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Vidya Balan says easy for older actresses to work in Bollywood now

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Mumbai: Leading actor Vidya Balan thinks that times have changed now and today’s audience is much more willing to accept older actresses in films than the past. She said people want to see different stages of life than just the allure of youth.

The National Award-winning actress said, “things are no longer same for 30-plus actresses now as all kinds of films are being made depicting different stages of life.”

 “I think audiences are very ready,” Vidya said when asked about the changes that she has noticed regarding 30-plus actresses in Bollywood.
“There were times when there were only love stories and however, old the male actor is, the actresses were becoming younger and younger but that’s no longer the case now. People are accepting women at every stage. We are accepting that they can be interesting and desirable even when they are in their 30s.”
“So I feel acceptability has really increased for actresses,” added the 37-year-old.

Having made her cinematic debut in 2005 with “Parineeta”, an adaptation of a 1914 eponymous Bengali novel, Vidya has proved her versatility with many of her roles. Whether it was the manipulative Krishna of “Ishqiya”; the strong-willed Sabrina in “No One Killed Jessica”; Vidya Bagchi, a woman with a vengeance in “Kahaani”; an unwed mother in “Paa”; and the bolder than the boldest Silk in “The Dirty Picture”, she impressed audiences and critics alike with her acting.

Her last released film was Mohit Suri’s “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” in which she played a married woman, also a victim of domestic violence.

Married to producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vidya also feels that marriage is no longer a hindrance in getting film offers.

“If I talk about my experience as an actor, then by God’s grace lots of work are coming my way. There is no dearth of work. Things are changing for married actresses in Bollywood. Even I used to think that once you get married, you get lesser number of films, but that’s not true. I have been getting a lot of exciting roles in the past three years since the time I got married,” said Vidya.

The actress will next be seen in Sujoy Ghosh-produced “TE3N” and Sujoy Ghosh’s “Kahaani” sequel.

But it’s not just films that Vidya is engaged with. She is equally voicing her opinion on women’s rights as a brand ambassador of hair care brand Nihar Naturals. She has joined hands with the brand to encourage women in overcoming stereotypical judgments to achieve their capabilities.

This time, Nihar took upon the task of making Indian women realise that, “Appearance cannot be a tool to judge a woman’s capability”. In order to sensitise women about their inner capability through a powerful medium that would immediately resonate with them, Nihar Naturals launched the #IAmCapable report, a national study commissioned to Nielsen.

Talking about this, she said: “Change won’t happen overnight but over time.”

She also remembered the time when she judged for choosing sari as her favourite outfit for almost all her public appearances.

“I was judged on the basis of my appearance. I remember the time when I started wearing saris; I was told that young actresses should not wear saris. Also, media started putting me on trials then I realised that across the country there are all kinds of people; so I stopped thinking about the negative things and now it doesn’t bother me anymore,” she said.

She also suggested that young girls should not get affected by criticism.

“I feel that nowadays we are very unkind to ourselves and that is something we need to change. We tend to bracket things according to clothes, but I think we need to be more relaxed in terms of approach,” she added.(IANS)(image-bollyspice)

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Young Women More Likely to Depend on Alcohol to Improve Mental Health: Researchers

The study also tells that young women are more affected by alcohol use than men

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A recent study tells that young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than me leading to less interest in academics. Pixabay

Female college students are more likely to depend on drinking alcohol to improve mental well-being, say, researchers, adding that the young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics.

“Cognitive aptitudes of young women appear to be more affected than for men with high alcohol use,” said study lead author Lina Begdache, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University in the US.

“These behaviors are regulated by the limbic system of the brain. However, the cognitive functions for high drinking alcohol use among the young men and women were different,” Begdache added.

For the findings, published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience and Education, researchers sought to compare neurobehaviours and academic effort among college students with low alcohol use with those of high alcohol consumption and build conceptual models that represent the integration of the different variables.

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The study found that young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol. Pixabay

They sent an anonymous survey to assess college students’ alcohol use and frequency along with questions on sleep, academic performance and attitude toward learning. They compared gender responses and found that both young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol use such as abuse of other substances and risk-taking.

The findings showed that young women reported generally less interest in the academic work and performance than young men. The latter reported more risky behaviours, such as being arrested, from excessive drinking.

The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being, which is also concerning, as they may self-medicate through drinking. In both genders, the researchers reported an increase in impulsive behaviours, which are under the control of the limbic system (the oldest part of the brain, evolutionary speaking).

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The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being. Pixabay

Also Read: Young Scientist Develops Panic Button to Tackle Domestic Violence

Another reason for the difference seen is the differential metabolism of alcohol. Women metabolise alcohol at a slower rate, therefore, they are more likely to feel the effect of alcohol. Consequently, their brain is more likely to accumulate a toxic metabolite, acetaldehyde, which may be altering brain chemistry further to add to the differential behaviours identified in this study.

“Academic performance and risky behaviours among college students may be linked to their drinking habits, so more education and awareness should be shared with college students,” said Begdache.

“These findings are also explained by the fact that women tend to have higher connectivity between cortices, while men have a large cortical volume in the areas on the limbic system that support impulsivity,” Begdache added. (IANS)

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Young Scientist Develops Panic Button to Tackle Domestic Violence

If a distressed woman presses the button then it would alert the police or people nearby about violence

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A panic button has been developed to tackle crime against women. Pixabay

By Vivek Tripathi

The panic button, devised by an electronics and communication engineer, is set to play an important role in tackling domestic violence. On being pressed, it would alert the police or people nearby about violence.

Developed by young scientist Anjali Srivastava, the device uses GPS (Global Positioning System) technology.

Anjali, who has made several such tools, told IANS one to five emergency panic buttons could be added to it. “It operates in a 100-metre range and is too tiny to be noticed. Its battery last nearly 8 months. Women can keep the button that costs Rs 2,500 anywhere in the house as per their convenience,” she said.

It also has an audio-recording option, which could later serve as evidence. It could be used by housewives and girls living in paying guest (PG) accommodations.

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The button uses GPS to track the location of the victim. Pixabay

Also Read: Nearly Half Urban Indians to Shop Online After Lockdown: Survey

“This type of innovative devices helps prevent crime against women,” said Gorakhpur scientific officer Mahadev Pandey.

“Anjali has made many such devices in the past, including anti-rape jeans and shocking gloves. This device is very important for the safety of women. It will prove to be very effective, especially in the coronavirus time,” said Shyam Cherasia, research and development in-charge of Ashoka Institute of Technology and Management.

GPS, a radio navigation system, allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world. (IANS)

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Showing Support to The Chanderi weavers Amid Lockdown

In tough times, it is difficult for weavers to sell their products, showcasing their work online can be immensely helpful

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Lending support to Chanderi weavers in these times becomes immensely important. IANS

In tough times, it is difficult for weavers to sell their products and sustain their craft during these difficult times. Showcasing their work online can be immensely helpful. One needs understand that the lockdown has had a severe impact on artisans as it has severely affected their sales and production.

“With artisans and weavers having been hit badly because of the lockdown, Weaverstory a specialised online marketplace, has decided to give reasonable prices, so that customers can buy different products from across India and abroad too. This is helping the weavers sell their products to sustain during these difficult times. Every artisan or weaver is given a separate space to exhibit their products and this is the first time they are trying something like this,” said Nishant Malhotra co-founder of Weaverstory.

WeaverStory launched an “Authentic Chanderi Collection” which helps artisans to become self-reliant. Chanderi, from central India is one of the best-known handloom clusters, particularly famous for its sarees, made with a mix of silk and cotton.

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India is one of the best-known handloom clusters, particularly famous for its sarees, made with a mix of silk and cotton. Pixabay

“Most of them sustain themselves only by selling their products and what is really important is to sell their products on time. Hence, this is the only way to sell whatever they have produced in the past two months. We ensure that the money goes to the artisan’s account within three working days and provide financial support to them during the lockdown,” Malhotra added.

The chanderi saree is a handwoven variety from the traditional weavers of Madhya Pradesh. Woven predominantly in cotton and silk yarn, the material has a subtle sheer surface. The assortment has in store the variety of sarees, dupattas, suits in vibrant colours, royal blues, and red and mustards.

Also Read: Yoga: A scared gift, with Love from Hinduism and India to the World

There have been changes in the methodologies, equipment and even the compositions of yarns over the years, but there is a heritage attached with the skill associated with high quality weaving and products. The weavers from this area a have even received appreciation and royal patronage. WeaverStory has been focussing predominantly on the weaves, reviving designs from museums and traditional forms, and working with weavers themselves. (IANS)