Tuesday October 24, 2017

Over 1,000 participate in walk to raise awareness about Glaucoma that is expected to to hit 80 million cases globally by 2020

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Glaucoma, VOA

Gurugram, March 19, 2017: Over 1,000 people, including school children and youth, participated in a walk organised to raise awareness about glaucoma — an eye disease that is expected to hit an estimated 80 million cases globally by 2020.

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. It is often linked to a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life.

As part of the awareness walk, information leaflets were distributed among the participants to create awareness and take precautionary measures.

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Several government officials, including Commissioner of Police Sandeep Khirwar, took part in the walk.

Face-to-face interactive sessions were also held to impart information to the curious people and to inform them about the importance of regular eye checkups.

“Usually people over the age of 50 are prone to it, and since it has no recognisable symptoms, it can lead to blindness,” said Parul Sony, ophthalmologist and Director of Gurgaon-based Complete Eye Care Centre.

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As per the estimates of Glaucoma Society of India, more than 10 million are suffering from glaucoma and over one million new cases are reported every year.

“To stop glaucoma from becoming an epidemic, creating awareness about it is important. Most of us don’t go to hospital until pain or persisting symptoms occur. This walk indeed helped many get information on how to prevent glaucoma,” said Sony. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Headache Due to Spending Long Hours in Front of Computer? Here’s how you can protect your eyes!

Staring at computer/ mobile screens would not permanently damage your eyes, but it would make you suffer the condition where your eyes would be able to focus well only on close objects, whereas more distant objects would appear blurred

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Protect your eyes by the following steps
It is important to protect your eyes from the strain caused by spending long hours in front of screen. Pixabay
  • People who spend 7 or more hours in front of the screen experience the symptoms of dry eye
  • All these symptoms fall under the category of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
  • These seven simple things when taken care of, will help protect your eyes

New Delhi, August 2, 2017: You might not like tears, but you must still be thankful for what all that they do for your eyes. Tears keep your eyes clean and lubricated and therefore healthy. People who do not produce enough tears suffer from a condition called dry eye, in which not enough moisture is produced to lubricate the surface of the eyeball, leading to pain, itching and blurred vision. According to a new report, people who happen to spend 7 or more hours in front of the screen experience similar symptoms.

All these symptoms that one experiences as a consequence of sitting for long hours in front of the screen, fall under the category of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). It isn’t one problem but includes a whole range of eye related problems.

Staring at computer/ mobile screens would not permanently damage your eyes, but it would make you suffer the condition where your eyes would be able to focus well only on close objects, whereas more distant objects would appear blurred. If a little awareness could save your eyes, there’s no logic in choosing ignorance.

Here are seven simple things which are capable of protecting your eyes, and only ask for a little attention in return:

Mission No Glare: Always make sure that there isn’t too much indoor light since too much light competing with the light of the device can create glare on the screen. One can also use an anti-glare screen, or add an anti-reflective coating to their glasses. Anti reflective coating helps in reducing the glare by minimizing the amount of light reflected from the lenses of the eyeglass.

Adjust the screen display: The perk of adjusting the screen display by increasing the contrast, so that the brightness feels comfortable is underestimated. A cooler, gray background is always better than a bright white background. Eye strain is often the result of excessively bright light around the screen if a little adjustment can help, then why not?

Blink often: Staring at screens make us blink less frequently and we tend to open our eyes wider than we do when performing other tasks, which results in faster tear evaporation, giving way to dry eye. An average person’s blink rate is about 15-20 times per minute, which decreases up to half when the eyes are fixated on some screen. The easiest way to reduce dry eye problem is by blinking often, consciously and voluntarily.

ALSO READ: It’s all in the eyes; new study shows why dogs fall in love with humans

Regular breaks: Your computer and mobile devices aren’t going anywhere. An email can wait and you’re not going to get the most important call of your life in the very time you decide to take a pause. These reasons are convincing enough to make you stop your work for a while and go out and have a coffee instead. Who chooses pain and headache over coffee?

The 20-20-20 rule: An extension of ‘Regular breaks’ is a systematic system known as the 20-20-20 rule, where one takes regular breaks every 20 minutes or so, and which when implemented can work wonders. This would provide your eyes the much-needed rest and prevent fatigue and strain causing headache and blurred vision. Even closing your eyes for a bit, every 20 minutes, can provide them the much-needed relaxation.

Keep screens away from the bed: Almost all digital screens are backlit and emit blue light, or high-energy visible (HEV) light wavelengths, which are believed to cause irritation in the eyes. Blue light also suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone, causing an artificial feeling of wakefulness. Fluctuations in the level of melatonin influence our desire to stay awake, making it important to keep the screens away from the bed.

Regular checkups:  There’s no alternative to this one. People with myopia, or nearsightedness, and other vision issues like hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia are at increased risk, making checkups for them an unavoidable option, however, it is important for everybody to stay updated with their eye status, in order to ensure healthy vision.

-by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha


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The Need to Introduce Music Education in our Schools: Why is it Underfunded?

Most of the Schools don't Include Music Programs due to Budgetary Pressure

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Music programs for schools are essential. Pixabay
  • In the US the music programs for schools are facing budget cuts and is heavily underfunded at other places
  • In India, according to a research paper, it was observed that music education is not available in every school
  • The scenario is far better in countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark that has well-developed and funded music school programs

June 23, 2017: Is ‘Music’ a universal language? Yes, it is! But, the current scenario will stir thoughts and make you think otherwise. Music is cherished worldwide but why people are not motivated enough to introduce it in schools?

Music has been with us for centuries and it is one of the activities that we associate with emotions and passion. We all have some music on our phones which we listen to while driving to work, or at the gym or at times while we are working. It is a composition of many vibrations that refreshes the mind. Music improves cultural integration and music is also used as a motivating factor to people.

Music Education is what is required to make the new generations take music up as a career but sadly, the present scenario of music education is not at its best. In the US, the music programs for schools are facing budget cuts and is heavily underfunded at other places. Countries like England and Australia also face the similar problem of funding of music in schools.

India too is facing problems in managing music programs at school levels. According to a research, it was observed that music education is not available in every school, it is not for every student, the teaching quality is not satisfactory, no music rooms. Over the years, this has cornered music and now children who are willing to learn, go to private tutors. Unfortunately, this becomes a burden for some due to the financial crisis- it costs high because it is not subsidized by the government.

Therefore, students feel demotivated enough to choose music as a career option. Also, students who are willing enough to learn music have opted for online music schools but ICT (Information and Communications Technology) but it is not well structured as well.

However, the scenario is far better in countries like Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark that has well-developed and funded music school programs and the students believe their schools take extra measures to develop music programs for schools.

But the scenario in the overall world is precarious because music education is considered not important in the education system though music has a vast scope in the practical world.  One can choose careers in Production, Music direction, Instrument specialists, Music in Tv and Radio, music in journalism, music education jobs and many other things.

One story that recently surfaced was the usage of music as a trauma therapy for the children in Syria. Project Lift works for the benefit of the Syrian children to counter their trauma through creative arts therapy which includes music therapy as one of the measures.

Listening to music has an effect on not just human beings, but also on their surroundings. Even dogs react to music. In 1994, there was an experiment done by a Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto, who believed that water reacts to human consciousness in which he observed the formation of ice crystals in water when different kinds of music vibrations hit them.

The results found to have a different composition of formation of crystals in each ice crystal. This means music can influence water and also humans. An average human body consists of 6o percent water and therefore needless o say that music can have a positive impact on the mind of human beings and therefore it is essential to introduce it to children from school levels itself.

– by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi