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Preservative Formalin having adverse impact on Human body found in 11 Fish samples in Agartala markets: Minister

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Fisherman in India Wikimedia

Agartala, March 3, 2017: Preservative formalin having an adverse impact on human body was found in 11 fish samples in Agartala markets, which forced the Tripura government to take “severe action”.

“Following the media reports, the state health department officials collected 40 fish samples from Agartala and formalin was found in 11 samples,” Tripura Health Minister Badal Choudhury said in the Tripura assembly on Tuesday.

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Formalin, a poisonous and non-decomposing chemical agent, is used as an antiseptic, disinfectant and preservative in various items.

Replying to a calling attention notice, he told the assembly: “Officials have been asked to take severe legal action against the accused and wrongdoers.”

The calling attention notice was earlier jointly given by opposition Trinamool Congress lawmakers Ashish Saha and Pranjit Singh Roy.

The minister said of the 11 fish samples in which laboratory tests showed formalin was used, five samples were collected from two main fish markets of Agartala and six were collected from fish imported from Bangladesh.

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Choudhury said a massive awareness campaign was also undertaken against the use of formalin in eatable items.

“Food Safety Officers are collecting samples randomly from the open market and testing them in laboratories. Under the Food Safety Security Act and Rules, 2011, if anyone is found guilty, the defaulter may face a penalty of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh or imprisonment or both,” the Health Minister warned.

The Tripura government has taken steps to appoint Food Safety Officer in each sub-division to ensure proper vigilance against food adulteration.

District Sessions Judges are designated to hear such cases and dispose them at the earliest, he added.

An official of the industries and commerce department said on an average, 25,644 kg fish are being daily imported from Bangladesh and 26,180 kg from outside the state, including Andhra Pradesh, in Tripura.

“These fish being imported from Bangladesh and other Indian states are being sold in Tripura markets without any laboratory tests,” the official told IANS on condition of anonymity. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Sweet Tooth? Curb your Sugar Cravings with 7 Simple Steps!

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Sugar Cravings
Sugar causes glucose spike and ultimate crash. Wikimedia
  • It takes incredible determination hard to get over sugar cravings
  • With these seven steps and some willpower, it is possible to curb sugar cravings
  • These steps will make sure that you are able to fight the urge

July 31, 2017: Fighting your sugar cravings is one of the toughest parts of a fit and healthy well-being. Any one who has tried a sugar-free diet knows the truth to that statement. Like a drug, the first few days feel good only to result in heightened urge after days.

Sugar and carbs are not suitable for the human body in large frequent consumptions. At the same time, it is tough. But with these seven steps to fight your sugar cravings, the dependency on willpower will reduce.

ALSO READ: List of 8 Food Items to Battle Depression and Anxiety

  • CLEAN YOUR KITCHEN:
The most straightforward solution. Getting rid of sugar from your kitchen and your sugar intake is bound to reduce. Stop stocking up on sugar and high carb food. It is only logical that you will crave less, or more broadly, will have lesser options to feed your urge. Rather than storing snacks that are unhealthy, store more of fruits and green vegetables to serve as snacks. It is important that these healthy snacks are openly kept. To fight the hunger and sugar cravings, it will automatically become easier to grab a healthy snack than going till the market and having junk. Stock your house with healthy food.
  • HAVE HIGH-FAT MEALS 
Just like sugar, carbs lead to glucose spike and ultimate crash. Hence, there is more craving for sugar later. Bread, Bagels, Pasta and other carbs are highly refined. They act like sugar in the body. It is the high-quality fats that give lasting energy to the human body. Having a high-fat quality meal is sure to keep you full for longer hours and curb any sugar cravings. The body adapts to a high-fat and low carb diet in a couple of weeks.

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  • REMOVE STRESSORS
Desserts spelled opposite is desserts. It is true in the real world. More stress leads to heightened sugar cravings. People who are overstressed in life have sugar cravings far more often. Stressors such as minimal sleep and long working hours make sugar cravings hard to fight. Biologically, when we are stressed the body releases Cortisol as a response. Cortisol increases our urge for comfortable and “stress-relieving” food. More importantly, the regulation of blood sugar is disturbed when consumption of sugar and stress are combined. Interestingly, body movement is one of the easiest ways to eliminate stress. It is suggested that body must be in action. Exercising, walking, yoga boosts energy in the body and reduces the dependency on sugar.
  • TRY NATURAL SWEETENERS
Sugar Cravings can be satisfied by natural sweeteners to an extent. Several natural spices add sweetness to the food. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves are natural sweeteners. Stevia, also a natural sweetener, is 300 times sweeter than sugar. However, Stevia has zero calories and does not affect the blood sugar level.

Sugar Cravings
Bad sugar should be replaced by natural sweeteners such as Nutmeg, Cinnamon. Wikimedia

  • READ THE LABELS
The labels on our food deserve more attention and closer inspection. We cannot leave it to guesswork to know if a product will have sugar as an ingredient. Further, different quantity is another aspect. It is important to know the grams of sugar added to the product.

 

  • DRINK WATER
Water gives numerous benefits to the human body. In the case of controlling sugar cravings, water does wonder. Sometimes, it is the thirst that we perceive as a food craving. Drinking water satisfies that thirst and the sugar craving is curbed. Of course, soda and sugar-filled drinks are not recommended. Substitute these with coffee, tea, and fresh juices.
  • OTHER TIPS
There are other steps that help curb the sweet tooth urge. Deficiencies in the diet can be satisfied with daily consumption of multivitamin. Small adjustments like avoiding the route where your favorite dessert shop may be located. It is best to avoid the consumption of processed foods and also artificial sweeteners. All these are triggers. Lastly, keeping a track of your days without sugar is motivational. It is a reminder of what the fight is all about.

–  by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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“Rally for Rivers” Campaign: To Restore the Depleting River Flow in India

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Rally for Rivers Campaign
Rally for Rivers Campaign is organised by Isha Foundation. Wikimedia
  • The Rally for Rivers Campaign is an initiative of Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru
  • It is a campaign about the rivers of the country and the need for water protection and security
  • The Isha Foundation has laid out a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to reform the state of rivers in India

July 28, 2017: The Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru, is organizing the Rally for Rivers Campaign. The initiative is formulated as an effort to raise awareness.

As Sadhguru had said about the campaign, “This is not a protest. This is not an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must Rally For Rivers.”

Unlike other movements, the Rally for Rivers is not to question or complain. Rather, it offers solutions. The Isha Foundation has designed a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to restore the depleting rivers.

The Indian Rivers are going into depletion. The perineal rivers have become seasonal. The River Ganga has been named as one of the world’s most endangered river. Important rivers like Krishna, Kaveri, Narmada have stopped making it till the sea for four months. Every major river in India has undergone reduced water levels.

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According to the estimations by researchers at Isha Foundation; by 2030, only 50% water will be available for our survival. Further, 25% of India is becoming desert. As compared to 1947, we have about 75% lesser water per person available today.

Thus arises a need for awareness and solutions. Isha Foundation has formulated a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan for river restorations. One of the solutions offered; planting tree covers. Tree covers should be created for a stretch of one kilometer on either side of the full river. For a tributary, the stretch is for half a kilometer.

To revitalize rivers, government owned land along the river banks will create and maintain native forest trees. On a private farm land, however, organic fruit cultivation shall take place.

ALSO READ: Swaraj India launches a unique campaign asking people to blow Whistle whenever they see anything Wrong happening around them

As the campaign explains, the need for a state as well as central government to be on the same page is vital to the success of the campaign. Rivers fall under the concurrent list, that is, the jurisdiction of both state as well as centre. Thus, any policy designed must be acknowledged equally by the both for effectiveness.

Additionally, for creating awareness, Sadhguru has himself planned a travel from Kanyakumari to Delhi. He aims to create as much awareness so that grass-root level support is provided to the campaign and its associated policies.

The campaign will begin from Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore on 3rd September and after more than ten stops end at Delhi on 2nd October. A total of 13 states are to be covered, in which 21 major cities are part of the campaign. Sadhguru has taken upon himself to cover the entire stretch of a total 6560 kms.

The organizers have made sure that the event is fun and entertaining for a maximum number of people to show up. Along the way and all the major stops, celebrations will be seen. Events like cultural fests, musical concerts, nukad natak, paintings and handicrafts, and public sessions have been organized by the Isha Foundation. Also, all the stakeholders of policies as well as rivers are cordially invited to learn and discuss more. Journalists, Corporate people, politicians, villagers, farmers and many more are expected to turn up at the event and contribute in whatever way they can.

The success of the Rally for Rivers campaign depends mostly on people’s support and encouragement to the cause. The campaign can be joined online.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394