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Once a bustling maritime town on the west coast and now a global houseboat tourism hub, Alappuzha in Kerala will launch India’s first Labour Movement Museum, showcasing the fascinating history of the world labor movement that also left a deep imprint on the grim struggle of the workers here for their rights.
The trend-setting museum will have a huge repository of documents and exhibits that shaped the labor movements across the continents and impacted Alappuzha, the cradle of the labor movement in the country, particularly in Kerala. Located alongside the Port and Coir museums displaying the town’s rich maritime heritage, the Labour Movement Museum, the first such window in the country on the class struggle and spirited fight of workers, is part of a larger project that will also have tourist appeal.
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Packed with a history predating the advent of colonialism, Alappuzha had a virtual monopoly over the production and shipping of coir made of coconut husk, a product that had immense global demand. The town was famed as the ‘Venice of the East’ given its network of canals and inlets that allowed feeder vessels to sail through the Vembanad Lake to move consignments to larger ships.
It later became the country’s crucible of the labor movement as workers employed by the coir units and allied activities got organized to press for better wages and benefits. The makeover of the interconnected Port, Coir, and Labour museums form part of the Alappuzha Heritage Tourism Project to present the region’s social and cultural history before tourists, who mostly come to the waterfront town to spend time in houseboats gliding past the panoramic settings and relish the spice-rich local cuisine.
“Besides its unsurpassed natural beauty, Alappuzha has a rich commercial and maritime heritage dating back to ancient times and connected to distant lands. The Alappuzha Heritage Tourism project is conceived to bring this legacy before tourists, in which these museums are important components. They will also serve scholars specializing in commercial and labor-related topics,” Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
“The renovation of two coir museums — The Yarn Museum and the Living Coir Museum — is in its final stages, under a project that strings together the coir industry, port, and heritage of Alappuzha”, Tourism Principal Secretary Rani George said. “Together with the initiation of the Travancore, Thalassery, and Muziris Heritage Projects, Kerala is well on its way to showcasing its rich heritage and glorious history to the visitors to this beautiful land, making it a complete experience”, she added.
The city is also getting back its past glory through the renovation of centuries-old buildings situated west of the Circular Canal and the Commercial Canal, Tourism Director P Balakiran said. The project is being executed by Muziris Project Limited. The Museums will open as soon as the restoration of heritage structures is complete.
The Yarn Museum is getting ready at the Darragh Ismail Factory, where the Coir Federation factory now runs. The Yarn Museum will display the production of yarn, besides the processes such as the making of twine and spinning of twine into spools and spindles. The exhibits portray how coir yarn is spun from coconut husk fiber by hand as well as with the help of traditional ratts and, following mechanization in more recent times, through automatic spinning machines.
A visual presentation on the lives of coir workers, besides a special gallery about the coconut tree and installations using coir, are highlights of the museum. About 90 percent of the work on the Rs 5.42-crore Yarn Museum is already over. The New Model Cooperative Society Limited, previously run by the Bombay Company, has been converted into the Labour Movement Museum. It will portray, through pictures, documents, and other exhibits, the growth of the world labor movement and the history of Kerala’s labor movement.
The Kerala State Coir Corporation Ltd building, formerly run by the Volkart Brothers, will become the Museum of Coir History. With an outlay of Rs 9. 95 crores, 97 percent of the renovation work in this museum is complete. The Port Museum gives a vivid idea of Alappuzha’s commercial links with the outside world through the sea. The conservation of the old Port Office and the adjacent godowns is in progress.
The museums are coming up in a ten-acre stretch of land adjoining the Port Office. The various galleries are being set up in seven blocks. Among the exhibits are models of galleons, pathemaris (sail-set vessels), and ships of various types and sizes. About 90 percent of the work in the Rs 4.63-crore Port Office refurbishment is complete.
Nurturing of the Miyawaki forest, pier restoration, Naval Signal Museum, and the improvement of the canals, Gandhi Museum, Leo XIII School, Saukar Masjid, Gujarati Heritage Centre, Makham Masjid restoration are also progressing as part of the heritage project. The places of worship in the town, factories, and historical buildings will be part of the project. Conservation architect Benny Kuriakose is leading the restoration work. (IANS)
Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros, the woman who designed the Param Vir Chakra, was born in 1913 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. It was believed that she came to India to understand the country's culture and tradition.
She got to know about India's spiritual and cultural wealth at a very early age through holistic education which she received. Soon, Eve Yvonne fell in love with a Maharashtrian named Vikram Khanolkar, who was a young army officer, and was undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom.
Soon, both the persons married, and Eve Yvonne acquired the name Savitribai Khanolkar and shifted to Maharashtra with her husband who by the time became Major General.
Savitribai Khanolkar with husband Major General Vikram Khanolkar.Photo found on Google Images
As Savitribai Khanolkar was already amazed by the rich culture of India, she immersed herself in the study of mythology, traditions, and religious scriptures. Along with this, Savitribai also started indulging herself in the art, music, dance, and linguistics of India.
Parallel to this, India was celebrating its independence from the British rule, and was on its way to remove British legacies and re-establish the country's identity.
This was the time when When Adjutant General Hira Lal Atal was assigned with the task of creating the Indian equivalent of the British Victoria Cross. For this, he took Savitribai in confidence as she had an in-depth knowledge of the nation. Thus, from here began the journey of making the Param Vir Chakra.
The design of Param Vir Chakra was to denote power and sacrifice demonstrated by the soldiers that protected people at the cost of their lives. So, according to Savitribai, nothing could represent in a better way than the great warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji himself. According to the history, the ruler was known for his courage and strategic defence. Hence, his sword 'Bhavani' found a place on the disc, enclosed within the Indian mythical weapon 'Vajra', from both sides. This mythical weapon is believed to be made of a sage's bone in order to kill evil enemies in the name of goodness.
Moreover, the first Param Vir Chakra was awarded on India's first Republic Day celebrated, which was celebrated in 1950, and its recipient was Savitribai's son-in-law's brother, Major Somnath Sharma.
In this world full of technological advancement where everything is now home-delivered, even the most essential beauty services are now available at your doorstep? Let the pampering sessions begin. The whole salon environment at home believes that services at home are undoubtedly the best option during the unusual crisis.
IANSlife brings you the co-founder of YES MADAM, Mayank Arya who speaks of the benefits of at-home salon services.
We all prefer comfort over anything and everything. Nothing is more comfortable than getting everything under your own roof. One of the most amazing perks of subscribing to an at-home salon service provider is that you can watch your favourite TV show or OTT series while having your hair treated or nails done. Amidst, Covid-19 and working from home some of the beauty services can be taken simultaneously. Getting beauty services at your home keeps you relaxed and calm. During festivals when you are already busy the on-demand salon services can do wonders for your mind, body and soul.
Nothing is more comfortable than getting everything under your own roof. | Photo by Inside Weather on Unsplash
Usually many customers have problems related to hygienic surroundings. Of course, they do not know if the place is properly sanitized or not. For such kinds of customers "At home Beauty services" is nothing but the most appropriate option. There is something about being in a familiar environment that makes you feel at total comfort instantly and allows you to enjoy the treatment in a much better way. Create your own bubble with the most appropriate hygienic conditions according to your requirements and take the at-home salon services.
Create your own bubble with the most appropriate hygienic conditions according to your requirements and take the at-home salon services. | Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
The biggest and the major concern during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the duration of time where the whole world is fighting a virus, we all need to be extra careful about exposure to any kind of infection. With at-home salon services, you do not have to expose yourself to dozens of people on your way but you can allow yourself to enjoy excellent services within the safety of your home. With vaccinated beauticians, it becomes much safer to get the treatments done. In at-home salon services, the beauticians wear a PPE kit that includes a mask, gloves, bodysuit, and a face shield. They utilize only monodose (single-use) products. Moreover, they also sanitize the area where the set-up is done to deliver the services.
With at-home salon services, you can allow yourself to enjoy excellent services within the safety of your home. | Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
Sometimes, even if you book an appointment, you have to travel a lot far and still the beautician keeps you waiting. The in-house beauty treatment services are much more flexible. It's all up to you, one can book the date and time whenever they need the service, and the beautician will be there at your doorstep. If it is a busy week or an impromptu decision, one can always rely on the on-demand salon services.
. The in-house beauty treatment services are much more flexible. | Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
The session with family and friends
Who doesn't love to gossip around and chill with friends and family while getting their manicure and pedicure done? There are so many nosy customers while you visit the salon that just kills your buzz. But a salon at home with your friends and family especially during the times of festivals provide you with the most relaxing and happy vibes.
A salon at home with your friends and family especially during the times of festivals provide you with the most relaxing and happy vibes. | Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash
With the up-gradation in technology, the on-demand salon services do not let you pile up the house chores. While you are working from home and want to get your house festive ready with services like pest control, sanitization, sofa cleaning, carpet cleaning, kitchen cleaning, bathroom cleaning at-home services like Yes Madam always keep you sorted.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: salon, pandemic, safety, hygiene, family, friends, comfort
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