“Tarana-E-Hind” award posthumously conferred upon legendary poet Muhammad Iqbal

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Kolkata: Legendary poet Muhammad Iqbal, author of the iconic poem “Saare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara”, was posthumously conferred the “Tarana-E-Hind” award by the West Bengal Urdu Academy on Friday, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee personally handing it over to his grandson Waleed Iqbal.

“There are some occasions in life when you feel really honoured,” Banerjee said at the function held before a large audience in the Nazrul Mancha.

She said the nation will never forget Iqbal. “I thank the Urdu Academy for this initiative for honouring Iqbal ji”.

The chief minister also inaugurated the three-day ‘Jashn-E-Iqbal’ celebrating the contributions of the literary genius.

The celebration is an attempt by the Academy to revive the long-lost glory of Iqbal, widely known as Allama Iqbal.

As many as 45 delegates – scholars and poets – from six countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mauritius are slated to take part in paper presentations and international mushairas (gatherings of poets) during the course of three days.

A photo-exhibition showcasing Iqbal’s rare photographs will be launched at the Academy premises on Saturday along with the grand opening of the “Gosha-E-Iqbal”, a dedicated section of Iqbal’s books at the Central Urdu Library.

To honour Banerjee for her contributions to the revival of the Urdu Academy as well as for her work in the past three years, the title of “Pasban-E-Urdu” (protector of Urdu)was bestowed upon her.

In addition, guests and participants were given Banerjee’s book of Urdu poems titled “Tamanna”. (IANS)

 

 

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The Wrath Of Amphan Cyclone In India

Cyclone Amphan exposes Eastern India; Odisha and West Bengal to serious damage and devastation

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A satellite view of Cyclone Amphan on May 19, 2020. PC: Weathernerds.org

BY Varuni Trivedi
Odisha and West Bengal were left in shambles as Cyclone Amphan left only doom and devastation behind. Torrential rains and winds gusting up to 185 kph on Wednesday, affected 4.5 million people across 1,500 villages in Odisha, and claimed the lives of 72 people in West Bengal leaving many homeless and devastated.

Both the states suffered widespread destruction of homes, crops, and infrastructure. Many people were crushed by falling trees and electrocuted by power lines. Horrific images of destruction came from both states showing uprooted trees and electricity poles catching fire. Amidst a global pandemic that had already taken a toll on people the ‘normal life’ in these states is paralyzed for millions. Both Orissa and West Bengal currently lay in the aftermath of a destructive cyclone for which they weren’t prepared.

The worst-hit in this scenario are the small scale industries and infrastructure which wiped out leaving lakhs of people homeless. It devastated coastal villages knocking down mud houses and temporary shelters and flooding many areas. In the WB capital Kolkata, the streets are still flooded while phone and internet services have still not been restored completely. Officials say that the extent of destruction caused is yet to be determined. The loss of dwellings and crops, which has struck people amid two months of a nationwide lockdown that has left millions of Indians without an income and in a terrible shock.

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People struggling to get past an uprooted tree struck by Aphan cyclone. PC: IndianExpress

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she was “shocked” to see such a massive disaster. She further stated that she had never seen anything like this before and the cyclone is worse than the coronavirus. She stressed the cyclone’s “unexpected scale” and has urged great support from the center. Today PM Modi along with CM Banerjee took an aerial survey of the cyclone areas.

The Prime Minister has assured all sorts of assistance to West Bengal and will be ensuring that the relief money is credited directly to the account of the beneficiaries. PM Modi conducted an aerial survey of areas affected by Cyclone Amphan in Odisha as well, accompanied by CM Naveen Patnaik and Guv Ganeshi Lal. Financial assistance of Rs 500 Cr has been announced for the state. Ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to next of kin of deceased whereas Rs 50,000 to seriously injured has also been announced.

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PM Modi along with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in an aerial survey of Cyclone hit areas. PC: PTI

The eastern coastal States during the storm season every year face the wrath of nature as the unpreparedness of the states exposes the citizens to these calamities. The cyclone’s disastrous effects were anticipated, but even with reliable forecasts and preparatory moves by the National and State Disaster Response Force units, the impact was devastating and catastrophic. The loss of life and damage to livelihoods is still significantly irreparable in many parts.

Also Read: ICC Publishes Guidelines for Safe Resumption of Cricket

This has become an even more challenging situation as the nation is amid a lockdown and faces serious issues battling the COVID-19 Pandemic. Whereas it can be said that the battle against the virus may yet be won sooner or later, India must strengthen its disaster management especially in areas like Orissa and West Bengal which experience the wrath of such natural calamities almost every year. For a never-ending cycle of storms along its coastline, India needs better preparedness so that livelihood of people may be protected if not saved completely.

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Will Announce Resumption of More Trains to Take India Towards Normalcy: Railway Minister

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal says that it is time to take India towards normalcy

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The Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal visiting the Newly Coloured Coaches at New Delhi Railway Station, on April 25, 2018. Wikimedia Commons

Emphasising on the resumption of more train services in the coming days to transport more people across the country, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that more trains will be announced soon to take India towards normalcy, according to stories of india.

He also said that bookings of tickets will resume at 1.7 lakh common service centres from Friday.

The announcement comes a day after the Indian railways, which suspended the passenger, mail and express train services from March 25, announced to run 100 pairs of trains from June 1.

In a conversation with BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra, Goyal said, “Will announce resumption of more trains as it is time to take India towards normalcy.”

The Minister added that bookings will also resume at the counters of different stations in the next two to three days.

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The Railway bookings will resume at the counters of various stations in upcoming two-three days. Pixabay

“We are developing a protocol in this regard,” Goyal said.

Talking about the Shramik Special trains, Goyal said, “On May 20, 279 Shramik trains were run transporting over five lakh migrant labourers, students and trapped tourists to their homes.”

The railways started the Shramik Special trains to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists from May 1.

Till date the national transporter has operated over 1,600 Shramik Special trains Shramik transported over 25 lakh people across the country.

Hitting out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Railway Minister said, “Till date we have been able to run only 27 trains in West Bengal. Till May 8 or 9, only two trains could reach there.”

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The Railway started to run the 15 pairs of Special AC trains from May 12. Pixabay

The Railway Minister earlier has urged Banerjee and the Chief Ministers of other states to give clearance to the Shramik Special trains to transport the stranded migrant workers.

Also Read: UK’s Most Borrowed e-books Announced By Annual Library Amid Lockdown

The national transporter also started to run the 15 pairs of Special AC trains from May 12.

On Thursday, the bookings for the 100 pairs of trains opened and in the first three hours the railways sold 1.78 lakh tickets for 4.23 lakh passengers in 76 trains.

The tickets are being booked online through the IRCTC website and its mobile application.(IANS)

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West Bengal to Remain on a Lockdown Till 30 April

The state of West Bengal to remain on lockdown till the end of April says Mamata Banarjee

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Increase in lockdown duration in West Bengal state. Flickr

The West Bengal government here on Saturday extended the lockdown till April 30 to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Making the announcement to the media at the state secretariat Nabanna, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the decision was taken after a video conference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Ministers.

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Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Wikimedia Commons

“The Prime Minister said the lockdown will be extended till April 30. We all agreed. Thus, I have decided to extend the lockdown till April 30,” she said.

Also Read: Grocery Stores, Supermarkets Running Out of Supplies in NCR Region

The country has been under lockdown since March 23. It was scheduled to end on April 14. (IANS)