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Taking a cue from Asia’s oldest British-era skating clay surface rink in this Himachal Pradesh hill town, authorities in the state’s remote Spiti Valley had a natural coating of full-sized thick ice for the first time in the newly developed open-air hockey rink with the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas, thanks to the freezing cold.
The locals, mostly youngsters, are eagerly awaiting not to miss an opportunity in getting their skates on the ice in the rink set up in Kaza town, some 350 km from here, that will be thrown open for the public by this week.
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“In Spiti, every child dreams of playing ice hockey. To hone their inherent talent, we have decided to develop a rink of 60 meters by 30-meter size by giving a natural coating of thick layers of ice,” District Youth Services and Sports Officer Jiwan Negi told IANS over the phone.
The rink lies at an altitude of 3,720 meters with temperatures plummet below minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter. Local authorities have engaged the Ice Hockey Association of India to promote the highest altitude game in the world. Negi said last year on an experimental basis a tennis court was converted into an ice hockey rink.
“Seeing the response of the youngsters towards ice hockey, we have decided to set up a permanent rink this winter,” he said.
“Last year the ice hockey session was organized till February 10. This time since the rink has been made professionally, we are hopeful the ice hockey season will last for roughly two-and-a-half months. In this period, winter camps and tournaments will be held,” he said. With dreams of playing in the Winter Olympics, local lads are excited.
“Since childhood, we have been enjoying sledding on frozen lakes and streams, quite popular among local youngsters. With the construction of this rink, we are really excited to learn ice hockey professionally with a brighter future,” Class XII student Sujata Negi said.
Barring proper skates and head and protective body gears, she said two of her friends were among the first batch of nine students who were shortlisted last year by the state government for an advanced course of ice hockey in Leh.
Added another student Darpan Negi: “We have been regularly coming to the rink. Now we are really excited to see the appearance of a thick sheet of ice. We hope to see fun-filled hockey sessions this time to compete with Ladakh.”
The sports officer said the players would be provided coaching from basic to intermediate and advanced level training. “Initially, we will keep a small batch of 25 students each in the age of eight to 15 and under 20 keeping in mind health protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” he said. He said the government is also trying to rope in the Women Ice Hockey Federation to spare two-three coaches for training this winter.
“The local students have been facing constraints such as lack of infrastructure and equipment, which is quite costly. The department is initially providing the basic equipment to hone their skill with the ambition of some to do with the sport as a professional,” he said. Authorities sprinkle water on the clay ground of the open-air rink which freezes under natural conditions at the night. If the sky is cloudy, the minimum temperature normally rises, resulting in the thawing of ice.
The congenial average minimum temperature for ice formation ranges from minus 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. Last year there were 106 participants age from eight to 15, all students, said organizers. Olympian Skalzang Dorje, an instructor with the Youth Services and Sports Department, said the entire Spiti Valley “is a magnet for winter games”.
“There is so much potential each youngster at an early age picks up a ski board and hits the snow-covered slopes. Every house has a ski blade — largely developed indigenously — depending upon the financial status of the family. This ‘art’ of making blades is being passed on from one generation to another,” said archer Dorje, who competed in the men’s individual and team events at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
The concept of the natural hockey rink evolves from the skating rink in Shimla that was developed by an Irish military official named Blessington who lived during the British Raj. He had inadvertently kept a bucket of water outside his residence and in the morning found it frozen. That gave him the idea of a skating rink and he created a small one of his own. (IANS)
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is a pattern of recurrent aggressive behavior in which one person (or a group of individuals) in a position of authority intentionally intimidate or abuse another individual to cause bodily or emotional harm to that other. Bullying may take place in either a physical or verbal manner. Bullied individuals, as well as those who bully others, may have long-term repercussions.
Bullying may occur anywhere, at any time, in person or online (cyberbullying), and can take many forms, including verbal, physical, and social. Bullies utilize their position of power — such as physical strength, knowledge of something embarrassing, or popularity — to exert control over or damage other people. Many people assume that bullying occurs solely during childhood; nevertheless, bullying does not necessarily stop after a person reaches the age of adulthood.
Bullies in adulthood can take the form of a threatening boss or colleague, a controlling partner, a relative, or any other type of person. Even in our personal and professional lives, we sometimes encounter adult bullies who can be harmful to our mental well-being.
Bullied individuals, as well as those who bully others, may have long-term repercussions. | Photo by Unsplash
How To Deal With An Adult Bully?
For obvious reasons, adult bullying can be a painful and challenging experience for anybody who finds themselves on the receiving end of such behavior. Knowing how to deal with the antics of a bully properly, on the other hand, may help you learn, develop, and feel better levels of confidence. When you find yourself in this scenario, one of the most crucial things to remember is that you must not exhibit the bully any signs of fear. This might be difficult, depending on the sort of bully you are dealing with, but bullies enjoy fear, encouraging them to continue with their terrible conduct.
Maintaining a sense of connection with other people while dealing with bullying is quite essential. Bullies usually see alone persons as easier targets since they have a smaller support network to challenge them.
Courage and a support network are significant advantages; but, reporting the bully is also an excellent line of action. Contrary to common opinion, just ignoring a bully does not always prompt them to cease their behavior. Adult bullies of all kinds often interpret being ignored as a sign of weakness, encouraging them to continue bullying. If someone is bullying you, don't be scared to speak out and report the individual.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Keywords: mental health, bullying, bully, bullied, courage, abuse, harass, support, cyberbully
Silver and gold have always been preferred when it comes to wearing jewellery. Right from the times of monarchy in India, wealth and riches have been associated with wearing gold and silver for the various properties they have. Copper is a metal that has always been worn by the poor. It is not a metal that carries a significant association with health or wealth, but wearing at least one article of copper is extremely beneficial for health.
Copper is a reddish-brown metal that cannot be worn on its own. It has to be worn in the form of an alloy to prevent a reaction. Copper oxidizes in air and forms a green layer on it when exposed, much like the Statue of Liberty. Usually, bangles, chains, or rings of copper always have brass and traces of silver in them which helps with stabilizing its reactivity.
Wearing copper with stones in it looks very aesthetic, but copper is not durable enough to hold the stones, which is why it is fashioned into elaborate designs and sold. Copper is very malleable, and over time, the bangle or ring will take the shape of the wearer's hand or finger.
A copper ring Image source: Wikimedia commons
Jewellery made out of copper can be an excellent health indicator. Copper helps metabolize bodily functions faster, and the wearer experiences relief from indigestion. It also soothes joint pain, headaches, and arthritis. Using copper utensils also aids those with deficiencies. Since copper is absorbed slowly into the body, there is no fear of causing any kind of imbalance.
Sometimes copper leaves a greenish tinge on the skin. This happens when it oxidizes with sweat. This stain can be washed away with soap and water, but the fact that it appears is noteworthy. It is an indicator of too much acidity in the body. Greenish skin appears when the wearer's diet includes too much meat or acidic foods.
Copper might not be a very attractive metal, but wearing it has a lot of benefits for the health. It regulates metabolism, assimilation, and indicates health. It is definitely a good idea to wear copper jewellery at least once in a while.
Keywords: Copper jewellery, Copper is a health indicator, Metabolism, Oxidation, Benefits of copper
By Md Waquar Haider
When popular smartphone brands like Xiaomi and realme entered the laptop market in India last year, they were expected to shake the existing giants, specifically under the Rs 50,000 category. However, chip shortage and supply crunch have somewhat dented their plans to make a significant mark to date. According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. The first one is a massive supply crunch in the laptop component market and only big brands are able to get volume and supplies.
The other factor is that the traditional players are very strong in the consumer laptop market. Top 3 players control more than 70 per cent of the market and strong portfolio, distribution, and channel reach as well as brand marketing has helped them massively. "New brands can surely make a dent in the consumer laptop market but are challenged by supply issues right now. Watch out for them in 2022 as and when supply situation eases up," Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India told IANS.
Dominated by HP Inc, Lenovo and Dell, the traditional PC market (inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) in India continued to be robust as the shipments grew by 50.5 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in the second quarter (Q2), according to IDC. Notebook PCs continue to hold more than three-fourth share in the overall category and grew 49.9 per cent YoY in 2Q21, reporting a fourth consecutive quarter with over 2 million units. Desktops also indicated a recovery as shipments grew 52.3 per cent YoY after recording the lowest shipments of the decade in 2Q20.
According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, driven by the pandemic and the associated accelerated pivot to remote work, learn and unwind culture, PCs have been witnessing heightened demand. "Despite the current supply chain constraints, PCs are here to stay in the new never normal. In the run-up to the festive season, established PC market leaders will continue to leverage their brand salience and gain market share," Ram told IANS.
According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. | Photo by Manuel on Unsplash
"On the other hand, there is a niche market for those new market entrants that are able to differentiate themselves from the competition in terms of features and value. "Alongside, they would need to back it with strong brand messaging to create awareness and recall amongst the target consumers," Ram added.
HP maintained its lead in the India PC market with a 33.6 per cent share as its shipments grew 54.2 per cent annually. Dell Technologies continued to hold the second position with a 22.1 per cent share and an impressive 86.1 per cent YoY growth in 2Q21. Lenovo maintained the third position with a share of 17.8 per cent in 2Q21.
Arvind Suraj, Research Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said that there is always a trust issue with new brands. "You won't buy a laptop in 6 or 7 months just like smartphones. In this case, we often go for existing players. Brands like Lenovo, HP, ASUS and Acer have already gained our trust," he said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Chip, shortage, laptop, market, India, Xiaomi, hp, dell, brands