Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Colombo, November 2, 2016: In Sri Lanka, an elephant in the backyard has long been a sign of wealth, privilege and power. But these days it may also be a sign that someone is breaking the law.
Capturing wild elephants has been banned for decades here. Registration records indicate there should be only 127 elephants in captivity, most of them older. Yet they are a staple of the South Asian island nation’s 400 or so yearly processions – traditional ceremonies honouring a marriage, calling for peace or praying for rain – and in each there are always a few young elephants clumsily cantering to keep up.
NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.
“In Sri Lanka, people measure the success of the processions by the number of elephants,” said the Rev. Magalkande Sudantha, a Buddhist monk.
Despite concerns that the animals may be abused, spectators always expect a parade of elephants wearing jangling ornaments, and babies are a special attraction.
“There is no beauty in processions without elephants,” said Janaka Alwis, a 48-year-old city council employee in Gampaha, north of Colombo. “People go to watch because of the elephants, and to count them.”
Aware of the ongoing elephant racket, authorities have been cracking down. In the last two years, the government has confiscated 39 elephants whose owners produced either false permits or none at all. Some had paid as much as $200,000 per captured animal when a previous government was in office, according to Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera.
Those facing prosecution for illegally keeping elephants include one judge and a Buddhist monk. Police are also considering charges against people suspected of rounding up wild elephants for profit.
The practice of taming wild elephants includes starving, beating and scaring them into submission, while keeping them chained up at all times, conservationists say.
“Taming a wild elephant is an extremely cruel experience for the animal,” said Prithviraj Fernando, who runs the Center for Conservation and Research in Sri Lanka. “Whether it’s a temple or a private person, that’s how it is done.”
The Sri Lankan elephant is one of three subspecies of Asian elephants and is found only on the teardrop-shaped Indian Ocean island. In the 19th century there were believed to be up to 14,000. That number fell to fewer than 3,000 before hunting and capture were banned. But while the population has grown since then to nearly 6,000, according to the island’s first official elephant census in 2011, they are still considered endangered and under threat from habitat loss and degradation. They are confined to small, isolated pockets of jungle and pasture in the north and the east.
NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.
For Buddhists, who make up 70 percent of the island’s 20 million population, elephants are believed to have been servants of the Buddha and even a previous incarnation of the holy man himself. Sinhalese kings rode elephants into battle. And every year, colorfully decorated tuskers carry an ornate box containing a replica of one of the Buddha’s teeth.
“The elephants carrying sacred relics are very fortunate. Even we don’t have that opportunity,” said housewife Kanthi Sriyalatha, 53. She said the sight of the animals is also a thrill. “Children wait in anticipation to watch processions because they want to see the elephants.”
Conservationists said that, given the importance given to using elephants in religious ceremonies, the government should be stepping in to manage their care while ensuring no more are captured in the wild.
“We need to impose some restrictions on ourselves. There are about 30,000 Buddhist temples,” Fernando said. “If every temple wants to have a procession with an elephant, it is not possible.”
The government is planning to set up its own pool of captive animals to be hired out to temples for ceremonies.
“We have to create a pool of elephants” for processions, said Perera, the wildlife minister. “We are creating a process now for how to issue permits, how to release some of the elephant babies” to temples for their upkeep and use in processions.
Under the plan, some would be kept in a so-called elephant orphanage. But some would go to families or temples that are financially capable of feeding and caring for them.
Some elephant owners say those who claim mistreatment are acting on Western notions of conservation and animal welfare.
Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.
“Elephants living with us do better than the animals in the wild,” said Harsha Dharmawijaya, whose family has kept at least one elephant for 96 years. “We scrub their bodies and bathe them, feed them and treat their illnesses…. In a way this is a noble act.”
Some critics, however, note that Buddhism is a faith that preaches compassion for nature.
“If the Buddha was alive, would he condone what’s going on? I don’t think he would,” said Sumith Pilapitiya, a former World Bank environmental specialist who argued that the government should focus on the animals’ welfare rather than religious norms.
“In the name of Buddhism… we are ill-treating animals,” he said. (VOA)
Probiotics may significantly improve the symptoms of pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting and constipation, finds a new study.
The study, published in the journal Nutrients, showed that nausea hours (the number of hours participants felt nauseous) were reduced by 16 per cent, and the number of times they vomited was reduced by 33 per cent.
Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what's happening around the world.
Probiotic intake also significantly improved symptoms related to the quality of life, such as fatigue, poor appetite and difficulty maintaining normal social activities, as scored by questionnaires.
"The cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is unknown to this date. Various theories have been proposed, but none of them is conclusive," said lead author Albert T. Liu from the University of California, Davis.
Also Read : Changes in the Skin during Pregnancy
"Nausea, vomiting and constipation during pregnancy can significantly diminish the quality of patients' lives. Once nausea and vomiting during pregnancy progress, they can become difficult to control, and sometimes the patient even needs to be hospitalized," Liu added.
For the study, the team involved a small yet significant number of participants who took a probiotic capsule twice a day for six days and then took two days off. They then repeated the cycle.
The team found that probiotics were also found to reduce constipation significantly.Unsplash
The probiotics were available over-the-counter and mainly contained Lactobacillus., a type of good bacteria. Each capsule contained approximately 10 billion live cultures at the time of manufacture.
Participants kept 17 daily observations of their symptoms during the duration of the study, for a total of 535 observations for the researchers to statistically assess.
The team found that probiotics were also found to reduce constipation significantly.
Another finding was that vitamin E levels increased after taking probiotics. Higher levels of vitamin E were associated with low vomiting scores. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : probiotics, pregnancy, nausea, vomiting, nutrients, symptoms, fatigue, appetite, constipation, vitamin.)
- Impaired Liver Function During Pregnancy Leads To Obese Kids ... ›
- Smoking during pregnancy can harm baby's brain - NewsGram ... ›
By Olivia Sarkar
If the year 2020 appeared bleak for the world, the year 2021 served as a frightening reminder that it wasn't so much about the year as it was about the times we've come to live in. Every domain and industry has experienced seismic shifts, both for the better and for the bad. However, just a few fields have seen such a huge paradigm shift as online dating throughout the course of 2021.
It becomes critical to document and analyse the important observations in the year 2021's dating trends in order to determine where online dating stands and where it is headed. This is where a poll conducted by one of India's popular dating apps, QuackQuack, comes in handy. "The pandemic has undoubtedly thrown a few curveballs towards folks wanting to date," remarked Mr. Ravi Mittal, Founder and CEO of QuackQuack, in response to the survey report. Males and females, in my opinion, are fast coming to terms with a new universe of online dating every day, adopting more self-paced and healthier forms of dating, a growing process that will soon become the standard."
The key takeaways from the survey can be best summarized as below:
- Vaccination is a must: An overwhelming 8 out of 10 persons in the survey's sample size expressed support for mandatory vaccination as a prerequisite to a date. A considerable 65 per cent and 75 per cent of people in the 18-20 and 21-30 age categories, respectively, agreed on the same thing. The need of a double jab was consistently emphasized across the country's top cities and tier 2 cities, with 75 per cent and 70 per cent of the sample size in each believing that the first step toward a safe date would have to be complete immunization of the other.
An overwhelming 8 out of 10 persons in the survey's sample size expressed support for mandatory vaccination as a prerequisite to a date. | Photo by CDC on Unsplash
- Dating with a purpose: The poll revealed that, because of the Covid procedures in place, people have had little motivation to walk outside, leading them to think on the nature of the dates they've discovered on the dating app rather than searching for matches in a desperate manner. The survey found that 47 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men agreed with this behavioral change, and that the act of reflection and introspection allowed them to have healthier relationships than before.
The difference in deliberate dating trends between people who live in cities and those who live in rural or semi-urban settings was quite similar. While roughly 37 per cent of urban teenagers believed their dating experience had taken an intentional turn, 39 per cent of rural or semi-urban teenagers felt the same way.
The difference in deliberate dating trends between people who live in cities and those who live in rural or semi-urban settings was quite similar. | Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash
- Location is pivotal: According to the survey, a whopping 58 per cent and 56 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 20 and 21 and 30 preferred hooking up with someone from a different place to broaden their search for a potential spouse. This trend proved to be more prevalent among women, as 58 per cent of them were comfortable dating partners from foreign countries, compared to only 50 per cent of men. Further study into a demographic analysis of the sampled data found that 46 per cent of those living in major metro cities preferred dating outside of their home location, while 57 per cent of those living in smaller cities and towns favored the same.
According to the survey, a whopping 58 per cent and 56 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 20 and 21 and 30 preferred hooking up with someone from a different place to broaden their search for a potential spouse. | Pixabay
- Video calling versus meeting in person: Due to the ongoing Covid problem across the country, a large majority of 56 per cent of 18 to 20-year-olds preferred having their first date on a virtual medium and were risk-averse, according to the survey. On the other hand, 43 per cent of persons aged 30 and up, who adhere to a more traditional approach, decided to meet in person while taking all essential safety steps.
43 per cent of persons aged 30 and up, who adhere to a more traditional approach, decided to meet in person while taking all essential safety steps. | Photo by Matt W Newman on Unsplash
According to the survey, a vast majority of 56 per cent of 18 to 20-year-olds preferred having their first date on a virtual medium and were risk-averse due to the ongoing Covid crisis across the country. In contrast, 43 per cent of people aged 30 and up who prefer a more traditional approach preferred to meet in person while following all necessary safety precautions according to the survey. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: meeting, Video calling, Location, Vaccination, dating trends, 2021, Online Dating)
Today marks the birth anniversary of Josh Malihabadi, who popularly known as ‘Shayar-e-Inquilab’ or ‘Poet of the Revolution’.
An Indian-born poet
Josh Malihabadi, born as Shabbir Hasan Khan, was born in Malihabad, a town in Lucknow district of Uttar Pradesh, British India. At first, he received his education in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and English at his home only, and later on Malihabadi studied at St. Peter's College in Agra and passed his Senior Cambridge examination in the year 1914. Thereafter, he studied Arabic and Persian languages, and in the year 1918, Malihabadi spent six months at Tagore’s University in Shantiniketan, West Bengal.
Josh Malihabadi (centre) along with Pablo Neruda (left) and Young Ali Sardar Jafri (right). Photo by Flickr
Family of poets
Interestingly, Malihabadi’s family produced many poets; be it his great-grandfather, Nawab Faqeer Muhammad Khan ‘Goya', grandfather Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan, paternal uncle Ameer Ahmad Khan, and even his father Basheer Ahmad Khan. Each one of them had numerous works including poetry collections, translations, and essays published in their name. Perhaps, this was the reason why Josh Malihabadi is considered as one of the finest poets of the British India era.
Outset of writing career
Malihabadi's career in the field of writing and poetry began when in 1925, he started to supervise translation work at Osmania University in the princely state of Hyderabad. After sometime, he founded the magazine ‘Kaleem’ (meaning, "speaker" in Urdu), in which he wrote articles in favor of independence from the British rule in India. In fact, his poem ‘Hussain aur Inquilab’ won him the title of ‘Shayar-e-Inquilab’ (Poet of the Revolution). Moreover, over the passage of time, Malihabadi became more involved in the freedom struggle and even became close to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Over the passage of time, Malihabadi became more involved in the freedom struggle and even became close to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.Photo by Flickr
Migration to Pakistan
After the British rule ended in India, in the year 1956, Malihabadi migrated to Pakistan because of his concern regarding the future of himself as a poet and Urdu language. This decision of Malihabadi moving to Pakistan was highly opposed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. After moving to Pakistan, Malihabadi was consistently involved in the process of writing poetry and holding literary conferences. In fact, a noted scholar and literary critic, Pervez Hoodbhoy, quoted once about Malihabadi’s writing. He said, "Poetry flowed from Josh's pen like water from a bubbling spring."
Today, on the 123rd birth anniversary of Josh Malihabadi, let us remember his contribution in the freedom struggle of India and in the field of poetry!
(Keywords: India, Pakistan, Josh Malihabadi, Birth Anniversary, Jawaharlal Nehru, Literature, Writing, Poetry)