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The Ahimsa Trust launched a digital not-for-profit campaign called ‘Plants Are Power’ (www.plantsarepower.in) on World Environment Day, to educate people on the multiple benefits of a plant based (vegetarian/vegan) diet and to switch to plant-based living.
The initiative aims to inspire them to make a switch for a healthier, more sustainable and ethical living especially with the focus on environment due to the Covid-19 The star powered campaign features Bollywood celebrities, business leaders and sports stars to lend a helping hand. Kick-starting the movement are Lisa Haydon, Neha Dhupia, Kris Srikkanth, Naveen Jindal and Sunil Munjal who will soon be seen taking part in a series of interesting social media activities to encourage people’s participation.
Speaking from the heart, Lisa Hayden says, “If you agree that it is our responsibility as keepers of the Earth to protect our planet, then we must accept that waste, greed and over consumption are habits we can no longer indulge in. I believe my children deserve a healthy planet and so do yours. There is something we can do about this, right now – be more conscious in our consumption of animal products.”
Drawing attention to the urgent need of this campaign, the co-founders of Ahimsa Trust, Sethu Vaidyanathan and Parag Agarwal say: “The current health crisis due to Covid-19 is a stark reminder to us that we need to change our food habits. There are many myths around the food we eat. Most people believe that a plant-based diet does not provide adequate nutrients like protein and vitamins; there is also a mis-conception that we need to eat meat to build muscles and become stronger to do well in sports or to be healthy. This is untrue – some of the top sportspeople (and the world’s strongest person!) do not consume any animal products. People are not stupid, but these myths have been around for so long that we have started believing in them! This needs to change. Therefore, we have launched ‘Plants Are Power’ – a movement to remind all of us that plants have a power that other foods simply don’t have. This is to inspire Indians to change to a healthier lifestyle, and to help us realise that in doing so we make an immediate impact on the planet and the animals.”
Consumption of meat and other animal products is damaging our health slowly, and also the planet! Apart from raining unspeakable cruelty on the animals. By now, it is common knowledge that if we could see what happens in slaughterhouses, we would stop eating non-vegetarian food – it is cruel and unhealthy. Providing people with a promising solution, this campaign is here to bring the goodness of plant-based diet in the spotlight and debunk myths associated with consumption of animal products. It advocates the benefits of a plant-based diet for human health and its cascading effect on animal and environmental health. Emphasizing on this very notion the campaign goes by #ForYourBodyForEverybody.
To facilitate the switch to a plant-based diet, ‘Plants Are Power’ brings a 21-day Challenge, backed by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO), which urges people to sign up for a plant-based diet for 21 days. Participants can either go for their own dishes or can use the recipes provided on the campaign website and through emailers. This simple challenge can be the first step towards a healthier lifestyle, with a positive impact on our planet as well.
Do You Know?
70 percent of new infectious diseases are said to be zoonotic in origin. WHO has spoken about the potential for ‘spillover’ of viruses into human populations if people continue to eat meat.
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People who primarily eat plant based diets tend to have lower rates of obesity, cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes than those who eat meat.
Also Read: Here’s a Vastu Guide For Your New Home
It takes 322 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of vegetables – but it takes 1,020 litres of water to produce one litre of cow’s milk, 3,265 litres of water to produce a kilogram of eggs, and 15,415 litres of water to produce one kilogram of beef. Every year worldwide 72 billion land animals and 1.2 trillion aquatic animals are killed for animal food, i.e considering a stable population of 7 billion, over an average lifespan of 70 years – each person is responsible for the killing of nearly 12,600 animals! (IANS)
Karwa Chauth is a Hindu festival that is primarily celebrated by married Hindu women. On this day, married Hindu women keep Nirjala fast, which means fasting even without consumption of water, from sunrise to sunset. The reason behind this fast is to pray for their husband's life, health, and safety.
According to the Hindu calendar, Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day after Purnima in the month of Kartik.
On this day, married Hindu women dress in new clothes (preferably red because signifies a happy married life) and apply henna to their hands. At the same time, women observing this fast get together to celebrate it by narrating the Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha and singing folk songs, which make this a lot more lively. Some women also worship Goddess Parvati in the Karwa Chauth puja followed by Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, and Lord Kartikeya. And, the fast is later broken after having a glimpse of the moon.
Married Hindu women have gathered to perform the Karwa Chauth puja.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
Interestingly, there are many stories related to Karwa Chauth. Some of them are:
Story of Queen Veervati
This is the most interesting story. There was a queen named Veervati, who was the only sister amongst seven brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth as a married woman at her parents' house. She began to fast after sunrise but by evening, she was desperately waiting for the moon to rise because she couldn't control her thirst and hunger any longer. Seeing this, her brothers became worried because their beloved sister was suffering from thirst and hunger. So, they begged her to break the fast but she refused. Seeing her in distress, the brothers tricked her by placing a round mirror in a Pipal tree, which made it look like the moon had risen. So, Veervati fell for her brothers' tricks and broke her fast, and the moment she sat down to eat, news came that her husband is dead. This is the reason why married Hindu women observe such a tough fast for their husband's life.
Story of Karwa Chauth in Mahabharata
Interestingly, it is believed that Draupadi also observed the fast of Karwa Chauth for the safety and long life of her five husbands. Once, when Arjun had gone for penance in the Nilgris, the rest of the Pandavas faced many issues in his absence. That was when Draupadi remembered Lord Krishna for his help, and he reminded her that in a similar situation, Goddess Parvati had kept the fast for Lord Shiva. Inspired by this, Draupadi too kept the fast of Karva Chauth for her five husbands. Since then it was believed that the Pandavas were able to face every problem.
Therefore, Karwa Chauth is celebrated by married Hindu women all across the world with full enthusiasm. Though, there is a sect now that has started calling this age-old ritual “patriarchal".
Keywords: Hinduism, Women, Karwa Chauth, Festivals, Patriarchy.
Karnataka is famous for Sandalwood, and this is best projected in the state's own Mysore Sandal Soap. This golden, fragrant soap that is rich with the goodness of Sandalwood, has a rather fascinating history behind it, and it is not for cosmetic benefit at all.
Mysore Sandal Soap, surprisingly, was not created by anyone interested in the beauty benefits of soap or its cosmetic value. Instead, it was created by Maharaja Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV and Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the Diwan of Mysore.
Post-World War I, there was too much sandalwood lying around and the state did not know what to do with it. This excess stock was a result of the halted export to the other princely states. In 1916, the birth of the Sandalwood soap beloved to Karnataka came from an idea that the Maharaja received because of this wood.
He was gifted a set of soaps made from sandalwood oils, and he was extremely impressed with this. He decided to make soaps that represented the essence of the state. He discussed this idea with his Diwan, Visvesvaraya, who immediately backed him up. They began to experiment the making of soaps in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science.
Msore Sandal Soap is the only one with an oval shape that has not changed since 1916 Photo credit: Wikimedia commons
One of the students who worked on this process, Sosale Garalapuri Shastry showed great talent and was sent to England, to learn how to make soaps. He later came to be known as Soap Shastry. His work helped to standardise procedures, and the government factory that makes Mysore Sandal Soap was set up.
Shastry also designed the packaging box and gave the soap a unique shape. Soaps at that time were only rectangular bars. Mysore Sandal is the only oval soap that is embellished both inside and outside. Shastry intended for it to look like a jewellery box.
Every box of Mysore Sandal Soap has the inscription, 'Srigandadha Tavarinida' which means, "from the maternal home of the sandalwood". It is the only soap made from pure sandalwood oil, and bears the emblem of the sharaba, a creature with the body of a lion and head of an elephant.
The Maharaja's initial intent behind the soap was to reach the goodness of sandalwood to as many people as possible, and through men like Visvesvaraya and Shastry, it was made possible. The Mysore Sandal Soap is still one of the most organic soap and perhaps the only one that represents the culture of an entire state.
Keywords: Mysore Sandal Soap, Sandalwood, History, Shastry, Visvesvaraya
The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.
The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.
These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.
The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.
The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.
The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.
The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.
It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.
Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.
The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics