This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
The Times of India, Sep 2, 2011
74 km from Garhmukteshwar
Garhmukteshwar-Gajraula-Kala Khera-Paikhara-Moradabad Since Garhmukteshwar is done as a day trip, many tourists prefer to spend the day at the holy town and then drive ahead to Moradabad for the night. Less than two hours away, it is the ideal place to take a break before exploring the town the next morning
Hailstorm of 1888
The severe hailstorm near Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh killed 246 people
Other record-breaking weather events included a 1989 tornado in Bangladesh that killed an estimated 1,300 people
UNITED NATIONS: An 1888 hailstorm in India has been identified by the UN weather agency among the all-time deadly weather events. The severe hailstorm near Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh killed 246 people.
This is the first time that the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has broadened its scope from temperature and weather records to address impacts of specific events.
"Extreme weather causes serious destruction and major loss of life. That is one of the reasons behind the WMO's efforts to improve early warnings of multiple hazards and impact-based forecasting, and to learn lessons gleaned from historical disasters to prevent future ones," WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said. "The human aspect inherent in extreme events should never be lost," he added.
While the in-depth investigation by a WMO expert committee documented mortality records for five specific weather-related events, it did not address heat- or cold- waves, drought and floods.
The experts found that the highest mortality rate associated with extreme weather was during a 1970 tropical cyclone through what was at the time East Pakistan, which killed an estimated 300,000 people.
Other record-breaking weather events included a 1989 tornado in Bangladesh that killed an estimated 1,300 people, destroying the Manikganj district; a 1994 lightning-caused oil tank fire in Dronka, Egypt, which took 469 lives, while 21 people were killed by a single lightning bolt to a hut in the Manica Tribal Trust Lands in what was then Rhodesia. The findings were announced ahead of two major conferences on improving multi-hazard early warning systems and strengthening disaster risk reduction, taking place in Cancun, Mexico this month and organised by WMO and the UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Overall mortality can also decrease as a result of continuous improvement in related forecasting and warning infrastructure. "These events highlight the deadly tragedies associated with different types of weather. Detailed knowledge of these historical extremes confirms our continuing responsibilities to not only forecast and monitor weather and climate but to utilise that information to save lives around the world so disasters of these types are lessened or even eliminated in the future," said Randall Cerveny, WMO Rapporteur on Climate and Weather Extremes.
The experts stressed that overall mortality can decrease as a result of continuous improvement in related forecasting and warning infrastructure. However even with improvements, mortality from weather-related events will continue. "In order to put potential future weather-related catastrophes into accurate historical context, it is useful to have knowledge of baseline changes in weather-related mortality as monitored over the last one hundred and fifty years of official international weather records," said the WMO committee.
Places to visit
• Bade Hanuman Ji Mandir, believed to be 400 years old. Devotees believe that praying before the idol ensures fulfillment of one’s wishes
• Jama Masjid or the Great Mosque built by Ruston Khan in 1631
• Braham Dev Ji temple Braham Bazar and offer prayers to Lord Krishna and Radha
• Raza Library, in the Rampur district, is a must visit. A centre for Indo-Islamic culture, it was built by Nawab Faizullah Khan, the ruler of Rampur, between 1774 and 1794. It houses historic manuscripts and miniature specimens of ancient Islamic calligraphy.
• Vidur Kuti, the place where Vidur of Mahabharat, lived after a dispute with Duryodhana. This is also the site where the wives and children of the Pandavas and Kauravas were safeguarded by Vidur
• Pataleshwar Bholenath temple, where devotees offer brooms to the deity in the belief that it will cleanse their sins
• Prem Wonderland and Prem Water Kingdom theme parks. Rides, slides, food… they will be spoilt for choice.
A big market located in a crowded gali, Moradabad’s Peetal Mandi stocks brass and copper products. Decorative miniatures, copper utensils with engravings, ittardans, busts of historical personalities, souvenirs, one can find them all here
Brassware, modern crafts and exports
The brass age is over
Trendy new Moradabad products now find their way into upscale homes in the West
Avijit Ghosh | TNN
The Times of India 2013/09/01
Moradabad: It isn’t an exact replica but the detailing in the three-foot-tall Eiffel Tower immediately grabs the eye. “There is an order for 500 pieces from a major US buyer. Each of them would be priced around $50,” says Avinash Mehra, an executive with the company, as he surveys the capacious packaging hall at his C L Gupta Exports Limited. Nearby, dozens of antique-looking mercury lamps sit next to each other. “About 10,000 of these will be sold to a major international retail store headquartered in San Francisco,” says Mehra.
(Brassware makes up only 5% of Moradabad’s output today. Even miniature Eiffel Towers are made of mild steel)
For many, Moradabad evokes the image of traditional brassware; think giant diyas, shiny tumblers and horses. But that’s so yesterday. Exporters in this western Uttar Pradesh town now also manufacture trendy home décor items. These include floor lamps, umbrella stands, candleholders, shoe racks and scores of similar items made of wood, glass, iron, steel and aluminium. Brass is only 5% of Moradabad’s overall output these days. Even the miniature Eiffel Towers at the factory are made of mild steel.
Buying agents admit the quality of exported goods has improved substantially in recent years. Largely why they are being peddled in thousands of upscale retail stores run by companies such as Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel across the US and Europe.
“We are not peddling ethnicity anymore. We are selling stylish fashion products,” says Mohammed Mansoor, who owns Rashid Exports and has 70 foreign buyers in countries such as Germany, France and the US. To stay on the ball, he even shells out $2,000 annually to a fashion company for tips on colour forecasting. “It’s important to know which colours will be in vogue the coming season,” he says.
Raghav Gupta, managing director of Gupta Exports, says their company has invested about Rs 50 lakh in the finishing line and facilities for lacquering. “We do our own designs. Our design team, including those engaged in prototyping, consists of 40 employees. Sometimes even customers chip in with ideas. One US buyer wanted an outdoor candle lighting stand in the shape of a pineapple. We fulfill such demands,” he says.
Moradabad’s annual turnover is estimated at roughly Rs 3,500 crore. About 70% of its business is still export-based. The town first tasted the good life riding an export boom in the 1980s. But exporters are not sure when things changed and first got chic and trendier in these parts. Vijay Gupta, president of ATOZ, an export house, thinks the improvements in quality and design have happened only over the last decade. But Mansoor maintains that changes have come in the last five years. “The 2008 recession gave us access to the US middle class. We have evolved and upgraded ourselves since then,” he says.
Change also came after buying agents joined the party. These agents ensure both quality merchandising and timely delivery on behalf of the procurer. Omveer Singh Arya, senior merchandiser, Flatworld, says, “The quality of products has certainly improved. The products are definitely more fashionable now. Even the styrofoam packaging today is of international standards. Exporters are more professional now than what they were, say, 10 years ago.”
This ensures that the good times keep rolling in Moradabad. Besides, there’s also the icing on the cake: the freefalling rupee, which ensures an immediate swell in both business and profits for exporters.
Manufacture of designer urns
The Times of India, Jul 19 2015
Brass city makes a killing in death industry
With cremations becoming a global trend, some intrepid manufacturers in Moradabad have switched to making and exporting designer urns.
Moradabad's brass industry apparently dates back to the Mughals, though according to a government document, exports started in the 1950s with brass trays for bottles of attar, and jars to bring back the holy water of Mecca. Artisanal artefacts produced originally in brass soon expanded to iron, glass, bone and aluminum as exports picked up.Today, the Rs 6,000-crore exports industry has a 40% share of India's overseas handicrafts trade.
But the community's qualms about making money off the dead has allowed the urn trade to be cornered by a handful of unorthodox manufacturers like Bhandula. His annual revenue is up from Rs 50 lakh in 2005-06 to Rs 5 crore today
The real competition for men like Bhandula is China. The wholesale rate for an urn is between Rs 1,000 and 3,000 but the client forks out around Rs 16,500. Because they'll contain the mortal remains of a loved one and are meant to last, no price is too high for the memorial.
Moradabad has jars for everyone -adults, children and pets. They've even got funeral jewellery and keepsakes, miniature versions of the larger urn with a bit of ash. Cremations are gaining ground globally because they cost less and environmental concerns from burials are growing. Moradabad's urn manufacturers thus stand to make a killing.