Children of lesser God finds a way out

Born in Sonagachi, Asia’s largest red-light district, Ratan beats all odds to come out with flying colours. His undying passion for education is showing way to a lot of children of Sonagachi



The magic of Himalayas… Sikkim

Sikkim – a tiny, quiet north eastern state nested in the lap of the majestic Himalayas. A state with a population of 6,10,577 with most of the people following Budhism and Hinduism although a sizeable amount of Christian and a few Muslims reside in Sikkim as well. The state economy mostly depends on tourism with tourists not only from different parts of India but also from all over the world flock to this beautiful Himalayan state all the year round.

The city of Calcutta or Kolkata is the nearest metropolitan city. Sikkim is very well connected with road and rail networks. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, Siliguri and nearest railway station is     New Jalpaiguri.  From Bagdogra  several taxis head for Gantok with river Teesta flowing all along your journey. From New Jalpaiguri railway station , one should go to Siliguri bus stand and board any of the buses are heading for Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. On an average the bus fare to Gangtok is around Rs 150 (around $ 2.18 and GBP 1.4). Cabs or jeeps charge a little more.

A wide range of hotels are available ranging from budget hotels to luxury hotels and localities can be approached for accommodation.

When it comes to food, Gangtok is the place to be with varieties of cuisine on ur palette to choose from. Indian, Tibetian, Chinese, European, fast food joints, pubs – everything is there. However, one should not give momos and tea momos a miss.  The choices, however, become slimmer as u move into the lesser known, interior parts of the state. Local food is quite yummy satisfying ur taste buds and healthy too.

Lots of monasteries like Rumtek Monastry, Dodrupchen Monastery, Phodang Monastry are worth a visit. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology should also be included visited if ur interested in anything about Tibet.

Adventure lovers need not be upset as Sikkim has a variety of adventure sports to offer as well. Mountaineering, Trekking, Yak Safari, river rafting, hang gliding can tantalize ur sense of adventure.

The state is a shopper’s paradise as well. Local handicrafts, prayer wheels, rugs, Tibetan jewellery, wall hangings are must buys but there’s more to this shopping paradise.  

For more visit –


Decentralised economy will help India grow – suggests Dr Pitroda

It is easy to indentify problems in India and its easy to provide solutions as well yet it takes a lot of courage for a man or a woman to do that says Dr Sam Pitroda as he opens his speech on “India at Crossroads” at CII-Suresh Neotia Centre Of Excellence For Leadership,Kolkata.
8% is the rate of growth for India for quite a while and with corruption, indecision the growth rate has started slipping away suggests Dr Pitroda, the man who revolutionised the telecom industry pf India along with Late Rajiv Gandhi.
He pointed out that centuries ago India accounted for 25% of the world economy but with colonisation by imperialistic powers, downfall of Indian economy began which left India accounting for 2% of the world economy in 1947.
8% – 10% of growth per year for or the next 25 years will not be able to address the poverty in this country, hence Dr Pitroda suggests a change in the age old mindset of people and take charge and do that needs to be done as he believes everything including education,technology,health in the nation is at crossroads.                  Dr Pitroda, moreover,suggests that growth of Indian economy need not depend on foreign capital but it needs to come from 1.27 billion Indians.
He further believes that internet is the biggest invention of all times and has been ignored by. people for long.Internet has changed everything and everything needs to be restructured and there is a need to do away with the obsolete systems and mindset of people.
He insisted on tough decisions and tough choices to be made and hence the need to elect people with character,knowledge & capability to build a country is emphasized on with knowledge acting as a key to generate wealth.
Technology and younger generation are the two solutions provided by Dr Pitroda n order to guide India in a positive direction out of the current status quo which puts the nation at a crossroads where a tough choice needs to be made by each and every individual.


BSF allegedly kills a villager at Indo-Bangla border

Johra bibi and Siuili bibi is still waiting for the alleged “compensation” that they had been promised months ago in lieu of not lodging an FIR for the alleged killing of his son by Border Security Force (BSF), India.
Mr Mohin Molla was shot while he was returning from his relative’s place and had reached the courtyard of his home. He was shot in the head and leg, he fell unconscious at the doorstep of his house.
Villagers rushed him off to Saraful Rural Hospital, Saraful, North 24 Paragnas but he died on the way from the bullet injuries that he sustained.
It has been alleged that BSF has offered to pay Rs 2 Lakhs each to the victim’s mother and his wife and 2 business licenses. It has been further alleged that till now they have received nothing but procrastination on part of the BSF.
Now a family of two, mother and wife of the victim, is living under abject poverty and fear with no means to sustain normal livelihood.
BSF allegedly sprayed bullets at cattle smugglers which left four villagers namely Sohag Ghazi (16), Milan Mondal (20), Sajid Sardar (13) injured and Mohin Molla dead whereas the cattle smugglers escaped unhurt on 28 January this year.
It has been further alleged that officers at Swarupnagar police station is aware of the entire incident and the involvement of the BSF in the same.
On the other hand, IPS Santosh Mehra who is the current IG of South Bengal Frontier, BSF says that although he is not aware of the incident but some deviations from the protocol do take place wherein some officers go beyond their briefs and are court marshaled when found at fault. He, further, says that a lot of people do make baseless allegations against the BSF while it tries to maintain and protect the integrity of the border.

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of Human Rights Watch, says that The Border Security Force (BSF), deployed at the Bangladesh border to contain smuggling and other illegal activities, has repeatedly been accused of using indiscriminate and excessive force. BSF officials tend to protect the perpetrators, refusing to hold them to account and blocking prosecution in civilian courts, leading to a culture of impunity.


South Africa Calling

South African Tourism, a national tourism agency, organized a few weeks ago its popular classroom training session called ‘Learn South Africa’ at Hotel Park Plaza , Kolkata to create destination awareness and facilitate travel trade with the frontline staff of travel agencies of Kolkata
Key South African suppliers also took part in this mutually beneficial interactive programme.  Holiday makers this time will be able to choose from an array of tailor made travel packages that consist of city specific deals, South African Safaris and the like.
There has been a substantial increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting South Africa and their shopping spend over the last few years which resulted in the tourism industry of South Africa to focus and create new strategies and products for the extremely lucrative Indian market.
The country is fast becoming a shopping destination for the travelers with favorable exchange rate further benefitting India tourists. Ms. Hanneli Slabber, country Manager- South African Tourism, said that most of the towns and cities of South Africa are cosmopolitan in nature hence tourists often find intricately woven hats from Ghana, handbags from Senegal, books of Nigerian authors in the local shops.
Ms. Slabber, however, ruled out South Africa being unsafe for the tourists and informed about the existence of Tourism Safety Initiative by the Tourism industry that works for the safety of tourists.




A fight against Dowry

By Subhra Prasanta Das

Criminalized under Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code, yet the menace of dowry claims more than 8000 lives every year in India, not to mention the number of overall sufferers of dowry related violence. Here’s an incident of a 20 year old resilient woman living in a small village along the Indo-Bangladesh border. She is not ready to give up her fight yet the wait for justice seems endless and helplessness creeps in…