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What’s fishy, behind the interest of UK govt to push sale of liquor in the land of abode of Gods? Question people

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Uttarakhand is called the state of abode of Gods with all the ancient historical relidgious places magnifying its prestige and strengthening the states’ economy being the main contributing factor despite all odds as billions of people visit here as eco religious tourists annually from the various parts of the country as well as abroad and contribute immensely to the states economy.

But despite being a state with internationally known religious sanctuaries and temples illicit and Indian made Foreign Liquor trade is considered to be the backbone of the state’s economy running into the staggering fiscal deficit of more than 44000 crores.

The Uttarakhand liquor, whether its local or of IMFL quality, is not only highly expensive but allegedly spurious as well say sources and is spoiling the health of hundreds of thousands of consumers since long. The dealers of liquor charge extre rate in every bottle purchased than the prescribed price on their labels and not only this but if anybody objects to this arbitrary sale is dealt with severely with blows, by the liquor mafias and their gangs.

There have been historical movements in the Uttarakhand hills demanding ban on sale of illicit, spurious and other kinds of quality liquors since long as the household women are its direct victims. The excessive liquor consumption in Uttarakhand Hills have not only spoiled the socio economic fabric of thousands of families but has also resulted in umpteen deaths through the substandard liquor sales n subsequent consumptions.

The liquor mafia in Uttarakhand had minted crores in the past when the liquor sale was in private hands which also led to enhanced criminalism in the peaceful valleys of this Himalayan state.

During the eighties one of the leading journalists’ of daily Amar Ujala who opposed the illegal sale and smuggling of liquor in Garhwal was brutally killed leading to a widespread journalistic movement finally bringing the murderors to justice.

After the achievement of separate statehood in 2000 several movements erupted against the privatisation of liquor sales and the government was constrained to take over this shoddy business in its own hands.

But even after that the role of the liquor mafia has not ended and those at the helm in the government allegedly help them clandestinely. During the last two years or even more after the current government came into power there had been umpteen movements in various parts of the state by the women and youths in the interior villages and local towns dissuading the excise department to restrict them opening the liquor shops, as excessive sale of highly expensive low quality liquor in the name of IMFL brands, has not only spoiled families but has also resulted in several deaths due to liver related deseases.

But despite so much of resistence and eruption of social movements the government is least concerned or deterred to pay heed to the demands of the affected women and youths of the state and has devised other alternative means to ensure seamless and uninterrupted liquor supplies in entire Uttarakhand.

The government considers the liquor sale as the major source of income generation to run the state’s economy and also to cover the enhanced fiscal deficit. Today liquor is being sold at the decentralised level in various districts n blocks through mobile vans where the peoples’ protests led to closure of liquor shops.

The government has also opened liquor sales in grocery shops who posess the annual sales turnover of fifty lacs. Now, the situation has come to such a pass that even police officers and Sub Divisional Magistrates are coming to the rescue of the excise department to forcibly repress and beat the anti liquor movement activists in order to ensure forcible opening of the liquor shops using abusive and filthy languages against women and putting protestors behind bars.

The point is, after all what’s the reason that despite so much of opposition from the local populace the minister concerned is so much interested in the arbitrary sale of liquor in the valleys of Uttarakhand.

Is there something terribly fishy behind this move or the income from liquor sale is really helping to bridge the state’s staggering fiscal deficit which has crossed the 44000 crores limit.

A vedio of a SDM of YAMKESHWAR AND LANSEDOWNE is becoming highly viral in facebook these days showing the SDM Kamlesh Mehta allegedly abusing people and threatening them with dire consequences in order to pressurise them to allow opening of a liquor shop in YAMKESHWAR, GARHWAL the constituency represented by Ritika Khanduri, daughter of the former Uttarakhand chief minister and current MP from Pauri Garhwal.

One can conveniently hear the PCS, SDM gruelling and threatening protestors by challending them with bringing excessive police force to teach them a befitting lesson.

The people of the hill say it’s really disheartening to note that instead of sending mobile dispensaries, food stuffs for the poor or ambulances for the ill patients the government is busy opening liquor shops and sending mobile liquor vends in the interiors of Uttarakhand. Now people have started questioning as to WHAT’S FISHY BEHIND SO MUCH OF INTEREST OF THE UTTARAKHAND GOVERNMENT TO FORCIBLY PUSH LIQUOR SALES IN THE STATE DESPITE PEOPLES’ PROTESTS. What’s your take friends?

pic Tehelka, Dehradun

Bollywood

ALVIDA NEERAJ JI. A HUGE VACCUM IN THE LITERARY AND POETIC WORLD!

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The nation has today lost a renowned literateur, eminent and towering poet Gopal Das Neeraj who was honoured with coveted and most prestigious awards of the country viz. Padmabhushan and Padmashree and who carried behind him a vast fan following amongst the educated and the intellectual classes of the nation.

Neeraj breathed his last today at the AIIMS, New Delhi at 7.30 PM. He was addmitted to AIIMS on Wednesday evening after his condition deteriorated in a private hospital in Agra called Lotus Hospital.

He was suffering from the bacterial and fungal infection revealed his medical reports.

A highly reverred and extremely popular poet of the country who’d also scripted songs for several Bollywood movies Gopal Das Neeraj was born on 4th January 1925 in Agra, Uttar Pradesh during the British rule.

Hailing primarily from village Purawali in Ettawa his surname was Saxena. His father Brij Kishore Saxena passed away when Neeraj was just 6 years old.

Having been brought up in extreme poverty Gopal Das Neeraj passed his high school securing a good first division and later on served as a typist in a local court followed by another job in a shop at a picture hall and finally arrived at Delhi to serve in a municipal office as a typist.

After leaving the job here, he again served as a clerk in Kanpur and thereafter as typist at the office of Balkatt brothers.

In 1953 he completed his post graduation in Hindi securing a good first division. He thereafter served as a Hindi lecturer in Meerut college from where he was reprimanded and shunted out for regularly missing classes and having been involved in a romance with a girl.

Thereafter Neeraj shifted to Aligarh on permanent basis and got a job of a Hindi lecturer in Dharm Samaj college. He started his career as a poet from Aligarh where he used to participate in various Kavi Sammelans and Mushaaiyraas.

Neeraj thereafter became quite famous and was being continuously invited in prestigious poet conferences at an all India level inaugurated by distinguished political personalities and renowned dignitories.

His name and fame as a renowned poet spread nationally. He was invited by film producers and directors from Mumbai to write lyrics for various new films.

Neeraj could’nt afford to miss this golden opportunity and he shifted to Mumbai. He scripted songs for several popular films like Mera Naam Joker, Prem Pujari, Sharmeeli etc which were super duper hits.

As a result in 2017 he was felicitated with prestigious Padma Bhushan and many other coveted awards. However, Neeraj could’nt confine himself more in the Bollywood industry and came back to Aligarh participating thereafter in various national and international poetry conferences very often.

He was addicted to whisky and smoking. At the age of 88 Gopal Das Neeraj finally baded Good Bye to this world on 19th July 2018 creating a massive and huge vaccum in the literary and poetic world. ALVIDA NIRAJJI.

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Education

UTTARAKHAND’S INTERIOR HOSPITALS NEED ICUs AS WELL AS GOOD NUMBER OF DOCTORS TOO ! INITIATIVE OF BALUNI LAUDABLE

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After the hue and cry on account of the most tragic and dreaded accident in the Naini Danda block of districtPauri Garhwal on 1st of July that claimed 48 precious lives of passengers travelling in an overloaded bus carrying more than double the capacity, the newly elected youthful journalist turned MP from Garhwal in the upper house Anil Baluni has come forward with a constructive proposal to establish intensive care units (ICUs’) in various interior hospitals of Pauri Garhwal district to start with, in order to provide timely, adequate and emergency medical treatment / resustication to the patients suffering from various critical illness like cardio vascular deseases as well as the accidental victims before shifting them to fully equipped bigger government hospitals at Dehradun or Delhi for further medical care leading to their survival.

The Rajya Sabha MP from Garhwal and the BJP’s national media incharge stationed at New Delgi Anil Baluni has offered adequate funds from his annual member of parliament’s lad fund allocated to every law maker from the union government’s financial coffers.

Baluni said : whether the fellow party MPs’ from Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha contribute in this regard or not but he will allocate his maximum MP lad fund from the present year’s financial quota to the quota of coming years to ensure that majority of the interior hospitals of Pauri Garhwal district are adequately equipped with the ICUs and ventilators to enable timely resustication to the critically ill patients who require immediate oxygen and functioning of lungs to survive at the time of critical situations when their heart goes sinking due to various cardilogical complications.

There had been hundreds of cases in the past that patients suffering from critical illnesses give up on the way while being carried to good hospitals in Dehradun or other cities of Uttarakhand including Delhi for want of critical respiratory care in the absense of not a single ICU in any of the district hospitals.

While the initiative of RS MP Anil Baluni and his intent to help the needy patients living in the interior villages is definitely highly appreciating and a welcome initiative but sounds bit impractical as the BJP currently has governments in both the Uttarakhand state as well as the centre.

There is, as such, no dearth of central financial assistence to the health sector of the himalayan state if the government led by prime minister Narendra Modi is really serious for the welfare and well being of the people of Uttarakhand. It can allocate a substantial fund from the centre of few crores to set up these ICUs’ and ventilators in majority of the Uttarakhand hospitals bereft of these facilities for the last 18 years.

Why is it that an MP of Rajya Sabha having a meagre budget has to singularly come forward with this healthy proposal and why not the state government, the union government and other 6 MPs’ not coming forward to do the needful in their respective parliamentary constituencies.

The majority of government hospitals in Uttarakhand, whether in the interiors of various district headquarters, are lacking high number of doctors as well as various medical aids and equipments like beds, ultrasound machines, X Ray equipments, medicines and doctors.

Several hospitals are running under the guidance of pharmacists in the interior villages which unambiguously speaks of the sorry state of affairs in the health sector of Uttarakhand. To prove home the point even the 250 bedded newly constructed private charitable hospital constructed by Hans Foundation at Satpuli with several hundred crores has merely three doctors despite its being the hi tec state of the art hospital.

It’s not that the successive governments have not been trying hard to ensure that doctors are stationed in the interior villages in good numbers but despite getting heavy perks our medical practitioners prefer to start their own private clinics or nursing homes to mint excessive money than to serve the poor masses in the interior or district hospitals of Uttarakhand.

Just take the case of Pauri district government hospital where during the undivided Uttar Pradesh there were 22 doctors of repute but today after the formation of separate Uttarakhand state there are hardly three doctors most of whom are on leave or absense.

The crux of the story is : the people of Uttarakhand do need ICUs and ventilators like life saving machines but the presence of adequate number of doctors is the first and foremost priority. In Uttarakhand one can find good number of private hospitals minting heavy profits, the reason being our government hospitals are badly and ill equipped having dearth of life saving equipments and doctors. However, despite all this, the initiative of Anil Baluni is highly appreciative and needs a standing ovation.

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Education

EIGHTH DAY FAST UNTO DEATH to demand end to illegal mining in Ganges. Govt least concerned.

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In order to save the pious Ganges from the incessant pollution and increasing illegal and arbitrary massive scale mining on the banks of the Ganges falling under the jurisdiction of Uttarakhand periphery, a septuagenerian Saint of Haridwar, Uttarakhand is on an indefinite hunger strike at Maatra Sadan Ashram in Haridwar demanding immediate ban on illegal or licenced mining leading to gigantic profits to the mining mafia allegedly conducting the business unabatedly in collaboration with those at the administrative and political helm in Uttarakhand.

Today was the eighth day of the saffron clad septuagenerian saint’s fast unto death who is demanding total ban on mining in the Ganges being arbitrarily carried out since long despite infinite protests by the environmentalists, social activists and the regional political parties but of no awail.

According to the saint Gyan Swaroop, the massive and unprecedented mining in the Ganges has resulted in affecting and creating bottlenecks in the smooth and seamless flow of this pious river thus leading to environmental degradation and playing with the natural flow since ages.

It may be recalled that two years ago similarly another prominent saint of Haridwar Swami Nigmanand died after undertaking 74 days hunger strike demanding permanent ban on illegal mining.

In the meanwhile neither the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat nor any of his cabinet colleague or the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has taken note of this indefinite hunger strike of this fasting septuagenerian saint despite the fact that on 27th/ 28th June the veteran RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was in Haridwar in a meeting of all the eminent saffron clad saints convened by him to discuss issues pertaining to cleaning of pious Ganges and matters relating to spiritualism and propagation of their traditional thought process of Hinduism.

The chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat visited Haridwar today to seek the blessings of RSS chief and said on TV cameras that it was merely a courtsey call and nothing else but did’nt get the time to meet the saint on indefinite hunger strike.

While speaking to the scribes saint Gyan Swaroop said that he will not relent and rather prefer to die for the cause of clean Ganga and demanding immediate stoppage to the massive illegal mining in and on the banks of the pious river.

Sounds shocking that despite the prime minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme of cleansing the Ganges and his special impetus on completing the clean Ganga project at the earliest the political CEO of Uttarakhand or his cabinet colleagues or the RSS chief had no time to visit Matra Sadan and appeal to the fasting saint to give up the 8th day indefinite hunger strike.

It may be recalled that the prime minister Narendra Modi had always been deeply concerned about cleaning the highly polluted Ganga and has even made a separate Ganga Rejuvenation ministry with a whopping budget of about 20000 crores.

Not only this but the previous Congess government led by Harish Rawat also suffered a severe defeat (blow) on account of the government allegedly favouring the mining mafias despite a widespread opposition from the people of the state as well as the BJP which was in the opposition then.

Sources reveal that majority of the mining contracts have allegedly been offered or sanctioned to contractors close to the politicians at the helm or to their near and dear ones’. The mining is so rampant that the natural resources are being extracted at free of cost but being sold for construction activities in and outside the state earning handsome profits thus affecting badly, the seamless flow of the river serving the entire country and its populace for drinking and irrigational purposes.

The moot point is : Would the saint on infinite hunger strike at Matra Sadan, Haridwar meet the same fate as was the fate of Swamy Nigmanand two years ago? A big question mark indeed.

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Delhi

India produces a collosal 15000 tons of plastic waste, a greatest health hazard! Let’s give up plastics

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The metropolitan cities of the country are becoming excessively overcrowded and so are other towns and cities of various states of the country.

The need for survival and non availability of job avenues compell them to throng these cities, towns and metropolises in uncontrollable numbers leading to overcrowded plains and hence excessive pollution.

The fastly depleting underground water table due to excessively enhanced water consumption and irregular rains due to global warming including massive withdrawal of underground water through electronic pumps by one and all have added to the problem multiply with no or negligible efforts or initiatives for warer conservation.

But despite all this, the uninterrupted and rampant use of plastic all over the country has assumed gigantic proportions and infinitely added to the already existing pollution woes.

India today is the highest consumer of the plastics amongst the countries of the globe despite Delhi and 17 other states having already banned the use of plastics.

The massive use of plastics through pakaging of food stuff, oils, garments, eatables, water and in other forms like plastic plates, spoons, cups and even water packets n thermocol etc in marriages and other homely functions nationally have become the hugest nuisance for the society and its population.

It’s usually said that a bottle of plastic takes over three hundred protracted years to vanish or perish and its hard plastic lids about 500 years and by the time if the use of these plastics would not be strongly countered and checked by the alternative use of soluble or perishable paper bags or jute bags compounded with the use of bamboo items etc our rivers and open drains including oceans may get converted into huge mounds or mountains of plastics.

What is more disturbing about this increasing menace is the fact that plastic production is a multi billion dollar industry worldwide with multinational companies and indigenous corporates in collaboration, earning extremely handsomely at the cost of the peoples’ health.

Lot is being said and talked about the emissions of green house gases destroying the ozone layer at the international forums but literally nothing is being talked about the rampant and uncontrollable use of plastic globally and there producers are none other but all those very countries who talk so much about lessening the green house emissions including our own politicians sitting at the helm of affairs.

Just implementing laws to ban plastic would in no way resolve this vexed issue playing with the environmental health of all the developed and developing countries of the globe but what we exactly needed is a global campaign against this dreaded menace to mobilise, awaken and enthuse populations to themselves desist from using plastics in their daily life and routine thinking considering it as the worst kind of cancer that is perrcolating expeditiously into our daily lives and the system that needs to be checked and countered extremely fast and with a duty oriented perception.

Let’ s talk of Maharashtra in this context. It has banned the use of plastic just yesterday through a legislation and Delhi did more than five years ago under the leadership of the then chief minister Shiela Dikshit imposing a heavy fine of Rs. 5000 on anybody using plastic.

But shockingly there is not an inkling of the terror of law on this count and even today the capital city of India is one of the hugest consumers of plastic as is Maharashtra, its economic capital Mumbai and several other states of the country, even those states which had banned the use of plastic quite before.

According to an editorial in HT quoting the report of the Central Pollution Control Board the Maharashtra government has enough reason to ban plastic : the state generates 1, 200 tonnes of plastic waste every day and Mumbai alone generates a collosal 500 metric tonnes which accounts for merely 10% of its total waste.

In contrast the Indian cities generate 15000 tons of plastic waste everyday of which 9000 tons is collected and processed/ recycled while the remaining 6000 tons go into the drains, blocking their incessant n seamless flow thus badly polluting the rivers into which these drains finally flow their highly toxic waste including in open streets, dumps and landfills.

So finally what’s the alternative to get rid of this huge menace that’s playing with the peoples’ health and environment. The answer is: our scientists should invent and innovate the credible alternatives to the use of plastics that are cheap and perishable and educating people creating in them the credible awareness to themselves, give up plastic though phasewise are some of the best alternatives.

The government should also stop the plastic production used in consumer durables phase wise, thus simultaneously producing the alternative materials to compensate for the shortage of plastics but with eco friendly alternatives, ofcourse. What’s your take friends?

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Delhi

CHIPKO REPEATED, WOMEN, YOUTH HUGGED TREE TRUNKS, SAY AXE THEM FIRST, THEN THE TREES

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Taking the cue and inspiration from the internationally famed CHIPKO MOVEMENT of 1974 that started against the arbitrary mass felling of trees by veteran illeterate environmentalist GAURA DEVI and her several volunteers, all women, hailing from a distant RAINY village in Chamoli Garhwal in Uttarakhand Himalaya’s, hundreds of environmentally friendly volunteers in South Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar and Netaji Nagar have gathered together to hug the trees likely to be felled by the authorities concerned in order to put an end to the arbitary felling of about 16500 trees on acount of the redevelopment of the aforesaid government colonies where multi storeyed flats are coming up but at the expense of these vast number of green trees existing in these vicinities for the last several decades, some even since the British era.

There were government colonies in all these four areas viz. Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar and Nauroji Nagar having double stories with one, two, three and four type accomodations.

In view of the shortage of accomodation for the government servants having a long que for allotments, the previous UPA government under the then union Urban Development minister Jaipal Reddy and state minister Ajay Maken had mooted a plan to redevelop and modernised these old government colonies through the PPP model and construct multi storey buildings, hi tech bazaars, market complex, swimming pools and other kinds of recreational facilities including marriage halls and health centres etc.

The basic object of this infrastructural redevelopment was to accomodate more and more people of all grades in a limited area which can’t be extended any further in view of space contraints.

The colonies of Nauroji Nagar and Kidwai Nagar have already been demolished about three years ago and the multistory structures had already come up in these vicinities. However, the work of redevelopment is on full swing in Nauroji Nagar to be followed in Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Kasturba Nagar.

All these colonies fall in the NDMC area under the jurisdiction of the union government and the project is being handled by the NATIONAL BUILDING CONTRUCTION COMPANY ( NBCC) the autonomous government body.

About 16500 trees are to be cut/ felled during these contruction activities. However, lakhs of trees had already been allegedly felled with the due permission of the environment ministry during the construction of the various metro rail projects.

After news of the tree felling reached the ear and eye of the Delhi government led by AAP there had been objections against these arbitrary tree fellings and number of environmental friendly organisations thereafter came into the picture. The message spread like a wild fire.

One Mr Khanna an advocate had urgently filed a writ petition in the court of law to turn down the decision. On 24th and 25th June about fifteen hundred enlightened residents of the nearby areas collected at Sarojini Nagar and furiously objected to the illegal felling of these trees threatening the authorities to first axe them, then the trees.

It’s a repetition of late Gaura Devi’s Chipko movement of the seventies when several women volunteers of RAINY GAON in CHAMOLI GARHWAL clung to the heavy trunks of the trees likely to be cut by the then timber mafia finally compelling the then government of UTTAR PRADESH and the centre to acede to their request and officialy ban cutting of trees in UTTARAKHAND HIMALAYAS.

The protesting volunteers holding Play Cards displaying ,”trees are our lungs, don’t axe them,” and shouting slogans most annoyingly, these furious women volunteers have challenged the authorities to come forward and axe them first before citting these old green trees.

Today, about two dozen volunteers, majority of them being women are stationed in Sarojini Nagar to ensure that not a single tree is cut by the authorities concerned.

They are ready to go behind bars and sacrifice themselves but woud not allow the killings of the trees, our lungs for survival say these activists.

It may be recalled that Delhi and the NCR have become the concretes of cemented infrastructural development where trees have been cut on rampant scale.

The suspended particulate matter level has also enhanced to over 500 percent resulting in excessive pollution and green house gases emissions resulting in the badly deteriotating health condition of the DELHITES.

The power demand in the capital has increased manifold and the consumption pattern has increased to more than two hundred percent with the Delhi power demand reaching at 7000 megawats which was merely 2800 megawats in 2005.

It may be recalled that ecological imbalance and increasing pollution is no more confined to and city, town or metropolises but the rural areas and forest dominated states too are now inflicted with this menace. The problem has now assumed global significance with all the countries of the world deliberating on reducing green house emissions and making the world free of ecological catastrophes in the offing due to the increasing global warming.

The capital of India, Delhi and its surroundings are rapidly converting themselves into cities of concrete with lessening trees and increasing number of skyscrapers. Except the Delhi’s Lutyen Zone and the forests of the Aravalies’ there had been incessant felling of trees under guise of infrastructural development thus resulting in excessive pollution of dust, emission of CO2 and other form of poisionous gases emnating from millions of Air conditioners and vehicles which are around 80 lakhs in numbers.

If you happen to go in the NCR in Gurgaon or Noida or Ghaziabad extentions, you’ll find lakhs of upcoming builder flats with literally no green trees but hundred of thousands of airconditioners spreading CO2 in the atmosphere including hot emissions vitiating the entire environment.

Had there been a special impetus by the environment ministries of the centre and state to plant more and more trees and to maintain them respectively, the environment of Delhi would have been full of fresh oxygen and fresh air.

But today what we experience is 40 to 47 degree celcius temperatures and dearth of drinking water compelling Delhites to lead a hell of the life in the capital. Even the Ganga and Yamuna are badly polluted giving toxic water posing a grave challenge to peoples’ lives.

The Himalayan glaciers are expeditiously melting and the hisorical river like Ganga, Yamuna and its tributaries turning into huge drains of heavily polluted contents of factories, tanneries, plastics, rubbish and toxic chemical wastes.

In such a critical situation planting excessive trees and safeguarding the present trees including conserving rain water on massive scale is the only solution to this impending menace. What’s your take friends? Meanwhile, there is a good news that the Delhi high court has issued directives to the union government to stop the arbitrary felling of about 16500 trees in South Delhi.

In a press release issue by the Delhi Citizen lnitiative to SaveTrees the organisation welcomed the decision of Hon’ble HC to stay any further felling of trees in Central Govt’s VIP housing project at Delhi. It was a day light mass murder to fell 16500 trees.

The media cordinator Chavi Mehta thanked the citizens of Delhi for standing up along with them and turning out in large numbers to save the trees.

While welcoming the decision the organisation appealed to the government to roll back this decision to cut 16500 trees.

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Bollywood

Had Tom been alive he would have been of 68 years by now ! Heartfelt Tributes

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Tom Alter was one of the best and most celebrated actors’ of Bollywood having outstandingly acted in multifarious roles during his career spanning more than four decades in over 350 films.

A versatile actor, par excellence, born on 22nd June 1950 in Mussourie, Garhwal, Uttarakhand, today is Tom Alter’s 68th Birth Anniversary. Had Tom been Alive today he would have been 68 years old. Left for his eternal home just last year on 27th September 2017 having uncurable skin cancer in Mumbai, leaving his huge fan following in anguish, Tom was an exceptional actor having tremendous knowlege of Urdu, hindi and english apart from Garhwali.

It really sounds different and surprising that a man born to the english parents though in India, having the American past, is so extraordinarily well versed in Urdu, Hindi and even a local Garhwali dialect apart from English which was his DNA Tom considered himself to be an Indian than an individual with an English or American background.

An actor par excellence having been highly influenced and inspired by the then Super Star of the seventies after having watched his super duper hit film thrice or five times Tom Alter who usually watched English Hollywood movies, finally gave up teaching at the age of 19 and left for Pune to seek addmission in prestigious FTII where he studied acting under his teacher one Mr. Taneja alongwith Nasruddin Shah, Benjamin Gilani etc and got his first role in Bollywood silver screen in 1972 never to look back again.

A die hard fan of the legendary super star Tom Alter’s grand parents were missioneries who came to Lahore in 1920 from Ohio, US and after partition in 1947, while his grand parents stayed back in Pakistan, his parents migrated to India.

Tom’s father who was highly academic taught English and literateur at Allahabad after first settling at Saharanpur and then at Rajpur Road Dehradun.

At the age of mere 19 his father arranged a job of a teacher for Tom in Jagadhari, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana where he taught English at St Mary school.

He was born in Mussourie where he studied till higher secondary and went to one of the best American universities YALE for higher studies.

But destiny had something else stored for him in India and he came back to Mussourie just after a year to join as a teacher in Jagadhiri, Haryana which opened doors of his Bollywood entry, after he watched ARADHANA THRICE having been highly influenced by KAKA’S outstanding histrionics.

As a Kaka fan himself Tom Alter has worked with the Superstar in 3 films NAUKRI 1978; KUDRAT 1981 & JAANWAR 1983 … A die-hard Rajesh Khanna fan,Tom said in a interview-“The first morning of the shoot of Naukri, in Bangalore, I have been told to report in the lobby of the Ashoka Hotel by 9 in the morning. I was there by 8:45. I stood at the entrance, looking out on the gardens.” Rajesh Khanna descended the stairs,& walked up to me, crinkled his eyes,& said “Mujhe Rajesh Khanna kahte hain.” I went with him in the car to the park which was our location, & at lunch time I took my food into a corner under a tree,He came up to me & asked “Tum film on mein kyon aaye?”…The answer came from my heart – “Aap ki wajah se”..As simple as that, as true as that.!!!!!!!!

In the interview Tom shared how he used to come all the way from Mussoorie to catch up with first day first show of RK films at Regal Cinema in Connaught Place. “We saw Anand, Dushman and Amar Prem by buying tickets in black for the first day first show,” he laughs ..“After I had watched Aradhana several times I decided to get into films. It was the era of Rajesh Khanna. I decided that I wanted to be a part of this magical world of Hindi films and got admitted in FTII & graduated in 1974.” “I still dream of being Rajesh Khanna. For me, no film in Hindi cinema comes close to Anand. In the early 1970s, He was the only hero — romantic to the core, not larger than life, so Indian and real — He was my hero; the reason I came into films and He still is.” Tom concluded

A famous cricketeer during his school days in Mussourie, Tom never had the slightest of an idea that he would ever be an actor par excellence in the future and that too of Hindi silver screen having no interest whatsoever, to watch hindi movies, earlier. He was the first person to have interviewed cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at a mere age of 16 when he made his first debut century.

Tom’s parents were extremely God fearing who’d established an Ashram at Rajpura Road to help the poor, under privileged and the needy. His entire family including his mother, father , uncle, grandfather were missioneries and served the church but were great secularists as was Tom. Even his elder brother became father in a Church at the age of 70 but Tom Alter was an exception who had special penchant for acting after having been overtly influenced by the histrionics of the super star of the seventies Rajesh Khanna aka KAKA.

Considering himself to be the most luckiest man to have born and lived in the heaven on earth Mussourie Tom Alter initially got the roles of the Englishman in Hindi films due to his fair colour and personality but later on did all kinds of roles.

Senior to the most popular actor Nasirruddin Shah in FTII Pune, Tom Alter played the unique role of Dr. Abdul Kalam in a Rajya Sabha TV serial and the roles of Gandhi, Nehru, Sahil ludhianvi, n other prominent freedom fighters etc in number of popular theatre plays.

A multifaceted and multi dimensional legendary icon Tom spoke Urdu with such a great fluency and precision that no other actor in Bollywood would have such a perfection. Having acted in over 350 films and scores of pivotal roles in Indian theatre in such a short span of four and a half decades as compared to other actors Tom Alter was a real asset for the Indian Film Industry.

His passing away from our midst at such normal age of merely 67 years when he still looked so young, energetic and enthusiatic towards acting his untimely loss will be felt forever not only in the film fraternity but also in the entire Indian fraternity amongst the billions of his fans who loved and adored him so infinitely and beyond limits. good bye Tom. Your creative acting and humanism will guide your unlimited fans forever. AMEN.

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Education

PM Modi in Dehradun. Will participate in Yoga alongwith 50 thousand people on 21st June

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reached Dehradun in an India Airforce plane which landed at the Jolly Grant Airport where he was received by the Uttarakhand Governor Dr. K. K. Paul, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Haidwar MP and former CM Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, BJP’s national secretary Tirath Singh Rawat,the newly elected Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni, MP from Tehri Garhwal Maharani Lakshmi Shah,State education minister Dhan Singh Rawat, UK BJP chief Ajay Bhatt n others.

Prime minister Modi will stay in Rajya Bhawan, Dehradun, tonight and will participate in Yoga exercise alongwith fifty thousand participants at the sprawling lavish lush green ground of the Forest Research Institute on the ocassion of International Yoga Day at 8.30 in the morning.

He will also address the gathering comprising of eminent yoga teachers and thousands of participants. He will be back to Delhi in the evening. Those who’ll share the dias with the prime minister are, the Uttarakhand Governor Dr. K. K. Paul, Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, union Ayush minister and Ayush minister of Uttarakhand Dr. Harak Singh Rawat.

The BJP’s national chief Amit Shah is also visiting the state capital Dehradun on 24th June in the context of preparations for the 2019 general elections. The BJP chief will interact with party leaders, chief minister and ministers of hiscabinet including rank and file of the saffron party and will educate the BJP workers to strengthen the organisation at the booth level. He will also assess the performance of the state government and address a press conference as well.

It may be recalled that prime minister Narendra Modi has special kind of spiritual relationship and affinity with Uttarakhand. During the eighties (1980) when he was nt holding any prominent party post and was a common worker he very often visited Kedarnath for Lord Kedar’s obiesance. In 1980 he meditated for one and a half month in a cave in Garud Chatti near Kedarnath.
After and before becoming the Prime minister he visited Garhwal Srinagar to campaign for the party candidates and twice at Kedarnath.

Last year he visited Dehradun to inaugurate the over ambitious eight lane all weather road project the work on which is in full swing at the staggering cost of Rs. 12000 crores, entirely a union government’s project.

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Education

Several organisations unite to discuss on clean environment. Ecological dialogue of GFI was a grand success.

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Several organisations of Uttarakhand and enlightened individuals gathered together enthusiastically and discussed about the increasing pollution and subsequent danger to the human lives at Chandigarh on 17th afternoon for three hours incessantly and came to a conclusion that such significant interactive sessions should be continued in future as well to consistently awaken the people at large about out deteriorating ecology and ways and means to get out of the increasing environmental pollution that has made our lives literally hell in almost every, city, town and the metropolices of our country now extending its ugly influence in villages and rural areas of the contry too, which once used to be our lungs giving us fresh Oxygen in abundance and making our lives healthy, strong and sturdy.

But today, we have been surrounded by polluted environment having several hundred percent increase in SPM in the air and rivers slowly and steadily converting into drains full of pollutants, plastics, chemicals and poision of factories and tanneries. Polluted Ganges and its entire tributaries like Yamuna and several other rivers are the best examples exhibiting these disturbing trends, where, despite the government and World bank’s wasting hundreds of thousands of crores since several years the situation is still to square one.

The mountains are burning. Our flora and fauna are on the extinction and huge hydropower projects still displacing people and taking their tolls compounded with destroying and disturbing the ecology of the Himalayan regions and the rural villages compelling the wild life to attack the human beings and making them, their regular preys.

The increasing use of plastics, globally, has vitiated the environment badly and if the use of plastic is continued unabatedly the time is not far when our oceans wull assume the shape of plastic mountains. A single plastic bottle and its lid takes 300 and 500 years respectively, to perish. Such is the ugly ill affect of the use of plastics which should be given up using other alternatives that are soluble in water and easily perishable like paper bags etc.

The climate change have also changed the pattern and cycle of monsoon, summer, springs and winter seasons thus throwing hazardous influence on the peoples’ health and the flora and fauna of the country.

Under the guise of revolutionery development our metropolises, cities and towns are converting into the jungles of concretes with millions n millions of cemented hi tech flats coming up but completely devoid of trees and greeneries.

The emissions of gases from the billions of air conditioners, fuels, cars, trucks and dust pollution from the construction activites have added to the already deepening environmental crisis in the offing.

The himalayan glaciers are melting with a rapid speed and have already shifted 48 klms backwards due to increasing global warming as a result of rampant green house emisions worldwide with the developed countries imposing their muscular and money oriented dominance on the developing countries, not to speak against them.

The discussion titled ” ECOLOGICAL DIALOGUE ” was quite successful as journalists, social activists, Retired Army Officers, academicians and theatre activists expressed their views and opinions in details and urged for more such healthy interactive debates on environment. Prominent amongst those who spoke on the ocassion were sr Journalists Suresh Nautiyal, Sunil Negi, Ishwar Chand Dhyani and Mr. Gulati of The Tribune, Chr, Dr. Vinod Nautiyal, Intl green activist, Colonel Parmar, Major Onkar Uttarakhandi, Bhagwan Chand, Mr. Aswal, Sundliji and others.

Prior to the event 5 Neem saplings were planted at the Tribune park in Chandigarh. The host was Green Forum India.
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum

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Crime

Shujaat Bukhari murder during Ramzan ceasefire is an open challenge to the peace lovers by Pak sponsored terrorists

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The brutal gunning down of the senior journalist, an eminent peace activist and the editor in chief of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari alongwith his two armed body guards in strife torn Kashmir yesterday proves beyond doubt that Jammu, Kashmir is not a safe haven for journalists any more. Shujaat Bukhari was one of the most reputed journalists of J&K having worked in prestigious Kashmir Times, The Hindu and thereafter starting his own newspaper The Rising Kashmir in 2008 after quitting The Hindu, spanning a jouralistic career of more than three decades.

A true champion of peace and relentless fighter working hard to resolve the vexed Kashmir imbroglio he was the target of the Pak sponsored terrorists and the ISI in particular having been attacked earlier as well, for which he was accorded the armed security of two state police guards. His brother Basharat Bukhari is the minister of Horticulture in the current PDF BJP government led by Mufti Mehbooba.

Though killings of civilians, armymen and security forces troopers including militants have become the order of the day in the strife torn Kashmir which has witnessed more than 65 thousand kilings since 1990 what’s even more worrisome and anguishing is the fact that now the representatives of the fourth estate, the scribes like Shujaat Bukhari who were really championing the peace process between Pakistan, India and the Kashmiries including the militants since a long time are also being eliminated paraticularly at a time when the state was witnessing a month long ceasefire imposed by the union government during pious festival RAMZAN, with the earnest hope to regain peoples’ confidence in the valley and acompany peace and tranquility in the extremely strife torn J & K.

But the gruesome murder of the champion of the peace who was relentlessly involved in bringing tranquility to the area suffering from core militancy since several decades resulting in heavy bloodshed has once again proved home the point that the enemy nation Pakistan, its ISI and its’ aided and abetted terror organisations like Laskare Tayyeba, Hizbul Mujahiddeen and other outfits are in no mood to reconcile giving unambiguous signals that its ready to wage a war with India or is trying to provoke us to go for a serious misadventure with it i.e. Pakistan.

The issue has now adopted serious proportions and dimensions. How long will the Indian government wait now and what for, ask the people of the country?

The militants in Jammu and Kashmir are emerging out of unknown caves clandestinely in unlimited numbers and not hesitating to kill civilians, security force personels, Army troopers and now journalists. Hundreds of thousands of young jawans have so far lost their precious lives.

However, our forces have so far killed thrice the number of militants and Pak sponsored terrorists, undoubtedly i.e more than 32 thousand militants since 1990 but they are still erupting seamlessly and continuing their killing spree. When it comes to the killings of the journalists in Jammu and Kashmir the figures are no less staggering.

Since 1990, 19 journalists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir, including Bukhari.

Their deaths have been at the hands of militants, paramilitary forces, state police and the Indian armed forces.

Under the threat perception of the state, one must also not forget how much self censorship a journalist in a conflict-afflicted state like Jammu and Kashmir has to practice.

Compare this to the Committee to Protect Journalists’s numbers from across India – 27 journalists in India have been killed since 1992 for their work, and in all, over 77 journalists and media workers have been killed in India between 1992 and 2018 and several hundred injured.

Though the motive has been established in some cases, the investigation in most cases remains as just so many loose ends.

What happens ultimately ? Messages of condolenses with crocadile tears appear in newspapers and television channels from ministers, senior police officers, big wigs and those at the helm of affairs. Some financial compensation also arrives simultaneously. Even jobs to the next of the kin are granted in exceptional cases.

And finally we are again at square one after few days, ready to confront such anguishing casualties and stereotype of the same tradition of condolenses and shedding of crocadile tears. Just ask the parents who lose their loving son, wife a beloved husband, children, their affectionate bread giver father.

Would the honourable prime minister, Home minister and Defence minister guarantee peace to the citizen of strife torn Kashmir and India is a moot question for which everybody is awaiting for a suitable answer ? What’s your take friends?

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Education

One more sacrifice of a valiant young trooper of Rudraprayag in J&K who killed two militants

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The Pak sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir has taken one more toll of a brave young army trooper who laid down his precious life while valiantly fighting the terrorists in Bandipura, Kashmir after killing two hardended militants during the protracted encounter that lasted for several hours.

Originally hailing from the KAVILTHA VILLAGE of Kaalimath Valley under the jurisdiction of Rudraprayag district of Garhwal himalayas youthful son of Narendra Singh Rawat, Manvendra Singh laid down his precious life while fighting the hardcore Pakistan sponsered terrorists in the BAANDIPURA sector of Jammu & Kashmir two days ago.

Kalimath valley of Rudraprayag district is famous for sending maximum numbers of brave young men to Indian Army in order to serve the nation and safeguarding our porous borders. This valley has in the past too witnessed number of young sacrifices in the Army positions in the line of duty during military operations fighting the hardcore terrorists as well as in the wars against China and Pakistan.

According to the uncle of the deceased trooper Manvendra Singh, the sad and shocking news of the death of the young trooper in action in Bandipura, J& K has send a shock wave in the entire valley of Kalimath, Rudraprayag, Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

Late Manvendra Singh left behind his old parents, two children and his better half who were living in Dehradun. At present his family was in his ancestral village Kaviltha to enjoy the summer vacations where they acknowledged this traumatic anguishing news.

The entire family in shock. The coffin of this patriotic valiant soldier would be brought to his village tomorrow on 15th, June where he would be given the last farewell amidst the presence of Army officers, his old traumatic parents, family and the nearby villagers including the entire populace of the valley with full Army honours.

It may be recalled that two days ago some fully armed Pak sponsored militans had entered the Baandipura sector and started firing incessantly. The army retaliated heavily and took suitable positions.

During this hectic firing which went on for several hours Manvendra Rawat alongwith his fellow trooper succeeded in killing two militants but in the meanwhile he too was killed by one shot of the terrorists stationed on the other side. The operation continued but the miitants fled leaving the dead bodies on the spot.

The nation is proud of the selfless sacrifice of Manvendra Rawat who killed two hardcore militants before falling to their bullets and sacrificing himself at such a young age.

If we go by the HT report of 2016 there have been 42% more terrorism-related deaths in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) since the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government (BJP) came to power in May 2014, compared with the last three years of the second term of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II).

The number of security personnel killed in terrorist violence has increased 72% from 111 in the last three years of UPA-II to 191 in the BJP’s first three years, an IndiaSpend analysis of data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), run by New Delhi-based non-profit Institute for Conflict Management, shows. The SATP compiles data on fatalities from terrorism from media reports. The data are provisional and compiled as on May 24, 2017.

Since 1994 till 2016 about 64865 civilians, security force personels and militants have been killed ( latest casualties not added). If we bifurcate the figures the civilian casualties come to about 25000, terrorists killed account for 30476 numbers and about ten thousand security personels.

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