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A special pilot project is underway in Bhanderwah valley in Jammu’s Doda district. It is often celebrated as ‘mini Kashmir’ for its lush-green meadows, snow-bound peaks, and clear waters. But for 15 years, the Army and CRPF had been using Malsoo and Rainda hills in the valley as a shooting range, turning the hills barren.
Worse still, it has exacerbated the problem of landslides during winter and monsoons. A landslide had flattened more than three dozen shops here in March 2019. Two people were killed in a landslide just 10 days later. A month after this, another incident of landslide damaged a dozen houses in the region.
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Now, with the firing stopped, citizens have come forth to help the government find a solution to these landslides. The government has started to plant bamboo on the region’s hills because of bamboo roots’ famed potential in arresting soil erosion. Many research reports recommend growing bamboo in regions ravaged by landslides.
One such report — titled ‘Rainfall-Induced Slope Failures and Use of Bamboo as a Remedial Measure’, published in Indian Geotechnical Journal in October 2020 — notes how bamboo roots strongly hold the soil. The report says that growing bamboo is a sustainable option to prevent landslides, preferable over other options such as making retaining walls, crib walls, etc.
So when the district forest department of Bhanderwah decided to experiment with bamboo cultivation, a local NGO, Awaaz, stepped up to help it execute the project. The first phase of the plantation drive was executed on April 9 with the help of about 130 students of the Government Post Graduate College (Bhaderwah) and the residents of Rainda hills of the Neeru Range. The NGO and the student volunteers dispersed about 10,000 seed balls into the hills.
Seed balls are balls of soil and clay containing one or more seeds. Tossing seed balls onto the land is a quick and convenient way of the plantation.
The second phase of the project, on April 14, saw 18 members of the NGO and about 30 employees of the Territorial Forest Department and Forest Protection Force release about 5,000 seed balls of bamboo, cedar, and kail trees on the hills.
Bhaderwah Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Chander Shekhar told 101Reporters that since the theme for this World Environment Day is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’, the administration chose two barren hillocks for afforestation.
It was lucky that Awaaz had prior experience with this sort of thing; it had led the efforts in rejuvenating a barren hillock in the Saroj Bagh area in Bhanderwah Forest Division. Today the entire hill is a dense forest, said Tahir Nadeem Khan Yusafzai, the General Secretary of Awaaz, who is also a senior environment journalist with Greater Kashmir and a Doordarshan anchor.
The time from April to August is ideal for bamboo seeds to start taking roots. DFO Chander Shekhar told 101Reporters that his team recently visited the sites and noticed that some saplings have already begun sprouting. These are likely cedar and kail since bamboo shoots take much longer to grow as bamboo plants initially grow strong and deep roots.
“These hills are sandy and get adequate sunlight both in summer and winter. The Dendrocalamus Strictus variety of bamboo can also grow in minus temperatures. So, I think there is no reason to lose hope,” Yusafzai added.
Concurrently, the J&K administration had been making big moves to develop bamboo cultivation and allied activities to generate employment. Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Jammu & Kashmir government and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region in January 2021, a five-year project was mooted to establish three bamboo clusters in Kathua, Jammu, Samba, Reasi, and parts of Udhampur to provide direct employment to about 25,000 people.
This would involve bamboo production, undertaken with expertise from the North East Cane & Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC), and the establishment of clusters for making bamboo basketry, agarbattis, and bamboo charcoal, according to Vikas Gupta, Director of Handicrafts and Handloom, Jammu.
These developments gave extra impetus to the team greening Bhanderwah hills. Chairperson of NGO Awaaz, Rashid Choudhary, said bamboo’s potential to provide work is one of the reasons they stepped up to help the government with this project. If the bamboo cultivation picked up, they could persuade the administration to extend the project to Bhanderwah and perhaps even set up a cluster here.
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The project originally envisioned that experts from the NECBDC would reach J&K to impart training to the local community to start bamboo-related businesses. While travel restrictions owing to Covid-19 have put a brake on these plans, Awaaz and the government are hoping that this engagement between experts and the community can be initiated once the restrictions are lifted.
The government plans to keep the local community highly involved in the growth and cultivation of bamboo. The fact that bamboo forests stand to serve the local dwellers later — by providing them with raw materials for making a host of items — is another incentive for the community to be involved in growing bamboo forests.
Social forestry, which refers to the practice of managing forests with the participation of local communities, is touted for a high probability of success in afforestation drives. Several studies have pointed out that the involvement of locals in growing a forest instills a feeling of ownership in them and they actively take part in forests’ safety and upkeep. (IANS/KB)
Between zoom meetings, webinars, you're walking a tight rope to balance work from home and domestic chores, in all this its easy to forget about taking care of yourself. It's imperative to squeeze in a few hours to indulge in yourself, whether its a massage or a hair spa treatment.
It comes with a range of accessories which includes the 40mm Airwrap long barrels, 30mm Airwra barrels, a Firm smoothing brush, a Soft smoothing brush, a Round volumising brush, the Pre-styling dryer, a non-slip heat-resistant mat to place your styler on, a Storage case and even a Filter cleaning brush. A Storage bag (Iron/Fuchsia) securely stores your Dyson Airwrap when you're on the move.
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. | File
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. For instance the 30 mm barrels create and set voluminous curls. With clockwise and counter-clockwise barrels for symmetrical curls. The 40 mm barrels create and set loose curls or waves. The Firm smoothing brush creates a straighter style with less frizz ad fewer flyways, with firm bristles engineered to control unruly, frizz prone hair. The pre- styling dryer takes hair from wet to damp, ready for styling. The round volumizing brush directs air into the hair to give body, and the bristles create tension to shape hair as it dries, Ideal for limp, flat hair. To create a sooth, blow-dry finish. With soft bristles engineered to be gentle on the scalp.
It features three precise airflow speeds, to suit your styling and four precise heat settings, including constant cold shot. The cold shot immediately deactivates the heating element, for cooler air to set your style. The Coanda to curl barrels harness an aerodynamic phenomenon and the Coanda to smooth which uses Dyson brushes to attract hair to the surface of the brush, propelling air along the hair strands for a smooth, straighter style. It's powered by the Dyson digital motor V9, a 13-blade impeller spins at up to 110,000rpm, generating 3.2kPa. Powerful enough to produce the air pressure needed to create the Coanda effect. The intelligent heat control measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second, intelligently controlling the heating element to keep the temperature under a 150 degree Celsius. Preventing extreme heat damage. "Great styling and takes lesser effort than the usual blow drying. Saving lots of visits to the salon, absolutely love it!" says a salon regular who switched her weekly visits to the salon for the at home Dyson experience. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Dyson, hair, hair styles, styling, airflow, non-slip heat-resistant mat, Pre-styling dryer, olumising brush, smoothing brush, Dyson Airwrap
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. The findings, described in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, showed a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size of Saturn and located unusually close to one another.
The discovery is significant because it's rare to find gas giants -- like Saturn in the solar system -- as close to their host star as they were in this case. The researchers cannot yet explain why it occurred there, but it makes the finding especially useful because it could help scientists form a more accurate understanding of the parameters for how planets and planetary systems develop.
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. | NASA
"The discovery of each new world provides a unique glimpse into the physics that play a role in planet formation," said lead author Jon Zink, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar. The findings could be a significant step toward helping astronomers understand which types of stars are most likely to have planets orbiting them and what that indicates about the building blocks needed for successful planet formation, acoording to the study. "We need to look at a wide range of stars, not just ones like our sun, to understand that," Zink said.
The term "exoplanets" is used to describe planets outside of the solar system. The number of exoplanets that have been identified by astronomers numbers fewer than 5,000 in all, so the identification of hundreds of new ones is a significant advance. Kepler's original mission came to an unexpected end in 2013 when a mechanical failure left the spacecraft unable to precisely point at the patch of sky it had been observing for years.
But astronomers repurposed the telescope for a new mission known as K2, whose objective is to identify exoplanets near distant stars. Data from K2 is helping scientists understand how stars' location in the galaxy influences what kind of planets are able to form around them. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Astronomers, discover, possible, exoplanets, telescope, mission, planets
By Dr Anil Batra
The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season. The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep the temperature warm in the baby's room: Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
Apply moisturizer: The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage: Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. | Photo by Khoa Pham on Unsplash
Avoid using heavy blankets: You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress your baby comfortably: Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping | Flickr
Maintain proper hygiene: Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take care outdoors: If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters:
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
- Skin allergies
- Digestive issues
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
* If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a pediatrician.
* You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
* Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
* Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
* In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. | Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter. Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby. Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist. Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Winter, care tips, newborn, baby, hygiene, breastfeeding, blanket