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Indian-origin man arrested in Canada

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Toronto: In connection with a gunpoint threatening incident, an Indian-origin man was arrested in Canada’s Ontario province, the media reported.

Parmpal Gill, 32, was arrested on Monday after he allegedly got involved in a dispute with a person in Brampton city during which he brandished a firearm and threatened him, voiceonline.com reported on Tuesday.

He has been charged with possession of a weapon for a purpose, dangerous to public peace and uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm.

(IANS)

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Back to the Soil With Organic Farming

Here's the story of various people who have returned back to their soil, organically

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Many professionals have returned back to their soil. PIxabay

By Sukant Deepak

A banker from Canada, a resort director, a top executive in a leading IT company and a senior corporate communications professional with a major hospital chain. Defying all stereotypes and preconceived notions of farmhands, an increasing number of highly qualified professionals from both genders are quitting their lucrative professions and getting back to the soil in Punjab full-time,making responsible farming their way of life.

Using social media including WhatsApp to spread the word, participating in pop-up organic farmers’ markets across the region and organising day-long farm tours, these new-age farmers, compost kit makers and teachers are ascertaining that those wanting pesticide-free food grains don’t have to look too hard.

Rahul Sharma’s wife would always laugh when on a typical IT sprint meeting call, he would be discussing his project at Flipkart, and a few hours later, talking about manure collection with a farmer.

This organic farmer who now grows cereal grains, pulses, oil seeds, turmeric and garlic at his five acre farm in Kapurthala full time, insists that the ongoing lockdown has made people aware about the importance of growing their own food, and that too pesticide-free. “But yes, if the government is serious about providing nutritional security, then it must ascertain economic benefits to farmers so they can go in for sustainable agriculture,” he stresses.

For someone who started doing organic farming in 2016, the thrill that comes with growing safe food for others is unparalled.”The fact that there is a patch of land which is now free of poison, where life thrives, and that I am contributing towards healthy soil.”

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Rahul Sharma now grows cereal grains, pulses, oil seeds, turmeric and garlic at his five acre farm in Kapurthala full time. Pixabay

Not regretting his switch from a corporate IT job, which never allowed him to pursue his passions like photography, Sharma has now decided to streamline production and ordering process. “I have now a set rotation of crops which provide nutrition to the soil, as well as work well in the consumer market. I am also working on an online platform to make it easier for my consumers to order grains and be in touch with me,” he adds. He also lectures and interacts with school and college students at his farm about the importance of sustainable agriculture/lifestyle.

Shivraj Bhullar, who has a four-acre farm in Manimajra and grows a variety of seasonal vegetables, leafy greens and fruits left his cushy banker job in Canada to start organic farming on his piece of land in 2014 post volunteering at different farms across India to learn the ropes. “The organic farming convention that was held in the region in 2015 brought a lot of people together. Since then, the movement has been growing with greater awareness amongst consumers in this part of the country,” he says. For someone who has always been interested in Yoga and nutrition, one of the major factors that keeps him excited is the community around the organic farming movement in Punjab. “Farmers go out of their way to help each other out. It’s been a humbling and continuous learning experience for me,” he adds.

Planning to take his farm to the next level by installing a drip irrigation system and rain water harvesting for water conservation, Bhullar is all set to buy more animals so as to decrease his dependence on outside sources for manure.

Coordinator of the Chandigarh Farmers’ Market, Seema Jolly, who owns a five-acre farm in village Karoran in Punjab and grows vegetables,fruit, grains, oilseeds and pulses wants her farm to be a school for organic/natural farming, yoga and Ayurveda in the near future. One of the directors of the Baikunth Resorts Pvt Ltd, Jolly started organic farming in 2011 and there has been no looking back since then. “There is a certain joy in knowing that what you supply is not harming the consumer in any way,” she says. Instrumental in organising trips for school children to different farmers across Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, Jolly also helps small organic farmers with logistics and selling their produce. “The organic farmers market initiative, in July 2015 was a landmark in bringing relief to the marketing problems of organic farmers and encouraging more farmers to turn organic. Frankly, what is needed is small markets like these in all districts. It may take time, but people are bound to tilt towards organic if there is easy availability.”

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There are many people who own farms including Former National level hockey player Mohanjit Dhaliwal who has two farms. Pixabay

Former National level hockey player Mohanjit Dhaliwal who has two farms — one if Ropar and another in Fathegrah Sahib, the latter being part of permaculture food forest in ‘Sanjhi Mitti Food Forest Community’, has been involved in organic farmer for more than 10 years now. Talking about the roadblocks when it comes to shifting to organic, he feels, that the government’s policy of 100 per cent wheat paddy procurement has to change. “Farmers, who used to be entrepreneurs and solutions finders are now behaving like robots.Nothing is going to change unless policy makers get out of whole process.”

Besides holding regular workshops on permaculture which is attended by people from around the country, Dhaliwal, who is working on a forest therapy centre, adds, ” Our Eco library at the farm where anyone can read or borrow books on related subjects is quite a hit with both children and adults.”

Chandigarh-based Jyoti Arora, who supplies odour-free composters in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh to houses, hotels, institutions, municipalities, and engages with Swachh Bharat teams of different municipalities, says, “I also do a lot of lecture demonstrations to sensitise people and encourage people to go green. In fact, my farming is a by product of the compost generated from my domestic waste in which the produce comes solely out of the compost.”

Also Read: Oglivy Launches Video Campaign Promoting Love of Couples in Lockdown

Everything changed for Diksha Suri, a former corporate communications head with a major hospital chain when she spent time at Auroville in 2004. “Being there and learning from experts started a journey of a more conscious approach towards the living greens and browns. I attended formal workshops and started experimenting an organic way of living,” says Suri, who, along with a friend set up Chandigarh’s first Nature Club in 2012.

From organising organic farm visits, forest walks and fossil sites for children and their parents, Suri says that she has been able to make hundreds of children conscious about what they eat. “A lot of them are now at ease with composting, growing vegetables, identifying birds, and more than anything, being in sync with nature. We now regularly hold talks and workshops on organic farming, composting, waste management, across schools, colleges and corporate offices in the region.”

Chandigarh-based Rishi Miranshah, who has made the nine-part docu-series ‘The Story of Food – A No Fresh Carbon Footprint’ which is available to watch online on Films for Action website and YouTube says, “Considering what chemicals have been doing to our food and the need to switch to organic, it was important for me to make this documentary which is an investigation, tracing the trail of devastations bringing us to the point where we are today. Food being the thread that connects us to life; and the way we obtain our food being that connects us to a way of life, the movie begins by examining our agri-culture, our very relationship with the land.” (IANS)

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More Than 150,000 Indians in UAE Register to Return to India

150,000 Indians in UAE register to fly home

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More than 150,000 Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have registered to fly home during the coronavirus pandemic, as per the latest figures with the e-registration launched by the Indian missions. Pixabay

More than 150,000 Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have registered to fly home during the coronavirus pandemic, as per the latest figures with the e-registration launched by the Indian missions.

“As of 6 p.m. on Saturday, we received more than 150,000 registrations,” Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul told Gulf News on Saturday.

A quarter of them want to return after losing their jobs, he said.

“About 40 per cent of the applicants are workers and 20 per cent are professionals. Overall, 25 per cent have cited job-loss as the reason for leaving the country.”

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Keralites comprise more than one million of the 3.4 million Indians in the UAE and they have registered to fly back home. Pixabay

About 10 per cent of the applicants are visit/tourist visa holders who were stranded after the flight suspension and lockdown in India. The rest of the applicants include those with medical emergencies, pregnant women and students, Vipul said.

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The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai on Wednesday night began the e-registration for forming the database of their citizens wishing to fly home.

While there are Indians registering to return to various states, the Consul-General told Gulf News that 50 per cent of the applicants were from the state of Kerala.

Keralites comprise more than one million of the 3.4 million Indians in the UAE.

Also Read- Here are Some Cocktail Recipes to Make Your Summers Better

Vipul however, said the missions have not yet received intimations from the Indian government about the mode of transporting the stranded citizens, the pricing of the tickets or how the COVID-19 test results of applicants would be assessed for their journey.

“There are high-level discussions going on regarding these things,” he said, adding that the e-registration would be open “till the time the issue (of repatriating Indians wishing to return home) stablilises”. (IANS)

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Facebook Unveils New Features For Users in US, Canada To Transfer Images Directly To Google Photos

The Data Transfer Project (DTP) is an open-source initiative to create new tools that "enable people to freely move their information across the web"

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The feature is part of Data Transfer Project signed last year by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter to simplify data transfers between their platforms. VOA

Facebook has introduced a new feature for its users in the US and Canada to transfer their images and videos directly to Google Photos.

The feature is part of Data Transfer Project signed last year by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter to simplify data transfers between their platforms, following the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union (EU) in May.

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To access the tool, users need to go to the Facebook settings in Facebook Information.
On the desktop log into your Facebook account and tap on the arrow on the upper right corner to access your settings.

Facebook
Facebook has introduced a new feature for its users in the US and Canada to transfer their images and videos directly to Google Photos. Pixabay

Then tap on the ‘Your Facebook Information’ menu on the left and select ‘Transfer a Copy of Your Photos or Videos.’ Among the destinations, Google Photos is currently the only option Now log into your Google account and confirm the transfer.

“The process on mobile is very similar: tap on the hamburger menu, go to Settings, and then scroll down to the ‘Your Facebook Information’ section. Tap on ‘Transfer a Copy of Your Photos of Videos’ and then follow the rest of the steps,” reports Engadget.

ALSO READ: Global Smartphone Market Witnesses Substantial Decline Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

The Data Transfer Project (DTP) is an open-source initiative to create new tools that “enable people to freely move their information across the web.” (IANS)