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Indians opting for Goa, Jaipur this summer

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Goa Jaipur

New Delhi, May 9: Despite the scorching heat, Goa remains the most popular Indian holiday destination, followed by Jaipur, according to a study conducted by a leading travel portal.

Thanks to budget-friendly stay options and heavy discounts on flights, Indians also prefer short-haul international destinations such as Dubai and Singapore, according to a study by ixigo, based on bookings on its website.

The difference in domestic airfares for peak and off-season is about 45 per cent and for international airfares is about 18 per cent, said a statement.

As for stay options, while Indians prefer to keep a low hotel stay budget, they wouldn’t mind paying extra for a great view at a beach or hill station.

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Around 47 per cent tourists prefer to stay at 4/5 star hotels during summer holiday in Goa vs 62 per cent who prefer more pocket friendly accommodation options in Jaipur.

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Jal Mahal, Jaipur

“Not only do you avoid all the rush, but you also save considerably on hotels and flights. If we compare flight fares from last year, average domestic fares for the summer season have dropped by around 9 per cent and average international fares have dropped by around 19 per cent. This, plus additional discounts offered by travel portals such as ixigo, enable travellers to plan trips, even on smaller budgets.”

IANS

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Beauty benefits of turmeric

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Turmeric-Powder

New Delhi, Oct 17: Beyond its spectrum of providing health benefits, ever wondered what miracles turmeric powder can do as a beauty regime?

This yellow spice has benefits beyond one’s imagination, feel experts.

Vrunda Lotlikar, Ayurveda expert, Birla Ayurveda lists some beauty benefits of turmeric:

* De-pigmentation: Application of turmeric with honey and lemon on the face for 20 minutes clears blemishes and reduces hyper-pigmentation. A paste of turmeric powder, triphala and chandana mixed with rose water acts as a natural defoliator and removes hyper-pigmentation marks from the body. Apply this paste thrice a week before bathing. For de-tanning, boil coconut oil with two rhizomes of turmeric powder. Daily application of this restores natural glow of the skin.

* Cures acne: Due to its anti-bacterial properties, turmeric is very effective in treatment and prevention of acne. It helps in destroying the acne causing bacteria, while also removing excess oil from the skin. Application of paste of turmeric, sariva (hemidesmus indicus), manjistha chandan (ruba cordifolia), yashtimadhu (liquorice) and neem over the face for half an hour clears blocked skin pores, improves facial blood circulation and prevents acne.

* Lighten skin: Turmeric is popularly used to successfully lighten the skin. A lightening face mask can be made by mixing turmeric with lemon juice. The natural skin-bleaching properties of lemon and the anti-oxidant properties of turmeric make it a powerful boosting combination.

* Cracked heels: Possessing great healing properties, turmeric can be used to soften heels. Application of aloe vera pulp with a pinch of turmeric over the heels soothes burning sensation of soles and heals cracked soles. For smooth heels, add a few drops of turmeric oil in 2 table spoons of coconut or castor oil and apply it over cracked heels every night.

Abhijit Narayanan, Senior Medical Officer, Dhathri Ayurveda Hospital, Kayamkulam also lists some benefits:

* Reduces stretch marks: Apply a paste of turmeric powder with khadir and triphala, mixed with almond oil three to four times a week before bathing. This helps in reducing stretch marks, reduces laxity of skin and tones the skin.

* Prevents wrinkles: Turmeric prevents reduction in skin elasticity caused due to chronic UVB exposure. It helps in healing and also slows the ageing process, keeping the skin supple and diminishing wrinkles. Apply a paste of turmeric powder mixed with yogurt. Rinse with water thoroughly after 20 minutes. Use this mask thrice a week for one month to notice an evident enhancement in your skin.

IANS

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Women, Sabarimala temple and right to equality

The Sabarimala issue is not just about entry right to the women but now has become Religion Vs Fundamental Rights. In India, there are numbers of such issues which are still keeping the females deprived of rights.

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BJP rally Sabarimala

Ages back the women folks were exploited and the same is happening in modern times. Hinduism abolished Sati — a female was forced to be burnt alive in the pyre of her husband. Raja Ram Mohan Roy started a campaign against it and it came to an end. But has this changed brought much change in the lives of the women folk in the present times!

Sabarimala temple is Ayyappa temple situated in the Sabarimal region in Kerala. Here the females of age 10 to 50 are not allowed to enter due to the menstruation problem. There has been a lot of hues and cry over this issue.

Legal battle:

In 1991, this boycott to temple section for ladies was tested under the steady gaze of the Kerala High Court in S. Mahendran Vs The Secretary, Travancore case. Kerala High court decided for the preclusion of ladies entering the temple and asserted that these confinements have existed since time immemorial and not unfair to the Constitution. This request of the High Court was executed and pursued for the following 15 years. In 2006, the boycott was tested by the Public Interest Litigation recorded by the Young Lawyers Association with the Supreme Court, asserting that rule 3(b) of Kerala Hindu places of Public worship (Authorisation of entry) Rules 1965 that states, “women who are not by custom and usage allowed to enter a place of public worship shall not be entitled to enter or offer worship in any place of public worship” is infringement of established standards of equality, non-discrimination and religious opportunity. On April 25, 2016, the representative lawyer of the Devaswom, K.K Venugopal stated: “There is a sensible grouping by which certain classes of women are excluded”. Supreme Court was concerned regarding the statement if menstruation was associated with purity of women. The case was then assigned to the Constitution Bench by the Supreme Court.

In 2018, Justice Dipak Misra, The Chief Justice of India, while addressing to the PIL, put a query to the temple’s management over denying passage to women. The case was heard by a constitution bench headed by Justice Misra alongside Justices Rohinton Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra. The court held that Sabarimala pilgrims couldn’t be a different group or religious division. The traditions are subjected to sacred legitimacy and preclusion of ladies passage to temple infringing upon the Fundamental Rights. Justice Chandrachud claimed, “Your entitlement to implore as a lady isn’t subject to any law, it is a constitutional right”. He additionally included that notice issued under the standards recommending the age restrictions on ladies entry as “discretionary on its essence”.

In the year 2012, a similar campaign like that of Sabarimala temple was launched by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) & Bhumata Brigade to offer prayers at the Haji Ali Dargah. It is the resting place of Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari on the islet of Mumbai coast. This shrine is 585 years old. The Haji Ali Dargah is administered by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust a public charitable trust enrolled under the Maharashtra Public Trust Act. The trustees of the Dargah had chosen to deny ladies access to the grave area in 2011, calling the un-Islamic. It had expressed that it was redressing it’s earlier misstep of enabling ladies to touch the actual grave. The argument by the petitioner was that the Muslims deprive their women to equal rights, they keep them suppressed and the women folks don’t have a right to raise their voice in Islam.

On 26 August 2016, Bombay High Court decided that women to be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum. Even the Supreme Court sealed the verdict of Bombay High Court and the women were allowed to enter the shrine sacred area on 29 November 2016. This was welcomed by all the people across India. It was stated that now the Muslim women have got their rights which were deprived of them since the advent of Islam.

Similarly, the Supreme Court has ordered that the women should be allowed in the Sabarimala temple and the old practice should be done away with.

In the case of Sabarimala temple, various Hindu groups are not accepting the decision of the Supreme Court and want a revision of the judgment. The present day’s ruling party Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is backing the agitation against the judgment.

Are the women not suppressed now by going against their right to enter the temple? It is not an insult to the highest court of law in India? The law of the land is above the ruling class or any religion but the BJP and other Hindu organizations are adamant for rather they are trying to show strength through mass gathering against the judgment.

Is this the respect to the law of the land?

Declaimer: The views are the sole discretion of the author...
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An Indian-founded organisation rehabilitates Syrian refugees in Germany

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Syrian refugees

As Europe continues to grapple with the problem of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, an organisation founded by an Indian is helping a small town in Germany in rehabilitating these people.

R Ventures Foundation, registered in Amsterdam, is helping the university town of Heidelberg in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg in rehabilitating the Syrian refugees by setting up an incubator to impart skills so that these people can become entrepreneurs and job creators.

Founded in 2017 by Shantanu Prakash, an IIM Ahmedabad graduate and a member of the Global Futures Council on Migration at the World Economic Forum (WEF), the organisation is focused on the intersection of refugees and entrepreneurship with the belief that refugees and displaced persons can help catalyse a new era of job creation and integration.

So what kind of skills are being imparted to these refugees?

“Currently, we are looking at more of the hi-tech area, innovation technology area, but it also depends on who it applies to,” Prakash, who was on a visit here, told IANS in an interview.

“Our idea is to really look at people who have a desire to become entrepreneurs, who are educated,” he said.

He said that a lot of these people are already well-educated, but being refugees, they have to start from zero.

In this connection, he drew a parallel with the situation during the 1947 Partition when many people migrating from newly-created Pakistan to India were highly educated but had to restart their life from scratch.

“Now, it would be a pity if a highly qualified engineer has to take up a job of a janitor or something,” Prakash said.

“So, the idea is that we provide them a supportive environment. We give them the skills, how to create a business in a different country.”

Pointing out that that there is the issue of cultural sensitivity and the rules of business being different, Prakash said R Ventures Foundation helps the refugees to create a business pitch.

“We have got a full curriculum for it, what to teach step by step, teaching them a whole variety of skills, how to build up a business,” he stated.

“Our idea is that the graduates of this programme will set up businesses in Heidelberg or elsewhere.”

Prakash said that once these entrepreneurs become successful, people will write about them and then Germans and people of the rest of the world will know that the refugees are adding value to the society.

So how did the whole idea of imparting skills while rehabilitating refugees come about?”

“There was no compelling reason for us,” Prakash said on a philosophical note. “Maybe it was a calling. Maybe it was something that we were meant to do.”

Prakash said that through his involvement with the WEF, he got to understand the contentious issues regarding refugees.

“When I got deeper into it, I got more fascinated about it,” he explained. “And I thought that people are referring to this as a crisis rather than opportunity.”

Though a lot of foundations are working for refugees, Prakash said that what is different about R Ventures is that it is trying to address the issue from a different angle.

“Our dimension is: Can some of them become job creators? For us, that is good enough,” he stated

So, how did a small German town and this organisation founded by an Indian come together?

Heidelberg City Manager Nicole Huber said that the idea took shape when she came in touch with R Ventures co-founder Archish Mittal sometime in 2017.

She said that the state government of Baden-Württemberg has made Heidelberg the registration hub for refugees in the whole of south Germany. There are around 1,000 Syrian refugees in the town with a population of a little over 160,000 while many have left for different places within Germany.

So, have there been law and order problems in Germany with the influx of such a huge number of refugees?

“We don’t see any more crime… than with an average German population,” Huber said.

(Aroonim Bhuyan can be contacted at [email protected])

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