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India Avian Flu: A peacock crosses a pathway as a park worker rides a bicycle inside the closed Deer park in New Delhi, India, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. VOA

City authorities have closed a sprawling park in the heart of New Delhi after eight birds died of suspected bird flu, days after the city zoo was closed to the public after nine birds died there.

New Delhi’s Development Minister Gopal Rai said Friday that eight bird deaths were reported to city authorities on Thursday. These included two more bird deaths in the Delhi Zoo and two dead birds found in the Hauz Khas Deer Park.

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City officials said three dead crows were also found in a residential neighbourhood near the zoo. Autopsies were planned on all the dead birds.

The zoo was closed to the public Tuesday after autopsies confirmed at least three birds had died from H5N1 avian influenza.

Rai said autopsy results of the birds that died Thursday were not known yet but the government was taking the precaution of closing the park.

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H5N1 poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry and, rarely, wild birds.

Delhi’s Hauz Khas Deer Park is home to hundreds of deer, peacocks and other birds. Described as one of the few “green lungs” of the highly polluted capital, the park is popular with joggers and walkers.

At this time of the year, bird sanctuaries, wildlife parks and water bodies around northern India are crowded with migratory birds flying south for the winter.

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Rai said vacations had been canceled for all employees of the city’s animal husbandry department in case more dead birds are found.

Animal health officials visited the capital’s main poultry markets and took samples from different batches of chickens brought for sale.

“We are closely monitoring bird sanctuaries, poultry farms and chicken wholesale markets,” Rai said.

Meanwhile, 15 storks have died over the past three days in a zoo in the central Indian city of Gwalior. Zoo official Pradeep Srivastava said zoo authorities were waiting for the autopsy reports on the painted storks to determine if avian influenza was present before deciding whether or not to shut the zoo.


People stroll early morning at the Mumbai promenade.

Prior to the brutal second wave of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned civil services probationers against developing the despised "babu mindset". He gave the invaluable piece of advice while addressing civil services probies at the well-known Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie via video-conferencing. He also outlined the keystone mantra of "minimum government and maximum governance".

With the recent collapse of the under-construction flyover in Bandra Kurla Complex which injured 14 labourers, it seems like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got the PM's keystone mantra all wrong. The recent flyover collapse isn't an isolated incident, in fact, a month ago a similarly bemusing incident took place in the eastern part of the suburbs.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Pind Daan at Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata.

The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.

It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.

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