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FDCI and LFW come together to battle COVID-19 crisis

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New Delhi, April 2 : To help fight the repercussions of the nationwide lockdown in order to contain the ongoing pandemic, the fashion fraternity has come together to lend support for those most affected by it.

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) has set up COVID-19 Support Fund (CSF by FDCI), which is supported by the who’s who of the industry. The latest to a long list of names of contributors is the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW).

Sunil Sethi, Chairman, FDCI, commented: “We started this initiative a week ago where the seed money was put in by the board members and we were encouraged by certain eminent designers who also offered some support without us seeking support. Support to the cause started coming from all the directions, including non-industry members as well. It is a joint effort, started by the FDCI where we have got support from the LFW team and we are happy about that.”

“In this time of crisis, our fraternity has to come together. LFW’s support is very much welcomed and we respect the fact that they have come forth in a very positive way. This sends a very positive message to the industry that we are one in times of a crisis,” Sethi added.

Jaspreet Chandok, Head of lifestyle business, IMG Reliance commented: “In these depressed times, we feel it is important for the industry to stand together rather than be divided. We are glad that the FDCI has started this fund and we hope that it will help assist some of the most talented young designers to weather these difficult times. We hope this endorsement will lead to better fundraising at their end and we are sure the FDCI will make the right decisions in its usage.”

Chandok further stated, “Additionally we will be looking at further support and input measures for the industry from our end when Lakme Fashion Week happens later in the year once we can also assess the overall impact.”

The FDCI is working on the criteria by which it will select recipients of the fund. But mostly young designers who have been in the industry for a couple of years will be selected, informed Sethi.

“Until the lockdown period is up, nobody is aware what is going to be the repercussion of that. After that if the sales are slow, if the shops are not getting any customers, if the orders are cancelled and if the stocks keep piling up – it is for that time that. We are laying out the criteria. A lawyer is on board and the FDCI team is coming up with various suggestions. But it will mostly be opened for the younger designer who has been there for a year or two and has been involved either as a FDCI member or even if they have taken part in other shows or they have a collection. It is not for somebody who is going to be a start-up.

He added: “Qualified people will decide who will be the recipients and this will be a transparent process. We have also proposed to make it a trust.”

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])

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Salman Khan is brand ambassador of reality music league

The music league will have six teams representing different regions of India. Each of these six teams are supported by leading Bollywood and sports celebrities, and will have top playback singers as captains.

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Mumbai, Jan 16 : Superstar Salman Khan has been roped in as brand ambassador of the music reality show, Indian Pro Music League.

“We have all been hooked to sport leagues for the sheer excitement and competitive spirit of the format, but kudos to the whole team for coming up with a music league that infuses the energy of sports into the world of music reality television,” Salman said.

“It is also the first time that big film and sports celebs are backing teams led by 12 of Bollywood’s top playback singers, reality stars and 6 fresh voices who will battle out a musical championship, representing different states of our country. With so much excitement and novelty going for the show, looks like this music league is in a league of its own,” added the superstar.

The music league will have six teams representing different regions of India. Each of these six teams are supported by leading Bollywood and sports celebrities, and will have top playback singers as captains.

Other Bollywood stars associated with the show are: Shraddha Kapoor along with her father Shakti Kapoor and brother Siddhant Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Govinda and wife Sunita, and Riteish Deshmukh with wife Genelia D’Souza Deshmukh.

The show will go in air in February. It will air on Zee TV and Zee5.

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NIA summons to journalist, farmer leaders, others in SFJ case

It is worth a mention that the NIA filed a charge sheet against 10 Khalistani terrorists in the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) case including designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on December 18 last year.

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New Delhi, Jan 16 : In a surprise move, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sent notices to over a dozen of people, including a journalist, farmer leaders associated with the agitation against three farm laws and others, in connection with its probe into the Sikh For Justice (SFJ) case, officials said on Saturday.

An NIA official related with the development wishing not to be named told IANS, “The NIA has sent notices to several people for examination.”

The official said that they have been called as witnesses to ascertain certain details of the case.

When asked who had been called besides the journalist, the official said, “I cannot specifically say about the profession of the individuals who have been called for examination.”

The official said that the agency had called a number of people as witnesses for investigation. “They have been called to be examined to ascertain certain details for the investigation,” the official added.

The NIA has also summoned Baldev Singh, the president of Lok Bhalai Insaf Welfare Society (LBIWS), one of the unions participating in talks with the government over the new farm laws.

According to the NIA summons, Singh has been asked to appear before the anti-terror probe agency on January 17 at its headquarters located in south Delhi’s CGO Complex.

Besides Singh, Surender Singh Thikriwal, Palwinder Singh, Pardeep Singh, Nobeljit Singh and Karnail Singh have also been summoned to appear before the agency on January 17 and 18 .

The NIA had registered a case on December 15 last year after a notification from the government under several sections of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA. In the FIR, which has been viewed by IANS, the NIA alleged that SFJ, an unlawful association and other Khalistani terrorist outfits including but not limited to Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Tiger Force and Khalistan Zindabad Force along with their frontal organisations have entered into a conspiracy to create an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness and to cause disaffection in people and to incite them towards rising in rebellion against the government.

The FIR also said that huge funds are being collected abroad for on-ground campaign and propaganda against missions in countries like US, UK, Canada Germany and so forth.

These campaigns are being spearheaded by designated terrorists Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Paramjit Singh Pamma, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and others.

The NIA FIR also alleged that SFJ and other pro-Khalistani elements involved in this conspiracy, through their incessant social media campaign and otherwise, are radicalising and recruiting impressionable youth to agitate and undertake terrorist acts for creation of separate nation of Khalistan after secession from Indian Territory.

It is worth a mention that the NIA filed a charge sheet against 10 Khalistani terrorists in the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) case including designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on December 18 last year.

The agency has filed the charge sheet in the Special NIA court in Punjab’s Mohali under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and the UAPA.

Besides Pannun, who is a resident of New York in US, the NIA has named Pargat Singh, Sukhraj Singh, Bikramjit Singh, Manjeet Singh, Jatinder Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Harpreet Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Harmeet Singh.

The charge sheet was filed in connection with a case related to a series of acts of violence including acts of arson in Punjab during the year 2017-18, carrying out of propaganda activities both online and on ground campaigns in support of the SFJ and Referendum-2020.

These acts were committed by a gang of radicalised Sikh youth under direction and financial assistance from SFJ handlers located abroad as part of an organised conspiracy by the accused for launching a concerted secessionist campaign for creation of ‘Khalistan’.

The case was initially registered by the Punjab Police in Amritsar and the NIA took over the investigation on April 5 last year.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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No progress of talks between Dalai Lama’s envoys, China: US Congressional report

Like the past decades, the CECC observed that there has been no progress of formal negotiations between the 14th Dalai Lama’s representatives and the CCP.

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Dharamsala, Jan 16 : There was no progress of formal negotiations between the Dalai Lama‘s envoys and China and the religious freedom continues to deteriorate in Tibet, the 2020 annual report by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) has said.

The report, released this week and based on the events between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020, details its recommendations to Congress and the US President based on the human rights conditions and rule of law developments in China.

The CECC, which favoured enactment of the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 that was passed at the end of December of 2020, highlighted their concerns of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasingly repressive tactics, such as intimidation of critics, censorship and interference in foreign governments and citizens.

Along with Tibet, freedom of expression in Hong Kong, East Turkestan (Xinjiang), and Taiwan are curtailed because of China’s concerted efforts to influence foreign corporations, said the report of the CECC that has been monitoring Beijing’s compliance with international human rights standards since 2000.

Like the past decades, the CECC observed that there has been no progress of formal negotiations between the 14th Dalai Lama’s representatives and the CCP.

Religious freedom continues to deteriorate in Tibet as the CCP asserts their claim over the Dalai Lama’s and other lamas’ reincarnation.

The CCP imposes sacrilegious credentialism methods to Tibetan Buddhist members in monasteries.

The government of the so-called Tibet “autonomous” region passed ethnic unity regulations that impose more harsh measures to stifle Tibetans in the name of containing separatism.

Ethnic unity provisions, as described by the report, entails: “sinicizing religion”, increased propaganda by media organizations, implementation of ethnic unity propaganda in museums and educational settings, and criminalizing expression that may disrupt ethnic unity aims.

Arbitrary detainment of Tibetans continues to be common under Chinese controlled Tibet, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said on Saturday citing the report.

Less than a week after the US Senate unanimously passed the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) of 2020 despite China’s protest, President Donald Trump last month signed it into law, a decision that strengthened the American policy on Tibet and reaffirmed the government’s steadfast support for the Dalai Lama and the CTA.

Welcoming the historic legislation, CTA President Lobsang Sangay had said: “This legislation sends a powerful message of hope and justice to the Tibetans inside Tibet and bolsters US support for the protection of Tibetan people’s religious freedom, human rights, environmental rights and exile Tibetan democracy like never before.”

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959.

The Tibetan exile administration is based in Dharamsala.

Source: IANS

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