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Friday, November 20, 2015

Konkona Sen Sharma in McCluskiegunj?

Barely two years after being awarded the “Padma Shri” award, Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, actress and director Aparna Sen came down to McCluskiegunj.

Aparna Sen was here with her team at her owned bungalow situated in Konka village for shooting of a Bengali film. After shooting, the entire team enjoyed their time here. They partied, gambled, played loud music and enjoyed themselves while off set.

But all good things don’t end well. And so didn’t this visit of Aparna Sen.
There was a sudden change in atmosphere. The sound of gun shots, Music shut off, screaming, a few local guests fleeing, and a dead body to make things worse.

A Death in a Gunj (McCluskiegunj). This is to be the reason why Konkona Sen Sharma, Indian Actress and director and the daughter of Aparna Sen is to come down to McCluskiegunj by the end of this month..

Konkona Sen Sharma is making a film based on this incident occurred back in 1989 I believe.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

BPL cards issued to wrong people in McCluskiegunj

I was approached by a few locals to look up on the net the details of their respective dealers and whether their names are listed or not.

I searched for Mayapur panchayat, village Konka (link: and was surprised to find names of people that are far above the BPL.

People who have the best buildings in the place and have government jobs and side businesses are also listed in the BPL Ration Card list.

People who are wrongly availing the benefits of the BPL Ration Cards should be fined heavily for depriving deserving people of their rights.

Today I found people coming to collect their loot in Maruti vans....
The government ought to be more aware of such activities being practised by selfish public.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

In Search of Capt. Kamal Bakshi

In 1960, Col. O.P. Bakshi of the Sikh Regiment bought a bungalow called Gloria Villa in McCluskiegunj. Later after his retirement in 1970 he shifted in to this house with his wife Shanta, daughters Neeta and Reeta and only son Kamal.

After marriage Neeta and Reeta migrated to Canada and London respectively while Kamal had finished studying at Sherwood College Nainital. Later Kamal joined the Indian Army.
Col. Bakshi expired 17 years ago and Shanta Bakshi expired 4 years ago.
Reeta has been in search of her brother Kamal since the past 44 years. She has decided that she will keep up her search as long as she lives.

Capt. Kamal Bakshi has been missing since the 1971 war between India and Pakistan.
Reeta says that in 1971 Capt. Kamal Bakshi had come down here on leave to attend Reeta's marriage but due to the war his leave was cancelled and he was called back on duty. That was the last that they had seen him.

Col. Bakshi had written many letters to the President, Prime Minster and to high military officials in this matter but in vain. Reeta is not alone in her mission of finding her lost brother who is jailed in Pakistan. She has been assured by military personnel and other sources that he is in some jail in Pakistan. Ajitabh Bachchan (brother of Superstar Amitabh Bachchan) and Kabir Bedi are also assisting her in the search.

On 22nd June this year Jasveer Uppal, an advocate from London will be filing a case against the government of India in the Supereme Court in this regard.

With the change of government Reeta had hopes of success but gradually this faith is also beginning to fade away. She expressed her feeling against the government of India by saying that America made sure to get back the remains of it's soldiers from Vietnam and India is not at all concerned about its brave soldiers.

We wish Reeta best of luck in succeeding to find her brother, Capt. Kamal Bakshi.

News source: Prabhat Khabar, Ranchi 02/06/2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Upgraded Middle School, Kolpara - McCluskiegunj

On Friday, 15th May 2015, I accompanied a newspaper reporter friend of mine to one government Upgraded Middle School. I have seen other UMS as well but was surprised by this particular one situated at Kolpara near Chatti Nadi Village here in McCluskiegunj.

The Team

Mr. Sudhanshu Srivastava (Principal)

I met the Principal Mr. Sudhanshu Kumar Srivastava and his four teaching staff who were more than obliged to show us around and to explain to us the system and functioning of the school.We started with the kitchen.

Rice and eggs boiling for Friday's midday meal

As per the government rules, free midday meals are provided to all the students that include children studying in eight classes, class I to VIII. There was a fireplace built of mud. It had logs of wood burning under it to boil the rice and the eggs that were on the menu for the day. Due to the wood fire, the walls were quite black but it was very clean otherwise. This school follows a menu that has additional items to go with the normally supplied stuff by the government such as pickles.

The weekly menu

Those pink coloured cards suspended above the students are cards which have words printed on one side and the object representing the words on the other side.

Then we went to take a look into the classrooms. Here again I noted that there were using teaching aids in the lower classes. This is not to be seen in all such schools. Mr. Srivastava has included extra books into the curriculum to help the children learn English. He takes separate classes to teach the children spoken English. Common words and sentences though. Please, thank you, my name is, I live in/at etc.

The school Time-Table

He has a printed time-table pasted on the office cupboard which determines which teacher teaches which subject and on which days. Each teacher has to fill in a lesson plan copy which has been additionally introduced into the school at his expense. He also gifts pencils and erasers to kids and pays for them from his own pocket. Mr. Srivastava is indeed the Principal all the UMS deserve. He is dedicated and works in a team. He emphasizes on games and sports as well. He did mention that the school lacks a lot in terms of infrastructure.

The toilets and the hand-pump. The hand-pump, only source of drinking and washing water 

There is need of proper boundary walls and toilets. Currently there is a toilet for boys and girls separately under one roof but it isn't enough. There is a  boundary wall but only on one side. He was pleased to allow me put this article and these pictures on this blog and hopes it will be an inspiration to others in charge of other UMS and also it helps the government in learning where it needs to concentrate for the proper development and requirements of such schools.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Watch Tower : McCluskiegunj Hill : Tourist Attraction

Good news for McCluskiegunj!
Once upon a time, there used to be a watch tower (wooden) on a hill at McCluskiegunj. It was there till the seventies but as the old settlers left or isolated themselves in their homes, the tower was part by part taken away by villagers to make furniture or to use as firewood. Sad but true.
The hill that it was built on is at a triangle that touches three villages. Hesalong, Lapra and Konka. It is said that from the tower distant places such as Khalari were easily visible.
Since McCluskiegunj has been declared a Tourist Centre, there has been demands of making it more attractive and making it a reason for people to long to visit the place.
The State Forest Department has finally taken the first step in this direction and has now started building a similar tower in the same location. It is believed that the hill that the tower is being built on, will be walled off and more trees will be planted. It will also have steps from the foot of the hill to the top where the tower is being constructed.
Isn't this something to share?