Tag Archives: City News

The latest news of events and interesting destinations to hang out in the city. And stories of lifestyle hacks to live in a city.

Police verified Maids and Drivers for your home and office

Clueless about how to find trustworthy Maids and Drivers, then visit saaarthi.com to get Police verified helps for your home or office. Saaarthi is an organisation based in Mumbai, that provides maids and drivers who have been thoroughly verified

Saaarthi has a systematic and meticulous process of verifying the helps.

  • A thorough background check of the candidate
  • Followed by Police verification.

Saarthi helps us choose a skilled help according to our requirement, from a number of candidates provided by Saaarthi, without worrying about their background credentials.

In Delhi, yesterday an elderly was suspected to have been killed by a mason he hired to paint the house. The accused had a scuffle two days back with the victim about the payment and so he killed him along with the help of the house maid and her husband.  Such incidents are becoming rampant and in such scenario Saarthi provides Police verified Maids and Drivers.

In Nuclear families, as men and women opt for full-time careers, there is always requirment for trustworthy and skilled maids to take care of kids, elderly and to do household works. At this juncture saaarthi.com provides Maids and Drivers who are pre-verified.

Saaarthi Household Solutions Helps  hire Police Verified Drivers

  • Police Clearance Check (PCC) Done for all deployed drivers.
  • Complete set of fingerprints, Photographs and other details are maintained in our servers.

Tips That Could help you to keep Your Family Safe

  • Verify all domestic help with the police, even those who work part-time.
  • Do not hire any domestic servant on the recommendation of your milkman, driver and security man. Get references from employers.
  • Do not let your domestic servant’s ‘friends’ inside your house.
    Whenever a new servant is employed, the police station should be informed. His photographs, fingerprints and other details must be obtained and verified.

Saaarthi provides reliable maids and drivers, and liberates us from the tedious job of police verification of the candidates. In addition, Saaarthi also provides replacement of the candidates in case we find the person does not meet our requirement.

Hepsiba, the Chennai Girl, won gold at street child games in Rio De Janeiro

Once a hapless little kid, 16 year old, Hepsiba never travelled in an express train in her life though once her home was just a stone throw away from South India’s largest railway station, Chennai Central . But last month this wonder girl made her first flight and travelled more than 14000 km crossing oceans from Chennai to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to achieve something. And she returned with a few medals: one gold and two bronze won in a Street child games in Rio De Janeiro.

Relocated from her dwelling

Few months back Hepsiba and her widowed mother were evicted, by the Chennai corporation, from shanty home along the Sydenhams Road near the Nehru Stadium in chennai where they were living for years. Along with many other dwellers, they were shifted to a shelter home.

An NGO discovered the prodigy

It was Karunalaya, and NGO in Chennai that discovered the talent in her and gave Hepsibah the opportunity that finally took her to Rio. Few weeks ago, Karunalaya organised a sports meet, in Chennai, for the street children, and Hepsiba was one among them. Paul Sunder Singh of Karunalaya says that they found this girl had sheer talent and they decided to take her to big events. But before leaving for Rio she had to jump many hurdles: not in the filed but in many other ways. “Actually, she just about made it; it was a miracle that her passport came through on time,” Mr. Singh says. The team could not win any sponsorship from any corporates or philanthropists but International NGO Street Child United who organised the entire meet has helped a bit and Karunalaya took some loan for the children to make the trip. The London based NGO works to empower marginalised street kids and give them a platform of sports to nurture their talents.

Trained like a Pro

Intensively trained by coach Prabhakar Suresh for about two weeks, Hepsiba and team left for Rio in the second week of March and spent one and half weeks there. Hepsiba won gold in 100 meter sprint and and silver in 400m and bronze in 100m hurdles. Her team mate Ashok won a bronze in boys’ shot put and Sneha stood third in 4x100m relay race and bagged bronze.

24 Carat Friendship with participants of other countries

They interacted with other participants mostly from third world countries like Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Burundi. Hepsiba says that now she has won many friends from these countries and she values the friendships are larger than the medals she won and that makes her ‘very very happy’. Another participant, Usha spoke at the Street Child Games General Assembly  and stressed the need to protect street children from people especially police who find a way to  harass them in a regular basis.  “Everyday we fear the police. Police are supposed to support and safeguard us, but we don’t experience this. To protect children from violence at the hands of the police, street children need to be invited to speak at police training so they (police) can understand and empathise,” she said.
In Hebrew Hepsiba means ‘My delight is in Her’. The Lord’s delight and grace are indeed there upon her. She has to win more medals and has to reach new heights.

Also Read: AT 83, SHE IS PREPARING FOR HER NEXT VETERANS ATHLETICS MEET

 
About the Author:  

SudhirSudhir Athekkattil is a digital creative artist from Kerala and now working in Chennai who has a flair in creative writing too. His interests range from cricket to cooking and movies to music. 

 DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

Fantastico humans with mission in life

When I first went to interview Devender Singh Anand, whom I call Uncle, for the article  Empowering the underprivileged with Newspaper Cuttings, he was clueless why I wanted to write about him.  All these years he approached the Media only to write for the cause he is so passionately involved – helping the underprivileged and the specially abled.

His son explained to him “Papa, she has to write about someone who is doing inspiring work, so she wants to write about you. You will become famous after she writes”.

When I came to know the blog mentioned above got a prize, I called Uncle to give him the great news. When he picked the phone I told him very excitedly “Uncle the article about you won a prize, now you and your work will get more attention and moreover you are inspiring the youth of the country.” (the contest was conducted by Indibloggers and Youth ki Awaaz).

Uncle’s reply was a long silence….followed by “Very good, now you try to write something about the obstacles that the underprivileged have to undergo to gain their rights”.  The new-found recognition did not give him any reason to rejoice. Except him, everyone around him was excited.

Fantastico Humans with a Mission are like this; their focus is only on their mission. All the accolades and the attention is important to them only if it will serve to strengthen further their mission. In this Nation of 1.25 million population, there may be hundreds of such Fantastico humans, who continue their mission without worrying about Awards and Rewards.

In the park that I go for morning walks, an elderly man daily comes and waters the plants. One day I requested him to allow me to take a picture of him to put on my facebook page ‘Elderly of Delhi’.  He curtly refused. His mission to water plants can inspire many, but he does not want to be in the public glare.

Every year awards are given to the best teachers in the country. I wonder if there are only a handful of teacher that need to be awarded each year. Every Student, whether academically successful or not, has, at least, one teacher who has inspired him in his life. A teacher goes out of the way to help bright students with extra books, free tuition, food and accommodation.

There is one Fantastico Human about whom I very much want to write a blog. She was detected with breast cancer fifteen years ago, and because of her sheer determination, and courage she is now leading a normal life. In those days, the internet was not so common, yet she managed to gather all information on how to win over cancer. She now inspires those suffering to fight and win over the dreaded disease. Whenever I hear that someone, especially young woman, has succumbed to the disease, I regret that I did not introduce this Fantastico Human to her.  I have requested her to share her incredible story on my blog, but silence is her answer. I hope she reads this post and shares her story. Maybe we can use a pseudo name if she doesn’t want to come in public glare.

Booking for Rs 251 Smartphones begins at 6:00 AM on Feb 18

Ringing Bells, the smartphone manufacturer in India, has launched the world’s cheapest smartphone Freedom 251 costing at Rs 251. The booking for the smartphone can be done from the company’s website freedom251.com starting February 18, from 6:00 AM onwards. Here are a few things to know about the Rs 251 Smartphone, Freedom 251, which cost less than $4:

India Digital Summit: Promising days ahead for Startups in India

The 10th India Digital Summit, with the theme ‘Stand-Up Start-Up’, saw the coming together of startups and investors from all across India, and the world. There were inspirational talks and discussions by the founders of popular Startups that are now a name to reckon with, like Paytm, Shopcules, Meru Cabs, Oxigen Wallet, to name a few. Aspiring startups introduced their innovative products before a bevy of investors gathered from all around the world.

Hundreds of executives from sectors like Mobile & Internet, Technology, Cloud, eCommerce, Travel, etc. attended the two-days meet, on Feb 10th and 11th, 2016. The largest gathering of the Digital organizations was conducted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), at The Lalit Hotel in New Delhi. The conference covered a broad range of topics related to the web and the mobile like value added services, payment, and networking, etc. Also discussed were issues relating to the use and application of various digital media -the web, mobile, social media, etc. Startups got insight into efficient positioning and promotion of Brands and their products.

Various Sessions discussed the penetration of internet in different sectors. Founder of Startups which made successful inroads in categories like food, rural India, health, travel, books, education, and women empowerment, participated in the discussions. According to experts in the online education courses, there is a great possibility for Edu-Tech in rural India. And people in rural India are ready to pay for the education products they buy online’.

A wide range of interesting products was introduced by startups before prospective investors and delegates. One interesting product was an App with which all of the Apps in the mobile can be opened at a faster pace. The age of the startups aspirants is decreasing with some of those claiming to be technical head of companies were still studying in college.

In the Valedictory Address, Jayan Sinha, Minister of State of Finance, Government of India, said that ‘Technology is the secret sauce of India’s transformation.’ Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha Member, who founded BPL Mobile, discussed the relevance of Net neutrality. Overall in the two days of Leadership talks, discussions and networking among delegates, there was a feeling of positivity with hopes of greater days ahead for aspiring startups.

Few facts about Mosquito-borne Zika Virus in India

There is an alarming spread of the Zika virus in various parts of the world by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is also the carrier of dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses.  The outbreak which is spreading fast across the globe due to human alterations of their environments. Scientists and Ecologists state can empower disease-carrying organisms such as Aedes, and the viruses can eventually add on in various forms.

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Papers published by National Institute of Virology (NIV), in Pune in 1950’s, by a team of experts and the published paper in 1953, indicates that India is also prone to Zika Virus attacks. They conducted tests on the exposure of Indians to 15 insects-borne diseases, one of which was by the Zika virus. It was found that ‘significant numbers’ of people were exposed to the virus as early as in the 1950s, even before the first official registering of a case of humans in Nigeria in 1954. Only thirty-three of the 196 people tested for the disease had immunity to it. The NIV had concluded in their paper that “It, therefore, seems sure that Zika virus attacks human beings in India.”

Malaria, dengue and chikungunya affected 1.13 million people in India last year. For a decade, the number of reported confirmed cases of malaria is nearly 1.87 crore, and the number of reported deaths due to Malaria case in India is approximately 12,000. At the outset, last year dengue cases and deaths had reached an all-time high in India with 97,000+ cases and 200 deaths in 2015 itself. Our country bears an enormous burden of mosquito-borne diseases, contributing 34 per cent of global dengue and 11 per cent of global malaria cases and with mosquito-borne diseases like  Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya being widespread in the country for many decades, India should focus how to handle the scenario in case the Zika virus outbreak.

The virus is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that carry other tropical viruses such as dengue and yellow fever. Global health officials are alarmed because of its potential link to brain defects in infants as well as a rare syndrome that can lead to paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries”. The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and people but spread by mosquitoes. A few recent studies indicate that Zika continues to be an STD (Sex Transmitted Disease) too. Zika is an RNA virus related to West Nile, yellow fever, and dengue viruses, and caused by the bite of the Aedes mosquito.

 According to WHO (World Health Organisation), Symptoms of Zika virus infection is usually mild. The most common Zika virus symptoms are fever and rash; it can also cause muscle and joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and conjunctivitis (itchy, red eyes).  Unborn babies and pregnant women are most at risk. Healthcare workers in Brazil were stunned to learn that, throughout all of 2015 and up to the present, there have been more than 3,500 total new microcephaly* cases that were suspected to be caused by Zika — more than 20 times higher than the numbers in prior years.

The blood-sucking pest has been just increasing with of lot environmental issues, and human intervention with the environment and the dense population of the country also need to be blamed for the rise in the unhygienic way of lifestyle.  Mosquito-borne diseases just spread in, no matter in a particular geographical and before the medical intervention/ control of the scenario it just outbreaks into nuke and corner.

So, the best way of handling the bloodsucker by an individual is to manage our environment. Here are few listed preventive measures to avoid the growth of mosquito and it’s borne disease:

  • Source reduction: Keep the containers such as flower pots, birdbaths, pet water dishes, cans, gutters, tires and buckets free of water storage to avoid the mosquito breeding cycle.
  • Screen & Avoid: Possible ways of mosquitoes entering homes through doors, windows- Keep them netted / pre-close during the morning and evening session. 
  • Proper Clothing & Netting: Make sure you keep away from mosquito bites by wearing full-covered clothes. Use nets/ mosquito repellent while you sleep/ during travel.
  • Environmental Survey of Locality: Report the unused swimming pools, abandoned lake/pond zones in your area to authorities for proper/regular maintenance. Park zone equipment should not cater to mosquito breeding.
* Abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development.

About the Author:  
vinay kumarVinay Kumar. C is an Environmental Researcher at NRCLPI – The National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India. He is a multi-skilled professional having an excellent track record of managing complex functional projects in various environments.  

 DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

Sad Demise of Malayalam Actor Kalpana

Heartfelt condolence on the sad demise of the veteran malayalam actor Kalpana, 51.

According to sources she was spotted unconscious in her hotel room, in Hyderabad, around 6:00 AM. The versatile actor was rushed to Apollo Hospital where she was declared dead due to a cardiac arrest. Kaplana was in Hyderabad shooting for a Tamil and a Telengu films and for a film award function.

The News shocked the malayalam film industry which was left with a void after her sad Demise. A National Award winning actor, she gave many super hit movies pairing with popular comedy actor Jagathy Sreekumar. Her colleagues remember her as a dedicated and passionate actor who maintained friendly relation with her co workers. Her last film released in malayalam was Charlie. She also did unforgettable roles in new-age malayalam films like Banglore Days.

She was very active outside the film appearing as judge in reality shows on television and anchoring various shows. Her parents were Theatre artists, and both her sisters Kalaranjini and Urvashi and well known actors in Malayalam. Kalpan ventured into the film world as a child actor and both her deceased brothers also acted in movies.

 

Empowering the underprivileged with newspaper cuttings

When I met him first, he was taking photocopies of Newspaper cuttings and said that he ran an NGO, for helping the underprivileged.  I was just curious to know what kind of support S. Devender Singh Anand, 67, was providing for helping the needy. “I keep all the Newspaper cutting of News that benefit the public, for instance, the Legal News” he said. He uses the Newspaper cuttings to empower the underprivileged.  Suppose someone goes to the hospital for a handicap certificate with Address Proof, Id Cards, and still he is denied the license; then Mr. Anand provides the person with photocopies of Newspaper cuttings supporting his claims.  The applicant can then challenge for his rights with the Newspaper cuttings. If required, he confronts the officials about the provisions that the claimant is entitled to “I have the information, no one can challenge me on the information.”

Mr. Anand, who was into truck transportation business, was injured and bedridden in 1992. And since 1995, after the trauma, with the experience he gained, he decided to help the underprivileged.

He says only four out of hundred physically challenged are utilizing the benefits entitled for the physically challenged, and that too mostly from the educated section of the society.  Most of the physically challenged are unaware of their privileges. He says in Delhi there is the Handicapped Finance Corporation, which is underutilized by the physically challenged. And there two special commissions appointed for the physically challenged– National level Commissioner at 6, Baghwan Das Road and State level commissioner at Mata Gujri College. Suppose the specially-abled people are not getting the justice they can approach the commission and register a complaint against the authority who is denying them their right. At both the Commissioner offices, you get booklets about the facilities entitled for the physically challenged. Those who are knowledgeable about the content of the booklets avail the facilities.

empowering the underprivileged

Helping everyone in need

Other than the physically challenged, Mr. Anand has been empowering the underprivileged like the poor, the senior citizens, the uneducated and so on.  He tries to help everyone and guides people with Newspaper Cuttings. Whenever he meets people, he tells the deserving people to approach the authorities to get their benefits and in case, they are challenged they can show a photocopy copy of the Newspaper cuttings.

An interesting piece of information that Mr. Anand shared was, there is a provision for a free legal attorney, in every Court, for those having income less than Rs 1 lakh.  “You can go to a Court, and get a free lawyer immediately when you show documents of your earning,” says Mr. Anand.

In addition to providing information, if the situation requires he physically approaches the authorities and speaks for the underprivileged.  Once he educated his housemaid about the benefits of opening a Bank Account, but when she approached the Bank, she faced many hurdles. So Mr. Anand himself went to the Bank, talked to the officials and successfully opened a Bank Account for her. She was excited because she could now save her earnings and she also got free medical insurance coverage.  Encouraged by her, her relatives also opened bank accounts.

After helping the underprivileged for nearly two decades, he registered an NGO ‘Happy Living’ to help the cause of the physically challenged.  Happy Living accepts old clothes from donors and distributes them among the needy.

Mr. Anands strong support comes from his wife, Harpreet Anand, a Criminal Lawyer, who teaches the Children of Watchmen, maids and construction workers of the locality.

With the passage of time, Mr. Anand has advanced his methods to garner information.  He now uses the new-age tool of RTI (Right to Information) to “provide Justice for those who are denied Justice”. He is an inspiration to the youth of today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Album from India and the World

Every country and every city have different traditions to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Some celebrate with cakes, wines and turkeys. Different places have customs and culture unique to that area. In Kerala traditionally people prepare appam (pancake) and chicken curry; they also make stars at home.  Here is a Christmas Album with pictures of Christmas celebrations around the world.

Delhi
Delhi-Outline-Map-LMIOn December 25 when the Christians are celebrating Christmas at home with family and friends, the Churches in Delhi are filled with Delhites, of various faiths, who visit in large numbers. Wearing Santas clothes and Caps, young and the old pay a visit to the Churches in the Shivering Winters. They pray, light candles and have cakes, which is considered like ‘prasad’ that is given at temples.

Delhites visiting Church on Christmas Day
Delhites visiting a Church on Christmas Day
Christmas at Sacred Heart Church New Delhi
Thousands of people waiting to enter Sacred Heart Church in Delhi even at 10:00 in the night.
Nativity at Sacred Heart Church Delhi
Nativity Scene at Sacred Heart Church, Delhi

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Midnight Mass
Mid-Night Mass at a Church in Delhi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerala

KeralaChristianity came to Kerala in the very beginning itself, when the Apostles of Christ went around the world spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ.  St. Thomas (also know as the Apostle of India) landed in Kerala in AD 52, and worked among the local population. In the past 2000 years, the Christians of Kerala have followed their Christian faith while remaining rooted in the Indian Tradition. Traditionally, celebrations mainly included fasting and prayer and finally celebrating the festival with family by having appam, curry and snacks. The most important part of the celebration is serving the food to the neighbours of other faiths, helpers and the have-nots. Children made stars using transparent colour papers and bamboo sticks. Illumination lights were used to decorate local plants like chembarathi (hibiscus), Mulla (jasmine) and Thetti (Ixora coccinea). With the advent of globalization cakes, artificial Christmas trees and stars and Santa and decorations have become part of the celebrations. Kerala Christmas Celebrations still retain some of the rustic beauty of the yonder years Christmas Celebrations.

Christmas Nativity in a village
Nativity Scene enacted by School Students
Christmas carols in a village
Christmas Carols in a Village

 

Christmas Celebration in an Orphanage
Christmas Celebration in an Orphanage
Handmade Christmas Star
Homemade Christmas Star

Scotland

Scotland 1

The Christmas as we see in movies and stories is celebrated with cakes, wines and turkeys. Here are some pictures of Scotland, the Northernmost Country of the United Kingdom. The cold winters and snow give a picture perfect settings while singing Christmas Songs like “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” and “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”.

 

Scotland
Christmas tree heralding the Christmas Season in Scotland
Christmas Tree
A close-up view of a picture perfect Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas wine
Wines to begin the Christmas Feast
Christmas Turkey and Chicken Roast
Christmas feast is complete with Chicken or a Turkey Roast