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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
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Mumbai gets hybrid
electric bus fleet to
A FLEET of 25 hybrid
electric buses (right) has
been launched in a major
step towards reducing
pollution and ensuring a
smooth ride for commuters.
Maharashtra Chief Minister
Devendra Fadnavis, the
buses will reduce pollution
by 40 per cent.
He added that the diesel-
and electric- run buses have
Wi-Fi and charging points
No plastic bags
in Golden Temple
TO PROTECT the environ-
ment, the Golden Temple in
Amritsar will replace plastic
bags with biodegradable
ones from April 1.
The move will also apply
to the rest of the Sikh tem-
ples in Punjab. According to Mr Roop
Singh 20,000kg worth of plastic bags
are used in the Golden Temple per year.
He is the chief secretary of Shiro-
mani Gurdwara Parbandhak Commit-
tee, an organisation in India responsible
for the management of Sikh places of
worship in Punjab, Haryana, and Hi-
machal Pradesh .
Manduadih station may be
renamed Banaras railway station
THE Railway Ministry is considering
renaming the Manduadih railway
station in Varanasi to Banaras railway
Manduadih is one of the four
railway stations in the city.
Dushyant Rai, a consultant on the
Railway Board welcomed the move
saying the name Banaras reflects the
real culture of the city.
A top railway official in the
Varanasi division told IANS: “The
name Manduadih doesn’t sound good
and doesn’t connect with the legacy of
Punjab to ban hookah bars
PUNJAB has decided to impose a ban
on hookah bars across the state instead
of issuing temporary orders against
their operation every two months.
The move is aimed at preventing
and reducing the diseases caused by
tobacco products .
Free helmet campaign backfires
TO PROMOTE safety among motorcy-
clists on the road, the Mysuru traffic po-
lice imposed a fine of Rs100 on motor-
cyclists not wearing helmets but in a bid
to promote its use, gave them helmets
The move backfired as motorcyclists
were purposely flouting the rule so they
could get a free helmet that was worth
more than the Rs100 fine.
The campaign has now been called
off. Mr P.J. Raghavenda, a lawyer said:
“Distributing free helmets is not right...
These kinds of acts encourage the riders
to break the rules.”
Alarming number of
centres operating in India
ABOUT 1,500 unregistered childcare
institutes are currently operating
across India, out of which more than
1,100 are operating in Kerala,
according to the National Commission
for Protection of Child Rights.
The total number of registered
childcare institutes in the country
stands at 6,792.
An official said: “It is very
important that the states take
immediate steps against the
unregistered institutes as the children
living in these become easy prey to
Noted Hindi poet
Kedarnath Singh dies at 83
EMINENT Hindi poet Kedarnath
Singh has died at the All India Institute
of Medical Sciences in Delhi.
He was 83. Mr Singh, who also
wrote essays and stories, was born in
Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. Abhi bilkul
Abhi and Yahan se Dekho are among
his popular works.
He won the Sahitya Akademi
Award in Hindi in 1989 for his poetry
collection Akaal Mein Saras and the
Jnanpith Award in 2013.
He had been a professor and head
of the Department of Hindi Language
at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s
Indian Languages Centre.
A social cause
at Nashik wedding
SEVEN hundred guests at a wedding
ceremony in Nashik, Maharashtra
pledged to donate their organs as the
bride and groom too took the pledge
while tying the knot.
Said Ms Varsha Pagar:
“Both my husband and I
want to donate our
organs. We thought our
wedding ceremony would
be the right occasion to
pledge to do so as there
would be a lot of guests
and it would help create
awareness of organ
Apart from that, 60
guests also donated blood
during the ceremony.
INDIAN president Ram
Nath Kovind presented
the Padma Vibhushan,
Padma Bhushan and
Padma Shri awards at a
ceremony held at the
Rashtrapati Bhavan in
Delhi on March 20.
The ceremony was
attended by Vice
President M. Venkaiah
Naidu, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and Home Minister
Rajnath Singh apart from other
The President conferred Padma
Vibhushan — the country’s second
highest civilian honour — on film
music director Ilaiyaraja, Hindustani
classical vocalist Ghulam Mustafa
Khan and writer-thinker
The Padma Bhushan, the third
highest civilian honour was conferred
on Philipose Mar Chrusostom, the
senior most Bishop of the Malankara
Mar Thoma Syrian Church;
Ramachandran Nagaswamy, an expert
in Indian art; professor Ved Prakash
Nanda, a John Evans Distinguished
Professor at the University of Denver;
and Pandit Arvind Parikh, one of
India’s top sitar players.
Report tuberculosis case
or be thrown in jail
DOCTORS, retail chemists and
pharmacists must report every
tuberculosis case to their local public
health authorities or they will face a
jail term of up to two years.
The health ministry said that this
will help in improving tuberculosis
surveillance and control.
Government health officers are also
required to track all patients through
home visits, ensure they adhere to and
complete the prescribed treatment and
counsel their family members.
Schools in Darjeeling’s hills soon
THE Gorkhaland Territorial
Administration (a semi-autonomous
administrative body for the Darjeeling
and Kalimpong hills in West Bengal) is
investing Rs26 crores to build 56
school buildings across the Darjeeling
According to the administration, it
will construct 20 primary and 36
upper primary school buildings.
Mr Amar Singh Rai, an official from
the administration told The Telegraph:
“Our aim has been to give a major
thrust to education in the hills. We
have identified those schools which
are situated in far-flung areas.”
for their community
service in Punjab
UST five days into a three-week
humanitarian trip on Dec 13 last
year, Mr Sivabalan Kurumbiah
fractured his ankle while playing with
the schoolchildren in a village in Pun-
Doctors there advised him to return
He returned here two days later, un-
derwent surgery and was discharged
on the same day.
But something kept bothering him.
Said Mr Sivabalan: “I had developed a
passion for the cause and formed a
bond with the children there. I wanted
to continue being part of the mission.”
He asked the doctor if he could go
“The doctor said it was okay to
travel but it would be inconvenient,”
The 25-year-old took extra care and
booked himself a flight back to India
while his ankle was in a bandage.
“When I went back, the project was
nearing the end. I helped in distribut-
ing clothes and rations to the poor in
the village,” said Mr Sivabalan, who
has a degree in economics and finance
from RMIT University.
He was one of the 15 young Singa-
poreans from Project Khwaish, an ini-
tiative by the Young Sikh Association
(YSA), to be awarded a certificate of
participation by Parliamentary Secre-
tary for Health and Home Affairs Am-
rin Amin at the Singapore Khalsa Asso-
ciation on March 16.
The project from Dec 9 to 30 saw the
participants developing a full-fledged
library as well as sprucing up and re-
painting the Government Primary
School in Ratoke village.
They helped level the ground so
that it would not flood and prevent the
pupils from attending classes.
They also bought fans and lights to
make the classrooms conducive for
In addition, the team donated a
power generator as well as a water puri-
fier so that the school would have ac-
cess to regular electricity and clean wa-
Beyond the school, the partici-
pants distributed clothes and
rations to the needy in the
They also spent time
interacting with them.
Speaking at the
tion ceremony, one
of the participants,
Ms Rajveen Kaur,
said: “The children
may not have state-
ogy and facilities,
but they have tal-
ent and are hungry
to succeed… I hope
that the library we
left them with will
serve as a good start-
ing point to seize op-
portunities in India
and the larger
Said Mr Amrin: “It is a very worth-
while effort. What the particpants
have learnt from the trip is truly mean-
ingful. There is a lot of cause for reflec-
tion... Each of us has a responsibility to
do something to give back. I can see
the friendships and bonds they have
formed. That is a very beautiful thing.”
The YSA has embarked on and com-
pleted 16 such projects in Punjab since
Recognising voluntary spirit of youth
Strong team spirit... (Above left) The
project Khwaish team with the pupils
from Government Primary School in
Ratoke village, Punjab. (Above) the team
at the certificate presentation ceremony
and (below) Mr Sivabalan receiving his
certificate of participation from
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and
Home Affairs Amrin Amin.
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