NEW DELHI

Inside Delhi

Free pinwheel

Airtel, India's leading mobile operator to which goes the credit of bringing a mobile revolution in the country, completed 10 years of its existence in the Capital on Monday. During this journey, it not only introduced latest technologies in mobile communication and brought mobile within the reach of even low-income groups but also contributed immensely to social welfare activities through its Bharti Foundation.

In this celebration year, Airtel, that provides monetary aids to schools and arrange for mid-day meals for schoolchildren in several rural districts across India through its Foundation, has decided to bring hope into the lives of underprivileged children.

The mobile operator has joined a leading voluntary organisation -- Child Relief & You (CRY) -- to support the cause of child rights. For three days starting Wednesday, Airtel employees will go to various key locations including shopping malls and markets in the entire Delhi telecom circle including the neighbouring townships of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghazaibad and distribute "Free-a-Child" pinwheel.

For every free pinwheel accepted by people, Airtel will contribute Rs.10 to CRY with the pledge to ensure every Indian child a better childhood, yet again reiterating the Bharti group's head catchphrase -- "Over 10 years, we've touched millions of lives across India"

- Sandeep Joshi

Nuisance on

the roads

When it comes to comparing Delhi's traffic with other leading capitals across the world, people normally tend to overlook the homogeneous character of the vehicles here. Not only are the roads occupied by fast moving cars and two-wheelers, the space is also shared with heavy and slow moving vehicles. But in Delhi, what makes things really difficult is the presence of animal-driven vehicles and man-pulled vehicles on the city roads.

The variety may be large and interesting, but the presence of these vehicles which actually crawl often becomes a cause of harassment to motorists and other road users. Of late the Delhi Traffic Police has also lowered its guard with regard to curtailing and curbing the movement of these slow moving vehicles on the main roads, where their movement is completely banned during daytime.

Right from hand-held carts to cycle-carts and horse-carts, this past Saturday there were all sorts of these slow-moving vehicles plying on National Highway 24 between Ghazipur Crossing and Ring Road. This, when their movement is completely banned on this busy highway that provides a major linkage from the heart of the city to East Delhi and beyond.

However, the violations of the rules remain rampant in the city. The cycle-cart was there to ferry a large number of PVC drain pipes during the busy hours when the entry on heavier motorised vehicles such as tempos and trucks is restricted. Realising that the cops often wave down such trucks to charge them money for violations, it appears many traders have found the easier way out of engaging cycle-carts.

As for the horse-cart, it was seen speeding down the busy highway. And while it ran on the road occupying more than its lane, its half-a-dozen occupants were seen enjoying themselves thoroughly at the expense of the other road users.

Another major nuisance on the roads these days are tractors with trailers. No matter what hour of the day it is, they can be seen chugging along merrily on the roads as the traffic around them slows down to acknowledge their "presence''. But despite these violations being numerous and for everyone to see, they somehow always miss the prying eyes of our traffic cops, who do not miss out the opportunity to wave two-wheelers and buses regularly at various points for different reasons.

- Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Consumer goods

At the 25th edition of the India International Trade Fair-2005 that opened here at Pragati Maidan on Monday about 7,500 companies from across the country and abroad are displaying a wide array of top-selling specialised consumer goods, decorative items and machinery parts.

Crystal curios in the shape of ducks, fish, cats and dogs from Turkey attracted curious on-lookers and also some serious buyers. The export manager of Orijinal Istanbul Kristal, Seyhan Zamur, informed that original Istanbul crystal, decorative glasses, and `nazar' items to ward off bad luck, were available at her stall.

From Afghanistan, Sardar Mohammad was doing brisk business in the sale of exquisitely designed carpets and intricately carved swords at his Kabul House Handicrafts stall. "We sell carpets mostly to foreign customers because Indians mostly buy Kashmiri ones. Decorative metal swords manufactured in Kabul that display leopards, lions, owls and rabbits are also available,'' he added.

Jewellery designer Gillbertto at the Myanmar stall said he had designed Burmese stones, gold and silver items for the exhibition. "About 98 per cent of rings, earrings and necklaces are in 98 per cent gold," he added.

As Thailand is the focus country this year, it has a lot to offer to visitors. From decorative flowers and fruits to furniture and jewellery items and silver accessories and glassware painted by hand to garments, the list is endless.

--Madhur Tankha

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