T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
FEBRUARY 10, 2017
delivered to your doorstep. Call 6319-1800 or e-mail
writer Aditya Kripalani
turns his novel into a film
— with part of the cost
raised from crowdfunding
REPORT ON PAGES 12 & 13
STEP FOR A
What it should have been
IN OUR cover story Saris of India
(Feb 03), we had indicated in the
map to show Pochampalli saris as
belonging to Andhra Pradesh. It
should be Telangana instead. The
error is regretted.
Rose named after India’s
PRESIDENT Pranab Mukherjee
inaugurated the annual garden
festival — Udyanotsav — at the
Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi (right)
on Feb 4.
One of the big attractions are spe-
cial roses named after Mr Mukher-
jee and his wife Suvra Mukherjee.
The rose named after him is yel-
low, while the one named after his
wife is pink-purple.
The roses, which are on display in
the main Mughal Gardens, have not
flowered yet but the authorities are
hopeful they will bloom before the
garden closes on March 12.
350 slum dwellers get flats,
some break down
THE Delhi government allotted
flats to 350 slum dwellers on Feb 6.
Some of them were overwhelmed
and broke down as they realised an
impossible dream had come true.
They had lived at a shack called
Nehru Camp in Delhi’s Patparganj
area for for decades.
The one-bedroom flats are built at
Sector 16B of Dwarka.
Mohammad Yasin, who has had
his jhuggi (a slum dwelling typically
made of mud and corrugated iron)
bulldozed three times by the au-
thorities, said it is a “great favour”
by the Delhi government.
Actress Ashley Judd visits
AMERICAN actress Ashley Judd
made her first trip to Odisha on Feb
7 and visited the Kalinga Institute
of Social Sciences in Bhubaneswar
on the same day.
She was given a traditional
welcome and went on a tour of the
students’ daily activities.
She also matched steps with the
students as they performed various
tribal dance forms (below left) and
performed yoga with them.
Ms Judd, who is a goodwill
ambassador for the United Na-
tions Population Fund, will be in
the state till Feb 11. She will speak
to the tribal adolescent children
to understand their challenges and
First-time women voters in Goa
get teddy bears
SIX-hundred first-time women
voters across Goa were given pink
teddy bears during the state assem-
bly elections on Feb 4.
This was done at 40 model poll-
ing booths, one in each of the 40
assembly constituencies in Goa.
The pink polling booths, in which
the teddy bears were given away,
had a pink pastel theme, with
pink walls, pink balloons, pink
table cloths, even with most of the
women poll officials wearing pink
Ms Ameena Alam, a voter from
the Colvale legislative assembly
constituency in North Goa, who
received the bear, said: “We felt
good. It was in a way encouraging
us to vote.”
Kerala’s ‘Responsible Tourism’ a
THE United Nations World Tourism
Organisation (UNWTO) has said
Kerala’s award-winning “Respon-
sible Tourism” initiative is a model
for other tourist destinations to
According to the Kerala Tourism
Department, UNWTO has com-
mended the work done by the state
and is impressed by its model of
responsible and sustainable tourism.
In a report that Kerala tourism
director UV Jose submitted, it said
the initiative has empowered the
local communities economically
through activities that prioritise cul-
tural and ecological conservation.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation
to ban smoking in city
BENGALURU was the first metro
in India to ban smoking in public
nine years ago.
Now, the Kolkata Municipal Cor-
poration is following suit.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said steps
are being taken by the corporation
to impose strict fines for smoking in
public spaces, even in open air.
The civic body has set its goal on
joining cities like Bengaluru, Chan-
digarh and Kerala in declaring itself
Replica of Nobel prize stolen
from Kailash Satyarthi’s flat
BURGLARS broke into child activ-
ist Kailash Satyarthi’s house in Delhi
and made off with a replica of his
Nobel prize and certificate.
The unfortunate event was dis-
covered when one of his associates
went to his flat and found the locks
broken on Feb 7. His daughter’s jew-
ellery was also stolen.
Mr Satyarthi is currently in
The police said a forensics team
has collected fingerprints and
footprints and investigations are
Mr Satyarthi was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his
work in combating child labour and
child trafficking in India.
Jharkhand college becomes
state’s first women’s university
Women’s College has been given
clearance by the Indian government
to become state’s first women’s
To celebrate the occasion, prin-
cipal Shukla Mahanty played the
nagada (kettle drum) and joined the
students, who went dancing on the
main road outside their Bistupur
campus. They also released colourful
Ms Mahanty said “it’s the biggest
milestone in the history of our col-
lege” and “a step towards women’s
February 10, 2017
Maharashtra couple runs
half-marathon to marry
Running with “baraatis”... Navnath and Poonam (in white T-shirts) with their 50-
plus baraatis ran 25km to the marriage registrar’s office.
HERE were no “ghodi
(mare)”, cars, “saat pheras
(seven vows)” or a cacophon-
ic wedding procession for a fitness
crazy couple from a Maharashtra
village who got married recently.
Instead, they ran a whopping
25km to the marriage registrar’s of-
The couple from Kaloshi village
— bride Poonam R. Chikane and
bridegroom Navnath J. Dighe, a pro-
fessional marathoner — undertook
the unique wedding run in order to
spread the message of health and
The duo wore T-shirts, shorts and
tracksuit and symbolic red turbans.
The 50-plus “baraatis” (wedding
guests) were similarly clad, as hun-
dreds of amused villagers assembled
to witness the unusual marriage.
“Our unique marriage was to
spread the message of health and
physical fitness,” a panting Mr Dighe
told the media after completing the
run successfully with his breathless
bride by his side.
Another reason cited by the
couple was to avoid unnecessary
spending on a lavish ceremony.
The run started from a common
point in Medha to Satara, at the of-
fice of the Registrar of Marriages,
where Mr Dighe, a businessman,
and Ms Chikane, a private tutor,
exchanged vows and garlands amid
loud clapping and cheering as they
became husband and wife.
According to Mr Dighe, it had
taken some convincing before both
families agreed to the unique mar-
riage and supported the pair’s deci-
The Marathon Association of Sa-
tara (MAS), of which Mr Dighe is an
active member, hosted the “running
wedding” and launched a campaign
on social media which drew a huge
Villagers and teenage students
along the route made up for what-
ever was lacking in the wedding by
putting up welcome banners and
posters, presenting flowers or gar-
landing the young couple, perform-
ing “aarti (a small flame placed on
a plate and rotated)”, blessing them
and joining them on the run.
The entire “running wedding”
was completed at a comfortable
pace in about three-and-half hours
before terminating at the marriage
registrar’s office for the official for-
After the wedding, MAS office-
bearers Kamlesh Pisal and oth-
ers congratulated the newly-weds
and their families and lauded them
for spreading the message of good
In the past, Maharashtra has wit-
nessed several such unique wed-
dings — like a couple getting mar-
ried in a hot-air balloon 200m above
the ground, another couple tying
the knot hanging on ropes above a
200m deep valley, and one couple
climbing the state’s tallest mountain,
Kalsubai Peak to seal their marriage.
Indo-Asian News Service
February 10, 2017
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