MIXED RESPONSE TO BHARAT BANDH, NORMAL LIFE MOSTLY UNAFFECTED - The Daily Guardian
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MIXED RESPONSE TO BHARAT BANDH, NORMAL LIFE MOSTLY UNAFFECTED

Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra governments extended their support to the bandh. Farmers blocked major highways and squatted on railway tracks in many states, including Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

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The ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmer unions to mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the Centre’s three farm laws met with a mixed response. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which gave the call for the nationwide bandh in a statement on Monday, however, said there has been “an unprecedented response, beyond anyone’s expectations”. The bandh, which began at 6 am on Monday, caused disruptions in traffic movement of Delhi and neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab, but normal life remained largely unaffected.

Markets remained open and business activities were largely smooth in the national capital on Monday, though traffic jams were witnessed in border areas due to road blockades by protesters and security checks put in place by the police. A Delhi Metro station near Tikri Border, one of the sites of the ongoing farmers’ protests, was also closed for security reasons in view of the bandh.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said that there was no effect of the bandh on the markets across the country, including Delhi. The auto and taxi unions as well as several traders› bodies extended only “in-principle support” to the bandh and decided not to join the strike, saying their livelihood has already been hit hard by the pandemic and the resultant lockdown.

In the wake of the farmers unions’ bandh call, the Haryana government had made proper arrangements with a strategy in place as the state has become the center of protests. The spokesperson of the police department replied that the Bharat Bandh call given by farmers’ organisations against the three farm laws passed off peacefully in Haryana. The impact of the Bandh was largely seen in the form of road/rail blocks and affected intercity road and rail traffic movement, but did not have much impact on the activities within towns and cities. The bandh call did not have any impact in districts Gurugram, Faridabad, Narnaul, Rewari and Nuh in the state. No violent incident was reported in the state.

However, most of the leaders from the Opposition declared the Bharat Bandh successful, while contrary to this, the ruling faction said that it was a failure and politically motivated protest which will come to an end soon.

Most of the national highways in Haryana were reportedly jammed and blocked, resulting in increased problems for commuters. It is worth mentioning that the Delhi-Hisar, Delhi-Chandigarh, Jalandhar-Bawal, Chandigarh-Hisar and Chandigarh-Shimla highways were blocked by the farmers from morning to evening. Thousands of vehicles were stuck in the jam due to protest on the Delhi-Gurugram border and Gurugram-Jaipur highway.

Apart from the mentioned above, most of the roads in cities including Jind, Sirsa, Kaithal, Fatehabad, Bhiwani, Hisar, along with adjoining others, were reportedly jammed, causing problems for commuters. Railway services were also reportedly affected on several routes as farmers were sitting on the railway tracks. In view of this, few of the trains were cancelled, while some of them were declared delayed by the authorities concerned. The protest remained otherwise quite peaceful, giving relief to all as a string of violent incidents had occurred between the farmers and security forces earlier. During the Bharat Bandh, the higher officials were in constant touch with the local police officers so that no violent incident happened.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, malls and shops were open as usual.

The governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh extended their support to the bandh, and the effect of protest was seen in these states.

In other northern states, except Haryana and Punjab, the protest seemed to have no major impact. The protests, however, received some support in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The roads in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram wore a deserted look and shops were closed as the trade unions affiliated to LDF and UDF supported the call for Bharat Bandh. Meanwhile, protesters agitating against the three farm laws broke police barricades in the Anna Salai area of Tamil Nadu’s Chenna, following which many agitators were detained by the police.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Monday severely criticised the Kerala government for extending support to the Bharat Bandh and said that “protest by farmers is politically motivated and it is anti-government”.

“The agriculture laws that are enacted don’t have anything to do with Kerala as Kerala doesn’t have mandis. Then why Kerala people are subjected to unnecessary torture? It’s a politically motivated anti-PM Modi protest,” Muraleedharan said.

Rail operations were also affected by the bandh with services of about 25 trains getting affected. According to the Northern Railway, the rail operations in Delhi, Ambala and Ferozepur divisions were impacted by people sitting on tracks.

Farmers have been protesting at different sites since November 26 last year against the three enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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VASU HEALTHCARE FORAYS INTO EXCLUSIVE BRANDED OUTLETS WITH ‘VASU NATURALS’

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With an aim to strengthen the direct consumer connect and give first-hand experience of existing and new product offerings, Vasu Healthcare, Herbal Cosmetics, Personal Care, and Nutritional Supplements brand, has launched the company’s first exclusive brand outlet (EBO)—‘Vasu Naturals’ in Vadodara, Gujarat.

Vasu Naturals outlets will have the entire range of products from Vasu Healthcare: haircare, skincare, personal care, men’s care and other health and wellness products. The company has 200 plus products covering segments including Urology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Respiratory care etc.

Speaking on the launch, Hardik Ukani, Managing Director, Vasu Healthcare Pvt Ltd, said, “Vasu Naturals outlet is the fifth division of the company—direct consumer division to give the consumers first-hand experience of all existing and future launches of Vasu Healthcare. Going forward, the company is planning to launch more Vasu Naturals outlets in Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot etc. and gradually expand nationally. Focused on direct consumer connect, the company is looking to strengthen a network of retail touch-points including company outlets, exclusive kiosk, and shop in shop model.”

The company has the vision to establish itself as a science-based, head-to-heel brand harnessed from nature’s wealth. The company’s flagship brand—Trichup, is omnipresent worldwide and offers a range of hair care Solutions including oil, shampoo, serum, hair conditioner, cream etc.

“Inspired by nature, Vasu Healthcare offers a range of innovative products enthused by Ayurveda’s rich heritage and backed by strong R&D, modern science, and technology. The company will consider setting up Vasu Naturals brand outlets in overseas markets based on the response in domestic markets. Our R&D team is further working on expanding the personal hygiene and oral healthcare,” said Sagar Patel, Director, Vasu Healthcare Pvt Ltd.

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Ticketing platform Yellowheart launches app to stamp out middlemen

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In an apparent bid to stamp out middlemen that seek to profit from tickets resale of live events and concerts, ticketing platform Yellowheart recently announced the launch of NFT ticketing mobile application YellowHeart Wallet, which eliminates the need for a physical ticket and connect users directly to its Web3 Ethereum-based NFT ticketing platform and marketplace.

The Wallet enables credit card fiat and cryptocurrency payments via Ethereum and Polygon integration, to be used for live event NFT ticket purchasing and on-site redemption and integrates with on-site activations and the concert-going experience.

“The YellowHeart Wallet is a major milestone for the live event industry. The App allows fans, artists, and venues to interact with Web3 marketplaces, which will greatly evolve the fan experience and create long-term recurring revenue opportunities for artists, teams, and venues. Artists, teams, and venues that don’t adapt will get left behind,” said Josh Katz, CEO of Yellowheart.

“Providing fans with a technology that grants exclusive access to concert tickets and event-specific content is a real win for us; combining this with our focus on artist community tokens, exclusive album-connected NFT content, and the possibilities for creativity from here are endless,” added Katz.

Running ticket sales through an open-source blockchain via the new app and wallet will give artists and event organisers the ability to track the entire ticketing cycle including monitoring secondary market resale and potential ‘scalping’.

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Jai Bheem app to give young Indians a platform to enhance their skills through short videos

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The country’s young generation will now be able to express their creativity through short videos. Girish Wankhede, a well-known entertainment professional and trade analyst of mainstream cinema, has announced the 4 December launch of the Jai Bheem mobile application in India, allowing users to record, discover, and share short videos.

“Jai Bheem is a short videos application that hones the skills of the youth in small towns that don’t get the opportunity to express their creativity. It will shape their careers by sharing the revenue with those whose videos go viral. It is an opportunity for youth offering them a career in entertainment as well as it makes them our ‘Revenue partners’,” announced Wankhede.

The app maker claims that ensuring data privacy has been the priority with all the data stored on servers in India.

The app also allows creators to enjoy full ownership and control of their videos, which they can download, anytime they want. Jai Bheem App is fully developed by an Indian team.

The teaser launch event of the Jai Bheem app was recently held amidst huge fanfare in Dubai in the presence of top Bollywood stars and corporate bigwigs.

Wankhede also unveiled the motion creative of the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan diwas especially created by the app team that fetched stupendous applause from the press persons. Along with Wankhede, Aman Kamble of Awaaz India was also present on occasion.

This app would not only talk about entertainment; it will also be focusing on entrepreneurship apart from entertainment.

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GOVT FOCUSING ON STRENGTHENING INDIA’S LOGISTICS SECTOR

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The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is giving enormous thrust on improving logistics in the country and taking steps to bring efficiency into logistics management.

Delivering a talk on “Improving Operational Efficiency in Logistics Infrastructure; Multimodal Integrated Logistics Parks; Technologies” at Smart Mobility Conference 2021 at Pragati Maidan in the Capital on Tuesday, Suman Prasad Singh, Joint Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, said, “Our present focus is to have integrated planning of transport network development. We should not develop it in silo, that’s why the Gati Shakti portal has already come.”

“So far as the infrastructure of MoRTH is concerned, our basic purpose is to reduce the travel time. There are instances near ports, when a distance of 10 km, sometimes, takes more than 24 hours to cover. The reason is not the distance but many other factors like traffic restrictions,” he said.

The JS (Logistics) said the Ministry is trying to develop a dedicated highway to the port so that the travel time gets reduced, and it is operational all the time. “Similarly, whenever there is congestion, we are coming up with flyovers, bypasses, ring roads etc. All such aspects have been studied and incorporated in the Bharatmala Pariyojana,” Singh pointed out.

He said a number of steps have been taken to strengthen the logistics in the country. “The seriousness of the government towards addressing the logistics issue can be understood by the fact that a dedicated logistics department has been set up to bring down the cost of logistics. The government is trying to bring down this cost,” said the JS (Logistics).

Calling upon the private sector to join hands with the government in a true spirit of “partnership”, he said the policies introduced by the Ministry should be complied with in a positive manner. “Compliance attitude needs to be developed by the users of these policies,” said Singh.

The session was also addressed by Amrit Lal Meena, Additional Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Prakash Gaur, CEO, National Highway Logistics Management Limited; and Vaibhav Dange, Advisor National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), besides others.

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DOCTORS GUIDE CORPORATE LEADERS ON DEALING WITH OBESITY AND MENTAL STRESS

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‘Exercise alone cannot make you lose too much weight. Diet plays a more important role. Meal replacements through various diet plans can work for only certain periods of time. Eventually, the body goes back to its original weight and in the long term, you don’t seem to have results. Bariatric surgery leaps ahead of any other non-surgical method as it can make you lose weight and maintain it”, said Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, Director, Dept. of General Surgery & Minimal Access Surgical Sciences, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital at an engagement of Thought Leaders of India (TLOI).

The meeting was held under TLOI’s Wellness Impact initiative last Thursday and the well-known laparoscopic, GI, and bariatric surgeon was addressing leaders of India Inc., who are members of the business community. He was the Chief Guest. The exclusive meeting was also addressed by renowned psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty, Founder of Maitri, who has been appointed as a member of the National Testing Agency (NTA) by the Government of India. He was the Guest of Honour. Given the work stress, haphazard timelines, and sedentary lifestyles, leaders of the corporate world often face challenges to physical and mental wellness. The two medical experts were invited to help the business leaders understand the two biggest health challenges—obesity and mental wellness— and realign their lifestyles with their bodies and mind in a more cognisant manner.

“Obesity is linked to less fertility, less sexual desire, varicose veins, and sleep apnea,” said Dr Lakdawala, while busting many myths on body weight, food habits, exercise, and lifestyle management. “It not only impacts the weight-bearing joints but also the non-weight bearing joints as it leads to high levels of uric acid”, he said. The Honorary Surgeon to the Vice President of India also informed about the non-fatty liver syndrome, saying that fatty liver is linked to not only alcohol but to obesity too. “Studies also show that it is not necessary for rice-eating people to put on weight”.

There were many cautions in Dr Lakdawala’s address. While guiding the business leaders on the way to check their BMI according to the specially curated index for Indian physiology “as obesity is classified differently for Indians and Asians vis-a-vis other countries”, he spoke about the danger of obesity leading to diabetes. “We have 90 million diabetics in India, and are next only to China,” he said adding that most obese people are malnourished as they face a deficiency of vitamins B and D.

However, fat should not be completely driven off our dining table, advised Dr Lakdawala, who was given the Best Surgeon in the World Award by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in 2019. “Fat is important for vitamin A, B, D & E”, he said and explained how a balance could be arrived at. When asked about an ideal diet or eating routine he backed the practice of having dinner prior to sunset as it allows the person to get three to four hours of gap between their meal and sleep, which is important and healthy.

Dr Harish Shetty, identified as one of the 17 young mental health workers by the World Health Organisation, highlighted the need to reconnect in his address. “We have all lost connection. Connectivity in people has gone down and emotional contact time in the family has declined. Globalisation has caused the disconnection. We need to reconnect”.

Speaking on why leaders are more prone to mental stress and depression, Dr Shetty said, “In a globalised world it is very important to preserve empathy and it takes a lot of effort. You need to share your vulnerability with your hierarchy downwards. You can’t be the only pillar that holds the entire organisation.” Emphasising that our goal should be to build emotional health, Dr Shetty underlined the anatomy of Pathy Triad: apathy, empathy, and antipathy. “They co-exist,” he said guiding them about empowered vulnerability. “It is important to accept your vulnerabilities as that is what makes you empowered”.

Sharing specific data, Dr Shetty said that one out of seven Indians is mentally ill and shared a five-point solution to manage stress and prevent depression—deal, dissolve, deflect, distract, and disintegrate. “Continuous exhaustion and excessive guilt are signs of depression,” he cautioned. “Depression is a fracture of the mind and it is invisible”.

To a query on ways to destress in highly active life, Dr Shetty shared three simple ways: a) micro pranayama – using even a two-minute window to take a few deep breaths; b) showers – the water sprayed on the top of the head helps relax the skull muscle, which helps the body to relax; and c) short breaks – taking small breaks and processing one’s emotions. He stressed the need to vent out regularly. Dr Shetty, who also trains the judiciary, warned, “Obsessive exercise doesn’t work, joyous exercise works”.

He recommended every organisation to have a mental health policy. Dr Shetty gave five simple mantras to a good and happy life: yoga, exercise, diet, sleep and kindness. He had a strong piece of advice for women: “Do not try to be perfect in everything. It is ok to be imperfect.”

Thought Leaders of India (TLOI), an exclusive ‘by-invitation’ community that has made long strides in a short span is curated by Sapphire Connect, one of India’s premier B2B meeting specialists. Its members include top entrepreneurs, founders, chairmen, managing directors, and CXOs of corporate India across industries.

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LAWYER FILES PIL IN SC CHALLENGING VALIDITY OF CERTAIN SECTIONS OF NDPS ACT

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NEW DELHI: A lawyer has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme court challenging the validity of certain sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The plea seeks direction to decriminalise the purchase of certain drugs up to a certain level of “small scale” for personal consumption. The plea filed by advocate Jai Krishna Singh seeks direction to quash Sections, 21, 27, 27A, 35, 37 and 54 of the NDPS Act and declare them in their present form as unconstitutional.

It seeks direction to the Centre to withdraw the cases instituted against the alleged drug users and those who are facing the charges of procuring drugs for the consumption of their associates having no commercial angle.

It further seeks direction for reframing these provisions of the NDPS Act and decriminalising the purchase of certain drugs up to a certain level “small scale” for personal consumption or for one’s relative or dear ones or live-in -partner or master encouraging side by side public health approach to drug users including recreational users.

The PIL seeks direction for the government to identify, and provide counselling and treat the drug users and not punish them by sending them to jail.

Further, it urged to set up an inquiry into the allegations of Rs 18 crore extortion racket run allegedly by NCB Zonal head, either by CBI or by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court.

“Their wounds can be healed only by withdrawing the cases instituted against them for drug consumption and procuring contraband for their masters, friends or associates. We cannot return their time spent in jail, their lost honour and respect but indeed we can console them who suffered horrendous treatment because of the faulty National Drugs and Psychotropic substances Act NDPS Act 1985in short,” plea said.

Many of the provisions have a wider ambit and were abused by enforcement agencies especially against alleged drug users, plea further said.

“The nation cannot forget that the youngsters have been given life long trauma by parading them in public in full media glare and then ailing and defaming them by accusing them of being part of the drug syndicate,” it added.

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