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Plastic, paper scraps and Metal wastes turn into Decorative Light Strings and ‘Diyas’ for Diwali in Rajasthan

The money earned from the sale of Diwali items will be used for skill development programmes for the girls at Naari Niketan

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Lighting Diyas in Diwali, Pixabay

Kota, Oct 27, 2016: In Rajasthan’s Kota, people have found an eco-friendly way to celebrate Diwali, this year. Homes will be lit up with decorative light strings and ‘diyas’  made from plastic scraps and metal waste, to celebrate the festival.

In an attempt to save the environment, girls from a shelter home based in Kota-  ‘Naari Nikataan’ have turned waste plastic and glass bottles, boxes and cartons and metal into decorative pieces, mentioned PTI.

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“The items made by them were sold in a two-day exhibition-cum-workshop at Rain Basera Park. The event saw a huge footfall. It was a big encouragement for them,” Bharti Gaud, secretary at Sachetan Society, a Kota-based NGO, said to PTI.

The items that were exhibited were priced between Rs 75 to Rs 300 and the initiative was part of the society’s ‘Up-cycling the Waste’ campaign. “The money earned from the sale will be used for skill development programmes for the girls at Naari Niketan,” she said.

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For girls, the city-based NGO runs an art-and-craft centre and has been organising skill development programmes for the last three years.

“All the decorative items are made from waste plastic and glass bottles, and cartons and paper boxes. Like the vertical and horizontal light strings with decorative flowers, are made from waste plastic bottles and the diyas from waste aluminium and candles,” she said to PTI.

About 80 gram of plastic from discarded bottles were used to make decorative strings, Gaud said.

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Elaborating on her oganisation’s ‘Up-Cycling Waste’ campaign, she said, “Sachetan has a fifth principle to waste management. It’s called ‘Up-Cycle the Waste’. It is in addition to the existing principles of reuse, refuse, defuse and recycle waste.

– prepared by NewsGram Team

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Chinese Products Sales may Decline 40-45 % this Diwali: Assocham

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Shops selling Firecrackers in Diwali. Flickr

New Delhi, October 9: Be it decorative items like lights, gift items, lamps and wall hangings or other product, the sale of Chinese products is likely to decline by 40-45 per cent this Diwali as compared to last year, a survey by Assocham-Social Development Foundation (ASDF) said here on Monday.

“There has been a 40-45 per cent impact on goods like decorative lights which records huge sales during Diwali, whereas a slight impact has also been seen on China-made electronic goods like mobile phones etc. As per the paper, the demand of electronic items like LCDs, mobile phones and others items made in China has also declined by 15-20 per cent,” said Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.

The industry chamber said it has interacted with wholesalers, retailers, traders in cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to estimate the demand for Chinese products across India.

According to an estimate, the value of Chinese goods sold in 2016 during Diwali was around Rs 6,500 crore. Out of the total, over Rs 4,000 crore was Diwali-related items such as toys, fancy lights, gift items, plastic ware and decorative goods among many other items.

The most sought after Chinese items are fancy lights, lampshades, Ganesha and Laxmi idols, rangolis and crackers. As per findings of the survey, this Diwali, people are preferring Indian products over Chinese goods.

The paper said according to the shopkeepers, most of the customers are demanding Indian lights.

“There was a huge demand for made in China fancy lights in the market but it is also decreasing. Also, the quality of Chinese products is also questionable with no shopkeeper giving any sort of guarantee on Chinese items once sold. Firecrackers made at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu are preferred in comparison to Chinese crackers,” stated the report.(IANS)

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Diwali Preparations Grow in US, from Disney to Times Square

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Diyas adorn every corner of the house on the celebration day of Diwali. pixabay

The holiday of Diwali in the US is starting to light up mainstream America. Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated by Indians all over the world, has long been observed in immigrant communities around the U.S.

But now public celebrations of the holiday are starting to pop up in places ranging from Disneyland and Times Square to parks and museums.

The Times Square event is the brainchild of Neeta Bhasin, who says that while many Indian immigrants have found great success in the U.S., “still people don’t know much about India. I felt it’s about time that we should take India to mainstream America and showcase India’s rich culture, heritage, arts and diversity to the world. And I couldn’t find a better place than the center of the universe: Times Square.”

Places in America where Diwali Celebrations will take place.

Bhasin, who came to the United States from India 40 years ago, is president of ASB Communications, the marketing firm behind Diwali at Times Square. The event, now in its fourth year, has drawn tens of thousands of people in the past. It’s scheduled for Oct. 7, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., with dance performances, Bollywood singers, a bazaar of food, saris and other goods, and a lighting ceremony.

While Diwali celebrations are held throughout the fall, the holiday’s actual date is Oct. 19. Also called Deepavali, it’s an autumn harvest festival held just before the Hindu new year. Celebrations include lighting oil lamp called diyas and candles to symbolize “a victory of knowledge over ignorance, light over darkness, good over evil,” said Bhasin.

The Diwali celebration at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, includes performances of traditional Indian dances and a Bollywood dance party for guests. It’s part of a festival of holidays at the theme park reflecting cultural traditions from around the world. The Disney festival begins Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 7.

San Antonio, Texas, has one of the nation’s largest city-sponsored celebrations of Diwali, drawing more than 15,000 people each year. The 2017 event, scheduled for Nov. 4 at La Villita, a historic arts village, will be its ninth annual Diwali celebration with Indian dance, entertainment, food, crafts, fireworks and the release of lighted candles into the San Antonio River along the city’s River Walk.

New York City’s Rubin Museum will mark Diwali with an overnight Ragas Live Festival featuring more than 50 Indian classical musicians performing amid the museum’s collection of sacred Himalayan art. The event begins Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. and continues all day and night through Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. Chai and mango lassis will be served, visitors will have access to all the galleries and pop-up events like meditation and sunrise prayer will be offered. Special tickets will be sold for the opportunity to sleep beneath the artwork.

Other places hosting Diwali celebrations include Cary, North Carolina, in Regency Park, Oct. 14; Flushing Town Hall, Queens, New York, Oct. 29; the Seattle Center, Oct. 21; the Dulles Expo center in Chantilly, Virginia, Oct. 7-8; and Memorial Park in Cupertino, California, Sept. 30. In Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio History Center is hosting a photo exhibit about the city’s fast-growing population of immigrants from Nepal, Bhutan and India, with a Diwali event Oct. 8.

Bhasin said Diwali’s message is particularly timely now. “It is extremely important to be together and showcase to the world, not only Indians, but the entire immigrant community, to be together with Americans and to show the world we are one, we are all the same human beings,” she said.(VOA)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393