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History was Made Here

History was Made Here

November 4: It is a dirty and dimly-lit room, located on the first floor of the government-run JJ Hospital at Byculla, Mumbai. It includes a table, a chair and pieces of equipment occasionally used by the hospital staff, and is used as a safe refuge by tired employees looking for a quiet corner to doze off. History was made over a hundred years ago in this room, when a German bacteriologist called Robert Koch discovered the vaccine against the tuberculosis and cholera bacteria, in it....

The Green Magician

The Green Magician

July 1: Many children, all over the world, are working to protect the environment. While some are involved with school groups, others are busy spreading awareness in their neighbourhood. Fifteen-year-old Kruti Parekh is a bit different for she uses some rather fantastic methods in campaigning for the environment. This nature-loving teenager uses magic to promote environmental causes! Kruti also happens to be India’s youngest professional conjurer — a record she has held for the last five years....

The Slum Hero

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 of slum dwellers in Mumbai. For this purpose, he has also founded the National Slum Dwellers’ Federation (NSDF), says a report in ‘The Hindu’....

Poor Rainfall In India Affects Crops

Where: Mumbai, India July 15, 2009 : The Indian Meteorological (Met) Department had predicted an excellent monsoon in 2009 for the entire country. The monsoon is an annual rainfall system, and India’s farmers have always depended on it for their crops. Changing monsoon patterns are among the harmful effects of climate change. The Met Department has reported that the entire country had a 34 per cent drop in rainfall between June 1 and July 9, 2009....

The Actor

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 here to the bright lights of Bollywood appears to be very long indeed. The journey becomes even more convoluted given the fact that Dhanna is also mentally challenged....

Take Me Back

Take Me Back

July 6: A clueless girl stands outside her school building, looking lost among the swirling mass of uniformed school students. She is not allowed to wear the school uniform, ususally sits in the last row without a partner, her notebooks go unchecked and her name does not appear in the attendance register. Meet six-year-old Ekta, who is being punished for something her father, Sunil Mistry, did. He had questioned the fee structure of the school and called it illegal....

Wet behind the ears: Mumbai floods again

Where: Mumbai, India June 25, 2007: A kid of five would tell you that it rains in June. Especially in Mumbai, which being on the coast, takes a soak before the rains make their way to inland cities like Delhi. Yet, year after year, with unfailing precision, Mumbai goes under water. Knee deep water, with floating trash, stinking dead rodents and million toxic bacteria. This year, it has been no different. The Indian Express reports that five persons were killed, subways got flooded, trains were running late (or not at all), trees were uprooted and roads were under three feet of water....

Slumdog Millionaire's Big Haul at the Golden Globe Awards

Where: Los Angeles, U.S.A. January 12, 2009 : Slumdog Millionaire, an Indian story set and shot in India, is based on the novel ‘Q&A’ by an Indian diplomat and first-time novelist Vikas Swarup. It was directed by the well-known British director Danny Boyle, and released in 2008. The film won awards for best director, best picture, and screenplay (by Simon Beaufoy) in addition to best musical score. The prestigious Golden Globe awards are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association every year in Los Angeles....

Indians All the Way As 'Slumdog Millionaire' Sweeps Oscars

Indians All the Way As 'Slumdog Millionaire' Sweeps Oscars

Where: Los Angeles, USA February 22, 2009 : India awoke to the sound of cheers and applause last Monday as ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fetched two Oscars* for A.R. Rahman and one for Resul Pookutty. With the American-made film ‘Smile Pinki’ about an Indian girl winning the Oscar for the best short documentary, the focus was definitely on India. Slumdog Millionaire, directed by the recognised British filmmaker Danny Boyle, is about an Indian boy. The film has an all Indian cast, and was shot in Mumbai with Indian technicians....

Coaching, Anyone?

Coaching, Anyone?

October 21: Open any newspaper and chances are that you will find yourself staring at a full page advertisement of some coaching college proudly claiming that the bright young girl who topped the IIT entrance examination (her photograph is so smudged that you can’t see) had been coached by their able guides. If there isn’t an advertisement in the newspaper there is bound to be a flyer or single sheet of paper concealed within the folds of the newspaper so that it catches your attention even before that news item on cricket match fixing that you are looking for....

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