By: Sheeba Naaz and Kinley Tshering
Photos: Babu and Rozy Ibrahim

"Rain, rain go away. Come again another day." Delhiites must be chanting this, but with a pinch of salt.

In the wake of continuous rainfall over the last few days, pockets of the Capital are water clogged. According to World Weather Information Services, Delhi’s mean total rainfall for August is 258.7 mm.

Delhi’s poor drainage system gets clogged every time it rains. The water spills over on the road along with the sewage. And this has been a problem for motorists and commuters alike as they had to wade through the ankle-deep water.

Leave apart the roads in the colonies, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is not even bothered about the drainage system near its own office. After the heavy rainfall on Friday the road nearby the MCD office at Sarai Jullena was flooded. “The irony is that the water is getting clogged just near an MCD office and they aren’t doing anything,” says Yangchen Lhamo, a student at the National Institute of Mass Communication.

MCD’s inefficiency to respond to the drainage problems has infuriated many.
“The Uttam Nagar main road is flooded with water these days but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has not taken any action so far. Our complaints have fallen on deaf ears,” says Onkar Singh, a resident of Om Vihar at Uttam Nagar.

He further adds, the MCD officials to whom he complained asked for money to take up the task. “They said it is a government office and without money they won’t be working.”

However, the officials and people’s representatives to the MCD have their own reasons.
Jamaluddin, an MCD councillor of ward number 206, Jamia Nagar, says the problem of water clogging in Batla House main road is not new. In fact it has persisted for the last 15 years. The main problem is that there is no outfall for the sewage water and the water needs to be pumped out.

When asked why precautionary actions were not taken before the monsoon, Jamaluddin says it could not happen in a day either. “To come up with a permamanent solution for the problem it will take six months to a year’s time. Temporary arrangements could have been made within a month but temporary solutions are not the answers,” says Jamaluddin, who is also a civil engineer.

The increasing load on the drainage system also seems to be taking its toll. The number of people using the drainage system in the area has increased from 400-4000 in the recent years, according to the Congress candidate.

Meanwhile, the likes of Syeda Rizvi, a resident of Okhla Vihar, feels that since there are no proper drains for the clogged water to flow, they will have to depend on the mercy of the sun to dry up the water.

Fresh beginning

Posted In: , . By Journalism student

By: Kinga Dema and Saurabh Sharma
Fresh beginning
On Aug 8, the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (AJKMCRC) of Jamia Millia Islamia bore a festive look as its gates were thrown open for freshers. The Ansari auditorium was full of excited students, curious to know more about the institute and each other. These students who had just passed out from their easygoing college days of graduation were full of high spirits. Their energy invigorated the atmosphere of the campus.

The new session started with a lecture on “Media in the 21st century – Roles and Responsibilities”. The key speaker was A.G. Noorani, the well-known lawyer, historian and political commentator. Even the rain couldn’t stop the staff members and the present students of the Centre from turning up. The session was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of the university Prof Mushirul Hasan. The director of the Centre Dr. Iftekar Ahmed welcomed the distinguished guests.

The session began on a serious note. AG Noorani threw light on how the contemporary media is in a bad state. “Corporatisation has peeped into the present media practices. Our news is slanted towards a western opinion. Press council has become ramshackle, whereas electronic media acts like an unbridled horse” said Noorani. The lecture was followed by interjection and a tea session.

But on the other side of the dais expressions of excitement and apprehension were evident on the faces of ‘fucchas’. “My expectation from this course is very high. I hope the next two years would be of learning and fun,” says Shariq Naqvi, who got admission in MA Convergent Journalism. His views were echoed by Ankita Khare, a student from the same course. (add hyperlink)

Many foreign faces also became a part of the institute this year. Students from France, Nepal and Tanzania will rub their shoulders with their Indian counterparts. Windsor, a student from France shares views “India is getting recognized across the globe. The reporting on India has grown exponentially in the western media. So, it’s a golden opportunity to know about this country from length and breadth.”

In the end of the day, many students went to see their classrooms and labs and had word with their seniors. With dreams in their eyes, the new students are rearing to go.

A Radio story by Saurabh Sharma and Kinga Dema


Posted In: , , . By Journalism student

By: Monis Ahmad, Jaishree and Rozy Ibrahim

Nandini, 30, is a hijra involved in prostitution. She ekes out her living by offering sexual services. Her clients range from students to highly paid professionals. But Nandini has HIV/AIDS.

And she is not alone.

Of the total population of 40,000 hijras in Delhi around 80 percent are HIV infected, according to figures maintained by the World Bank Group Chronicle. In contrast, the statistics at the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) suggest that only about 50 percent of the hirjas are HIV infected.

The plight of virus infected hijras demands societal acceptance but categorized as the third gender, they face social alienation and discrimination.
In the Seelampur area of Delhi, Saira, a 25-year-old hijra complains that the government is not doing anything. “If we are HIV infected we can’t go to hospitals. It comes along as a taboo burden as doctors refuse to treat us.”

Yousef, a hijra now on her deathbed, complains of having faced discrimination in the Guru Tegh Bahadur hospital in East Delhi. The hospital authorities however deny the accusation.

The police through frequent arrests of hijras make them more vulnerable. The Indian Penal Code 377 makes life difficult for the hijras. Commonly known as the ‘Anti sodomy law’, the law criminalizes same sex sexual behaviour irrespective of the consent of the people involved.

While organizations like Naz foundation and Hum Safar Trust are working to revoke the law, Development Advocacy and Research Trust (DART) is an organization working for the betterment of HIV infected hijras in Seelampur. Headed and run by Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a hijra and a celebrated transgender activist, DART is working in bringing out hijras as equal stakeholders, making them aware of their rights and spreading awareness about condom use.

Anjali Gopalan, Executive Director of Naz foundation on their website asserts that “the state is not doing enough” for the sexual minority.
However, the government in March this year tried to bring in hijras into the government policy for the first time in a breakthrough drug de-addiction programme. NACO has also opened a special cell for sexual minorities.

Mandikini, a hijra, is meanwhile waiting to see if the appalling conditions of HIV infected from her community will be better dealt with.She expects government to work for their svasthya adhikar(health rights) and her community’s integration into the society.

Liquefied Petroleum Water

Posted In: , . By Journalism student

What if you find that your gas cylinder has water filled in it? As if the delay in delivery of cylinders was not enough, consumers now have to cope up with LPG cylinders containing water.

Ms.Prakashwati , a housewife in Shahdara was surprised when her cylinder got over in less than 20 days when usually it lasts for a month. She later found out that her gas cylinder contained water. When Demo Gas Agency at Jhilmil, the Bharat Gas supplier, was called to complain about the problem, the attendant was even reluctant to give his name.

Pushpa Gupta, another housewife in Shahdara, who has a connection with Sahani Gas Agency in Karkarimore was faced with a similar problem. “I went and had an argument with the dealer but he did not replace the cylinder though it had water in it”, she exclaims. “Instead he started giving me a number of instructions to keep in mind while accepting cylinders”, she adds. She feels helpless now.

The situation is not new. The complaints board website, http://www.complaintsboard.com/ that lists complaints from consumers is replete with people facing such problems.

The Gas agencies however are reluctant to accept any such accusations. Harikrishan Gupta, owner of Hitesh Gas Agency who distributes Bharat Petroleum Gas in Karol Bagh area says “there cannot be water in gas cylinders. There are no such complains at least from the areas that we supply gas to”, he retorts.

Shyam Singh of Bharat Gas Service in Vasant Kunj on the other hand, agrees that such problems exist. “Often the delivery person indulges in such mischief, so that the gas supplied to consumers is less in quantity”.

Dr. K. Nayar of The Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health informs that there is no significant health hazard involved if LPG cylinders contain water. “If they are doing it, then it may be to earn some extra money”, he states.

Stung by skyrocketing global crude oil prices, the central government was forced to raise the price of LPG cylinders recently. People now have to shed extra bits from their pockets to meet the higher costs. Water in the LPG cylinders is adding extra burden on them.

Kapil Kumar, a lawyer registered at Tis Hazari Court says that legal action can be taken against the suppliers if their cylinders are found containing water. “They can be sent legal notice under the Consumer Protection Act for Deficiency of Service and Defective Goods”, states the legal practitioner.

But, consumers like Pushpa prefer not to go to the court for such petty matters. She would rather quarrel with the supplier who rarely listens.
Report:Dipu Shaw & Gargi
Photos: Babu& Rozy Ibrahim

Inqilab back in the air

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A Radio story by Akanksha Kukreti and Aqsa Anjum

Inqilab back in the air

The breeze of Inqilab seems to be blowing again., As we are moving ahead in time it seems we are forgetting about our real heroes .To remind us of the real legend, the well-known documentary filmmaker Gauhar Raza decided to paint Bhagat Singh on a filmy canvas.

On 13 July, the film Inqilab was released at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML). The famous actor and social activist Rahul Bose released the DVD of the documentary. The film is produced by Raza in collaboration with Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), a non profit organization.

A special screening of the film Inqilab was done in the Ansari Auditorium of Jamia Millia Islamia on August 5. It introduced the students to the life of the martyr Bhagat Singh. Raza portrays the life of the legend in a different manner in the film. No dramatisation of Bhagat Singh’s character is used. The 40-min film gives information about Bhagat Singh’s life like his interest in reading books which started at a tender age of ten, and his dream of a free and socialist India.

Raza said that his intention behind making this film was not to show Bhagat Singh as the national hero because Bollywood has already done that. Instead, he wanted to explore why Bhagat Singh is considered a hero till date.

This documentary is based on huge research with rare documents and archives used. The visuals are shot in the places like Lahore and Delhi.

To narrate the story, the director has used various prominent personalities like Zohra Sehgal, Dr Irfan Habib, Kuldeep Nayyar, Swami Agnivesh, and Suchitra Sinha. Explaining his position, Raza said, “I used this treatment because visuals were not sufficient and it was the best that I could do. Instead of enacting the story, I wanted the personalities to narrate the story.”

The impact of the film was visible as the auditorium echoed with chants of the slogan ‘Inqilab zindabad’ and applauses that filled the air. During the interactive session, Gauhar Raza summed up the screening by saying, “It is up to the youth of the country, that is, you people, to bring a revolution for the benefit of all.”

Youth Baton Relay

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A Radio story by Aqsa Anjum and Saurabh Sharma

Indo-US Nuke Deal

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A Radio story by Akanksha Kukreti and Kumar Anand
Photo By : Gargi Nim