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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561
A Good News Weekly
Vol - 2 | Issue - 18 | April 16 - 22, 2018 | Price ` 5/-
Feeding The Future Generation
The massive operations of feeding lakhs of children across several states has become the subject of research papers from top US universities Quick Glance Akshay Patra is a unique feeding programme for school children across states It was created by ISKCON which found hunger causing children to drop out of school The unique kitchen systems have ensured hygiene and quality food
n G Ulaganathan / Bengaluru
C The world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal programme serving wholesome school lunch to over 1.6 million children in 13,839 schools across 12 states in India
h i k k a s a n d r a Government Higher Primary school is situated in one of the villages on Hesarughatta road, Karnataka. As you enter the school, you see a bunch of girls playing hopscotch in the small play area. One of these chirpy little girls is 12-year-old Kavita. Kavita is a bright girl, her hair combed back into a neat braid and uniform tidily pressed. She says she loves the English language and that it is her favourite subject in school. In her free time, she tries speaking to herself in English, makes an effort to assess herself and gets her mistakes corrected by her teachers. Kavita’s elder sister, who is 15 years of age, studies at Gangadhareshwara High
April 16 - 22, 2018
As the process of feeding the hungry continued regularly, the number of children began to increase by every passing day as well School which is in the same area as Kavita’s school. Their parents work as daily-wage labourers in a nearby town. Kavita’s activities after school are minimal. She only has to help her mother with household chores and in making dinner for the family, just like her sister does. She aspires to become a manager in a Government office. “I would like to become a manager since it will bring me a lot of responsibility along with respect. I know what it is like to manage a place, since I monitor the classroom in my teachers’ absence. Also, the Government has such good facilities for us in school that I think it’s only fair to return their efforts by joining them,” she says. Kavita is one of the nearly 20 lakh Akshaya Patra beneficiaries across
India. She is one of the millions who partly depend on organisations like the ‘Akshaya Patra Foundation’ for a healthy living.
night for our nation. A soldier takes care of his nation irrespective of the weather. He has to stand vigil when the nation sleeps peacefully. I admire our soldiers,” says Lakshmi Lakshmi enjoys mid-day meals served in her school by Akshaya Patra. “I do not bring lunch from home as I like the meals served in school, especially the pulao. The meals are highly nutritious, so my mother is not worried about my health anymore,” she says confidently.
Different Dreams Kirti is another girl with a lot of grace and poise. She is aspiring to be a dancer. She is inspired by various dance shows and the graceful dance steps in different competitions showcased on TV. Kirti dreams of becoming a professional dancer in contemporary dance. This
Lakshmi, a 13-year-old student of Standard VII at Kannavi Honnapura Higher Primary School in Hubballi, wants to join the armed forces. What inspired her to pursue this dream? She recalls the Siachen incident, where 10 soldiers were buried under snow not long ago. It changed the way she looked at the armed forces. There is a lot of passion and determination in her eyes. She speaks at length about the risks soldiers take to safeguard our nation. She says she admires the sacrifices soldiers make so that we can be safe and wants to serve her nation and won’t mind working 24 X 7 for it. “This is my tribute to the martyrs and the soldiers who are working day and
Where the plates are always full
he Akshaya Patra Foundation, commonly known as Akshaya Patra, is a not-forprofit organisation that was started in the year 2000, feeding 1,500 children across five government schools in Bengaluru, and mainly addresses two of the most immediate challenges of India – hunger and education. With a vision of “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger,” Akshaya Patra Foundation operates from its registered offices in India, the UK and the US, and is on a mission to reach out to 5 million children by 2020. The project is a subject of a Harvard Business School case study and in 2014 Akshaya Patra was named among the top 100 NGOs in the world by The Global Journal, a reputed journal published out of Switzerland. It was ranked 1st in the category of Children and Youth and was ranked 23rd among the top 100 NGOs. Akshaya Patra has won the Gold Award in Excellence in Financial Reporting for five consecutive years and is in the Hall of Fame now. The founders decided on the name ‘Akshaya Patra’ as the Sanskrit term “Akshaya Patra,” meant “abundant and inexhaustible.”
It has been 17 years since we took our first step towards eliminating classroom hunger. The learnings over this journey, have played a crucial role in establishing a replicable model that adds to our scalability. We serve children in 33 locations across the country. Every Akshaya Patra kitchen gives children hope.
It is our attempt to fuel aspirations of children by bringing them to schools, hoping to put wings on their dreams which will help them soar. Akshaya Patra is an organisation with the mind of a corporate and the heart of not-forprofit.” -Shridhar Venkat, CEO of Akshaya Patra
Key Takeaways a) Avoids classroom hunger, b) Increases school enrolment c) Increase school attendance d) Improves socialisation among castes e) Addresses malnutrition and f) Empowers women through employment. The Akshaya Patra Foundation started implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme in June 2000. It started with 1,500 children in five Government schools of Bengaluru. It now has over 16 lakh beneficiaries across 11 states. There are two kitchen models – Centralised and De-centralised. They are large factory-like semi-automated kitchen units with a capacity to typically cook about 100,000 hygienic meals a day. These kitchens serve a set of schools located around the units.
April 16 - 22, 2018
Former US president Bill Clinton serves the children
Former president Pranab Mukherjee serving food from Akshaya Patra Foundation to the students
tall, lanky, energetic 8th standard girl from GHS, Jyothipura, is working hard towards becoming a dancer. She goes to Hoskote, 15km away, just to learn dance moves from the masters there. She says: “I love songs with peppy tunes and would love to participate in competitions”. Her dad Krishnappa, who works in construction sites, believes in her dreams and encourages her all the time. About the food served by Akshaya Patra – with a sparkle in her eyes, she says: “I love the food provided by The Akshaya Patra Foundation. When I eat to my heart’s content, I am able to concentrate better on my studies and it also gives me the strength to dance.” `I am Jyotiranjan Da’ is a film which features a 10-yr-old student who is a trained Gotipua dancer from Raghurajpur (the same village which gave to the world the master dancer, Kelucharan Mohapatra) near Puri. Jyotiranjan lives at the hostel facility provided by the dance academy and his day begins with dance. He can pursue his dream, thanks to Akshaya Patra which has transformed his village in remote Odisha . Police officers are the backbone of the law enforcement system, where they are bound to work day and night. Pravin Thakur of Unava Primary School, Gandhinagar in Gujarat aspires to become a police officer. He is a student of Standard VIII. He said, “When I become a police officer, I
Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, etc. The programme is child-centric and directly addresses Millennium development Goals and works in a public-private partnership with Central and State governments Its centralised, automated gravityflow kitchens can cook close to 6,000 kg of rice, 4.5 to 5 tonnes of vegetables and 6,000 litres of sambar in less than 4 hours. Roti making machines can turn out 40,000 rotis per hour. Roughly calculated, the high quality meals cost Rs 750 per child per year. Cooked food is transported to schools through heat-insulated, dust-free special purpose vehicles. The hot, freshly cooked meals are served on all school working days. The meal consists of three items every day and caters to local dietary preferences. All the eleven Akshaya Patra kitchens have received ISO 22000 certification.
will catch hold of those who commit crimes and punish them. I will also give them a chance to repent, leave the world of crime and lead a better life, but if they don’t, I’ll put them behind bars forever.” He is good in academics as well as curricular activities. His teachers are full of praises for him. Pravin’s father is a farmer and his mother, a homemaker. They are five siblings; all of them study in the same school. He likes Akshaya Patra food — dal, roti and rice being his favourite — because it is tasty and nutritious. He also says one of the main reasons he and his siblings like coming to school is that they get warm nutritious meals from time-totime. Other than that, he gets to play his favourite sport, kho-kho. Food Food! These kids are only a small, miniscule sample of the vast majority of school children in India who know the word “Akshaya Patra.” Akshaya Patra Foundation’s MidDay Meal Scheme is a major wonder. It is the largest such programme in the world, serving food to over 2 million children across 12 states in India. The Foundation has received aid and support from various noteworthy organisations. Some of these include CISCO, Jindal Aluminium, Maple Exports, Jamsetji Tata Trust, HDFC Bank, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Oil and Natural
The programme is child-centric and directly addresses Millennium Development Goals and works in a public-private partnership with Central & State governments
Kitchens as Studies These are units which cater to locations with unfavourable geographical terrain, improper road connectivity, or don’t support construction of large infrastructure. They are majorly run by Women Self-Help Groups under the guidance and supervision of Akshaya Patra’s kitchen process and operations module. For Akshaya, hygiene and cleanliness is of utmost importance their kitchen infrastructure will give an overview of its compliance to Food Safety and Quality Standards as well. The technology and process used in their kitchens have been a topic of research and study in the course curriculum of many renowned universities such as AC Nielsen Impact Study and Harvard Case Study, and some other government studies as well.
Other than these, Akshaya also runs several other Feeding and Socio Developmental Programmes, such as: Feeding Programmes: – Anganwadi feeding; Feeding expecting and lactating mothers, special schools, old-age homes, homeless, etc. Sociodevelopmental Initiatives: – After class tuitions, Life skills programme, Community health camps, Scholarship programmes, Health check-up camps, etc… Ground Realities As the process of feeding the hungry continued regularly, the number of children began to increase by every passing day as well. One day, on speaking to some of these children, Pandit Dasa learnt that these kids either didn’t go to school or left early to make it to the temple for lunch. To make sure their education wasn’t affected, he decided to send food to the schools themselves. In no time, they were sending food out to 1500 children in schools across Bangalore. Soon, teachers and principals from other schools began writing in to ISKCON, asking them to feed children at their school too. What was even more complimenting was that kids from non-ISKCON supported schools had begun leaving to join schools that benefitted them with temple’s food programme. One major concern was the lack of vessels and vehicles to pack and transport the cooked food to the schools. So Madhu Pandit Dasa discussed the idea with prominent personalities with whom he was in touch with through the activities of the temple, and received help from people like Mohandas Pai, Narayan & Sudha Murthy of Infosys, Abhay Jain and many others. Mohandas Pai stepped in by
April 16 - 22, 2018
the vision of a vaishnavite founder
he Akshaya Patra Foundation was founded by Madhu Pandit Dasa in 2000. Under the leadership of Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, and Chanchalapati Dasa, Vice Chairman, the organisation is run by Shridhar Venkat (CEO), who manages a team that consists of individuals with specific skills in fields of Management, Operations, Finance and Accountancy, Communications, etc… Madhu Pandit Dasa was born in 1956 in Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu and is an engineer. He completed his Bachelors in Technology in Civil Engineering from the IIT (Bombay) in 1980, post which, he went on to pursue his Masters in Technology from IIT (Bombay) itself. While at IIT, he had grown interest in the books of Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON Foundation. As the time passed and he moved to complete his Masters, his interest grew so much that he decided to dedicate himself to the service of Lord Krishna by becoming a full-time missionary member of ISKCON. Today, he holds various management positions at the ISKCON foundation and its subsidiaries. The story of Akshaya Patra remains one of the most successful stories depicting hope, fairness, justice and opportunity for all children. Looking out of a window one day in Mayapur, a village near Calcutta, Swami Prabhupada saw a group of children fighting with stray dogs over scraps of food. This heart- breaking incident made him determined to make sure that no child within a radius of ten
donating the first vehicle to deliver food, while Abhay Jain assured to get more donors to further strengthen the programme. “The big thing to worry about now is scalability. How to run such a huge operation on a consistent basis with worries about quality and consistency of food… We’ve gone from 60,000 to over 500,000 children. Now we want to get to one million. How do we do that?” Workers from poor local neighbourhoods transfer hot cooked rice from industrial-size boilers to individual delivery containers, while other employees stir spices into large vats of simmering mixed vegetables and broth. Trucks wait outside, ready to load the proper quantities of food for their daily routes. After successfully implementing the programme in Bengaluru, in July 2004, in partnership with Sudha Murty, the chairperson of Infosys Foundation,
menu North Indian Day
Monday Roti, matar soy paneer & fruit
Madhu Pandit Dasa Chairman – The Akshaya Patra Foundation miles from their homes would go hungry. Since then, this principle had been adhered to by the ISKCON foundation. As CEO Madhu Pandit Das says, “Over the 17 years, we have grown strength to strength in our humble attempt to transform lives of children using a wholesome meal. It is a great satisfaction to know that today, we touch the lives of over 1.6 million children across 33 locations in the country. We have been able to do this by leveraging technology and innovation and piecing it together it with our expertise in food safety and hygiene. We continuously strive to reach more children with nutritious meals every school day in pursuit of our mission to reach 5 million children by 2020. We are of the firm belief that the promise of a wholesome meal serves as an incentive for children to come to school and boosts their nutritional status. Therefore, feeding, for us, is not an act of charity; rather, it is a social responsibility.”
the foundation began a midday meal program in Hubli-Dharwad. By November 2004, Akshaya Patra had also commenced a pilot programme in 25 schools feeding 5,200 children in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In August 2005, Akshaya Patra began services in the region of Baran, located in east Rajasthan, in response to the number of starvation deaths in the area. Because very few midday meal programs operated in rural districts, the Baran program was an experiment. Neither the government nor Akshaya Patra was able to serve these communities adequately on its own, but as partners, their mutual goal was achievable. Funding Fundamentals Akshaya Patra is funded through a combination of government subsidies and private donations. The organisation receives:
South Indian Day
Monday Rice & griffith sambar
Plain rice, mix dal
Plain rice, loki chana dal
Tuesday Rice & maiyas sambar
Plain rice, palak dal (in winter)
Veg. pulao, kheer
Thursday Roti, aloo rajma sabzi Roti, mix veg soy chunk Friday
Veg. pulav, kheer
Plain rice, aloo desi chana sabzi
2.6 kilograms of rice or wheat per child for students in class 1 to 7 + excise duty exemption from the central government Rs 1.31 for students in class 1
Tomato bath , sweet pongal & curd
Thursday Rice & swastick sambar Friday Rice, rasam & curd Saturday
BBB & sweet pongal
to 7 from the state government of Karnataka • Rs 1 for students in class 1 to 5 from UP government • Rs 1.50 for students in class 1 to 5
The story of Akshaya Patra remains one of the most successful stories depicting hope, fairness, justice and opportunity for all children
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+ sales & road tax exemption from Rajasthan government â€˘ Rs 1.65 for students in class 1 to 5 + sales tax exemption from Odishagovernment In addition, the government also gives 100 percent Income Tax Exemption for donations made to the Akshaya Patra program under section 35 AC/80GGA (bb) of the Indian tax code. The remainder of the funding comes from corporate and individual donor contributions. By March 2007, there were over 16,000 private donors. Cost Efficiency When Akshaya Patra first began serving the rural areas, it cost 10 rupees per day to feed eachchild. With the lack of road infrastructure and the dispersed locations of schools made the decentralizedmodel cost-effective than the centralized model. Schools selection Schools are selected based on demonstrated need and physical location. In the rural areas, schools are located close to one another. Distance and location are not a problem. Constant learning and improvement Since its early development was largely through trial-and-error, a culture of constant improvement and learning has been put in place throughout the organization. Although the menu was standardized early on, much experimentation has gone into the recipe creation. Finding the appropriate spiciness to suit all tastes was one example of Akshaya Patraâ€™s use of trial-and-error. At each school, a distribution supervisor is responsible for handling school complaints. The complaints usually relate to the time of delivery, insufficient quantity of food, the taste of the food, among others which are immediately attended to. Distribution supervisors provide feedback from schools and help to implement necessary changes. At one school, for example, a teacher noticed that students were not eating the vegetables. Upon investigation, Akshaya Patra learned that the vegetables were too big for the children to chew comfortably and recalibrated the vegetable cutting machine to ensure smaller-sized pieces. The teacher subsequently reported increased vegetable consumption. Such minute details are attended to periodically. Worker initiatives likewise led to improvements in kitchen design and operations. The Bangalore kitchen was designed by a team of expert engineers, and
many modifications to a.m., and by 10 a.m. The The battery of the original design were kitchen is fully cleaned then vehicles (top) that made as the organisation preparations for the next day take the food from grew in scope and scale. begin. the hygienic factory The Bangalore kitchen (above left) to the was initially intended Preparation and children in their to feed 1,500 students. cooking schools to ensure By 2007, the kitchen Akshaya Patra prepares the their education was feeding 1,45,000 traditional food of each children daily. As region, being sensitive to Akshaya Patra increased the the needs of the local palate. From the number of children fed, it increased Bangalore kitchen, students are served the capacity of the kitchen. a hot meal of, sambhar, vegetables and curds. Supply chain and schedule The packing supervisor determines The daily meals include rice, lentils, the amount of food to go to each school vegetables, spices, and curds. In the based on figures calculated the evening urban areas, vegetables are procured before. Every morning starting at 2:45 from local markets through an ongoing am, twenty-two customized vehicles relationship with vendors. The deliver prepared meals to 145,000 Bangalore storage room can store up children in 486 schools. Each vehicle to three days worth of fresh food has a driver, two loading/unloading Operations in the Bangalore kitchen workers, and a security guard. The begin at 10 p.m. At 2:30 a.m., the security guard holds the key to the steam generator boilers are turned foodstorage unit of the truck and on. A system of hoses allows the ensures that the correct amount of entire kitchen to be sanitized with food reached each school. He takes a hot water. The entire cooking and signature from the designated person packing process is completed by 7:15 at the school site and verifies quantities
If food remaining after all the school deliveries have been made, the security guard contacts the head office for permission to stop in the slum areas to distribute the excess food
needed forthe next day. Each security guard has a mobile phone, which connects him with the central kitchen and is useful when unexpected situations arise. Emergencies include a school that needs additional food, vehicle breakdown, or a traffic delay. If there is significant amount of food remaining after all the school deliveries have been made, the security guard contacts the head office for permission to stop in the slum areas to distribute the excess food. Akshaya Patra has utilized automation and mechanization as much as possible. For example, after the vegetables for the sambhar are sorted and cleaned, they move from the holding vessels to an automatic cutting machine. Imported from Germany, and equipped with a motor comparable to that of a BMW, the machine is able to cut 40 kg of potatoes in 60 seconds and could vary both the shape and the size depending on need. A new kitchen at Hubli went a step further. Opened in May 2006, it has the capacity to serve 200,000 children. In order to increase cost-efficiency and decrease the labour needed, this multistory kitchen is designed using basic concepts of gravity flow. Vegetables are cleaned, sorted, and cuton the top floor, and dropped through holes in the floor into the cooking vessels below. From the cooking vessels, rice and vegetables move through funnels
into large containers. When Akshaya Patra began its efforts to feed rural school children in Rajasthan, the largest state in India in terms of land area, there was little infrastructure of any kind, including electricity and water, and villages in Baran were not connected by any roads. Degraded forests covered nearly half of the land and numerous small rivers made transportation and communication very difficult. Akshaya Patra chose to work with the least developed and only remaining primitive tribe in Baran. The dispersed geography of Baran meant that Akshaya Patra needed to design a wholly different operations strategy: one based on small, decentralized kitchens. It helped the villages set up kitchens at or near the local school
April 16 - 22, 2018
The radiant smiles on the faces of these girl students tells the real story
and provided basic infrastructure to start the kitchens. Construction of the stove, storage area, and washing area was done under the organization’s guidance. By January 2007, the decentralized operations in Baran and served 15,000 children per day. Self-help groups of four to six village women were formed to be employed as cooks for the midday meals. Most of these women had no education or work experience, so the organisation provided basic training in cooking, nutrition, and hygiene. Other training included maintaining accounts, inventory, and requisition
Impact of the mid-day meal programme i. Increased enrolment – The mid-day meal scheme has become a great incentive for children to come to school. As more often than not, the mid-day meal is the child’s only meal for the day, parents prefer to send their children to school. ii. Increased attendance – Children look forward to coming to school every day due to the delicious menu. In addition, regional delicacies are also a big draw for them to attend school. iii. Increased concentration – The nutritious and healthy mid-day meal increases the child’s concentration in class and helps them perform better. iv. Improved socialisation – The intermingling and eating together habit has increased the unity among children of various religions and castes. It has helped in removing divisional hierarchy in terms of social standing and has fostered a sense of equality among them. v. Addressed malnutrition – Akshaya Patra is striving to meet the nutritional requirements of children such as energy, carbohydrates, proteins and fat through its mid-day meal for school children. vi. Empowered women – Women have been employed in different capacities in operations and other areas as cooks, helpers etc., with the advent of the mid-day meal scheme. This vocational opportunity has given a boost to their self-esteem and improved their social standing.
The children say that not only is that they really enjoy the tasty and nourishing food, but their families now have no concerns about their health standards slips, and often teaching the women to count. Many of the women had not learned the days of the week, so Akshaya Patra taught them to do different activities on different days, simultaneously providing meal variety. Many village cooks were able to tour the nearest Akshaya Patra kitchen to gain a better understanding of the work at hand. Each village kitchen had one head cook who was responsible for purchasing vegetables, firewood, and supervising the daily operations; she earned 50 rupees for three hours per day, while the other women earned 1,000 rupees per month. In contrast, many people in the village earned only Rs 8 per day and worked long hours. The head cook position was rotated on a monthly basis so that each woman had a chance. The central office in Baran was responsible for the bimonthly procurement of non- perishable food items, the distribution of key items, as well as the supervision of all village operations. A cluster supervisor was responsible for supervision of the rural kitchens’ cooking, distribution, quality control, and hygiene, and oversaw eight to ten villages. Akshaya Patra emphasized strong hygienic standards, but village hygiene standards were very different from those in the urban areas. Due to inadequate water supplies, villagers would bathe approximately every 6 to 7 days. Akshaya Patra told the cooks that they needed to bathe daily in order to maintain hygiene appropriate
for food service. However, the women did not understand this request, thus they did not adhere to it. Akshaya Patra therefore constructed a communication that was more relevant to the village people.They said the first bite of the food should be blessed and offered to God. Thus, the women took their own initiative to wash! Feeding Adult Labourers In another initiative in Jaipur, many low-skilled village workers migrated to the city for the week, sleeping on the street, and returning home on the weekends to provide wages for their families. They paid up to Rs30 a day for a small meal. Earning only about Rs150 rupees per day, it was very difficult to save money and break the cycle of poverty. In 2005, Akshaya Patra began an extension service in Jaipur to provide meals to rickshaw drivers and other lowskilled labourers. For Rs 5, the labourers receive unlimited food at four set locations from 7 to 8 p.m. every day. In an impact study done in one of the rural areas served by Akshaya Patra, by the MS Ramaiah Medical College, revealed that the number of children below the optimal nutrition level was reduced from 60% to almost 0%. Anaemia was reduced from 40% to less than 5%. Skin infections decreased from 80% to almost 0%. In addition, children developed better resistance to diseases, and they showed significant improvements in height and weight.
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Synergistic Approach To Sanitation In Kenya Kenya has been pushed into a situation where the need for improved sanitation and hygiene requires innovation and creative methods to tackle the problems Mihir Paul
ccess to safe human waste disposal methods is crucial for the health and well-being of people. Lack of access to safe human waste disposal facilities leads to higher costs to the community through pollution of rivers, ground water and higher incidence of air and water borne diseases. Other costs include reduced incomes as a result of disease and lower educational outcomes. In slums near Nairobi, Kenya, researchers are testing how subsidizing the cost of connecting to the sewer system and providing information about the health benefits of improved sanitation affects the number of landlords who connect to the sewer system. Nationally, 61 percent of the population has access to improved methods of waste disposal. Improved waste disposal modes include connection to main sewer, septic tank, cesspit, Ventilated-Improved Pit (VIP) latrine, and covered pit latrine. Unimproved methods include uncovered pit latrine, bucket latrine, bush and other sources. People living in rural areas have over two times more dependence on unimproved sanitation than their urban counterparts. Pit latrines in Kenya are the most common methods of waste disposal with 74 percent of Kenyans using them (VIP latrines are used by 5 percent; covered latrines are used by 48 percent; and uncovered latrines are used by 21 percent). A sizeable population (17.5 percent) still uses the bush to dispose human waste. Sanitation Access In Kenya Estimates on access to private, improved sanitation in Kenya, including sewerage by World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program ( JMP) 2015, indicate that only 30 per cent (31 per cent of urban and 30 per cent of rural), which is over 21 million people in Kenya, still use unsanitary or shared latrines. In rural areas, open defecation was
In villages near Nairobi, researchers are testing subsidising sanitation BusiCounty has been certified as the first ODF county in the country World Vision Kenya has been carrying out sanitation drives
The 2015 report by the Water and Sanitation Regulatory Board did not include any figures on access to sanitation in the broad sense estimated to be still practised by 12% of the population. The 2015 report by the Water and Sanitation Regulatory Board did not include any figures on access to sanitation in the broad sense, but only an estimate of access to sewerage in urban areas, which was estimated at 16%. In 2006–2007 it had been reported that half of the Kenyan population within the service area of 55 WSPs had access to improved sanitation facilities (this definition includes flush, pour flush toilets connected to a piped system, septic tanks, VIP latrines and pit latrines). In Nairobi, sanitation coverage was about 23% in 2006–2007.The Kenyan Integrated Household Budget Survey of 2006 reported a much higher sanitation coverage 84%, including shared latrines and shallow pit latrines. Approximately 18 per cent of rural populations in the country practice open defecation. However, more needs to be done to address the sanitation challenge, especially since a percentage
of the population still do not have access to basic toilets and one in seven people worldwide, still practice open defecation. Safe sanitation provides hope to Kenyans living under the poverty line that women and men can undertake initiatives to mobilise their assets. First ODF County - Busia Busia County has been certified as the first county in Kenya to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). Isiolo and Siaya and other counties, have made good progress towards becoming ODF, though there is more work to be done before the whole country achieves this status. World Vision Kenya has been carrying out sanitation interventions as part of its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programming (WASH). The Ministry of Health has advocated for the use of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), which is a methodology that empowers the community to take care
of its own sanitation. It is a no-subsidy approach, where it advocates for no supply or giving the community any form of materials or cash to help them to construct latrines at the household level. The community is instead encouraged to use locally available materials to erect low cost latrines. The community is triggered through evoking feelings of shame and disgust about open defecation, to construct latrines using locally-available, materials. In financial year 2016, WV Kenya carried out sanitation activities in 30 Area Development Programs (ADPs) and were able to reach 72,707 beneficiaries that includes 15,994 women, 14,724 men, 23,996 girls and 17,993 boys in 22 counties in Kenya. Since 2011, the organisation has managed to get 791 villages to be “open defecation free” in Kitui, Kilifi, Nakuru, Baringo, Busia, West Pokot, Kajiado, Makueni and Baringo counties. The total number of households and the population in the ODF villages are 39,550 and 237,300, respectively. World Vision USA, Stone Family Foundation, UNICEF and the Millenium Water Alliance, have been funding ODF projects for the WASH sector in WV Kenya. Kenya’s Sanitation Reforms Kenya launched on 18 May, 2016 four sanitation and hygiene policies to be in line with the SDGS and Kenya’s other global and regional WASH commitments: l Kenya Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Strategic Framework (2016 – 2020) l Kenya Environmental Sanitation and
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Effort and observance of how to build a standard latrine in Kenya
hygiene in target communities, reducing urban pollution from human waste, generating employment opportunities for low-income individuals, and restoring dignity to the provision of sanitation services.
Hygiene Policy (2016 â€“ 2020) l National ODF Kenya 2020 Campaign Framework l Prototype County Kenya Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill Kenya Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Strategic Framework (KESSF) 2016-2020 The KESSF is the national guide for state and non-state actors at both national and county levels on water, sanitation and hygiene-related topics. The framework addresses the bottlenecks to achieving universal access to improved sanitation and eradication of open defecation in Kenya. It provides a framework for operational planning for multi-sectorial interventions and equitable delivery of sanitation services throughout Kenya. Kenya Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Policy (KESHP) 2016-2020 The KESHP provides broad guidelines to state and non-state actors including civil society organizations, development partners, private sector, communities, households and individuals at all levels to ensure universal access to improved sanitation as well as clean, healthy and sustainable living environment for improved quality of life of Kenyans. National ODF Kenya 2020 Campaign Framework The National ODF Kenya 2020 Campaign Framework takes into account the reality that sanitation is a devolved function in the new Constitution, therefore at County and local levels, the Campaign will entail mapping and securing commitment from partners and supporting them in developing workplans and securing resources for attaining ODF Kenya by 2020.
People living in rural areas have over two times more dependence on improved sanitation than their urban counterparts Prototype County Kenya Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill The purpose of this Prototype County Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill is to assist and guide County Governments in coming up with the necessary enabling county legislation for the implementation of Articles 43(1) (b) and 42 of the Constitution and to enable county governments to effectively execute the sanitation and environmental health related functions and powers vested in them by the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution. Kenya hopes to reach universal sanitation coverage by 2030 and to end open defecation by 2020. But, achieving universal improved sanitation coverage requires a paradigm shift in policies, technologies and mindsets. Innovation In Sanitation Kenyans have resorted to innovating ingenious ways of handling sanitation in the country. From compost toilets to sawdust toilets, the need for improved sanitation has brought about quite a few notable advancements. Ikotoilet Ecotactâ€™s Ikotoilet concept -- Sustainable sanitation services in Kenya. Ecotact is a Nairobi-based company established The USAID Kenya Water Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) project, in partnership with Busia County governmen
in 2008 to improve the urban landscape for low-income communities through environmentally responsible projects in sanitation and housing. Under the Ikotoilet project, Ecotact builds and operates high-quality, public pay-per-use toilet and shower facilities. Customers pay five shillings ($0.06 USD) to use a facility. Ecotact has 29 units operating across 12 municipalities, including two in the slums of Mathare and Kawangare, Its facilities saw more than four million uses in 2009 and five million uses in 2010. Ecotact is defining a new standard of
Compost Toilets The compost toilet project is a partnership with Ecofinder Kenya for the purpose of building ecological sanitation toilets (compost toilets) for communities in the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. The compost toilets provide valuable organic fertiliser that can be used to improve local, small-scale farming, as well as providing basic sanitation in a region where water borne diseases from lack of sanitation are rife.In dry compost toilets the solids and liquids are separated to assist in the aerobic decomposition process. If liquids are mixed with solids the composting process turns into an anaerobic process which slows down the decomposition rate dramatically. Solids are covered with sawdust to support the aerobic process, absorb liquids, and to reduce odor. Urine is collected and later used as a nitrogen rich fertilizer in the garden and is also turned into ammonia which is a powerful and natural cleaning agent that is used in the toilets. After a toilet is filled, the barrel that has collected the solid waste is removed from the toilet area, covered, and stored for four weeks. After four weeks have passed the barrel is safe to open and the compost is moved to a larger compost pile. After 6-12 months in the pile the human compost (humanure) is ready and safe to use. Sawdust Toilets X-Runner, Kenya has developed a toilet that works using sawdust rather than
April 16 - 22, 2018
The treatment facility opened in September 2015 at Sanctuary Farm in Naivasha, Kenya we concluded the pilot, that for it to lead to anything that could be scalable, the whole sanitation value chain needed to be analysed and incentivised. We envisaged a service collection model with waste conversion to bio-fuel, organic fertiliser or other bi-products that had an economic value. I even attended a briquettors conference and was laughed at when I described my vision of barbequing on briquettes made from human waste. Eventually however I found like minded people; a group of graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology had formed a social enterprise called Sanergy.
Oxfam’s initiatives help many with proper sanitation
water. It can fit in small spaces, is as easy to install in a home as a chair, and doesn’t require a sewage system. People don’t buy X-Runner’s toilets, they lease them which then reduces the upfront costs and ensures they are maintained properly. The toilets have two holes — one for urine and one for feces. Feces are collected in a tank underneath the sitting platform, while urine is directed into the ground or into an additional container. Once a week, X-Runner’s service truck picks up the feces and transports it to a local composting facility for processing. X-Runner is still honing its composting process, but the goal is to quickly transform the material into safe, pathogen-free, nutrient-rich compost. Organisations Leading The Sanitation Crusade In Kenya Sanergy - Turning Waste Into Fertilizer This company is turning poop into profit. Sanergy installs toilets in impoverished areas in Nairobi, Kenya and then turns the human waste into organic fertilizer to sell to farms. Over the past five years, Sanergy has placed more than 700 toilets across nine slums in Nairobi, serving around 30,000 people every day and treating more than 8,000 metric tons of waste. In Kenya, only 30 percent of people have access to safe sanitation, according to the UN – and 13 percent, or more than 6 million people, have no choice but to defecate in the open. These toilets are particularly efficient because they use sawdust rather than water. After residents use the restroom, they cover the waste with sawdust. It’s safely contained, collected and reused later on. Every one or two days, Sanergy staff collects the waste and they bring it to
Many new initiatives are being taken in Kenya with respect to sanitation
their facility, where they convert the waste into products such as organic fertilizer or insect-based animal feed, to sell to local farmers. The fertilizer, which can be used for flower or vegetable crops, has been shown to increase crop yields by about 30 percent, according to Brown. Sanergy employs local residents in its waste operations, in everything from waste collection and processing, to sales and marketing. Around 90 percent of the staff is Kenyan. The Sanergy toilets are providing business opportunities to residents in an area where there’s a 40 percent unemployment rate, according to the website. Residents buy the toilets from Sanergy for $350, and then manage them as a small business, charging customers around 5 cents per use. The operators provide soap, water and toilet paper, and keep any profits, making about $1,000 per year. The company hopes other groups and
organizations will replicate their model in slums worldwide. Oxfam - Keyna Five years ago Oxfam began a pilot project to develop a household toilet for residents living in slums. There are no sewers, and complex land issues and a lack of space conspire to prevent the majority of slum dwellers from accessing a toilet near to their home. This presents major public health problems and safety issues, as it is often not safe to go out after dark, especially for women and children. Our solution was a portable toilet that sits in the corner of the house - similar to a camping toilet but without the chemicals, and affordable to households whose average monthly income is less than $100 a month. A small scale pilot in 2011 was successful in confirming the social acceptability of the concept. Collection and disposal of waste for 100 participating families was manageable, principally because we had a grant and money to tackle it. However it was abundantly clear as
Sanivation Sanivation is currently operating in Kenya, placing mobile toilets at households and sending a collection agent to pick up the buckets of waste twice a week. The waste is then taken to the Sanivation center, where a solar concentrator heats the biosolids over 70 degrees Celsius to remove pathogens in the waste. The waste is then further dehydrated in an agglomerator, and turned into charcoal briquettes that are used as fuel for burning. The treatment facility opened in September 2015 at Sanctuary Farm in Naivasha, Kenya. In October 2016 a revamped and expanded treatment system was introduced that boosted capacity by 300%. The overall goal is service for a million homes in Kenya by 2020. Sanivation started as an Engineers Without Borders trip in 2011, where the team members worked with the Red Cross in Chile after the 2010 earthquake. Woods was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in the Energy sector for 2016, and the Sanivation project has also been featured in Fast Company and at ASME’s ISHOW. This is a great project that helps to illustrate my idea that engineering should be focused on making the world a better place, and it also takes existing technology and easily installs it into new applications. The health problems associated with sanitation and burning kerosene for fuel are huge and not being fixed and barely being examined on a global scale. Black market deforestation for charcoal production is also becoming an issue. Small projects with big ambitions like Sanivation will be required more and more in the coming decades.
Gender Kiyoko Ozeki
April 16 - 22, 2018 SOCIAL WORKER
Shobhana Ranade Dedicated 50 Years To Help The Downtrodden As a Trustee of the Kasturba Gandhi National Trust, Shobhana has dedicated her life and energies to ensure women’s empowerment, development, equality and education
88-Year-Old Woman Conferred Doctorate In Japan The 88-year-old woman, Kiyoko Ozeki, became the oldest person in Japan to receive a doctorate n SSB BUREAU
n 88-year-old woman was conferred a doctorate at a university in Kyoto city, making her the oldest person in Japan to get such a degree. Kiyoko Ozeki, a visiting researcher at Ritsumeikan University, was conferred the doctorate for her thesis on origins and characteristics of cloth culture in ancient Japan, Xinhua news agency reported. According to reports, Ozeki, born in Nagoya prefecture in 1929, was already 16 years old when the World War II ended and did not have the chance to go to a college. After her divorce, she sold dolls to make a living and her craftsmanship got her a job at the women’s junior college of Tokai Gakuen University, where she taught home economics as assist professor till 1995, according to the report. During her teaching, she developed an interest in cloth of ancient Japan’s Jomon Period and spent over 30 years visiting some 165 historical sites of the Jomon Period across Japan and researching the characteristics and history of cloth of that period. Ozeki became a visiting research at the Research Centre for PanPacific Civilizations of Ritsumeikan University from April 2015 and submitted her thesis last September. Ozeki’s research “laid the foundation for research of the cloth in Jomon Period,” according to the university.
n SSB BUREAU
hobhana Ranade – a calm and composed lady, has dedicated over half a century of her life for the betterment of the downtrodden, particularly women and children. She has spearheaded the Gandhi National Memorial Society and a national training institute for women at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune in 1979. Ranade was an active volunteer at a time when the Mahatma’s Quit India Movement was gaining ground. She embodies the Gandhian principles and is the quintessential Gandhian. Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave influenced her to work for destitute women and underprivileged children. In 1955, she moved to Assam and started a school ‘Shishu Niketan’ and the first child welfare centre in the
oil town of Digboi. She also worked in tribal villages in Nagaland and NEFA (Arunachal Pradesh) for women empowerment. Through the Adim Jaati Seva Sangh, Naga tribal women were given special training in weaving and spinning. She also started a Khadi Bhandar in Kohima. She works and lives fearlessly and that is what she preaches to the children and women of the projects. As a Trustee of the Kasturba Gandhi National Trust, Shobhana has dedicated her life and energies to ensure women’s empowerment, development, equality and education.
Manu Wins Gold at Junior World Cup
Manu Bhaker won her second World Cup gold in women’s 10m Air Pistol title at ISSF
n SSB BUREAU
eenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup gold medal inside a month, winning the womens 10m Air Pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World. She did a double on the day, winning the team gold in the event as well with compatriots Devanshi Rana, who missed out on an individual medal placing fourth in the final, and Mahima Turhi Agrawal to end an amazing month for herself and extend a golden six month or so period of excellent performances. Just 20 days ago, the girl from
A beaming Bhaker displaying the medal from the victory stand
Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the shooting world by winning the senior World Cup gold
It is commendable to see the unstinting welfare and developmental work done by Mrs. Shobhana Ranade. A transformational leader and a firebrand social worker indeed, Mrs. Ranade personally mentors every sevika right from the time of selection. She visits them in remote villages, stays with them and with emotional support and frequent discussions guides them to solve the various issues in line with Gandhian philosophies. She has worked with Vinobaji as a Convenor of Stree Jagaran at Pavnar and also as the Chairman of the ‘Bhoodan”Gram Dan’ board of Maharashtra. at the same 10m Air Pistol event in her senior team debut. This comes after the Asian Championships silver last year in Japan to secure a Youth Olympics quota for her country and nine golds at the Shooting Nationals, all in the span of six months. On Saturday, Manu finished the qualifying round at the second spot with a score of 570 behind Kanyakom Hirunphoem of Thailand. Kanyakom was in great form throughout the day and was six points clear at the top with 576. Also Kanyakom, even though still a junior, was a far more experienced than Manu, having represented her country at the Asian Games in Incheon, way back in 2014. She shot off the blocks very strong in the final as well and appeared to be peaking just at the right time, when she edged ahead of Manu at the end of the 20th shot of the 24shot final. The duo were well clear of the chasing pack of six from the very onset of the final. At the end of the 22nd shot, Kanyakom was a point clear of Manu and had a lead of 0.9 on the last shot.
April 16 - 22, 2018 Save our girls
Change Comes From Below For Rajasthan’s Women The state government came up with many schemes for girls and highlighted the need for equal sex ratio
ending her elder daughter Manushree to an English-medium school in Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) was a distant dream for Sushila Thakan some eight years ago. Though she had her husband’s moral support, she received little cooperation from her inlaws after she gave birth to a girl child. “Everyone wanted a male child and female newborns were considered no less than a curse. No one wanted a girl child,” the 32-year-old homemaker Sushila told IANS. As per the 2011 census, Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan had the worst child sex ratio in the state with 863 girls per 1,000 boys and got tagged because of its regressive traditional practices not only as a “socially backward” district in official statistics but also as a microcosm of the wrongs that ail Indian society. Noted economist Amartya Sen had once said that India had some 40 million “missing women” and this skewed sex ratio has improving slowly, district by district. Jhunjhunu, itself, is rapidly changing, claims Sushila. She said that although she later gave birth to a son, her daughter is the most pampered and loved one in the family now, an indicator of how society is transforming. Today with a ratio of 951 girls per 1,000 boys, the district has become a role model for other districts in the country that are attempting to improve their child-sex ratio. “This is because there has been awareness in the region about the importance of girls and impact of education. The state government came up with many schemes for girls and highlighted the need for equal sex ratio. Now the discrimination has almost ended here,” Sushila emphasised. However, the road to success was not a smooth one for the Rajasthan district. There were many hiccups which motivated and persevering district officials to overcome in their mission. Dinesh Kumar Yadav, Jhunjhunu’s
Slowly and steadily, women started raising their voice against discrimination and difficulties faced by them in raising girls District Collector, who was posted in Jhunjhunu last year, said the biggest challenge for him and the administration was battling the mindset of the people – misogynist thinking and male childoriented approach of families. “It was very difficult. We had to chase people, knock doors of every household, engage them with our schemes and make them understand through examples. Many girls from Jhunjhunu have joined the army, become government officers, or are working with multinational companies in big cities like Delhi. And we promoted such success stories, especially among families with girls,” he added. In order to encourage people to have a girl child, the administration started several schemes, some involving financial incentives, and even pushed for the celebration of rituals like ‘kuanpoojan’ (worship of a well), which were earlier performed only after birth of a son. “We had to fight certain misconceptions... that only a male child will support them during old age.
We showed them how girls have been supporting their families as well,” he said. “We started this felicitation programme called ‘Jhunjhunu Gaurav Samman’ where schools would put up pictures of meritorious girl students. We also took out rallies in honour of such meritorious girls,” Yadav explained. Jhunjhunu was also facing a high school-dropout rate among girls and to increase the enrolment of girls in schools, the administration first identified families where girls were either not enrolled or had dropped out. “Then we contacted many women officials in administrative posts for help and made teams who would visit the families and motivate them to enroll their girls in school,” he said. Not just Jhunjhunu, but nearby Sikar district – which also had a poor child sex ratio of 885 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011 – also improved to 944 girls for every 1,000 boys. “We understood that change would come only if we managed to engage with local people. We went on to select female brand ambassadors within
Quick Glance Women have started raising their voices against gender discrimination Jhunjhunu has become a role model in sex ratio with 951 girls per 1,000 boys To encourage people to have a girl child, the administration has started several schemes
the community who had already broken the ceiling to create a self-identity,” Naresh Thakral, District Collector of Sikar, told IANS.“Slowly and steadily, women started raising their voice against discrimination and difficulties faced by them in raising girls. They became vocal and aware of the need for a balanced sex ratio and the importance of having a girl child,” Thakral said. Although lowering the socio-cultural barriers was the first target, both districts were facing another major challenge -- female foeticide. “There were many cases of female foeticide, which besides being illegal also posed threat to the pregnant women. Initially we connected with families with pregnant women and tried to know if they were seeking for sex determination tests. In such cases, the women activists would try to convince them against foeticide,” Yadav said. Both districts have succeeded in putting an end to female foeticide with implementation of strict laws and strong vigilance. “We also started an operation where women became our informers. We stopped about 106 foeticide attempts, of which 60 were reported by women. In some cases, our volunteers chased such families to other districts and states. In some cases, volunteers even chased the families to Haryana to stop foeticide,” Yadav said. But just a check on hospitals was not enough. Even more important was educating women to stand against female foeticide. And to encourage female births, several schemes for mothers of girl children were started, not just by the state government but also by the Central government. Modi had on International Women’s Day this year launched the pan-India expansion of the scheme to all the 640 districts of the country and chose Jhunjhunu as the venue for the event. He honoured several officials, including one each from Jhunjhunu and Sikar, who had contributed to uplifting the status of women in their respective districts.
April 16 - 22, 2018
National Conclave on Mental Illnesses Ministry of Women and Child Development holds First National Conclave on Psychological Trauma, Child Protection, and Mental Illnesses & risk of Mental illness in adulthood, trauma focused interventions, psychlogical trauma assessments, hospital/ clinic based care services, Institutionalized care & welfare services, complicated trauma care practices. In these areas the workshops also discussed about how important is training and supervision, Go-NGO collaboration in service provision & rehabilitation, Community based care provisions, home based care provisions, sexual The conclave focused on psychological trauma and mental illness abuse & AIDS and STIs. In overall discussions n Chandrani Banerjee There were workshops and seminars the participating members of the that covered various important aspects workshop have also touched these o provide a comprehensive like effects of psychological trauma on topics psychological trauma in schools: synthesis of research, service brain development, Physical, Emotional, bullying, physical abuse, psychological provision, and clinical practice & Sexual Abuse, Psychological Trauma trauma & cyber bullying, psychological to deal with psychological trauma and in Trafficked Children, Children trauma in case of sudden death & subsequent mental illnesses in Indian witnessing Domestic Violence, suicide incidents, care of caregivers, children and adolescents, the Ministry Psychological Trauma in Childhood preventive measures, community of Women & Child Development, Pregnancies. Not limited to this the based mental health promotions for in collaboration with the Dept. of workshop explored disasters, wars, civil prevention of childhood adversities, Psychiatry, AIIMS organised the first conflicts & psychological trauma in Issues & challenges in administration, ever national conclave on March 27-28 Children, Psychological issues in Street operation, management, & funding, at the AIIMS, here in the capital. Children & children in refugee camps, Interface of legal and mental health â€œPsychological trauma is a broad Juveniles & Psychological Trauma, issues in abuse & violence, new term that may include many kinds of Childhood begging, Child labour & innovations in child protection service experiences and circumstances such as Risk of psychological Trauma, Child provisions etc. human trafficking, sexual harassment, labour & Psychological trauma, Child The conclave provided an overview war, natural disaster, abduction, Prostitution & Trauma, Trauma & of research and development domestic violence etc. This is an Substance Abuse, risk of psychological perspectives in the subject matter to the important issue which needs attention trauma in adoption and children with audience purely in Indian context. It and collective efforts are required to disability too in the workshop. also highlighted the gaps in the subject address this issue since the traumas The other topics that the workshop matter, hence provided a direction experienced during childhood have focused on were psychological of research and clinical intervention lifelong impactâ€? WCD Minister Maneka trauma & specific mental illnesses, development for the future researchers Gandhi speaking at the function said. life threatening diseases & trauma, and clinicians. The conclave provided a common psychological Trauma in childhood While highlighting the reasons platform for all stakeholders (Academicians, Clinicians, Government and NGOs) working in this area in the direction of robust evidence based research, better service provision, and capacity building of professionals.
The conclave provided an overview of research and development perspectives in the subject to the audience in an Indian context
Quick Glance The conclave provided a common platform for all stakeholders Ministry will ensure that this problem should be looked at with compassion There were workshops and seminars that covered various important aspects
of such problems in children the researchers pointed out that the psychological traumatic life event is a broad term that can encompass a multitude of experiences and situations. If a child experienced trafficking, physical and sexual abuse and assaults, war, torture, natural disasters, kidnapping, sudden death in family, sudden loss of limb, life threatening chronic illness, as well as witnessing murder, domestic violence, accidents, and dead bodies then they could suffer such mental health problems. The cross-cultural research in child and adolescent mental health in last 3 decades has shown that there is a consensus regarding the direct relationship of psycho-social adversities in childhood and resulting psychological trauma, affecting almost all aspects of life and development of the children and adolescents. However, childhood adversities and resulting trauma is overlooked, underestimated and underreported due to various reasons in the developing countries, although media and official data indicates the higher prevalence of such adversities in terms of exposure of children to natural and man-made disasters, domestic violence, emotional abuse, trafficking, domestic violence, vehicular accidents, chronic life threatening illness of self or significant family members or sudden death of a parent or sibling. Although there is an increasing global agreement on association of childhood trauma with a wide range of mental illnesses including first episode psychosis-a severe mental illness, the research in India is limited to very few descriptive and review studies. The service provision to children witnessing such traumatic life events in institutional care homes suffers from lack of appropriate trained manpower/ professionals in handling trauma and trauma focused service provision. There are many gaps in training, research and service provision in India. AIIMS as an apex institution in training of clinical skills would be committed to the capacity building of professionals working with such children.
April 16 - 22, 2018
Sabita Roy Chowdhury
spiritual journey drove sabita to vrindavan Sabita Roy Chowdhury’s spiritual ride drove her to Vrindavan, but she hasn’t stopped planning on returning to Kolkata
n Swastika Tripathi
abita Roy Chowdhury – a woman too transparent of a personality. What’s on the outside is a true reflection of what’s on the inside. All the emotions come your way all at once, no hiding any of it. She was some 16 or 17 years old when she got married. It’s been too long lost a tale that she doesn’t even clearly remember the exact details. Soon after the marriage, the couple had three sons. The five used to live in a rented home in Calcuta (now Kolkata). It was a marriage that continued for years but things were not meant to stay put in the “happily-ever-after” manner. Her husband died of some disease, which again she doesn’t clearly remember, and the ‘house’ never felt like the ‘home it used to be’, ever again. That day forth she took the path of spirituality, would perform bhajans at temples. Sabita, who was widowed at the age of 45, was done with the monotony of her widow-life. Plus, the food that was cooked at home was also beyond the ‘simplicity’ that Sabita was now looking for. So her spiritual drive led her to Vrindavan. Sabita recalls that her children never wanted her to leave. They insisted on her to stay but spirituality was something that now calmed her soul. The children tried bringing her back home, but Sabita’s decision was firm. On arriving in Vrindavan, at first she took shelter at the Tuslivan Ashram, but there were numerous issues that would bother her there. One fine day, ‘Lal Baba’ (Dr Pathak’s alias) visited Tulsi Ashram and took her and other widows to Sharda Ashram from where Sabita’s life found its peace. Sabita is a person who sees the best in others. She doesn’t
Quick Glance Sabita Roy Chowdhury had a long marriage before her husband died She took on the path of spirituality to forget of all the sorrows Her spiritual drive led her to Vrindavan where she came across Dr Pathak
Despite having moved on from her homeland, Sabita has not given up on the hope to once again sing bhajans at Kolkata temples complain, rather praises everyone. Probably it is her optimism and hope for a brighter tomorrow that doesn’t really allow her to see the bad in anyone. Anyhow, her tears tell of the sorrow that she feels inside her heart. She would often cry while narrating the story of her life. “The life of a widow is supposed to be blank, hollow, colourless.
That is how it is supposed to be, and that is how it is. Mine is not a story that stands different from any other widow that is surviving on the holy land of Vrindavan,” said Sabita. Sabita has nothing against anyone. This is also why she hasn’t stopped contacting her children, and whenever possible, she tries visiting them, one son at a time. She often visits her children but
never stays put and returns back to Vrindavan in a few days time. The spiritual Sabita continues being an active participant of the bhajan committee here at various temples of Vrindavan, as she once was back in her homeland Bengal. She says bhajan gives her peace. Chanting the names of ‘Radha Rani’ and ‘Hari’ (Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna) is what is steering her life; this is something she firmly believes. Despite having moved on from her homeland, Sabita has not given up on the hope to once again perform at those temples in Kolkata, from where she began her journey of spirituality. She wants to go back to from where it all started, to refresh and relive what is long gone, to fill the wide gap that has come between her and her land of origin. On being asked if given a chance, she would prefer returning to her homeland? She said, “Oh, yes. The day will come when I will return to the land I belong. I came here on my spiritual journey, but never intended to stay for lifetime. It’s been longer than I had planned but I still think of it the same way. Yes, it is difficult to return to a place where I have lost almost all connections, but I will, someday, once again sing bhajans on my own land. Someday!”
April 16 - 22, 2018
Hyderabad can generate 1,730 MW rooftop solar power’
INCENTIVES FOR SMALL TEA GROWERS A new plantation scheme offers financial assistance is to be launched
According to records, Hyderabad has the highest annual Particulate Matter (PM) levels of Telangana’s 11 districts and cities IANS
ith a potential of 1,730 MW power generation through rooftop solar panels, Hyderabad can become solar champion in India, thereby reduce air pollution by cutting on coal-based power, according to a study. The study, jointly undertaken by Greenpeace India and Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI), stated that if achieved, Hyderabad can reduce its power demand by almost 15 per cent. “A big share of this (1,730 MW), nearly 70 per cent, can come from the residential sector... For residents, solar makes for a solid investment, and would cut down on electricity bills considerably,” said the report ‘Rooftop Revolution: Unleashing Hyderabad’s Rooftop Potential’. The study scanned the area in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and estimates an average of 2.70 MW per sq. km. can easily be generated through installing rooftop solar panels. “The city is blessed with quite a few major landmarks that have sizable potential for rooftop solar power generation,” the report said. Some of the major regions with huge solar rooftop potentioan according to the study includes, buildings of Osmania University (over 5,100 KW), Begumpet and Rajiv Gandhi International Airports (over 700 KW), the city’s railway stations (3,187 KW), metro stations(679 KW), all bus depots (nearly 3,000 KW). According to records, Hyderabad has the highest annual Particulate Matter (PM) levels of Telangana’s 11 districts and cities.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal Addressing at Assam Agriculture University in Jorhat
ssam government has firmed up plans to issue land deeds (pattas) to small tea growers of the state as part of the plan to offer support to the planters who have contributed to the state’s progress and prosperity. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told reporters at Assam Agriculture University in Jorhat that under a new plantation scheme for small tea-growers (STGs) that will soon be launched, financial assistance to the growers will be provided by the government. The scheme will provide Rs 5,000 per bigha with a maximum amount of Rs 1 lakh for a single grower. He informed that the government would start issuing land pattas to STGs, who were growing tea by collecting a premium of Rs 1,000 per bigha. A single grower is allowed a maximum of 30 bighas. Sonowal said “The Small Tea
Growers are a formidable force in the state and they have contributed to the growth of state economy. The Government has resolved to promote the industry and extend support to the people involved with its plantation. He added that the government was aware about the plight of about 1.3 lakh STGs (as stated by STG associations though the government figure was 78,000) in the state for lack of land pattas of their plantations as a result of which the STGs were deprived of a lot of benefits. While making a case for maintenance of quality, the chief minister said by getting ownership of the plantations the small growers could augment their production. He advised the growers and the big gardens to come together to bring back the old glory of Assam tea. He urged them to undertake training programmes on offer the AAU and Tocklai Tea Research Institute here. Cultivators with an area up to
The Tea Board of India reveal that the share of small tea-growers from north India (Assam, Bengal and others) is 44.08 per cent while that from south India is 43.64 per cent
Quick Glance The scheme will provide Rs 5,000 per bigha with a maximum amount of Rs 1 lakh The government would start issuing land pattas to STGs Cultivators with an area up to 10-12 hectares are considered small growers
10.12 hectares are considered small growers. The government’s decision to assist the small tea-growers assumes importance in view of their share in the sector in Assam. Latest figures released by the Tea Board of India reveal that the share of small tea-growers from north India (Assam, Bengal and others) is 44.08 per cent while that from south India is 43.64 per cent. According to the Intergovernmental Group on Tea of Food and Agriculture Organisation, small tea-growers globally constitute 70 per cent of the trade and 60 per cent in production. Bidyananda Barkakoty, the adviser to the North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and chairman of the Advisory Committee of Small Tea-Growers of Tea Board of India, had told the media in an interaction some months ago that Indian tea was entering a new era. He explained that a new system would have to be devised by the Tea Board so that the quality of Indian tea improves and maximum residue limits (MRLs) are kept within permissible limits so that every kilo of tea is exportable. “If Kenya and Sri Lanka, the two largest tea exporting countries of the world, can maintain quality and MRLs in spite of having more than 70 per cent of production from the green tea leaves of small teagrowers, then why not India? But a new holistic approach will have to be put in place,” he said. Some growers however feel that the schemes of the Tea Board of India still have not benefited the sector to a great extent. The schemes take a long time for the growers to derive the benefit. Despite taking risks in the value chain through production and market uncertainties, adverse weather, climate change, weeds and infestations, farmer earnings accruing to them were clearly not sustainable. In some cases, the tea-growers’ earnings were below national and international poverty line indicators.
April 16 - 22, 2018
Linking Solar Energy With Agriculture In India The trend in India is the promotion of large solar parks with capacities more than 250 MW, at each location, in bigger states
ndia is aggressively pushing for solar power with a 100 GW target for 2021-22. The installed capacity crossed 20 GW in 2017, with 18.4 GW in the form of groundmounted projects and 1.6 GW on rooftops. This provides us with the opportunity to innovate in terms of systems design and link solar power to India’s labour-intensive agriculture sector. The trend in India is the promotion
of large solar parks with capacities more than 250 MW, at each location, in bigger states. The official solar park target has been increased to 40 GW. Recent tenders for these parks have driven the tariff down to less than Rs 2.50/unit, making solar cheaper than coal. However, rooftop photovoltaic (RTPV) systems, which are expected to contribute 40 GW as well, have still not taken off in India and need a boost. Enter, the polyhouse. A polyhouse is an enclosed space where a variety of plants can be grown perennially by controlling the ambient temperature, humidity, air flow and lighting conditions. Polyhouses are a proven concept in India; enterprising farmers have reported five-fold increases in agricultural yield and resultant revenue per acre of land. Central and state governments also encourage polyhouses by providing 40-60 per
cent capital subsidies on polyhouse investments made by farmers. Innovative irrigation methods, such as drip or mist, have reduced the water requirement in polyhouses by more than 60 per cent per acre for typical crops. One acre of polyhouse also creates 10-12 jobs. Is it then possible to change solar parks to solar polyhouse parks where farmers adopt modern farming techniques, while PV panels adorn the roofs of the polyhouse structures? Polyhouses with RTPV have been successfully implemented in developed countries with colder climates; PV panels are seamlessly integrated into the roof structure. This design allows heat to get trapped inside the polyhouse, which contributes to making the internal conditions favourable for plant growth. However, in tropical parts of India, the typical design of polyhouses is such that the roof is designed as a broken dome structure, which allows better air circulation and ventilation, and hence control over the ambient temperature. RTPV systems will have to be placed over the roof structure of these polyhouses with an external integration design. This means that the supporting structure of the polyhouses will need to be made stronger to accommodate the extra weight of the panels and their mounts. Polyhouses with 1 MW RTPV capacity will need around seven acres of land and the auxiliary electricity consumption will be around 12 per cent. Although the land required per
MW increases and electricity exported per MW to the grid decreases, the resultant co-benefits, in terms of revenue and yield, increase for the farmers. PV system developers fear that costs will go up if RTPV designs are put on the table. However, with accurate structural engineering, the costs might actually come down by reducing the size of the mounting structures. This proposed innovation of polyhouses with RTPV has the potential to pave the way for inclusive growth in India by linking solar to agriculture. Structural and lighting engineers, along with polyhouse design specialists, need to work together to develop working designs for various parts of the country. This could even culminate into a specific policy being announced to promote this concept. It is a win-win situation for farmers, who had all but given up on their lands, as well as the government when it comes to choosing land for large solar projects..
predictable mathematical relationship between a forest’s perimeter and its area -- regardless of its climate region or its size. They call this a “3/4 power law” and it roughly means the forests all tend toward shapes that are neither skinny like a line, nor round and smooth like a circle. “If a forest could grow easily in all directions, we’d expect a circle. But what we actually see is more dendritic,
a bit like an octopus or deformed circle,” said lead author Laurent Hebert-Dufresne from the University of Vermont. The team of researchers showed that the 3/4 law holds true for tiny forest fragments not much bigger than a basketball court up to large forest patches covering dozens of square miles. The results of the researcher’s model matched the observed results from real forests in Brazil. And an experiment the researchers ran on their model shows that the fate of forest patches over time -whether they expand or contract -- is determined by their initial shape. Those with compact shapes of all sizes, over time, converge on the more octopus-like 3/4-power-scaling relationship, while those with skinny shapes and larger perimeter-to-area ratios collapsed, disappearing into grasslands or fragmenting into very small patches.
Preventing Collapsed Forests By Preserving Shape Researchers used high-resolution satellite data to establish a relationship between a forests’ perimeter and its area IANS
ires on the edges of tropical forests and their alteration by land use makes these hot ecosystems lose their shape and stability bringing a sudden, even catastrophic, transformation of land from trees to grass, researchers have found. In a study published in the journal Ecology Letters, the new knowledge could help protect these tropical forests and allow land managers to
build new tools to predict the stability of both individual forest patches and larger regional-scale forests. Tropical forests have been called the lungs of the planet. They soak up vast quantities of carbon dioxide, hold the world’s greatest diversity of plants and animals, and employ millions of people. The researchers, using highresolution satellite data from protected forests in the savanna region of the Brazilian Cerrado, found that the shape of these natural forests follow a
Quick Glance Rooftop photovoltaic (RTPV) systems need a boost in India The polyhouse model is ideal for improving agricultural yield Polyhouses with RTPVs have been successfully implemented
April 16 - 22, 2018
We Can Change the World & Make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference
Swastika tripathi Writer is a budding journalist and an aspirant storyteller
The time of your life India is a mosaic of cultures, races and creed, and travelling helps realise the nation’s unity in diversity
here is no such thing as a purely logical decision. The brain uses a combination of logic and emotion when making decisions of any kind. That specific emotion, innate to us as humans, is intuition. We possess the capacity to feel, and thereby the ability to know things without consciously reasoning. The “gut feeling” is real, and we use it all the time. “Going with our gut,” however, implies uncertainty and does not guarantee a good outcome. Sometimes all the hard information we need is right there for us, and we can rely on logic without leaning too much on our gut instincts. But when it’s not, wouldn’t it be nice to know that our gut gives better than a 50/50 chance of success? I think we can sharpen our intuition. To hone intuition, it’s all about giving our brain more emotional information to work with through life experience to increase the probability of success for any given gut decision. Basically, the more we experience the more accurate our guts become. Our brains record it all; every meeting, client interaction, presentation, and personal decision. With every experience, the cache of information our brains have at their disposal grows. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Your brain’s job is to decide what the image is, but it only has one of the 100 pieces to the puzzle. With every relevant experience, another puzzle piece becomes available. Soon, the brain will have enough information to identify the image.
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A world where heritage lives on… At the dawn of information age, it is time to share World Heritage with the tech-generation
It is not the honour that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind,” as very aptly put down by American baseball player Branch Rickey, best known for breaking Major League Baseball’s colourbarriers by signing a black player, who surely knew of giving a new cultural heritage to the world at his time and beyond. A heritage becomes, and remains, a heritage only when it is handed-down to future generations. A heritage becomes significant due to its present, and probable, economic value, but also because it binds an emotional value around itself by making the people feel a belongingness to it in some way or the other – be it pride of nationality, tradition, culture or may be just a way of life. World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind and protecting/ preserving this amazing, common wealth demands the collective effort of all of us. The best way to preserve a heritage, whatever it may be – cultural or natural, is to share it with others. To be kept alive and as relevant as it initially was, it must be regularly preserved/practised and be learnt within communities and between generations.
The evolution of Cultural Heritage
Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.
What one generation considers ‘cultural heritage’ may be rejected by another generation, only to be revived by a later generation.
Tangible & Intangible
Cultural heritage includes tangible culture – such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts. It also includes intangible culture traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts, intangible culture, such as folklore, traditions, language and knowledge, and natural heritage, including culturally significant landscapes and biodiversity. To be kept alive, tangible cultural heritage must remain relevant to a culture and be regularly practised and learned within communities and between generations. Safeguarding measures to ensure that intangible cultural heritage can be transmitted from one generation to another are considerably different from those required for protecting tangible heritage (natural and cultural). There is a risk that certain elements of intangible cultural heritage could die out or disappear without help, but safeguarding does not mean fixing or freezing intangible cultural heritage in some pure or primordial form.
A heritage remains a heritage only when it is handed-down to future generations
April 16 - 22, 2018
Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage is about the transferring of knowledge, skills and meaning.
World Heritage Day – from 1982 to 2018
Cultural heritage is under attack – from environmental degradation and climate change, from socioeconomic pressures and the accelerating pace of urbanisation, from the strains of global tourism. For the same reason, on April 18, 1982, on the occasion of a symposium organised by International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in Tunisia, it was suggested that an “International Day for Monuments and Sites” should be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world. This very idea was later approved by the UNESCO to mark the same day as “International Monuments and Sites Day”, which is popularly known as World Heritage Day across the globe. The marked day has year-over-year offered opportunities to raise people’s awareness about the diversity of cultural and natural heritage we have in India and the world across, and the efforts that are required to look after. Simply putting, it is an opportunity to shout about how fantastic our World Heritage is. Each year, the World Heritage Day is celebrated on a common theme that is decided by ICOMOS – this year being ‘Heritage for Generations’.
The Psychology Of Anger
OSHO Rajneesh, also known as Osho, Acharya Rajneesh, or simply Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh or simply Bhagwan, was an Indian spiritual guru
You cannot prevent anger because anger is a by-product, but you can do something else so that the by-product does not happen at all
he psychology of anger is that you wanted something, and somebody prevented you from getting it. Somebody came as a block, as an obstacle. Your whole energy was going to get something and somebody blocked the energy. You could not get what you wanted. Now this frustrated energy becomes anger...anger against the person who has destroyed the possibility of fulfilling your desire. You cannot prevent anger because anger is a by-product, but you can do something else so that the byproduct does not happen at all. In life, remember one thing: never desire anything so intensely as if it is a question of life and death. Be a little playful. I am not saying, don’t desire – because that will become a repression in you. I am saying, desire but let your desire be playful. If you can get it, good. If you cannot get it, perhaps it was not the right time; we will see next time. Learn something of the art of the player. We become so identified with the desire, then when it is blocked or
prevented our own energy becomes fire; it burns you. And in that state of almost insanity you can do anything, for which you are going to repent. It can create a series of events that your whole life may get entangled with. Because of this, for thousands of years, they have been saying, “Become desireless.” Now that is asking something inhuman. Even the people who have said, “Become desireless” have also given you a motive, a desire: if you become desireless you will attain to the ultimate freedom of moksha, nirvana. That too is a desire. You can repress desire for some bigger desire, and you may even forget that you are still the same person. You have only changed the target. Certainly, there are not many people who are trying to get moksha, so you will not have any great competition. In fact, people will
be very happy that you have started going towards moksha – one competitor less in life. But as far as you are concerned nothing has changed. And if anything can be created which disturbs your desire for moksha, again the anger will flare up. And this time it will be far bigger, because now the desire is far bigger. Anger is always proportionate to desire. I want you to understand that a sense of humur, playfulness, should be the fundamental qualities. You should not take things so seriously, then anger does not arise. You can simply laugh at the whole thing. You can start laughing at yourself. You can start laughing at situations in which you would have been angry and mad. Use playfulness, a sense of humur, laughter. It is a big world, and there are millions of people. Everybody is trying to get to something. It is very natural that sometimes people may get into each other’s ways – not that they want to, it is just the situation, it is accidental.
letters to the editor
It is recognised that the retention of heritage has environmental and sustainable benefits. Conserving heritage buildings reduces energy usage associated with demolition, waste disposal and new construction, and promotes sustainable development by conserving the embodied energy in the existing buildings. Hence, communication across generations generates enriching exchanges. Combining the knowledge of experienced heritage-protectors with the energy and dynamism of newer members brings about a more holistic approach in the direction of sustainable development. At the dawn of the ‘information age’, as well as ‘Digital India’, there are a plethora of options for exchanging information and voicing the importance that a heritage holds. This World Heritage Day, #heritage4generations to step out and voice and exchange your concerns and ideas. Let the world come together for imbibing heritage as an honour for generations to come!
16 Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay
The freedom fighter and educationist says Gandhiji taught a new way of living
TSS Rajan on a Meeting Mahatm Originally fond of revolutionaries, he found Gandhi’s greatness long ago
The Making of a Legend
Aldous Huxley: A Note On Gandhi
The fabled authorphilosopher says that Gandhi wanted a federation of nations
Excerpts from PM Narendra Modi’s speech at the launch of SAGY
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| April 09 - 15, 2018
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GANDHI & ME
raha Gandhi organised satyag entury ence that Mahatma It is a historic coincid the exploitation of farmers, and half-a-c h Bharat in Champaran to fight his mission of Swach lism Pathak set out on of inspirational paralle later, Dr Bindeshwar It is a rare instance from the same place.
new way of Life The article ‘Gandhi ji Opened Up A New Way Of Life To The World’ stated a very impactful point “Duties to self, to the family, to the country and to the
world are not independent self-purification is the first step.” Affected me and forced me to find the true meaning behind this statement. This line made an impact on me and many more reads f your esteemed newspaper. This is a perfect example of how small words can describe things as big as the world. The article was very informative and share many points about Bapu and his views about life and masses. Would really like to read more regarding this topic in the next issue Naresh Kumar, Delhi
quality education The article ‘Teacher Travels 50 Km Daily for Teaching One Student!’ is a display of a teachers dedication for teaching his student and providing him with a quality education which he might not have been able to get as because of the Isolation of his village but the will power and desire from both the teacher and the student is commendable and is extra ordinary. We need more teachers like Ranjinikant to come forward and take this nation to a level that of the west and even higher. Jaishankar Kumar, Bhagalpur from the previous 16th edition
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April 16 - 22, 2018
Second Heaven on Earth Manali is a beautiful place located in the lap of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This is called the second heaven on earth. Manali has been a tourist hotspot since the very beginning. As soon as summer starts, tourists start gathering from all over the world. Photo: jairam
April 16 - 22, 2018
There is a temple in Manali called the Manu temple. The Manu Temple was the home of sage Manu. It is said that Manali has been named after this sage. The captivating nature of Manali is infused with the rich culture of the people whoâ€™s livelihoods depends on the thriving tourism industry. It is very beautiful to the see the synchronicity between the tourism and the traditions and culture. These people are very cooperative and treat the tourists exceptionally well
April 16 - 22, 2018
spirit of Swachhata
Think Beyond Plastic#Endplasticpollution “Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.” – Henry David Thoreau n Urooj Fatima
o you believe in a miracle? Have you seen miracle? The planet on which we are living is itself a miracle. We live on a planet that circles around a ball of a fire next to the moon that moves the sea. So how can’t a person believe in a miracle? Earth is the only planet in the universe, where life originated. We can certainly say that Earth is our mother and we are her children. She gave us food, water and shelter. What useful things have we done to our mother then? There is a massive destruction of forests, pollution of seas and oceans. We are increasingly impoverishing resources of our planet. As process of globalization quickly moves, as environment suffers. What do we have to do in order to stop the degradation ofEarth? It is necessary to maintain the natural assets of the earth in order to continue life on earth. The most intelligent creature of God called human is slowly losing its humanity and forgetting to take care of the planet that gave it life and started using its resources ruthlessly. As Gaylord Nelson said, “The real wealth of a nation is its air, water, soil, forests, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity. Take these resources away, and all that is left is a wasteland.”
Don’t laminate the earth
Earth Day 2018 Campaign
A simple walk on any beach, anywhere, and the plastic waste spectacle is present. All over the world the statistics show ever growing plastic wasted. Tons of plastic debris is discarded every year, everywhere, polluting lands, rivers, coasts, beaches, and oceans. From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet. In response, Earth Day 2018 will focus on fundamentally changing human attitude and behaviour about plastic and catalyzing a significant reduction in plastic pollution. The issue of plastic pollution has gained traction over the past decade, which has seen research increase, bringing together policymakers, conservationists and business
interests to pursue solutions. Beaches, covered with large debris and millions of plastic particles in place of the sand, are suffocating, envenomed by the slow plastic poison continuously washing ashore. Then, on shore, the spectacle becomes even more poignant, as thousands of bird corpses rest on these beaches, piles of colorful plastic remaining where their stomachs had been. In some cases, the skeleton had entirely biodegraded; yet the stomach-size plastic piles are still present, intact. From the whale, sea lions, and birds to the microscopic organisms called zooplankton, plastic has been, and is, greatly affecting marine life on shore and off shore.
History of Earth Day
Close to 48 years ago, on 22 April 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. The founder of the
This is the day where we can at least
give our 10% to save the earth to save our life because it is not just a need but our responsibility too
Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, has chosen this day to increase the awareness among common public, especially among youngsters to get full effect of the campaign of environmental safety. The first celebration of the Earth Day took place in the US on 22nd of April in 1970 to mark the environmental movement as a big matter of fact. Students from the US campuses had participated to protest against the environmental deterioration to increase the public awareness. Another group protested against the oil spills, toxic dumps, air and water pollution due to industrialization, raw sewage, use and production of pesticides and many more. Since then, 22nd of April has continued to be celebrated as Earth Day officially. Earth Day 1970 gave voice to the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the antiwar protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page. There is reason behind the title of this celebration as a “Earth Day”. It was suggested by number of people in 1969 and the idea came with “birthday” as Earth day (rhyming word of birthday). Nature is created by god and to take care of it god created a humans that is us. But instead of taking care of it, we are destroying it. Human have become blind and so selfish that they can’t even think of the consequences of their actions. This is the day where we can at least give our 10% to save the earth to save our life because it is not just a need but our responsibility too. We are totally dependent on the environment so it is obvious that if we want to continue enjoying the things that nature gives us then it is our responsibility to take care of it. Use of plastic bags should be banned and some serious laws should be made and strict action should be taken on using plastic bags. Not just your home but also your nearby area, keep it clean and plastic free. Start picking up garbage on the street and take out plastic material from it and recycle it. Although the whole year you are busy in doing your own work, take out some time from your busy schedule to protect our planet. Every day is the earth day so we should take care of it on a daily basis. Earth gives us many gifts daily so by keeping aside our selfishattitude we should show some love and care towards our nature and protect it.
April 16 - 22, 2018
SIMPLE STATION GETS COLOURFUL TOUCH The artistic makeover of the oldest railway station in Bihar has indeed been a journey of women empowerment n SSB BUREAU
The Madhubani Railway station in Bihar just got a makeover
he almost forgotten Bihar’s Madhubani railway station has come back to life with Madhubani paintings adorned across the place, which has been done by some 230 local artists who came together to redecorate the station and give it an artistic makeover. Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, brand ambassador of the Rail Swacch Mission of the Indian Railways and founder of Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement, on 7th April tagged Madhubani as “the cleanest station of the country”. Madhubani art, which is essentially a form of folk art belonging to Bihar, is known for the manner in which unique geometric patterns are used to create colourful paintings. The traditional art form has been passed down from generation to generation. Once looked after as one of the dirtiest railway stations in India, Madhubani in Bihar now sports a completely different look with Mithila paintings adorning its walls. The rich artistic and cultural legacy of Madhubani region has contributed to one of the cleanest stations in the
country. Mithila paintings are done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nibpens and matchsticks. Artists use natural dyes and pigments to make geometrical patterns.
Many young artists also volunteered for the project who have been learning the ancient artwork since childhood
This is the ‘largest’ depiction of Mithila artwork in the world and could even break any previous Guinness World Record
At the station, one would find scenes from Ramayana, especially Sita as she was born in Mithila
Quick Glance Bindeshwar Pathak tagged Madhubani as “the cleanest station of the country”
80 percent of the volunteers were local women
The excruciating work has been done free of cost as ‘Shramdaan’
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, brand ambassador of the Rail Swachh Mission, visited the Madhubani railway station, in Bihar
From walls at the stations to sign boards at the platforms, this is no less than a wonderland of Madhubani Painting
The excruciating work was undertaken as a Swachh Bharat Mission. As much as 14,000 sq ft area of the railway station was painted by these artists, who did the job on a voluntary basis, without charging any money for the same as ‘Shramdaan’. However, help was provided to them in the form of painting equipments that were provided by the railway authorities. After the completion of the work, they were felicitated. Divisional Railway Manager Samastipur R.K. Jain said it was a unique initiative of the Indian Railways to experiment with local artists voluntarily painting the works in a short span of two months.
Mithila Paintings are done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens and matchsticks. Artists use dyes and pigments to make geometrical patterns
The project started on October 2 with the aim not only as a beautification and cleanliness project but also to highlight the skill of the town’s artists. More than 225 artistes in which 80 percent of the volunteers were local women who had never really worked outdoors or in the presence of men. As majority of the women stood over the busy platforms, shaping and designing the contours of the intricate patterns, they were brought under one single canvas that left them empowered. They no longer need any middlemen to commission them work. Instead they have left their names and contact details under their artwork which helps people reach them easily. The artistic makeover of the oldest railway station in Bihar has indeed been a journey of women empowerment. “It is a kind of world record as the total wall area of more than 14,000 sq ft has been fully painted with various themes under traditional Mithila painting style, said Gannath Mishra, a senior railway official, who has supervised the project. Post the makeover, the Madhubani railway station has become a magnet for travellers who admire the traditional form of art.
April 16 - 22, 2018 Abhiyaan
‘Dastak Abhiyaan’ In 38 Districts Of Eastern Uttar Pradesh
The principle of the campaign is ‘prevention is better than the cure’
The awareness campaign is designed by the State health department in collaboration with UNICEF
Dastak Abhiyaan is a exercise to eradicate AES/JE 617 villages of Eastern UP are more prone to the spread of AES/JE
n SSB BUREAU
he Yogi Adityanath government has launched a massive awareness drive in 38 districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh to eradicate dreaded diseases Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis ( JE), which claim hundreds of children’s lives every year in the state. Known as ‘Dastak Abhiyaan’, the awareness campaign is designed by the State health department in collaboration with UNICEF on the principle that “prevention is better than the cure.” It is aimed at making people aware about the dreaded diseases and preventive steps to be taken for saving lives of their wards. Touted as the largest awareness campaign in the country, the health department officials and UNICEF will knock at the doors of about 2 crore families living in 38 districts of the Eastern Uttar Pradesh, which is largely affected by the AES / JE year after year. Taking a cue from the successful polio campaign, Dastak Abhiyaan too is a similar exercise to eradicate AES / JE. A massive media ad campaign is being launched in affected Eastern Uttar Pradesh districts to ensure that the message to fight against AES / JE reaches to each and every household. About 1500 to 2000 infants die every year due to incurable AES in Gorakhpur and surrounding districts. According to a rough estimate so far over 60,000 children, hit by the AES, have died in the last 35 years in the region. Till March this year, about 400 infants have already succumbed to the disease. Unfortunately, BRD Medical College is the only hospital in the entire Eastern Uttar Pradesh, which has pediatric ICU and Special AES Ward and is well equipped to deal with the emergency AES cases. The hospital, which was in news last year due to death of over 33 infants due to oxygen short supply, caters to a population of over 5 crore in the region spread up to Bihar and Nepal. The Chief Minister, who had been fighting against the AES for the past 30 years after becoming
Yogi Adityanath, Sidharth Nath Singh, Dr. Mahendra Singh and Ashutosh Tandon
MP from Gorakhpur, is of the view that incurable AES, also known as ‘brain fever’ locally, could have been eradicated long ago if preventive steps were taken by the successive governments in Uttar Pradesh. “Infants continued to die due to the AES while the government and health officials owed the death to some unknown disease which affects the brain. Since there is no vaccine developed till date for AES and no cure available, my government has decided to launch the awareness campaign to arrest the disease from spreading and causing deaths,” said the Chief Minister. The state government has identified about 617 villages in 38 districts of the Eastern Uttar Pradesh which are more prone to the spread of AES and the JE. The AES and JE hit children due to unhygienic living conditions and unsafe and polluted drinking water. Under the AES/JE eradication drive, team of health volunteers will visit these 617 villages in the first phase to launch cleanliness drive and make available safe drinking water. Besides this, all these villages will be sanitized thrice in pre-monsoon to onset of monsoon
and post-monsoon periods to ensure that the viruses do not generate and hit children below the age group of 15 years. The health department with UNICEF volunteers will then launch an awareness drive in all villages falling under 38 districts to make people aware about taking preventive steps. A special drive will be launched in schools where children and their parents will be distributed kits, specially designed by the UNICEF, about the causes, symptoms and preventive steps to be taken to thwart the dreaded disease away. The state government is also planning to post health officials / volunteers with on-call Ambulance service from June onwards in villages falling under the region to identify AES-hit infants and take them to the PHCs / CHCs and BRD Medical College immediately to save their lives. Last year, the Yogi Adityanth government had launched a massive JE vaccination drive in these 38 districts. Over 9 million children were administered the vaccination to save their lives from the JE. “This year the health department has already
The state government is also planning to post health officials / volunteers with on-call Ambulance service from June onwards
launched a similar vaccination drive to cover new-born and remaining children. Kits for the AES and JE screening have already been made available at all PHCs and CHCs,” said the State Health Minister Dr Siddharth Nath Singh. “We have taken eradication of AES as a challenge in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The present government is very sensitive about the death of even a single infant due to the AES or JE. Since no vaccine is available for the AES, we have launched ‘Dastak Abhiyaan’ to create awareness among people in order to prevent the disease taking any lives of children,” said Dr Singh. The Health minister claimed that deaths occur mainly due to the late diagnosis and late admission of AES infected children. “We have launched a massive program to train doctors, staff nurses, paramedics and health volunteers at the PHC and CHC level about AES and JE for proper screening of infected children for getting them admitted at the hospital immediately for saving their lives,” said the minister. To make the ‘Dastak Abhiyaan’ successful, the Chief Minister has directed other departments also to participate in the drive for preventing AES. “We have already installed ‘Water ATMs’ in about 693 schools falling under the most affected areas. Besides water ATMs, all villages are being provided safe drinking water. Work for laying pipelines has already been completed in 70 per cent of affected areas in the region,” said Minister of State for Rural Development and Health Mahendra Singh. The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is personally monitoring the progress of the campaign. He has set-up a special cell in the CM’s Office for the purpose. He also held a videoconferencing session with all district magistrates’ in 38 districts to ensure that health volunteers personally contact each and every family in these districts under ‘Dastak Abhiyaan’.
April 16 - 22, 2018
Delhi Public School South Raises Rs 26 Lakh For Thalassemics Thalassemia is a blood disorder where the body produces less than the optimal amount of haemoglobin
Objectives Of The Programme * To improve the management of patients undergoing blood transfusions * To enable screening and genetic counselling for first and seconddegree relatives of Thalassemia patients in Karnataka. The following measures are taken care of at BMST to ensure that patients receive the best treatment: * Free blood * Free screening services which include testing for complete blood count, Haemoglobin, antibody screening etc. *Use of saline-washed red cells which reduces reaction after transfusion
n G Ulaganathan
he students of Delhi Public School - South (DPS) in Bangalore have helped raise Rs 26 lakh in 45 days for thalassemia patients, making it the country’s biggest student crowd-funded campaign. The money will fund blood transfusion cost for 1,300 patients Thalassemia is a blood disorder where the body produces less than the optimal amount of haemoglobin. This inherited disorder requires lifelong blood transfusions. The campaign supports giving free blood transfusions to those suffering from thalassemia. The cost of each transfusion is Rs 2,000 and each
Quick Glance The money will fund blood transfusion cost for 1,300 patients The cost of each transfusion is Rs 2,000 and each student at Students from Grades 8, 9 and 11 came up with the idea to raise
Some of the students of DPS South who raised the money (Inset from left) Shreya Adithya, Ananya Vijaya kumar and Vanshika Sathuri, who raised the maximum amount for the cause.
student at DPS raised Rs 20,000 which will help 10 individuals by funding their transfusion costs. It all started when DPS-South decided to sensitise its students and motivate them to be change-makers in society. Says Manju Sharma, Principal of DPS South “While other schools have raised money for cataract surgeries and cancer, we wanted to create awareness about Thalassemia in our students and motivate them towards supporting people affected by it.’’ Since the drive was to help children suffering from Thalassemia, she said “When we started talking to them about Thalassemia, many of our students shared that they knew someone suffering from this disorder.’’ Students from Grades 8, 9 and 11 came up with the idea to raise funds through crowdfunding. Around 150 students took up this campaign on FuelADream.com on November 2 and little did they expect that they would be able to raise over Rs 13 lakh in the first six days. Shreya Adithya, a Grade 8 student raised a substantial amount of Rs
1.22 lakh in six days. Her final contribution was Rs 1,28,375. Shreyasays “I started with Rs 2,000 which my parents gave me. Then I went door-to-door and talked to my neighbours about Thalassemia.” Besides this, Shreya also sent voice messages and links to everybody she knew and to friends of friends. Like Shreya, other students too reached out to friends, family and neighbours, spoke at the school assembly and school clubs to raise awareness about Thalassemia. The aim of the students was not just to raise funds but to create awareness as well. Vanshika Sathuri, a Grade 11 student says “More than collecting money, the importance of spreading awareness of the disorder was important to me. On all my birthdays, my parents and I used to give blankets to orphans and poor kids. But this was something different.” “I started by making a list of people who I needed to call and then spoke to them about Thalassemia. I sent out personalised messages and took appointments with people to talk about Thalassemia,” she added.
Vanshika has collected Rs 52,950. This initiative is in partnership with Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST) established by the Rotary Club of Bangalore and TTK Group of Companies. BMST has been providing blood banking services to patients and hospitals all over Karnataka. The day-care transfusion facility that caters to Thalassemia patients has been in operation since 1991 and the control and prevention program was started in the year 2010. Ranganath Thota, founder of Fueladream.com says “This is one of the best performing campaigns we have ever witnessed from students and this just reinforces our belief in how young minds can leverage technology. It’s a collaborative effort that students embarked upon, with some help from parents. We are thrilled with the early outcome of this initiative.” Dr Latha Jaganathan, Trustee, BMST says, “We received Rs 26 lakh on January 10, 2018. This is being used for about 1,300 blood transfusions in patients suffering from thalassemia. A patient needs a transfusion every 20 days on an average. (The number of transfusions depends on their age, weight and the severity of the medical condition). Thalassemia is a rare genetic blood disorder that leads to an excessive destruction of red blood cells leading to anemia. This is a condition which cannot be cured but only treated with regular blood transfusions. The cost of these transfusions is Rs 2,000 and each student at DPS had decided to raise Rs 20,000, which will impact 10 individuals by funding their transfusion costs.
excerpts from the book: â€œNARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legendâ€?
April 16 - 22, 2018
Jan Dhan Yojana Smt. Nabisha Begam (above) works as a maid servant. Her husband is a contractlabourer and she has two school going children. The PMJDY Account is her first bank account opened through a financial literacy camp conducted in that area by the IDBI Bank. Before opening a bank account, a major portion of her earnings were wasted due to unwanted spending. After opening her PMJDY account, she has improved her banking habits by making regular savings.
ddressing the nation on August 15, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY ) (Prime Minister's People's Money Scheme). He had then described the PMJDY as a big step towards achieving financial inclusion for all in a time-bound manner. The scheme that was formally
launched on August 28, 2014 offers opening of bank accounts with overdraft facilities, insurance cover, pension services, access to credit card for economic activity and RuPay Debit Cards for every citizen of the country. The main objective is to ensure universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household. The plan also envisages
channelling all government benefits to the accounts of beneficiaries and giving a major push to the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme of the government. The scheme is an outcome of a conviction held by Narendra Modi that exclusion from the banking system excludes people from all benefits that are available in a modern financial system. This scheme is thus a vehicle
PMJDY gets off to a flying start: Two instances Shri M. Marivel, s/o Mariappa Thevar, got his account opened with the Central Bank of India on 19.09.2014. He died due to massive heart attack on 03.01.2015. His family members visited the bank branch and gave information of his demise. The branch manager processed the claim within 48 hours and saving account of the spouse of the deceased got the credit of Rs. 30, 000, i.e. the life insurance claim amount under PMJDY. Press note on PMJDY
Earlier the doors of the bans were open only for the rich people. We have decided to change this. Jan Dhan Scheme is the new starting in this direction only, through which the poor and the backwards will take benefit of the bank schemes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
for financial inclusion, which has become a priority of the government. Millions of people have already opened PMJDY accounts. The figures are going in excess of the ambitious standards set by the Prime Minister for the banks. On the basis of the accounts, millions of Bank Mitra, Bima Surakhsa and Jeevan Bima Jyoti polices have been issued.
April 16 - 22, 2018
excerpts from the book: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: the making of a legend”
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana The Union Finance Ministry set a target of Rs. 1.22 lakh crore for loans to be given by state-run banks to promote new entrepreneurs under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) which will seek to fund the unfunded. Earlier, there was no institutional mechanism to fund this unfunded segment and access to credit came at a very high cost. Through this scheme, grassroots entrepreneurs will get cheaper credit based on their business activity.
he Prime Minister had launched the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) to fund the unfunded section of the society. There are 5.7 crores entrepreneurs in the unorganised sector who hold 11 crore jobs. Thus, at the bottom of the economic structure are these unfunded sections of society dependent upon exploitative money lenders The Mudra Yojna envisages 120 partners, including public sector commercial banks, and
rural banks. In fiscal year 201516, a total amount of Rs.1.22 lakh crores were set aside to be given to these unfunded sections of Indian society. The three categories of loans are; Shishu – upto Rs. 50,000/; Kishore – Rs. 5,00,000/- and Tarun – Rs. 10,00 000/-. This Yojna will continue for the next few years. The targeted beneficiaries are six crore people who need to be developed into India’s small entrepreneurs. They will all be issued debit cards, which will allow withdrawal of money through ATMs.
Mudra scheme adds wings to the flight of the youth. Making them self dependent by providing the opportunities, they will be able to write their future on their own and the dream of strong and prosperous India will be fulfilled. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Science & Technology
April 16 - 22, 2018 rainfall
Extreme Rainfall In India Linked To Emissions: Study This trend is likely to become more prominent by mid-century, particularly in South and Central regions of India
Scientists Develop Bio-fortified Maize to Address ‘Hidden Hunger’
Quick Glance The study links rainfall patterns with anthropogenic emissions
Agricultural scientists have successfully developed a maize variety rich in both Vitamin A and essential amino acids
Researchers of the study are from IIT-Gandhinagar Study analyses rainfall from 7000 meteorological stations
n Dr Aditi Jain
esearchers the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) have developed a maize variety which is rich in both Vitamin A and essential amino acids through the process of plant breeding. Maize, the third most important food grain following wheat and rice, is grown throughout the year in India. Popularly known as corn, it is used to make food items such as chips, flakes, popcorns etc. Currently grown hybrid varieties, though rich in essential amino acids - lysine and tryptophan - are poor in vitamin A. Scientists have developed a new hybrid variety of maize by crossing. It contains natural variations of three genes - beta-Carotene Hydroxylase, Lycopene-eta-Cyclase and Opaque2 - required for production of high amount of vitamin A and the two essential amino acids. The new hybrids, thus produced, have 4.5 folds more vitamin A content and similar amounts of lysine and tryptophan as earlier varieties. In addition, the grain yield of new hybrids has been found to be similar to existing varieties as evaluated by growing both varieties at two different locations in India. Researchers believe that bio-fortified high yielding maize hybrid could help address micronutrient malnutrition. Vitamin A, is required for good vision, healthy teeth, skin and skeletal tissue. Deficiency of Vitamin A, predominately seen in developing countries, can cause blindness .
n Dinesh C Sharma
ere is more evidence why we need to worry about climate change. A new study says extreme rainfall events are on the rise in India and attributes the trend to man-made emissions, what scientists call anthropogenic warming. Not just this, the trend is likely to become more prominent by mid-century, particularly in southern and central India. While previous studies have shown a rising trend of extreme rainfall events, this study has sought to link it with anthropogenic emissions. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, used historical datasets about daily rainfall and temperature from about 7000 meteorological stations of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), converted it into grids of one-degree spatial resolution. An analysis of observed changes in yearly maximum rainfall for the period of 1979–2015, showed that it has increased over the majority of India except in the Gangetic Plain, northeastern India, and Jammu and Kashmir. The decline in the Gangetic Plain region can be attributed to a significant reduction in the monsoon season rainfall driven by increased atmospheric aerosols and warming of the Indian Ocean. The increase in precipitation is more prominent in Southern India than in North India
While ‘historic natural’ scenario includes only natural factors, ‘historic’ included both natural and anthropogenic factors during the 1979–2015. Along with extreme precipitation, the study has found that dew point temperature - at which air gets saturated with moisture - has also increased during 1979–2015. With warming, water holding capacity of the atmosphere increases by 6% per degree rise, per ClausiusClapeyron equation, the study says. The scaling relationship between extreme precipitation and dew point temperature shows over 7% increase per unit rise in dew point temperature for the majority of south India. Dew point temperature is a measure of atmospheric humidity, which affects extreme precipitation in the tropical regions. It is considered a better predictor of rainfall extremes than surface air temperature. In addition to past weather data, researchers used simulations from two sets of models - Coupled Model Inter comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and Climate of 20th Century Plus
(C20C+) – to determine the impact of anthropogenic emissions on extreme rainfall events, under both ‘historic’ and ‘historic natural’ scenarios. This showed that anthropogenic warming leads more extreme rainfall events in India. While ‘historic natural’ scenario includes only natural factors, ‘historic’ included both natural and anthropogenic factors. “We find that in south and central India, precipitation extremes are more sensitive to warming than north India, which means that south and central India may witness more rainfall extremes in response to climate warming,” explained Dr Vimal Mishra, head of the Water and Climate Lab at IITGn who led the study, while speaking to India Science Wire. “Rainfall extremes in the ‘historic’ scenario are higher by 10-30% than the ‘historic natural’ scenario, indicating the robust impact of anthropogenic warming on the intensity of extreme rainfall,” said Dr Mishra. The frequency of precipitation extremes is projected to rise more prominently in southern and central India by end of the 21st century under the greenhouse gases concentration trajectory, RCP 8.5 (representative concentration pathway 8.5), which represents the highest emission scenario. “Since there is a significant impact of climate warming on extreme rainfall over India, we can expect detrimental impacts of these on infrastructure as well as agriculture. This also highlights the need for initiating adaptation and mitigation to avoid the risk and damage due to extreme rain and flooding,” Dr Mishra added.
Science & Technology
April 16 - 22, 2018
Indo-U.S. Science And Technology Forum
IUSSTF’s mandate is to promote, catalyze and seed bilateral collaboration in science, technology, engineering and innovation through substantive interactions amongst government, academia and industry n Sunderarajan Padmanabhan
he Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) celebrated its 18th Foundation Day in the presence of Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and the Ambassador of the United States to India, Mr. Kenneth Juster. IUSSTF was set up in 2000, when after nearly five decades of a close relationship, the Governments of India and the United States of America decided that it was time to create a more formal mechanism to take the engagement to the next level. IUSSTF’s mandate is to promote, catalyze and seed bilateral collaboration in science, technology, engineering and innovation through substantive interactions amongst government, academia and industry. The Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the U.S. Department of the State are the nodal agencies of the respective Governments for handling matters related to the Forum. Delivering the presidential address Dr. Harsh Vardhan noted, “Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum has contributed immensely in bringing both our countries closer together and has clearly demonstrated that Indo-US Science & Technology Forum commemorates 18th foundation day
cooperation in science and technology is driven by leveraging intellect, innovation and technological strength of both our countries that directly contributes to global knowledge economy of 21st century”. In the 18 years of its existence, IUSSTF has developed an evolving program po rtfolio largely conceived and driven by the scientific community from both countries. The activities supported by it have led to the direct interaction of over 20,000 Indian and American scientists. The forum currently implements a portfolio of four broad program verticals - Scientific Networks, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Research and Development and Visitation Programmes. The activities under `Scientific Networks’ vertical comprise of short-term engagements such as bilateral workshops, conferences and symposia and well as mediumterm arrangements through virtual
The forum currently implements Scientific Networks, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Research and Development
Quick Glance The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum was established in 2000 The forum has led to the interactions of 20,000 Indian and American scientists Both governments have decided to take engagement to the next level
New guar based hydrogel could save drought-hit crops A hydrogel has been developed from guar gum that can increase soil moisture n Manu Moudgil
networked joint centres that aim to encourage collaboration in topical areas of mutual interest. More than 340 workshops and 78 joint Centres have been supported so far. The `Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ vertical, in turn, comprises primarily of a highly popular U.S.-India S&T Endowment Fund (USISTEF) that provides grant-in-aid support of upto Rs 250 lakh (about US Dollar 400,000) through a highly competitive process, to commercialize S&T-based innovations with significant societal impact. The USISTEF has so far supported 27 projects at a total investment of about Rs 6,090 lakh (US Dollar 94 lakh) in the areas of affordable healthcare, safe drinking water, clean energy and environment, livelihood enhancement, women’s empowerment and financial inclusiveness, amongst others. A total of 12 products have since been commercially launched. On `Research and Development’, IUSSTF will administer strategic bi-national initiatives that include the Indo-U.S. Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre; Grand Challenge on Affordable Blood Pressure Measurement Technologies for Low-Resource Settings; PACEsetter Fund to accelerate commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy solutions; Real Time River Water and Air Quality Monitoring; and Partnerships for International Research and Education.
cientists have developed a hydrogel from gum of guar (cluster bean) that can increase soil moisture and help farmers save their crops in case of water scarcity. Hydrogels are network of polymers that can hold large amount of water and are extensively used in diapers and sanitary napkins. Synthetic hydrogels are, however, not readily biodegradable and their degradation products are considered to be hazardous for environment. “The Guar gum-based hydrogel is biodegradable. Besides increasing moisture content, it adds organic content to the soil upon degradation,” explained Nandkishore Thombare, a scientist at Ranchi-based Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums and a member of the research team, while speaking to India Science Wire. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) had earlier developed and successfully commercialised a semi-synthetic hydrogel, popularly called Pusa Gel. It was found to save water-stressed crops. “Our work is similar to previous research in principle but we have used a different starting material. Pusa gel uses cellulose and zeolites while we have relied on Guar gum,” Thombare said. The hydrogel was found to absorb up to 800 ml water per gram and improved porosity, moisture absorption and retention capacity of the soil. Water holding capacity of soil increased up to 54 per cent of its original and porosity also increased up to 9 per cent of its original.
April 16 - 22, 2018 Arunachal Sanitation
Hong wows with awareness level Sulabh International Model Sanitation Cum Renewable System is being constructed in Kasturba Gandhi Ashram, located in the Hong village of Arunachal
The idyllic Hong village is situated 5754 feet above sea level Arunachal Pradesh has completed 87.12 percent sanitation criteria Robin Hibu’s NGO is also associated with this cleanliness programme
n Suman Chahar
eople may think that Arunachal in the northeast is far away from the mainstream and developmental path of the country, but when it comes to sanitation this state in the forefront. Arunachal means Mountain of rising sun. Seeing the success of this state in the field of cleanliness, the significance of its name becomes clear. According to the state government records, Arunachal Pradesh has fulfilled 87.12 percent sanitation criteria. With this success, the state has come to the 7th place in the field of sanitation at national level. State Government claims that it will achieve the goal of the Swachh Bharat Mission much long before October 2, 2019. In order to move towards cleanliness, people of Arunachal Pradesh with their committed government along with Sulabh organisation has a huge contribution. Hong is a may seem just an ordinary village of Arunachal. Today this village has become a paradigm of cleanliness in Arunachal with the help of Sulabh. Hong village is about 600 kilometers away from Guwahati. We arrived there from Guwahati via Navagam, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Itanagar and passing through the picturesque hills and valleys. The weather here was very pleasant. Residents of the village are very gentle, simple and full of hospitality. The grand heritage
Kasturba Gandhi Ashram in Hong village
and colourful festivals of art and handicrafts here show their ancient belief in the immense power of nature. Hong village is situated 5,754 feet above sea level. Located at such a height, this village is surrounded by mountains full of pine trees. Bamboo grows abundantly here. On March 27, 2018, the inauguration ceremony of the Sulabh International Model Sanitation Cum Renewable System at Kasturba Gandhi Ashram in Hong was concluded. The foundation stone of the Sulabh toilets was done by MLA Tage Taki and Deputy Commissioner Kemo Lollen. On this occasion, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Punyo Pava, Zila Parishad member, Koj Rinya, IFS and Robin Hibu, IFS, President of Helping Hands (NGO), along with the author, were also present on the occasion. The programme was conducted by Coz Rinio. On this occasion, Robin Hibu gave information about Helping Hands (NGO) and thanked the Sulabh founder Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak that he has taken forward the Sulabh Sanitation movement in country and abroad with full dedication. Sulabh has constructed 15 lakh domestic toilets all over India, which are in continuous use. Sulabh toilets are easy to construct.
There are two pits in it. If one crater fills, then we use the second. Human excreta are converted to compost in 2 years. It helps to keep the atmosphere and environment clean. Sulabh has built 8500 public community toilets in India and abroad. He also informed that Sulabh has taken away the scavengers women and men from this inhuman act and connected to the mainstream society. Especially, two cities of Rajasthan have been liberated from the practice of manual scavenging Alwar and Tonk. Deputy Commissioner Mr. Kemo Lollen informed about the many different cleanliness programmes organised in the district. MLA Tage Taki welcomed this initiative of Sulabh and informed about cleanliness programmes going on in his area. He lauded the work of Robin Hihu through the Helping Hands and said that they help the North-East students in every way possible in Delhi.
We will go further in the direction of cleanliness
On this occasion, a recorded message of Sulabh founder Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak was also played. Here is the edited portion of this message: “I am extremely happy to address
the respected audience of village Hong. I congratulate Robin Hibu, talented IPS officer of Arunachal Pradesh, who along with the work done to improve the condition of their village, district and state has also taken several steps to solve the problems of girls and boys of the North-East living in NCR and other region. He is now taking care of all the safety related aspects with full commitment and dedication of the Parliament House in New Delhi. I was willing to come myself in the inauguration ceremony but could not come for some unavoidable reasons. I hope that when the toilet premises will be inaugurated between the Kasturba Gandhi Ashram and the community hall, then I will come there on that occasion. I assure you for the high quality of the work done here, for which Sulabh International is
known everywhere. As some of you will know that I am a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and it is a matter of honor for me to take care of this ashram. Sulabh International has so far built 1.5 million domestic toilets, 8,500 community toilets, 200 biogas digesters effluent and 21 thousand school-toilets have been constructed in collaboration with various government departments, public undertakings and private companies. I hope that a small effort initiated jointly by the Sulabh International Social Service Organization and Helping Hands will go a long way, and a lot more people will join to improve the situation of this important region of our country.”
April 16 - 22, 2018
Satyagraha To Swachhgraha “I am proud of the fact that Bihar has shown its leadership abilities in this journey from Satyagraha to Swachhgraha,” Modi said implement the Community Approaches to Sanitation at the village level, a communique from his office said. Swachhagrahis are key to driving progress towards achieving an open defecation free nation, the communique said. “Bihar was the only state where the scope of hygiene was less than 50 per cent. But after a week’s Swachhagrah campaign, Bihar broke that barrier,” PM Modi said.
Quick Glance PM Modi also flagged off a new bi-weekly train Modi laid the foundation stone for four sewerage projects 11 projects have been sanctioned to clean Ganga campaign, says PM: I encourage your enthusiasm, excitement, energy towards nation building. I bow to the desire of the people of Bihar. I am glad that the people of Bihar have once again shown the spirit of oneness for the Swachhta campaign, says Modi. Thousands have gathered here under the slogan of ‘Chalo Champaran’, says PM.
PM Modi launches host of Four sewerage projects railway projects: PM Modi laid the foundation worth Rs 1,111.56 crore stone of a project for doubling of to be launched:
n Urooj Fatima
M Narendra Modi on 10th April addressed centenary celebration of Champaran Satyagraha in Motihari in Champaran district in Bihar. Addressing the ceremony named as ‘Satyagraha Se Swachhagraha’ programme, Modi congratulated the Bihar government and volunteers for constructing more than 8,50,000 toilets in a week across the state. Modi was in Champaran (Motihari) to conclude the centenary celebrations of the Champaran Satyagraha. “Bihar has made significant progress in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.” “Soon the Ganga coast will be open-defection free,” Modi said while making an appeal to all actors to join forces in what he termed as “noble initiative.” A sprawling tent city, ‘Swachhagram’, has been erected in Motihari to accommodate the sanitation volunteers who have come from other states. Swachhagrahis are the ‘foot soldiers’ and motivators to implement the Community Approaches to Sanitation at the village level. Mahatma Gandhi launched the Champaran Satyagrah on April 10, 1917, against the British to fight for rights of farmers who were forced to undertake indigo cultivation.
PM Modi flags off country’s first high-speed electric locomotive:
PM Narendra Modi dedicates the Madhepura Electric Rail Locomotive factory to nation and flags off one of the most powerful rail engines in the world. The train is the first big Make-in-India project completed by Alstom of France. With the induction, India will join an elite list of countries, including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that have 12,000 HP and above capacity electric locomotives. This will be the first of 40 locomotives expected to roll out of the factory by the end of March 2020. According to Alstom, the all-electric locomotives will aim to bring down operating costs for the railways and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Swachhagrahis ‘foot soldiers’:
PM Modi addressed the 20,000 Swachhagrahis, who are ‘foot soldiers’ and motivators to
Muzzafarpur-Sagauli (100.6 km) and Sagauli-Valmikinagar sections (109.7 km). He also flagged off the first run of the Champaran Humsafar Express between Katihar and Old Delhi. The Champaran Humsafar Express will facilitate faster, safer and comfortable journey experience for the common man of North Bihar. The train will run bi-weekly – Tuesdays and Fridays -- covering a distance of 1,383 km.
Modi laid the foundation stone for four sewerage projects worth Rs 1,111.56 crore. A sewer network of 376.12 km will also be laid in Saidpur and Pahari zones of Patna. The four plants, along with 29 other ongoing projects in Bihar under the Namami Gange scheme, once completed will leave no untreated sewage water from Patna flowing into the Ganga.
About 26 lakh toilets have been constructed in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir in the past week, which has been observed as Swachhagraha week. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has changed the life of crores of women in the country. By building a toilet, a woman has found respect and safety and health parameters have also shown a marked increase. Even toilets in Bihar are being called ‘izzazat ghar’, says Modi. Bihar people have shown the spirit of oneness for Swachhta
These four sewage projects together will have a capacity of 60 MLD. A sewer network of 376.12 km will also be laid in Saidpur and Pahari zones of Patna. The expected sewage load for Patna by 2035 is estimated to be 320 MLD.
Four sewerage projects worth Rs 1,111.56 crore Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to be launched has changed the life of In Patna, Modi will lay the crores of women in the foundation stone for four sewerage projects worth Rs 1,111.56 crore. country, says PM:
Swachhagrahis are key to driving progress towards achieving an open defecation free nation
Soon, Ganga coast will be completely open defecation free, says Modi:
To prevent dirty water of houses and factories from getting discharged into the Ganga, 11 projects have been sanctioned at a cost of more than Rs 3,000 crore. “Villages built along the Ganga coast are being freed from open defecation on a priority basis. Waste management schemes are being implemented in villages near Ganga. Soon, the Ganga coast will be completely open defecation free,” says Modi.
April 16 - 22, 2018 Lesson
The Elephant Rope
The True Meaning of Life Neha
The year have passed by, In the blink of an eye, Moments of sadness, And joy have flown by
s a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not. He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As
they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before? Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.
People I loved Have come and have gone, But the world never stopped And we all carried on Life wasn’t easy And the struggles were there, Filled with times that it mattered Times I just didn’t care I stood on my own And I still found my way Through some nights filled with tears
And the dawn of new days And now with old age It’s become very clear Things I once found important Were not why I was here And the worries and fears That plagued me each day In the end of it all Would just fade away And what’s really important Is my opinion of me And whether or not I’m the best I can be And how much more kindness And love I can show Before the Lord tells me It’s my time to go.
Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans
nce upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl.
He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied. “Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face. “Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the
water and created something new. “Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “ Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us. Which one are you?
April 16 - 22, 2018
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ACROSS 1. Which county did Ravi Shastri play for? 4. Reserve Bank of India Imposes Rs 58.9 Cr Penalty for this bank recently. 7. This government starts ‘green budget’ for controlling pollution. 9. With which country India hold naval training? 10. Which search engine acquires GIF Search Platform Tenor recently? 12. This company opens the Garage in Hyderabad recently. 14. Which has to Send First Mission To Study ‘Heart’ Of Mars? 16. ISRO and __________ has tied up for the production of space-grade lithium-ion cells 17. India won its first Olympic hockey gold in...? 18. The first mega food park of Rajasthan has come up in _____________. 19. With which state, AAI signs a MoU under Corporate Social Responsibilities? 20. When was the first cricket Test match played?
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1.Nepal 2.Aladdin 3.Russia 4.Gold 5.Shudraka 6.1959 7.Herodotus 8.Bhel 9.Bengaluru 10. Japan
solution of sudoku-17
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11. 1936 12. Saavn 13. India 14. Air 15. 100 16.Sony 17. NCAA 18. UK 19. USA 20. Aristotle
2. Which of the following Launches Exclusive Credit Card for Doctors? 3. Who of the following introduces Universal Real-Time Payment Tracking? 5. The nickname of Glenn McGrath is what? 6. Which military has successfully tested its latest intercontinental ballistic missile ‘SARMAT’ recently? 8. Recently, the twin Beidou-3MEO satellites was launched by __________. 11. Which state celebrates Utkal Dibasa on April 1st? 13. India’s first Insect Museum was opened in ___________. 15. Government had decided to sell ___________% stake in Air India?
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April 16 - 22, 2018
Woman priest who solemnises weddings without kanyadaan Kolkata priestess junks patriarchy and performes the wedding without performing patriarchal rituals
e live in a patriarchal society where most rituals are performed by a male priest. One would have hardly seen a female priest performing rituals at a wedding or any other auspicious occasion. However, women are now fighting these social barriers across all spheres. One of them is Kolkata’s Nandini Bhowmik, a woman priest who is solemnising wedding ceremonies without performing patriarchal rituals like kanyadaan. Nandini Bhowmik is trying to do away with the patriarchal mindset where parents treat their daughter like a commodity, renounce her custody, and give her away as daan. Apart from her role as a priest, Nandini also works as a Sanskrit professor and a
drama artist. She challenges age-old patriarchal setups in all her roles, and is the first woman in West Bengal to adopt the role of a priest. Nandini recites the difficult Sanskrit shlokas in either Bengali or English so that the bride and the groom can understand them. Weddings performed by her have Rabindra Sangeet playing in the background. Nandini has been doing this work for the past 10 years, and has solemnised over 40 weddings till now. She has a daughter, and has performed rituals at her wedding as well. She believes in making a
Nandini Bhowmik difference with her work, and donates most of her earnings to an orphanage in Odisha. Incidentally, the practice of women priests solemnising weddings without kanyadaans is mentioned in the earliest Hindu texts, especially the Rig Veda. Nandini wishes to propagate that school of thought throughout society.
Immense game endowment from small states
Commonwealth Games. Not only that, Manipur which has a population of only 3 million, has 9 players participating in the Commonwealth Games. That means, one player out of every three lakh population is representing their state. The population of Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Jharkhand and Manipur is around 12.11 crore, while the country’s population
5 1 s e v a s n e e Mewat t es a hero students, di
Shows courage as madrassa roof collapses during storm
5 States, 98 Players
n Commonwealth Games 217 players from India are participating in which these five states have sent 98 players Even though the population of Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Jharkhand and Manipur comprise only 9% of the country’s population, they account for 45% of the Indian team sent to the Gold Coast
is around 1.3 billion. 7.5 lakh in Haryana, 10 lakh in Punjab, 17.5 lakh in Kerala, and 33 lakh in Jharkhand. On the one hand, these five states form 45 per cent of the Indian team, while there are eight states and four Union Territories from where no player is participating in the Commonwealth Games. In which Bihar is also there with a population of 10 crores. Apart from this, there are Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura, from which no player has been sent for the Commonwealth Games.
n Friday 7 April, in a small mosque-cummadrassa in Haryana, scared children were cowering as a minaret threatened to come crashing down because of a thunderstorm. However, Ashfaq, a young boy who was all of 17, acted quickly enough to save 20 lives except his, thus becoming a hero in death. Ashfaq harboured religious dreams of becoming a Maulvi and giving the call for prayer from the same minaret that came crashing down. Ashfaq did not care for his own life, and decided to save those students trapped in the madrassa. His family has been torn apart. Jaituni Begum, his grief-stricken mother, recalls how he learned 30 chapters of the Quran by the time he was 14. Din Mohammed, his father, doesn’t know what to tell Ashfaq’s three-yearold sister, who has no idea about what has happened. On the fateful night, when the minarets began to collapse, there were 22 students in the madrassa. According to locals, the strong winds caused a heavy asbestos sheet to crash against the minarets, which proceeded to collapse on the roof of the madrassa. It is then that the brave Ashfaq jumped into action, helping his friends evacuate. It was while pulling 21-year-old Mohammed out, that one of the minarets fell on Ashfaq, said Mohammed Sabir, a relative. The maulanas immediately rushed the injured teenager to Pinangwan’s Government Hospital, which referred him to the Mandikhera Government Hospital. From there, they proceeded to Shaheed Hasan Khan Medical College in Nalhar, and finally, due to the seriousness of Ashfaq’s injuries, doctors referred him to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. Din Mohammed recounts how, during the ambulance ride, Ashfaq made feeble requests for water. The boy seemed to know he was slipping and asked his family to give him water else he would die thirsty. After drinking a little water, Ashfaq died in the ambulance. A prayer meeting held for Ashfaq on Sunday, in Bumbaheri village, attracted thousands of people. Rais Khan, the Chairman of the Haryana Waqf Board, announced a Rs 2 lakh compensation for Ashfaq’s family, and Rs 10 lakh for the repair of the madrassa. Din Mohammed promptly donated the amount to the madrassa. The young boy, who dreamt of being a priest one day, gave his life up so others could live. A selfless sacrifice indeed, from a young mind..
RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 2, Issue - 18 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