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UN chief visits Kartarpur gurdwara in Pakistan

Up to 5,000 Indian Sikhs have been allowed access daily through the corridor, with plans to eventually double the capacity.

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Antonio Guterres
File Picture of Antonio Guterres in Golden Temple Amritsar India.

Islamabad, Feb 18 : United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Narowal district.

Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri and other officials accompanied Guterras on the visit, during which the UN chief was briefed on the Kartarpur corridor.

Guterres said that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor is a “practical proof of Pakistan’s desire for peace and interfaith harmony”, Radio Pakistan reported.

Guterres also visited the community kitchen (langar) at the gurdwara, where he was served a traditional meal of rice and lentils. The kitchen caters to all Sikh pilgrims visiting the religious place, providing them free meals as per the Sikh tradition, Dawn reported.

The 4.1-km-long Kartarpur corridor has been built from Dera Baba Nanak town in Gurdaspur distict of Indian Punjab to Darbar Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan. It was inaugurated on November 9 last year to coincide with the celebrations related to the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, is situated on the west bank of river Ravi in Shakargarh tehsil in Narowal district. It is around 125 km from Lahore.

Up to 5,000 Indian Sikhs have been allowed access daily through the corridor, with plans to eventually double the capacity.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the UN chief also visited a school in Lahore where he administered polio drops to children.

Disaster

Javadekar watches ‘Ramayan’ during lockdown

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Javadekar watches Ramayan

New Delhi, March 28 : After a re-telecast began of Ramanand Sagar’s iconic epic serial ‘Ramayan’, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Saturday watched the first episode sitting at home after the lockdown imposed in the country.

On Saturday, when the telecast of the hugely popular serial began at 9 a.m., the minister sat with his family in front of the TV to watch the mythologocal epic.

Javadekar has asked all cable TV operators to carry Doordarshan which is re-telecating the Ramayan series.

Javadekar had said the epic series is being telecast on public demand as most of the citizens are at home due to the nationwide lockdown.

“Happy to announce that on public demand, we are starting re-telecast of ‘Ramayana’ from tomorrow, Saturday March 28 in DD National, One episode in morning 9 am to 10 am, another in the evening 9 pm to 10 pm,” Javadekar had tweeted.

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Lifestyle

Planning to become parents for the first time? Here’s the checklist!

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Family Work Home

Becoming parents is a big deal and if it’s for the first time, there is a lot of anxiety and anticipation that comes along with it too.

By pursuing good health and proper nutrition before conceiving, one can increase their chances for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Dr Vaishali Joshi, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Kokilaben Hospital and Cloudnine Hospital Mumbai, shares: “Everyone is highly qualified and career-oriented and they want to decide when they want to have their baby. When you are making that decision then you should also decide when to have the baby because a healthy mother is a key to a healthy baby.”

With over 25 years of experience in managing early pregnancy problems, recurrent miscarriages and tubal and ovarian cyst problems, high-risk pregnancy with evidence-based medicine and thereafter promotes natural childbirth, Dr Joshi lays down various aspects a couple needs to keep in mind while planning a baby!

The ideal age to plan

Whenever you are ready! Gone are the days when the average age to get married was 20. Now as the average age of marriage has increased and women are getting more career-oriented, the right time would be when the couple is mentally and financially ready.

Ideally, a woman’s fertility declines after the age of 35 so the peak age of fertility and having babies nowadays is between the age of 27-32. Also, if you wish to delay you must also check with the doctor that how practical and feasible it is for your body and how much is your reserve for the fertility that can let you stretch or delay the pregnancy planning. That’s important. There is also something like freezing your eggs if not prepared at the right time. This will at least help to have your babies at a later stage even if your fertility declines with age. As the mother’s age increases the fertility of a woman goes down which is significant after the age of 35.

Visit a gynaecologist

Health is a priority and it’s always better to conceive naturally. Before a couple starts planning, it’s always better that they visit a doctor to see if there are any hidden health issues as not all the health problems manifest symptoms; like low haemoglobin, vitamin deficiency, thyroid or some hormonal imbalance. These are just some of the medical conditions that need to be addressed/tested by the medical professional or gynaecologist. Internal examinations or sonography is also carried out to see if there are any issues with the internal organs, uterus or ovaries. Sometimes women have cyst or fibroid, which can affect the ability to conceive sometimes, though not always. These are the kind of issues which one may not be aware of and needs to be investigated.

Medical conditions

If the woman has any medical conditions, we need to make sure that its safe for the woman to conceive. The conditions need to be under control, because if one conceives before this, the woman may develop serious complications. If someone is on medication like for instance has fits and is on anti-fits medicine or epileptic medicines then we would provide that medication with the least possible dose, rather than stopping the tablets so that the mother’s health doesn’t get affected; and at the same time she has a healthy baby. Such medicines can go across the placenta to the baby leading to developmental defects in the baby, the idea here is to protect the mother and the unborn baby as well and optimise the pregnancy outcome.

Medical insurance

While one needs to optimize the health, there are a lot of other factors that a couple/family needs to keep in mind like financial planning for the baby and financial security, health insurance and if it covers maternity or not.

Folic acid

It is advisable to start using folic acid to make sure that when you conceive the baby has an advantage of folic acid right from the time of conception because folic acid is very important for the baby’s development particularly neurological development.

Contraception

If a couple has been using any contraception then this needs to be discussed with the doctor as to how soon it needs to stop before you start planning a family.

Lifestyle changes

It’s not only from the treatment point of view but one needs to improve their lifestyle, exercise, eat healthily and have a holistic approach before they start planning a family because you want to give your baby the best. This is similar in the case of a pregnancy. If the lifestyle involves smoking, alcohol, pan masala, gutka, indulging in recreational drugs …it will have an effect on the man’s sperm count and the sexual desire like libido and hence the sexual act.

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India

No Friday prayers, says Muslim Personal Law Board

Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said that he had also appealed for the suspension of Friday and daily prayers and it’s allowed in Islam.

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New Delhi, March 27 : Amid lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19, Muslim Personal Law Board has appealed to Muslims that they should stay away from the mosques.

“Due to #NovelCoronavirus pandemic, Muslims are recommended to offer Zuhur at home instead of praying Jumah at mosques. DON’T come out for congregational prayers and #StayAtHomeSaveLives. It is mandatory upon all to avoid causing harm to their fellow citizens,” tweeted AIMPLB late on Thursday night

Same appeal has been made by different mMslim bodies.

Jamaat-e-Islami Sharia Council had said in a statement: “The Friday prayers (Juma Namaz) should be observed (only by Imams, muezzins, khadims, and administrators of mosques). The prayers and the ‘khutbah’ (speech) should be completed in the minimum possible period whereas the remaining public should conduct the ‘Zohar’ prayer at home.”

The Shia sect’s religious leaders too decided to suspended the Friday prayers across the country and asked the followers to remain indoors.

Maulana Ashraf, Imam of Mumbai, said: “We have suspended the Friday prayers and daily prayers in mosques since last week. This arrangement will continue till the government desires as the primary objective should be to save human lives and follow the government directive. We are appealing to the people to remain indoors from mosque loudspeakers and the social media.”

Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said that he had also appealed for the suspension of Friday and daily prayers and it’s allowed in Islam.

The mosques in the national capital and elsewhere are only giving calls for prayers to the faithful whereas only three to five persons offer prayers on the premises while adhering to social distancing norm, said a muezzin.

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