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In the current environment, when kids are compelled to stay indoors, there is an increased demand for ways to keep them safely engaged this Diwali. The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is hosting a five-day virtual Winter Fiesta which offers a variety of workshops for kids across the age group of 3 to 20 years.
The festival has a series of workshops scheduled to be held from November 16-20, aimed at broadening young creative minds, while focusing on enhancing self-expression in an informal and non-competitive environment. From magic to classical music, dance, creative writing, to physical theatre, there is something for children belonging to every age group.
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IANSlife caught up with award-winning theatre director, Bruce Guthrie, who has directed productions all over the world and is Head of Theatre & Film for NCPA, to shed some light on what the festival offers and why parents need to find a way to entertain their kids with online learning.
The pandemic coupled with the pollution during Diwali will make it tough for parents to keep children entertained and safe. Your take on this?
Guthrie: It is a strange and uncertain time right now. Being cautious is completely understandable. It is a challenge to stay productive and entertained during the holidays. We wanted to create a series of interactive and engaging workshops for children and young adults which are both informative and fun. These are five-day courses where the participants will build daily on their skill set and will receive a certificate for completing the workshop, signed by the relevant NCPA Genre Head and the workshop leader. Our emphasis is on high quality and interactivity.
Do you feel workshops are a great way to help children develop and create skills?
Guthrie: The courses we have on Winter Fiesta have been carefully chosen to offer variety and quality to our participants. They are highly interactive and each one will require the participants to engage completely with the class as it goes on. This will be the first time we have done the Winter Fiesta and we hope to continue to offer these workshops online in the future, even when are doing them live and in person at the NCPA again. Being online gives an opportunity for young people to engage with us and the arts from their own homes. We want to give them an experience that goes beyond a simple lecture or class. Art is something that expands a person’s horizons. It is experiential as well as intellectual.
Online workshops are a great way for children to stay connected socially with children their age, which is imperative for their wellbeing. Do you agree?
Guthrie: Online workshops are a fantastic way for children to stay engaged socially in a safe way. The energy of experiencing something live with other people is incredibly comforting. That feeling of togetherness, even though we are apart, is wonderful.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: एनडीए की बैठक से पहले, नीतीश ने राज्यपाल को इस्तीफा सौंपा
The Winter Fiesta will offer a variety of workshops for kids across the age group of 3 to 20 years, can you elaborate?
Guthrie: We have 24 courses happening over a 5 days period – 16th to 20th November – with top practitioners. They are highly interactive, live daily and each participant will receive a certificate, signed by the practitioner and relevant NCPA head, upon completion. Each course has been chosen with an emphasis on quality. We want participants to be fully engaged, to grow, and have fun over the course of the week. We have such a wonderful variety of workshops from Dance, to Magic to creative writing and classical music (with the Symphony Orchestra of India). For older kids (16-20 years old) we have fantastic sessions with Creatiwitty & TED Talks as well as a course on Shakespeare with 3 renowned practitioners from the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company.
As children might have been affected due to the long lockdown and strenuous domestic situations, non-competitive learning environments are important. Do activities like magic, classical music, dance, and creative writing help?
Guthrie: The Non-competitive environment these courses offer is critical to the growth of any child or young person. Just being allowed to explore a particular art form, free of judgment, can unlock something that may otherwise never have been noticed at all. Hidden talents can remain hidden unless we try. The arts are not only about becoming an artist, creative thinking is vital in all walks of life. There is a reason many successful people are also passionate about art. Art enhances life in so many ways we cannot measure. The performing arts encourage collaboration, generosity, engagement, and openness. These are all great qualities for any individual to have.
Children are never too old to learn new skills, no matter what their age group is, do you agree?
Guthrie: We are all still learning! The older I get, the less knowledgeable. That’s not to say I am becoming forgetful! I mean to say that as a young person, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. If you can remain open to learning new things, life is a wonderful and extraordinary journey. If variety is the spice of life, then the Winter Fiesta is something of a Spice Bazar! We are really looking forward to the Winter Fiesta this year. We look forward to getting creative online from the 16th to the 20th of November. (IANS)
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine a seeking direction to the Election Commission to de-register a political party, which fails to comply with the court's direction to disclose criminal antecedents of candidates fielded in polls. Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay requested a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli to list the petition urgently, against the backdrop of the ongoing election process. He contended that nomination for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election has started, and the political parties and candidates are brazenly violating the top court judgments.
After briefly hearing Upadhyay, the bench said: "We will consider it... will give a date".
The plea argued that allowing criminals to stand for election threatens democracy and secularism. | Wikipedia
The plea claimed that the cause of action for filing the plea arose after the Samajwadi Party fielded alleged gangster Nahid Hasan from Kairana but neither published his criminal records in electronic, print and social media nor the reason for his selection within 48 hours. On February 13, last year, Shamli police imposed the Gangster Act on Nahid Hasan, who is a two-time MLA from Kairana. "He (Hasan) has multiple criminal cases and is the 'mastermind' behind the Hindu exodus from Kairana. There are many criminal cases including fraud and extortion, and he was declared a fugitive by Special MLA-MP Court," the plea said.
The plea argued that the consequences of permitting criminals to contest and become legislators are extremely serious for democracy and secularism. The plea sought a direction to the Election Commission to take steps to ensure that every political party publishes the details regarding criminal cases of each candidate along with the reason for such selection on the homepage of its official website in bold letters within 48 hours in the spirit of top court orders passed on September 25, 2018, and February 2, 2020. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: uttar pradesh assembly election, hima kohli, justices a.s. bopanna, chief justice n.v. ramana, political party, election commission, the supreme court, tainted candidates, action, plea)
There will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year also as the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- seems to have been cancelled due to the Covid situation in India as well as in the respective nations. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially.
If the guests arrive, then this would be the second time when India hosts a group of state heads as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2018, state heads of ASEAN countries graced the occasion with their presence. Apart from Kazakhstan, none of these countries' state heads had been invited as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2009, Kazakhstan's then president Nursultan Nazarbayev was the Chief Guest.
The Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest.Unsplash
As per sources, due to the corona situation, the Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest, so the plan seems to have been cancelled. Last year, British Prime minister Boris Johnson was invited for the same, but later cancelled due to rising corona cases in the UK.
In the past, there have been occasions when the Republic Day ceremony was celebrated without any foreign guest. In 1966, there was no foreign chief guest in the Republic Day parade ceremony as the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had passed away in Tashkent in January, and Indira Gandhi took oath as Prime Minister on January 24. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : chief, guest, Republic Day, parade, India, January, pandemic, 2022, host, nation, guest, invite, foreign, occasion, presence, celebrate.)
A team of scientists from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have found a cure for those suffering from chronic wounds, particularly with diabetic foot ulcers. The team led by Prof Gopal Nath of the department of Microbiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, said that wounds that took months and years to heal, could now be cured in days or months. The findings of study have been published in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, US.
Prof Nath said that a wound is defined as a breach in the skin or body tissues due to injury. An acute wound is defined as a "recent break that is yet to progress through sequential stages of healing". The wounds where normal healing process is stalled due to underlying pathology (vascular and diabetes) or infection beyond three months is defined as chronic wound. While chronic wounds always get infected, the contaminated wounds are reasonably susceptible to infection.
A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks.Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash
Infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and biofilm formation halt healing progress. These wounds cause significant psychological and physical morbidity. The traditional treatment strategies often succeed in healing wounds, he said adding that many wounds have been observed recalcitrant to them, leading to persistence and recurrent infections. Search for alternatives to antibiotics has now become a compulsion. Fortunately, bacteriophage therapy is a re-emerging solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Prof Nath's team carried out phage therapy of acute and chronic infected wounds in animals and clinical studies. It showed efficacy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a mice wound model. Furthermore, they evaluated the efficacy of phage cocktails in animal models' acute and chronic osteomyelitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. They also observed biofilm eradication from K wire in rabbits' wound infection model. Clinical trials of phage therapy initiated by the BHU have reported the efficacy of topical phage in healing chronic wounds in three prospective exploratory studies and no adverse events mimicking the results in vivo animal models.
Scientists have found a cure for those suffering from diabetic foot ulcers. Unsplash
A clinical study by Gupta demonstrated the significant role of bacteriophage therapy in the chronic wounds associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The study employed a total of twenty patients with chronic non-healing ulcers for more than six weeks duration. A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks. Another study, employing 48 patients having a minimum of one eligible full-thickness wound that did not heal in six weeks with convention wound management, showed the promising result, and significant improvement was observed in the wound healing.
The study projected that specific phage therapy is equally effective regardless of the diabetic or non-diabetic status of the patient though the healing was relatively delayed in diabetic patients. Another successful study has shown encouraging results on healing process of infected acute traumatic wounds. The average number of days required for complete granulation of wounds and attaining sterility and healing was half compared to conventional therapy. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : scientists, cure, chronic, wound, suffer, ulcer, diabetes, healing, pathology, health, infection, bacteria, study, patient, therapy, successful.)
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