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With half the children under five in India being malnourished, the present Covid-19 crisis could further impact child nutrition and service delivery across the country that is in the grip of a ferocious second wave said the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF. “With 27 million births and 30 million pregnancies every year, life-saving services to help women give birth are critical in India,” said Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, on Friday.
“However, as health facilities continue to be overwhelmed treating Covid-19 patients, there are reports of pregnant women struggling to find the required support to give birth.” She noted that schools across the country remain closed, and remote learning is also disrupted in several states. “This is tearing 247 million children in elementary and secondary education away from these safe spaces, just when they need them most. In addition, many children do not have access to digital learning. Learning loss will therefore continue for children in India.
“We’re assisting the government to ensure that critical services for the most vulnerable children continue to function across all states. “UNICEF in India has been on-the-ground working tirelessly since the start of the pandemic.” The UN official noted that India is in the grip of a ferocious second wave of Covid-19.
“In the last 24 hours (till May 7), India bore the burden of 414,188 new daily cases, which is the highest daily case count ever recorded by any country in the history of Covid-19 pandemic — higher than even the count a day earlier (412,262). There were 3,915 deaths due to Covid-19. “UNICEF is very concerned about this deadly daily surge in new cases. This wave is almost four times the size of the first wave and the virus is spreading much faster. On average there were more than four new cases every second and more than two deaths every minute in the last 24 hours.
“With the surge in cases, the virus is also affecting more people across age groups, including children and infants.” She said, “What is happening in India should raise alarm bells for all of us. The pandemic is far from over. Covid-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate across South Asia, especially in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Entire health systems could collapse, leading to a more tragic loss of life.
“Very low levels of vaccination in most South Asian countries (less than 10 percent in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal) is adding to the concern of the virus spiraling even further. Besides South Asia, we are also seeing alarming situations in other parts of the world. “Along with the increase in COVID-19 cases, the impact on children being affected by the virus has also increased. And of course, the impact of the outbreak and public health and social measures on children is likely to be aggravated following the second wave. They are living through a tragedy.
“Children are losing parents and caregivers to the virus leaving many of them destitute, without parental care.” The UN official said, “While there isn’t enough data yet, we can see that illegal adoption please have surfaced on social media, making these orphans vulnerable to trafficking and abuse. “UNICEF is calling for greater efforts to safeguard these orphans. We need to promote kinship care, family tracing, enhance functionaries and accelerate the sponsorship of destitute families.
“This surge is having dire consequences for children whose access to essential health, social, protection, and education services is being constrained. “Children are facing mental health issues and are at greater risk of violence, as lockdowns shut them off from their vital support networks. “They are missing out on life-saving routine immunization, critical care, and treatment for pneumonia and other diseases.”
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UNICEF has sent critical lifesaving supplies to support India at this difficult time. For example, 3,000 oxygen concentrators, testing kits, and other critical equipment in place. It has sent additional critical lifesaving supplies to India, including two million face shields and 200,000 surgical masks. Additionally, 2,000 more oxygen concentrators will arrive by the second half of May with another 2,650 being procured. “We support the regular monitoring of more than 50,000 Covid vaccination centers across 27 states of India,” the UN official said.
“Covid has shown more than ever we are living in an interconnected world. India is under threat today. We need solidarity to prevent the situation from getting worse in other countries. We are very thankful for the support and compassion from the international community. We need the compassion and contribution to continue until we see the end of the pandemic,” she added. (IANS/JC)
On 2nd of December, India observes 'National Pollution Control Day' in remembrance of the people who lost their lives in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The incident which affected over half a million people, occurred during the night of 2nd and 3rd December 1984. The leakage of gas from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal is considered as one of the worst industrial disasters in the world. Around half a million people were exposed to the highly toxic Methyl Isocyanate gas which resulted in some losing their lives immediately, while others suffered major injuries. The cause behind the disaster is still under debate. According to the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), it happened due to an act of sabotage.
Apart from the tragedy that happened. The day is, also, a symbol of the deteriorating state of environment. It is the need of the hour to curb and take necessary steps in order to survive. Human foot-print is turning out to be nothing but negative on the planet earth. The pollution from any human activity is not only adversely affecting the planet but no stringent measures are in place to curb the damage caused.
“Environmental pollution is a result of human activity and the development that occurs when physical, biological and chemical agents are released to the environment in such quantities that the pollution adversely affects human health and damages the environment.” The major kinds of pollution are water pollution, soil pollution, air pollution and noise pollution.
Water Pollution – Harmful chemical waste is released from factories into water bodies or rivers, which then flow and end up in seas and oceans. A lot of plastic and other waste also, end up in rivers because of littering. These affect the marine ecosystem. Fishes or other marine animals may eat and choke on them or not be able to digest them.
Fishes swimming in polluted water | Unsplash
Soil or Land Pollution – This kind of pollution is partially linked to water pollution. When the polluted water from water bodies seep into the surrounding land, it gets polluted. Littering is a major cause of soil pollution. The chemical pesticides used in agriculture at times become pollutants.
Air Pollution – Toxic fumes and harmful gases that are emitted from factories and automobiles contribute greatly to this type of pollution. The presence of chemical constituents in high amount in the air is bad for the human body. It can cause lung cancer, heart diseases, respiratory disease and neonatal disorders.
Also Read : Poor air quality in Delhi
Huge amount of polluted gases being released into the environment from a factory | Unsplash
Noise Pollution – Speakers or sound systems blaring over the decibel limit contribute to this kind of pollution. Loud noises from firecrackers are also a part of this. These affect the ability to hear, not just of humans but also other animals.
There are a lot of things that we can do to lessen the amount of pollution caused. The following are a few of them:
- Stop littering
- Use trashcans to throw away garbage
- If possible, the trash should be separated into recyclable and non-recyclable and treated accordingly
- Not waste electricity, turn off appliances and lights when not in use
- Switch to other forms of renewable energies, like the solar energy
- Use lesser amount of plastic and try to recycle whatever is absolutely necessary
- The cars should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they do not release toxic fumes
- If possible, carpool or even better, use the public transport
- Using paper bags
- Using rechargeable batteries
Recently, a lot of brands and products are trying to be more considerate towards the environment. A particular skincare brand has started selling their products in paper tubes instead of plastic ones. Some companies are selling one-time use pens without the plastic body, the refills are instead wrapped in paper.
We have to follow the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle in order to cut down on the amount of waste that we generate.
(Keywords : Pollution, Prevention, India, Chemicals, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Soil Pollution, Noise Pollution, Reuse, Recycle, Climate)
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One of the world's largest hotel franchising company, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, with approximately 9,000 hotels in nearly 95 countries, continues to expand its presence in India with the addition of four new hotels under the Ramada, Howard Johnson by Wyndham, and upscale Wyndham brands in sought-after and culturally-rich destinations such as Jaipur, Varanasi, Mohali, and Udaipur.
The new properties will bring Wyndham's total number of hotels in India to 50, and they are part of the company's ongoing commitment to the sub-Indian continent's growth, with about 30 hotels in the pipeline, eight of which are anticipated to open in 2022 alone.
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Indra, Panos Loupasis, Vice President Development for Middle East, Eurasia & Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts EMEA, said: "One of the fastest growing economies in the world, India brings immense potential for hospitality. These four new openings represent a significant milestone in our continued growth objectives to bring even more accommodation options all across the country. We look forward to continuing our strong growth trajectory here and in the wider Indian sub-continent and making travel possible for all in such a beautiful and diverse region.
Also Read : Hotel occupancy has grown to 35% in November 2020
The latest additions in India include:
Wyndham Chandigarh Mohali
Opened in October, this upscale hotel offers 80 guest rooms, three on-site eateries, a full-service spa with a heated indoor pool, steam room, sauna, and fitness centre and salon. The property also features a business centre and a wide event space for up to 1,200 guests. Conveniently located within direct access to the city centre and just 11 kilometres from Chandigarh International Airport, the hotel's guests can easily reach the nearby Elante shopping mall and the 11-acre Mohali Golf Range.
Inside of a hotel | Unsplash
Ramada by Wyndham Varanasi Katesar
Located in Varanasi, regarded as the spiritual capital and with world-renowned architecture, temples, and palaces, the 68-room hotel features a contemporary design and top-class amenities, including a gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar, and a modern spa with a swimming pool and fitness centre. The property opened earlier this month and also features four generously sized meeting rooms and access to Varanasi's business highway.
Ramada by Wyndham Jaipur North
Expected to open in December, the 107-room hotel will be the perfect getaway to experience Jaipur's colourful architecture, impressive City Palace, old bazaars, and Hawa Mahal, offering guests easy access to Jaipur Airport and the modern city centre. The hotel will boast a spa, an outdoor pool, a gourmet restaurant, and a seasonal rooftop overlooking the city. In addition, It will offer ample event space, including four meeting rooms and a theatre, to accommodate over 400 guests.
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Udaipur Roop Nagar
Expected to open by the end of the year, the contemporary, 94-room hotel features a wellness spa facility and a rooftop infinity pool overlooking Udaipur, also known as the "City of Lakes". Ideal for business travellers, the hotel offers an impressive business centre, meeting rooms, and banquet halls measuring more than 3,000 square feet. This amenity-rich hotel is perfectly positioned to explore one of India's most popular cities, with easy access to the World Heritage Site of Udaipur Palace, Lake Pichola, and Fateh Sagar Lake, which boast panoramic views of the Aravalli Mountain Ranges. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Wyndham, India, economy, hospitality, milestone, Mohali, Varanasi, Jaipur, Udaipur.)
By Olivia Sarkar
There is no doubt that the pandemic modified travel -- but that's just part of the story. Hilton released a global trends report, "The 2022 Traveler: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveler' which dives into an important truth: in two years, peoples lives were dramatically altered, and that radically changed people.
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The report examines the macro trends and changes that have emerged and will continue to thrive in 2022. Using insights from Dr. Kate Cummins, a travel psychology expert, and industry leaders, the report explores four consistent themes that summarise the new, pandemic-changed traveler, which are fueling several emerging travel trends:
Amid Chaos, People Found Efficiencies, And Will Be Looking for the Same in Travel: After on-demand services, grocery deliveries, and other time-saving measures become commonplace, people expect efficiencies and convenience .Shifts like contactless payments and digital check-ins to become more popular than ever before.
The Overall Focus on Wellness Will Span Beyond the Gym: The wellness vertical has moved beyond the spa and the gym. From bringing your dog along for the trip to creating spaces with more natural light and indoor plants, mental and physical wellness is a focus that will continue to grow.
Also Read : Few points for Pet Parents to keep in mind
Travellers can expect a rise in pet-friendly and sustainable travel optionsUnsplash
They Nurtured New and Existing Passions and Will Have More Refined Tastes and Preferences: After months of baking sourdough breads and planting victory gardens, people have new hobbies and passions, and they're expecting to pack their passions while traveling. Culinary and integrated experiences are expected to be in high demand.
Catering to this change, travellers can expect a rise in pet-friendly and sustainable travel options, unique food and beverage experiences and menu changes, and more offerings catered to guests' health and overall wellbeing -- and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The report outlines changes to guest preferences across the entire hotel experience, backed by internal booking and revenue data, guest feedback, third-party research and more. (IANS/SP)
Keywords: pet-friendly, travel, sustainable, pandemic, trends, convenience, wellness, passion, change, contactless, digital.
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