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Indian-Australian girl recalls lion attack

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Sydney: After the death of a US tourist on June 2 at the Lion Park in Johannesburg, an Indian- Australian school girl, Neha Sharma, recalled how she was mauled by lions in South Africa, as reported by the media.

Sharma’s horrific experience was made public in an effort to improve safety standards and protect other tourists from similar lion attacks, the daily said.

Sharma recalled how a park ranger at the Kudus Rus game lodge, near Johannesburg, led her into a cage of five lions before her parents could follow her.

She was suddenly encircled by the animals, who blocked the cage gate and then attacked her.

The ranger pretended to be dead while the lions attacked the girl inside the enclosure.

“The lions were as tall as me and attacked my head… I could hear lions’ teeth crunching on my head and biting my arms and chest. While I was passing out I could hear mum and dad screaming for help,” she said.

“Neha regained consciousness and was able to fight off the lions and flee the enclosure although she has no recollection of this,” said her father.

Receiving extensive injuries on her head, neck, chest, thighs and arms, Sharma spent five days in a hospital in South Africa after undergoing surgery.

She has not yet returned to school and continues to be treated weekly by a psychologist and plastic surgeon at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. (IANS)

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

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The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)