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Ruskin Bond Talks On Children Losing Their Innocence

The books they read sometimes maybe talk of love and love making in a bold manner which might border on crudity

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He's lived in this humble Ivy Cottage since 1981 and has penned numerous tales to traverse a 68-year-long journey exclusively spent in writing
Ruskin Bond is one of the most celebrated Indian writers across the globe. Wikimedia commons

A wordsmith who has always celebrated love, author Ruskin Bond says he cringes at times seeing the “crudity” with which women are written or spoken about now, also stressing that children today have lost their innocence.

Hot on the heels of young cricketers, who are treated as icons by children in the Indian households, Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul bandying about sexist remarks in a television show and making all the wrong noises for that, Bond said he is aware that the general tone when talking about women has gone hoarse.

“Children are losing their innocence or have already lost it because of the climate they are exposed to,” Bond, 84, told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the TATA Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.

Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome
Children are losing their innocence or have already lost it because of the climate they are exposed to,   Pixabay

“The books they read sometimes maybe talk of love and love making in a bold manner which might border on crudity,” he said.

“You see 12-year olds watching hard porn on the streets and that was unthinkable during our time. We did not have easy access to so many things during our day.

“So I think too much exposure to a lot of things early on and not seeing or reading the right kinds of things has lead to this,” said the creator of “The Room on the Roof” (1956), “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra” (1992), “The Blue Umbrella” (1974) and “A Flight of Pigeons” (2003).

Bond also chose to speak specifically on the Pandya-Rahul issue, underlining that they should think twice before going to such talk shows and that they should be given a second chance.

“I think they did make a mistake and such talk shows should be avoided as I feel it is also responsible for the way they behaved. They got carried away. Anyway, I read what all is going on and I feel we should not be too hard on them.”

stories with realistic characters
Children increasingly identify with stories having human characters. Pixabay

Bond, whose supernatural stories have been made into a web series, said it is a way to stay relevant in today’s times, adding that ghosts are not out to scare or harm people all the time and it’s a “safe fear” that people like to indulge in.

“You can think of it that way (web series helps in staying relevant). It might help because in any case, those people, people who read, young people, many of them do enjoy reading ghost stories and tales of the supernatural as I did when I was a boy.

Also Read: Proud Of Spreading Chills And Thrills Among Children: ‘Goosebumps’ Author R.L. Stine

“And, of course, it’s only a part of my writing output, but I enjoy doing the ghost story or spooky story and particularly when I run out of other ideas because I can cook them up quite easily.

“Especially your hill stations are reputed to be full of them,” said Bond who lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his adopted family.

The first episode of “Parchayee: Ghost Stories by Ruskin Bond” premiered earlier this month and the subsequent parts will unfold till June. (IANS)

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Lifestyle Intervention Reduces Bad Cholesterol Concentration in Kids

Lifestyle changes can cut cholesterol level in primary scool children

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cholesterol
Researchers suggest taht family-based physical activity and dietary intervention may cut the plasma LDL cholesterol concentration of kids. Pixabay

An individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary intervention may reduce the plasma LDL cholesterol concentration of primary school children, say researchers.

The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, explored the effects of an individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary intervention on the plasma lipids of more than 500 Finnish children aged between 6 and 8 years at baseline.

The researchers were also interested in which components of the lifestyle intervention had the greatest impact of plasma lipids.

“The LDL cholesterol concentration of children from families who participated in the lifestyle intervention was slightly reduced during the two-year follow-up, whereas no similar change was observed in children in the control group,” said study researcher Aino-Maija Eloranta from the University of Eastern Finland.

“The lifestyle intervention did not have an impact on other plasma lipids,” Eloranta added.

During the two-year follow-up, families participated in six individualised dietary and physical activity counselling sessions. The sessions were individually tailored to each family and they focused on improving the quality of the family’s diet, increasing physical activity and reducing screen time.

cholesterol
Increased physical activity explained some of the decreases in the LDL cholesterol concentration. Pixabay

In addition, children were encouraged to participate in weekly after-school exercise clubs. Children’s plasma lipids were analysed at the beginning and at the end of the study.

Also Read: Why Does Your Business Need Email Marketing?

The study showed that increasing the consumption of high-fat vegetable oil-based spreads and decreasing the consumption of butter-based spreads played the most important role in decreasing the LDL cholesterol concentration.

Replacing high-fat milk with low-fat milk, and doing more physical activity, also explained some of the decreases in the LDL cholesterol concentration.

Having an elevated LDL cholesterol concentration in childhood may predict artery wall thickening in adulthood, the researchers said. The results of the findings thus suggest that a family-based dietary and physical activity intervention may prevent the development of atherosclerosis in adulthood. (IANS)

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WHO Accuses Tobacco Industry of Luring Children Into Usage of Tobacco By Marketing Practices

WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices

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Children wear strings of cigarette and chewable tobacco and rehearse for a play on World No Tobacco Day in Gauhati, India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

The World Health Organization accuses the tobacco industry of devious tactics to get children and young people hooked on their deadly tobacco and nicotine products.  In advance of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), the WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices.

More than 40 million young people aged 13 to 15 smoke and use other tobacco products. The World Health Organization says the tobacco industry tries to get children and young people hooked on tobacco early in life, knowing this will turn them into life-long smokers. Unfortunately, WHO says many smokers do not live very long.  Every year, it notes millions of people have their lives cut short because of cancers, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses.

Coordinator of WHO’s No Tobacco Unit, Vinayak Prasad, says the tobacco industry invests more than $9 billion a year to advertise its products.  He says much of this huge budget targets young people with attractive promotional campaigns. “At the moment, they are spending a million dollars an hour, which is by the time we finish our press conference, that is a million dollars spent,” said Prasad.  “And, why are they doing it?  They are doing it to find replacements users.  Eight million premature deaths every year.  So, they need to find new replacements.”

WHO says the industry sets its sights on the next generation of users by targeting children and young people in markets where tobacco products are not regulated and they can be manipulated easily. WHO is launching a new kit for school students aged 13 to 17 to protect them from the tobacco industry’s exploitative practices.  WHO Director of Health Promotion, Ruediger Krech says the kit alerts young people to the industry’s devious tactics and teaches them to say no.

Smoking Tobacco
WHO tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries. Pixabay

“The tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries, e-cigarette flavors that attract youth in like bubble-gum and candy, e-cigarette representatives presenting in schools, and product placement in popular youth streaming shows,” said Krech.

WHO is calling on all sectors of society to prevent the tobacco industry from preying on youth.  To reach a young audience, the agency is spreading its no tobacco message on  TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media. Health officials urge schools, celebrities and influencers to reject all offers of sponsorship from the industry.  They call on TV and streaming services to stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen.

Also Read: Read PM Modi’s Letter To Indians amid COVID war

They say governments should ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship and should enact strict tobacco control laws. (VOA)

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These Books Can Drive Boredom Away in Lockdown 4.0

A well-curated list of books can help drive lockdown blues away.

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Books
These binge-worthy books will help you sail through Lockdown 4.0. Pixabay

Life in the lockdown has not been easy for most of us. Were isolated and theres no sign of things changing anytime soon.

Well books can come to your rescue and what better way to spend the last two weeks in home-sheltering than by reading. Reading is not only a great form of escapism, but it also helps to stimulate creativity and enrich language skills, making it a great idea for all ages.

Here is a list of must read books which can transport you to another time and place:

‘The Hunger Games Series-The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

A new Hunger Games book is on its way, the first since 2010; it’s not only for teens but also for all sci-fi lovers. A prequel to the “Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, “A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was first announced in June last year, and – as revealed in an extract published by Entertainment Weekly – ‘will focus on Coriolanus Snow.’

‘Hunted by the Sky’ by Tanaz Bhatena (Penguin Random House India)

From the author of ‘A Girl Like That’, the YA fantasy explores identity, class inequality, alongside a high-stakes romance story, ‘Hunted by the Sky’ is set in the Kingdom of Ambar – a world inspired by medieval India– a world of deadly, dark secrets and adventures.

‘A Thousand Cranes for India: Reclaiming Plurality Amid Hatred’ edited by Pallavi Aiyar (Seagull Books)

This anthology – comprising 23 pieces of reportage, stories, poems, memoir and polemic – uses the mythology, history, and symbolism of Japanese Origami paper cranes as a pathway for some of India’s best-known writers, poets and artists to pave a “shared, civic space for a conversation about the fault lines in India at a time of darkness”.

Books
These books will make lockdown brighter for you. Pixabay

‘Shameless’ by Taslima Nasreen, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha (HarperCollins India)

‘Shameless’, the sequel to the controversial and best-selling ‘Lajja’, had never been published in Bengali, or any other language, until very recently, when a Hindi translation was printed. This “timely, topical and outspoken novel about communal tensions in India” is, according to its author, “not a political novel – and instead about what the politics of religion does to human beings and their relationships: a ruthless, uncompromising, heartbreaking tale of ordinary people’s lives in our times”.

Also Read: Coronavirus Pandemic: A Punishment for Humans?

‘A Burning’ by Megha Majumdar (Knopf; Penguin Random House India)

“For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri” (!), Majumdar’s debut, a thriller-like epic, centres around three characters who find their lives criss-crossing in the aftermath of a catastrophe. ‘Of A Burning’, Amitav Ghosh has said: it’s “the best debut novel I have come across in a long timee In telling the story of a young Muslim girl whose life is undone by a single social media post, it creates a kaleidoscope of contemporary urban India, with its internet-driven hysteria, religious fanaticism, rampant corruption, poisoned air, random violence, enraged mobs and pervasive misogyny.”(IANS)