Archive for July, 2012

Top 10 Concept Bikes


Top 10 Concept Bikes

This article is dedicated to all the bike lovers & thrill chasers out there!! We love these machines for their extreme designs, the smell of burnt rubber tyres, the pleasure of being on the edge and most of all the adrenaline pumping rush. To many, motorcycles are their first love and they are ready to go over the edge to own them. However for a few bike aficionados, they love to design and create these machines from scratch so that they can be the probable bikes of tomorrow.  These bikes are a blend of style, technology, and functionality that defies all traditional concepts of bike designs. Concept bikes have become a huge craze with the manufacturers all over the world, Honda, Ferrari, Dodge, to name a few, they are all vying for a spot in top ten. Check out the potential contenders.


1) Dodge Tomahawk

The Chrysler Group famous for its innovative and high-end technology driven cars and trucks went extreme with their first concept design for motorcycle in 2003. The Dodge Tomahawk can intimidate any other concept design with its massive, partially exposed Viper engine, 4 oversized wheels, fully silver metal body, and a top speed of 300 mph! The Dodge Tomahawk is definitely a style statement.

1 concept bikes-dodge tomahawk

2) I Care Motorcycle

The bike is conceptualised by the Enzyme Group, France. This one is called the Aston Martin of the Two Wheeled World and is powered by a six cylinder 1800cc engine. The bike has not gone into production yet but let’s hope one day it does. If you go by its looks the front is big and is alien like and the rear comparatively smaller, no side stand, and one would have to lie down on the belly to reach the handle as it is in case of batpod.

2 concept bikes- i care

3) Honda V4

‘Honda’, the name is enough to put this concept model in the league of best concept bikes. Revealed at the Intermot motorcycle show, Germany in 2009, the Honda V4 has aroused the curiosity of its audience that what in God’s name is this bike. The creators have only revealed the V4 engine in the bike and nothing more. This bike looks quite rebellious, a devil in disguise and the world agrees.

 3 concpet bikes- honda v4

4) Harley Davidson Circa 2020

Designer Miguel Cotto presents to the world not just a concept bike but a time travel machine. If you take a look at the design, you will think one has leapt across 10 bike generations. It cannot get more futuristic than this. Hubless wheels is what will strike you first, but a closer look reveals the 883cc engine, handle bars attached to the front wheel and not the gas tank. The concept is magnificent but too farfetched.

4 concept bikes-circa 2020

5) Ostoure Concept

Ostoure means ‘legend’ in Persian. Iranian designer, Mohammed Reza Shojaie has combined the primeval and the future into one package deal. He draws his inspirations from the ancient Persian engraving of Persepolis. The muscular bike boasts of a two wheel drive, Bluetooth helmet support, HUD indicators, and an air conditioning system for god only knows what. If our future sings cutting edge technology then this is the concept to look out for on the streets.


6) Swordfish Motorcycle

 Another hubless wheel concept addition to our list. Alexander Kotlyarevsky famous for his 3D car and motorcycle concepts has conceptualised the Swordfish, an heir to the chopper family. This concept model calls for a ‘road trip’. The design of the bike goes by its name, and is quite similar looking to a swordfish. The combination of minimalistic design with great power has made this concept a favourite of many.

7) Zero Moto

The Zero Moto is destined to be the ruler on streets in the year 2050 and beyond. Conceptualised by Wes Rhoad, for Zero Motorcycles (acknowledged for their Eco Drives) Zero Moto is a high speed electric bike, that will be second to none in the future when Eco Concepts will be the core of modernization. Zero Moto is an all-wheel drive with electric motors placed in the front and rear wheels and on-board processor for the control of torque. The hubs and wheels have a revolutionary design, wherein the front and rear wheel can turn in opposite direction to allow a small turning radius. A concept so brilliant that it will make heads turn.

7 concept bikes-zero-moto

 8) Wrath 2083

Designed by Alexander Barnard, the Wrath 2083 is what the future may look like precisely. It is fully controlled by electronics and computer. The concept is what they call ‘think out of the box’, a complete revamp for the chopper bikes. Too bad our generation may not witness the revolution this bike will set in motion when it’s out on the roads.

8 concept bikes-wrath 2083

 9) Suzuki G-Strider

The Suzuki G Strider concept may look radical comapred to the traditional bike concepts, but is based on the designd of Burgman 650cc. The designer has taken features of a scooter and a motorcycle and put them together to conceptualise the G Strider. The super cool and super stylish bike provides comfort and power, what else could you wish for in a super bike. The bike’s features include feet forward riding position, a lower seat which gives the comfort of riding a scooter, handle bars, footrest, backrests all electrically adjustable when the bike is in motion, a 916 cc engine . It’s an out an out hero of concept bikes.

9 concept bikes-g strider

 10) Suzuki Biplanes

The phrase “speed thrills but kills” is quite apt for this badass beast. This concept bike was revealed at 2007 Tokyo Motor Show and just as it is named, the concept is inspired by Biplanes. The Suzuki Biplane concept uses a semi-exposed V4 engine for power, and a girder-type front end which is common in many concept bikes. The cylinder heads and exhaust headers are on the rear sides which are inspired by the biplanes.


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Anna Hazare:- Anti Corruption Movement (india)


English: Hon. Anna Hazare in Nanded , Maharastra .

English: Hon. Anna Hazare in Nanded , Maharastra . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Power Situation during 1985-86 became extremely critical. The farmers were unable to lift water from the wells inspite of its availability due to insufficient voltage to run pumps. The motors were getting burnt due to fluctuations and the crops were getting affected. There was scant response from the govt. inspite of continuous follow-up. On 28th Nov. 1989 Mr. Hazare was forced to undertake fast for seeking redressal. After 8 days of his fast , his health deteriorated and was admitted in the civil hospital at Ahmednagar. As there was, no response inspite of action from his side, the farmers from three tehsils became furious and they started road block agitation. Fearing that if the agitation takes a wrong turn, something untoward may take place. He appealed to the agitators from the hospital bed that they should not resort to unfair means, damage the national property and inflict any harm to the passengers. The agitation should be peaceful. The police authorities did not expect huge participation and there was meager police force available.
However, they were proved wrong and more than 10000 men and 1200 women participated in the agitation. The agitators had offered police to take them to jail. However, since enough transport was not available with the police, the police tried to remove the road block. Due to improper treatment meted out to the agitators, there was scuffle between police and the agitators and the police resorted to lathi-charged on agitators. This action on the part of police irritated them and they pelted stones on the police force. Since the situation was going out of control, additional force was called and police opened fire on the agitators in which 4 farmers died on the spot and 7 farmers sustained severe injuries. He felt sad on hearing this news in the hospital. The agitation was meant for awakening the government and there is no harm in carrying out such agitations in democracy. He had decided to end his life during the fast itself, but Senior Officials of the government and even Ministers persuaded him to give up his fast as they feared that if agitation continues, lot many farmers may lose their life and in order to save the life of innocent farmers, he withdrew his fast.
Model Village as contemplated by Gandhiji was brought in reality by Shri Annaji at Ralegan Siddhi by his dedication. “Late Shri Achyutrao Patwardhan, the great freedom fighter, suggested to the government of Maharashtra that to commemorate the golden jubilee of Bharat Chhodo Andolan, it would be most befitting to create model villages like Ralegan Siddhi in every tehsil of the state.  The government accepted this suggestion and declared to implement “Adarsh Gaon Yojana”. The Government entrusted this responsibility to him and Adarsha Gaon Yojana was started under his leadership . He travelled whole of Maharashtra and selected 300 villages to implement this scheme. While working in this scheme
he realised that development is getting hampered due to planned corruption in Govermnent machinery and he decided to fight against this corruption. He gave evidence against two ministers who had amassed wealth disproportionate to their income. However since the Govt was passive about this he started agitation and undertook fast for l0 days. Chief Minister intervened and he deleted these two ministers from ministry and appointed an Inquiry Commission. The Commission held both the ministers guilty but to save them the Govt appointed another commission who discharged them from the allegations. Though the ministers were discharged from the allegations, they had to loose their ministership which is the success of Mr.Hazare’s agitation.
Mr.Hazare’s gave evidence of corruption by Social Welfare Minister to the then Chief Minister. On 3lst July l999 the Chief Minister informed him that inquiry is being instituted about the charges leveled by him. He had given an interview to a local daily regarding this inquiry and based on this interview the concerned minister had filed a case in the court against Mr.Hazare for defamation. He was held guilty by the Court and the court had asked him to give an undertaking that he will not make such allegations in future.He refused to give such undertaking and preferred to go jail for 3 months as ordered by the court. He told the court that He was willing to give his life for truth. His punishment created commotion in public and scores of people started visiting Yerawada Jail.
He wanted to compelte his jail term but to give respect to the public feelings he accepted his release.In l992 Gandhji had told the court that if court feels that his actions for the freedom of the country are considered as anti government activities he was willing to undergo any punishment .Similarly he did not give bond to the court and accpeted punishment. He did not prefer any appeal against the court order immediately but due to public pressure he later made an appeal which was upheld by the Higher Court and rejected the suit of minister.Mr. Hazare asked the Govt. to conduct the inquiry against the minister which is still on.
In the regim of coaliation Government of Congress and National Congress Party, He had forwarded evidence of corruption about 4 ministers and had asked the Government to conduct inquiry. One of the ministers had made allegations about corruption in the institutions in which he was associated. Since there was no action from the Govt. he undertook fast for 9 dys in August 2003 at Azad Maidan. The minister concenred also started agitation at Azaj Maidan in Mumbai. At last the Government relented and Retired Suprement Court Judge Shri P.B. Sawant was appointed to conduct the inquiry. The commission conducted the inquiry and sent its report to Govt. on 22nd Februrary .
In the report the commission had observed ministers guilty and had held Mr.Hazare also guilty forirregularities but not a single charge of corruption was proved against him.Mr. Hazare has offered the Government that it should take action against him as well as the ministers based on the findings of the enquiry comissions.Though Govt has not taken any action on the Commission’s report three ministers had to go and this is a big achievement of his agitation against corruption.
He felt that corruption will not stop merely by taking action against a few officers and ministers and it is necessary that a change should be brought about in the system, He believes that unless decentralisation of power takes place the system will not change.In order to bring change in the system he felt that information should be made available to people regarding Govt.’s actions which was not being provided to people on the ground of secracy. Here again he decided to follow Gandhiji’s path and started Maun Vrat and later fast unto death. This brought pressure on the Govt. and both the Central as well as State Governments have enacted Right to Information Act. His whole life and work is based on Gandhian philosophy.
Alcohol has ruined many families in rural India. The existing laws did not have teeth to ban the sale of alcohol in villages. So he decided to press the government to make a law for prohibition if 50% women demanded for it. Ultimately, women are the most affected lot if their husbands are drunkards.
By the new Act, the women of any village can collectively demand for ban on sale of alcoholic drinks in the village. If a minimum of 50% of women complain to the District Collector about their sufferings and request for total prohibition in the village, the Collector can hold ballot paper election in the village. There will be two signs on the paper – one being a bottle in standing position and another being in a horizontal position. The women will cast their votes. In the evening, the votes will be counted. If more votes are in favour of ‘horizontal bottle’, then the Collector will ban the sale of alcoholic drinks in the village and cancel the license of the seller.
In many villages, the licenses have been cancelled and total prohibition came into reality after this Act. In some villages, the alcohol sellers have manipulated the election with money power.
Anyhow, this Act has supported and strengthened the women. Women have become empowered due to this act and became fearless to come in open against the alcoholism. This Act has helped in organizing the women and fight against evils for a common good. Women’s empowerment is the need of the day.



Anna Hazare:- Water Shed Problem


In the years 1972-73 there was wide spread severe draught in whole of Maharashtra. In order to provide employment to the rural population in this situation Government of Maharashtra decided to undertake soil conservation work in rural areas which required lot of labour. Agriculture and Irrigation Departments of the Government were appointed as nodal agencies to execute the programme and they undertook the work of construction of percolation tanks, nalla bunding and contour bunding in Ralegan Siddhi. While the work was executed in Ralegan Siddhi due to apathy of the Government agencies the percolation tank constructed at Ralegan was not constructed taking due care and was leaking and thus its purpose was defeated.
After his retirement from Army in l975 he returned to Ralegan Siddhi and was very much disturbed due to condition prevailing there and started discussing with the villagers their problems. He observed that the water problem -both for drinking and irrigation – was acute and felt that something should be done to overcome this problem. At that time he came to know of one Mr. Vilasrao Salunkhe who was doing soil and water conservation work at Saswad. He visited the work place of Mr. Salunkhe and felt that if similar activity is undertaken at Ralegan Siddhi, the water scarcity problem at Ralegan could be solved. He, therefore, organised villagers meeting (Gram Sabha) to explain to them the work of Mr. Salunkhe and its adoption in Ralegan Siddhi. All the villegers were impressed by this idea and decided to start similar programme in Ralegan Siddhi. Initially they decided to repair the existing percolation tank which was heavily leaking. The cause of seepage of water was ascetained and work of providing core wall by digging puddle trench upto the level of hard rock was undertaken on upper side of the bund through voluntary labour of villagers. Satisfactory Completion of the work resulted in retention of water in the tank resulting in recharging of ground water aquifers .This enthused the villagers and they decided to implement the concept of water shed development, i.e. ridge to valley approach for soil and water conservation which was hitherto not followed by the Department of Agriculture. Implementation of watershed programme involved lot of expenditure and Mr. Hazare approached the then Director of Soil Conservation and requested his help. He had assured the Director that he and his collegues from village will actively participate in implementation of watershed development programme and will provide labour voluntarily.
The ridge to valley programme involved structures like gully plugging,loose boulder structure, gabian structure, nalla bunding, cement check dams etc. The cost involved in constructing cement check dams was prohibitive and hence Shri Hazare developed modified gabian structure with a core wall which reduced the cost considerably and was as effective as cement check dam. This novel approach is being followed elsewhere also. Similarly on the ridge line where the CCT was not possible, shallow soak pits were dug in order to collect rain water so that through seepage the water would be available to surrounding plantation. This resulted in increase in plant survival and their vigorous growth. This was also a novelty of Ralegan Siddhi programme.
Due to availability of water for irrigation through wells and realising the importance of water the villagers decided to form cooperative societies well-wise. This resulted in bringing more land under cultivation and developments like double cropping, change of farming system, horticulture plantations, vegetable cultivation, dairy farming etc. could take place. It will not be out of place if it is mentioned that from Ralegan Siddhi for some period onions and vegetables were exported to Gulf countries. All this resulted in substantial increase in per capita income of the farmers. and the villagers through their cooperative efforts created facilities like school, hostel., gymnasiums, credit societies renovation of temple etc. in the village.
The residents of Ralegan Siddhi are still enjoying the benefits of watershed programme though more than 30 years have passed since completion of programme.
Maharashtra , Madhya Pradesh , Gujarath , Karnataka , Andhara Pradesh , Rajasthan Month – wise and yearly total of visitors 1 day & 2 days training .( 1st Jan. 1997 to 31st Dec. 2009 )
Sr. No. Month 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
1. January 1391 4631 2709 1911 2628 3298 3870 4504 2802 4088 4759 3496
2. February 1676 1718 4622 2010 2009 2801 3023 3033 2725 5502 2235 3321
3. March 2656 3361 2807 2820 2998 4114 1992 3276 3495 4948 1747 2519
4. April 529 1594 1229 483 1230 1777 1086 1745 1451 2749 957 810
5. May 711 535 594 487 1272 828 723 1182 3390 1545 666 1011
6. June 1251 780 475 526 896 771 1212 1499 1007 2125 626 852
7. July 878 1787 780 762 910 757 1456 1378 3458 1907 855 930
8. August 1471 1278 1161 1253 770 1341 1835 1049 6453 2118 2253 1650
9. September 2907 1771 1146 1485 1911 2470 2718 889 3835 5007 2391 2061
10. October 2243 2313 1148 1427 2441 1798 2519 773 5289 4285 1753 992
11. November 2627 2316 1565 2152 1438 1475 3102 1459 2803 3616 1375 1629
12. December 4149 547 2469 3587 2447 3146 4655 1708 4209 6160 4434 3644
Total – 22489 22631 20705 18903 20950 24576 28191 22495 40917 44050 24051 22915
2009 Total
3336 43413
2384 37059
1615 38348
354 15994
215 13159
595 12615
484 16342
447 23079
617 29208
1084 28065
1858 27415
4400 45555
17389 330262


Ralegan Siddhi


English: Hon. Anna Hazare in Nanded , Maharastra .

English: Hon. Anna Hazare in Nanded , Maharastra . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Swami Vivekananda’s philosophy has great bearing on Anna Hazare. His thoughts and work have been a constant source of inspiration for him. While serving in the Indian Army, he had decided to dedicate his life to social work, but he did not know how to begin.
While in the army, he used to visit his village for two months, every year during his leave period. The condition of the village was pathetic and awful. The land was barren and undulated. As the village is located in the rain-shadow area, the annual rainfall is a meager 400–500 mm. All of the rainwater use to run off and get wasted. There were no means to harvest this precious resource. Whatever rainwater use to get collected was sufficient to cultivate only one crop on 300–350 acres of land out of a total 2200 acres of land available in village. 80% families were surviving on one square meal in a day.
As food production was insufficient and no employment opportunities were available in the village, some villagers started brewing liquor to earn their livelihood. Gradually the number of breweries rose to 35. They were aware that what they were doing was socially and morally incorrect, but the circumstances forced them to adopt this profession for their livelihood. Some villagers had to walk 5–6 km. each day in search of employment in the nearby villages.
The helplessness due to poverty and indebtedness led people to desperation and ultimately to alcoholism. Quarrels and street fights became daily chores. Hazare’s house was in a hamlet just half a km. away from the centre of the village. Hazare avoided going to the heart of the village due to this pathetic condition. He always felt helpless since he could not do anything to change the conditions prevailing in the village.
When he decided to dedicate his life for social cause in 1975, he believed charity should begin from home. Swami Vivekananda’s words resonated in his mind – people would not listen to philosophical ideologies with empty stomachs. Social change is not possible if people are haunted by the daily problem of making two ends meet. Hazare taxed his brains on how to solve this crucial problem. He remembered that Late Mr. Vilasrao Salunkhe had in 1972, started experiments in watershed development and water management in some villages near Saswad in Pune district. His work used to be frequently discussed in informal gatherings everywhere. So, Hazare visited his project and was inspired. States Hazare, “This visit gave a direction to my ideas and I decided to undertake similar work of watershed development in my village. ‘’
Hazare then paid a visit to the office of the then Director of Agriculture, Mr. Dikshit, and told him that he had decided to work for betterment of his fellow villagers. He expressed his desire to undertake water conservation work in his village under his guidance. After some days, Mr. Dikshit paid a visit to Ralegan Siddhi along with his subordinates and made a geographical survey. He was convinced that the topography of the village was suitable for undertaking the watershed development programme and took a decision to implement it.
On resumption of the watershed development work in the village, Hazare started supervising the work at sites from dawn to dust, without taking a farthing as remuneration. He considered it as social work; and day by day his experience and knowledge was building up. With his experience and knowledge, he constructed many water harvesting structures with people’s participation. So far, 48 nulla bunds, 5 cement check dams and 16 Gabion structures have been constructed. The villagers under Hazare’s guidance, also undertook fodder development, continuous contour trenches and loose boulder structures on 500 acres of land.
The watershed development work helped in conserving each drop of rainwater in the village itself and in recharging the groundwater aquifers. This ultimately raised the water table. In the same village where earlier it was not possible to cultivate more than 300–350 acres of land for one crop, now the villagers are harvesting two crops in 1500 acres of land. Due to availability of water, the agricultural production has boosted up. The agricultural development has created lot of employment in the village itself. Not only has the distress migration completely stopped, but now wage labourers have to be hired from other villages in order to get various intercultural operations done in time.
Today the villagers have completely given up brewing of liquor. Nobody sells liquor in the village. Further, the shopkeepers do not sell cigarettes, beedies and tobacco too for the last 13 years.
Earlier only 300 liters of milk was sold from the village. Now the milk production has gone up to 4000 liters. This milk is purchased by cooperative and private dairies. This brings in Rs. 1.3 to 1.5 crores (13 to 15 million) annually to the village. The dairy business has flourished as a subsidiary to agriculture which has provided a new income generation avenue to the unemployed youths of the village.
The per capita income of the villagers has increased from Rs. 225 to Rs. 2500. This has completely transformed the economy of the village. The living conditions of the villagers have improved and the gap between the haves and have-nots has narrowed down. After the economic transformation of the village, villagers constructed buildings worth Rs.1 crore (10 million) for school, hostel and gymkhana and renovated the old village temple through financial contributions and shramdan.
Mass marriages are arranged in the village (generally 25 to 30 marriages at a time) in order to curb expenditure. This has helped in removing caste barriers and promoting social cohesiveness.
After the success of watershed development programme in Ralegan Siddhi, Hazare replicated it in the neighbouring four villages. The results are encouraging. Now the same project is being replicated in 80 – 85 villages of Maharashtra. Like any other village in India including Ralegan Siddhi, there was a social problem of untouchability. Today people of all castes and creeds live together in peace like members of the same family. The consecutive droughts led to non-payment of bank loans taken by the Dalit community for agriculture purposes. The bank decided to sell their mortgaged land to recover the loans. At this critical time, rest of the villagers decided to toil on the farmlands of Dalits and repay the loan by harvesting crops. The villagers cultivated their land in 1983-84 and 1984-85 through shramdan (voluntary labour), repaid the bank loan, and saved their land.
In the last 35 years, many institutions and cooperatives like Gram Panchayat, Cooperative Consumer Society, Cooperative Credit Society, Cooperative Dairy, Educational Society, Women’s Organization and Youth Organization, with different mandates are operating in Ralegan Siddhi. Till date no elections were held for the selection of members of these institutions. The members were selected unanimously by the villagers in the Gram Sabha. The Gram Sabha has emerged as a powerful forum for taking collective decisions at the village level. All the developmental programmes are implemented in the village after taking consent of the Gram Sabha.
Since last 15 years, thousands of visitors, not only from neighbouring states of India, but also from abroad, have viusited & are still visiting Ralegan Siddhi to study the impact of watershed development. They include researchers, academicians, farmers, government officials, people’s representatives and students.

While implemainting the watershed program trained manpower is required and realising that there was paucity of trained manpower in Ralegan Siddhi. a training institute to impart training in watershed development was established. So far, about 17–18 thousand people from different states of India have been trained at the Training Centre on Watershed Development.

Ralegan Siddhi should not be viewed from the narrow angle of materialistic development, i.e. structures in watershed or economic development. The developmental process in Ralegan Siddhi is beyond this. There is a social and nationalistic thread passing through the process of change.
The big dams are getting filled with silt due to soil erosion which is the result of uncontrolled tree felling in the catchment areas. No emphasis was given to soil conservation and range development. The top loose soil is getting washed away each year by the rainwater and getting deposited in the big dams. The top soil is the creamy layer of the land. According to scientists, it takes more than hundred years to form 1 inch of top soil. On one hand, this precious resource of top soil is being washed away from the villages; and on the other hand, it is getting deposited in big dams thus reducing the life of the dams. This is going to create many problems in the near future.
All the major cities are supplied drinking water from a nearby dams. All the industries and sugar factories are provided water from the same dams. The hydro-electricity power generation plants are situated on big dams. All these facilities will come to standstill one day when the dams get filled with silt completely. These dams will meet the fate of death; say after 100 or 200 or 500 years. Nobody can avoid this sorry fate. Neither the government nor the people would be able to de-silt these big dams as the back-water spread of these dams is 60 – 90 km. It will not be possible to remove the huge mountain of 90 km. length and 200 – 300 ft. height from the dam site. There won’t be any alternate sites available for construction of new dams. What is going to happen to all these big dams? That is the question.
Transformation of village economy alone could bring in transformation of the economy of the nation. That is possible only through watershed development programme. Today, our concept of development is based on exploitation of environment and humanity. We are dreaming of development by uncontrolled extraction of subsurface and surface resources like petroleum, coal, groundwater, vegetation and aquatic resources.
The growing population is putting tremendous pressure on the available resources. The demands will continue to grow. Villages in India are facing the problem of scarcity of drinking water due to depleted groundwater resource. Water tankers roaming the rural roads for supplying drinking water to villages is a common sight now. If the trend continues in future, one day water will not be available even for supplying by tankers. What will happen to our coming generations if all the resources of groundwater, petroleum and coal exhaust one day?
The development of an individual, family and village is not possible by exploiting environment indiscriminately, but by sustainable use of available resources. Watershed development and water management is the right approach in that direction. Today, every country is facing the problem of environmental degradation. International leaders and scientists are worried about the future of the Earth alike. Watershed development will certainly provide a solution to maintaining ecological balance.
Our idea of development is limited to construction of skyscrapers and wide roads only. On one hand, the height of buildings is going up day by day and; on the other hand, the level of human values is coming down. This is not real development. An individual should be able to stand on his own and at the same time think of betterment of fellow beings, which is true development. One should be able to look beyond oneself, think of one’s neighbour, village and the nation. Today, there is a need to create such individuals who are capable of looking beyond oneself. Such individuals are not created through donations, subsidy and grants. This is possible through local leadership building programme where stress would be given on character, right values and dedication. Somebody has to make sacrifices.
A field full of swaying crop tells us that a grain has buried itself into the ground to give birth to thousands of grains. The grains which do not burry themselves are taken to the flourmill and ground into flour. The grains which sacrifice by burying themselves in the soil, give birth to a swaying field of crop.



Anna Hazare Biography


From a tenacious soldier to a social reformer, and a right to information crusader, Anna Hazare’s journey of four decades has been unprecedented in terms of a non-violent yet effective campaign of resurrecting a barren village into an `ideal village’ model and empowering the faceless citizen through pioneering work on Right to Information. His efforts to empower grampanchayats, protect efficient government officers from frequent transfers and fight against the red tapism in government offices have also received accolades.
His tryst with the army came when many Indian soldiers became martyrs in the Indo-China War of 1962 and the Government of India had appealed to young Indians to join the Indian army. Being passionate about patriotism, he promptly responded to the appeal and joined the Indian Army in 1963. During his 15-year tenure as a soldier, he was posted to several states like Sikkim, Bhutan, Jammu-Kashmir, Assam, Mizoram, Leh and Ladakh and braved challenging weathers.

At times, Hazare used to be frustrated with life and wondered about the very existence of human life. His mind yearned to look out for a solution to this simple and basic question. His frustration reached the peak level and at one particular moment, he also contemplated suicide. For this, he had also penned a two page essay on why he wants to live no more. Fortunately for him, inspiration came from the most unexpected quarters – at the book stall of the railway station of New Delhi, where he was located then. He came across a book of Swami Vivekananda and immediately bought it.

He was inspired by Vivekananda’s photograph on the cover. As he started reading the book, he found answers to all his questions, he says. The book revealed to him that the ultimate motive of human life should be service to humanity. Striving for the betterment of common people is equivalent to offering a prayer to the God, he realized.
In the year 1965, Pakistan attacked India and at that time, Hazare was posted at the Khemkaran border. On November 12, 1965, Pakistan launched air attacks on Indian base and all of Hazare’s comrades became martyrs, It was a close shave for Hazare as one bullet had passed by his head. Hazare believes this was the turning point of his life as it meant he had a purpose to life. Anna was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. It was at that particular moment that Hazare took an oath to dedicate his life in the service of humanity, at the age of 26. He decided not not to let go of a life time by being involved merely in earning the daily bread for the family. That’s the reason why he pledged to be a bachelor. By then he had completed only three years in the army and so would not be eligible for the pension scheme. In order to be self-sufficient, he continued to be in the army for 12 more years. After that, he opted for voluntary retirement and returned to his native place in Ralegan Siddhi, in the Parner tehsil of Ahmednagar district.
While in the army, Hazare used to visit Ralegan Siddhi for two months every year and used to see the miserable condition of farmers due to water scarcity. Ralegan Siddhi falls in the drought-prone area with a mere 400 to 500 mm of annual rainfall. There were no weirs to retain rainwater. During the month of April and May, water tankers were the only means of drinking water. Almost 80 per cent of the villagers were dependent on other villages for food grains. Residents used to walk for more than four to six kilometers in search of work and some of them had opted to open country liquor dens as a source of income.
More than 30-35 such dens located in and around the village had tarnished the dignity of the village and marred the social peace. Small scuffles, thefts and physical brawls resulted in loss of civic sense. Morality had reached such a nadir that some of the residents stole wooden logs of the temple of the village deity Yadavbaba to burn the choolah of one of the country liquor outfits.
Hazare came across the work of one Vilasrao Salunke, a resident of Saswad near Pune who had started a novel project of water management through watershed development in a joint venture with the Gram Panchyat. Hazare visited the project and decided to implement it in Ralegan Siddhi. By keeping an eye on conserving every drop of water and preventing erosion of the fertile soil, he steered the villagers to begin working towards water conservation. At the outset, they completed 48 Nala Bunding work, contour trenches, staggered trenches, gully plugs, meadows development and of forestation of 500 hectares of land. Thereafter, they constructed five RCC weirs and 16 Gabion Weirs.
This resulted in increase in the ground water level. After that, Hazare along with his team worked out the cropping pattern suitable to the quality of soil and the water volume available for farming. This led to increase in the water table by making water available for 1,500 acres of land instead of 300 acres. As a natural sequel, this effort led to yielding of food-grains and the villagers became self-sufficient in terms of food. The table turned turtle – earlier there was no work available for the villagers, now manpower was required to be imported from neighbouring villages.
The changes in the economics brought all the villagers under one roof of unity and people voluntarily contributed in terms of labour and money to build a school, a hostel, a temple and other buildings. Mass marriages, grains bank, dairy, cooperative society, self-help groups for women and youth mandals helped develop the village in all aspects and gave a new face to it.
Hazare opines that proper planning of natural and human resources can result in the betterment of a person, area, village instead of exploiting such resources. He says, “Today we all are exploiting the earthen resources like petrol, diesel, kerosene, coal and water. This can never be termed as perennial development as it is going to lead a state of destruction one day. The sources of energy are limited and hence I am concerned about the next generations. Today many of the villages of almost every state are feeling the brunt of water shortage. Building concrete jungles does not mean development as Gandhiji had rightly said.
Creation of a human idol should be the main objective rather than creating towering buildings. Surely, one needs to live for oneself and the family but simultaneously one owes something to your neighbour, your village and your nation too. For this, you need an idol who could lead to this goal. Such leadership is not created by power or money but only by virtues like pure thinking, matching action and willingness to sacrifice. It is the thumb rule of farming that – When a seed buries itself, it leads to a better yield. in order to get better yield of grains, one single grain needs to burry itself.
The society needs such volunteers who are ready to get buried in selfless service for the better future of the society.’’
Hazare’s Ralegan Siddhi became the first role model of an ideal village and has become a tourist spot for many visitors across the nation, since it shows the metamorphoses from the worst village to an ideal village. Visitors include politicians, researchers, social workers and students. Four postgraduate students have completed Ph. D. thesis on Ralegan Siddhi.
Social Life
Anna rightly thought that Development is marred by corruption and started a new venture in 1991 called Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan (BVJA) or public movement against corruption. It was found that some 42 forest officers had duped the state government for crores of rupees through corruption in confederacy. Hazare submitted the evidences to the government but the latter was reluctant to take action against all these officers as one of the ministers of the ruling party was involved in the scam. A distressed Hazare returned the Padmashree Award to the President of India and also returned the Vriksha Mitra Award given by then prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi.
He further went on an indefinite hunger strike in Alandi on the same issue. Finally, the government woke up from deep slumber and took action against the culprits. Hazare’s sustained campaign on this issue had a great effect – six of the ministers were forced to resign and more than 400 officers from different government offices were sent back to home.
Hazare realized that it was not enough to merely take action against fraudulent ministers or officers but to change the entire system that was studded with loopholes. Hence, he campaigned for the Right to Information Act. The state government turned a blind eye towards the pleas in this regard and so he first agitated in the historical Azad Maidan in Mumbai in the year 1997. To create mass public awareness about RTI amongst the youth, Hazare traveled extensively throughout the state. The government kept promising that RTI Act would be made but never raised this issue in the house or the state assembly. Hazare did not relent – he agitated at least ten times.
Finally, again he went on an indefinite hunger strike at Azad Maidan in the last week of July 2003. At last, the President of India signed the draft of the Right to Information Act after his 12-day-long hunger strike and ordered the state government to implement it with effect from 2002. The same draft was considered as the base document for the making of the National Right to Information Act-2005.
After the implementation of the RTI Act-2005, Hazare travelled for more than 12,000 Kms across the state creating awareness about the Act. In the second phase, he interacted with more than one lakh college students and also conducted mass public meetings across 24 districts of the state. The third phase included daily 2-3 public meetings in more than 155 tehsil places. In this massive campaign, posters, banners were displayed and more than one lakh booklets of the provisions of the Act were distributed at a nominal price.
This created enough of awareness and people were educated on the issue of rights of citizens.
Hazare deservedly won the coveted Padmashree and then Padmabhushan. Care International of the USA, Transparency International, Seoul (South Korea) also felicitated him. Apart from this, he received awards worth Rs 25 lakh and donated the entire amount for the Swami Vivekananda Kritadnyata Nidhi (social gratitude fund). Out of the two lakh rupees received from the above amount, mass marriages are carried of at least 25-30 poor couples every year.
That Hazare has given his life for social betterment is reflected thus: “I do have my home in the village but I have not entered it for the past 35 years. I have implemented schemes costing more than several crores of rupees but I do not have bank balance. Last 12 years I have been working in the field of eradication of corruption. This movement is run entirely by public support without and grants or sponsorships. I appeal for money wherever I go for a public meeting and urge them to contribute generously. The same money I use to carry out my campaigns. The money collected at such public meetings is counted in front of the villagers and my volunteers issue a receipt of the same on the spot.’’
He further states that, “The movement that we started many years back without a penny in wallet, has spread its wings in all the 33 districts and 252 tehsils of the state. Hence we have been instrumental in offering rights to local bodies like Gramsabha, preventing red-tapism and initiating the law of transfers. This has prevented corruption on a large scale. This has also resulted in offering social justice to the economically backward class. The Union Government keeps on making various schemes for poor people in availing kerosene, LPG and pulses on ration card but the middlemen keep on gulping the subsidies of the same. Our efforts made these necessities available to the poor.’’
The state government promoted opening of cooperative societies, credit societies & urban banks. Believing in the principles of cooperative sector, the utmost lower class of the society invested their savings with such cooperative societies. However, the directors of such societies devoured the money and failed to pay back the basic amount to the members of the societies. This created havoc and people were duped for crores of rupees and did not have money for the marriages of their daughters or for medical treatment. Hazare agitated for over eight months. The result was that more than Rs 125 crore was recovered from defaulters and the members of such societies heaved a sigh of relief. Recovery of around Rs. 400 crores is in the pipeline.
In the future, the BVJA will work for the decentralisation of power and laws related to the same. Says Hazare, “we have decided to develop centers to create awareness amongst people about govt. schemes and train activists to know the modus operandi of corruption in each sector. As the state government has decided to set up committees at almost every nodal point like state, district, tehsil, and village level with one member on such committee represented by our organisation. We have trained more than 400 volunteers to work on such committees.’’
Actually the government should train the members of NGOs who can work in the sector of prevention of corruption. Then and then only we can dream of corruption-free state, concludes Hazare.
Sustainable development of any village by making it a “Model Village” and eradication of corruption are two sides of the same coin. If both are adopted, only then there will be an established welfare state.


Anna Hazare


Anna Hazare

Anna Hazare (Photo credit: Deepankar Raj)


Anna Hazare

Anna Hazare (Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani)


Anna Hazare is one of India‘s well-acclaimed social activists. A former soldier in the Indian army, Anna is well known and respected for upgrading the ecology and economy of the village of Ralegan Siddhi which is located in the drought prone Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state. The erstwhile barren village has metamorphosed into a unique model of rural development due to its effective water conservation methods, which made the villagers self-sufficient. Earlier, the same village witnessed alcoholism, utter poverty and migration to urban slums. Inspired by Hazare’s unique approach of salvaging a hopeless village, the state government has implemented the `Model Village’ scheme as part of its official strategy. Hazare is now synonymous with rural development in India.




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Top 10 Most Expensive Hotel Suites


Top 10 Most Expensive Hotel Suites

Niche, expensive, class, and grandeur. We have explored the ten most, lavish, exquisite hotel suites around the globe. France, Switzerland being the obvious but a surprise entry by an Indian hotel, makes the article all the more interesting. The Beach, the mountains, the dessert, all seem glorious and out of this world with the presence of these 10 magnificent and mind boggling priced suite.

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1) Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva
Tariff:  $ 65, 000/night
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This suite is heaven on Earth with a breathtaking view of the Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc.  The imperial suite is reached via a private elevator and takes up the entire top floor of the hotel. It has four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a cocktail lounge, billiard room, library and a private fitness centre. The living room itself can accommodate 40 people while the dining room can seat 26 around an oval mahogany table. The suite is decorated in a contemporary style, with marble and hardwood floors. To top it all off, the doors and windows of the suite are bulletproof, ensuring maximum security.
2) The Presidential Suite, The Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur
Tariff: $ 45, 000/night
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The Presidential suite is located in the Raj palace hotel which is considered as the World’s best heritage hotel. Decorated in gold leaf, stucco, ivory and mirror it was a former Maharaja’s residence. Sprawled over 1, 500 meters this suite has a private roof terrace, a private museum and a swimming pool overlooking the city of Jaipur. It is one of the biggest suites in Asia.
3) Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort ,Las vegas,USA
Tariff: $ 40, 000/night
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Hugh Hefner is the one person who knows how to vacation in Las Vegas.  The suite itself was built to model the original playboy mansion. It cost roughly $ 10 million to build. The lavish double-storied villa covers an area of 9,000 square feet inclusive of a glass elevator, a rotating bed set beneath a mirrored ceiling and a glass wall Jacuzzi offering amazing strip views. You are also entitled to around-the-clock butler service, massage and spa rooms, work-out room and poker table, fireplace, three bedrooms and pop-up plasma TV’s.
4) Ty Warner Penthouse, Four seasons hotel, New York,USA
Tariff : $ 39, 000/night
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The Ty Warner penthouse was the brainchild of the renowned architect I.M Pei, Peter Marino and hotel owner Ty Warner. It cost a whopping $ 50, 000 to build. Situated on the 52nd floor of New York’s tallest hotel, it offers a mesmerizing 360 view of the city through its floor-to-ceiling bay windows. The suite has 9 rooms including a library and a zen room with a waterfall. As if all this wasn’t enough, full spa treatments, a personal trainer and a round-the-clock butler are included. You also have the advantage of being chauffeured around in a Rolls Royce or Maybach.
5) Penthouse Suite, Hotel Martinez, Cannes, France
Tariff: $ 37, 500/night
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This luxurious suite is located on the seventh floor of the Hotel Martinez. It has a prime location on the Croisette in Cannes. The suite itself conists of four bedrooms, a sitting room, dining room, two bathrooms, shower, spa bath, dressing room and sauna. Moreover, it also has a bar, huge private beach and a gorgeous terrace from which one can see the Bay of Cannes.
6) The Royal Villa, Grand resort, Lagonissi, Athens, Greece
Tariff: $ 34, 500/night
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The royal villa boasts of all the comforts and charm of a luxurious private home. It features two master bedrooms each with its own gigantic bathroom and a spacious living room with fireplace and dining table. One can also enjoy the service of a butler, private chef and pianist. Furthermore, it also has a large private wooden terrace accommodating a heated pool. Finally, there is a private path leading directly to the beach and a private deck at sea level.
7) Presidential Suite, Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia, Italy
Tariff: $ 33, 000/night
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This suite has so enough amenities it’ll make your head whirl. This spectacular suite has two living rooms, three bedrooms and three bathrooms spread across multiple levels. It also has multiple balconies along with a rooftop terrace with private swimming pool, plus a fitness suite and steam room. If by any chance, you get bored by all this then you can enjoy a bottle of wine from the exclusive wine cellar while lounging on the handcrafted Sardinian furniture, made especially for the suite.
8) Villa La Cupola Suite, Westin Excelsior, Rome, Italy
Tariff: $ 30, 000/night
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Located on the fifth and sixth floor, it is one of the largest suites in Europe. Since it has been inspired by ancient Rome you will have the pleasure of having all Roman items-a cupola, a Pompeii-style Jacuzzi pool, stained glass windows. The suite covers almost 2,000 square feet in just balconies and terraces with an additional interior 6,099 square feet. Even though it only has two bedrooms, five more can be attached to it. There’s also a private kitchen in the downstairs area along with a private wine cabinet with over 150 wines to choose from. The cherry on top is a private cinema with Dolby Sound surround.
9) Ritz-Carlton suite, Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, Japan
Tariff: $ 25, 050/night
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Measuring 120 meters, this suite has magnificent views of the Imperial Palace outer gardens and Roppongi hills. It located on the 53rd floor. You will experience luxury like never before with king-size beds,  a gorgeous marble bathroom with Sony bravia 20 inch flat screen television. It also has rain-shower booths and access to indoor pool and fitness studio.
10) Royal Towers Bridge Suite, Atlantis, Bahamas
Tariff: $ 25, 000/night
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Royal towers bridge suite offers you the experience of a lifetime by offering guests ten extravagant rooms filled with unique amenities. This includes a 1,250 square-foot living room with a grand piano and twin entertainment centers, a dining room topped with a 22-karat gold chandelier. The views from the 23rd floor through the 12-foot full length windows are fantastic.  You will also have a permanent staff of seven.

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