Monday, October 26, 2009

Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar has ruled over the hearts of millions of her listeners throughout the world for the last forty years by the magic of her melodious voice. Her voice is specially noted for its remarkable freshness and sonority. She has sung songs based on classical Indian music and ragas, bhajans or devotional songs, romantic songs, melancholic songs and so on. Mangeshkar's career started in 1942 and has spanned over six and a half decades.

Lata’s name has come in the Guiness Book of World Records as the singer of the highest number of songs. The claim was that she had recorded no less than 25,000 solo, duet, and chorus-backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 to 1974 (30,000 songs between 1948 and 1987, edition). She has already sung over 28000 songs.she has sung in almost all the main Indian languages. It is due to the melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar that many lyric writers and music directors became successful. She is the recipient of many awards and honours both within the country and abroad. The Government of India has conferred on her the title of Padma Shri. The Government of Madhya Pradesh has instituted an annual award of Rs. 1 Lakh in her name. she has also received the prestigious “Filmfare Award’ for best singer in many a times. Dadasaheb Falke Award conferred upon her in the year 1989. Lata is the second vocalist ever to have received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

She was born on 29th September 1928, in Indore (M.P.). she learnt her early music lesson from her father. She is unmarried and is deeply religious in her personal life.

Though, it is difficult to enumerate all those films which have hit songs of Lata but the following films are worth mentioning: Anarkali, Mughal-E-Azam, Bees Saal Baad, Amar Prem, Guide, Khamoshi, Mehbooba, Zheel Ke Us Paar, Asha, Prem Rog, Sargam, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Arpan, Ek Duje Ke Liye, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, 1942-a Love Story, Chandni, Lamhe, Darr etc. The songs sung by Lata in the recent films – Mohabbatein, Dil to Pagal Hai, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Veer Zara became enormously popular and shows that Lata’s voice has improved further inspite of her age factors. She is one of the best-known playback singers in the Hindi film industry.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Major Dhyan Chand - Hockey Wizard

Major Dhyan 'Chand' Singh was an Indian hockey player, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. As a hockey player, Dhyan Chand made great contribution in enhancing the prestige of Indian hockey in the eyes of the world. By his superior play, Dhyan Chand was held in high esteem both within the country as well as abroad. Dhyan Chand helped his country in winning gold medals in hockey in three successive Olympic Games. He was also the captain of the gold medal winner Indian Hockey Team in the historic 1936 Berlin Olympics. Because of his brilliant performance, Dhayn Chand became a great attraction in Berlin Olympiad. Dhyan Chand scored 101 goals at the Olympic Games and 300 goals in other international matches and his record is still unbroken. Donald Bradman the great cricketer once remarked, ‘It appears that Indian hockey players score goals like cricket runs”. Dhyan Chand had, in fact, a wonderful command in wielding the hockey stick and this earned him the title of the “Hockey Wizard”. Dhyan Chand became a legend in his own lifetime.

Dhyan Chand was born on 29th August 1905, in Allahabad (U.P.). He joined army at the age of sixteen. He started playing Hockey in army and soon turned into a very good hockey player. He was included in the Indian hockey team for the 1928 Amesterdom Olympics. Indian won gold medal in hockey at Amesterdom Olympics and out pf a total of 28 goals scored by Indian hockey, 11 were scored by Dhayn Chand alone. Thereafter, Dhyan Chand’s career in hockey was a story of continuous success. After the attainment of independence, Dhyan Chand was promoted to Major. The Government of India also honoured him with ‘Padma Bhushan’. Dhyan Chand received honours in foreign countries also. In 1936 Berlin Olympics, he was honoured with ‘Olive Crown’ and in the 19968 Mexico Olympics; he was honoured as ‘Distinguished Guest’. Dhyan Chand also ran an institute for the coaching of young hockey players. He died on 3 December 1979.

August 29 is celebrated as National Sports Day when the national sporting awards are handed out by the President of India at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. Dhyan Chand's imposing statue at the entrance of the National Stadium (main venue of the inaugural Asian Games in 1951) is a reminder of the all-time legend of hockey who brought so much glory to both the game and the nation. In 2002, the union sports ministry of India introduced a Lifetime Achievement Award in sports in the name of Dhyan Chand.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Indian Railways - World's Largest Employer

Indian Railways, abbreviated as IR, is the state-owned railway company of India, which owns and operates most of the country's rail transport. It is overseen by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India.

Indian Railways has one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting over 18 million passengers and more than 2 million tonnes of freight daily. It is the world's largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.4 million employees. The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country, covering 6,909 stations over a to

tal route length of more than 63,327 kilometres (39,350 mi). As to rolling stock, IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives.

The first railway on Indian sub-continent ran over a stretch of 21 miles from Bombay to Thane.

The formal inauguration ceremony was performed on 16th April 1853, when 14 railway carriages carrying about 400 guests left Bori Bunder at 3.30 pm "amidst the loud applause of a vast multitude and to the salute of 21 guns."

The first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hooghly, a distance of 24 miles, on 15th August, 1854. Thus the first section of the East Indian Railway was opened to public traffic, inaugurating the beginning of railway transport on the Eastern side of the sub-continent.

In south the first line was opened on Ist July, 1856 by the Madras Railway Company. It ran between Veyasarpandy and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles. In the North a length of 119 miles of line was laid from Allahabad to Kanpur on 3rd March 1859. The first sec

tion from Hathras Road to Mathura Cantonment was opened to traffic on 19th October, 1875.

These were the small beginnings which is due course developed into a network of railway lines all over the country. By 1880 the Indian Railway system had a route mileage of about 9000 miles.

In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world.

Indian Railways operates about 9,000 passenger trains and tranports 18 million passengers daily across twenty-eight states and two union territories. Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya are the only states not connected by rail.

The total length of track used by Indian Railways is about 111,599 km (69,344 mi) while the total route length of the network is 63,465 km (39,435 mi). About 28% of the route-kilometre and 40% of the total track kilometre is electrified.

Indian Railways is divided into zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and finally 16 in 2003. Each zonal railway is made up of a certain number of divisions, each having a divisional headquarters. There are a total of sixty-seven divisions.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Incredible Journey of Incredible India

Global downturn, loss making airline brands, a wallet-watching traveler – not exactly the best of times for the tourism business. Nation Branding too would be impacted in such times. On Indian TV channels, Korea is advertising with their ‘Korea, Sparkling!’ campaign. Apparently, the slogan is not too popular back home in Korea and may be dropped soon. Advertising for a nation as a brand does play a role in creating perceptions. But that is not the only trigger for creating ‘strong country brands‘. In light of this, the impact of our Incredible India campaign is truly commendable.

Amitabh Kant, former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India recently released his book Branding India – An Incredible Story recently. He, along with V Sunil (then Creative Director at O&M, Delhi) conceptualized the Incredible India campaign. Prior to this project, Mr. Kant was also instrumental in the Kerala Tourism’s ‘God’s Own Country’ campaign. Herewith tracing the key phases of the Incredible India campaign:

Thanks to the 26/11 attacks, global tourism was on a decline. Several countries had cut down their advertising budgets. India’s promotion abroad was left to the tourism offices with each one of them coining their own tag lines – from Spiritual India to Unbelievable India. The visuals promoted the cliched imagery of India: saffron-clad sadhus and snake charmers. All this attracted high volumes, but low value. It was then decided to position India as a ‘premier holiday destination for high-yielding tourists’.

One of the early campaigns simply focused on highlighting the Incredible India logo. The exclamation mark that formed the ‘I” of India was used creatively across several visuals.

In the second year, the campaign focused on spiritual tourism. The content and execution were designed to appeal to the upmarket individual traveler – a far cry from the low-spending charsi jholi type tourist.
Buoyed by the encouraging response of the first campaigns, the 2006-07 campaign went beyond showcasing the logo. It showcased the diversity of India alright but did so in a tone & manner that was full of wry wit.
There was also a quiet confidence on display – almost the ‘we are like this only’ tone – in the 2007 India Now campaign in London. Some of my favourite ones:
The Incredible India experience was also brought alive in several exhibitions and events: Internationale Tourismus Bourse in Berlin, India@60 campaign in New York to mark India’s 60th year of Independence among others. The 2007-08 campaign continued with the jaw-dropping diversity of India, featuring breathtaking images and a clever pun as headline. The 2008-09 print campaign features portraits of people who came in as tourists but stayed back to make India their home. It conveys how strong an impact India can have on an individual motivating a foreigner to make it his or her motherland.
new TVC also made its way into the Indian television, showcasing the experiences of a foreigner in India, prompting him to describe it as ‘Incredible India’.

The campaign is a truly concerted effort ensuring that there isn’t a huge gap between expectation and delivery on the ground. It can’t always be controlled since one errant cab driver can undo all the goodwill created by the campaign. It is also a testimony to the power of focus. A single-minded message was brought alive on the Internet, through events and exhibitions, press ads and TV. Public sector advertising is usually seen as dull, boring and offering no scope for creativity. Thanks to individuals like Mr. Kant who had the vision and the wherewithal to see the campaign idea through, that perception too was broken. As Indians we may still be cynical about our poor infrastructure, attitude of many stakeholders in the travel business and the hype around the Incredible India campaign. But what is undeniable is that it put India in the consideration set of international tourists.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...