Category Archives: Amazing Feats

Barefoot footballer Ahmed Khan no more

Bengaluru, KARNATAKA  / Kolkata, WEST BENGAL :

Ahmed Khan. | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail
Ahmed Khan. | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

Ahmed Khan, the last of India’s glorious generation of barefooted footballers who made a mark on the 1948 Olympic Games, passed away here on Sunday.

He was 90 and died due to age-related issues. Khan, who was also part of the Indian sides that won gold at the Asian Games of 1951 and went to the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, will be remembered as a gifted inside-left who mesmerised spectators with his ball control.

He played for East Bengal for a decade, and formed part of a feared five-member forward-line — Sale, Dhanaraj, Appa Rao and Venkatesh the others — nicknamed the ‘pancha pandavas’.

“His close control was so good that they called him the snake-charmer, for he could make the ball do his bidding,” recalled I. Arumainayagam, who turned out for India at the 1962 Asian Games.

“We used to call him paambati. His death is a big loss to Indian football.”

Khan was born in 1926 into a family of footballers. His father, Baba Khan, was captain of local club Bangalore Crescent, while two of his uncles turned out for Mohammedan Sporting in Kolkata.

Ahmed’s three brothers — Amjad Khan, Sharmat Khan and Latif Khan — all played football at various levels.

As early as 1938, Ahmed joined Bangalore Crescent, where he played alongside his father.

He is best remembered, however, for his role in the 1948 Olympics in London, where India lost its first-round match in heartbreaking fashion to France but made a deep impression on the public.

In a report for The Hindu dated September 25, 1948, A. Ramaswamy Aiyar wrote: “Raman and Ahmed, the left-extreme and the left-inside, hail from Bangalore. They showed uncanny control over the ball and had perfect understanding.

“It was a treat to watch them move with the ball, interchange positions and run rings round the defence. They kept the audience spellbound and moved with such ease that they were described as a pair of wizards.”

“After winning the Rovers Cup with Bangalore Muslims, he joined East Bengal in 1949 and played for the club for the next 10 years.”

In a statement, East Bengal general secretary Kalyan Majumder hailed him as a “barefooted genius” and perhaps the greatest player the club had ever seen.

“With outstanding individual brilliance the barefooted Khan was capable of deciding the fate of any match all by himself. Even after boots were made mandatory I recall his outstanding performance in the 1958 IFA Shield final when he along with Balaram destroyed Mohun Bagan to win the Trophy,” he said.

“One also recalls the spectacular goal he scored against Yugoslavia playing barefooted in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.”

Khan’s death was condoled by the Karnataka State Football Association. He is survived by his wife, Rabia Begum, and children Majid Khan and Parveen Begum.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Football / by Special Correspondent / Bengaluru – August 28th, 2017

Life at a funeral

Bengaluru, KARNATAKA / Kolkata, WEST BENGAL  :

AhmedKhanMPOs29aug2017

As Ahmed Khan is laid to rest, kin feel blessed to belong to the same family as the football great; contemporaries remember him as a humble man who loved the game

Amjad Khan sat quietly sipping chai, unmindful of the cacophony raised by a line of four-wheelers jostling for space on the narrow, single-laned Mackan Road. His brother Ahmed, arguably India’s greatest footballer who passed away on Sunday, had just been laid to rest and the mourning — for now — was over. The multitude, that had turned out to pay their respects and attend the funeral, had departed and house #75 — the house of ‘Ahmed, the Olympian’ — was slowly returning to ‘normal’.

A smile spread across Amjad’s face when he was asked about his brother. With every sip of chai that he took, Amjad’s eyes took on an even more vacant look as his mind went back in time. “What makes a man great? This is how I analyse it,” Amjad, also a former India international, said. “You could say Ahmed played up to 1958, right? Public memory is generally short. We watch a good movie and don’t remember it a month later. But if people remember this man, after 60 years of his playing career, then he must have done something extraordinary.”

There was pride in Amjad’s every breath. It was the predominant feeling shared by those in house #75. A feeling that stemmed from simply being associated with the bloodline of India’s greatest dribbler, fondly nicknamed ‘the Snake Charmer’ by the English media. Even Mannan, a grandson who was born decades after Ahmed hung up his boots, said he was “proud to just be born in the same family as Ahmed”.

Inside the house, Mannan proudly pointed to Ahmed’s trophies, a collection that was put on display just above the freezer box that contained Ahmed’s remains only hours ago. Numerous tributes by East Bengal, Ahmed’s club in Kolkata, were laid out. “The Padmashri has lost a bit of its sheen today because it was never awarded to Ahmed,” Amjad remarked on the conspicuous lapse of the Central government’s attention to a man who had bagged the gold in the 1951 Asian Games.

Among India’s greatest football heroes, Ahmed is right up there. As an inside-left (withdraw striker), Ahmed played in two Olympics (1948 and 1952) and won every domestic trophy that was up for grabs with East Bengal. “You know the thing about cotton? Whatever you throw on cotton, it never bounces back. That was Ahmed’s dribbling prowess,” Amjad said. “My father used to say that if Ahmed had not become a footballer, he would have become India’s best athlete. You know, when he was studying in the St Aloysius School in the city, he never used to carry books to the school. Instead, he used to take a small ball, a tennis ball, and practise dribbling on his way to school and back. That explains his gift.”

Ahmed was part of the deadly ‘Panchapandavas’ of EB, a forward line also comprising P Venkatesh and PB Saleh on the flanks, Apparao as the inside right and Dhanraj in the centre. When asked whether the gold medal was Ahmed’s top moment as a player, Amjad laughed. “That was just okay,” he said. “Have you heard of Sahu Mewalal, the guy who scored the winner at the 1951 Asian Games? Every year in Calcutta, where he used to play for Railways, he was the top-scorer of the league. Dhanraj wanted to overthrow Mewalal and asked Ahmed to do something for him. In one game, this gentleman (Ahmed) dribbled past everyone, even the goalkeeper, and called Dhanraj to the post to tap it in. That year, Dhanraj became the top-scorer. Scoring goals was Ahmed’s wish when he was playing.”

I Arumainayagam, the 1962 Asian Games gold medallist from the other time that India ruled globally, called Ahmed an inspiration. “We used to learn from watching him play,” he said. “We used to name ourselves ‘Ahmed’, ‘Dhanraj’, ‘Basheer’ and emulate their style. We, of course, couldn’t play as well as they did, but they influenced us greatly.”

More than anything, Ahmed was a fine human being. The 1952 Helsinki Olympics showed that. India were humiliated 1-10 by Yugoslavia and Ahmed repents that he was able to score only one goal in that game. Outside the Olympics, he often used to skip practice sessions while playing for East Bengal which made people wonder at his talent. He also preferred to play barefoot, shunning boots when the occasion afforded it. He was also fond of playing cards and often drew players from rival club Mohun Bagan into a round after a football game. During one such game, he was up against Sailen Manna, Bagan’s top defender of that era. “Manna was trying to convince Ahmed to play for Bagan,” SS Shreekumar, a former journalist and Ahmed’s friend, said. “This was in a room packed with footballers from Bagan and their supporters who were watching them. Eventuall, Ahmed agreed to play for Bagan. The entire room was stunned on hearing it. But Ahmed had one condition.

Manna asked him what it was. He told Manna that he will have to play for EB and the room burst into laughter.”

Shreekumar wonders what could have been had Ahmed accepted an offer to play for Swedish club IFK Göteborg. “He was named East Bengal’s best forward of the millennium,” Shreekumar said. “But when IFK Göteborg contacted Ahmed, his father asked him to consult his club, East Bengal. Jyotish Chandra Guha, a former secretary of EB who had scouted Ahmed, was worried about losing him. He downplayed Ahmed’s future in Sweden by suggesting it would be too cold and that the locals might put him down because he would be the only Indian there.”

While the tributes kept pouring in, Amjad’s tea was done. But the smile remained. “There are two things which makes football interesting – scoring goals and dribbling,” he added. “Ahmed found it interesting because of the second reason.”

Today, Ahmed Khan is no more. But ‘Ahmed Khan Olympian’ will live on forever.

source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Sports> Football / by Aravind Suchindran, Bangalore MIrror Bureau / August 29th, 2017

This Woman Was a Pavement Dweller, Today She Runs a Sanitary Pad Manufacturing Unit!

Mumbai, MAHARASHTRA :

With low levels of formal employment in slum communities, Myna employs women and trains them to be entrepreneurs who run franchisee businesses for women’s products.

In 2008 when the jhopadpattis on the pavements of Sewri were demolished, Parveen Sheikh sat by the footpath with her friend Kanta Nada mourning her lost home.
Out of 680 homes, according the 1995 election rules, only 280 homes were rehabilitated — Parveen’s home was not on the list. The BMC assured the angered pavement dwellers to not lose hope, it was just the first phase of rehabilitation.

A 12-year-old boy ran to Parveen and said, “Aunty, they have come with weapons to kill you, run away.”

Myna01MPOs26aug2017

Running at a distance towards her was a crowd of people with every weapon she had possibly seen— knives, bamboos, sticks alike, bloodthirsty for a certain Mahila Milan leader responsible for their lost homes. Zia bhai, one of Parveen’s neighbour rushed with his wife’s burqa, she donned it and hid in the blue water drum in a neighbour’s movers and packers truck.

She remembers staying in hiding with her family for a month in a room in Mankhurd. A few days later, the same phone calls made their way back again. This time apologizing for their misunderstanding. Parveen Sheikh had had enough, she would give up social work. But she realised, it was perhaps their homelessness that led to their reckless actions. She crusaded for their rehabilitation again. Within a week after that, 122 more homes were passed and people thanked the same Mahila Milan leader again.

Who is Parveen Sheikh?

Myna02MPOs26aug2017

Parveen Sheikh, 48, member of Mahila Milan and NSDF (National Slum Dwellers Federation) for the past 20 years, was born on the footpath and lived most of her life on it. To be homeless plus a woman was nothing short of daunting. Everything she ate was measured to avoid the embarrassment of open defecating on the Sewri railway tracks.

“Sitting near the tracks was frightening because trains would pass regularly. And going in the night was unsafe for the fear of physical or sexual assault,” she recalls.

“So, when I opened the door to my new home in Govandi, I did not look left or right. The first thing I saw was the toilet. And the realisation that I owned this toilet and I could use it as many times as I wanted was empowering. My food intake no longer needed measurement,” she smiles.

”  Recalling the days she spent as a pavement dweller in Sewri, she says, “When we went to banks earlier, they would ask for residential proof and a guarantor who had an account in that bank. We did not have a roof over our head, where would we get residential proof from? In 2007, I connected to Mahila Milan, a saving unit where savings started from smaller amounts like Rs 5 and we did not need a guarantor. That one decision changed my life beyond words.  ”

Started in 1986, Mahila Milan is a decentralised network of poor women’s collectives that manage credit and savings activities in their communities. It currently operates as a savings co-operative for women slum dwellers across Mumbai. From micro door-to- door savings of less than Rs 5 per day in the 90s to the current day scenario, Mahila Milan today has become a self-sufficient unit of saving women.

Myna Mahila Foundation

Myna03MPOs26aug2017

Today, Parveen heads the Mahila Milan Sanghatan at Govandi, and also runs a local sanitary pad manufacturing unit under the Myna Mahila Foundation that works in association with Mahila Milan. With low levels of formal employment in slum communities, especially among young women, Myna employs women and trains them to be entrepreneurs who can run franchisee businesses for women’s products.

They make sanitary products, such as sanitary and maternity pads to improve women’s health, at subsidized costs.

Women sell the pads door-to-door, in public toilets, balwadis, clinics and local NGOs, to other women who are bound by the societal taboo of leaving their homes to purchase sanitary pads. The company was established in June 2015 by Suhani Jalota and is run by Parveen with two other highly experienced women from the slums of Mumbai, Meena Ramani and Malati Ambre.

“  We started with a mere group of five women, today we have 20 women working with Myna. The road was rocky at the start, it almost took a month to train women to master the entire process of making a pad. We ourselves used to be shy about the kind of product we were making and promoting. Suhani spoke to us about how this was a natural process that we shouldn’t be ashamed of discussing. We felt empowered understanding the importance of menstruation to a woman’s fertility. Today when we have meetings, and there are men, we speak to them about it and encourage them to take sanitary products home,” says Malati Ambre  .”

Myna runs a factory in a slum redeveloped colony in Shivaji Nagar to provide employment to local women to make low-cost, high quality sanitary products that can be used locally.

Myna04MPOs26aug2017

“Our central aim was to create awareness about menstrual hygiene and encourage women to discard their old practices of using cloth and use sanitary pads instead. We never wanted to make a luxury product or collaborate with a brand name. The idea was clear, we wanted a simple and basic product –– made by women, for women and sold by women. We conducted extensive surveys and arrived at the result that 90% women in our slums used cloth. We spoke to experts and in turn showed women videos and conducted workshops to create awareness about the hazards of unhygienic menstrual practices,” shares Meena Ramani.

“ People were not ready to turn away from practices they had followed for generations. It took more than a year for our women to create that kind of awareness. When women went from door-to-door selling, people would turn their backs and mock them saying, “Aren’t you ashamed. Why are you selling this?” says Parveen.  “

Today 80% women are using pads. Donning goggles and patiyala suits, these women have trained their younger generations to ride the pink Myna auto rickshaw that is used for transportation too. They call it their ‘Myna sawaari.’

While Myna Pads are manufactured, and sold door to door to women, Myna Maternity pads are sold to local clinics and hospitals. “From the day we started till date, the cost of one packet of Myna, which consists of 8 pieces, is Rs. 25. While leading branded pads weigh 6-7 grams per piece, our pad weighs 11 grams,” she adds.

While Bombay Hospital is one of their most loyal customers with a prescription of 500 maternity pad packets per month, KEM orders 350.

On an average, Myna Pads sell 9,000 to 10,000 packets per month.

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With newer demands and increase in usage of sanitary pads and feedback from users, Myna has also started manufacturing sanitary pads with wings. While the packet is priced at Rs. 40, they sell 3 packets on a subsidized rate of Rs.100 in slums. The women engage the users in a complete demo of 3 to 4 minutes where instructions from opening the pad, to using and disposing of it are covered. The packets bear their contact numbers for home deliveries.

For families with five to six women and girl children, packets are loaned that can be repaid once financially viable.

Connect to Myna Mahila foundation here. Write to them at mynafoundation@gmail.com.
The low cost sanitary pads can be ordered on the following numbers:
+91 98-70-504589 / +91 98-70-661620

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com

source:  http://www.thebetterindia.com / The Better India / Home> Lede> Mumbai> Sanitation / by Jovita Aranha / July 2017

Meet Mr Muscle Man Wasim Khan. This Bodybuilder Just Won Huge Titles For India

NEW DELHI :

Indian bodybuilder Wasim Khan has won the International Bodybuilding Fitness Federation (IBFF) championship held recently on June 21 at Koper Slovenia, Slovenia

Khan not only won gold medal  in one category but also won the overall title. In total, he won three medals. About 350 body builders from 37 countries participated in this event.

Source: Sahara Samay
Source: Sahara Samay

The Indian bodybuilding team created history at the World Championships by winning four titles. Suresh Kadam who is the general secretary of IBFF said that it was the first time in bodybuilding that the Indian team had performed so well and also bagged the most coveted title of ‘Mr World’.

Khan will be aiming for Mr Olympia next, which happens to be the most coveted title in bodybuilding. Kadam also said that Khan has the potential to win the coveted title of Mr. Olympia.

Khan said , “I want to thank all my fans who always there for me in my tough times and Allah who gave me power to move forward to follow my passion (sic).” He thanked his wife by saying that she was the only person who believed in him and supported him throughout his struggle in his career.

Source: Sahara Samay
Source: Sahara Samay

He was also thankful to India for providing him opportunity to showcase his talent.

This is not the first time that Khan has made the nation proud. Last year he had won ‘Mr Universe’ title at IBFF event in Rome.

Two other Indian bodybuilders, Sashi Kumar and Tarun Dutta, also won silver medal in their respective categories.

We congratulate Khan and the Indian bodybuilding team for this landmark victory.  Here’s to more six packs!

source: http://www.scoopwhoop.com / Scoop Whoop / Home / by Saswat Singhdeo / July 06th, 2015

Tiger hunter turns tiger rescuer

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :

Hyderabadi shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan | Photo Credit: aranged
Hyderabadi shooter Nawab Shafat Ali Khan | Photo Credit: aranged

Maharashtra :

‘Man-eater’ successfully tranquillised

Reputed hunter from the city, ‘Nawab’ Shafat Ali Khan, who used to be frequently embroiled in controversies by shooting down ‘man-eating’ tigers, has, for a change, successfully tranquillised female tiger in Maharashtra that had reportedly turned man-eater.

The three-year-old tigress was captured alive on Monday evening from the outlying territory of Tadoba National Park, near Halda village, Mr. Khan informed over phone.

The tigress, named C-1 by the Forest Department officials, was from the spill-over population of 40 adult tigers and 19 cubs that struggled for survival in the Brahmapuri Division outside the national park, thickly populated with human habitations and sparsely with prey base.

The young feline had killed two humans and injured four, besides lifting away countless cattle and goats between April and June. After it had reportedly killed a man on June 21 and partially ate his body, villagers became furious leading to her being declared a man-eater, and ordered to be shot down.

Attempts by veterinarians to tranquillise the big cat turned futile, and Mr. Khan was invited by the Maharashtra Government to hunt her down. “I had noticed that the tigress displayed abnormal behaviour. She would kill the cattle during daytime, and when resisted, attack the villagers,” Mr. Khan recalled. However, he decided to capture her alive, after noticing from camera traps that she was beautiful and young. His team, including son Asghar, faced tough opposition from the villagers who wanted her shot down.

“They even attacked us once, seeing the tranquilliser guns in our hands. We had to sit with them, and make them understand our efforts,” he said. The cattle kills became very frequent, but almost always, the tigress abandoned her kills scared by the attempts to chase her away.

Tigress that was tranquillised.
Tigress that was tranquillised.

“After a futile attempt at Padmapur village on July 4, she disappeared up to July 9, only to resurface near Halda village where she was conceived by her mother. Our task became very difficult as her mother and two sisters roamed in the five square kilometre vicinity,” Mr. Khan said.

Painstakingly, the stripes on the tigress’ body were memorised, and her presence was ascertained further through her odd tendencies of abandoning her kills.

“Monday afternoon, she killed a cow and ate five kilograms of meat. We set up a ‘machan’, tied the carcass with ropes and awaited her arrival. At 5.30 p.m., she came tearing out, lifted the carcass snapping the ropes, and almost galloped away, but not before I took a very fast shot. The dart went in her neck, and she fled dropping her kill,” Mr. Khan explained. She was noticed 200 meters away, captured and brought back to the Forest Department’s camp at Ekara village.

“I visited the tigress on Tuesday morning. She was in healthy condition,” Mr. Khan informed.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Swathi Vadlamudi / Hyderabad – July 12th, 2017

Meet Salim Sheikh, Gujarat bus driver who risked his life to save Amarnath yatris; to be nominated for bravery award

GUJARAT  / Amarnath Yatra (JAMMU & KASHMIR )  :

If Salim, the driver of the bus ferrying Amarnath Yatris, had not acted wisely and shown exemplary courage, the brazen terror attack would have certainly claimed more innocent lives.

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Ahmedabad:

If Salim, the driver of the bus ferrying Amarnath Yatris, had not acted wisely and shown exemplary courage, the brazen terror attack would have certainly claimed more innocent lives.

Salim, the Gujarati driver of the bus that was ferrying the passengers, has now emerged as a hero by saving so many innocent lives while risking his own.

According to reports, Salim drove the bus to safety amid continuous firing by a group of heavily armed terrorists who attacked the bus which was returning from the Amarnath Shrine.

Despite being reportedly hit by a bullet, Salim locked the door from inside, refraining terrorists from entering into the bus.

Realising that if he stops the bus, terrorist would kill many innocent yatris, Salim drove for nearly two kilometers before finally stopping near an army camp.

“I spoke to the passengers and they were all praises for the driver. He drove despite the firing and took them to safety. It made a lot of difference and lives were saved. He did not stop. Had he stopped, more lives could have been lost,” Munir Khan, IG, Kashmir, told reporters.

One of the survivors of the attack also praised Salim for his bravery and said, ”We were asleep and were woken up by bullet sounds. He continued to drive and took us to safety. If not for him, it would have been worse.”

Back home in Gujarat’s Valsad, Salim’s family also expressed satisfaction that he managed to save several lives.

“He called me at around 9.30 pm and said that there was firing. Salim did not stop when terrorists fired but only looked for a safer spot for the pilgrims. He could not save seven lives but managed to move over 50 people to a safe place. We are very proud of him,” said Javed, Salim’s cousin.

Later, speaking to reporters, Salim said, ”God gave me strength to keep moving, and I just did not stop.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijat Rupani, who announced ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of victims and Rs 2 lakh for injured, said that he will nominate driver Salim for bravery award.

There were initial reports that the bus was not registered for the Amarnath Yatra and the driver had committed some lapses on his part.

However, the Jammu and Kashmir Police has rejected such reports and stated that reports of the bus not being registered were far from the truth.

“The bus was very much registered for Amarnath Yatra and they were also in a convoy. “They had finished their darshan just two days ago and had plans of visiting a few tourist places. Yes, they were on a different route than the yatra route but the bus was registered and in a convoy,” Munir Khan added.

The bus, which came under a dastardly terror attack on Monday evening, was from Gujarat, and all pilgrims were from the same state.

The bus – GJ 09 Z 9976 – was registered in North Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district, but the owner had sold the bus to one Jawahar Desai of Valsad, Gujarat.

Of the seven pilgrims – five women and two men – who lost their lives, two were from Valsad, two from Dharampur, two from Pardi and one from Vansda. Another fifteen sustained injuries, four of them serious wounds.

source: http://www.zeenews.india.com / Z News / Home> News> States> Gujarat / by Zee Media Bureau / Tuesday – July 11th, 2017

An 800-Year-Old Piece of Indian Heritage in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM :

The Ansari family in front of their house in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Ansari family in front of their house in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

Did you know that there is a corner of Jerusalem that has a distinct Indian stamp to it and its various residents wear their Indian origin like a medal?

Next to the Al-Aqsa mosque in the city there is the Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. The hospice is managed by the Ansari family and has a centuries-old connect to India.

The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

Indian pilgrims to the “holy city” of Jerusalem, can stay at the ‘Indian Hospice’ and pay homage to the Indian Sufi saint Baba Faridudding of Shakar Ganj, who visited the place 800 years ago.

Seen here, celebrated Indian chef Samjeev Kapoor at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Seen here, celebrated Indian chef Samjeev Kapoor at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

The Indian Connection Through Baba Farid

The year is 1200, a little over a decade after the armies of Saladin had forced the Christian Crusaders out of Jerusalem. And an Indian Sufi saint from Punjab named Baba Fariduddin of Shakar Ganj travels to the war torn city.

The victory of Saladin against the Crusaders. Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, c. 1490. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)
The victory of Saladin against the Crusaders. Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, c. 1490. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)

 

Sufi saint Baba Farid (Photo Courtesy: Seeker of Sacred Knowledge)
Sufi saint Baba Farid (Photo Courtesy: Seeker of Sacred Knowledge)

It is said that Baba Farid swept the stone floors around al-Aqsa mosque as a mark of devotion. He is also known to have taken up fasting in the silence of a cave nearby.

Long after he went back to India, Muslims from the sub-continent who passed Jerusalem on their way to Mecca stopped at this spot in memory of Baba Farid. It became a sort of temporary residence for the pilgrims.

Ansaris Deputed To Care For Baba Farid’s Legacy

In early 1920s, Jerusalem’s Supreme Muslim Council requested the leaders of the Khilafat Movement of British-ruled India to nominate someone to care for the hospice. The Khilafat leaders honoured the request of the Supreme Council then headed by Arab nationalist Mohammed Amin Al-Husseini. That is how in 1924 Sheikh Nazir Hasan Ansari – who was also part of the Khilafat Movement – was chosen to go to Jerusalem to take charge of the hospice.

Sheikh Nazir Hasan Ansari (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Sheikh Nazir Hasan Ansari (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

Sheikh Munir Ansari who now heads the place, seen here as a boy. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Sheikh Munir Ansari who now heads the place, seen here as a boy. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

His son Sheikh Munir Ansari now heads the place. The two have during their respective years as administrator of the hospice, persuaded the rulers of several Indian Muslim states, including Hyderabad, to make contributions for the upkeep of the hospice. Munir’s son Nazeer proudly explains the glorious history of the place.

Not only pilgrims, but Indians from all walks of life who visit Israel like to meet the Ansaris. They are amazed by the way the Ansaris care for that piece of India in the land of Arab-Jewish confluence. Past visitors include famous journalists, presidents, Indian politicians, celebrities and commoners.

The Ansaris have been gracious hosts to many Indian journalists. Seen in this picture, among other journalists is Suhasini Haider of The Hindu. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Ansaris have been gracious hosts to many Indian journalists. Seen in this picture, among other journalists is Suhasini Haider of The Hindu. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar at The Indian Hospice. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar at The Indian Hospice. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

President Pranab Mukherjee too visited The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
President Pranab Mukherjee too visited The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

The Ansaris value the responsibility that comes with the inheritance of the heritage. Their FB page says:

Maintaining and protecting an Indian institution in Jerusalem’s old city is no easy task. But Sheikh Munir has accomplished the impossible with delicate diplomacy and extreme tact.

The Indian Hospice

The Ansaris on a visit to India. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Ansaris on a visit to India. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

The Ansari family has been a steady presence in Jerusalem ever since and they all still carry Indian passports.

source: http://www.thequint.com / The Quint / Home> News Videos / by Kirti Phadtatre Pandey / July o4th,2017

 

Cricketers congratulate Mohammad Kaif on crossing 10,000 first-class runs

UTTAR PRADESH :

Cricketers congratulate Mohammad Kaif on crossing 10,000 first-class runs

Kaif is still scoring runs in the domestic circuit
Kaif is still scoring runs in the domestic circuit

A solid middle-order batsman and a live-wire on the field, Mohammad Kaif still holds a special place in the hearts of Team India fans, despite last playing an international match over a decade back. He continues to ply his trade at the domestic level, captaining Chattisgarh in the Ranji Trophy. He recently completed a personal milestone in his career, going past 10,000 first-class runs.

In 178 matches, he averages 39.84, with 19 centuries to his credit. He featured in a total of 125 ODIs and 13 Tests for the national side in a career that extended from 2000-2006. He was also part of the 2003 World Cup team. He played a stellar role in the finals of the 2002 NatWest series, steering India home with an unbeaten 87. He came into the limelight when he captained the Indian U-19 team to victory in 2000.

In 2014, he jumped into the political bandwagon, joining the Indian National Congress ahead of the Loksabha elections.

Cricketers took to Twitter to congratulate the 35-year old on reaching the landmark.

source: http://www.sportskeeda.com / SportsKeeda.com / Home> Cricket> First Class Cricket / by Aadya Sharma  @aadyasharma20 / October 10th, 2016

Carving out a space for himself

Pallapatti / Chennai , TAMIL NADU :

(From left) Zahid Husain, Alhaj A. Mohammed Ashraf, Mohamed Rifath Shaarook Raaj and Amanullah Shah | Photo Credit: special arrangement
(From left) Zahid Husain, Alhaj A. Mohammed Ashraf, Mohamed Rifath Shaarook Raaj and Amanullah Shah | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Mohamed Rifath has just joined a physics undergraduate course at New College, but his classmates and teachers are seeing him as a star scientist. Read on and find out why

Can you imagine a fresher receiving a rousing welcome at his college, on the day of joining? When Mohamed Rifath Shaarook Raaj recently joined the B.Sc Physics stream of New College, he was being accorded a reception befitting a celebrity. Not only that, the secretary and correspondent of the college, A. Mohammed Ashraf, had waived off his fee for the undergraduate course, and also promised that the college would take care of his education till he completed his Ph.D.

Rifath, 18 years old, is the Lead Scientist of Space Kidz India (SKI), a Chennai-based organisation promoting students’ research in science and working towards making science accessible to students. Rifath is part of a team that has designed a satellite, which is expected to be launched into space on 21 June, 2017 from the NASA Wallops Space Flight Facility, Virginia, at no cost.

Major Zahid Husain, principal of the college, said that fellow students should emulate this young scientist and that it was a great honour for the college to enrol him. The student scientist has not only taken the local educationalists by storm but even the judges and directors of Colorado Space Grans Consortium were awe-struck by his experiment. Thus his satellite (supported by his team-mates) is planned to be launched into space on June 21, 2017 from NASA Wallops Space Flight Felicity, Virginia at no cost.

“NASA and I doodle Learning Inc. conducted a space challenge called ‘Cubes in Space’. Students have to design an experimental satellite which will help develop space technology. The best-designed satellite will get a sub-orbital space flight to real space on a NASA Rocket. Being a member of the NASA Kids Club, I learnt about this challenge and decided to design together with my team, an experimental satellite that will fit inside a 4cm cube and weigh 64 grams with +/- 1 gram limit (neither high nor less since it may affect the centre of gravity). Apart from creating just a payload, we wanted to design, build and launch a full satellite within a 4cm cube with a mass of 64 grams,” he explains.

Rifath, who hails from Pallapatti in Tamil Nadu, completed his schooling from Crescent Matriculation School, scoring 62.5% in the higher secondary board exams, and wants to emulate former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

“It all started when I was chided for making paper rockets; so I was determined to make a real one. I participated in the first edition of Young Scientist-2013 conducted by Space Kidz India and met its director Srimathy. I participated till the third edition of Young Scientist, even though I didn’t win but she noticed my talent. Then, I joined the organisation. My initial project with SKI was making a balloon-satellite with NSLV (Near Space Launch Vehicle) which was a huge success and we got into the Limca Book of Records and became the first private company in India to launch an NSLV. After launching a balloon-satellite to near space (>40km altitude), we wanted to send a satellite or a spacecraft to true Space (>100km where the Karman line and official true space starts). At first, we concentrated on the standard one unit 10cm cube satellite of 1kg mass but as we proceeded, we realised the cost would be too high. As students we were strapped for money and therefore, reduced the size and mass of the Cube satellites (Cube Satellite itself is a Nano satellite but we wanted to reduce the size further).

“At first, we wanted to create something similar to Kicksats but they are not true satellites but just a postcard sized PCB with non-customisable electronics, which cannot work, without a big mother satellite — in other words, it’s just a Space toy. But we always wanted to create an independent full-fledged fully-customisable, scalable, low-cost satellite with new technology. Initially we designed a 125gram, 5cm cube satellite which is 1/8th of a standard cube satellite which will also reduce the cost of the launch. But later, due to NASA’s challenge guidelines we built a 3.8cm independent cube satellite. Previously, a 5cm cube satellite was the smallest satellite, but now we are about to break that record and it’s also going to be the first 3D-printed satellite to be launched into space.

“Here, we are only talking about sub-orbital spaceflight in which our satellite will go into space on a rocket, do the research and land again on surface/ocean in a capsule, so the students can get back their satellite, research more and create a better space system which can be used in orbital and interplanetary missions. Our aim is not to just send a Cube satellite, built from Off-the-shelf components previously available in space market, and launch that into space. Our invention is to create a new space platform. We are also creating a space platform where our future scientists can develop their own payloads, and, for example, we can use this kind of Femto satellite constellations as Ham Radio reflectors which we can use in disaster-like situations when all other communications may fail.

We may face solar flares which may destroy satellites outside earth’s magnetosphere (36,000 km altitude). In situations like these, these Femto satellites can be a backup; they can be quickly launched and protected by an artificial magnetosphere, since they are very small. This satellite is fully 3D-printed, other than electronics.”

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by M.O. Badsha / June 16th, 2017

A collection worth bowing to

Chennai , TAMIL NADU :

Going strong: Y. Abdul Rasul has been collecting stamps since he was 10 years old.
Going strong: Y. Abdul Rasul has been collecting stamps since he was 10 years old.

Abdul Rasul’s trove of 5,915 mosque stamps sets a world record

Y. Abdul Rasul was one of many philatelists collecting whatever stamps came his way, till a chance meeting with Viswanatha Iyer, another philatelist, in 2005 paved the way for his entry into the Guinness Book of Records.

“He gave me his collection and advised me to focus on the theme of mosques and it has paid rich dividends,” recalls Mr. Rasul, a 41-year-old IT professional who has entered the Guinness Book of Records for the largest collection of 5,915 stamps featuring mosques.

The oldest stamp in his possession was released by the Afghanistan government in 1892. Mr. Rasul also has a rare stamp with inverted centre — printed upside down — released in Somalia in 1902. “Normally these stamps are immediately withdrawn. A few people, however, are able to get them and I obtained one,” said Mr. Rasul, who began collecting stamps when he was 10 years old.

Both his grandfather G. Abdul Rasul and father R. Yusuf were ex-servicemen. His grandfather saw action against the Japanese in the Second World War.

“When my father was working in the Middle East, he would write letters and I started collecting the stamps,” recalled Mr. Rasul who has stamps from 95 countries, many displayed on his interactive site www.mosquestamps.com.

Besides Viswanatha Iyer, who had a huge collection of stamps from Travancore, Balakrishna Das, president of the South Indian Philately Association, and Abdul Azeez, a Varanasi-based philatelist, also played a major role in Mr. Rasul achieving his feat.

Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries release special stamps to mark the annual Haj pilgrimage and these stamps form a section of Mr. Rasul’s collection.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by B. Kolappan / Chennai – June 12th, 2017