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Farmers from North India have spent more than eight months at the longest-running protest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, turning several highways on the outskirts of New Delhi into temporary settlements.
In winter they huddled in farm trailers. When winter gave way to a scorching summer, the farmers erected structures with bamboo and aluminum sheets on the road to shelter them from temperatures that touch 44 degrees Celsius in the Indian capital and equipped them with fans and coolers.
Now they are throwing tarpaulin sheets over the roofs to keep monsoon rains out of their shelters. Holding firm on their demand that three farm laws passed last year to open agricultural trade to private companies must be scrapped, the farmers shrug aside the hardships of living on the highway through winter, summer and the pandemic's ferocious second wave.
"In winter, we leave our homes at night to water fields at night because that is the time we are given electricity, in summer we work under the sun, we sow our land during the monsoons," said Harjinder Singh, a farmer who has come from Punjab, a primarily agricultural state.
"In any case, a protest means bearing hardships. Only then you succeed," he said, retreating into his structure, as rain drips through a plastic sheet after a monsoon shower.
Singh did not leave the highway, even when Delhi huddled indoors as the coronavirus infected tens of thousands – for him the laws represent a bigger threat than the virus.
Discontent among farmers, who mostly own small plots of land and complain of falling incomes, has been brewing for years. They have complained that rising costs for supplies such as seeds, fertilizers and diesel fuel had eroded their profits.
The recent laws have become a flashpoint amid their fears that they pose an existential threat to their livelihoods.
The farmers worry that the new laws will take away decades long government support, which ensured a fixed price for crops, such as wheat and rice, and eventually force them to sell their land.
Being a landowner is the only identity they know, said farmer Darshan Singh as he walked down the highway.
"I am attached to my land in the same way that my nail is joined to my flesh. It is both my mother and father; it is everything to me. If my land does not stay, there is no point in my living any longer," Singh, also from Punjab state, said.
Modi has assured them that the laws will help them gain access to new markets, bring in new technology and raise agricultural incomes.
Some economists say the farm reforms are necessary to modernize Indian agriculture, improve productivity, draw in private investment and encourage farmers to shift to more profitable crops rather than continue growing cereals, such as rice and wheat, which fetch a fixed, government-set price. They say this will help improve incomes in the farm sector that supports half the country but accounts for less than 20% of India's gross domestic product.
However, the farmers distrust market reforms.
"The government says that we do not understand the law and some people have criticized us as illiterate," Singh said.
"Why don't they explain the benefits to us?" he asked.
Political analyst Neerja Chowdhary said the protesters remain firm because the stakes are very high for them.
"The fear is that the laws will corporatize agriculture and ultimately lead to smaller farmers becoming workers in their own fields," she said.
The protesters are counting a small victory. Limited numbers have been allowed to come from their heavily barricaded sites since mid-July to hold a daily protest outside Parliament while it is in session.
The farmers have warned lawmakers that they will withdraw support from parties that do not back their demand that the laws be repealed.
If the impasse is not resolved, it could cost the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party some political support as it gears up to face crucial elections in five states next year.
"It is something to worry about for the BJP, particularly in the largest state, Uttar Pradesh, where a victory is crucial for the party," Choudhary said.
Negotiations have been stalled since talks broke down earlier this year. The government has ruled out scrapping the laws but has offered to put the laws on hold for up to a year and a half and make amendments. The farmers say they will not settle for anything less than a total rollback.
"If the government is showing us a rigid face, then farmers can also be very stubborn. We also will never step back," Harjinder Singh said.
"If we return without achieving our target, in any case our entire life's work stands defeated."
Like the seasons, the mood at the protest site swings – at times charged, at times languid. With the sowing season on during the monsoon, many young farmers have gone back to villages to plant seeds in their fields, while older farmers hold the fort at protest sites.
Even when he is back in his village, the struggle remains his primary concern, Darshan Singh said.(Anjana Pasricha/VOA/HP)
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
By- Jake Melnik
With the accessibility to high-speed internet, affordable OTT platform subscriptions, the popularity of binge-watching culture is at its peak. Now, we get unlimited shows to watch every day. In fact, it has brought entertainment to our fingertips. Among the popular platforms, Netflix is one of the favourite names for binge-watchers.
However, if you want to have the best streaming experience, then try out these five hacks and make the most of the Netflix streaming service you use:
1. Get access to different countries' Netflix shows that aren't available in your location
There are so many incredible movies and shows on Netflix that are sometimes not available in specific locations. If you also have a show or a list of shows that you eagerly wanted to watch but couldn't, then this hack is made only for you. You can use unblockers such as smartflix, or any other unblocker that is accessible for free to change your Ip address and make the site think you belong to a different location. This way, you will be granted more Netflix shows which otherwise you would have missed. Remember that these unblockers may contain security issues; hence ensure you choose the best and reliable unblocker and access the US Netflix library with a free VPN.
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2. Get better video quality with a super Netflix extension
If you use google chrome to access Netflix, then you must use the free extension given in the browser known as Super Netflix. This extension is basically provided to give users an enhanced video quality. You just have to install the free extension and select the video streaming quality you want in place of letting Netflix do it for you. This option is convenient when you often shift between your mobile data and wifi connection.
Other advantages of Super Netflix involve:
- Automatic skipping of show intros.
- Speeding up video.
- Managing color contrast and video brightness.
Also, super Netflix keeps you from getting spoilers by blurring out the plot description and show thumbnails.
In addition, try to watch your shows early in the morning or late at night as with fewer people engaging on the platform, speed, and quality automatically improve.
You just have to install the free extension and select the video streaming quality you want in place of letting Netflix do it for you.Unsplash
ALSO READ: Tips To Stream Better On Netflix In 2021
There is no doubt that Netflix originals are way too engaging and filled with pure entertainment. However, there is no harm in watching something that is not produced by Netflix yet is something worth watching.
In case you already have a few shows in mind you would want to stream on Netflix other than Netflix originals, then use the Google Chrome extension named no Netflix original. It removes all the Netflix-produced shows from your list and introduces many other great pieces to watch.
4. Binge-Watch With Your Friends And Family
Watching any shows or movies with loved ones adds to the excitement and joy of the moment. Unfortunately, due to the current world situation, people are stuck at their homes or may live too far to hit a movie night with you. But, using a tool called Teleparty, you can virtually host binge-watching sessions along with your friends and family. This tool will let everyone on your list get engaged virtually at the same time to watch a movie together.
5. No More "Are You Still Watching?"
If you are also tired of tapping on the "next episode" option and want to binge-watch a show without any disturbance. Then here is another Google Chrome extension for you. Get an extension of Never-Ending Netflix from chrome and remove anything that comes between long hours of binging. This extension will automatically play the next episode, lets you skip the sequence, and most importantly, keeps the prompt of "are you still watching?" from popping up every now and then. You can also search shows by genre on Netflix using this extension.
When it comes to binge-watching shows and movies, Netflix indeed pops up in the mind of serial streamers. After all, Netflix has it all, from the latest seasons of money heist to all the episodes of the 90s as well as today's people's favourite show, "Friends." Hence by using the hacks and tricks mentioned above, you can go for your non-stop binge-watching mode along with better quality and convenience.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
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In the era of computers and smartphones, it is hard to imagine a task that hasnt been made easier by some sort of technology. You all may know how harmful the blue light emitted by computers, smartphones, tablets, televisions, and other electronics is for your eyes. Since the inception of the pandemic, the use of these electronic devices has increased, and we all know it can have multiple undesirable effects on the eye.
Dark circles are formed mostly due to the reflection of the dark maroon underlying orbicularis oculi, a circular muscle around our eye. The dark pigmentation gives you an exhausted look which makes you seem sick or sleep-deprived. The skin around the eye is the thinnest, results in reflection of the said dark maroon underlying orbicularis oculi. The artificial light from the screen of your electronic devices causes a lot of drying, as it steals the moisture from the skin and also causes a breakdown of collagen
Reduce overhead lighting to minimize screen glare. | Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash
How can you deal with the undesirable effects?
*Follow a proper skincare regimen, use a moisturiser rich in vitamins especially C,E, and K. Massage it gently in clockwise and anticlockwise gentle circular movements.
*Apply under-eye cream 40 minutes before going to bed.
*Green tea bags can also help to shrink the blood vessels that will lessen dark circles.
*Catching up on sleep can help reduce the appearance of dark circles.
*Take frequent breaks while using digital devices.
*Reduce overhead lighting to minimize screen glare.
*Keep your eyes an arm's distance away from the screen.
Vivek Singh, CEO and Co-founder of Anveya Living says, "People spend a large portion of the day straining their eyes on computers, phones or tablets. Our eye muscles try to focus and refocus on and off screens which causes strain. There are a few solutions to this problem. Dehydration plays a big role, especially in the area around the eyes. Make sure you pick an eye cream that suits your eye concerns. For example, Anveya has an under eye cream with Vitamin C that helps to reduce puffiness, wrinkles and pigmentation. It basically provides intense hydration, nourishes and protects the thin skin around the eyes".
Apply under-eye cream 40 minutes before going to bed. | Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
Commenting on the same, Shilpa Rathi Maheshwari, Founder of I AM LOVE, a Nutraceutical Health and Skincare Brand, said, "Screen time is the latest plague that has been going around and everyone has fallen victim to it; the young and the old. Too much eye strain affects the skin around the eyes, it causes them to age at an accelerated rate. While curbing screen time is one solution, it can't be a solution for people whose livelihood depends on it. Well, you don't have to worry when you have enough protein and collagen in your body. You might need to supplement your body with an increased amount of collagen and protein to negate the damage being done."
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: under-eye, skin, treatment, eye-cream, dark circles, sleep, routine, self-care