T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
NO. 1 RANKING?
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
BLAST SURVIVOR IS INDIA’S
Mr Veera Sekaran’s determination to
overcome poverty and succeed in life
highlighted during National Day Parade
Urban farming leader...
Mr Veera Sekaran is the
founder of Greenology
which builds green walls
and urban farms and offers
REPORT ON PAGES 12 & 13
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Indira Gandhi’s powerful aide
R.K. Dhawan dead
MR RAJINDER Kumar Dhawan,
once the powerful aide and confidant
of late Indian Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi, died in Delhi on Monday,
after a brief illness.
The 81-year-old, who married only
six years ago, had been unwell in the
last six months and had been in and
out of hospital.
Mr Dhawan was a witness to
Mrs Gandhi’s assassination in
His presence was regarded highly
and he was known to have complete con-
trol of who could speak and meet
Fishermen net prized fish worth
TWO fishermen from Palghar,
Maharashtra, caught a prized fish on
Sunday, fetching them Rs5.5 lakhs
($10,930) the next day, making it the
most expensive fish to be caught along
the Mumbai-Palghar coastline.
The 30kg-ghol (black-spotted
croaker) was caught by Mahesh Meher
and his brother Bharat who went fishing
in their boat. The fish, which is a
delicacy, is prized in east Asia for the
medicinal properties of its internal
Unemployed youth in Andhra
Pradesh to get monthly allowance
THE Telugu Desam Party in Andhra
Pradesh will pay a monthly allowance
of Rs1,000 ($20) each to unemployed
youth in the state.
The decision is expected to put an
additional burden of Rs8,000 crores on
the state exchequer, already reeling
under a huge fiscal deficit. The state
cabinet, however, decided to implement
the scheme for unemployed youth who
hold a degree or diploma and are aged
between 22 and 35.
Bengaluru civic body bans
hoardings, flexi billboards
THE Bengaluru civic body has set a
15-day deadline to remove all illegal
hoardings, flexi billboards and posters
in a bid to beautify the “garden city”.
Those who do not comply with the new
rule will be fined or jailed.
“The banners and buntings not only
obstruct free traffic movement but are
also causing damage to the aesthetic
beauty of the city, resulting in
environmental hazards,” the city’s civic
body commissioner N. Manjunatha
Prasad said. The civic body authorities
have removed over 20,000 banners in
the past few days.
New software to assess driving
skills in Rajasthan
THOSE taking their driving test in
Rajasthan will have their skills
approved by a software instead of an
examiner. Driving licences will also
be generated using new technology.
A DNA India report noted that this
will prevent people from forging
licences. The service will start in
13 districts before being implemented
in the whole state.
Regional transport officer Kalpana
Agrawal said: “Now, getting licences
made will not be easy. Only the
perfect drivers will be able to get it.”
Uttarakhand to come up with
adventure sports policy
THE Uttarakhand government is
preparing a draft policy to promote
adventure sports in the state.
The policy will detail guidelines for
conducting adventure sports as well
as the quality standards for
Tourism Secretary Dilip Jawalkar
said this move will ensure promotion
of adventure sports.
August 10, 2018
ENS of thousands of emo-
tionally charged people
from all over Tamil Nadu
paid homage to Dravida
Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) pa-
triarch Muthuvel Karunanidhi
on Wednesday even as his party
won a legal battle over the state
government to have his body
buried at the Marina Beach in
Led by Governor Banwarilal
Purohit, Chief Minister K.
Palaniswami and DMK leaders,
people from all walks of life filed
past the mortal remains of
Mr Karunanidhi at the Rajaji
Hall. But the early part of the day
saw a legal battle at the Madras
High Court on where the
94-year-old, who died on Tues-
day evening, should be buried.
The DMK wanted him in-
terred near the seafront memo-
rial of party founder and Mr
Karunanidhi’s mentor C. N. An-
nadurai. The ruling All India
Anna Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam government late on
Tuesday rejected the request and
asked the DMK to bury Mr
Karunanidhi on Sardar Patel
Road which is home to memori-
als dedicated to C. Ra-
jagopalachari and K. Kamaraj.
A High Court bench compris-
ing Acting Chief Justice Hulu-
vadi G. Ramesh and Justice S.S.
Sundar turned down the argu-
ments of the state government
and instructed that Mr
Karunanidhi’s body be buried at
DMK cadres and leaders as-
sembled at Rajaji Hall erupted in
joy on hearing the news. An emo-
tional M.K. Stalin, DMK’s
working president and
Mr Karunanidhi’s son, broke
down on hearing the news and so
did top party leaders including
Ms M. Kanimozhi, who is also Mr
While West Bengal Chief Min-
ister Mamata Banerjee flew into
Chennai on Tuesday night, a host
of national leaders, including
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
arrived on Wednesday to attend
the last rites.
Mr Karunanidhi, Tamil
Nadu’s five-time chief minister
and leader of the DMK for 50
years, breathed his last owing to
age-related ailments in a private
hospital in Chennai.
An outspoken atheist in a
country where politicians often
trumpet their piety, he built his
political machine as a crusader
for social justice, with policies
aimed at helping those at the bot-
tom of India’s rigid Hindu caste
hierarchy. His death comes less
than two years after that of his bit-
ter rival, actress-turned-politi-
cian J. Jayalalithaa, leaving a po-
litical void in the state.
“His understanding of policy
and emphasis on social welfare
stood out,”Mr Modi tweeted.
India’s two national parties,
Mr Modi’s ruling Bharatiya
Janata Party and the opposition
Congress, have little presence in
Tamil Nadu, a state of nearly 70
million people where politics
have been dominated by the
DMK and Ms Jayalalithaa’s
Mr Karunanidhi, who always
appeared in public with dark
glasses and a yellow shawl
draped on a shoulder, was
known for his sharp wit, com-
mand of the Tamil language and
populist schemes for those at the
bottom of society.
Supporters on Twitter remi-
nisced about how his scheme to
offer free education to first-gener-
ation graduates had helped
them. He was known for drawing
foreign investors to India’s sec-
ond largest state economy and
oversaw the state becoming an in-
Mr Karunanidhi, who wrote
scripts for Tamil cinema before
entering politics, is survived by
his two wives and six children.
Indo-Asian News Service, Reuters
The unfurling of the tricolour
on the occasion of
71st Anniversary of India’s Independence
will take place at
0900 hrs on 15 August, 2018 (Wednesday)
High Commission of India
31 Grange Road, Singapore 239702.
All Indian Nationals and friends of India
are cordially invited to attend the ceremony.
HIGH COMMISSION OF INDIA
at the Rajaji
at Marina Beach
after court drama
ALVIKA Iyer was a charming
13-year-old girl in 2002 living
in Bikaner, Rajasthan, with
her parents when a grenade accidentally
blew up in her hands, ripping her fore-
arm and paralysing her legs.
The accident could have changed her
perspective on life completely. But,
even though it took years for her to over-
come the trauma, she came out stronger
and not only found a way to get her life
back on track but also became a harbin-
ger of change for the disabled.
It was a change in the attitude of oth-
ers, which came along with the trauma,
that sensitised her towards the stigma as-
sociated with disability. She chose to
fight against it – not only for herself but
for many others like her.
Now 29, the Chennai-based activist
has overcome her disability by sheer
will and was honoured with the presti-
gious Nari Shakti Puraskar (Women
Power Award) by India’s President Ram
Nath Kovind in March this year for mak-
ing others understand disability and
come to terms with the physically chal-
Through her motivational talks in
countries such as United States, Nor-
way and South Africa, Ms Malvika has
been igniting hope for thousands of peo-
ple with disabilities the world over.
“The (grenade) incident occurred on
May 26, 2002, when I was 13 years old
and studying in class IX. As I was rum-
maging in the garage at home, I unknow-
ingly held a grenade in my hand that
blew up, snapping my forearms and se-
verely injuring my legs, which lay dan-
gling,” said Ms Malvika.
A fire that broke out in an ordnance
depot at Bikaner in January 2002 had
flung pieces of ammunition in the vicin-
ity. One of the grenades severely injured
her. Though bed-ridden for nearly 18
months after multiple surgeries on her
legs, which were paralysed, and arms,
which were fitted with prosthetics, a rest-
less Malvika soon pushed herself to face
the challenges of life.
With just four months left for class X
exams in 2004, she decided to appear as
a private candidate in Chennai for the
Tamil Nadu Secondary School Leaving
Certificate, having missed class IX in
2002-03 after being hospitalised.
She wrote the exams with the help of
a scribe as she was still getting used to
the prosthetics. Her determination had
the nation in awe as she passed the
board exam with distinction and was
among the toppers in the southern state.
“Then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
read about me in a newspaper and in-
vited me to the Rashtrapati Bhavan,”
she said. “He asked me about my career
“Facing board exams with no arms
and meeting President Kalam made me
realise that I should never feel bad about
anything lost. There was no looking
Malvika forged ahead with higher
education and studied economics at
the prestigious St Stephen’s College in
Delhi. She also has a masters in social
work from the Delhi School of Social
Work and an M Phil and Ph D in social
work from the Madras School of Social
Work in Chennai.
“I was very active throughout my
childhood – good at sports, dancing and
had a fun teen life,” she said. “ It wasn’t
easy to cope with losing my arms and
seeing my legs weakened. But I soon felt
that people’s attitude to disabilities hurt
more than the disability itself.”
In 2013, she delivered her first public
speech in Chennai, opening up on how
the incident changed her life forever.
Soon she appealed to many nations
across the world, demanding better laws
and facilities for the disabled.
Through her talks, Malvika has been
highlighting the issues of inclusion, atti-
tudinal change towards the disabled, ac-
cessible elections and accessible fashion
– where clothing is designed keeping dis-
abilities in mind.
“Every day, I receive hundreds of
messages from people around the world
saying that I’ve been a reason they never
gave up in life. It is overwhelming that
I’m able to make a difference in people’s
lives,” she noted.
Malvika is a member of the Chennai
hub of the Global Shapers Community,
an initiative of the World Economic Fo-
rum to encourage young people below
30 to work for change, and the United
Nations Inter-Agency Network on
Youth Development, allowing her to
carry her voice across continents.
In March last year, the United Na-
tions invited her to speak in New York.
“I was humbled to receive a standing
ovation from international delegates
when I shared my story,” she said.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra
Modi has described her as an “adbhut
naari” (wonder woman).
The Nari Shakti Puraskar makes her
want to work more for women and the
“It is unfortunate that accessibility re-
mains a major issue (in India),” she said.
“There is a need for an attitudinal shift
among the people, as discrimination is
the main obstacle, making the disabled
feel excluded from society.”
Indo-Asian News Service
Motivating others... Ms Malvika Iyer receiving the Nari Shakti Puraskar from India’s
President Ram Nath Kovind.
Disabled grenade blast survivor
is India’s ‘wonder woman’
Congratulates Mariners Cricket Club for Hosting 10th Edition of Junior Mariners & Mariner’s Premier League
Ceylon Sports Club & Indian Association Ground.
69 Balestier Road, Singapore.
Venue: CSC and IA Ground,
69, Balestier Road, Singapore 329577
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