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The Actor

October 6 : Dhanna wants to become an actor. His dream is to star in a film with Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, two famous actors of Bollywood, Mumbai's hugely popular film industry.Seventeen year-old Dhanna is the son of a rexine bag-maker. He lives with his family in a narrow by-lane of a poor colony in Delhi. The journey from...

Historic Station Soon to be History

November 24: A historic railway station, that once linked the Indian city of Jammu, with Sialkot in Pakistan, is soon going to be demolished. A Kala Kendra Complex or centre to preserve art and culture will be established in its place.The catch is that the Jammu & Kashmir government, that ordered the demolition, itself does not know what exactly...

A Children’s park in the Train

October 14: First chocolates and now mobile playgrounds! Children have two reasons to thank the Swiss. The latest bit of good news is that the Swiss railways have started trains which have a special children's corner. And no prizes for guessing that the theme of this playground is dinosaurs. The Indian Express.Children boarding trains on the Basel-Zurich-Chur route and...

The Young Tax Commandos

October 14: Every country has its heroes in every generation, and children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, point at them. There was a time when becoming a diplomat or a cosmonaut was the most thrilling profession for Russian children. Recognition from others, glamour and adventure - these professions seemed to have it all.But...

A Syllabus for Harmony

November 24: A syllabus where a chapter on Habba Khatoon, a famous Kashmiri poet, jostles for space along with chapters on papier-mâché, hanguls (deer), apples and Kashmiri rugs?Well, these subjects are what primary school students in Kashmir, are going to be reading in their textbooks - and it is not without reason. The violence in Kashmir seems to be...

The Magic Carpet

October 21: Meet Sheikh Tayyab Mahajan. This resident of Nagpur has a dream - he wants to create a carpet in which he can weave the complete cultural pattern of India.Ambitious? But possible, thinks Tayyab. That is why he started weaving a durrie or rug seven years ago. At that time, he wanted to make it to the Guinness...

Gandhi’s School is Dying

Where: Wardha district in the western state of Maharashtra, IndiaOctober 6 : Every year, October 2 is observed as Gandhi Jayanti in India. Both children and adults look forward to this day, but not to commemorate the birth of 'the greatest Indian since the Buddha, as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has been called. It is more to enjoy the national...

Made to Order

December 9: We've heard of gene therapy for humans. But for seeds? And yet, this is exactly what seeds in India will be treated for in the future. Thanks to gene therapy, the seeds will have made-to-order properties.Some scientists are introducing a gene (the element that gives hereditary characteristic to a living thing) from a weed into the Indian...

Silence that Spoke of Protest

October 16: A few days ago, seven villages in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, wore a ghostly look for an entire day. Not one of the 40,000 people inhabiting the villages could be seen outside their homes.The villagers were on a first ever self-imposed 'janata (people's) curfew' in the country. Their purpose - to attract government attention to the serious...

Messing Up, Alphabetically

November 4: Central Asian countries that proclaimed independence after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) disintegrated in 1991 are not merely beset by the usual political and economic uncertainties that mark all new nations. They are uncertain about their alphabets too. At the root of all this confusion is an identity crisis that the countries are suffering.Take Azerbaijan,...

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