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Friday, August 5, 2016

McCluskiegunj Forest Department Needs To Wake up.

While looking at old photographs taken years ago in the jungles of McCluskiegunj, I could find a huge different between the photos of the eighties and recent ones. The forest. That’s the difference. It reflects how in the past forty years McCluskiegunj has lost most of its beauty.

I began thinking of the various ways that made the Gunj almost bald. Some reasons that were public were also known to me. Such as; huge trees were cut and stripped in the forest illegally and were sold by the powerful locals earlier when the forest was dense. But later when the Maoist arrived in around 1987 they began looking after the jungles and gradually put a stop to it. They needed the jungles for hiding. Those who disobeyed were punished physically/monetarily.

In the past decades the population of the Gunj has increased tremendously. Most of the new population are villagers from nearby areas out of the Gunj. They build huts/houses on forest, railway and no man’s land, cultivate a bit and keep cattle (goats, cows, buffaloes, pigs). Most of them are daily labourers, vendors, drivers, and many in the illegal alcohol business having the latest bikes and jazzy mobile phones per person in the family but can’t afford toilets and cooking gas.

These villagers treat the forest as their father’s property. They need wood to build, they need firewood, they need fencing to protect their vegetable fields, and they need to feed their cattle. They get all their needs for free from the forests.

The Forest Department has failed to protect the forests, the wild animals such as the deer, wild boar, bear, leopard and tiger over the years and is still in the same situation so now the remaining forest is being attacked. No leopards or tigers have been reported of for over half a century.

Though local residents do inform Forest Officials via verbal conversations over phones, sms and WhatsApp with pictures of people taking freshly cut trees. But no action is taken so far.

There is need to educate the villagers of the area to use dried leaves and twigs or even dried and fallen branches or trees as firewood if they prefer not to use government subsidized cooking gas. They should also be made aware of the law concerning forests and wild animals. Notice Boards, Warning Boards etc should be put at areas where hardly any forest remains. The Forest Department MUST do their job.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gulmohar Volleyball Academy McCluskiegunj.

Shekhar Bose, team manager of Indian Junior Girl's team with participants of the 18th Asian Junior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Gulmohar Volleyball Academy, McCluskiegunj

At his first visit to McCluskiegunj, he fell in love with this bungalow and land measuring fourteen acres that belonged to a retired professor, Prof. V.S. Parmar. The place was occupied by dense bushes and a few fruit trees.

Why would he buy such a big plot of land in the Gunj? What was his intention? And the best question, who is he?

We are talking about Jharkhand Ratna, International Volleyball Coach, General Secretary Jharkhand Volleyball Association, Vice-President Volleyball Federation of India, Former Director of Physical Education Ranchi University, and who at present holds the post of Coordinator Sports Ranchi University, Shekhar Bose.

Son of Sri. Jagdish Chandra Bose a retired army personal, Shekhar is originally from Ranchi. The capital city of Jharkhand State. Since he has held so many positions in his sports tenure and still holds on to sports so much especially volleyball, it is obvious that he is an asset for us people of McCluskiegunj and a big hope for the new and newer generations in the field of sports. Shekhar wishes to introduce in to the system of sports, a separate wing within the Youths Sports and Affairs Department. He has made arrangements for students to practise and train under his guidance and has also come up with a hostel for his players. This hostel can accommodate 24 to 32 players and is on his premises.

Many young boys and girls have been coached by Shekhar Bose and have already played in state level competitions. In the past many of his players have participated in International Sports. Achal Tirkey, Sangeeta Toppo, and Rajini Kumari are players trained at Gulmohar Volleyball Academy where Shekhar Bose is The Director.

Shekhar wants volleyball to get more popularity, and is sincerely working on it. McCluskiegunj is fortunate to have the man at home. 50 players from McCluskiegunj have played for the National Volleyball Championship. McCluskiegunj is spreading it's name far out in the field of volleyball and more and more people are coming to know of the place as a result of the hard work of Shekhar Bose.

Shekhar has so many interests apart from volleyball and it can be seen here. His flower garden is new and is beautifully designed. Roses of seven varieties, Hibiscus of twenty varieties, and I wish I knew the names of the rest of the beautiful flowers and various plants. His fruit trees, two fish ponds, hybrid goats and cows, a number of vegetable fields and GULMOHAR VOLLEYBALL ACADEMY, where he trains to be volleyball champions, all together make his world a world of its own.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

McCluskiegunj Main Road being Broadened

Work on broadening the main road from Chama to McCluskiegunj has started. This road measuring 35 feet in width is to go upto Balumath via the Gunj.
Once this road is completed, the traveling time between Ranch and the Gunj will be as less as an hour depending on traffic.
It will become safer too, in the sense that the Chama -Gunj road is noted for it's road holdups which are much rare now but still exist.
The location of these pics are between the junior section of Don Bosco Academy and the Roman Catholic Church...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"A Death in the Gunj" or 'Taksaal kaa Khotaa'?

This is interesting... Konkona's movie is based on a true incident that occurred in 1979. This is well known by the residents who were in the Gunj then and are still living.
Vikas Kumar Jha, a journalist from Patna who is the author of a Fiction novel called "McCluskieganj" claims that he has written many stories based in McCluskiegunj including ''Taksaal  kaa Khotaa" and Konkona's movie is based on it.
Though I haven't read ''Taksaal kaa Khotaa' yet, so I don't know if the story is based on the same incident that was concerning the Sen Sharma failmy or not, but doubt it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Death in the Gunj - Shooting over

It has been wonderful and profitable for the people of McCluskiegunj to have had the opportunity to meet renowned Bollywood actors and also getting into the film.

Kitty Teixeira, Nelson Paul Gordon and his wife, Malcolm Hourigan, Sunil Prasad Sahu, Dev Lal Ganjhu etc.  were among the few locals that did side roles such as bread woman, post master, policemen, servants, shopkeepers etc...

Its hard to say how many people got selfies with actors. But the no. is big.

Almost all the hire vehicles were hired sparing just a few. The shooting lasted for a month and a half. It is the first movie to be shot in the Gunj. Meaning a complete movie.

Just this much for an update... Please wait for my next post on my experience with the movie team... A good story...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bollywood Stars Shooting in McCluskiegunj

Konkona Sen Sharma is down directing her hinglish film A Death in the Gunj since 24th January.
The cast of the film include Om Puri, Tanjua, Tillotama Shome, Ranvir Shorey, Gulshan Devaiah and Kalki.
The stars were just returning after a shoot.