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WHO Global Conference On Air Pollution Aims To Reduce Air Pollutants

The WHO plans to put in place a tracking system to monitor commitments made by the participants.

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Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
Delhi air quality continues to be 'very poor'. VOA

Participants at the first ever WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution have adopted a plan for reducing air pollution, which every year prematurely kills an estimated seven million people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the conference a resounding success, noting 900 people attended, twice as many as expected. Furthermore, it says more than 70-member states, non-governmental organizations, and other participants have made voluntary commitments to take action to reduce air pollution.

Director of the WHO’s Department of Public Health and Environment Maria Neira said the WHO is taking a leading role in setting forth action to tackle air pollution for a cleaner, healthier world.

Air Pollution, China, WHO
A man wearing a respiratory protection mask walks toward an office building during the smog after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in Beijing’s central business district, China. VOA

“WHO, as the global health agency, made, as well, very strong commitments, starting by proposing an aspiration target of reducing by two-thirds the mortality caused by air pollution by the year 2030. And, this is really a big challenge that we will mobilize and, we will call for everyone to contribute to that,” she said.

Neira said prompt action is needed to reach that goal. For example, she says people need to stop burning solid waste and agricultural waste. She said they have to move away from fossil fuels. She said people in Africa and other areas with populations in great need must be helped to meet the goal.

Air Quality, WHO
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

“We need to liberate those three billion people that today, they are still relying on fossil fuels at the household level to cook or heat or light their house. We need to make sure that they will have access to clean sources of energy,” said Neira.

Also Read: Massive Benefits Could Be Achieved If Air Pollution Is Controlled In Asia: UN

The WHO plans to put in place a tracking system to monitor commitments made by the participants. The system is intended to gauge the progress being made toward achieving better health for all by freeing the world of air pollution. (VOA)

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Yoga: A Sacred Gift, with Love from Hinduism and India to the World

Yoga as a means of exercise for the body and mind is a deeply rooted concept of Hinduism for centuries, it is a gift from India to the world

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Yoga
Yoga as a means of exercise for the body and mind is a deeply rooted concept of Hinduism in India. Pixabay

BY Varuni Trivedi

Lord Krishna said to Arjun in the Geeta, “Restless senses, O Arjuna, forcibly carry away the mind of even a wise person striving for perfection.” Patanjali’s description of the practice of yoga after the yamas and niyamas, directs towards the pratyahara, meaning turning inward of the senses. In simple terms when one is unable to restrain the senses, they become powerless to direct their minds. No matter how well-read or wise they sound while talking, it carries little importance without the practice discipline. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ (“to yoke”) which is more literally translated as “union of the individual’s Atma or soul with Paramatma or god (the universal soul). This is often understood as a union with the divine power by the integration of body, mind, and spirit. Thus, Yoga is what imparts an internal discipline, not only to the body but also to the mind and spirit. 

 

History of the art of Yoga

Bhagavad Gita, the holy scripture of Hindus also states the importance of yoga, “Yoga is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self” it beautifully quotes. The history of Yoga is accurately is difficult to trace its has many places of obscurity and uncertainty. In those ages, texts and teaching were passed down orally. Not only was the oral transmission of sacred texts is a common occurrence but the secretive nature of its teachings was also a recurring phenomenon. Furthermore, earlier writings on yoga were transcribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed, or even lost making it difficult to trace the exact time of its inception. However, experts claim that the development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, some researchers even think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old old. 

The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred known to mankind, the Rig Veda. These Vedas are sacred Hindu texts and were a collection of songs, mantras, and rituals to be used by Brahmans and Vedic priests. Later on, Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishi munis who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, which contains 200 scriptures. However, to date, the most renowned Yogic scriptures where Yoga and its benefits are mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita which was composed in around 500 B.C.E. 

Yoga’s long rich history can be divided into four main periods of innovation, practice, and development or the pre-classic, classical, post-classical, and the modern period. Yoga as a means of exercise for the body and mind is a deeply rooted concept of Hinduism in India for centuries.  Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Raja Yoga are considered the four main yogas, but with time and development now there are many other types. 

Yoga and meditation
Yoga is more of a spiritual act and it remains a vibrant living tradition. Pixabay

 

Yoga in the modern period

Yoga is more of a spiritual act and it remains a vibrant living tradition. It is seen all across the world as a means to enlightenment for the mind and soul. In the 1800s and 1900s, yogic gurus traveled to the West, gaining attention, and followers and making Yoga more and more famous. Essentially this spread can be traced back to, 1893 when in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda left the attendees spellbound with his speech. His lectures on yoga and wellbeing were a great catalyst in spreading the word about this art. Late, in the 1920s and 30s, Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India as the work of T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, and other yogis became popular.

Krishnamacharya was the first to open a Hatha Yoga school in Mysore in 1924. Sometime later in 1936 Sivananda founded the Divine Life Society on the banks of the holy river Ganges, he aroused three students that continued his legacy and increased the popularity of Hatha Yoga. They were B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar, and Pattabhi Jois. Sivananda himself wrote over 200 books on yoga and established nine ashrams and many yoga centers across the world, making yoga popular worldwide. In the western world, the importance of yoga and its popularity soared when Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947. 

Yoga is popular in many parts of the world. Especially in the United States, yoga has become associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga, which have gained immense popularity as fitness exercises. Even though Yoga is central to Hinduism, other religions like Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, have also been greatly influenced by it throughout the world. Some of the most important Hindu texts which have laid the ground for yoga worldwide include the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

 

Yoga
The practice of Yoga asanas and meditation provides natural support to the immune system. Pixabay

Yoga and Modi

PM Modi has been a patron of yoga, practicing and propagating the idea of yoga and its importance worldwide. Recently at a yoga event called “Yoga for Peace” in Argentina’s capital Mr. Modi addressed the participants saying that the practice of Yoga connects everyone to happiness. The Prime Minister further said that if the mind is at peace, there would be peace in family, society, country, and the world as well. He went on to say that “Yoga is India’s gift to the world for health, wellness, and peace.” Yoga can be credited to connects us with wellness and happiness and bring peace of mind to many across the globe.  PM Modi further said that Yoga is bridging the vast distance between India and Argentina. It is connecting people worldwide and binding them in a positive light. PM Modi has on other occasions termed yoga as the “unifying force of the world”

Also Read: Paatal Lok and its Objectionable Motives

Yoga In the Times of Pandemic

The multiple benefits that the practice of yoga has on a person’s wellbeing are accepted all across the world. In these tough times when people are locked inside their houses as anxiety and worklessness eat them up, Yoga can be a great support. It would not only help to bring the mind at peace but also help with the body at such times when physical activity is low. Yoga could help deal with anxiety and stress which commonly surround people in a lockdown. In fact, recent studies have said that Yoga even helps in quitting smoking and other tobacco products. This can be a great time for people to quit their bad habits and turn to a path of spirituality. Yoga in every sense of the world is excellent support in these stressful times or literally every time. It brings harmony and peace not only to the mind but also to the body. 

 

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Try These Refereshing Summer Coolers At Home

You can now enjoy your favorite thirst-quenching summer coolers and beverages without compromising on the taste or on your health

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mango drinks
Try these great tasting and refreshing summer beverages. Pixabay

We are facing one of the hottest summers every recorded in the country. With these kind of temperature, it becomes extremely difficult to maintain health and stay fit. Staying hydrated is the most important factor to deal with the blistering heat. Enjoying your favourite beverages to beat the heat and proper hydration to the body sounds like a great idea. But these beverage delights come loaded with sugar and calories. Sugary beverage intake is significantly associated with a number of health issues.

Even WHO guideline recommend adults and children should reduce their daily intake of free sugar to less than 10 percent of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5 percent or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

“Believe it or not but you can now enjoy your favourite thirst quenching summer coolers and beverages without compromising on the taste or on your health. It is time to replace sugar with a natural, zero calorie and great tasting sweetener such as Stevia to make your favourite beverages healthy, hydrating and refreshing. It can be part of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to looking for ways to reduce sugar and calories for your family,” says Navneet Singh, VP Asia Pacific and Head of South Asia region at PureCircle.

Try these great tasting and refreshing summer beverages sweetened with Stevia to beat the blistering heat and enjoy summer.

Summer coolers
Make your favourite summer coolers healthy, hydrating and refreshing. Pixabay

 

GINGER MINT LEMONADE

Ingredient (1 Serving)

Water 1cup (2000ml)

Lemon -1 tablespoon

Mint -15-20 leaves

Ginger- 1 teaspoon

Sugar free green 2 e scoops

Recipe

Take a cup of water in a pan and add 1 tsp fresh ginger.

Simmer for 10 minutes at low heat then keep aside and steep for another 30 minutes.

After 30 min strain the ginger extract in a bowl.

Lightly Crush mint leaves in another bowl with help of rolling pin or in pestle mortar.

Add lemon juice, ginger extract, sugar free green & remaining water (cold).

Mix all ingredients, remove mint leaves.

Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish with a slice of lemon.

MANGO LASSI

Ingredient (1 Serving)

Mango pulp/mango slice-1cup (100g)

Curd-1/2 cup (50g)

Water-1cup (100g)

Cardamom powder-1 teaspoon (0.5g)

Sugar free green- 3 scoops

Recipe

Pour mango pulp in a blender and add curd,

cardamom powder, water & sugar free green.

Blend it for 2 min or until it form a smooth blend.

Pour blend in a glass, garnish with few mango cube shape pieces.

MANGO GINGER LEMONADE

Ingredient (1 serving)

Mango puree -1/2 cup(50ml)

Water -2cup (250ml)

Ginger shredded -1 teaspoon

Sugar free green- 3 scoops

Lemon juice -2 Table spoon

Recipe

Take half cup of water in a pan and add 1 tsp fresh ginger.

Simmer for 10 minutes at low heat then keep aside and steep for another 30 minutes.

After 30 min strain the ginger extract in a bowl.

Add lemon juice to it, then add mango puree, 3 scoop sugar free green & remaining water (cold).

Mix all ingredients with hand or blend for 10-20 sec.

Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish with mango slice.

Summer coolers
Staying hydrated is the most important factor to deal with the blistering heat. Pixabay

MANGO SHAKE

Ingredient (1 serving)

Milk 1cup (125ml)

Mango slices 3/4cup (100ml)

Sugar free green 3 scoops

Almond 2 pieces

Raisins 4 pieces

Recipe

Chopped mango slice into small pieces.

Add mango pieces, 3 scoop of sugar free green & milk into the blender.

Blend until everything mix uniformly.

Pour shake into the glass and garnish with chopped almonds and raisins.

Also Read: On World No Tobacco Day, Experts Advice To Use Lockdown To Quit Smoking

NIMBU PANI

Ingredient (1 serving)

Lemon- 1 medium size

Chilled Water- 2 glass (400ml)

Rock salt- as preferred

Mint leaves-8 leaves

Sugar free green – 4 scoop

Cumin powder- optional

Chat masala- optional

Recipe

Take chilled water in a vessel.

Slice lemon & squeeze the juice with squeezer. Discard the seed.

Add black salt, mint leaves & sugar free green.

Mix all ingredients.

Serve chilled (IANS)

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WHO Accuses Tobacco Industry of Luring Children Into Usage of Tobacco By Marketing Practices

WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices

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Children wear strings of cigarette and chewable tobacco and rehearse for a play on World No Tobacco Day in Gauhati, India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

The World Health Organization accuses the tobacco industry of devious tactics to get children and young people hooked on their deadly tobacco and nicotine products.  In advance of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), the WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices.

More than 40 million young people aged 13 to 15 smoke and use other tobacco products. The World Health Organization says the tobacco industry tries to get children and young people hooked on tobacco early in life, knowing this will turn them into life-long smokers. Unfortunately, WHO says many smokers do not live very long.  Every year, it notes millions of people have their lives cut short because of cancers, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses.

Coordinator of WHO’s No Tobacco Unit, Vinayak Prasad, says the tobacco industry invests more than $9 billion a year to advertise its products.  He says much of this huge budget targets young people with attractive promotional campaigns. “At the moment, they are spending a million dollars an hour, which is by the time we finish our press conference, that is a million dollars spent,” said Prasad.  “And, why are they doing it?  They are doing it to find replacements users.  Eight million premature deaths every year.  So, they need to find new replacements.”

WHO says the industry sets its sights on the next generation of users by targeting children and young people in markets where tobacco products are not regulated and they can be manipulated easily. WHO is launching a new kit for school students aged 13 to 17 to protect them from the tobacco industry’s exploitative practices.  WHO Director of Health Promotion, Ruediger Krech says the kit alerts young people to the industry’s devious tactics and teaches them to say no.

Smoking Tobacco
WHO tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries. Pixabay

“The tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries, e-cigarette flavors that attract youth in like bubble-gum and candy, e-cigarette representatives presenting in schools, and product placement in popular youth streaming shows,” said Krech.

WHO is calling on all sectors of society to prevent the tobacco industry from preying on youth.  To reach a young audience, the agency is spreading its no tobacco message on  TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media. Health officials urge schools, celebrities and influencers to reject all offers of sponsorship from the industry.  They call on TV and streaming services to stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen.

Also Read: Read PM Modi’s Letter To Indians amid COVID war

They say governments should ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship and should enact strict tobacco control laws. (VOA)