Category Archives: Business & Economy

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to inaugurate 4th ‘Hunar Haat’ today


Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will today inaugurate the fourth edition of the Centre’s ‘Hunar Haat’ at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, where works of artisans belonging to minority communities and Tihar Jail inmates will be on display.

Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will today inaugurate the fourth edition of the Centre’s ‘Hunar Haat’ at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, where works of artisans belonging to minority communities and Tihar Jail inmates will be on display. (Image: IE)
Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will today inaugurate the fourth edition of the Centre’s ‘Hunar Haat’ at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, where works of artisans belonging to minority communities and Tihar Jail inmates will be on display. (Image: IE)

Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will today inaugurate the fourth edition of the Centre’s ‘Hunar Haat’ at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, where works of artisans belonging to minority communities and Tihar Jail inmates will be on display.

Speaking at a press conference, the Union Minister said that the fourth edition will continue till November 27 and will exhibit the country’s rich heritage and skills. “This Hunar Haat is unique from earlier exhibitions as for the first time products made by inmates of Delhi’s Tihar Jail are also available. These products include furniture, handlooms, handicrafts, bakery items, hand-prepared oil, organic spices and grain,” Naqvi said.

He added that the artisans’ exquisite pieces of handicraft and handloom works such as cane, bamboo and jute products of Assam; Tussar, Geeja and Matka silk of Bhagalpur (Bihar) and traditional jewellery from Rajasthan and Telangana will be on display at the Haat. “New products to be displayed include baskets made from natural grass by artisans from Puducherry and Uttar Pradesh, Gotapatti work from Rajasthan and mural paintings from Gujarat,” the Union Minister said.

He added that the ministry had earlier organised the Haat for the first time at Pragati Maidan last year.

“The second and third editions were organised in the national capital and Puducherry, which received huge response. ‘Hunar Haat’ will also be organised in Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhopal and other cities in the coming days,” the minister said. He further said that the Ministry is working to establish a Hunar Hub in all states of the country where artisans will be provided training as per present requirement.

‘Hunar (skill) Haat’ is a platform created by the Minority Affairs Ministry to offer employment and market opportunities to artisans and craftsmen from minority communities.

source: / Financial Express / Home> India News / by ANI / November 15th, 2017

Rifle replica to commemorate martyrs


A miniature silver replica of a rifle made by artist Sk. Musavir. | Photo Credit: K_ RAVIKUMAR
A miniature silver replica of a rifle made by artist Sk. Musavir. | Photo Credit: K_ RAVIKUMAR

A silver miniature replica of a rifle was made by Nellore-based artist Sk. Musavir, to pay his respects to the martyrs on the eve of the Police  Commemoration Day here on Friday.

The artist used two grams of silver and one gram of wood to make the miniature which measured 2 cm in height and 12 cm in length.

It was time to pay homage to all those officers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace and harmony, said Mr. Musavir.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Nellore – October 21st, 2017

Lo and behold the magnificient murrahs of Telangana

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :


Eemaata, eemaata, yuvarajula sye aata… (What a delight it is, this dance of the princes…) Thus goes the popular song that best encapsulates the essence of Sadar festival aka Telangana’s very own ‘Dunnapothula Panduga’. Its English translation, ‘Buffalo Carnival of Telangana’ doesn’t quite have the same ring somehow. That’s besides the point though. For this festival is a celebration of the buffaloes — the ‘dancing princes’ that the aforementioned lines of the Sadar song extol. And the star attraction of this year’s festivities were the magnificent Murrah quartet — Raja, Dara, Maharaja and Shahenshah — each weighing well over 1,200 kilos!

As their proud handlers rave about the USP of these hulking bulls, your jaw drops in amazement. “The 4-year-old Raja weighs close to 1300 kg and is a 12-time National Livestock Champion. Maharaja, 6, from Chevella is a 6ft 2 inch-tall 1400-kg alpha male who makes for a breathtaking sight. Then there is Dara, son of the 24-time National Livestock Champion, Yuvraj, who’s fathered over 2,00,000 calves. Like his massive father, Dara tips the scales over 1,300 kgs. And the most expensive of them all is four-and-a-half year old Shahenshah who towers at a staggering 7 ft and weighs a whopping 1500 kilos,” say brothers Mahesh Yadav and Madhukar Yadav, organisers of the Sadar festivities which were held in Srinagar Colony on Friday night.

Bred and raised in Hyderabad, Shahenshah is hailed as the pride of Telangana by E Haribabu Yadav, state general secretary, All India Yadav Mahasabha. “Recently a buyer offered `25 crore to buy Shahenshah but his owner Ahmed Alam Khan refused to sell,” says Haribabu, adding, “Shahenshah was bred and groomed with the intention of beating the celebrated super bull Yuvraj of Hissar (Haryana),” says Haribabu who organised the Sadar festivities in Musheerabad on Saturday night.

And it seems like he’s already living up to expectations. Shahenshah recently entered the record books as the ‘World’s Most Expensive Bull’. “Shahenshah is one of the finest specimens of the murrah breed of buffalos that is ethnic to India. Standing 7 ft tall and 15 ft long, this bull is the pride of India,” says Suman Palle, CEO, High Range Book of World Records.

“The price of a bull is determined by the value of it’s semen which is much in demand. Each ejaculation fetches anywhere between `1,00,000 to `1,50,000. Hundreds of doses are prepared from the semen discharged during every ejaculation which is frozen in liquid nitrogen and sold to dairy farmers,” explains Ahmed Aalam Khah.

These bulls lead a charmed life indeed. “We spend about `4,000- `5,000 every day. They are given oil baths three times a day and it has a couple of attendants looking after it all day. Shahenshah drinks 30-40 litres of milk mixed with raw eggs every day. It’s diet consists of 100-150 apples, laddus made of kaju, pista, badam and dates, concentrates, green grass and hay.”

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News / by Karthik Pasupalate / TNN / October 23rd, 2017

AIFW: Nida Mahmood X Milind Soman’s collection launches India’s first running sari



The opening night of Amazon India Fashion Week SS 18 was celebrated by the collaboration of designer Nida Mahmood and Milind Soman’s active lifestyle brand. The collection was inspired by the rich culture, colours, textiles in their four distinct lines.
The ageless art of Ikat was also an inspiration for designer Nida. From indigo dyeing, printing techniques and Mughal patterns, the collection was a visual treat on the Day 1 of AIFW.
The silhouettes were inspired by women of India, keeping their comfort in mind for various forms of workout. Be it a dance class or running out in a gym, the outfits will cater to all. This genius collab with the fitness enthusiast Milind Soman brought together body positive image and inclusivity through the collection.

One of the main highlights of the collection was the first ever running sari, suitable for all Indian women of different shapes and sizes. Who would have that of that?

“With the launch of our running sari we now empower more women to get fit with their choice of silhouette”, said Milind Soman in a statement.

The clothes were made keeping in mind every person’s body requirement, empowering women to be fit with their choice of clothes. Made with 100% recycled plastic bottles, the collection is a treat for all fitness buffs.

source: / The Times of India / News> Lifestyle> Fashion> Fashion Shows / TNN / October 13th, 2017

Visit of M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs to Senegal (September 6-8, 2017)


Minister of State, Shri M.J. Akbar visited Senegal from 6-8 September 2017 as Special Envoy of Prime Minister Modi.

During the visit, he met President Mr. Macky Sall and handed over a Letter of Thanks from PM Modi for Senegal’s support for the re-election of India’s candidate Justice Dr. Dalveer Bhandari to the International Court of Justice for the term 2018-27, elections for which will be held in New York in November 2017. In this meeting, the newly appointed Prime Minister of Senegal Mr. Mouhamed Boun Abdallah Dionne was also present. Both MOS (MJA) and President Macky Sall discussed various aspects of India-Senegal bilateral relations.

MOS (MJA) handed over a cheque of Euro 50,000/- to the Secretary General of Foreign Ministry of Senegal Ambassador Mame Baba Cisse as India’s contribution to the Dakar International Forum for Peace and Security in Africa, to be held in November 2017. It is to be noted that India supported the Dakar International Forum for Peace and Security in Africa last year as well with a contribution of Euro 50,000/-.

MOS (MJA) gave a talk to Senegalese intelligentsia, academicians, ambassadors accredited to Senegal, and media personalities on “India’s Synergies with Africa” at the West African Research Center (WARC), a think-tank of Senegal.

He also gave a talk on “New India’s Transformation” to the Senegalese businessmen at the Dakar Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (CCIAD).

MOS (MJA) visited the ongoing Gandhi Exhibition at the Renaissance Monument where he distributed Mahatma Gandhi souvenirs to young Senegalese Gandhians. He also signed the Visitors Book at the Exhibition.

He also addressed the Indian Community in Senegal during a Reception held in his honour.

He visited Goree Island, an important slave trade point and UNESCO World Heritage site, and signed the Visitors Book at the Slave House at the island.

source: / Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India / Home> Media Centre>  Press Releases / New Delhi – September 14th, 2017

An interview with Sahar, founder of “Chamak Patti”



Hi Sahar, thanks for taking the time to chat with SIW. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

Sahar : I’ve been in business of television news for almost 15 years. Having done everything from reporting, writing and producing shows, I have settled into being a news anchor for mainstream political news and specializing in arts journalism. I am currently the Afternoon News face for News X. Apart from that, I have launched by own design brand for home decor and jewelry called Chamak Patti. This includes furniture, home ware and jewelry. More recently, I launched Asia’s first web channel on the arts, called Hunar TV. This includes catchy, peppy yet in-depth dialogues with artists from visual arts, music, theatre, dance, writing, etc. I have been invited by LimeRoad to be part of their style council to help create new looks for their customers.

What inspired you to get into this profession?

Sahar : In both the businesses that I run, the biggest inspiration has been the world of art. In Chamak Patti, I myself design and make the products. But these products are works of art. Since they’re personally executed, each piece is unique, like a collector’s item, not repeated for any second client. For Hunar TV, the main thrust for creating video capsules is to ensure people from outside the art world are introduced to this magnificent world of artists’ studio and their thought process.

What is your USP?

Sahar : In both my businesses, it is my twin understanding of news and art. I am aware how the real relates to the transcendent. It is this very understanding that helps me figure how design and art fits into our needs, our lives.

How someone can start the same business as yours in terms of investment, material procurement, production, and marketing etc?

Sahar : For Chamak Patti, I started on a very small scale and invested my own money. Today the sale of products takes care of more investment. From my personal experience, the simpler the formula, the less complicated the business. Material procurement has to be done after a lot of research on what your raw product is and where to get it best from. Marketing is relatively easier today. I trust social media and my own large data base of contacts.

For Hunar TV, investment was larger because there was expensive equipment to be bought and a team of experts to maintain. I strongly depend on sponsorship funds for each of the video capsules we create.  Marketing has been strong on social media and by strategic partnerships with well established names.

Any challenge you are facing in your profession and how you overcome that?

Sahar : The biggest challenge has always been to ensure that funds keep coming in for the next big step to be taken. You gradually learn how to overcome it. There’s never one single formula on how to overcome a challenge. Every formula that you can think of is put to test and you eventually realize which formula works when and how! But in your mind, it’s more important to ensure you take all the criticism and warnings in your stride, it’s important to willingly take the plunge and have the grit to make it happen.

What are your plans for the future?

Sahar : Team expansion for both my businesses is the future plan. Having Chamak Patti products available outside India by logistically making the current structure stronger. For Hunar TV, I would like to create more interesting video capsules on a daily basis and have it shared more frequently.

How you manage your personal and professional life?

Sahar : More than time management, what works better for me is task management. I am a brilliant multi-tasker and manage to slip in and out of my professional and personal engagements with great ease. I often take my toddler to client meetings and shoots. And I often have important con-calls while taking care of my child at home. But most importantly, it’s impossible to balance this without a helpful mother and a supportive husband. My family is my pillar of support. I would achieve very little without them.

What are your favorite books that you would recommend SIW family?

Sahar : I’m afraid I get very little time to read!! I will soon be recommending a self-authored book to be read! Ha!!

What advice would you give to young women readers of SIW who want to follow a similar career path as you?

Sahar : Believe in yourself because only you know yourself best. There are plenty voices out there to scare you from taking a bold step that could be different or experimental. It’s important to take the plunge for a career you believe in. And it also helps to have your family understand why you need to do what you want to do! If not, go ahead nevertheless…

All images are property of “Chamak Patti” and required permissions have been taken to publish it on website.

source: / 2015

A souvenir from Bidar for the Prime Minister


The souvenir that Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried back from Belagavi on Sunday was a statuette of valiant queen Channamma of Kittur made by the Bidri artisans of Bidar.

The queen who fought the British in 1824, 33 years before the first war of Indian independence, was born in a village in Belagavi district. But her stunning image in silver inlay on a black surface, was made using the soil of Bidar fort, 500 km away.

M.A. Rauf with the statuette of Kittur Channamma , one of which was presented to the PM Narendra Modi in Belgavai on Sunday. Photo: Gopichand T.
M.A. Rauf with the statuette of Kittur Channamma , one of which was presented to the PM Narendra Modi in Belgavai on Sunday. Photo: Gopichand T.

A team of six artisans led by Mohammad Abdul Rauf, national award winning craftsman, have been chiseling out 140 images of the queen for nearly 100 days now. They have spent hours working in the 100 square feet work shed doing jobs like starting from melting copper and zinc to form an alloy, create a master shield, prepare its copies, etch drawings on them, hammer silver into the slits and treat it with the soil from the Bidar fort, to give it a permanent black colour.

Though the artisans work in an assembly line method, each statuette takes three to four days to be completed. Mr. Rauf has sold the images to a Bengaluru-based jeweler for around Rs. 3,000 a piece. He does not know at what cost the souvenirs have been supplied to the KLE society whose centenary celebrations Mr. Modi attended.

Sadly, Mr. Rauf did not know that one of the souvenirs was meant to be given to the Prime Minister, till some one told him in the morning.

The artisan, who can read Urdu, said that the newspapers he read had not covered the event. “My friend told me a Kannada paper had carried the picture of the PM receiving the souvenir and since he had seen me working on it, he identified it. We are very happy that the Bidri artifact will find a place in the Prime Minister’s office,” he said.

“When Mr. Modi addressed a campaign meeting in Bidar in 2014, he had said he would address the problems of Bidri artisans if elected to power. We hope he remembers his promise,” Ashok Ram, another Bidri artisan who works with Mr. Rauf, said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Bidar – November 14th, 2016

Empowering The Underprivileged Through Crocheting: Zehra Picturewalla’s Story


They say it only takes a vision and the will to act on that vision to make a difference in this world. And this is precisely what Zehra Picturewala, a young determined girl from a conservative Muslim family of Mumbai, aims to do.

Zehra, who originally hails from Gujarat, graduated from Nirmala Niketan with a degree in Textiles and Fashion Technology. Although Zehra had always dreamed of being a doctor, she knew that she had the heart of a designer. For her family, the next step for a 22 year old graduate girl was to get married and start a family. However, Zehra put her foot down and informed them of her passion and desire to do something more. It took a lot for young Zehra to convince her father that launching a business with a social undertone is what she truly wanted. Her efforts worked, he’s been her support ever since.


Zehra Picturewala runs a company called ‘ZnSkills’, which teaches underprivileged women and children the skill of crocheting and creating products. The company then sells these products and collects the revenue, which they then pay to the women and children who made them. So in a sense, her company is promoting indigenous handicrafts in a modern market and thus empowering the women and children from the underprivileged classes thereby bettering their position in society.

The idea for ‘ZnSkills’ came to her on a summer break during her graduation. Two of Zehra’s classmates started classes which offered livelihood skills, and these classes soon became a rampant success. The students who came down to attend these classes picked up these skills effortlessly and soon more started pooling in. The success of these classes led Zehra to believe that a professional initiative should be drawn around this theme which would help these students build their capabilities.

As soon as she completed her finals, she tried her hands at setting up several skills, out of which crocheting worked the best. Her cousin ordered a set of crocheted products for her, and Zehra began experimenting with the set. Her amateur hands soon turned professional, and people started clamouring to buy her work. She was thus compelled to search for artisans to herald in production on a large scale. An acquaintance gave her the idea of teaching these skills to the differently-disabled, and told her about an institute for the visual and hearing impaired children.

Zehra thus decided to teach these children, most of whom were girls, the necessary skills which they picked up even faster because of their enthusiasm. These students have now carried forth to produce the best pieces.

After this initial success, Zehra then turned her attention to the women living in unfavourable conditions in the remote areas of the city and brought them into her employ. Zehra attributes the success of ‘ZnSkills’ to these women.

Zehra confesses that her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur wasn’t an easy one. Like many startup founders before her, she had a challenging time searching for investors, and she had the added challenge of doing this alone. “Training people, sourcing out products, designing as per demand, maintaining accounts, meeting potential investors, maintaining relations and struggling for buyers is hard, but it’s all worth my dream,” recalls Zehra.

To place focus on the company’s social angle, Zehra soon decided to tie up with some NGOs around the state – a good decision as it turned out, because in this way, she was able to meet people who were in need and who would be willing to work for a living. These people are provided with free training using free material, and once they worked for her company, the sales flew up and paved the way for the advent of a very successful business.

“The main problem that the women in the rural areas of our country face is the fact that they aren’t allowed to leave home to receive a proper education or employment.  So, I decided to make the production happen from individual houses.” On how this plan works, she says, “we collect ID proofs of the people we train and then decide a venue where every week, everyone accumulates to collect the material and make the products.”

Currently, over seventy artisans are working and contributing to the company. Zehra’s focus is on the growth of the company, mostly targeting new mothers.

On being asked what the idea behind her company is, she says, “When we patronize handmade products, we empower the weakest section of our society, a journey to let people know that women can move mountains if they wish.”

When asked her opinion on entrepreneurship in India she says, “Today’s entrepreneurs may be more into marketing and less in manufacturing, but I would advise them to import less and export more.”

source: / / Home> StartUp / by Sanjana Ray / September 11th, 2016

Mohammad Mustafa is SIDBI’s new CMD


The Centre has appointed Mohammad Mustafa, a 1995 batch IAS officer, as Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

Prior to this appointment, Mustafa was Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in the Finance Ministry.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment for a period of three years, according to a Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order.

source: / Business Line / Home> Money & Banking / August 05th, 2017

This Indian Muslim will fast to protect cows

Kudbay Village (Nakhtrana Taluka), Kutch , GUJARAT :

Jabbar Jat
Jabbar Jat

 Jabbar is a cattle-breeder and owns 16 cows and nine buffaloes. And he loves them.

In the last three years since the BJP government came to power, according to one estimate, 90 lynching incidents have taken place because of alleged beef dealing and cow slaughter. Quite often there has been severe beatings for even transporting cattle. The cause of the cow is seen as dividing communities, especially Hindus and Muslims.

And Jabbar Jat, 27, a Muslim from Kudbay village of Nakhtrana taluka in Kutch, in a great reversal of roles, is at the forefront of a movement to protect cows, reports the Times of India.

Jabbar is a cattle-breeder and owns 16 cows and nine buffaloes. And he loves them. So much so, last week he wrote a letter to the district collector, suggesting each district in Kutch should allocate grazing land for cattle.

To reinforce his demands Jabbar would be going on a fast for 48 hours, beginning July 20 at the Kutch district collectorate.

Jabbar says it is not enough that the government make noises about cattle protection. To become proactive in this matter, he suggests that the administration could begin allotting two buffaloes to each farmer. He also says the state government should bear 50 per cent cost of each gaushala (cow shelter) and it must buy back fertiliser made of cow urine and cow dung from the farmers. These measures, he believes, would be far more effective than just saying cow is sacred.

“In the last two to three years, cow has become a tool to spread hatred, which is hitting the business. Besides, no gau rakshak (cow vigilante) himself rears a cow and merely indulges in hooliganism in the name of cow protection. So, I decided to take up the cause. I would like to tell gau rakshaks that let us sit together for the cause of the cow because killing in the name of cow will lead us to a barbaric society, which will never serve the true purpose,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The local cow protectors, though a little flummoxed, are in support of Jabbar’s views. Jabbar has invited people from all communities to join him for the fast.

In response, Vallabh Kathiria, chairman of Gujarat State Cow Welfare Board said: “The state government will make efforts to increase economic viability of cows so that people will not let their bovines loose in the city. Once they start earning more from cow dung and cow urine, they will keep their cows at home instead of letting them stray on the roads.”

source: / Khaleej Times / Home> International> India / by C.P. Surendran, New Delhi / July 17th, 2017