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Expedition on foot to prove a point

Bhubaneswar: Women can do anything. That’s the message 49-year-old Michelle Kakade from Mumbai wants to convey through her ‘expedition’. Michelle is on a Forrest Gump-like run across the length and breadth of India.

She set off on the mission October 21 from Gateway of India and has already covered 3,400 km. She intends to cover another 2,600 km by the end of April.
Michelle has already passed through Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, covering 35 to 40 km in the morning each day. She reached Tomando on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar — along the NH5 — Wednesday.
One of the chief objectives of her mission is a Guinness World Record. “My aim is to set a world record by covering 6,000 km on foot. I run from 5am to 10.30am each day. I rest to relax my muscles during the rest of the day,” Michelle said.
Apart from a desire to set a world record Michelle also wants to spread the message of women’s empowerment through her expedition. A seven-member team, including a physician, is accompanying Michelle on the expedition.
“I set out on this expedition to prove that women can do anything. Women are considered weak, and don’t get respect or importance. I want to prove that we are strong and have the strength to face anything. Strong willpower make us fighters.”
Records are not new to this gritty woman. A Guinness World Record would only be an addition to the three records she already has in her name in the Limca Book of Records. Two of these were awarded for running in a desert and on a treadmill. “There is a vast difference between running on roads and in a desert. One can barely walk in a desert,” Michelle said of her previous record-setting attempt. “When I started running from Mumbai, I faced lots of problems. The climate varied from one place to another and it took me time to adapt to the changes in climate. I became ill and even contracted a chest infection owing to pollution, but I didn’t give up.”
Michelle, who is a regular participant in races, says her husband has stood behind her like a rock, encouraging her to take up such difficult missions. “I am able to take up such missions only because my husband supports them. He supports me in my every endeavor. He has always believed I am capable of completing any difficult task and never stopped me from doing anything.”
She is also vociferous when it comes to advocating the health benefits of walking and running. “Wherever I go, I encourage people to regularly walk and run a few kilometres as it helps us keep fit and fine.”
According to Michelle, her journey till Bhubaneswar has been exciting as people, too, were excited about her mission. “I received great support in Gujarat and Kolkata, and I hope the people of Orissa will also extend the same support.”
On Thursday, Michelle will resume her journey right from the very spot she stopped for the day. She will be passing through Chennai and Bangalore besides other southern cities en route. PNN

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FB honcho riles India with tweet, deletes it

New York: Facebook board member Marc Andreessen Wednesday set off a controversy by terming India’s decision to bar discriminatory Internet tariff as an “anti-colonialist” idea and said the country would have been better off if it remained under British rule.

Andreessen, one of Silicon Valley’s foremost venture capitalists, and his partner Benedict Evans took to Twitter to vent out their frustration about telecom regulator TRAI banning Facebook’s Free Basics and other such plans that charge different rates for Internet access based on content.
The move was hailed as a victory for net neutrality, the principle that all Internet websites should be equally accessible.
Andreessen, or @pmarca as he’s known on Twitter, wrote: “Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?” “Another in a long line of economically suicidal decisions made by the Indian government against its own citizens,” he tweeted. “Denying world’s poorest free partial Internet connectivity when today they have none, for ideological reasons, strikes me as morally wrong.”
His partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Evans, who uses the handle @BenedictEvans, chimed in: “It’s a terrible thing to offer people with no money the choice of something free.”
The comments drew sharp criticism from netizens with some calling Facebook’s Free Basics plan as Internet colonialism.
Sayeed Anjum responded to the tweet saying the subtext of Andreessen’s tweet is that “colonialism would any day be better economically. Natives should learn to take help.”
Another response read: “Now @facebook Board Director @pmarca suggests being colonized was good for India & we should’ve let Fb do so:).”
Netizen Gayatri Jayaraman tweeted: “yup @pmarca and @facebook clearly see themselves as the new East India Co colonial saviours to poor brown India.” Facing flak, Andreessen removed the tweet. Later, he attempted to walk away from the discussion he fired up saying “I hereby withdraw from all future discussions of Indian economics or politics. Carry on.” PTI

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Long night for braveheart

New Delhi: The condition of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, the Siachen braveheart who defied death for six days buried under snow, has deteriorated, the Army said Wednesday as a team of experts from AIIMS joined in the efforts save his life.

He continues to remain extremely critical with evidence of oxygen deprivation to the brain on CT scan, a medical bulletin issued in the evening said.
There is evidence of pneumonia in both lungs. “His multi-organ dysfunction state continues unabated. His condition has deteriorated despite aggressive therapy and supportive care,” it added.
Koppad was examined by a team of Army Hospital doctors comprising critical care specialists, HoD Dept of Medicine, senior nephrologist, senior neurologist and a panel of experts from AIIMS, New Delhi.
“The entire team was in agreement with the management (of medical problems) that the patient had undergone till now, and concurred with the future plan of management for him,” the bulletin said.
Hanumanthappa was evacuated by a helicopter Tuesday from the site of the avalanche that hit his post on Siachen Glacier before being shifted to Delhi in an Indian Air Force aircraft accompanied by a critical care specialist of the force and a medical specialist from the base camp. PTI

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Parineeti in Meri Pyaari Bindu

Mumbai: Actress Parineeti Chopra has finally announced her new project, Meri Pyaari Bindu, after a year of no-show. The Yash Raj movie, which will also mark her singing debut, features her in the titular role. Parineeti, 27, made the announcement through a video shared by the official Twitter handle of YRF. The short clip features her crooning a slow tempo track Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin, which will be included in the movie. “This is a song from my new film… After a gap of a year, I am announcing my next movie. It is a Yash Raj project, which will be produced by Maneesh Sharma and directed by debutant Akshay Roy. It will also feature my ‘singer buddy’ Ayushmann Khuranna,” said Parineeti. His co-star Ayushmann too expressed his excitement about the project. “So excited for my new -@yrf announcement Meri Pyaari Bindu with lovely and talented -@ParineetiChopra! Woot.” The actress, who made her Bollywood debut with Maneesh’s directorial venture Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, was last seen in YRF’s Kill Dil (2014).                              PTI

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