Vile Parle’s pride “Parle-G”- A brief history.

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Parle-G is a known brand to millions now in India as its factory is established in the suburb of Mumbai since 1929. The founder of this Parle factory are Chauhan family and factory headquarters is in Vile Parle (east), Mumbai, Maharashtra (the factory has been closed recently due to increased costs of transportation). They started manufacturing biscuits from 1939. People were unable to buy British biscuits because of its high cost, then Parle factory came into market with its low price Glucose biscuit. According to top writer Nikhil Patel, earlier the biscuits were wrapped in wax paper unlike today’s plastic paper. After India gained independence in 1947, parle company started campaigning Parle biscuits in competition to the British biscuit called  Jacob’s biscuit from UK in 1929. Parle G biscuit stands out from other products of Parle also because of its friendly prising.

How parle-G name came into existence?

Founder coming from Gujarat community, Parle-G’s name first came from founder’s family. They started calling the biscuits as Parle, as Parle means suburb in Gujarati language. As the biscuit had sweet taste of Glucose in it, people started calling biscuits as Parle Gluco. After seeing the success rate of Parle biscuits, other biscuit companies in the market started coping Parle companies idea. To avoid confusion in the market, Parle owners changed its product’s name to Parle-G from Parle Gluco.

Parle-G gaining popularity

According to a recent report by Nielsen, article by Sagar Malviya on 24th june 2015; Parle-G topped the sales chart among other food companies in India during 2014-15, where, Britannia and Mondelez shared the second spot with Rs. 6,800 crores of revenue. Parle G’s sales had exceeded Rs. 8,300 crores according to the report. Parel G had hit the success rate wit 29% shares in the biscuit category plus sates going up by 5000 crores during that period. Under non-food category, HUL was doing great with sales of Rs. 25,400 crore nearly thrice compared to their rival company, P&G, who registered their sales with Rs. 8,600 crore.

In food category Parle company topped with growth of 3.1% (with revenue of 8,300 crore)  and least was Frito-lay India with growth of 1.7%.

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Sustainability of Parle G in the current scnerio

One of the old and trusted brand has grown successfully since 1929. Parle had strong hold in terms of revenue with two rivals; Britannia and Mondelez. At present, consumers have choice in the market with other glucose biscuits like, Oats, ragi cookies, digestive and milky biscuits in the market. Executive director of Parle Products, Ajay Chauhan, is aware of this situation. So, does Mr. Chauhan can still maintain the dominant position in the market?

Industry estimates the biscuit market share worth Rs. 15000 crore till September 2012 with glucose accounting for 30% of this segment. Glucose category has not launched much products compared to other cream or cookies category. Parle G had launched Parle G- Gold in May 2012, a premium glucose biscuit which was much heavier than the original one.

Preeti Chamikutty mentions few Parle G facts in her article published on Jan 16,2013. According to her;

400 million Parle G biscuits are produced daily, 1 billion packes of Parle-G are produced monthly, Parle G are sold in more than 500 retail stores, 4,551 Parle-G biscuits are consumed per second, if all Parle G biscuits consumed annually are put end-to-end; they would cover the earth’s circumference 192 times, Parle G sells more biscuits compared to China biscuit market, Parle G’s pricing remained unchanged even in 2000’s.

Basic question at present is, will the present youth from the population still go for Parle-G biscuit even today? In my opinion, if somebody is price sensitive, they will still stick on to Rs.5 Parle-G, which is filling and of course Mumbaikars should not give up on them for a reason :).

Africans (Siddi community) in India: The Unknown population!

Siddi community, Olympics, sports, Arab and Portuguese, rights, social status.

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The Siddi communities also known as Sheedi or Habshi are a small and shy community who migrated from Bantu people, Southeast Asia, 300 years back.  This community has an estimated population of 50,000-60,000 in India. They are mostly confined to North Karnataka as well as Karvar and Sirsi in Karnataka and parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra pradesh. Siddis maximum population stays in Gujarat, tribes are settled down in Karnataka and AP. In Mumbai, there are only 8-10 families who are settled down. Few percentage of population has settled in Pakistan, Sindh and Balochistan. They speak in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, kannada and konkani. Mostly Siddis are Sufi Muslims, where some are Hindus and rest are Roman Catholic Christians.

Many people from this community don’t know their proper origin. They only know that their ancestors were in India in 7th century due to which the present generation is staying in India. Siddis are mistaken as Africans by other citizens of the country because of their dark skin, curlicues of hair, snub nose and thick lips. In Mumbai, people were not renting out house to Siddis as they look like Africans and they faced lot of racism. Because of this they don’t feel united or comfortable. Sometimes they are even compared to chimpanzees.

Gir is home to the last remaining unknown-tribes, Siddi. Siddis landed on the shores of India as slaves of Arab and Portuguese merchants. Small number of population arrived as merchants and sailors. The Siddis in Gir were slaves to the Nawab of Junagadh who received them as gifts from the Portuguese. Eventually, Siddis were settled in village called Sirwan, which was gifted by the Nawab. They keep their culture alive by music and dance.Image result for Siddi players

The sports authority of India had launched a pro-gram in 1980’s to tap the  potential players so that they can participate in the 1984 Olympics. They travelled without slipper. They started getting trained. The siddi kids routinely started gettinuy g medals at the district, state and national levels.

Players like Kamala Babu Siddi (15), is a national record holder in the junior girl’s pentathlon. Kamala said showing her Olympics blazer (South Asian Federation Games, 1993)- ” This is from my first international meet, I didn’t really know about the specifics of the kit given by the government but I just knew that I wanted to wear the Indian color. Many people asked for it but it’s not something that you part with even after you die.”  Philip Anthony Siddi, took part in 800M at Nehru Stadium in Delhi. Carl Lewis was the first player among Siddis to represent nation abroad. This pro gramme improved financial status of Philip as he could buy 2-acre plot and without sports he would have been nobody. In 1993, suddenly all players were given letter and asked to go back to their respective countries in spite of performing well. No body knew the reason as why the pro gramme got cancelled? Few people cried and went back and few stayed back in India.

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Because they are know through sports, Siddis who stayed back in India spoke to government to restart SAG program. They started with few number of athletes. When ever Olympics gets telecasts on television; Kenyans, Tanzanians, Ethiopians or Somalians ( From East Africa) are seen so energetic that despite any resources they come right on top in the medal tally. That gap has to be reduced when it comes to the comparison of Siddis and East African players.

At present Dandeli has full fledged special area game center for young Siddi talent. The first batch of athletes are being groomed at the Loyola school in Mundgod (Uttara Karnataka) for 2024 Olympics.

In my opinion, like other communities in India, Siddi community should also get their right and be included in the backward community list atleast, to get recognition and for lifting the nations flag high by participating in Olympics. Siddi community should also get a social status where people leave their stigma and give equal job opportunity as well apart from sports. The situation is always going to be tricky when we try to differentiate between Africans and Siddis.

Long story short, they should get Indian citizenship plus all the equal rights that constitute has provided to the rest of the Indian community.




Rise of “cricket” in India since 1901

Pre and post independence, castism, first dalit, Religious conflicts, compensation, confidence and understanding, sportsmanship, equality, team spirit.

Britishers ruled in India.  There are numbers in terms of how many years did Britishers rule in India? 89 years ( 1858-1947) ? 182 years (British control from initial direct administration of Bengal by the East India Company from 1765) ? 98 years (Control of the whole of India beginning with the East India Company dated from 1849) ?

But they had upper hand till Sardar patel, V K Menon, and J L Nehru worked tremendously and made India united. India gained independence in the year 1947 where Britishers had 60% of land with them which was divided between India and Pakistan.

Nevertheless, British rule had many good things which helped Indians to grow. However overall British rule is considered, it was evil for India.

As India was coming out of the clutches of British rule, there was one common thing between two nations- CRICKET. Right from pre independence cricket existed in India. We can even say that the sports was introduced by Britishers in India and it has its own importance in the heart of each Indian now. Right from Maharaja Ranjitsinh ji , an Indian, who played for England from 1895-1902 till the master blaster, post independence, Sachin Tendulkar. India has seen lots of changes since 1901. Legends like Pataudi, Kapil dev, Beshen Singh Bedi and Lala Amarnat have contributed to Indian cricket because of whose efforts we can see all kinds of matches played today at domestic, national and international level.

Image result for Ranjit singh cricketer Maharaja Ranjitsinh ji – Represented England ( 1895-1902). He is arguably and unofficially India’s first ever cricket player who represented England in the year 1895. Known as Ranji, he made waves in the cricketing world by his unorthodox stance and stroke-play. Getting into cricket at the age of 10 was difficult as he belonged to maharaja community. Urgently he enrolled himself to Bombay Presidency and took up British way of teaching and studying. His first preference was tennis though. Ranji started late because of prejudice. He couldn’t play for Cambridge team because he was an Indian. Future England captain- Stanley Jackson refused to take Ranji. Ranji was out from the team till one of the injured England player gave him a chance to play. Ranji played beautifully averaging 44 with bat. Ranji and mentor Daniel Hayward came up with an idea of back-foot stroke play as many cricketers were leaning forward to play each ball because of which they were unable to play short pitch deliveries. This led to a popularization of new shot called the leg glance. Ranji was among best fielders as well with 233 catches in his kitty in this first class carrier.

He later played for Sussex with international legends and accumulated massive scores in county cricket. Played for London County and domestic cricket. His test début was on 16th July 1896 v/s Australia and last test was on 24th July 1902 v/s Australia. 

Image result for Palwankar baloo Palwankar Baloo – Career (1905- 1921) Represented Hindus (India). Baloo belongs to Dharwad, Karnataka and first dalit player to make it to the Indian cricket team. He was India’s finest cricketers but because of his social status he was never allowed to captain the team. There were objections from the team mates who were from so called higher communities, brahmins, they didn’t want Baloo to play in the team. But due to Baloo’s skill selectors were forced to make a place for him in the team. He bowled beautifully and took lots of wickets for the team and came out victorious, even then he was kept separately in the team. The ball was rolled on the ground and passed to the other person by kicking by foot because the ball was touched by Baloo. Baloo used to sit separately during lunch, drinks or tea break. This untouchable act continued till Baloo’s brother Palwankar Vithal was made captain of Hindus team by Hindu Gymkhana Club which was seen as an impact of changing social situations in India.

The Revolutionist – Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi

     Image result for Pataudi Indian team was sought of ready now after gaining independence. There was equality in the team and players started relating themselves to one another and stood up as INDIA in the game of cricket because of Pataudi. He captained Indian cricket team at the age of 21 years even though there were other Senior and experienced players in the team.

Bishan Singh Bedi

Image result for bishen singh bedi Bishan Singh Bedi is a former cricket cricket, played for India from 1966-1979. He was known for slow orthodox bolling and right hand batting. He also stood out for the whole team when it came to proper remuneration/ salary to the players. He slammed the BCCI (Board) and questioned them for irregular or less payment. According to him when a test match is meant to be played for 5 days, sometimes the match used to get wrapped up in 4 days. In such case where the salary should be given for 5 days, players were paid for only 4 days. Today we don’t see such problem in 21st century, but if there are minute problems that are taken care of by the board.

Cricket took its time to stand as one of the popular game in the country. As the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar joined cricket at the age of 16, all citizens of India started worshiping this game. Then came Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble, Srinath, Lakshman to take cricket to different level.

Today we should not forget people like Bishan Singh Bedi, Pataudi etc. If they had not taken the charge at that time and made the board think the way they were working, do you think the Indian team would have been the same like today?


Ambulance-need of flying ambulance

Saving life has become an expensive affair?


On several busy roads like M G Road, Bannergatta road, silk board, majestic, Malleswaram , Bellandur, jayanagar-almost all major junctions in Bangalore where private vehicles struggle to overtake or go fast comes to a sudden halt because of loud siren from behind. Yes, its a vehicle with a glittering red / blue cap on it. The situation worsens when all the vehicles including ambulance get stuck in a major signal. If one wants to give way to the ambulance also, feels helpless at this point. During festival time, where pedestrians are huge in numbers, on road also becomes problematic. Is road a safe transport for patients who are carried on ambulance? Well, may be for some. But what about the critical patients who need medical assistance within say, 15-20 minutes? Road accidents(factory accidents), heart attacks, complicated pregnancies, burns, coma patients, dehydration, surgical emergencies, pediatric emergencies are some examples.

In the year 2014, Karnataka health minister U T Khader had introduced two wheeler ambulance where the trained paramedic driver will reach the accident spot in 10 minutes for medical assistance till the four wheeler ambulance makes its way. The initiative was implemented through the organisation that runs 108- Arogya Kavacha ambulance service, GVK-EMRI. 30 bike ambulances were launched out of which 21 bikes will be stationed in strategic locations and one each in districts of Mysuru, Dharwad-Hubballi, Tumkuru;etc. The government has spent around 2 lakhs on each air ambulances which carry 40 medical items which includes stethoscope, pulse oxymeter, bandages and 4 normal salone apart from 53 basic drugs. The same health department is working on introducing air ambulance in the state.

The 108 service has assisted 29.4 lakh people in many health emergencies by placing 517 ambulances strategically armed with all medical equipment and life-support medicines.

The traffic police on field comes into picture for coordination. Whenever there is a traffic jam, Emergency management and research institute (EMRI-GVK) gives alert for clearing traffic on a particular stretch.

Even after establishing health care support, we continue to see unfortunate instances on roads where people lose there lives. People lose lives either on their way to hospital or on road itself. In my opinion 70% of lives can be saved by ambulance where time is not an issue if the ambulance is equipped with necessary equipments. 20% of the lives can be a cause of concern where ambulance assistance is not enough and time is a major constraint. 10% of the cases can be deadly where chances of survival are very low even if the patient is taken to hospital in time. Recent example of Mr. Harish who lost his life after his body was cut into two pieces after a truck hit his motorcycle. Ambulance had reached the spot within 7-8 minutes from the time accident was reported.

Can air ambulance be an answer for critical patients who need immediate medical care? How the city will look like? How many helipads are required for hospitals and residential areas? Will Government give permission to residential areas for having helipads? What will be the cost of air ambulance and aviation fuel? Affordable? How government hospitals deal with this change? These are some important questions which need to be answered.

Sources revile, the price of jet fuel as of January 2015 is 170.8 cents(US dollars) per gallon which is 11,459 in Indian rupees for 3.78 liters. At present hospitals like Manipal, Apollo, fortis are having air ambulance facility. In the year 2007, AIIMs hospital planned to have air ambulance facility but no further information is available on its current status.

Panchmukhi Air Ambulance Service From Delhi

Hospitals with this facility have emergency numbers on their respective websites. Sources say that there are three points in Bengaluru with air ambulance facility. They are Medivic aviation air ambulance in Malleswaram, Air ambulance in Electronic city phase-2 and air ambulance aviation in Hulimavu, Bannergatta road.

Critical patients should get this air ambulance facility. Hospitals used to charge around 10K per service 4-5 years back. Provision should be done where patients are carried from a place where air ambulance can land, say, open space or helipads on major apartments which have strong foundation. Government hospitals can take help of state government with regards to air ambulance simultaneously working with few major private hospitals. There are few companies in Bengaluru as well who volunteer themselves for air ambulance facility.

Keeping four wheeler ambulance in mind, each one has to be equipped with the ICU facilities, same as hospital, with a designated doctor and nurse with basic medicines to save lives. As of now bike ambulances are not seen, but if they are there ,they have to work in tandem with the four wheel’d ambulance. It would be good to have ambulance equipped with controls that allow them to manipulate signals to allow easier movement for them on the road.

After all life is everything in front of luxury and money. If government comes out with air ambulance solution in future, you have life, you have world.

-Lakshmi Raghavan (MA-PP)


Aamchi Mumbai

In this short break of 1 week, Mumbai was on my bucket list.

We flew from Bengaluru to Mumbai on 3rd September 2016. As soon as I landed in Mumbai, my face was lit up with happiness and joy. When I was at the airport, I wanted to see the whole city in one go acting as if I will not be allowed to stay. During my stay I observed airports, infrastructure, public, went from south to north of Mumbai, celebrated Ganesha festival, experienced public transportation.

We got our luggage on time; we came out of the airport and got into an auto, going towards Ghatkopar (West). While travelling, I observed two airports; one is international and other one is domestic, who share a common runway. Because of this reason the domestic airport becomes little busy. The international airport is in the area called Sahar which is 3 kms away from domestic airport.

As we were entering the city, leaving airport area behind, I could observe lot of slum dwellers saying either in tents with blue sheet in common as roof or people staying under bridges or flyovers. This scene was so evident that nobody can avoid it. Statistics says Bhandup is having 85% in slums, Chembur 77.55%, Khar and Santacruz 78.9% and majority of slum population in Mahim, Matunga. Some of the areas badly filled with slums are Bhandup, Malad, Mulund, Chembur, Santacruz, Kandavali and Khar east. Because of this poverty people are forced to beg on streets or remain seated on the divider of roads.

The transportation is well connected to the suburbs and the town. There are taxies known as ‘kali-peeli’ as well as aggregated taxi service like ola and uber. One can venture self drive using options like myles and zoom car, but it will be discouraging for those people who would be looking for smaller cars as there are very limited options. There are local trains and metro services that allow people to commute the length and breadth of the city. There are government buses called BEST(Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport) plying within the city and the suburbs. One can find few double decker on selected routes, for example bus no. 332 which travels from Andheri to Kurla.

You can frequent the chart counters at juhu choupati for lip smacking chat items. Behind gateway of India one can find ‘wok’ Chinese restaurant where in one can choose there set of vegetables in their noodles. Fun place to be in! If you travel to the western suburb of  Charni road railway station, you would find rather unique ice-cream shop offering chilli ice-cream, pan ice-cream and vodka ice-cream to name a few.

On your way to north from the south of Mumbai, if you drive on the P D Mello road you would see Ganesh pandals in a row, each claiming to be the best pandal in the city. Among all these, the only famous Ganesh pandal is Lalbag Raja which general public as well as celebrities offer their prayers and seek blessings from lord Ganesha. The localities get completely involved in prayers with huge sound systems playing music along with drum beats.

The tourists spots in Mumbai are Gate way of India which is next to famous Taj hotel, Elephanta caves – which is also marked as unesco world heritage. You have to take ferry from ticket counter till caves, which is about 45 minutes of ride. You can find a security named  Mr.M K Jha who has deep knowledge about the history of that cave. While walking towards the caves there are lots of hawkers on both the sides and the path is inclined with uneven steps. If you buy a cooked corn to relish, you probably have to throw the corn mid way as one can witness lots of monkeys waiting to steal it from you.  Tarapur aquarium is a place to visit, where one can find different sizes, shapes and countries fishes maintained cleanly. It is situated on marine drive. Hanging garden is a place to relax. You feel energised to drive on sea link with the breeze from the sea. Famous beaches like Juhu, Girgaum Chowpati, Aksa, Varsoa are also worth a visit.

One has to plan a visit to Mumbai prior and stay for at least 15-20 days to experience life and come and fall in love with the city.

-Lakshmi Raghavan(MA-PP)