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         21st Oct- 2012
                                        NAVRATRI SPECIAL

                  Garba song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt8SUA6cVl0

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Like every year, the Gujarati community in the Capital celebrates Navratri by
rejoicing the divine one with prayers in the form of garba (music and dance). And
to keep its authenticity and tradition alive, the community distances itself from the
commercialised dandiya nights being organised these days.At Gujarat Samaj at
Civil Lines -arguably the oldest organisation of the community in Delhi formed by
the first Gujarati settlers over a 100 years back - the festivities started on Tuesday
in a purely traditional way. "It begun with a sthapna (installation of the Garba, a
symbol of Mother Goddess) and will end with visarjan (immersion). More than 500 people, many
in traditional attire, will come and be a part of the celebration every night. There is no disco
dandiya system here, its pure religious," one of the organisers, Umesh Manek, said. According to
Jagdip Rana of the Gujarati Education Society, Lodhi Street, four organisations in the city organise
similar garbas." Every day, the puja starts with lighting of diyas and an aarti. Men, women and
children pray and celebrate the divine through dance. We don't use any film songs," Rana
explained. At Pitampura's Gujarat Apartments, on Ashtami (eighth day of Navratri), an aarti of the
deity, which the organisers claim is made of 21kg pure silver, is conducted with 1,008 earthen
lamps. "Bands and musicians are brought from Gujarat to give the revellers a taste of folk music
from home," Sangam Shah of the Navratri Utsav Mandal, Gujarat Apartments, said. Organisers at
Gujarat Vihar, IP Extension, and Patel Samaj, Janakpuri, too, are focusing on devotion and
celebration, staying away from giving a Bollywood colour to the festival. Even non-Gujaratis are
taking interest in this primarily Gujarati-only affair. Professional trainers from the Rang Milan
group in Ahmedabad came and taught 500-odd Delhiites, which included 400 non-Gujaratis.
                                WORLD JOINS AMDAVADI WHIRL

Both Ho and Lam are students of Guangzhou
University, who have arrived in Ahmedabad with
their batchmates to perform garba during Navratri.
The students of the university will perform with
local garba enthusiasts during the nine nights of
revelry in Ahmedabad. To begin with, the students
performed at an event near Jivraj Park on the first
day of garba on Tuesday. "I liked the graceful steps
and had fun during my practice sessions. I am sure
there will be more to learn during the actual garba.
We may make some mistakes, but then we will get
to learn and improve with e a c h day, " s a i d Ho. I
n d i a China Economic & Cultural Council (ICEC)-
Gujarat chapter, which is coordinating the garba
for these Chinese students, arranged for their traditional attire. More students are expected to
join in the celebration over the weekend. The students will celebrate Navratri at different
locations in Ahmedabad each day. "It was difficult to catch and remember the steps initially. The
Chinese also have a similar dance form, performed by people residing in interior China. Besides
garba, I would like to explore the food in Gujarat, which is famous for offering a great variety
during festivals," said Lam. The initiative is an attempt to bridge the gap between India and China
and promote stronger business ties between the two countries through culture. Once Navratri is
over, it will be the turn of the Chinese to teach Gujaratis some traditional Chinese dances, to be
performed by Gujaratis along with the Chinese during Vibrant Gujarat summit in January 2013.
"The students are quite enthusiastic to understand the reason of Navratri celebrations in Gujarat
in terms of its origin, history and what keeps the youngsters of Gujarat glued to it. In China, it is a
challenge to keep the youth glued to the Chinese traditions," said Lam.


As the eight nights of revelry kick-start from today, the city police are geared up for extra hours
                            on the city roads to keep an eye on miscreants. While focus of the cops
                            will be on Vibrant Navratri at Gujarat University ground near Helmet
                            crossroads, more than 50 major venues will also be under constant
                            vigilance. Officials have devised plans to cover all major spots thronged
                            by the revellers late in the night. According to city police officials, more
                            than 2,000 personnel will be deployed at stretches such as SG Highway,
                            Vastrapur-Judges Bungalow Road, 132 feet ring road, Helmet circle-
                            Thaltej, Nehrunagar-Satellite and Anandnagar-Prahladnagar garden.
                            "These stretches hold more than 60 per cent of the total events in the
                            city and thus concentration of revelers will be more. We will not be
                            lenient towards eateries that run beyond permissible limits and garba
                            organizers who violate notification for closure at midnight," said a
                            senior city police official. 83 officials, 671 personnel along with teams of
                            State Reserve Police (SRP) and 300 Home Guards will be deployed at
the Gujarat University ground. "There will be other security measures such as 50 CCTV cameras
and metal detectors - both handheld and doorframe - at the venue. A special control room has
been made right on the ground where senior officials will monitor the proceedings," he said.
"Patroling will be on till late in the night. Various spots have been identified for vehicle checks,"
he said. Dinesh Parmar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said that diversions have been
given to heavy vehicles passing from SG Highway so as to prevent midnight madness. "The
organizers have been asked to provide for the vehicle parking. We will ensure there are no
bottlenecks on the major roads. A team of traffic personnel will be on duty till 3 am for the
purpose. Special teams have been made to visit various areas in the city during and after the
stipulated time for garba," he said.

The longest dance festival on the globe is fast becoming global. The increased popularity has
                                                            ensured that the days for Navratri
                                                            celebrations are stretched from two to
                                                            six days in the US and UK. Other
                                                            destinations like the UAE and Australia
                                                            have also stretched garba events from
                                                            one to three nights. Earlier, Indians
                                                            abroad celebrated Navratri over the
                                                            weekends alone. However, the trend is
                                                            slowly changing. Garba in-charge for
                                                            Bhartiya Temple of Philadelphia Ronak
                                                            Mehta says, "Due to rising popularity of
                                                            the Navrattri festival, the temple
                                                            authorities have held garba for all nine
                                                            nights from October 16 to 23 with
special aarti. We get a crowd of 800 to 1,000 enthusiasts over weekdays, which more than
doubles on the weekends ." This year, Gujarati Cultural Association, San Francisco, has organised
a six-day celebration of Navratri. Vice-president of the association Mahesh Patel says, "Till now,
we spared just one weekend for garba events. However, to accommodate the rising crowds, we
have planned three weekend events. The first garba event took place during October 12, 13. We
have plans for October 19, 20 and then again on October 26 and 27." Similarly, Boston
University's Hindu Students Council had organized Raas Leela events on October 6 and 13.
Moreover, the council has a special space allotted for garba and aarti on campus . It has even
slated daily one hour programs from October 15 to 23. Head of Vishwa Gujarati Samaj
Krishnakant Vakharia says, "The new trend abroad is to celebrate Navratri in a bigger way at a
better venue. The events are spread across five to six nights to accommodate the rising number of
people interested, especially in the US and UK." The Gujarati Samaj of Wisconsin, along with
Ramzat Group of Milwaukee , has spread the festivities over three weekends.


Ahmedabad Garba organisers in major cities of the state are struggling to find sponsors this
Navratri owing to low participation from real estate players and telecom companies, who used to
be the mainstay of the business during the nine-day festival. Organisers claims the number of
sponsors and the amount spent on garba events have gone down by over 30 per cent this year.
“Builders spend significantly during Navratri. But this year, many of them do not have much active
projects on hand to market. We are seeing that builders with both plotting and housing schemes
have a low ad spend for Navratri events. Even leading telecom players who usually co-sponsor
events are doing their own brand activities and associate with one prime venue,” said Devang
Shah, Director of Xpertz Advertising Events, that manages sponsorships for top five garba venues
in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat. Earlier, exclusive venues would price passes
anywhere between Rs 700 and Rs 1,500, but this time, the same are being sold for Rs 150 to 500
a day. “We get participation from around 18,000 people every day but sponsorship is fixed. As far
as tickets are concerned, we have increased the price for boys by Rs 300,” said Vikram Gupta,
head, event management, CREDAI Aarkee garba, which is organised by a group of 15 builders
from Vadodara. Vadodara’s United Way Garba, one of the largest venues in the city in terms of
participation (over 25,000 people participate every day) and sponsorships, has also hiked the
prices of its passes for boys. They will have to shell out Rs 2,000 for a ticket, an increase of Rs
200. “The cost of organising the garba has also gone up due to rising power cost and other
factors, like smart card, security personnel and trauma centre for the participants,” said Dolcy
Simon, executive director, United Way. Telecom players are also looking at just one prime venue
per city for their brands. Manoj Choudhary, event organiser for Shanku’s Water Park, Mehsana
and Karnavati Club, said, “Overall, the sponsorship has come down by at least 50 per cent. Apart
from premium clubs that bank on membership, sponsors for independent organisers have come
down. A major chunk of developers usually sponsor for the Water Park, but this year, it has been
difficult to find sponsors.”

This Navratri, it’s not just women who are rushing to spas and saloons for beauty treatments, but
men too. In fact, men have taken over this season with male clientele having grown by as much
as 80%, with age group ranging from 25 to 60 years, say saloon and spa managers. There are
special messages to relax men focusing on body scrub and acupressure. Women are not so much
into body massage as there are still negative connotations given to it in society. Women prefer to
call beauticians home and keep message as private as possible. Men visit spas to feel relaxed after
work and late nights at garba venues while women are more concerned about the glow on their
face. Manav Das, manager of one of the spa saloons said, ‘Men need mental peace as the Navratri
season is very hectic for them.’ Innovations in spa therapy and increasing awareness are some of
the reasons for this new trend. Men travel a lot compared to women which makes them more
aware and open to massages. This development showcases the changing face of the city as men
are becoming increasingly conscious of wellness of body and mind.


Canteens all over the city colleges have been wearing a deserted look since the past fortnight as
the young Amdavadis are rushing home as soon as college gets over. With Navratri set to begin
from Tuesday, kids are getting into the good books of their parents to get the green signal for
staying out late at night. Eighteen year old Bhavdip Patel was well aware that scoring good marks
was all he needed to get a green signal for Navratri. "I knew that if I scored well in my exams,
there won't be any loophole for my parents to stop me from going out with friends during
Navratri. If parents give us what we want, somewhere it is also our duty to make them happy" For
some, coming home early is not enough as they feel that is the right time for them to get
responsible. They are earning their own money to shell out their own expenses and have fun.
Twenty one year old Aajish Shah has been doing it all to get the late night ticket for Navratri. The
parents are as usual one step ahead and are well aware of what their kids are upto and they are
not letting their kids take advantage of such a situation.


The city is in the grip of the festive spirit of Navratri. Apart from the nine nights of raas-garba,
                                          Durga puja will begin on Friday which the Bengali
                                          community celebrates each year with great fervour and
                                          enthusiasm. Mandaps are being set up at various places.
                                          Various cultural activities and performances will mark
                                          Durga puja celebrations in the city. Cultural programmes
                                          ranging from drama, dance, Bengali songs and many
                                          others have been included in the five-day schedule by
                                          Bengali associations of the city. The chairman of Greater
                                          Ahmedabad Bengal Association (GABA) Charitable Trust,
                                          Joy Aich said, “This year, we will have renowned artistes
                                          from Bengal. The internationally acclaimed Amala
Shankar group of Kolkata will be in the city for a dance programme on Sunday.” Drama, the
traditional ‘Dhunuchi’ dance and a recital of Bengali songs are also on the cards. Aich said
mandals will get 3,000 visitors daily who will be given traditional ‘prasad’ of‘panktibhojan’-
sumptuous piping-hot kichdi with tastefully cooked vegetables followed by sweets. GABA will
celebrate Durga puja at the open plot near 132 ft ring road, Naranpura. The Bengal Cultural
Association (BCA), Ahmedabad will celebrate the festival in a grand way marking its 75th year of
celebration. The festival wing of the association will organise sangeet, Durga ‘kalparambha’ puja
and other cultural programmes.The general secretary of BCA, Kanak Adhikary said, “Singers and
performers from Kolkata have been called to entertain the thousands of Bengalis residing in the
city.” BCA will inaugurate its cultural programme on Wednesday evening with a drama on Swami
Vivekananda. The association is celebrating Durga puja at Ahmedabad Education Society (AES)
ground in Vastrapur. Adhikary also said that artists from Bengal were in the city for the past three
weeks to make a 17-foot tall idol. “The idol has been made using grass, bamboo and clay as it is
made in West Bengal,” he added.

Ahmedabad has attracted an investment of Rs 71,270 crore since 2010 (rpt) 2010, the highest
among the top 10 emerging business destinations identified by global property consultant
Cushman and Wakefield (C&W). Ahmedabad, Vishakhapatnam, Kochi, Vadodara, Bhubaneswar,
Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Indore and Nagpur are the top 10 emerging business
destinations offering a long-term investment potential, C&W said in a report. Vishakhapatnam
ranked second with an investment of Rs 58,180 crore, followed by Vadodara which attracted an
investment of Rs 24,720 crore. The consultant said these ten cities have attracted a total
investment of Rs 1,83,700 crore since 2010. "Ahmedabad has attracted nearly 39 per cent of the
total investments announced for these cities since 2010, followed by Vishakhapatnam at 32 per
cent and Vadodara at 13.5 per cent," C&W said in a statement. The study 'Top 10 Emerging
Business Destination in India', released by Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna, took
into account infrastructure (including physical, social and real estate), economic activities and
government support and initiative. In the last two years, the volume of investment by various
companies in these 10 cities has increased by over seven times, it added. Ahmedabad saw an
investment of about Rs 71,270 crore, bulk of which was in the automobile and auto-components
sector, followed by telecom and real estate & infrastructure. Vishakhapatnam, with an investment
of Rs 58,180 crore, has seen a growth through metals and metal processing sectors followed by
petrochemicals. Vadodara, saw an investment of Rs 24,720 crore, from similar sectors, such as
metals and metal processing followed by real estate and engineering sectors. Among the sectors,
the report said, metals and metal products manufacturing firms have announced the highest
volume of investments with a 39 per cent share, followed by power production companies at
around 16 per cent and chemical/ petrochemical firms with about 11 per cent share. Commenting
on the report, C&W India Executive Managing Director, Sanjay Dutt said, "These emerging
locations represent the possible growth trajectory India's economy will follow in the next few


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                                          BANKING FACILITIES TO VISUALLY CHALLENGED /
                                          PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

RPCD. No. RRB.BC. 35/03.05.90/2012-13 October 11, 2012

Banking facilities to visually challenged / persons with disabilities

Please refer to our Circular RPCD.CO.RRB.BC.No.13/03.05.33/2008-09 dated July 23, 2008 on the captioned
subject advising that all banking facilities such as cheque book facility including third party cheques, ATM
facility, Net banking facility, locker facility, retail loans, credit cards etc., are invariably offered to visually
challenged persons without any discrimination as they are legally competent to contract. Further, please also
refer to Circular RPCD.CO.RRB.BC.No.97/03.05.90-A/2008-09 dated April 21, 2009 advising banks to take
necessary steps to provide all existing ATMs / future ATMs with ramps and to make at least one third of new
ATMs installed as talking ATMs with Braille keypads.

2. It has been brought to our notice by Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities that
visually challenged persons are facing problems in availing banking facilities like internet banking. RRBs are,
therefore, advised to strictly adhere to instructions contained in the above circulars and extend all
banking facilities to persons with blindness, low-vision and other disabilities.

Yours faithfully,

Chief General Manager


Submitting photocopies of identity and address proof for opening a bank account, buying
insurance or getting a mobile connection could soon be a thing of the past. Instead, it would all be
there at your finger tips. The Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI) is ready with
electronic know-your-customer authentication (eKYC) service which will pave the way to provide
identity and address proof by just providing your fingerprints for biometric identification.
The facility of a one-touch eKYC could start as early as next month after government and other
agencies, such as Reserve Bank of India (RBI), notify the new norms that explicitly provide for
Aadhaar as a valid identity proof. So, when a bank asks for your ID proof to open an account, all
you will have to do is tap on a device that reads fingerprints and the information will be
transmitted electronically in an encrypted form. The front desk will receive a message saying that
the information has been received and has matched with the data available, explained an official.
Under the Aadhaar authentication process, the 12-digit number, along with other attributes,
including biometrics, are available with the Central Identities Data Repository. Once the
information is sought by scanning the fingerprints, the platform will sent a " Yes" or "No"
message to the vendor which could be a bank or a telecom company. Officials said that the
finance ministry has been critical of RBI creating ambiguity over the use of Aadhaar as a valid ID
proof for financial transactions. Now, the regulator will issue a comprehensive circular detailing
the new norms.
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