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No Ramzan gifts for poor Muslim families in Telangana this year

The TRS government has been distributing gifts among poor families on the occasion of festivals of other religions as well.

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Hyderabad during Bharat Bandh

Hyderabad, May 24 : Poor Muslim families in Telangana were this year deprived of Ramzan gifts which the state government has been distributing among them every year on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr since 2015.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, led by K. Chandrashekhar Rao, apparently cancelled the programme due to the financial crisis caused by the two-month- old lockdown imposed to check the spread of Covid-19.

However, it was officially stated that since the distribution of Ramzan gifts could have led to violation of social distancing norms, it was decided not to conduct the programme this year.

The government, in the budget for 2022-21, had allocated Rs 66 crore for iftar dinners at mosques across the state and for distribution of clothes among the poor. It had also allocated Rs 1.83 crore for the customary iftar party hosted by the Chief Minister in Hyderabad every year.

Since the Chief Minister’s iftar party and iftar dinners at mosques were cancelled due to the lockdown, there was a proposal to use the entire amount for distribution of ration kits. This was expected to help more than four lakh poor families.

The Minorities Welfare Department had also submitted a proposal that instead of giving clothes as Ramzan gifts, the government may distribute food packets as this would take care of the much-needed requirement of the poor families during the ongoing lockdown.

However, the proposal was not approved by the officials in the Chief Minister’s office. They pointed out said since the government distributed free rice and Rs 1,500 to every white ration card holder or below poverty line family as a lockdown relief measure, there was no need for a separate programme to distribute ration kits among poor Muslim families.

TRS’ friendly party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had also appealed to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to distributed ration kits among poor Muslim families instead of clothes.

AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi had written a letter to Chandrashekhar Rao to divert the funds allocated for iftar parties at mosques for distribution of ration.

He wrote that in view of the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the livelihood of daily-wage earners in the state, a large section of Muslims, who are all engaged in the informal or unorganised sector, required timely assistance during the fasting month of Ramzan.

The state government has been distributing Ramzan gifts and hosting iftars at mosques since 2015.

Last year, about 4.5 lakh gift packets were distributed among poor families through 832 mosques across the state. The government had also provided Rs 1 lakh each to these mosques to host iftars or post-dusk meals to break the fast.

Each Ramzan gift packet comprised a salwar, kameez, saree and blouse, all valued at about Rs.525.

The TRS government has been distributing gifts among poor families on the occasion of festivals of other religions as well.

Every year, it is also distributing gifts among 2.35 lakh poor Christians families and hosting Christmas dinners.

Similarly, the government has been distributing sarees among poor women on the occasion of Bathukamma, a folk festival which was declared as the state festival in 2014.

Last year, the government spent Rs 313 crore to distribute over one crore sarees on the occasion of Bathukamma.

India

India wants to focus on connectivity to Buddhist sites: PM Modi

The Prime Minister said that the event is also known as Guru Purnima. “This is a day to remember our gurus who gave us knowledge. In that spirit, we pay homage to Lord Buddha,” PM said.

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Modi PM

New Delhi, July 4 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Asaadh Poornima and the inauguration of the Dharma Chakra Day, on Saturday, said India wants to focus on connectivity to Buddhist sites to improve tourism.

The Prime Minister’s remark came at a time when the country is passing through its worst economic phase and needs improvement in all sectors including tourism to attract revenue.

“We want to focus on connectivity to Buddhist sites. A few days back the Indian cabinet announced that Kushinagar airport will be an international one. This will bring people, pilgrims and tourists,” Modi said.

Addressing through video conferencing, Modi said he is very hopeful about the 21st century and this hope comes from young friends. He lauded the efforts of youths in start-up sectors saying, “If you want to see a great example of how hope, innovation and compassion can remove suffering, it is our start-up sector led by our youths,”

Noting that bright young minds are finding solutions to global problems, the Prime Minister said India has one of the largest start-up eco-systems and I would urge my young friends to also stay connected with the thoughts of Lord Buddha so that they could be motivated and find the way ahead.

The Prime Minister said that the event is also known as Guru Purnima. “This is a day to remember our gurus who gave us knowledge. In that spirit, we pay homage to Lord Buddha,” PM said.

“The eight-fold path of Lord Buddha shows the way towards the well-being of many societies and nations. It highlights the importance of compassion and kindness. The teachings of Lord Buddha celebrate simplicity, both in thought and action,” He said.

Buddhism teaches respect for people, the poor and women, for peace and non-violence. “Therefore, the teachings of Buddhism are the means to a sustainable planet.”

“In his very first sermon in Sarnath, and his teachings after that, Lord Buddha spoke on two things — hope and purpose. He saw a strong link between them. From hope comes a spirit of purpose,” the Prime Minister said.

Talking of the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister said the world is fighting against this virus with extraordinary challenges. To these challenges, he said, lasting solutions can come from the ideals of Lord Buddha. “They were relevant in the past. They are relevant in the present. And, they will continue to remain relevant in the future.”

“May the thoughts of Lord Buddha further brighten togetherness and brotherhood. May his blessings inspire us to do good,” the Prime Minister added.

This day is also aptly observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their Gurus. The day is celebrated as Dharma Chakra Day by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the Ministry of Culture. This day commemorates Buddha”s First Sermon to his first five ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present-day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

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Lifestyle

Explore history of America in Philadelphia

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us flag-min

This Fourth of July, travel back in time to explore American Revolution history in Philadelphia is called the Birthplace of America and the first World Heritage City in the United States. This is where the great American Dream was founded. It’s where courageous visionaries crafted the model for modern-day democracy that inspires people globally to embrace the power of their individuality and our human potential.

This Fourth of July, relive the birth of United States with virtual tours of the Historic Mile in Philadelphia. Within one square mile, visitors will find all of the below and more:

  • Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that changed the world as this was where the several fundamental debates took place that lay the foundation of the United States of America and helped the founders of the nation to adopt both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
  • The Liberty Bell, a symbol of freedom that predates the birth of the USA. Legend holds it sustained its trademark crack when it was rung to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era artifacts, personal items, letters, diaries, and works of art.
  • The President’s House, where both George Washington and John Adams spent most of their presidencies before the White House was built in Washington, D.C.
  • National Museum of American Jewish History, the only major national museum dedicated to telling the story of the Jewish people in America from 1654 to present.
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia, where visitors can explore the history and stories of African-American people and those of the African Diaspora. The exhibit Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776 – 1876 recounts the stories of and contributions made by people of African descent in Philadelphia during the tumultuous years following the founding of this nation.
  • The National Constitution Center, an interactive museum dedicated to the document on which the nation was founded, and the impact different interpretations of the document have had on the nation and world since it was adopted in 1789. Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation an exhibit that explores Alexander Hamilton’s fraught relationships with James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Aaron Burr, provides an intimate look into the founding father’s enduring role in the constitutional and political arguments that continue to create sparks to this day, through December 31, 2019.
  • Carpenters’ Hall, the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. The seeds of the American Revolution were planted here when delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies agreed to boycott British imports.
  • Benjamin Franklin Museum and Franklin Court, the Philadelphia home of statesman, author, printer, inventor, postmaster, activist and more. The building also is the first post office in the United States.
  • The American Philosophical Society Museum is the oldest learned society in the United States, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” See exhibitions drawn from the Society’s renowned collections that trace American history and science from the Founding Fathers to the digital age.
  • Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously-inhabited street in America.
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India

Chidambaram hails decision to skip Ganesh fest amid Covid pandemic

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, July 1 : After it was announced that the iconic Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh idol in Mumbai will not be established during the upcoming 11-day Ganeshotsav starting August 22 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday hailed the decision taken by the organisers.

“I congratulate the organisers of the annual Ganesh festival for the decision to call off the celebrations this year and instead organise a plasma donation camp over the 11 days,” Chidambaram said in a statement.

Earlier, while announcing its decision to cancel this year”s annual event that draws unprecedented crowd each year, the Lalbaugcha Mandal informed that instead of celebrating the Ganesh festival, it has decided to celebrate it as a health festival. Apart from organising blood donation camps and running a campaign for plasma donation, it has also decided to donate Rs 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ganesh idol at Lalbaugcha in Mumbai’s Parel area is considered to be the tallest in the city and is among the biggest crowd-pullers.

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