Global Dharma




PM Modi Is Cleaning House

India’s prime minister modi called upon the nation to begin a campaign called Swachhata Hi Seva, “Cleanliness is Service,” from September 15, 2017, until Gandhi jayanti on October 2, 2017. During his address in August, he called for a massive cleaning to create an environment of cleanliness throughout the country so that Gandhi’s birthday, and the third anniversary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, can be celebrated in a deserving light. He urged all NGOs, schools, colleges, social, cultural and political leaders, corporations, state and local government officials and collectors to accelerate sanitation activities during the two-week period.

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will soon launch a section on where, after constructing toilets and undertaking other sanitation-related activities, people can register their name and the name of the family whom they helped.

According to the Ministry’s website,, over 33 million citizens have participated to date, and over 1.5 million activities were completed.


Transformed: Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, received the award for cleanest iconic place in all of India thanks to about 60 employees and 300 volunteers working on numerous monthly housekeeping chores


Vinayaka’s Other Vehicle

IN AN AUGUST, 2017, GANESHA Chaturthi campaign to show off Ford’s mission statement, a mega-Ganapati standing 6 and a half feet tall was built out of spare auto parts and painted as a work of art for the Oberoi Mall, Goregaon East, Mumbai.

Saurabh Makhija, the general manager of sales at Ford, unveiled the statue, which was open for public viewing during the last weekend at the mall. While unveiling the unique creation, Makhija said, “Safety is not an option but a priority for us at Ford. With the unique installation of Lord Ganesha, we want to highlight the significance of using genuine parts while servicing to ensure the well-being of loved ones.”

The Ganesha statue was created by artist Madhvi Pittie from Workshop Q in collaboration with Nishant Sudhakaran, a metal artist in Mumbai.


Only in India: Ganesha with Ford Motors, made from auto parts


The Birth of Zero

The new scientist magazine reported in September, 2017, that carbon dating an ancient manuscript has aged the use of zero by 500 years. The Bakhshali manuscript, first thought to be from the 9th century, is now dated around 224 to 383 ce. The previously oldest recorded example of zero was a 9th-century temple wall inscription in Gwalior, India.

The Bakhshali manuscript was discovered by a local farmer in 1881 in what is now Pakistan. It is housed at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian library.

Timothy Revell of The New Scientist writes, “The use of zero as a placeholder appeared in several different ancient cultures, such as the ancient Mayans and Babylonians. But only the Indian dot would eventually go on to gain true number status, first described in 628 ce by the Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta.”

Marcus du Santoy, professor of mathematics at Oxford, says, “The creation of zero as a number in its own right... was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics.” The text is thought to be a training manual for Buddhist monks.


Hundreds of zeros: The red circle highlights the zero in the text


Gratitude: Handlers at Kathmandu’s police dog school offer flowers to one of their 80 dogs in training


To your health: Amy’s two year-old craft fast-food house sits pleasantly off California’s highway 101 and continues to dominate


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