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Kung fu nuns of Drukpa Lineage get global award

The Asia Game Changers Award, launched by the Asia Society in 2014, was presented on October 24.

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Kung fu nuns of Drukpa Lineage

Leh, Oct 29 : Kung fu nuns of the Drukpa lineage based here have been awarded the prestigious Asia Game Changers Award by the Asia Society in New York for inspiring and applying their unique talent to make the world a better place.

The Asia Society is a leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the US in a global context.

The kung fu nuns have devoted their lives to helping their community — advocating for girls, protecting the environment, and serving as first responders during disasters like the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

Originally honing their kung fu skills as a means of self-defence and meditation, the nuns draw awestruck crowds whenever they hold a demonstration, says a post on the website of the Asia Society.

The Asia Game Changers Award, launched by the Asia Society in 2014, was presented on October 24.

During the award-giving ceremony, soaring across the stage with gravity-defying kicks, they stunned with their acrobatic feats, drawing ‘oohs and ahs’ from the Cipriani crowd.

“We do not believe in empowering women as the term means giving power or passing down power; we believe in awakening the power every woman has in them. May more women and girls around the world realize that power is ours and it’s not something given by others. It is ours to own,” said a representative of the nuns, upon receiving the award.

“We believe no one is coming to save us, we will be our own heroes.”

Kung fu nuns, who defied a centuries-old ban on exercise for nuns and adopted the martial art as a way to spread awareness on gender equality, human trafficking and environment.

They are from the Kathmandu-based Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery, established by the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of the 1,000-year-old Drukpa Order based in Leh in Ladakh.

The Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery is a unique instance of gender reversal. Here the nuns run the administration, historically reserved for the monks.

The Gyalwang Drukpa is propagating gender neutrality.

The kung fu nuns, who are receiving modern education and the spiritual training, are gaining worldwide recognition.

In celebration of their achievement and to honour the awardees, Live to Love International is holding the homecoming reception for the nuns in New Delhi on November 7 at the India Habitat Centre.

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India

Mosque turns venue for Hindu wedding

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Hindu wedding in Masjid

New Delhi, Jan 20 : An unusual story of a wedding is doing the rounds on internet in which a couple tied the knot at a mosque in Alappuzha district in Kerala on Sunday as per Hindu rituals.

The news came out after the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to congratulate and appreciate the couple for upholding such a beautiful example of religious harmony.

Vijayan wrote: “An example of unity from Kerala. The Cheravally Muslim Jamat Mosque hosted a Hindu wedding of Asha & Sharath. The Mosque came to their help after Asha’s mother sought help from them. Congratulations to the newlyweds, families, Mosque authorities & the people of Cheravally.”

The tweet went viral and netizens reacted to the post with heartwarming gestures and blessings.

A user tweeted: “I am glad that Kerala has such amity with vegetables and flowers not beef eating tourism promoted by the Government. God bless the couple.”

“Kerala sets the vision of future India,” wrote another user.

A post read, “Keep it up Keralians. Now we know that Kerala is not only the most literate state but also the most educated state.”

A Tweeple remarked, “After learning of such a beautiful tale of Hindu-Muslim unity, Hindutva thugs of @RSSorg and @BJP4India won’t be able to sleep tonight.”

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31% Goa IT workers battle hypertension, 40% overweight: Study

“Thirty seven (31.4 per cent) had hypertension, 50 (42.4 per cent) suffered from pre-hypertension… 13 (11.2 per cent) had diabetes mellitus and three (2.5 per cent) blood sugar in pre-diabetic range,” the study noted.

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working pressure hypertension

Panaji, Jan 20 : Nearly 31 per cent of the IT sector workforce in Goa suffers from hypertension whereas more than 40 per cent are either overweight or obese, a cross-sectional study of IT professionals working in the coastal state has revealed.

“A majority of the 118 surveyed employees — 63 (53.4 per cent) — had normal range body mass index, seven (5.9 per cent ) were underweight, 40 (33.9 per cent) overweight, six (5.1 per cent) class I obesity and two (1.7 per cent ) class II obesity,” the study by Preksha P Vernekar, Kalyani and Jagadish A Cacodcar said.

“Thirty seven (31.4 per cent) had hypertension, 50 (42.4 per cent) suffered from pre-hypertension… 13 (11.2 per cent) had diabetes mellitus and three (2.5 per cent) blood sugar in pre-diabetic range,” the study noted.

“A significant prevalence of lifestyle diseases is noticed among the participants in the study. Lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia and overweight/obesity are major risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease,” as per the study published in the Epidemiology International journal.

Considerable pre-hypertension cases raised concern over possible cardiovascular morbidities along with complications in due course of time, the research paper’s authors pointed out.

The study data was collected from health records of 118 IT professionals working in four top Information Technology firms in Goa, whose government is pitching the coastal state as a destination for IT start-ups.

The study authors, all medical professionals working at the state’s top government-run medical facility, also underlined the need for periodic health checkups to ensure timely detection and early management of health problems.

“The companies should have mandatory periodic health check-ups of their employees, preferably at their health centres, to gain better insight into their general health status.

“Pre-placement examination of employees is must to know their working capacity so as to ensure ergonomics as well as to procure first-hand knowledge on health problems workers may be suffering from before employment,” the study recommended.

The study suggested the introduction of stress-busting modules in the IT work space to ensure better physical and mental health of staff, which ensured better performance by the workforce.

“Health education on diet, physical activity and relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can be imparted to employees. These steps will finally improve their performance and in turn lead to decreased incidence of morbidities, absenteeism due to sickness and job stress, thereby leading to optimum work output,” the study said.

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Lifestyle

Soybean oil diet may trigger genetic changes in brain

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New York, Widely consumed soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes but may also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and depression, report researchers from University of California Riverside, including one of Indian origin.

In a study conducted on mice, the scientists found pronounced effects of the soybean oil on the hypothalamus where a number of critical processes take place. The research team discovered nearly 100 genes – including the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin produced in hypothalamus — affected by the soybean oil diet.

“The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, an associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study published in the journal Endocrinology.

The research team has not yet isolated which chemicals in the oil are responsible for the changes they found in the hypothalamus.

“But they have ruled out two candidates. It is not linoleic acid, since the modified oil also produced genetic disruptions; nor is it stigmasterol, a cholesterol-like chemical found naturally in soybean oil,” the study noted.

Identifying the compounds responsible for the negative effects is an important area for the team’s future research.This could help design healthier dietary oils in the future,” said Poonamjot Deol, first author on the study.

“If there’s one message I want people to take away, it’s this: reduce consumption of soybean oil,” Deol added.The team compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.

They believe this discovery could have ramifications not just for energy metabolism,but also for proper brain function and diseases such as autism or Parkinson’s disease.

“However, it is important to note there is no proof the oil causes these diseases,” the authors wrote.

Te same research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.

The team said the findings only apply to soybean oil — not to other soy products or to other vegetable oils.Do not throw out your tofu, soymilk, edamame, or soy sauce,” said Frances Sladek, a UCR toxicologist and professor of cell biology.

“Many soy products only contain small amounts of the oil, and large amounts of healthful compounds such as essential fatty acids and proteins”.

This study utilized male mice. Because oxytocin is so important for maternal health and promotes mother-child bonding, similar studies need to be performed using female mice.

Coconut oil, which contains saturated fats, produced very few changes in the hypothalamic genes, said the researchers.

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