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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)
Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros, the woman who designed the Param Vir Chakra, was born in 1913 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. It was believed that she came to India to understand the country's culture and tradition.
She got to know about India's spiritual and cultural wealth at a very early age through holistic education which she received. Soon, Eve Yvonne fell in love with a Maharashtrian named Vikram Khanolkar, who was a young army officer, and was undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom.
Soon, both the persons married, and Eve Yvonne acquired the name Savitribai Khanolkar and shifted to Maharashtra with her husband who by the time became Major General.
Savitribai Khanolkar with husband Major General Vikram Khanolkar.Photo found on Google Images
As Savitribai Khanolkar was already amazed by the rich culture of India, she immersed herself in the study of mythology, traditions, and religious scriptures. Along with this, Savitribai also started indulging herself in the art, music, dance, and linguistics of India.
Parallel to this, India was celebrating its independence from the British rule, and was on its way to remove British legacies and re-establish the country's identity.
This was the time when When Adjutant General Hira Lal Atal was assigned with the task of creating the Indian equivalent of the British Victoria Cross. For this, he took Savitribai in confidence as she had an in-depth knowledge of the nation. Thus, from here began the journey of making the Param Vir Chakra.
The design of Param Vir Chakra was to denote power and sacrifice demonstrated by the soldiers that protected people at the cost of their lives. So, according to Savitribai, nothing could represent in a better way than the great warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji himself. According to the history, the ruler was known for his courage and strategic defence. Hence, his sword 'Bhavani' found a place on the disc, enclosed within the Indian mythical weapon 'Vajra', from both sides. This mythical weapon is believed to be made of a sage's bone in order to kill evil enemies in the name of goodness.
Moreover, the first Param Vir Chakra was awarded on India's first Republic Day celebrated, which was celebrated in 1950, and its recipient was Savitribai's son-in-law's brother, Major Somnath Sharma.
In this world full of technological advancement where everything is now home-delivered, even the most essential beauty services are now available at your doorstep? Let the pampering sessions begin. The whole salon environment at home believes that services at home are undoubtedly the best option during the unusual crisis.
IANSlife brings you the co-founder of YES MADAM, Mayank Arya who speaks of the benefits of at-home salon services.
We all prefer comfort over anything and everything. Nothing is more comfortable than getting everything under your own roof. One of the most amazing perks of subscribing to an at-home salon service provider is that you can watch your favourite TV show or OTT series while having your hair treated or nails done. Amidst, Covid-19 and working from home some of the beauty services can be taken simultaneously. Getting beauty services at your home keeps you relaxed and calm. During festivals when you are already busy the on-demand salon services can do wonders for your mind, body and soul.
Nothing is more comfortable than getting everything under your own roof. | Photo by Inside Weather on Unsplash
Usually many customers have problems related to hygienic surroundings. Of course, they do not know if the place is properly sanitized or not. For such kinds of customers "At home Beauty services" is nothing but the most appropriate option. There is something about being in a familiar environment that makes you feel at total comfort instantly and allows you to enjoy the treatment in a much better way. Create your own bubble with the most appropriate hygienic conditions according to your requirements and take the at-home salon services.
Create your own bubble with the most appropriate hygienic conditions according to your requirements and take the at-home salon services. | Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
The biggest and the major concern during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the duration of time where the whole world is fighting a virus, we all need to be extra careful about exposure to any kind of infection. With at-home salon services, you do not have to expose yourself to dozens of people on your way but you can allow yourself to enjoy excellent services within the safety of your home. With vaccinated beauticians, it becomes much safer to get the treatments done. In at-home salon services, the beauticians wear a PPE kit that includes a mask, gloves, bodysuit, and a face shield. They utilize only monodose (single-use) products. Moreover, they also sanitize the area where the set-up is done to deliver the services.
With at-home salon services, you can allow yourself to enjoy excellent services within the safety of your home. | Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
Sometimes, even if you book an appointment, you have to travel a lot far and still the beautician keeps you waiting. The in-house beauty treatment services are much more flexible. It's all up to you, one can book the date and time whenever they need the service, and the beautician will be there at your doorstep. If it is a busy week or an impromptu decision, one can always rely on the on-demand salon services.
. The in-house beauty treatment services are much more flexible. | Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
The session with family and friends
Who doesn't love to gossip around and chill with friends and family while getting their manicure and pedicure done? There are so many nosy customers while you visit the salon that just kills your buzz. But a salon at home with your friends and family especially during the times of festivals provide you with the most relaxing and happy vibes.
A salon at home with your friends and family especially during the times of festivals provide you with the most relaxing and happy vibes. | Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash
With the up-gradation in technology, the on-demand salon services do not let you pile up the house chores. While you are working from home and want to get your house festive ready with services like pest control, sanitization, sofa cleaning, carpet cleaning, kitchen cleaning, bathroom cleaning at-home services like Yes Madam always keep you sorted.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: salon, pandemic, safety, hygiene, family, friends, comfort
By Aishwarya Jain
According to the World Happiness Report 2021 which was released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Finland was once again crowned as the world's happiest country. India has been ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the list of UN World Happiness Report 2021. To make society happy, firstly it is really important to spread awareness on how it is okay to relax, chill and take a break. People tend to normalise overworking, which is so wrong. Of Course, we need a job to live and sustain ourselves but you shouldn't be working yourself to death, and the fact that this is seen as normal is really worrying. You spend more hours at work than you do awake at home, so if those hours are drenched in misery then sadness basically becomes the norm. A study from Gallup (2017) found that happier employees were more engaged, which resulted in improved customer relationships, and a 20 percent increase in sales.
Also, lowering down the crime level would act as a major factor towards a happy society. People who witness crimes, or come across evidence of a crime in their local area, can suffer anxiety and may feel demoralised or powerless. We should also teach them to stop judging people by materialistic things and accept everyone with all their flaws. Media plays an important role in making society happy because they have the power of reaching out to billions of people and helping them out through a solution-based approach.
Media plays an important role in making society happy because they have the power of reaching out to billions of people and helping them out through a solution-based approach. | Photo by Dave Goudreau on Unsplash
As per Aishwarya Jain, the Founder of IM Happiness, a social community that works to increase awareness of mental well-being, "Every great leader always talks about building a happier society from Chanakya to J.R.D. Tata. As J.R.D Tata said, "I do not want India to be an economic superpower. I want India to be a happy country". Happiness makes good things happen. It actually promotes positive outcomes. It's high time corporates start taking importance of mental well-being like it's happening around the world. Last week, Nike became the latest company to close its offices for a week to give employees a mental health break. That's after LinkedIn, Bumble, and Hootsuite have all shut down their offices for a week this year to address mental health. I think the global revolution of happiness has started."
Our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. Yet in today's world, we ironically sacrifice happiness for success only to lower our brain's success rate . When we are happy -- when our mindset and mood are positive -- we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the centre, and success revolves around it. IM Happiness is a community that believes happiness is a skill to be enhanced by training and practice. The team works day and night to help the sufferers get rid of their mental chaos and teach them the skill of being optimistic and happy in every situation, either favourable or adverse. They work on the aim of the United Nations Goals of promoting good health and well-being and have worked closely with the organisation. The team is utilizing the power of Science and Spirituality in achieving this aim.
IM Happiness is initiating a new campaign, 'Hello Happiness'. | Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash
IM Happiness is initiating a new campaign, 'Hello Happiness'. The campaign unites 30+ celebrities from across the country to have a surprise conversation with selected people in India. Ranveer Brar, Daniel Weber, Masoom Minawala Mehta and Ash King are some of the celebrities who will be a part of this campaign. With this campaign, the community wants to help people deal with their emotions and to motivate them. The campaign is free of cost and the nominee just has to register, wherein the unique algorithm will connect the nominee with a celebrity or other mentors on a call according to their keywords.
The community is trying to bring a change but it is the society's accumulative effort to spread awareness and to make oneself happy. We should try to start small and it will eventually make a great difference because a better society allows us to lead a better life.
(Article originally published on IANS by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keyowrds: Happiness, society, IM happiness, campaign, India, community