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Photo by A G on Unsplash

By Saish Bhise

The world's most ferocious feline was a tigress, infamously dubbed as The Champavat Tiger. During her reign of terror which lasted around half a century, she killed around 436 people, duly registering her name in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest number of fatalities from a tiger.


The dreaded tigresses belonged to the Royal Bengal Tiger subspecies. The Royal Bengal Tiger along with the infamous Sunderban Tiger prowl the northern parts of the nation. Both the species belong to the endangered categories and are legally banned from poaching. Villagers, farmers, fishermen have various settlements in the coastal regions of the Bay of Bengal. The fertile land of the Sunderban delta is rich in flora and fauna. Various endangered species can be found here.

But, the Sunderban Tigers have kept the locals petrified of the dark. As soon as dusk falls, the locals tend to stay inside their houses. It is well-known fact that the man-eating tigers prowl the local settlements nightly. There are numerous stories of humans disappearing, never to be found again. To curb the rising man-tiger conflict cases, the local forest officials have come up with a unique idea. The officials have distributed face masks to the locals and have asked them to wear them as they venture out. The only clause here is that one has to wear the mask facing backwards. A tiger is known to stalk its prey and sneakily attack it from behind. Locals here amusingly say that the Sunderban tigers are so stealthy that if one gets to see one, it is only when its jaws are clamping down on his neck. The face mask acts as a deterrent. The tiger rarely hunts a prey face on, it prefers to abandon such prey. The ruse has been proven effective. With every rising tide, the landmass is receding, never to be afloat again. Due to the shrinking space, tigers and people are clamouring for survival. The need of the hour is for the co-existent survival of humans and tigers. With the unique pathway of double masking, man-tiger conflict cases have reduced drastically.

Along with aggressive masking, forest ministries of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan have collectively started sharing data on tigers. Data on tigers are mainly collected via GPS collar, camera traps and regular patrolling. Such data is useful for tiger conservation. In the age of Covid-19 when masking is questioned by Covid sceptics, for the people of Sunderbans masking is a proven way to save one's life.


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A Jain monk offering ablution to Bahubali in Shravanabelagola

Atop the Vindhyagiri hills in Karnataka, a 57-foot-tall statue stands. This is the statue of Lord Gomateshwara, or Bahubali, as he is known to the local patrons. The surrounding area is filled with temples where each of the many Jain Tirthankaras sits.

Sharavanabelagola is named after a pond that is located at the foothills. 'Bel' in Kannada means white, and 'kola' means pond. This is a sacred water body to the activities of the temples. It is a tourist attraction and a pilgrim destination located 85 kilometres from Mysore, and 145 kilometres from the capital, Bangalore.

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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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Clean and maintained hands boost confidence in daily life activities.

If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.

Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:

* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.

Soap bars organic You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash

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