As we always say, a strong desire is the key to making a person reach different heights, and all the odds look small if one has an indomitable will power. The living testimony of such qualities is 27-year-old Anjana Malli from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. There was a time when Anjana used to beg on the ghats of Ganga. The daughter of a contractual labourer who was, Anjana was born with no hands and a deformed back and legs. Begging was her only option to sustain, and she wouldn’t return home until she had some money to give to her family.
However, everything changed for her on a particular day last year. Anjana was sitting in the corner of a road with a pen held between her toes, trying to write something on a paper. Her efforts drew the attention of one Stephanie Joyce, an artist and yoga teacher from Virginia, the US. Stephanie was very intrigued seeing Anjana Malli deftly writing “Ram” with her leg. It is when Stephanie decided to help Anjana Malli learn painting with legs. And only after a few months of rigorous efforts, she could paint quite well.
“Stephanie was the first person who took my art seriously and taught me how to draw with my toes. I’ll always be thankful to her,” said Anjana toThe Logical Indian.
Anjana started to paint figures of lord Ganesha, Shiva, birds like peacock as she wielded the pen with her toes. Initially, the money she collected from begging, was entirely used to buy paper and colours. As she painted, sitting beside the Ganga ghats, it drew the attention of many who gathered around to see the work Anjana was doing. She started to sell her paintings. Each painting even started fetching her somewhere between Rs 2,500 to Rs 25,000, which were mainly bought by foreigners.
“I gave all my efforts in painting so that I could support my parents and my disabled brother. There’s no one to help them apart from me,” said Anjana.
Anjana wants to learn more about painting so that she can earn her livelihood through it. She even wants to gift one of her paintings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. You can see her painting with her toes on the Parmarth Niketan path of Rishikesh.
The Logical Indian urges our community members to witness Anjana’s paintings if you are visiting Rishikesh anytime soon. We request everyone to help her by buying her paintings.
This story was sent to us by on of our community members who also admin a Facebook page Inrishikesh.
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.