Granny School of Maharashtra

Education is for all no matter what age. At a school in Fangane village of Thane, age is absolutely no bar. Aajibaichi, meaning Granny school, is open for women aged 60 to 90 years old.

Women after being free from all house duties, come to school in the afternoon. They are assisted by their grandchildren in their studies when they want to revise at home.

Most of these women are widows and happy to be able to fulfil their lifelong dream of reading and writing.

Women cheerfully recite alphabets in class which is held everyday from 2 to 4 pm. These women are given free bag, saree, slate and slippers to bring about uniformity among all students.

“My sister and I could never go to school as a child while my brothers attended school regularly. At this age, we are dependent on our grandchildren to read out holy scriptures for us. We are happy to be coming here and learning with our friends. We have a lot of fun,” Kantabai Laxman More said.

The school is the brainchild of Yogendra Bangar, a primary school teacher in Fangane and is funded by a local charitable trust called Motiram Ganpat Dalal Charitable Trust.

He struck upon the idea last year when some of the women complained that they couldn't take part in public readings during religious functions.

“We wanted to end their disdain and help them. We thought that if we could give these grandmothers a fair chance at education and literacy then it would make them very happy,” explains Bangar, 41.

“At their age, they aren't going to go looking for a job at a corporation but their joy at being able to provide a signature and read have increased their happiness manifold,” he adds.

Chinese company KMB launches first double-decker bus with solar-powered cooling system

Kowloon Motor Bus recently developed Hong Kong's first double-decker bus that is equipped with a solar-powered system keep the vehicle cool and allow the passengers to charge their phones on the go. The bus with the solar system passed a trial conducted at a depot in Sha Tin in the New Territories and will supposedly operate on Tuen Mun route.  During trials, the system reduced the saloon air temperature by around 5 to 10 degree Celsius thus improving bus services and contributing to environmental protection. This invention is patent pending.

Engineers at KMB spent over four months to develop this system which later passed inspection by Transport Department. The company is now awaiting patent approval.

The bus completely resembles the rest of the fleet except the 20 solar panels on the roof, each one of them measuring one meter by 0.6m. Besides, an air ventilation system, a reserve battery and temperature are also installed in the bus.

The solar energy is transformed into electricity, thus allowing air ventilation system to work. It also relays electricity to the battery that further allows 20 phones to fully charge while the engine is turned on.

Usually, air conditioner gets switched off as the engine is turned off leaving the bus interior hot. But with solar power panels, buses will still remain cool while parked in the open area. "With the engine off, the solar power will be transferred to the ventilation system to lower the interior temperature," KMB executive Lo Chun-yi said.

Lo said the new system will reduce the temperature by five to ten degrees Celsius. It would also cool down the interior faster and economise fuel. He claimed it takes three to four hours to fully charge the battery no matter what weather and the power would last the whole day.

Lo said the new system with the solar panel on the roof would not affect the engine or its air-conditioning. "The new system is isolated from our current electric system so if the solar panels fail, we'll still be able to switch on the air- con and passengers will not be affected."
KMB, that services 2.8 million rides a day, is the first bus company in Hong Kong to use solar power panels as an additional power source.

“KMB is the first company in Hong Kong to incorporate solar technology on a double-decker. We hope this innovation will improve our service quality, represent an efficient use of recycled energy and demonstrate our care for the environment”, Lo added.

As of now, only one bus has the new system. More buses will be installed with solar panels soon.
KMB is hopeful that the system will be able to power the wi-fi system on the bus in future.
The company did not disclose the cost of the system and the bus or how much energy or fuel it would be able to save. At the same time, he clarified the cost of such a system was not very high and passengers would not have to shell out any additional fees.

Air conditioning starts immediately as the engine starts and brings down temperatures to a comfy level. It lessens emissions and energy wastage.

KMB currently has a 4,000-strong fleet, and the company hopes to steadily add panels to other double-decker buses. Lo also affirmed that the system worked efficiently even in hazy conditions.

Only a few KMB buses currently have the USB feature, but the company hopes to complete installation in at least half of its fleet by the end of the year, suggested the spokesperson.
In 2007, Australia developed World’s first ever hundred per cent solar-powered bus was developed by Australia in 2001. It drew energy from Adelaide’s central bus station.
·        20 of 1M x 0.6M solar panels;
·        Reserve battery;
·        Temperature sensor;
·        Air ventilation system
·        When the engine is turned off, the system serves as an auxiliary electric power supply and drives the ventilation system;
·        When the engine is turned on, the system supplies electricity to the USB chargers and reserve battery.
·        Reduce the “Greenhouse Effect” inside the bus, reducing temperature and enhancing ventilation;
·        Reduce energy waste;
·        Create a more comfortable environment for bus captains and passengers.

Ending the summer woes of bus drivers, KMB comes up with rest kiosk at terminal in East Kowloon
A long-awaited rest kiosk at a bus terminal in East Kowloon is finally complete for drivers as they were forced to sit in a bus with its engine turned on even at break times to get away from Hong Kong’s burning summer heat.

The facility at Lok Wah, Ngau Tau Kok, was given the green signal by the authorities following a four long-drawn-out four year application process amid red tape and early disapproval from the management advisory committee of an adjoining public housing estate.
The air-conditioned kiosk is equipped with a fridge, water dispenser, microwave and tables and chairs.

The Bus operator KMB first requested to build the facility in 2013. A spokesperson for the government’s Lands Department said the inspection process for the kiosk as needed by land lease terms had been done, yet KMB has to complete some procedures with the Housing Department.
Yuen Fung-yee, a bus driver based at Lok Wah for two years, who used the kiosk for the first time said, “The facility is not bad. It is a bit small but I’m really excited we can have a better rest break now”.

The kiosk can take in about four people at a time.
With no proper rest shelter, Yuen used to have her lunch outside the station supervisor’s kiosk under a foot overbridge, with storage box as her dining table. Earlier KMB was forced to arrange a bus with an idling engine so as to provide a bit of relief to drivers in the scorching summer heat.

Building the rest kiosk meant an addition to the gross floor area which was officially allocated to Lok Wah public housing estate. The process required approval from the Link Reit, the Housing Department, responsible for running the estate’s retail space, and the Lands Department.
The body representing residents and managers of the Estate also disapproved some locations that KMB had been eyeing for the facility.

Lawmaker Lau Kwok-fan said KMB manages about 217 bus terminals, out of which 169 are equipped with rest facilities. Out of the rest 48 unequipped terminals, 39 had received the green signal from the Transport Department for kiosks, and now public consultations are being carried out.

KMB first to introduce electric bus in 2013
In the year 2013, Kowloon Motor Bus introduced the first electric bus on the roads of Hong Kong. These were manufactured by Chinese automaker BYD. It was a single deck bus measuring 12 meters in length that could accommodate 66 passengers at a time while running at a maximum speed of 70 kilometres per hour. The electric buses are powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries which take approximately three hours to be completely charged through a cable in the charging station of the bus depots plugged to the bus socket. With a full battery, the bus can travel more than 180 kilometres.

Keeping the safety in mind, the bus is equipped with enhanced features. The battery-monitoring system allows bus captains to keep a check on the voltage, temperature and current of each battery and turn the electricity supply off if needed. Furthermore, the electricity supply gets automatically turned off if any defect is detected.

KMB took possession of this first electric bus in the year 2012. It tested it for seven months with no passengers on. It was then used for shuttling staff, with over 20 thousand trips being logged. The success brought it on the roads of Hong Kong in 2013 for public use.

With the motive to green mass transit, Hong Kong officials have allocated $180 million to finance the franchised bus companies, including KMB, to buy 36 electric buses for trial on different bus routes. Besides, they will also subsidize the operational cost of retrofitting some 1,400 regular buses with selective catalytic reduction devices that cut down on air pollution.

About KMB
The Kowloon Motor Bus Co (1933) Ltd is the largest privately owned, public bus company in the world. KMB has the largest environment-friendly fleet in Hong Kong. During the year 2016, KMB made substantial investments in new buses with the latest safety, environmental and design features. A total of 483 new super-low floor air-conditioned Euro V double-deck buses were added to the fleet. Since August 2014, when KMB introduced four 12.8-metre double-deck buses to run on Route 73X, an additional 150 12.8-metre buses have been ordered, with the first batch commencing service in November 2015. The 12.8-metre buses exhibit the same fuel efficiency and reliability that have been achieved by the 12-metre version. The whole fleet of 154 12.8-metre buses has been put into service to provide increased passenger capacity on routes with very high demand.

Bhopal-the city of Lakes

 Bhopal is rightly called the city of lakes. Lakes that are clean and well maintained. Bhopal's population is 1.7 million. Roads are broad and smooth. Visit to Sanchi Stupa could not be any better as it was cloudy and drizzled on and off. It is one of the most magnificent monuments of its time.That's how our day began. Photography is allowed inside and you have a pay a little extra for taking your camera inside. No restriction on mobile cameras or fee.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Same place from different angles.

Due to aniconism in Buddhism, Buddha was never depicted as a human figure. Artists rather chose to represent him by certain attributes, such as the horse which he rode he left his father’s home, his footprints, or a canopy under the bodhi tree, the point of his enlightenment. The human body was thought to be too limited for the Buddha.

It is said to be the largest mosque in India and one of the largest mosques in Asia

The Mosque also has three huge bulbous domes, an impressive main hallway with attractive pillars and marble flooring resembling Mughal architecture the likes of Jama Masjid in Delhi and the huge Badshahi Mosque of Lahore.

Museum of Man is an anthropology museum that presents an integrated story of the evolution of man and culture with special reference to India. It spreads over an area of about 200 acres on the Shyamla Hills in the city. This museum depicts the story of mankind in time and space.

I wish I could bring one home

Gurmeet Ram Rahim - Baba or wild beast?

Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh acted like a wild beast and didn’t spare his own disciples, stated CBI court while sentencing him to jail for 20 years. The judge said Gurmeet deserved no mercy for his act.

"Both the victims put the convict on the pedestal of 'God' and revered him like that only," said special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh in his judgement.

"However, he committed the breach of gravest nature by sexually assaulting such gullible and blind followers. Such criminal acts of convict, who is stated to be heading a religious organisation, are bound to shatter images of pious and sacred spiritual, social, cultural and religious institutions existing in the country since time immemorial, which in turn reflects irreparable damages caused by the acts of the convicts to the heritage of this ancient land."

The judge rejected the plea for sympathy for Dera head saying "Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice dispensation system to undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of the law."

A fine of Rs 30 lakh is imposed on him bearing in mind his wealth and capacity to pay.

The judge justified the amount of fine saying, "Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim is stated to be head of Dera which runs a number of institutions in which 7-8 thousand are working. He has been visiting abroad for the promotion of his movies. Such facts established that convict has no dearth of money and is a man possessing huge pelf and has huge financial resources to compensate victims of his criminal act."

Rickshaw or a lounge? you decide

In this modern era of technology, when Uber and Ola have overtaken auto rickshaws, this tuk-tuk still is the centre of attraction among Mumbaikars. It is customised to meet the needs of today's generation. 

We can live without water but not mobile and mobile is worthless without internet so, this auto rickshaw offers free wifi while you take a ride. Low on mobile balance? It has a PCO phone to allow calling. Well, that's not free and no international calling please.

Senior citizens enjoy rides at discounted rates and so do newly married.

Sandeep Bacche, the man who owns the rickshaw flaunts a big tattoo of Bollywood actor Sanja Dutt on his arm. Sanju Bhai helped Sandeep while his mother was fighting with cancer. Since then, Sandeep only swears by Sanju Bhai. 

 Sanjay became Sandeep's fan after Sandeep asked him to discontinue financial and medicinal assistance as his mother had died. 

Sandeep is known for his honesty and big heart as he serves free food to patients in hospitals.

He has a message for all - God is one, no matter what form we see him in. The man with no religion is proud to be INDIAN.
Every day, he updates gold, silver and currency rates on the display board for his customers.

Smoking is injurious to health and smell undesirable to co-passengers, so pick one complimentary sweet for the benefit of both. 

Women and mirror are indivisible. And to make the best use of the mirror, an Oriflame Sweden make up kit is rightly placed in front of the seat. Mind you, this too is complementary.

Newspapers and magazines in this autorickshaw will keep you from boredom.

Indians can't survive without a chai. He carries with him a flask of hot tea which costs Rs 5 a cup.