We support initiated & implemented by community to enliven public spaces across Singapore to build interactions & create shared memories.

Rajakumar Chandra

Community place makers help inject vibrancy to their respective precincts by improving its existing facilities and organising exciting ground-up initiatives. Mr Rajakumar, Chairman of Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA), is a role model who has contributed significantly to the growth of Little India since 2001. Under his vision and stewardship, LISHA has implemented many successful initiatives and events to promote Little India’s heritage, culture and commercial activities. For his efforts, Mr Rajakumar was recognised through the URA’s Place Champion Award in 2016.

Mr Rajakumar Chandra has been a key figure in shaping the Little India precinct since 2001 as Assistant Secretary of the Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association (LISHA). His unending passion, drive and hard work put into contributing towards the cultural precinct has seen his appointment as Chairman from 2008. Till date, the association has become a key stakeholder in Little India with the purpose of promoting the precinct’s heritage, culture, business and commercial activities, as well as to drive programming and ground-up place activation projects. Mr Rajakumar and his team has seen the completion of various place activation projects throughout his tenure, which have enlivened public spaces in the precinct and reinforced its distinctive cultural identity.

With commitment to further the cultural and ethnic character of Little India, Mr Rajakumar’s leadership brought forth continued growth and development of key festive events every year. The Pongal and Indian Cultural Fiesta have both grown and doubled in length while the signature Deepavali Celebrations 2015 attracted some 3.38 million visitors to Little India, a record high since the event first started. These anchoring events are integral to the Little India experience, bring together communities from and around the precinct.

Mr Rajakumar has also represented LISHA as key stakeholder of the precinct in the Little India Task Force spearheaded by Urban Redevelopment Authorities (URA), the Design & Construction Committee of the Indian Heritage Centre led by National Heritage Board (NHB), Tamil Language Festival and SINDA integration committee. Adopting such an all-rounded place management approach has seen the scope of work by LISHA expand and transform to address the larger concerns and needs of communities of Little India. This strategic direction by Mr Rajakumar has made the launch of seven-month pilot programme, Project Oasis in Little India (POLI) in March 2017 come as no surprise.

The launch of POLI marks an extension of ground-up efforts by LISHA to enhance precinct vibrancy and visitor experience. With the support of Singapore Tourism Board (STB), URA and Singapore Land Authorities, LISHA activated two unused pockets of land within Little India with stylistically decorated cows and umbrella on trees, designed by Ms Marthalia Budiman as part of the My Ideas for Public Spaces: Forgotten Spaces competition held in 2015. The activation has made these pockets of land at Clive Street and Hindoo Road readily available as venues for programming and events. POLI has been well-loved by precinct stakeholders, with growing interest and confidence for future place activation projects from the community.

Mr Rajakumar’s long-term contributions for the precinct has garnered the respect and support of the stakeholders and as well as from the leaders of the community. Moreover, he has been awarded the Place Champion Award by the Place Management Coordinating Forum and Special Recognition award under STB’s Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism award in year 2016, in recognition of his role in spearheading Little India’s developments in place management and tourism.

What Rights Do Non-Custodial Parents Have?

One of the most painful aspects of divorce is the separation of one parent from the children. Indeed, he or she may begin to feel not a parent at all but rather just a visitor in the child’s life. Ideally, a 50/50 joint physical custody should be presumed by Family Law. Until such a time, however, the system can feel like it exists to spite the non-custodial parent.

Such parents do indeed have inalienable rights with their children, except in cases where significant abuse or neglect has been proved. They have the right to visit their children, and according to a set schedule. Such consistency of routine is also, invariably, beneficial to the children. Non-custodial parents also have the right to holiday time, to access their children’s school and medical records, and to pay child support in an amount that fairly reflects what they’re able to earn.

What Rights Do Non-Custodial Parents Have?

Unfortunately, most of these rights can be difficult to enforce – for two reasons. First, the laws are ambiguous in a lot of areas, and secondly, the wording of parents’ divorce agreements may be too vague to hold substantial weight in court. Whatever is written in a court order pertaining to custody – whether it’s called a visitation schedule or a parenting plan, is what’s legally enforceable. For this reason, the best defense that non-custodial parents have is to try and foresee any difficulties or misunderstandings they may have with former spouses and try to clearly define what arrangements would work for both parties before committing anything to paper.

The most hotly contested issue in court cases involving custody is visitation rights. This is because, again, the wording of it may have no obviously defined meaning. “Liberal and frequent visitation” may sound like a great arrangement, but the exact interpretation of that may end up being subject to the custodial parent’s whims of the moment. A visitation schedule should have exact dates and times clearly written out. Another recurring issue that’s often contested is residential moves. One’s parenting plan should anticipate this, and declare in writing whether such a thing (the custodial parent moving with children to a distant state, or even out of the country) will even be permissible at all.

Other issues that should be addressed in the parenting plan are whether or not, and by what means, children can be contacted when they’re with the custodial parent. Holiday times should de clearly defined – exact days, and with whom. There should be a provision in there guaranteeing the non-custodial parent the right to access children’s school and medical records. If parents live a fair distance away from each other, who will provide transportation? Who will attend school and extracurricular activities? These are also concerns that should be addressed in writing.

Keep in mind that child support and child custody are separate issues, legally speaking. Withholding support payments is not a valid response to denied visitation – nor is the reverse true. If your child’s custodial parent is not honoring your rights as outlined in your parenting plan, your best option is to keep a record of these violation – for example, on a calendar. Then you will have something to refer to, and build your case upon, should the need arise for you to get a cheap divorce lawyer in Singapore and take action in court.

Severe and/or repeated violations can often provide the grounds for a change in custody. Actions made by the custodial parent to alienate a child from the other parent, to interfere with visitation rights, or to take the child out of the state without the others consent can all lead to liability in court.

What Makes A Good Public Space?

What Makes A Good Public Space?

PEOPLE & PROGRAMMING

What makes an attractive public space? Many factors come into play when enhancing the appeal of a place, such as good design and activities that encourage interaction among people. This, in turn, draws others to join the community.

LUSH LANDSCAPING

Here’s one great way an urban space can be transformed – by making a place the destination for leisure and recreation with lush greenery and tranquil water-bodies. For example, the conversion of the old Kallang River Canal into a naturalized river flowing through Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park has since made the area a popular and lively retreat.

ACCESSIBILITY

A place that is easy and convenient for people to access rain or shine, particularly via public transport, is important in ensuring that the space is people-friendly and can be utilised by all groups in the community.

COMFORT

Whether it’s kicking back with a good book or simply resting one’s feet, a public space should have cozy surrounds. Ample shade, sufficient seating, good lighting and an all-inclusive design are important components of a comfortable environment.

EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN + EYE FOR DETAIL = ENGAGING

How do we create a truly extraordinary space? It all lies in the details, whether it’s an obvious or seemingly insignificant one – no aspect of the design should be overlooked in the development of an engaging place.

SENSE OF DELIGHT + SHARING OF SPACES

It’s all about enjoying what the space has to offer! Imagine a place that you can share and interact with friends, family and strangers alike. Highlights such as a scenic view, a humorous sculpture or a pretty row of blossoming trees, all located in places specially designed for casual gatherings. But even small pockets of forgotten spaces, alleys and back lanes, activated with simple ideas can be delightful and bring people together.