Boat Festival (Nauka Vihar) at ISKCON

The boat festival (Nauka Vihar) was celebrated at the Krishna Balaram Mandir (ISKCON) on Wednesday.  A water pool was created in the temple courtyard. The pool was covered with a variety of flowers, wonderfully decorated in different sections of it. It can be described as mystic as to how the flowers of different colors were kept separated in the water.

The event could not be made so grand without the coordinated efforts of the devotees. The temple atmosphere was vibrant with enchanting kirtan, which continued till 7 p.m. The devotees performed kirtan with harmonium, mridanga and other musical instruments. Varieties of delicious prasadams were distributed to all devotees assembled.

Temple president Shri Panchagauda Das, Shri Ganapati Das, Shri Ravi Lochan Das, Shri Sanak Sanatan Das and other dignitaries were also present during the devotional celebration.Boat Festival Pic

Inspired By India:

A young Malibu artist is taking inspiration from her friendships with children in India and Malibu to launch a new business she hopes will inspire others. Genevieve Ruddock is currently in Vrindavan, India, for a month-long visit to see children she first met in 2014. She met them when she travelled to the small tourist town near India’s capital, New Delhi, after graduating from Pepperdine University with a degree in Art.

It was there on the banks of the Yamuna River that she first encountered a group of children who sell flowers and incense as worship items. “They are small bowls of fresh-cut flowers with a little cotton ball soaked in oil,” Ruddock told The Malibu Times. “The idea is you light it and send it down the river as an offering of prayer. I felt uncomfortable buying from the children because I didn’t want to single one child out, so I made a distraction by drawing portraits of them.”

As she drew their faces, a friendship developed. The loosely knit group of children — many who cannot afford to go to school regularly — played games with her and helped teach her the local language, Hindi. She took them on boat rides and threw them a small surprise party, all funded by the 24-year-old during a six-month stay.

When it became winter, Ruddock started crocheting hats for the children. Her passion for helping the youngsters inspired her to create an alternative fashion and art company, Lavender Jaq — named after her late grandmother, Jacqueline, whose favorite color was lavender and who was also a painter. The first product will be hats similar to the ones she crocheted for the children.

Upon her return to Malibu, Ruddock started working with the Once Upon A Time Children’s Theater program. The cast members involved in this spring’s production of “The Wiz” conducted a clothing drive for the kids in Vrindavan. The project was sponsored by Malibu’s Eco Hero Kids Foundation, run by local Julia Holland, co-director of the musical.Inspired by India pic

KMP Expressway on track

Having missed several deadlines, the 52-km-long Manesar-Palwal stretch of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway has eventually been thrown open to traffic. The stretch is expected to be formally inaugurated by Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, in the first week of April. The work on development of the KMP Expressway was started in 2006.

The much-delayed project got a new lease of life last year when in response to the Supreme Court orders dated January 30th, 2015, the State government took the decision to terminate the contract of the old concessionaire and have a new concessionaire. While the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development (HSIIDC) Corporation allotted work for the Manesar-Palwal section on Item Rate Mode in March last, the work for the remaining Kundli-Manesar section was granted in July. The Kundli-Manesar section is expected to be complete in a year’s time. HSIIDC, Managing Director, Sudhir Rajpal told The Hindu that the Manesar-Palwal section might be inaugurated by Mr. Gadkari on April 5.

The land acquired for the KMP project in Manesar mostly belongs to the residents of Panchgaon, a cluster of five villages of Kukrolla (largest of the five), Fazalwas, Gwalior, Chandla and Fukharpur. “Our land was acquired a decade ago rendering us jobless. Now with the road becoming operational, we hope to get some job as well. We make an appeal to the government to expedite the work for the proposed Indian National Defence University at Binola and proposed Inter-State Bus Terminus creating more job opportunities for the locals,” said Dharamvir, a fruit vendor.KMP Expressway pic

Centre to construct Special Shelter for 1,000 Widows at Vrindavan

The Women & Child Development Minister, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, will launch the project of construction of a special Home for one thousand widows at Vrindavan, Mathura. The Foundation stone for the Home will be laid by the WCD Minister under the ‘Swadhar Greh Scheme’ of the WCD Ministry. This will be the largest ever Home for widows established or funded by the Government.

The design of the Home has been prepared in consultation with HelpAge India and is also ‘old age’ friendly. The Home will consist of ground plus three floors with the facilities of ramp, lifts, adequate electricity supply, water and other amenities for meeting the requirement of senior citizens and persons with special challenges. The Home, fully funded by the Central Government, is being constructed at Sunrakh Bangar, Pargana Vrindavan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

The Ministry under the Swadhar and Short Stay Home Scheme caters to the primary needs of shelter, food, clothing, medical treatment and care of the women in distress who are without social and economic support. The two schemes have been merged as Swadhar Greh w.e.f. 01.01.2016.extra post for 17th FEB pic

Green Court representative finds garbage management system collapsing in Vrindavan

Poor state of garbage management was found in Vrindavan during the surprise visit of the representative of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday. The Municipality had earlier claimed in the Green Court that the waste management of the town was under control and was being effectively executed. Advocate Rahul Khurana was appointed local commissioner by the NGT, to submit a comprehensive report in relation to the collection, dumping, transportation and burning etc. of the municipal solid waste in the city with particular reference to the sites.

He made visits to the Principal Garbage Station situated near the 100 bedded hospital, Satellite dumping stations and the Yamuna Bank. He was accompanied by the Executive Officer, Shri Ram Asre Kamal and the petitioner Shri Madhumangal Shukla.  After almost six hours of investigation, Shri Rahul Khurana found the entire garbage management system was collapsing in Vrindavan.

Shri Khurana was disappointed with the foul smell coming out of the garbage. He found that the municipality didn’t make any effort to spray the foul smell deterrents. Moreover, the commissioner found that water was running into the garbage dumps from a water tanker at the landfill site.

He also found that the garbage was being burnt at Shringarvat. When Shri Khurana reached near Tatiasthan he found that the old garbage was covered under the soil, instead of having been shifted from the Yamuna bank. He found that the sewer water from two drains was spreading on the land on the Yamuna Flood Plain, where the garbage was being dumped.  Surprise visit by Green Court pic

First installment released for the Peacock Conservation Centre

Considering the significance of the peacocks in Vraja, the U.P. Government has approved a proposal of the Peacock Conservation Centre in Vrindavan. The centre will be developed at the Van Chetana Kendra between Mathura and Vrindavan. The first installment of Rs. 10 lacs has also already been released by the U.P. Van Nigam to begin the work.

The District Magistrate Shri Rajesh Kumar had sent a proposal of Rs. 20 lacs for the development of the Peacock Conservation Centre, in two hectares land inside the Van Chetna Kendra. The Uttar Pradesh Van Nigam has approved it and sent 50 percent of the fund to the regional office of the forest department as the first installment.  The second proposal is prepared for three acres of land behind the Van Chetna Kendra, for which the proposal has been sent to the MoEF.

Benches and other facilities will be made available for people who visit the sanctuary.  The visitors will be restricted in some areas though.  A peacock rescue centre will also be developed inside the five hectare land, where the injured peacocks will be treated. A team of veterinary doctors will regularly visit the rescue centre.

It should be noted that the idea for the peacock sanctuary was first floated by the Braj Vrindavan Heritage Alliance in a meeting with the then Chief Development Officer, Shri Andra Vamsi, who was very inspired by the idea and had promised to realize it.Peacock Conservation Centre pic