For smokers and non-smokers

Posted In: , , . By Journalism student

By Dipu Shaw, Kapou Malaker, Gaurav Kumar

“The ban on smoking is a move in the right direction” - this is one thing that smokers, non-smokers or the busybodies of the anti-smoking lobby, all agree on. However, three months after the ban came into force, there are still doubts over how much it has worked.

Smoking already accounts for 900,000 deaths a year in India, according to a study of the New England Journal of Medicine. By 2010, this toll is expected to increase to 1 million people a year, the study points out.

Government of India has notified revised rules on the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places and geared up to prohibit smoking in public zone strictly from 2nd of October, 2008.

As per the revised rules, the pubic zone has been categorized as shopping malls, cinema halls, public/private work places, hotels, banquet halls, discotheques, canteens, coffee houses, pubs, bars, airport lounges and railway stations.

But, making people aware of such no smoking zones is still a big challenge for officials.

“There are problems in executing the ban on smoking. Many people do not know how to identify these public places”, says Mohd. Iqbal, S. H. O. of Jamia Nagar police station.

However, a lot of people, mostly non-smokers believe that the ban is in the larger interest of the society. Prof. Manjula Batra of the Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia says that the objective of such an act is to promote the health of the people not only for this generation of people, but also of the future of the nation”. She suggests methods to spread awareness among the people. “We need to educate them. Media has an effective role to play. Arranging seminars, lectures etc to make people aware about the ban on the public places are available options”, she says.

Dr Sanjoy Gogia, physician, Internal Medicine in Max Hospital, New Delhi, is also one of the proponents of the ban. “This step is basically for the non-smokers. Passive smoking is equally harmful for people just like active smoking does”, says

Not everyone buys the views of the supporters of no smoking zones. “We know about the pros and cons of smoking. If we are uncomfortable with someone smoking in front of us, we can straightway go and tell that person not to smoke”, says Mukut Sharma, a student of the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

There are others in the student community who are demanding for Smoking Zones where they can go and smoke without affecting the non-smokers. Mayank Khurana, a 3rd year statistics student of Hindu College, a regular smoker, feels that making the entire University campus a No Smoking Zone is not the best idea.

The Act has provisions for creating places where smokers can light up their cigarettes and smoke freely. Dr. Batra of Max Hospital says, “This act has clearly laid down that whereas in a hotel or a restaurant has the capacity of housing 30 people or more than that, then, it can have a separate smoking zone for it so that the general public is not affected”.

Nevertheless, places like University and college campuses do not fall in that category.

As of now, shutting your eyes to the “No Smoking Zone” boards and lighting your cigarette is a one way ticket to the police station.

Do not ignore the pangs…

Posted In: , , . By Journalism student

By Aqsa Anjum and Sumiran Preet Kaur

Photo: Jaishree

“The pain is unbearable once it starts”, says Nuzhat Begum, a young teacher in Kucha Nahar Khan’s MCD school in Old Delhi who has been suffering from migraine for last ten years। “I ignored it initially but after some time it became unbearable. Soon I was under medication. Though I still get those pangs, but it is not that unbearable.”

Areeba Saeed, a student of Presentation Convent School is another victim of the pain.“During my boards exams, I suffered from anxiety. I used to remain awake at nights and this led to extreme pain in the right side of my head,” points out Areeba. Her mother Zakira Saeed ignored it thinking of it as a routine headache. But constant pain made her realize that it was not a normal headache compliant. Eventually Areeba started vomiting। Her case was severe.

“Refusing to recognize the symptoms is what leads to the problem,” points out Dr. Ajay Rohatgi , an MBBS doctor who owns a private clinic in Daryaganj. “It is a lifestyle disease that can affect anyone. Young generation of today are more prone to it due to their tedious lifestyles, stress and competition,” he adds . “Common triggers of migraine include heat, stress, and lack of sleep or food. But nowadays emotional changes in behavior can also influence the functioning of the brain stem. Migraine is also seen as a family tendency in few cases।”

Recognize the symptoms

The International Headache Society has come up with symptoms of migraine. These include headaches which usually last for between 4 and 72 hours (untreated). The patients will also have at least two of these symptoms:
one-sided pain
-severe pain
-moderate to severe pain that interrupts your normal life
made worse by physical activity

DR. Parvez Akhtar, a physician who owns a private clinic in Yamuna Vihar says , “

A migraine attack is a chain reaction between nerves due to inflammation of certain nerves that can trouble a person to great extent। The cause of migraine has to do with a breakdown of communication in body with breakdown in communication between nerves.”

Look for Cure

One should not avoid migraine as a mere headache .It should be prevented before it worsens. According to Dr Rohatgi, “It can be cured by avoiding certain food and drinks which have the ability to trigger migraine in a person. Take light food especially bland food . Take lots of water. Avoid hard drinks and soft drinks. Meditation and exercise are good as they calm down the nerves. It is also advisable to sleep in dark room and take adequate rest. No worry is worth your peace of mind.”

By Neha Sethi, Nazia Jafri and Kinley Tshering

India is caught in a paradoxical situation of some sort, at least in this case. While the long running problem of malnutrition is still not solved, India is waking up to yet another rude fact- increasing urban, middle-class obesity.

According to the National Family Health Survey conducted in 2005-06, about 33.1 percent of India’s children below three years are undernourished. Health experts say that at the same time obesity is an emerging public health concern that is increasing especially among India’s affluent strata.

Doctor Atul Shardhana, a consultant pediatric surgeon at Kolmet hospital in New Delhi, says the extent of obesity among Indians living in urban areas has been calculated to be more than 30-33 percent. “What is alarming is the fact that there is an increase in obesity in children and adolescents,” he warns.

While obesity is caused due to improper diet, malnutrition is mainly caused due to insufficient food consumption. But both these diseases are ironically clubbed under the same group-malnourishment. Doctor Gitu, a Delhi based nutritionist, explains both malnutrition and obesity are cases of dietary deficiency. “What we mean by good food is the right kind of food in right quality and quantity.Taking a balanced diet is therefore very important either for an undernourished or an over nourished person,” says Dr Gitu Amarnani.

What many ignore is the eating habits. While the poor section do not have enough to eat, it seems the wealthier have not been eating well either. India has been traditionally a country of farmers where the problem of availability of food has existed for a long time.Now with the abundance of food available and influence of western culture on the food pattern, obesity among the people is on the rise,” says Dr Shardhana.

The repercussions of obesity and malnutrition are grave on the public health as both the diseases are known to be life threatening. Obesity leads to secondary problems which are now called metabolic syndrome that includes type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular risks and cerebral risks to name a few.

While many attribute this parallel of under nutrition and obesity to India’s status as a ‘developing country’, there are economists who pin point the close relation of this parallel to the economy.

“One of the most important reasons for this is the inequality of income which exists in India। 70 percent of the Indian population is living under Rs 100 a day. Obviously people who cannot afford a proper meal will be malnourished,” says Professor Shahid Ashraf of the economics department in Jamia Millia Islamia.

Struck in this ironical situation, which disease should be given more priority as it concerns the health of two different section of the Indian population?“Malnutrition is the graver of the two। Obesity is a problem but it comes from a society who can contain the disease on their own. But malnutrition affects a huge number of people who has no access to improving their malnourishment,” adds Professor Ashraf.

In fact, India isn’t sure whether it will meet the Millennium Development Goal of reducing under nutrition by 2015. However, it will certainly have to face the growing problem of obesity.


Posted In: . By Journalism student

नेत्रहीनों का नाम आते ही लोगों के दिमाग़ में जो चित्र अंकित होता है, वह है "सहानुभूति और दया "। आमतौर पर लोग इनकी इसी सहानुभूति की ज़िन्दगी से परिचित हैं । नेत्रहीनों के बारे में अक्सर लोग यही सोचते है की इनकी ज़िन्दगी बड़ी कठिन है , नेत्र ना होने के कारण यह कैसे अपना काम करते होंगे। छोटी-से छोटी चीज़ के लिए हर पल ज़िन्दगी से और अपने आप से ज़ंग करते होंगे।यह इनकी ज़िन्दगी का एक पहलु है , दुसरे पहलु का सच कुछ और है।
मैं आपको जिस लड़की से परिचित करा रही हूँ , यह उत्तर-प्रदेश के बलिया जिले से हैं। इनका नाम चंदा सागर है। साढ़े तीन साल की उम्र में इन्होंने बीमारी में अपनी आखें खो दी। ज़िन्दगी में अनेक कठिनाईयों का सामना करते हुए , आज ये दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय के प्रतिष्ठित कॉलेज मिरांडा हाउस में प्राध्यापिका पद पर हैं। इनके शौक फ़िल्म देखना , घूमना , नए-नए पकवान बनाना और सुडोको खेलना एक आम व्यक्ति की तरह ही हैं।
यह समाज से सहानुभूति की नहीं , सहारे की उम्मीद करती हैं। यह महिलाओं की जागरूकता के प्रति विशेष रुख रखती हैं , जिसका उदाहरण है इनकी एक कविता 'परिंदे उड़ना चाहते हैं । जिसकी कुछ पक्तियां इस प्रकार हैं .....
छोड़ दो आजाद हम परिंदों को ,
हम जी खोलकर आकाश में उड़ना चाहते हैं।
हम नहीं ओढेंगे इस समाज की ,
सडी-गली हुई मान्यताओं को।
इन अर्थहीन परम्पराओं को ,
मत लादो हम पर व्यर्थ में।
अब बहुत देर हो चुकी है ,
हम समय के संग पंख लगाकर उड़ना चाहते हैं ।

पढाना मेरा काम और शौक दोनों है

फ़िल्म मुझे थियेटर में ही देखना पसंद है

काम करने का आसान तरीका कंप्यूटर

आज की ज़रूरत मोबाइल फोन

घूमना मेरा शौक
फोटो फीचर : गार्गी निम

'Hardware makes our lives functional'

Posted In: . By Journalism student

A critic once described designer Mukul Goyal's work as "a purist's expression of design with a little bit of fun added along the way". As a home accessory designer, he has been known for blending traditional materials like dokra with contemporary expression. His signature brand 'Mukul Goyal' consists of gift items like photo frames, mirrors, lamps and small furniture.

In 1998, he launched his curtain hardware line 'Tattva'. Now he is set to launch three new lines under the 'Tattva' brand. Goyal speaks to Kunal Majumder about the important of hardware designing and his plans for his collections.

How difficult is it to design hardware?
Designing hardware is as difficult as any other design form and sometimes more challenging. Hardware is important to our lives. It makes things around us functional. As a designer, I aim to create characters through design – be it towel rings or hangers. And we cannot forget that designs have to relate. A user has to connect with the product. At the end of the day, it reflects the different aspects of people's lives.

What are the new ranges of hardware that you are planning?
We are launching three new curtain hardware ranges. The decorative classical collection is called Tattva Classic. It offers a selection of finials, tiebacks, rings and decorative brackets in brass and copper. The accessories will be in hues of matt gold, matt nickel, antique brass, antique copper and antique nickel.

Tattva Utsav is about grandeur with bold yet clean looks. Even this collection offers a selection of finials, tiebacks, rings and decorative. Brass is used as the raw material while the finishes are in matt gold, matt nickel and antique brass.

Tattva Chrome is the third range at offer. This collection has a sleek and contemporary form. I have used stainless steel and chrome to create finials, tiebacks and rings.

There are plans for a fourth range. We plan to call it Tattva Prêt. This range would target the value segment. We hope to offer the same quality at a more affordable price.

Do you have any plans to expand your hardware range?

All our designs are custom made. I'm not sure about selling merchandise for the sake of expansion. We are a small company and wish to take small steps forward. We plan to make our mark in the bathroom hardware and handles segment.

Has the present economic crisis hit your business?
Our hardware business is not export oriented so there has been no major effect. About 95 per cent of the business is domestics while rest is exported. Yes, prices have gone up. As a brand we have not been able to tap the super premium segment. We are working towards it.

Why do you export so less?
Around 7-8 years back, we used to export a lot. However with the changing economic scenario in the country, the demand has increased here. Plus there is a cost factor involved. Many exporters at times are not willing to give the due credit to the designers. All they want is products in lots at a cheap rate.

What are the raw materials used in your hardware collections?
We mainly use brass, copper and stainless steel but never aluminum.

As someone who has been there in the industry for some years now, what are the trends you have noticed or followed?
I do not believe in trends. I'm against the culture of use and throw. When you buy a product, you build a personal association. You simply cannot throw out something because a third person says that it is out of trend. I think that trends are marketing strategies to create more demand. My designs are like a pair of blue jeans. You don't throw away your jeans after a few uses. It grows on you with time.

Tell us something about your retail strategy. Are you planning to launch a store of your own?
We have been thinking about this for sometime now. However nothing has been worked out till date. Entering into the retail space is an expensive affair and we are not ready as of now. We are present in 50-60 furnishings stores across 22-25 cities around the country.

Our business has evolved completely on 'word-of-mouth'. We have never spent a single rupee on marketing and publicity. Though we have a limited presence, we have never approached any store with our products. Apart from the initial 2-3 stores, rests of the retailers have come to us asking for our products. We let our design speak.

What about your international presence?
As per hardware is concerned, we have recently launched a line of curtain rods called 'Mukul' in Germany. We are eagerly waiting to know the response.

Tell us something about the pricing of your products and target customers.
The price starts at Rs 500 and there is no limit on the other side. As far as customers are concerned, we target the upper middle class and above. Our clients are interested in good products and appreciate interesting designs.

Are you a designer or a businessperson?
(Smiles) We produce art to be used by other people. A designer cannot create something that people may not accept or use. The challenge is to create the perceived value for our products. The price tag has to be lower than the perceived value. We have to ensure that customer thinks he is getting the value for his money.

How receptive is the Indian market to hardware?
In the last few years, the market has become more receptive. Hardware is after all essential element of any home decor. The question is whether one is willing to go for art hardware or simple hardware. I would say hardware has certainly been upgraded and has become a part of the decor. We have just entered the bath hardware section and will have to wait for the response from the market.

How does your range of hardware contribute to the interiors of a space?
When one designs a space, he or she has to keep in mind elements like natural light, curtains, colours etc. Each element contributes to the decor. The main idea is how you do it. A designer needs to select a central point, based on which the interiors are planned. If there are too many elements involved, the space would turn too loud. So hardware would become a part of the space based on the importance given to it.

सुल्तानपुर पक्षी अभयारण्य दिल्ली से 46 किमी की दूरी पर स्थित घरेलू और प्रवासी पक्षीयों के लिए एक किस्म का स्वर्ग है। हर साल सर्दियों के मौसम में प्रवासी पक्षी यहाँ आते है। यहाँ पर नील गाय, हिरन भी मौजूद है। यह बहुत ही सुंदर जगह है पिकनिक के लिए भी। यहाँ पर झील भी है। इस उद्यानं के पास ही लोगों के रहने एवं खान-पान के लिए होटल की भी व्यवस्था है।

झाडियों के पीछे से देखता :- संभार

भोजन की तलाश

गगन की ओर

समूह में धुप का आनंद लेते हुए

फोटो फीचर : जयश्री

Bong philosophy on Bangla elections

Posted In: . By Journalism student

Commentary By:Kunal Majumder
The defeat of Khalida Zia and her allies in the recently concluded Bangladesh elections once again proved that majority of Bengalis – either in the Indian state of West Bengal or the independent Bangladesh – don't believe in mixing religion with politics.
There were two key issues in the Bangladesh election this time. One was religion or as Zia and her Islamist friends called 'the protection of Islam'. The second issue, as promoted by Sheikh Hasina and her allies, was development and poverty eradication. Victory of Hasina and allies with a two third majority gives a clear indication about the preference of the Bangladeshi people.

The main right wing party in India – BJP has repeatedly failed to do well in West Bengal even though it was formed by a Bengali – Syma Prasad Mookerjee. In Bangladesh, Islam was adopted as the state religion only in 1988 under a military ruler. The Telegraph, based in Kolkata (the capital of Indian state of Bengal) called the election results 'the stunning Hasina cyclone'. It added that the win '"gives her the power to craft a new history for one of the poorest countries on the face of the earth, and prove that its culture overcomes religious fundamentalism."

The radical Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami has been a major loser in this election. Jamaat's numbers has gone down to 2 from 18 in last parliament. The party, which was a part of Zia's alliance, has historically been pro-Pakistan. During 1971 struggle of independence, it had supported the anti-liberation forces. There have been demands to prosecute them as war criminals. Bangladesh's leading newspaper The Daily Stars calls Jamaat's defeat as "sweet revenge for Bangladeshis against the war criminals".
Jamaat along with other religious fanatics in Bangladesh have been vocal about their anti-India feeling. Indian intelligence has claimed Bangladeshi terrorist groups like Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) responsible for attacks on its cities. With Hasina at the realm, India expects such forces to be controlled. It has often been feared that Pakistan has been increasing its influence on the country. Pakistani intelligence organ – ISI is said to have been recruiting from the poverty-stricken villages of Bangladesh. However the uprooting of Jamaat and the win of Hasina clearly indicates that Bangladeshis are in no mood to allow their country to become another of ISI laboratories.

Indian Bengal overjoyed

The Indian state of West Bengal is overjoyed with the return of Hasina and her secular and liberal policies. Indian External Affairs Minister and a major leader from the state – Pranab Mukherjee would soon visit Bangladesh to personally convey India's good wishes.

Mukherjee hailed the return of democracy in Bangladesh and observed that "the massive participation of a large number of voters and the outcome is a clear demonstration and manifestation of people's confidence in multi-party democracy". Referring to the issue of terrorism, he said that India had raised the issue of terrorism emanating from the Bangladesh territory with the earlier Government, "…but unfortunately we have met with some denial. So at that point of time, we had most respectfully reminded them that if you simply deny the existence of a problem you will never solve the problem".
Veteran communist leader and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu recalled that during Hasina's earlier tenure as prime minister friendly ties between India and Bangladesh had improved. "I hope friendly relations between the two countries would be further strengthened following the victory of the Awami League-led alliance," Basu said in a statement.

Hasina shares a personal relationship with India. After the murder of her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was the founder and the first Prime Minster of Bangladesh, Hasina and her sister took asylum in India. She returned to her country on 1981 to take charge of her father's party Awami League. During her first term in office (1996-2001), India and Bangladesh enjoyed an excellent relationship. One of the major highlights has been the 30 year-agreement of sharing of Ganges river water.

This election is not just about the return of democracy in this poverty-stricken-country after two years of military backed emergency rule. The result reflects a shift in the larger national mood in Bangladesh. As one of the poorest nations in the world, the key focus for the country is poverty. Hasina has already declared that one of her first steps would be to reduce essential goods' price. "Our lone enemy is poverty and we will work hard to eradicate poverty from the country."

A Bengali's footnote

"My Bengal of gold, I love you
Forever your skies, your air set my
heart in tune as if it were a flute…"
In 1971, Amar Shonar Bangla (My Golden Bengal) by Indian national poet Rabindranath Tagore was adopted as the national anthem of Bangladesh. Even as it struggles with poverty and religious fanaticism, Bengali philosophy of cultural oneness still prevails.