Authors Posts by S T

S T

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Kalki Koechlin has always been one of the few Bollywood actresses who have broken stereotypes, stepped out of the boundaries, and broken the conventional norms. In fact, she’s not only limited to a typical Bollywood actress. She is a multi-faceted personality who is a theatre actor, and activist, a poet, and now, she’s even a travel show host. Yes!

Kalki, along with her father Joel, who is a biker and a photographer, have set off on a road trip to the Northeast of the country, for a travel show for Fox Life channel. The father-daughter duo has travelled almost 4000 km on their bikes, and their journey has resulted in some breathtaking pictures! Check them out:

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What would you demand if we can ask for anything in the whole world? Probably we would ask something that would benefit us or our family?

22-year-old Faith Kipyegon from Kenya who earned a gold in Rio for winning the 1,500-metre women’s race, just requested for the basic amenity of electricity in her village that hasn’t had electricity since it was settled in 1980. Unfortunately, no one from her family or village couldn’t even watch her gold-winning performance in Rio.

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Now her father has appealed to the president to provide an electric connection in their village. He wants to see his daughter run and win more medals for the country.

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The government didn’t take much time and took quick measures to provide them electricity. Within nine days, the village got wired completely. When Faith Kipyegon returned to Kenya, she found out her village had been connected to a power supply. Samsung has also promised to gift Faith’s father a television set soon so that he never misses another performance by his daughter.

 

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No matter how broke you’re, Parle G biscuits is a savior! If you’re hungry, nothing can match a cup of piping hot chai with Parle G Biscuits. And even though the quality of cover has changed, the design has not changed much.

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There were a lot of reports that claimed that the girl on the packet is Neeru Deshpandey from Nagpur. However, a few days ago a post on Quora had a user who actually asked who the Parle G kid actually is.

One of the answers to the post had a picture that claimed that the picture belonged to Neeru Deshpandey and it was clicked when she was 4 years 3 months old.

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Apart from Neeru, few names like Sudha Murthy and Gunjan Gundaniya too were said to be the kid who featured on the cover. However, amongst the three, Deshpande became insanely popular as a regional newspaper carried her picture with a short write up that claimed that she belonged to Nagpur.

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There were stories that claimed that Neeru got the cover after a casual picture of hers that her father clicked got noticed and was later chosen to be put on the cover.

And later on, the Parle-G’s Wikipedia page too had a piece of information that claimed the name of the girl is ‘Gunjan Gundaniya’. Claiming that the little girl on Parle G wrapper is not real, the Quora user Anupam wrote:

“You must have read the stories that Parle-G girl is actually Niru Deshpande and she’s 60 now, but that’s not true! The Illustration of this girl was made way back in 1960 by Everest Creatives.”

However, to clear all the airs regarding these hoaxes, Mayank Shah, group product manager at Parle Products revealed the actual truth behind the girl. He revealed that it was yet another case of baseless rumors and grapevine and how people cooked up stories and names about the kid.

Hah, finally the curious case of Parle G girl has been cracked.

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning for the launch of a record 68 satellites in one year next year.

“We got fresh orders to launch 68 satellites from various countries, including 12 from PlanetiQ, a US-based weather forecasting satellite firm,” said Rakesh Sasibhushan, Chairman and Managing Director of Antrix Corporation.

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Most of these satellites are nano-satellites and they will be launched within the next six months.

“We also got an order to launch a heavier earth observation satellite from an overseas customer”, said Sasibhushan without naming the customer.

ISRO, through Antrix has launched 74 foreign satellites so far, earning a revenue of $80.6 million in the last three years.

PSLV C-34 taks off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Wednesday ISRO launched into orbit 20 satellites in one go through its PSLV C-34 rocket. 22-06-2016 Photo B A Raju

Earlier this year, ISRO had created history, after it successfully launched 20 satellites, including its own earth observation satellite of the Cartosat-2 series, in a single mission.

Sasibhushan added that with the increase in number of satellites across the world, the organisation has a huge market in the coming years.

“We estimate that about 2,500 satellites will be built in the next decade to meet the needs of countries and private customers for navigation, maritime, surveillance and other space-based applications,”

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ISRO, however, will face competition from global players such as BlueOrigin, Firefly Systems, Rocket Lab and SpaceX, which are bracing up to offer cheaper satellite launch services from 2017.

 

 

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“It has been a year since I saw this heart warming incident. I don’t have any pics but still, would like to share it. This incident is about a poor woman with her child inside Hatia station.

It was a very depressing and stressed moment for me as my aunty died suddenly and my mother was hospitalized and no one was with her. So I and my father were in a hurry to reach my hometown from Bangalore. After a flight from Banglore to Ranchi, we were waiting for our train impatiently when I saw this.

I was sitting on a bench just praying God everything to be ok till we reach home, suddenly a poor woman came with her child and spreaded a shawl in the platform. She seemed to be mentally challenged. Then for about 15mins she kept on searching her potli and took out a brand new Horlicks bottle. Then she made her child eat Horlicks with her own hands forcefully as she was not ready to eat. Then she cuddled her child and both slept. She was having a wound in her leg and flies were sitting over it and this was disturbing her. Now, what I saw made me smile forgetting about my stress. Suddenly her child woke up and dragged a cloth with her mouth from the potli and covered her wound so that she can sleep peacefully.
This wasn’t the end of love. The child crawled near the woman’s head and forced her mother to sleep on her stomach (which will be a pillow).

You guys whoever must be thinking why I am sharing this normal story as every mother-child has same love… BUT this story is different.

Do you want to know who that child was?

A simple STRAY DOG for us but a daughter and saviour to that mentally challenged woman.

When some children are there who leave their old parents alone, this animal became a support to a poor woman who was not in a condition to take care of herself. And a woman who might not have taken any food was feeding her dog Horlicks.”

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“It was a sunny afternoon. As everyone knows how difficult does it get sometimes to convince an auto driver in Delhi to go by meter, I was in a similar state of mind when I approached this auto driver. As soon as I was about to pick up the battle of arguing with him to go by meter, he turned around by himself and switched it on.

A voice came from the front seat, Sure mam. Where do you want to go?

At first, I was a bit taken aback. Then I couldn’t resist praising him for being able to speak the language so fluently. He thanked me and said that he had recently started driving this auto. Before that, he worked in the hotel industry, which was probably where he learned to speak English with high fluency.

He was a fairly handsome looking man, wearing a sweatshirt paired along with black corduroy pants. He was tall and partly bald and to say the least, quite well mannered.

He caught my attention and I started probing him about his background. Wow, it must be a very different experience for you to drive an auto all of a sudden?

He laughed a bit.

I spent a good 18 years in the hotel industry and had to finally put a resignation.

How come? Why would you do that?

I wanted to take care of my two year old son at home. Driving an auto is more of an autonomous job. I am my own boss. I can choose when I want to drive. It gives me a lot of time which I can then spend with my son.

Oh so where is your son now?

He is at the crèche. I am going to drive till 5:00 pm and then go pick up my wife from work and then we will go to pick our son. My wife works at the Lalit Hotel. That is where we first met. It was all very rosy in the beginning. It was a love marriage. She hails from South India and I am a Punjabi.

He seemed to smile from what I could see of him in the rear view mirror. Then, he became quiet for a while.

Money is a very important thing, mam. We did not save a lot of money in our initial days after marriage and I regret it today. So, me and my wife decided to figure out a plan wherein both of us can start to work, earn and save but still be able to spend quality time with our son. Now that he is another member in the family. We cannot leave him alone with the aaya, you know.

Hmmm… wow, I said after gaining some insight about him.

You know mam, leaving our son to the aaya was really not the best idea. We hated it from the beginning but we did not know any other way. Instead of my wife leaving her job to take care of our son at home, we decided otherwise. I chose to leave my job and take up this work for the time being. It pays me quite well. I can earn 30 to 40 thousand per month comfortably, that too, at my own discretion.

I remained quiet for some time and then I tried to gather my thoughts. For a moment, it occurred to me that he is merely concocting a story but for another moment, I found even the story to be quite interesting given that it’s a man’s world. Isn’t it? It brought an array of questions to my mind, and here they are:

In a hypothetical situation like that, how many men would be willing to do something like that?
How many men would be willing to leave their job to take up a profession, which will not boost their egos?
How many men would be willing to earn a little bit less in comparison to their wives?
How many men would say, I want to spend quality time with my son even if it requires me to leave my job at the moment?
How many men would demand and fight for a paternity leave system in their office?

Especially when the chosen, primitive and comfortable formula has always been, “I bring the money; you take care of the household chores.”

Hats off to this man. Thank you for breaking a stereotype around gender, even if it is in your own personal space.”

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It may not have been at the Olympics but a gold medal is a gold medal.

Introducing India’s centenarian runner Man Kaur, who despite being the only competitor in her age category, finished her race to win the medal at the Americas Masters Games.

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Kaur needed one-and-a-half minutes to finish the 100-meter sprint. When she crossed the finish line in Vancouver, she was applauded by her competitors, most of whom were in theirs 70s and 80s.

By winning the gold, Kaur has become a worldwide inspiration for athletes over 30 who participate in the games.

“When she wins, she goes back to India, and she’s excited to tell others, ‘I have won so many medals from this country’,” said Kaur’s son Gurdev Singh (78).

“Winning makes her happy,” he added.

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Kaur, who has previously won gold medals in shot put and javelin, was all smiles after finishing her race. The victorious woman raised her hands in the air and when asked how she felt, she took a moment to catch her breath and gulp down some much-needed water.

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It was Singh who persuaded his mother to take up running at the age of 93. “I asked her. ‘You have no problem, no knee problem, no heart problem, you should start running,'” he said.

Kaur has won over 20 medals in the regional games that are held around the world. Kaur, who lives in Chandigarh, ensures that she goes for short-distance runs every evening.

She also believes that older women should take up the sport.

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“She encourages them, old ladies, that they should run, they should not eat wrong foods, and they should encourage their children also to take part in the Games,” Singh added.

 

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The hype of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar presenting BMWs to those who did India proud in Rio has been high for the last couple of days.

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PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Pullela Gopichand were each gifted a car and the keys were handed over by Sachin. Yes, this point is important, just the keys were handed over by him.

Why is this relevant? Due to the fact that the man who bought the BMWs is Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeshwarnath.

All the three Olympians and the cricketing legend along with national badminton coach Gopichand came together under one roof at P. Gopichand Nimmagadda Prasad Badminton Academy in Hyderabad where the BMWs were gifted to them in recognition of their Rio feats.

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Under Gopichand’s coaching Sindhu won a silver in badminton. Sakshi clinched bronze in wrestling while Dipa came 4th in the gymnastics vault finals.

Shobhaa De was once again on the internet as she asked was Sachin the one who paid for the cars. She also seemed concerned that such money was being splurged on expensive cars.

However, it must be remembered, not anytime did Sachin claim to have bought the BMWs himself. After all he is the BMW brand ambassador, so it is hardly a surprise that he handedover the keys. He did the same when Saina Nehwal won a bronze back in 2012.

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So may be it is a storm being raised for no reason? In fact is there a storm at all? Hardly likely for only a minority in this country would question the integrity of a man who is revered no less than a God in India.

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While Pullela Gopichand, coach of Rio Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu is being showered upon with both, accolades as well as the money, Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik’s coach Kuldeep Malik still largely remains an unsung hero.

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Though Sakshi Malik, his disciple is enjoying the deserved fame and accolades, but unlike Pullela Gopichand who accompanies Sindhu to all felicitation ceremonies, Kuldeep Malik chooses to remain behind the curtains despite his feat being equally colossal to that of Gopichand’s.

“I made 1.3 billion people feel proud and no reward can match this feat”

He cherishes the moments when Sakshi won the Bronze and she hurled the tri-colour while sitting on his shoulders. “My disciple ended India’s nightmare at Rio with a Bronze and the memories of the way India celebrated that medal is something I would love to carry to my grave. No amount of reward is bigger than those moments. I saw on TV that how people were celebrating Sakshi’s victory and no reward is bigger than making 1.3 billion people feel proud in one go,” Said a jubilant Kuldeep Malik.

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No cash reward till now

While his disciple Sakshi Malik is being showered upon of loads of money, Kuldeep Malik remains largely empty handed. Till now neither the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has declared any reward for him, nor any other institution. Though Haryana government had declared cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for Kuldeep, but unlike Sakshi who was given the cheque of Rs 2.5 crore from CM ML Khattar during her felicitation, Kuldeep didn’t get anything despite being present on the same stage.

Vinesh was unlucky otherwise we would have got another medal

Vinesh Phogat, a champion wrestler who got injured during her second bout at Rio was favourite for winning the medal and Kuldeep too believes that it was her misfortune otherwise she could have even won gold. “Vinesh was unlucky otherwise the kind of form she was in, one more medal was certain. In her first bout as well, she had got minor injury in hand, but she defeated her rival 11-0 which shows how prepared she was. In second bout, she got both ligaments of her right knee broken. I was certain of a medal from her and it could have been gold because she was in red hot form. ” added Kuldeep.

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Kuldeep is disheartened for Vinesh but not disappointed. He believes that Vinesh is a champion material and will rise in Tokyo. “It will take another six months for her to recover from injury. But since she is very dedicated, she will rise to her best form soon and if destiny doesn’t forsake her much like Rio, she will win medal at Tokyo,” added Kuldeep.

“I won’t let Sakshi lose her focus”

Sakshi Malik, now a days is busy in enjoying her success. Cash rewards, BMW car, accolades, new job offers and many other benefits are flocking in from left, right and centre. Such an unprecedented amount of success often derails an athlete from the path of hard work, but Kuldeep says that he won’t let Sakshi lose focus from her goal to be a champion wrestler.

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“These are her moments to enjoy after such an unprecedented success. She deserves these moments and I don’t wanna disturb her, but once done with celebrations, awards, rewards, cars and this galore, I would again employ her in the grueling schedule, she was under a couple of month ago. I will remain her coach even if she joins job with Haryana government and leaves her job with railways. I won’t let her lose focus,” added Kuldeep Malik.

 

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Sometimes help presents itself from unexpected corners. Remember Dana Majhi – the Odisha man who walked 12 km with his wife’s dead body on his shoulder? He has just been offered help from none other than the Prime Minister of Bahrain.

Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa was so upset by Dana Majhi’s plight that he decided to extend financial support to the man and his family.

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The world can take notice of an Indian man in distress but as Indians, we are not even close to even acknowledging the poor man’s plight.

Reported by The Gulf Daily News, “His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa read about the man, who carried his wife’s body for 12 km after the hospital where she died allegedly failed to provide an ambulance for her to be sent back to their village.”

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The Gulf Daily News also became aware “that the Premier was so upset by the news that he felt he had to do something to help. He could not just stand by and do nothing about such suffering. The Prime Minister’s office contacted Bahrain’s Indian Embassy, and, in an extraordinary humanitarian gesture has donated a sum of money to help the man and his family.”

It is not known how much money the Prince has decided to offer.

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A famous statistician once said, “Without data you are just another person with an opinion”. Currently, we know that 70 years after gaining independence, India is progressing at a consistent pace. This makes us believe that the country must be improving on most of the basic parameters like poverty, hunger, education and income. But the findings of a recent survey have indicated something different. IndiaSpend website reports that according to data collected by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) in 2012, people in rural areas are consuming fewer nutrients than they were consuming 40 years back.

Findings of the survey:

The NNMB conducted their first survey in 1975-79. Compared to that period, a rural Indian now consumes 550 fewer calories and 13 gm protein, 5 mg iron, 250 mg calcium and about 500 mg vitamin A lesser. Further, children below the age of three are consuming, on an average, 80 ml of milk per day instead of the 300 ml they require. As a result, 35% of rural men and women surveyed were found to be undernourished, and 42% of children were underweight.

The survey was done in 2012 in 10 states of India: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. A total of 86,898 individuals were covered from 1200 villages. It was the fourth survey carried out by the government organisation since the first one in 1975-79.

Reasons for the downslide:

The NNMB survey revealed that, over 40 years, the proportion of landless people in rural areas grew from 30% to 40%, and the proportion of people who were owners and cultivators decreased by almost half. Furthermore, food inflation in India increased at a faster rate than overall inflation (10% versus 6.7%). As a result, more and more rural Indians were not growing food for themselves but were forced to buy vegetables at higher prices.

Possible implications:

An unhealthy and undernourished population is definitely not a good sign for a promising economy. A World Bank report notes, “there is an appreciable impact of undernutrition on productivity so that a failure to invest in combating nutrition reduces potential economic growth.” As the nation attracts foreign companies to set up factories and offices here, it needs a productive workforce. With as much as 70% people living in rural areas, the nutrient-deprived population will impede the success of initiatives like Make in India and Skill India.

What can be done:

The good news is that malnutrition levels have been declining over the years. Although in absolute terms, they are still among the highest in the world as per IndiaSpend, yet there seems to be some progress in this area. The nutritional value of the food consumed, however, is degrading as found in the NNMB survey. Hence, there is a need to enable balanced diets that can provide sufficient nutrients to people. Unfortunately, the NNMB was discontinued by the Central government in 2015. Going forward, a mechanism to monitor the nutrition levels among people has to be developed; otherwise, we wouldn’t ever come to know how the health schemes are faring and how equitably the fruits of development are being reaped.