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In a country that suffers from water scarcity all year, farmers in the villages of Narsinghpur district in Madhya Pradesh have come up with ingenious solutions for rainwater harvesting to address the issue.
While water shortage has been the bane of Salichauka village for long, a local farmer, Manoj Rai, has devised a solution not only to tackle the issue but also to find a way to manage excess rain water and use it to recharge water sources. To do this, he used waste material to channel the water to borewells and dry wells using a pipeline network.
Rai said the village was infamous for facing water scarcity. Such is his understanding of the gravity of the problem that he expounded that the 3rd World War would be fought over water and that several cities like Cape Town and Shimla are already on the verge of a Day-Zero situation.
He added that everyone can come up with their own technique for water harvesting without spending extra money and if every farmer did his bit towards redirecting excess water to recharge the groundwater, the future generations too will have water.
After Rai’s solution came to the limelight, other farmers also started adopting it and the water level has reportedly risen, the villagers claim. They believe this will help them during the summers too.
A resident of the village Kaluram Patel said he adopted the technique after he saw several other villagers using it.
He said they have witnessed a rise in water level and the tube wells now have water which would help him grow multiple crops in a year.
Similarly, in the rocky terrains of Bilguwa village, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the farmers to procure water for their crops when Monu Pathak, a local farmer, devised a solution to conserve water.
Pathak said he constructed a model to recharge the groundwater level. He pointed out that it is extremely important to look for methods to save water when half of the country is facing water shortage and the rest facing floods. He also urged the residents of the village to employ such methods in their houses or farms.
Sushil Kumar, a resident of Bilguwa, said the technique employed by Pathak is easy to operate.
He said if every farmer were to utilise rainwater harvesting techniques, the water level would witness a significant rise and would solve the water crisis in the village.
Agricultural scientists claimed that the crops in the region were getting affected by the declining groundwater level and commended the efforts by the farmers to address the water crisis.
Rajesh Tripathi, Deputy Director at the district agriculture department, pointed out the irregular pattern of rains that the region has witnessed.
He said that if water is being continuously pumped using tube wells or sprinkler pump, the water sources are going to keep depleting.
If we can find a way for the rainwater to replenish the water table directly, farmers would benefit from it, he said.
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While commending the efforts taken by the farmers of Bilguwa and Salichauka, he added that efforts are being taken to educate the farmers about the importance of adopting such techniques to recharge any water source in their vicinity. (IANS)
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Time and time again, we have hopped onto technology thinking it's the best possible invention for communication. Despite the advantages that technology brings, writing remains at the forefront when it comes to ideation and communication. The creative stimulation that results when putting pen to paper has specifically gained traction during the lockdown days after the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic.
People were looking for expression avenues away from technology and screens turning to creative activities to remain inspired. Writing, a form of expression provided individuals with a platform to process emotional stress and effectively manage their feelings during testing times.
As we kick off 2022, and in celebration of National Handwriting Day, Eirini Petratou, Senior User Research Manager at BIC, sheds light on the benefits of handwriting and the underrated magic that it holds.
Handwriting boosts cognitive processes
As opposed to taking notes on a gadget, using pen and paper helps better activate cognitive processes. It improves the capacity to retain knowledge, recall facts and concepts, and provide a more in-depth comprehension of the subject at hand. Cursive writing specifically proved to boost brain development in the domains of thinking, language and reasoning. According to a New York Times study, cursive writing also promotes brain synchronisation between the left and right hemispheres.
Cursive writing promotes brain synchronisation between the left and right hemispheres. | Unsplash
Handwriting develops brain health
Handwriting, like meditation, boosts cerebral activity in certain areas of the brain. According to research conducted at Indiana University, the act of writing by hand stimulates creativity that is not easily accessible in any other manner. High-tech magnetic resonance imaging proved that low-tech handwriting enhances neuronal activity in some areas of the brain.
Writing enhances creativity and thought processes
Writing helps get our creative juices flowing and supports organising thought processes. In one of his articles, renowned author Patrick McClean stated that using pen and paper help avoid the distractions that result from digital platforms. When typing, individuals tend to focus on editing content as they develop it -- which is counterproductive to the creative process. On the other hand, using pen and paper allows people to jot down their creative ideas, fully gather their thoughts and edit later.
Writing helps get our creative juices flowing and supports organising thought processes. | Unsplash
Handwriting boosts happiness
According to a health encyclopedia by Rochester University, journaling helps improve the mood, as writing down thoughts, ideas and emotions on paper gives people a platform to better express themselves and understand their emotions. It allows enough time for people to identify and understand their feelings. Writing helps articulate thoughts that lead people to feel uninspired or demotivated. The process of jotting down emotions on paper has proven to be therapeutic and helps enhance feelings of happiness as well as reduce stress.
Writing down emotions has been shown to be therapeutic, increasing feelings of happiness and decreasing stress. | Unsplash
Mark this special day and jump on the handwriting bandwagon. Grab a pen and paper and kick off your year with positive and valuable habits.
(National Handwriting Day is celebrated annually on January 23) (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: emotions, thoughts, technology, feelings, brain, creative writing, journals, National Handwriting Day)
Trends come and go, but some stick around for a while, such as the Work from Home look. Forget wearing casuals and try some new styles that are both comfortable and appropriate for online meetings and calls.
Being in style is always great, whether it's at the office or at home. Naveen Mahlawat, co-founder of StalkBae.com, a fashion e-commerce site owned by MadBow Ventures Ltd, offers some new style advice for working from home:
The black and white top
This timeless combination never goes out of style. A black and white shirt teamed with a black trouser or skirt creates the perfect style, whether it's at your office desk or in your favourite chair at home.
This timeless combination never goes out of style. | IANS
What better way to show off your professional yet trendy side than with an olive-green full-sleeves top? In a Zoom meeting or during a virtual chat with your client, the all-time favourite olive colour is great to capture eyes.
What better way to show off your professional yet trendy side than with an olive-green full-sleeves top. | IANS
Classy Cargo trousers
Old is gold, and Cargo tracks are the most comfortable and easiest to style. Pair them with sweaters or sweatshirts for a full day in front of the computer.
The Shirt dress
For your virtual presentations on your office project, the shirt dress gives you a formal yet trendy look. The blue shirt seems comfortable enough to wear all day, but it also gives the impression that you didn't just get out of bed.
For your virtual presentations on your office project, the shirt dress gives you a formal yet trendy look. | IANS
Checkered Blue Skirt
Match your favourite sleeveless tops with the lovely knotted checkered blue skirt for a stylish look for your long day at work. With this outfit, you may show your eccentric side while yet maintaining a professional demeanour at work. (IANS/ MBI)
Match your favourite sleeveless tops with the lovely knotted checkered blue skirt. | IANS
(Keywords: style, office, slay, work, shirt, skirt, green, trendy, professional, checkered, work from home)
By M.K. Ashoka
The issue of wearing a hijab (head covering worn in public by Muslim women) to the colleges along with the uniform has sparked a debate in Karnataka over religious practices impacting the education system in the state. The matter has also snowballed into a controversy on whether the hijab could be considered as part of the uniform. The ruling BJP is deliberating on whether to take a call on allowing hijab as part of the uniform of college students. State Education Minister B.C. Nagesh, while opposing the wearing of hijab to classrooms, has said that a decision would be taken on the issue soon by the government.
The experts as well as students are divided over the issue. Those who are in favour state that the dress code in classrooms should not indicate faith or religion as it creates barriers between students as well as teachers. Those who support the wearing of hijab say that hijab should be treated as a scarf. Hijab is black in colour and it can't be a religious symbol as Islam is identified with the green colour. The hijab should be treated as a symbol of chastity, they maintain.
The denial of permission to six girls in the Government Girls' Pre University College in the communally sensitive district of Udupi in the state has created a controversy. Nagesh dubbed it as a political move and questioned whether centres of learning should become religious centres. Meanwhile, the girl students have decided to continue their protest until they are allowed to attend classes wearing hijab.
"I have been facing the issue of hijab. We have not been allowed into the classroom just because we are wearing hijab. Though it's our fundamental and constitutional right they are not allowing us. It's a government college though. There is a lot of discrimination in the college, we can't speak to each other in Urdu, we can't say salaam to each other in the college. This matter has become communal and we are so sad about it. We did not want this to become communal," Aliya Assadi, a protesting student explained.
"Many political parties are taking advantage of this. We are just asking for basic fundamental rights. I don't know why it is so tough to take us inside with a headscarf. We are not asking permission with burqas. Last Friday, the college principal and four professors made protesting students give an apology letter by blackmailing them that their statements on hijab are false. For basic rights do we have to do so much?" she asked. "They tease that we will never win in this protest. They called our parents many times and tried to manipulate them. I request government officials to respond on the issue and allow us to wear hijab. We don't want options. We want to study, come up in life as well as wear hijab," explained Almas.
The girl students have decided to continue their protest until they are allowed to attend classes wearing hijab. | Unsplash
Eight students of the college are still protesting in the college campus for being denied entry into the classrooms for wearing hijab along with the uniform. Five of them are studying in II PUC and three students are studying I PUC. The students are turning down the demands of shunning hijab and are firm on their stand that until the government gives them permission to wear hijab and attend classes, they will sit outside the classrooms and continue to protest. They maintain that it is their religious freedom and constitutional right to wear hijab.
Sathish M Bejjihally, Bengaluru City University Academic Council Member and Principal Vidya Sanskaar Institute of Science, Commerce and Management, told IANS that educational institutions should be devoid of caste, colour, religion. Students come to school for learning. There may be differences of opinion however, there should not be differences among individuals.
"The dress should not indicate faith, religion. It will create barriers between students. The development may lead to clashes in the educational institutes. Swami Vivekananda has stated that education is the manifestation of perfection which is already there in the child. The child was born as ‘vishwa manava' (global citizen), but society restricts him to become one" he said. The students wearing hijabs will miss out on peer group learning. Uniform is a comfortable cloth designed to facilitate participation of students in sports, cultural activities, he explained.
However, Professor Muzaffar Assadi, Dean Faculty of Arts in ManasaGangothri in Mysuru University, explained that dress code is about decency. We should be allowed to wear hijab just as sarees, Punjabi dresses are allowed. Hijab could be treated as a headscarf and it will not hide the uniform. "If hijab could be treated as a religious symbol then students can't come to classes with kumkum (bindi, vermillion), bangles. No public school is completely secular. Saraswathi pooja is conducted, Hindu gods' photos will be on walls, festivals are celebrated in schools, aren't they religious?" Assadi asks.
Hijab is a symbol of chastity, not a religious one. "Why don't you treat it as just a scarf? If you see everything in that perspective then wearing of ‘Janivaar' (sacred thread) is also religious. Hijab is not religious as it is of black colour. Islam is identified with green colour. Black also represents dissent and sadness, he says.
The dress which does not attract sexual appetite, indecent, against the rules and which does not cover uniform should be allowed. "Let us celebrate cultural diversity. I oppose uniform culture itself. One of my colleagues who is retiring always comes for lectures in jeans and a t-shirt. It should not matter," he said.
Premashree, Central Working Committee Member of Akhila Bharatha Vidyarthi Parishad and student of LLM, explained that students have to come with a feeling of unity. "Anything which affects unity and gives scope to groupism we will oppose. There should not be saffron shawls either in the campus," she said. "Since 75 years the uniform system in the country has been maintained like this and it has to be maintained like that," she opines.
All eyes are on the move of the ruling BJP in the state over the issue of wearing of hijab by students. | Unsplash
Masood Manna, State Committee Member of Campus Front of India (CFI), said, "If there is no solution found by the government they will stage a protest. "It is a violation of the right to education and the right to practice religion," he said. Nagesh told IANS that a decision had been made by the School Development and Management Committee in 1985. The committee has taken a decision with regard to uniforms in the campus. "So far all children are following the rule. Whichever institution it is, if they make a rule, the students who want to study must be obliging. All these days the uniform rule was followed and why did they suddenly change?" he asked.
"It is political. What if others start wearing dresses according to their wishes? Do we have to allow them, the students will come in half dresses, and do we have to allow them?" Nagesh questioned. A similar incident was reported from Chikkamaglur district. One group of students started wearing saffron shawls protesting the wearing of hijabs by some girl students in the college. The authorities have resolved the issue after holding a parents-teachers meeting. Now, all eyes are on the move of the ruling BJP in the state over the issue of wearing of hijab by students. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: hijab, karnataka, bjp, ruling, row, political, muslims, islam, rights, students, educational institutions)