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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some people think that cultural traditions may be destroyed when they are used as money-making attractions aimed at tourists. Others believe it is the only way to save these traditions. Discuss on both sides and give your opinion.

It is irrefutable that cultural traditions attract tourists from all over the world and develop local economy. Some individuals are of the opinion that these may be destroyed if they are modified to attract tourists. Others, however, hold the view that if we don’t use them for tourism, they will die. In the following paragraphs, I shall discuss both sides of the argument.

We have to make these cultural traditions alluring for tourists because we need tourists. Firstly, tourism boosts our economy and secondly we get a chance to spread our culture to different countries. If our artists and artisans do not earn money from their art, which depicts our culture and tradition, then this art will die off and we’ll only be the losers.

Tourism is the backbone of any country’s economy and every country does their effort to attract tourists. Many people depend on tourism for their livelihood. People in the food industry, hotel industry and transport industry depend on tourism. Presentation is very important to attract visitors and to present nicely, some change is inevitable.

On the other hand, when cultural traditions are used as money-making attractions, they lose their original features. Sometimes it makes cultural traditions disappear altogether. However, I believe that culture and tradition are deep rooted and minor superficial changes cannot harm them in any way. Change is the law of nature and all we should look into is that the changes are made with caution to retain the inherent elements of culture.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, to save cultural traditions we need to make some changes to make them alluring to the tourist of today. If we don’t do so we’ll lose our cultural traditions altogether and we’ll lose our tourists also.

It is generally believed that education is of vital importance to the development of individuals and the well-being of societies. What should education consist of to fulfil both these functions?

It is irrefutable that education is of crucial significance to the progress of people and societies. It has been well said that – ‘Education is a companion which, no future can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate and no nepotism can enslave.’
In the following paragraphs I shall discuss how education can benefit individuals and societies.

First of all education should impart professional knowledge. Such knowledge enables individuals to earn a livelihood. In this way they are benefited themselves and also they can look after their families better. This leads to better societies because an educated society is a crime free society. People are self-sufficient and so do not need to go on the path of crime.

Physical education should also be provided by a well-rounded education. It is a well known fact that healthy individuals would make a healthy society. Good health is a basic human need and for the holistic development of individuals, physical education should be incorporated in school curricula.
Education should also teach moral values. This makes us adaptive to society. There is less violence and less crime in society is there if people are educated. They become more open minded and live in harmony with each other. Moral science should be a compulsory subject till high school level.

Finally, today environmental education is the need of the hour. All schools should have mandatory lessons on saving the environment. Small steps can go a long way in saving energy. Energy saved is energy generated. We all have to do away with some luxuries if we want a better tomorrow.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that education should have professional, physical, moral and environmental education. After all, ‘Education is not the filling up of a pail but the lighting up of a fire’. A well-rounded education consisting of all the above components would benefit both the individual and the society.

Some people think visitors to others countries should imitate local customs and behaviours. Some people disagree; they think the host country should welcome cultural differences. Discuss the two views and give your opinion.

Today, with the passage of time each and every country is on the path of development, and with this development there is a growing trend of visiting different places in different countries. It is a highly debated issue whether tourists should do and behave as the people of the host country or should the host country accept visitors as they are. Both situations have their own pros and cons which I shall discuss in this essay.

There are many benefits of adopting host countries customs. Firstly, it decreases chances of misunderstanding and embarrassment. For e.g. in the UK it is offensive to ask about pay to anyone, which is common in India. Secondly, a nation’s customs and traditions are fascinating and offer a deep insight into that country. People visit other countries to broaden their horizon. So, if tourists copy the customs of host country, they learn more about them and that too in an interesting way. Finally, visitors establish a rapport with local people because people feel respected when their customs are understood and imitated. They become a member of the host country and so they don’t suffer any culture shock.

On the other hand there are many reasons why a host country should tolerate and embrace foreign culture. To begin with, no country should cling to its own customs and traditions and accept the new customs and traditions brought by visitors. Secondly, there should be no binding on the visitors to adopt the customs and traditions of the hosts. For example, if the visitors are pure vegetarians, they should not be forced to eat non-vegetarian food just because the host country’s people eat that.

On balance, I feel that someone who is moving to another country should respect the customs, culture, traditions etc. of that country. This is necessary because a newcomer is like a guest in someone else's home. So he is expected to follow the rules of that country. However, it is not reasonable to compel a believer of certain religion to ignore his religion in order to comply with the local customs.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, mutual understanding between both the visitor and the host is necessary to maintain harmony. A cosmopolitan society in which everyone is tolerant of each other’s customs and traditions is the need of the day. After all, today, we are part of a small global village and not a big planet Earth.

Some important speaking questions with possible answers

1. Where do you come from?
2. Tell me about your home town
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of living there?
4. Transport system in your home town
5. The places worth visiting in your home town
6. What are the changes that have come to your home town?
7. What is the one thing you like the most of your home town?
8. What is the one thing you don’t like the most of your home town?
I come from Phagwara.
It is about 20 km. from Jalandhar and 40 kms from Ludhiana.
I’ve been staying there for the last 20 years/ since my birth.
It is on the National Highway.
There are many advantages of staying in my home town.
As it is on the National Highway so it is well connected by road and rail to other places.
Moreover there are good markets and malls where we can buy almost anything.
The transport system of my home town is very good.
You can go anywhere by bus, train, taxi or your own car or scooter.
The disadvantage is that there is no super-specialty hospital here.
There are many places worth-visiting in my hometown.
There is a historical Shiv Mandir and two historical gurudwaras related to the 6th Guru of the Sikhs – Guru Hargobind ji.
Many recent changes have taken place in my home town.
Firstly, a flyover over a railway crossing has been built.
A by-pass on the Jalandhar Phagwara road has been built.
The bus stand and the railway station have been renovated.
Many new shopping malls have opened.
The first private university of my state has opened in my home town.
The first two changes have improved the traffic problems of my home town.
The one thing I like about my home town is that it is virtually pollution free. People are very hospitable and it is a calm and quiet place.
One thing I dislike about my home town is that there is no good cinema hall where I can go with my friends and watch movies.
9. Why do you appear for IELTS?
I appear for IELTS because I want to go abroad to pursue my higher studies/ to get a good job there. This way I hope to earn more and give a better future to my family.
10. Tell me about your family.
( own answer )
11. Who is more important, father or mother?
Both are equally important. For my financial needs I depend on my father and for my emotional needs I depend on my mother.
12. Do you have any brothers/ sisters
( own answer )
13. What are advantages and disadvantages of having brothers and sisters?
a. We can share our feelings with each other.
b. They are our best guides in times of dilemmas. ( situations when you have to make a difficult choice)
c. They are good companions as nowadays both parents are working so brothers and sisters share each other’s solitude.
Disadvantage :
a. You have to share your things
b. Love of parents is divided

14. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being eldest brother/ sister?
a. you are respected by younger siblings
b. you are given importance in family matters
a. You have to share your things
b. Love of parents is divided. Sometimes younger siblings get all the parents love.
c. when something wrong happens you get all the discredit for it.
15. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being youngest brother/ sister?
a. you are loved and pampered by all
b. you get what you want from your elder brothers and sisters also.
a. you get to wear hand-me-downs.
b. You are given no importance in family matters.
16. How do people of your home town keep themselves healthy?
The people of my home town are very health conscious. There are free yoga classes in the morning. Many people regularly go for morning walks. Gym culture is very popular with the youth and children play outdoor games.
17. What do most people do in your home town?
All sorts of work are done in my home town. There are government offices, banks, industries and educational institutes in my home town. People run their own businesses and also work in the private and public sector.
18. How do people of your home town spend their free time?
People of my home town spend their free time in various ways. The elderly go for walks and sit in parks and chat with each other. Women chat with each other, watch TV soaps, men usually join some social clubs and charitable organizations and children play outdoor games and watch TV. Gyms are very popular among the youth.
19. How do children of your home town spend their free time?
Now – Children spend their free time by watching TV. I think they don’t get much free time. Whatever time they get they spend in front in front of TV. They do not play outdoor games. So health suffers.
50 years ago– They had enough time to play. They played with friends and cousins. Their health was perfect.
In future – I don’t think children will have any free time. All the time they will get will be in front of computer. It will not be good for their health.
20. Do men and women differ in their ways of spending free time?
Yes, men and women differ in their ways of spending free time. Women chat with each other, watch TV soaps, men usually join some social clubs and charitable organizations
21. What was it, say, some 50 years ago?
50 years ago, people were far more relaxed than today. Life was slower; there was no TV and children had fewer distractions. Women spent free time by chatting with each other while doing embroidery, knitting and crocheting. Men also grouped with men of similar tastes and discussed general topics. Children played with neighbouring children and cousins. The elderly helped in household chores and told stories to their grand children.
22. A festival celebrated in your home town.
Diwali or Deepawali is a Hindu festival of lights.
The word Deepawali literally means rows of diyas (clay lamps).
It is a family festival.
It is celebrated 20 days after Dussehra
It is celebrated to commemorate the return of lord Rama to his kingdom after 14 years of exile.
It is also meant to celebrate the destruction of arrogant tyrant Bali at the hands of Vishnu.
Another reason for the celebration of Diwali is that the 6th guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Ji, was set free from Gwalior jail along with 52 kings on this day.
On this day twinkling oil lamps or diyas light up every home and there are numerous firework displays.
Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom is worshipped in most Hindu homes.
Goddess Lakshmi, who is the symbol of wealth and prosperity is also worshipped. Spring cleaning and whitewashing of the houses is done.
Rangolis (decorative designs) are painted on the walls and floor.
New clothes are bought and family members and relatives gather together to offer prayers, distribute sweets and to light up their houses.
There are some bad practices also followed on this day. Some people resort to drinking and gambling which is not good.
23. A famous person of your home town.
I belong to Phagwara.
It is a small but famous town of Punjab.
There are many famous people in my hometown like industrialists, politicians, social workers etc.
Here I’m going to talk about Mr. Hardayal Singh.
He is an octagenarian, in fact in his late 80s(eightees).
He has a medium built and is usually seen on his bicycle.
Even at this age he carries himself very well and doesn’t suffer from ailments like hypertension and diabetes.
He has a smile on his face always.
He is always willing to help others.
He is blessed with two sons and runs a shoe store in the main market with them. He took active part in the freedom fight of India in 1947.
He is drawing pension as a freedom fighter from the Govt. of India.
Even today he is honoured at all public events like Independence day and Republic day.
24. An old man of your home town.
Because of better healthcare and better foods available, the number of octagenarians and centenarians is increasing day by day.
There are many old men in my home town but here I’m going to talk about Mr Hardayal Singh. -----
25. What are the superstitions of your home town?
What do you mean by superstitions?
How they spread. = psychological
Superstitions are blind beliefs. People believe them without questioning. These beliefs are handed over from generation to generation. Some are universal.
If a black cat crosses your way then it will bring bad luck or good luck. It has psychological effect.
If you set out on journey and if you are called from behind it brings bad luck.
The number 13 is universally considered unlucky.
There are two superstitions – one type have no logical reasoning. They are irrational
e.g. if you see a crow taking bath you will hear of death soon.
Some have logical validity
e.g. if you spill milk it brings bad luck. So you are careful not to spill milk.
What is the antidote to superstition
Knowledge that brings wisdom is the only antidote to superstition. As knowledge increases superstitions decrease.
Superstition is the religion of the feeble minds. – Edmund Burke

26. Do you think people are less superstitious these days?
As science and technology is advancing, superstitions should become less and less but what is generally seen is that old superstitions are paving way for new ones.
27. What types of TV programmes do most people of your home town watch?
People of my HT watch all types of TV programmes. This varies by age and gender. The elderly watch religious channels like Aastha, shradha and sanskar. Children watch cartoon and movie channels, ladies watch soaps and sitcoms while gents watch business and news channels. Nowadays sitcoms like The great Indian Laughter show and Comedy circus are popular with all ages.
28. What are common health problems of your home town?
Water borne diseases like typhoid and jaundice are very common in my HT. Obesity is a universal health problem these days and my HT is no exception. Problems of old age like hypertension and diabetes are also there.
29. Tell me about your school.
My first school was in the town where I live/lived.
It was built in the 1960s and had large airy classrooms and, next to it, some excellent playing fields.
When you went into the building, there was a huge hall on the left where we had our daily gym class and morning assembly.
On the right was the principal’s room next to the reception.
In front of the principal’s room was the staff room.
The classrooms were off two large corridors.
Each classroom was identical.
The teacher sat behind a large desk at the front of the class.
Behind her was the blackboard.
Opposite her were six or seven rows of desks where we sat.
When I sat there at the age of four, the school had only one storey, but by the time I left school, at the age of fifteen, there were three storeys and a new wing was also added.
Other things added were
- library
- computer room
- concrete stage for annual functions
30. Tell me about your friends in the school.(Tell me about your best friend)
I had many friends in school.
My best friend is Sukhninder.
I met him when I was in the 4th class, in the Government Primary school where I studied.
I like him because he is an honest and straightforward person.
He has a very helping mentality.
Whenever I was in trouble he used to come and help me.
He tried to understand me.
He never fought with me.
In class I was weak at maths and he used to help me.
I had a very bad handwriting and he helped me to improve my handwriting also. He had the habit of reading.
His father had subscribed to the Reader’s digest magazine.
I started reading because of him.
He is a very loving, caring and affectionate person.
So he became a very intimate friend.
He is now in America and we are in touch through e-mail.
Whenever he comes here he comes to meet me.
We share our nostalgic memories of the past days with each other.

31. What are the changes that have come over to the friendship now
Earlier friendships were very pure and based on love and trust but today it is very difficult to find true friends. The ugly claws of commercialism have crept into friendship. We live in an era of liberalization, privatization and globalization and so friendships today are based on utility rather than on qualities of a person. The other person is judged on how he can be of any help to you. Friendships of today are simply thinner than before. It is rare to find true friends today. Today, the friendship is based more on utility than love. Moreover, today, face-to-face relationships have been replaced by net relationships.
32. A teacher you liked the most in the school
A teacher I like the most is Mr Thomas Mathew.
I met him when I was in 5th class.
He taught me Math.
He taught math in such a way that I began to love it.
Before that I was weak at maths.
He was very tall and attractive.
He, unlike other teachers, always had a smiling face.
He understood our problems and tried to solve them.
That is the reason why I like him.
He always encouraged us to take part in extracurricular activities also.
Whenever I had any doubts I used to run to him:
even now I go to him in times of need.
33. The last day of your school
An unforgettable incident in your school days.
An unforgettable incident in your life
My last day at school was a very memorable one.
I remember vividly the date also.
It was the 6th of February.
Our juniors had organised a farewell party for us.
We all were very excited about that day.
In fact most of us had bought new clothes for that day.
Our principal and all teachers were also invited.
Our juniors had many surprises for us up their sleeve.
They had many awards for us also.
We all were all asked to perform on the stage.
It could be a mono-acting or a joke or a song.
Everyone was doing rather well.
When my turn came I became very nervous.
It was stage fright.
I had never performed on stage before.
My legs were shaking.
As I went up the stage I tripped and fell face down on the stage.
Everyone burst into peals of laughter.
It was the most embarrassing moment for me.
I too started laughing.
I realised that if you have the courage to laugh at yourself others don’t laugh at you anymore and that’s the best way to overcome embarrassment.
I told them all a joke.
As I started speaking I realised that all my nervousness flew away and everyone enjoyed my performance.
Guess what? I won the best boy/girl award too. It was the happiest moment of my life and the most unforgettable one too.
We had a lot of refreshments too and danced a lot on that day.
It was very painful. It was as if one of my limbs had been amputated.
34. How do you compare your friends in school and college
In school time, the relations are very innocent and very intimate. We fight over small things and forget the fights the very next minute. The school friendships however do not last long. If we do not meet for a long time, our relations can go into oblivion.
In college, we always meet with a distance but we are mature enough to remember friendships.
35. How do you compare your teachers in school and college
In school, teachers are like parents. They punish us also.
In college, we have lecturers. They come, deliver the lecture and go. They don’t care about us.
BUT – they are more accessible. In school time we are afraid of our teachers.
36. Have you ever gone to your school after you have finished the studies?
I’m afraid I did not get chance to go to my school after finishing studies.
37. What games did you play in school?
I used to play many games in school. I played badminton and hide-and-seek in school
38. A competition you have taken part in school.
An unforgettable incident in your school days.
I was a very average student at school.
I did not take part in many competitions
But, once when I was in tenth class, I took part in a declamation contest
Our school had organized a science fair
I spoke on the topic of global warming – its causes and effects
There were many contestants
Everyone was doing rather well
When my turn came I felt very nervous
I think it was stage-fright
I had never performed on stage before
As I went up the stage, I tripped and fell face down on the stage
Everyone burst into peals of laughter
I started laughing too
And guess what!
All my nervousness flew away
I started speaking,
I had prepared the speech rather well
I told them about the causes and effects of Global warming
I told them how we humans are the cause and we humans can lessen it
My speech lasted 5 minutes
Everyone clapped a lot when I finished
I won the first prize
It added to my self confidence
39. A punishment you received as a student.
I remember, once I did not do my math homework. My teacher made me stand outside in the scorching sun for half an hour. I remember I was on the verge of fainting at the end of that half hour. But never again did I forget my homework.
40. A story you have heard as a child.
A story I’ve heard as a child is of a thirsty crow.
Once upon a time there was a crow.
The crow was very intelligent.
One day it became very thirsty.
It wanted to quench its thirst.
It looked for water everywhere.
But nowhere could it find the water.
Then it found a pitcher with a little water at the bottom.
The crow could not reach the water.
It pondered and immediately hit upon an idea.
It gathered pebbles and dropped them in the pitcher.
The water level rose.
It drank the water and quenched its thirst.
The moral of the story is that at the time of adversity you’ve to use your wits.
41. A failure in the test conducted in the school that has worried you the most.
I used to procrastinate a lot when I was at school. I always got good marks but I used to study at the eleventh hour. I remember once when I was in 8th class, I had my history test. As usual, I had to study one day before the exam. But some unexpected guests arrived that day. I had to help my mother in the kitchen. I could not even study at night because I had to sleep in the lobby because the guests were put up in my room. So, I failed in the test. That was a good lesson for me because after that I became very conscientious and never procrastinated as far as studies were concerned.
42. A letter you have received.
I’m afraid, I’ve never received a conventional letter, but I receive a lot of e-mails. E-mail has revolutionized the concept of communication.
I have an ID on
I keep receiving e-mails from friends and relatives.
Here I am going to talk about an e-mail which I received from my cousin Ravi.
He is doing masters in environmental science from Punjab university Chandigarh
The e-mail was on Global Warming
Global Warming is a burning issue these days
The whole world is involved in it
The e-mail was very well presented article with images
The way it showed the causes and effects was very eye-catching
43. A gift you have received.
A gift I have received as a child is a teddy bear.
It was a gift from my uncle who returned then from Sri Lanka.
I got it when I was in the fifth class.
I was totally surprised to find a teddy bear because it was the first time I happened to hear about a teddy bear.
It was very beautiful to look at – bright, fluffy with beady eyes and a cute nose.
I loved it so much that I carried it wherever I went.
I ate with it, even slept with it.
My mother did not allow me to carry it to school; otherwise I might have carried it.
Recently as I was looking through the papers and things of old days I found it still there.
Though it is discoloured still I keep my teddy bear as a fond memory of old days.
44. What are the things we should be careful when you give a gift to a child?
We should consider the age of the child and the interests of the child. We can also consider the need of the child. If we want to inculcate the habit of reading in the child then the gift can be a book.
45. What were the gifts given to children 50 years ago?
Gifts have undergone a sea change in the last 50 years.
Earlier we had limited variety of gifts.
People would give clothes books or sweets.
Now we have an immense variety to choose from.
In the past people gave gifts which were not very expensive.
They gave them with love and fondness.
These days gifts are given keeping in mind the social status of the person. Expensive gifts have become a social compulsion if someone wants to be a part of society.
Gifts that are given today lack all emotions.
46. Why are gifts important
Gifts are gestures, which are made to express love and affection.
People who receive gifts realize they are very special and cared for.
Gifts are an important part of all occasions and festivals.
People exchange gifts on various festivals and ceremonies.
Gifts are also a symbol of celebrating an event.
We exchange sweets whenever we are happy about something.
Moreover gifts are something which every person loves to receive and they can never be replaced by any other gesture.
47. A gift you have given.
I have given and received many gifts in my life
Here I am going to talk about a gift which I gave to my younger brother on his eighteenth birthday.
It was a mobile phone.
He had always wanted a mobile phone.
But my parents would not buy him one
I saved all my pocket money for five to six months to buy this mobile
It cost me Rs 2800
It is a small mobile – a Samsung X-210 model
It is black rectangular and a folder type model
It has many features like watch, calculator, FM radio, alarm, timer and a memory card to store phone numbers
It does not have a camera but all the other features are very useful
I was overjoyed to see the happy look on my brother’s face when I gave him the mobile
48. How do you spend your free time?
What is your recent hobby?
Well, I spend my free time by watching TV, listening to music and doing a little bit of gardening.
Whenever I get tired, I listen to music.
I like all types of music.
There are various types of music like classical, pop, jazz, rock etc.
But I like rock music the most.
When I hear this music, all my worries and tensions fly away.
Whenever I get free time I spend some time doing gardening also.
I spend half an hour at the garden in the morning or in the evening.
I talk to plants, share a lot of my secrets with plants.
These are just like my best friends.
My other hobby is watching TV.
My favourite channel is Animal Planet.
All programmes are very exciting.
It helps me in learning English.
Every 10 minutes they give me a new word of English.
49. What is the one skill that you would like to learn?
The musical instrument I like the most is a guitar.
Guitar is a stringed instrument.
It consists of a body, a neck and the strings attached to it and can be played using a tap or fingers.
Guitar was invented by an American architect in the 18th century and now there are three types available for use.
They are the acoustic, classical and electronic guitar.
I am attracted to guitar after watching the film The Sound of Music.
It is very easy to learn the five notes and the repetition of them by mixing variously helps me to sing any song I would like.
I plan to learn guitar during the summer days when I can find plenty of time to learn and practice. It shall help me to utilize my time creatively.
Moreover, when I am tired I can play guitar and get relaxed.
50. Your favourite sports person
Like most Indians I too am a cricket fan.
Here I am going to talk about my favourite sportsperson – Rahul Dravid
He was born in 1973 and grew up in Bangalore
Many times his glorious acts have brought India glorious times to celebrate
It is no surprise that he has been given tags like – ‘the wall’ and ‘Mr dependable’
He is the proud son of Sharad and Pushpa Dravid
He made Ranji Debut at the age of 18
His batting technique is the best
He can score runs everywhere and against anybody
He was crowned ICC player of the year in 2004
He has played many matches since his test-debut in 1996
He is a great example of discipline, dedication and determination
He believes that patience, persistence and practice leads to perfection
His graph tells us that getting success is one thing and retaining it is another
Even off the field he is known for his well-cultured admirable behavior
He is an idol for any ‘wannabe’ in any field or career
51. Your favourite film star
I like many film stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan but here I am going to talk about Amitabh Bachhan
He is my all-time favourite
He is a versatile actor and really lives the role he is given
He is the shehanshah of Bollywood and the superstar of the millennium
He is the apple of the eye of millions of Indians
He has appeared in more than 90 films
His debut film ‘Saat Hindustani’ did not succeed in the box office but his 1970s films Zanjeer, Deewar and Sholay took him to the pinnacle of his career
He met with a near-fatal accident while shooting for Coolie in 1983
He has a strong will power
He took ill once again in 2005 and underwent a major surgery of intestine but again recovered because of his will power
He has won many awards
He has even hosted a TV show KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati)
He is a legend
There is no one else who can replace this legend
I like his movie Baghban the most
52. Your favourite author/Novelist
My favourite novelist is Charles Dickens, the famous English novelist.
He is a Victorian novelist.
Dickens is to novel what Shakespeare is to Drama.
He is a representative writer of the Victorian period.
He has created more than 3000 characters, one different from the other.
We get a full view of the England when we go through his novels.
Dickens makes us to laugh, cry and strike wonder and terror.
Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Christmas Carol and Pickwick Papers are his best known novels.
53. Your favourite film
Cue card
54. Your favourite book
Cue card

55. Your favourite singer
My favourite singer is Gurdas Maan.
He is a versatile singer.
I like him because his songs reflect our tradition and culture.
His voice is so captivating that you fall in love with it.
Gurdas Maan is in his in early fifties.
He is tall and attractive.
He holds a masters degree in physical education.
He is also a black belt holder in Judo.
During his college days he won several awards in singing and dancing.
He became a national figure in 1980, when his song ‘Dil da Mamla’ was shown on Jalandhar Doordarshan.
He is the undisputed king of Punjabi music.
His songs appeal to all age groups.
His music is simple and to the point.
He is a multifaceted personality.
He is a singer, song writer, composer and actor also.
The unique thing about his music and lyrics is that he writes about real life.
He is the cornerstone of Punjabi music all over the world.
He was, is and forever will be the leader of Punjabi music and culture.
56. Your favourite poet/ novelist
My favourite poetess is Amrita Pritam.
She’s no more now.
She died at the age of 86 on 31st October 2005.
She was a charismatic personality.
She was very beautiful with almond-shaped eyes, fine features and a fair complexion.
She began composing poetry in her teens.
Amrita’s father was a man of letters and encouraged Amrita to read and write. She published her first book of poems when she was just fourteen.
After the Partition in 1947, Delhi became her home.
Her talent blossomed in the capital of independent India, and writing in Punjabi, her mother tongue, she was to take the language places.
Her poem Aaj Aakhaan Waris Shah Noo made her reach the pinnacles of fame. She often wrote on the condition of Indian women and her writings reflected their neglect and suppression in Indian society.
She has to her credit 15 novels, numerous short stories and poems.
She witnessed the partition of India and portrayed it in her works.
Her works have been widely translated.
She has received many awards, including India's highest literary award, Jnanpith, in 1981.
Films have been made on two of her novels – Daaku and Pinjar ( skeleton)
Her other famous novels are
Kachchi Sarak (HINDI)
Lal Dhagee ka Rishta (HINDI)
Raseedi Ticket (HINDI) The Revenue Stamp - An Autobiography
Her other famous poems are
Khamoshi Se Pahle (HINDI)
Aawazen (HINDI)
57. Your favourite poem
My favourite poem is Johny Johny, Yes Papa
In fact it was the first poem I learnt
58. Your favourite colour
My favourite colour is red
It is the symbol of love
It is a vibrant colour, full of energy
Blood is red, traffic signal is red and fire engine is red
It is the sign of happiness and gaiety
My friends tell me that I look good in red
That is why I have a wardrobe full of different shades of red
59. Your favourite leader
There have been many leaders who have led the nation from time to time.
Here I am going to talk about Dr Manmohan Singh
He is our Prime Minister.
Dr Manmohan Singh is the 17th Prime Minister of India.
He assumed office on 22nd May, 2004.
He was preceded by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee.
He is the first Sikh Prime Minister of India.
He also holds the distinction of being the first Prime Minister who has never been elected to the Lok Sabha.
He hails from a poor farming background.
His father owned a shop selling dry fruits, and the first time he ever wore a tie was for his first job interview.
Manmohan Singh was so determined to get an education he would study at night under streetlights, because there were so many people in the traditional, extended family home.
Dr. Singh, says that he became an economist because he wanted to eradicate poverty.
He studied at Oxford and Cambridge on scholarships.
He wrote his Oxford doctoral thesis on India's export competitiveness.
He later taught at the Delhi School of Economics and became a civil servant where he held a string of high posts.
He is often described as a quiet intellectual with oversized glasses.
He is very honest politician in a country where politics is deeply tainted by corruption.
Manmohan Singh is one of the few Indians who is widely respected as a politician and as an economic reformer by all his peers irrespective of their political affiliations.
He won the 'Honest Man of the Year' award in 1996 for his clean image.
60. Your favourite animal
An animal I like the most is an elephant.
The elephants are the biggest land animals.
They are herbivorous and can be identified because of their trunk.
The trunk is the projection of their nose and the upper lips.
There are two types of elephants, the Indian and the African.
African elephants are bigger than their Indian counterparts.
They have comparatively larger ears.
Among the African elephants both the males and females have tusks whereas, only the males among the Indian elephants have tusks and so they are called tuskers.
The back of the Indian elephants are convex whereas that of the African elephants are concave.
Indian elephants can be tamed and they are more beautiful.
Elephants are gregarious animals and live in herds headed by tuskers.
They have a well structured family life.
The young ones, called the calf, are looked after by the cow elephants.
Their cry is called trumpet.
In India, elephants are captured, tamed and used for various purposes.
Elephants are among the few animals whose existence is not endangered till now.
61. Your favourite Channel?
Now-a-days there is a multitude of channels and a plethora of programmes on TV.
As I am an animal lover, my favourite channel is Animal Planet
Animal Planet is a very informative channel
I say this because I have learned a lot from this channel
It gives me a new word of English every 20 minutes
So it has improved my vocabulary a lot
It is an offshoot of the discovery channel
My favourite programme is animal safari
You can learn about animals, birds and reptiles from it
This channel can never get boring
Some programmes are real eye-openers
I learnt about elephants and snakes from this channel
62. Your favourite website.
One of my hobbies is surfing the net and I have visited many sites.
One useful website is
My friend told me about this site.
It is educational, family friendly, safe for kids and adults and above all it is very easy to navigate.
I check my e-mail regularly on My e-mail ID is
I also have yahoo messenger which helps me to chat online with my friends and relatives who also have this messenger.
Sometimes I play games online.
My favourite game is Word Racer.
It is a vocabulary building game.
I have learnt many new words through it.
Yahoo answers is a forum on this site where you can ask any question and you will get replies from all over the world.
Yahoo maps is a link on this site through which you can locate any place of the world.
There is also an astrology link on this site.
You can do a lot of online shopping at yahoo.
You can search for jobs at yahoo jobs. You can read the latest news and the latest advertisements.
There is something for everyone on this site. I think this is a complete site in itself.
63. Your favourite newspaper
There are many newspapers published in my city in different languages.
My parents have subscribed to one Punjabi newspaper Ajeet and one English newspaper that is The Tribune
I like to read the Tribune
Its editor is Mr H.K.Dua
It is a complete newspaper according to me
It has many pages that cover important topics, national and international news and also local news from my state and city
The editor’s page is called ‘Opinion’
I read the editorial daily
It touches topics of daily interest
Different social, political and international topics are discussed in this section
Only the other day I read about global warming
There is a supplement every alternate day
On Wednesday it is Jalandhar Plus
In this supplement, local news of my hometown Phagwara is also there
I have been reading this newspaper for quite some time now
I don’t think there is any room for improvement but then a technology section would add a feather in the cap of this paper
64. Your favourite bird
Birds are a beautiful creation of nature
They are helpful to us in many ways
The bird I am going to talk about here is the peacock
It is the national bird of my country
It is a large bird that cannot fly very high in the sky
Peacocks live on insects, flowers and fruits
The male of the species is more colourful than the female
In rainy season, the male peacock dances the courtship dance to attract the female (pea-hen)
This is a very stunning and spectacular dance
The peacocks also have a melodious sound that they use to call the group
They make this sound usually at sunrise and sunset
My aunt lives in a farmhouse near Ludhiana
So many peacocks are found there
It is a real treat to see them
65. Your favourite magazine/periodical/journal
My favourite magazine is “The Reader’s Digest”.
It is a monthly.
It is an international magazine.
The editor of the magazine is Mohan Sivanand.
I like this magazine because it is not a magazine to be read and thrown away.
It is a collectible.
I have collected many past issues of the magazine in my personal library.
There are many regular features of the magazine.
The feature I like the most is ‘word power’.
It gives me 20 new words of English every month with their meaning and antonyms.
It helps me to improve my vocabulary.
The other regular features are “laughter is the best medicine ”, ‘life is like that’ and ‘humour in uniform”
All these articles contain jokes and humours which are as fresh as fresh fruits and vegetables.
There are also many quotable quotes in this magazine.
Another article I like is “The reader’s choice”
It runs for 15-20 pages.
It contains a true story or an abridged form of a novel.
All these articles are very inspiring.
Reading this magazine relaxes me.
This magazine is entertaining and educative.
Everybody in my house reads it.
This magazine has something for everybody.
66. Your favourite place of eating out.
There are many restaurants which I frequent but here I am going to describe Haveli.
It is on the national highway between Jalandhar & Phagwara.
Actually it falls in the suburbs of Phagwara.
I like it because of the delicious & quality food , quick & prompt service & a friendly atmosphere.
It is always swarming with people & brimming with activity.
The food is priced at very normal rates.
It is a huge place with a seating capacity of about 200 people.
The interior is decorated to simulate a traditional Punjabi village scene.
Handicrafts adorn the walls which give the place a very ethnic look.
The food served is mouth watering & delicious.
The restaurant is very clean & hygienic.
The waiters are amicable & friendly.
In the evenings Punjabi cultural songs & dances are performed by various artists.
It is a must-visit place for one & all
It is so interesting that one can never feel bored there.
67. Your favourite footwear.
I like many shoes and sandals but here I am going to talk about my sports shoes which I bought recently from the Reeboks factory outlet
These shoes are white in colour and have grey lining
They also have shock absorbing sole
The actual price of the shoes was 2000/- but I got them in the Reebok big loot sale at 80% off
I got a good bargain
I had to pay only 400
These shoes are very comfortable and go with every outfit
I can walk miles with them without getting tired
Another good feature is that they are washable and I have washed them several times.
They are a good value for money
68. Your favourite drink
Thanks to the era of LPG ( liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation ) we have a mind-boggling choice of drinks available like fresh juices, fizzy drinks, energy drinks etc.
However, my favourite drink is fresh fruit juice
Fresh juices are healthful as they contain fibre, vitamins and minerals
Nowadays meals are usually accompanied by juices and drinks instead of water.
Fresh fruit juice can be of oranges, pineapple, guava, pomegranate or apple
69. Your favourite shopping mall
Many new shopping malls have opened recently in my home town.
Arjun Mall and Ansal Plaza are the two major ones.
Here I am going to talk about Ansal Plaza.
It is in the suburbs of Phagwara
It is a modern shopping mall built with up-to-date technology.
Ansal Plaza has four storeys.
Ansal Plaza has a huge parking in the basement that can hold more than a 100 cars
Ansal Plaza has escalators and 4 lifts
Plaza has 3-4 food courts including Mc Donalds which is my favourite place to eat out.
Ansal Plaza is a joint venture of some businessmen of Delhi and has many branches in India.
Ansal Plaza being on the highway is flocked by countless hordes of people.
It also has many branded stores like Reebok and Nike.
70. Your favourite song
Well, ma’am, music is all around us and it accompanies everything of life.
Right from the first lullaby that the mother sings to the cradle to the dirge of the funeral pyre, music accompanies everything of life
Here I am going to talk about a piece of music which I heard in my childhood and I like it even today
It is our national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’
It was composed originally in Bengali by Rabindra Nath Tagore
Its Hindi version is our National Anthem
It was adopted as the national anthem on 24th January 1950
The complete song has five stanzas
The first stanza was taken as the National Anthem
The playing time of National Anthem is 52 seconds
I first heard the National Anthem in my school days
I like this song a lot because it is our National Anthem
It evokes a feeling of patriotism in me
It is an identity of my nation
Whenever this song is played, all Indians stand up in respect
It is played in the morning assembly of all schools
It is on the lips of each and every Indian
I know this song by heart
71. Your favourite dress (boys)
The dress I am going to talk about here is a traditional sherwani and a churidar pyjama which I wore on my sister’s wedding
I bought it from Frontier Cloth house
It is a black sherwani with golden buttons and maroon embroidery
It also has a silken stole to go with it
It is studded with golden beads
It has a very traditional ethnic touch to it
It is a very beautiful dress
The stole is in crinkled silk
It has golden lining
I bought matching accessories also
I bought traditional Punjabi shoes to go with it
Everyone complimented me
They said that I looked very handsome
I was on cloud nine

Favourite Dress – (Girls)
The dress I am going to talk about here is a traditional Punjabi suit which I wore on my sister’s wedding
I bought it from Frontier Cloth house
It is a bottle green suit with magenta and golden embroidery
It also has a multicoloured stole to go with it which has a golden lace on all sides
It is studded with golden beads
It has a very traditional ethnic touch to it
It is a very beautiful suit
The stole is in crinkled silk
I bought matching accessories also
I bought a golden beaded purse and traditional Punjabi shoes to go with it
Everyone complimented me
They said that I looked very beautiful
I was on cloud nine
72. Your favourite cuisine
I like all cuisines such as Chinese, Indian and Mexican but my all time favourite is Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine has a lot of diversity.
The north Indian and the south Indian cuisines are poles apart
Although I like both but I really relish north Indian cuisine
Green vegetables, pulses, lentils and a variety of desserts are part of north Indian cuisine
My favourite dish is Makki di Roti and sarson da saag.
You know ma’am, makki di roti is a loaf made of maize flour and sarson da saag is a dish made of mustard leaves to which spinach leaves can be added.
My mother cooks very delicious saag
It is a winter dish but now you can eat the tinned saag at any time of the year
Markfed company markets the tinned variety
73. Your favourite room of your house
The room in our house, I like the best, is our kitchen.
Perhaps, the kitchen is the most important room in many houses but it is particularly so in my house because it is not only where we cook and eat but it is also where friends and family meet.
I have many happy memories of time spent here.
Ordinary daily events such as making breakfast, lunch and dinner or special occasions such as a birthday party etc.
Whenever we have a party people gravitate to the kitchen.
It always ends up the fullest and the noisiest room in the whole house.
The room is not huge but big enough to hold a rectangular four-seater table in the centre.
There is a large window above the sink looking out onto the huge Amaltas tree in the garden.
There is a four burner gas stove at one end and a plate rack on the other.
All our friends come directly in the kitchen and join in whatever is happening there.
No doubt some of the best time of my life has been spent in the kitchen.
74. Your favourite day of the week
My favourite day of the week is Saturday. I can go to bed late as I have no tension of getting up early. I can watch movies on TV or go out with friends or even chat online with friends and relatives abroad.
75. Your favourite time of the day
My favourite time of the day is dinner time when we all family members sit with each other and share our happenings of the day with each other
We all look forward to this time
76. Your favourite flower
My favourite flower is rose. I like roses in all colours. But I am particularly fascinated by black roses.
77. Your favourite TV programme
Now-a-days there is a multitude of TV channels and a plethora of programmes on TV
The one programme I am going to talk about here is Office-Office
It is my all time favourite
It is a must-watch
Earlier it was on SAB TV but now it is telecast on Star-One
Its time is 10-10.30 pm
The sitcom is about the trials and tribulations(problems) of the common man in the government offices
The roles of the government office workers are named – Bhatia, Pandey ji, Patel, Shukla and Usha ji
Bhatia is always hungry and asks for eatables whenever Mussaddi comes to him to get his work done
Patel has his funda of ‘do baatein ho jayengi’ meaning two things can happen
Usha uses Mussaddi to get her household works done like getting the string twirled into a ball etc
Pandey ji doesn’t speak till a ji is put after his name. No one can call him Pandey or Pandey Beta
Shukla is a paan eater and provides comedy by spitting paan on the floor even if someone is standing there
Mussaddi has to run from one person to another and visits these five people almost every day to get his work done.
At the end of the serial there is a lesson as to what should have been done.
78. How can flowers be used?
Flowers can be used in many ways.
They are used to express love.
Bouquets are used as gifts in marriages, anniversaries and farewells
They are used in holy places to pay obeisance to the almighty
79. Advantages and disadvantages of having a pet.
There are many advantages of having a pet. The first and foremost advantage is that pets such as dogs are undemanding companions. Humans and some animals can have a special relation of friendship and care. Pets add to the quality of life of both the owner and the animal. Secondly, pets provide security. Dogs can put off intruders or muggers. Another big advantage is that children learn responsibility by owning a pet. Grooming and caring for the pet and taking the pet out for a walk teach children responsibility. Feeding the pet at regular timing are things which children enjoy doing. Finally, watching kittens and puppies being born is a natural way of sex education.
There are many disadvantages of owning a pet. First of all, owning a pet can be very expensive. Earlier, pets used to be fed with leftovers, but now all sorts of pet food is available. Then, a pet needs to be immunized against various diseases like rabies. Otherwise, it can be very dangerous for humans. Moreover pets can be very noisy at times and disturb everyone around. Finally, some people do pet trade and do breeding in a cruel way.
80. Your favourite jewellery
My favourite jewellery is a silver pendant set which I bought from the local Archies store. It is very beautiful. The pendant has a pearl in it which is pink in colour. I bought it for Rs. 500/-. I wear it on special occasions.
81. Should animals be used for research purposes?
Yes, I think we have no alternative. We need to test new drugs and chemicals on animals in order to predict whether humans will suffer side effects. If we don’t do this we will never be able to find cure for AIDS and cancer.
Another point is that brain surgery and replacement surgery requires practice. We can’t practice on humans. Finally, animals have shorter life spans. So, the effect of drugs can be seen over the next generations. So, you see, though I am an animal lover, I would rather see an animal die than my fellow human being.
No, I don’t think animals should be used for research purposes. First of all, most experiments are used for trivial reasons – like testing for cosmetics, household goods and food products. Secondly, animals are quite different from humans and surgeons don’t gain much from practicing on animals. Finally, it is inhuman to check the safety of new products on animals. After all, animals are also sentient beings and have the right to live their life.
82. Do animals have rights?
Well, animals are sentient beings. This means that they can feel pleasure and pain. They do have the right to exist and they have the right to their natural environment. Some animals are pets, some are domestic and some are wild. All of them have a different and important role in our lives.
The question of animal rights arises when man exploits animals. He is cutting forests and so many animals are dying because they have nowhere to live. Some animals are poached and killed for their body parts which are used as food and medicine. Some animals are tortured and killed for their skin and fur to be made into bags, shoes and coats. Tests are being conducted on animals in a very cruel manner.
Animals are also mercilessly being used for work in the fields. Some animals are used for entertainment in circuses and on the streets.
So I think we all should be committed to the cause of animal rights.
83. Have the eating habits changed these days?
Yes, the eating habits have changed a lot these days. My grandparents always used to have their main meal in the middle of the day. Now-a-days our main meal is in the evening.
Secondly, we have more choices now-a-days. This is because of globalization. All sorts of food from all parts of the world is available everywhere.
Another change is that now-a-days people do not like to do traditional cooking. They find it very time-consuming. Now-a-days instant mixes and easy-to-cook food is available in the market. And also the fast food culture is blooming.
There are some good changes also. People have become more health-conscious also. So a lot of low-fat, low-cholesterol and high-fibre food is coming up in the market. So are fruits and vegetables from organic farms. People are also consuming a lot of food supplements.
84. How do you keep yourself healthy?
Well, health is the only one thing we have in our world. We can live without wealth and other material possessions but if health is lost everything is lost.
That is why I eat healthfully, exercise regularly and keep up my social life. Eating a healthy diet is very important. I stay away from fast food and fried food. Well, once in a while I do indulge myself but that is very rare. I regularly go for morning walk. I sometimes do yoga also. Yoga gives complete physical and mental well-being. Now-a-days I practise dance aerobics too. It is very interesting. I learnt it from a friend. She gave me a CD of Jane Fonda’s low-impact dance aerobics. I just play it on my PC and do this wonderful dance. For emotional health I spend time with friends and family. I have a good rapport with family and friends.
Apart from all this I visit my dentist every six months for my regular dental check up.
85. Do you take physical exercises?
Yes, I take physical exercise. I do dance aerobics for 20 minutes every day. I go for morning walk and I do some yoga also.
86. A wall adorning
There are many things that adorn the walls of my house but here I would like to talk about a family photograph which I have hung on one wall of my room. In this picture, my parents are sitting in front and my brother and I are standing behind.
87. A piece of furniture
Every home, I guess, is full of furniture.
We have beds, sofas, settees, study tables and so on.
My favourite piece of furniture is an old arm chair that once belonged to my grandfather
Now it belongs to my father
It is made of teak wood and has carved legs and long arms
It is a very majestic chair
My parents have changed so much furniture over the last few years but this chair still adorns our living room
‘old is gold’ is a very good cliché but it holds true for this chair.
88. An equipment you use daily in your work place.
An equipment I usually daily in the workplace is a computer.
89. An equipment that you use daily at home.
A possession you value the most.
We use many things in our day to day life.
An equipment I use daily at home is a mobile phone
My father gifted me this mobile phone when I passed my 10th class with good marks
It is a small mobile – a Samsung X-210 model
It is black in colour, rectangular and slips into my pocket easily
It is a folder type model.
It has many features like watch, calculator, FM radio, alarm, timer and a memory card to store phone numbers
It does not have a camera but all other features are very useful
I can also play games on my mobile
I value this phone a lot because my father worked overtime in his office to save money for this mobile
He knew I had always wanted one
I never misuse it
I use it to stay connected with my family when I am away from home
Many new models of mobile phones have come in the market but in my eyes this is and will always be the best mobile phone
My heart skips a beat even at the thought of losing it or parting with it
90. A thing that you use daily
A thing that I use daily is the toothpaste.
I prefer colgate to other toothpastes because I find it very good.
I brush my teeth twice daily – once in the morning and once before going to bed.
91. A photograph/Picture that attracted you
I have a collection of many photographs in my album.
Here I’m going to describe one in which my cousin and I are standing with our grandparents in our farmhouse.
There is a small round table on which there is a cake.
I remember vividly, it was the golden jubilee celebration of my grandparents. My aunty baked and iced the cake at home.
She’s an expert cook. She only clicked the photo.
That’s why she is not there in the picture.
But her presence can be felt through the cake.
Only the four of us were there in the picture.
Last year when I celebrated my parents silver jubilee, I wished in my heart that I celebrate their golden jubilee too.
The tablecloth which is spread on the table was embroidered by my grandma. She had a gifted hand in needle and thread work.
Both my grandparents are no more in this world now.
I really treasure this photograph as this brings back nostalgic memories of my childhood.
Now I have a digital camera in which I capture precious moments.
Maybe one day my children will value them.
I like painting and drawing too but can’t find enough time for these arts out of my busy schedule.
92. Which is the best part of the year
My favourite time of the year is winter.
Winter lasts from December to February.
The climate is pleasant , energetic, soothing and dry.
Another reason to like winter season is that there are a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables which can be healthy and tasty.
I also like to wear woolen clothes, which I can wear during this season only.
I generally go to visit different places in the winter vacations only.
I also look forward to the New year celebrations with my friends.
Nights are very long in the winters and I love to sleep till late in the morning especially at weekends.
In summers we sweat a lot and there are so many power cuts , so I don’t like summers.
Trees shed of their leaves in autumn ,a very gloomy season.
Spring is also a wonderful season.
Everywhere there are blooming flowers and the weather is also generally very pleasant.
In spring generally my exams are near and so my favourite season remains winter.
93. How do you spend a holiday?
Well, all holidays/ weekends are different. Sometimes I spend the holiday by doing odd jobs around the house for which I generally do not get time during week days. Sometimes I watch TV with family members. Sometimes we go out for watching a movie or to eat-out. Weekends are also the times for socializing with friends and relatives.
Long vacations are usually planned. Either I go out with my family to some hill station or beach. I enjoy all these holidays but finally it is good to be back once again.
94. How do you spend your working days?
Well all weekdays are usually the same. I get up around 6 am, go for a walk. I generally do not miss this walk. On my way back there is a gurudwara/temple. I pay my obeisance to the almighty and seek his blessings. I also chalk down my priorities of the day in mind while walking home. Then I immediately pen them down on reaching home. I tidy up my room and then take a quick shower. My breakfast is usually a glass of milk or juice. Then I leave for school/ job/ college. I come back home around 5 pm. I have my tea, relax for a while and sometimes I help my mother with odd chores around the house. Then, either my friends come to my place or I go to theirs. We spend an hour or so with each other. At times we go out also. Dinner time is usually 8.30 and I go to bed by 10 pm

95. An Advertisement that attracted you
You know, now some commercials are better than the TV programmes.
In the past we did not have so many TV commercials.
Now, we have a plethora of them – before, in the middle and after each program.
I think TV commercials add variety to the program because sometimes the program becomes very monotonous
Some TV commercials also give you a chance of refreshment.
The TV advert I am going to talk about here is of Vodaphone Telecom
It is a very humerous commercial
A 6-7 year old girl is shown to be getting ready for school.
She can’t find her socks
Her very cute pup obliges by finding her sock
Then she is shown sitting in her school bus
She has forgotten her school tie
Then they show the cute puppy running after the bus with the tie around its neck
What the vodaphone people want to convey is that their network follows wherever they go
They also want to show that they are always willing to help
I changed my phone connection from cell-one to vodaphone after seeing this advert
Cell-one was giving me a lot of problems with network but now I have no such problems
96. Advantages and disadvantages of advertisements
There are many advantages of advertisements. Firstly, ads tell us about new products. Ads also tell us how these products work. If there were no electronic and print advertising many new products would not be bought. So, in this way ads help the manufacturers and consumers both. Secondly, ads also educate people about non-commercial issues like AIDS, deforestation and family planning. Advertising is a powerful medium and can reach out to the remote corners of the country. Finally, the advertising industry provides jobs to thousands of people.
On the other hand, there are some disadvantages also. Some people, especially kids can be easily attracted by the false claims made by the ads companies. Secondly, ads create false needs. i.e. promote consumerism. We end up buying and piling up things in the house, we do not need. Another disadvantage is that ads are unwanted intruders. Just when a T.V programme is going on there is a commercial break. Telemarketing is another example. It is very disturbing. Just when you are doing some important work, you get a phone call to tell about a product or insurance plan, some surveys also claim that there is on increase in consumption of alcohol & cigarettes after viewing such ads.
97. What was advertisement 50 years ago?
50 years ago we were not living in a consumeristic society. It was because advertisement was much less. Newspapers, magazines and radio were the main source of advertising. Nowadays, we live in an era of globalization. We are a part of materialistic and consumeristic society. Advertisement have become ubiquitous the radio, T.V, the internet and in our letter boxes. E-mail advertising is the name given to advertising on the internet.
98. What will be advertisements after 50 years?
The speed at which changes are taking place in all fields is amazing, so the predictions 50 years from now are very difficult to make. But, as far as I can see there will be move e-mail and SMS advertising. Moreover, any company making false claims will be severely penalized. Another thing that can happen is that the society may be sick and tired of materialism. People will have minimalistic approach so may be advertisements die out.
99. A place you have visited.
A place I visited is the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
It is a safari park.
You can go there by train or by plane; but I prefered train because of various reasons.
Train is economical and you can meet a lot of people on the way.
Moreover, you get a first hand knowledge of the places you pass through.
I stayed there for 4 days.
Kaziranga is famous for one horned rhinoceros.
You can meet them at close quarters if you travel by a closed car or by taking a ride on elephant.
You can see a rhinoceros at any time, invariably with a bird perching on it.
Apart from them a lot of other animals like tiger, leopard, bear and varieties of deer, can also be located there.
There is a great variety of plants including the rarest plants like asafetida, camphor etc. are in Kaziranga.
You can stay there for three or four days and make sure you are totally relaxed and return.
It was an experience indeed.
After all, forest is the ancestral home of man.
100. A place you would like to visit.
A place I would like to visit is the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
It is a safari park.
You can go there by train or by plane; but I prefer train because of various reasons.
Train is economical and you can meet a lot of people on the way.
Moreover, you get a first hand knowledge of the places you pass through.
I had been to Kaziranga last year also.
I stayed there for 4 days.
Kaziranga is famous for one horned rhinoceros.
You can meet them at close quarters if you travel by a closed car or by taking a ride on elephant.
You can see a rhinoceros at any time, invariably with a bird perching on it.
Apart from them a lot of other animals like tiger, leopard, bear and varieties of deer, can also be located there.
There is a great variety of plants including the rarest plants like asafetida, camphor etc. are in Kaziranga.
You can stay there for three or four days and make sure you are totally relaxed and return.
I assure you that it would be an experience indeed.
After all, forest is the ancestral home of man.
101. A country you would like to visit.
A country I would like to visit is Australia.
I have heard that it is very beautiful
Many of my friends have gone there to study.
I would also like to join them
That is why I am taking IELTS
102. An accident you witnessed
Accidents are a very commonplace thing nowadays. There is so much traffic everywhere. People don`t follow traffic rules. I remember once I had gone to stay with my aunt and uncle. After dinner we went for a walk. There is a 90ft wide road in front of their house. Suddenly, from somewhere a scotter came at such a fast speed and before we could realize it hit my uncle and he fell down. The scooter too skid and fell about 20 feet away. There were three boys who were coming from some party. They were all under effect of alcohol. They all suffered injuries but my uncle was the worst hit. He suffered a fracture of femur (bone of thigh) and had to be operated. It took him 6 months to great back to normal. All just because of the negligence and irresponsible driving of 3 stupid boys. They ran away. If I ever get hold of them I`ll fix them surely.
103. Why road accidents increase?
Road accidents increase because of a variety of reasons. First and foremost is that there is inadequate vehicle maintenance. Second is the condition of roads and finally we have human error.

104. What measures shall we take to reduce road accidents?
We should have stricter punishments for those who do not abide by the traffic laws. We should also promote the use of public transport. This way there will be less congestion on the roads.
105. A humorous incident in your life
(last day of school)
106. A blunder you have committed
An incident that you repent.
It has been rightly said that to err is human.
I have also erred many times and repented many times
Here I would like to talk about a time when I lied to my mother.
Actually I bunked school and went to see a movie with friends
When my mother asked me why I was late, I replied that there were extra classes in school
She believed me but my conscience pricked me a lot.
Finally one day I confessed to her. I felt very relieved.
I always repent having lied to her in the first place.
I consider it the biggest blunder of my life.
You can never be trusted in life if you develop the habit of lying
Moreover you lose your self-respect also.
107. How would you spend your holidays, if you get, say 5 days?
If I get five day holiday I’d like to spend it in Shimla. First reason is that Simla is the nearest hill station. It takes only 8 hours from my home town. I can go there by my own car. Another reason is that my aunt stays there and I can put up with her for 5 days easily. I like to enjoy the pleasant and pollution free climate of the hills. After all who doesn’t enjoy the majestic splendour of the hills. I would like a relaxing holiday.
108. What are your strong and weak points?
My strong point is my determination. Whenever I set a goal I strive to achieve it. I put all my heart and soul into what I do. I never procrastinate and generally finish my work in time.
My weak point is my introvert nature. I am very shy by nature and cannot easily make friends with anybody. Whenever anyone says anything to me I generally withdraw into a shell.
109. Tell me about a relative you resemble the most.
Of all my relatives I like/resemble my aunt Jyoti the best.
She’s my mother’s youngest sister.
She has never married and lives all alone in a small village near Phagwara.
She is in her late fifties but she’s quite young in spirit.
She has a fair complexion, grey hair and black eyes.
She has a kind face and when you meet her the first thing you notice about her is her warm friendly smile.
Her face is a little lined now but I still find her very attractive.
She’s the kind of person you can always go to if you have any problem.
Aunt Jyoti likes watching TV, gardening and listening to music.
She takes her dog Bruno for long walks in the park.
She’s a very active person.
Either she’s making something or mending something or doing something to help others.
She does the shopping for some of the old people in the village.
She’s extremely generous but not very tolerant of people who don’t agree with her.
I hope that I am as contented as she is when I am her age.
110. How relations are important to you?
Man is a social animal. To live in society everyone needs relations. Relations can be with family, with friends, colleagues, neighbours, teachers and even with environment. To lead a happy life a harmonious relation is needed with everyone.
111. Tell me about a dream had.
( own answer )
112. A news item that attracted you the most.
I have watched many interesting news stories on TV
A news story that I saw recently was on Global warming.
I saw it on Star news Channel.
It caught my attention because global warming is a burning issue these days.
The whole globe is involved in it.
The way they showed the causes and effects was very eye catching.
It was an eye-opener for me.
We humans are the cause and we humans only can lessen it.
The news article told how the pollution caused by cutting trees, having more industries, growing number of cars and other human luxuries is leading to global warming.
Then it told me about effects of global warming.
There are three main effects.
Firstly there is rising sea level.
Secondly we are having longer summers and extreme climates.
That is to say that the summers are hotter and the winters are cooler.
Finally we are having epidemics of diseases like malaria and dengue.
This is because mosquitoes and other insects prosper in the heat.
The news article also told how we can lessen this phenomenon by simple measures like not cutting down trees, planting more trees, using recycled materials and saying no to plastic bags.
I felt very enlightened after seeing this news story.
I decided to start using recycled things immediately.
113. The one thing that you cannot change about yourself
The one thing I cannot change about myself is my habit of procrastination. I always put off doing things. My mother keeps telling me to complete my work in time but I wait till the eleventh hour. Sometimes I don’t find time later on and then my work piles up. This is a very bad habit and I always resolve to change myself but can’t do it.
114. Tell me about your grandparents
(own answer)
115. A secret wish you have.
My secret wish is to be able to speak English very fluently. I am working very hard but the fluency that I wish is still miles away.
120. What was the one positive change in your life?
The one positive change in my life was joining IELTS course.
I’d learnt English even before that.
I started learning English in my school days but when I joined IELTS I was exposed to international English.
I never knew English has these four areas.
I never knew English was so beautiful.
The training centre where I went was exclusively for English and they spoke only English.
It gave me a lot of ideas, confidence, vocabulary and enthusiasm.
My teachers were excellent.
Some good students over there were my role models.
I could improve my accent and pronunciation.
They were always motivating us to talk.
Earlier I used to shy away when anyone was speaking English.
Now I find myself totally changed for the better.
If I get a good band I can go abroad and my life will be totally changed.
So joining for IELTS brought a positive change in my life.
116. Favourite festival of my hometown
Basant Panchami, the Festival of Spring, is celebrated mainly in Haryana and Punjab, during February-March.
It is celebrated at the end of winter to welcome spring.
During this season the mustard fields are in full bloom, giving the impression of yellow carpets.
People welcome this change of season by wearing yellow clothes, flying kites and having fun.
Kite flying is the major and most colourful event of this festival.
The sky is covered with different colourful fighter kites.
The kites are of medium size normally from 1 feet to 4 feet across and made of paper on a frame of bamboo strips.
Preparation for this festival start many days earlier and people spend a lot of money on the kites.
New clothes are purchased for this festival and many delicious dishes prepared for this particular occasion. Sweet yellow rice, flavoured with saffron, is prepared for Basant Panchami.
'Yellow' is the colour of the festival and so it dominates everywhere i.e. in the kites, in the clothes, especially in the clothes of ladies, as ladies make a lot of preparation for this particular occasion.
All the family members gather at one single place, many times on the rooftops, and celebrate this festival.
117. Describe the range of job opportunities in your country?
- government jobs
- small businesses
- large businesses
- MNCs
- Agriculture
- Service oriented jobs
118. What are the benefits of hobbies/
What experience do you gain from hobbies
1. relaxation – eg. walking, watching TV
2. excitement – paragliding
3. communion with nature – SCUBA diving
4. companionship – playing football, music
5. creative expression – writing short stories, painting, drama
6. retail therapy – name given to shopping as a leisure activity.
7. to break monotony of day to day life.

Leisure is a growing industry, but people no longer entertain themselves as much as they used to because the use of modern technology has made them less creative. Do you agree or disagree?

I disagree with the statement that people do not entertain themselves as much as they used to because of modern technology. I believe that modern technology has not made people less creative. In fact it has changed the definition of leisure and the lifestyle of people.

Modern technology has changed our definition of leisure. Earlier, leisure meant going out and meeting people, playing outdoor games, going to cinema to watch movies and so on. However, today, leisure time is full of choices. We have so many things to do within the four walls of our house. We can watch countless programs on national and international channels; we can play online games; we can chat with friends and relatives in any corner of the world; we can do arm-chair tourism by which we can visit any historical place or museum sitting in our arm-chair. That is why perhaps it looks as if we people do not entertain ourselves as much as we used to in yesteryears.

Another reason why people don’t entertain as much as before is also not because of technology. Technology has, in fact, given us more time to enjoy but we can’t strike a balance between work and play. We have become workaholics. Life in the past was simpler. People worked for basic needs. Now work is not just a way of life. It is for personal fulfilment. We set goals for ourselves such as a house or a car. We choose this way of life. Now we have improved standard of living but this has come at a very high cost.

Finally, I would like to state that the given statement is flawed because nowadays people specially take out time to entertain themselves. This can be evident from the mushroom growth of leisure centres such as hotels, restaurants, fun parks and spas. Tourist places are full of people and train and air reservations have to be done well in advance.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, technology has not made us less creative. We entertain ourselves more than earlier times but the ways of entertainment are different and technology has given us more choices than before.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Team activities can teach more skills for life than those activities which are played alone. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Both teamwork and individual work require different skills and teach different things. Most of our daily life depends on teamwork like doing a job and raising a family. Therefore, I agree with the given statement that team activities teach more skills for life than solo activities. In the following paragraphs, I shall support my view with my arguments.

Some important skills of life are communication skills, co-operation and conflict management skills. All these are only learnt through teamwork. In solo activities, we do not need to communicate and so we do not learn these skills. However, when we step into daily life, we realise that communication skills are the most needed skills. We also have to co-operate also with our family members, colleagues, friends and neighbours in daily life. When we do team activities, we learn co-operation also. Conflict management skills are also learnt when we do team activities. You have differences of opinion and you learn to manage tough situations very diplomatically. All these are very necessary skills of life.

Furthermore, we also learn leadership skills, decision making and critical thinking skills while doing team activities. We learn how to make our voice heard and we also learn how to accept the correct suggestions of others. Finally, we learn sportsman-spirit which is a very good trait. We learn to accept victory with modesty and defeat with grace. This is an important life skill.

On the other hand, we learn many skills of life through solo activities also. We learn a sense of competition and perseverance through individual activities. All life skills are important for us. We cannot forget that man is a social animal and cannot live alone. So, what we learn in teams can be applied more in our daily lives.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that team activities and individual activities – both teach important skills of life but team activities are definitely better teachers of life skills than solo activities.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It is known to all that the technological and scientific advances have made great changes to the range and quality of our food. Some people regard it as an improvement while others believe that the change is harmful. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Yesterday’s fiction is today’s reality. Such colossal developments have taken place in range and quality of food which we could not even think of earlier. It is a highly debated issue as to whether these advances are a blessing or a curse. This essay shall delve into the merits and demerits of these developments.

The proponents claim that genetic modification of foods has given us such species which need little or no insecticides and no fertilizers. GM crops do not require spraying with toxic insecticides and as a consequence environmental damage such as the indiscriminate killing of insects and the contamination of soils and rivers is avoided. Moreover, since age old times, farming methods have always involved selective breeding and methods of cross-pollination. In that sense genetic modification is nothing new.

What is more, the quality of food has also improved. For example, fish gene has been added to tomato to make it frost resistant. A nut protein has been added to soya bean to increase the protein content. Finally, technology has saved people from tedious work and in the mean time increased the production markedly. All this is needed to meet the demands of the burgeoning population.

The opponents say that GM crops are unnatural and that by creating them we are altering the natural world. A more worrying argument raised by objectors to GM foods is that they could constitute a health risk, for example by causing allergies or even by being toxic. The final objection is strictly environmental. It is argued that crops which are genetically modified to kill the pests which attack them may also kill harmless insects. This, it is claimed will have a disastrous effect on the wider environment beyond the crop themselves.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that GM crops offer increased agricultural productivity and foods of higher nutritional value, both of which are essential if the growing world population of the twenty-first century is to be fed. Indeed, these crops have the potential to improve the health of millions throughout the world while causing less environmental damage than standard farming methods used today. I think it essential that GM foods should be encouraged.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The government should pay for the course fees for everyone who wants to study at the university. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

As the modern world is becoming increasingly complex and knowledge is becoming more and more specialised there is no doubt that tertiary education is necessary both for the whole society and for individuals who want to ensure that they have a good profession. However, I disagree that the government should pay the course fees for everyone who studies at the university. In some cases it should be borne by the government and in others it should be paid by the individual.

There is no doubt that the whole society benefits. In all developing countries there has been a strong effort to raise the educational level of the society by putting as much money as possible into providing educational institutions. Universities and colleges are, however, expensive to run. Because of this, it is felt that such countries are held back in all forms of development. Without enough educated professionals such as doctors, teachers, scientists and engineers, developing countries cannot move ahead. Governments in such countries provide scholarships or free education, to as many students as they can fund, because they realise that the whole country will benefit. Many developed countries also try to offer free tertiary education because they want a highly educated population.

There are also strong arguments why government should not fund everyone’s higher education. It is a fact that individuals benefit so much from tertiary education that they should be expected to pay for it. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers have some of the highest incomes in most societies. People argue that the government, and therefore the tax payers, should not pay for students who will later earn more than anyone else. Moreover, most students come from the middle classes and their parents can afford to pay for their fees. There are, of course, some students who cannot afford to pay. This problem can be overcome by giving the students a loan to pay for their fees, and later, when they are earning a good salary, they repay the loan.

Finally, it is also a well known fact that if we get something for free, we don’t value it that much. The university classes would be full of non-serious students who would spoil the decorum of the classes. There would also be drop-outs and students may not complete their education. In such cases a lot of government money is wasted.

To conclude, I would like to reiterate that the government should not pay the course fees for everyone who wants to study at the university. However, the government can provide funding to the poor and needy students in the form of loans which can be repaid later.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In the past, lectures were used as a way of teaching large numbers of students, but now with the development of technology for education, many people think there is no justification for attending lectures. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

I disagree with the view that technology has reduced the need to attend lectures. I firmly believe that going to college or university and attending lectures is as important as before and even more so. In the following paragraphs I shall put forth my arguments to support my views.

It is irrefutable that computer and internet have made possible distance education and on-line education. In this regard, computers are a boon for the handicapped, those living in remote areas and those in job. They can study any time of the day or night because of the internet. This has made education approachable for many who cannot for some reason or the other attend a college or university.

However, I still feel that technology can replace the need for going to the classroom. When students attend lectures, they learn from teachers. In learning and practice of more complex ideas, the computer is not adequate. It can tell if the answer is right or wrong but it cannot tell where the student went wrong. Tasks involving reasoning cannot be taught using computers. Moreover, teachers add their own knowledge gained through experience to that of books and other resources.

Furthermore, teachers can stimulate interest and it is an undeniable fact that interested stimulated people tend to learn more. They can keep students focussed on study. A student studying by himself may get bored and stop studying. Teachers can provide a faster and simpler way to present information to the students. They can come down to the level of a student and so are definitely better than computers. What is more, teachers are role models for students. They are scholars in action. They not only teach academic subjects, but also many social skills. Finally, when students attend lectures, they have interaction with other students which gives them a sense of competition to study more.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that there is no doubt that modern technology has added many new ways to reach education to students, but attending lectures will always hold its importance.

Teachers used to convey information, but now with wide resources of information, there is no role for teachers to play in modern education. Do you agree or disagree

I disagree with the view that teachers have lost their importance in education because of the wide resources such as the internet. I firmly believe that teachers are as important as before and even more so. In the following paragraphs I shall put forth my arguments to support my views.

It is irrefutable that computer and internet have made possible distance education and on-line education. In this regard, computers are a boon for the handicapped, those living in remote areas and those in job. They can study any time of the day or night because of the internet. This has made education approachable for many who cannot for some reason or the other attend a college or university.

However, I still feel that teachers can never lose their importance. In learning and practice of more complex ideas, the computer is not adequate. It can tell if the answer is right or wrong but it cannot tell where the student went wrong. Tasks involving reasoning cannot be taught using computers. Moreover, teachers add their own knowledge gained through experience to that of books and other resources.

Furthermore, teachers can stimulate interest and it is an undeniable fact that interested stimulated people tend to learn more. They can keep students focussed on study. A student studying by himself may get bored and stop studying. Teachers can provide a faster and simpler way to present information to the students. They can come down to the level of a student and so are definitely better than computers. What is more, teachers are role models for students. They are scholars in action. They not only teach academic subjects, but also many social skills.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that there is no doubt that modern resources have changed education from a teacher-oriented one to a student-centred one, but teachers will always hold their importance and can never be replaced by any technology.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Some people think that giving aids to the poor countries has more negative impacts than positive ones. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

I disagree that giving aid to poor countries has more negative effects. There are negative effects, no doubt, but positive effects are certainly more

Talking about the negative effects, the major one is that poor countries could become over dependent and stop making efforts of their own. This would halt the long term progress of the poor countries. Secondly, the aid given by rich countries could go into corrupt hands and not reach those for whom it was meant for. Then, the aid may not be that useful. For example, the people’s need may be clothes and food but the aid may be in the form of making a bridge or something like that which people may not need. Finally, the rich countries may have their own selfish motives behind giving aid. For instance, they may provide employment but they may be underpaying and exploiting the poor.

The advantages of the rich countries helping the poor are manifold. To begin with, nowadays we belong to a global village and all countries are so interconnected that all problems that arise because of poverty – crime, terrorism and diseases will directly or indirectly affect the rich countries. It is a well known fact that terrorists can infiltrate the rich countries and cause violence and crime there. Moreover, if poor countries suffer diseases then these diseases can spread to the neighbouring rich countries. So, it can be said that it is a necessity for the rich to save the poor in order to save themselves. It has been well said by John F Kennedy that “if a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich”.

Furthermore, there are many problems which the world is facing today, such as global warming, which can be solved by joint efforts of all countries. Such joint efforts can only be possible if the gap between the rich and poor is narrowed. This can only be achieved if the haves help the have-nots. Finally, the rich countries also have a moral duty to help the poor. They should help them on humanitarian grounds.

To conclude, I reiterate by saying that the rich must help the poor. However, it must be well researched first as to what sort of help is most needed. Help can be provided in the form of food, medicine and education.

Nowadays, we are living in a throw-away society. What are its causes and what are its problems?

Environmentalists today are campaigning for "reduce, recycle and re-use" in a bid to save the world, but we as a nation, have adopted "replace" as our mantra. This and many other factors are leading to a throwaway society, and there are many problems being caused by this which I shall discuss in this essay.

The reasons for our becoming a throwaway society are manifold. Firstly, in a quest for better living standards, we wish to own the latest equipments and gadgets. Once new things are acquired, we dispose-off these "unwanted" things to second hand shops or just in the trash cans.

Secondly, the markets today are flooded with cheap, single-use-only things that are more in demand than high priced quality items. Our houses and closets seem to be overflowing with goods that are more in quantity and less in value. Finally, there is too much packaging done by the companies in a bid to make their things more attractive.

The effects of this trend are also manifold. Pollution and filling up of the landfill sites by non biodegradable material is a great cause of concern. Global warming is taking up mammoth dimensions and unless we do something about it, our earth will become uninhabitable very soon.

To add to it, there is intense competition and rivalry among the affluent for becoming society's trend setters. This tendency has played havoc on the middle-class strata. People are working long arduous hours to earn more and more money so that they can keep up with Joneses and Smiths or else lose face. This is creating stress among people and people are losing social and moral values.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, the current abundance of choice coupled with the ease with which things are discarded as soon as they lose their newness has given rise to a throwaway society which is having a detrimental effect on the individuals and society.

We can see more disasters and violence shown on TV .What are its causes and what effects will they exert on the individual and the society?

It is irrefutable that television news is filled with violence and suffering. Crime and violent world events are among the most frequently covered topics on TV. In the following paragraphs I shall discuss the reasons of this phenomenon and suggest some ways forward.

The most important reason for this is obviously that television channels want to increase their TRP (television rating point). If any channel has high TRP, it gets more adverts and hence more revenue. Therefore the channels have to show such sensational news. Secondly, the news channels have to show what is happening around and disasters and violence have become very common in our surroundings. Finally, people demand that they should be well informed about all things which are prevalent in society. So, media has to show all that to its viewers.

There are many harmful effects on the individuals and society. The most disturbing effect is on the children and youth. Media violence can stimulate fear in some children as it frightens them, making the effects long lasting. This can become traumatic in our children as they see it more and more. Children are starting to grow and are shaping their personality, values and beliefs. They can become aggressive or they can lose a sense of reality and fiction of what they are seeing.

Young people imitate what they see and it is logical that they see glamour in what they do when they commit violence. Consequently, the society suffers as the streets are full of violence. Too much portrayal of these also leads to immunity among the people and they are not affected by the disasters any more. Disasters like Tsunami and earthquakes don’t make people shed a tear any more.

How can we lessen violence? Reducing the amount of violence on TV and in the cinema would certainly be a good start. It is a well known fact that the media possesses a lot of power to influence people. So, those in the media must be judicious about delivering news in a balanced manner that brings the story to the consumer without showing too much violence. Journalism is a profession like any other and certain standards of quality and professionalism need to be maintained. Moreover, parents should be more vigilant about what children see on TV.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that there are many reasons why media shows too much violence on TV and some steps should be taken to reduce this as it has a lot of detrimental effects on the individuals and society.


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