Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
the last one (two kittens) is my favourite..... i took this pic on my way to an uncle's place. there was just one kitten at first and by the time i got ready with my camera the other one(one in the left) appeared from no where. this has got to be my fav pic till date!!
Camera: Nikon F-401x
Lens: Sigma 70-210,
Aperture / Shutter Speed unrecorded
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
pictures by Robin Rai
Many of you might not know but a terrible series of landslides in Darjeeling due to incessant rainfall has taken many lives and rendered many homeless. Those who have left us we will pray for them and those still battling we can help them also. The Press Guild of Darjeeling is doing their bit for the society and so can you.
Appeal from Darjeeling
Cyclone Aila left a death trail as it whizzed past through Bengal, early this week. Our Hills, too, have also been battered and maimed and is today housing hundreds of inconsolable souls who have lost their near and dear ones.
Darjeeling recorded 240 mm of rainfall within 24 hours. Given our poor planning and lack of proper expertise in disaster management our infrastructure has crumbled so have the dreams of many families.
500 houses have been destroyed and more than 1400 people are currently staying in 41 government relief camps. Many families are still searching for their dear ones hoping to find their bodies even after four days. Till date 26 bodies have been recovered, mainly from Darjeeling and Kurseong while two more are missing at Haridashatta and the villagers have not yet given up on the search.
Nature’s fury has spared none. Six people who were trying to save the family of Pooja Gurung, at Haridashatta, have been buried alive. None could save the saviors who saved 14 lives. These people had come from as far as Soom tea garden to help the victims in Darjeeling.
Three year old Tashi Doma Sherpa, died on her way to the hospital. Forty one year old Mohan Kumar Rai and his eight year old son Manish Rai from Bara Pattabung were found underneath the debris clutching each other for one last moment.. Siksha Tamang and Yogesh Subba, from Cutlary, Kurseong, had just been married but the slides snubbed their lives in a blink of an eye. Almost every village, every locality has a similar story.
We can only pray for the departed souls but for those who are homeless we can and we will make a difference.
The Darjeeling Press Guild has been moved by the devastation it has witnessed. Following request from the residents of Darjeeling we have decided to undertake a project to rebuild many a dreams.
We cannot construct 500 houses but we want to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged residing in far flung areas of the district by constructing atleast 20 houses- maybe more if can generate more funds.
We have already started our groundwork. The administration has promised us to provide land for reconstruction and we have already formed a team comprising of journalists from all newspapers to identify the beneficiaries. We have made provisions to print every penny that we collect and spend in leading dailies for we want to justify the faith reposed on us.
Given your love for the place, we would also like to appeal for help from your end by mobilizing support among our community members out there. We have also started a thread in Facebook titled: In Support of People Displaced by Darjeeling Landslides. Please browse the thread as well.
Darjeeling Press Guild
+91 94341 41985
The Darjeeling Press Guild today (30 May 2009) held its meeting at Hotel Anand Palace in Darjeeling. It was attended in full strength and we have agreed on the following points:
It was decided that the Guild would work towards rebuilding lost homes. We will be providing all materials in a phased manner so that nothing is misutilized.
We have decided to concentrate on building homes of those people who fall within the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and are located at far flung areas.
Since the government provides a sum of Rs 22,000 for construction of these houses under the Indira Awaaz Yogna and since many villagers have made a house within this budget we have decided to construct houses within Rs 25,000-30,000 band. Our architect will have to redesign taking into consideration our agreed cost price and will therefore be providing a new sketch tomorrow (Sunday).
For day to day supervision of the project we have decided to involve the local samaj in the respective villages.
The follow teams have been formed for the project:
Mr Suraj Sharma (Calcutta TV), Reza Pradhan (ETV) and Mrinal Rana (Times of India) have been entrusted with identifying the beneficiaries. They will collect the details of all the 600 displaced families, will visit the spots and will document every family and extend of damages. They will provide a complete picture within Friday (5th June).
Mr Amitava Banerjee (Hindustan Times), Deep Gazmer (Times of India) and Vivek Chhetri (The Telegraph) will be doing all the correspondence. This team has already approached the Union Bank of India (because of its location) and an account will be made functional on Tuesday. The team has also been directed by the Darjeeling Tea Association to make a formal request to the industry on Monday. Mr Banerjee and Mr Gazmer will be visiting the DTA office for the needful. The team has also written to Mr Soam Namchu of the Glenn Foundation (New Zealand) for help. A letter has also been written to Mr Samir Sharma- currently based in Dubai, who has promised to help us either by organizing a fundraiser or by mobilizing his friends in UAE.
Himalaya Darpan- the largest circulated Nepali daily has agreed to help us in our endeavor. They will be publishing the names of the donors on a weekly basis. Mr Sanjay Pradhan and Mr Mohan Lama (Himalaya Darpan) have been entrusted with this job.
Mr Rajesh Garg, an entrepreneur from Darjeeling, has also agreed to provide all necessary help as far as transportation of materials and storage is concerned. Following his assurance we have entrusted Mr Rabin Giri (Sunakhari) and Mr Bhushan Tamang (Himalaya Darpan) to keep a record of all building materials.
All accounts will be maintained by Nalima Thapa, Sachina Gurung and Sabita Thapa. Individuals interested in sending funds through WU can send it to any of the three above names.
Overall coordination will be done by Mr Rabin Rai (Himalaya Darpan).
Documentation of all progress made will be done by the students and teachers of the Mass Com Department of St Joseph’s College.
Also, I spoke to Mr Surendra Gupta, District Magistrate, Darjeeling, this morning and he has promised to extend all help. The district authorities have maintained that if any of the beneficiaries do not have any land for construction, they would facilitate transfer of vested land provided it is available in the given area.
The DM will also be providing the official details of the people displaced by the landslides which we shall compare with our own details to ensure that no deserving person is left out.
Even though the Guild members will be in touch on a daily basis to monitor the progress, we have decided to convene our next formal meeting at Hotel Anand Palace on Saturday (6th June).
The number of houses we can built will entire depend on the contribution we receive. If the donors want to appoint some independent people to supervise the entire project, the Guild will be most happy.
Darjeeling Press Guild,
+91 94341 41985.
Update: (2 June 2009)
The Darjeeling Press Guild members today opened an account at the Union Bank of India ( the details have been posted).
The DPG has also contributed a sum of Rs 10,000/- (ten thousand only) toward the Relief Fund (receipt has been posted at the FB photo wall).
Our survey team consisting of Mr Suraj Sharma, Reza Pradhan and Mrinal Rana are making spot visit to collect the details of the affected families. As agreed during our Guild meeting,they are well within completing the list of beneficiaries by Friday(5th June 2009).
Response has been positive but some contributors seem to have donated at www.darjeelingtimes.com, website. We have however had a word with Mr Udhyan Rai, the administrator of the website and he has agreed to be a part of our team. He has promised to divert the entire sum to the DPG Relief Fund at an appropriate time. The DPG will update its account status along with the donor’s name on every alternative day.
Mr Shenpenn Khymsar had also called me today and he is also co-coordinating our efforts in US.
Regards to all and thank you for your response.
Vivek, Deep and Amitava.
Account Name: Darjeeling Press Guild Relief Fund.
Account Holders: 1. Vivek Chhetri. 2. Deep Gazmer. 3. Amitava Banerjee
Bank Name: Union Bank of India.
A/c No: 403602010994585
IFSC NO: UBIN0540366.
Note: Any person residing in India but wanting to send the money through a different bank other than Union Bank of India) has to mention the IFSC No. along with A/c no and the account name.
Overseas contributors please contact your bank before making the final deposit.
Pay using PayPal- paypal ID is: email@example.com ( courtesy, Niraj Lama)
WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER:
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
phone no: +91 97330 11070
address: Gandhi Road, Darjeeling.
The code could also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
who will forward it to nalima bhaini in case there is a communication gap. BUT please address it to NALIMA THAMI as she has been entrusted withl collecting, depositing and maintaining the records .
PLEASE POST THE DETAILS OF YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS AT THE FACEBOOK WALL, OR YOU MAY EMAIL ME THE DETAILS ALSO. THIS IS THE ENSURE TRANSPARENCY AND ALSO AVOID ANY CONFUSIONS. WE WILL CHECK THE BANK ACCOUNTS EVERY TWO DAYS AND WILL POST THE DETAILS FOR YOUR VERIFICATION.
PLEASE PLEASE browse the thread: In Support of the People Displaced by Darjeeling Landslides, everyday for regular updates and feedbacks from our members. please make it a daily habit.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Yesterday i voted and with me voted all of darjeeling!!! This time around Darjeeling was in the news and for the right reasons. Jaswant Singh and the BJP put Darjeeling in the National Scene, CNN IBN, STAR, you name them and they were there, reporting live from our very small town. Today's newspapers state a 80% turnout I guess the highest in years of parliamentary polls. The Communists are scared to death and so want a sre-poll. GJMM is confident, Roshan Giri yesterday was telling the reporters that he is 100% sure and Jaswant says he is happy about the turnout. I was lucky to come across Jaswant Singh at his hotel yesterday in Darjeeling and I was even lucky that I had a camera with me and so i share with you guys a few photos that i took yesteday.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Politics is not a SERVICE anymore but a PROFESSION
SALARY AND GOVERNMENT CONCESSIONS FOR A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (MP)
Monthly Salary Rs.12000 /-
Expense for Constitution per month Rs.14000 /-
Office expenditure per month Rs.14000/-
Travelling concession (Rs. 8 per km) Rs.48000/-(eg. For a visit from South India to Delhi & return: 6000 km)
Daily DA TA during parliamentary meets: Rs. 500/day
Charge for I Class (A/C) in train (with their spouses or companions). Free for any number of times, (All over India) MP’s spouse gets eight additional air tickets to travel anywhere in India.
Charge for Business Class in flights: Free for 40 trips / year (with wife or P.A)
Rent for MP hostel at Delhi – Free
Each MP is entitled to a fully furnished bungalow in Delhi for a nominal rent of Rs.2000 a month (these houses are located in prime areas of the capital, where the commercial rent would normally be at least 25 times more)
Free Water and Electricity at home: Free up to 50000 units.
Four telephone lines (one meant for matters relating to his/her constituency, one for making calls to Delhi and the third for Internet access) and the optional fourth one with 1,70,000 free calls a year.
The unused free call time of the cellular services of BSNL can be transferred to their respective mobile phones.
The medical expenses of MPs and their family members are drawn from the Union Government ‘s Contributory Health Service Scheme.
TOTAL EXPENSES FOR A MP (HAVING NO QUALIFICATION) PER YEAR :
Rs.3200000/- (i.e 2.66 LAKH /MONTH)
TOTAL EXPENSE FOR 5 YEARS: 1,60,00,000/-
FOR 534 MPs, THE EXPENSE FOR 5 YEARS RS.8,54,40,00,000 (NEARLY 855 CRORES)
This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and the price hike on our regular commodities…….
REMEMBER TO VOTE – YOUR VOTE IS VERY HIGHLY VALUABLE.