Sunday, November 23, 2014

Panchaamritam 261

Amavaasya / KALI YUGABDA 5116 / Jaya Karthigai 6 (November 22, 2014)
The draft resolution for an 'International Day of Yoga' was prepared by India and informal consultations were convened in October, 2014 by the Indian mission in the UN General Assembly where views on the topic were expressed by other delegations. The draft resolution was finalsed with 130 countries co-sponsoring it, an all-time record for a resolution of such kind. The draft resolution, expected to come up for adoption in the General Assembly on December 10, 2014, would recognise that "yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being," echoing India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in his maiden address to the 193-member UNO in September, 2014. Modi had asked world leaders to adopt an International Yoga Day, saying that by changing lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. "Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and wellbeing," he had said. The resolution would also proclaim June 21 as the 'International Day of Yoga'. It would recognise that wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population. Yoga is the 5,000-year-old Indian physical, mental and spiritual practice that aim to transform body and mind. Based on a report in THE HINDU, November 14, 2014. [Central Minister Shri Ananth Kumar, himself a staunch practitioner of Yoga, had promised, on June 21, 2014, to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the concerned Minister to request him to pressurize the United Nations Organization (UNO) to declare 21st June as the World Yoga Day, according to a report in Yoga Sudha, July, 2014.]
Cow protection activists across the country and abroad have an unexpected supporter in the form of Sunni cleric from the house of Barelvis, Maulana Tauqeer Raza. He has called for closure of meat factories and threatened to go on a fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi if this is not done. Terming the meat factories as the biggest killers of cows in the country, the Maulana said, "Islam states that the milk of a cow is like 'amrit' (nector) but its meat is 'zeher' (poison); but look, the factories are exporting meat to Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Even the calves are not spared by unscrupulous meat exporters who do not care that in their bid to meet the target of exporting meat. Pressing for closure of meat factories, Tauqeer Raza said he feels stopping the slaughtering of cows would reduce price of milk by half ". He said it is a wrong notion that Muslims in India consume cow meat; it is prohibited by Shariat, which explicitly states that it should not be consumed as it is full of diseases. When asked what made him take up the issue of cow slaughter, the cleric said, "This region (Bareilly – Rohilkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bharat) has become notorious as red meat corridor of the country with almost daily seizures of cattle for illegal slaughtering. Based on a report in news portal NEWS BHARATI, November 15, 2014.
For the third successive year, cadets from National Defence Academy (NDA) have excelled in the world arena with podium finish at an international competition on the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) for military academies. Held at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy, the contest was based on Geneva Conventions and the international humanitarian law, a branch of International Law. Chief of Integrated Staff Committee of the tri-services Lt Gen H S Lidder met the NDA team and congratulated them for their outstanding performance. Cadet Harshwardan Pathak was adjudged the second best in the individual category and Cadet Ritwik Sankrit bagged the second prize in the team category, a Ministry of Defence release said. A total of 28 military academies from 18 countries including the US, South Africa, France, Israel, Ireland and Canada took part in the competition. Khadakvasla-based NDA (Maharashtra, Bharat) was adjudged the third best academy in the world. Other members of the team were Cadet Yogender Kathayat and their guide Major G Dogra. "India is also likely to field more teams from Army, Navy and Air Force academies in the coming years," the release said.                                              Based on a report in, June 03, 2008
Dr. Kalyani Gomathinayagam is a young Indian doctor who volunteered to spend four weeks in Foya, Liberia (west Africa) during September-October, 2014, helping those suffering and dying of Ebola, the awful epidemic. While her family -- parents, sister, nephews -- was bringing in Dussehra, and later Diwali in Madurai (Tamilnadu, Bharat), Kalyani was one and a half continents away in Foya, a border town in central Liberia, valiantly struggling through her Ebola-affected patient load. She was one of the few doctors, and likely the only Indian, who had volunteered to work in that region treating victims At the Medecins Sans Frontieres-run makeshift tent hospital, she and her colleagues -- they were three doctors and 125 medical personnel on the team -- in their cumbersome special protective gear, horribly stifling in the west African heat, were planning the daily rounds of their 100-120 patients. Kalyani, who has seen her share of tough assignments in epidemic- and illness-prone parts of the world like Haiti (post the earthquake), Ivory Coast, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, feels that treating and aiding the Ebola affected has been her most challenging and emotionally taxing assignment till date. Kalyani is no stranger to practising medicine in rough situations. After her medical training in Madurai, and working in rural Kerala, she opted to spend a decade working as a medical officer with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at extremely isolated regions on the border, including remote places in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, as well as a stint, once, on the Kailas-Mansarovar yatra route at Kunji Post. “The most heartening news is that for the past one month they have not recorded any new case coming from Foya. There are some cases in the periphery -- in other districts. On the whole I think the community has really participated a lot in bringing the epidemic under control in Foya. That’s a good sign.”
From an interview to Shri Vaihayasi Pande Daniel of (November, 2014)
This is the story of a group of women who decided to go in for a full clean up act in their villages. Arati Behara, Anusuya Sahoo, Rajalaxmi Sethi, and Ammbu Behara are part of a brigade called the Whistle Bahini, drawn from various Self Help Groups in different villages of Jagannath Prasad block in Ganjam district (Odisha, Bharat). They have launched an all-out offensive against open defecation. Every day, from 4 am to 6 am and then again from 4 pm to 8 pm, 30 women leave their household chores to take on a task they feel merits their urgent and undivided attention. Armed with whistles they fulfil their duty sincerely, reprimanding those who don’t listen to them. Apart from blowing the whistle, we plant the holy Tulsi plant on either side of the main block road. (Along the road they patrol, nearly 1,000 students and 500-600 people walk by every day).  Next on their agenda is to motivate families to build a toilet in their homes and also put them to good use. According to Census 2011, against a national average of 69.3 per cent, 85.9 per cent households in rural Odisha do not have a latrine. We planted nearly 1,000 saplings as we knew that people would never go for open defection near the Tulsi because we worship it,” reveals a member of the Whistle Bahini. This move finally had the desired effect. Within a span of one month – the movement began in September 2014 – the number of people coming to the main road to relieve themselves has come down drastically. However, this has led to a serious issue: if they can’t go to the main road and they don’t have a toilet in their home where would they go to answer nature’s call? To get over this hurdle, for now, the women have identified some faraway fields that people can use. At the same time, the move to push through applications for making toilets has been undertaken on a war footing. Of course, the Whistle Bahinis haven’t let down their guard yet. In fact, to do some rigorous night rounds they have asked the local police to station a couple of constables with them. The group is happy that their block road is now completely open defection free. Based on a report by Smt Rakhi Ghosh for Women’s Feature Service, republished in, November 19, 2014.