Celebration of Life

Archive for July, 2010

Walk to the Dying Flower Markets of Delhi – 18 July 2010, New Delhi

Walk to the Dying Flower Markets of Delhi
The city of flowers is giving way to the city of flyovers

Sunday 18th July 2010
6 am to 11 am
6 am: Collecting at meeting point
11 am: Walk finishes at meeting point

Meeting Point
Near Ticket Counter, Dilli Haat, Opp. INA Market
Please park your vehicles here, the group will proceed in an AC bus from here.

Mode of Commuting: Bus / Walk

The walk will take you to the three main flower markets of Delhi. The flower markets of Delhi are temples of beauty amidst the concrete jungle of the city, and an integral part of the city’s heritage and culture.

Sadly however, the Government of Delhi, in an extremely myopic vein is relocating these flower markets to one singular flower market in Ghazipur. We at The Genda Phool Project however are formulating a strategy of building public opinion against this proposal. We are working towards the possibilities of a campaign to save these markets on grounds of right to livelihood, issues of displacement, as well as issues of urban heritage and aesthetics, and those of people’s participation, involvement and consent in development initiatives.

Each of the three flower markets is beautiful in that they have a distinct and unique character, which will be lost once they are relocated in a strange “flower market building” on the outskirts of the city.

We will start our Phool Mandi walk with the market at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, opposite Hanuman Mandir. The mandi operates from 4 am to 9 am, and accomplishes business worth crores in this duration. The flash in the pan phenomenon – here now, gone in a second, is fascinating. This is ’s largest flower market, and specialises largely in cut flowers of all varieties and even some dry flowers and flower decoration equipments.

From New Delhi we move to Old Delhi, to explore the Genda Phool Mandi at Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk. Again, only a morning mandi. Farmers and flower sellers are seen milling around, and again, by around 9 am the mandi vanishes, and the spice market of Khari Baoli, around which the mandi is located, emerges. This mandi only sells genda phool (marigold flower) in its loose form.

Finally, we will take you to another city of Delhi – Mehrauli. The Mehrauli flower market again largely specialises in Genda Phool (in loose and garland form) but also some cut flowers. This Mandi however, is open all day, unlike the other two which are temporary / morning ones.

Do join us for this one, it may be one of your last chances to see these lovely flower markets if the government has its way. But we are hoping it will not…

6 am – Collect at meeting point. Please be on time.
6.30 am – 7.15 am – Explore the Phool Mandi (flower market) at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place.
8 am – 9 am – Fatehpuri Flower Market, Chandni Chowk. Indian breakfast at Chandni Chowk, at participant’s cost.
9.45 – 10.15 am – Mehrauli Flower Market
11 am – Walk finishes at Dilli Haat

Maximum number of participants

Registration Details
Contribution: Rs. 500/- per person.
No contribution to be paid for children if they are sharing a seat.
To register and for details contact
Himanshu Verma

Please carry the following: umbrella / hat, water.
We will provide some sharbats (traditional Indian cold drinks) / tea / refreshments on the bus.
Carry bags for buying flowers. Say no to plastic!

Dress Code
Wear genda colours – orange, yellow, red & maroon.

‘BP and Bhopal – USA Double Standard’ By Quigley and Tuscano

By Bill Quigley and Alex Tuscano

When President Barak Obama went after BP and demanded a $20 billion dollar fund be set up for victims of the Gulf oil spill, the people of India were furious. They saw a US double standard.The US demonstrated it values human life within the US more than the lives of the people of India.

BP should pay $20 billion in compensation, probably even more. The people of India agree with that.

But people are angry because the US is treating the oil spill, called the worst environmental disaster in US history, in a radically different way than the US treated the explosion of a US-owned pesticide plant in Bhopal India, which some call the worst industrial disaster in history.

The 1984 Bhopal explosion released tons of toxic chemicals into the air, claimed the lives of between 15,000 and 20,000 people within two weeks, and disabled hundreds of thousands of others many still suffering from physical damage and genetic defects.

The plant that exploded was operated by Union Carbide India Limited, a corporation owned by Union Carbide of the United States.

The disaster occurred in a thickly populated area close to the central railway station in Bhopal, an urban area of 1.5 million in the heart of India. Most people in the area lived in shanty huts.

Thousands of dead humans and animals filled the streets of Bhopal. Survivors complain of genetic damage which has caused widespread birth defects in children and even grandchildren of those exposed.

The soil and water of Bhopal remain toxic with heavy pesticide residue and toxic metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and chromium.

While President Obama displayed outrage at BP officials over the 11 deaths from the US oil spill, the US has refused to extradite Warren Anderson, the chair of Union Carbide, to face charges for his role in the Bhopal disaster.

Recall too that Obama advisor Larry Summers, then chief economist at the World Bank, stated in an infamous 1971 memo. “Just between you and me, shouldn’t the world Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the Less Developed Countries?… I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted””

Obsolete and hazardous industries have been systematically transferred to the third world countries to not only exploit the cheap labor but also to avoid disastrous impact of these industries on the advanced countries.

Union Carbide put profit for the corporation above the lives and health of millions of people. Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide, is attempting to distance itself from all responsibility.

In India there were two Bhopal developments this month. The Indian government announced a compensation package of $280 million for Bhopal victims, about $22,000 for each of the families of the deceased according to the BBC, and seven former Indian managers of the Bhopal plant were given two year jail sentences for their part in the explosion. These legal developments are a mockery of justice for one of the world’s greatest disasters.

We call on the people of the US and the people of India to join together to demand our governments respect the human rights of all people, no matter where they live.

Together we must bring about change in corporate development. We have to emphasize social production for the needs of people and improved social relations.

If we continue to value some lives more than others, and to allow corporations to spoil some areas with impunity, our world will not last.

Unless we respect the human rights of all people and demand corporations do that as well, we will be damned to live out the Cree Indian prophecy “Only when the last tree from this earth has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught, only then will humankind learn that money cannot be eaten.”

[Bill is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University, New Orleans. You can reach Bill at Alex directs Praxis, a human rights organization in Bangalore, India. You can reach Alex at]


Article provided by Ghulam Muhammed

Cooking with Mangoes Workshop by Red Earth

Mangoes, masti and more…

Saturday 4 July 2010
12 noon to 5 pm

Contribution: Rs. 750/-

For venue details and registration contact:
Himanshu Verma / 41764054 /
Maximum no. of participants / session: 12

After celebrating Sharbats and Kulfis, we now celebrate yet another classic summer food: Mango, the king of Indian fruits. Enjoy different varieties of the mango and enjoy the versatility of the mango as we learn to make a world of dishes from this fascinating fruit. Learn more about the mango, which like the Sharbats is not just a food but a part of our heritage and culture, having inspired artists, poets, dancers, from Kalidasa to Ghalib.

Learn how to make:
Mango Panna
Aamras, Mango Lassi
Mango Cocktails – Kairi Mojito!
Mango Achaar
Mango Chutney
Mango Salad
Mango Kadhi
Mango Daal
Mango Kheer & more…

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