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From Uber to Ola, Swiggy to Zomato and Bigbasket to Grofers -- and thousands of app-based services in between -- the digital dream has taken a 21-day long pause, and workers in the digital industry are in for job losses along with deep salary cuts. Pixabay

When Digital India took birth, little did we know that in an unprecedented situation like a total lockdown, the apps and services that helped us sail through the day with ease will immediately hang up on millions.

From Uber to Ola, Swiggy to Zomato and Bigbasket to Grofers — and thousands of app-based services in between — the digital dream has taken a 21-day long pause, and workers in the digital industry are in for job losses along with deep salary cuts.


Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal has announced that several employees have taken deep voluntary salary cuts as the business has been hit owing to the COVID-19 lockdown. Uber and Ola drivers are confined to their homes and delivery boys for food and online grocery delivery platforms are afraid to come out on roads owing to the fear or being beaten up.

Uber India has reportedly given no help to its driver partners as of now, other than telling its employees to do yoga at home. Ola has reportedly taken the next step, asking the government to waive the loans of its drivers and delay the tax payments for them so that they can survive the Novel Coronavirus onslaught. The company, however, refused to comment on the reports.

According to the ride-hailing company, it is providing certain insurance and medical benefits to its drivers as well as waiving rental charges. “We can confirm that we are fully waiving away lease rentals, akin to an EMI, for driver partners who operate vehicles owned by Ola’s subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies under its leasing programme,” Ola said in a statement.

The company also said it will give benefits on insurance for drivers and their spouses against loss of income due to contraction of COVID-19, as well as other medical support during this time will continue to be offered to all its driver-partners across the country.

Thousands of daily-wage workers, low-end hotel staff and delivery boys have left metros for their home towns — some even on bikes — as establishments locked themselves. Smartphone-based leading food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy are in almost in no man’s land — with thin presence amid huge manpower shortage.


When Digital India took birth, little did we know that in an unprecedented situation like a total lockdown, the apps and services that helped us sail through the day with ease will immediately hang up on millions. Pixabay

Bigbasket and Grofers are unable to fulfil orders owing to huge supply-demand issue along with thin delivery staff to go out and deliver. All eyes are now on the government to bail the online service providers from this mess.

ALSO READ: Facebook and Google Predict a Loss of $44 Billion in Global Ad Revenue

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday indicated that concerns of India Inc, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) segments and other segments hit by the lockdown might be looked at and the government could announce a plan later.

“Our first priority is to provide food to the poor and money in their hands. We will think about other things later,” she said. (IANS)


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A Jain monk offering ablution to Bahubali in Shravanabelagola

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.

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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.

Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:

* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.

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