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18th-century St. John’s Church in Kolkata hosts Heritage Walk for Hearing-impaired

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St John's Church, Wikimedia
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Kolkata, March 27, 2017: Sunshine on their shoulders, 30 bright young minds, notwithstanding their hearing-impairment, ambled up to the late 18th-century St. John’s Church here on Monday, soaking in the history of the structure through sign-language in a unique heritage walk.

Rukhsana and her schoolmates from the city-based Ideal School For the Deaf, looked up in awe at the artwork around the church as their teachers explained its 230-year-old history through sign-language as part of the heritage walk for the hearing-impaired.

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“The idea is to showcase the inclusivity of heritage structures. Heritage is meant for all and should be inclusive. Disabilities shouldn’t be a barrier to access and experience heritage,” Tathagata, archaeologist and co-founder of Heritage Walk Calcutta, told IANS about the initiative.

The event was curated and executed by the company in collaboration with the school under the Go Unesco ‘Make Heritage Fun’ umbrella.

Armed with special kits and visual aids (pictures of old Calcutta and the church, dates), the students from Classes 6 to 9, were taken around the church grounds, located smack in the middle of the city at Dalhousie.

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As Tathagata elaborated about the “Black Hole of Calcutta” and Job Charnock’s mausoleum, teacher Swati communicated the data through sign-language.

Charnock, a British trader, was considered to be the founder of Kolkata but in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled against it, saying Kolkata’s existence is older than Charnock’s landing.

The young visitors were particularly drawn to the 10 ft x 12 ft painting “The Last Supper” by German neo-classical painter Johann Zoffany, housed inside the church. They eagerly fired a volley of questions for their teachers and responded with hand gestures as they registered the fresh information.

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“Our favourite thing about the church is the painting. We love the ambience. It is our first heritage walk and we want to do it again,” Rukhsana and her classmates told IANS through sign-language that was translated by Swati.

To follow up on the walk, the students will be asked to interpret the church in their own way through paintings.

“The challenge is to simplify things for them. We have to break down the history and filter it down to the essentials so it is easy for them to absorb. The heritage walk and the paintings that they will later draw will help them retain the memory and the information they processed,” added Swati. (IANS)

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Swiggy to use digital payments for delivery fleet

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to "change the way India eats" and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others

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Another step towards digitizing India
Encouraging Digital Transactions by exempting service tax on Cards (Wikimedia commons)
  • Swiggy is an online food ordering platform
  • It will now allow digital payments for delivery feet
  • this method will prevent any leakage in cash payment process

Online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy on Monday said it would use privately-run ICICI Bank to allow its delivery fleet to make digital payments.

“Through the use of Unified Payment Interface (UPI)-based solution for instant fund transfers and automated cash deposit machines at ICICI Bank branches and ATMs across the country, the delivery fleet will have a hassle-free way of transferring funds,” the company said in a statement. Swiggy operates with a fleet of over 20,000 delivery persons delivering food from over 25,000 restaurants across 12 cities.

These digital payments will prevent leakage in cash payments. Wikimedia Commons

With cash-on-delivery being a widely used method of payment on the platform, the digital payment methods allow the delivery men to quickly transfer the funds to Swiggy, saving their time, according to the statement.

“With the delivery fleet being the backbone of Swiggy, the adoption of the digital payment solutions will support the ease of operations and save their time and thousands of kilometres of travel,” said the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rahul Bothra in the statement. The digital payment methods will also help in preventing any cash leakages, the company said.

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Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to “change the way India eats” and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others. IANS