75-year-old hones hobby after retirement

•February 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH

There are many people who have no time but those who have retired after spending decades in jobs have no such complaints. They get time for activities that were once just hobbies.
Anjini Prakash Laitu, based in the UAE for the last 23 years, has, to keep his free time fruitful in retirement life, engaged himself in a number of creative hobbies from painting and textile designing (painting design) to pottery.
In an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today, the 75-year-old retired Laitu unfolded his life and talked about his current activities.laitu-3
He was associated with the Thapar Group in India for 33 years where he served in various areas including glass, paper and sugar factories. He was invited by a Dubai-based businessman to set up a glass factory in Jebel Ali which took four years.
“I was used to painting in my childhood. But the trend to study fine arts at that time for living was not a good choice so I pursued my career in technical side and completed my Bachelor’s degree. While working in India I used to paint occasionally to satisfy my inner soul as a hobby and completed 10-12 paintings annually,” he said.
The breakthrough for his painting passion came once he completed the assignment of setting up a glass factory in Dubai in 2002. To qualify in the field of arts, he enrolled at the Sharjah Art Institute to complete a 3-year certificate course in Arts between 2005-2008 which give him a proper training to pursue his passion for painting besides other fields like sculpture and textile painting.
To develop his own skills in textile painting, he spent time with a renowned UAE-based textile designer.
“As a free soul, I develop my own techniques to do textile paintings on different types of ladies’ clothes from saris to scarves and other variety of clothes as currently around 75 such pieces are available at the Indian pavilion in the Global Village,” he said.
Laitu had three painting exhibitions at the Arab Cultural Club in Sharjah to showcase his creations and received an extraordinary response from different segments of visitors. He also did a day-long workshop to teach textile painting to a group of women. “It was a quite significant experience to train others and transfer my skills in a nutshell. I have been offering my services to different spheres of society to get my experience but strangely it seems no one has time to learn new things like painting,” he said. laitu-4
However, a solo exhibition of his over 100 artworks including paintings, fabric pieces and pottery were also showcased at a day-long exhibition at Marbella Resort in Sharjah in 2007 where a cross-section of society visited the show and admired his unique style of work in various forms.
“Being in retirement has a huge time vacuum and keeping myself engaged in something positive was the sole purpose to try my hand at painting which ultimately giving me a kind of spiritual satisfaction while conveying my inner expression on the canvas,” he said.
Laitu was also part of the Sharjah Museum Department as a volunteer to offer his photographic skills for two years which is one of his many hobbies. “It was a wonderful experience to meet people from different backgrounds and nationalities to discuss everything under the sky and learning different things which is a constant process in my life,” he said.
He is also planning to hold free workshops for anyone who is interested in oil paintings and textile painting to ‘transfer’ his skills.
His next painting exhibition is all set to be held at the Arab Cultural Centre on March 2.
-Published in The Gulf Today

Registration for 2nd AT EDUCOM

•February 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH

MORE and more students from Emirati universities are registering to participate in the second round of Assistive Applications Design Competition (At Educom). It is being organised by the Assistive Technology Centre of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) in collaboration with Quality of Life Centre in Seoul National University and LG Electronics.
The registration will last till next week before SCHS announces the names of accepted applicants.
Mohammad Nabulsi, Competition General Coordinator, has confirmed that the competition aims at raising awareness among students from Emirati universities of the role of Assistive Technology in empowering persons with disabilities; motivating those students to invent smart apps that will improve quality of life to persons with disabilities…
-Published in The Gulf Today

1st Enable Market Fair

•February 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

ONE of the unique market fairs will be showcasing the products made by over 45 differently-abled students in the first ever “Enable Market Fair” in Dubai next week.
Around 300 products made solely by the students with special needs ready to be marketed will be showcased in the day-long fair. As many as 45 students from 5 special needs centres across UAE will be participating in the Enable Fair 2017 as the UAE’s first social enterprise under Desert Group empowers people with cognitive disability to create their own start-ups and introduce SME Inclusion for the Disabled.
Enable is a Social Enterprise and CSR initiative by Desert Group all set to inaugurate its very first Enable Market Fair – a concept that will showcase the talents of the special needs, on Feb.18 at the Dubai Garden Centre located on Sheikh Zayed Road.
With an intention to further the vision of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai Strategy for Expo 2020 to create a whole infrastructure that enables a proper inclusion for people with disability within our society, the Enable Market Fair will present a retail opportunity for students within centres in Dubai who produce good marketable products and expose them to the business world. Apart from the products by Enable, the fair will witness the participation of esteemed special needs organisations in the UAE including Sharjah…
-Published in The Gulf Today

Misuse of national titles

•February 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

THE practice of quacks, ‘taveez babas’ and so-call expert of ‘black magic’ has been in and around of the big cities for a long time and their advertisements in Urdu newspapers especially ‘eveningers’ have not a secret to any regular or irregular reader.
Recently, one such advertisement was went through my eyeRandom Read1s on London Edition of industry’s ‘No. 1 Urdu’ paper where a Professor Bengali heralded his expertise to resolve every problem on the face of the earth with his ‘authentic magic’ as the results could be witnessed even ‘across seven Seas’.
That bullshit is a common rhetoric for such ‘black magic’ experts to make fool of innocent people but the danger and most stupid and illiterate muggers now using the terms or titles knew to prominent Pakistanis but bullying people to call them “FAKHER-e-PAKISTAN”. Every single Pakistani knew that the title has been given and written with the name of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of nation’s atomic programme.
People like these cheaters to fool common people through their mischievous tricks openly and boldly using term of ‘professor’ for themselves for a long time and should somehow be stopped by the concern authorities. They delay has now giving these people to use other titles wrongly.
If the authorities failed to tighten the leash of these people then soon the readers will see other titles allocated to prominent people’s with the names of ‘Amil Baba’ and ‘black magic’ experts.
Let’s be ready to encounter such wrongdoings firmly.

Dialogue key to defusing governance mishaps

•January 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

“The current tension between the two major South Asian nations is very disturbing as TV stations are off-air and newspapers are banned, thus our efforts such as dialogue involving legislators and experts to discuss different topics helping in calming the situation. Thus, such efforts should be maintained,” said Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency). Mehboob made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today on the sidelines of the “9th Pakistan India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on Sharing of Experiences on Governance and Democracy”.
He said that the participants at the PILDAT dialogue are legislators who represent a large number of people in their respective countries. “We as a part of PILDAT are promoting understanding each other and sharing each other’s experience. The primary objective of this initiative is to highlight the good things happening in both countries, which can be emulated.”
He added that the suggestions, ideas and findings discussed at the meet should be echoed by the participants on various platforms in both countries.
The PILDAT has been issuing a joint statement, which has been disseminated not only by the local media but efforts have been put in place to make sure it reaches speakers of the assemblies and concerned ministries.

Read the full story:
The PILDAT is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit think tank focussed on political and public policy research and legislative strengthening. The organization, founded in 2001, focuses on producing objective, research-based analysis on policies especially under review by the Parliament and the Executive.
The organization hold two meetings in a year and so far, 18 sessions have been conducted – 15 in India and Pakistan – while Dubai hosted three sessions. “Sometimes, issuing visas by the governments to each others representatives not only seem difficult but cause the delay in the organizing these issues and in such circumstances third venue had to choose as continues process,” he said.
However, Adarsh Shastri, member of legislative assembly-Delhi, India while sharing his views said, “poverty is one of the major issues for both countries in the last 70 years and the worst part is that it has not been on the priority list of any politicians, policy makers or people who have the power to make impact. Platforms like Pildat to allow the participation of legislators, journalists and influential people from different sectors to discuss profoundly on various topics to bring concrete solutions and help policy makers to devise fruitful plans for the masses,” he added.
He appreciated the dialogue to shed light on the various aspects for the benefit of rural and urban populations and while reviewing economic aspect s on the issues pertaining across borders.
When asked about the implementation of the suggestions being submitting by the participants on the floor of the PILDAT, he said “it is a question of intent of the policymakers, politicians, bureaucracy and overall government. If the understanding of problem is accurate then the implementation will not take time with good intention. The challenge of achievement of such goals in both countries, India and Pakistan, is due to the lack of the matching of intention with policies simultaneously. Through these dialogues we can take such measures to our respective countries which in my point of view will be a great achievement for every single participant,” he said.
Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, member provincial assembly-Sindh, Pakistan told The Gulf Today she has been participated in a various dialogues organized by PILDAT. “Dialogues between two countries who got independence at the same time and share the same geographical territory, cultural and traditions besides many other things helping participants to took measures to tackle similar issues. Through these sessions, legislators sit on the same table bring their policies and plans to resolve the same issues and also help both parties to benefit citizens of their countries,” she said.
She responded that dialogues between legislators and key people from different sectors should be extended as currently these are like benefitting individuals to underhand the policies being devised in respective participants’ country. “To get benefit on wide scale and implement on grassroots level for majority of the people only achieved once the governments are on the same page,” she responded.
-Published in The Gulf Today

Artist hails UAE’s commitment towards preserving heritage through art

•January 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

“The UAE is the centre of art, considering the plethora of regular multi-dimension activities aimed at promoting artists and their works. The series of art festivals and exhibitions, held in the country, have been encouraging art enthusiast to admire art through the varieties of paintings.”
This remark was made by Farah Coolman, an artist, in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today during the opening night of her first solo exhibition at the Z Gallery, Four Points by Sheraton Dubai. The “Desert Tales,” showcasing 27 paintings done by acrylics and oil pastels of Coolman, encompass the UAE’s past, present and other aspects like culture, heritage, customs and lifestyle.
Cool has been a resident of the UAE for over three years. She hails from the small twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, located in the Caribbean. An art teacher…
-Published in The Gulf Today

Pakistan and India officials share lessons on poverty alleviation

•January 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

THE ninth round of Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue, held in Dubai on Tuesday, was attended by participants from both countries.
The day-long dialogue, facilitated by PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency), focused on the theme of “Sharing Lessons on Developments in Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan and India.”
The dialogue included members of parliament and provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh alongside experts and media representatives from Pakistan. They joined members of the Indian parliament, state legislatures of Delhi and Rajasthan, alongside experts and media representatives from India.
Participants highlighted that acceleration in economic growth on a sustained basis is an important policy objective for poverty reduction. For this policy and reform, the two countries must introduce reforms in institutions of governance.
Participants from India highlighted a number of social safety net programmes that have helped alleviate poverty in India adding that success also needs to be based on equitable and sustained growth and the inclusion of stakeholders other than government.
While Pakistani participants showcased economic growth and role of remittances, they also cited some success emanating from targeted-subsidy programmes…
-Published in The Gulf Today