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Inside Delhi

Name controversy

Call it ignorance or perhaps a misguided attempt to act "cool'', but even the excuse of rock music is no justification for being insensitive, claim activists working with the differently-abled suffering from serious metal illnesses. Angry at an emerging youth rock band calling itself "Brain Dead Schizo'', disabled rights activists have asked the youngsters to change the name of their group. And it appears that the objection has made an impression, at least in part.

"This is being insensitive about the disease. Schizophrenia is a very serious mental illness and the term should not be used the way it has been. Obviously these kids did not know what the disease is all about. Unfortunately the usage is also incorrect because a person suffering from schizophrenia is not brain-dead. In fact, their brain is over-active,'' says Rukmani Pillai, an activist.

According to the activists, the name could be a source of humiliation for the patients. "It could act as a deterrent for schizophrenic people to talk about their disease. Some might even ignore the symptoms because a feeling of mortification could overtake them. I know several patients and they have all taken offence to the name and asked me to request the band to change the name. Such light usage can be demoralising to the patient and their family,'' she said.

Appreciative of their concerns, at the last moment the band decided to change its name for the concert "Rock the Nation'' organised at the National Stadium here on Monday. Dropping "Schizo'' from the name, the band agreed to be introduced simply as "Brain Dead''.

In limbo

Even after the lapse of a decade, the fate of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)'s "ambitious" New Delhi City Centre (NDCC) Phase-II project is still in a state of limbo. The long delay in completion of the multi-storey building at its headquarters -- Palika Kendra -- has not only led to massive escalation in the project's cost but also resulted in huge revenue loss that the Council would have earned if the project was completed in time.

Things are still not looking bright though the contractor for the project has been changed and an arbitrator appointed to settle disputes between the NDMC and its earlier contractor -- the State-owned National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) -- that, according to the Council officials, not only did some faults in the construction work but also carried delayed the work inspite of regular persuasion by them.

It may be noted that the 11-storey commercial project was conceived in 1992 while its foundation stone was laid way back on February 16, 1994. At that time the project was to be completed in four years at an estimated cost of Rs.61.60 crores.

However, due to delay, the project's cost has kept on escalating and it is now likely to touch around Rs.100 crores. And that is not all. The undue delay has already cost the NDMC a revenue loss of over Rs.150 crores as the new building was to fetch the Council Rs.25 crores as annual revenue.

It is almost an year since the construction and finishing work of the building has virtually been stopped, first due to some payment dispute between the NDMC and the NBCC and now the new contractor is yet to begin the work in a massive scale so that the project could be completed at the earliest.

Donate clothes

If you don't know what to do with your old clothes after buying loads of new ones for Diwali, here's how you can put them to good use.

Through the "Clothes Bank'' initiative -- a joint collaboration between TNT India, Dr. Reddy's Foundation and Procter and Gamble -- you can donate your old clothes to the needy and underprivileged. Over 40 tonnes of clothes have been collected through this initiative over the past three years and these have been distributed among those affected by natural calamities, drought, conflicts and those from marginalised sections of society.

The possibility that the clothes will not reach the needy or that they will be given totally unusable clothes is avoided by the systematic procedure followed by the `Clothes Bank' initiative.

Collection boxes have been put up at various UTI Bank ATMs across the Capital and at the TNT India office on Kasturba Gandhi Marg. TNT collects the clothes from these centres and delivers them to the Clothes Bank housed by the Dr. Reddy's Foundation in Hyderabad. After discarding the unredeemable clothes, the remaining ones are graded according to sex, age and type of clothing. Then they are sent for washing, for which Procter and Gamble provides the necessary detergent. The clothes are then mended, darned and ironed. Finally, based on requests by various non-government organisations, they are distributed. The name of the individual donor is attached to each item of clothing.

The campaign is being conducted in all major cities and is undertaken by volunteers from various walks of life.

Cookery book

There was a time when Chand Sur -- whose cookery book titled "Continental Cuisine For The Indian Palate" was recently released at Oxford Book Store in New Delhi -- wished that someone blessed with cooking skills would teach her the art. And last week none other than Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit came over personally to launch this delightful book comprises tips on cooking more than 150 recipes.

"I always wished that someone would teach me how to cook, but no one ever shared his secrets. It took me many trials and errors before I even came close to admitting that I could cook. The reason I have written this book is to save people the trouble of cooking and whatever I have learnt in cooking I have shared with the readers," said Ms. Sur during the launch of her cookery book.

As the title of the book suggests, the methodology of cooking some of the most sought after continental cuisines is given keeping in mind the Indian taste buds. To save the Indian gourmets from purchasing costly exotic herbs, the author has even suggested use of locally available familiar ingredients as substitutes.

"A gourmet's delight, this comprehensive easy-to-use book is indispensable for anyone who savours the joys of cooking. It promises to be a double treat for both the epicurean and the reader. Simply put, the book offers a delicious mix of the very best in Western cooking with household ingredients," said the COO of e.books World Private Limited, Rajiv Chowdhry.

By Anjali Dhal Samanta, Sandeep Joshi and Madhur Tankha

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