UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, called for young people to be even bolder in their actions to secure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind. Following a live pitch competition, Adekoyejo Kuye, Uzochukwu Mbamalu, Charles Aliozo and Chigozie Enemoh from Nigeria were announced as the winners and will now receive $2,500 funding to support their innovation. Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter Mohammed said: “Young people understand the links between sustainable development and climate justice. You have risen to the forefront as advocates and innovators in bringing sustainable energy solutions to homes, communities and countries.” The Florence School of Regulation (FSR) also announced 10 new scholarships to their 14-week Regulation of the Power Sector training course that delegates could apply for. Winner of youth SDG7 competition announced Addressing youth delegates in the opening keynote, Amina J. Mohammed, United NationsDeputy Secretary-General, said it was unacceptable for governments to continue to build polluting economies of the past by investing in fossil fuels. Generation Have you read?SEforALL releases new research findings-‘Energy Safety Nets’ Image: Malp©123RF.com Their proposal was for a solar-powered cold storage unit that used one compressor for multiple applications, helping smallholder farmers with food cool chains to reduce food loss. The solution could also be extended to keep vaccines safe. A virtual career advisory and academic fair also connected youth delegates with experts and universities from around the world to discuss energy-related opportunities and courses. Speaking on their win, the team said: “If youth don’t care and act to bring about SDG7, we will be the ones to bear the negative impacts in the near future. We have what it takes to bring about change—all we have to do is take action.” She commented: “As the largest youth generation in history, these young energy leaders are our future—and what a bright future it is. That is why I strongly believe engaging youth in the energy transition is not just desirable, it is essential. We must maximise their incredible innovation, passion and commitment to help create real change so we can meet our global climate and energy goals.” This includes a set of recommendations outlining how to place a clean energy transition at the heart of the youth climate action movement developed during the SDG7 Youth Roundtable session with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake. The outcomes of the three-day Summit will now feed directly into key SEforALL-led events in 2021 to drive more ambitious action towards universal energy access, including the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy in September and the UN climate change conference, COP26, in November. With their future at stake, young leaders from around the world issued a clear call to action to reset the energy transition, demanding bolder clean energy and climate progress at the first SEforALL Youth Summit. Have you read this exclusive interview with Damilola Ogunbiyi?Not even a global crisis will sway her from reaching SDG7 TAGSenergy transitionSDG7SE4ALLYouth investment Previous articleKoeberg Nuclear Power Station containment buildings suffer damageNext articleEnergy for economic reconstruction & recovery forms State of Nation Address Nicolette Pombo-van ZylAs the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention. Over 30 institutions took part, including Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Indian Institute of Science, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Brazil, Enel Group, Camco Clean Energy and the ASEAN Centre for Energy. New SE4ALL campaign and scholarship launched BRICS RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR A highlight of the Summit was the Troubleshooting for SDG7 Finals, which called for youth-led technology or policy ideas to support SDG7 progress. Have you read?Nigerian universities to sport Africa’s largest solar hybrid project Launched by SEforALL ahead of the event, 133 proposals from representatives of 42 countries were received, and three finalists from Cameroon, Nigeria and China were identified by a panel of judges. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA In her closing remarks, Damilola Ogunbiyi also announced a new upcoming campaign from SEforALL. The ‘Be Bold’ campaign will launch in March to promote more ambitious progress on SDG7. UN Young Leader for the SDGs, AY Young, who performed his song ‘Save the Planet’ at the Summit, was also announced as the Youth Champion for the campaign. More than 2,000 delegates from over 120 countries registered for the Youth Summit to discuss topics including gender equality, industrialisation and clean cooking access to support progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – and the Paris Agreement on climate. AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector The summit concluded on 11 February hosted by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) in partnership with the Clean Cooking Alliance and EM-ONE Energy Solutions – and organised by youth, for youth. Finance and Policy
March 1, 2013 Associate Editor Regular News Governor’s budget calls for bonuses, new judges Governor’s budget calls for bonuses, new judgesMegan E. Davis Associate EditorWhile he didn’t heed the state courts’ request for across-the-board raises for court employees, Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed 2013-14 budget does include a pool of bonus money aimed at all state workers. “I don’t believe there have been any pay adjustments for the majority of the state workforce over the last several years,” said Bonnie Rogers, policy coordinator for the Public Safety Policy Unit in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget. “I know the state attorneys and the public defenders are having some tremendous challenges with retention issues, and we’re very sensitive to that.”Her words came during a presentation to the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, shortly after the governor released his budget last month.Rather than raises, the governor proposed three bonus plans for employees.The first $167.5 million plan, tied to a reduction in the unemployment rate, would fund $1,200 bonuses for all state employees. An additional $147.9 million plan targets top performers, allowing $5,000 bonuses for employees who receive outstanding performance evaluations and $2,500 for those who receive commendable evaluations.“We believe that’s a good start,” Rogers said.In a meeting several days later, State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice that the $5.5 million request for a 3.5 percent salary adjustment for all state court employees remains a top priority of the chief justice.“This is a very serious problem in our branch,” she said. “We find ourselves running about 10 percent behind other competing government employers in terms of what we can offer our employees.”Goodner also suggested the proposed bonus programs be adjusted to include 989 judicial assistants who under the court system’s personnel regulations do not receive performance evaluations.“If we go that route, we definitely want to work out some sort of way to include judicial assistants in any type of increase that is given to other employees,” she said.Though it contains no raises for employees, the governor’s proposal includes $4.2 million for courthouse repairs, which is also a court priority.Scott’s recommended funding for a new roof for the Supreme Court would mean no more moving containers around to catch rain falling through the original 1948 roof.Additional repairs to three district courts of appeal include replacing air handlers and HVAC units.The budget proposal also attempted to meet the courts partway in a request for new judgeships.The governor recommends $4.4 million for 20 new judges, including one district court of appeal judge, 13 circuit court judges, and six county judges, along with judicial support staff.The courts originally requested 64 new judges, though both Rogers and Goodner said their offices worked together to identify the most critical need for judgeships within the court system.The governor’s $438 million suggested court budget also includes several other items sought by the courts.It proposes $4 million to continue working through the state’s foreclosure backlog. It would fund the second of a four-year program to resolve foreclosure cases that piled up following the housing market bust in 2008. The money would be used to hire retired judges in order to work through an additional 160,000 cases in the 2013-14 year.Additionally, the budget includes $5.5 million to continue eight drug court pilot programs — in Broward, Escambia, Hillsborough, Marion, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, and Volusia counties — targeted to a specific population at risk of ending up in prison.Federal drug court funding of about $11 million expires on June 30. If the pilots do not continue, these drug offenders will likely end up in prison, with higher rates of recidivism and higher costs.While a cell in prison costs $53.34 per day per inmate, the daily costs of the drug court is $20 for each participant.
Allen & OveryOver the past decade several US firms have entered the London market through mergers, or used a merger to scale up, according to research by Møller PSF Group. There have also been transatlantic ‘mergers of equals’, including between Norton Rose and US firm Fulbright & Jaworski in 2012; Dentons with Atlanta-based law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge in 2015; and Eversheds with US firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan last year.Los-Angeles-headquartered O’Melveny has over 700 lawyers in 15 offices worldwide, including a London office at Paternoster Square in the City. Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy is understood to be in merger talks with US outfit O’Melveny & Myers. A combination of the duo would create a transatlantic giant with 3,000 lawyers and revenues of £2bn. Legal Week, which broke the news on Friday evening, said details of the talks have been contained with a small group of senior figures, although A&O is said to have told partners in January that the Magic Circle firm was in talks with several US firms about a merger.In a statement, A&O said: ’While we have said for several years that we are open to considering a merger with the right partner in the US, we talk to many law firms in many countries all the time and we do not comment on market speculation and rumours regarding any particular firm.’
“We know that with our large region there is travel required for various procedures and tests, and being able to offer MRIs to people in the northwest and northeast we can reduce some of the travel burden,” said Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health’s chief executive officer and president. “The 10-year strategy for medical imaging will evolve over time as technology changes and this is a first step in enhanced medical imaging opportunities in our communities.”The cost for all 3 machines as well as installation is $8.3 million. The funding will be provided by the province of BC, 3 regional hospital districts and Northern Health. Local foundations can also contribute should they choose to join in the partnership.The 10-year plan will help with MRI as well as Ultrasound imaging. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health is making significant progress in bringing MRI machines to Fort St. John as well as Terrace.The Request for Proposals has been completed and the tender has been awarded for 3 MRI imaging machines. This is all apart of the Northern Health 10-year medical imaging strategy.Siemens has been awarded the tender. They will now be meeting with Northern Health officials to develop the plan for installation as well as commissioning.“We support Northern Health’s commitment to bringing the best care closer to people’s homes,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Our government has made a commitment to help deliver this service for residents, and the successful completion of the RFP for the new MRIs will allow us to better serve the people of northern B.C.”- Advertisement -They first looked at mobile MRI machines, but after the tender was awarded and commitment from the Regional Hospital Districts, they have decided to go with permanent machines.Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace and the Fort St. John Hospital and Health Centre will receive new MRIs, and University Hospital of Northern BC will replace their current MRI machine, which is the oldest in BC.Advertisement
South Africa’s North West province has called on interested farming communities to apply to participate in the final phase of a stock farming development project, which gives successful applicants 24 Nguni cattle in the form of a loan, before the end of June 2010.The Nguni cattle have been chosen specifically because they are an indigenous breed and can thrive under difficult conditions. (Image: Storm Signal)Brand South Africa reporterThe project is a partnership between the North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Rural Development, the Industrial Development Corporation and the North West University’s Mafikeng campus, and has shown remarkable growth since its inception four years ago.Project manager Andrew Mathe says all interested farmers must fill in application forms which are available from all local development centres and district offices. They should then be submitted for a selection process that includes short listing of potential beneficiaries, interviews and an on-site visit by the provincial technical committee to verify information provided by applicants.The province is urging especially young aspirant farmers and female farmers to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for participation.Participation criteriaThe set criteria for participation in the project includes sufficient land to accommodate livestock numbers at recommended rates; that applicants must be in possession of certified proof indicating ownership, lease-right or use-right of the land for the five year-long duration of the project; that livestock must be managed in a controlled environment; and that commitment to the project and that daily supervision of livestock must be ensured.“There are however specific exclusions for participation in the project,” explained Mathe in a statement this week.“Where personnel and their immediate families of participating institutions, all public servants and their immediate families and communities currently benefitting from any beef projects originating from the participating institutions are prohibited from participating in the project.”For each successful application, 24 Nguni cattle – 23 heifers and one bull – are handed over in a form of a loan. Each beneficiary will enter into a contract, committing to return back to the project 11 heifers and a bull after five years and keep the remaining number and any progeny resulting from efficient management of the herd.Successful applicants receive 24 Nguni cattle – 23 heifers and one bull – in the form of a loan. (Image: IDC)Reintroducing Nguni cattleThe main objective of this project is to reintroduce the Nguni breed of cattle into the province in large numbers, focusing specifically on emerging black farmers. The project is aimed at empowering these farmers with livestock farming skills and developing their entrepreneurship abilities.The Nguni cattle have been chosen specifically because they are an indigenous breed and can thrive under difficult conditions. They are easy to maintain because of their low cost input, are reputed to have high fertility rates, and can withstand adverse conditions and diseases than other breed of cattle.More than hundred beneficiaries from all districts in the province, who include both individuals and communities, have benefited from this project since its inception in 2006.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
15 July 2014 South Africa’s new immigration rules will allow for more efficient issuing of visas and easier sourcing of critical skills from overseas, while reducing the country’s vulnerability to the security threats of the modern world, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said in Cape Town on Tuesday. Gigaba was speaking during his department’s budget vote debate in Parliament, a day after the official opening of the new Johannesburg Visa Facilitation Centre, one of 11 new visa facilitation centres designed to efficiently implement the country’s new immigration rules. The rules, which came into effect in May, include the requirements that visa applications be made by applicants in person – so that biometric data (fingerprints and photographs) can reliably be collected – and that minors travel with their own passports as well as unabridged birth certificates. Immigration practitioners and other representatives of the tourism sector have expressed concern about the potential effect of the new rules on South Africa’s tourism industry.No ‘Afro-phobic’ agenda at play Gigaba rejected these concerns on Tuesday, saying: “Opportunistically, South Africa is being advised to drop or relax visa requirements in a world where they are required of South Africans when travelling abroad and where security has become a matter of global concern. “We reject with contempt any suggestion that these regulations are part of an ‘Afrophobic’ agenda to keep Africans – or any nationality, for that matter – out of South Africa.” Gigaba said South Africa had not terminated any visa waiver agreements it currently enjoyed with other countries, and was keen to forge more such agreements “as we are satisfied that more African countries are conducting civic registration of their nationals”.‘Now easier to attract critical skills’ Further, he said, the new immigration regulations would make it easier for South Africa to attract the critical skills it needed from overseas, as foreign nationals with such skills could now be granted a critical skills visa even without having a job, allowing them to enter the country and seek work for up to 12 months. “For some time now, business stakeholders have been asking for families of workers to be considered as a unit, an international best practice which the new regulations now include,” Gigaba added. “These specific improvements, and our commitment to responsiveness to business needs in general, will make it easier for South Africa to attract the critical skills and investment our economy needs.”New visa facilitation centres Speaking at the opening of the new visa facilitation centre in Johannesburg on Monday, Gigaba said the centre, along with 10 others across the country, would efficiently implement the new immigration rules while making life easier for foreign tourists, business people, workers or students who need extended or altered visas within a short space of time. VFS Global, a specialist service provider for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide, has been contracted to automate and run the visa application process, including managing the call centre and the 11 facilitation centres spread across South Africa’s nine provinces. Foreigners in South Africa who, for example, need to extend their temporary residence visas for study or work, can now apply online and set up an appointment before visiting the nearest facilitation centre to submit their personal biometrics (fingerprints and photographs). Handling and visa fees will all be paid electronically. “All of this constitutes a radical departure from the existing mode of manual application processes that are responsible for inefficiencies within the permitting environment, creating massive inconveniences to clients,” Gigaba said, adding that results were already starting to show. “Where previously our eight-week turnaround time was frequently missed, already applicants who applied for visas and permits in mid-June are beginning to receive decisions. An indication of the enthusiastic response to the new system is that 4 000 applications were received in June alone.”Standard practice abroad Although VFS Global will be responsible for processing visa applications, the decision to approve or reject applications still lies with the Department of Home Affairs. “We exercise full control over the decision-making processes to ensure that our national interests and security imperatives are served at all times,” Gigaba said. The department has already introduced such centres in a number of its high-volume missions abroad – including its missions in China, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria – where it had previously struggled to cut down on long queues and long turn-around times. “While we remain committed to helping the country create a climate conducive for investment and to assist in bringing critical skills to contribute to economic development, it remains critical for us as a country to upgrade security, in the interest of our citizens and foreign nationals in the country, as is the case everywhere else in the world,” Gigaba said. He urged visa applicants “to bear with us, as this system is still new and is bound to confront some technical glitches. This is only natural, and with time it will be addressed and everyone will be happy.” SAinfo reporter
6 February 2015A C130 military aircraft landed in Pretoria in the early hours of Friday morning, 6 February, containing the bodies of the remaining victims of the building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria.“The mortal remains of the outstanding 11 compatriots who perished on 12 September 2014 when the Scoan [Synagogue Church of All Nations] guesthouse collapsed in Nigeria are all back,” Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said shortly after the aircraft landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base.The bodies were brought back to the country by a team of military health personnel and forensic pathologists who had departed about 9pm on 2 February. Some 81 South Africans were killed and 25 were injured when the multi-storey building collapsed in Lagos nearly five months ago.Following the disaster, President Jacob Zuma appointed an inter-ministerial committee to oversee the government’s response and to ensure the injured and the deceased were returned to South Africa.The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) co-ordinated the various role players and led the technical planning for the identification and repatriation of the deceased and the return of injured South Africans.In November 2014, 74 bodies were repatriated and a formal reception ceremony was held for the families of the victims. At the time, 11 bodies had not been positively identified and could not be repatriated.“The mortal remains are now back. The families can now close the chapter as we are closing it today so that the last rites are performed so they can bury them with dignity,” Radebe said.He thanked Zuma for establishing the task team to deal with repatriation process, and acknowledged NatJoints, medical personnel, scientists, officials from the Department of Social Development and members of the South African Police Service.He was grateful for the assistance of the government of Nigeria in the identification and repatriation.The 11 bodies are expected to be transported to the nearest government mortuaries in the provinces where the families live.The government has encouraged anyone in need of grief counselling services to call the Social Development Department’s toll-free number on 0800 428 428, or to send a “Please call me” text message to *120*7867#. A professional counsellor will return their call. The grief counselling services are available freely.Source: SAnews.gov
New safes for controlled substances anticipated to help reduce robbery incidents CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, announced today that it has completed the rollout of time delay safes in all of its 186 CVS Pharmacy locations in Alabama.The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees… Yahoo! Finance Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
The limelight continues to shine on the City of Brotherly Love, which was just ranked among the top 50 places in the world — top seven in the U.S.! — by Travel + Leisure. Beating out New York City, Los Angeles and many other major cities, Philadelphia gets recognition for its thriving, diversified, old-meets-young atmosphere and destination-worthy (but neighborhood-rooted) restaurants. The editors even call out Philly in the article’s intro, saying this city may surprise visitors “with the amount of growth and development it has seen in recent years.””Philadelphia, in particular, may surprise you with the amount of growth and development it has seen…”South Philly’s East Passyunk neighborhood receives particular attention with mentions of South Philly Barbacoa (one of the best new restaurants in America, according to Bon Appetit), ITV — Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi’s latest endeavor — and Townsend, a highly rated modern French restaurant.The article also looks to the future of Philadelphia with mentions of the opening-this-spring Museum of the American Revolution and the grand opening of hotels from major chains like SLS, the W and the Four Season.Travel + Leisure’s full article goes on to name the best places to visit in 2017 around the world, making Philly not just a top contender in the U.S. but also among destinations around the globe. While listed between the beautiful beaches of Australia and the Pisco Provinces of Peru, Philly easily stands its own – are there really many better, more attainable places to go for a long-weekend trip in the United States?Check out the full article and let us know your favorite part about Philadelphia!MORE INFO50 Best Places To Travel In 2017 [Travel + Leisure]
As the saying goes, ‘you can take a Punjabi away from Punjab, but you can never take away Punjab from a Punjabi’. And the Punjabi diaspora across the globe stays true to that claim. Known to be courageous and enterprising, many Punjabis have made a mark globally. simply punjabi brings,As the saying goes, ‘you can take a Punjabi away from Punjab, but you can never take away Punjab from a Punjabi’. And the Punjabi diaspora across the globe stays true to that claim. Known to be courageous and enterprising, many Punjabis have made a mark globally. simply punjabi brings to you five such people who are achievers in their respective fields and are currently in the news. Though they are settled in different countries, their hearts beat for their soil in Punjab.Gill with his Italian shotgunSohrab Singh Gill, 23, shooterHe romances the gun and shooting is his passion. Sohrab Singh Gill grew up with guns all around him-his father Paramdeep Singh Gill is a Jammu and Kashmir-cadre Indian Police Service officer who served most of his term in the strife-torn valley and is today the director general of Punjab Police.”The guns and their sound fascinated me,” says Gill who took to shooting seriously at 16. “I started with rifle shooting but gradually began liking the shotgun. It was challenging shooting at flying targets,” says Gill. He is the only Indian to have won an international skeet medal at any event held outside India.Gill, currently pursuing his LLB from Chandigarh’s Panjab University, took it up as he could devote more time for his shooting. For four hours every day Gill practices his aim. The game demands a high level of concentration. “Also, you need good eye-hand coordination,” says Gill. Shooting, says Gill, is a very unforgiving sport: “You miss out on certain events and you are gone. You have to work hard throughout.”advertisementTuli shows off his invention, the UbisurferSuneet S. Tuli, 42, businessmanIt’s rather uncommon to find a mix of entrepreneurial moxie and humility in anyone. But Toronto-based Suneet Singh Tuli is an exception. Meet the man who virtually has the world in his palm. Aimed at leading an internet revolution in India he recently launched the Ubisurfer with free Internet. Tuli, the founder and CEO of DataWind Ltd, has had 20 years as an entrepreneur.Last few years Tuli has been focussed on providing affordable Internet to the consumer. He knows not all Indians can afford to spend over Rs 25,000 on a computer and an additional few thousands on an Internet connection. Hence, he has priced his UbiSurfer, (an internet-connected netbook) at an affordable Rs 7,999. Apart from being a netbook, it includes a CDMA modem Tata SIM and a free Internet connection for a year at 30 hours per month. “India is a different market with vast volumes and different needs. Now only a small portion have access to the net which ought to grow exponentially,” says Tuli, confident that the combination of fast and free access to the net will be a winner here.Brar on the sets of his filmKaran Brar, 11, actorHis teachers often visit him on the sets and his parents and grandparents just can’t keep the smile off their faces. But signing up three films with the famous production house 20th Century Fox is no reason to cry, is it? Karan Brar from Seattle, Washington, is the first 11-year-old Punjabi sikh who has in his kitty the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel. The film, based on the best-selling illustrated novel Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, chronicles the adventures of wisecracking middle school student Greg Heffley. Brar essayes the role of the second lead, a character by the name ‘Chirag Gupta’ in this movie.Greatly inspired by father Harry Brar, who acted in theatre during his college days, Brar fell in love with acting when he was only seven. His interest developed when he participated in Hollywood’s famous acting competition, IPOP (International Presentation of Performers), where he received rave reviews. His first acting assignment was an ad film for Shell Gas. “Actually, I hated acting as a seven year old. My dad inspired me so I did acting and I realised it was my talent,” smiles Brar.Bajwa strikes a poseNeeru Bajwa, 29, actorHer Bollywood debut was opposite Viveik Oberoi in Prince. An ex-runner up, Miss India Canada, her performances in Punjabi films like Dil Apna Punjabi, Heer Ranjha, Munde U.K. De, and now, the recently released Mel Kara de Rabba has been widely appreciated.Neeru Bajwa, a pretty and charming Punjabi model turned actress, has always been fond of acting ever since she can remember. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Bajwa strated out with a serial Hari Mirchi Laal Mirchi on Doordarshan.From a tender age, Bajwa has been interested in her culture and language and wanted to pursue acting in India. “I am thankful to my family for making me familiar with my native languages. Had I not been fluent in Hindi and Punjabi, I wouldn’t have ever thought of entering the Indian film industry,” says Bajwa.advertisementAccording to her, the Punjabi film industry is getting professional by the day, which really contributes towards the positive growth of the industry. “So far, my experience doing Punjabi films has been great,” she says and adds, “I had a great time working with Harbhajan Mann in Heer Ranjha for which I had to do a lot of research,” she says.Momi with her artworkTanya Momi, 49, artistA prolific painter and a successful salon owner in Mountain View, California, Tanya Momi rebuilt the pieces of her life after a traumatic marriage and divorce. Born into an intellectual sikh family in Chandigarh, Momi, a sensitive, shy child, showed an early talent for artistic expression. Thereafter, Momi earned her bachelors degree in art.”As a young woman, I was passionate about art,” says Momi, and adds, “My favourites were figure drawings and cubist paintings, techniques that have strongly influenced my painting style.”However, Momi lost touch with her artistic side when she got married and moved to California at 22. Rigid and orthodox, her in-laws didn’t allow her to pursue her passion or to step outside. However, on a neighbour’s suggestion of becoming a manicurist, the in-laws saw her as a money-maker and relented.After her divorce, Tanya was shunned by the women of her own community and propositioned by men. “I wasn’t swept asunder because of the faith in my gurus. In fact, many of my paintings display passages from the Guru Granth Sahib,” says Momi. Today, she has finished nearly 300 unique paintings. “I don’t have any artists I relate to,” she says. “My life is my inspiration.” n by Arvind Chhabra, Monita Sharma and Anandita Gupta