Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
BY AJAY SURI
Now that the ‘grand reset’ is in place, the world which we always took for granted has started slipping away from our grasp. But don’t just lose heart. Maybe it’s the best thing to have happened to us in a long, long time. The swiftness with which nature has struck back has left us in awe. The two-month-old videos of dolphins returning in the canals of Venice, or a family of geese walking with gay abandon on the tarmac of Tel Aviv Airport have become passe. The changes are happening all around and at breathtaking speed, in whichever part of the globe, we may be.
Sipping my first cup of tea in the morning, I can hear more bird songs than I remember from the balcony of my flat in Delhi. The sky has turned decidedly bluer, the butterflies in the parks have started fluttering around in larger numbers. I am getting similar reports from Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaisalmer, and many other places. The tipping point, of course, would be reached after the return of frogs and sparrows. These two, arguably the strongest indicators of a healthy environment in cities, were among the first to leave India’s metros, as our electric gadgets, fuel-guzzling automobiles, and other creature comforts started creating bigger carbon footprint in the jungles of concrete.
My own experience as a nature photographer and wildlife filmmaker helped me observe some of the changes, even before the arrival of coronavirus. Only, most of us did not notice or pay heed to the positive changes. While some of these have been brought about by decisive intervention, others have happened by deliberate non-intervention on our part. The trick is to know which button to push without losing the sacred connection.
Tucked away in one corner of Uttarakhand and overshadowed by ‘big brother’ Corbett National Park is the almost forgotten Rajaji Tiger Reserve. Most people return from the edge of this enchanting place, after performing the ritualistic Ganga aarti at Haridwar’s Har-Ki-Paudi. Till about two decades ago, Rajaji Park was on a ventilator, so to speak. With no viable tiger population left, the park was at the tender mercies of thousands of ‘van gujjars’ whose makeshift abodes and large number of cattle were playing havoc with the national park’s eco-system.
At one point, it seemed like inevitible curtains for the park’s sprawling sal forests, grasslands, valleys and whatever wildlife it was left with. And then, the big change happened. Almost overnight, a few well meaning individuals — mainly forest officials and bureaucrats in the State Government — got together and paved the way for the relocation of ‘van gujjar’ families and their cattle outside the national park. Today, with all squatters gone, Rajaji Tiger Reserve stands true to its name; it has over 20 tigers, a very healthy figure which is a far cry from its dismal past not too long ago. No longer is it gasping for breath in the ICU. Let me give one more example.
On the edge of the Thar desert near the Indo-Pak border, a unique battle is being fought, one which has largely escaped media attention. This is a tricky one, involving experts from Abu Dhabi, Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Rajasthan Forest Department and the Union Environment Ministry — all for the sake of the Greater Indian Bustard. With hardly 150 birds left in the wild, they are at the very edge of the abyss.
With a wing span of over seven feet, the Great Indian Bustard (it’s also the state bird of Rajasthan) is among the heaviest flying birds on Earth. The irony is that in the early 70s no less than Salim Ali, the renowned ornitholigist, pitched for appointing bustard as the national bird of India. But some ‘babus’ in New Delhi struck down the appeal — one reason being that the bird’s name rhymed with the word ba****d.
Now, of course, better sense has prevailed. Last year, Project Bustard was launched, and the hunt began in the deserts of Jaisalmer to find bustard eggs which could be artifically incubated. For this, a hatchery has already been set up in Jaisalmer. The Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan, Arindam Tomar, had told me that this was “the last chance” for the Great Indian Bustard. Many such endeavours, at both individual and organisational levels, to retrieve the lost ground for nature and wildlife can be found all around us.
At times, decisive intervention is needed to obtain desired results. But more often than not, one only has to stand back and let the natural processes make necessary repairs. The maverick Greek philosopher Diogenes told this to Alexander the Great, when the latter approached him in his cave and inquired if he needed anything: “Just stay out of my sunshine.”
Perhaps this is what is required from us, to stay out of the nature’s light. Unwittingly, this is precisely what we have been doing during the past three months. The results of our “not doing” continue to amaze us every day. The crystal clear rainbow which people from Gurgaon to Hyderabad observed a few days ago, and the thousands of accompanying photographs which they posted on social media to express their astonishment, shows the miracles nature can churn out. If only we let it be.
For more news updates follow Newsgram on LinkedIn
I am sure people in most towns, villages and cities have have been experiencing these magical moments. Who would have ever thought of viewing snow-capped Himalayan peaks from Jalandhar and Saharanpur? These mircales are unfolding on an almost daily basis. Many people say the virus, besides reminding us of our fragile hold on life, has brought us closer to nature. Maybe so, but I like to believe our connection with nature was always intact. Only we forgot about it.
It’s just that we are beginning to wake up now to the wonders which can be re-created. Remember Robert Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz? While still a prisoner serving life imprisonment in the notorius Alcatraz jail, Stroud became the famous bird doctor, his education starting from the first wounded sparrow which flew inside his cell, demanding help. As for me, I am waiting for the frogs and sparrows to return. (IANS)
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.