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Where is Overtourism Leading Our Holiday Destinations to?

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When the rigours of daily life and the grind get too strenuous, nothing relaxes your mind, body and spirit like the perfect vacation, right? You can choose to soak up the sun and the sea on a beach, be one with nature in the hills and perhaps just indulge your senses at a historical destination.

Except when you arrive at your dream destination, it turns out to be a nightmare. It’s crowded beyond expectations, and the destination only compounds everything you hate about city life. It’s far from paradise. It has turned into an over-commercialized and overpopulated version of the place you loved. This is a disaster, a holiday-goers worst nightmare come true.

By Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO Travel said, “The tourism industry has grown at an exponential rate. So much so, that a lot more people are travelling now than they once used to. The emerging middle class has the means and the ability to visit more places now than ever before. And this has given rise to a very real fear dubbed ‘overtourism’.

The term ‘overtourism’ was coined last year and denotes the phase when far too many tourists travel to a destination. While primarily used in a negative context, there are two sides to the concept of overtourism. Let’s look at both the pros and cons of this phenomenon.

With more tourism, there are more opportunities for employment. It allows the people of any locality to earn a better living. Moreover, with more visitors, the economy of the destination benefits leading to better infrastructure and a better standard of living for residents. Ultimately, well-travelled tourists are found to be better adjusted and knowledgeable about the culture of various places. This eventually leads to a peaceful and harmonious world.

But then again, ‘overtourism’ also has its detriments. Residents in Barcelona and Venice have actually organized protests and made graffiti urging tourists return from whence they arrived. This is because overtourism can have an adverse effect in terms of jammed roads, littering, destruction of the ecology of the tourist destination and much more.

So how does one strike a balance between the pros and cons of this phenomenon? The change needs to stem from the tourist himself, who needs to make a very positive difference. While passing through a destination, he/she needs to be responsible so as to not cause an adverse effect on the destination, on the environment and on the residents of the place.

‘Overtourism’ was added to the dictionary when it became a problem for those affected by its menace. Perhaps in the times that follow, ‘responsible tourism’ or ‘sustainable tourism’ will be added to the dictionary as well.

Lifestyle

How to take care of hair in pollution

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Representative Image

New Delhi, Feb 15: With pollution comes the requirement to be extra cautious of your hair as the chances of it getting dull gets higher. Make sure you treat it well.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, Director, Senior Consultant Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon at MedLinks list down some steps to get rid of frizzy hair due to pollution.

* Take cover, wear a hat: Always carry with you a hat or hairband to protect your hair from damage. If you really can’t help being in a really polluted area, keep your hair covered if you can, (or tie it back).

* Wash your hair regularly: Fortunately, pollutants sit on the outside of the cuticle and so can easily be washed off, so in order to reduce the microbial content of the scalp and make it less itchy and prone to flaking, we recommends regular shampooing. For men, alternate days to everyday and for women twice or thrice in a week.

* Adjust your styling routine: Hair that has been exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution becomes damaged, feeling brittle and making breakage and split ends more likely. Keep this in mind when using heat from a straighter, curling iron or hair dryer. Minimize the amount of heat you use and always use a heat protecting product.

* Add back hydration: When in doubt, hydrate. It’s a good rule for your health and your hair. Jojoba oil is one good ingredient to look for as it both moisturises and strengthens the hair’s natural hydro-lipid layer, which coats the hair to help keep it hydrated.

* Deep condition: Start a deep conditioning routine weekly. Deep conditioners are used to repair damaged hair, penetrating deep into the hair hydrating and repairing it.

-*-

Chiranjiv Chhabra, Director and Consultant Dermatologist at Skin Alive Dermatology and Aesthetics also has some inputs to share:

* Oil your hair regularly and properly: You should regularly oil your hair as it nourishes the scalp, cleanses dirt and dead cells. Almond oil is an effective hair cleanser, keeps hair healthy and facilitates hair growth as it is rich in Vitamin E.

* Try some do it yourself hair masks

* Ingredients: 1 Banana (it nourishes and repairs hair); Whole milk (moisturizer); Cocoa Powder – 2 teaspoons (moisturizes)

Method:

* Step 1- Peel and break the banana and put them into the bowl, mash the whole banana with a fork to get a fine pulp.

* Step 2 – Add enough whole milk to thin out the banana mixture. Add two teaspoons of cocoa powder, wisk all the ingredients in the bowl to form a nice smooth paste.

* Step 3 – Apply the mask on dry hair with a dye brush, and leave it for 20-30 minutes once a week with a dye brush to get perfect results.

* Step 4 – Wash your hair with a cleansing mild shampoo and let air dry your hair.

* Usage of right shampoo and conditioner: You should always use a shampoo according to your hair type. If your hair is oily and greasy then you should use oil-free shampoos which will make your hair less oily. For dry hair, you should always use a conditioner or a moisturizing shampoo to protect your hair from frizzing up.

* Add extra protection for your hair: You should keep your scalp well protected in terms of both physical protection and nourishment before stepping out of the house. You can use a sunscreen serum or spray to protect your hair from harmful UV rays and toxins.

IANS

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TV-time in class? Textbooks come alive in Gujarat’s schools

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Bhuj Gujarat School LCD

Bhuj (Gujarat), Feb 15 (IANS) In a small school near Bhuj in Gujarat, a group of class five students sit attentively in class, their eyes glued to an LCD screen. The opened science books on their laps have come alive on the screen before them, as an animated character explains the nuances of the chapter in their native language, Gujarati. Efficient learning, experts say, happens when students enjoy the experience, and in hundreds of schools across Gujarat, digitised school textbooks are opening up children’s minds like never before.

Learning Delight, the hand that is turning the wheel of change in 10,000 government schools, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas across the state, has been digitising the state curriculum since 2011, and has the approval of the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT). The idea is simple: use technology to aid classroom teaching to make the learning process more engaging, more efficient – and definitely more fun.

So much so, that in a survey done in 350 schools where they have a presence, Parinita Gohil, co-founder of Learning Delight, said, “The dropout rate among children studying between Class 1 and Class 8 has come down by 6-7 per cent in the past five years.”

It all started a decade back when two friends, Harshal Gohil and Vandan Kamdar, who were doing their MBA, realised that there was a huge gap in education between schools in different settings. Outdated teaching methods, lack of interest among students and teachers, and gender discrimination were some of the common problems. This led the two to use technology and design, an e-learning tool that would aid classroom teaching.

“Harshal and Vandan began with a survey in five schools. Here they found that although there was no dearth in infrastructure – the schools had computers – there was scepticism about using them,” Parinita Gohil, who is married to Harshal Gohil, told IANS. The resistance mainly arose because “most teachers were not comfortable with the English language, were scared of using the computer, and apprehensive if the computers would replace their role”.

Therefore, the offline computer software that they developed was designed in such a way that a teacher’s presence was necessary in the class. The medium of instruction was Gujarati. “So be it any subject – science, math, social studies – the content was digitised in a way that through animation, riddles, puzzles, and stories textbook learning is made more interactive and fun,” Parinita Gohil said. The experts who designed the digitised content also had teachers on board.

There has, however, been an exception in this digitisation process – the language textbooks, be it English, Hindi, or Gujarati, have been left out. “We don’t want children to leave reading their books. So, while we have digitised the grammar lessons, language textbooks have been left as they are,” she said.

Next in the pipeline is a mobile phone app being developed with a similar software and a foray into Rajasthan, for which software has been developed in Hindi and in tandem with the Rajasthan state education board.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at [email protected] )

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Lifestyle

Facebook tracking users who threaten its workers: Report

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San Francisco, Feb 15 (IANS) Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported.

According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”.

The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.

The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week.

“The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report.

Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services.

“That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added.

Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.

“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

“We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement.

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