Ahmedabad Lockdown News

‘Sazzy Sizzler’ still using Yanki sizzler pictures in their ads: Yanki tells Gujarat HC
The Indian Express | 2 days ago
The Indian Express
2 days ago

Despite an interim injunction order granted by an Ahmedabad court that restrained Ahmedabad-based eatery ‘Sazzy Sizzler’ from “misusing, acquiring, providing and/or offering for sale” the sizzlers by using similar trade dress, data and trade secrets as that of another Ahmedabad-based eatery Yanki Sizzlers, it was brought to the Gujarat High Court’s attention Thursday by that ‘Sazzy Sizzler’ continues to violate the order.In January, a commercial Ahmedabad rural court had granted the temporary injunction order against Sazzy Sizzlers in a trademark suit filed by Yanki Sizzlers. It further directed that the injunction “will remain in operation till the final disposal of the suit.”On Thursday, Yanki told a division bench of Gujarat HC that an advertisement placed by Sazzys contained “similar pictures of sizzlers” as used in Yanki advertisements. Yanki Sizzlers further submitted that when it comes to sizzlers, they have been the “pioneers in Gujarat market from 2012 to 2020 with this product,” and that “there is none except us in this food distribution”.The bench, however, remarked on this submission, “Won’t sizzlers look the same because sizzlers for years have looked the same.” Yanki responded that Sazzy Sizzlers continue to use similar trade dress, restaurant set-up, etc as well as that of Yanki’s.Yanki Sizzlers, established in 2012, had submitted before the Ahmedabad court that an agreement for leave and licence was executed between Yankis and the premise owners for four years (from July 2017 to June 2021) with a condition that the licence could be terminated only by serving 30 days’ prior notice by the respective party. But Yanki’s director upon a visit to the premises in June 2020 when lockdown was eased in phased manner by the Central Government in the aftermath of Covid-19, “was shocked to find” the signboard of Sazzy Sizzlers installed on the premises, Moreover, the director of Yanki’s was not allowed to even enter the premises.According to Yanki, it came to the knowledge of the plaintiff (Yanki) that the defendants (Sazzy Sizzlers, owner of the premises) in conspiracy with each other have taken advantage of the lockdown by removing all the documents, furniture, kitchen utensils, secret recipe details, cheque books, letterhead, computer data etc. from the premises and instead started the same business of sizzlers at the same spot.”The Ahmedabad court had observed that the items prepared by Sazzys through the staff and manager earlier employed with Yanki are similar to the items and edibles prepared by the Yankis.Sazzy Sizzlers moved Gujarat HC in February, challenging the temporary injunction order by the Ahmedabad court. Earlier this month, it was pointed out by Yanki that Sazzy continues to violate the injunction order.Following Yanki’s submissions and the advocate for Sazzy not being present before the court, the bench observed, “Let them (Sazzy) come (before the court). If they (Sazzy) continue with this, we may have to take some stricter actions…They cannot, after the court’s specific directions, continue to do something that is impermissible.”

‘Sazzy Sizzler’ still using Yanki sizzler pictures in their ads: Yanki tells Gujarat HC
E-bike Yulu exits A’bad
Ahmedabad Mirror | 6 days ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
6 days ago

Even as the Centre promotes e-vehicles, an e-bike company quietly made its exit from the city a fortnight ago. The e-bike Yulu first began its service in Ahmedabad in 2020 just before Covid. Lack of response from citizens and rising costs, however, forced the operators to shut down.The service closed down fifteen days ago. Interestingly, the service had a 60% utilisation after Covid but it did not translate into profit forcing the Bangalore-based start-up to wind up operations in the city.​​​​​​​The service offered 250 Yulu bikes on streets but multiple uses through a single entry caused trouble, a source in the know said. “The entire fleet of bikes has now been moved to Mumbai where the service is a success,” a senior executive of Yulu bikes told Mirror. Those in the know said Covid negatively impacted the business. The night curfew that was put in place even after the lockdown also affected business.“Moreover there were health concerns as people did not want to use a bike that had been handled by many others. The lack of a dedicated lane for cycles and such bikes also made people reluctant to use them,” said the source. The bikes offered chargeable batteries and full safety features. The service was launched with much fanfare during the Happy Street initiative in Law garden. The company had two stands one outside Vastrapur Lake and one near Ahmedabad Mall.Booz bikesMeanwhile, electric kick scooters are offering their service at Kankaria Lakefront. Booz bikes, an Ahmedabad-based start-up, has put 10 such vehicles for use at the venue. “We plan to increase the number based on the response,” Rutvij Dasadia, the founder said.MYBYKAnother bike-sharing service MYBYK has reported good response from Amdavadis. The company has increased its fleet from 1,000 to 3,500 bikes post-Covid. The company has 350 bike stations in the city of which 250 are in the western part alone. Its founder Arjit Soni said the number of users is on the rise, but most ride it for health reasons rather than commute. He said several factors, including lack of dedicated lanes and weather conditions, prevent people from using bikes for commuting.SRFDCL reactionA senior official of Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) admitted that the public bike-sharing system has not received the needed response. “All the three companies that offer the service began their operations just before Covid and then suffered losses due to lockdown,” said the official.“Lack of dedicated bike tracks also added to the problems. Though the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) made provisions for cycle tracks along the BRTS routes they have been encroached upon,” said the official.Interestingly, the Science City road which was developed as a model road has no cycle track. The cycle tracks on the road from Helmet Crossroads to Shivranjani have all been encroached.

E-bike Yulu exits A’bad
Panic buying triggered in Shanghai as mass testing returns
Ahmedabad Mirror | 3 weeks ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
3 weeks ago

Shanghai will carry out Covid-19 testing on more than half of its 25 million residents this weekend, fuelLing fears of a return to more stringent restrictions just days after the financial hub emerged from two months of painful lockdown, media reports said.The mass testing announcements sparked fears of a return to stringent, prolonged lockdown among Shanghai residents, many of whom had been confined to their homes for two months or more since March, CNN reportedThose fears have triggered panic buying. On Thursday, Shanghai residents rushed to supermarkets to stock up on food and other daily necessities, forming long lines at checkouts and leaving shelves empty, according to photos and videos that circulated on social media, it reported.At least seven of the city’s 16 districts, with a combined population of 15 million people, will roll out mass testing over the weekend, Zhao Dandan, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said at a news conference.The districts include Shanghai’s most populated areas and busy business hubs, such as Pudong and Xuhui.Districts that have reported positive cases since Shanghai lifted its citywide lockdown on June 1 will be placed under “closed management” during the collection of test samples, Zhao said. She did not specify how long the sampling period will last.In China’s zero-Covid policy lexicon, “closed management” usually refers to restrictions that bar people from leaving their residential communities or workplaces, CNN reported.Changning district, home to the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and 700,000 residents, announced on its official social media account that it will carry out mass Covid testing on Saturday.”During the sampling period, closed management will be enforced on residential communities, where (residents) can only enter but not leave,” the statement said.Earlier on Thursday, Songjiang district also said on social media that its 1.9 million residents are all required to undergo Covid testing over the weekend, CNN reported.

Panic buying triggered in Shanghai as mass testing returns
Lockdown effect: Ahmedabad continued to breathe better in 2021 too, says study
Times of India | 1 month ago
Times of India
1 month ago

AHMEDABAD: Lockdowns had famously healed ambient air of pollutants during Covid-19 pandemic as industrial activity came to a grinding halt and people were pushed indoors. Interestingly, the city continues to breathe better even after lockdowns as a study by IIT Kharagpur researchers claimed that pollutants failed to reach pre-pandemic levels even in 2021. Satellite and ground-level observations for pollution were studied in eight major cities of India including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai. The findings indicated that the city was third among the eight when it came to rise in air pollutants in 2021 compared to 2020 levels. Track the pollution level in your cityThe study, 'Air quality during the Covid-19 lockdown and unlock periods in India analyzed using satellite and ground- based measurements', by G S Gopikrishnan, J Kuttippurath, S Raj, A Singh, and A Abbhishek from the Centre for Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land Sciences (CORAL) at IIT, Kharagpur was recently published in a Springer journal 'Environmental Processes.' 'City records 21% drop in NO2 level in 2020' The study took into consideration two air quality-related trace gases, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3), for analysis. The data indicated that Ahmedabad recorded a 21% drop in NO2 level during 2020 compared to 2019, but the rise in 2021 was 18%, which was third in India behind Lucknow and Mumbai. Likewise, the decrease in O3 levels was 6.7% in 2020 which rose by 0.8% "The analyses over cities show that there is a large decrease in NO2 in Delhi (36%), Bangalore (21%) and Ahmedabad (21%) in 2020 as compared to 2019. As the lockdown restrictions were eased during the unlock period, the concentrations of NO2 gradually increased and ozone decreased in most regions," said the study. The study also indicated that the majority of cities recorded a reduction in NO2 levels of up to 15% in 2020 and an increase of up to 40-50% in 2021. Prof Dileep Mavalankar, director of IIPH Gandhinagar, said that the readings should be seen from an economic perspective.

Lockdown effect: Ahmedabad continued to breathe better in 2021 too, says study
Gujarat: Temple daan petis brim with gratitude
Times of India | 1 month ago
Times of India
1 month ago

Ahmedabad: As Covid cases continue to drop, the faithful are making a temple run, and how! Lockdown restrictions are gone, and devotees are flocking to famous temples in Gujarat, showing their gratitude to the gods by filling up the daan petis. Donations at Somnath temple in Veraval, Dwarkadhish temple in Dwarka, and Ranchhodrai temple in Dakor, which had dried up when coronavirus struck the state, have not just recovered but surpassed the generosity shown by people in the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20. During the Covid-19 lockdown, temples in Gujarat remained shut for at least six months. Even when the temples reopened, people refrained from gathering en masse which resulted in a slide in footfalls, and, therefore, donations too. However, the situation has now normalized, which reflects in the number of visitors and amount of donations received. Somnath temple’s income in the financial year 2021-22 stood at Rs 50.95 crore, up from Rs 46.3 crore in 2019-20. It had fallen to Rs 23.25 crore during the Covid-hit period of 2020-21. Dwarkadhish temple’s income, which had fallen from Rs 11.03 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 6.44 crore in 2020-21, rose to Rs 13 crore in 2021-22. The Ranchhodrai temple received Rs 14.2 crore as donations in 2021-22, up from Rs 14 crore in the pre-pandemic year 2019-20. The temple’s income had fallen to Rs 7.5 crore in 2020-21.The only temple that did not register an increase from the pre-pandemic year was Ambaji. But the temple’s income shows a recovery in 2021-22. Banaskantha deputy collector R K Patel, who is also the administrator of Shree Arasuri Devasthan Trust managing Ambaji temple, said that the income had fallen drastically in 2020-21 as the temple was closed during major annual festivities. “Donations in 2020-21 fell to Rs 31.92 crore from Rs 51.63 crore in 2019-20. It has recovered to Rs 47.76 crore in 2021-22 as more and more visitors flock to the temple,” Patel said. Vijaysinh Chavda, general manager of Shree Somnath Trust, said there has been an increase in the number of devotees visiting Somnath temple. “In pre-pandemic years, average daily footfalls used to be around 8,000-9,000. This has risen to around 10,000 per day, and around 12,000-15,000 per day during weekends,” he said, adding, “The temple now gets around Rs 5 crore every month as donations.”“When the temple reopened, the number of devotees was half compared to pre-pandemic times. This has now risen by 20% more than the pre-pandemic numbers. The income from donations has also risen,” said Ravindra Upadhyay, deputy general manager of Lord Ranchhodraiji temple.

Gujarat: Temple daan petis brim with gratitude
OTT subscriptions rose 49% in 2020-21, says MICA report
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 month ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 month ago

In its report on growth of OTT (Over-The-Top) platforms, MICA has found an exponential rise of 49% in subscriptions in the lockdown year. Viewers aged 15-34 consumed the highest content across video OTT, gaming, music, and news apps in 2020-21, said the 4th edition of the OTT Platforms Report 2021 (post pandemic consumption), published by MICA Ahmedabad in association with Ahmedabad-based startup Communication Crafts.The report also mentioned that over 450 million Indian entertainment consumers spent 4.6 hours per day on smartphones in the lockdown year. While all the traditional media verticals reported a negative growth over the previous year, digital subscriptions grew by 49%, and online gaming grew by 18% over the last year. In addition, while Indian consumers love to access content for free, 29 million subscribers paid for 53 million OTT video subscriptions in 2020, the report stated.The report, made by MICA’s Centre for Media and Entertainment Studies (CMES), captures trends between April 2020 and March 2021 across 53 OTT platforms such as video, music, gaming, and news. The report also predicts that India is marching towards the milestone of 1 billion internet users quickly.The report stated that male users on WhatsApp are 1.5 times higher than female users. Among male and female users, the age group of 35+ years constitutes the highest chunk, with 37% male users and 40% female users, respectively. WhatsApp saw a 40% increase in usage at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. For Facebook, the trend is similar as the male users outnumber the female users by 65%. Again, the age group of 35+ has the highest number of users on Facebook, the report said.

OTT subscriptions rose 49% in 2020-21, says MICA report
Ahmedabad: Cousin's death put aspiring CFA on path to monkhood
Times of India | 2 months ago
Times of India
2 months ago

Ahmedabad: Harshit Bhansali, 24, had everything going for him. A native of Mumbai with a father in the diamond market, Harshit was living with his maternal aunt’s family in Bengaluru since 2015. A commerce graduate, he was preparing for chartered financial analyst (CFA) entrance test and looking forward to settling in the US with a successful career in finance. However, the death of Naman Kothari, the son of his maternal aunt and his close friend at the end of year 2019, shook him to the core. “I planned to go abroad to pursue a career in finance, investment banking and capital markets, but the death of Naman was devastating. The lockdown didn’t help and aggravated the depression I was going through,” Harshit recounted.Harshit, who is among the four youths who took diksha at Sabarmati in Ahmedabad from Acharya Rashmiratnasuri on Thursday, got on the path of spirituality through the books he read during the lockdown, when he was battling depression triggered by the death of his cousin.His aunt, Mamta Kothari, said they were shocked when Harshit told them he wanted to take diksha and lead the life of a Jain monk. “It was another blow after the death of Naman. Ours is a pharma distribution firm in Bengaluru with an annual turnover of Rs 400 crore. We were hoping he would take over from us. Thus, we did not give our consent at first,” she said.Harshit was determined. “The accident was so devastating that he (Naman) had died within minutes – no power or clout helped him get one extra breath. This caused a swirl of questions in my head – and I only got respite after finding some answers from the religious texts. Material wealth or comfort meant less and less for me,” he says. His parents and maternal uncle and aunt were counselled by the acharya and senior monks, who asked them not to stop Harshit, who was ready to take the plunge.On Thursday, Harshit got his new identity. The three others were Khush Jain, 19, a resident of Bhuleshwar in Mumbai; Bhautik Baldiya, 18, a resident of Bhayandar in Mumbai; and Rakesh Jivavat, 38, a resident of Mumbai. Rakesh is not married, and wanted to be a monk since the age of 18 years, but his gurus insisted that he take the consent of his family. He also successfully ran a plastics unit, but when the family realized it was not what he wanted in life, they allowed him to take diksha.

Ahmedabad: Cousin's death put aspiring CFA on path to monkhood
Gujarat: Human toll from animals at 10-year high
Times of India | 4 months ago
Times of India
4 months ago

Ahmedabad: Human encroachments, increasing big cat population, and stagnant forest area resulted in an increasing number of human casualties in the state even during the lockdown year. The fatalities were in line with the trend of recent years.The latest data of the Gujarat forest department shows that as many as 33 people lost their lives in 2020-21 (April-March), up 18% from 28 deaths in the previous year. This is the highest number of human deaths recorded over the past decade, though 2020-21 was marked by Covid-induced lockdown and curbs. In 2019-20, human deaths in incidents related to wildlife conflicts in Gujarat were up 47.3% from the previous year when the state had recorded 19 deaths.Between 2010 and 2021, 238 people lost their lives in the state in human-animal conflicts. “Of the 238 deaths, 121 or 50.9% were reported in Junagadh alone,” a senior forest officer told TOI. “There were 1,506 cases of people being injured by animals in the same period. Of these cases, 807 or 53.6%, were reported in Junagadh alone.”The officer said that in the 2010-21 period, the state government paid Rs 6.68 crore as compensation for human deaths and injuries, of which Rs 3.4 crore was paid only in Junagadh.In all, 5,255 cases of cattle deaths and injuries were reported in the state in 2020-21 and the state paid Rs 3.04 crore in compensation.The officer said that the maximum number of human deaths and injuries are due to leopard attacks followed by sloth bear and crocodile attacks. He said that very few cases involved lion attacks.“Lions do not attack humans unless they are threatened. A lioness can be dangerous when it perceives a risk to its cubs,” the officer said. “But leopards are stealthy and tend to attack humans. Every year, only one or two lion attacks are reported while the remaining are by leopards, sloth bears, and crocodiles.” “The majority of the attacks on humans during the lockdown period occurred either in forest areas or in rural areas in forest peripheries,” another forest officer said. “At these places, the lockdown enforcement was not strict compared to urban centres.” The officer said that the natural habitat of lions and leopards has been shrinking even as their population has been rising . According to officials, the leopard population in Gujarat doubled to about 3,200 in 2021 from 1,395 in 2016. The lion population in the state stood at 674 in 2020, up from 523 in 2015.

Gujarat: Human toll from animals at 10-year high
HC inquires about missing womens whereabouts
Times of India | 4 months ago
Times of India
4 months ago

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Thursday inquired with the counsels of two missing women in the Nithyananda Ashram controversy about their whereabouts and reiterated its earlier directions that both of them should be produced before the court through video conference from the nearest Indian embassy.According to petitioner’s advocate Pritesh Shah, the court’s query came during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by their father more than two years ago. The proceedings on this plea did not go further after the lockdown. In March 2020, the court had directed the ministry of external affairs to serve notice on both the women, who were in Jamaica.Both the sisters had filed affidavits in the court stating that they had left India on their own wish. However, the court has been insisting that they should be presented before the court and they should apprise the court about their safety. In their replies filed in the high court, the sisters claimed that they feared from their father. The HC had insisted that they should return India and appear before it to express their wish whether they wanted to go with their father or not.The father has alleged that Nithyananda has forcibly detained his daughters and both of them were making their statements under duress.The controversy arose over the allegations of exploitation of children in the ashram, which was situated on the Delhi Public School (East) campus.

HC inquires about missing womens whereabouts
Covid no bar for rise in crime against women
Ahmedabad Mirror | 5 months ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
5 months ago

A 40-year-old Class-1 state government employee, Krupa (name changed), had recently filed a domestic violence complaint against her husband of forcing her for unnatural sex. She even accused her father-in-law of making advances at her. She alleged that her husband also philandered with another woman. An FIR was registered at Gandhinagar Mahila police station in the case.In another incident, a college girl was allegedly gang-raped by four men in a moving car during the pandemic. The girl had come to seek a job from one of the accused. The accused lured her into his car where she was allegedly raped by him and his friends. A complaint was registered with Mahila police station in the city and the accused were arrested.These are not cases in isolation. Figures from Ahmedabad police show that from 2019 to 2022, there has been a steady rise in offences registered under section 498 (a) of IPC (domestic violence) and section 376 of IPC (rape). This was especially soin 2020 and 2021 when the first and second wave of the Covid pandemic devastated the city. The city also underwent a complete lockdown of more than two months starting from March 2020.As many as 253 rape cases were registered in 2019. The figure increased to 268 in 2020 and shot up to 355 in 2021. As for domestic violence cases, the figure was 819 in 2019, went up to 836 in 2020 and surged to 1,008 in 2021.A senior police official said the accused in rape offences is mostly known to the victim. Similarly, offences of domestic violence are usually committed by the husband or the in-laws of the victim.“In both types of cases the accused has proximity to the victim. During lockdown in 2020 and also in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions, accused persons perhaps took advantage of the situation when they were basically doing nothing or working from home,” the official said.Contrary to these crimes, offences which are committed in the open saw a dip in 2020 and 2021. Offences registered under section 354 of IPC, (molestation or eve teasing) stood at 278 in 2019. The figure dipped to 222 in 2020 and 232 in 2021 when the presence of ‘khaki’ predominant on the roads, busy enforcing Covid restrictions or night curfew.

Covid no bar for rise in crime against women
Bengal sees record Covid-19 infections
Ahmedabad Mirror | 5 months ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
5 months ago

With each passing day, the Covid-19 situation in West Bengal is going out of control of the state administration. In the last 24 hours, 9,073 people were infected, which is nearly double the number of the people that got infected two days earlier.According to the data available with the state Health department, on Monday 6,078 people got infected with Covid-19, but on Tuesday it made a quantum leap and touched 9,073, taking the total number of Covid-infected patients to 16,64,308 in the state.The rapid increase in the spread of the disease has forced the state to go for a partial lockdown.On Monday, the infection rate in the state was 439 but on Sunday it rose to 6,153 — a 12-time surge. On Tuesday the rate touched 9,073.The rate of increase in infected cases during the last seven days has been alarmingly upward. On last Wednesday, the daily rate of infections crossed the 1,000-mark for the first time in the last 177 days, recording 1,089. On last Thursday, the rate increased to 2,128, last Friday it was 3,415, — a daily increase of 1,000 or more. On Sunday it showed a daily increase of more than 1,500 taking the figure of daily infections to 6,153. On Monday it was slightly lower with 6,078 cases.Kolkata recorded the highest rate of infection among the districts recording more than half of Covid infections.According to data available with the state Health department, 4,759 people were found to be Covid-positive in the city on Saturday, followed by North 24 Parganas that saw daily infection of 1,391 positive cases while Howrah recorded 698 cases.The state government is keen to stop the rapid surge of the disease. The government, apart from imposing restrictions on movement and the people, has announced containment zones in different parts of the city and suburbs.At present, the state government has announced 26 micro-containment zones in Howrah, 118 in the North and South 24 Parganas and another 25 in Kolkata.”We are against total lockdown. We are taking every possible step to control the spread of the disease,” a senior state government official said.

Bengal sees record Covid-19 infections
  • Surat records 97 new Covid-19 cases, three Omicron infections
  • Times of India

    SURAT: Three persons with no travel history have tested positive for the Omicron in Surat on Friday, even as Diamond city recorded 97 fresh cases of the Covid-19. Surat district registered 19 more cases of the deadly virus responsible for the global pandemic. The Omicron infected persons included a 52-year-old textile businessman from Bhatar area. He had complained of cold and cough and had tested positive for Covid-19 on December 18. He was in home isolation and his health is normal now. On Friday his genome sequencing report confirmed Omicron infection. Three out of 23 who came in his contact with the textile businessman also tested positive for Covid-19 and are under home isolation. A 66-year-old woman from Ghod Dod Road was another Omicron infected with no travel history. She tested Covid positive on December 17 after complaints of cold and cough. The fully vaccinated woman was stable, said health officials. Out of the 24 people who came in contact with the patient, none was found positive. The third Omicron patient is a 46-year-old builder from City Light area also with no travel history. He tested Covid positive on December 19 after he complained of fever. He is fully vaccinated. All 21 of his contacts were found to be negative for coronavirus. Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) health officials said that 12 school and college students tested positive for Covdi-19 on Friday. Of the total cases reported in the city, five persons had international travel history. Four persons of a family tested positive in Vaniraj Residency of Sarthana after which the society has been declared a cluster area. In Rander’s Nilkanth Residency, three persons from a family were found infected after which the society was declared a cluster zone.

Vadodara: Veggies from principal's garden draw kids back to Dabhoi school
Times of India | 5 months ago
Times of India
5 months ago

VADODARA: The morning bell rings and all 45 students of the primary school at Wayadpura village of Dabhoi taluka troop in eagerly. The school had remained shut for more than a year following the Covid-induced lockdown, but not a single student had dropped out. Coronavirus had taken the wind out of the sails of the mid-day meal scheme offered in government schools to tackle malnutrition but not a single student went hungry either. Principal Narendra ChauhanAnd, this was possible due to principal Narendra Chauhan, who ensured that the kids got nutritious food, by giving them vegetables he grew on the school premises. “Parents of our students hardly had any income due to the lockdown. However, none of them went hungry as my wife and I regularly sent the vegetables we grew on the school premises to them,” Chauhan told TOI. “I delivered vegetables for free. This not only ensured nourishment for children but also ensured that the students, for whom the meals are a big incentive for coming to school, did not drop out. Our classrooms are full again,” he said. He started the novel kitchen garden project in 2001. Today, he grows fenugreek, spinach, carrot, brinjal, tomato, chilli, cauliflower, bottle gourd, pigeon peas and a variety of other vegetables in around 1 bigha land around the school. The students too are trained to help with plantation and upkeep of the garden. “When the lockdown was announced, my parents were worried about managing our daily meals. But due to the kitchen garden at our school, we kept getting nutritious food every day and my parents continued sending me to school,” said Krishna Rabari, who studies in Class 4. Over the past 20 years, along with education, over 1,000 students have enjoyed nutritious meals at this school. Apart from organizing occasional feasts in the village, Chauhan also ensures that the children get medical kits and proper clothes from the money he gets through a few generous donors every year.

Vadodara: Veggies from principal's garden draw kids back to Dabhoi school