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New Delhi, June 1 : Shama Sikander has been very vocal about her battle with bipolar disorder and depression. Years after emerging victorious against her struggles, the actress describes the illness as a “pandemic”. She says that she doesn”t have words to describe how painful it was for her every moment over those five years, when she often felt she would die.

It was in 2016 when Shama, who rose to fame playing Pooja in the 2004 slice-of-life TV show “Yeh Meri Life Hai”, came out and spoke about her struggles.

“That is the darkest time anybody can ever have. That is like waking up with a pandemic almost every moment and minute of your life. You don”t know what”s going to happen, you are so uncertain. You don”t even have desires at that time. The saddest part is that you don”t have any hope. A desire is something that keeps a human being alive because if we lose all desires then you don”t know the purpose of your life,” Shama told IANS.

“Depression or bipolar are mental situations where you tend to lose hope and desires and that is the darkest space any human being can ever be in,” she said, adding: “I don”t think there is anything sadder than that. It”s the worse a human being can go through and if you survive that you can survive anything, any pandemic.”

“As they say what doesn”t kill you makes you stronger… We all have that strength, some of us just give up before that strength or the revelation of that strength within us comes to us,” said Shama.

Shama calls it her “new birth”, after recovering from the illness: “But maybe I was stronger than I felt I was, and that attitude of mine has brought me back to life and has given me a purpose. There is immense light after darkness. This is a new birth for me.”

“I died for five years every day thinking that I am going to die and I should die, and there is probably nothing for me to look forward to. So, I want to tell people who might feel vulnerable and helpless that you will find the light. You just have to hang in there,” she said.

She says that the reason behind mental illness still being considered a taboo is society”s conditioning. “It is our conditioning problems. We have a lot of do”s and don”ts and sharing your actual life with another person comes in don”ts most of the time. People are so scared,” Shama told IANS.

Shama says not many dare to come out and speak the truth.

“From my childhood, I remember I was very honest. I would reveal whatever I went through in life and was never ashamed of it. People would shame you, they would make you feel bad, ashamed, and guilty for being right because they themselves have been living their lives with all the lies. Not many people have the courage to speak the truth to themselves, forget about others,” she declared.

She went on: “The society is the one which ruins it all. To be a part of a society or a herd you want to just pretend to be like them and obviously being honest means standing alone, and that is scary. People who have problems sharing their problems can end up with mental illness because you”ve suppressed that energy so much that now it is becoming an illness inside you.”

(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at [email protected])

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Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

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dairy industry

New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

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McDonald’s reveals plan to open more UK branches

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London, May 25 (IANS) Fast-food giant McDonald’s revealed a plan to open all of its drive-thru restaurants in the UK in the coming weeks and has”not forgotten” about people in the north of England, it was reported on Monday.

The company reopened 39 restaurants in England and Ireland last week as it prepared to get back up and running with new safety measures in place, but all of the English locations were in the south east, reports the Metro nwespaper.

In a message to customers, McDonald’s Chief Executive Paul Pomroy said: “To help us test the new procedures and to slowly restart our supply chain, the pilot restaurants in the UK are all located close to our head office and to one of our distribution centres in the south east.

“I promise I have not forgotten about any part of the UK or Ireland. We are taking our time to test the new ways of working in our restaurants, ensuring that we can continue to help our teams to work safely, and to get back to the communities we have proudly served for so many years.”

Pomroy further said that McDonald’s will make a further announcement this week about reopening more restaurants and expanding its delivery service.

Last week, Police were called to a drive-thru McDonald’s in Peterborough on the first day it reopened after easing of the COVID-19 lockdown because the queue at the outlet went out of hand.

Six of the 30 new drive-thrus that have opened across the country were in Peterborough.

The fast-food giant has brought in social distancing measures to keep workers safe, with staff receiving temperature checks before each shift.

The number of workers on each site will be reduced to ensure safety, the company has said.

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Industry mindset on handling workers needs to change, says FM

“When the government provides full and partial guarantees with a special purpose vehicle post-lockdown, the bank hesitation has been addressed,” she said.

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, May 20 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanon Wednesday said the mindset of the industry regarding handling of workers needs to change.

During an interaction with CII, she suggest the industry reset its relations with the workers and also asked them to engage with unskilled labour. She urged industry to plan for engaging labour with a more professional approach and engage in skilling.

“Mindsets in industry need to set examples in handling workers in a way that is acceptable to all,” Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman also said that that the Union Government trusts industry fully and comprehensively.

The minister’s interaction with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) came as it is marking 125 years of its existence. Felicitating CII on the milestone, Sitharaman said that CII has played a critical role in the country and its members have played strong roles in their own sectors.

The interaction had the participation of Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Department of Economic Affairs’ Secretary Tarun Bajaj, Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian, among others.

On a question regarding the MSME sector, Sitharaman stated that before Covid-19 as well, clear handholding was announced for MSME and NBFCs to help enterprises in rural areas. She stated that credit availability for additional term loan and working capital loan was intended to reach all MSMEs, and hence the government has provided a guarantee to banks to overcome hesitation in lending.

“When the government provides full and partial guarantees with a special purpose vehicle post-lockdown, the bank hesitation has been addressed,” she said.

Responding to a question on agriculture, the Finance Minister mentioned that comprehensive reforms have been announced, and three model Acts have been shared with State governments. She stated that many states have commenced land reforms.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline will be given a big push in order to create demand with a multiplier effect, stressed the Finance Minister on a question related to infrastructure.

“Large projects will be frontloaded and this will bring in positive energy and sentiments,” said Sitharaman.

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