Your updated source of information about Dehradun & Uttarakhand.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Under General’s wings, an officer is born

Dehradun, December 14
For Lieutenant Kuljeet Kumar, the biggest day of his life came when he passed out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) today. Not only has he become part of the Army officer cadre, but also proved himself to be a worthy “son” of former Army Chief Gen JJ Singh.
“Adopted” by former Army Chief Gen JJ Singh and his wife Anupama, Lt Kuljeet had no words to express his gratitude to the former Army chief, who has been a constant source of inspiration for him. There were the dark days of terror in the Bhaderwah area of Jammu and Kashmir; where he grew “What a proud moment it has been for me with former Army Chief Gen JJ Singh himself coming here today for the ceremony,” Lt Kuljeet said.
It was an unexpected reversal of fortune for Kuljeet, a seven-year-old son of a farmer, when Gen JJ Singh, then Brigadier, decided to “adopt” him in 1997.
Under the guidance of the former Army Chief, Kuljeet did his schooling from Army Public School before getting selected for Army Cadet College (ACC) and subsequently joining the IMA.
Gen JJ Singh said Kuljeet’s hard work had finally yielded results. “I always reminded him that there was no shortcut to success. I am now hopeful that he will become a good Army personnel,” he said.
General’s wife Anupama said it was like bringing up their own a child. “Kuljeet comes from a humble background. His success gives us a sense of accomplishment,” she said. Kuljeet’s entire family had come all the way from Jammu and Kashmir to attend the ceremony.
His mother Dhaneshwari, father Omraj, elder brother Kuldeep Kumar and Kujeet’s fiancé Sunita were present on the occasion. “Kuljeet is my son by virtue of being born to me, but it is Anupama who is his real mother. It is she who actually encouraged him to excel in life,” said Dhaneshwari, trying to hide her tears of joy.
“Kuljeet happens to be the first person in our family to join the Army as an officer and this is all due to Gen JJ Singh,” Omraj said. Kuljeet’s fiancé Sunita said she was proud to be part of the Kumar family. Lt Kuljeet has joined 9 Maratha Light Infantry, a unit once commanded by Gen Singh.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Uttarakhand Govt slaps 81 cases on Ramdev’s Patanjali trust

Dehradun, November 20
A thorn in the eyes of the UPA-led Congress government, the Uttarakhand government has finally nailed Yoga Guru Ramdev by registering 81 cases against Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust in Haridwar pertaining to illegal possession of Gram Sabha and government land, benami transactions and undervaluation of stamp duty causing loss of revenue worth crores to the state.
The Yoga Guru has been facing CBI heat in the case related to a missing teacher. Doubts have been raised about the quality of products manufactured by his Patanjali Yog forcing Swami Ramdev to proclaim that the Centre was using the CBI against him.
But the Wednesday’s disclosures by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna enumerating 81 cases of gross violations are by far the gravest blow to the Yoga Guru. And with Ramdev opposed to the UPA-led Congress government, the issue is expected to gain currency in the elections.
“The rules have been broken with impunity, transactions of several crores have been made without caring for the law of the land. Yet Swami Ram Dev never fails to moralise. A lot more needs to be unearthed. The inquiry is still on by the District Magistrate and Collector, Haridwar, and action would also be taken against the officers who facilitated these transactions," said Vijay Bahuguna while talking to mediapersons today.
He said that 27 cases have registered under sections 154 (4) (3)(B)/166/167 Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms (ZALR) Act, 1950, for vesting such land back to the state.
A total of 52 cases have been instituted under section 47 of Indian Stamps Act. “The benefits under section 143 of the ZALR Act (change of land use) that were granted to Patanjali have been blatantly violated. Notices have been served on the trust to vest these land with the government under section 168 of the ZALR,” said Bahuguna.
Two cases have been registered under section 122 ZALR Act involving approximately 7.766 acres of land.
The noose seems to be tightening on Yoga Guru in connection with the purchase of 141.17 acres of land for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines in Mustafabad village which, according to the district authorities, was being used for manufacturing flour, oil, honey and soap.
Further 387.5 acres of land was purchased for Patanjali University in Aurangabad village and Shivdaspur (Teliwala). According to the report prepared by the District Magistrate, 84.86 acres of land has been purchased in Mustafabad village in the name of Patanjali without permission.

The irregularities
  • Reports say 141.17 acres of land was purchased for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines which, district authorities say, was being used for making flour, oil, honey and soap.
  • Further 387.5 acres of land was purchased for establishment of Patanjali University. But the university has been set up in an insignificant portion of the land.
  • According to a report, 84.86 acres of land has been purchased in Mustafabad village in the name of Patanjali Food and Herbal Park without taking permission from the District Magistrate.

Aide refutes charge
Acharya Balkrishan, a close aide of Baba Ramdev and managing director of the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, has denied the allegation of irregularities levelled against the trust and Baba Ramdev by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna. In a statement issued here, Balkrishan said they had not received any legal notice or information regarding such discrepancies.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pic of the Week

Work to curb effects of climate change: Prince Charles to NGOs

Prince Charles waters a sapling that he planted at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun.
Dehradun: Prince Charles on Thursday advised NGOs engaged in rehabilitation efforts in Uttarakhand to work on minimising the effects of climate change and preventing a natural disaster of the scale that hit the state in June. 

The Prince of Wales, who along with his wife Camilla Parker Bowles began his nine-day India visit from Uttarakhand yesterday, gave the advice to representatives of NGOs who met him at the Indian Military Academy here on the sidelines of a function held in the royal couple's honour at the institute. 

"His highness expressed satisfaction at the contribution made by nearly 40 odd NGOs in putting life back on track in the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand and advised us to work especially on minimising the effects of climate change for disaster mitigation and prevention of a calamity like the one which hit the hill state in mid-June," Jayant Kumar, programme head of CASA, an NGO engaged in relief operations in affected areas said. 

Earlier the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were received at the gate of the academy by its Commandant Lt Gen Manvendra Singh and his wife and ushered into the historic Chetwode Building where the Prince viewed a training exercise while the Duchess watched equestrian activities. 

The royal couple later met and interacted with IMA cadets, officers, their wives and students of the Rashtriya Indian Military College at Batra Mess on the IMA campus. 

IMA Commandant Lt Gen Manvendra Singh also presented the royal couple with a memento and described it as his proud privilege to receive them at the institute. 

He said their visit will further cement the ties between the two countries and their armies. 

The royal couple also presented a sword to the IMA Commandant as a memento. 

The Prince of Wales then visited the Forest Research Institute and toured its Timber Museum. He was conferred with an honorary degree by the institute.

Bureaucratic reshuffle in Uttarakhand

Dehradun: In a minor reshuffle, Uttarakhand government on Wednesday changed the responsibilities of several bureaucrats, including four senior officers. 
Director Information and deputy chairman of Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority R Meenakshi Sundaram has been given additional charge of Secretary, Industrial Development and Managing Director of SIDCUL, an official release here said. 

Haridwar Development Corporation Deputy Chairman Ranjit Sinha has been absolved of his responsibility as the secretary of the state Public Service Commission. Former examination controller of the Commission Surendra Narain Pandey will take over from Sinha as its Secretary. 

Banshidhar Tiwari who was earlier Secretary of Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty, Directorate of Information. 

27-year-old pregnant woman beheaded body recovered near Dehradun Raj Bhawan

Dehradun: A beheaded body of a woman was recovered from army area near Raj Bhawan in the city, police said on Thursday.
The headless body of a 27-year-old woman kept in a sack was found by rag pickers in the army area about 200 metres from Raj Bhawan on Wednesday evening, SP (city) Jagdish Chandra said.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the woman was apparently pregnant and was possibly raped before being killed, he said.
It appears that the woman's body was dumped in the area after the crime was committed somewhere else, he said.
Efforts are on to identify the woman by collecting details of people who went missing from nearby districts recently, he said, adding a post mortem is underway.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Art of Living Foundation famed Spiritual Guru Ravi Shankar to help flood-hit Uttarakhand

Haridwar, October 26
Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, globally famed for his Art of Living Foundation, and Parmarth Niketan-based Swami Chidanand Saraswati Muni have expressed their willingness to work jointly in providing rehabilitation and relief to the disaster-hit people of Uttarakhand.

Besides funding various social rehabilitation projects, they will also pitch in for alternative sources of employment generation so that tourism does not get linked with pilgrimage.

Both saints met in Rishikesh today and expressed their support to the flash flood-affected families. Both dwelled on various measures, specific areas, aspects and related issues in providing relief aid and rehabilitation im the affected districts.

Shri Ravi Shankar put forth the idea of eco tourism and green tourism in the state. He said there was a need to make local people aware about these tow aspects, which would be better alternatives for their livelihood. Swami Chidanand said there was a need to stop the talented youth from migrating to other states by providing basic and necessary employment opportunities here. In the Kedarnath valley area Swami Chidanand also wants to open a school modelled on gurukul education system so that local children could avail of education facilities there itself.

They also stressed on cleaning the Ganga, protection of cows and women empowerment. Slogan of "Himalaya bachao, beti bachao. Ganga-Gau-Gauri ki raksha karo" was also pronounced on the occasion.

Inspirational Quotes – Pictures – Motivational Thoughts

1) “Learn from the mistakes of others… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves!!”
2)”A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first.”
3)”Even if a snake is not poisonous, itshould pretend to be venomous.”
4)”There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”
5)” Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions -Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.”
8)”Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”
9)”The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.”
10)”God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.
11) “A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”
12) “Never make friends with peoplewho are above or below you in status. Such”
13) “Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend.Your grown up children are your best friends.friendships will never give you any happiness.”
14) “Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend.Your grown up children are your best friends.”
15) “Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth. ~ Chankya

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kedarnath shrine to close on Nov 5

Dehradun, October 23
Kedarnath Shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand will be closed for winters from November 5.
A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of Shri Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee held today. Utsav Doli of Shri Kedarnath will be subsequently taken to Ukhimath.
Located at a height of 3,581 metres, Kedarnath is the most important of the Dwadash Jyotirlingas. The shrine this season faced worst rain disaster at the beginning of the monsoons leading to large-scale deaths of a large number of pilgrims. Besides, scores of the pilgrims went missing. The other holy Badrinath Shrine in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand has already been closed for winters from October 18. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Red tape hampers expansion of Doon Medical College

Dehradun, October 23
The Department of Medical Education still has to contend with the big brotherly attitude of the Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare in financial matters. This has slowed down the work on Doon Medical College.
The issue pertains to the release of Rs 40 crore allocated to the Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare by the BJP government in the state for the construction and expansion of Doon Medical College. The amount was deposited in the Public Ledger Account (PLA) on March, 2012.
Now, as the state government plans to start the academic session of the medical college from next year, the work has to be carried out for the first inspection by the Medical Council of India (MCI) slated for January, 2014.
The Department of Medical Education has to get ready two lecture halls, a library and improve the existing Doon Hospital by way of expansion of the existing departments in advance for the inspection. But it does not have funds to start the work.
Worse still, the utilization of additional Rs 40 crore allocated by the state government for the medical college hinges on the release of the earlier allocated Rs 40 crore from the PLA account.
“Though the state government has allocated additional Rs 40 crore for Doon Hospital, it can only be used after submitting the utilization certificate for earlier allocated Rs 40 crore, which is now lying in the PLA account of the Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare,” said Ravi Nath Raman, Additional Secretary, Medical Education.
Officials in the Department of Finance said the funds for Doon Medical College were allocated to the Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare, as the Department of Medical Education had not taken shape by then.
“The funds should have been transferred to the Department of Medical Education soon after it came into existence. But the Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare overlooked the matter,” said a senior official.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

आत्महत्याओं का शहर बन रही है सुकून की घाटी देहरादून

देहरादून - पहाड़ों में बसे देहरादून को देखकर लगता है कि वो दिन गए जब इसकी पहचान शांति और सुकून की घाटी के रूप में होती थी। 

आज देहरादून में न सिर्फ हत्या,चोरी और लूट जैसे अपराधों का ग्राफ़ लगातार बढ़ता जा रहा है बल्कि बड़ी संख्या में आत्महत्या के सनसनीखेज़ मामले सामने आ रहे हैं।

लगभग एक साल पहले देहरादून में 11वीं में पढ़नेवाले छात्र ने फ़ेसबुक पर खुदकुशी का ऐलान कर मौत को गले लगा लिया था तो लोग सकते में आ गये थे। लेकिन अब आए दिन अख़बार ऐसी सुर्खियों से भरे हुए हैं। क्या दून घाटी आत्महत्या की घाटी के रूप में कुख्यात हो रही है?

किशोर उम्र से लेकर युवा,महिलाएं और बुज़ुर्ग किसी न किसी कारण से आत्महत्या का रास्ता चुन रहे हैं।

दो-तीन पहले देहरादून में एक पुलिस कान्सटेबल ने खुद को गोली मार ली।अपने पीछे वो भरा-पूरा परिवार छोड़ गए। ठीक इसी दिन नौंवी कक्षा की एक छात्रा ने भी परीक्षा में कम नंबर आने के कारण पंखे से लटकरकर जान दे दी।

आत्महत्या के ये सभी मामले अलग-अलग हैं और उनमें कोई संबंध नहीं। लोग तो लोग विशेषज्ञ भी हैरान हैं कि आखिर देहरादून में तेज़ी से बढ़ते आत्महत्याओं के मामलों की वजह क्या है और क्या मौत को गले लगाना इतना आसान हो गया है ।

'हताशा बर्दाश्त करने की शक्ति नहीं'
मनोविज्ञानी सरस्वती सिंह का कहना है, “हमने बच्चों को न कहना नहीं सिखाया है। बहादुर बनने की बजाए वो कमज़ोर हो गए हैं। उन्हें अपना तो पता है कि उन्हें क्या चाहिए लेकिन वो दूसरों का पक्ष नहीं समझते। उनमें हताशा बर्दाश्त करने की शक्ति नहीं रही है।”

उत्तराखण्ड की राजधानी बनने के बाद न केवल देहरादून की आबादी बढ़ी है बल्कि ये शहर तेज़ी से मॉल और उपभोक्तावादी संस्कृति की गिरफ़्त में आया है।

लोगों की महत्वाकांक्षाएं बढ़ी हैं और साथ ही हताशा और निराशा भी। फ़ेसबुक जैसी सोशल नेटवर्किंग साइटें वर्चुअल दोस्तियां बढ़ा रही हैं लेकिन वास्तविक ज़िंदगियों में लोग समाज से कटे हुए हैं और किशोर पीढ़ी इसकी चपेट में सबसे ज्यादा है।

सामाजिक कारण

आईजी पुलिस, कानून और व्यवस्था, रामसिंह मीणा का कहना है, “आत्महत्या के सामाजिक कारण हैं।खास तौर पर पढ़ाई का दबाव बहुत ज्यादा है। 

कई बार दोस्तों के सर्किल में लोग कुछ ऐसा कर जाते हैं फिर पता चलने पर अपराधबोध में आत्महत्या कर लेते हैं।साथ ही नैतिक मूल्यों में कमी आई है और सहिष्णुता भी बिल्कुल ही खत्म हो गई है।”

आत्महत्या के मामलों पर मनोविज्ञानी सरस्वती सिंह का कहना है कि “आत्महत्या एक क्षणिक आवेग है। अगर वो क्षण निकल जाता है तो वो इंसान सोने की तरह से निखर कर आता है। 

बहुत अच्छा व्यक्तित्व विकसित हो सकता है। उसे अपनी गलती का अहसास हो जाए और फिर उसे समझ में आ जाए कि मैंने ऐसा क्यों करने की सोची।”

देहरादून में आत्महत्या के मामले बढ़ते जा रहे हैं लेकिन जागरूकता का अभियान छेड़ने या काउंसलिंग का कोई तरीका विकसित करने की पहल नज़र नहीं आ रही। न स्कूलों में, न घरों में संस्थानों में।

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ganga canal closed for cleaning, repairing ghats

Haridwar, October 15
The annual Ganga canal water flow closure commenced last midnight in Haridwar, drying up the canal from Brahmkund, Har-ki-Pauri. The Ganga canal will remain closed till the eve of Diwali next month. During this time, the Ganga canal will be cleaned up and the ghats repaired.
This will the affect water supply to New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, particularly for irrigation purpose. Owing to the accumulation of silt and garbage on various barrages, bridges and ghats falling on this landmark canal, the Irrigation Department annually cleans the Ganga cana from Haridwar to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The full capacity of the canal is 10,500 cusec , with water flow in the canal being controlled from the Bhagirathi point, prior to Har-ki-Pauri and the Chaudhari Charan Singh Bhimgoda barrage supply channel.
Due to a dispute over property transfer, the Ganga canal in Uttarakhand is still controlled by Uttar Pradesh, of which it was a part till 2000.
Talking to TNS, Subdivisional Officer of the Ganga Canal Headworks, Uttar Pradesh, Veer Veerendra Singh said the closure was done last midnight, though a minimum flow for Brahmakund, Har-ki-Pauri, had been allowed so that religious rituals could be performed at the sanctum sanctorum.
The Ganga Sabha, managing authority of Har-ki-Pauri, has registered its resentment over the scant water flow at the sanctum sanctorum. It has sought additional water flow for Har-ki-Pauri as pilgrims and devotees are facing problem in performing religous rites.
Anshul Shri Kunj, member of the Ganga Sabha, said that they have demanded additional flow of water at Har-ki-Pauri. Chief of the Teerth Maryada Raksha Samiti Sanjay Chopra said that from Bhagirathi Bindu to Mayapur Check Dam, at least five-foot water should be released during the Ganga closure to ensure that minimum water availability at Brahamkund, Har-ki-Pauri, and adjacent ghats.
IIn 2011, for first time since 1947, the water flow at the Ganga canal, popularly known as Gang Nahar, was not fully stopped, prior to the festive of Diwali, as the then Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh government had declined to give permission.
Emphasising the need of total Ganga closure annually, officers of the Irrigation Department it was necessary for the maintenance of this 160-year-old canal. If not done, it will have long-term repercussions.Like last year, this time too, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government has given the nod for the Ganga canal closure in the festival time, despite protests by local people, the Ganga Sabha, sants, traders and teerth purohits and pandits.

DAV College students gherao principal

Students of DAV (PG) College gherao principal
Dr Devender Bhasin in Dehradun on Tuesday.
Dehradun, October 15
Students of DAV College (PG) College gheraoed Dr Devender Bhasin, principal of the college, here today in protest against lack of cleanliness and the dilapidated condition of the college building.
The students raised slogans against the college authorities and went to the office of the principal. They alleged that the building of the Zoology Department was in a bad condition and an accident could happen any time. The protesters said students were suffering as teachers had refused to teach in the building but the college authorities had done nothing to repair it.
A student leader had a heated exchange with the principal. The students threatened to start a stir in front of the college gate if the principal failed to address their concerns. 

Overloaded vehicles in Jaunpur pose danger

Mussoorie, October 15
The incidence of overloaded vehicles, especially Jeeps and Commanders plying in the Jaunpur development region of Tehri Garhwal district are posing a risk to the lives of commuters allegedly due to the apathy of the Transport Department.
Overloaded with schoolchildren and the local commuters, the vehicles can be seen on the Aglar-Thatyur-Mussoorie road plying with impunity and posing a risk to human lives in the process.
The damage to the roads due to the flood disaster in June is making the vehicles less stable and difficult to steer and resulting in resulting in bumpy rides for the commuters.
Most of the Jeep owners ignore the specification regarding the amount of weight one vehicle can bear.
Apart from this, due to overheating, most of the vehicles plying on the roads are in a worn down condition, thus increasing the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.
The risk increases during the night time when the headlights of most of the vehicles blind oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the road.
The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is also diminished, escalating the chances for an accident and making it difficult to overtake. The brakes too have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading, the brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness.
The hapless commuters are forced to travel on the roof and sometime hanging at the back of the vehicles as no roadways bus or vehicle has been allocated on the Aglar-Thatyur-Mussoorie route.
The insurance cover on overloaded vehicles is void as overloading is illegal. So in case of accident the commuters are not able to receive any medical benefit too.
Surendar Kumar, Assistant Road Transports Officer (ARTO), Tehri, said they had they had started a campaign against the overloaded vehicles when some vehicles were seized and fined.
However due to the strike of the RTO constables, the campaign had stopped. Once the strike is called off, the campaign against overloading would begin earnestly, he added.

US team installs four water chlorinators in two villages

American team members interact with residents of
 Matli village in Uttarkashi district.
Dehradun, October 15
A team from the USA has installed four water chlorinators in disaster-hit Matli and Dilsoar villages, ensuring the availability of purified water to nearly 200 families.
The Himalayee Paryavaran Shiksha Sansthan (HPSS), a Uttarkashi-based voluntary organisation, hosted five American volunteers at its Matli, Uttarkashi campus.
Suresh Bhai, founder and chairperson of the HPSS and an activist of the Save the River Campaign, said, “This project represents a unique opportunity to partner with our global family members and introduce a new water purifying technology to Uttarakhand. We see enormous potential for this in rural India.”
The five American volunteers, namely Tina Ward-Pugh, Joe Jacobi, Lynn Smith, Robin Brothers and Suetta Albin, are associated with a non-profit organisation namely WaterStep, which has its headquarters in Louisville, USA.
WaterStep specialises in installing water chlorinators, giving training in hand-pump repair, providing disaster relief services and teaching health and hygiene practices. Their projects operate in over 25 countries, including Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam, Odisha and West Bengal in India.The HPSS and WaterStep were brought together by Margaret Weidner, Fulbright-Nehru student researcher, who spent the last year conducting a research on water management in Garhwal.
Weidner says, “This partnership between the HPSS and WaterStep embodies the aim of the Fulbright-Nehru scholarship to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding. Through my research, I have the chance to learn from villagers living in Garhwal and this partnership means that they will have access to a technology that can improve their quality of life.”
The water chlorinator, M-100, has been designed by WaterStep engineer Lynn Smith and its production was managed by Joe Jacobi, both of whom led the Matli and Dilsoar installations.
The M-100 is easy to operate, uses local material and is highly durable. “Using table salt and a 12-volt car battery, people are able to purify as much water as they require, up to 40,000 l per day with one machine," he says.
“Both the HPSS and WaterStep look forward to expanding the use of the technology throughout Uttarkashi and hope to promote this technology with local and regional government officials”, said Suresh Bhai.

Animal sacrifice stops in temples during Navratras in the Kumaon region

Pithoragarh, October 15
The traditional ritual of animal sacrifice in various temples of local deities in the Kumaon region during Navratras was stopped this year due to the efforts of animal right activists and initiatives shown by temple committees at various places.
According to the information received from Almora district, devotees at temples in Chitai Golu, Jharkar Sam, Mashan and Kailka worshiped the deities with coconut and flowers.
“It was possible with relentless efforts of administration in awakening the villagers about the courts orders and demand of the time, besides the initiatives shown by respective temple committees,” said Pankah Upadhaya, SDM of Almora.
According to priest of Chitai temple, the temple used to attract dozens of animal sacrifices during the Dashera and Navratras since the time the temples was established, but the tradition broke this year, with no animal sacrifice during the festival.
“The police also guarded the temple for 10 days continuously to revert any attempt of animal sacrifice during Navratras,” said the temple priest Hari Vinod pant.
“This year the people came with bells coconuts, and flags to the temple rather than animals for sacrifice,” said pant.
At the Jhakar Sam temple near Almora town, the age-old tradition of animal sacrifice was stopped this year after the local administration succeeded in persuading the temple committee for not resorting to animal sacrifice.
“Instead we told the villagers, they should come with flowers, fruits, clothes and incenses to please the deity, our efforts were helped by the administrative officers and resulted into no animal sacrifice year this year,” said Devi Dutt Pandey, priest of Sam temple at Jhakarsam temple, which had been famous for animal sacrifice traditions in Navaratras.
The news of no animal sacrifice also poured from other places of the region, including Kali temple at Gangolihat in pithoragarh and Kanda in Bageswar districts as the administration kept a strong vigil during the festival.

Monday, October 14, 2013

In brief

CM lays stone of women's hostel 

Dehradun, October 13
Uttarakhand Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the Indira Gandhi Working Women’s hostel in Dehradun that would be constructed at a cost of Rs 862 crore.
He said the state government planed to open such hostels in Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts also. He reminded that women have played an important role in creation of Uttarakhand. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Punjab News Weekly: PGI's Sangrur centre to focus on liver, kidney diseases

SANGRUR -  The satellite centre of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), whose foundation stone would be ...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tripti Dhyani is students’ council president in MKP College

Dehradun, August 30
Tripti Dhyani of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was elected president of the students’ council in MKP PG College today. The party won all 12 posts in the election.

Tripti secured 366 votes and defeated her nearest rival Karishma Rawat, who contested the election as an Independent candidate. Pooja Gusain of the Vikas group finished third.
The other ABVP candidates, who were elected office-bearers of the students’ council, are: vice president- Sangeeta Sajwan; university representative-Kiran Chauhan; treasurer-Chander Kapoor; and joint secretary- Aasma Ansari. Chander Kapoor was elected treasurer unopposed.
The elected executive committee members are Neha Thapa, Shilpa, Anamika Verma, Garima Chawla, Priyanjali Sharma and Simran Kaur (all belonging to the ABVP).
Meanwhile, the election saw mere 30 per cent of polling in the morning. There were total 2,500 registered voters in MKP PG College. The voting began at 10 am and went on till 1 pm. The counting started after an hour and the results were declared late evening. The NSUI did not field any candidate in the election in MKP PG College though it was supporting many candidates belonging to other groups.
Students’ scuffle
Students owing allegiance to two groups entered into a scuffle during the polls at MKP PG College here today. The police had to intervene to defuse the situation.

Tension erupted when Karishma, an independent candidate for the post of president, was asking her supporters to stand ahead in the queue for voting. This made the supporters of Vikas group angry and they got involved in small brawl. Khushby Raturi of Vikas group registered a complaint against Karishma with the authorities. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dev Sanskriti University inks pact with South Korean varsity

Haridwar, August 9
Dev Sanskriti University, Haridwar, has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean Dongguk University to collaborate in subjects of spirituality and religion. The memorandum was signed in the presence of the visiting Chancellor of Dongguk University Dr Chongsik Kim and Indian University counterpart Dr Chinmay Pandey, here today at the Dev Sanskriti University. 
As per the memorandum, both the universities will collaborate in religion and spiritualism and try to bring younger generation closer to these two aspects. Both the educational institutions will also hold seminars and carry out various research based programs for the students. Dr Chinmay Pandya said with this agreement, the principles and ideas of Shantikunj founder Pt Shri Ram Sharma Acharya will propagate in Korea as foreign countries are now understanding that the physical prosperity is one thing and intellectual-spiritual prosperity is more important.
While Dr Kimsaid their University will translate some of the works of Pt Shri Ram Sharma Acharya in Korean language soon, so that the Koreans have an easy access to the vast spiritual knowledge of the Shantikunj founder.
Initially, the works related with youth and women empowerment will be translated in the Korean language and later on Vedic scriptures would also be translated.
The Korean delegation also inspected the Dev Sanskriti University and met the students. They also praised the discipline, social work and working of the university.
Dr Kim told TNS that Dongguk University is a prestigious University of South Korea. It has campuses in Seoul, Gyeongju City, Gyeongsang and Los Angeles, USA.
Accompanied by a 18 member delegation from South Korea, Dr Kim also observed meditation at the university mediation centre ‘Devatma Himalaya’, where replicas of Shri Badri Nath, Shri Kedar Nath, Gangotri and Yamunotri have been put up. Korean delegation also met Shantikunj spiritual head Shail Jiji and had talks on various spiritual-religious aspects.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

We will rescue everyone in Uttarakhand, says Army Chief General Bikram Singh

Dehradun - Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh said Friday that the armed forces will continue their operations till all the people are rescued from various locations in flood-hit Uttarakhand but did not specify a timeline as relief efforts depended on the weather conditions.

General Singh, who was on a day-long visit to flood-affected areas of Uttarakhand, told mediapersons in Gaucher that he had asked his commanders to carry out rescue efforts in a proactive manner.

"We will get all citizens out, wherever they are," General Singh said.

He said the army was getting information that there may still be survivors in certain areas and an endeavour was to locate them and get them out.

He said many of the troops deployed in relief operations were from Uttarakhand and their families were also impacted by the flash floods.

"These boys have refused to take leave to attend to their kith and kin and render their duties. We all had a phenomenal synergy," Singh said.

The army chief said the troops have exhibited commitment unparalleled in history. He complimented officers and Jawans for their efforts. "It was a very difficult operation. What needs to be appreciated is how all agencies worked in unison to save lives," the army chief said, adding that rescue teams had to work in very difficult conditions.

"There was no communication setup. Many places were difficult to reach but they (rescue teams) went to most inaccessible areas to save people," General Singh said.

"I would like to laud the efforts of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indo-Tibetan Police Force (ITBP) and the Indian Air Force. They have done a great job along with the Indian army," he added.

General Singh said he had instructed commanders not to wait for any requisition for relief operations and they had acted speedily.

He said a few pilgrims were still stranded in Badrinath in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand and their evacuation would depend on weather conditions.

"We are getting information that some survivors are still stranded in north Badrinath. Yesterday (Thursday) we had sent some sorties but the rescue teams were unable to locate them. The time for their (pilgrims') evacuation cannot be specified as it depends on the weather," the army chief told reporters after arriving at the Gauchar air base in Chamoli district.

General Singh said his heart goes out to those who had lost their lives in the chopper crash June 25.

The incessant and intense rains that hit Uttarakhand over three days from June 14, leading to flash-floods and landslides, have led to hundreds of deaths, while many more are missing. There were thousands of pilgrims in Badrinath and Kedarnath areas when the tragedy struck.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Punjab sends relief material for Uttarakhand victi...

Rishikesh, June 25 Punjab Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, Navjot Kaur Sidhu today reached Rishikesh  along with 6 truckloads of ...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

IAF copter carrying 20 crashes near Gaurikund; 8 bodies found

7,000 still stranded as landslides, rain hamper rescue; toll 822

Gauchar, June 25
An Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force crashed near Gaurikund this evening killing eight persons, including five IAF personnel and pilots. The helicopter was returning from Kedarnath after dropping supplies. The toll may rise to 20 as the helicopter was carrying ITBP and NDRF men.

Elsewhere, fresh landslides, cloudbursts coupled with torrential rains hampered rescue operations as the death toll in the June-16 flood rose to 822 with 142 bodies being found, including 127 in Kedarnath. Around 7,000 people still remained stranded in Uttarakhand.

Further, mass cremation of hundreds of bodies was delayed amid fears of disease outbreak. Rescuers battled rains to evacuate 1,000 people.

The IAF helicopter crashed around 4.30 pm north of Gaurikund amid poor visibility.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice-chairman M Sashidhar Reddy said eight bodies had been recovered, and that chances of finding any survivors were remote.

The IAF in a statement said five of its personnel were killed. ITBP Director General Ajay Chadha told the TNS: “We have been told that six ITBP men and nine NDRF personnel were on board.”

The helicopter was tasked with dropping firewood for mass cremation. The helicopter was part of a fleet of 80 ordered from Russia in 2008 at a cost of $1.3 billion (Rs 6,500 crore). The first induction was done in February 2012.

“IAF’s rescue operations (in Uttarakhand) will continue,” the IAF statement said. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.

The IAF flew fewer sorties today and evacuated around 500 people, including 120 from Badrinath, as rescue operations were disrupted by cloudbursts and rain.

The 500 people rescued earlier from the Himalayan shrine were brought down safely to Joshimath by road, a distance of 44 km.

Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar told mediapersons in Dehradun that IAF helicopters rescued 120 people from Badrinath and 327 from Harsil. At least 127 more bodies were recovered since yesterday from the Kedarnath area. Fifteen corpses were found floating in the Ganga in different districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahr and Bijnore, taking the toll in the tragedy to 822, officials said.

The IAF, Army and Uttarakhand administration launched an operation to transport firewood and fuel for the last rites of those killed in the Kedarnath valley.

Agencies undertaking relief and rescue operations have expressed concerns over imminent spread of disease as bodies continue to rot in the temple town area 10 days after the tragedy.

Truckloads of dry wood and ghee have been dispatched to Kedarnath and efforts were on to conduct mass cremation of bodies after their identification, postmortem and DNA preservation formalities, a senior police official said.

State Director General of Police Satyabrat Bansal said the DNA of unidentified bodies was being preserved and they hoped the weather cleared tomorrow to facilitate the cremation.

“No survivors remain in the jungles around Kedarnath. They have all been brought out,” Ravinath Raman, nodal officer of rescue operations in Rudraprayag district, said in Guptkashi.

With rain hampering rescue operations in the morning from Badrinath, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna appealed to their relatives not to run out of patience, saying they were safe.

In Patna, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had asked the Uttarakhand Government not to allow any VIP to land in the flood-ravaged areas to avoid any disturbance to relief work.

The ITBP today decided to send in a fresh contingent of troops and bring out those tired and exhausted. The paramilitary force, according to sources, is replacing around 45 men with an equal strength in Kedarnath, Badrinath, Harsil and Gaurikund areas.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Punjab hires private chopper to evacuate pilgrims trapped in Uttarakhand

Chandigarh - The Punjab government has hired a private helicopter to airlift the pilgrims stuck in Uttarakhand following flash floods, cloudbursts and landslips, triggered by incessant 340-mm downpour.

On the directions of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who despite being on a visit abroad is continuously monitoring the current situation, the Punjab government has also constituted a four-member team of senior officers that has already left for Dehradun to monitor the ongoing rescue operations of the pilgrims, who had been trapped at various places in Uttarakhand due to bad weather, causing road blockades at several places.

The team would further visit Joshimath and Hemkund Sahib to minutely observe and coordinate the rescue operations. Punjab Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh, along with his officers, is keeping constant liaison with Uttarakhand administration to provide all type of help and support for this massive rescue operation at war footing.

Two days back, Badal had directed the Chief Secretary to extend all help and support to the Uttarakhand government in launching a massive operation to rescue the victims.

The Chief Minister had also directed the state government to take immediate necessary measures.Acting on the Chief Minister’s direction, Chief Secretary and Ropar MLA Daljit Singh Cheema had established a contact with the Uttarakhand government.

“The Punjab government is providing all type of assistance to the Uttarakhand government as rescue operation was going on at war footing,” claimed a state government spokesperson. A team, led by Special Secretary Education K S Pannu and DIG Khubi Ram and assisted by other police officers, has left for Dehradun to monitor the entire ongoing rescue operation.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Know About Your Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand became the 27th state of the Republic of India on 9th November 2000. The State came out of Uttar Pradesh. Demand for Uttarakhand was first made in 1930 at the Karachi session of INC. It occupies 17.3% of India's total land area with 51,125 sq km.

Uttarakhand is a place with great diversity of the region where snow-clad mountains, green hills, fertile valleys, flowing rivers and thriving lakes add to the natural beauty.

Uttarakhand is also known as the Abode of the gods, there are several highly venerated pilgrimage places. The tourists must visit Kedarnath, Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Jageshwar, Bageshwar, Rishikesh and Haridwar for their religious importance on Uttarakhand Travel. Each hilltop or bent is known to have a temple, big or small, which are considered very sacred by the locals.

Its a region with several natural lakes, which are the center of attraction of the town and good for sporting activities. The popular hill stations of Uttarakhand are Almora, Bhimtal, Munsiyari, Mussorie, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Ranikhet, Chopta, Valley of Flowers, Joshimath and Lansdowne. For unlimited serenity and tranquility in pleasant pollution free environs, hill station on Uttarakhand Travel are ideal for vacations.

Uttarakhand is also ideal for several adventure sports activities because of its geographical attributes. The tourist here takes the maximum pleasure out of adventure sports like trekking, ice-skiing, white water rafting, sailing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, yachting, water-skiing and parasailing. To climb the big mountain stretch or to pass the dense jungles of the hills is in itself very exciting. The huge water-filled rivers and deep lakes are perfect for water sports.

People who come here also prefer to visit the abundant wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the state. Also dont miss the chance tovisit the Valley of Flower National Park, Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuaries, Nanda Devi National Park, Govind National Park, Assan Barrage National Park, Rajaji National Park and Corbett National Park.

Capital Dehradun (Interim)

High Court Nainital
Longitude 77° 34' 27" E to 81° 02' 22" E
Latitude 28° 53' 24" N to 31° 27' 50" N
Total Area 53,484 sq. km.
Total Forest Area 34,434 sq. km.
Hilly Area 92.57%
Plains 7.43%

Districts: Uttarakhand has 13 districts Almora, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pauri, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Udham Singh Nagarand Uttarkashi

Languages Spoken: Langauges spoken here are Garhwali, Kumaoni, Jaunsari and Hindi.

Pilgrimage Sites: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Panchkedar, Panchbadri, Panchprayag, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Hemkund Sahib, Purnagiri, Chittai, Kaliyar Sharif, Nanakmatta Sahib, Rettha Sahib etc.

Tourist And Historical Places: Nainital, Mussoorie, Pauri, Almora, Ranikhet, Khirsu, Champawat, Dayara, Auli, Khatling, Bedni Bugyal, Valley Of Flowers, Lansdown, Lakhamandal, Paataal Bhuvaneshwar, Gangolihaat, Jolljivi, Kataarmal, Kosani, Jageshwar, Dwarahaat, Someshwar, Baijnath, Pindari Glacier etc.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A lawyer who is also a campaigner for social and human rights causes

Dehradun - A state agitationist and lawyer by profession, Alok Ghildiyal has been an active campaigner for social causes in Dehradun. He has been at the forefront in raising issues linked to corruption and the rising crime graph in the Capital that has seen a spurt in such incidents in recent times. Public conveyance problems and the challenges of encroachment and fast degrading environment have been prominently raised by Ghildiyal time and again.

A resident of Kargi, Dehradun, Alok Ghildiyal is a lawyer by profession and has been practising in the Dehradun district court for over 18 years. Since his college days in DAV (PG) College, Alok Ghildiyal actively participated in agitations linked to civic issues of the city. He completed his Ll.B in 1993, when the movement of a separate state agitation had started simmering. As a young man then, he actively participated in the statehood movement. And even today, after over a decade of the formation of the state, he is actively working to address the genuine concerns of the Uttarakhandi people.

As a legal luminary, Alok has also been a human rights activist for more than a decade now. He is the state secretary of the Uttaranchal Human Rights Association, Dehradun, for 11 years and has been raising the issues of human at various platforms. A former vice-president of the Dehradun Bar Association, Alok is also a legal adviser to the Uttarakhand Ex-Army Officers League, one of biggest organisations of ex-army officials in the state.

Today, in his early forties, Alok Ghildiyal admits that Uttarakhand of the state agitators’ dreams was still to be realised. He said rising corruption and select development was a big issue as state agitationists had thought of a state that was free from corruption and had developed hilly areas.

He believes that Dehradun was today not the same as it was some decades back. Large population pressure on the city has degraded the environment.

Trees are being felled rampantly and the residents of Dehradun are a mute witness to such development. Alok said he has been raising the issue at every platform, seeking stricter environmental laws to save greenery of Dehradun.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Former beauty queen Niharika to run for promoting tourism

Dehradun, May 6 - Former Miss India Earth Niharika Singh will participate in a marathon, scheduled for May 25 and 26 in Rishikesh, to promote tourism and spread the message ‘Save the Ganges’ among the masses. Addressing the mediapersons here today, District Tourism Officer YS Gangvar said, “The Tourism Department is organising a two-day marathon ‘Running and living adventure run’. On the first day, a 5-km stretch from Astha Path to Triveni Ghat and on the next day, a 21-km stretch from Shivpuri, Malakhunti to Kotlaganv will be covered.” The registration for the event will continue till May 18 at Hotel Ganga Kinare and yatra office of the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. Niharika Singh, addressing the media via video-conferencing, said she was excited about the event. She said It would be better than other usual marathons organised in metropolitan cities of the country. Efforts should be made to promote tourism in the state.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Van gujjars demand ST status, Assembly seat

Dehradun, March 21
Van gujjars have sought an Assembly constituency reserved for the community in the state.

At a convention of van gujjars held at the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), Dehradun, the van gujjars unanimously put forward their demand for reserving an Assembly seat for the community. They also sought the Scheduled Tribes status for the community even while accusing the state Forest Department of harassing them repeatedly.

“In the states of J&K and Himachal Pradesh, the van gujjars enjoy the status of the Scheduled Tribe, but in Uttarakhand instead of giving the ST status, the state government is harassing van gujjars. We demand that the process of declaring van gujjars as the Scheduled Tribe should be initiated immediately and like Jammu and Kashmir, a seat in the Assembly should also be reserved for our community,” said Mohammad Yusuf, a van gujjar residing in the Rajaji National Park.

Aklobibi, a woman representative of the tribe, said, “When our men die, forest officials harass women by saying that the land was given to your husband and now you have no claim on it. We face oppression at the most troubled time in our lives.”

Other speakers asked the Uttarakhand Government to fulfil its promises made in the election manifesto and follow the directions of the National Human Rights Commission treating them under the Scheduled Tribe and Other Forest Dwellers Act, 2006. They also demanded a check on the forcible eviction of those van gujjars who do not wish to leave the forest.

Presiding over the meeting, Padmashri Avdhash Kaushal, chairperson, RLEK said, "I have brought to the notice of Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna in the presence of Yashpal Arya, state president of the Congress that the government should immediately organize a function in Dehradun and redress the concerns of van gujjars".

He said the distribution of land pattas in the joint names of husband and wife to the van gujjars of Gaidikhatta, Pathri and Bibiwala must be done without delay.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Uttarakhand budget presented: Opposition termed deceit and jugglery of financial data

Dehradun, March 20
Refraining from imposing any new taxes, the Uttarakhand Finance Minister, Indira Hridayesh, today presented a Rs 25329.84 crore revenue surplus budget for the year 2013-14 amidst Opposition din in the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly.

Presenting the second Budget, the Finance Minister tried to do the balancing act by hiking the budgetary allocation in the social sector and also offering sops to women, disabled persons, minorities, IT, hotel, food processing industry and also strengthening on human and intellectual capital.

“If you take the revenue and the capital expenditure, it is a revenue surplus budget. We have been able to tame the fiscal deficit which is 2.92 per cent of GSDP, which is within the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management venue RBM target of 3 per cent, ” said Indira Hridayesh.

To empower women in property matters, stamp duty exemption of 25 per cent will be given up to Rs 30 lakh (an increase from the earlier amount Rs 20 lakh).

The Budget also proposes to reduce stamp duty from 2 per cent to 1 per cent in cases of gift deeds in favour of family members. To encourage fruit producers, VAT on fruit wine is planned to be reduced from 32.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

To give a fillip to IT industry, the Budget proposes to extend tax concessions against form “C” till March 2015 or till implementation of GST regime.

To give relief to the hotel industry, it has been proposed to do away with the luxury tax being imposed on the hotels offering SPA activities.

Stamp duty exemption in case of property transfers to disabled persons is proposed to be enhanced from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

VAT rate of wire crates used for disaster prevention and flood protection works is proposed to be reduced from 13.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

For development of infrastructure facilities in SC majority areas, a provision of Rs 50 crore has been included, which is in addition to the other specific departmental schemes. For the welfare of minorities, Rs 75 crore has been provided in the Budget.

The Budget estimate shows a receipt of Rs 18,955.72 crore under the consolidated fund, of which Rs 11,007.81 is tax revenue and Rs 7,947.91 crore is under non-tax revenue.
The total expenditure from the consolidated fund of the state in 2013-2014 under the non-plan expenditure is at Rs 16,6619.46 crore, of which Rs 4,422.97 crore is on revenue and Rs 2,196.49 crore on capital account.
Despite the financial constraints, the government has increased provision in major departments as compared to last year.
The increase in budgetary allocation in education sector is estimated at Rs 4,875 crore in 2013-2014. In 2012-2013, it was Rs 4,321 crore. The allocation in health has increased from Rs 996 crore in 2012-2013 to Rs 1,209 crore in 2013-214.
The allocation for the social welfare scheme has increased from Rs 1,000 crore in 2012-2013 to Rs 588 crore in 2013-2014. The allocation towards roads has increased from Rs 1,167 crore in 2012-2013 to Rs 1,314 crore in 2013-2014.
A provision of Rs 3,262 crore has been made, which is 46 per cent higher than 2012-2013.

A pack of lies, says Bhatt

Dehradun, March 20
Ajay Bhatt, Leader of the Opposition in the Uttarakhand Assembly, has termed the Budget presented by the state government as a document of falsehood, deceit and jugglery of financial data.

Bhatt in a statement said the state government had utterly failed to use 41 per cent of the funds of the previous Budget. He added it was unlikely that the government would be able to generate resources as it had reduced taxes for high-end users like Spa and Wines in the Budget.

He said the government managed to survive last year only due to the Central grant and pension funds of Rs 2,300 crore made available by the Uttar Pradesh government. The Budget was highly disappointing for the common people of the state, he added.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The wife married to FIVE brothers

Rajo, 21, follows a tradition in Indian villages which allows families to hold on to their farmland

  • Rajo Verma, 21, lives in one room with the siblings, in Northern India
  • The young wife spends each night with a different brother in turn
  • She does not know which of siblings is the father of her young son
  • Fraternal polyandry is tradition in the small village near Dehradun
A young Indian woman has spoken out about being married to five husbands, all of whom are brothers. Rajo Verma, 21, lives in one room with the siblings and they sleep on blankets on the floor. 
The mother-of-one, who sleeps each night with a different brother, does not know which of her five related husbands is the father of her 18-month-old son.
Happy family: Five brothers (L-R) Sant Ram Verma, 28, Bajju Verma, 32, Gopal Verma, 26, Guddu Verma, 21, and Dinesh Verma, 19, with their shared wife Rajo Verma, 20, and their son Jay Verma
Happy family: Five brothers (L-R) Sant Ram Verma, 28, Bajju Verma, 32, Gopal Verma, 26, Guddu Verma, 21, and Dinesh Verma, 19, with their shared wife Rajo Verma, 20, and their son Jay Verma

The set-up may seem peculiar, but it is tradition in the small village near Dehradun, Northern India, for women to also marry the brothers of their first husband.
She told the Sun: 'Initially it felt a bit awkward. 'But I don’t favour one over the other.'

Rajo and first husband Guddu wed in an arranged Hindu marriage four years ago.
Since then she has married Baiju, 32, Sant Ram, 28, Gopal, 26, and Dinesh, 19 - the latest in the line of husbands - who married her as soon as he turned 18.
'We all have sex with her but I’m not jealous,' first husband Guddu  - who remains the only official spouse - said. 'We’re one big happy family.'
Tradition: The set up may seem peculiar, but it is custom in the small village near Dehradun, Northern India, for women to also marry the brothers of her first husband
Tradition: The set up may seem peculiar, but it is custom in the small village near Dehradun, Northern India, for women to also marry the brothers of her first husband

Wife: They sleep together in turn, but that they do not have beds, just 'lots of blankets on the floor'. Verma does not know which of the brothers is the father of her son
Wife: They sleep together in turn, but that they do not have beds, just 'lots of blankets on the floor'. Rajo does not know which of the brothers is the father of her son
Housewife: Rajo said she got a lot more attention and love than many other wives
Housewife: Rajo said she got a lot more attention and love than many other wives


The practice of polyandry is believed to stem from the tale of Mahabharata, the ancient Indian epic.
The text, one of the cornerstones of Indian culture, sees Draupadi, daughter of the King of Pancha being married to five brothers.
It is not legal, but in its most common form - whereby women in polyandrous relationships marry more than one man from the same family - it is permitted.
It tends to be practised in male dominated villages, who still follow primitive rituals and customs. Brothers who refuse the union are often treated as outcasts.
In polyandrous families, the woman often cannot say which of her husbands fathered which children.
Recently, there have been instances of DNA testing, to solve inheritance disputes.  
The ancient Hindu tradition of polyandry was once widely practiced in India, but is now only observed by a minority.
It sees a woman take more than one husband, typically in areas which are male dominated.
In fraternal polyandry the woman is expected to marry each of her original husband's brothers.
It is thought to have arisen from the popular Sanskrit epic of Mahabharatha, which sees Draupadi, daughter of the King of Pancha being married to five brothers.
The practice is also believed to be a way of keeping farming land in the family.
It is most commonly found near the Himalayas in the north of the country, as well as in the mountainous nation of Tibet.
While the advance of modernity has seen the archaic practice largely die out in most areas, the shortage of women in countries such as China and India has helped keep it alive as a solution to young men's difficulties in finding a wife.
Rajo said she knew she was expected to accept all of her husbands, as her own mother had also been married to three brothers. 
She said they sleep together in turn, but that they do not have beds, just 'lots of blankets on the floor'.
She added: 'I get a lot more attention and love than most wives.'

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Govt okays plying of two-wheelers in Paltan Bazaar

Dehradun, March 7
The traders of Paltan Bazar are jubilant over the decision of the state government to allow movement of two-wheelers in Paltan Bazaar from 10 to 3 in the day. The traders' unions have now cancelled their joint decision to observe a bandh tomorrow, and also opened their shops in the afternoon today.

The news regarding the state government's decision was broken to the traders by Saket Bahuguna, son of the Chief Minister, at Clock Tower. He showed them a letter of the Chief Minister in this regard.

When the traders at Clock Tower were clapping and cheering the decision around 2 in the afternoon, a group of union leaders was meeting SSP Kewal Khurana in his office on the matter. Khurana had refused to relax the ban on two-wheelers but also kept the doors of dialogue open by offering them a meeting with the District Magistrate and himself in three to four days.

The traders of Paltan Bazaar had intensified their protest in support of their demand over resumption of plying of two-wheelers in the market after a trader, Chander Shekhar Kohli, died of heart attack in his shop yesterday afternoon. The traders blamed the police for not allowing an ambulance inside the market, which led to his death,whereas the police said the delay was on the part of the ambulance.

The leaders of various trade associations welcomed the decision of the state government. President of Doon Traders' Association Vipin Nagliya said: “All the trader communities thank the state government over it's decision to resume movement of two-wheelers. The business of Paltan Bazaar had got immensely affected due to the ban, whilst our other competitors in adjoining markets made profits on account of a slump in our business.”

President of State Doon Trade Association Umesh Aggarwal thanked the state government for showing sensitivity towards the grievances of traders in the matter and said; “The traders are demanding the extension of limit of movement of two-wheelers up to 4. Saket Bahuguna has given us an assurance us in this connection."

Reacting on this sudden turnaround, SSP said: “The police will comply with the state government order about resumption of two-wheelers in Paltan Bazaar and now deploy more policemen in the market to regulate traffic and crowd.”

In the morning, the traders could be seen throwing their weight around by making inflammatory speeches against the police and throwing police barricades away. Some traders dragged barricades to long distances. CO, city, Mamta Bohra, directed the policemen to bring these back. A minor scuffle took place on this issue. A trade leader also tried to argue with Mamta Bohra when she asked him to stand at a distance from her. Other policemen pacified him with difficulty. The dharna and speeches continued till 1.30, after which they the traders went to meet the SSP. However, the energy and anger perceptible in traders yesterday was missing today.