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By Harshmeet Singh
As a country, 2015 has been an extremely eventful year. There were some amazing highs which were averaged out by a number of lows. From banning anything remotely offensive to showing solidarity with the fellow countrymen at the time of natural crises, we added a number of new chapters to the nation’s history.
But to end the year on a cheerful note, we would prefer concentrating on the positives. The year 2015 brought with itself a number of moments that took India’s stature to new heights. Let’s revisit the top seven moments of 2015 that made India proud and cherish them before we start 2016 with a clean slate.
- The first all women contingent at the Republic Day parade
This year’s Republic Day Parade was in the news for multiple reasons. Barack Obama, during his second visit to India, became the first US President to attend India’s Republic Day Parade as the guest of honor. But what made this parade really special was the participation of first ever all women contingent. Women officers from all the three arms of the military took part in the parade, whose theme was “Women Empowerment.”
On January 25, Wing Commander Puja Thakur became the first woman to command the guard of honor for President Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- Chennai boy becomes the CEO of Google
Sundar Pichai became a household name not just in India, but in many other countries including the USA. The IIT Kharagpur engineer took over as the CEO of Google on October 2, 2015. Previously, he had played a key role in the development of a number of Google’s flagship products including Android, Google Drive, and Google Chrome.
- Air Force to induct female fighter pilots
On October 8, Air Force Day, air-chief Arup Raha announced the plans to allow the induction of women fighter pilots in the Air Force. Till now, women Air Force officers have only been employed in office work and navigation. Women have also flown cargo planes and helicopters in the past, but have been kept away from the fighter planes.
- Sania Mirza reaches the pinnacle and stays there
The year 2015 saw Sania Mirza setting out on a dream run along with her doubles’ partner, Martin Hingis. The duo ended the year as the world number one team, with 10 titles in their kitty, including the Wimbledon and the US Open.
- Society accepts transgender people
The year saw frequent rallies and pride parades in support of transgender people in different parts of the country. Though these rallies weren’t new, the professional success of Madhu Kinnar and Manabi Bandhyopadhyay raised great hopes.
Madhu Kinnar became India’s fifth transgender mayor after winning the Raigarh Municipal elections while running as an independent candidate. Dr. Manabi Bandhyopadhyay became the first transgender college principal in the country after she was offered the post at Krishnagar Women’s College.
- Magsaysay award for Sanjiv Chaturvedi
Indian Forest Services officer of the 2002 batch, Sanjiv Chaturvedi is known for unearthing corruption with every new posting. He was rewarded with frequent transfers, suspensions and false cases. The Magsaysay award foundation awarded him with the prestigious award for “his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of programme and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people.”
- 21 June is now the ‘world yoga day’
The UN accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal of naming 21st June as the ‘world yoga day.’ June 21, 2015 saw millions of people practicing yoga in different parts of the world. PM Modi led from the front and practiced Yoga at Delhi’s Rajpath along with more than 35 thousand people. The gathering at Rajpath also found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest yoga camp.
The festive season is around the corner and with sugar-laden sweets, snacks and luncheons, festive eating tends to tip towards an indulgence. The pandemic, along with the holiday season, provides us with a double incentive to take care of our health, especially if you have a chronic health condition like diabetes.People with diabetes need to find ways to manage their health smartly and effectively to mitigate risks that come with the disease such as kidney problems, heart diseases, nerve issues, foot problems, and so on. Controlling glucose levels, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular medical consultations are key to managing this disease effectively.
Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Diabetologist and MD of Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centres said, "It is imperative for one to always make sure diabetes is being well-managed, but, during the festive season, it is important than usual. Uncontrolled diabetes can heighten the risk of developing severe diseases or complications. Regularly monitoring glucose levels helps you catch spikes or trends that suggest your diabetes may be getting out of control. This also helps you to take timely measures," he explains.
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Here are a few tips for better diabetes management during the pandemic:
Scheduling is key: Diabetic patients need to continue medications without interruption. Apart from continuous monitoring of glucose levels, do plan regular consultations with the doctor. It is also imperative that patients do not ignore high blood glucose levels, HbA1C >10%, or positive urine ketone status.
No pain, no gain!: Diet & exercise play a major role in preventing and managing diabetes. Attention to nutrition and adequate protein intake along with exercise helps control weight and lower blood pressure. It also lowers harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raises healthy HDL cholesterol, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves general well-being. Patients with diabetes are encouraged to take up 45 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Wearable devices for the win!: Technology advances have led wearable devices, to allow patients to keep a close tab on glucose levels. One such wearable is the Freestyle Libre that go a long way in helping people with diabetes (both type 1 and 2) manage the disease well. Continuous glucose monitoring, through these devices, offers the highest levels of accuracy and performance standards.
Patients with diabetes need to practice utmost caution to healthy food
Also read; People with diabeties likely to observe
Say no to stress: Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. This has become worse during the pandemic, as health anxieties and long lockdowns have given rise to emotional responses like anxiety, frustration and disappointment. One can opt for healthier life choices such as exercise, yoga and meditation to avoid stress.
Stay safe: The pandemic is still with us. Patients with diabetes need to practice utmost caution to reduce the risk of catching an infection. Along with vaccinations, patients with diabetes need to ensure safe choices such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and frequent hand washing.
This festive season, even those with diabetes can enjoy life to the fullest, provided these simple measures are followed to keep the glucose levels under check. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: Diabeties, continuous monitoring, weight, lower blood pressure, no stress, stay safe
As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, 'Andhero Se Roshini Tak.
In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens, many of who were suffering from isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.
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The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India's elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves.
According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36 percent elders at home in India 'were just waiting for the phone to ring'. During the first lockdown, 65 percent of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.
The core campaign message urges the younger generation and society at large, to bring hope, light and 'Roshini' back into the lives of elders. It encourages bringing elders back into the family fold and pushes for elder inclusion. A time to give back and spread the love, and reach out to those elders who have no one to call their own and support them.
campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak Unsplash
Also read: This charity helps homeless
"Diwali is a time synonymous with hope, positivity and togetherness. The pandemic took a heavy toll on the lives of our elderly, particularly on the disadvantaged. Identified as the most vulnerable, many faced challenges at multiple levels, from loss of livelihood to having no money, no support and were left with a deep sense of isolation and constant anxiety. For those living alone, it was even worse. We hope through this campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak we can sensitize people to urgently come forward and celebrate this festival in its truest sense, by sharing the light and love with those who need it most. It is our responsibility to bring light into their lives, it's time to give back." said Rohit Prasad, Chief Executive Officer, HelpAge India. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: Oldage home, homeless people, HelpAge India, Covid-19, lockdown, pandemic, Diwali
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
The spiritual element of wellness can be the most personal piece of the puzzle when trying to place all dimensions of wellness together. Generally, people like to live a life with meaning and purpose. When these goals are met, It brings harmony into one's own life as well as the lives of people around them.
So, what can you do to connect with your spiritual self? It's best to figure out what techniques work for you. Since connecting with the spiritual self involves one's values, beliefs, and purpose, it can be achieved in several ways-both physically and mentally.
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Surbhi Bansal Co-founder Nirmalaya shares 5 tips to connect with your spiritual self:
Set your intention: Your intention can be as simple as saying to yourself, "I want to learn more about spirituality in general," or it could be as formal as sharing your intention with friends in order to celebrate your start on this lifelong journey. Consciously acknowledging your yearning and curiosity, even if only to yourself, is like opening a door and setting out on the path of the seeker.
Be still every day: Our connection to spirit, the universe, or whatever you prefer to call it, is primarily a felt experience. Therefore, a great way to establish a strong spiritual practice is to set aside time to intentionally quiet your thinking mind using meditation, chanting, or mindfulness. All it takes is 15 minutes a day.
Find a quiet spot where you can sit comfortably and undisturbed, set your timer, and observe your mind. If that seems daunting, start with a guided meditation. There are tons of free apps and recordings available online. Find one you like, and commit to following it once a day.
Don't neglect your body: The mind, body, and spirit are all connected, so don't forget to employ your physical body in your pursuit of the mystical. Dancing, drumming, practising yoga, singing, even playing sports are all deeply intuitive ways to express our spiritual selves using our bodies. See if you can get out of your head and simply allow your body to tell you what it wants.
Think positively: Once you start viewing things in your life in a positive manner, you will find yourself thinking differently and refocusing your mind on a happy, healthy place. When you eliminate negativity and re-frame how you think of certain things and situations, you'll notice yourself being more relaxed.
Travel allows you to weed out stressorsUnsplash
Also read: The signs which revel that you are disconnected
Travel. It's true! Taking time for yourself to travel to a comforting place or somewhere new can do wonders for your mind. When you are at a place where your mind can keep out distractions and help you reflect and rest, you will have a better connection with yourself. This allows you to weed out stressors and set your mind on the right path for overall wellness. Some activities to take part in when on a trip can be exercising, speaking with a counsellor or advisor, meditation, or taking a temporary vow of silence. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: Self connection, Spirituality, Travel, spirit, meditation