Ban goes up in smoke

The ban on smoking in public places seems to be going up in smoke with poor enforcement in the Capital. Introduced to protect passive smokers and encourage smokers to quit the harmful habit, it is easy to spot the ban being flouted if one goes to any busy market place.

What makes the situation tricky is the fact that though the Capital has received kudos from even the international community for the ban not many people are aware of the ban and even if they are with the enforcement being as poor as it is, few fear being caught and punished.

A friend who lit up a cigarette after a hearty meal at Connaught Place said: “I don’t know of anyone who has been caught and booked for smoking. I know I am violating the ban on smoking in public places but as long as the enforcement is slack I don’t think smokers need to worry too much.”

And looking around there were several people who were giving this friend company probably assured of the fact that rules don’t apply till they are strictly enforced.

Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Blueline blues

Travelling in the Capital’s Blueline buses can turn out to be an experience in itself.

A friend headed for work the other day boarded bus route 520 at Jantar Mantar and noticed a foreign lady sitting in the bus. Soon the conductor proceeded towards the lady who asked for a ticket to Hauz Khas for Rs.7 and extended a Rs.10 note expecting the remaining change back. But contrary to her expectation, the conductor refused stating the legitimate fare was Rs.10.

Shocked by his reaction, the woman responded by reasoning with him and explaining that she always paid Rs.7 for the same journey. However, all her effort went waste as the conductor merely smirked and refused to comply.

Exasperated she then turned to the passengers sitting in front of her to reaffirm her claim. However, no one could confirm or deny it for sure.

Disheartened the lady sank in her seat and finally concluded: “I know as foreigners we have to pay more but it is not just about money. There should be some logic behind this kind of behaviour. I just don’t understand this country sometimes!”

Manisha Jha

Art with a heart

Humanitarian organisation HelpAge India will celebrate Valentine’s Day in a unique way by unveiling its “art with a heart” initiative at Visual Art Gallery here this coming Saturday.

“Art for Aged” will see well known names in the field of art including Gopi Gajwani, Ram Kumar, Shobha Broota, Ved Nayar and Dhiraj Choudhary donating a part of their proceeds from the sale of their art works towards the noble cause of elderly folks. The correlation between the cause and contributors can also be seen from the fact that quite a few artists are senior citizens.

Stating that there was a strong need to establish older people as contributing and resourceful members of society, HelpAge India Chief Executive Mathew Cherian says empowering senior citizens was the need of the hour.

“Many artists at the upcoming exhibition are elderly folks and renowned names in the world of art. It just made perfect sense that HelpAge is organising an exhibition that is not only for the aged but also to a large extent by the aged.”

After a successful collaboration last year, HelpAge India has once again partnered with Habiart Foundation.

“One of the major concerns of Habiart Foundation is to support aged artists so ‘Art for Aged’ is an important initiative,” says Rekha Modi of Habiart Foundation.

Madhur Tankha