Category Archives: INDIA INSIGHT

How football is changing lives of Indian slum girls

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By Monica Sarkar

As soon as I heard about Franz Gastler, I had to find out more. A middle-class American man, living in India’s poorest state of Jharkhand, teaching young girls football and helping them gain independence.

When I met him, he was expanding his initiative to Dharavi slum – India’s largest slum – whilst living there too.

Read my article on the BBC website and watch this space for a potential documentary and book.

Find out more about Franz’s initiative Yuwa – meaning youth in Hindi.

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India needs to talk about sex

By Monica Sarkar

By Monica Sarkar

‘Eve teasing’. It’s such a cute, endearing term, isn’t it? Almost sounds like a child’s game, like ‘Hyde and Seek’ or ‘Kiss Chase’.

Well, it’s not. It’s a sugar-coated expression commonly used in India for the sexual harassment of women, invading their personal space as they walk down the street, and heckling, amongst other less pleasing but truthful terms.

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What is a football match like in India?

Believe it or not, India is not just a cricket-crazy nation; football has been played since the 19th century when British soldiers introduced the sport to the country. And according to marketing experts, football is India’s second most popular sport today – after cricket.

So what is a football match like in India? I went to a game in Kolkata, the founding city of the sport, where a revered footballer’s last match pulled in a crowd of 30,000. Here’s my review (click on image to enlarge):

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HOT HOTELS: Tree of Life, New Delhi, India

Tree of Life lounge

What’s hot?

I didn’t find this gem of a B&B from a guidebook, travel magazine or website. I was searching for recommended car hire companies before I had sorted out where I was staying (yes, I sometimes do things in a peculiar order). And my faithful Lonely Planet India guidebook  said I should look no further than The Metropole Tourist Service.

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New Twitter campaign: India 4 the FIFA World Cup!

Tattered signboard at Mohun Bagan A.C. Club grounds, Kolkata

Indian football is played down

I am a British-born Indian – Bengali, to be precise – and I have grown up in the midst of one of the longest running football clashes in the world: Mohun Bagan A.C. vs East Bengal F.C.

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Bharti Vyas: Running a business beautifully

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Bharti Vyas

After spending 30 years in the beauty industry pioneering her concept of holistic therapies to the Western world, Bharti Vyas, 68, is a well respected guru in her field.

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Dear Mr Jeremy Clarkson…

Dearest Mr Clarkson,

So, the BBC has decided to dismiss the hundreds of complaints against Top Gear India and Downing Street refuses to put you or the BBC at fault. I bet you’re grinning from ear to ear and treating your companions to jokes that are drier than the Atacama Desert.

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Returning to our roots: Emigrating to India

Photographed by Monica Sarkar. Some rights reserved – see below.

INDIANS HAVE FLED in their millions in pursuit of the greener side of the globe. In 2006, an estimated 25 million people of Indian origin lived overseas.

So it’s not surprising to find more than a few raised eyebrows when this trend started to shift and there is an increased number of UK residents packing up their lives and settling in India. Continue reading

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Getting off on the wrong foot: Can India qualify for the World Cup?

AS THE WARSAW EURO 2012 stadium opened over the weekend, patriots and football fans all over the world are eagerly awaiting the 14th European Championship, taking place between 8 June – 1 July. Continue reading

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Kaleidoscopic India by artist Natasha Kumar

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“IN INDIA, IF IT STAYS STILL long enough to be painted, it will be…” says Natasha Kumar, a distinguished UK-born artist who has explored and depicted her Indian heritage using her creative talent.

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