This old woman in Delhi hasn’t given up on her 400 strays, even after the civic body razed her home

Amma is determined not to disrupt the lives of her ‘children’. But winter is coming and it is hard for her to make ends meet.

It is difficult to have an uninterrupted conversation with Pratima Devi. Every two minutes, she is distracted by a dog demanding food, affection or to be tucked into bed. A resident of the PVR Anupam Complex in New Delhi’s Saket District Centre, Pratima Devi (known as Amma) is the caretaker of the area’s stray dogs

Her canine charges are fat, well-fed and happy. Most of them nap on beds she has made, and others – the sick and the mischievous – are made to sit apart. Even though there are occasional territorial spats between the dogs, they show no sign of leaving her side.

On October 30, Amma’s house, a shack she built for herself with the help of her son, was razed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

“A woman came to us and told Amma that she couldn’t be here,” said Pawan, a young man who lives with Amma. “When she protested, the woman came back with trucks, destroyed the house and took away our gas cylinders.”

He added, “She has a legal license for her shop, and a registered Aadhar for this address. This is her home.”

A shelter for all

Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh
Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh

The MCD had posed threats to Amma and her neighbours for months. She was accused of selling drugs to teenagers, making the neighbourhood dirty because of the dogs. But as writer Jai Arjun Singh, who lives in the neighbourhood, pointed out, the teenagers were homeless young men who found shelter on Amma’s floor, and every dog in Amma’s house is treated and sterilised.

“Those kids were away from home because of a fight, or some sort of domestic violence,” said Singh. “All she did was shelter them, like she does the dogs.”

Amma has lived in the PVR Anupam Complex for 35 years and is a veteran caretaker of strays. Before this, she said she was married at the age of seven to a much older man in Nandigram, West Bengal. She had no one to spend time with and took solace in feeding and playing with the dogs outside her house, while her husband was at work. Soon, they became like her children, depending on her for everything.

“When I had to leave my village, I made sure they would be looked after,” she said. “Here too, I had to take care of these children.”

Bholu, Amma’s oldest dog, is over 15.

“He was with me when the MCD came the first time” she said. “He was very angry.”

This is not the first time that Amma has faced problems. In 2003, she said, an arsonist set fire to the hut in which she lived with her dogs. Some of the dogs died and Amma suffered burns to her arms and stomach. This didn’t scare her off. After she mourned the death of her dogs, she was back to where she lived, treating yet more dogs with as much love.

“When I first met Amma six years ago, I had just lost my dog,” Singh recalled. “When I saw her, an old woman taking care of so many dogs in the neighbourhood, my heart warmed to her.”

Singh’s pet dog now is the sibling of one of Amma’s dogs. “What she does is extraordinary,” he added.

Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh
Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh

Dog days

Amma does not live with many possessions, but living outside the precarious structure her son built is a hindrance all the same. Winter is approaching and she is worried about how she will feed her dogs and keep them warm. Even though she gets adequate help from local residents, Amma said she mostly had to make do on her own.

“Sometimes I get money, but it’s not something I can rely on,” she said. “I pick and sell junk for my dogs – I make sure whatever happens, they are fed and vaccinated.”

She has tied up with local organisations like Friendicoes, an animal shelter in Delhi, to make sure that the dogs remain healthy. Whenever she can, she medicates them herself, but otherwise takes them to the clinic.

“None of these dogs ever skips a vaccination,” said Singh. “She’s very particular that when it comes to them, nothing ever goes amiss.”

Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh
Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh

Surviving on love

Residents in Delhi are known for their love of dogs – many neighbourhoods feed strays, buy them jackets for winter and encourage shelters to vaccinate the dogs and return them to their neighbourhood. But Amma is no well-heeled Samaritan.

“I take care of 40 dogs in my colony” said Gauri Dayal, a resident of Malaviya Nagar and a self-described fan of Amma. “She takes care of 400. It’s commendable.”

Since Amma’s home was torn down without warning, the hundreds of dogs that depend on her for food and shelter could lose their lease on a safe and happy life. As passers-by sat down by her to express remorse over the events of last week, she moved about with urgency – shouting orders at her son, making sure the dogs were getting fed.

“Till I am alive, nothing will happen to these ones,” she said with the proud air of a matriarch. “I won’t let it.”

Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh
Photo credit: Jai Arjun Singh
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The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.


The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the marketing team and not by the editorial staff.