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By Anurag Paul
Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Maharashtra, often coined as the best village of Modern India and the best example of ‘Gram Swaraj’ (Self Governance) has been the main source of media attention. Anna Hazare is often credited with this change.
There is one more village in Maharashtra, Hivre Bazar, about 45 Kms from Ralegan Siddhi and chances are that you have already heard of it. It is another village, which is a living example of Gram Swaraj and now a place to be visited for sure if you want to see how a few hundred people can change the destiny of a village by their labor, long term planning and logistics management of natural resources.
But, there is one village which is miles ahead in development and social commitment if we compare it with the work done in Ralegan Siddhi or Hiwre Bazaar by its villagers. Known as Baghuvar, it is the only village in India which has functioned without a Sarpanch since independence, and that too efficiently.
Located in the block Kareli of district Narsinghpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Baghuvar sets an example of an ideal village in modern India. It shows the way how people can love their villages and stop fleeing to cities for employment for a better life.
Baghuvar village has set an example of exemplary development and real Gram Swaraj. It does not have an Anna or a Popat Rao. Every villager of this small habitat is Anna himself.
No Panchayat Election
This is very unique about this village that there has been no Panchayat (Sarpanch) Election since India’s independence (68 years). Initial decisions related to work and development were lead by most respected person of the village called “Bhaiya Ji”. He worked day and night and took some very good decisions about village development. He got support from most of the villagers thus the village followed his shown path. In 2012 he breathed his last but the villagers still follow his dream and keep the village clean.
Effective utilization of government schemes
In this black age of corruption, none of the schemes reach a village in its true spirit and implementation; the money doesn’t reach up to the villagers at all. Hence, the government schemes go unsuccessful. But, in this village none of the government schemes fail because the villagers know how to effectively utilize development funds.
Sewage & Water Harvesting
What is striking at the very first sight once you reach this village is that there is no overflow of sewage in any street of the village, a very rare thing to see even the most developed cities of India. The village has underground sewage lines and the farm ponds have been built to conserve the rain water.
Exemplary Self Development
Baghuvar boasts of the highest number of Gobar gas plants in the state. It has altogether 51 Gobar gas plants which are used to produce fuel for cooking and lighting the village. There are 35 tractors, 75 sugarcane processing machines, 25 hand pumps and threshers in the village which houses only 1600 people. To keep the village clean, 25 pits have been dug by Gram Panchayat for pouring the filth. These pits are auctioned every year and the money generated is utilized for Panchayat development.
Ghar Ghar Shauchalay
All the houses in Baghuvar have lavatories. There is also a common toilet complex which is made for the use if there is any social gathering in the village. Each locality is unique in cleanliness and decency. Especially, Harijan locality is the best in this regard where people go for a morning walk.
Green Village-Clean Village
Each and every corner of the village is green as if the entire village is a garden! There is no garbage and sanitation problem. People who migrated to nearby cities have started coming back to the village for resettlement.
They are now utilizing their experience, talent and knowledge for village development. When there was no approach road, the youth themselves constructed a three km road in the village. Impressed with their efforts, the government helped them in constructing the cement road which connects the village to the national Highway.
Clean beauty products are making inroads and have gained a significant share of the beauty market, with more more people becoming aware of the their benefits. With each passing year thanks to technology, research and development natural ingredients have finally regained their place in the spotlight. Don't take our word for it, beauty icons Kriti Sanon and Shanaya Kapoor also believe in natural and clean beauty products, and associate with the 'Naturali' range launched by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. The new age nature-inspired personal care brand aims to provide a one-of-a kind experience to their customer infused with trendy natural ingredients delivering quick visible results.
Hair care ambassador Kriti Sanon said, 'I am extremely thrilled to be associating with Naturali haircare range that is infused with modern, trendy natural ingredients which are free from harmful chemicals. I have always been an ardent supporter of the 'no nasties' proposition when it comes to my hair care needs, hence this association came very naturally to me. Everyone knows that natural products are supposed to be good for you, but they are often believed to be slow in giving results. Naturali changes this, as the range has a unique SuperBlend of complementary natural ingredients, that are optimized to give you quick visible results. As a woman myself, I strongly believe that no woman should ever have to compromise especially with respect to her beauty choices. So, it is extremely fulfilling to see a brand that is not only good for you being free from harmful chemicals but also makes you look good.'
Clean beauty products are making inroads and have gained a significant share of the beauty market, with more more people becoming aware of the their benefits. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Bollywood debutante and skincare ambassador Shanaya Kapoor said, 'It is exhilarating to be associated with Naturali Skincare range. It's a brand that I feel complements my personality and I'm sure, just like me, a lot of young women are going to instantly connect with it. It's trendy, unapologetic, true to its claims, and most importantly takes charge. What resonated with me the most was the fresh take Naturali offers on nature-based skincare, the exciting ingredients - Avocado, Tea Tree, Red Raspberry coupled with the free from harmful chemicals promise. As someone who's had to deal with her fair share of skin problems like pimples while growing up, I am certain this range is going to be very useful for girls out there and I can't wait for them to try it out!'
Shashwat Goenka, Sector Head, Retail & FMCG said, 'There has been a paradigm shift in how Indian consumers, especially the younger, more conscious generation, engage with beauty products today. They are looking for a holistic and transparent approach towards beauty and wellness that is result-oriented. However, despite there being a burgeoning rise in the demand for natural beauty products, the personal care 'free from nasties' segment is still underpenetrated in terms of mass, affordable players. And that's where we come in - Naturali, a personal care brand infused with natural ingredients that are efficacious and free from harmful chemicals. The range is also available at pocket-friendly price points to the masses, a first for the segment."
He further added, 'We are very glad to announce Kriti Sanon as the face of the Naturali haircare range while Shanaya Kapoor represents the skincare offerings. We are a new, bold, and trendy brand and we wanted to associate with individuals who could help bring out and advocate these values. Kriti and Shanaya are a perfect choice as both are young, vivacious, and personally, resonates with our natural first proposition.'
The brand is backed by a SuperBlend technology that offers a combination of two modern, efficacious, natural ingredients like Avocado and Charcoal, Moringa and Avocado, Red Onion and Bhringaraj, Tea Tree & Avocado amongst others.
(Article originally published by: N. Lothungbeni) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Beauty, skincare, Kriti Sanon, Shanaya Kapoor, clean beauty
Children are often seen running around singing "London Bridge is Falling", and making a face of sadness when they reach the last line. Most people assume that the Fair Lady referred to in the rhyme is the Queen of England, and the current queen at that. But the history behind this rhyme goes farther back in time than we realize.
Speculation associated with this rhyme has to do with a process call immurement. Immurement was when a person was enclosed in a room with no exit points. This was more an act of superstition than punishment. It was believed to bring sturdiness to the structure if people were imprisoned behind the walls. London Bridge falling down was something that people at the time associated with weakness. But there is no evidence to substantiate the idea of immurement.
The Bridge of yesteryear London Image source: wikimedia commons
A more historical account states that the bridge fell as a result of a Viking attack. Vikings of Norway have a similar set of rhymes that associate their role in bringing down the Bridge of London. They sing of conquest and gold, and blessings from Odin, in Norse, which refers to the Bridge. King Olaf II is credited with this feat.
Most historians, unable to properly supply evidence of the above claims, state that perhaps the Thames River is the reason this rhyme came into existence. The original London Bridge had 19 arches that went deep into the river. This caused difficulty in navigation. The Bridge was taken down and reconstructed to accommodate boats and ships. Perhaps, it was this historical reconstruction that is being sung about. The London Bridge is the only one that directly refers to a historical event, and yet has no plausible evidence to support it.
Keywords: Rhymes, London, Bridge, History, Viking, Immurement
Atop the Vindhyagiri hills in Karnataka, a 57-foot-tall statue stands. This is the statue of Lord Gomateshwara, or Bahubali, as he is known to the local patrons. The surrounding area is filled with temples where each of the many Jain Tirthankaras sits.
Sharavanabelagola is named after a pond that is located at the foothills. 'Bel' in Kannada means white, and 'kola' means pond. This is a sacred water body to the activities of the temples. It is a tourist attraction and a pilgrim destination located 85 kilometres from Mysore, and 145 kilometres from the capital, Bangalore.
The pond that Sharavanabelagola is named after Image source: wikimedia commons
Since the statue is placed at such a great height, pilgrims are made to make a journey to the top of the hill by foot. They are required to climb the stone steps barefoot as an act of piety and devotion. Palanquins are offered only to senior citizens who wish to worship at the temple.
In 3 B.C, when India was ruled by the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya became a Jain monk and took up residence in the Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri hills. He is supposedly responsible for the establishment of the temple complex at Shravanabelagola, where he lived till he died. Later on, his grandson, Ashoka made some additional changes to the place.
A shop in the tourist section that sells handmade items Image source: wikimedia commons
Every twelve years, a Mahamastabhisheka is conducted, and Jains from every part congregate to witness it. The statue is washed with water, rice flour, sugarcane juice, saffrom, sandalwood paste, gold, and silver flowers, curd, ghee, milk, and turmeric, and all the monks offer special prayers. The surrounding temples and rocks are preserved as archaeological wonders owing to the 800 edicts and inscriptions found here which span 600 to 1830.
Keywords: Shravanabelagola, Jainism, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Karnataka