Monday, August 14, 2006

Vande Matram

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Vande Matram... Have you stocked your kites to celebrate Independence Day as our motherland, India? She's entering into another year of its independence this August 15, 2006!!

Kite flying celebrations is symbolic of freedom, as is not bound to follow instructions but measure its own directions to enjoy ecstasy of freedom. But what a mockery of freedom it be if we can’t move freely on the Independence Day in our own homeland... Security hassles, terrorist threats, and political gatherings at the various places government head offices... How can a common man feel the liberated? On the contrary, the police and armed forces are on toes to safeguard peace, law, and order today.

Few depressed, frightened souls are so afraid that they have decided to confine them to the sweet home on the two holidays of Aug 15-16 as the vacuum left by last Diwali blasts in Delhi and in recent Mumbai blasts can never be filled in several houses across the length and breadth of India.

Though the celebrations are also on. From students, youngsters and elderly all are pre-occupied in their own way. While many of youth went to their workplaces or even colleges decked up in tri-colour hues even a day before the d-day to be loud about their patriotism. Maybe few are enjoying an independence night out.

Some indulged in listening (on respective daddies request) to the Prime Minister’s speech and grasp where our Hindustan is actually heading to. Come what may but all are sure to make most out of this national holiday even indoors.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kashmiri Migrants, Kashmiri Shawls...a Wow!!

Over the years, Cashmere/Kashmiri shawls have shrunk to stolls, yet the pace the industry has grown fast. The warm fabric deserves a wow, especially for the popularity that the Cashmere/ Kashmiri tag enjoys. Lofty price tags, the rarity factor, and appearances of exquisite cashmere shawls on the shoulders of many a heroine in history, literature and on stage have no comparison... Cashmere has been made for centuries, but it used to be much more expensive and rare than it is today, and so was used primarily by royalty. Apparently a European fad for cashmere was started by Napoleon Bonaparte, who gave his wife seventeen cashmere shawls; Queen Victoria had several, and Beau Brummell was the talk of the town with his white cashmere waistcoat. It has an ultimate style statement attached along with the comfort. Cashmere is a type of soft, luxurious goat wool that comes from ‘The paradise on earth’: Kashmir.

No wonder with winter onset wait for Cashmere/ Kashmiri shawlwalas begins… In the afternoon as soon as women, the undisputed patrons of shawls move out in the verandah for basking and chitchatting, the seasonal immigrants from the ‘(paradise) janat on earth’ come riding on bicycles with bundle of exquisite shawls tied on its rest. Pashmina shawls and Pashmina wool apparel are gorgeous, comfortable, and a joy to wear. Pashmina wool is the finest and most exquisite cashmere.

“Well! What can be more handy to brave the cold than a cozy shawl,” says Paramjit Kaur a city-based housewife who is passionate about pashminas. “No woollen can match its elegance. The beauty of this seamless robe lies in its adaptability to adopt wearer’s attitude, be it a maharaja or a destitute,” she adds.

44-year-old matric pass shawl vendor, Mohammed Ramzan Mir from Mattan Khairbug, Anantnag has been coming down to Chandigarh every winter for past 22 years. But each time with a different style statement. He says, “There are many fashion designers, weavers, embroiders and other craftsman involved. So, it has turned into important industry that provides employment to thousands of Kashmiris facing the music.” It appears to be a seasonal job but keeps them on the run round the year. Before moving out of their territory they need to have ample of pieces ready. That’s what keeps them busy in summers.

Mir says: “Due to disturbance in valley, its hard to sustain on tourism. So, to earn dal-chawal for the family and maintain a decent living, we were forced to switch over to a new profession.” It’s better than permanently moving out of your homeland.
Another Kashmiri who eagerly waits for November to come down to the city beautiful is Bashir Ahmed Mir. He rightly calls Chandigarh his second home and addresses Chandigarhians as “style ke shaukin.”

Bashir says: “Every year he is here with his buddies.” They stay in groups of four-five people, including a cook. Though these Kashmiris are regular migrants, yet each time they hit the place they ought to get identification done. “As soon as we reach Chandigarh we would get a house on rent and inform the police station about our residence and get registered on basis of our voter ID card.” Well! Laws are laws and they have accepted it. what bothers them is getting a gas cylinder. “The biggest problem we continue facing year after year is of gas cylinders.”

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hydrogen cars. No petrol!! No diesel!!

hydrogen cars, hydrogen fuel cell, no pollution, pollution, developed, vehicles, hydrogen vehicles

What's the first think you wish on hitting the road, especially if stuck in a jam is blame round the world's love affair with the fuel-hungry SUVs. Using hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies is a key part of bringing down greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. Fuel cell systems offer a promising technology of the future with advantages that include zero emissions, high efficiency and minimal noise.
—No global warming… no ozone depletion… no acid rain… and 100% pollution free environment—is the utmost need to save our environment. I think God has been now kind to accept the endless prayers of all of us. No kidding man! He has already answered it through the genius scientist who have developed Hydrogen Car… It's a lightweight vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with enough style and space to compete with luxury sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

These cars generally use the hydrogen in one of two methods: combustion or fuel-cell conversion. In combustion, the hydrogen is "burned" in engines in fundamentally the same method as traditional gasoline cars. In fuel-cell conversion, the hydrogen is turned into electricity through fuel cells which then power electric motors.

What’s more you wanna ask about hydrogen cars… These hydrogen cars come in the clean, "green" future envisioned by energy experts, cars not only get 99 miles per gallon emissions-free, but they may also play a key role in providing electricity to a power-hungry world.
Vehicle developed would be three to four times more expensive than the conventional two- or three-wheeler and the cost of operation would also be more. But as the technology develops, the cost is expected to come down substantially.

The governments world over are helping fund the research for development of hydrogen using renewable sources in place of the present dependence on coal or natural gas. It is also being produced as a by-product in chemical and fertiliser industries.

The new 5 KW fuel cell hydrogen vehicles will usher in a new generation in fuel cell technology. The hydrogen needed to fuel these vehicles can be produced by means that would lower reliance on f oil supplies and thus, provide energy security. Emitting only heat and water as by-products of this process, the fuel cell systems are environment friendly and can run continuously as long as fuel is supplied. Each recharge currently gives around 70 km mileage. Attempts are also on to increase the mileage of the hydrogen vehicle to 100-150 km per recharge.
Hydrogen cars use hydregen derived from water as primary source of power for locomotion. British Columbia’s leadership in the development of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies, and builds on the commitment to have the world’s first hydrogen highway developed in time for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Richard Neufeld, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines.

R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “By working together, we can make sure Canada continues to be known as a world leader in putting these technologies on the road.” The Government of Canada has invested $4.5 million in this project. No global warming or ozone depletion, renewable, no acid rain, 100% pollution free.

In India, the ministry of non-conventional energy sources (MNES) is hopeful of having hydrogen-driven vehicles on Indian roads by 2007 with International Tractors Ltd (ITL) having agreed to undertake commercial production. "With ITL, which manufactures Sonalika brand of tractors, having agreed to undertake commercial manufacture of two- and three-wheeler hydrogen vehicles developed by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), we hope to have them available by 2007," said S K Chopra, senior advisor in MNES.

BHU has been using 50 demo vehicles in its campus for the last several years. While development of affordable hydrogen fuel cell vehicles using renewable sources of energy still remains a target for a large number of countries including India, the vehicle developed by the BHU uses metal hydrite or solid rods to store hydrogen, an environment friendly fuel.

The ministry has finalized the hydrogen roadmap that envisages India generating 1,000 MW power and one million hydrogen driven vehicles on the roads by 2020 with an estimated investment of Rs 2500 crore. The roadmap is to be part of the integrated energy policy being finalized

Reva Electric Car Company Pvt Ltd (RECC) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will develop two fuel cell hydrogen vehicles (FCVs) for a pilot project initiated by IOC, to develop hydrogen economy in India.

According to the agreement, RECC will use its expertise to build these hydrogen vehicles with fuel cell power modules and associated components to be sourced from abroad and IOC will provide the infrastructure needed to supply and stock hydrogen and to test the vehicles at its Research and Development (R&D) centre in Faridabad.