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Mumbai Dabbawalas to Represent Maharashtra at RD Parade

The Dabbawalas of Mumbai are quite famous- despite the fact that most of them are illiterate, they have given lectures on management to MBA students, and their organization is Six Sigma and ISO 2000 accredited.

There are 5000 Dabbawalas who deliver 2 lakh tiffins daily to office-goers in Mumbai.

They have been chosen this year to represent homeland Maharashtra in Delhi at the 2010 Republic Day parade. "An honour to represent our state at the national level is bigger than any recognition," beams association president Raghunath Medge.

A tableau has been created for the parade depicting the dabbawalas' famed management system.

"Be it any season, heavy rain, scorching heat or winter, the dabbewallas deliver the tiffin boxes. We have tried to recreate this scene with the local train, the handcarts, cycles and the dabbewallas in their midst," Director, cultural affairs, Ajay Ambekar said.

History is Always Distorted

The Congress party recently celebrated the 125th year of its founding.

It was a momentous occasion, a time to reflect on the role it played in shaping the destiny of this nation, a moment to be gracious and rise above all pettiness and personal prejudice to gratefully acknowledge the role of all its past leaders.

Unfortunately, it chose to be cheap and petty, and wiped Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao from the books of history. I regard him as the true visionary and father of all reforms we have seen. But it serves the current set-up to rubbish his achievements.

Hey men of clay, you too shall bite the dust and be consigned to some forgotten page of history. Someone else shall do unto you what you have deigned to do to a loyal and intelligent son of India.

Party Mood in Kerala

There seems to be no recession in Kerala- which is among the highest alcohol-consuming states in India.

The alcohol sales on Christmas Eve touched a record Rs. 27.98 crore. The Kerala State Beverages Corp (KSBC), the sole wholesaler of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and beer in the state, said that the sales was 29 percent more than what was sold on the Christmas season last year.

Speaking a few days later at the inauguration of the National Conference of All India Federation of Women Lawyers in Kochi, President Pratibha Patil expressed concern about alcoholism in Kerala, while she praised the numerous social advances the state has made. She spoke about the adverse effects of alcoholism on individuals, families, and society.

Kerala is obviously still in a party mood for the festive season though.

Limerick inspired by ND Tiwari

Tiwari, eighty six, needed three girls tender a day three times
Testing fate the Governor was, tasting paradise before his time
But the camera caught
And reduced him to naught
What a time, he bemoans, even talking to a woman is a crime!

Save planet, say no-no to non-veg

Want to do your bit save the planet from global warming? Turn vegetarian. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of non-vegetarian dishes is many times more than that of vegetarian ones.

According to a study carried out by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute to examine the carbon footprints of 24 food items, it takes 900 litres to produce one kg of wheat and 15,000 litres for the same quantity of mutton, in addition to 10-12 kg of crop products as cattle feed.

One aspect that the study has apparently not considered is that cooking meat takes much longer too. If the GWP impact of the additional fuel required for the purpose is taken into account too then the picture will only get worse.

So, drive you Nano, but say no-no to non-veg.
Picture: Hindustan Times

Soren is Sure-in. Again.

Soren is Sure-in. Again. But this time not in Tihar jail as a murderer. This time he is in Jharkhand Chief Minister's chair. Yes the same one that was not so long ago occupied by another distinguished Indian politician. That gentleman, rumour has it, is called Koda not because he played with a few 'kodis' (cheap sea shells, money once) but because he plundered billions of them.

If Koda was put into that chair by the Congress, Sure-in has been pushed in by the BJP, yes that party which used to claim with some pride once that it was different from the Congress. Now, it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

We elect them to govern;
They select among themselves to loot-n-run.
We believe it is democracy;
They laugh coz they know it's plunder-ocracy.














posted b k chowla

Close your eyes and ears

Looking at Kasab's latest antics, one wonders if all of us Indians needs to stuff cotton in our ears and also pull wool over our eyes..

or has the majority already done so? nd for the rest maybe the esteemed court shall provide the cotton if not justice.

but then looking at the passion and violence of those Indians claiming for a new state, I should be reassured that the spirit of Indians is still alive.....

Kasab latest: Have cotton in ear to shut out Nikam voice

Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman captured during the 26/11 terror attack, came to court today with cotton stuffed in one ear to “block the voice” of Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, the latest in a series of antics during the trial.

500 m mobiles and 77% Indians earn Rs 20 a day?

This is a news that should warm Indian hearts.

India's cellular phone base has crossed the 500 million mark, sooner than expected, with 140 million new customers being added in the first 11 months of 2009. This has taken the country's teledensity to over 46%. The year is expected to close with a world-record 155 million new customers.

According to some reports, nearly 77% Indians are living on an income of less than Rs 20 a day, or Rs 600 pm.

The figures just don't add up. Next year teledensity should cross 60%. If that be so, how can 77% Indians be as poor as we are being told?

May be someone can explain how a person who earns less than twenty rupees can buy a mobile phone and then use it too?













Arundhati, please ask Maoists to spare India's children

"Maoist uncle, what is our mistake that you blow up schools and deprive us of education? You may have problems with the police but we fail to understand why are we your enemy? What is our mistake that our schools have become a soft target for you." Wonder how Arundhati Roy will react to this open letter written by hundreds of school children of Bihar's Aurangabad district to Maoists waging war against the state.

After targeting railways and mobile towers, Maoists have blown up more than 20 school buildings in various districts of Bihar, at least 10 in Aurangabad district, only because they can be used by central para-military forces.

Great way to ensure that people remains 'equal' and dependent on forests, as they have been for thousands of years.

Arundhati, will you please ask Maoists to spare India's children?

What A Joke

Former Haryana police chief S.P.S.Rathore has been handed down a 6 month sentence for sexually molesting a 14 year old girl in 1990. Reason given: prolonged trial and his age.

There are some who still argue that our judiciary is unbiased. Give me a break!

Genome Genome ki baat!

Hurraah! India has cracked the human genome to join the elite club of US, UK, Canada, Korea and China!

This phenomenal success yet again puts our country in the higher orbit amongst the developed nations and is certainly a cause for celebration!

Our salute to Samir K Brahmachari and his team at CSIR, who made it happen! You make us proud today with what you have achieved.

Read the details about the development here.

Voting Compulsory in Gujarat!

Voting has been made compulsory in the state of Gujarat by passing of a bill on Saturday 20.12.09! Although a first in India, Italy already has such a law, says Narendra Modi.

In a country where living is compulsory - suicide is a crime, euthanasia is unthinkable and education has also been made compulsory, this is another in the list of 'compulsory' things to do for us Indians. Will more states follow?

We seem to be suffering from a "Obsessive Compulsory Disorder". I posted this because it has become compulsory recently to speak out one's minds on India-tweet (just joking). Now its your turn - commenting also is compulsory, folks!

Madras University Throws Open Laboratories for Rural Students

Madras University Vice- Chancellor, G. Thiruvasagam, recently announced an innovative new scheme to encourage rural students to take up basic science research.

For the first time, the University has decided to throw open its high-tech science laboratories to school and college students from rural areas of Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, during the two-month summer vacation.

The students can send their research proposals to the University through their respective headmasters or principals. The University intends to grant financial assistance up to Rs. 10,000 for every accepted proposal.

Not only will the selected students obtain access to laboratory equipment and guidance from faculty members, but they will be provided free lodging and boarding during the two-month period.

This seems to be a scheme sure to benefit rural students with interest in scientific research!

A 'different' high five to austerity

Still-born 'austerity' is getting another burial right in the heart of India's capital.

MLAs of Delhi are set to get a hike in salaries. Nothing exceptional in that except the fact that the increase is, yes, five times! Presently on an average a legislator draws around Rs,45, 000. A new bill, accepted by the Delhi assembly, if cleared, will make that amount above Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Earlier this year, legislators had given themselves the right to draw pension from different government sources, allowing those who retired from government jobs to simultaneously draw their pension as well as full MLA's salary.

Looks like our politicians have been hit the hardest by run away inflation in food items, and enthused by the revival of the economy. Early birds catching their worms. And ours too!

Castle of Clouds

A few months ago, a strong new word broke into our Political arena, surprising even the most cynical of us all. Austerity.

Though it was a thought that always lay dormant underneath the flesh of every patriotic Indian, it rarely broke the skin because no one really believed it was a plausible cause. Nor that it was worth thinking of.

So, when the Central Government announced its Austerity Drive and a few heads reached the verge of rolling off their shoulders, the Patriots rejoiced. And voiced their thoughts. Maybe we are getting somewhere.

Today, when I read the news Austerity talk all gas, MPs set to fly high, it feels suddenly like the collapse of a castle of clouds,... Deep Disappointment.

No, Not again!

Impossible to Survive

As we look back on 2009 one thing becomes obvious. Living nay surviving has become an expensive affair. Call it failed monsoons or "supply side economics", those in the food trade has never had it so good. Both ends of the chain, i.e., the farmer and the consumer have got the rough end of the stick.

Food prices have spiralled out of control and the officialdom pegs it at 20%. The consumer sees prices have increased by close to 100%. Government is at pains to assure us that the shortfall in foodgrain output is not serious and we have adequate buffer stocks. Yet, prices seem to go and stay up. Is there more to it than meets the eye.

The supply chain has many layers of intermediaries and there is massive profiteering. News about crop failure gets prominence and there is large scale and organised hoarding. Those at mandis openly talk of a corporate house has picked up hundreds of truckloads of pulses at levels of Rs. 23 - 30. These are now available at close to Rs. 100/-.

Is this happening with Government blessings and some are partners in the loot?


Actor, Amir Khan is on a marketing trip promoting his 3 Idiots.

It seems he checked into a hotel in Mughal sarai under an assumed name. There is so much of hoo-hulla about this episode and the hotel manager is under fire.

Is it that anti Amir Camp is working overtime?

Though law must take its due course, my question is;

Where were all the laws, intelligence agencies, CID and the Police when Headly-Rana combine came to India and had a nice picnic and fooled all our agencies?

We seem to be in the habit of making non-issues as issues and real issues go under the carpet.

Let us stop fooling ourselves.


b k chowla

To Mee Navhech - That's not me!

Ajmal Kasab suddenly turned around to say "That's not me!". That it was not him who had killed scores of innocents with the AK-47 - he had never seen such a gun nor was he trained by anyone; that he had come to Mumbai with aspirations of Bollywood lead roles; that he was not the one whom you saw on your TV screens spraying bullets at will; that he was his look-alike, whom the police had trapped.

Who can forget the "Sholay" of Marathi theatre, the play written by Acharya Atre, "To mee Navhech" ("That's not me"), in which a tobacco merchant is accused of cheating and defrauding several people who all swear it was indeed him in disguise. I faintly remember the protagonist was arrested and punished finally. I hope i am right! Great fiction always proves itself over and over again by turning true!

Benefitting from the Din

That certain bills may be passed in Parliament by voice vote, is probably a long standing tradition.

What is not traditional is the origin of that "voice".

Today, while a din ensued in the house over the Telangana issue , courtesy the Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Telugu Desam Party members, the Left, the BJP, the RJD and Samajwadis added to the chaos, purportedly protesting the way House business was conducted.

Meanwhile, the Home Minister, amidst the din, quietly moved the The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill 2009, and it was declared passed by "voice vote".

The bill allows free air travel to companions and relatives of ministers, in addition to their family members, and supposedly brings ministers on par with MP's.

Some government employees must still produce taxi fare vouchers to claim taxi fare on government work.

I Am Confused

All this time I was under the impression that the marriageable age for girls was 18 and that child marriages were illegal - I was wrong. Apparently, under the Hindu Marriage Act, child marriages are considered valid unless one of the parties moves court and gets such a marriage annulled.

Lawmakers changed laws when it suited them without seeing the whole picture. The disparities regarding the age of a minor girl under different laws such as the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, Shariat law, the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, and the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 have created a lot of confusion in enforcing the law. The Centre now wants to rectify this and is considering making child marriages invalid.

About time, I say.

Villages In Gadchiroli Get Legal Rights Over Forests

In a development that, activists say, sets precedence for other tribal villages, Mendha-Lekha and Marda in Gadchiroli district have become the first villages under the Forest Rights Act (2006) to get community ownership of the forests around them.

Maharashtra Governor S. C. Jamir handed over the Record of Rights to the villagers at a function in Gadchiroli on Tuesday.

The Record of Rights recognises the villagers' rights to manage their forest, water, and the right to forest produce. It gives them ownership of the surrounding forest and allows them to graze cattle there, as well as to collect and store minor forest produce, except timber.

Mohan Hirabai Hiralal, a well-known social activist and environmentalist, says that granting tribals their traditional rights," is the only way with which the union government can put an end to insurgency."

A 'sweet' surprise from Bengal

A few months back, it was a thief with a golden heart who took a call on the mobile he had stolen and returned LIC bonds, KVPs etc – not valuables that he needed to run his family – to school teacher Kartik Mandal.

A couple of days back, it was Jayanta Gupta of Kamardanga, 24 Parganas, who showed a fine example of Gandhigiri.

Two teenage thieves, Bablu Mistry and Tapas Das, sneaked into Gupta's house when he was away. They were caught stealing by neighbours who beat them, tied them up and informed Gupta.

When Gupta, on return, heard them say that it was their first crime, committed because they could not get two square meals a day, he untied them and treated them to sandesh and rosogulla, banana and bread.

And then he set them free.

Priorities in a mess : what's new ?

Bhopal gas tragedy minister Babulal Gaur has sought Rs116 crore from the Centre to build " a memorial of international standard". Earlier relief, received from Union Carbide, meant for 1,05,000 people was distributed amongst 5,79,274, ensuring insufficient support to the sufferers. The government could not top up this aid with its own contribution.

Now, two austerity conscious ministries of the ruling UPA government are in a bind over whether to pay Rs 3600 crores or Rs 1400 crores for 12 helicopters , to be used to expressly ferry VIP's around.

Then reports indicate that Naxals are now procuring bullet proof jackets for their leaders, while the Mumbai police couldn't care less where late Hemant Karkare's so called bullet proof jacket was, one year after 26/11.

Do we have a huge talent in the Government for doing the wrong thing ?

Why rob an ATM? Just take it!

A couple of months back, thieves broke into a shop in Churu, Rajasthan and, instead of breaking open the 1.4 ton safe containing Rs 17 lakhs, they simply uprooted it and took it away.

That smart trick probably inspired thieves in Meeraganj, Jabalpur. In the early hours of Sunday, they apparently drugged security guard Khangar Razzak and then took away the ATM of the Union Bank of India.

The Superintendent of Police says that the ATM was not properly installed. He also 'revealed' that it would have taken 7-8 persons and a vehicle to do the job because the machine weighed around 450 kgs.

The amount looted? Rs 1.65 lakhs. Or Rs 20,000 per thief. Sure they must be wondering now whether that will be enough to even pay off friendly cops to let them go, should they be spotted.

What an idea!

Pakistanis should thank their government for their brilliant idea of nurturing terrorists; if their soil had not bred them would the US part with so much money?

Would their houses light up and would their thirst be quenched if not for the terrorists?

WASHINGTON - Electricity and water projects will be an early priority for nearly $1.5 billion a year in new U.S. non military aid for Pakistan expected to be passed by the Senate on Sunday, senior U.S. officials said.

The aid is included in a $7.5 billion, five-year package proposed by President Barack Obama as one tool to combat extremism in Pakistan. He has called the region the "epicenter" of violence and Pakistan is seen as critical to U.S. efforts to fight the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

Innovative protest : shaming the officials.

Today, the PM, set in motion procedures to create a law, that guaranteed citizen related services to the public , within finite specifiable time, with penalties for officials delaying it. The services include issuing of Ration cards, drivers licences,registrations of births and deaths, voter cards, etc.

In the meanwhile, Bina Devi, 26, of Saharsa, Bihar has been unsuccessfully trying to acquire a Ration card, despite completing the formailities, so that she can feed her five children.

Saharsa region in Bihar is a high risk Polio area with 22 cases this year. The government is seized of the situation.

Bina Devi let the authorities know, that she wouldnt be getting her 3 youngest to get their Polio Doses, unless she got her ration card. She got it within a week.

Putting children in danger for something rightfully theirs.

Shame on us.

Keeping Languages Alive

Cultural activists are fighting back as Hindi and English strengthen grip.

Classrooms at the Adivasi Academy in western India echo to the speech patterns of languages that may soon become no more than a meaningless jumble of noises. Kukna, Panchmahali and Rathvi are just three of dozens of tribal Indian tongues taught at the academy, which was set up in 1996 in an attempt to preserve the country's indigenous cultures.

Language is for communication. The more universally we can communicate, the more dynamic our cultures will be, because the more they will be open to new ideas. If the language group is very small then the group's survival depends on its ability to learn a more widely spoken language. I think what the activists are doing is admirable but for Indians to thrive, it is important for people to speak multiple languages including prominent ones like Hindi and English.

What do you think?

The Copenhagen Effect

Arushi Shah has decided on an 'organic wedding'. At the 'Sangeet' function on Saturday, guests were served pulav with vegetables grown organically and cooked in sesame oil extracted the traditional way.

Arushi is part of 'an informal group which believes in not messing with mother nature and living the organic way of life.'

The marriage will take place at her home and castor-oil diyas will provide lighting instead of floodlights. Boiled chana and bor (local berry) will be served as starters at the wedding dinner and no refined flour will be used in the rotis.

There will be no plastic included in the gifts given to her by her parents. The utensils gifted will be of brass, copper and silver.The 'streedhan' is to be a cow and a calf.




We seem to be the most ungrateful people towards our Armed Forces.

We remember them only during crises, be it internal or external.

December, 4th is celebrated as the NAVY DAY in India.

Not one newspaper, not one TV channel had a word to say about Navy and its achievements.

It was only late evening when Navy was having it’s celebrations that some news channel decided to give just a few minutes of coverage.

Compare this to death or birth anniversary of some useless politician and we would have seen full page colour advertisements.

I am standing in two minutes silence in memory of those who died defending the country.

Would you like to join me?


Kee Farak Painda...

Traffic light ko dhak diya to kya hua, mera kaam to ho gaya...

This can happen only in India...

(Source: CNN-IBN)

india tweets is 200 tweets old already!

This Twitter-inspired idea which was born on August 23, 2009, is 200 tweets old already. This is the 200th tweet.

The success of Twitter shows that there is a hunger for tiny bits of info that give a glimpse of a bigger picture. 140 characters are too few to complete it. But in 140 words it can be done, as the tweets in this microblog have shown.

Thanks to Manju, Ugich Konitari, BK Chowla, Happy Kitten, Gopinath, Sagarone, Krishna, Jeena, Sraboney, Mavin, Solilo and Mahesh, names in descending tweet-order, india tweets has already achieved an Alexa ranking of <300,000. Thanks guys for giving form to the idea with your high quality efforts. Keep tweeting!

If you want to be an author, contact any existing author. The more the tweets and the greater their variety, the more popular will your microblog become.

Strengthen the Roots

It is all well to talk about standards at graduate and post-graduate levels. They are important. It has become fashionable to talk about inviting foreign universities to India on grounds of improving quality of education and making it affordable to Indians.

Have we, however, forgotten the abysmal state of primary education? It is this supply of students that will eventually benefit from higher education. I speak of the primary education system in urban India and, believe me, it is an eye opener. Students from english medium schools cannot speak simple English. Equally poor is their grasp of mathematics or social sciences or the three science subjects.

It is time review this mindless churn of semi-literates who become half-baked unemployables in adulthood. We need to rethink on how relevant the subjects are and how to make learning fun. 

Gorkhas Prefer Food To Gorkhaland

For the first time, The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today failed to find 21 committed supporters of Gorkhaland who would sit for an indefinite hunger strike in Darjeeling town, forcing the party to ultimately settle for 14 for the day.” The reason: fear of actually having to fast-unto-death.

Morcha president Bimal Gurung's parting words to his followers before he left for Delhi “This is our last battle and we have to win this round. You must all be ready to sacrifice yourselves for the cause for a better future of the coming generation” did not help the cause.

My question: Why didn’t Bimal Gurung join the hunger strike?

Som Ras in excising times....

As per the latest notification of the excise department of Maharashtra, effective Dec 1,2009, the amount of liquor a person can buy per week, is now down to two bottles.

56 lakh people in Mumbai drink, and there are 150 excise officers monitoring sales at over 550 wine shops , across the city; which gives you 37,333 drinkers being scrutinized by a single officer.

This updated order is a result of activist Anna Hazare's protest about the Government making it cheaper to get beer licences.

There is no photo-id system for the liquor buyers, and it is expected that this foolish rule will encourage some innovative corrupt practices. The fine for flouting the rule is Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.

While cities and farmers thirst for water, rulers drunk on power can only think about liquor, it seems .

Saved By Lohan

Hollywood starlet and party girl Lindsay Lohan has saved 40 Indian children in one day - at least that's what she claims in her tweets. The blonde beauty is in India shooting a documentary with BBC on trafficking of women and children.

Perhaps sensing skepticism, she explained in a tweet, "I''m only one person. Let''s not start judging and looking for negatives that don''t exist."

It's not clear how she saved these wretched third world children. Me thinks she probably flashed her snow white teeth, flicked her blonde hair and waved her perfectly manicured hands at them thus making them think she's a Goddess which in turn motivated and empowered them to turn their lives around.

What she saw was not what she got

What you see is sometimes not what you get. This harsh fact has devastated Afsha Sheikh.

When Afsha met Abdulla Syed in May this year, she did not take long to agree to marriage. Introduced to the family by a friend, he seemed just right. An NRI, with a thick flock of hair and sparkling teeth, and a job with Emirates Airlines, he was a good 'catch'.

It was only after the wedding that the horror hit. As he sat on the bed on the wedding night, he took took off his wig. If that was not bad enough, he then removed his dentures. Without waiting for further shocks, Afsha packed her bags and informed her mother who filed a complaint against him with Agripada police

Not surprisingly, she later found that even the jewellery given by him was fake.
Picture: Mumbai Mirror

Quiet ! The assembly is in session !

On Dec 1, 2009, the West Bengal assembly was adjourned for 9 days by the Speaker, because the sound system failed. Members could not hear anything, due to a malfunction in the recently installed sophisticated sound system.

"It will be easier to repair the defect if the assembly is not in session" was the explanation by the PWD minister.

He probably visualized thrown microphones and rampant, violent, running legislators.

Today, Dec 9, as soon as the legislators convened, the main iron gate at the southern entrance to the assembly premises, mostly used by legislators and the media, collapsed suddenly, injuring a staff member, who was taken to Hospital.

Germans from Singapore are repairing the systems. The Opposition leader says the whole thing is a ruse to delay some bills.

How can these people manage an entire state ?

Job Fair for the Differently Abled

The Ahmedabad-based Blind People’s Association (BPA) organised a job fair for the first time on Tuesday, for the differently-abled competent enough to do jobs.

160 institutes across Gujarat were invited for the fair. There was good response from women candidates who were 30-35 percent of total candidates.

As many as 17 local companies hired a total of 350 candidates for the jobs of data entry, lift operators, toy makers and animators. Salaries offered were in the range of Rs 3,000 to 6,000 a month.

BPA Director Bhushan Punani said: “The companies have to be told that they should recruit the differently-abled persons not because they are disabled, but for the capabilities they have.”

The BPA intends to hold such fairs twice a year now onwards.

Rich men, poor men

India is blessed with rich folks of different kinds.

Some , like the Tata's , whose idea of Public service includes Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, various Tata Trusts for students, the Tata Memorial Hospital, and a quiet full hearted monetary ,medical, and family care support of the Taj employees as well as several CST injured hawkers, travelers (Loksatta, Sunday,December 6, 2009) after 26/11.

And some whose idea is to build another house for themselves, 27 stories covering 400,000 square feet. separate gym for each family member, six stories of parking, four stories of open-air gardens, a ballroom covered with crystal chandeliers, a 65-seat theater, a spa, a swimming pool and an ice room.

A single hand can use just one gym machine.

Some single hands help thousands.

And sometimes some rich are actually poor.

Tatas: after Nano, Swach - a cheap water purifier

After the Nano comes an even more useful product from the Tatas for the real aam admi, including the really poor one who lives in India's villages where there is no electricity yet.

'Swach' is a water purifier that blends environment-friendly materials such as paddy husk ash with germ-fighting nanotechnology to make available potable water to India's poor. At Rs 749, it is a product that can help millions avoid water-borne diseases that, in the absence of an effective health care system, will prove to be a life-saver for many.

Developed by engineers of five Tata companies and to be manufactured by Tata Chemicals, Swach has 14 patents running on it. With the cartridge that provides the cleaning material costing Rs 299, it will cost a family of five just Rs 30 a month.

The Tatas deserve the nation's appreciation and gratitude.

Bihar: Crorepati babus, poverty-stricken citizens

It is becoming clear why Patna, at Rs 23, 169 crores, has got more bank deposits than any other city – the amount exceeds annual expenditure of the whole state – despite there being no industrial or commercial activity worth talking about.

Here is the tip of the iceberg: after Nitish Kumar cracked the whip on graft, the vigilance department has found that 300 poorly paid babus have assets and other valuables running into crores. Only two, clerks, have been fired so far. Others continue to rake it in.

Knowing how things work, one can be certain that assets of those caught would have been under-reported while many would have been allowed to get away, with officials of the vigilance department hitting the KBC2 jackpot repeatedly.

When will Bihar's corrupt politicians who have kept ordinary citizens poverty-stricken, be exposed?

You know you are an Indian ...

You know you are an Indian at heart, if you:

- Have western food at work using fork and knife, but deep inside long to savour rice-curd, dosa-sambar or roti-daal with your fingers

- Prefer lassi or payasam to pudding

- Touch your elders’ feet as a habit that you do without thinking

- Groan when power goes down unexpectedly, but do nothing about it, and leave it to Fate and the Government

- Groan if your train is 9 hours late, but realise that nothing can be done about it

- Leave your shoes outside when you step into a house

- Crossed your teens admiring the ways of the West, only to find in your middle age that there is nothing as sweet as Home.

Joy-rides For Senior Citizens

These are sight seeing tours- with a difference- organised by an Ahmedabad-based organisation, SPRAT (Society for Promoting Rationality).

Every Tuesday, SPRAT volunteers take a dozen-odd senior citizens from the slums on a joyride, in cars loaned by well-wishers.

They take them to see escalators in malls, the sprawling campus of IIM- Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati Ashram, and other places- so near to where they live, but which they have never seen before.

“It is a small gesture, they are as excited as kids. And it cost us perhaps no more than a cup of coffee at a Café Coffee Day joint,” says Anurag Wakode of the Leo Club of Karnavati which hired an Esteem for today’s joyride.


It is 25 years since disaster took place in Bhopal. Union Carbide factory had a gas leak which resulted into death of few thousand people (poor, of course)

The Chairman of Union Carbide was arrested and on expected lines he was released who finally left the country.

Victims are reportedly still waiting for compensation.

Why is the Govt so insensitive? Do they not see the pain of the people? Do they not see the sufferance of the people? OR-Have people lost meaning for the Govt except for during elections?

It was Congress Govt in power in MP 25 years ago. It is BJP govt now.

Is it that when one comes to power, one’s heart stops to think?

The insensitivity of the Govt must be the talk of the town world over and must have made us the laughing stock.

Jesus lived in India? A new film to explore link

There are many who believe that during his missing years, from the age of 12 to 30, which are not accounted for in the Bible, Jesus lived in India and Tibet. During this time, he stayed in Jagannath Puri, Meenakshi Temple Madurai and Ladakh. There is also a belief, examined in some documentary films, that he died in Kashmir, where some claim his tomb exists.

British film producer Kent Walwin is making a film, 'Young Jesus – The Missing Years' which will ”put the question out there”. It will be an interfaith film. For advice on Hinduism and Buddhism, Walwin has approached the Swaminarayan Sanstha and through Satish Kumar Modi, Buddhist groups.

As per Yogananda Parmahansa's 'Autobiography of a Yogi', Babaji also spoke, in 1894, about the obscured “underlying unity” between Hindu and Christian scriptures. Strange?
Further reading: A new ecumenism based upon
reexamination of the "Lost Years" evidence

Mai-Paa government ?

Amitabh bachchan's new movie "Paa" , based on a child with a rare disease , progeria, premature aging, opened with great fanfare. The actors were paid in several crores.

Meanwhile, 3 siblings (10,15 and 16 years) in village Mokhampur in Haridwar district in Uttarakhand, suffer from the same disease, and do not have much time to live. Just 3-4 years. Their father, Wahid, has been running pillar to posts to get disability pension so that he could meet expenses but in vain. The Government gives pensions to the disabled only between 18 and 60 years of age. Currently no provisions exist for these children.

In the meanwhile, MP's with proven criminal backgrounds get a life pension, for "attending" a single 5 year "life" of Parliament. No questions asked.

Is the Ministry of Child Welfare deaf ? Or plain dumb?



Buy one trouble, get one free

Parliament Committee on Health and Family Welfare MP's want that tobacco companies start giving vouchers for free cancer check ups inside every cigarette pack. 

No one wants to say NO to election contributions from Tobacco companies. Or tax cigarette companies so highly that their products become unaffordable.  The date for starting pictorial representation of cancer on packs was even  postponed  due to election concerns.

But will this set a precedent ?  Will car manufacturers,  give  respiratory check up coupons  free along with cars ?  Will hotels give free coupons for digestive treatments  subsequent to possible abdominal infections ?  Will Mr Vijay Mallya, give coupons for free liver function tests along with every bottle of beer ?

Will the Mumbai Municipal authorities give free coupons for Bisleri in the suburbs,  while openly diverting water for construction?

Breathlessly awaited in the pollution.....

The Spirited Septuagenarian Sculptor

If our daughter Supriya took a keen interest in painting, we owe it all to her “Sulochana-kaki”, Mrs. Sulochana Haldankar, a kind-hearted elderly woman who lives in our locality. We heard about the art classes, which she conducted in her house from our neighbourhood friends. It was apparent that “Sulochana-Kaki” was extremely talented and loved to teach the little kids residing in our locality, the basics of drawing and painting. But now she is unable to teach kids anymore as she is now busy preparing for her exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery! This 75-year old wonderful person touched our lives and I would like to share with readers of India-tweets this inspiring story about her in the link below:

Sulochana-kaki, the spirited Septuagenarian Sculptor

Politician tries to rape Russian; she was lucky

This was possibly the last feather that was left to adorn the crown of India's politicians.

John Fernandes, an aspiring politician who narrowly lost to Goa Tourism Minister in the last elections, has been accused by a Russian tourist of attempting to rape her.

According to a complaint filed by her at Kolva police station, the 25-year Russian was offered a lift by Fernandes in his car on Tuesday night. But, instead of taking her to the hotel, he took her to a lonely spot and tried to rape her. Luckily, she managed to free herself and reach the hotel.

Not surprisingly, Fernandes is not traceable. Investigations are on, say the police.

The Russian was fortunate. Can we say the same about Mother India? Vande Mataram?

Bihar Initiative for Gainful Employment to Prison Inmates

The Bhagalpur Central jail, in Bihar, has recently acquired a state-of-the-art printing press. One hundred inmates of the jail will be trained to operate it by the manufacturers free of cost. The trained inmates would later train others.

The press would provide gainful employment to the prison inmates as well as reduce recurring costs of the home (prisons) department.

Contrary to its general backward image, Bihar has a good record in this type of initiative. Some programmes started by Bihar jails include computer training, painting classes, yoga sessions and bakery and handicraft training.

According to Bureau of Police Research & Development, in 2008-09, Bihar jails generated a revenue of Rs 10.76 crore, from the sale of products made by the inmates of the state's jails. This was more than that generated by any other state in India.

A different "vanwaas"

Ramchandra Das, 53, of Gaya district in Bihar decided to counter the administration's lackadaisical attitude regarding roads. He had to park his truck far away from his house, because a mountain stood in the path. Thieves had a field day.

Das used a hammer and chisel, and kept cutting away at the mountain, and after 14 years, got himself a tunnel. He now drives his truck straight in front of his house, through the tunnel.

Local villagers, who had to trek for miles to get around the mountain are using the 14 feet (4.2 metre) wide tunnel to reach their farms.

No ministers. No inauguration. No toll. No escalation of costs.

Only a shameless Bihar administration.

"We rarely come across a man who can work so hard to achieve his goal," said a local government official, Prabhat Kumar Jha.

New symbol of luck in love: Laila-Majnu plant

Couples and lovers looking for luck in love can now buy a 'Laila-Majnu' plant. Named after the legendary lovers, this plant has been developed after four months of effort by Ram Brikhas Chaurasia.

The plant sold like hot cakes in the recently held Sonepur cattle fair, with newly married couples and lovers buying it with the belief that it will bring them good luck and strengthen their relationship.

What is so special about this plant? Well, its leaves are green on one side and red on the other.

At Rs 35 a sapling, it is not a bad investment, if not for a relationship, at least for a garden. Or even a bedroom, where slightly more 'enterprising' couples will surely place the universal symbol of love, two doves, on this plant! Why take a chance?!

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