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BY K. YATISH RAJAWAT
The war against the most severe health emergency in more than a 100 years involves three parallel battles — the ones against the COVID-19 pandemic, the infodemic and what I call “ecodemic”. The third term represents the impact the first two have on the economy. The scenario and the actions of the government, business and society are being dictated by epidemiologists. In the war of attrition between lives and livelihood, the former seems to be winning, though the verdict may not come in a public proclamation.
The war is being waged in the echo chambers of social media and the noise is rising to a crescendo. The verdict will not only affect policy making but also the way in which the policies are communicated. The problem with the lives vs livelihood debate is that its noise creates panic among the general public and roils the markets, resulting in huge losses in notional and economic value. This results in a triple whammy — it slows down the policy maker, frightens the businessmen and shakes up the society.
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It is impossible to solve the trilemma in tranches as all three are interdependent. All three need to be resolved together, using adequate resources, time and effort. The process should begin with the delegation of central control to step up the speed and quality of response. The pandemic is a phenomenon that can’t be addressed centrally. The government is cognizant of this and is acting on it. As a matter of fact, the delegation shows in the recent sealing of designated hotspots in several districts in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. This decision has to be made by the frontline administration in each district. There is an administrative glitch here — we recognize the district as a unit of governance and not the city. The virus is most virulent in dense urban areas and the government needs to delegate both financial, police, health and administrative control at the city level. If it was important earlier, it has become urgent now with the risk of contagion rising steadily.
Lockdown vs freedom
The pandemic is about control, and hence the sealing and quarantine. The word quarantine derives from the Latin word for forty, and the method was first employed in Venice during the Great Bubonic Plague of 1377. The recent sealing of hotspots means that the government is moving to the next round of containment. Parallel to this, freedom should be given to the domestic supply chain to operate in an efficient manner. It is important to set the protocol for opening the factories, move workers through safe transit routes and use railways for rerouting the logistics chain. Give back the freedom to the businesses to rebuild themselves. Otherwise, bankruptcies will mount — it will start with small businesses and snowball into a crisis that will hit the largest. This ecodemic is happening because of the lockdown and its contagion needs to be stopped before it destroys the economy.
It is not possible for the government to decide which sector is essential and which is not. It is best to be left to the market to decide. The government can set the protocol and start giving freedom in a phased geographical manner, taking into account the hotspots.
After 9/11, a new industry of security came into being. It created a protocol for metal detectors, sniffer dogs and guards. A similar industry will rise post COVID-19 to take on future virus outbreaks. Factories, workplaces and offices will have temperature checks, make each person enter and exit through a sanitation unit. This will not happen through notification or orders as businesses need funds and liquidity. The market will create solutions if we allow them to operate. The new cost of operation will be higher, but businesses will accept and adapt. The government needs to recognize that they do not address this problem at any stage — it’s not a 40-day challenge, but an 18-month marathon.
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The government may classify pharmaceuticals as essential, but not its supply chain. The industry may take a hit if packaging and printing units are classified as non-essential. The government can go sector by sector and remove blockages, but it will take forever. This command-and-control decision making will not work for the economy. The lockdown has destroyed the supply chain and sucked out the liquidity in a matter of weeks. The panic due to the infomedic is reflected in the financial markets. This is a time for civil society, government and business to work together.
The change in behavior whether social distancing, isolation, or lockdown cannot succeed with diktats. The system has to see civil society as an active collaborator on the ground. It’s time that the 100 per cent tax deduction for non-profit is made a reality to enable a fund flow and action on the ground.
The equity market foretells the disaster ahead. Relief packages of $24 bn are inadequate to revive the economy. The US has announced a $2 trillion package, and that is more than twice the $700 billion allocated for the troubled asset relief programme in 2008. Throwing money solves the problem, it’s a band aid to the ecodemic and will not stop the decline. The lockdown has broken the basic rules of contract and this is scaring the market. Borrowers are using the moratorium granted by the government to renege on dues, the judiciary is going with it, considering the extraordinary situation at hand. If the situation persists, the NPAs will mount — and this time it won’t just be a few large borrowers, but also will involve millions of small borrowers. It won’t be a few countries, it will be the global economy hence collaboration, cooperation needs to happen at global level too. (IANS)
By Prerana Agarwal Saxena
In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. While everyone is making their big fat Indian wedding dreams come true, they are also adding their carbon footprint and undue energy consumption. Modern couples are now looking for ways to have a wedding with a sustainably conscious mindset. It's become about incorporating less waste, locally sourced and seasonal food, natural materials over the use of plastic. Mindful wedding planning and decor includes the use of recycled paper and goods along with eco-friendly venue needs. Check out this quick guide to achieve a sustainably conscious wedding without compromising on luxury:
Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. | Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash
Say yes to recycling
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. It can be a small step such as making a conscious switch from plastic water bottles to copper jugs or glass bottles. Also use artificial floral decor thus minimising the wastage produced from real flowers. This recyclable decor is then donated to various NGOs, further ensuring sustainable use of resources. Such steps, however small they might be, keep the environment free from the release of any additional carbon footprint.
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. | Photo by Ravin Rau on Unsplash
Go for zero-waste wedding decor
Make use of fabric as it enhances the elegance of the wedding while being sustainable. Include vibrant colours apt to the theme of the wedding and bring in bright sprightliness with breathable fabrics. Ensure to include LED lights for lighting. They can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. They also help conserve energy and bring in soulful energy for nighttime decor. Choose virtual invitations, keeping up with the digital times. Make a conscious choice of plated dinner menus rather than a buffet as they allow less wastage of food and ensure enough food for guests in attendance.
LEDs can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Include Sustainable Gifting
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. Offering a plant or a succulent, is a great idea. One can also gift recycled organic fabrics and cutlery or zero-waste kitchen and bathroom essentials to use in their homes as some distinct gifting options.
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. | Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
Acting in the best interest of the environment and the society, Theme Weavers Designs has started a social cause, Weaving Hope, where a part of their earnings along with food and decor are donated to social communities. Royal Rendezvous, is an event started by us to put India on the Global Map, inviting international wedding planners to India to experience the rich culture and heritage, also employing and displaying the work of local artisans to this international audience.
By applying the values of sustainability, you can reduce the energy consumed and the resources used as much as possible. Go ahead and have a luxurious zero-waste wedding and navigate into the world of green living! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Luxurious , Gift, sustainable, wedding favours, gifts that grow. Gifting, recycling, locally sourced, material. zero-waste
The Tamil Nadu health department has administered 16,43,879 lakh doses of vaccine in the second mega vaccination camp organised by it. The state public health department in a statement on Sunday said that this has taken the total vaccination to one crore since the beginning of September till date. The vaccination was administered from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. and the compiled data was made available late at night.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. Regular vaccination will resume after the vaccine supplies arrive from New Delhi, officials said. The state health department had expected to vaccinate 15 lakh people on Sunday in 18,824 centres spread across primary health centres, anganwadis, noon meal centres, government hospitals, schools and some auditoriums.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. | Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash
Of the 16,43,879 people who were inoculated, a total of 10,85,097 received their first dose and 5,58,782 their second dose of vaccine, the statement said, A total of 9,66,568 people in the age group of 18-44 were vaccinated on Sunday and vaccines were administered on 5,02,578 people aged between 45- 59 in the mega vaccine camps.
State health minister Ma Subramanian, who inaugurated the vaccination at Pollachi, also visited the centres in six districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Dharmapuri and Salem. The state government, according to the health minister, is to receive the next allotment of vaccines on September 21. Minister while speaking to IANS said, "We will be receiving the next allotment of vaccines on September 21 itself and we will resume vaccinations immediately. The state has already touched one crore vaccine-mark in the month of September till date." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: COVID, vaccine, vaccination camp, Tamil Nadu, India, vaccinated, mega camp
Festivals are just around the corner and while you brainstorm about OOTDs (outfit of the day), don't forget the right makeup. Hanisha Kapoor, COO, ArchiesBeauty.com shares makeup trends experimented by these Bollywood divas throughout 2021 for inspiration. While some stuck to the classics, others mixed it up... take a look:
The Classic Red Lip
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. The right way to achieve this celebrity look is to focus on accentuating your lips and keeping the rest of the face minimal. Give your lips a good scrub to plump them, moisturize and follow it up with a red lip liner to define the shape of your lips. Now go on with the perfect shade of red and finish your look with a slick of eyeliner, minimal concealer, and foundation.
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. | Photo by Ina Garbé on Unsplash
No Makeup Look
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look. This natural beauty does a wonderful job of achieving the minimal soft look by softly cover any dark spots or blemishes and highlighting features she's most proud of. To achieve this start with concealer and use small dots to brighten your darker areas like under eye, corner of the nose or upper lip, and any visible spots, and set it up with loose powder. Apply a soft pink lipstick, light blush, and mascara.
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look | Wikimedia Commons
This look shouts pink. When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. Everyone should try a rosy look once in a while. As we are focusing on only one shade, this look is pretty easy to achieve. Bring out your favourite pink lipstick, favourite pink blush, and a matching shade of eye shadow. Start with the base - concealer, and foundation and set it up with loose powder. Follow it up with eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Remember to draw a line by not using any pink mascara, eyeliner, or a bold shade of lipstick, as this is meant to be soft on the eyes.
When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. | Wikimedia Commons
Glass Skin Makeup
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. This look is slightly complex with an equal focus on skin before makeup, so slather on those moisturizing serums and creams to prep your skin first. Start with a highlighting primer, keep your foundation and concealer minimal to avoid looking cakey. Follow it up with soft blush & nude lips and lots and lots of highlighter. Use the highlighter on the main points of your face, like upper cheekbones, the centre of the forehead, the tip of the nose, cupid bone, and chin. If you are feeling a bit extra, don't hesitate to put some on your shoulders and collar bones. This celebrity makeup look makes your skin glow without the need for a spotlight.
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. | Photo by 邱 严 on Unsplash
Pop It Up
Put a zing to your party look with the pop of funky colour. This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. This works with your eye makeup while keeping the rest of the face minimal. Start with the base - concealer, apply a bit extra on your eyelids to make the colour pop. Don't mind going the extra mile and colour blocking your eyes with complementary colours on eyelids and under the eye. Apply nude lipstick and a soft blush to balance your look.
This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. | Pixabay
(Article originally published by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Celebrity, makeup, Deepika, Jhanavi, Korean, Red Lipstick, Glass Makeup, Pop makeup