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Vol-1 | Issue-41 | September 25 - October 01, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Good News Weekly for Rising India National

wash conclave

The National WASH Champion Conclave was organised at Mavalankar Auditorium




Homogeneity of the women of Mauritius and India was discussed in an event

25 Festival Maa Durga’s hues With Pujas starting after Mahalaya, Devi Durga is getting a taste of London

PRIME MINISTER’S birthday celebrated as swachhta hi seva

A unique celebration on the birthday of Prime Minister Modi by Sulabh International

02 Cover Story

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Quick Glance Prime Minister Modi was presented with 567kg of laddoo Highest Honor should be given to Dr Bindeshwar Pathak for his remarkable work A book on the contributions of PM towards Swachh Bharat was released

Urooj fatima


wachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat and Harit Bharat Divas” was celebrated on the grand occasion of our Prime Minister Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi ji’s Birthday on 17 September 2017 at Mavalankar Auditorium, New Delhi by the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. The customary Giant Ladoo, weighing 567 Kgs, especially organized for the prominent celebrations like this was unveiled and then partaken by the eminent guests followed by the lighting of the ceremonial lamp. The scintillating occasion was graced by Hon’ble B.P. Singh, Former Governor, Sikkim, Manhar Valjibhai Zala, Chairman, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, the Chief Guest, Dr Swaraj Vidwan, Member, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Secretary, Bharatiya Janata Party, Uttarakhand and Harbhajan Singh, DirectorGeneral (Corporate Affairs), Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt.

PRIME MINISTER’s birthday celebrated as swachhta hi seva

Sulabh International Social Service Organisation celebrated

PM Modi’s 67th birthday in Delhi. Sulabh organised street plays, songs on cleanliness, and released a book Ltd. were also invited as the Guests of Honor. Distinguished guests at the event, got together in the main auditorium for a photo op. Thereafter they were requested to take their seats on the dais. They were felicitated by Dr and Mrs Amola Pathak with Shawl, garlands and mementoes that included the model of two-pit toilet. Sulabh has been privileged in commemorating the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modiji’s birth anniversary as “Swachhta Divas” for the last three years with the spotlight

on the achievements of his leadership this year. The function started with the Swasti Recital by Vedic Scholars and welcoming of the guests by putting Tilak on their foreheads with the blowing conch, followed by a panoramic photograph. While celebrating PM Modi’s birth anniversary as a cleanliness day, the picture of Prime Minister was also fed a bite of Mahaladdoo. The Prime Minister’s birthday was celebrated with playing songs which were written by Dr Pathak for

Narendra Modi along with the laddoo cutting ceremony. The Prime Minister’s birthday is being celebrated by Sulabh for last three years and this year too they have made a 567 kg ladoo for the celebration of his 67th birth anniversary. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, in his welcome speech, felicitated the distinguished guests and briefed the audience on his eventful life through thick and thin. He said, “I have got the middle solution of two different ideologies, one of abolishing of Caste System and second of Inequality and Untouchability followed by Ambedkar and Gandhi by asking the Dalit people to opt the surname of any caste of their choice and live with their head held high. If a Hindu

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Cover Story


Dr Bindeshwar Pathak welcoming B.P. Singh and Manhar Valjibhai Zala with garlands

Amola Pathak welcoming the guests to the function

Rehabilitated scavemgers welcoming Harbhajan Singh and Manhar Valjibhai Zala

can convert into Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, then why can’t Dalits upgrade themselves by opting any Caste of their choice in their own religion”. The ceremonial release of the book “The Contribution of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the Making of Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat” is the highlight of the function. Another book titled ‘82 CSR Companies working with Sulabh International’ was also launched. Shailesh Kumar, Surendra Singh Kataria, Jagat Bahadur, Sanjay Kumar Tiwari and Uttam Sharma of Extreme Private Printing Press Limited were felicitated by the Honourable guest for the support in the publication of the book by Dr Pathak, ‘The Making of the Legend’. BP Singh, Former Governor, Sikkim, appreciated the intelligent move of Dr Pathak by connecting social commitment with the technological innovation. He asked the country to give the highest civilian honor to Dr Bindeshwar Pathak for his remarkable work in the field of cleanliness, for the development of the country and for the poor and Dalit people. The guests wrote their wishes and greetings for the Hon’ble Prime

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak viewing PM Modi’s photographic exhibiton with the guests

“I have got the middle solution of two different ideologies, one of abolishing of the caste system, and second of inequality and untouchability followed by Ambedkar and Gandhi by asking the Dalit people to opt the surname of any caste of their choice and live with their head sheld high. If a Hindu can convert into a Muslim, Christian, or Buddhist, then why can’t Dalits upgrade themselves by opting any caste of their choice in their own religion”

Minister on the occasion, on a signature graffiti board. An appealing exhibition has had on display, interesting exhibits about the Hon’ble Prime Minister, glimpses of the visits of many distinguished guests to Sulabh Campus on various occasions and the achievements and activities of many milestones Sulabh has traversed in its eventful journey. A street play, Nukkad Natak, is presented by the Members of the Sulabh School Sanitation Club. The show is an educative effort at discouraging open defecation and raise awareness about cleanliness and hygiene.Screening of short educational films & motivational songs’ The popular Sulabh production ‘Son of India’ dedicated to the illustrious Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji was screened to the admiration of the guests and the audience. The Hon’ble PMO India Narendra Modi has done the country proud by putting the nation on sanitation and cleanliness path, on a war footing, like never before. Another popular motivational

number from the repertoire of Sulabh ‘Hasna Mera Kaam’ on Dr Pathak’s Two-Pit Compost Toilet Technology highlights the hygiene practices special focus on enabling girl students to attend school thus raising their attendance at educational institutions in villages appreciably. The system saves one from hazards of open defecation like snakes bites and inclement weather. Women especially are accorded a dignified and safe way of going about ablutions any time of the day. Don’t Don’t Don’t Go for Open Defecation’, yet another number in English is written by Dr Pathak and is being enacted by the members of National School of Drama hold the audience in rapt attention. They use various props to demonstrate Dr Pathak’s Two-Pit Pour-Flush Compost Toilet system, persuading people to have toilets at their homes and give up open defecation. The act underlines how open defecation increases incidence of cholera and typhoid, which can be checked by inexpensive Sulabh toilets.

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September 25 - October 01, 2017

wash Conclave

National WASH Champion Conclave For a Cleaner India, the National WASH Champion Conclave was organised at Mavalankar Auditorium on 18th -19th September 2017

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar lighting the ceremonial lamp



nder the patronage of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Sulabh School Sanitation Club organized National WASH Champions Conclave which was graced by the presence of Hon’ble Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development,

Government of India, and Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare. Also present on the occasion were Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Dr Zoya Rizvi Ali, Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Hon’ble Dr Kalicharan Misra, Chancellor, St. Martinus University, Willemstad, Curacao who presides

over the function and is the key speaker & Nicolas Osbert, Chief of WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) UNICEF India was also on Dias. Dr Pathak inaugurated the event and addressed the young and enthusiastic participants. The conclave brought together young innovators from 12 states of India and also members of the sanitation club from Afghanistan on the same stage to share experiences

Clean India will make a New India by 2022 Javadekar asked students to herald “the cult of cleanliness”. Students are the ambassadors of Swachhta campaign.

and ideas and highlight innovative solutions that can solve the critical issue of insanitation and unhygienic scenario in the world. The programme- National WASH

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Cover Story


Amola Pathak welcomes Dr Swaraj Vidwan with a garland

Sulabh School student demonstrates the use of two-pit pour flush toilet

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak discussed the role of students in

spreading awareness about sanitation and hygiene in promoting health Dr Pathak lighting the inaugural lamp with B.P. Singh and Manhar Valjibhai Zala

Champions Conclave is for the capacity building of children to advocate for improved sanitation in schools aims to raise the profile of sanitation in schools, as the top priority. It is a child-centred, global movement of children and young people whose goal is to bring about positive social transformation in India by empowering children through hygiene education. Speaking on the occasion Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, discussed the role of students in spreading awareness about sanitation and hygiene in promoting health. He also stressed upon the importance and need of sanitation, health and hygiene and upon the need of behavioural change in the mindsets of the people towards the use of sanitation facilities. Dr Pathak said “You have to become the change makers and to

make a difference in the mind of a people, their habits, their behaviour, environment, water and sanitation etc. This is very important in life that you have to give something to the society. Gandhi has said that ‘One ounce of action is more important than tons of knowledge.” Also, what the American President John F Kennedy has said: “Don’t ask what the country has done for you but you ask what you have done for the country.” Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Smt. Amola Pathak welcome the guest on the second day of the WASH conclave by presenting them Shawl,

garland, bouquet, model of Two-pit toilet as a memento and the book ‘The Making of a legend’ by Dr Pathak Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar presiding at a National WASH Champions Conclave said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making a New India has its route through Swachhta campaign. Clean toilets, clean surroundings and no infection/disease will make the vision of ‘New India’ a success by 2022.” The creation of Sulabh is a historic step. And it has been 50

Clean toilets, clean surroundings and no infection/disease

will make the vision of ‘New India’ a success by 2022. The creation of an organisation like Sulabh is a historic step

years since it was started. When it was first conceptualized, people thought who will pay to do this. But Pathak ji made it possible by keeping them clean, and inculcating the same habit among others,” he said. The Minister praised Bindeshwar Pathak — who started Sulabh, a community toilet service at a nominal price — for ushering in a “great revolution” towards sanitation. He congratulated Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement for this initiative and said students are the ambassadors of Swachhta campaign. They know the importance of keeping the surroundings clean. Javadekar asked the students to herald “the cult of cleanliness” and said it is their parents who need more education to shed the notion that only certain people should do

06 Cover Story

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Senior Editor, Pioneer, Ms Vineeta Pandey being presented the book witten by Dr Pathak

Regional Director of Magic India Foundation Mrs Jyoti Sharma being felicitated

Advisor (School Education) in HRD Ministry, NK Sahu addressing the gathering

Country Head of Water Aid India VR Raman speaking on the occasion

School children from across the country as well as abroad, who are associated with Sulabh Sanitation Club

the work of cleaning. The minister said that the Indians, who would not litter the streets of Singapore, did not even think twice before dropping the banana peel or chocolate wrapper on the road in the country. “We have more places worth visiting than any other country, but

Paris alone draws 10 times more tourists than entire India. You know why this is so? Because our tourist spots are not clean,” Javadekar said. About 4.5 lakh toilets were built in government schools in one year under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Javadekar said, resulting in more girl students coming to the schools

instead of dropping out as was the case earlier. More than two lakh villages were declared ODF. Swachhta campaign has become a Jan Andolan. “We have more places worth visiting than any other country but Paris alone draws 10 times more tourists than entire India. You know

why this is so? Because our tourist spots are not clean,” Javadekar said. Pathak started Sulabh Shauchalaya service in 1970 from Bihar to cater especially to the poor. It provides bathing and laundry facilities as well. During the event, 120 students were felicitated. Wherein the Caribbean Island Expo results were announced in which Pusa Public School got the first prize of Rs 30,000, the second prize of Rs 20,000 was received by Holy Child School, West Bengal, and Tashding and Limchung School, Sikkim got the third prize of Rs 10,000. The best performance award of Rs 30,000 went to Tashding and Limchung Govt School, Sikkim. The second prize of Rs 20,000 was bagged by Odiya Govt Hight School, Jharkhand and the third prize of Rs 10,000 went to Carmel School, Haryana. The exercise is part of the Sulabh School Sanitation Club of which 6,500 students from more than 200 schools are the members.

September 25 - October 01, 2017 The club aims at inculcating a habit of cleanliness among students from an early age. “A five-day exercise was conducted in schools of Madhya Pradesh where students were taught how to wash hands and clean nails. The students were told about clean tanks and water. Water infection leads to the number of diseases,” said the minister. “Swachhta also promotes tourism; a clean country is always liked and loved by tourists,” concluded Javadekar. Dr Pathak also informed the people about the tradition that prevails in Sulabh School following the foot-step of Mahatma Gandhi of cleaning the toilet themselves. The members of the school including the teachers and students clean the school toilet themselves. He further said that the rest 4.5 Lakh School should also start following the same tradition of cleaning the toilets themselves only than Gandhi’s dream and our PM Modi’s dream will be fulfiled. “The Sulabh manufacture the sanitary napkins for the School girls and have the facility of disposing of it also because just giving the knowledge of cleanliness and hygiene is the School is not enough if you are not doing anything during the emergency for girls,” Dr Pathak said. In Sulabh School 60 percent of the students are from scavenger’s community and their education is free. We also provide free books and uniform. Only 40 percent of the students have to pay the fee that belongs from other community. We believe that it is necessary to teach English to Dalit students apart from Hindi and another language. So they don’t have to face the difficulty when they will travel somewhere to gain knowledge or any other reason. We give importance to Dalit students so that they don’t lack behind and walk with the rest of the world equally. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak said that we have Sulabh School Sanitation Club in 7 countries and 18 states i.e. total 178 clubs working currently and 1500 schools. We are


Dr Pathak lighting the ceremonial lamp with the guests

Javadekar speaking on the occasion

focusing to open number of clubs in rest of the states and the neighbouring countries. The children are spreading the Slogan of our PM Narendra Modi ‘Swachta he seva’ in every nook and corner of the country with the help of this club. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare congratulated and appreciated the work of Sulabh Society and the work done especially in the field of menstrual hygiene to Dr Pathak. She invited him to her constituency for the same. She said that we need to maintain the balance between

Jt Secretary HRD Ministry, Maneesh Garg

Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) which will not only help in Clean India but also Healthy India. “Swachh Bharat Mission has been able to create once in a generation opportunity, a movement to align the public interest, social interest and awareness raising around the very important issue of hygiene and sanitation,” said the Chief of UNICEF, Nicolas Osbert. UNICEF has been supporting the Indian government and Civil Society from the past 3 decades in

We need to maintain the balance between Water,

Asst Commissioner, Health, Zoya Rizvi

Cover Story

Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) which will not only help in Clean India but also in Healthy India

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak speaking

the work of school WASH. We could really feel the history change since the launch of Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan and for that UNICEF wants to congratulate the Government of India. Maneesh Garg, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development talked about the functioning of toilet, operational and maintenance of toilet as these are next step after the construction of toilet.The program ended with the solo and fusion dance performances by the fourteen schools in different states.

08 Gender

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Mauritius Gender

‘Discovering Women’s Homogeneity’ The special guest was world-famous Padmabhushan recipient, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, a social worker and socialist facilitator

Dr Mridula’s book ‘Sita Puni Boli’ has been translated in Maithili by Kumkum Jha and was inaugurated by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

Dr Ashok Kumar Jyoti


cross international waters in Phoenix, Mauritius, a joint tenor with the female authors Association, New Delhi, India High Commission, Mauritius, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Mauritius, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius, Hindi Speaking Union, Mauritius and Arya Samaj, Mauritius attended the three-day international seminar that was organized from September 1 to September 4, 2017. The inauguration of the ceremony was on September 1, 2017, at the Indira Gandhi International Center for Cultural Relations, Phoenix, Mauritius. Celebrated author, chairman of the seminar, and the Governor of

Goa, Mridula Sinha inaugurated the event. The chief guest of the program was Mauritius’-Honorary Education and Human Resources official of the Government, Tertiary Education and Scientific ResearchMinister, Lila Devi ShopanLachuman, who was also the special speaker; His Excellency’s Commissioner to the Indian High Commission in Mauritius, Abhay Thakur also attended the event. The special guests were world-famous

Padmabhushan recipient, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, a social worker and socialist facilitator. On this occasion, Kumkum Jha’s Maithili translation of the Hindi-novel ‘Sita Puni Boli’ of Mannya Governor, book by Dr Vimlesh Kanti Verma, “Creative Hindi Literature and Pravasi Bharatiya Hindi Literature of Mauritius”, Dr Uday Narayan Ganu’s book ‘Culture and Literature of Mauritius’ and the authorship of the writer’s association were

The closing ceremony of the programme was

organised on September 4, 2017, in which the review of this international seminar was presented

Quick Glance Governor of Goa, Mridula Sinha inaugurated the event The women of Mauritius and India are similarly homogeneous Women of the world called to ‘acquire rights by putting cost of duty’

released. In his Presidential Statement, the Governor of Goa said that the women of Mauritius and India are similarly homogeneous. He said, “The uniformity observed in the women of India and Mauritius is the same in all the cultures of contemplation, meditation, clothing, food and so on.”

SEPTEMBER 25 - OctoBER 01, 2017



“We have done a lot of work for women’s equality and upliftment through the accessibilitymovement”- Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

Concerning the differentiated behaviour among men and women in present day, he said that both men and women were considered unified in the form of karma according to the ancient times. They are in the same suit too. Both first won by common sense. He said that in India there is an image of Ardhanarishwar – the composite androgynous form of God and Goddess, but is mostly in a historical and cultural context. The reasons for this changed later. He said that the quality of motherhood is great in women and that is true for all women in the world. Dr Mridula Sinha said that it is a matter of understanding that when women came into the front lines of society, they started lagging behind in education and when they went backwards in development, many men came forward and worked for the upliftment of women, including Jyotiba Puffle, Swami Vivekananda, and Raja Rammohan Roy among others. That is why men and women are not very different from each other. She said that women in the whole world need to be united culturally, socially, politically, economically, and at the family level. Referring to the study, said that all the women are created equal. She said the civil code of Goa is set keeping development in mind. All

women have been given equal rights including the right to divorce. She further explained that women today need more protection that respect. His Excellency the Governor Dr Mridula Sinha called upon the women of the world to ‘acquire rights by putting the cost of duty’. Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement Founder, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak presented his exclamations on ‘Women’s Upliftment and Experiment’. Dr Pathak said that “We have done a lot of work for the women’s equality and upliftment through the accessibilitymovement” He specially mentioned all the roles women play in society. He said that to raise the status of any class, it is imperative for there to be complete education among men and women. Education would uplift the women to an honourable position in the society. It will move them towards economic equality, and this, in turn, would provide a platform to the women around the world. They would get opportunities to discuss initiatives like the female writer’s association.He said that the females all over the world have become more self-reliant than men in many areas. Education and Human Resources of Mauritius-Government, Tertiary Education and Minister of Scientific Research, Leela Devi

Dr Vimlesh Kanti Verma’s book ‘Creative Hindi Literature and Pravasi Bharatiya Hindi Literature of Mauritius was also launched

The launch of a piece by the women’s writer association

Shopan-Lachuman along with High Commissioner of High Commission of India, Abhay Thakur expressed their views in the program. In the inauguration of this session, the second Secretary of the Indian High Commission in Mauritius, Nutan Pandey welcomed all the participants and guests. President of the authors Association, Dr Madhu Pant gave information about the organization’s history and its activities and stressed the need for women who write. The literary institution of India is a literary and cultural institution of the nation’s women writers, which is engaged in fulfilling its literary, cultural and social objectives for nearly sixty years. In the second session of the first day, in the discussion about ‘Literature and Women’ Madhu Pant published - ‘Child Literature: The basis for the empowerment of women’. The session was presided over by Senior Literary Dr Vimlesh Kanti Verma did and operated by Shipra Bharti. In the first session of September 2, 2017, the initial statement made on ‘Women-Empowerment and Women-consciousness’ was given by the Speaker of the Hindi Speaking Union, Mauritius. Raj Narayan. Delhi’s senior author, Dr Manju Gupta wrote the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Mauritius, Iccr of consciousness in the world’ Chair’. Prof Abha Singh wrote ‘Women-Empowerment: Dasha and Direction’, Ratna Sukhlal, ‘Journey to Bharatvanshi Workers’ in Mauritius ‘Literature’, Maithili-writer Smt. Kumkum Jha, ‘Interrelation of literature and music in the intellectual poetry’, child- Literary Shipra Bharti also contributed by writing ‘Woman-

Empowerment’. In the second session of the second day, scholarly writers participated in the topic ‘Debate of the Culture of Literature (Evaluation of the Role of Folk Culture).’ The initial statement was made in the ICT of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius. R. Chair, Hindi, Dr. Umesh Kumar Singh, in which Dr Saroj Saxena, a Delhi-based writer, wrote the “Role of folk literature in the literature of literature”, Hindi Speaking Union Dr Malti Aakal, a retired spokesman for the Mahatma Gandhi Institute and Mauritius with Sangeeta Sinha, editor of ‘Fifty-Five Columns’ published in the famous literary-cultural magazine from New Delhi and presented their thoughts on how meaningful, subjective subjects were. In the third session, the Governor of Goa Dr Presided over Mridula Sinha Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement Founder, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak organized the poet-conference, titled ‘Emerging Vowels of Woman-Consciousness’ which included Indian composers like Asha Rani, Sunanda Verma, Dr Madhu Pant, Ms Neelam Verma, Nisha Bhargava, Uma Malaviya, Dr Sarojani Pritam, Dr Rashmi Sharma, Lalita Pandey, Dr Nirmala Devi and poets like Krishna Kalpana Lalji, Madhu Gajadhar, Sumati Budhanda, Pandita Shibliya etc. On September 3, 2017, all the writers visited Mauritius. The closing ceremony of the program was organized on September 4, 2017, in which the review of this international seminar was presented and attention was on the global role of the author Association in ‘Search of Women’s Homogeneity’.

10 Off-beat

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Quick Glance

Senior Citizen

Elderly Club - Senior Citizen Development Forum The rapidly changing life-values in the race towards modernity have had the biggest impact on the elderly Satyam


he increasing burden of human indifference forces them to suffer and forces them to take shelter in the old age homes. Elderly people get all the comforts in this place, but they cannot forget the pain that is inside them. This is a pain of being away from your loved ones, forgetting your happy memories and looking for a way to live for yourself. It is painful in the sense that the devastating lack of human sensitivity and relationships has put us at this juncture. For the son and daughterin-law on whom the father puts all his stakes or for whom he worked all his life, one day the same sons force him to stay alone. For the people who have become ‘big’ by rising in careers, their own parents have become burdensome. Their importance has become redundant. A centre has been set up in the capital, East Delhi to provide for these people.Although it is named as ‘Senior Citizen Development Forum’, it cannot be called just an old age home, but the activities revolve around the same concept. The difference is that the elderly here have not been removed from their families, but are helped to live their lives in a good manner by living with their own age people. Situated opposite Akshardham Temple, in Pandav Nagar P-1 Block in front of Mother Dairy Headquarters, this platform has become a vibrant place for the elderly living nearby. The objective of setting up this platform is clear, it is to make sure that the elderly do not feel unwanted. They are not allowed to feel alone or neglected. Even if they are hesitant or unwilling to stay in the house, they keep coming here to see themselves as an independent. They do not come here out of compulsion but come to seek a way to happiness and entertainment. The utilization of their accumulated wealth is not meant only for those children who have begun to perceive themselves as so big and successful as to make their parents feel neglected and unwanted. At present, there are a total of 125 members in the Senior Citizen Development Forum established with the intention of getting the freedom to live according

to their own wishes and desires. The membership fee is Rs.1100 and it has been registered with the Government of India’s Society Act. The centre is for women and men above 60 years of age. The membership fee is lifelong. This membership allows them two hours time to spend sitting at a carrom board, laughing with others while playing a game of cards and so on. This happiness that they experience is the main purpose of establishing the centre. At 11 o’clock in the morning, Satish Gupta, the deputy head of the organization, reaches the centre with a thick file which keeps a record of the birthdays falling in every month. Soon 25 to 30 elders are seen reaching here. They come with such promptness as if their office is about to begin. The only difference is that when they used to go to the office, they used to be in tension, but they come here happily, greeting and laughing with each other. Yes, a special feature of this forum is that there is a huge gathering of people of all categories here. There are retired officers from government service, others are retired from big business houses. Someone has identified himself as a social worker, and someone has come to Delhi to live with his children from remote areas of the country. There are some elderly members who live in the same house with their children but want to spend

some time with the people of their age. The only condition of the membership is to submit the address of their home in Delhi. No restrictions or conditions have been imposed on any community here. The directors of the organization include the Pradhan, Bhavani Shankar Gupta, Secretary, Sushil Goyal, Treasurer, Ramesh Gupta and Deputy, Satish Gupta. Forum members do not simply while away time the whole day. In addition to discussing the development of the country and the world, they are also aware of their social responsibility. So they come together and celebrate all the national festivals like 15th of August Independence Day, January 26, Republic Day, and 2 October Gandhi Jayanti. This has been the routine for the last five years after the establishment of the home. When it is someone’s birthday among the members, then everyone is prepared for it. For them, this day is like a festival. Both the elderly members, Sushil Goyal and Ramesh Sharma, who took the responsibility after retiring from Punjab National Bank, believe that the bourgeoisie is not the burden of society but the needs of the society, the foundation of the organization has been assimilated. At present, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, supports this program, and Deputy Mayor of Eastern Corporation Bipin Bihari

‘Senior Citizen Development Forum’ is better than old age homes It recently organized a tree plantation drive in East Delhi It aims to make the elderly feel wanted and cared for

Singh is among the list of people who are topmost in supporting these activities. The organization’s officials say that five years ago when Sheila Dikshit was the Chief Minister of Delhi, several programs were run by social welfare. Under this, the government had launched a campaign for the welfare of the elderly and promised to give 20 thousand rupees every month for it. It was launched with the hope that if someone is ill or upset in someone’s house, then a platform should be created for his/her solace or entertainment. So the organization was formed with the help of the government. Bhavani Shankar Gupta, 85, the head of the institution, says that if life is to be lived alone, then the old age home will be needed, but there is no justification for separation from the family. By staying within the family and joining the family in moments of happiness is a better path. But when there is a search for an entirely different path, then the foundation of this type of organization is very useful. They say that we should never be made to feel that the family can live comfortably without us. If the senior member or guardian of the house is in misery then that family can never live happily. But in new ways of thinking in life, for some personal reasons and private needs, there is a lack of perfection and co-ordination in families, which is why finding a way is essential. It was from the beginning in our minds that it should be registered and the government should be informed that we want to participate in some social work. This is the reason why we are stepping up to make a record by planting trees. The Government of Delhi gave a grant of Rs. 75 thousand to the institution during the initial establishment. Then, when needed, 20 thousand was given for furniture. This kind of positive endeavour is to show that our platform of East Delhi is progressing on its way today. In the future, our plan is to make the place available to us. Now Subodh Jain works as a mentor. He has provided two hundred yards of parking for free. Hundreds of chairs, tables and fans have been given. In addition to computers, televisions and phones are available. Every month, a mass dinner is organized for the elderly.

September 25 - October 01, 2017

sewage decentralised

Decentralised Sewage Systems Are Better India should focus on decentralised sewage treatment systems as their per capita investment cost is nearly 20 times less network-based solutions



f you want to go for networkbased solution (with sewage treatment plant), the per capita investment cost is Rs 20,000 whereas for decentralised Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP), the investment is Rs 1,000 per capita... the former is nearly 20 times higher,” A. Kalimuthu, Programme Director, WASH Institute, said. He was addressing a consultation on solid waste management and faecal sludge and sullage management system

organised by CFAR (Centre for Advocacy and Research) and SEED (Society for SocioEconomic and Ecological Development).Kalimuthu said the coverage of networkbased solutions is only 32 per cent in India. India’s bigger cities have larger centralised sewage systems with vast underground pipelines, pumping stations and huge treatment plants. “Network-based solutions are good but they have a huge capital cost and it takes years to perfect and are expensive to operate,” Kalimuthu said. “It’s a water carrying system and water availability is a challenge so looking at all this, decentralised system is the best option. Let hotels, hostels and establishments have their own system.” But India’s 7,000-plus small towns do not have such systems and are unlikely to be covered by centralised

India’s bigger cities have larger centralised sewage systems India’s 7,000-plus small towns do not have such systems

sewerage systems in the near future, it was pointed out in the consultation. Kalimuthu said to execute the National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management, the focus should be on such decentralised systems. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Institute is coming out with two new systems in the decentralised model. The first is the sewage treatment equivalent to Aquaguard water purifier called ‘Sepguard’, Kalimuthu said. “You can attach it to your septic tank, particularly for water-logged areas. You can extract water from the tank, it gets treated, you can then dispose it off,” the expert said. “It’s the treated water that’s going out and it meets the government’s norms so the life of your septic tank is extended and you are not spoiling the environment and there are no health hazards.” The second system is a mobile FSTP treatment unit. “It is essentially a truck that goes to your home to treat the waste,” Kalimuthu added.

A new study could help doctors prescribe cranberries for treating UTIs since cranberries contain antibacterial polyphenols keeping infections at bay


Universidade da Beira Interior in Portugal. Moreover, the results of subgroup analysis demonstrated that patients at some risk for UTIs were more susceptible to the effects of cranberry ingestion, the researchers said. The medicinal properties of cranberries may be attributed to their unique polyphenol -proanthocyanidins, or PACs for short. Their ability to keep infectioncausing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls may be the major reason for their effectiveness in limiting infection growth and recurrence, the researchers explained.


The coverage of network-based solutions is only 32 per cent in India

Cranberries May Help Against UTIs

octors can prescribe cranberry products as the first line of defence against repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs), a study has found. The findings showed that, overall, the use of cranberry products led to a statistically significant risk reduction in repeat UTIs, which affect the urinary system, including kidneys, bladder, and urethra. “Our investigation supports that cranberry products can be a powerful tool to fight off frequent UTIs,” said lead author Angelo Luis from the


Quick Glance

berries infection



For the study, published in the Journal of Urology, the team conducted a meta-analysis of 28 studies on nearly 5,000 patients. The prescription of cranberry products would reduce administration of antibiotics, which could be beneficial to patients since antibiotics can lead to the worldwide emergence of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, the researchers said. “Findings like this give medicine practitioners a viable, inexpensive, non-antibiotic option to help patients reduce the recurrence of an uncomfortable and potentially debilitating infection,” Luis noted.

India Will Better Its Clean Energy Target A senior official from the Department of Renewable Energy confirmed that India can surpass its 175 GW renewable energy capacity target by 2022 IANS


ndia can surpass its target of installing 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and plans to bring offshore wind energy and large hydroelectric projects under the ambit of renewable energy towards realising this, a senior official has said. “With prices of solar and wind coming down, we are confident that we will not only achieve the 175 GW target but will also exceed it,” New and Renewable Energy Secretary Anand Kumar said at the Renewable Energy India Expo here on Wednesday. “Renewable energy is the only way to meet the energy demand of 1.25 billion people in the country. It offers an opportunity to build a new low-carbon energy world. Harnessing it will make India an energyindependent economy,” he said. “Today, we are contemplating bringing large hydro also under the definition of renewable power. We are also contemplating to exploit our offshore wind potential,” he added. Stressing on the need to focus on solar manufacturing in the country, Kumar said the government is considering a policy that will make it mandatory for power plants to generate a certain portion of their output from renewables. “The key challenge is how should we enable higher energy consumption in India, at a cost, people are willing to pay, he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference here.

12 Science & Technology

September 25 - October 01, 2017

ageing brain

How The Brain Copes With Ageing

Due to age-related shrinkage, the brain increases communication between the two hemispheres to facilitate compensation for negative aspects of ageing



s the brain begins to shrink with age, it increases communication between the two brain hemispheres to help older people compensate for the negative aspects of ageing, new research has found. “This study provides an explicit test of some controversial ideas about how the brain reorganises

as we age,” said lead author Simon Davis, assistant professor at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. “These results suggest that the ageing brain maintains healthy cognitive function by increasing bilateral communication,” Davis added. For the study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, the researchers used a brain stimulation technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to modulate brain activity

The brain maintains cognitive function by increasing bilateral communication The study used transcranial magnetic stimulation Bilateral hemispheric communication was found to be higher in older brains

of healthy older adults while they performed a memory task. When researchers applied TMS at a frequency that depressed activity in one memory region in the left hemisphere, communication increased with the same region in the right hemisphere, suggesting the right hemisphere was compensating to help with the task. In contrast, when the same prefrontal site was excited, communication was increased only in the local network of regions in the left hemisphere. This suggested that communication between the hemispheres is a deliberate process that occurs on an “as needed” basis. Furthermore, when the authors examined the white matter pathways between these bilateral regions, participants with stronger white matter fibres connecting left and right hemispheres demonstrated greater bilateral communication, strong evidence that structural neuroplasticity keeps the brain working efficiently in later life. “Good roads make for efficient travel, and the brain is no different. By taking advantage of available pathways, ageing brains may find an alternate route to complete the neural computations necessary for functioning,” Davis said.

china telescope

China Commemorates World’s Largest Telescope The State Post Bureau issued a set of five stamps, including one commemorating the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope IANS


hina on Monday issued a commemorative stamp in honour of the world’s largest radio telescope located in Guizhou province. The State Post Bureau (SPB) has issued a set of five stamps, including one commemorating the Five-hundredmetre Aperture Spherical Radio

Telescope priced at 1.2 yuan, reports Xinhua news agency. The other four stamps honour China’s quantum science experimental satellite “Mozi”, the research vessel Tansuo-1, a national grain production project around the Bohai Sea and the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer. With an investment of 1.2 billion yuan, the telescope is singledish with a diametre of half a kilometre. It was built in the Dawodang depression,

CSIR lab

Quick Glance

a natural karst basin in Pingtang county in Guizhou. The telescope is designed to probe space for the faintest signs of life and is sensitive to any electromagnetic interference. Surrounding areas are open to visitors. But the number of visitors is strictly controlled below 2,000 people per day and electronic devices including cell phones and cameras are prohibited. Since it began operation last September, it has received 240,000 visitors.

CSIR Increases Radiation Protection Glass Supply The CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute hopes to ramp up supply of radiation shielding window to meet demand IANS


ith India aiming to build 10 new nuclear reactors, the CSIRCentral Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI) hopes to ramp up the supply of radiation shielding window (RSW) glass that protects workers and scientists from harmful radiation to meet the demand. CSIRCGCRI’s Director K. Muraleedharan said the lab has developed two products for the nuclear energy sector in India. One deals with the development of manufacturing technology and supply of RSW glass and the other with borosilicate glass beads for safe disposal of nuclear waste. “You can look through the glass but radiations don’t affect you. We have supplied up to 20 tonnes by now (in the last 10 years) but as nuclear plants come up, each year we may have to supply close to 10 to 15 tonnes,” Muraleedharan told IANS here on Monday during the ongoing CSIR Platinum Jubilee Mega Science Exhibition. While the radiation shielding glass is being produced in pilot scale at CGCRI for catering to the need of Department of Atomic Energy, the technology transfer to industry for the product is “in the process”, he said. “Some operations you have to watch and the windows should be protective. Today only Russia supplies these to us and their order books are full for the next 10 years so we have intervened and made this indigenously,” he said. Muraleedharan said the cost of the two interventions is “one-third of the imported ones”.

September 25 - October 01, 2017

cells program

Programming Cells Like Computers Scientists are now able to program the RNA of cells to carry out specific functions including fighting cancer and influenza IANS


new technique can help programme cells like a computer to fight cancer, influenza, and other serious conditions, suggests new research. A common molecule - ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is produced abundantly by humans, plants and animals - can be genetically engineered to allow scientists to programme the actions of a cell, said the study published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. RNAs carry information between protein and DNA in cells, and the research proved that these molecules can be produced and organised into tailor-made sequences of commands -similar to codes for computer software -- which feed specific instructions into cells, programming them to do what

we want. Cells have the capacity to process and respond to instructions and codes inputted into their main system, said lead researcher Alfonso Jaramillo, Professor at University of Warwick in Britain. Similar to software running on a computer, or apps on a mobile device, many different RNA sequences could be created to empower cells with a ‘Virtual Machine’, able to interpret a universal

twitter accounts

Indian Govt Account Info Requests Increase : Twitter The indian government has been actively requesting information on suspicious or inflammatory Indian twitter accounts IANS


etween January and June, the Indian government made 261 account information requests -- a 55 per cent increase from previous period -- and asked for 102 accounts to be removed, Twitter’s 11th Transparency Report has revealed. The micro-blogging platform, however, did not remove any account or withhold any tweet as requested by the Indian government or court order (there were two requests by the courts in the January-June period). “India had a 55 per cent increase in total information requests (261 requests in this reporting period vs. 168 in the previous reporting period) that affected 57 per cent more accounts,” Twitter said in the report that was released late on Tuesday. Twitter defines the government’s information requests as

requests issued by law enforcement and other government agencies. The company also revealed that it removed 299,649 terrorism-related accounts in the same period -- a 20 per cent decline from the previous period. “We have suspended a total of 935,897 accounts for the promotion of terrorism in the period of August 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017,” Twitter posted. Globally, Twitter received six per cent more government information requests (emergency disclosure requests and

Science & Technology roads

Quick Glance


The new technique can program cells to fight cancer, influenza, etc Scientists can program the RNA of cells RNAs carry information between protein and DNA in cells

RNA language, and to perform specific actions to address different diseases or problems, the study said. This will allow a novel type of personalised and efficient healthcare, allowing us to ‘download’ a sequence of actions into cells, instructing them to execute complex decisions encoded in the RNA. The researchers made their invention by first modelling all possible RNA sequence interactions on a computer, and then constructing the DNA encoding the optimal RNA designs, to be validated on bacteria cells in the laboratory. After inducing the bacterial cells to produce the genetically engineered RNA sequences, the researchers observed that they had altered the gene expression of the cells according to the RNA programme - demonstrating that cells can be programmed with predefined RNA commands, in the manner of a computer’s microprocessor.

Quick Glance The Indian government made 261 account information requests from January-June The government asked for 102 accounts to be removed India had a 55 per cent increase in total information requests

non-emergency requests) that affected three per cent fewer accounts from January 1 through June 30 compared to the previous reporting period. This included requests that originated from four new countries -Nepal, Paraguay, Panama and Uruguay. “Since the inception of Twitter’s Transparency Report in 2012, we have received government information requests from 83 different countries,” the company said. The total number of requests originating from the US decreased by eight per cent and affected 18 per cent fewer accounts. Although the total amount of requests from the US has decreased from the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017, it remains the top requester, submitting 33 per cent of total government information requests. “Consistent with the two previous reports, Japan holds its spot as the second most frequent requester, accounting for 21 per cent of total government information requests,” Twitter said.

Smart Roads Could Power Lamps And Cars Researchers from Britain are looking into ‘smart materials’ to be embedded into road surfaces. These smart roads would power vehicles IANS


esearchers in Britain are working on smart materials that when embedded in road surfaces would be able to harvest and convert vehicle vibration into electrical energy to power street lamps or electric vehicle charging points. The research project aims to design and optimise energy recovery of around one to two megawatts per kilometre under ‘normal’ traffic volumes which is around 2,000 to 3,000 cars an hour. This amount of energy, when stored, is the amount needed to power between 2,000 and 4,000 street lamps. The researchers said they were working on smart materials such as ‘piezolectric’ ceramics for the project. “This research is about helping to produce the next generation of smart road surfaces,” said lead researcher Mohamed Saafi, Professor at Lancaster University. “We will be developing new materials to take advantage of the piezoelectric effect where passing vehicles cause stress on the road surface, producing voltage. The materials will need to withstand high strengths, and provide a good balance between cost and the energy they produce,” Saafi said in a statement released by the university. “The system we develop will then convert this mechanical energy into electric energy to power things such as street lamps, traffic lights and electric car charging points. It could also be used to provide other smart street benefits, such as real-time traffic volume monitoring,” he added. The researchers believe that besides providing environmental benefits, the project would also help deliver significant cost savings for taxpayers..

14 Good News

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Child Marriage

App To Fight Child Marriage

A mobile application to fight child marriage in Bihar, it provides adolescent girls an SOS button for help



n a unique initiative, Gender Alliance Bihar, a collective effort of over 270 civil society organisations backed by the UN Population Fund, has come up with a mobile application to fight the rampant social evil of child marriage in the state. Launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, the “BandhanTod” app will try to create awareness on resisting child marriage and will also provide round-theclock help to adolescent girls saying no to the practice in the form of an SOS button. The Gender Alliance is an initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and was started to bring together civil societies, activists, academicians, researchers, media, and others on a common platform to advocate gender equality. “Use of latest technology like a mobile app is probably the first of its kind in the country to fight child marriage,” Nadeem Noor, head of UNFPA in Bihar, told IANS. He said the app offers innovative features that will give girls the confidence to stand up against

marriage before they are 18, the legal marriageable age for girls in India, adding its unveiling ahead of the formal launch of the statewide campaign against child marriage by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (October 2) was a positive development. “If the state government includes the app in its campaign, it will help us popularise it down to the village level with the wide network of thousands of women self-help groups active in rural Bihar,” he said. BandhanTod is part of Gender Alliance’s strategy to support the state government’s efforts to end child marriage and dowry. “It is a rare effort of civil society, and the first of its kind in Bihar, to support the state government’s commitment to end child marriage and dowry,” Gender Alliance convener SwapanMazumdar said. The app was also lauded by N. Vijayalakshmi, Managing Director, Women Development Corporation. It will be available on Google Play store and anyone can register for it with their details -- name, age, block, district and mobile number. Mobikwik, a digital payment gateway, will provide an incentive to users who download it.

The Bandhan Tod app developed by the Gender Alliance will assist the government’s efforts in stopping rampant child marriage in Bihar


Quick Glance Gender Alliance Bihar designed the mobile app ‘Bandhan Tod’ app will try to create awareness on child marriage BandhanTod is part of Gender Alliance’s strategy for support

If the SOS button is pressed, the registered mobile number and other details of the user will be sent to the Gender Alliance monitoring cell and civil society organisations, who will contact the user to get details and then alert the local authorities for action. Given the socio-economic and cultural context within which child marriage takes place, the campaign will aim to, directly, and indirectly, reach out to girls at the village and panchayat levels in all the blocks and districts of Bihar through technology. Gender Alliance stressed on the dire need and urgency to match this commitment with coordinated strategies, action and resources to end child marriages as well as early marriages in Bihar. It has also extended support of the hundreds of civil society organisations, that are part of the initiative, to the state government in its fight against child marriage. “BandhanTod mobile app will complement the Bihar government’s campaign against child marriage,” said Prashanti Tiwary, Manager of Gender Alliance. Since its inception last year, Gender Alliance has focused its work on gender equity. Keeping this in consideration, it has also identified child marriage as one of the four priority issues as it is not only a violation of human rights, but a grave threat to the lives, health and development of girls. Child marriage is rampant in Bihar, particularly in rural areas, despite laws against it. It is a big social problem among Dalits, OBCs and Muslims due to lower literacy rates and other factors, including poverty. Till a few years ago, Bihar accounted for 69 per cent of child marriages of total marriages. But the latest National Family Health Survey-4 revealed that the figure has declined in Bihar in the last 10 years due to the increase of education among girls. Gender Alliance will soon come out with a ground reality report on the adolescent girls’ social, education and health status in every block and district. “This in-depth report is likely to provide ready-made data for the government to use for different scheme implementations to achieve its goals in a time-bound manner,” Mazumdar said.

S.Korea Offers $8mn Aid To N.Korea The aid was approved for WFP Projects and the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund for infants and pregnant women in North Korea IANS


outh Korea on Thursday decided to offer $8 million of humanitarian aid to North Korea through UN organisations. The inter-Korean exchange and cooperation committee were chaired by Unification Minister Cho Myounggyon to approve the aid’s provision to the projects of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) for infants and pregnant women in North Korea, reports Xinhua news agency. Among the total, $4.5 million would be given to the WFP, while the remaining $3.5 million was allotted to the Unicef.It was in line with the government’s basic stance that its humanitarian aid to Pyongyang would be treated separately from political situations. The Unification Ministry, however, said that the actual provision of the funds would be implemented after considering overall situation including the inter-Korean relations. The implementation of the aid was expected to be delayed as tensions ran high on the Korean Peninsula after Pyongyang’s continuous nuclear and missile provocations. On September 3, Pyongyang detonated its sixth nuclear device, seen as the most powerful ever conducted by the Asian country. The approval for the aid marked the first time since President Moon Jae-in’s government took over in May. The previous government suspended humanitarian aid following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test last January.

September 25 - October 01, 2017

trans channel


The transgender community feels they are not part of the mainstream, especially the media industry. That’s where Transvision steps in G.Ulaganathan


heir common grouse is that they neither get adequate space nor employment in both print and electronic media. A well-known Bharatanatyam dancer, Nartaki Natraj from Tamil Nadu, who is a transgender, does not get an opportunity to perform for the TV channels including the government-controlled Doordarshan .”When I want to apply for a slot, they send me a questionnaire which asks after the name, `Male or Female’. There is no column for the third gender. We are helpless and are denied genuine opportunities like any other artistes”, she says. Early last year the International Arts & Cultural Foundation, Headed by popular lensman in Bangalore Shandilya Srivatsa had organised a transgender Arts festival where many, including from neighbouring countries, participated and exhibited their talent. Shandilya is planning a repeat of this festival this year also. Now, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. A Hyderabadbased transwoman activist Rachana

Mudraboyina has decided to launch the first YouTube channel in India, conceptualised and started by transgender individuals. “I used to surf all the television channels in the morning but was disappointed to find very little content about our community — transgenders. Then after some deep thought and consultation with my colleagues, I decided to start this channel called Transvision. It is impossible to find sufficient funds to start a TV channel. So we decided to use Youtube as the channel”, says this double post- graduate. Transvision’s varied programming for the community also addresses the stigma and various misconceptions. The channel, according to her, will provide accurate and scientific sociocultural, religious, economic and


rabbing a dictionary to know the meaning a word may now have become a thing of the past in the online world, but Google Doodle on Monday decided to honour Samuel Johnson, the man who compiled a mammoth dictionary of the English language 150 years before the Oxford English Dictionary appeared.

Son of a bookseller, Johnson published “A Dictionary of the English Language” in 1755 after nine years of work. On what would have been his 308th birthday, Google Doodle paid homage to Johnson for being a “pioneer lexicographer who dedicated years to his craft.” Johnson dictionary was described as “one of the greatest single


Rachana Mudraboyina will launch India’s first trans channel on Youtube This channel has been conceptualized by the transgender community Transvision’s programming addresses the stigma and misconceptions

political information relevant to them. Transvision will produce its web series in three languages — Telugu, Kannada and Dakhni, an Urdu dialect spoken in certain parts of the Deccan Plateau, including Hyderabad. The channel’s programming, which includes launch videos that were released in the first week of September, reveals a rich variety of ideas of the transgender artists. For example, Sonia Sheikh, a dancer and acid attack survivor from Hyderabad, is planning a special series. In a video already released on YouTube in collaboration with Tap Music Records and another YouTube channel called Dalit Camera, Ms Sheikh has introduced ‘Alif-Sonia’, a programme that aims to provide “healthy education and right information.” Anjali, another transwoman, will run a section of the web series named after the first four letters of the Telugu alphabet (‘A, Aa, E, Ee…Anjali’). Her programme asks the very basic question: ‘Who are transgendered?’ and seeks to address various questions. Jhanavi Rai will host ‘Akshara Jhanavi’ in Kannada to address misconceptions about transgenders. The Pilot episodes of the channel have already over 1,000 followers on Facebook and 261 on YouTube.

Google Honours Samuel Johnson IANS


Quick Glance

google doodle

Tech giant Google honoured Samuel Johnson, the first English Dictionary compiler with its iconic Google Doodle that appears on Google’s homepage

Good News

achievements of scholarship,” and had a far-reaching effect on modern English. It was described as the premier English dictionary until the publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later. Johnson was also a poet, essayist, critic, biographer and editor. “Johnson’s dictionary was more than just a word list: his work provided a vast understanding of 18th century’s language and culture. His lasting contributions guaranteed him a place in literary history,” Google said.

Modi Invites noted gastro surgeon The Prime Minister invited a gastroenterologist and liver transplant surgeon Saumitra Rawat to participate in the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign IANS


rime Minister Narendra Modi has invited noted gastroenterologist and liver transplant surgeon Saumitra Rawat to be part of the Swachhata Hi Seva initiative, saying that his contribution will be instrumental in building a clean and healthy India. Rawat quit his 17 years of medical practice in the United Kingdom and joined Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “Your contribution to the field of medicine has helped the nation attain distinction in the healthcare sector globally as well as provided relief to the ailing. Your involvement in the cleanliness initiative would be instrumental building a clean and healthy India. “I personally invite you to lend your support to the Swachhata Hi Seva and dedicate some time for the cause of Swachh Bharat,” reads the letter by Modi to Rawat. Appreciating the government’s efforts to realise the importance of medical professionals, Rawat said that cleanliness is the key to keep several diseases away. “I will contribute to the government’s initiative in the best possible way. Various noncommunicable and communicable diseases are caused due to filth in our surroundings. We should all make the country clean,” Rawat told IANS.


September 25 - October 01, 2017

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


THE IGEOLOGUE Deen Dayal Upadhyaya not only propounded ‘Intergral Humanism’ but laid ideological foundation for future generations of socio-political workers committed to nationalism

suicide among kids

not just blue whale Are today’s kid more exposed to various stresses than those of the previous generations? Parents must think!


was in office and deeply immersed in work when I got a call from a close friend saying that his 14-year-old son had committed suicide. For many short moments, I failed to realise the portent of this. How could a boy of 13, always playful, hang himself? What was in his mind when he did that? I rushed home, of course, and was told that he had in fact served lunch to his grandma just before the act. His mother was away at her office and his father was there at home but in a different room. None of them knew. When the silence got too much, people went looking, and he was hanging. Questions naturally cropped up: what could have happened. Is it another Blue Whale incident. Even as the shock grew on us over the night, while the medical services and police formalities were being finalised, we narrowed down on the most plausible cause. The boy was intelligent, but for some reasons, was deficient in his curricular studies. Read this as “poor results”. He used to be taunted by many, including some in the family, for his “failures”. Then suddenly one day, even his father rebuked him. That, perhaps, broke the camel’s back and he wished us goodbye from the ceiling! How many of us bother to think whether we are treating our children they way they deserve? We think they will grow up just the same way as we have. But we did not have even television when we were 13, let alone apps and Blue Whales. There is a dire need for us parents to get into a different mode, the mode of thinking of today’s children. They are like plants that need good soil and watering. Are we giving them that? Ask yourselves!


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:,


M Narendra Modi had kick-started Rs 100-crore worth nationwide celebrations to mark the birth centenary of Deendayal Upadhyaya from Kozhikode last year. The campaign comes to an end on September 25 this year with PM Modi, a host of senior ministers of his government and BJP leaders paying tribute to the national icon. Two committees were formed to execute the programme launched by the Modi government. PM Narendra Modi chaired nearly 150-member national panel while Home Minister Rajnath Singh headed a 23-member executive committee. A budget of Rs 100 crore was allocated for the functions. Upadhyaya was a Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) leader who enjoyed the confidence of the RSS and has been held in esteem for his idealism. His perspective and thought have become foundational to the socio-economic philosophy of the sangh parivar and Narendra Modi’s pro-poor commitment has an imprint of Upadhyaya’s life and mission. THE BEGINNING If one goes by the history books, not much is written about Deendayal Upadhyaya, who the BJP and RSS believe was as good a visionary as Mahatma Gandhi. Deendayal Upadhyaya was born in Mathura in 1916 - the year Mahatma Gandhi engineered Congress-Muslim League pact in Lucknow - to an astrologer father and devout mother. By the time, Deendayal Upadhyaya was eight, he was an orphan and lived his life in misery and struggles. Given the family background, his achievements were bright. He excelled at school examination, earned scholarships to continue his studies and secured a BA degree in English. Owing to the death of a close relative, Deendayal Upadhyaya could not complete his MA. Later, he qualified the civil services examination, where he got his nickname as Panditji for appearing in the examination hall wearing tradition dhoti-kurta and cap. Even after securing the top position in the civil services examination, Deendayal Upadhyaya did not join the government service. He rather became, in 1942, a life-time volunteer of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which he had joined five years ago.

THE RSS VOLUNTEER Deendayal Upadhyaya was influenced by RSS leaders Nanaji Deshmukh and Bhau Jugade - both were active in Agra. As fulltime volunteer Deendayal Upadhyaya moved to Lakhimpur district of Uttar Pradesh as an organiser of the RSS. At RSS, Deendayal Upadhyaya founded a publication house, Rashtra Dharma Prakashan in Lucknow and launched a magazine, Rashtra Dharma. Later, he launched weekly Panchjanya - now the mouthpiece of the RSS - and a daily Swadesh. Deendayal teamed up with Syama Prasad Mookerjee in 1950 after the latter resigned from the Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet following Nehru-Liaquat pact. Mookerjee launched the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951 and sought help from the then RSS chief MS Golwalkar. At the advice of Golwalkar, Deendayal was inducted into the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He was made the general secretary of UP unit. Upadhyaya later became the national general secretary of the BJS. After Mookerjee’s death in 1953, Deendayal Upadhyaya was instrumental in shaping the ideology and socio-political principles of the BJS for next 15 years. THE IDEOLOGUE Deendayal Upadhyaya is best remembered for his principle of “integral humanism”, which has been defined as “a classless, casteless and conflict-free social order”. It talks about the integration of indigenous “Indian culture” with the social, political and economic fabric of the nation. The nation, Upadhyaya believed, is like a human being

September 25 - October 01, 2017 having a body, mind, intellect and soul of its own. According to Upadhyaya, dharma brings peace and prosperity. However, his critics point to his lectures saying he was “biased” against Muslims. Some also criticised him for not seeing evil in caste system.The BJP, on the other hand, believes that Deendayal Upadhyaya’s philosophy needs a fresh interpretation. Some of the states, ruled by the BJP, have included chapters on Deendayal Upadhyaya in school syllabus. MYSTERIOUS DEATH Deendayal Upadhya’s death is shrouded in mystery. According to a website dedicated to Deendayal Upadhyaya by the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, “Around 3.45 a.m. on Feb. 11, 1968, the leverman at the Mughalsarai station informed the Assistant Station Master that about 150 yards from the station, towards the south of the railway line, a dead body was lying near the electric pole No.1276.” This body was later identified as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh President Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, who was on his way to Patna in a train, which he boarded in Lucknow. Deendayal Upadhyaya had boarded the Pathankot-Sealdah Express at 7 pm in Lucknow. Those days, the Pathankot Sealdah Express did not go through Patna. Some bogeys of the train were detached at Mughalsarai and joined with the Delhi-Howrah Express. Deendayal Upadhyaya’s presence at Mughalsarai railway station is recorded by an emissary he received from the former ruler of Jaunpur at 2.15 am. The DelhiHowrah Express left Mughalsarai at 2.50 am and reached Patna in the morning. But, Deendayal Upadhyaya was not there. Back in Mughalsarai, doctors had declared him dead by that time. His body was taken to New Delhi. The then President Zakir Hussain and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi were among the dignitaries who paid tributes to Deendayal Upadhyaya. The BJP is now on a mission to propagate his ideas to counter the challenge from the Congress, which was the most dominant political force then. POLITICAL IMPACT Upadhyaya abolished the politics of personality cult and expelled the then party president, Mauli Chandra Sharma, and another senior leader, Vasant Rao Oak. This tradition has taken root in BJS’s successor, the BJP too. He ensured that any grass-root worker could rise to head the party or the government. Upadhyaya’s idealism is more relevant in contemporary India than in his time. Modi government has started umpteen schemes in Deen Dayal ji’s name. But, it is bounden duty of every citizen to instil Upadhyaya’s ideals in his life. That will not only be his tribute to a great soul but also a small contribution to nation building.



Making The Jump From Ego To Awareness

mihir paul

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

Awareness is the eternal background of all reality and experiences in life



wareness is the eternal background of all reality and experiences in life Our personal identities are very close to us. We perceive our individuality in every thought, perception, and sensation. We ‘personalize’ our perceptions. What we experience, we see the experience in terms of a ‘me’. This ‘I’ or ‘me’ is what we call a personality. The word ‘personality’ comes from the Greek word ‘persona’ meaning mask. Our personalities are like masks that we wear on our experiences. Our masks dictate how we see ourselves and the world around us. As humans, we give so much importance to personalities that we forget to realize that we are not our personalities. The ‘voice’ in the head we perceive as ‘thoughts’ is the primary object we identify ourselves as. We also believe that the body we perceive along with the mind is inherent ‘mine’. The problem with personalizing perceptions is that we then perceive the world in duality. There is a ‘me’ and a ‘not-me’ in every experience.

This experience of separation is what gives rise to the infamous ego. The ego makes us believe in the reality of our individualism to a point where the ego or personality is the only thing we identify with. Logic dictates that in a subjectobject split, the subject can never be the object of its experience. In this logic, it follows whatever we can perceive and experience is essentially, not us. Along these lines, since we perceive our bodies, we cannot be our bodies. Like if we own a car and sit in a car to go from point A to B, just because we own the car and control the car, it doesn’t mean we are the car. The same goes

for thoughts. Since we perceive our thoughts, we can’t be the thoughts. Now if we are not the thoughts or the body, what are we? We are the awareness/ consciousness of the experience of a body, mind, and world. We are that which is in the background of what we perceive. Awareness is the ultimate subject in reality and awareness can’t be personalized. Awareness/Consciousness is the single common denominator among all living beings. Awareness is what makes experiencing life possible, yet we overlook this seemingly obvious ‘thing’ that’s in our experience. One can’t ‘see’ or ‘perceive’ awareness/ consciousness since we are already it. The subject of an experience can never experience itself. Just as fire can’t burn itself, the eye can’t see itself, or a fingertip can’t touch itself. Once we start realizing what we really are, unnecessary definitions and identities start to fall away and what remains is pure consciousness. We are an all-encompassing awareness that is the building block of reality itself. That’s what we are.

letters to the editor landscape has changed drastically in the recent years. Cleanliness and Sanitation is of utmost importance and when people like Dr Bindeshwar Pathak get recognised and felicitated for the same, it gives me tremendous hope for the future. Abha Singh, Amritsar

Heroes of Swachhta The cover story ‘Heroes of Swachhta Honoured’ really touched me. I have been closely following the Swachh Bharat Campaign started by PM Modi and I have seen how the country’s

Army Daredevils The article ‘Martyred Officers’ Widows Join Army’ is extremely empowering to all the women of the country. Women like Lt Swati Mahadik set an example for others to follow. This just goes to show what the women in the country are capable of. The two widows joined the army after their husbands were martryred and now they want to dedicate their lives for the service of our nation. This has inspired me so much. I salute them! Manisha Kumar, Bangalore

Breathe Free! I constantly read the spiritual and philosophical articles featured on Upfront and they have been helping me in my journey of self discovery. The article ‘Breahe in Enlightenment, Breathe out ignorance’ simplifies what all spiritual schools try to impart. The writer has so eloquenty expressed what spiritual leaders have been trying to say for generations. The technique of mindfulness of the breath is so simple yet extremely effective in shutting down the constant mental chatter we experience on a daily basis. I have experienced immense peace and mental stability after trying such mindfulness techniques. I know I’m on the right path and I will keep looking out for such articles in the future. Kavita Singhania, Chennai

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18 Photo Feature

September 25 - October 01, 2017

PM Modi’s 67th

The Sulabh family celebrated Prime Minister Modi’s 67th Birthday along with 567kgs of ‘Mahaladdoo’, school plays, and songs performed by students.

Photos: JAIRam

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September 25 - October 01, 2017

Photo Feature

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20 Health

September 25 - October 01, 2017


nuts intelligence

Consume Olive Oil, Nuts For Intelligence Foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) such as olive oils, nuts and avocados are linked to general intelligence IANS

Bald men more confident, attractive: Study

Three separate studies into the social perception of bald men found them to be perceived as more attractive, confident and dominant IANS


orried about losing your hair? Take heart from a study that claims that bald men are perceived as more attractive, confident, and dominant. “Choosing to dispense with one’s hair is arguably a form of nonverbal behaviour, a form of expression which communicates information about the self otherwise difficult to observe,” researchers from The University of Pennsylvania, were quoted as saying by Britain’s Independent The researchers also suggested that bald men might be more elusive than those with typical mops. For the study, the team gave three major tests to college students, both men and women, asking them to rate images of men according to attractiveness, confidence and dominance. In the first study, men with shaved heads were rated as more dominant than similar men with full heads of hair. In the second study, men whose hair was digitally removed were perceived as more dominant, taller, and stronger than their authentic selves. This effect was due to a large degree by their higher perceived confidence and masculinity, the researchers noted. The third study extended these results with nonphotographic stimuli and demonstrates how men experiencing natural hair loss may improve their interpersonal standing by shaving. Thus, instead of spending billions each year trying to reverse or cure their hair loss, the counterintuitive prescription of this research to men experiencing male pattern baldness is to shave their heads, the researchers emphasised.


utrients found in foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) such as olive oils, nuts and avocados are linked to general intelligence, according to a study. The researchers found that general intelligence was associated with the brain’s dorsal attention network, which plays a central role in attention-demanding tasks and everyday problem-solving. In particular, general intelligence was found to be associated with how efficiently the dorsal attention network is functionally organised, the researchers said. The study found that this relationship with is driven by the correlation between MUFAs and the organisation of the brain’s attention

network. “Our findings provide novel evidence that MUFAs are related to a very specific brain network, the dorsal attentional network, and how optimal this network is functionally organised,” said lead author Aron Barbey, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign “This is important because if

disinfect lung diseases

Bleach Linked To Lung Disease New study finds direct correlation between exposure from disinfectants and COPD IANS


ndividuals regularly exposed to bleach and other commonly used disinfectants may be at an increased risk of developing a deadly type of lung disease, a research has claimed. The findings showed that tasks that involved frequent exposure to disinfectants, such as cleaning surfaces, and specific chemicals in disinfectants, were associated with a 22 to 32 per cent increased risk of developing the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe. “We found that people who use disinfectants to clean surfaces on a regular basis -- at least once a week -- had a 22 per cent increased the risk of developing COPD,” said Orianne Dumas from the National Institute for Health and Medical Research

(INSERM) in France. Further, the study found that exposure to disinfectants such as glutaraldehyde -- used for medical instruments --, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and quaternary ammonium compounds (known as “quats”, mainly used for low-level disinfection of surfaces such as floors and furniture) were associated with an increased risk of COPD of between 24 per cent to

Quick Glance General intelligence is associated with the brain’s dorsal attention network The dorsal attention network plays a central role in problem solving Consuming MUFAs directly affects the dorsal region’s structure

we want to develop nutritional interventions that are effective at enhancing cognitive performance, we need to understand the ways that these nutrients influence brain function,” Barbey said. For the study, published in the journal NeuroImage, the team examined the relationship between groups of fatty acids and brain networks that underlie general intelligence. In doing so, they sought to understand if brain network organization mediated the relationship between fatty acids and general intelligence.In turn, they found that those with higher levels of MUFAs in their blood had a greater small-world propensity in their dorsal attention network. The findings suggest a pathway by which MUFAs affect cognition, the researchers noted.

Quick Glance Regular exposure to bleach may increase the risk of developing COPD Frequent expsosure to disinfectants was associated with a 22 – 32% risk COPD is a group of lung diseases that block airflow

32 per cent. For the study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Milan, the team analysed data from 55,185 female nurses, who were followed from 2009, for approximately eight years until May 2017. During that time 663 nurses were diagnosed with COPD. Previous studies have linked exposure to disinfectants with breathing problems such as asthma among healthcare workers. “Our findings provide further evidence of the effects of exposure to disinfectants on respiratory problems and highlight the urgency of integrating occupational health considerations into guidelines for cleaning and disinfection in healthcare settings such as hospitals. The everyday use of bleach currently has no specific health guidelines, but the researchers hope the study will prompt investigation.

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Driving with refractive errors is the main cause of road accidents in India. FIA and Essilor aim to fix that



ith a staggering 550 million Indians - close to half the population living with uncorrected refractive errors, the major cause of road accidents, and 63 percent of the world’s population in need of vision correction, two major stakeholders have come together to address the issue in this country and globally. “Poor vision plays a critical role in safe driving, but we know that much of that could be avoided. According to an analysis by Boston Consulting Group, 23 per cent of drivers have uncorrected vision, but in India that number is 46 per cent -- the highest of any country in the world,” Jayant Bhuvaraghan, Chief Mission Officer of French lensmaker Essilor International, told IANS during a visit here of the three-year partnership with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The “Action for Road Safety” partnership aims to create awareness

on this global health issue and highlight the importance of regular eye checks for safe driving. The call to “Check Your Vision” will be commonly promoted towards local authorities, institutions, NGOs, eye care & medical professionals, driving schools and road users, among others, he added. The figures for India are horrifying with some 138,000 people being killed in road accidents each year. Last week, Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari released the annual publication, ‘Road Accidents in India - 2016’, which revealed that fatalities resulting from these accidents have risen by about 3.2 percent. According to the Home Ministry, there was a 17.6 percent increase in road accident deaths from 2008 to 2012, and 50 percent of those who died were aged between 15 and 34. “Something must be changed,” exclaimed Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director of the Vision Impact Institute, which is funded by the Essilor Social Impact Fund.

With an alarming majority of the population

driving without corrected vision, the “Action for Road Safety” partnership aims to bring change



eyes driving

550 Mn Indians With Refractive Errors


Quick Glance One in every three drivers has either marginal or poor Far Visual Acuity Overall 29 per cent drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents Overall 34 per cent drivers were found glare blind

Speaking about the initiative in India, Bhuvaraghan noted that access to optometric eye care is limited, as there are approximately seven doctors of optometry per 1 million people across India, well below the world average of 25/1M. “But there is one other key barrier to the corrected vision that we must still address: Acceptance. In India, stigmas exist around spectacle wear for all ages, but it is a tremendous issue for those in the professional driving industry. “We have heard from many in this industry that wearing spectacles can be seen as a weakness or a visible defect. Therefore, many drivers are not wearing the correction they need, even when it is prescribed. Drivers were fearful of not being hired if they are thought to be defective,” he added. To this end, The Vision Impact Institute is working to break down these stigmas through education, utilising the personal testimonies of other drivers for which vision correction and eye protection have been a benefit rather than a drawback, Gross explained. A Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) interim report on ‘Assessment of Visual Limitations of Commercial Drivers in Metropolitan Cities in India’ focuses on commercial drivers in Delhi. The study was in association with the Vision Impact Institute. The sample size of the survey was 627 drivers and the study was conducted during August 8-14, 2017. Seventy percent of those surveyed were light motor vehicle drivers, 24 percent were heavy motor vehicle drivers, four percent were private bus drivers while one percent were government bus drivers. As for FIA, with its 245 memberclubs, representing over 80 million road users in 144 countries worldwide and its strong showcase in motorsport (F1, WEC, WTCC, WRC, World RX, ERC, Formula E et al), it “is a major global voice in the automotive world and is strongly committed to raising awareness and taking action on this global issue”, Bhuvaraghan concluded.

Johny Lever Joins Fight Against Cancer The comedian urged his fans to assist cancer-stricken children and help lower income families battle the disease IANS


omedian Johny Lever has urged his fans to come forward and assist cancer-stricken children and help lower income families fight against the disease. “Friends, thank you so much for all the love bestowed on me for so many years. I have made you laugh, and you also have laughed. There are some people who can’t laugh because of the difficult times they go through. Let’s help them all, especially the children who are detected with cancer. “The families of these children come from interior places of India to Mumbai for treatment,” Johny said in a statement. “It must be very difficult for doctors as well along with the children but they still struggle through and many children survive as well. But there is a lot of expenditure that goes and without that it is impossible,” he added. For this, the actor has supported #1Small Step for Cancer campaign to advance emergency fundraising for child cancer. The campaign was initiated by 1SmallStep Foundation in association with Rotary Club of Mumbai Queens Necklace. Under the campaign, they are building an emergency fund for children. The goal is to raise a crore and help 1,000 children complete their cancer treatment. “My dear friends, let us come together and help these children as much as we can as we all live for yourself but when we help others life becomes much more worth living. You and I come together to help these cancer children, because the treatment is very expensive and without money its impossible to fight against it for lower income families,” the actor said.

22 North East

September 25 - October 01, 2017

ssb bureau


he Assam Assembly recently passed a resolution, adopting a new population policy, which proposes to debar persons with more than two children from contesting any panchayat and local election in the state. Persons with more than two children will also not be eligible for government jobs, according to the policy. The ‘Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam’ was passed by the Assembly as a government resolution. The policy envisages a strict two-child policy for government servants and elected/nominated representatives of panchayat, municipal and statutory bodies. Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, however, said that there could be relaxation or exemptions in specific instances on a case-to-case basis. “The focus will be equally on empowering our women folk through education, skill development and employment as on awareness on population control measures. Women empowerment and family planning are intricately linked and we hope to work together on these two aspects,” Sarma said. “We want to control the population explosion, but not through cohesive measures. Rather we are looking towards a process if incentives and disincentives,” he said. Quoting Census data, he pointed that certain districts of the state recorded over 24 % decadal population growth while many others had the figure in single digit. The state’s average population growth in 2011 was 17.07%.

ssb bureau


cenic Tawang, a prime tourist attraction of Arunachal Pradesh, got the country’s first Home Stay Home Stay Skill Development Programme under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). The programme, supported by the Department of Industries and Tourism, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in partnership with YouthNet Nagaland (training provider of PMKVY), was launched on Monday. PMKVY, a flagship programme of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, aims to train 10 million people over four years (2016-2020). Despite its huge potential, tourism is this part of the country has not developed much due to infrastructural bottlenecks. The NSDC has chalked out a special project to train 200 women from the region, of which 25 candidates are from Tawang. These candidates are either running home stays or are upcoming home stay entrepreneurs, officials

new policy assam

Assam Gets A Two-Child Norm

The new policy debars persons with more than two children from contesting any panchayat and local elections in the state

The minister said the higher growth was in districts dominated by a religious minority, where indices of health and education were low. The growing population in these districts have led to migration to other parts, thereby creating demographic changes which, in turn, has created apprehensions of marginalisation among indigenous people, Sarma claimed. Sarma said the policy seeks to empower women for making the learned

choice regarding motherhood as it would lead to better living conditions for the communities. The policy has provisions to bar people with more than two children from statutory bodies and committees at the state level. The Assam government will take up the issue with the Central government for its implementation in case of MLAs and MPs from the state. In order to mobilize beneficiaries for family planning at the grassroots level, special additional incentives will be

Skill Development

Home Stay Prog At Tawang A 52 day homestay programme under PMKVY was launched to train 200 women developed in partnership with Youth Net Nagaland

said. The training will be followed up with setting up of home stays for the participants and registration on various online portals. The 52-day training programme will focus and cover basic tenets of hospitality etc. Inaugurating the programme, Parliamentary

Secretary for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship JambeyTashi spoke on the importance of homestays in towns like Tawang and Ziro where tourism has been growing in leaps and bounds. Further dwelling at length on the various government initiatives to

Quick Glance Persons with more than two children will not be eligible for government jobs ‘Population and Women Empowerment Policy of Assam’ This was in response to increased population growth in the state

provided to ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers in the eleven highly focused districts – where there has been abnormal population growth in the last decade or so – to encourage adoption of family planning and spacing methods by eligible couples. Of the total financial resources allocated to panchayats, 10 percent will be earmarked for performance-based disbursement in the field of reproductive health, child health services and female education. Also, girl education will be free up to university level. Sarma said the government will spend more than Rs 1,000 crore annually to implement the policy and the thirty-eight departments will bring amendments in their rules to align them with the policy. The focus is equally on empowering women folk through education, skill development and employment as on awareness on population control measures. It contains measures for thrust on women education, the legal framework for the protection of women’s rights and special schemes for widows/single women/divorcees, especially belonging to economically and socially backward sections and Muslim women divorcees.

Quick Glance The Department of Industries and Tourism supports the programme Youth Net Nagaland will provide the training Special districts have been identified to recruit women for training

create self-employment avenues for unemployed youth under PMKVY and Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, he requested all the stakeholders including Government servants to dedicate themselves for successful implementation of the flagship Central government schemes. He dwelt at length on the role of the new Directorate of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship that aims to skill youth of the State through Industrial Training Centres, various long and short-term vocational and capacity building training programmes, including the newly launched PMKVY which was on a ‘mission mode.’

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Assam To Set Up Waste Management department

With many states ramping up swachhta efforts, Assam decided to set up a Waste Management Institute and Department for Waste Management


ssam Government would set up an Institute of Waste Management and a separate department would be made for looking after waste disposal and management. Assam Chief Minister SarbanandaSonowal informed this, making a fervent appeal to the youth to realise the hazardous impact of plastics and non-bio degradable objects that cause tremendous harm to our environment. Saying that cleanliness is next to godliness as only clean thoughts can result in clean deeds, Sonowal called upon the young generation of the state to commit themselves to the cause of protecting the environment and practice cleanliness in their day to day lives. He was speaking at the inaugural function of National Conference on Waste Disposal and Management organized by National Green Tribunal at Srimanta

Sankardev Kalakshetra here. Stating that the whole country is now struggling with the problems of huge build up of waste and its hazardous impact on the environment, Sonowal said the situation calls for a smart handling of waste which includes processing and recycling as per the latest technology. Saying that there is tremendous pressure on the environment with the ever-growing human population and increasing living standards of people

as new settlements are burgeoning and industries have also been established to meet the growing needs for survival, Sonowal stated that waste disposal or waste management requires management of the waste from its initiation to its final removal. “As Guwahati aims to become the hub of economic and tourism activities in the next few years, our government would strive to ensure that ecology and economy coexists. We want to take Assam into high growth trajectory and usher in a period faster development but not at the cost of the environment,” Sonowal said, while informing about the government initiative to plant 10 crore saplings that started on World Environment Day on June 5 which would increase the green cover in the state and boost the ecology. Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s quote “swachhta hi sewa” that resulted in the visionary campaign of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by the Prime

space information

Space Based Information Kiosk (SBIK) For NE

The NESAC has collaborated with State Remote Sensing Application Centers in NE to start an informational space-based kiosk ssb bureau


Space-Based Information Kiosk (SBIK) about the Northeast has been set up at the Secretariat of North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong. NEC secretary Ram Muivah inaugurated the SBIK in presence of CH Kharshiing (Planning Adviser), NEC, Dr PLN Raju, Director, North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) and other senior officials of NEC and NESAC. Space-Based Information Kiosk (SBIK) programme is one of the unique initiatives of NEC executed by NESAC in close collaboration with State Remote Sensing Applications Centres of North Eastern Region to showcase the capability of

Space Technology inputs for developmental planning activity through single window system. The programme was launched with an objective to strengthen the planning and monitoring mechanisms of the projects funded


Quick Glance

manage waste

ssb bureau

North East

by NEC and other organizations of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and various Central Government Departments in the NER, the NEC officials said. SBIK on each of the States contains information on land use land cover (LULC), wetlands, wastelands, forest working plan, land degradation map (LDM), roads, drainages and settlements, soil map on each of the states, groundwater prospect map, wetlands infrastructures, inputs for disaster management support program etc. derived using space technology inputs for satellite data coupled with intense ground truth for different periods and scales. It is installed in a Touch Screen Based System and allows users to get live

The whole country is struggling with the problems of waste There is tremendous pressure on the environment The Assam Government is taking necessary steps to achieve SBM goals

Minister to rid the country of wastes and garbage, Sonowal thanked the Prime Minister for bringing a competitive spirit among the cities to become clean and turning it into a mass movement. A clean state is more hospitable to its visitors and subsequently brings greater investment to the economy, Sonowal said and hoped that two-day conference would be able to come up with solutions to the waste management challenges faced by the modern cities and help the government formulate policies accordingly. Chairman of National Green Tribunal Justice Swatanter Kumar, who was also present on the occasion, said that it is the collective responsibility of all sections of the society to protect the environment and take steps for scientific waste management. The National Green Tribunal is striving to make the country better place for the next generations by preserving the nature and biodiversity of the country, he said.

Quick Glance NEC secretary Ram Muivah inaugurated the SBIK The SBIK programme is an initiative of NEC It was launched to strengthen the planning and monitoring mechanisms

weather updated from MOSDAC site of ISRO and Bhuvan Satellite and Base Data. It is also linked with the Geoportal – North Eastern District Resources Plan developed by NESAC. SBIK has become one of the important tools for a large number of line departments of North Eastern Region. A large number of installation and demonstration takes place in the offices of Chief Secretaries and line departments including State/ Central agencies covering entire NE Region. SBIK will be installed in all the line departments in the NER for maximum utilization of space technology inputs for developmental planning activity, the NEC said.

24 Cityscape

September 25 - October 01, 2017

guwahati traffic

Decongesting Guwahati Assam govt to form a capital region development authority

Raj Kashyap

Proposed capital region includes areas under five districts in Guwahati On road vehicles in Guwahati are over 10 lakh The government plans a ring-road from Guwahati in proposed areas


ssam government will form a capital region development authority to expand the congested Guwahati city to the neighbouring areas on the lines of the National Capital Region (NCR). The State Assembly has passed a bill for the establishment of the Assam State Capital Region Development Authority which will be headed by the Chief Minister. The proposed capital region includes areas under five districts – Kamrup (M), Kamrup, Nalbari, Darrang and Morigaon – extending up to 60 km on north, south and west sides of Guwahati. The authority will prepare a regional plan for the area and coordinate the preparation of functional plans, regional plans, development schemes and project plans by the authority itself as well as by the municipal corporations, local bodies, panchayats and different government departments. It will also arrange and oversee the financing of selected development projects in the State Capital Region through government funds and other sources of revenue.

Quick Glance

Guwahati Development department minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said there is a need to establish a Regional Development Authority for preparing a regional plan for the development of the Assam State Capital Region and to coordinate and supervise the rapid and integrated development of the entire area under the region and to execute plans and projects and schemes for such integrated development in line with the National Capital Region

(NCR). The government plans a ring-road from Guwahati through the proposed areas, for which two new bridges on the Brahmaputra is being planned. The capital region authority will comprise of twelve members, including the CM as the chairman and Finance, Guwahati Development department and Urban Development ministers as members. The vice chairman of the authority will be the chairman of the executive committee,

which too would comprise a maximum of twelve members. The government, however, said the authority will not infringe on the powers of the local bodies like municipalities, town committees and autonomous councils. The city of Guwahati is increasingly congested by the day. Over 1.3 lakh new vehicles have been registered with the District Transport Office (Kamrup) since April 2015, taking the number of on-road vehicles in the city to over 10 lakh. Around 300 new vehicles are registered every day – one series of registration numbers often exhausts in three to four months’ time. This apart, around 4,000 vehicles coming from Tripura, around 5,000 from Meghalaya, around 1,000 from Nagaland and another 300 from Mizoram and Manipur land up in Guwahati every day. In the last couple of years, over 13,000 app-based taxis have been registered and are plying on the city roads, estimates said. The total length of the black-topped roads in the capital city is a little over 218 km.

farmers lasers

Farmers Use Lasers To Scare Monkeys Away To tackle the issue of monkeys wreaking havoc on produce, farmers are using laser pointers to keep monkeys at bay G Ulaganathan


ne of the major concerns of the farmers in Karnataka is the invasion of monkeys onto their fields and playing havoc with crops like ragi, maize and corn apart from the variety of fruits all over Karnataka, and also in the coffee plantations surrounding Mysore. Mysore and its neighbouring districts are skirted by mountains and small hillocks which are home to these monkeys. More than droughts or diseases affecting plantations, monkeys are the biggest challenge for the farmers. Monkeys visit the farms in a group of

15-20 and destroy almost 50 percent of the produce. Monkeys have been destroying cocoa, tender coconut, plantain, papaya and areca crops also. For several years, farmers had been searching for a way to keep monkeys away but all their efforts got them only temporary relief. From bursting crackers to playing loud music to even experimenting with guns made from PVC pipes, farmers in the coastal belt have tried everything to no avail. Now, they have come out with a new strategy-using laser pointers and claim that it is very effective. Subramanya, an organic farmer, says “We have experimented with almost everything to get rid of

Quick Glance Mysore and neighbouring districts are home to monkeys Monkeys visit the farms in a group of 15-20 and destroy produce Laser pointers are effective in keeping monkeys at bay

monkeys. About three months ago, I read somewhere that in some foreign countries laser points are very effective to keep monkeys at bay. I decided to buy one, and it is not very expensive. “A friend also told me that he has been using this for the past one year. We

believe that monkeys get irritated when the laser pointer is flashed towards them and they run away, he adds.” Now, many farmers are procuring these laser pointers from online stores and each costs about Rs 1,000 and comes with a rechargeable battery. But the only problem is that these lasers will work only during nights while the monkeys will continue to invade the fields during the daytime. And also, as Mr Manjunath, a professor in the agricultural university says, “monkeys are highly clever. They will get used to these lasers soon and then one has to find other ways to control them.” So, it looks like it is another short term relief only.

September 25 - October 01, 2017

Maa Durga Resplendent In Various Hues With Pujas starting a few days after the Mahalaya, that ends the pitripaksha, Devi Durga is getting a taste of London for the first time this year


urga Puja in Bengal means an outpouring of creativity at its best. If themes have been making wonderful strides in various community puja pandals across the city all these years, some of the organisers have made it a point to beat the trend. With Pujas almost round the corner, Devi Durga is getting a taste of London for the first time this year. Bhowanipore 75 Palli is set to bring a slice of London in the heart of the city. The gate of the pandal has been modelled after the Big Ben in London; the stage on which the deities will be adorned, will have the look of the London Bridge and the Westminster will be recreated. Finally, to make the pandal hoppers give an exact feel of the place, the street lights will be made to glow in a way similar to the streets of London. Biman Saha, the person in charge of bringing this slice of London into the city, hasn’t stopped there; he is making some artificial changes in the houses on both sides of the road approaching the main pandal so that the visitors could easily traverse into that particular area of the famed British capital. “ In fact, there are some places in Bhowanipore that closely resemble

London; I mean parts of Old Calcutta have a striking similarity with London,” Saha sought to explain. Maa Durga is given an awesome look to a complex work of Mahogany wood, Brass and Dokra art that would reveal a look of yesteryears. The deity has a root in North Bengal as some members of the Gorkha community have lent their hand in fashioning the idol. “We may have political differences, but when it comes to worshipping the goddess, we don’t discriminate. This is not our tradition,” an organizer said. If Bhowanipore is going for the Big Ben, the goddess will dwell in an island made of around two crores of broken PVC pipes in Bosepukur in South Kolkata. And to beat the threat of pollution, the dust that has been generated to cut the PVC pipes has been used to make the idols. “We are aware of the issue of pollution, but it was at the last moment that the decision to build idols with the pipes’ dust was taken,” claimed Govinda Giri, “ we’ve also ensured that the broken pieces of the PVC pipes are re-used in the locality, particularly among


Quick Glance

Durga Puja Bengal

Prasanta Paul


the slum dwellers where the same will be distributed.” Since the bug of a rivalry has beaten the neighbouring Ballyganj Cultural Club, the organizers have had the artisans deck up the pandal with a model each of Ram and Hanuman made of 1,11,111 `ghontas’(copper bells)! And the catch line of the pandal is “ Jate Metal, Tale Thik” (Metal in caste, but OK in sense). “The brass bells are part of pujas; so we’ve roped this idea to usher in a different taste,” disclosed Anjan Bera, the club secretary. After the pujas, the brass bells will find their way back into the shops as per the agreement already made. However, that the Mother Goddess is ditching her traditional attire and turning fashion-savvy is no longer a news. How she is donning the haute couture is more important. Famed fashion designer Agnimitra Paul has draped Maa with pure gold attire, weighing 24 kg, something Kolkata has never seen earlier, at Santosh Mitra Square. “ When we had earlier spoken about our intent to drape Durga with a gold sari, people thought that we’d have engravings of gold on the sari itself. But they had actually no idea that the entire sari will be made of gold,” designer Agnimitra Paul said, busy carving out various designs on gold plates that will adorn the goddess. How the seemingly impossible is being made possible? The goddess is nearly 9 ft tall. “ First, a moulded and fabricated structure is put on the clay idol; the layout of the design is then transferred by placing an art paper on it. Once the motifs and designs are understood by the goldsmiths, they

The London themed pandal will be at Bhowanipore 75 palli The pandal will have a look of the London Bridge and Westminster Biman Saha is in-charge of the Durga Puja pandal

start embossing the intricate designs of gold on the fabricated piece which is, in other words, the sari of the deity,” Paul explained. In the past, the goddess had worn costly gold and diamond jewellery, but this is for the first time, the Mother has shown her penchant to go gorgeously gold! When Arijit Mitra, one of the organizers of the Santosh Mitra Square, came up with a proposal of designer attire for idols to Paul a few months back, she could hardly hide her glee, being a devout devotee herself. “ I just couldn’t but accept it as the idea is very good; to introduce designer costumes for the deities appeared quite brilliant as there had been a lot of innovation so far as the form, lighting and even theme of the Mother Goddess are concerned; costumes of the deities have always

Complete with the Big Ben and London Bridge, this themed pandal will infuse a new style to Durga Puja in Bengal remained more or less traditional,” she said. “ I am myself quite religious; so when the proposal of draping Durga with a gold sari came, I sort of wanted to grab it.” Paul, who has already created her own niche in the world of haute couture with her ethnic textiles, began working on the design of the gold attire that Maa Durga would wear. Interestingly, 24 kg gold required for this, has been donated by a famous jewellery house. However, Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswati will be draped in Dhakai and Kanjeevaram respectively, while Ganesh and Kartick will be given Baluchari Dhoti and Dhoti with Kantha stitches. Sadly enough, the poor Mahisasura who might have the faintest dream of getting a gold earring or something has been left out this year, with a promise from the organisers to make amends next year! He has to remain content with an Ikkat Dhoti.

26 Environment

September 25 - October 01, 2017

dumping antibiotics


Waste Dumping In Rivers Causes Antibiotic Resistance

Experts have flagged concerns over unchecked dumping of untreated urban waste into rivers that lead to antibiotic resistance IANS


team of experts from India and Sweden has flagged concerns over uncontrolled dumping of partly treated/untreated urban waste into rivers -- leading to the spread of antibiotic resistance. Drawing attention to pollution of water courses from domestic waste, they found that antibiotic resistance genes were significantly more abundant in river sediments collected from the city than from upstream sites. “The growing resistance amongst bacterial pathogens limits our ability to treat infections. Environment plays an important role in transmission of bacterial pathogens and bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes (ARG),” Nachiket P. Marathe at the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, told IANS via email. “Hospital environments have been extensively studied in this perspective, but there is limited data on risks posed by external environment like river on transmission of antibiotic resistance gene carrying bacteria, Marathe said about the study published in Water Research in July. Marathe and his colleagues from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and SavitribaiPhule Pune University, Pune, examined the effect of domestic waste pollution on river microflora. Chandan Pal, SwapnilS. Gaikwad, Viktor Jonsson, Erik Kristiansson and Joakim Larsson are the study co-authors. To get a better understanding of total bacteria and resistance genes present in the samples, DNA sequencing method (shotgun metagenomics) was applied. Overall total antibiotic resistance genes were “30 times more abundant in river sediments from the city compared to upstream sites.” What is more worrying is that some of the bacterial antibioticresistance genes detected in the study defend them against last resort drugs (the last choice for treatment), for example, carbapenems.

How Do Hurricanes Form?

NASA scientists have explained in a blog how hurricanes form and what steps NASA takes to study the storms IANS


Quick Glance Antibiotic resistance genes are significantly abundant in river sediments Environment plays important role in transmission of bacterial pathogens DNA sequencing was used to study the bacteria and resistant genes

India, in its National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR) 2017 - 2021, says the emergence of resistance is not only limited to the older and more frequently used classes of drugs, but there has also been a rapid increase in resistance to the newer and more expensive drugs, like carbapenems. The samples showed the presence of all the clinically important carbapenemases-enzymes found in pathogenic bacteria that degrade carbapenems. These enzymes help in conferring resistance against the drug. “Carbapenems are used for treatment when penicillins (eg. amoxicillin, ampicillin) and cephalosporins (eg. Cefepime, cefadroxil) don’t work. Resistance against carbapenems leaves very few drugs for treating these bacterial infections. Hence, finding these genes in the environment is a big concern,” cautioned Marathe. This apart, the sediments also feature the multi-drug resistance bacterial genus Acinetobacter. According to Joakim Larsson,

senior author of the study, professor and director of the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research in Gothenburg, the observance in the Pune river is probably not an exception, but it is “likely a rather common situation” in India. “Without very large investments in sewage infrastructure, Indian rivers will unfortunately remain transmission routes for infectious diseases, including being an important reservoir of multi-resistant bacteria. This, in turn, infers increase in morbidity and associated costs to society. Current initiatives to clean up Indian rivers are good, but probably need even more momentum,” Larsson told IANS. “In cities especially, we produce more waste than the capacity for sewage treatment” He added Outlining the route of transmission, Marathe points to the vicious cycle. “The river water is used by the villages downstream of the city as drinking water (with some preliminary treatment) and also for irrigation. Domestic animals and sometimes humans are swimming in the river. “During monsoon floods, the river water enters the streets and houses (in some cases). This would facilitate transmission of these bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes (including pathogens) back to humans. This might eventually lead to increase in infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria,” he added.

ven as Hurricane Harvey left Texas bruised and Hurricane Irma began lashing Florida, NASA scientists have explained in a blog how hurricanes form and what steps the US space agency has taken to study the most violent storms on Earth. People call these storms by other names, such as typhoons or cyclones, depending on where they occur, but the scientific term for all of these storms is “tropical cyclone”, the scientists explained in a Tumblr blog this week. Only tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern

and central Pacific Ocean are called “hurricanes.” Whatever they are called, tropical cyclones all form the same way. They are like giant engines that use warm, moist air as fuel. “That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator. This warm, moist air rises and condenses to form clouds and storms,” the blog said. As this warmer, moister air rises, there is less air left near the Earth’s surface. Essentially, as this warm air rises, this causes an area of lower air pressure below. This starts the ‘engine’ of the storm. To fill in the low pressure area, air from surrounding areas with higher air pressure pushes in. That “new” air near the Earth’s surface also gets heated by the warm ocean water so it also gets warmer and moister and then it rises. As the warm air continues to rise, the surrounding air swirls in to take its place.As the storm system rotates faster and faster, an eye forms in the centre. NASA uses satellites to study the hurricanes.

September 25 - October 01, 2017

drainage flooding

Flooding By Plastic Clogging, Poor Drainage

Urban floods are caused by poorly maintained drains and clogging which leads to the accumulation of water on roads after rains Quick Glance



rban floods are entirely manmade with poorly maintained drains, plastic bags, shrinking open spaces and climate change contributing to accumulation of water on roads after a heavy downpour, experts say. They said that steps such as rainwater harvesting, ban on use of plastic bags and better use of weather forecasts will go a long way in helping tackle flooding in cities after rains. Heavy downpours have been disrupting normal life in almost all metro cities in India, with Mumbai bearing the brunt last month which led to death of at least six persons. Experts said a range of factors including rapid migration to urban areas and “lackadaisical attitude” of civic authorities were among the factors that contribute to cities coming

Steps like ban on plastic bags and rainwater harvesting can help Heavy downpours have been disrupting normal life in metros Experts blame rapid migration and the attitude of civic authorities

to a standstill after heavy rains. They said citizens also have to behave responsibly and ensure that plastic bags or used food plates are not thrown in the open or in the neighbourhood drains. V.K. Sharma, Senior Professor of Disaster Management at the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), said the cities need a proper system of garbage collection and

sewage disposal and regular cleaning of drains. “It is true that poor drainage and sewage system is the real cause of urban flooding. There is also migration to cities which often leads to land encroachment and exerts pressure on the existing civic infrastructure,” Sharma told IANS. Sharma said the urban planning has to have a long-term perspective and infrastructure should keep pace with growth of population. He said rain water harvesting should be made mandatory.



“There is also the need of fixing accountability of government officials and municipal authorities if drains are not properly cleaned. Strict penalties should be imposed on people throwing garbage in the open,” he said. “There is need to make people aware. This will also meet the larger goal of cleanliness,” he said. “This will also help prevent loss of life,” he said. Santosh Kumar, a professor at the National Institute of Disaster Management with expertise in disaster risk reduction and policy planning, said climate change was also a factor in cities getting excessive rainfall. “Urban flooding occurs when water flows into an urban region faster than it can be absorbed into the soil. Earlier, a city received such amount of rainfall in two to three weeks,” Kumar said, referring to Mumbai getting 350 mm rainfall on August 29-30. He said steps should be taken to improve garbage disposal and ensure that plastics do not find their way to drains. “Urban ecosystems comprising heavy rainfall in Delhi last month had flooded roads and caused huge traffic snarls. On August 19, many parts of Chandigarh were flooded due to heavy rains. Chennai had witnessed severe flooding in 2015 while floods in Mumbai in 2005 had killed over 500 people.

waterway cleaning

All States Gain If Rivers Linked Through Waterways

The project which has undergone several transformations since then is yet to take shape on ground IANS


lot of water has gone under the bridge since the idea of interlinking of rivers was first mooted during the tenure of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The project which has undergone several transformations since then is yet to take shape on ground, with states perennially bickering over their share of water. But if A.C. Kamraj -- a hydro scientist and an expert member of the government’s interlinking of rivers project -- is to be believed, an alternative method of linking rivers can be adopted with far better results and zero disputes over the share of water. Kamraj, also the head of National Waterways Development Technology, said the National Waterways Project envisages a way in which the two rivers can be linked through a waterway built

on an even plane enabling two-way flow between the rivers. Also known as Smart Waterways, the project is evolved by Kamraj. One of the advantages of the

technology, Kamaraj says, is that unlike the traditional interlinking of rivers which involves pumping of water using a lot of electricity, this technology uses only the “excess flood water that goes to seas un-utilised” without any pumping. “The new and unique proposal... only harnesses the excess flood water that goes to sea unutilised, that too just 25 per cent of flood water and 75 per cent of water still goes to sea.” “Nothing has happened for the last 35 years with the interlinking project when Indira Gandhi government formed the National Water Development agency in 1982,” Kamraj said in a press conference on Saturday. “The actual plan goes further back to the time of Nehru. It was approximated at that time that the interlinking of Ganga and Kaveri rivers alone would require the power equivalent to that being produced in

the entire country.” He said that the project was technically sound but was cold-freezed because of prohibitive costs. But Kamaraj is hopeful of seeing the networking of rivers materialise now that Union Minister of Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari has shown interest in “his technology” along with several southern states. “I met Mr Gadkari last in March. He was happy with our proposal. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana also showed satisfaction with the idea,” Kamraj said. The alternative idea of linking of rivers through waterways was first proposed during the AtalBihari Vajpayee government, which had formed a task force for the interlinking of rivers and “had found lot of problems” in it. “Twenty-one proposals were received from all over the country including ours... and reviewed by IIT professors. After reviewing all the proposals, the National Waterways Project (NWP) was declared the best,” he said. Kamraj says that linking through waterways will grant several benefits over the traditional interlinking of rivers. For instance, it will enable the government to irrigate almost double the size of fields as compared to traditional interlinking.

28 Lalitpur

September 25 - October 01, 2017

traditions lalitpur

The Slippery Slope Of Tradition

Women of Lalitpur village fight against casteist and sexist traditions and bring about a social revolution in the UP village

Quick Glance Lalitpur women are not allowed to wear slippers in presence of males The lower caste women are supposed to take their slippers off The women convinced the panchayat to make this custom optional

srawan shukla


ower caste women in this part of the world are not allowed to wear slippers before their husbands, male elders and members of upper castes. On seeing them, they are made to take slippers in their hands as a mark of respect. Since childhood, girls are taught to treat them equivalent to God. The social menace continued for centuries in many parts of Bundelkhand, one of the most backward areas in Uttar Pradesh. Ironically, Dalit and backward men have to follow the rule also on seeing any members of upper castes or else it would be treated as disrespect. Whatever is the weather, be it the scorching heat of the region or cold nights, they have to strictly follow the menace or face fine, social condemnation and, sometimes, even ouster from the village. “On seeing any Brahmins, Thakurs and other upper castes, we have to take our slippers into our hands to pay our respect. We can wear the slippers again only when they are out of sight,” rued a dejected Rakesh Sankhwar (37) of Mahrauni village in Lalitpur. There are many women aged between 30 and 60 years who claimed that they never wore slippers at home since they are surrounded by one or other male elders. The same is the situation when they step out of the home carrying their slippers in their hands instead of on their feet. “The threat of social condemnation and fear of facing all sorts of abuses from influential upper castes loom large when we go out. As a habit, we carry slippers in our hands even in peak summers when you can’t walk even a single step without a chappal. It’s a physical and mental torture,” pointed Bhanukunwar Ahirwar. She claimed that some village elders would deliberately stand before them so that they stand barefoot on heated earth with slippers in their hands. “It gives them some sort of sadistic pleasure,” complained Bhanukunwar. The ordeal does not end here. Ghoonghat is mandatory. Women are not supposed to look at males, other than their husband. They can’t sit with

their husbands before elders at home. Talking with strangers is strictly prohibited. They are also not allowed to sit at any common platforms to chat with their acquaintances in the village. The worst hit are the little literate newly-weds. They feel that the custom has casteist manifestation and ridiculous. “We should be allowed to touch their feet physically to pay real respect if we have to treat them like God,” suggested Purwa, who came to Mahrauni village about a year ago. Her husband Shivam too agrees with her suggestion but he has no guts to defy the custom prevalent for the past many centuries. His family members claimed that the couple doesn’t realize that untouchability remained a big issue in backward areas like Bundelkhand where Dalits and backwards can’t even stand on the routes of upper castes leave alone touching their feet. “We would be lynched and ostracized if we dared to touch any Brahmins are Thakurs. We still sit at a distance on

floors. We are not allowed to visit temples fetch water from wells and hand-pumps owned by upper castes. For Dalits, life revolves around the mercy of upper castes,” said Rajendra. A few women in a Bahraini village in Lalitpur finally decided to fight against the social menace to lead a life with dignity. “Initially, we were opposed by my in-laws but my husband supported me. Then we started going out with slippers on. This infuriated many village elders. My husband had to pay fine for this defiance. Slowly, any more women joined us and it became a campaign in the village,” said Kalpana. The news of defiance by a group of women spread like wildfire in the village. Support started pouring in from more and more women. But elders were not ready to let the custom do away. Help to these women came from social organizations which took up the issue at the district administration level. Finally, village panchayat was convinced that the custom will not be made mandatory but optional. Those

Dalit women of Lalitpur village successfully

overturned the age-old casteist and misogynist tradition of removing slippers in front of males

who do not want to follow the practice of taking slippers in their hands to pay respect will not be ridiculed and victimized anymore. “The issue is associated with paying respect to elders in the family, neighbourhood and village for centuries. Taking slippers in their hands is a way of showing respect towards your elders. It is no way disrespect towards women. Moreover, with the change sweeping across villages, the custom is no longer forced upon women,” clarified Shailendra Singh Village Pradhan. “Paying respect in any form is welcomed by the society. Don’t we take out our slippers while entering a temple? The custom is similar to that. Those who follow get respect in return. However, we have no objections to those who choose to defy it,” pointed Pratap Gaur. But women who upped the ante against the custom did not buy their logic. “We faced a lot of resistance. Husbands of a few thrashed their wives for defying the custom. But we did not give up. Finally, we won our battle for dignity and respect. Majority women in our village now wear slippers. But this did not mean we have forgotten our duty to pay respect to elders at home and in the village,” claimed Bharati.

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30 Sanitation

September 25 - October 01, 2017

drive swachhta

President Kick-Starts ‘Swacchta Hi Seva’ Drive President Ram Nath Kovind administered an oath of cleanliness to the people of Ishwariganj, Kanpur while kick-starting the cleanliness drive IANS


resident Ram Nath Kovind recently kick-started the “Swacchta Hi Seva” campaign from Ishwariganj village of Kanpur -his home district -- and administered the oath of cleanliness to the large gathering. The President also honoured those who helped make Ishwariganj an open defecation-free (ODF) village. “Construction of toilets is more important than temples,” he said, adding that the cleanliness mission had brought about a new awakening among the people. “Today, our country is fighting a decisive battle against uncleanliness. We have two years to achieve the targets of Swachh Bharat Mission. The ‘Swachhta hi Seva’ campaign is a nationwide attempt to strengthen this mission,” Kovind said. He said keeping the surroundings clean was not only the job of sanitation personnel and government

departments but that of people as well. “Cleaning is not only the responsibility of sanitation workers. Even Mahatma Gandhi tried to teach this point 100 years ago while he himself engaged in cleaning. He had said that till the time you will not pick up broom and bucket in your hands, you will not be able to clean your village and city,” he said.

Kovind said insanitation was a curse for society and that illnesses caused by it cost as much as 6.4 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product. Referring to Kanpur as his home, he mused how he found it a little discomforting to be welcomed in one’s own home but added that he knew that this grand welcome was not for

300 Cr Plan For Delhi’s Garbage Crisis ssb bureau he central government has approved a Rs 300 crore plan for “visible improvement” in solid waste management in the national capital in the face of the serious garbage crisis plaguing it, new Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday He said that under this plan, north, south and east municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs) would spend Rs 100 crore each for procuring machines for collection, transport and storage of solid waste.


“All vehicles and mechanical equipment would be procured and commissioned by the end of December this year,” Puri said at a conference on “Public Affairs: Effective Advocacy and Public Policy Strategies” here organised by the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI). Apart from that, the corporations would also procure decentralised treatment plants and special machines for upkeep of drains and sewers. He added after being procured, accelerated composters and bio-methanation plants would add a waste treatment capacity of 670 metric tonnes per day of bio-degradable

The President also honoured those who helped make Ishwariganj ODF Insanitation was a curse for society that costs 6.4% of our GDP The Uttar Pradesh government observed “Seva Diwas”

Ram Nath Kovind but the President of India. “I have an emotional connect with Kanpur. I started my life from a small village in Kanpur Dehat (rural),” the President said. Kovind also said the rich history of the city always inspired him and exhorted the people to make the city clean. “We all have lived in villages and know the difficulties of not having toilets in home,” he said while urging people to become a part of the campaign to make toilets at home. Kovind also mentioned the ‘have toilet’ campaign by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and said people should follow his request of “Darwaza band karo, beemari band”. In course of his address, he also hailed the efforts of another Bollywood star Akshay Kumar towards making India clean. The Uttar Pradesh government observed “Seva Diwas” (day of service) on September 17 and carried out a range of activities, including building cess-pit toilets, voluntary work and sanitation drives.

Quick Glance

garbage delhi

The Centre approved a Rs 300 crore plan for “visible improvement” in solid waste management in the national capital

Quick Glance

Under this plan all municipal corporations will spend Rs 100 cr All vehicles and mechanical equipment would be procured The MCDs would also procure decentralised treatment plant

waste besides preventing release of foul gases, smell and proliferation of germs, pathogens and pests. Delhi currently treats 5,100 metric tonnes of solid waste every day, out of which only 200 metric tonnes is treated through composting while the rest 4,900 is treated through incineration. The ministry would provide an assistance of Rs 80 crore to each MCDs from the Urban Development Fund operated by Delhi Development Authority to procure a total of 549 units of modern equipment, a statement said. As per the plan, 50 battery-operated litter pickers would be procured for market area in each MCD apart from a total

of 272 auto-mounted litter pickers, one each for every ward. Apart from that, 20 accelerated composters of one-ton per day capacity and 10 biomethanation plants of five-ton per day capacity would also be procured. Other equipment and machines to be procured include compacters, underground bins, mechanical road sweepers, and super sucker re-cycler machines for drains and sewers, said the Minister. “This should bring some relief in the national capital,” Puri said. He said sanitation was one of the main priorities of the government and he took up the garbage issue in the national capital on his very second day in office.

September 25 - October 01, 2017


Focusing On Resolving Landfill Site Issues After the Ghazipur incident, Government agencies are aware and working to resolve the issues of un-engineered garbage dumping sites



overnment agencies are aware and working to resolve the issues of unengineered garbage dumping sites like the Ghazipur landfill here, a part of which collapsed earlier this month killing two persons, said a Sanitation Ministry official here on Thursday. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, was talking about a 15-daylong campaign “Swachhta Hi Sewa” (Sanitation is Service) to mark the third anniversary of Prime Minister

Narendra Modi’s ambitious project Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The campaign will be launched by President Ram Nath Kovind in Kanpur Rural on Friday. It will mark a series of events, including mass and voluntary cleaning drive of iconic places that would include several celebrities. During the fortnight, issues like garbage landfills, open defecation and others will be discussed. The campaign would conclude on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on October 2. “Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is focusing, among other things, on this as well. Landfills

Quick Glance 4.6 crore household toilets have been constructed Sanitation cover has gone up from 39 per cent to 67.5 per cent 76 ministries implementing Action Plans worth over Rs 12,000 crores

and dumping ground will all be under focus during that time,” Iyer said. Asked about the migrant labourers in urban areas like Delhi who are forced to defecate in open, the Secretary said it’s an area that needs focus. “Migrant population is a reality mostly in urban areas but also in periurban areas. Efforts are being made to deal with it, though it requires attention,” Iyer said. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aims to make India open defecation free by 2019, and Iyer said: “India is on track to achieve sanitation goals.” Sharing some data of the achievements during the last three years, the Secretary said that five states including Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana and Uttarakhand had been declared open defecation free (ODF), and 10 others will become ODF by March 2018. He added that 4.6 crore household toilets had been constructed and sanitation cover has gone up from 39 per cent to 67.5 per cent since launch of the mission. “Every ministry had been allotted an additional adaptation budget to implement Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” Iyer said. According to the official data, 76 ministries are implementing Action Plans worth over Rs 12,000 crore with a specific budget code for cleanliness. However, the official said that public awareness will be the focus of the campaign.

tourism swachh

Tourism Ministry Spreads ‘Swachhta’ Message Better The campaign was organised at India Gate to spread awareness using street plays themed around the importance of cleanliness and sanitationnearly 20 times less network-based solutions IANS


he Tourism Ministry recently organised “Swachhta Hi Sewa” campaign at the India Gate with its Minister K.J. Alphons taking part in a cleaning drive. To spread the message of ‘swachhta’ among common people, student teams from Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa and IIMT, Noida, performed street plays themed around

importance of sanitation and keeping monuments clean. “The plays were very good. They sent a very simple and good message on cleanliness,” Alphons told IANS after watching the plays. “We have such an amazing civilisation . I wonder why would anyone dirty it... So start cleaning it now, from our streets, from our surroundings...,” the Minister later told the students and those present. He also administered oaths of

“Swachhta Hi Seva” to students under which they took pledge to volunteer at least 100 hours towards such sanitation in a year. Similar programmes were organised at as many as 15 culturally important locations around the country on Sunday, including Mumbai’s Juhu Beach, Rajasthan’s Pushkar Temple, and Hyderabad’s Charminar.




Bharti Foundation To Construct 50,000 Toilets

Bharti Foundation signed an MoU with Punjab government to jointly provide over 50,000 toilets to rural households in Amritrsar



harti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Punjab government to jointly provide over 50,000 toilets for rural households in Amritsar district. The MoU was signed on Wednesday by the Foundation with the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation of Punjab government, a spokesperson said here. Bharti Foundation will be collaborating with the state government under the Satya Bharti Abhiyan, its well-known sanitation initiative. “Under the MoU, Bharti Foundation will join hands with DWSS and will provide financial assistance for the construction of 20,000 toilets in four blocks with an investment of up to Rs 30 crore. “On completion, the joint initiative will impact over 2.5 lakh individuals. The initiative will be supported by grants from two group companies - Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Infratel Limited,” the spokesperson added. “The Public-Private Partnership model has proven to be an effective approach to promote inclusive and sustainable development. We are happy to be partnering with the district administration of Amritsar and the Government of Punjab to contribute towards alleviating the challenges of sanitation in the district,” Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation said. Under the Satya Bharti Abhiyan, over 87,000 individuals across Punjab’s Ludhiana district benefited during the firs phase of the campaign, which helped Ludhiana to become the second selfdeclared ODF district of Punjab.


September 25 - October 01, 2017



32 Unsung Hero



This 90% Disabled Man Is a Singer, Graphic Designer


This ai 26-year-old Puttaparthi, Kaustuvfrom Dasgupta has Andhra Pradesh, has suffered more suffered than 50 fractures date, 50 but he remains undefeated in spirit more till than fractures. A rare bone disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as ‘brittle bone disease’, afflicts him – a disease that affects one in every 20,000 people, mainly owing to a lack of collagen. In 2001, Dasgupta fell down in his bathroom. Both his knee bones were fractured. The doctors, who were in a hurry, plastered his legs while the joints were still bent. After cutting the plaster, Dasgupta found that both his knee joints were now fixed in that position. He got confined in an electric wheelchair after that horrible incident. At present all his joints are completely fixed and he Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta cannot move an inch on his own.


But he has proved that the disability has affected only his body and not his mind. Dasgupta used to dance when he was a child. But one day the doctors suggested that dance is not for him. That was when he realised that he was not like other children – that he was different. Once he realised that his bones were brittle as glass, he thought of doing something that would require him to stay in a room. Inspired by his mother Shila Dasgupta who used to sing, perform and teach music, he took up singing to express himself. Though only two fingers functioned on his left hand, Dasgupta further trained himself to become a graphic designer. After completing his intermediate, he was not able to sit

for his BA exam. Somehow he managed to complete a diploma course in computers. “It was so difficult to learn to design from home,” he says. “I made up my mind and thought I’ll overcome this challenge as well. I decided to be a self-taught designer. I had to learn every tool of designing by reading books or going through tutorials online.” In 2012, he joined a non-profit organisation as a designer. Gradually, he started working with other digital media graphics and people started giving him work. Today, Dasgupta loves to inspire students who want to discover the purpose of their lives. Looking back, Dasgupta feels that his birth itself was unique. Being a 90% differently-abled guy, he is proud to have turned his disability into his “speciality” to help more people smile. He is truly an inspiration for all and he continues to help make cities more accessible to disabled persons.

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Manmohan Agrawal

2,00,000 Pics Of Modi On His Birthday Modi fan Manmohan Agrawal shatters world record for most pictures exhibited by displaying 2,00,000 pictures of PM Modi


eceiving birthday wishes from virtually everyone in the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a well wisher who went above and beyond on his 67th birthday. Collecting over 2 lakh pictures of

the Prime Minister, Modi fan, Manmohan Agrawal from Jaipur created a Guiness World Record on the PM’s 67th birthday. He displayed his collection of two lakh pictures recently and that got his event registered into the Guinness World Records. Manmohan Agrawal displayed his pictures at a city mall in Jaipur. I already have more photographs to claim the world record,” he said. He wanted to create a record that was unbeatable. The current record was registered in Hong Kong seven years ago. “It was established in Hong Kong in July, 2010. They displayed 1,41,822 smiley pictures,” he informed. Manmohan created his collection with every picture having the dimension – 3.9 x 3.9 according to Guinness World Records rules. All pictures had descriptions. He had already taken permission from Guinness prior to the event. Manmohan Agrawal already has six different world records to his name despite being a full time builder. Breaking world records is his passion. Some of the records he’s registered are - writing name of Lord Ram 64,691 times on a post card, 40-footlong wooden spoon.

Daredevil Female IPS Officer Is Nightmare For Terrorists Neutralizing over 16 terrorists and arresting 64 in just 15 months, this IPS officer is making national headlines


he dedication and efforts of female police officers in the country have recently come under the spotlight as we collectively fight corruption and terrorism on all sides of the nation. Sanjukta Parashar, known as the Iron Lady of Assam is the IPS officer making headlines for her valour in the field. Appointed as an IPS officer in Assam, she has arrested over 64 terrorists in the last 15 months setting a clear example for others. First, she was sent to Makum, Assam, back in 2008, working as an Assistant Commandant. Soon she

Sanjukta Parashar

was transferred to Udalguri for managing the communal violence between illegal Bangladeshi militants and Bodo. She neutralized 16 terrorists in the 15 months she conducted her operation and arrested 64. This fearless mother of a fouryear-old, Sanjukta was in a recent operation wherein she jumped into the front lines herself with her AK-47 rifle. She has completely dedicated herself to Anti-Bodo militant operations. She’s only able to be with her husband once every one or two months. Her valour and dedication exhibited is exemplary and respect worthy.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 41 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain

Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 41)  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 41)  

Prime Minister's Birthday Celebrated as Swachhta Hi Seva