08 World’s Finest Saffron
3 kgs of Pampore saffron costs Rs 4.5 lakh, just for one part of the Jain Festival held once in 12 years
The Making of a Legend
Colours to Widows’ White
The life and times of PM Modi penned by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak
Breaking the stereotypes, hundreds of widows celebrate Holi in Vrindavan
Spotless Toilets in the City-State From a developing nation with poor sanitation to one of the world’s cleanest countries
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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561
A Good News Weekly
Vol - 2 | Issue - 11 | February 26 - March 04, 2018 | Price ` 5/-
Turn The Pages Of Indian History Once untouchables, now it’s band, baja, bAraat for these sisters
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Quick Glance Sarita and Rajni earlier carried human excreta on their heads to eke out a living Both sisters had joined an apprenticeship course at a Sulabh vocational centre The marriage of the two sisters was solemnised with much fanfare at the Bairwa dharmshala in Tonk
Sarita and Rajni in their bridal finery before the wedding in Tonk on Tuesday Photo. Courtesy: HT
Turn The Pages Of Indian History
ajni and Sarita Thanwal once worked as manual scavengers and were treated as untouchables by their employers. Last week, the same people participated in the “grand” weddings of the sisters in Tonk. Elephants, camels, horses, bands playing wedding songs, and dancing baraatis... the weddings in Tonk, about 100 km from Jaipur, had all the pomp and show of a regular “upper caste” wedding, which would have been unthinkable for the manual scavengers some years ago. “Our mother used to work as a manual scavenger and we used to go with her from house to house. People used to discriminate against us,” said Sarita, 25, looking radiant as a bride who got married to Sunny Sangat, a cameraman from Kota. “They used to give us food and water from a distance and we could never think of eating or drinking
with them. But today those very people are participating in our wedding,” she beamed. “A former employer sent us a box of sweets, a coconut, betel leaf and garlands as shagun.” Her sister, Rajni, 27, got married to Shubham Dharu, a fireman who lives in Ajmer’s Sarwad town. “I used to hate it when I had to do manual scavenging in childhood. People used to misbehave with us and taunt us. We used to earn Rs 200300 every month and got leftover food from houses of employers,” Rajni recalled, now smiling. “Once in school, I asked the woman peon for a glass of water. She had just given water to another student but refused me when I asked. I got angry and complained against her, and the headmaster even ticked her off,” she reminisced. The weddings were organised with help of Sulabh International,
The weddings were organised with help of Sulabh International, an NGO that works on sanitation
Rajni, married to Shubham Dharu
an NGO that works on sanitation. Sulabh has been working in Rajasthan since 2003 and has helped rehabilitate manual scavengers. Manual scavenging was banned in India in 1993 but has not yet been completely eradicated. Sulabh International chief Dr Bindeshwar Pathak said with this ‘grand’ wedding they wanted to convey the message that society has accepted the change and is treating
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Oh! what an evening of liberation it was... and not just for the two ladies...
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak being welcomed at the wedding ceremony Sarita, married to Sunny Sangat
these women who were once untouchables, with due respect. “Once they used to carry human excreta on their heads. But today they can hold their heads high in society,” said Pathak. “These women have chosen to call themselves Brahmins and now socially interact with upper classes.” Sulabh has helped organise weddings and given Rs 2 lakh financial help for 15 women who were previously m a n u a l scavengers. The sisters say their lives changed for the better after they joined the Sulabh International centre in Tonk in 2008. Sarita works as a beautician, while Rajni who has completed her graduation and a computer course, works at the Sulabh centre in Tonk. In Rajasthan, Sulabh has two centres, one in Tonk and the other in Alwar, the districts that had a majority of manual scavengers. Tonk had more than 250 manual scavengers and Alwar more than 200. Both the districts were declared manual scavenging free in 2010. The objective of opening the 2/23/2018
centres was to reach out to manual scavengers and give them alternative life skills, said Pathak. The centres impart skills such as tailoring, embroidery, beauty care, making handicrafts, bags, pickles and papad. Sonu Gupta, training in-charge at the Tonk centre, said there were more than 275 manual scavengers when the centre opened in 2008. By 2010 all of them had left manual scavenging and taken up alternative employment. Apart from life skill, the scavengers were also taught to maintain cleanliness and keep their surroundings clean, she said. “ T h e outlook of society has slowly changed and discrimination has reduced. Now upper castes also invite them to social functions.” In 2015, Sulabh International had organized a function in Delhi where more than 300 women manual scavengers were formally declared as Brahmins in the presence of Union minister Mahesh Sharma and Sanskrit scholars. Courtesy: Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times e-Paper - Once untouchable, now its band, baja, baarat for exmanual scavenger sisters - 21 Feb 2018 - Page #5
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
The big-fat dreamy wedding in the city of Tonk Rajasthan witnesses the marriage of once-manual-scavengers Rajni and Sarita
n SANJAY TRIPATHI
he city which has seen scavengers getting freed from the inhuman act of carrying human-waste on their heads, the city that has seen untouchability being put to an end, and the conversion of the Valmikis into Brahmins as a major social change, the same city of Tonk has now witnessed a wedding ceremony which none could have ever imagined before. And it was all possible due to the driving force behind Sulabh International – Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, who is determined to fulfil Gandhi’s dreams in every possible way. It is a social transformation for which Dr Pathak has been striving for almost 50 years now, and with each such achievement,
he feels further encouraged. This was the marriage of Rajni and Sarita in the city of Tonk, who before 2008, at the age of 7-8 years, went from homes to homes with their mother Kanta to perform the dreadful act of manual scavenging. This was their daily routine. Then the time changed and with that Rajni and Sarita, along with their mother, were freed from the disgusting practice under the Sulabh movement. They then became a part of Sulabh’s ‘Nai
Disha’ vocational training centre, became self-reliant and soared to a height from where marriage offers started coming in. From Kota and Sarwan (Rajasthan), Sunny and Shubham’s parents stepped forward and put forth the willingness to marry them off to these two cultured girls. The marriages were fixed and on 21st February 2018, a grand ceremony was held in the Bairwa Dharamshala of Tonk city where Kota’s Sunny was married to Sarita and Sarwan’s
The marriage of Valmiki-turned-Brahmin sisters was a fanfare of Vedic chants, blessings and societal transformation
Quick Glance Before 2008 Rajni and Sarita were engaged into manual scavenging The two were freed from the illpractice by Sulabh Foundation Their elevated lifestyle queued suitable marriage proposals for them
Shubham to Rajni. There was a time when a groom belonging to Valmiki society was not permitted to ride on a horse whilst the baraat. Even today, Brahmins do not visit their homes to perform the Vedic customs during marriages. People of
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
“Gandhi’s dreams are coming to life” Dr Pathak strives to create a society where each one has a right to choose their own name, religion and caste. The marriage of the two sisters is a big step in that very direction
n Dr Bindeshwar Pathak
his might be perhaps the first time in the history of India that a wedding ceremony of a Valmiki society girl was bestowed with a lavish convoy of elephants, horses and camels; that Valmikis would have performed the marriage rituals with the Vedic chants of Brahmins; a marriage where people of every section of the city participated. But all of this happened, and why not? After all they are my daughters, my princesses. I am recalling that day of 2007 when I first met the women and girls of Tonk and Alwar, back in the days when they were trapped in the task of manual scavenging. Little Rajni and Sarita were also engaged in the same with their mother Kanta. I had a plan on my mind to make Gandhi’s dreams come true. In this regard, I introduced them to the Sulabh vocational training center ‘Nai Disha’ with a stipend of Rs 2000/-. Here they equipped themselves with various trade practices alongside completing their education. I took them to all those prestigious holy places where they were forbidden entry in a bid to mainstream them in the society. Made them take dips in holy rivers. They sat and ate together with Brahmins. And today they are invited to the same homes where they once cleaned the defecated wastes. I thought that caste should be based on ‘karma’ and now when their deeds are like Brahmins, why not change their caste, too? If the society
can accept religion conversion then why not caste conversion? One should have the freedom to select their own name, religion and caste. These people made their caste Brahmin according to their karma. Gandhiji used to say that in this nation, either the untouchability will exist or Hinduism. And if Hinduism has to be saved, then the discrimination in the name of untouchables and caste has to be eradicated. If there is inferiority complex in the name of caste, then we have to change it, too. And that is what we did. They were converted from Valmikis to Brahmins and today the same class is standing with their head held high and the glory that of a Brahmin. In this marriage ceremony, I talked to many people who were not invited to the occasion but still participated just to witness this social transformation. They could not believe to their eyes that the marriage of daughters of a Valmiki family could also be performed in this way. A new environment is emerging in this society and nation. We want that the government and political parties too make their contribution in this direction and fulfil the dreams of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. In the end, I can only say that my life has been blessed today. Gandhi had once asked for a life that if ever he is reborn, then be it in a Valmiki family so that he can experience their lives. It is my great fortune that I have seen all that Gandhi wanted in this one life.
the society would themselves gather around, take the ‘saat pheras’ and the marriage was hence complete. But the scenario in this wedding was all different. To make this marriage a memorable one, the brides and the grooms’ sides left no stone unturned, breaking all stereotypes. In this city of Nawabs and Rajwaras, the
impossible turned possible. When the two grooms arrived like kings on their horses with swords in hand, the entire Tonk city gathered around curiously. The sisters were looking no less than princesses. People couldn’t take their eyes off them when the two girls arrived in their specially stitched lehengas. The students of the Sulabh
Vocational Training Center, Tonk, were greeting the guests at the entrance with roses and sandalwood tikas. They were excited to another level. And this excitement increased further when Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement Founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak arrived to shower his blessings on the brides
and grooms. He arrived at the stage with a band. Both the sisters, who were be-seated on the stage, could not stop themselves and got up to welcome him and took his blessings by touching his feet. Dr Pathak gave them a bouquet and presented them with a gift. Meanwhile, the 10 Pandits, who came from Jaipur besides Pandit
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Their scavenger days were turned around and this change was brought about by Dr Pathak who is a Godly figure to them Suresh Shastri and Pandit Murari Shastri, recited the mantras of Ganesh Vandana, Purush Sukta and Rudra Sukta after the recital of the Swasti Vachan. These mantras of the Shukla Yajurveda are considered to be auspicious for marriage. After the completion of the mantras, people presented the couples with gifts and blessings. Media persons were also present around the stage. Camera and mobile-flashes were constantly twinkling. They were all striving for the couples and Dr Pathak’s bites. Rajni told how when she was only eight-years-old, she used to carry human-waste with her mother. She recalls that when other children
used to go to schools, at the same time she and her younger sister had to visit homes for collecting the excreta. They weren’t aware at that time that this was a disgusting act. Of course, they often vomited during the process. From childhood, they had seen their mother, aunts and all other women in the neighbour perform the task. It was an ancestral act that they could not ignore, at least that is what their father taught them. But then their days turned around. And this change was brought about by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak who is a Godly figure to them. She added that she had never in her life seen such a crowd at a wedding ceremony and
that she had never imagined that one day big names will participate in her own marriage. Go and have a look outside the Dharamshala and you can see elephants, horses, camels and dozens of cars standing. I feel like I am watching a movie, she said. Sunny, who is a photographer from Kota, and who tied knots with Sarita, told that he just knew that Sarita was a matriculate and now works as an embroider at the Sulabh centre from which she earns a living, but he wasn’t aware that she was such a big celebrity. “I knew about Sulabh toilets, but was not familiar with Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. Whatever I could gather in this short span is that selflessness is existing with people like him. We are blessed by getting his blessings on our marriage. After the marriage, he has invited us to come to the Sulabh office in Delhi,” he said. Shubham, who came from Sarwan to tie knots with Rajni, is a trainee
fireman. He too was not much aware of Sulabh. He was not even aware of Rajini’s training centre. He just knew that Rajni was a B.A pass. Rajani, who was standing next to him, said that both of them would go to Delhi and after meeting Dr Pathak, Shubham will himself learn of it all. On this occasion, Rajni and Sarita’s father, Om Prakash Dhanwal, said that he is proud that his daughters are educated - and they achieved this with their own money. Earlier, a stipend of Rs 2000/- was granted by Sulabh and then they started working. This way they completed their education. He added that they can understand computer technology, are well-versed with mantras and Sanskrit. Isn’t that what Brahmins also do? Then why should we consider ourselves as a lower caste? I was very happy to see my daughters becoming Brahmins, he added. On this occasion, the president of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Usha Chamar who had come from Alwar, looked at the hundreds of people gathered there and asked if you can tell who belongs to which caste. The concept of untouchability has ended but the caste system still exists, which creates the difference between high and low. Dr Pathak is fulfilling the dreams of ‘Sir Gandhi Baba’ through such events. People kept on coming in and showering their blessings on the brides and the grooms. There was a separate and huge stage setup for the ‘jaimala’ and when the couples were exchanging their garlands, Dr Pathak was quietly observing the serene atmosphere as if the two are his own daughters, and thus returned capturing this beautiful moment in his memory forever.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018 Birthday
Bhaiji’s 90th Birthday Celebrated in Delhi!!!
Dr Subbarao’s birthday was celebrated with full enthusiasm on 9th February n Dr Ashok Kumar Jyoti
n 9th February, the 90th birthday of Dr SN Subbarao, renowned social worker and founder of ‘National Youth Planning
Institute’ was celebrated with great reverence and respect at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru National Youth Center, New Delhi. As the chief guest of the programme, founder of Sulabh
Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Padmabhushan Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, expressed his heartfelt good wishes for the health and long life to Dr Subbarao by offering a shawl, garland, bouquet and the English book ‘Mahatma Gandhi’s Life in Colour’. On this occasion, Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak honoured his contribution in the field of social service by calling Dr Subbarao his ‘guru’. Dr Pathak said that multilingual Subbarao is the inspiration for the youth of the country and at this age, he also visits all over the nation as a young soul and motives the young generation of the country. Known as ‘Bhaiji’, the famous Gandhian, Sarvoday thinker and the inspiration of the youth, born in Bengaluru Dr Subbarao has adopted Gandhi in his life completely. All his life, he tried connecting youth to nationalism, Indian culture, secularism and social responsibility. He truly is a motivator. There is magic in his voice. He is well versed in classical music and sings inspiring songs in many languages. He has a glow of inspiration on his face. Those who meet him once, becomes highly inspired by his personality. Millions
“Dr Subbarao is the inspiration for the youth of the country and even at his age, he also visits all over the nation as a young soul and motives the young generation of the country” of people of the country have taken inspiration from him. On this occasion, Dr Subbarao said that to keep the country united in a non-violent way is a big challenge for us and it can be done by the youth. He said that we should respect every language and people of every province by mutual affection and harmony. He added that in this country it is necessary that people should be told the importance of non-violence, particularly to the youth, and to be motivated to follow this path. Famous Gandhian Kusum Shah, former President of Delhi Assembly, Purushottam Agarwal, Dr Indrani Majumdar, Abha Kumar, media worker GN Jha, Sanjay Tripathi and several dignitaries from across the country were present.
Mice under scientists’ observation Scientists are striving to determine ways to cure rare type of diarrhoea n Sunderarajan Padmanabhan
iarrhoea could be prolonged or last for a few days. However, there is a rare form of diarrhoea, which is caused due to a specific genetic mutation in patients. The symptoms of the disorder begin right from birth and continue lifelong, even in the absence of infection. The patients also suffer from several other complications including irritable bowel syndrome, bowel obstruction and inflammatory bowel disease. Studies to understand the basis of the disease and perhaps provide ways of helping patients have recently got a shot in the arm with the Department
of Biotechnology (DBT) awarding a grant to scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, led by Prof. Sandhya S. Visweswariah, in the Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics. The project includes the development of a novel transgenic mouse which will express the human GUCY2C protein, harboring a mutation in its gut. The mouse is being produced by a company in France and is likely to be ready for studies by July this year. Dr Visweswariah said a significant feature of the animal model will be that it will be possible to switch on and switch off the activity of the human gene.
The disease may be present in India, but managing this disorder is very expensive. The focus of the study, she said, was to find a drug molecule that could suppress the activity of the protein. She and her team have also been studying other transgenic mouse models where GUCY2C protein is made to be active all the time. “Mice and humans have a major difference in that we consume a lot of fluid in our diet. Rodents such as mice consume very little water and therefore it gets largely absorbed in the body. Consequently, it is not possible for mice to demonstrate aspects of the disease identical to that
seen in humans. However, we need to use the mouse as a model, and the new mouse that is on the way would hopefully be a game changer.” Dr Visweswariah made a presentation on her work at the recently concluded International Conference on Cell Biology (ICCB) 2018. It was a first of its meeting where three organisations came together: International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB), Asian Pacific Organization for Cell Biology (APOCB) and Indian Society of Cell Biology (ISCB).
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018 SHRAVANABELAGOLA
World’s Finest Saffron For Jain Festival At a conservative price of Rs 150 per gram, the three kgs of Pampore saffron would cost Rs 4.5 lakh, just for one part of the ceremony held once in 12 years Quick Glance Shravanabelagola is among the highest spiritual seats of Jainism The festival to worship Bahubali is held once in 12 years only This year a Jain saffron trader has donated the costliest condiment in the world
n G Ulaganathan
he Mahamastakabhisheka in of Lord Bahubali Shravanabelagola will have a Kashmir connection this time. The finest and purest saffron grown in Pampore region in Kashmir valley will be used for anointing the Bahubali statue. Rajendra Kumar Jain, a devotee from Tumakuru, has brought 3 kg of saffron from the Unique Saffron Growers Welfare and Marketing Cooperative of Pampore, a place known for producing the world’s “finest and purest saffron”. Jain, who has been trading in saffron for decades, donated the saffron to CharukeerthiBhattarakaSwamiji of Shravanabelagola mutt. The festival will be held between February 17 and 25 this year. The type of saffron is endemic to Pampore region. Sher-e-Kashmir University is running a project in association with local cooperative bodies to improve saffron output in the valley. Saffron output has come down in Pampore due to uncertain weather. As a result, the prices have shot up, it is stated. A few years ago, a gram of pure saffron would cost Rs 150 or so from the Anantnag area, the primary saffron producing region. Going by that account, Jain’s three kgs would cost around Rs 450,000, if not more.
Jain, however, doesn’t mind the cost. “Devotion is primary. We do not worry about the cost. God will give wealth and health if we serve the needy and contribute to religious functions”, he says. Sources in the mutt say it is for the first time that saffron is brought directly from Pampore for the once-
in-12-year event. Shravanabelagola will also have the fragrance of jasmine from Udupi district. SujiMallige (as it is locally called), grown at Shankarapura and Shirva in the coastal district, was part of the pushpar chane on the first day of the main Mahamastakabhisheka event on February 17, said Jain.
The monolith and monuments were built in 986 AD. The ASI takes up chemical washing of statue before and after the anointing ceremony
There are about 400 inscriptions that are found in two main hills of Shravanbelagola. The history of Chandragiri, also known as Chikka Betta, dates backs to the 4th century and several old inscriptions have been recorded here from time to time. The ASI will now be digitising all the inscriptions. “Some of the inscriptions were fading and we have increased the protection around such writings. The ASI also has old records of these inscriptions which are being digitised,” an official said. Drones banned The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has banned the use of tripods and flying of drones near the monolith of Lord Bahubali. The order comes in the wake of increasing devotee rush at Vindhyagiri hills where the 58-foot tall monolith is located. Unregulated use of tripods could harm the monuments on Vindhyagiri hills. Hence, the ASI has made it mandatory to take prior permission for using equipment for shooting the veneration ceremony. The permission for flying drones has also been turned down by both ASI and DG Civil Aviation. The restrictions have been imposed under Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendments and Validation) Act, 2010.The official said that online applications have been made available for those who wish to shoot Mahamastakabhisheka using tripods.“Keeping in mind the safety of the monolith, the restrictions
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
hravanabelagola is a small township located 51 km southeast of Hassan District in Karnataka. It is at an altitude of about 3,350 feet above sea level. Shravanabelagola is nestled by the Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri Hills, protected by the monolith Bhagwan Bahubali, and home to over 2,300 years of Jain heritage. This 58 feet tall statue was built in circa 982 and stands upright in the posture of meditation known as kayotsarga, atop the Vindyagiri Hills - accessible through a flight of 500 steps. BhagwanBahubali, the son of the first of 24 Jain Tirthankaras, is worshipped for living with exceptional qualities that he displayed during all stages of his life from conception, birth, renunciation, enlightenment and salvation. Beautiful and serene is his external appearance. The image of Gommateshwara(Bahubali) has curly hair ringlets and large ears. The eyes are open as if he is viewing the world with detachment. His facial features are perfectly chiselled with a faint touch of a smile at the corner of the lips that embody a calm inner peace and vitality. His shoulders are broad, the arms stretch straight down and the figure has no support from the thigh upwards. There is an anthill in the background which signifies his incessant penance. From this anthill, emerge a snake and a creeper which twine around both the legs and arms culminating as a cluster of flowers and berries at the upper portion of the arms. The entire figure stands on an open lotus signifying the totality attained in installing this unique statue. On either side of Gommateshwara stand two tall and majestic chauri bearers in the service of the Lord. One of them is a yaksh and the other one is a yakshi. These richly ornamented and beautifully carved
are being imposed. However, use of tripods can be allowed with prior permission. The applicant has to pay ASI Rs50,000 and anotherRs50,000 as security deposit. ,” the official explains. The monolith and monuments were built in 986 AD. The ASI takes up chemical washing of statue before and after anointing ceremony. “It’s important that no vibration is
A serene celebration
figures complement the main figure. Carved on the rear side of the anthill is also a trough for collecting water and other ritual ingredients used for the sacred bath of the image. Around the statue is an enclosure comprised of a pillared hall where one can find 43 images of Tirthankaras in different cloisters. There is also a figure of a woman called Gullikayajji sculpted with a
The carving and consecration of the Bahubali statue in Shravanabelagola is ascribed to the great Chamunda Raja who was the commander-inchief as well as the Prime Minister
good built and wearing exquisite ornaments, typical of the sculptures of the Ganga period. The Akandabagilu or the massive door, carved out of a single rock with an elaborately carved Gajalakshmi in her typical posture flanked by two elephants, is another meritorious work of Jain craftsmanship. While at Shravanabelagola one can also gain insights into Jain mythology through some of the finest paintings depicted on the walls of the Shri Jain Matha. Rich in colours and harmonious in composition, these paintings of the 18th century depict royal processions and festivities, monks, women in brightly coloured saris,
of the Ganga King Rachamalla during the later period of 10th century A.D. The story goes that Kalala Devi, mother of Chamundaraya, wished to have a darshan of the golden statue at Poudanapura. The obedient son, seeing the intense spiritual fervour of his mother, set out on a long pilgrimage to see the golden statue along with his mother and Guru AcharyaAjithasena, and spent a night at Shravanabelagola enroute to Poudanapura. In identical dreams, the KushmandiniYakshi ordered Chavundaraya to erect a statue. The next morning, as directed in the dream, Chamundaraya flung
caused around the monolith. Sighting the same reason, the permission for the cable car was denied a few years ago,” the official noted.The ASI has also provided separate steps for palanquin- bearers. The State Government is taking all precautions and has left no stone unturned to ensure the safety of the pilgrims. Unprecedented security has been provided as it is also a
forest scenes of wild animals and other subjects that shed light on the domestic, religious and social life of the people.
few months to go before the state assembly elections. Sravanabelagola is one of the highest spiritual seats of Jainism, with a 58 feet standing statue of Lord Bahubali which is of exquisite architectural beauty. Of the two hills in the area, Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri, the statue stands on the latter. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya is said to have died at Chandragiri in 298 BC after
his golden arrow with the first shaft of the rising sun from the top of Chandragiri hill to the top of the bigger hill opposite. Immediately the prophecy came true and the image of Bahubali was discerned. Chavundaraya then entrusted the task of chiselling the statue out of a huge block of granite to the most skilful sculptors of the land under the guidance of Arishtanemi. In later years, Chavundaraya, filled with the pride of achievement and arrogance, set out to perform the Mahamastakabhishek. But, the anointing liquids coconut, milk and the five nectars would not descend down the navel. At that moment, legend goes, Gullikayajji, an old woman presented herself with a little milk in the shell of a white Gullikai fruit. Many derided her but as the humble devotee of Bahubali poured the milk in the shell, it instantly ran down the image, reaching the feet of the statue and covered the hill around. A chastened Chavundaraya then made it mandatory that Mahamastakabhishek to be performed every 12 years for Lord Bahubali. The Mahamastakabhishek of 1981 coincided with 1,000 years of the consecration of the statue while the Mahamastakabhishek of 1993 was the last of the previous millennium. The Mahamastakabhisheka is going on the period of February 17th to February 25th. February 21 was set aside as a special day for the NRIs to perform Abhishek of BhagwanBahubali. The Mahamastakabhisheka begins by devotees carrying 1,008 specially prepared vessels (kalashes). The statue is then bathed and anointed with libations such as water, milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion. Over one million devotees are expected to attend the consecration ceremony.
he converted to Jainism. Emperor Ashoka first built the Chandragiri area to honour Chandragupta in the 3rd century BC. The hills, some 144 km from Karnataka capital Bengaluru, become a centre for religious fervour every 12 years. The statue is referred to asGommateshwarabyKannadigas, but the Jains refer to the same as Bahubali.
excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Pioneer of A NEW AGE ELECTION CAMPAIGN
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressing the Vijay Shankhnad rally at Ramabai Ambedkar ground, Lucknow, on March 2, 2014.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”
arendra Modi lost no time in assuming charge of the BJP parliamentary party and the election committee. The parliamentary party consisted of 12 top leaders, and it was with this core group and the assistance of his carefully chosen team, that Modi planned his 2014 general election campaign strategy. This was the first instance for the BJP when a campaign was based not on the party’s name, but in the name of its prime ministerial candidate. It was only a matter of time before the entire campaign revolved around Narendra Modi for the BJP as well as for the opposition. All party leaders and functionaries were given responsibilities, but the face of the campaign was Narendra Modi. Party slogans were coined by the BJP election team and mostly by Narendra Modi himself. The responsibility of managing Uttar Pradesh, the state most critical in terms of securing the parliamentary elections, was given to Amit Shah, Gujarat’s Home Minister and a long-time Modi confidante. Shah was close to Modi not because of personal affiliation, but due to his political acumen and organisational ability. It, therefore, came as no surprise when the BJP achieved a landslide sweep in Uttar Pradesh. Narendra Modi projected himself as a nationalist who thought of India first and foremost. He focused only on the need to develop the country to an extent that it gains its rightful place in the comity of nations and positioned himself as the best bet to achieve this objective. He based his claim on the success that he had achieved in Gujarat during three terms as chief minister. This was the first time in India that a campaign was based on use of cutting-edge information technology and other technical support. Local issues were spoken of at all rallies, along with those like security, that have a national impact. Pithy
meetings, 1350 3D rallies and 4000 Chai Pe Charcha (Discussion over a cup of tea). Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley along with other state party leaders at the Hunkar rally in Patna on October 27, 2013.
While campaigning, Narendra Modi covered almost three lakh kilometers across the country. He addressed 437 rallies, 5827 public
It would not be an exaggeration to describe the Modi campaign as the biggest mass mobilisation exercise in the history of electioneering. The scale and intensity of the campaign becomes even bigger, when one understands the
large population and geographic spread of India. Everywhere he went, Narendra Modi presented a vision that the people of the area could relate with. This vision connected the people to Narendra Modi and convinced them that here is a leader who can initiate good governance and development for the larger good.
The then BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi addressing his supporters at the Santcruz Domestic Airport, Mumbai, on September 30, 2013.
excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
slogans and colourful adjectives were used to garner interest and catch the public imagination. Innovative methods like charging Rupees five for entry into rallies were introduced, and these moves generated and sustained mass enthusiasm.
Local and national focus of the campaign
The focus was on national and regional issues and not on foreign policy or global issues. The BJP cadre was told at the very beginning and then reminded at regular intervals that the objective was to win a clear majority despite the continuance of the NDA as a coalition entity. The mantra was changed from maximising allies to maximising votes. The idea was not only to win, but to win big.
Police holding back supporters of Narendra Modi at Allahabad on May 4, 2014.
Optimising the use and effect of technology
The Modi wave is sweeping across India,
not just in UP. But its impact is more in UP because of years and years of misgovernance under the SP and the BSP.
The then BJP General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, and Now, President of BJP
Narendra Modi’s optimal use of new age tools like social media and digital instruments—mobiles, SMSes, selfies, Twitter, Facebook and websites—was breathtaking, unprecedented in terms of public outreach. It looked as if the election was being held not in India, but in the United States. The use of technology drew the youth of the country towards Narendra Modi, first they listened, and then they voted in droves. Narendra Modi had gained ample experience in the use of technology for election campaigning during the Gujarat assembly elections. During those elections, he did not set aside traditional modes but, at the same time, gathered around him a team of young men, energetic
and technology-savvy on ways of reaching parts of the electorate that conventional campaigning could not reach. The sophisticated election model that Modi developed in Gujarat was not only replicated at the national level, but taken to gigantic heights. His Facebook and Twitter accounts went into overdrive, as did his Google+ Hangouts, with astounding results. The use of 3D technology formed the hallmark of the Modi campaign. He addressed about 1400 3D rallies, which witnessed the reach of holograms to as many as 15 million potential voters. Marked by razzmatazz, the campaign was a high-energy affair. Narendra Modi had two helicopters at his disposal, so that they could leapfrog each other and get to the next destination.
He would work while in the air, reading notes he had been given for the next place on his itinerary. At the peak of campaigning, Modi was addressing four to five big rallies a day before flying home to go through a 3D interaction, or a scheduled interview. As in Gujarat, along with the high-decibel technology campaign, the traditional method was also given full leverage with flags, posters and leaflets published in huge quantities. House-to-house canvassing by BJP grassroot workers with vigorous support from the RSS attained mammoth proportions of a scale never before seen in an election campaign. These Modi Bhakts (Modi’s followers) were the unsung heroes of the campaign.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
‘Yes we can! Yes we will do it!’ Campaigning for the 2014 general elections for the BJP formally took off on 11 August, 2013 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, when Narendra Modi concluded his 45-minute address at a public rally with a “Yes we can, yes we will do it” Obamaesque flourish. Modi’s address at the Lal Bahadur Stadium, located in the heart of Hyderabad, exhorted people to strive for a “Congress-Mukt Bharat” (Congress-free India). All those attending paid an entry fee of Rupees five—a first in Indian politics. Narendra Modi devoted most of that speech to explaining how UPA governments inaction on various issues had resulted in a huge trust deficit with the people. He refered to the brutal killing of Indian Army soldiers by the Pakistan Army in January of that year, and questioned the government for “treating the Pakistan Prime Minister to lavish Biryani”. He said that the UPA regime had compromised with China by not taking the latter to task for incursions in Ladakh. The ongoing instability and repeated incidents of violence in Kashmir was also raised, and it was pointed out that BJP leader Arun Jaitley was not allowed to visit Kishtwar to review the situation in that area in the aftermath of one such incident of violence. Modi also criticised the Centre for
excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”
Supporters of Narendra Modi holding party emblems and masks bearing his face during an election rally in Hyderabad on April 22 ,2014.
indulging in votebank politics over immigrants from Bangladesh. Asking whether the UPA Government was bothered about the country’s future, he ridiculed the Congress’s catch phrase of “inclusive growth”.
Narendra Modi with Andhra Pradesh BJP President Kishan Reddy on his arrival at Begumpet airport in Hyderabad.
He recalled that during L.K. Advani’s Rath Yatra, the need for bringing back black money stashed away in foreign bank accounts had been highlighted. On the Food Security Bill, he said the country had achieved food security under the Vajpayee regime before 2004, and called on the UPA to learn lessons from the modified public distribution system being implemented by the BJP Government in Chhattisgarh, which was appreciated even by the Supreme Court, or from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Ladli Lakshmi Yojana for the girl child. The address was also used to reflect on the dropping value of the rupee and the poor handling of the contentious Telangana statehood issue. Modi criticised the way the Congress had handled the issue. He used the occasion to woo the
Telugu Desam Party by invoking late chief minister N T Rama Rao as the man who had taken the initiative to form a non-Congress front. Narendra Modi rounded off his speech by asserting that the government should have only one religion—India First; only one devotion—towards India; only one scripture—Constitution of India; only one power—power of people; only one devotion—devotion to India. He let forth the slogan Sabke Sath, Sabka Vikas (Together with All, Development for All) and changed President Barak Obama’s “yes we can” to “yes we’ll do”. His slogans reverberated through the stadium by chanting of an enraptured crowd in thrall to his powerful address. The rally set the tone for the campaign to oust what he repeatedly referred to as the Delhi Sultanate of the Nehru-Gandhi family.
excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
anatomy of a speech: Points raised by Narendra Modi at Hyderabad rally regarding fault lines in functioning of UPA Government that had caused a slowdown in this crucial sector. At Amethi, one of the political bastions of the GandhiNehru family, Narendra Modi highlighted the dismal development index of the area and called it a betrayal of public trust by the so-called first family of the Congress Party.
BJP supporters during Narendra Modi's Vikas Rally at Japnese Park, New Delhi on September 29, 2013.
ISSUES ADDRESSED BY NARENDRA MODI DURING HIS ELECTION CAMPAIGN At Rewari (Haryana), Narendra Modi paid tribute to the Indian soldier while addressing an exservicemen’s rally. On the dais was General (retired) V K Singh, who later joined the BJP and won with a massive mandate from Ghaziabad. Narendra Modi also urged Pakistan to embrace the path of peace and leave the path of bombs. In the course of the Hunkaar Rally at Patna, Narendra Modi stressed on the need for the nation to unite as one to fight
At a rally in Rohaniya (Uttar Pradesh), Narendra Modi affirmed his commitment
Votebank politics over immigrants from Bangladesh Need to stop dropping value of the rupee Poor handling of the contentious Telangana statehood issue Addressing the Maha Jagaran Rally in Assam, Narendra Modi shared his vision for the overall development of the Northeast and called for uprooting the Congress Party from the Centre.
poverty. He came down heavily against those forces that divide the nation on the lines of caste and creed. “A poor Hindu and a poor Muslim do not want to fight each other, they want to fight their poverty”, he said. Addressing the historic Bharatha Gellisi in Bengaluru, Narendra Modi spoke about the importance of the IT sector in India’s development journey. He launched a direct attack on the policies of the UPA Government Talks with Pakistan despite brutal killing of Indian Army soldiers by the Pakistan Army Compromise with China despite Ladakh No initiative to quell repeated incidents of violence in Kashmir No move to get back black money stashed away in foreign bank accounts
Narendra Modiw raises a sword at a rally in Rewari, Haryana on September 15, 2013.
At the Fateh rally in Jagraon, Narendra Modi acknowledged the contribution of the people of Punjab to the nation’s growth story, especially in the domains of agriculture and national security.
Grant of bail to Italian Marines who had shot two Kerala fishermen
Need to ensure food security achieved under Vajpayee regime
A huge crowd at an election rally at Rewari, Haryana on September 15, 2013. This was Modi's first rally after being anointed the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
to serve the spiritual land of Kashi from where he was to fight the election. He promised development through firm central policies. Divisive policies of the rival Congress were highlighted at a rally in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He said that the Congress had remained indifferent to the needs of its people. He gave the example of the plight of fishermen in Tamil Nadu to stress his point. In this rally, he also addressed a range of national and local issues.
Addressing a massive Maha Garjana Rally in Mumbai, Narendra Modi gave the clarion call of Vote India to the people of the nation. At the Vikas Rally in Delhi, Narendra Modi presented a new ray of hope to the people of India. He spoke of a vision to see a better and more vibrant India by 2022, when the country would complete 75 years of independence.
Kolkata Book Fair
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
France Conquers Kolkata Book Fair Though Abir Mukherjee of Scotland won hearts with his crime thriller, it was the galaxy of French litterateurs who ruled the new venue at Salt Lake
n prasanta paul
he 42nd edition of the Kolkata International Book Fair(KIBF) that ended last week, had a mixed fair in terms of crowd, the sale of books and the attendant spices and surprises KBF used to dish out all these years. True, the footfalls had been little less this year compared to the last or the previous years, but the new venue at Central Park, Karunamoyee in Salt Lake did not entirely disappoint the book lovers. A large number of authors and other luminaries from abroad who were present at the fair, amply compensated for some aberrations that a fair of this magnitude is likely to produce. KIBF, which has been recognised by International Publishers Association, Geneva, was inaugurated on January 30 by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. France was the focal theme this year and the country’s pavilion was obviously larger than the previous year. “The French pavilion has covered approximately 14,000 square feet, and been equipped with the latest digital look, reflecting the change in technology over the years. It has also showcased the French culture and heritage,” said French Consul General in Kolkata Damien Syed. According to KIBF general secretary Tridib
Chatterjee, the gates of the book fair had been fashioned to resemble French architectural patterns. The Publishers & Booksellers’ Guild, Kolkata, had presented a special honour to legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee on inaugural day( January 30) while French Culture minister Francoise Nyssen conferred Legion of Honour, the highest civilian award of France, to the Dada Saheb Phalke winner in a separate event at a city hotel. The French minister later attended the fair. One of the unique features of the KIBF was the Kolkata Literature Festival. The three-day literary extravaganza that began on February 8 saw the participation of more than 65 writers from different parts of the globe in 22 sessions of the KLF. The Festival entered its fifth edition this year. The first day of KLF focused on sessions like “Cross-Cultural Influences of Contemporary Literature”, while the second session was titled “Performing Poetry”. The third session was on a theme called “Blogging your way to
Bollywood: A beginner’s guide to becoming a celebrity writer.” Since France was the focal theme, there was a line-up of French and Francophone writers. As many as nine French authors attended the Festival: Volodine, Christian Garcin, Gerard Meudal, Jean Claude Perrier, Katia Legeret, Philippe Forest, Sabine Wespiser, Sebastian Ortiz and Shumona Sinha, In addition, five authors from Russia, including Peter Voltsit, Lev Danilkin and Tatiana Moskvina, were there. There were also representatives from Bangladesh, Spain and Colombia among others. These authors discussed and debated on such topics as cross-cultural influences on literature and significance of classics and performance poetry among others. This apart, they deliberated on the influence of literature in their respective countries. It can be mentioned here that this is the only literature festival in the world which is organised within an international book fair and this lends the festival its uniqueness. Its uniqueness also lies in the fact that writers get the opportunity to interact with a huge number of readers. Famous American poet and poetry activist Bob Halman was among others who interacted with the French writers. Sessions were held on women who live in shadows and how mythology is being retold in modern Indian literature. The participants included Graeme Macrae Burnet, one of the best selling writers of Scotland; Jenny Brown, Chair of the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival; Anand Neelakantan, author of Baahubali trilogy and former minister Margaret Alva, among others. The sessions concluded with a cultural
The three-day literary extravaganza saw the participation of more than 65 writers from different parts of the globe in 22 sessions
Quick Glance Footfalls were a bit less this year, but the dazzle remained the same Soumitra Chatterjee was awarded the French Legion of Honour Scotland’s Crime writers’ delegation were first this year function every day. One of the largest draws at the Festival was a crime writers’ delegation from Scotland which happed to be a first this year. Among those present from Scotland was Abir Mukherjee, a British national whose parents had actually hailed from the City of Joy. Born in London, Abir rose to fame with his crime thriller “The Rising Man”. Based on a murder inside the Calcutta police headquarters Lalbazar, the novel proceeds to unravel how Surendranath Banerjee and Sam Wandam, the pair of detectives crack the mystery. “I used to read crime thrillers in childhood and I’ve read all English translations of the Bengali masterpieces by Satyajit Ray, Saradindu Banerjee among others,” Mukherjee, a chartered accountant by profession, said. His father Satyen Mukherjee who used to live in Dum Dum, migrated to Scotland in the early 60s and his wife shortly joined him there. Abir and his sister Elora were born there. But Abir was one who declined to detach himself from his roots. But what exactly clicked that catapulted him to fame? “Perhaps the storyline which dealt with events in 1919 when the British ruled India, had a special draw for the readers in England. I read the history of that period quite minutely,” Mukherjee explained. In fact, “The Rising Man” earned so much popularity that Abir was forced to undertake a sequel – The Necessary Evil –where the pair of his detectives uncovered the mystery in the royal palace at Sambalpur. Abir is currently working on the third part –Smoke and Ashes – and the backdrop is the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921. The Rising Man was adjudged the Book of the Month in the London Times; was selected as the best crime novel in the Sunday Time and adjudged the best historical crime writer by the Association of Crime Writers of London. Not only that, he has been nominated among one of the contenders of the Best Crime Novel Writers in the United States having notched up the top spot in terms of sale in the Times. “The journey has begun for me,” Abir would humbly say as this young writer has been pitching himself for more awards in next few years.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018 Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation
urooj fatima Urooj Fatima is an emerging journalist and a post-graduate in Media Governance from Jamia Millia Islamia
Motivational Teacher & Speaker
Daring freedom fighter and fearless revolutionary Don’t see others doing better than you, beat your own records every day, because success is a fight between you and yourself
ho does not know Chandrashekhar Azad who died in the name of freedom, and who contributed significantly to the independence of India? Chandra Shekhar Azad was one of the most significant personalities of the Indian Independence Movement. He was a true patriot with a difference. His dynamic outlook in the freedom movement raised the eyebrows of many leaders. Azad believed that hands that help the nation are holier than lips that pray and induce the people to think. At the age of 15 he received his first punishment. Chandra Shekhar was caught while indulging in revolutionary activities. When the magistrate asked him his name, he said “Azad” Chandshekhar Azad was sentenced to fifteen lashes. With each stroke of the whip the young Chandrashekhar shouted “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. From then on Chandrashekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to known as Chandrashekhar Azad. He was a believer in socialism and co-founded the revolutionary party called ‘The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association’. He was a mentor to many revolutionaries including Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and many more. He always used this phrase “Dushman ki goliyon ka hum samna karenge, Azad hi rahein hain, azad hi rahenge” His restlessness and enthusiasm earned him the name of ‘Quick Silver’. Azad vowed that the British would never be able to catch him alive and true to this, he shot himself on February 27, 1931 at Alfred Park, Allahabad, which has been renamed as Chandrashekhar Azad Park in his honour.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
“Nobody can push me aside!” - Dr Rajendra Prasad The country recognised him to be sincere, selfless, silent and solid worker in his service; due to his selfless service he was called “Bihar Ka Bapu”
r Rajendra Prasad, a statesman and social worker, was the first President of the Republic of India. He was a great educationist known the world over. He was an eminent author and had a number of thoughtful books to his credit. This man defined the face of Indian politics and freedom struggle with his efforts that could smash the rocks and a will that could part the waters. Rajendra Prasad was elected Congress president several times. Once the British left the country, he was unanimously elected as the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution. In 1950, he was elected as the first President of the Republic of India. And after being re-elected in 1957, he is the only one in history to hold office for 12 years. He relinquished the post in 1962. I think it is safe to say that he’s one of the most respected leaders in history. His isn’t a rags to riches story, but that of humility. These days, when political disputes & corruption are at an all-time high, we can all learn something from the story of our 1st President, who was clearly an Indian first and a politician later. Gandhiji had a profound impact on his life and views on caste and untouchability. He cut down his staff to one and started feeling more comfortable doing tasks such as cleaning the floors. He grew as a person with Gandhiji and embraced the freedom struggle as his own. He was also honoured with the nation’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. Dr. Prasad breathed his last on February 28, 1963. As president, he decided to only accept 50% of his salary. The salary of the president at that time was Rs.10,000. He was offered many gifts which he always refused and returned because he had no interest in material gains. But he collected small mementoes and autographs of various foreign dignitaries who visited India.
He did not allow gifts at any of his granddaughters’ weddings that took place during his tenure as president. He was from an educated background and had adequate savings to buy a car for himself, which he did. But when a few politicians pointed fingers at him saying that he couldn’t have afforded it on a president’s pay, he immediately returned the car. Towards the end of his tenure, he reduced his salary even further and only took 25% which only amounted to Rs. 2,500. The Swadeshi movement and particularly the Dawn Society influenced him to become a nationalist. Apart from being the president of India,
He cut down his staff to one and started feeling more comfortable doing tasks such as cleaning the floors
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
In attaining our ideals, our means should be as pure as the end! - Dr Rajendra Prasad
The Secret To Happiness
Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
upfront his contribution to the nation runs much deeper. He was one of those passionate individuals who gave up a lucrative profession to pursue a greater goal of attaining freedom for the Motherland. He took the helm for designing the Constitution of the nascent nation by heading the Constituent Assembly postindependence. To put it succinctly, Dr. Prasad was one of the chief architects in shaping the Republic of India. In his special message to his countrymen, on the birth of the Indian Republic, said: “We must re-dedicate ourselves on this day to the peaceful but sure realization of the dream that had inspired the Father of our Nation and the other captains and soldiers of our freedom struggle, the dream of establishing a classless, cooperative, free and happy society in ‘his country’. We must remember that this is more a day of dedication than of rejoicing – dedication to the glorious task of making the peasants and workers the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured.” Under his presidentship, the country made all-round progress. Even in Rashtrapati Bhawan, he led the life of a simple man. He was a true Gandhian, who always followed his valued principles at every step. His demands were few and personal agendas even fewer. His simplicity influenced people all over the country. After serving the nation for 12 years, Rajendra Prasad announced his decision to retire. In May 1962, he went back to Bihar Vidyapeeth and stayed there. On 28 February 1963, the nation bid adieu to this eminent and bright personality as he left the people in grief for his heavenly abode. The contribution of Dr. Rajendra Prasad to the country cannot be stated in words. Not just to the country, but he also contributed to the literary society with the following literary contributions – Satyagraha at Champaran, India Divided, Atmakatha (his autobiography), Bapu Ke Kadmon Mein and Since Independence..
You may be surprised to know what the secret ingredients to everlasting happiness are...
or millennia, philosophers have debated what happiness (or “well-being”) truly is. Not surprisingly, they have yet to reach a consensus. Instead, philosophers today have “agreed to disagree” on a single definition of happiness, settling the matter with four central types of happiness, labelled Hedonic Happiness, Life Satisfaction, Eudaimonia, and Desire Fulfillment. When most of us think about what makes us happy, we tend to focus on the “things” in life that we crave or long to own. These things may be concrete consumables or they may be intangible resources, such as “time,” “inner peace,” or “true love.” It is easier for us to create a list of what we want the world to give us than it is to think in terms of what we can give back to the world. We live in a world of instant gratification and conspicuous consumption. It may be experienced firsthand through the “Buy Now” button on Amazon’s website or through the obsession
with following celebrities’ tweets or video reviews of products, films, and life, in general. It is amazing how many “things” everyone seems to have in their lives – and how many more things we might desire that we believe will make us feel even better about ourselves in relation to how we think others feel about us. Happiness is a state of being, not a pile of stuff. Humans experience happiness through involved relationships that bestow on us a sense of belonging, and activities and lifestyles that engage them. A state known as flow is also thought to be a part of what makes us happy. This state, where one is fully engaged in an activity
like work or a hobby, exists between being bored and being overwhelmed When in flow, a person’s talents and interests are utilized and the task undertaken is generally met with success. So there you have it, a flow state coupled with a sense of belonging to those around you. These are the two ingredients for lasting happiness. To get to a ‘flow’ state, all you have to do is be mindful of your life, words, actions, and intentions. It’s easier said than done but it’s a start. Being absorbed in the moment in all your experiences creates a certain perpetual state of flow. This flow state will keep you feeling at present and happy. As far as sense of belonging is concerned, all you have to do is actively pursue friendships and relationships with like-minded people. Being in good company with a sense of belonging to a group or community can do wonders for your sense of happiness. It is like a social safety-net wherein you know that these people ‘have your back’ in case anything happens.
letters to the editor
kasturba The article ‘Kasturba: Gandhi’s Wife And Anchor’ presents the well-known fact that behind every successful man there is a woman, who
could be a mother, a sister or a friend. But in the case of Mahatma Gandhi, it was Kasturba, who supported him all the time during her life , along with the other thousands of Indian citizens. It made me wish to read even more about her life and her role in the freedom struggle of India. The article made a good beginning in this direction as it provided us with a lot of information regarding her. She displayed the trust and the bond between a couple who were together in following the path of truth and oneness. Anmol Sharma, Delhi
car concerns The photo feature ‘Drive Into Green E-Future’ displayed the beginning of the new trend in the manufacturing of automobiles. At the Auto Expo 2018 what caught my attention was the concern about environmental issues. Car companies are realizing that a pollution filled universe cannot promise much fun in driving, no matter how smart and g lossy a vehicle is. Automobiles are most blamed for the environmental damage. Sugato Das, Kolkata
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Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Colours to Widowsâ€™ White Breaking the stereotypes, hundreds of widows celebrate Holi at the ancient Gopinath Temple of Vrindavan to mark the beginning of spring as well as the triumph of good over evil Photo: Montu
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
A annual event now exemplifies the vision of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation founder, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, is now each year celebrated with full gusto and enthusiasm, and fills colours in the lives of these once forlorn Lord Krishna devotees in Vrindavan
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Spotless Toilets In The City-State Singapore’s metamorphosis from a developing country with poor sanitation to one of the world’s cleanest countries is a model we can all adopt Mihir Paul
Down Memory Lane In the 1960s, under the British rule, Singapore was a polluted, congested city where open defecation was
Quick Glance Singapore started improving its sanitation after its independence The government of Lee Kuan Yew introduced a slew reforms Singapore enforces strict rules regarding sanitation and cleanliness
Photo Coutesy: The Smart Local Singapore
ver the years the city of Singapore has been described by many as one of the cleanest on Earth with roads and toilets being “clean enough to eat off “, which is perhaps to be expected from a city where it’s illegal not to flush a public toilet. Singapore’s metamorphosis from a developing country with poor sanitation to one of the world’s cleanest countries in this time is a model we can all adopt for better environmental quality and public health. The reason why toilets in Singapore are so insanely clean and sanitation is immaculate is because of the work of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister. Lee rose to power in 1959 and continued to serve as Singapore’s leader for 31 years until he decided to step down in 1990. When Singapore became an independent nation in 1965, Lee is noted as being instrumental to the small city-state being able to so quickly transform itself from being a “poor port from the bottom rungs of the third world” to being one of the most profitable and prosperous economies on the planet.
rampant. During this period, Singapore practised two types of toilet systems in the urban and rural areas. In the urban area, household waste was collected in a bucket under a hole in a squat toilet. The buckets were filled with soil to minimise the odour and collected mainly at night to be transported to collection centres. In the rural area, pit latrines were located outside and shared by a number of families. It consisted of a drop hole in the ground, a slab over the hole and shelter. Once the pit was full, the waste was emptied manually and disposed directly into nearby waterways. Public health suffered due to poor sanitation and hygiene practices from frequent outbreaks of typhoid fever and diarrhoea.
Over the years, the city of Singapore has been described by many as one of the cleanest on Earth, with roads and toilets being “clean enough to eat off With the advancements of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System to optimise land space and Housing Development Board to provide improved public housing, Singaporeans had moved into their new flats with a flush toilet, which was considered a luxury. One of the fundamental factors contributing to Singapore’s progression is the focus on public health based on a “clean and green” strategy. It took 10 years to clean up the Singapore River that was polluted from heavy boat traffic,
untreated animal and human waste. In 1974, Public Utilities Board had built a wastewater treatment plant and spearheaded the recycling of used water into potable and industrial water. Singapore placed its first-ever resolution before the UN’s General Assembly of 193 members. Titled “Sanitation for all”, it was adopted by consensus and the UN designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. The Assembly also urged its member states to encourage behavioural
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Sanitation: Singapore rapid housing and industrialisation programmes. Phasing-out Then, in 1984, the phase-out programme for the night-soil bucket system began. The Toh Tuck nightsoil disposal station was the first one to be closed. In the next three years, 15,369 night-soil buckets were phased out; and by 1987, only the Lavender Street, Bugis Street, Tampines Road and Lorong Lew Lian areas were being served by the system. When on January 24, 1987, the last night-soil disposal station at Lorong Halus in Tampines was closed and 78 night-soil workers were retrenched
covered with soil to lessen the smell, hence the name “night-soil”. By the 2000s, Singapore progressed steadily with the completion of NEWater plant and Marina Barrage. Singapore’s advancement in water treatment technologies and innovative water management has turned their rivers into reservoirs for sustainable water supply. By focusing on the prevention of diseases and providing clean water and sanitation, Singapore created a healthy, productive workforce ready for international business and commerce.Founded on 19 November 2001, World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a proudly Singaporefounded and based global non-profit
changes and implement policies to increase access to sanitation among poor and end open-air defecation, which is extremely harmful to public health. Night-soil bucket system It was in 1987 that the century-old night-soil (human waste) bucket system was phased out and replaced with the alternative on-site sanitation system. As noted by Brenda Yeoh in the book, Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore, “Up to the 1880s, the removal and disposal of night-soil from the town of Singapore was entirely in the hands of Chinese syndicates who organised the collection of night-soil in buckets and their transfer to market gardens and plantations on the outskirts of the town.” These gardeners and planters who used the night-soil as fertilizers used to pay for removing night-soil from every house once every three days. But as the population grew “the value of night-soil had depreciated to such an extent that the positions of householder and collector were reversed; and now the former had to pay the latter for the removal of nightsoil”, wrote Yeoh. Thus, the night-soil bucket system was introduced in the 1890s by the municipal authorities and it soon became the most common method of sewage disposal in Singapore. While some of the night-soils continued to be used as fertilizer, the bulk was disposed in rains or was buried. Two decades later, in 1910, Singapore’s first sewerage scheme was started. “The system then consisted of only a network of sewers and three pumping stations and a trickling filter plant to serve the central area of Singapore,” informs PUB – Singapore’s national water agency.
It was in 1987 that the century-old night-soil (human waste) bucket system was phased out and replaced with the alternative on-site sanitation system
Although by 1930, an extensive sewerage system was built to serve almost 100,000; over 150,000 people were still using the night-soil bucket system. After independence, an intensive island-wide sewerage development programme was initiated in the 1960s to meet the growing demands of the
or redeployed, it marked the end of a century-old system. All homes in Singapore were fitted either with a water-seal latrine or a two-chamber septic tank toilet called the R2. The night-soil bucket system was manual and relied on close human contact with the waste. The collectors usually arrived at individual households with empty buckets, carried on his shoulders using a pole, to exchange for the filled ones. These buckets were then taken by the collectors to the collection centres. Since the collection was done mainly at night and the filled buckets were
organisation working towards a world with a clean, safe toilet and sanitation for everyone, everywhere at all times. In celebration of Singapore’s golden jubilee, WTO has installed a sculpture and storyboard at the iconic East Coast Park to highlight the transformation of Singapore’s toilet facilities dating back to the 1890s and the determination and innovations required by our leaders to improve our sanitation facilities. In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly supported the joint initiative between the Government of Singapore and WTO’s “Sanitation for
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
In 2013, the UN General Assembly supported the joint initiative between the Government of Singapore and WTO’s “Sanitation for All” resolution. It was adopted by all 193 country members to officially commemorate 19 November as ‘UN World Toilet Day’
All” resolution. It was adopted by all 193 country members to officially commemorate 19 November as UN World Toilet Day. Revolutionary Reforms? The Singapore government successfully transformed the sanitation and cleanliness situation of the country. They accomplished this through a series of reforms aimed at making the country cleaner. In the 1960s, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew introduced strict anti-litter laws, which are still in force today. By far the government’s most infamous policies though were the incredibly strict rules with regard to public cleanliness, most if not all of which carry hefty fines if you’re caught breaking them. For example, not flushing a public toilet is considered a crime in Singapore and if you’re caught flouting it, you will be given an on the spot fine of about 150 dollars, more if you’re a repeat offender. Likewise, littering carries an equally heavy fine of about 300 dollars or more, depending on the size of the item. Smaller items like candy wrappers usually incur a lesser fine, whilst things like soda cans can mean a trip to court and even a caning if you’re caught. Many of Singapore’s elevators have “Urine Detection Devices” which will lock the doors of an elevator and
The Keep Singapore Clean campaign was one of Singapore’s first national campaigns as an independent nation
summon the police to your location to arrest you if it detects that you’re relieving yourself in one. All of this may seem excessive, but the results really speak for themselves; today, Singapore is largely considered one of the world’s leading economies and the city itself is one of the most industrious, safe, clean, nicest to live and richest on Earth. In fact, Singapore is currently enjoying 16 consecutive years on the top spot of the “world’s most livable cities“, and is also generally considered the world’s best city for businesses. Not bad for a place that
was up until about 50 years ago or so described as a “swampy land mass“. When it comes to awarding marks for effort, spotless Singapore really should score high on any list given the way it enforces cleanliness and tidiness. The island city-state has draconian laws about many things, from pornography to tipping. Anyone convicted of dropping litter can be fined up to S$1,000 (£480) for the first conviction. Repeat convictions cost up to $5,000, and may lead to a community service orders or anti-littering lectures (only
Selected clean campaigns of the past 1958: Keep Your City Clean 1959: Gerakkan Pembersehan Bandar Raya Singapura 1960: Operation Clean-up 1961: Anti-cholera campaign 1963: Keep Our State Clean 1964: Help Keep Our City Clean 1966: Keep Your Beach Clean 1967: Big Sweep 1968: Keep Singapore Clean 1969: Keep Singapore Clean and Mosquito Free 1970: Keep Singapore Clean and Pollution Free 1971: Tree Planting campaign 1973: Keep Our Water Clean 1978: Use Your Hands 1979: Keep Your Factory Clean 1983: Keep the Toilet Clean 1984: Please Keep My Park Clean 1988: Singapore is Our Home – Let’s Keep It Clean and Beautiful 1988: Keep Our Buses and Interchanges Clean
given in Chinese), to curb repeat offenders. In the case of a third offence, law-breakers may be made to wear a sign reading “I am a litter lout”. Singapore also fines people for putting spent chewing gum anywhere other than a bin ($100), for urinating in lifts ($500), and for failing to flush a public lavatory ($100). Spot checks are regularly made by police officers in public toilet cubicles – there is no point having a law if it’s not enforced. The result of these fines is plain to see: Singapore is a very clean and tidy island state, albeit one that has also sacrificed certain civil liberties. Keeping Singapore Clean The Keep Singapore Clean campaign was one of Singapore’s first national campaigns as an independent nation. Launched on 1 October 1968 by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, the month-long campaign aimed to make Singapore the cleanest and greenest city in the region by addressing the problem of inconsiderate littering. The campaign reached out to every stratum of society and sought to instil in Singaporeans the importance of keeping public places clean. It was part of a larger public cleaning plan that included changes in publichealth laws, relocation and licensing of itinerant hawkers, development of proper sewage systems, and disease control. The government believed that improved environmental conditions would not only enhance the quality of life for Singaporeans and cultivate national pride, but also attract foreign investors and tourists to Singapore. History of the campaign Prior to 1968, Singapore had conducted a number of similar campaigns. One of the earliest was
the Keep Your City Clean campaign, an anti-littering initiative organised by the City Council in 1958. The following year, the government launched Gerakkan Pembersehan Bandar Raya Singapura, meaning “movement to clean the city of Singapore” in Malay. In his speech at the campaign’s launch on 23 November 1959, Lee said that he wanted to use the campaign as a starting point for Singapore to become one of the cleanest and healthiest cities in Asia. In the subsequent years leading up to the launch of the Keep Singapore Clean campaign, the government continued to conduct campaigns regularly to instil a sense of responsibility in individuals to keep Singapore clean and to encourage them to bin their rubbish. In August 1968, the government announced that a national campaign committee had been formed to run the Keep Singapore Clean campaign to be held in October that year. Headed by then Health Minister Chua Sian Chin, the committee comprised representatives from various government agencies such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, Public Works Department and Jurong Town Corporation, as well as non-government organisations like employers’ and employees’ associations. The campaign opened at the Singapore Conference Hall with much fanfare. Over 1,500 community leaders attended the event. Explaining the rationale of the campaign in his opening speech on 1 October 1968, Lee stated that cleaner communities would lead to a more pleasant life and keep morale high and sickness rate low, thus creating the necessary social conditions for higher economic growth through industry and tourism. Lee noted that if Singaporeans wanted to keep their communities clean, they had to raise their personal and public standards of hygiene. He urged Singaporeans to be more conscious and thoughtful about their actions but added that the government would not hesitate to impose penalties on litterbugs if needed. During the campaign period, mass
Courtesy: The Straits Times
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
media – the press, radio and television – was used extensively for publicity. Posters and banners in Singapore’s four official languages (English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil) were displayed in public places such as
shops, restaurants, offices, factories, community centres, bus shelters and public notice boards. Miniposters, stick-up strips, leaflets, pamphlets and car-bumper stickers were also distributed. Besides having postal items and cinema tickets
bearing stamps with the campaign slogan, letters and bills in government correspondence were also rubber-stamped with the slogan “Keep Singapore Clean”. Besides the use of social pressure, the Keep Singapore Clean campaign marked the first time that fines were used as a way to control social behaviour. The police, special constabulary and public health inspectorate sent officers on patrol to advise members of the public against littering. Those who were caught littering were warned of the penalties during the campaign; once the campaign ended, first-time litterbugs were fined up to S$500, while repeat offenders were fined up to S$2,000.To ensure that good habits were cultivated from a young age, children were a special target group of the campaign. Teachers and other officials were roped in to remind students not to litter. Cleanliness campaigns through the years As the inaugural Keep Singapore Clean campaign had been deemed a success, the programme continued yearly. The government also introduced various environmental campaigns to supplement the main campaign. In the 1970s, for instance, there were campaigns such as Tree Planting, Clean Water, Use Your Hands, Keep Singapore Pollution Free and Keep Your Factory Clean. In the following decade, there were others like to Keep the Toilets Clean, Please Keep My Park Clean, and Keep Our Buses and Interchanges Clean. In 1990, the Keep Singapore Clean campaign was merged with the Garden City campaign to form the Clean and Green Week. The new annual programme adopted a more holistic approach to generating greater community awareness and participation in caring for the environment.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Thermal power plants face water crisis India’s electricity demand is mostly met via thermal power plants that rely on freshwater for cooling
inety per cent of India’s thermal power plants -which meet most of the electricity demand of the country -rely on freshwater for cooling and 40 per cent of these plants experience high water stress, says a global research organisation. It asked the Indian Ministry of Power to mandate that power plants
Quick Glance 40 per cent of these power plants experience high water stress The WRI paper showed water shortage is hurting India Thermal power sector has been suffering from water shortages
start monitoring and disclosing water withdrawal and discharge data, leveraging its existing daily reporting system. The World Resources Institute (WRI) working paper says water shortages are also hurting India’s thermal capacity. The thermal power sector has been suffering from water shortages, losing a substantial part of its generation growth every year since 2013. Most of the country’s existing plants are likely
to experience an increased level of water competition by 2030. Fourteen of the top 20 largest thermal power utility companies have experienced water shortage-related disruptions at least once between 2013 and 2016, losing more than $1.4 billion in total potential revenue. Water consumption from India’s thermal power generation rose steadily every year between 2011 and 2016 but would stay below its 2016 level by 2027 if the country’s most ambitious
Environment Ministry’s New Plan For River Rejuvenation A new approach that is holistic and takes into account the entire river basin into working the plan
he Environment Ministry has taken up a new strategy for conservation and rejuvenation of major river water systems, which takes into account the entire river basin. The decision was taken recently at a meeting chaired by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, as per a release.
The Minister said the new approach was holistic for rejuvenation of rivers, “wherein water management and environment management are taken together for implementation to restore the lost ecology of the polluted stretches of the rivers.” He said the current strategy for conservation of rivers was limited only to tackling pollution load from
domestic wastewater and regulation of industrial pollution. The Central Pollution Control Board has identified 302 river stretches on 275 rivers in the country
renewable goals are successfully achieved and the notified stringent water regulations implemented, say researchers Tianyi Luo, Deepak Krishnan and Shreyan Sen. The authors foresee challenges for the thermal power sector. As the country develops, competition for freshwater resources will only grow, and climate change is likely to cause more disruption to predictable supply. If business as usual continues, power plants will only face more challenges in accessing water and become more vulnerable to water shortage-related risks. However, there are ways to reduce such risks by upgrading cooling systems, improving plant efficiency and, ultimately, shifting toward waterindependent renewables like solar PV and wind, say the authors. Currently, more than 80 per cent of electricity is generated from thermal (fossil fuel, biomass, nuclear and concentrated solar) power plants that rely significantly on water for cooling. Another 10 per cent of electricity is generated from hydroelectric plants, which depend on water completely. To check misuse of freshwater, the authors favoured reporting on water data monitoring and disclosure for power plants should be standardised. India’s total domestic water consumption in 2010 was about 7.5 billion cubic meters, according to the Aqueduct Global Water Risk Atlas. That means power plants drank about 20 per cent as much water as India’s 1.3 billion citizens use for daily chores, including drinking. as polluted, based on Bio-Chemical Oxygen Demand. “To begin with, we need to try it out on a few stretches in the country covering sub-basin or catchment area of river,” the release quoted him as saying. He pointed out that independent institutions like IITs would be entrusted with the study for preparation and finalisation of river basin management and rejuvenation plan for nine selected stretches. The Minister said projects to treat sewage into the selected river stretches, which are the most significant polluters, would be taken up immediately and it would be made mandatory. “Since enforcement of provisions of the Water Act and Environment (Protection) Act comes under the local bodies in respective states, the Environment Ministry plans to set up a sewage management system with private participation,” he said.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Mammals And Birds Better At Adapting To Climate Change Researchers have found that mammals and birds have a better chance of surviving climate change as compared to reptiles and amphibians
ew research has found that mammals and birds -both warm-blooded animals -- may have a better chance of surviving climate change than their cold-blooded peers, reptiles and amphibians. “We see that mammals and birds are better able to stretch out and extend their habitats, meaning they adapt and shift much easier,” said lead author of the study Jonathan Rolland from
“We see that mammals and birds are better able to stretch out and extend their habitats, meaning they adapt and shift much easier'
the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. “This could have a deep impact on extinction rates and what our world looks like in the future,” Rolland said.
By combining data from the current distribution of animals, fossil records and phylogenetic information for 11,465 species, the researchers were able to reconstruct where animals have lived over the past 270 million years and what temperatures they needed to survive in these regions. The findings were published in the journal Nature Ecology. The planet’s climate has changed significantly throughout history and the researchers found that these changes have shaped where animals live. For example, the planet was fairly warm and tropical until 40 million years ago, making it an ideal place for
Tiny Airborne Particles Can Impact Storms Micro particles from industrial air pollution can have a bigger impact on powerful storms
new study has found that tiny airborne particles from industrial air pollution can have a bigger impact on powerful storms than scientists previously thought. The study, published in the journal Science, describes the effects of aerosols, which can come from urban and industrial air pollution, wildfire and other sources. “This result adds to our knowledge of the interactions between aerosols,
clouds, and precipitation. In areas where aerosols are otherwise limited, such as remote regions of the Amazon rainforest, ultrafine aerosol particles can have a surprisingly strong effect,” said co-author of the study Zhanqing Li, Professor at University of Maryland in the US. The researchers studied the storm-creating capacity of ultrafine particles that measure less than 50 nanometers across. According to the researchers, larger particles are known to play a role in feeding powerful, fast-
moving updrafts of air, which create clouds that form water droplets that fall as rain. But until now, researchers had not observed smaller particles, such as those contained in vehicle exhaust and industrial smog, exerting the same effect. Using detailed computer simulations, the researchers showed how smaller particles can invigorate clouds in a much more powerful way than their larger counterparts when specific conditions are present. In a
Quick Glance Mammals and birds are better able to extend their habitats The warm-blooded animals adapt and shift much easier Study combined fossil records & phylogenetic information
many species to live. As the planet cooled, birds and mammals were able to adapt to the colder temperatures so they were able to move into habitats in the more northern and southern regions. “It might explain why we see so few reptiles and amphibians in the Antarctic or even temperate habitats,” said Rolland. “It’s possible that they will eventually adapt and could move into these regions but it takes longer for them to change,” Rolland said. The researchers explained that animals that can regulate their body temperatures, known as endotherms, might be better able to survive in these places because they can keep their embryos warm, take care of their offspring and they can migrate or hibernate. “These strategies help them adapt to cold weather but we rarely see them in the ectotherms or cold-blooded animals,” Rolland said.
warm and humid environment with no large particles to attract airborne moisture, water vapour can build up to extreme levels, causing relative humidity to spike well beyond 100 per cent. While ultrafine particles are small in size, they can reach large numbers. These particles form many small droplets that quickly and efficiently draw excess water vapour from the atmosphere, the researchers said. This enhanced condensation releases more heat, which makes the updrafts much more powerful. As more warm air is pulled into the clouds, more droplets are launched aloft, producing a runaway effect that results in stronger storms, the researchers added. “This finding will help us better understand the physical mechanisms of cloud development and severe storm formation, which can help us develop better storm prediction methods,” Li added.
Science & Technology
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018 stroke recovery
Video Games For Stroke Recovery Computer game-assisted upper limb recovery seems to be a novel method for assisting recovery of brain functions after a cerebral stroke
Computer game-assisted upper limb recovery seems to be a novel method for assisting recovery of brain functions after stroke new, technology-assisted rehabilitation technique can help overcome these challenges. The technique developed by a group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, is a computer-based exercise platform augmented with a feeling of touch. It is a p e r f o r m a nc e - s e n s i t i v e
n Dinesh C Sharma
ideo games, popular among kids in the 1990s, have made a comeback with the advent of virtual reality (VR) which gives users a sense of touch when augmented with add-on instruments. A group of Indian engineers and neuroscientists has put these advances to use in a field which is not entertainment– recovery of stroke patients. Stroke is one of the leading health problems and causes of disability in India. It affects muscle weakness and movement disabilities related to the upper limb. The rehabilitation of such patients usually involves physiotherapy involving repetitive exercises, but this has to be carried out by trained physiotherapists either at home or in hospitals. Lack of trained therapists often poses a problem. The
Quick Glance IIT researchers have developed an augmented reality based exercise The new technology-assisted rehabilitation technique can help The exercise platform is augmented with the feeling of touch
Dr Uttama Lahiri Of IIT Gandhinagar
he researchers said the system can deliver real-time feedback on one’s skill progress. The patients in the study interacted with the system for 30 minutes a day for a week. Results indicated that their performance improved in terms of better scores, reduced task completion time and reduced performance errors. The system has been designed and tested as a technology platform. More studies will have to be conducted for it to be tested as an intervention in stroke rehabilitation. “Our study points out the novelty of the work. There are quite a few VR-based studies that have been designed for entertainment, but they are not adaptive to performance like ours that makes our system unique. Therefore, it has the potential to be deployed as a low-cost exercise platform for stroke patients in future,” said Dr Lahiri. “Computer game-assisted upper limb recovery seems to be a novel method for assisting recovery of brain functions after stroke. Such game-based recovery may help in precise motor unit activation which makes recovery rational and taskoriented,” commented Dr Vijaya Nath Mishra, a stroke specialist at Sir Sunderlal
Hospital, Banaras Hindu University, who is not connected with the study. However, he said, cost and affordability factors would have to be addressed for the new system to become a useful intervention. The research team included Uttama Lahiri, Ashish Dhiman, Dhaval Solanki (IIT Gandhinagar), Ashu Bhasin (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi) and Abhijit Das (AMRI, Kolkata). The work was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under its Technology Interventions for Disabled and Elderly (TIDE) programme.
platform that can intelligently adapt itself as per performance of patients. The software of the platform consists of 48 templates of VRbased ‘reaching’ and ‘coordination’ tasks that trigger abduction and adduction movement of the shoulder joint as prescribed in physiotherapy guidelines. These tasks in the video game have three difficulty levels to suit severity of stroke. The hardware interface consists of a haptic stylus that provides tactile feedback to users. In addition, the platform has modules for task switching and physiological data acquisition. The video game tasks appear to be similar to what kids play but they have been designed for a specific purpose for stroke patients. For instance, the car navigation task requires users to tackle dynamic obstacles like a pedestrian crossing the road as well as static obstacles like tree pots at the edge of the road. This is a coordination task, designed for abduction movement of the shoulder joint. Similarly, ‘reaching’ task where participants have to puncture balloons, avoiding dynamic and static obstacles, is supposed to spur adduction movement. The technique has been tested in a set of six patients with chronic stroke, and has been found to be effective. The research results have been published in journal Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds. “Unilateral shoulder abduction and adduction are essential for performing daily activities. In our experimental setup, while stroke patients interacted with our VR-based tasks, we recorded their physiological signals in a synchronized manner. Results indicate the potential of using this adaptive and individualized system in persons who had a stroke suffering from upper limb movement disorders,” explained Dr Uttama Lahiri of IIT Gandhinagar, who led the team, while speaking to India Science Wire.
Science & Technology
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
New Technology For Upscaling Memory A group of Indian researchers has developed a new type of resistive random access memory device that is controlled with magnetic fields
n Ratneshwar Thakur
ilicon-based memory devices such as hard drives and flash drives are in high demand for gadgets that require storage. Conventional semiconductor materialbased memory devices have limited scale-up ability to increase their storage capacity. Hence, there is a quest in developing new memory technologies with superior characteristics. In this direction, a group of Indian researchers has developed a new type of resistive random access memory (RRAM) device that can be controlled with magnetic fields. Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad have
demonstrated the control of resistive switching characteristics of titanium dioxide- based resistive random access memory device with magnetic field. The team has designed a memory device which is made up of silver, titanium dioxide and fluorine doped Tin oxide (FTO). Nonvolatile memory devices such as flash memory and magnetic random access memory (MRAM) are key components in many technological devices like hard drives on a computer and memory cards in a phone. Nonvolatile memory is typically used for storing information that would be retained even after power is switched off. Ideally, a good memory device should be able to operate with high
Google Helps Cardiac Detection
Google’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning programmes can help identify signals of heart diseases
n SSB Bureau
nowing the risk of a heart attack or a stroke could soon become as simple as an eye test as researchers at Google and its healthtech arm Verily have found that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) could help identify signals of heart diseases through retinal images. “AI offers us the
speed, low power consumption and must possess high density. Study suggests that the data transport properties (resistive switching behavior) in currently available RRAM based device are mainly controlled by voltage. It would help if resistance switching behavior can be controlled with magnetic field, light and temperature. Researchers say they are exploring magnetic fields because that would give an opportunity to control transport in a remote way. According to researchers, RRAM devices were fabricated on FTO substrate to study the resistive switching behavior in newly designed device. To build this new device, titanium dioxide paste was used to prepare a thin film on FTO substrate which was followed by heating of film at very high temperature (400 degree C). “We used silver as top electrode for good conduction as well as its anti-oxidation property where as fluorine doped tin oxide was used as bottom electrode,” said researchers. “As present memory technologies are approaching their scaling limits, we need intensive research to develop nonvolatile memory technologies. Among various NVM technologies, resistive random access memory (RRAM) also has attracted a great deal of scientific and technological interest owing to its easy fabrication, high density, and promising performance,” said Dr. S. N. Jammalamadaka, who did the study along with Dwipak Prasad Sahu. potential for new, less invasive tests for heart health -- predicting cardiovascular results from retinal images with computer vision -- encouraging early results!,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said. The study showed that deep learning applied to a retinal fundus image, a photograph that includes the blood vessels of the eye, can predict risk factors for heart diseases -from blood pressure to smoking status.
15 ‘Samsung Smart Healthcare’ Centres Launched In Tamil Nadu Tech major Samsung India launched new Smart Healthcare centres in Tamil Nadu in collaboration with the state government n SSB BUREAU
o provide affordable yet quality healthcare to patients from the lower strata of society, Samsung India and the Tamil Nadu government launched 15 “Samsung Smart Healthcare” centres in the state. “Our government is working towards creating better medical facilities for the public and this collaboration with Samsung for the Smart Healthcare programme will go a long way in fulfilling that vision,” state CM Palaniswami said in a statement. As part of the MoU, Samsung will provide advanced and innovative healthcare equipment such as digital ultrasound and digital x-ray machines manufactured by the company along with LED TVs, air conditioners and refrigerators to selected government hospitals. “Through this collaboration, we aspire to provide many more people in the state and its adjoining areas easy access to advanced healthcare facilities. Samsung Smart Healthcare combines good infrastructure, latest technology and the best available medical expertise,” added Deepak Bhardwaj, Vice President, CSR, Samsung India. “Samsung Smart Healthcare” programme aims to support the government’s efforts to benefit communities with limited access to quality healthcare across primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Drugs Made For Individuals, New Frontier of Medicine The Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is in the process of setting up a facility for personalized medicine
Quick Glance Scientists can now convert ordinary cells into organs These cells are called pluripotent stem cells They are used to develop a variety of organoids
ne size does not fit all. This applies to medicine, as much as for garments. Some medicines might work on some but not on others. The key to unravel this secret lies in the uniqueness of cells of each one of us. However, unlike garments, the consequences can be quite serious when we do not respond favorably to the drugs. Could we then have a test run of the drug on a body double and pick only the ones that work for ourselves? Recent developments in life science research have led to a novel solution for this problem. Scientists can now convert ordinary cells extracted from a patient’s body into what are called pluripotent stem cells and use these to develop a variety of organoids – multiple miniaturized and simplified versions of body organs. These can then be used to screen a variety of drugs for the ailment a person is suffering from and identify those that are best suited for him or her. The Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), a part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is in the process of setting up a facility to take the benefit of this new technology to common people. Noting that several other new technologies have also come up in recent years that could help make personalised medicine a reality, the Director of the institute, Dr. Rakesh K.Mishra, said steps were underway to put them too into use. Scientists at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology working to find solutions to different health problems “ The key to unravel this secret lies in the uniqueness of cells of each one of us. However, unlike garments, the consequences can be quite serious when we do not respond favorably to the drugs.” For instance, it is now possible to make cells produce bioactive products like insulin and deliver them to
patients who do not produce enough of them in the form of patches. “The technologies are available. We just need to put them in place after obtaining appropriate approvals. Lots of activities are happening on this front”, he said. CCMB, he said, is looking to engage with clinicians and the industry in a big way, with them participating right from the beginning stages of research. “We want them to invest and be a partner in developing technologies. This will help accelerate research in industrial context. We will also gain a lot from their expertise in marketing and production,’’ Dr Mishra said. In this regard, he recalled how Shanta
Biotech, one of the first major biotechnology companies in India had begun its journey from CCMB. The Institute focuses both on contributing intellectually as well as in terms of developing industry ready manpower. “We interact with the industry, find out what kind of manpower they require so as to design appropriate short term courses of one, two and six month duration. In this programme, we focus on producing properly qualified technicians, technical officers and other manpower required by industries engaged in biology-related activities,” he said. The research institute has recently
CCMB is looking to engage with clinicians and the industry in a big way, with them participating right from the beginning stages of research
started a programme to expose students in medical colleges in Telangana on various aspects of medical research. The aim of the program is to foster collaborations between scientists and medical professionals in medical research. The Institute, he noted, also emphasised on promoting international collaboration. Recently, it had organized a global meet – International Conference on Cell Biology (ICCB) 2018. It was a first of its meeting where there organisations came together: International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB), Asian Pacific Organization for Cell Biology (APOCB) and Indian Society of Cell Biology (ISCB).The five day programme saw cell biologists from across the world showcasing and discussing their work. It, among other things, commemorated the 30th anniversary of the APOCB. (India Science Wire) .
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Researchers Identify Early Biomarker For Alzheimer’s Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have figured out the way memory deficit develops in the early stages
n Jyoti Singh
n a significant advance in understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have figured out the way memory deficit develops in early stages. The researchers have found that early breaking down of a protein, fibrillar actin or F-actin, in the brain leads to disruption in communication among nerve cells and consequently memory deficits. The protein is critical for maintaining the symmetry of mushroom-shaped projections called dendritic spines on surface of nerve cells. These spines protrude into synapses - junctions between nerve cells - and act as docking spots for other neurons to connect and transmit signals. When synapses get disrupted due to loss of, or defects in dendritic spines, flow of information between nerve cells is interrupted.
In the study, researchers used mice that were genetically modified to mimic Alzheimer’s disease to look at proteins involved in maintaining dendritic spine shape and number. F-actin proteins are found within these spines along with another related protein, G-actin. It was found that in mice with Alzheimer’s as young as one month old, F-actin/G-actin balance was disrupted, leading to lost spines. In contrast, formation of toxic protein
clumps called amyloid plaques – an early first clinical symptom of Alzheimer’s, was seen when mice were 6 to 8 months old. Further studies revealed that F-actin loss had an effect on behavior of mice. When researchers injected a chemical into affected mice that prevented F-actin from breaking down, they found that the mice were able to regain their normal behaviour. “When we stabilized F-actin, we were able to see the behaviour recovery,” pointed out Reddy Kommaddi, first author and DBT Ramalingaswami Fellow at the Centre for Neuroscience, IISc. To test if similar effects were taking place in human brain, researchers looked at post-mortem brain tissue samples of patients with Alzheimer’s
Quick Glance Researchers discovered specific proteins related to Alzheimer’s These lead to the disruption in communication among nerves They can help scientists develop tests to identify Alzheimer’s disease, who had been studied for more than a decade before their death. The samples were obtained from collaborator David Bennett at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, USA. Just like the mice with Alzheimer’s, these samples also showed a gradual breakdown of F-actin over time, as their symptoms — memory loss and accumulation of plaques — worsened. “Because F-actin is a structural protein, it gives shape to all cells in the body, and is present everywhere. It could potentially become a biomarker,” said Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, senior author and Professor at the Centre for Neuroscience. The research team included Reddy Peera Kommaddi, Debajyoti Das, Smitha Karunakaran, Siddharth Nanguneri, Deepti Bapat, Ajit Ray, Eisha Shaw, David A. Bennett, Deepak Nair and Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath. The study results have been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Scientists Grow Sheep Embryos Containing Human Cells Scientists from the US and Japan have transferred human stem cells into sheep embryos for growing transplant organs inside animals
n a major breakthrough, scientists from the US and Japan have transferred human stem cells into sheep embryos, an advance that may pave the way for growing transplant organs inside animals. The hybrid embryos containing both human and sheep cells were created in an early step toward growing human organs in farm animals before transplanting them into patients, The Financial Times reported. The new finding paves way for
genetically tailoring the organs to be compatible with the immune system of the patient receiving them, thus removing the possibility of rejection, the report said. Using stem cell and genomic editing technologies, human stem cells were successfully transferred into early sheep embryos, producing embryos for which about one in every 100,000 cells were human. These chimeras -- a term adopted from Greek mythology -- were only allowed to develop for 28 days, the researchers said while presenting the results at the American Association
for the Advancement of Science in Texas. The experiment began with Hiro Nakauchi, from the University of Tokyo, who grew a mouse with a rat pancreas and a rat with a mouse pancreas. When cells from the rat-grown mouse pancreas were transplanted into a diabetic mouse, they made enough insulin to cure the condition without being rejected. Mice and rats are different types of rodents with the former having thin slightly hairy tails, while rats have thicker hairless scaly tails. “The next step was to move into large animals,” Nakauchi said. Since this was prohibited in Japan, he moved to the Stanford University in the US. Nakauchi’s rodent work has demonstrated that you can “grow organs in a different species and cure a disease without [suppressing the immune system],” added co-
researcher Pablo Ross, Professor at from the University of California, Davis. “We are working together to translate the technology into humans, to solve the terrible shortage of organs for transplantation. In the US, 20 people die every day because they cannot get the organs they need,” Ross explained. The novel approach helps to produce animal embryos that are genetically incapable of growing a particular organ.
Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2018
Two Epic LESSONS
hese are a couple of anecdotes from this epic that I’d like to share. First one is when Nall and Neel the master architects are in the process of constructing the bridge to Lanka. They achieved this by inscribing
the name of Rama on each rock and then throwing it into the ocean. The stones stay afloat and do not sink as they bear the Lord’s sacred name. But when Lord Rama himself tries to throw a rock into the water, it sinks at once.
The explanation given was that whom the Lord himself discards how can it stay afloat... Now, Ravan hears about this bridge and that the stones are staying afloat merely by virtue of bearing Lord Rama’s name. He tells his people
that, this is not a big deal as he too can do this minor miracle. He goes towards the ocean and writes his name Ravan on the rock and casts it into the water and it too stays afloat. His people cheer “Long Live Ravan” and they depart. Ravan goes back to his palace and tells his wife of his minor success. His wife Mandodari knows her husband very well and asks him, please tell me the whole truth- how did you make the rocks stay afloat. Ravan was in the habit of confiding all to his wife and tells her that whilst immersing the rocks, he had whispered to each rock that “tumhe ram ki kasam agar dubey to”. Hence the rocks stayed afloat!!! The second story is about when Ram and Ravan are face to face in the war arena, Laxman urges his brother to slay Ravan at once, but Lord Rama hesitates. Upon asking why is he not hurrying up and finishing this war by slaying the demon Ravan, Lord Rama said: “How I can slay him Laxman, as my beloved Sita is still residing in his heart and I cannot aim at that heart where my beloved resides. The minute his attention and mind are diverted from my beloved Sita, at that very moment I will slay him.” Such was the immense love of Lord Rama for his beloved Sita. This tale touched my heart as well.
Hidden facts of Ramayana The interesting story behind the 10 heads of Ravan Considered the antagonist in the epic, Ravan, factually, was a great follower of Shiva, an erudite scholar, an excellent ruler and a maestro of Veena. Attaining education, Ravan underwent a colossal penance to please Lord Shiva on the banks of River Narmada. Willing to please the Lord, Ravan axed his head. Each time that happened, the head grew back, which continued 10 times, pleasing Shiva. Shiva thus granted 10 heads to Ravan that he sacrificed. These 10 heads indicate the six shastras and the four vedas that Ravan
mastered. After winning over Lanka, Ravan again went to meet Shiva in Kailash, where he was denied entry by Nandi Shiva’s gatekeeper. Annoyed, Ravan teased him and hence a furious Nandi cursed him that his Lanka would be destroyed by a monkey! To prove his devotedness to Shiva, Ravan tried to lift Mount Kailash. An angry Shiva placed his toe on the hill and Ravan’s hand crushed beneath it, so painfully that his cry shook the world. To please Shiva now, Ravan plucked out his sinews and played Shiva’s praise to which Shiva released him and gifted him a sword and gave him the name Ravan, which means “the one with terrifying roar”. Ram is the reincarnation of Vishnu, but who are his brother’s reincarnations of? As Ram is considered an incarnation
of Vishnu, Bharat and Shatrughan are considered to be his Sudarshan-Chakra and Conch-Shell, while Laxman is considered to be his Shesh-Naag, Vishnu’s seat in Vaikunth (adobe of Vishnu or Brahmalok). As Earth rests on Shesh-Naag’s head, whenever Adi Shesh is angered, the Earth shakes. In the courtroom of Janak (father of Sita) during Sita’s ‘swayamvar’, when nobody could lift the bow of Shiva, Janak got upset and declared that the Earth is now devoid of strong men. This angered Laxman so much that the Earth started to tremble. Laxman was later born as Balram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. Laxman had complained that since he is born as the younger brother, he has to obey all commands of Ram and thus, his wish to be the elder brother was fulfilled when he was born as Balram.
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ACROSS 2. India won its first Olympic hockey gold in...? 4. This city will host the annual meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF) 2018. 7. Golf player Vijay Singh belongs to which country? 12. India’s first design university ‘World University of Design’ opens in............. 13. Which of the following country bans Solo Climbing on Mount Everest recently? 14. Motofumi Shitara has appointed as the chairman of this company. 15. Ricky Ponting is also known as what? 16. Which payments Bank Becomes India’s First Payments App to Cross 100 mn Downloads on Play Store? 17. The ‘National Health Service’ is the health care system of which one of the following countries? 19. The ‘Dronacharya Award’ is given to...? 20. With which company, Axis Bank tie-up to offer ‘Bill Payments’? DOWN 1. The Indian football team made its first appearance at Olympics in...? 3. Federation Cup, World Cup, Allywyn International Trophy and Challenge Cup are awarded to winners of 5. This company acquires HDFC’s digital, realty units in all stock deal. 6. The world’s longest glass bridge has been opened in __________. 8. This country overtakes Saudi Arabia as top crude oil supplier to India. 9. hich company to set up electric car battery plant in India by the year 2030? 10. This state Chief Minister launched skill development training centres across the state recently 11. Which country Passes Law to Ban all Oil and Gas Production by 2040? 18. Which institute to launch 31 satellites in single mission on Jan 10?
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First Kashmiri in AFPP fellowship Gulam Jeelani has ben chosen for the IndianAmerican fellowship
t n a i l l i r b , k c a Simple h results With a Rs 2,500/- apparatus, Meerut students save over 100 litres of milk for the needy
POSTAL REGISTRATION NO. DL(W)10/2240/2017-19
n a first, a Kashmiri journalist has been chosen for a fellowship in the US funded by a foundation started by prominent IndianAmerican entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Frank Islam and his wife Debbie Driesman. Gulam Jeelani is a Delhi-based Kashmiri journalist who covers politics, development and socio-economic issues for a renowned media house. He has now become the first Kashmiri journalist to have been awarded the Alfred Friendly Press Partners programme (AFPP) fellowship that brings journalists from around the world to the US for a six month programme. The programme includes training at the
Missouri School of Journalism as well as working on the staff of a major newsroom. Jeelani has been chosen a fellow with a view that his background indicates he has the interests and capabilities to refine his craft through the programme and to make an even bigger impact on the Indian democracy when he returns home. The foundation supports the AFPP fellowship “because as immigrants to the US we realize what a critical role the free press plays in this great democracy and what contribution journalists make to advancing the cause of a free society.”
The brightest in Trump administration
Raj Shah becomes the first Indian-American to address a media briefing at the White House
aj Shah, the Deputy Press Secretary of President Donald Trump, addressed a media briefing at the White House, becoming the first IndianAmerican to do so. Shah, 32, was filling in the shoes of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who was away on a vacation. Ahead of his briefing, Sanders took to Twitter and described Shah as “one of the best and the brightest in the Trump administration”.
Shah was asked questions about Trump’s thoughts concerning legal immigration as it affects Indian immigrants, and those applying for Green Cards through the normal route, as well as on lifting the country quotas for legal immigration. Shah ensured that the administration wants the people coming in the country are the best and the brightest regardless of nationality, creed, religion or anything else in-between.
e isn’t an atheist, but a practical futurist who just had it with the ever-growing rate of malnutrition in India. This is when 24-yearold Karan and his four like-minded friends decided to step up and bring a change which was long awaited. Henceforth this group from Meerut developed a system to collect and reuse the milk without any contamination. They then convinced the priest at Bileshwar Nath temple in Meerut to set up the system in the premises on and published pamphlets and distributed
Karan them to devotees. And thus, the apparatus was set up on a tripod stand on the Shivling on the occasion of Shivratri. The idea is unique in its simplicity and manages to balance the practical realities and religious sentiments of the people. With this simple yet brilliant hack, the five managed to save over 100 litres of milk and distributed it to underprivileged and orphaned children. The apparatus used for this cost mere Rs 2500 to develop and helped save more than expected amount of milk. The saved milk was sent to Satyakaam Manav Seva Samiti, which provides shelter to orphaned children and HIV positive children. The apparatus has now been handed over to the temple authorities and every Monday a portion of the milk offered would be kept aside to be sent to various orphanages across the city. Every year on the occasion of Mahashivratri, millions of devotees pour milk on Shivling and gallons of milk get wasted. In a country which has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world, this tradition surely calls for a change!
RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 2, Issue - 11 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