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Indian-Origin Woman plea for exchange of Old Demonetised Currency Notes

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Reserve Bank of India. VOA

NEW DELHI, April 26, 2017: The supreme court sought Government’s reaction on the exchange of demonetised currency notes when Sangeeta Pandey, an overseas citizen of India, (OCI) card holder pleaded for justice. She has accused RBI allegedly for its unfair notification that says it was limited to NRIs only.

Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud have issued a notice to the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for negotiation of this matter. Sangeeta Pandey was turned down by the bank regarding the exchange of Rs 18,000. She has mentioned her arrival in Delhi from the United Kingdom on January 10 with Rs 18,000 worth of demonetised notes in a file through the advocate Pankaj Bala Verma, mentioned PTI reports.

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In her plea, she has mentioned her arrival in Delhi from the United Kingdom on January 10 with Rs 18,000 worth of demonetised notes.

On being advised a customs officer at IGI airport, she went to RBI to get the currency exchanged but there she got to know that this facility was limited to NRIs only and not been extended to OCI card holders.

“Petitioner went to RBI a few times and waited in a queue until one day a RBI official made an announcement that the facility to exchange the currency was limited to NRIs only and did not include Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders,” said the victim.

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“No satisfactory explanation was given except that the government had decided to take this decision,” she added.

The plea sought to quash RBI’s December 31, 2016 notification as per which facility of exchange was made available to NRIs, who were not in India till December 30, 2016- post November 8, 2016, demonetisation announcement.

As per the RBI direction, NRIs were allowed to exchange currency till June 30.

 – by Pawan Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: @pawan221b

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Lack of Support from UK Schools further ‘Penalises’ Left-Handed Children

Handwriting experts opine that left-handed children encounter difficulties which hampers their development in the long term

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Left-Handed Children
School Children. Wikimedia
  • Children are being ‘penalized’ for being left-handed in the UK 
  • Education Campaigners have warned that ministers lack the information to understand the scale of the problem
  • It is also a common assumption that a number of prisoners are left-handed

London, August 15, 2017: The Education campaigners in the UK have warned the lack of information among ministers is causing ‘penalty’ on left-handed children in the country.

The campaigners have more broadly accused the ministers of failing to understand the scale of the problem of classroom struggle and how it hampers the development of left-hand children.

Also Read:  11 Facts about Education System Around the World: Do they Prove to be Beneficial for Children?

There is now a demand for research to determine if classroom struggle triggers a sort of “downward spiral” that hampers the marks of children. Further, it is to be seen if their confidence and self-esteem is reduced and how it impacts their future opportunities.

The government of UK stands firmly with the national curriculum. The campaigners, on the other hand, are demanding that the left-handed pupil receive the kind of education that would match their needs. This proposal is currently non-statutory guidance.

Nick Gibb, the education minister, said that the teachers need to ensure they provide education to pupils according to their needs.

Handwriting experts, however, opine that left-handed children encounter difficulties which hamper their development in the long term. They also suggest that teachers often fail to recognize these signs, and hence a training needs to be introduced.

“It’s bizarre kids in our schools are penalized because they happen to be left-handed. It’s bewildering successive governments have failed to act on this. It’s so easy to do,” Former Conservative Minister Sir Peter Luff told The Guardian.

Worcester based Left’n’Write is an organization that trains left-handed children. Their founder, Stewart, believes that there is a lack of teaching training. His organization has helped thousands of pupils with his talks and training.

Left-handed writing is now considered a disability, and hence there is no data of how many left-handed children are there in the country’s primary and secondary schools. However, it is estimated that 10% of the population is left-handed.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Dorset Indian Mela: Indian food festival on August 26 in UK to Showcase different varieties of Cuisine and Culture

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Dorset Indian Mela
Last Year's Dorset Indian Mela. Wikimedia
  • The Dorset Indian Mela is an Indian Food Festival
  • On August 26 the Dorset Mela is is going to be held in Poole, United Kingdom
  • The festival will raise money funds for Forest Holme Hospice, a care unit

UK, July 27, 2017: The Dorset Indian Mela, a popular Indian food festival is coming to Poole of the United Kingdom on August 26, this year. The Indian festival will showcase the different varieties of Indian cuisine, Indian culture, and heritage.

The Dorset Mela is set to exhibit stalls with a large variety of Indian cuisine. Additionally, stalls displaying handicrafts and henna paintings. Indian dance and music will also be present at the venue for the visitors to enjoy.

Dorset Indian Mela Committee’s spokesperson Bibin Venuanth spoke to Daily Echo, “Following the success of last year’s event, we are delighted to be bringing the Indian communities of Dorset together to present our second Indian food festival.”

ALSO READ: The ‘Francophonie Mela’: A massive Celebration of French culture in Delhi

India has different regions and their specialties to offer on the Dorset Festival. Bipin Venuanth said that the Indian Mela is estimated to generate enough funds through the crowd that it will take care of thousands of patients in Forest Holme Hospice hospital care unit.

This is not the first time that the Indian Mela by Dorset has been held. Last year’s festival showcased all 29 states and their representatives. Many families turned up for the event making it a grand success.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394