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Kolkata’s dancing cop who makes people smile

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https://youtu.be/5oxsK3FD0hw

Kolkata, June 13: Commuters look out in surprise from windows of cars and buses. Some passersby occasionally stop to click pictures. The subject of their interest is a man who literally makes managing busy traffic on a bustling east Kolkata road a song and a dance.

Braving the heat, Ashok Gupta, 59, in a fluorescent orange jacket and helmet, shows off his innovative dance steps while directing vehicles near Gate No. 4 at Rajarhat’s Eco Tourism Park for 12 hours a day, six days a week — managing to draw a smile or two from passing commuters.

A resident of Hooghly district’s Dankuni, Gupta is not a traffic cop. He has been appointed by a private security company that has been outsourced the job of flagging through heavy vehicles supplying material for the ongoing Garia-Airport Metro railway project.

According to Gupta, people’s smiles keep him going, notwithstanding the hectic nature of his job against a meagre pay cheque.

“Some people ask me why I do it. In today’s busy life, people often don’t get enough time or reason to smile. So I’m trying to make people smile through my dance steps,” Gupta told IANS.

“The more I see people smiling and appreciating (what I do), the more I feel encouraged. While managing traffic under the scorching sun for so long, this music and dance steps leave me energised,” he said.

Gupta, an avid fan of Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, constantly plays old Hindi numbers like “Chala jata hu… Kisi ke dhun pe” and “Ek larki peheli baar” on his cell phone.

“I face no issues in managing the traffic while dancing. I just connect the head phones of my mobile to my ears and get lost in the music,” he said.

He has been doing the task for seven years now. But such is Gupta’s passion for the work that he goes beyond his assigned responsibility.

While he is supposed to pass the heavy vehicles ferrying materials for the metro project, Gupta has proactively taken up the responsibility of managing the general traffic as well.

“All traffic sergeants in this area are happy with me. They’ve asked me to keep doing what I’m doing. They say I am doing a good job of managing traffic,” Gupta said, a sense of satisfaction and excitement manifest in his voice.

The traffic marshal claimed he has danced on the road before but never got any recognition. “It is the love of the people of Rajarhat that has really encouraged me in my dance,” he said.

“Some people, who frequently travel through this place, tell me they feel something is missing when I’m not there,” he continued.

Sharing Gupta’s enthusiasm, his young helper Biswajit Saha claimed that the amount of effort he puts into his work inspires others in the locality.

“We are proud of him. The way he works for 12 hours daily with a smile on his face motivates youngsters like us,” Saha said. But the road has been far from smooth for Gupta.

“My sons initially objected to my dancing and said I am ruining the family prestige. But after seeing the people’s response, they are happy now. They say ‘you are a great man’,” they said with a chuckle.

Locals simply adore Gupta. “I’ve seen him before. It is wonderful how he is spreading love and happiness with his dance. Whenever I pass through this point, my eyes automatically turn to him,” said IT employee Santanu Paul.

Posing with a bunch of school kids for a selfie, Gupta said a positive attitude to life and enjoying his work are his twin secrets.

“I want to tell today’s generation that whatever they do in life they should do it from the heart and enjoy it. There is nothing like getting pleasure and satisfaction out of your livelihood,” the dancing marshal added.

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Mundka-Bahadurgarh green line launched: PM Modi urges people to opt for metro

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Delhi Metro DMRC

New Delhi, June 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning inaugurated Delhi Metro’s Green Line service between Mundka to Bahadurgarh. Speaking via video-conferencing, the Prime Minister said that commuters should now get rid of private vehicles and opt for metro rail services

Modi inaugurated the facility through a video-conference facility from the PMO on Sunday. Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar attended the function in Bahadurgarh.

The 11.2-km-long corridor will have seven stations and stretch out from existing Delhi Metro Green Line from Inderlok to Mundka.

“Our priority is to build convenient, comfortable and affordable urban transport systems in our cities,” he said.

With this line, Bahadurgarh has become third Haryana city to have DMRC services. Metro lines were already operational in Gurgaon (Yellow Line) and Faridabad (Violet Line).

“The process of making Metro systems is also linked to cooperative federalism. Wherever Metros are being built in India, the Centre and the respective state Governments are working together,” he added.

The Prime Minister also emphasised on Make in India by suggesting that metro coaches should be built indigenously. “We also want to boost make in India by making coaches of the Metro in India itself. Several nations helped us in the making of the Delhi Metro and other Metros, and now, we are helping other nations by designing coaches for their Metro systems,” he said.

Speaking on Bahadurgarh, the PM said, ” Bahadurgarh is witnessing tremendous economic growth, there are several educational centres there, students from there even travel to Delhi. The Metro will bring convenience to this part, which is considered the gateway to Haryana.”

“There is a direct link between connectivity and development. The Metro will bring more colonies, more people coming to Bahadurgarh. It will also mean more employment opportunities for local people,” he added.

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42,000 Bihar Board answer sheets recovered from scrap dealer

According to the police, shopkeeper Pappu Gupta said that a peon Chotu Singh of a government-run school had sold the answer sheets for Rs 8,500 to him last week.

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Bihar

Patna, June 23 (IANS) A Special Investigation Team of the Bihar Police on Saturday recovered 42,000 missing copies of answer sheets of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) Class 10th exam from a scrap dealer’s shop and arrested two persons in the connection.

Acting on specific information, the SIT raided the shop at Hajiyapur in Gopalganj district and recovered all copies of answer sheets that went missing last week. The team arrested the scrap dealer and his helper for purchasing them, police said.

According to the police, shopkeeper Pappu Gupta said that a peon Chotu Singh of a government-run school had sold the answer sheets for Rs 8,500 to him last week.

Following the reports in local Hindi dailies last week that 42,000 copies of answer sheets had gone missing from SS Balika Inter School in Gopalganj, an FIR was filed and school Principal was detained and interrogated by the police.

The Patna High Court has taken cognizance of reports and asked the state government to come up with an explanation within a month.

Around 17.7 lakh students have appeared for the BSEB 2018 10th class exam.

In 2017, just half of the students (50.12 per cent) had managed to clear the 10th class exam.

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Kashmir Editors Guild condemns BJP leader’s ‘threat’ remarks

The KEG said Lal Singh had invoked Shujaat Bukhari’s murder at a time when police in Srinagar was investigating the case and that his statement indicated that he holds some information about the murder which must be investigated.

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Choudhary Lal Singh

Srinagar, June 23 (IANS) Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) on Saturday condemned the statement of former Minister and BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh who, a day ago, said Kashmiri journalists must be aware of their conduct after the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari.

“Invoking the brutal assassination of senior editor Shujaat Bukhari, Singh has suggested to the Kashmir media to draw a line and to decide if they have to work the way he (Bukhari) was working. Singh has moved way ahead and issued a direct threat to the media in Kashmir,” the KEG said in a statement.

The editors’ body further said: “Lal Singh has accused the Kashmir media of creating a wrong atmosphere.”

The KEG said Lal Singh had invoked Shujaat Bukhari’s murder at a time when police in Srinagar was investigating the case and that his statement indicated that he holds some information about the murder which must be investigated.

Lal Singh, who resigned from the cabinet in April following his participation in a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in January in support of those accused of rape and murder of a young girl in Kathua, made the remarks in a presser on Friday.

The Guild said they reserved the right to lodge a police case against the lawmaker who had earlier named a number of reporters for his “fall from grace in wake of the Kathua probe”.

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