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Where is Sirisha?

July 22: Two-year-old Sirisha has been missing since March. Missing along with her are eight siblings. Sirisha's father P.L Narasimhan has been running from pillar to post to get her traced, but has not had any luck so far. Now, the Hyderabad-based Indian has taken the extreme step of appealing to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of America,...

Quizzically Yours

September 6: Eight-year old Neha is the happiest girl in India. Her father has just won a huge amount of money at a popular television quiz show. Neha coached him for the show.The game show, 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' (KBC), is the Indianised version of the famous American show 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' Contestants are given 15 questions...

The dabbawalas of Mumbai

Late every morning at Mumbai, in India, rows and rows of neatly stacked dabbas (boxes) with weird markings on the top are trundled across busy office buildings. At fifteen to one, a cloth capped man delivers one of these cylindrical boxes on my table in the Fort area. At once I open the case and find the lunch my...

Puppets on a String Dance Again

Vishnudas Bhave's puppets had to go through a long ordeal before they finally got to the right place and in the hands of the right people. It was not just a long journey but a tough one too.This story dates back to the year 1843, when the father of Marathi theatre, Vishnudas Bhave created his puppets, in Maharashtra's Sangli...

Computer Whiz Grans

July 31: A.Yogananda is learning the basics of the computer at a computer centre in Pune. Like how to send and receive e-mails to friends in US, Mumbai and Bangalore. He is as excited as any kid who is learning something new.This eager student is all of 79 years old.And he is not the only one. Senior citizens in...

Ali Sardar Jafri

He was a poet who spoke out for the poor. He was also one who truly believed that India and Pakistan could be friends, if the countries tried hard enough. From the time he was arrested for writing against British rule in India, to when he climbed onto the famous Lahore "peace" bus with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee...

The Slum Hero

August 5: Last week, we had written about social worker Aruna Roy who has been tirelessly working to promote the rights of villagers in Rajasthan. And for her work, she has been awarded the Magsaysay Award for the year 2000. Keeping her company is 53-year-old Arputham Jockin.Arputham has only one objective in his life -- to ensure the rights...

The Plastic Menace

Plastic waiting to be recycled
Heavy rains lashed Mumbai city a few months ago, the worst rains in decades. The downpour literally brought the city to a standstill. And all because of discarded plastic bags. Plastic bags or polythene bags are essentially made of petro-chemicals.These bags are very thin and in a strong wind can fly away from garbage bins and land on drains...

Chattering Kids and Teacher’s Tape

July 8: It happened in a primary school in the city of La Plata, Argentina. There were 70 bright-eyed children in one class. Seventy chattering children, all seven years old. A school rehearsal was on for Argentina's Independence Day celebrations. And the teacher tried her best to see that they kept quiet during the rehearsal. But, the children did...

How Did Advertising Start in India?

How did advertising start in India?
The first newspaper in India was brought out by an Englishman James Augustus Hickey in 1780 who was stationed at Calcutta. The paper was brought out on Saturdays and was first called the Calcutta General Advertiser or Hickey's Bengal Gazette.Publishing a newspaper is an expensive business as Hickey realised to his cost. He was losing money faster than the...

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