Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maha Kumbh has a sharp message this year: protection of the environment

HARIDWAR: An estimated five million people have thronged the holy town of Haridwar for a dip in the Ganga on Thursday in ritual bathing believed to cleanse them of their sins and to herald the Maha Kumbh, a religious fair that occurs once in 12 years.

The ritual bathing begins sharp at the stroke of midnight at Brahma Kund, a large pond at the ancient Har Ki Pauri on the banks of the Ganga.

The Maha Kumbh, which will end on April 28, has 11 bathing dates, beginning Thursday. By the time the mega festival ends, officials say it would have drawn at least 60 million men, women and children from the length and breadth of India and abroad -- a sharp climb from the nearly 10 million who came here during the last Maha Kumbh in 1998.

The tents that house most of the sadhus and other devotees are already spilling over well beyond Haridwar, one of the most important spots where Hindus worship the Ganga, the river they hold sacred.

The most important bathing dates according to a fair official are January 14 (Makar Sankranti), February 12 (Mahashivratri), March 15 (Somvati Amavasya) and April 14 (Mesh Sankranti and Baisakhi).

Ash-smeared Naga sadhus -- stark naked devotees of Lord Shiva -- will lead the procession to the main bathing spot on Thursday decked in wreaths of marigolds and carrying staves, tridents, swords and saffron flags. For many sadhus who have renounced the world and live in the mountains, the Kumbh Mela is one of the few occasions when they meet lay people. The mela started centuries ago as a theological discussion among various Hindu sects.

The Maha Kumbh has a sharp message this year: protection of the environment. The Naga sadhus are campaigning for the environment. The Uttarakhand Administration has divided the Kumbh Mela region encompassing Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehra Dun into 31 health sectors, each equipped with a hospital. - IANS


Jamghat's Night Walk | January 29, 2010 from 7.30pm

Dear Friend,

The streets of Delhi are homes to lots of children. These children are forced to live in harsh health-impeding conditions. You can help raise awareness and bring Delhi a step closer to eradicating this
issue by working with or aiding Jamghat. Jamghat is a NGO in New Delhi which works for the rehabilitation of street children into the mainstream. Founded in 2003 we have a shelter housing 15 children, where we have rehabilitated more than 35 children till now. A day care facility is also available to the children. It offers the children a chance to use sanitized washroom facilities, weekly checkups from a doctor, and a chance to play. Jamghat uses the street and stage theatre as a medium to build self confidence in their children and also build awareness in the society on key social issues related to the lives and stories of children, especially street children.

Every month Jamghat organizes a walk into the life of street children around JAMA MASJID and OLD DELHI AREA.  The aim of the project is to generate awareness about street children living in Delhi and to help them in living a life of their choice in a healthy way. The program is undertaken during the night when most of the people finish off their days work and recede back to their secure homes and these children are left alone on the streets to battle through the evils of night. Their night life offers them many difficulties rendered through their exposed surrounding. It is then that their true nature of surviving in such a non conducive environment is brought to life. We interact with them and increase our awareness about them and their life. The main objective is to understand the difficulty of being a street child.

We would like you to join us on this Night Walk on January 29, 2010 from 7.30pm onwards at Golcha Cinema, Daryaganj.
Your participation in this walk will do a great deal in helping the street children of Delhi. So please join on this evening and help support a great cause.

 Essential Points:
 1) The group is not allowed to carry cameras
 2) If a girl/ woman is a part of the group, she is requested to dress in an India suit, or jeans with a full sleeved top. This is to ensure safety.
 3) It is prohibited to give money to any children seen on the streets.
 4) Have dinner and come!

It would be really great if you could pass this message to your friends and bring them along as well so that we can create awareness amongst masses.

If you have any further queries feel free to call or email us.



Warm Regards,


Programme Head

Phone: +91 11 29522112

Mobile: +91 9811656740




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Join the "Colloquium on Bt Brinjal and Food Security"

Dear friends,

You have probably heard about Genetically Modified (GM) foods and Bt Brinjal in particular – various news media have news stories and other articles on this issue almost on a daily basis and you must have also understood that there is a raging controversy going on right now around the world on whether this technology poses more risks than positive outcomes…..

While a handful of countries around the world have gone in for GM crop cultivation, a majority of countries have decided against it including a majority in the developed world. India is now on the verge of making a decision on whether a GM food crop in the form of Bt Brinjal (a brinjal plant in which a bacterial gene has been inserted to produce a new toxin targeted at a particular pest) should be allowed into the country.  

In this context, did you ever feel that you don't really know enough about this and would like to know more? Did you ever feel that you can make up your mind better if you are given a chance to listen to all sides of this controversy? 

Here is your chance to take part, learn, make up your mind and then exercise your rights as a citizen ofIndia, to make informed choices about the food that you consume to sustain yourself. 

Come, join a day long event at Jawaharlal Nehru University on January 27th 2010, which promises to be a very exciting, knowledge-filled and enlightening event with the proponents and opponents of transgenic agriculture warring it out in front of you, mediated by experts on the subject.

Join the “Colloquium on Bt Brinjal and Food Security" organized by JNU’s Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health along with the Hazards Centre, Delhi.

Attached is a warm invitation to you to join us for this event and be informed.



Monday, January 11, 2010

NGO - Prerna (supported by Infosys foundation) Scholarship

If you have come across any bright students
coming from poor financial background
who have finished their 10th standard this year (April 2009)
and scored more than  80%,
please ask them to contact the NGO-Prerana
(supported by Infosys foundation).  

The NGO is conducting a written test and those
who clear the test will be eligible for financial help
for their further studies. Please ask the students
to contact the people mentioned below to get the form

44th cross,
1st 'A' main road,
Jayanagar 7th block,

Mob no- 9900906338(Saraswat i)
Mr.Shivkumar( 9986630301) - Hanumanthnagar office
Ms.Bindu(9964534667 )-Yeshwantpur office

Even if you don't know anyone,
please pass on this info,
some one might be desperately in need of this help.

More bicycle rental facilities coming up in Delhi

Some good news for cyclists :)

Soon, your nearest metro station Rs 3 bike ride away

The Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


If lack of parking at a Metro station close to your residence is a concern and Metro feeder buses do not cater to your area, a ‘green’ option is also available.

You will soon be able to pedal to the nearest metro station and that too for just rupees three for a ride.

Two enterprising businessmen are launching ‘metro cycle feeder service’ where you can hire a cycle from a cycle station close to your home and drop it at the metro station.

A pilot project of metro cycle feeder service will start from first week of February from Rohini East and Rohini West metro stations.

Unlike the Delhi Metro’s own ‘rent a bicycle’ service, where the hirer has to return the bicycle at the same metro station, the metro cycle feeder service would function on a different concept.

“The customer can hire a bicycle from the metro station and drop it at any of the sub-stations in neighbouring and commercial areas,” said Atul Jain, partner, Delhi Cycles Private Limited, the company promoting the project.  “Similarly, a bicycle can be hired from any sub-station and can be returned at the metro station.”

According to Jain, the Metro approved the project and gave permission to start the pilot after nine months of evaluation, scrutiny and audit.

Like the Delhi Metro network, the cycle feeder service is also based on smart card system. The commuters will be issued smart cards which he will have to swipe on hand held devices available with the attendants while hiring the bicycle and returning it. The hirers will have to fill up a form and attach identity proof to get the smart card.

Each cycle trip would cost the hirer a meagre Rs 3. For one metro station, the company is planning to construct five sub-stations within the radius of two kilometres. There would be 25 bicycles available at each metro station while the proposed sub-stations will have 10 bicycles each.

The promoters said that the location of the sub-stations is being chosen keeping in mind that it benefits as many residential apartments and blocks in the vicinity as possible. 

For pilot project, however, the company will start with seven sub-stations to cater to the two metro stations.

“We will also have are mobile staff which would cater to any call of problem in the bicycle such as flat tyre. In a situation where there is no bicycle available at a particular metro or sub-station, we will have special vehicles which can take five cycles at a time from one place to another,” said Sanjeev Garg, the other partner.

Garg said back-end preparations like readying the software, obtaining smart cards and smart card readers are being made to ensure that the pilot project starts in first week of February.

“We are getting special cycle frame made so that the bicycles are recognised even from a distance,” Jain said.

While the project would start from two metro stations, the company plans to open cycle stations at all metro stations.

“We are also trying to get in touch with the chief minister, the transport minister and other civic and concerned agencies so that sub-stations can be opened at more and more places,” said Jain.

“Unfortunately, we have yet to receive any response from any other agency,” he added.

DMRC officials said they have allowed the pilot project from just two stations. “To start this project at more metro stations, we will later go for open tendering,” DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said.


Btw, the 2009 nobel prize winner too is a regular cyclists - here's an article featuring him


Wish you all had a great time welcoming the new year- 2010  !


I pray this new year bring lots of health and Happiness in your lives and keep on inspiring us to contribute to society in our own humble ways.


As posted earlier, regarding the Green Gurgaon Campaign (G Square),where we have an aim to plant some 6000 trees on a land allocated by district forest authorities, we are currently facing a problem.


All was well and went as per plan till we were faced with the  "Bluebull menance" in Hindi its 'Neel guy' which affected out plantations severely.On a pilot basis we planted nearly 250 tree's in OCT 2009  with almost 100% survival rate. 


So, in order to plant more trees and protect them we need tree gaurds to ensure their viabilty.Please note we would not be able to fence the land as the Authorities there are having reservation on it (though fencing of such a big land itself is costly affair ) however they are fine if we go ahead with individual tree gaurds .


So now the options available are: 


1. Either we use the Iron made tree guards - Will be cheap but will rust out in few months and we would not be able to use again some where else.


2. We use the concrete made tree guards  - Durable but Fragile (for resuse) - Cosltly (Around Rs 1400/Tree) and difficult to implement on this scale .


3.Removing the BlueBulls would not be advisable as only way they can be shiped is by first tranquilising them ,but they are very week at heart and they die out of Shock.So Forest Deptt. people have ruled out this option out of their past experience.




For any detail's and queries Please reach Col.(Retd) Rajinder Singh on + 91 99588 08719     

email : , who's relentless efforts towards this project and cause is an inspiration for all of us.


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