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Vrindavan widows to send special masks, rakhis to ‘Modi bhaiyya’

“I have personally designed special masks carrying messages like ‘Stay Safe’ and ‘Atmanirbhar’ and rakhis with Modiji with his face covered, she says.



Sulabh ashrams Vrindavan

Agra, July 30 : Ahead of the Raksha Bandhan festival, widows living in the Sulabh International-run ashrams in Vrindavan will send special, Vrindavan-themed masks and rakhis to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom they fondly call “Bhaiyya” or brother.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the widows will not be able to meet Modi personally, as they used to do till last year, to tie the ceremonial rakhis.

They have made special rakhis with images of Modi and specially-designed masks. These will be sent to the Prime Minister in New Delhi, by a messenger.

The rakhis with images of Modi were made by aged widows living in Maa Sharda and Meera Sagabhagini ashrams in Vrindavan.

The founder of the Sulabh movement Bindeshwar Pathak, taking the initiative to break the shackles of the social stigma of widowhood started involving the inmates of the ashrams in all Vedic rituals and festival ceremonies.

Programmes are organised on Holi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan and other festive occasions. Sulabh has instilled a sense of wellbeing, restored their confidence and dignity, after it took up their cause on humanitarian grounds and made arrangements for their health care, food and other necessities.

“The ongoing coronavirus crisis disheartened these widows but it didn’t shatter their spirits, so they started preparing rakhis and special Vrindavan-themed masks for Modiji. Some of the Rakhis have photos of the Prime Minister with covered faces,” says Vinita Verma, Vice President of Sulabh Hope foundation .

Chabi Dasi, 75, looked dejected after she learnt it was not possible to go to the capital this year, but now she is happy that the rakhis are somehow reaching the Prime Minister.

“I have personally designed special masks carrying messages like ‘Stay Safe’ and ‘Atmanirbhar’ and rakhis with Modiji with his face covered, she says.


Saudi Arabia concludes Hajj amid COVID-19 pandemic

This season is only limited to domestic pilgrims who are residents and citizens living in Saudi Arabia.



Haj Social Distancing

Riyadh: Pilgrims on Monday bade farewell to Mecca after Hajj rituals were concluded, Xinhua news agency reported.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque had provided all relevant facilities for the pilgrims while ensuring precautionary measures against COVID-19.

The kingdom has organized an exceptional Hajj season with a limited number of pilgrims amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This season is only limited to domestic pilgrims who are residents and citizens living in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced on Monday 1,258 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the accumulated infections to 280,093.

The total recovered cases rose to 242,053 with the registration of 1,972 newly recovered cases.

The total death toll reached 2,949 with 32 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours.

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10 mosques, Dargaahs surrounding Ram Janmabhoomi echo harmony

These Muslim places of worship are located within 100-200 metres of the fortified area, where Azaan and Ramayana chants seamless blend to cement the syncretic culture of Ayodhya.



Dargaah Mosques Ayodhya

Ayodhya: Eight mosques and two ‘Dargaahs’ surrounding the Ram Janmabhoomi have been conveying a message of peaceful coexistence of the two communities in the temple town of Ayodhya where the Ram temple is to be built.

These Muslim places of worship are located within 100-200 metres of the fortified area, where Azaan and Ramayana chants seamless blend to cement the syncretic culture of Ayodhya.

Unlike the Babri masjid, where Namaz stopped after December 23, 1949, regular five-time prayers are offered at these centuries-old Islamic structures adjacent to Ram Janmabhoomi, which also includes a Shia mosque and Imambara and the Tehribazar Jogiyon ki Masjid, which as the name suggests was built by Hindu salvation seekers (‘Jogis’) more than 200 years ago.

There are about eight mosques and two mausoleums adjacent to the 70-acre premises of Ram Janmabhoomi mandated by the Supreme Court for Ram temple. Proper Azaan and Namaaz are being offered in these mosques without any objection from local Hindus including the occasional ‘Urs’ at mausoleums adjacent to Ram Janambhoomi premises.

These eight mosques – Masjid Dorahikuan, Masjid Mali Mandir ke Bagal, Masjid Kaziyana Achchan ke Bagal, Masjid Imambara, Masjid Riyaz ke Bagal, Masjid Badar Paanjitola, Masjid Madaar Shah, Masjid Tehribazar Jogiyon ki, and mosoleums of Khanqaahe Muzaffariya and Imambara.

Talking to IANS, Haji Asad Ahmad, corporator of Ayodhya Nagar Nigam, who represents Ram Kot ward where Ram Janmabhoomi premises is situated, said, “it is the greatness of Ayodhya that mosques surrounding the Ram mandir are giving a strong message of communal harmony to the rest of the world.”

“We take out our ‘Juloos’ of Barawafaat that goes through the periphery of Ram Janmabhoomi, our all religious functions and rituals are respected by our fellow citizens,” he said.

Reacting over the mosques been situated adjacent to Ram Janmabhoomi premises, the chief priest of Ram Janmabhoomi temple Acharya Satyendra Das, said, “We were having dispute only with the structure that was connected with the name of Babar, we never had any disputes with rest of the mosques and mausoleums in Ayodhya and this is the town of communal harmony where both Hindus and Muslims live in peace.”

“Muslims offer their Namaaz we offer our Puja, the mosques adjacent to the premises of Ram Janmabhoomi will definitely strengthen the communal harmony and peace will prevail” said Das.

“Both Hindus and Muslims accepted the Supreme Court verdict over Ram Janmabhoomi and we have no dispute with each other,” he added.

Sayyad Akhlaq Ahmad Latifi, the Sajjada Nasheen and Peer of 500-year-old mausoleum ‘Khanqaahe Muzaffariya’ adjacent to Ram Janmabhoomi premises, said “we are observing all our religious practices freely, we offer five-time prayers in the mosque at Khanqaah and hold yearly ‘Urs’.”

“What a great scene that would be, that the a great ‘Ram Mandir’ surrounded by small mosques and mausoleums, all offering prayers according to their beliefs, this will be the true culture of India,” said Mahant Yugal Kishore Sharan Shastri, chief priest of Saryi Kunj temple adjacent to Ram Janambhoomi.

On the mosques and mausoleums arounf the premises of Ram Janmabhoomi, Triloki Nath Pandey, the decree holder of Ram Janambhoomi as ‘fast friend of Ram Lalla’ mandated by the Supreme Court in Ayodhya verdict, said , “We don’t have any objection either with those mosques or any other mosques, we will not create any dispute on any place, Ayodhya must live in peace and communal harmony.”

Mahant Raju Das, priest of Hanumangarhi temple, said, “the presence of those mosques shows the harmony of Ayodhya, Ram Mandir will be constructed and there is no objection over the mosques or religious practices of Muslims.”

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Your last minute Raksha Bandhan gifts guide




raksha bandhan rakhi

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Nothing should stop you from making siblings feel loved this Raksha Bandhan. If you are still searching for the perfect Raksha Bandhan gift for your sibling, here is a list of last minute gifting options you can grab from your nearest shopping mall.


You can gift the The Glenlivet 12 YO to your brother which is one of the classiest, most sophisticated malts. This whisky has been called a lot of things in its time: smooth, fruity, complex, sophisticated, entertaining, classic. Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky it’s distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character.

Price: Starts at Rs 3,500


If your sister is a wine lover, gift her Jacob’s Creek wine which is rooted in 175 years of wine-making tradition. It is one of Australia’s leading global wine brands, offering quality with great varietal expression. A bottle of Jacob’s Creek is more than a wine, it is a warm, generous, life-loving attitude as it is created with consumers and their evolving tastes in mind.

Price: Starts at Rs 1,100

Hair Straightener

Philips SenseIQ Hair Straightener is for those who love styling their hair. This intelligent hair straightener’s sensors measure hair temperature more than 20,000 times per styling session to quickly adapt temperature to lock in up to 70 percent of the hair’s natural moisture. It helps in maintaining the hair’s essential strength providing vibrant shine on the outside and healthy strong hair on the inside.

Price: On request

Hair Dryer

To provide the most effective yet protective hair drying, Philips SenseIQ Hair Dryer’s sensors measure hair temperature more than 4,000 times per styling session to quickly adapt temperature to lock in up to 90 percent of hair’s natural moisture. This results in hair which is dry yet retains natural moisture.

Price: On request

Philips Facial Pen Trimmer

DIY facial hair removal is often a concern for women, especially now when salon visits are being given a miss. However, the Philips Facial Pen Trimmer will be the perfect solution for hair removal from eyebrows, upper lips, and forehead. Featuring a compact and portable design and providing a pain-free experience, the trimmer comes with a click on comb and cleaning brush.

Price: On request

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