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Roma people and their Indian connection

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Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada

The recently concluded International Roma Conference in New Delhi brought into focus about the Roma and how India is even connected to this issue.

There are more than 11 million people who are called Roma or Romanis or even Gypsies. They live in various parts of Europe, mainly concentrated along the Balkan peninsula (example: Romania, Bulgaria), Russia, Eastern parts of Turkey and as far as Brazil and USA. The name Gypsy derived from the assumption that these people originate from Egypt, which is obviously not true.

The name Gypsy derived from the assumption that these people originate from Egypt, which is obviously not true.

Roma people are nomads who migrated to the West from India around the 11th century and their language has a strong mix of many Hindi words. Scholars believe Romas mainly originated from Rajasthan and Punjab areas, from tribes like Banjara, Dom, Chauhan, Gujjar, Sansi, etc.

Even though Romanis have now adapted to predominant religions of the places where they live around, yet they proudly exhibit their ancestry to India.

Roma people are typically a discriminated tribe, struggling with poverty and lack of education. The local governments have not made many efforts to settle them and integrate them in the society.

In the conference, Romanis made a passionate appeal for inclusion in Indian diaspora and strengthening the Indian ties. The Government of India has so far paid lip service to their aspirations and needs.

It is high time that Prime Minister Modi takes up the issue of Roman people with the various the European Union and elsewhere so that there is a pro-active approach to give them their due place in the society. Romanis need access to housing, education, and employment.

It is high time that when the Europe is opening its arms to Syrian refugees, it also gives due credit to its displaced and neglected Romanis within their lands.

Some other articles that have been published at NewsGram on this issue are given below.
Also read: http://www.newsgram.com/taking-forward-their-indian-ancestry-hindi-words-touch-roma-dialect/

Also read: http://www.newsgram.com/we-romas-would-like-to-be-treated-as-indian-diaspora/
Dr. raizada is the Chief editor at NewsGram. Twitter:@drmunishraizada

(Photo:f3magazine )

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Indians Watch 54% Online Videos in Hindi: Youtube

54% of online videos watched in India are in Hindi language as suggested by YouTube

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54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi. Pixabay

According to entertainment news, about 54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi, while English is preferred by only 16 per cent of the viewing population, followed by Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Bengali, Google-owned YouTube said in a report on Tuesday.

Telugu is preferred by seven per cent of viewing population, Kannada six per cent, Tamil five per cent and Bengali is preferred by three per cent, said the study titled “Understanding India’s online video viewer”.

The research revealed that Indian users watch online videos for an average of 67 minutes everyday.

More than 70 per cent of viewership comes from 15-34 year olds and 37 per cent of users come from rural geographies.

The total online video user population is expected to reach 500 million by the end of the year, said the report.

According to YouTube, entertainment emerged to be the favourite genre along with learning content which is consumed in 43 per cent of the video viewing occasions.

The study also highlighted the ‘Four Ps’ of motivation for watching — Pleasure, emPower, Purpose and People.

Explaining these further, pleasure accounts for 55 per cent and is all about enjoyment and de-stressing; empower is 20 per cent and fulfils the need to be confident and free; purpose accounts for 14 per cent and is about progress and staying updated; people is 11 per cent and reflects the need to connect and bond.

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In India, 79 per cent of video consumption happens at home, as suggested by YouTube. Pixabay

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YouTube also revealed that Indian watch online videos anytime, anywhere and online video is watched consistently throughout the day.

Though 79 per cent of video consumption happens at home, 21 per cent of consumption happens on the move.

The study, based on responses from 6,500 viewers in India, was conducted before the onset of the global pandemic. (IANS)

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Showing Support to The Chanderi weavers Amid Lockdown

In tough times, it is difficult for weavers to sell their products, showcasing their work online can be immensely helpful

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Chanderi weavers
Lending support to Chanderi weavers in these times becomes immensely important. IANS

In tough times, it is difficult for weavers to sell their products and sustain their craft during these difficult times. Showcasing their work online can be immensely helpful. One needs understand that the lockdown has had a severe impact on artisans as it has severely affected their sales and production.

“With artisans and weavers having been hit badly because of the lockdown, Weaverstory a specialised online marketplace, has decided to give reasonable prices, so that customers can buy different products from across India and abroad too. This is helping the weavers sell their products to sustain during these difficult times. Every artisan or weaver is given a separate space to exhibit their products and this is the first time they are trying something like this,” said Nishant Malhotra co-founder of Weaverstory.

WeaverStory launched an “Authentic Chanderi Collection” which helps artisans to become self-reliant. Chanderi, from central India is one of the best-known handloom clusters, particularly famous for its sarees, made with a mix of silk and cotton.

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India is one of the best-known handloom clusters, particularly famous for its sarees, made with a mix of silk and cotton. Pixabay

“Most of them sustain themselves only by selling their products and what is really important is to sell their products on time. Hence, this is the only way to sell whatever they have produced in the past two months. We ensure that the money goes to the artisan’s account within three working days and provide financial support to them during the lockdown,” Malhotra added.

The chanderi saree is a handwoven variety from the traditional weavers of Madhya Pradesh. Woven predominantly in cotton and silk yarn, the material has a subtle sheer surface. The assortment has in store the variety of sarees, dupattas, suits in vibrant colours, royal blues, and red and mustards.

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There have been changes in the methodologies, equipment and even the compositions of yarns over the years, but there is a heritage attached with the skill associated with high quality weaving and products. The weavers from this area a have even received appreciation and royal patronage. WeaverStory has been focussing predominantly on the weaves, reviving designs from museums and traditional forms, and working with weavers themselves. (IANS)

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Here’s how we Overlook the Sufferings of Migrant Workers in India

The death toll of migrant workers is increasing everyday

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India
Migrant Workers in India are stranded thousands of miles away from their families and homes. WIkimedia Commons

By Muskan Bhatnagar

India is going through a situation of crisis from all aspects. From the virus to national border tension, from financial losses to rising death tolls. Not only India, but the whole world is in a state of emergency. The crisis is so huge that we tend to forget the problems on the grass-root level. While the world is busy fighting Coronavirus, protesting against injustice, grieving the deaths of celebrities, let’s take a look at the migrant workers in India who’ve been battling the pandemic in an altogether different way.

It has been over six months since the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. The first case in India was confirmed on 30 January. Since then, the nation has seen a constant rise in the number of cases as well as death tolls. The imposition of lockdown had put the privileged in their homes while the migrant workers had much more to worry about. No money, no savings, no shelter, and no resources to get back to their homes.

Even if we try our best, we’ll still fail to understand or feel the pain and suffering they have been put through. There are thousands of such workers across the nation who were forced to walk hundreds of miles to their native place with their families and kids, as there was no transportation available due to the lockdown which was imposed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Their story isn’t over yet. A recent report suggests that 198 migrant workers were killed during 1,461 accidents which took place over the course of the nationwide lockdown – from March 25 to May 31. The accidents killed at least 750 people, including 198 migrant workers. Migrant workers who were putting all their efforts to go back home comprise 26.4% of the overall deaths during the lockdown caused due to road accidents.

Not just road accidents, but migrant workers have also lost their lives due to starvation and heat sickness. Image walking thousands of miles the hot weather conditions of the summer season, with mercury shooting to 45 degrees Celsius, carrying all your belongings amid an ongoing global pandemic. What worse could you happen to them?

Migrant workers across India have lost their lives due to various causes. Pixabay

Last month a train in Maharashtra ran over 16 migrant workers who were sleeping on the tracks. The workers were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna to board a “Shramik Special” train to return to Madhya Pradesh amid lockdown. 14 of the 20 died on the spot and 2 lost their lives in hospital. The accident took place when they decided to take rest and sleep on the railway lines.

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If you start reading and researching more about the stories of migrant workers in India, you will come across incidents that will break your heart and move you to tears. Women, children, joint families, elderly, everyone has to suffer and starve on the roads during this global emergency.

Rather than discussing and grieving the losses in India, the attention is put to other worldwide issues, easily overlooking the problems of our people. Why do we mourn the loss of a celebrity so much? A simple answer will be because they were legends in their field. That’s right. But we feel devasted because they die, and not because they were legends. It is a matter of loss of life. Similarly, when such a huge amount of people die on the streets, we tend to overlook. In both cases, someone dies.

The migrant workers in India are losing their lives every day, and it’s probably just a news piece for us all.