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By Alisha Upadhyay
Black lives matter movement gained its expeditious momentum due to the unfortunate death of George Floyd in police custody and now it is a global rage. From toppling down statues to canceling brands, is this what the protest is really about?
Black lives matter is not about toppling statues or canceling brands like Aunt Jemima. Black lives Matter is not a hashtag trend nor is it blocking streets. Black Lives Matter is a call to unmask racist discrimination that the black community faces not just in custody but also by the hands of the non-black community.
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Every now and then an innocent black citizen is harassed or asked to “go back to their country” when they stand upon the soil where their mother gave them birth, where they grew up playing “cops”, where they lay their loyalty and are proud of their identity. This harassment they face by a majority of middle-aged women ( in pop culture we call them Karens) where are they from? Because America is the land of the free. Because at some point their ancestors might have migrated to America from Europe too. Black lives matter is a question to put them to shame.
While bringing sensitivity to brands is a move to be supported, toppling statues is not. It is not only vandalism, a show of aggression, and a battle cry. The idea here is not to eliminate racist people but to make them understand why racism is bad and this can only be done through talks, through education. Through a medium that is peaceful and sublime.
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Besides you will always find wrong in people’s character, Gandhi himself was a misogynist. We are to learn from the people of the past, correct us while learning, and not simply celebrate their excellence. But at the same time degrading past leaders who are not present here right now is nonsensical. Instead, feel free to topple racist leaders from their ranks.
All I am saying is peace brings shame to the abuser. Don’t suffer in strength, rise in strength. Talk in strength and become heard. Black Lives Matter. Let the violent protest shatter.
You can follow the author of the article on Twitter @Thatcurioussoul
Obtained naturally from the Sun, vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our overall health. The main function of vitamin D is to maintain the amount of calcium and phosphorus, the two components required to keep the bones strong. Vitamin D helps not only building and maintaining strong bones and strengthen the immune system but also reduces the risk of acute respiratory tract infections, cancer, diabetes, blood pressure, and much more.
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It can be stored in our body fat, the problem is that it is not so easy to get enough of it into our body. Most of our vitamin D comes from the sun, and about 60 percent of us have insufficient levels during winter. The amount of exposure we need to get enough of this important vitamin is generally low.
While only a few minutes of exposure during the summer can be sufficient, during the winter it might take a couple of hours of exposure in the middle of the day. Also, it is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
As we are slowly emerging out of our houses, after a long period of total lockdown, we are concerned about our safety at home and the workplace. For this reason, everyone is looking for a way to strengthen their immune system to prevent the menacing COVID-19 to get past the natural defense of the body. Also, since going out is only recommended for essential chores, people are not getting the necessary amount of sunlight that is needed to produce Vitamin D in the body, says Dr. Ravi Gaur, COO, Oncquest labs ltd.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D may affect different components of our immune system and its response to infection. It may help modulate our lymphocytes and inflammation-producing chemicals like cytokines that are important components of our immune response to invading viruses, adds Dr Gaur.
Researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In one of the studies, scientists have discovered a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and cytokine storm — a hyperinflammatory condition caused by an overactive immune leading to complications and increasing mortality.
Not only does active Vitamin D hormone- Calcitriol, help regulate both the innate and adaptive immune systems, our first and second lines of defense against pathogens, but also its deficiency is associated with immune dysregulation, a breakdown or change in the control of immune system processes. Many of the ways Calcitriol affects the immune system are directly relevant to our ability to defend against viruses. This means that having healthy levels of Vitamin D does not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and death.
How much is too much?
People should not take excessive doses of vitamin D, which might come with negative side effects. However, do not rush to the store and start hoarding Vitamin D supplements, the evidence is still in the study phase and more studies are required.
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In such difficult times, when everyone is fighting against the pandemic, even a small contribution by taking care of oneself will benefit the entire world. Vitamin D levels can be easily measured by a simple blood test. Vitamin D supplementation could be especially important for older people and high-risk individuals including healthcare workers who are now mostly indoors and wearing PPEs.
So, embrace the miracle nutrient in your routine to strengthen your body response systems and keep the immunity on top shape.
Added sugar is one of the most controversial ingredients in the modern diet. As we stay at home, this tough time demands extra attention and care for our aging family members. Everyone loves sweets, especially the elderly, who may not be able to control their cravings. Diabetics have it even harder than others.
Excessive sugar consumption can also harm your metabolism, which can lead to increased insulin and fat storage. The longing for dessert after dinner is made worse by fluctuations in insulin levels.
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“Conventional eating habits have opened many ways for sugar to sneak into a senior citizen’s diet. High sugar diets are a major cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. which are increasing at an alarming rate. Given stevia can replace some unwanted sweetener calories, it can be one tool in the toolbox for cutting calories from a daily diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels,” says Navneet Singh, Vice President, the Asia Pacific at PureCircle.
Natural, Zero Calorie and Fat
Stevia is a small, leafy plant that was first discovered more than 200 years ago by the native people in South America.
The leaves of the plant are uniquely, naturally sweet and the indigenous people used to chew them for the sweet taste and to sweeten beverages. Today, the sweetness is extracted and purified into high purity stevia leaf extract and used in foods and beverages around the world. Owing to its natural origin in addition to zero-calorie and zero-fat is fast appealing people across the world as the best natural sweetener.
Along with all its amazing properties, stevia is one sweetener that can be used in synergy with sugar to reduce its quantity in beverages, bakery, chocolates, and even traditional Indian sweets. It is extracted from leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana, 300 times sweeter than sugar or artificial sweeteners. When it comes to preparing your favorite recipes, you can use it in practically anything that has sugar or a similar caloric sweetener like honey or maple syrup in it.
Zero glycemic load
Plant-based, natural and zero-calorie sweetener Stevia adds a delicious sweet taste without adding calories because the steviol glycosides present in stevia pass through the body without effect. It is a sweetener option for people with diabetes trying to manage their blood sugar because it has no effect on insulin levels. It has a glycemic index and glycemic load of zero.
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Right from farm to fork, stevia’s high sweetness level can allow for greater efficiencies and smaller environmental impact in stevia sweetener production. This plant requires 1/5th land as compared to sugarcane to provide the same sweetening power with a 90 percent lower water requirement. Recent studies have shown that such sweeteners may have less of an environmental impact than any other naturally sourced sweeteners. It has 30 percent – 80 percent less carbon footprint than sugarcane or other natural sweeteners.
More than 200 studies have attested to the safety of high purity stevia extract for all members of the family, including pregnant women and people with diabetes. Multiple major global regulatory organizations have determined stevia is safe. It is approved as a sweetener in major markets worldwide, including more than 65 countries across the globe. (IANS)
Since the demise of young and promising actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, nepotism is one word that is much in currency. Does nepotism really exist in the film industry? And if it does, can it make or mar a career? Can nepotism lead a person to end his life?
Nepotism as described in the dictionary as the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.
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Okay, so nepotism has been in existence all over the world but was so taken a given. Probably still is, even in the age of qualified management graduates. These, the qualified lot is used only as subordinates even when an enterprise grows too big, say, like a corporate business house.
In the film industry, nobody, no production house, no enterprise ever grows so big to need to outsource the management of the business. The recent trend of the corporate houses entering film business on the strength of management wizards has not been very successful. It is still a one-man show.
All over, it is always the next of kin who inherits a business and it is called as a family business.
So, why has the word nepotism suddenly become operative in relation to the film industry? And, do the accusations of nepotism bear so true to lead to the suicide of a young actor?
Favoring one over the other is human nature with each with its own reason. Favoritism has been a way of life since birth, in family, with parents, with kin and at school as well as at the place of work. Nobody ends life because a mother or a father finds a favorite in another kin, and the same goes when it comes to a school teacher or the boss at work.
Not being a parents’ or teacher’s or a boss’ favorite has never ruined a person’s prospects, let alone lead to suicide!
The media in India, the electronic kind, decided to sit in judgment and decided that prevailing nepotism in the film industry was the cause of Sushant’s death. That he was driven to it. The channels ran a tirade on prime time TV debates. The panelists consisted of some film-related persons who had not been able to make a mark — mostly film industry rejects.
In a debate, both sides should be represented as in ones who are accused of nepotism as well as those who accuse them in keeping with the channel’s view. The funny thing about these panelists was that each of them thought they had got into Rajput’s mind and come back. Not only that, but they also talked as if all of them had a first-hand experience of committing suicide!
Coming back to nepotism, the Hindi film industry has never been run by a single producer’s body, which would look after the sector’s interests. It has as many as four bodies representing the production sector. And we have just about half a dozen major production houses. As things stand now, these production houses have actors on their rosters. Like the old-time studio system, their careers are managed by these production houses. In that case, it is obvious that these producers would promote only their in-house artistes.
Film producers are a selfish lot. They chase only successful stars who land a face value and, who, they think will assure guaranteed returns. The same producers who ran after Rajesh Khanna were soon chasing Amitabh Bachchan. That is the way it works.
The filmmakers seek the reigning stars. Yash Raj Films was launched with “Daag”, a film with the then superstar, Rajesh Khanna. Don’t know if that is why the company’s name includes the word Raj. “Daag” was a blockbuster but this was just around the time when Khanna’s career had started tapering. The choice shifted to Amitabh Bachchan, and later to Shah Rukh Khan. It was all about worshipping the rising sun.
Sajid Nadiadwala, one of the most successful makers, made films with Salman Khan and the combination worked wonders for both. A few years back, I asked Sajid how things were different, now that he was a big maker with many hits and enjoying a great rapport with Salman!
What he said, was sort of a statement on how things worked in the film industry. Sajid said, earlier I used to take a rickshaw to go to Salman’s house for dates and wait for four hours for him to meet me; now I go in my Bentley to meet and seek dates from him and wait for four hours.
Karan Johar, another big name in today’s scheme of things, swore by Shah Rukh Khan. One saw his pictures in papers like family with the Khan family kids. It looked like a big brotherhood and a lifelong bond of loyalty. After all, Shah Rukh was the reigning superstar and a deity who helped build the empire, minuscule though it may be in terms of real money outside of the film industry.
So, who was it who could have been a threat to the career of Sushant, enough for him to take that drastic step of ending his life?
Akshay Kumar is the reigning superstar of the day. Yash Raj made just one film with him at the beginning of his career, Karan Johar never made a film with him till recently and Sajid Nadiadwala, though Akshay’s schoolmate and a family friend, started working with Akshay only after working with Salman was no longer possible. Yet, Akshay has been around for 30 years now, Yash Raj or not, Karan Johar or not!
Sushant had been around for seven years with 11 films to his credit, which is not bad by any standards. He was on his way to the top. And, nepotism and favoritism notwithstanding, the makers would have come to him eventually.
Money did not seem to be a problem with Sushant considering he paid a few lakh in rent for his sea-facing apartment, equipped with all things dear to him including a professional telescope to gaze at the galaxy, his prime interest. Sushant had also recently made donations of Rs 1.25 crore each to the flood relief funds of Nagaland and Kerala. He was generous with his charity work despite his aspirations to own a house of his own. Besides, he did not seek publicity for his charity work.
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There was no dearth of offers, even from reputed filmmakers, and Sushant was known to refuse many despite lucrative offers. Depression strikes to those who have been on the top say, like Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, and such who saw the real glory to finally sit at home alone. Rising stars can’t afford depression.
Nepotism is a much-abused word lately, and the media, with its limited vocabulary, loves to flash it — be it politics, sports or films. (IANS)