New Delhi [India], February 15 (ANI): Basant Panchami, the festival which marks the arrival of the spring season in India, would be celebrated on February 16, this year. Held on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Magha maas (month), Basant Panchami is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja in some parts of the country.
Festivals in India are all about harmony and togetherness, in fact, the fun of the occasion is simply incomplete without good food and happiness. As per the Hindu Mythology, Lord Brahma is believed to have created the universe on this day.
Apart from that, the reason for the celebration of Saraswati Puja in some parts of the country is because it was believed that on this day Goddess Durga gave birth to Goddess Saraswati. The significance of the occasion is huge in Hindu culture, as the day is considered extremely auspicious to start new work, get married or perform house warming ceremony (Grah Pravesh).
Basant Panchami is predominantly, celebrated in eastern parts of India as Saraswati Puja, particularly in West Bengal, Bihar and north-eastern states like Tripura and Assam. The goddess, Saraswati is dressed in yellow, and flowers, sweets of the same colour are offered to her. People visit her temples and worship her.
The colour yellow holds great importance in the celebration of Basant Panchami. It marks the harvest time of mustard crop that has yellow blooms, which is Goddess Saraswati’s favourite colour. Hence, yellow attire is worn by the followers of Saraswati. Moreover, a traditional feast is prepared for the festival wherein the dishes usually are yellow and saffron in colour.
In North India, especially in Punjab and Haryana, Basant Panchami is celebrated as a festival of kites. Sweet rice is one such mouthwatering dish served in Punjab. Other dishes include Makki ki roti and Sarso ka saag. The sight of wide patches of fields filled with mustard crops is another characteristic of this season. In Rajasthan wearing jasmine garland to celebrate this festival is a part of the rituals.
In the southern states of India, the festival is celebrated as Sri Panchami. Yagnas are done in schools and colleges as students celebrate with great sincerity and fervour. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati bestows her devotees with lots of wisdom, learning and knowledge, as the goddess is considered to be an epitome of wisdom.
Students and teachers wear new clothes, offer prayers to the goddess of knowledge and various programs of song and dance are organised to please her. Usually, toddlers start learning from this day in a unique ceremony named ‘Khadi-Chuan’/Vidya-Arambha.
The festival is celebrated by people in various ways depending upon their region in the Indian subcontinent. Basant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holi, which take place forty days later. (ANI)
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Study reveals association between walking pace and risk of death among cancer survivors
Washington [US], March 7 (ANI): A study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has found that a slow walking pace among cancer survivors may increase their chances of death.
The research has also identified an association between a slow walking pace and an increased risk of death among cancer survivors.
Investigators now call for more research into these relationships and whether targeted interventions such as physical activity programs could help cancer survivors improve their ability to walk and increase survival after cancer diagnosis and treatment.
While the study does not establish that slow walking is a cause of death, the association persisted across at least nine tumour types.
The study, a collaboration between Washington University, the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of North Carolina and George Washington University, appears March 4 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
“Cancer survivors are living longer than ever – and that’s good news,” said first author Elizabeth A. Salerno, PhD, an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University.
“But it’s important to improve our understanding of how the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of cancers may affect walking pace during survivorship — a potentially modifiable risk factor — which could lead to new treatment and rehabilitation strategies to improve the health of these patients.”
The researchers studied over 233,000 participants enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons (NIH-AARP) Diet and Health Study.
Participants, who were ages 50 to 71, answered questionnaires about their overall health and walking pace, and whether they had any disability related to walking, such as walking at a very slow pace or being unable to walk. After the assessment, participants were followed for several years.
Compared with healthy controls enrolled in the study, cancer survivors were 42% more likely to report walking at the slowest pace and 24% more likely to report being disabled. Among cancer survivors, those who walked at the slowest pace had more than a twofold increased risk of death from any cause, compared with those reporting the fastest walking pace.
The association between the slowest walking pace and a significantly increased risk of death from any cause held for nine cancer types, including breast, colon, melanoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, oral, prostate, rectal, respiratory and urinary cancers.
The association between mobility disability (not just slow pace) and death was even stronger and included all nine of the cancers mentioned above, plus endometrial, endocrine, ovarian and stomach cancers.
While slow walking pace also was linked to increased mortality that was due to any cause among individuals without a cancer diagnosis, the risk of death more than doubled for cancer survivors.
Compared with individuals without a cancer diagnosis who walked at the fastest pace, cancer survivors who walked the slowest had more than tenfold increased risk of death from any cause. Cancer survivors with mobility disability had more than fivefold increased risk of death compared with individuals with no cancer diagnosis or disability.
The researchers noted that cancer survivors reported difficulties walking five years or more after cancer diagnosis and treatment, suggesting that the detrimental effects of cancer diagnosis and therapy are widespread across cancer types and long-lasting, creating opportunities for intervening to help such patients improve their walking ability and pace.
“To our knowledge, this analysis is the first to explore the relationship between cancer, walking pace and subsequent mortality in 15 different cancer types,” said Salerno, who conducted this research while a postdoctoral researcher at the NCI.
“Next steps include identifying the underlying reasons for these associations. It’s possible that slow walking may be due to cancer itself, adverse effects of treatment, or changes in lifestyle. There is still much to be learned about these complex relationships, but our results highlight the importance of monitoring and even targeting walking pace after cancer.” (ANI)
Study unveils association between gender assumptions and climate adaption
Washington [US], March 7 (ANI): A study led by Dr Jacqueline Lau from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU) and WorldFish , suggested that gender — alongside other identities like race, class, and age — has a powerful influence on people’s experience of, and resilience to, climate change.
The findings claimed that outdated assumptions regarding gender continue to hinder effective and fair policymaking, along with the action for climate mitigation and adaptation.
She said the four most common and interlinked assumptions found are: women are innately caring and connected to the environment; women are a homogenous and vulnerable group; gender equality is a women’s issue and; gender equality is a numbers game.
“Although there is a global mandate to work towards gender equality in climate change mitigation and adaptation, efforts are hindered by a set of assumptions about gender, long critiqued in development studies,” Dr Lau said.
The study draws on post-2014 gender and climate change literature, to give an overview of how the gender assumptions manifest across recent work in adaptation, mitigation, and broader climate change policy, practice, and research.
The review of the literature takes a closer look at how these assumptions narrowly diagnose the causes of gender inequality.
“As a result, we see too many strategies that have unintended–and even counterproductive–consequences,” said Dr Pip Cohen, from WorldFish.
“For instance, strategies that target women only may overburden them, cause a backlash, or obscure the vulnerabilities of other groups.”
The study offers lessons for a more informed pursuit of gender equality in climate change research, policy, and practice.
The authors said progressing gender equality means breaking down stereotypes and prejudices about gender–creating environments to enable all people to exercise their agency to cope, change and adapt.
Dr Lau said she was surprised to find so many examples of gender assumptions in climate change practice. She explained that a first step in disrupting these assumptions is to lay them bare and explain why development research has found them to be problematic.
“The social and cultural expectations about what it is to be a woman or a man in any given society will shape people’s wellbeing,” Dr Lau said.
She said alongside efforts to dismantle broader barriers to gender equality, better and more coordinated efforts are needed from practitioners and researchers to disrupt and counteract unhelpful assumptions.
“Pursuing gender equality in climate change policy and practice is critical, and decades of experience in development offer lessons for how to do it well,” Dr Lau said.
“Ultimately, we want to see equitable opportunities for all people to realize their full potential. Where no one is left behind.” (ANI)
‘The Terminal List’: Riley Keough joins Chris Pratt’s Amazon series
Washington [US], March 7 (ANI): Hollywood actor Riley Keough has joined the cast of Chris Pratt’s Amazon conspiracy-thriller series ‘The Terminal List’, based on Jack Carr’s bestselling novel.
According to Variety, the star has signed to star opposite Chriss Pratt in the series.
Pratt will executive produce the thriller drama along with Antoine Fuqua, who will direct, along with writer David DiGilio.
‘The Terminal List’ follows James Reece (Pratt) after his entire platoon of Navy SEALs is ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission. Reece returns home to his family with conflicting memories of the event and questions about his culpability. However, as new evidence comes to light, Reece discovers dark forces working against him, endangering not only his life but the lives of those he loves.
Keough will be seen playing the role of Lauren Reece, an elite triathlete and a warrior in her own right. The drama will show Lauren with a balanced her career, raising her daughter Lucy and providing vital support to other platoon families when her husband James and his SEAL Troop are deployed. While the majority of SEAL marriages fall apart, Lauren and James have made it through on honesty, mental toughness, and undying love, reported Variety.
Based on the novel of the same name by Jack Carr, ‘The Terminal List’ will also star Taylor Kitsch, Constance Wu, and Jeanne Tripplehorn in pivotal roles.
Carr will also serve as an executive producer along with Pratt and Jon Schumacher through Indivisible Productions and Fuqua will do it through Fuqua Films (The Equalizer, Training Day). DiGilio will write, show-run, and executive produce. (ANI)
Shahid Kapoor aces ‘Gravity Challenge’ with wife Mira
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Celebrity couple Shahid Kapoor and Mira Kapoor nailed the viral Internet video trend ‘Gravity Challenge’ on Sunday.
After the Ice Bucket and Mannequin Challenge, here came another video trend that is going viral on social media.
The #GravityChallenge is spreading like wild fire on social media with more and more couples joining in to complete the challenge. The challenge comes as a battle between men and women upon who is stronger.
Many couples have been trying this and on a larger scale, where most women are able to beat them in this challenge. But, the case with Bollywood’s ‘Sasha’ is not similar.
Shahid’s wife, Mira Kapoor hopped on to her Instagram account a shared a short clip that sees the husband-wife duo participating in the challenge. Leaving her in surprise, the ‘Kabir Singh’ actor aced the same. Referring to which, Mira wrote, “Always up for a challenge, Mr Kapoor. You’re a smooth operator. Nailed it,” using a kiss emoticon in the caption.
Where Mira looked simply beautiful in sleeveless peach coloured top, and rugged jeans; Shahid looked dapper as always in hoodie and shorts.
The video managed to accumulate more than four lakh views within a few hours of being posted with scores of fans leaving lovestruck messages for the couple.
Shahid’s younger brother and actor Ishaan Khatter also lest heart emoticons on the video and wrote, “I did it too”.
The celebrity couple is the parents of two, 4-year-old baby girl Misha and 2-year-old baby boy Zain.
Meanwhile, on the professional front, Kapoor will be next seen in the remake of the sports film ‘Jersey’. The 39-year-old star will be seen essaying the role of a cricket player in the movie. He had recently wrapped up shooting for it. It also features actors Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Kapur, among others.
He is also set to star in filmmakers Raj and DK’s upcoming OTT project which will also feature actor Raashi Khanna. (ANI)
Vicky Kaushal spends his Sunday at Uri Base Camp
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal relished his ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ memories by visiting the Uri Base Camp in Kashmir on Sunday.
The ‘Raazi’ actor took to his Instagram account and shared the behind the scenes pictures from his visit to the Uri Base Camp. Through the post, the 32-year-old explained how honoured he felt after spending the day with the locals who were not only full of warmth but also ‘extremely talented’.
Taking to the caption, he wrote, “My heartfelt thanks to the Indian Army for inviting me to the Uri Base Camp, Kashmir. Thank You for giving me an opportunity to spend a lovely day with the locals who were so full of warmth and amazingly talented. It is the biggest honour for me to be in company of our great armed forces. Thank You. Jai Hind!”
In 2019, Vicky played the role of Major Vihan Shergill in the Aditya Dhar directorial flick ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, which hit the big screens on January 11.
The action drama is based on the 2016 Indian Army’s surgical strike and showcases the instances of what went down during the Indian army’s surgical strike in Pakistan following the attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri town.
The 2016 surgical strike was initiated on September 29 after four militants attacked the Indian Army at Uri on September 18 and killed 19 unarmed soldiers.
Apart from Vicky, the film also stars Paresh Rawal as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Yami Gautam as a no-nonsense interrogation officer. The movie, which is produced by Ronnie Screwvala, also features Kirti Kulhari and Mohit Raina in pivotal roles.
The film won the National Awards in 2019 for background music, sound design, best director and best actor. (ANI)
Sonakshi Sinha to make her digital debut on Amazon Prime
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Bollywood actor Sonakshi Sinha is all set to make her digital debut with ace filmmaker Zoya Akhtar on Amazon Prime.
Film critic and movie trade analyst Taran Adarsh confirmed the same on Twitter on Sunday.
“SONAKSHI MAKES HER DIGITAL DEBUT… #FirstLook of #SonakshiSinha in #Amazon’s new series [not titled yet]… Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar are the executive producers… Directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi,” he tweeted.
The ‘Dabangg’ star and the ‘Gully Boy’ film director also confirmed the same news on their social media accounts by posting the first look of Sonakshi as a cop from the untitled series.
Alongside the post, the caption read, “There’s no limit to what women can accomplish. Our collective belief in this has only been reinforced time and again. And on the eve of #WomensDay, we’re taking things up a notch! Can’t wait for @aslisona to show us yet again how girls get it done! Coming soon, on @primevideoIN”.
Meanwhile, on the work front, the 33-year-old actor will also be seen playing a role of the brave social worker Sunderben Jetha Madharparya, in the upcoming Indian Hindi-language war drama action film ‘Bhuj: The pride of India’, directed, co-produced, and written by Abhishek Dudhaiya.
She also announced her character Bulbul from her upcoming Netflix film titled ‘BulbulTarang’ few days ago. (ANI)
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