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The construction frenzy being witnessed all over the Braj Mandal (Sri Krishna-Radha Land) that annually draws millions of devout ‘bhakts’ and pilgrims, is destroying the essential pastoral character of the area. Green activists are sore over the concretization of pathways, laying of roads on the conventional ‘parikrama’ routes in Govardhan and Vrindavan, the rising structures and hordes of new temples and ashrams with modern amenities that have come up all over fouling the pristine glory of the holy land.
The mandarins in the Mathura-Vrindavan Development Authority (MVDA) and the Teerth Vikas Parishad, are being accused of destroying the original ambiance of the Braj, which was covered by dense forests, mangroves, ponds, and streams. The questionable penchant for the so-called up-gradation and modernization of amenities has vitiated the flavor and vibes that emanated from the landscape, reflects the lack of long-term vision and commitment to conserve the essential heritage character of the Braj Mandal, revered by millions of Sri Krishna bhakts globally.
The twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan are on a development spree. Old temples, dharamshalas, and community halls are making way for high-rise buildings and commercial complexes. Vrindavan alone has a dozen tall multi-storeyed buildings. “In the past decade there has been so much concrete construction in Vrindavan, that you hardly find any green space left,” lamented Jagan Nath Poddar, convener of Friends of Vrindavan, an NGO engaged in conserving the natural heritage values of the holy town.
Mathura traffic movement is chaotic, the sewage system doesn’t work, encroachments dwarf the heritage temples and havelis, the ghats are poorly maintained, the lush green clusters are turning grey and brown with modern structures, the holy kunds (ponds) are struggling to survive. The original flavor of Braj culture is dying a slow but sure death, feel the locals.
“The development efforts are in bits and pieces, ad hoc, sporadic, and lacking in a grand vision. The MVDA babus have never heard of heritage ambiance or architectural compatibility,” rues author-activist Dr. Ashok Bansal. The city seems to live in three different ages from the stone age to the 21st century; the ancient, the medieval, and the so-called modern. The distortions are clearly visible, as the soul of Braj culture is missing, Bansal said.
Conservationists are particularly angry at the utter lack of sensitivity to the historic architectural compatibility in new structures being built in Vrindavan that each day draws thousands from all over the world. Many also wonder about the utility of the proposed skyscraper temple of Sri Krishna which will put additional pressure on water and power resources and only “defile the rustic-pastoral ambiance basic to Sri Krishna lore.
Two years ago, the National Green Tribunal had directed that concrete structures in the name of development should not be allowed within the Braj area and certainly not 100 meters on both sides of the parikrama route. “They now want to ferry pilgrims in a chopper and buy plush bungalows that would shame five-star hotels in comforts,” said green activist Pavan Gautam.
Actually, the pilgrims who spend so much money and time come to see and be part of our rich cultural-religious and architectural heritage and not the ghettos or the box-type concrete jungles that are mushrooming everywhere so thoughtlessly. It’s not just Mathura but the entire Braj area, Gokul, Vrindavan, Govardhan where you see concrete jungles replacing old grand heritage structures. The ghats on the river Yamuna have disappeared, even the green mangroves of Sri Krishna have vanished.
Architectural monstrosities, haphazard urban planning, disorganized traffic movement along the main roads due to the increasing number of encroachments, lack of pattern, and thinking are self-evident, says conservationist Rajiv Saxena. “In the name of beautification, obstructions are being installed at road crossings.
Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society says, “For Braj mandal as a distinct cultural entity, there was a crying need for an Urban Arts Panel to guide and advise town planners how to retain the pristine purity of the original Braj flavor. In Braj poetry the narrow lanes ..the kunj galies of Vrindavan, find special romantic descriptions. Instead of preserving the heritage, they want to bypass and destroy the originality.”
The holy towns around Mathura: Gokul, Vrindavan, Barsana, Nandgaon, Govardhan, all need action plans to prevent garbage accumulation, movement of stray animals, for control of simian nuisance, to streamline traffic movement and tapping of drains into the river Yamuna. Unfortunately, neither the popular MP cine star Hema Malini nor the young and dynamic minister in the Yogi Adityanath government Sri Kant Sharma, have been able to give a sense of direction or vision to the development plans. (IANS/JC)
By Siddhi Jain
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
'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
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
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.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.