Archive for the ‘Ahmedabad Mirror’ Category

Roommates share a lot beyond just room space and furniture. There are fun times worth cherishing, tough times and sharing. Aditi Rindani speaks to a few roomies

They’re neither your relatives, nor your friends. Yet, they are an intrinsic part of your life…if not forever, at least for a few years. Roomies, as they’re affectionately called, are what make your life interesting, comfortable and yes, loads of fun. Cooking and gossip sessions, even heartburns, you share it all with them. AM catches up with a few room partners residing in different hostels and flats across the city to know what goes behind living together.

30, ICICI Mutual Funds Executive
22, Engineering Student (Nirma University)
Radha Krishna Hostel
Mates for 2 years

Good times Priyanka and Crupali share a great rapport, and that obviously results in them having spent many “special moments together”. Not just hanging out in the evenings, the two often go for a stroll that normally ends with a stop at the icecream-wallah. Movies on the laptop are a regular with these girls, especially with “no TV around”. Among the many good times they’ve shared, Priyanka’s favourite is when Crupali was keen on celebrating her birthday and instead of the cake, they ended up cutting a watermelon!

Bad times Attribute it to their age gap, but the two do have their share of misunderstandings as well. There have been no heated arguments, though there have been cold wars, “once in a blue moon”.

Success mantra Constant communication, standing by each other in good and bad times as well as the love and care they share is what keeps them going.

21, Geomatics Student (CEPT)
21, Geomatics Student (CEPT)
Swagatam Motels Gujarat Limited (SMG Hostel)
Mates for  4 years

Good times  Being students of the same college and hailing from the same hometown, this duo has had some good times rolling. On way back to hostel from college, there’s ample to discuss and chat about: college happenings, girlie gossips, teacher cribbing. Weekends are special to them since it’s movie time. However, it’s not just fun times they share. They freely talk about their share of frustrations as well. Discussing family, friends and “almost everything” is how life is for roomies Bindi and Priyanka.

Bad times That Bindi sleeps longer is Priyanka’s complain. Why? Because then, she is the one who has to get up earlier and compromise on her sleep. Since Bindi, who’s “less talkative”, does not react much, their fights are kept in check!

Success mantra Theirs is a case of opposites attract. A lot of compromise and chemistry goes in to theirs being a happy, well balanced relationship.

19, Engineering Student (Nirma University)
19, Engineering Student (Nirma University)
Flat on Judges Bungalow road
Mates for 3 years

Good times Be it late night parties or frequent outings and trips to restaurants, the pair enjoys it all. Their bindaas attitude helps them have fun times together. ‘No disturbance’ and ‘Keep your space’ seem to be mantras that help them have happy times together.

Bad times Fights without any base reason do lead to misunderstandings with this duo. Another thing that hurts is the internet bills that run high!

Success mantra They never back-bite and are proud of it. Another thing that the two believe in is non-interference in the other’s life.

23, Communications Student (CDC)
23, Communications Student (CDC)
University Hostel
Mates for 1 year

Good times One of the primary things they enjoy together is their morning cup of tea. What adds to the fun is that they are family friends too. This makes it interesting to live under the same roof. Sundays are fun since they translate into moving about the city, watching movies and meeting up with friends and relatives. What makes things better is that they are also from the same college, which means spending the entire day together.

Bad times Amit is disciplined and hence has some problems with the carefree and careless disposition Deepak has. There are mild ego clashes as well. Why? Because both want to have their say!

Success mantra The two have known each other since childhood. And although their tastes differ, it’s the mutual understanding that helps them sail through and make their relationship stronger.

18, B.Com Student (H L College of Commerce)
22, CFA Student, Narayana Institute,
Radha Krishna Hostel
Mates for 5 months

Good times Nisha hails from Muscat and is, therefore, especially happy with the support she gets from Tanu. They enjoy exam days by studying together, even late in the nights. It’s not all work and no play though, for the girls have fun by “bugging” people around them. Yelling out of the window, splashing water on those below, calling up friends from unknown numbers are some of the mischiefs they indulge in. What’s best is they unite and fight back whenever they get caught!

Bad times Luckily for them, there’s been no sour patch in their five-month relationship.

Success mantra Great understanding ranks high for this duo. Patience with each other and pleasant dispositions are points that add to the fun of living together.

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Rajkumar College in Rajkot declares a holiday to mourn the death of former student DIG Ashok Kamte

File photograph of DIG Ashok Kamte who was killed in terrorist attack in Mumbai

As brave in death as he was in life. That’s how DIG Ashok Kamte, who laid down his life during a gunbattle against terrorists in Mumbai, will be remembered as by his alma mater: Raj Kumar College (RKC) in Rajkot.

The college declared a holiday to pay homage to former student. RKC principal Vinod Thakkar said, “Ashok studied here from 1972 to 1977. He left after Std VIII.”

A newspaper clipping of Ashok Kamte being named as the captain of RKC powerlifting team
Excellence was Kamte’s middle name. He always stood first in class but was not a bookworm. “Ashok won many prestigious cups at RKC as he was very good at athletics, swimming and cricket, too,” the Principal said. He was also selected in the Indian team for the World Junior Power Lifting Championship in 1987.

Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, was one of those officers who loved challenges.  The principal added, “When we received the news of his death on Thursday morning, we decided to constitute a ‘Chivalry Award’ in his name this year itself. He was a great athlete and one of the brightest students in his batch.”

Having undergone special training for negotiating hostage situations, Kamte was summoned late on Wednesday to  deal with terrorists holed up in Mumbai buildings. He undertook the operation at Metro Cinema near Cama Hospital in Mumbai, and was shot down in the line of duty.

Survived by his wife and two children,Kamte — who had also served as Commissioner of Solapur — was always known to be in the thick of action.

Over 400 fans on his Orkut profile shows that Kamte enjoyed great respect and love. “He was a one-man army who not only controlled the criminals of Solapur, but the whole state. I ask  God to bless shaheed Ashok Kamte and make his dream of  ‘a crime-free India’ a reality. Until his last breath, he helped us live a peaceful life,” wrote one of his fans on the social networking site.  Another fan wrote: “Commissioner Ashok Kamte’s name terrified anti-social elements. He is a real hero. His demise is painful. May his great soul rest in peace.”

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One side of the plot, which is a stinking dump, is cleaned only because it is close to the residence of ex-AUDA chief

One side of the plot is lined with trees, the other by weeds and wild grass

This rubbish dump is a blot on Prahladnagar’s reputation of being a plush neighbourhood. For residents, the heaps of garbage, hordes of cows and buffaloes and swarms of mosquitoes are more of a nightmare that sours their experience of owning a ‘dream house’.

Residents of Serene Flats in the area say they have complained to AMC authorities on numerous occasions in the past to get the area cleaned, but to no avail. Now, they are beginning to feel choked and desperate for fresh air. The residents also say the civic body has been partial for it cleans the part of the open plot which is close to the residence of former chairman of AUDA, Surendra Patel.

The other side has been turned into a dump for household waste, leftovers from eateries, plastic and paper, uncared for dry grass and cow dung. As a result, passers-by consider the plot a vast open loo and relieve themselves there.

“My wife and children cannot go to the balcony as people urinate there. The Rabari family staying there dirties the place by bathing in the open and spread cakes of dung all over. The cows and buffaloes,

attracted to the place because of the waste strewn about, create safety hazard for motorists,” said Serene Flats president Sameer Shah.

AMC looks after only one side of the plot. While one side is lined with freshly-planted trees, the other side is claimed by weeds and wild grass. Girish Trivedi, another resident, said, “People burn cow dung at night that leaves a foul smell in their entire locality. We want AMC to clean up the entire plot, put a notice board and keep a man for security.”

Residents of Tapas Bungalows, where Patel resides, use the clean side during social functions. Needless to say that the leftovers and waste end up on the other half of the plot.

Residents now seek an end to AMC’s apathy. They say their residence is hardly a ‘dream house’ with all the luxuries inside, but none in the surroundings.

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NGOs from 7 countries are taking part in the three-day workshop

Disadvantaged women will be taught to make bags at the workshop

Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), along with EMpower, has organised a three-day international workshop in Ahmedabad for female entrepreneurs. Welfare organisations from seven countries are participating in the workshop.

The objective of the workshop is to help disadvantaged women from across the world make a living. Participants of the workshop are being taught to make handbags and other accessories. Women from different countries who have worked against the odds with the help of NGOs will share their experience at the workshop.

“The workshop’s key purpose is networking,” the CEO of SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre, Mona Dave, said. “We at SEWA believe in sharing and gaining knowledge. We have thought of a programme called e-dialogue through which experts will provide online assistance.”

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PGP-PMP students visited institutes of global repute as part of the course’s international attachment module

IIM Ahmedabad

Post-graduate students of IIM-A’s public management and policy (PGP-PMP) spent six weeks at international universities as part of their internship.

The course gets students from various fields, including Army, Navy, medicine, police, banking and the corporate sector. Towards the end of the year-long course, students go through an international attachment module and get to visit reputed institutes like University of Geneva, Georgetown University and Carnegie Mellon Institute, US.

Aradhna Patnaik, an IAS, who visited University of Geneva, said, “The Geneva experience taught us how organisations like UN, ILO, WHO and UNICEF work. The six students, who visited the university, also got back feedback for India. The best part of the PGP-PMP course is that the participants come from a variety of backgrounds. There is a lot of scope for interaction apart from the invaluable international exposure.”

Talking of the course, its chairman, prof Sebastian Morris, said, “The course trains people from the public sector, private sector and government servants. IIM-Bangalore will soon adopt this model.”

Mohit Kumar, a qualified medical professional, said, “I joined the programme for knowledge from various fields. This is the sole course that has this option.” Kumar visited Georgetown University along with 15 others.

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Dr Tejus Naik converted his house into a museum to display his collection of antiques; the curios will be open for public viewing during Heritage Week

Doorway to heaven: This 350-yr-old intricately carved darwaza depicts Lord Krishna perched on a tree. The scene represents Sita vastra-haran

This collection of antiques is as big as a museum’s. And it’s the handiwork of just one man, Dr Tejus Naik, who spent 15 long years gathering every little curio he could lay his hands on one by one. Now, he is opening up his collection at Hindu Colony in Navrangpura for public viewing during the Heritage Week.

“I started the activity as a hobby. But over the years, it has grown so much. I don’t wish to spread knowledge, just want people to see them for their beauty. The Heritage Week is an ideal occasion to invite the public,” said Naik.

Naik inaugurated the museum on January 26, 2006. His mother Dr Pushpa Naik, 88, said, “Tejus’ habit of dumping the curios at home drove me mad. Later, he bought a couple of cupboards to display his collection. Gradually, he added lightings and drew up presentations. This is how the museum got started.”

Naik’s collection of paintings, Ganeshas and a variety of curios mainly embellish the winding staircase that leads up to the second floor of his house. It showcases replicas of some of India’s well-known painters, besides a host of Ganesh idols made of material like gold, brass, bamboo, lead, coconut, fibre, ceramic, zinc and fluorescent tube.

“I have collected things that my generation may be familiar with, but the next generation might miss out on,” he says. Things like models and paintings of horses from around the world, more than 50 types of cameras, among which one is more than a 100 years old make for a pretty sight. There is also a variety of bells, ancient and the modern. This includes an elephant’s bell, a cow bell and a Tibetan bell, too.

But the pride of place belongs to Naik’s maternal grandfather Gulzarilal Nanda’s original certificate of Bharat Ratna, his Padma Vibhushan medal, stamps and books brought out in his name.

Also of wide interest are figurines of Brahma, Annapurna, Vishupaksh of Hampi, Garuda, Jagannath and many others. The large variety of antique household items like telephones, charcoal and steam irons, flower vases, ink pots etc. take you back in time. Besides this, rare items like fossils of soil, wood, fish and dinosaur teeth dating back to 100-150 million years give the place a mystique that’s unlike a house.

His numerous coins, including funny money that has printing or minting flaws, are a treasure in themselves. By virtue of that, Naik is president of Gujarat Coins Society.

Among the ancient manuscripts and legal documents are a ‘firman’ and a 60-foot horoscope of one particular individual — both 100 years old.

— Dr Tejus Naik’s ‘home museum’ at Hindu Colony in Navrangpura is open for Amdavadis during Heritage Week beginning November 23. Time: 2 pm to 5 pm.

No Horsing around:
Dr Tejus Naik with his precious
collection that
includes models
and paintings of horses from all around the world
sign of times: Letters and autographs by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, Vikram Sarabhai,
APJ Abdul Kalam, Satyajit Ray, Umashankar Joshi,
and Indira Gandhi find a place in Naik’s collection
Bone up: These dinosaur fossils are 150 million years old. He bought these certified remains from Nature chain stores in the US
Prized possession:
The original Bharat Ratna medal and Padma Vibhushan medal awarded to Naik’s maternal grandfather Gulzarilal Nanda by the then President
K R Narayanan
Hotshot: Of the 50 cameras that Naik owns, this 100-year-old camera is a major attraction. While some of these cameras have been gifted to him by family and friends, he collected most by sifting through countless junk at various flea markets

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The walk began at Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple at 8 am and covered a distance of about 2 km in 2 hours

Swiss architects and CEPT students joined the two-hour walk from Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur to Jama Masjid in the Walled City

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s heritage week kicked off with a Swiss group of architects joining the heritage walk on Wednesday morning.

The daily heritage walk will help the participants explore the walled city. The walk begins at Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple at 8 am and covers a distance of about 2 km in 2 hours. On the way, one finds old houses with carved wood facade, bird feeders, century-old temples, mosques and markets.

AMC with the support of Cruta Foundation, an NGO, organises heritage week every year. The walk  has a long history and strong architectural and urban character.

Urvashi Ramaiya, the guide for the first day, said, “We have four volunteers, but I have the privilege of being around on most of the heritage walks. I am in love with Ahmedabad and always wanted to do something for it. So I took up this responsibility of showing off Amdavad to others.”

“We studied the modern architecture like that of the IIM in Ahmedabad. But the medieval part of the city is more fascinating,” said Rudolf Fraefel, a member of Swiss architect group.

Fraefel’s daughter Julia was also around. She said, “I am happy my group manager decided to join this walk. It is nice to see all these old carvings.” Some students of interior designing at CEPT University also joined the walk.

“We are on a project to draw the pols of Amdavad. So we thought of taking a look at the heritage buildings. But after coming here, we realised that although we belong to Amdavad, we are completely foreign to these places,” said Nikita Nair. Komal Gajjar echoed her views.

“I had heard about the heritage walk. But I joined it for the first time today. It is very interesting to know the history and facts of our city,” said Jitendra Trivedi, another participant.

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Students who studied all night at MJ Library are a harried lot after authorities started closing the premises by 11 pm daily since Oct 1

‘We do not need books. Our request is to keep the reading room open for students who study there late into the night’

Students pursuing professional courses and appearing for competitive exams have started burning the midnight oil with exams looming large over their heads.

However, students who earlier studied at the M J Library all night are a disappointed lot after the library authorities decided to close the reading room in the library premises at 11 pm from October 1, citing security reasons.

The library, which is on a prime location at Ashram Road, attracts students from Narol, Naroda and other areas of the city.

These students, who find it difficult to study at home or in the hostel due to space constraints and other factors, have made all possible efforts to get it revoked but in vain. They’ve talked to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Mayor Kanaji Thakore, Speaker Ashok Bhatt and knocked the doors of all important people to get the library to keep the reading room open round the clock, but it has not worked.

An L D Engineering student, Vimal Patel, who studies regularly at the library, said, “I am a hostellite. Reading till late in the night is just not possible at the hostel.” “With the library closing early, studying has become difficult.”

Karnik Shah, a third year engineering student, said, “I just have a month on hand for my fourth semester exams. I just cannot work hard due to the library’s decision.”

When the library announced its closing timings, the students got together and faxed their grievance to Narendra Modi. They got a reply that due to security reasons, the library cannot remain open at nights.

Ravi Bokade, an MCA student who sent the fax, said, “The students had to give up their fight as they had to concentrate on their exams. We will talk to Kantilal Patel, principal of the library, very soon.”

“We do not need books. The entire library need not remain open at nights. Our request is simply to keep open the reading room.” said Ronak Rana, a CA student. MBA student Manan Mistry said, “We talked to all the bigwigs, requested a lot. But, nothing worked.”

When the mayor was asked the reason for withdrawing the late-night reading facility, he said, “Students bring all kinds of bags and accessories. During festivals, it becomes difficult to maintain security. I shall consider their request and take action within 15 days.”

I just have a month on hand for my fourth semester exams. I just cannot work hard due to the library’s decision

— Karnik Shah, a third year engineering student

I am a hostellite. Reading till late in the night is just not possible at the hostel. With the library closing early, studying has become difficult

—  Vimal Patel, L D Engineering student

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Paldi resident calls up AMC’s 24-hour control room and sees his ‘filthy’ locality cleaned up within hours

A tractor scrapes the sides of a road to clean it of dirt

Heaps of garbage, weeds and dirt littering the sidewalks were a common sight in this locality till Tuesday. That’s the day residents of Faiz Muhammad Society read the report on AMC’s 24×7 cleanliness helpline in the Ahmedabad Mirror, and decided to give it a try. Doubtful it will work, they made the call. And were happily surprised to see the AMC promptly take up their complaint and clean up the area within hours.
The decision to set up a round-the-clock control room was taken at an emergency meeting called by Municipal Commissioner I P Gautam on Monday, to intensify and strengthen the Corporation’s efforts to keep the city clean.

Ahmedabad Mirror’s cleanliness campaign motivated Farid Khan Pathan, a resident of Faizan Apartments in Faiz Muhammad Society, to call up the control room for help in cleaning up his vicinity. He placed his call around 11 am. Divyank Oza, deputy health officer of the West Zone, ensured he would send sanitation workers to clean up the area in Paldi by 5 pm.

“I had little faith that anything good will come out of the call. But guess what? I was so glad to be wrong when the AMC guys pulled up in the locality,” said Farid.

Lalubhai Chauhan came with his team and got the filth removed immediately. A day after the complaint was lodged, the weeds and other dirt along side the boundaries were also neatly pulled out by AMC tractors.

“I have never witnessed the civic body function so effectively. I now ask other Amdavadis to come forward and keep aapnu Amdavad clean. I believe there are many residents who are ready to take up Christina’s challenge,” Farid added.

Another neighbour, who saw the clean-up, said: “I was amazed to see the whole process. We had got so used to seeing the filth. We never thought anything would be done about it. But the cleanliness campaign has brought about a change in everyone’s attitude. The civic body has cleaned up its act, now it is up to us to support them by keeping the surrounding clean.”

“I appreciate the efforts of the civic body in cleaning up the area. Right now the area looks marvellous, compared to how it looked a couple of days ago thanks to the Ahmedabad Mirror report and the positive response of the AMC,” said another neighbour.

The control room has received more than 170 calls in the past two days, and the phones are still ringing. Health Committee chairman Praful Raval said, “The initiative is meant to resolve civic problems fast. I have taken the pledge to clean up my city as part of the Swarnim Gujarat project. If each and every Amdavadi takes up this responsibility and keep the city as clean as they keep their houses, this dream will smoothly become a reality.”

For those who think we cannot keep our city clean, we say — yes, we can! Participate and keep our city clean. You can call up the landline numbers: 25353858/3717, 32982458 or 25391811 (Extension: 718/719/557) and your complaints will be taken up immediately.

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