New Delhi: After winning the Arjuna Award, paralympic champion swimmer Sharath M. Gaekwad is very determined to strike gold at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Gayakwad, who has enjoyed a successful run at the international level, missed out on a podium finish at 2012 London Paralympics despite clocking personal best timings in all the four events he participated in.
But after having received the prestigious Arjuna award at a glittering function at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday evening, the young swimmer was all fired up to do the country proud in Rio.
“The Arjuna award is one of the biggest honours for an athlete in the country. So it is a huge motivation for me. I am preparing for the qualification tournaments for the Rio Olympics which are due to be held next month,” Sharath told media.
With the 2016 Paralympics just a year away, Sharath’s statement may sound like an empty boast to some. But given the 24-year-old’s glittering record at the international level, it would perhaps be foolish to dismiss his chances outright.
One of the best para-swimmers to be born in the country, the Bengaluru lad has been in excellent form in recent months.
He bagged six medals at the Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea last year. This was the highest tally of medals by an Indian at the Asian Games. The record was previously held by legendary athlete P.T. Usha who won five medals at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games.
“I did not expect to win so many medals. I had worked very hard in the run up to that tournament so winning six medals gave me a lot of happiness and motivation to put more effort into my training,” Sharath said.
But success did not come easy for Sharath. Hailing from a modest financial background, his tryst with swimming started as a nine-year-old at the Little Flower Public School in Bengaluru.
His parents were initially apprehensive of allowing him to attend the mandatory swimming classes because of his disability. But the plucky lad was determined not to let a deformed left hand hold him back and managed to convince his parents to allow him to take up swimming.
“I faced a lot of problems during the early days. My disability made it difficult to maintain equilibrium in the water. But my coaches urged me on,” Sharath reminisced.
“Learning to swim gave new meaning to my life. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me realise that if I put in the required effort, I could succeed in life despite my disability,” he added.
Initially attracted to swimming because of its health benefits and the fun factor, Sharath started to become more seriously involved with the sport when he was spotted by coach John Christopher at a school tournament in 2003.
He gradually started to win medals at state and national level tournaments and ultimately decided to become a professional swimmer at the age of 15.
“When I was a kid, I wanted to join the army. But as I grew older, I realized that my disability will prevent me from achieving my dreams. But swimming made me realise that I can be an achiever in my life,” he said.
“I won gold at the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled (Fespic) and Fespic Youth Games at the age of 15 and that is when I decided that I wanted to build a career in the sport,” he added.
“Even at that age, I had started to compete against senior athletes and was confident that I had a bright future in swimming.”
Like most Indian athletes, Sharath had to struggle against poor facilities and training conditions at the national camps.
But with the government and private sector showing renewed interest in supporting para-athletes, he is hopeful of a bright future.
“There has been a big improvement in the performance of Indian para-athletes since we have received a lot of support over the last four to five years.
“We are already performing well at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. If this support continues, then we will regularly win medals at the World Championships and Paralympics as well,” Sharath opined.
New Delhi, September 17, 2017: Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India and is given for exceptional performance in any of the fields of human Endeavour.
Here is the list of all Bharat Ratna award winners from 1954 to 2015:
C Rajagopalachari (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954): C Rajagopalachari, informally called Rajaji or C.R., was the Governor General of India from 1948 to 1950. He served as the Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency from 1937 to 1939, at the time of British rule. He was the Chief Minister of the Madras State from 1952 to 1954. He was also the founder of the Swatantra Party.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954): Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an esteemed Indian philosopher. He was the Vice President of India from 1952 to 1962 and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967. It’s on his birthday, which falls on September 5, we celebrate Teacher’s Day in India.
CV Raman (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954): CV Raman was an internationally acclaimed scientist and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. He is widely known around the world for his remarkable work called Raman Scattering, which deals with the scattering of light and its effect.
Bhagwan Das (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955): Bhagwan Das was an Indian theosophist who co-founded the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith in 1921. It was with his assistance that Madan Mohan Malaviya established the Banaras Hindu University.
M Visvesvaraya (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955): M Visvesvaraya was a renowned engineer and it’s on his birthday, which falls on 15 September, Engineer’s Day is celebrated in India.
Jawahar Lal Nehru (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1955): Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of free India and the leading figure in the Indian independence movement. Also known as Chacha Nehru, his birthday, which falls on November 14, is celebrated around the country as Children’s Day.
Govind Ballabh Pant (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1957): Govind Ballabh Pant was the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1950 to 1954, and became the home minister of India in 1955. He played a significant role in the freedom movement as well as in the government during British rule and in independent India.
Dhondo Keshav Karve (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1958): Karve was a social reformer who played a vital role in the upliftment of women in the country. He worked for remarriage of Hindu widows and education of women. He started many organizations for women development such as the Widow Marriage Association and the Hindu Widows Home. The Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University was established by him in 1916.
Bidhan Chandra Roy (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1961): Bidhan Chandra Roy was an acclaimed physician and a freedom fighter. He also served the Chief Minister of Bengal from 1948 to 1962. His birthday on July 1 is observed around the country as National Doctor’s Day.
Purushottam Das Tandon (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1961): Purushottam Das Tandon was a freedom fighter who was given the title of Rajarshi. He is known and remembered for his campaign asking to provide Hindi, the official language status.
Rajendra Prasad (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1962): Rajendra Prasad was the President of India from 1950 to 1962. Other than that, he was also a brilliant scholar, a lawyer, and statesman.
Zakir Husain (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1963): Zakir Hussain was the Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967 and the President from 1967 to 1969. He has also served as the Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from 1948 to 1956.
Pandurang Vaman Kane (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1963): Kane was a Sanskrit scholar as well as a notable Indologist. He is known for his monumental work, History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India.
Lal Bahadur Shastri (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1966): Lal Bahadur Shastri served as the Prime Minister of India from 1964 to 1966. He is the originator of the famous slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.
Indira Gandhi (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1971): India Gandhi was the prime minister of India from 1966 to 1977, and 1980 to 1984. She is known as the Iron Lady of India. She was responsible for the liberation of Bangladesh in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.
V V Giri (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1975): V V Giri was the first acting president of India and a noted freedom fighter.
K Kamraj (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1976): Kamraj was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1954–57, 1957–62, and 1962–63.
Mother Teresa (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1980): Mother Teresa is widely known around the world for her humanitarian work. She received the Nobel Peace Price in 1979.
list of all Bharat Ratna award winners
Vinoba Bhave (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1983): Vinoba Bhave was a social reformer and an active freedom fighter. He is famous for the Bhoodan movement, a Land-Gift movement. He was also awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1958.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1987): Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a noted freedom fighter who founded the Khudai Khidmatgar in 1929. He was a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and was known as the Frontier Gandhi.
M G Ramachandran (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1988): Ramachandran was an actor who later went into politics. He was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu during the years 1977–80, 1980–84, and 1985–87.
B R Ambedkar (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990): B R Ambedkar was a Dalit leader who fought against social discrimination that Dalits used to witness. Ambedkar is the drafter of the Indian Constitution and was also appointed as the first Law Minister of the country.
Nelson Mandela (Awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990): Mandela famous for his significant role in South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Movement, was the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and is also called the Gandhi of South Africa.
Rajiv Gandhi (Awarded Bharat in 1991): He was the Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He was the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40.
Vallabhbhai Patel (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1991): Vallabhbhai Patel, a freedom fighter, played a prominent role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union. It was for the same reason that he came to be known as the Iron Man of India.
Morarji Desai (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1991): He was the Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979. Desai is the only Indian to have bagged Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award presented by the Pakistan government.
Abdul Kalam Azad (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992): Abdul Kalam Azad was the first Minister of Education. 11th November, which is Kalam’s birthday, is observed as the National Education Day in India. He is also known as the missile man of India.
JRD Tata (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992): JRD Tata was an industrialist and a philanthropist. He is famous for his accomplishments such as establishment of Air India as well as institutes such as Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Satyajit Ray (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992): Satyajit ray was an Indian filmmaker and author. Ray received Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1984. Some of his most famous works are Pather Panchali and Shatranj ke Khilari.
Gulzarilal Nanda (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997): Gulzarilal Nanda served as the interim Prime Minister of India in 1964 and 1966. He has also served twice as the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission
Aruna Asaf Ali (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997): Aruna Asaf Ali, a prominent freedom fighter became the first mayor of Delhi in 1958.
A P J Abdul Kalam (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997): Kalam was the President of India from 2002 to 2007. He was also an acclaimed aerospace and defense scientist.
list of all Bharat Ratna award winners
MS Subbulakshmi (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1998): Subbulakshmi was a Carnatic classical vocalist who became the first Indian to have won the Ramon Magsaysay award. He is also known as the Queen of Songs.
Chidambaram Subramaniam (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1998): Subramaniam was India’s Agriculture Minister form 1964 to 1966. He made a remarkable contribution towards Green Revolution.
Jayaprakash Narayan (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Jayaprakash Narayan, also known as Lok Nayak, is known for his struggle against the government of Indira Gandhi in the 1970s, for which he initiated the Total Revolution Movement.
Amartya Sen (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Amartya Sen, an acclaimed economist, had done research in a number of topics. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998.
Gopinath Bordoloi (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Gopinath served as the Chief Minister of Assam from 1946 to 1950. He played an important role in keeping Assam united with India at the time of partition.
Ravi Shankar (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999): Ravi Shankar was an internationally recognized sitar player. He has won four Grammy Awards. Some of his famous works include collaborations with George Harrison.
Lata Mangeshkar (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2001): Lata Mangeshkar, owing to her melodious voice, is referred as the Nightingale of India. She won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1989.
Bismillah Khan (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2001): Bismillah Khan was a Shehnai player famous not only India but all over the world. He played a major role in the popularization of shehnai.
Bhimsen Joshi (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2009): Bhimsen Joshi was a renowned vocalist from the state of Karnataka. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1998.
CNR Rao (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2014): Rao is a professor and chemist, who has significantly worked in the fields of Spectroscopy, Molecular Structure, Solid State, and Materials Chemistry. He is a holder of prestigious positions, like the Director of the ISI, National Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor, all in India, University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Eberly Professor of Statistics and Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis at Pennsylvania State University in USA.
Sachin Tendulkar (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2014): Sachin is considered as one of the best cricket players in the world. Sachin. He has added many records in his career of two decades, including the record of being the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International.
Madan Mohan Malaviya (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2015): Madan Mohan Malviya founded the Banaras Hindu University. He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Awarded Bharat Ratna in 2015): Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India during the years 1996, 1998 and 1999 to 2004. In 1994, he was given the Best Parliamentarian Award.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha
May 07, 2017: Honouring the legendary and the greatest filmmaker Satyajit Ray on the auspicious occasion of his birthday, Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa aptly said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”
Over his 35-year-long career as a filmmaker, he directed over 30 films., including projects of myriads variety, ranging from fantasy, science fiction, detective films, historical dramas to feature films, documentaries, and shorts. Besides being a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, music composer, graphic designer, he was also the greatest film critic. He has authored several short stories and novels, primarily aimed at children and adolescents.
Here are some of the films of Satyajit Ray which were way ahead of their time and are often listed among the greatest films of all times
Satyajit’s debut film “Pather Panchali” is a tale of joys and sorrows of a poor Indian family in Bengal, and is a heartwarming indication that poverty does not always nullify love. The film has won eleven international prizes. This film, along with “Aparajita” and “Apur Sansar” from famous “The Apu Trilogy” are also listed among the greatest movies of all time in the history of Indian cinema. Describing the growing up of a young boy Apu (Apurba Kumar Roy) through the technique of Buildungsroman, the film narrated the childhood, education and early maturity of a young boy in the early part of the 20th century.
Pioneering the Parallel Cinema movement, “Pathar Panchali” is described as the ‘turning point in Indian Cinema’. The film is said to embrace social realism and authenticity. Through his debut film, Satyajit Ray became the architect of a genre of films “Indian Parallel Cinema”. These films aimed at concerning less with offering spectacle and glamour and touched social and political subjects. Moreover, The films were usually produced on a shoestring budget without depending on stardom for success.
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The film starts off where the previous film Pather Panchali ended, with protagonist Apu’s family moving to Varanasi depicting Apu’s stepping into adolescence in college and leaving his childhood, right up to his mother’s death, when he is left all alone.
Being the third part of The Apu Trilogy, the film is about the childhood and early adulthood of Apu that focuses on the world of the young man. Apu’s tragic life as a teenager and an adult perfectly reflects the cruel, realistic realities, and is sure to leave you in tears.
Days and Nights in the Forest
As a tribute to Renoir’s classic Partie de campagne, “Days and Nights in the Forest” is all about transplanting the scene from pastoral France to the forests of north-eastern India.
Children took immense pleasure in watching Ray’s film series which includes “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne”, “Hirok Rajar Deshe” and “Goopy Bagha Firey Elo”.
It is interesting to note that the first two films of the ‘Goopy Bagha Trilogy’, “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” and “Hirak Rajar Deshe” were directed by Satyajit Ray, and the third film “Goopy Bagha Phire Elo” was directed by his son. The first movie was keenly made for entertaining kids while the second part “Hirok Rajar Deshe”, reflected the reign of Indira Gandhi in India and the emergency period. While a child would have enjoyed the story of a ruthless king being dethroned, an adult watching the film would have intimated with the deeper meaning of the film.
“Teen Kanya” was originally written by Rabindranath Tagore and later adapted by Satyajit Ray into a film. Teen Kanya narrated the tale of three different women during the three different stages of their lives.
“Charulata” was another written work of Rabindranath Tagore that narrates the tale of a lonely wife who develops a deeply regrettable bond with her brother-in-law. The film is meditative poetry, lingering over the inner turmoil endured by all the characters.
Starring Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore, the first major film in the post Charulata period “Nayak” narrates the twenty-four hours of the journey, during which the film explores the inner conflict of the apparently highly successful matinée idol.
The Music Room
Ray represented on the world stage the magisterial drama about an ageing Bengali landowner and his fatality clinging to the past. Ray brings Roy’s perfumed world to life with glittering images of fireworks, gleaming chandeliers and the cavernous extravagance of his music room, where he invites sitarists and dancers to entertain him and his guests.
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The Big City
Ray was found railing against the ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ mentality, making a sassy, nuanced and deeply moving film about the gathering speed of modernity and feminism in his home city of Calcutta. Protagonist Arati, who has never stepped out of the four walls of her house suddenly takes to the world of work to support her large and extended family.
“Kanchenjungha” was his first film in colour which tells its audience of an upper-class family spending an afternoon in Darjeeling, a picturesque hill town in West Bengal.
Being a skilled calligrapher, Satyajit Ray had designed four typefaces for the Roman script – Ray Roman, Ray Bizarre, Daphnis, and Holiday Script, in addition to several others for the Bengali script. Out of which Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre had bagged an international prize.
Ray was honoured with many major awards in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Bear, a Golden Lion, and various International awards. In 1992, Ray was awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Government of India. He was also awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University.
Ray is the first and the only Indian to receive an Honorary Academy Award by the “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Calling it the “Best achievement of movie-making career”, he accepted the award in a severely ill condition and left for heavenly abode at the age of 71 on 23 April 1992.
prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram. Twitter handle- @Himanshi1104
London, November 30, 2016: Swimming, racquet sports and aerobics are associated with the best odds of staving off death, and in particular of reducing the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, scientists said on Tuesday.
In a study of various types of exercise and their risk levels, the researchers found that participation in specific sports showed significant benefits for public health, and urged doctors and policymakers to encourage people to take them up.
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While the research, published in the British Journal and Sports Medicine, showed no added advantage for people who favor running and football or rugby, independent experts said this was purely due to the design of the study.
“This study must not be misinterpreted as showing that running and football do not protect against heart disease,” said Tim Chico, a consultant cardiologist at professor at Britain’s Sheffield University who was asked to comment on the findings.
Over 80,000 adults studied
The study analyzed data from 11 annual health surveys for England and Scotland carried out between 1994 and 2008, covering 80,306 adults with an average age of 52.
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Participants were asked about what type and how much exercise they had done in the preceding four weeks, and whether it had been enough to make them breathless and sweaty.
Racquet sports score highest
Exercise included heavy domestic chores and gardening; walking; cycling; swimming; aerobics, gymnastics or dance; running; football or rugby; and badminton, tennis or squash.
The survival of each participant was tracked for an average of nine years, during which time 8,790 of them died from all causes and 1,909 from heart disease or stroke.
Overall, compared with respondents who had not done a given sport, risk of death during the follow up period from any cause was 47 percent lower among those who played racquet sports, 28 percent lower among swimmers, 27 percent lower among dance aerobics fans and 15 percent lower among cyclists.
Exercise better “than any drug”
In death from heart disease and stroke, the study found racquet sports players had a 56 percent lower risk, with 41 percent for swimming and 36 percent for aerobics, compared with those who did not participate in these sports.
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Chico said the study did find that both runners and footballers had a lower rate of death from heart disease.
“Although this was not ‘statistically significant’, many other studies have found that runners live longer and suffer less heart disease,” he said.
“I will continue to tell my patients that regular physical activity [including running] is more effective in reducing their risk of heart disease than any drug I can prescribe.” (VOA)