then approached IDFC Bank, which is the parent bank of Aadhaar Pay. By the end of June 2017, our groundwork started. We’re starting with Bengaluru first and then will move into the really rural parts like Nelamangala. Our target right now is to identify 100 small scale merchants, educate them about Aadhaar Pay, help them acquire a fingerprint scanner and or a smart phone using our grant, and work towards customer acquisition,” she explains. For now, though, the stage is set for the trio’s foray into the working side of things, and Yashna realises that finance may not be what she wants to pursue, even though it is an obvious choice as her major. She would like to get into management consulting.

July 24 - 30, 2017

Swimming Hygiene


hygiene swimming pools

Are swimming pools hygenic?

Although the quantity isn’t alarming, estimates from the American Chemical Society (ACS) evaluate the urine levels in a swimming pool being anywhere around 30-80ml ssb bureau


efore you take a plunge, know this: There is unquestionably some amount of urine in the swimming pool. In any case, it’s most likely not that much. Around 1 of every 5 individuals have confessed to urinating in a swimming pool at any given time, as indicated by a 2012 overview. In case you’re asking Olympic swimmers, well, that rate is considerably higher: about 100 percent, said Carly Geehr, a previous individual from the U.S. National Swim Team. The American Chemical Society (ACS) evaluates that there are somewhere close to 30 millilitres and 80 mL (1 to 3 ounces) of urine per individual in a pool. Furthermore, one investigation from 1997 assessed a sum in the centre: an average of 70 mL (2.4 ounces) of urine per individual. Regardless of the possibility that you take the upper gauge of those discoveries, 80 mL of urine for every individual, despite everything you’d require more than 12 individuals in a pool to get a litre (0.3 gallons) of urine. An Olympic-sized pool, then again, has around 2.5 million litres (660,430 gallons) of water. Be that as it may, these numbers are

just gauges. Precisely how much urine is gliding around in a given pool is somewhat harder to pinpoint. The issue is that researchers still don’t have an incredible approach to gauge urine levels in pools. (This implies, yes, the urban legend about a compound in pools that will turn your urine purple, highlighting your deed for all to see, is quite recently that: an urban legend.) Urine is made of numerous chemicals, including water, salts, proteins and waste items. In a recent report, researchers assessed that urine contains no less than 3,000 distinct chemicals. What’s more, these mixes aren’t really one of a kind to urine. Urine contains a considerable measure arbitrary natural aggravates that resemble a great deal of other irregular natural mixes, said William Carroll, a subordinate teacher of science at Indiana University. Furthermore, when these mixes come into contact with a disinfectant

— for instance, chlorine — the disinfectant “destroys them,” Carroll disclosed to Live Science. That implies that the main things left in pool water from the urine are the shards of the first atoms, and there’s no chance to get off knowing whether these pieces originated from urine or some other natural material, he said. In one investigation, distributed in March 2017, specialists from Canada portrayed a conceivable approach to gauge the urine in pool water, a strategy that includes avoiding those substance responses. The specialists focused on a compound in urine that doesn’t respond to different chemicals in urine, nor with chlorinated pool water: a manufactured sweetener called acesulfame potassium. In the investigation, distributed in the diary Environmental Science and Technology Letters, specialists measured the convergence of acesulfame potassium in 22 swimming pools and eight hot tubs, alongside focuses in city tap water, in two

As estimated by several agencies, swimming pools

definitely contain trace amounts of urine. Although a benign amount, the presence of urine is definite

Quick Glance 1 in every 5 individuals have confessed to urinating in a swimming pool A 1997 investigation estimate an average of 70 mL urine per individual in a swimming pool Researchers still don’t have a way to accurately gauge urine levels

Canadian urban communities, The researchers found that the fixations run from 30 nanograms for each litre up to 7,110 ng/L, a variety that could be clarified by elements, for example, how the pool water was sifted and what number of individuals were swimming (and conceivably urinating) in the pool. All things considered, the grouping of this manufactured sweetener in urine is 4,000 nanograms for every millilitre of water, the examination said. Utilising acesulfame potassium focuses from the 22 pools and eight hot tubs a guide, the scientists at that point gathered 15 tests from two swimming pools over a three-week time frame. They evaluated that a 220,000-gallon pool (830,000 L, or 33% the span of an Olympic pool) contained around 20 gallons (75 L) of urine, and an 110,000-gallon (420,000 L) pool contained around 8 gallons (30 L) of urine. What’s more, yes, around 20 gallons of urine sounds net — particularly on the off chance that you picture it as 20 drain containers arranged in succession. In any case, in a 220,000-gallon pool, that is just 0.01 percent of the aggregate fluid in the pool — as it were, a negligible detail. Need more verification that there’s urine in the pool? Next time you swim, take a whiff of the water. That exemplary pool smell isn’t really the aroma of chlorine, yet rather a compound called trichloramine. It shapes when a synthetic called urea, which is found in urine and sweat, responds with chlorine in the water, the ACS says.

26 Health

July 24 - 30, 2017

olive trees

Shipping Ministry

Rajasthan to launch olive tea next month

Port hospitals to be upgraded to medical college, super specialty level : Gadkari

Green tea from leaves of olive trees will be launched in Rajasthan which will help heart patients and boost the income of local farmers

The Union Shipping Ministry announced its plans to modernise and upgrade the hospitals at major ports into medical colleges and super specialty hospitals Quick Glance Govt. committee suggested the development model for the port hospitals on PPP mode



he Rajasthan government is planning to launch olive tea in August this year, said a minister here on Friday. The green tea produced using leaves of olive tree will be helpful for heart patients and also help farmers get additional income, said Prabhu Lal Saini, Agriculture Minister of Rajasthan. Around 5,000 acres of land in Rajasthan has been cultivated with olives with the main purpose of producing oil. “We have set up a refinery in Lunkaransar in Bikaner and processing of leaves is going on. At present, olives are cultivated in Israel, Spain,

Committee has been tasked to leverage healthcare infrastructure at ports The committee also recommends the modernisation of the hospitals



he Shipping Ministry is planning to modernise and upgrade its hospitals at major ports into medical colleges and tertiary-care hospitals, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari announced. The government had earlier formed a committee to suggest the development model for the port hospitals on Public Private Partnership

(PPP) mode, and the panel, headed by Medical Council of India member Ved Prakash Mishra, presented its findings at a meeting with Gadkari on Friday. The committee, tasked to leverage the ports’ healthcare infrastructure optimally to provide world class healthcare facilities and education at affordable rates, visited hospitals in five major ports including Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Kolkata and

Vishakhapatnam, the Minister said. Gadkari said that as per the recommendations of the committee, the government would invite private players to modernise and run the hospitals at the ports. “It is not the job of the port authorities to run hospitals. We will give our assets on lease to those organisations which have been successful in the healthcare sector and they will run the hospitals,” he said, adding the port hospitals would be upgraded into world-class facilities and would provide both medical education and healthcare services at affordable costs. “The local people would get the best medical facilities and won’t have to go to the cities,” he said adding that the government would bring a transparent policy.

Kerala Autism institute

Autism institute in Kerala State-of-the-art Autism institute to transform lives of Autistic children through best practiced principles and family centered holistic care IANS

Morocco, Brazil and Italy. We have sought their assistance to develop olive green tea. We are planning to launch it in August,” Saini told reporters here. The Rajasthan government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private company for marketing and selling of the olive tea. “The company will have to share a part of profit with us,” Saini said. Between 2006-07, olive from Israel was introduced in the state for the first time.


state-of-the-art institute for autistic children will open here in Kerala with a vision to transform the lives of such children through best practice principles and family-centered holistic care. Founding CEO of Technopark and founder director of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), G. Vijayaraghavan will be heading the Center for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE) which will open in September. “This Center is being designed to cater to the needs of up to 50 children in the age group 1.5 to 16 years and will have extensive indoor and outdoor facilities including play areas. Technology will be used to assist learning and also for parents to observe

Quick Glance G. Vijayaraghavan, Founding director of NISH will head the project The center is being designed to cater up to 50 children The autism center will also have indoor and outdoor facilities

their children,” said Vijayaraghavan. He said discussions have already been initiated with leading centers in the US for training of the faculty of CADRRE at their institutes. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder which has a significant impact on the individual’s development in childhood and in adult life. Autism is a rising medical and social challenge all over the world. In fact, it is considered to be the

fastest growing serious developmental disability in the US. “It is estimated that 1 to 1.5 per cent children between ages 2 and 9 in India are afflicted by ASD. Unfortunately, no compulsory screening tests are done in India and very few organisations in India provide proper therapies and support,” Vijayraghavan said. “There is also a significant gap between the needs of autistic children and their families and the delivery of high-quality remedial measures,” he added. Those behind this not-for-profit entity, include IT honchos from the Technopark-based company AUST Global, SunTec Business Solutions President K. Nandakumar and the George M. Thomas Foundation.

July 24 - 30, 2017

health Yoga

Yoga may protect against memory decline in old age New study suggests the significant cognitive benefits of practicing yoga on a daily basis. Yoga is found to positively affect brain structure and function related to memory IANS


oing yoga for a long time could change the structure of your brain and protect it against cognitive decline in old age, suggests new research.When the researchers imaged elderly female yoga practitioners’ brains, they found that the “yoginis” have a greater cortical thickness in the left prefrontal cortex, in brain areas associated with cognitive functions like attention and memory. As we age, the structure and functionality of our brains change and this often leads to cognitive decline, including impaired attention or memory.One such change in the brain involves the cerebral cortex becoming thinner, which scientists have shown is correlated with cognitive decline. So, how can we slow or reverse these changes? The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, suggest that the answer

could lie in contemplative practices like yoga. “In the same way as muscles, the brain develops through training,” explained one of the researchers, Elisa Kozasa of Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo, Brazil, involved in the study. “Like any contemplative practice, yoga has a cognitive component in which attention and concentration are important,” Kozasa added.The research team wanted to see if elderly long-term yoga practitioners had any differences in terms of brain structure

Yoga increases cortical thickness in the prefrontal cortex. Ageing leads to cognitive decline due to structural degradation Yoga reverses these age related changes and develops the brain

compared with healthy elderly people who had never practiced yoga. They recruited a small group of female yoga practitioners (also known as yoginis) who had practiced yoga at least twice a week for a minimum of eight years, although the group had an average of nearly 15 years of yoga practice. The researchers compared the yoginis with another group of healthy women who had never practiced yoga, meditation or any other contemplative practices, but who were well-matched to the yoginis in terms of their age (all the participants were 60 or over) and levels of physical activity. The researchers scanned the participants’ brains using magnetic resonance imaging to see if there were any differences in brain structure. “We found greater thickness in the left prefrontal cortex in the yoginis, in brain regions associated with cognitive functions such as attention and memory,” Rui Afonso from Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo added.

UP, Centre sign MoU for AIIMS at Gorakhpur

Gorakhpur AIIMS would be span 112.2 acres at the total project cost of Rs 1,750 Cr. The construction will be completed by 2020


he Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday signed a MoU with the Centre for the construction of a 750-bed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Gorakhpur, the Parliamentary constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in presence of the Chief Minister by the Health Ministry Joint Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary for Medical Education Anita Bhatnagar Jain. Yogi Adityanath said he hoped the AIIMS -proposed to be built on 112.2 acres of land at Mahadev Jharkhandi village at a cost of Rs 1,750 crore - would be completed by its 2020 deadline and prove a boon for the poor in eastern Uttar Pradesh, who now

Quick Glance The new AIIMS will be built on 112.2 acres of land at Mahadev Jharkhandi village The project completion deadline is set for 2020 A hostel for 300 students would also be constructed

have to either go to Delhi or Lucknow for treatment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of AIIMS at Gorakhpur on July 22 last year. Jain told IANS that under the MoU, the state would provide land on lease, construct a four-lane link road at identified spot, provide potable water and a power feeder. The Centre would construct the AIIMS at the selected site under the AIIMS Act and will run it thereafter.It will


Mika Kivimaki

Quick Glance

Uttar Pradesh AIIMS



also be responsible for educational and non-educational appointment procedure. AIIMS complex would house an academic block and night shelters for attendants and relatives of patients. An auditorium and guest house would also be built. A hostel for 120 male students and 240 female students in undergraduate courses would also be constructed along with 172 residences for doctors. A postgraduate hostel for 599 students and a hostel for 432 nursing students will also be established. There will be three Out Patient Departments, in which surgery, medicine, and gynaecology would be super-specialisations along with 29 departments.The state government has given the land for the project to the Centre on a 90-year lease.

Long working hours may Increase irregular heart rhythm risk Working 55 or more hours a week leads to the development of atrial fibrillation and increases stroke risk IANS


o you work for long hours? Beware as it may increase the risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm-known as atrial fibrillation - as well as contribute to the development of stroke and heart failure, according to a study. The findings showed that, compared to people who worked a normal week of between 35-40 hours, those who worked 55 hours or more were approximately 40 per cent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation. “A 40 per cent increased extra risk is an important hazard for people who already have a high overall risk of cardiovascular disease due to other risk factors such as older age, male sex, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, smoking and physical inactivity or living with an established cardiovascular disease,” said Mika Kivimaki, Professor at the University College London. “This could be one of the mechanisms that explain the previously observed increased risk of stroke among those working long hours. Atrial fibrillation is known to contribute to the development of stroke, but also other adverse health outcomes such as heart failure and stroke-related dementia,” Kivimaki added. For the study, published in the European Heart Journal, the team analysed data from 85,494 men and women from the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Finland who took part in one of eight studies in these countries. During the ten-year follow-up period, there were 1,061 new cases of atrial fibrillation. This gave an incidence rate of 12.4 per 1,000 people in the study, but among the 4,484 people working 55 hours or more, the incidence was 17.6 per 1,000.

28 North East

July 24 - 30, 2017

assam football

AIFF FOR FOOTBALL AT THE GRASSROOTS IN NE AIFF to start baby league concept in Assam to scout for young talent

Quick Glance Baby league to be started in NE region for players between 6 and 12 years Talent from NE to be scouted and nurtured Clubs in the region will develop infrastructure to promote growth

Raj Kashyap


he All India Football Federation (AIFF) wants football at the grassroots in the Northeast. Delivering the 3rd Pulin Das Memorial Lecture on the Contributions of the Northeast in Growth of Football in India, Vice-President Larsing M. Sawyan on the need for popularising football at the grassroots level in the region. He spoke about the new concept of a baby league, a miniature form of football, meant for the players aged between six and 12 years. He pointed that implementation of this model does not require huge infrastructure or a lot of expenditure. He informed that the AIFF will promote the concept in a big way as through this initiative, new talents can be spotted and nurtured. The event which was held on 16 June was organised by the Assam Sports Journalists’ Association in association with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. The vice president also highlighted the need for more footballers from Assam since it was the biggest and most populous state in the Northeast.

AIFF Vice-President Larsing M.

Sawyan has directed football clubs in North East to develop infrastructure and promote concepts like baby leagues to scout for talent “There is no dearth of talent here. Assam has it in abundance but there is something amiss somewhere which is delaying the desired result. It’s high time Assam grabbed its position.” Sawyan spoke about the contribution of the region towards football in the country and explained that over 50 per cent of the Indian senior football team camp over the past one year comprised of players from eastern India, of which, more than 38 per cent were from the Northeast. Similarly, he added, the Under-17 Fifa World Cup probably comprise more than 51 per cent of players from the Northeast. “It is this legacy shown by the northeasterners in the Tata Football

Academy that has been nurturing talents and connected the Northeast with the rest of the country over the past three decades,” Sawyan, also the owner of Shillong Lajong FC said. “The concept of playing in the I-League figured in the agenda of Shillong Lajong FC which fructified within a very short time.” The Northeast is the Mecca of Indian football. There is not a single club in the top tier either which does not have a player from the region. In the National Women’s Football Team, 15 out of the 20 player squad representing India are Women from Northeast India. Another statistic stating the growing status of the women’s football in Northeast is that out of 188 players who competed in the First

edition of the Indian Women’s League, more than 100 were the region. Infrastructure is the key as far as sporting success goes. Indian sporting infrastructure (or the lack of it) is always a hot topic of discussion, at least during major sporting events. As far as football in the region goes, the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium in Guwahati is undoubtedly one the best football venues in the country. This has paved the way for big ticket events like the Indian Super League to come this far. The quality of the turf is much better than most other centres in the country and that has been acknowledged by top national and international footballers alike. The Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation, despite being reluctant initially, have agreed to present the roadmap for the development of football in India which would be a shot in the arm for the AIFF initiatives. “The road map will be a well-planned one because their intention will be only development of football and they are the right people to do it. We are expecting it after the Under-17 World Cup in October,” the vice president said. Sawyan also underscored the role of the clubs in the development of infrastructure and mentioned the role of a few clubs around the world. “If we see the global trend, the clubs have played a major role in building the national teams in some of the top footballplaying nations. Most of the players of Spain’s national team are the product of Barcelona FC and Real Madrid’s youth Foundation which has won the World Cup. The same thing is with the German national team.” Sawyan said that in India, very few clubs have bothered to develop infrastructure on their own. He said that there were constraints like finance which could be overcome with sincere efforts. He made a case for support from the corporate sector and the government.

July 24 - 30, 2017

Health pace maker

WORLD’S SMALLEST PACEMAKER IMPLANTED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NORTHEAST The pacemaker has been implanted for the first in the Northeast on a 60-year-old man at the Hayat Hospital

Press trust of India


he world’s smallest pacemaker has been implanted for the first in the Northeast on a 60-year-old man at the Hayat Hospital in Guwahati, claimed the hospital’s consultant interventional cardiologist Dr Chinmoy Majumdar. The most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker has been

approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr Majumdar told reporters in Guwahati on Wednesday. The pacemaker was implanted on 60-year old Taleswar Hazam with intermittent heart block which could have led to his heart to stop without any warning. Tests like ECG and Echocardiography also revealed problems with his heart s rhythm

mizoram water

Mizoram to Give Water Tanks to BPL Families: CM The state govt would continue to distribute water tanks to BPL families

ssb bureau


izoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said the state government would continue to distribute water tanks to the BPL families. Lal Thanhawla, who is also

North East


NE short news

Quick Glance Most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size The pacemaker was implanted on 60year old Taleswar Hazam It is an advanced pacing system, the size of a large vitamin capsule

and confirmed the necessity of a permanent pacemaker.Traditional pacemakers require creating a pocket under the skin below the collarbone to place the pacemaker but the patient being of a very lean frame couldn’t have supported a pacemaker pocket. Dr Majumdar, considering his age and his condition, advised him to go for a leadless pacemaker which unlike traditional pacemakers does not require wire (lead) and a surgical pocket under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. It is an advanced pacing system, the size of a large vitamin capsule weighing just two grams, that can be implanted entirely inside the heart through a keyhole puncture in the groin (upper thigh area). The Leadless Pacemaker also incorporates a retrieval feature to enable retrieval of the device when possible but the device is designed to be left in the body. The patient has responded well after the surgery and has resumed his daily activities, Dr Majumdar said.

Quick Glance BPL families will continue to receive water tanks from state govt In 2016, there were over 1.88 lakh job card holders in the state. Families would receive financial assistance under NLUP

the Mizoram Pradesh congress Committee (MPCC) president while addressing party workers here said, “Water tanks would be distributed to poor families for rain water harvesting,” a MPCC press release said. He also said that the government would continue to give financial assistance to selected families under the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), the flagship programme of the ruling Congress party. According to the state economic and statistics department’s handbook, 2016, there were over 1. 88 lakh job card holders in the state.

Naga Yoga instructor bags 3rd position Orentsani Kikon has changed the perception of Yoga

ssb bureau


yoga instructor from Nagaland, has changed the perception of Yoga being a Hindu philosophy and has proved with enthusiasm by winning a medal in the National Yoga competition. Orentsani Kikon has won 3rd position in the 22nd National Yoga competition held recently in Sarupathar,Assam . She won the bronze medal in the 2535 age category. There were more then 130 participants from each state and only 2 from Nagaland. Orentsani Kikon is the first yoga instructor among the Nagas in Nagaland. She currently owns a fitness studio in the state.

4,472 Haj pilgrims from northeast ssb bureau


total of 4,472 pilgrims from northeastern states are set to go to Saudi Arabia for Haj this year, it was announced on Friday. Haj Committee chairman Nekibur Zaman said the first batch would leave Guwahati on July 24 for Medina. “Daily 600 pilgrims will travel to Medina from Guwahati in two batches. For the first time, the state government has appointed 21 ‘KhademUl-Hojja’ (officials) to take care of the pilgrims from the state,” he said. “They will be monitoring all the process and will provide all assistance,” Zaman said. A reception committee will organise special programmes to see off the pilgrims from Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Sikkim at Haji Mushafirkhana in Guwahati.

30 Forest Week

July 24 - 30, 2017

kolkata forest week

The unknown fighters of the Green

The traditional wood cutters of West Bengal pay their respects to the forests by putting down their cutting and pruning tools during Forest week Quick Glance

Prasanta Paul


hey have no wherewithal to turn another Valmiki; the fever and the fret that once chased mythical Ratnakar for umpteen human sacrifices, chase them though. Rajab, Abdul, Joydev, Jakir and the ilk; meet the traditional wood cutters of West Bengal whose profession is to fell the trees, prune a wayward Simul or Banyan or just chop off branches to make a safe passage for electric or other wires through a forested stretch. Armed with an axe, saw and katari, (a sharp weapon) besides a bit of sturdy rope, they routinely hawk around the lanes and bylanes of semiurban and semi-rural neighbourhoods in search of orders. They have various names in various districts and localities, but `karati’ is the most common and covers a large geographic presence. Apart from cutting and pruning the trees, they ensure the wood is properly shaped to enable the beneficiaries to either transport or use it. However, it is only once a year and that too for a week that they hang their traditional wares – the Forest Week. Come the Forest Week, these men embark on visits to relatives or make short trips, purse permitting. None pats them though for their voluntary withdrawal for this period. “We have no regrets for this nor do we bother much about it,” says Rajab,43, who hails from East Midnapore district. “We only understand that it’s our profession and we live on this. But we all feel that there’ll be no harm if we hang our boots for a week every year in deference to the wish of the government for the environment. ” Even if there is a work order during the Forest Week, they defer its execution. “The restraint is selfimposed. After all, we’re human beings and aware of the consequences of denuding the green. Not that we’ve read about it or someone has

Wood cutters from West Bengal use axes, saws, and kataris to cut tress Once a year, they halt all tree cutting operations during Forest Week The department observes Forest week by encouraging plantation of saplings

Despite their job profiles, the government

sanctioned tree cutters of West Bengal participate in the Forest Week and halt all operations for the week told us about it,” claims Joydev, 49. He has seen his children walk with placards in processions with an appeal “Save tree, save life.” And he knows the importance of saving the green. Hence, the decision to lay down the equipment for a week to be a part of the pledge. By the way, they don’t indulge in any illegal act of deforestation or denudation of the green; they take up a work only when there is a required permission for the same from the competent authorities. The quartet of Rajab’s work as a team and there are several such teams in East and West Midnapore districts who fan out to distant parts every morning in search of work; not every team could return home the same day. “Sometimes, we stay back when the work is huge and return only after the job is over.” The statistical data in the state forest department reveals that the green cover has gone up in the south

and northern corridor of the state barring some higher reaches of Darjeeling and Siliguri. Some parts of the Darjeeling hill region and Dooars in Siliguri have reported quite a bit of deforestation in the last decade in view of the steady felling of trees due to jhum cultivation and increasing encroachment of the forest land by the villagers. “If you consider this and then think of the pledge of these men, you can’t but praise their sacrifice. Sometimes, the forest department to requisitions their service when we need to prune certain areas of the forest,” explains Dheeraj Ghosh, a forest department official based in Barast in North 24 Parganas district. The department observes the Forest Week by appealing to each of the students in the state to plant a sapling and desist others from felling trees. “Two weeks ago, I received a work order to uproot an old banyan tree that was dangerously leaning close to overhead train wires

following a storm. When I reached the scene along with my team, we were all sad. The tree might be old but its canopy was extremely attractive,” recalls Jakir. “With a heavy heart, we executed the job. But before that, we exploited all avenues to see if we could partly trim it from the wires and provide some props to ensure it didn’t lean further in swirling winds. However, the railway authorities didn’t want any risk and ordered us to cut it,” Jakir asserts. Hardly Jakir has stopped speaking when Abdul explodes into laughter: “No need to explain our point; none would believe we also have some heart and we do understand the need for preserving the green. But Sir, pls tell us how do we survive if we leave this trade?” asks Abdul. Perhaps, Abdul is correct; even the forest department officials are also loathed to disagree with the view that these `Karatis’ have not been causing any significant damage to the environment. It is the timber mafia that is active in the forested parts and a section of the contractors that are in collusion with greasy officials to systematically chop off trees in the name of expansion of highways and development. The commitment of the Rajabs and their attendant restraint notwithstanding, the administration would do well to remember that these few different fighters of the environment should not be allowed to wither; rather, their tales of silent sacrifice should be told to all and sundry to inspire others who are yet to make their best foot forward for the cause of the green.

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, 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


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


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 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:, Website:,


July 24 - 30, 2017



32 Unsung Hero


gather essentials with bags on their heads whilst wading through HERO the waters in search of safe grounds. Pinki’s family had already begun to set up tents in safe evacuation zones nearby. After being hit by a massive flood, 2 girls from Lakhimpur set “Four to five people can get onto a out in their hand-made bamboo raft to rescue villagers

Pinki Gogoi & Puja Gogoi

2 Sisters rescue 30 in flood in Assam


wo young friends courageously took action when a sudden surge of water released from a local dam triggered a major flood in a small village in Assam. Their actions saved the lives of 30 villagers. After the flood hit, using their rafting skills, Pinki Gogoi and Puja Gogoi set out on their handmade bamboo raft to rescue stranded villagers. Many people were caught off guard by the early morning flood that happened in Hatilung village in Upper Assam’s Lakhimpur district. The waters had covered the village trees by 3 feet, and many backyards had been submerged. With minutes to spare, the locals only had time to

plantain raft. I saw Mridu aunty and Sarumai aunty dangerously wading and so I asked them to get on our raft. It is always safe to sit on the raft as it helps to maintain balance in the current,” Pinki told SSB. The Lakhimpur district is highly susceptible to flooding, and the village in which the two girls live has seen the devastation left behind by floods in the past., “Although we don’t have floods every year, she (Pinki) was witness to the severe floods in 2008 and the people’s sufferings. This probably encouraged her to help others this time,” Pinki’s father continued. The girls’ quick-thinking and courage has many already calling on the local government to honour them with bravery awards. “Both deserve awards for the courage and bravery they showed during an emergency and for saving lives. We plan to felicitate them and will write to Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, to confer bravery awards on them,” Freedom Fighter Phaniram Das Foundation founder, Bikash Kumar Das, reported.

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Arpan Doshi

youngest doctor in UK At 21, Indian-Origin boy becomes youngest doctor to start working in UK

ritain ’s youngest physician, Arpan Doshi, an Indian-origin doctor is set to start working at a hospital in northeast England. Only 21 years old, he is going to start his work as a junior doctor in York starting next month. Doshi graduated from the University of Sheffield on July 17 with a bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery Arpan is going to beat the previous record of youngest doctor to start work in UK by 17 days. Doshi said he didn’t realise that he would be the youngest person to qualify until a friend checked it out online. Until the age of 13, Doshi attended a local school in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Then he moved with his entire family to France when his mechanical engineer father, Bharat Doshi, got a job in Aix en Provence as part of an international project. He started applying to universities weeks after his 17th birthday and he also received a scholarship offer from the University of Sheffield. Previously, the youngest doctor to qualify was Rachael Faye Hill, who received her medical degree from Manchester University when she was 21 and 352 days in 2010.

WOMAN SIKH MP in britain Gill is set to represent the poeple UK Parliament and head the APPG


ritain’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill has been elected to an influential cross-party panel in the UK Parliament that examines the workings of the Home Office. Gill, who won the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the June 8 snap general election, was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament. “We had no Sikh MPs prior to this election. So, Sikhs had no representation, and we had no female Sikh representation” Parliament must reflect the people it serves, said the 44- year-old, who will join 10 other British MPs on the committee. The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee was chaired by Keith Vaz, until he stepped down from the post last year. Its newly-elected chair is Labour

Preet Kaur Gill party MP Yvette Cooper, elected unopposed to the post last week. Gill has also been chosen to lead the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs. “The APPG has made an excellent start this week we are confident Preet will make an excellent chair to guide the APPG to make concrete progress on some of the key issues of importance to the Sikh community,” said Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of Sikh Federation (UK). The group, of which fellow Indian-origin Labour MP Seema Malhotra was elected vice-chair, works to promote understanding and co-operation between the people and parliamentarians of India and Britain. Earlier this year, an international cross party delegation of parliamentarians to Agra and Delhi met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 32 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