Vishakhapattanam: The IFR Village is uniting all the states of India to showcase their culture and tradition on the Andhra University North Campus ground.
The village is going to showcase live stall of saree weaving and bamboo work by talented youth of India. It is also showcasing the crafts with varieties of art works of wood, pottery, handloom and handicraft.
People from across the country, besides the delegates, are making a beeline soon after it was thrown open to the public.
On entering the Village, one can see a woman from Rajasthan making potteries including toys and dishes of different shapes and design, surround with people curiously looking at her.
There are also some other women drawing folk art using clay and white chalk.
Another stall depicting Madhubani painting works from Bihar is also drawing a huge crowd. The painting on paper and canvas has been done using colours prepared from leaf, flower and other natural substances.
The sola pitch craft from West Bengal brought in variety of Durga idols including the small replicas that are used to decorate homes with the belief that they augur well for the household. Besides, there are wood carvings of various goddesses from Tirupati.
The navy also opened a stall to sell IFR curious on mugs, sippers, memorabilia.
The traditional jewellery stalls are a major attraction for girls and women.(IANS)
Author Maria Wirth belongs to Germany and has been living in India from past 38 years. She is the author of the book ‘Thank You India: A German Woman’s Journey to the Wisdom of Yoga’. Newsgram gets in a conversation with her over a telephonic interview. Here’s an excerpt:
Muskan Bhantagar: 38 years back when you came to visit india, what was the thing about indian culture or precisely hinduism that made you fall in love with it and stay back in India?
Maria Wirth: Actually, it was not too much India that attracted me. When I was in Germany still i had many questions like i was very much intrested in what is life and what is the meaning of life and I was reading on Buddhism at a time and I was not connecting Buddhism to India strangely, and i knew very little about India. So a friend convinced me to stop over in India and only when i bought a book by Swami Vivekananda, i discovered what great treasure is in India. I had no idea, anything about what Hinduism is about. it’s just what you hear usually in the west, is about caste systems,etc. So I didn’t associate India with anything positive actually and then by chance, I discovered there’s such a great treasure here and it is such a pity that we don’t know about it.
Muskan Bhantagar: As we read in your articles that Islam and christianity have been promoting and propogating their religion for years now, but the hindus don’t do so. What do you think can be the reason behind this?
Maria Wirth: Well I think, I was just writing an article I mean when you think how much Hindus have suffered over the last thousand years. So many were beheaded and tortured under the Muslims and then again under the British also. British were also very very brutual, especially after 1857 and etc. And hindus had no way to stand up for their religion. And I think this has gone very deep into the system of Hindus.
And then ofcourse after Independence, this secular education and even Hinduism is now put down even more than earlier. Earlier, education was not so under the Muslims, they had to lie low but they could still have gurukuls and their schools but not now.
So I think one reason is that you have been intimidated so much and also expect so much and like Arun Shourie, in his book he writes that 6th standard students learn in school, etc in Bengal that Islam and Christianity are the only religions which treat the human beings with dignity and equality. I mean such sentences. When you’re a child, it goes into you and then you just look down on it. And I think slowly slowly, even parents of these children say they have been brought up already like this.
Muskan Bhantagar: A large number of Indians are unaware about their own culture and heritage. What do you think can be a solution to this problem?
Maria Wirth: I mean it should get also in the schools. I was so shocked when I came to know that nothing is taught in Indian schools. Neither Mahabharata, Ramayana, Upanishad. Upanishad is philosophy, there is nothing to do with religion. It was very insidious that the British kind of bend or this stuff from being taught, because it doesn’t help them because it would make people strong. They wanted to destroy Indian sanskriti, Indian culture because it has lot of strength. Now like the young generation in India, they were brain-washed into believing that Hinduism is not worth anything. It’s so wrong, so wrong.
Author Maria Wirth spoke to us over various topics. We’re thankful to her for taking out time to talk to us and share her wise opinions. We hope to get more of her soon and help viewers know her better.
BY SIDDHI JAIN When it comes to Indian weddings, there’s a lot one can say about the wastage, over-the-top expense and outrageously grand exhibits that people indulge in. With wedding guestlists capped at 50 people, venues and banquet halls in lockdown, and a financial crunch for a majority of the population – the Indian wedding has no option but to downsize, and that may not be a bad thing.
While weddings may be smaller, the grandeur of the Indian wedding will far from pale. The rise of intimate, micro-weddings (though none the less lavish) has the wedding industry believe the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ might have a long wait before it makes an appearance.
Technology is allowing couples to get married and have their family and friends attend their ceremonies over Zoom calls. Over 500 people can attend a celebration in this manner even if they are miles away. Many couples have embraced the concept of intimate weddings after the sudden outbreak of COVID-19.
According to a The Knot Worldwide survey, around 80 percent of Indian couples who were planning to get married between April to August 2020, have chosen to postpone their weddings to the latter half of the year, over cancellations.
What would change?
“Taking safety into consideration, international pre-wedding shoots and destination weddings might take a back-seat depending on how the global scenario changes in the coming months. At present, couples are discussing weddings within their home city. Some are also planning on making road trips to places near their home city,” Ankur Sarawagi, India Country Head, The Knot Worldwide told IANSlife.
“75 percent of couples do not plan on reducing their guest list. They will design and segregate their guest lists for separate wedding celebrations. Attention to details also plays a major role in big budgeted marriages. In case there is a dip in the number of guests, we can expect more tailored experiences like customised wedding seating ideas, wedding favours,” he added.
According to a Weddingz. in survey, a majority said that in the next 2-3 months, they would prefer intimate weddings with a smaller guest list.
Post-COVID era will force families and the bride and groom to re-evaluate their plans and priorities. Personalised and more meaningful guest experiences will take precedence. Personalised menus, change in traditional seating arrangement, and decor will all be part of the collective guest experience at any post-pandemic wedding. According to our recent customer survey, most respondents said that they would prefer in-house catering to ensure high-quality standards in procurement and food preparation, notes Sandeep Lodha, CEO, OYO’s Weddingz. in.
“Domestic destinations for weddings will be the norm with limited access or restrictions to international travel in the foreseeable future. Destinations that can be reached by road will be preferred to guarantee the safety and social distancing in a post-pandemic era. Unarguably the spend on destination weddings will be limited owing to limited international options.”
“Weddings will see a definitive shift to the virtual world. Couples and families will look for photographers and videographers that are well-equipped to live-stream events for their friends and family from across the globe. Families will be willing to pay a premium for good service and technology here,” Lodha told IANSlife.
Not all gloom and doom
The COVID-19 “does not necessarily mean that all businesses associated with weddings are going to suffer” and some businesses may boom. With reduced number of guests, the expenditure on banquet halls, fancy decors, large scale food catering, extensive honeymoon travels will go down, but jewellery might not be all that badly hit, Rohan Sharma, Managing Director of RK Jewellers, South Extension-2 told IANSlife.
“Jewellery is an asset that one builds at their wedding and families would now probably spend more on jewellery than anything else. During the lockdown, we have experienced an increase in inquiries for gold jewellery. People have seen that in the time of need, gold is the only stable asset,” Sharma said.
As and when things return to normalcy, weddings will slowly but surely become the quintessential elaborate gathering as always, planners are certain. Couples will focus on venue sanitization, frequent disinfection of common facilities and hygiene while serving guests, and prefer open, larger venues to ensure social distancing. (IANS)
“We were a happy family until Wednesday” said N Greeshma’s parents who lost her life because of the deadly gas release. Her parents found out about their youngest daughter’s demise only after they regained consciousness several hours after the leak. Like Greeshma many others lost their loved ones because of an error that multinational companies call merely a ‘mistake’.
On the early morning of 7, May 2020 as the nation was under a lockdown one of the worst industrial accidents occurred at the LG Polymers chemical plant in R. R. Venkatapuram village near Gopalapatnam claiming the lives of 13 people. The Vizag gas leak, also known as the Visakhapatnam gas leak took place at the outskirts of Visakhapatnam as a vapor cloud spread over a radius of around three kilometers affecting the nearby areas and villages and exposing more than 1,000 people to the deadly gas styrene.
The leak took place around 2.30 am in the night, the gas spread over nearby villages. Around 8 people lost their lives almost immediately and more than 800 were rushed to the hospital as the massive gas leaked occurred at LG Polymers chemical plant. Authorities claim that over 2,000 people have been affected in the nearby villages.
Villages in a five-kilometer radius of the chemical plant were evacuated early morning of 7th. Residents reported being woken up by a cloud of noxious smelling vapor as they struggled to breathe. They suffered pain and itchy eyes and soon fell unconscious. The next day all they know is that they woke up in hospitals and heard the news of the demise of their knowns.
A day after the leak authorities doubled the evacuation area and residents were woken up in the middle of the night by Police. They were asked to board buses and follow the evacuation procedure in case there is a chance of further leakage. The victims came with complaints of vomiting, breathing problems, and severe headaches.
Horrific visuals from the affected areas showed dead cows and people lying unconscious on the roads near the chemical plant in RR Venkatapuram village under Gopalapatnam limits. It was a dreadful sight, videos, and photographs from the tragedy which surfaced on social media show people lying in drains and on roads. There were even some who fell off their motorbikes after inhaling the toxic industrial gas.
What is styrene, its effects on the human body? Styrene (C8H8) is a volatile organic compound, likely to be a carcinogenic chemical. The levels of this deadly compound were 500 times higher than the limits prescribed by regulators on the day of the Visakhapatnam gas leak, an analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) states. It enters the human body through the skin, eyes, and predominantly through respiration, getting absorbed into the blood through alveoli in the lungs. Short term effects of the gas include irritation in the eyes, hearing problems, and irritation in the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting. Its effects can be fatal in kids and result in death. Chronic or longer exposure can affect the central nervous system, as of now human studies on styrene toxicity have been few.
The aftermath of the tragedy
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had immediately announced a package of ₹1 crore to the family of the deceased, jobs to one member from the family, and other relief packages. Inspections done in the aftermath of the gas leak have uncovered that there were other storage facilities at the factory that were vulnerable to a leak of vapour on a larger scale. In the meanwhile, an FIR has been lodged against LG polymers Chemical as the nation is still recovering from the trauma of this accident. Many victims blame the sheer negligence of the company’s management which has claimed several lives. On Saturday a protest was organised in front of the main gate of LG Polymers in RR Venkatapuram, Visakhapatnam, as villagers carried four dead bodies of those who died due to the leakage, demanding the shifting of the company.
This incident has yet again left the whole nation dumbstruck and traumatised. This incident questions the credibility of multinational companies and their security protocols. It further poses a question on the management and authorities that cost the lives of 13 innocent people, people who slept not knowing they would never wake up.