OMG! This Drought Affected Village Never Faces Water-Scarcity Crisis

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Falling under the drought prone zone of Maharashtra, the village Hiware Bazar in Ahmednagar district fought all odds and emerged as a water conservator.

There was a time when Hiware Bazar faced major water scarcity but not until 1990 when the village used government funds to regenerate its natural resources. Soon the village had a system in place to conserve water. This system included rainwater harvesting, digging trenches around hills, afforestation and building percolation tanks.

The farmers in the village replaced excess water-absorbing sugarcane and bananas with vegetables, fruits and pulses that requires a lesser amount of water.

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Having mentioned in PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme, this village is self-sufficient and not a single household is below the poverty line. In fact, more than 60 families are millionaires here.

An alcohol free village, it surely sets a strong example for other parts of rural India.

Just wondering if they would let in an immigrant like me! Who wouldn’t want to stay in this village.

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Major Worry! Brazil’s Loopholes Flash Ahead of Rio Olympics

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While the wait for the world’s biggest sports event, the Olympic Games, is shrinking as days pass by, Brazil is in serious worry now. So many factors have drowned into the country that hosting such a prestigious affair seems like a risk.

Economy at Stake!

With less than 100 days to go, Brazil’s economy is in a total fix. The Brazilian currency has lost 40% of its value as compared to the dollar. Moreover, 2016 will be the third consecutive year when the government couldn’t pay back creditors. This is the worst economic crisis that Brazil has faced since 1930s.

Dirty Water

Water bodies that will source the Olympic competitions are polluted with raw sewage. It is definitely not in a condition for athletes to use. Does that mean sailors and swimmers have to start wearing anti-pollution masks now?

The creepy Zika virus

The mosquito-borne disease Zika, which is transmitted from pregnant women to the fetus, has caught more than 1.5 million people in Brazil last year. WHO estimates an increase in Zika cases by the end of 2016.

Zika virus has already reduced Brazil tourism and with the upcoming Olympics, it is a serious concern. However, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has announced that her government is working on a Zika virus vaccine.

Poor Infrastructure

Brazil is facing various infrastructural challenges like delayed stadium construction and transportation issues.

Brazil is working its ass out to sort its crisis situation and use this golden opportunity to play host to the grand Olympic Games. We just hope things go well on both sides of the court!

Hindu College Girls’ Hostel Finally! But Why Poke Fun on The Gender?

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Suranjana Das

How I wish there was a hostel for us too, when I was studying at Hindu College! We envied the boys enjoying their ‘privileges’ at the hostel with hardly any or no restrictions, a fine-looking hostel campus, and super delectable food. The best part was we girls could drop by at the pantry anytime to pamper our taste buds, especially the Sunday Biryani for lunch!

Now that a girls’ hostel is being planned, I just wish to go back to college. No, wait! Before we could express our joy, we hear about some unpleasant revelations. The fee structure of the women’s hostel is 3 times that of men’s. A sheer reflection of gender inequality!

To add to this, some weird rules and regulations?! Deadlines and more deadlines! By 8.30 pm girls have to be inside the hostel gates, 10 pm when they have to switch off the TV, 11 pm- they have to lock themselves inside the room!

My beloved college, please don’t do this to women! We are already crushed in the clichés of society. At least give us the liberty to be ourselves inside our college and hostel premises. After all, this is where we prepare to be leaders.

 

Canadian Hostage Beheaded! Where the F*** is Humanity?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just now confirmed the killing of Canadian citizen John Ridsdel who has been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group for months in the Philippines. At a press conference, Trudeau called this horrifying incident “an act of cold blooded murder”.

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Source: Twitter/JBR10000

Ridsdel was taken hostage from a tourist resort along with three others by the Islamist militants last September. They had appeared in a video appealing for their release.

After more than six months, Ridsdel’s severed head was found on an island in Southern Philippines hours after the deadline of Abu Sayyaf ransom passed.

This is absolutely insane and inhumane!

Funded by al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf is a group fighting for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines. They have many other foreign nationals as hostage.

Oh Good Lord! It’s His Birthday

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Known as the master blaster of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar created a craze for cricket not just in India but around the world. Today on his 43rd birthday, let’s sway through the life of the legend.

Tendulkar was named after a music director

He was born in a Marathi family. His father Ramesh Tendulkar, a well-known Marathi novelist, named Tendulkar after his favourite music director, Sachin Dev Burman.

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 Tendulkar was a bully

When he was a child, Tendulkar was considered a bully and often picked up fights with new kids in his school.

 Tendulkar’s most prized possession are 13 coins

Whenever he was exhausted at practice, Tendulkar’s coach Ramakant Achrekar would place a one-rupee coin on the top of the stumps. If Tendulkar passed the whole session without getting dismissed, he would win the coin, otherwise the bowler gets it. This way he collected 13 coins which are now his most prized possession.

Tendulkar served as a ball boy

He was made a ball boy in the 1987 Cricket World Cup when India played against England in the semifinal in Mumbai. Who knew he would make India win the World Cup 24 years later!

 Tendulkar was a substitute fielder

Although he was selected to represent Mumbai in the 1987-88 Ranji Trophy, he was not selected for the final 11 in any of the matches and was often used as a substitute fielder.

 At a very young age, Tendulkar ruled cricket

He took up cricket at the age of 11, made his Test debut against Pakistan at 16 and represented Mumbai domestically and India internationally at 24.

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It was love at first sight for Tendulkar and his wife Anjali

Tendulkar was returning from his first international cricket tour in 1990 and met Anjali at the Mumbai airport who came to receive her mother. Their eyes met and smiles were passed. They instantly fell in love!

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Tendulkar is the only player to score 100 international centuries

His total of 51 centuries in Test matches and 49 in One Day Internationals are world records for the highest number of centuries by a batsman. He is also the first batsman to score a double century in an ODI, the holder of the record for the number of runs in both ODI and Test cricket

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Tendulkar is the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket

He became the first cricketer to make 30,000 international runs, on the final day of the first Test between India and Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad.

 Tendulkar has a die-hard fan

He has so millions of fans but there is something special about this one fan – Sudhir Kumar Gautam. You’ll recognize this fan through his tri-colored body paint. In 2003, Gautam forcefully met Tendulkar (literally fell on his feet) and managed to get himself invited to Tendulkar’s home. Ever since, Gautam is invited to every match India plays.

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Tendulkar was the first group captain at the Indian Air Force without aviation degree

He was the first sportsperson and the first person without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of group captain by the Indian Air Force.

Happy Birthday the God of Cricket!

102 Days to Rio Olympics! Look Out for This Promising Indian Gymnast

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Ever since India’s debut in the Summer Olympic Games in 1920, there has been no looking back for the nation. Indian athletes have appeared in every edition.

This time too, India is all set to create history with victories at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (5th to 21st August) with 76 sportspersons. Out of these, one name that has already found a place in history is Dipa Karmakar. She became the first Indian female gymnast to secure an Olympic spot in 52 years.

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Hailing from Agartala, Karmakar started practicing gymnastics at the age of 6 under the coaching of veteran Bisbeshwar Nandi. Karmakar was flat-footed which is not a good sign for a gymnast, but Nandi drove her to overcome her challenges and stand tall as a winner.

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This is not the first time Karmakar made history. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, she became the first Indian female to win a bronze medal in gymnastics. She also won a bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, both a first for the country.

Heights of Cuteness! Lil Prince George Meets the Obamas in His Bathrobe

A perfect end to the day is to see cute little Prince George meet President Obama in his bathrobe. Yes you heard it right, see the pictures for yourself!

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Source: Instagram/kensingtonroyal

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Source: Instagram/kensingtonroyal

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Source: Instagram/kensingtonroyal

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were visiting Kensington Palace for dinner with Princes William and Harry, and Kate Middleton. The dinner charmed up when 2 year old Prince George made a surprise appearance in the hallway wearing a white, fluffy robe just before his sleep time. Looking comfortable and smiling with glittering eyes, the tiny tot thanked President Obama for the rocking horse that was gifted to him when he was born.

George’s baby sister Princess Charlotte has been apparently already fast asleep.

From Indira Gandhi to Narendra Modi, India Comes a Long Way at Madame Tussauds

 

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PM Modi with his wax statue

Next week, PM Narendra Modi’s wax statue will be standing tall at Madame Tussauds, London. Modi will be the second Indian PM after Indira Gandhi to acquire this prestigious space.

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Indira Gandhi wax statue

Three of Modi’s wax figures have been on display in Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok since 21st April.

Other noted Indian personalities who have their wax doubles in Madame Tussauds:

Gandhi wax

Mahatma Gandhi wax statue

 

Amitabh wax

Amitabh Bachchan with his wax statue

 

Aish wax

Aishwarya Rai with her wax statue

 

Madhuri wax

Madhuri Dixit with her wax statue

 

SRK wax

Shah Rukh Khan with his wax statue

 

Salman wax

Salman Khan with his wax statue

 

Sachin wax

Sachin Tendulkar with his wax statue

 

Kareena wax

Kareena Kapoor with her wax statue

 

Hrithik wax

Hrithik Roshan with his wax statue

 

Katrina wax

Katrina Kaif with her wax statue

 

This is a moment of pride for India! We wish to see more and more wax installations of Indians at Madame Tussauds.

Unearth the Meaning of Earth Day at Sadhana Forest

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Benazir Suraiya

If you go by literal terms, ‘Sadhana’ is a means of accomplishing something. At Sadhana Forest, I attained salvation, peace and my relationship with nature!

Today on World Earth Day, let me ferry you through the eco-friendly and vegan paradise – the magnificent Sadhana Forest.

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A few months ago, I decided to explore my true self and reach out to places that relate to my existence. Sadhana Forest in the outskirts of Auroville, Pondicherry was just the apt destination.

Spread across 70 acres of land, the forest does justice to its name. The trees stood tall, the air was pure and the entire atmosphere was translucent. All taken care of by its volunteers from across the globe!

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Founded in 2003 by Yorit and Aviram Rozin, the ultimate aim of Sadhana Forest is to show a way of life to people by sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism.

In the middle of the forest, there was a community hall where all the volunteers gather for their meals, discuss important issues, watch documentaries and show their talent (or no talent).

The forest believes in eco-living and so it runs on solar energy. But even on solar, it conserves electricity as only the community hall and the kitchen had a couple of lights. There are no fans, so the mud pool is a big savior during summers.

Water conservation is another issue that Sadhana Forest focuses on.

The hut that I lived in had a unique beauty in itself. Made up of bamboos and coconut leaves, the simplicity of the hut was mesmerizing. After a tiring day, a hut like this was all I wanted to rejuvenate myself.

The forest was home to many birds and animals. The view from my hut was a flock of dancing peacock.

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A day at Sadhana Forest included yoga and sevas (services). In sevas, I chose plantation, cutting of firewood, cleaning the forest and cooking a vegan meal.

Sadhana Forest taught me the true meaning of giving. We take so much from nature and how often do we return our gratitude! It was a lifetime experience that I would want to live again and again, and want to give again and again.

A walk through the forest

Hope You Have a Better Life in Heaven, Shaktimaan!

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Of late, humanity has gone for a toss. Forget about humans, even animals can’t live in solidarity in the presence of beasts like MLA Ganesh Joshi.

After losing her leg to the torture bestowed by MLA Joshi at BJP rally, Shaktimaan had a tough time trying to get used to her prosthetic leg. She couldn’t survive!

On Wednesday, Shaktimaan passed away. At least she will find peace in heaven!

Celebrities expressed their grief on social media in abundance:

Actor and BJP MP Hema Malini

Hema tweet

Cricketer Virat Kohli

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Actor and Producer John Abraham

 John tweet

Actor Jacqueline Fernandez

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Actor Sonakshi Sinha

 Sonakshi tweet

Actor and former model Neha Dhupia

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Designer Anita Dongre

 Anita Dongtre tweet

RIP Shaktimaan! See you playing with your mates in paradise.