Magic Rice- No need to be set on fire

# Magic Rice that is cooked in frosty/cold water

JNS: Magic Rice— a special type of rice ((Boka Saul) that can be ready to eat within 45-60 minutes of keeping in normal water and does not have to be cooked on any flame, gas, or stove. And it also seems like normal rice that we usually take in our food.

Usually, this Magic Paddy is cultivated in the country in Majula Island on the Brahmaputra river bank of Assam and in some parts of West Bengal. But a farmer Vijay Giri has started cultivating this rice at Sohsa Harpur village under the Ramnagar block of Champaran in Bihar.

“Magic paddy is being cultivated organically without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides; can be ready in around 150 days and its market price of Rs 40-60 per kgs,” said Vijay Giri.

He said this rice is sugar-free and rich in carbohydrates and protein; it will be beneficial to the mass.

Talking to the media persons, Giri said, “This paddy is idle for flood-affected and flood-prone areas as it does not flow in floods; its stalk is thick, so its immunity is high.”

As it does not need to be set on fire, it can prove to be a better option for soldiers in difficult terrains and the people of the affected areas during a disaster.

Not only that, after separating the rice from the paddy, the farmer can also utilize its stalk in covering the roof of their huts, said Giri.

Earlier I used to grow traditional paddy, wheat, pulses on my farmland. But during agricultural fairs and events in West Bengal, I came to know about the varieties of black paddy and magic paddy, said Giri.

“Later I learned in detail about these varieties and started cultivating them and it yielded very good results,” he added.

In most ordinary rice varieties it contains only 4-5 percent amylose compared to the normal 20-25 percent.

The rice is light in the stomach and easily digestible.



Coal India to Invest over Rs 1.22 Lakh Crore by 2023-24

Ranchi: Coal India Limited (CIL) will invest over Rs 1.22 lakh crore on about 500 projects related to coal evacuation, infrastructure, project development, exploration and clean coal technologies in a bid to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production by FY 23-24 and make the nation Aatmanirbhar in Coal.

Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi said on Tuesday while addressing a Stakeholders Meet organized by CIL through video conferencing.

CIL has planned to invest Rs 32,696 crore in Coal Evacuation, Rs 25,117 crore in Mine Infrastructure, Rs 29,461 crore in Project Development, Rs 32,199 in Diversification & Clean Coal Technology, Rs 1,495 crores in Social Infrastructure and Rs 1,893 crores in Exploration Works by FY 2023-24 out of the proposed spending of over Rs 1.22 lakh crore, said Joshi.

Addressing the stakeholders, the Minister said avenues with Coal India are huge for business opportunities. For its 49 First Mile Connectivity projects, the company would invest around Rs. 14200 Crores by FY 23-24, in two phases. First Mile Connectivity is coal transport from pitheads to dispatch points. This is done to bring improved efficiency in transporting coal and loading aided by computers to replace existing road transport between the two points, he said.

Similarly, in a transformative plan to increase coal output and reduce coal import dependency in the years that followed, Coal India identified a total of 15 greenfield projects to operate through MDO mode that would involve a total investment plan of around Rs 34,600 crore, of which investment likely ending FY 24 is around Rs 17,000.

Another major area where Coal India will infuse large sums of money into the economy is the evacuation infrastructure. Investments in rail logistics such as the development of major railways (about Rs 13,000 crore), railway sidings (about Rs 3,100 crore) and the procurement of own wagons (Rs 675 crore) would total up to a probable investment of more than Rs 16,500 crore by FY 2023-24.

“Coal India and its subsidiaries are engaged in the procurement of different types of goods, works and services amounting to around Rs 30,000 crore per year. That’s where stakeholder role and importance steps in,” he said.

“In its effort to procure goods, works and services in a fair, transparent and fair manner, Coal India has made numerous updates, changes to its manuals and guidelines for the benefit of vendors and stakeholders to enhance the ‘facility of doing business’ and adherence to the principles of transparency,” added the Minister.

Secretary (Coal) Anil Kumar Jain, CMD CIL Pramod Agarwal, as well as other senior Coal Ministry and CIL officials, attended the meeting and interacted with stakeholders.

Coal India has relaxed an array of measures in stakeholder-friendly initiatives and provided exemptions for greater stakeholder involvement in its tenders.

Experience criteria for mining tenders have been brought from 65 per cent to 50 per cent, while work experience criteria in turnkey contracts are relaxed by 50 per cent. The requirement to participate in low-value Works & Service Tenders for pre-qualification has now been eliminated.

MSEs and start-ups shall be exempted from previous experience and turnover. No EMD requirement for MSEs and Start-ups. Provisions for making-in-India fully integrated into all tenders.




Ice-Stupas: An Innovative design in water management for eco-rehabilitation of tribals in Ladakh villages

by Sonam Wangchuk and HIAL Team

The “roof of the world”, the metaphorical description for the physio-geographic region encompassing the Indian Himalayas, is the site of vast freshwater glaciers and the primary source of the major Asian rivers that have sustained life since early human civilisations have inhabited the area. In modern times, these freshwater glaciers are still the primary source of water, and thus the welfare, for over a billion Asian people, especially for the tribal communities of Ladakh who have been perpetually dependent on glacial meltwater in the high-altitude desert.

 Lying on the northerly fringes of the Himalayan watershed, Ladakh is characterised by distinct geographical and climatic features. Known as a cold desert, Ladakh covers an area of 96701 km2 and with an average elevation of 3000 m, having annual precipitation100 mm, and extreme temperatures ranges (-30 to 30 Co). Much of the province remains in a cold spell from October-March, with only a third of the year left for agrarian purposes. The villages in the region are settled in small oases in the barren desert, on the banks of a stream, or amongst springs utilising the summertime meltwater. Regardless of its ecosystem services and historical context, reckless human interventions and global climate change have impacted the region immeasurably, in particular, due to the escalated rate of warming at higher altitudes.

Currently, Himalayan glaciers are receding at an alarming rate, from a few to tens of meters annually. With reducing precipitation, increasing average temperatures, and reduced glaciers to water the villages anymore, some Himalayan villages are now slowly turning into ghost towns with abandoned but habitable houses and wasted agricultural land. This gives rise to three major modern issues of Ladakh relating to water scarcity, low indoor temperatures in buildings, and a shift from the original agrarian-based economy resulting into youth migration.

To address the emerging issues, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of  India (MoTA) in association with Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL) initiated a project for Research, Documentation and Development of Tribal communities of Ladakh in November 2019. One of the components of the project of critical importance is “Rehabilitation of Abandoned Villages through Ice Stupas”. This project has become a model of a collaborative effort between the local people, organisations with expertise and knowledge in this area, NGOs and the Government.

The idea and the 1st prototype Ice Stupa was made at SECMOL school in the winters of 2013. Taking inspiration from ancestral practices and Mr. Chewang Norphel’s work on artificial glaciers, Ice Stupas have been designed at various locations across Ladakh. With the combined efforts of MoTA and SECMOL, the project and art of glacier grafting has come a long way. While there was an   Ice Stupa in 1 village in 2013-14;  the knowledge, awareness and the art of building the structures were expanded to  26 locations across Ladakh in 2019-20.

Gathering support, ideas, and technological support from like-minded individuals and organisations have made immense improvement in the process of building Ice Stupas in India and abroad. In 2019-20 winters, the project was able to train 250 village-level stakeholders in the process and raising awareness on the issue by conducting various workshops, training sessions, and plantation drives across Ladakh. This year the project and participating villagers were able to conserve about 75 million liters of water during winters and eco-tourism activities like “1st Ladakh Ice Climbing Festival” gave the opportunity to the local youth to be indulged in eco-entrepreneurial ventures.

This year, the project started from the village of Kulum. It is situated 50  km south-east of Leh, divided into 2 hamlets, upper and lower Kulum, consisting of 7 and 4 families each respectively. Triggered by the glacial reduction in the higher valley, the upper Kulum was abandoned completely in 2012 with the families moving into the nearby town centre of Upshi. The residents have left their traditional agrarian practices and are working as daily wage labourers or are running utility shops to make ends meet. The project was implemented over a period of 4 months starting November 2019 to February 2020. Prior to implementation, field surveys and measurements were done, and a plan was formulated. This was followed by village and community level meetings to identify the needs and incorporate their ideas into the project. The plan was run by the villagers and their roles were defined so that this project can involve stakeholders and build competency in the former residents of Kulum.

In the first step of project implementation, the activities of equipment installation, head-work making, pipeline laying, and dome structures for Ice Stupas were completed with the help of residents of Kulum (locally called Kulumpa’s). This provided the villager’s hands-on experience of the process, thus inducing active participation at all stakeholder levels. During the course of the next few months until mid-February, a 45-foot-tall Ice Stupa was made by the upper hamlet of Kulum. A multitude of challenges arose, including freezing pipes, breaking equipment, bursting pipes, reduced flow at head-work emerged due to the extreme temperatures of Ladakhi winters, but each time a new solution was indigenously devised. The learnings for this year will become an asset for the next. By the end of the building season, the Ice Stupa structure was able to conserve 3,00,000 liters of water. This structure melted away in April end but provided much-needed water for the fields of Kulum. Confronting the issue of water scarcity and devising solutions has had a drastic impact on Kulumpa’s investment in the project.

In the coming years, the project envisions expanding its reach from water management strategies to a holistic village rehabilitation model. This model includes the following aspects;

  • Upper Valley Plantation to act as a carbon sink and protection from flooding events
  • Modern plantation and irrigational practices which are not as water-intensive like drip irrigation and hydroponic systems
  • Alternative technologies for daily use, such as wind, solar, biogas, etc.
















Image 1: Ice Stupa at Kulum village during the winters of 2019-20.

This structure at Kulum melted away in April end but provided much-needed water for the fields of Kulum. Confronting the issue of water scarcity and devising solutions has had a drastic impact on Kulumpa’s investment in the project.

These stupas are a source of tourist attraction and will go a long way in preserving the environment. The Ice Stupas hold the promise to not only quench the thirst of Ladakh tribal villages but also pave the way to make the tribal villagers AtmaNirbhar by facilitating their eco-rehabilitation to pursue any or new traditional livelihoods in their native villages only.

Image 2: Clockwise the Ice Stupas of Ladakh in 2019-20 season. The 1st , 2nd and 3rd biggest Ice Stupas from the villages of Igoo, Tarchit and Phyang. The last image shows a stack of Ice Stupas built in Gangles valley during an Ice Valley prototype project to conserve and later supply water for downstream villages and ultimately Leh city.

(Sonam Wangchuk is a famous Indian engineer, innovator and education reformist and founder member of HIAL. He is also the founding director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh)





The Kalki

by Prof. M. C. Behera

Arunachal Pradesh: Before I got the opportunity to enrich my knowledge on our cultural tradition (Indian tradition) through the reading of books I had already gained background knowledge of it. Later by reading books I simply organised my knowledge logically, comprehensively, sequentially and refined my understanding. The background knowledge was acquired from an informal process of socialisation at home, in the village, through interaction with peer groups and kinspersons, by observing and participating in events and through interaction with people in the society at large; and the territorial extent of my society then was a social space of around 10 -11 villages. I along with my friends had the freedom of attending drama, yatra (village theatre) and other cultural events with permission from parents. I had the opportunity of listing to grand maa tales that not only entertained me during bedtime but developed a sense of emotional attachment for elders, sowed the seed of imagination, helped in growing the idea that I am one among many others- human, animals, plant, etc. in the world;  thus acquainted with diversity and imbibed the essence of human values.

 It is clear by now that I was born in a village and grew up in the village ambience. In my village and in surrounding villages almost all the annual festivals were organised even during that time. Needless to say, I watched Durga Puja,  Basanti Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Raas,  Makar Sankranti, Dol Yatra, Siva Ratri, Lakshmi Puja, Ratha Yatra since my childhood. In schools, we used to celebrate Ganesh Puja and Saraswati Puja with enthusiasm. At home in every Samkranti havan is instituted. In Kartik month akhanda puran path (uninterrupted reading of epics like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Bhagabat, etc.) was a regular feature till the death of my father in 1981. I used to participate in all the religious institutions with the purification of the body by bath and wearing new clothes and with devotion, though its intensity than was an eyewash. Another point which I would like to mention is that I learnt very little about our cultural heritage from the school curriculum, which in fact had included stories, songs, etc. Largely informal socialisation and my subsequent reading due to my interest in the subject helped me to know what I know today about our culture.

Alas! today informal socialisation is celebrated in the absence of parents; with housemaids when both parents are working and with electronic media even in the presence of parents. Children learn about pizza, McDonald, kinder joy, Mickey Mouse, Barbie and beauty tips, and nurture the glory of sense gratification; but not learn or show interest in our cultural heritage and to live in it.

 This is another story and I am afraid I am diverting the centrality of my focus to peripheral tips.

Coming back to my point I would like to submit that I learnt about ten incarnations (avatars) during my informal socialisation. As I grew up, particularly after VIIth standard when I read about Darwin’s theory of evolution, I doubted the idea of incarnations, but at the level of sub-consciousness, I used to feel a conflict between reasoning and faith. I did not get any answer to address the conflict till Xth standard when I read a small booklet, I do not remember its name at present, where ten incarnations were explained in the light of the evolution of life and civilisation.

 Matshya avatar was presented as the symbol of origin of first life in the form of a fish. Then life shifted to an intermediate zone of water and land – in the form of amphibian- represented by Kurma/ Kacchyap (tortoise) avatar, followed by the shifting of life to land and evolved to animal forms as represented by Varah (Boar) avatar. The fourth incarnation is Nrisingha (human-lion form) marked by evolution from animals towards homosapien. Thereafter life took a different line of evolution with Vaman avatar, representing nomadic life as symbolised by leaf-made umbrella used by Vaman. From this stage, a human civilisation evolved through old stone age symbolised by the weapon axe of Parashuram, new stone age of hunting-gathering stage symbolised by bow and arrow used by Rama, and pastoral and agricultural stage during Krishna and Balaram. The weapon of Balaram is a plough and Krisna is popular as a cowherd.

The ninth incarnation is Buddha, meaning knowledge. Buddha discarded all the dogmas, emphasised on cause and effect logic, a scientific approach to knowledge and taught Vipassana, the mechanism of looking inward. His middle path is a negation to extremes of indulgence and austerities, i.e. a path that suggests not going for too much material quest or too much for its discarding. The spirituality was embodied in Vipassana guiding the material necessity of individual and society. The last incarnation in the Hindu belief system is the Kalki, representing Kali Yuga and symbolising destruction. It is the age with the dominant idea around material supremacy with appealing to sense gratifications from outer objects. It draws our attention away from the inward movement towards self-realisation- a permanent state of reality and divine happiness to impermanence, shelter on outer means of short-lived demonic happiness, misery and self-denigration. We are unfortunately on the threshold of knowledge and destruction.

The Kalki, the tenth incarnation epitomises the stage of destruction. What does it mean? Is it complete annihilation of humanity and human civilisation? Is it complete destruction of the planet Earth? I am not sure as to the nature and extent of the destruction.  Its answer can be sought from past indications. Let me ask two questions and try to answer them with reference to the past to understand the notion of destruction. However, a few clarifications are in order.

 It should be made clear that the phenomena of creation and destruction are an ongoing process of the reality; it happens at every moment, now and then, with regard to an individual, structure of an individual, community, nation and universe encompassing both biotic and abiotic world, and in temporal and spatial dimensions. The process occurs in the one-millionth part of a second, in hours, days or over years and centuries. It happens in our cells, in the family, society,   in the context of a nation and world. Both actions can happen simultaneously like transformation in a cell or atom or may take many years like natural birth and death of a member in the family. Birth and death of different persons may happen at the same time or at an interval of different members in the family.

 Characterising destruction in relation to creation let me return to the questions. The questions are 1. Why did great civilisations, occidental civilisations like Greece, Athens, Egypt decline (destroyed)? 2. Why do oriental civilisations like China and India are the oldest living civilisations?. In other words, why did oriental civilisations did not decline over the years? Decline here means destruction. By decline or destruction of civilisation I do not mean complete annihilation of people and civilisation, but drawing on past experience related to Greece, Athens, etc. I would like to present the meaning of destruction/decline as a sort of decline in value, progress, achievements, etc.  As we know Greek civilisation declined but not its people.

 Returning to the Kalki avatar, it is an epitome of the destruction of civilisation with a perceptible consequence on a large scale. This deduction is made on the basis of the fact that the civilisation is bigger and more spread across countries than earlier Greece or other country-specific civilisations. In our contemporary time, civilisation displays a cross-country third space on the plane of material supremacy.

 Let us see what the essence is at the core of oriental and earlier occidental civilisations. It is a well-known fact that in Athens a weak boy child was put to death as they valued physical strength as the standard of their national character. The ideological basis of these civilisations was built upon the principle of accumulation and possession of material wealth. Individual, individual achievements and individuality were celebrated over the sense of belonging to the community. Contrarily, oriental civilisation has been maintaining a balance between spiritual and material aspects of life which in recent years have been imbalanced in favour of material desire. Seers and philosophers did not preach the ideology of accumulation, possession and selfishness. We were taught our commitment to the precept of vasudhaib kutumbakam (universal kinship), ethics of sharing-live and let live, the merit of self-sacrifice for the cause of family/community/nation, to the ideology of minimisation of wants.  We were expected to believe in the notion of ‘community of being’ and follow the ideology of a symbiotic relationship with nature. Watering by spirituality through its components of values, ethics, feelings for humanity, ideological commitment and of the likes prevented the crashing of our civilisation under the burden of martial supremacy.

 But alas! we live in a time where material life is glorified over the spiritual quest.  Inorganic food takes precedence over organic ones though we know its effect.  Junk and fast food are inalienable in our food basket, though it does not boost up immunity. We have been reduced from producers to consumers of wasteful things. We consume less than we gather, thereby and leading to stockpiling of wastes of valuable materials. The sustainability is at stack due to wasteful consumerism. The human was different from animals because he/she can think. Now a few think for others and others have almost stopped thinking on the face of visible attractions of T.V., smartphone, cinema, and other media along with a host of readymade means. It is not out of context to state that even as students we apply all sort cut means including cheap and erroneous notes available in the market without reading standard books. In the face of electronic media, reading habit is hard to be found among students. The thinking element through self-study is replaced by dependence on tuition and practice of parrot learning. Our interactive space has shifted from larger social and territorial space to electronic and drawing room/bedroom confinements. We celebrate the ideology of accumulation, possession, selfish interest, and individualisation over the practice of sharing and sense of community feeling. Strangely, we invent gadgets that keep out rooms cool but increases global warming. Violence, hatred, jealousy, frustration, depression, suspicion, revengeful mind and much such negativity have occupied our mind space. We have been practically reduced to skeletons without lifeblood, the spiritual meaning to life. The skeleton cracks and dismantles bereft of lifeblood. The Kalki epitomises material supremacy over spiritual essence.

 But how long material supremacy will rule over without the base of spiritual strength? It has to go today or tomorrow; the balance between spiritual and material needs will be restored with the destruction of imbalance favouring material indulgence. The Kalki will usurp new era over the destruction of material supremacy for which it stands. COVID-19 has pressed a restart button and perhaps a signal to mend our habits of wasteful consumption, mass production, individualism, maximisation tendency and the like.

(The writer M. C. Behera is Professor at Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies and Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh can be contacted; (M): 9436252229)


COVID-19: Has it Pressed Re-start Button

By Maguni Charan Behera

The COVID-19 stricken world is a shamble all around us. This is not a note of pessimism, but an awareness of an optimist course of action we should plan ahead and the ideology that would underlie the course; for if winter comes can spring be far behind. The question is: Shall Spring be the same like the previous one?  Of course, it is a definite no; for everything changes.  When something looks like over a period of time, short or long under normal course, the changes happen to be slow and undifferentiated to common observation. If the change happens after a disaster, it would be calm, at least for time being; but will be markedly different subsequently from the pre-disaster situation. Needless to say, the post-COVID-19 world will not be the same pre- COVID-19 world situation. Of course, tension is likely to brew a situation of pull and push between old habits and new demands; but ultimately what comes up will be a different world system in handling previous weakness and addressing emerging demands. The efforts are on at least among the academics and other intellectuals.

The logic is simple when we say that the post –COVID-19 world will be different and in many ways. We know that wartime invention, particularly in the field of technology influences, post-war life of a county or the world by contributing to various industries. In the same line of thinking it is argued that arrangements made, weakness experienced and strength identified during the COVID-19 pandemic will influence and determine what the post-COVID world has to be. For example, the experience of online education, like google classroom, as an alternative to classroom interaction during the lockdown, would very likely influence the future educational technology in the teaching-learning process. A crisis is a harbinger of future change, a departure from the past in many areas.

It is a well-known fact that international development discourse which has shaped development perspectives of a number of countries including India suffers from several ailments.  The discourse expresses through distinct, but inter-related concepts such as market-driven capitalistic mode of production, financial globalisation, consumerist economy, etc. and has already come under scathing attack. The present crisis has given strength to rethinking for an alternative. It is not out of context to state that present form of globalisation primarily refers to the globalisation of finance along with labour and other resource mobilisation, goods and services, technology, and of the sort.  The globalisation has proved to be an utter failure on the face of COVID-19 including other pandemics and diseases, usually accomplices of globalisation, in the sense that it could not anticipate, prepare and fight against them the moment they infected the humanity.  Before effective remedies are found they do their jobs, killing human beings and diverting the resource gained from participation in the process of globalisation to fight against its inevitable accomplices of different times and forms.

 Previous to COVID-19, the model of development is held responsible for climate change, and an inverse relationship exists between environmental quality and economic progress. The advocates of this antithesis have been, as has been mentioned earlier, severe critics of the model quite for a long time. Present COVID-19 along with frequent floods, cyclones, tsunami, etc. has added immense strength to their argument. Moreover, COVID-19 has exposed the weakness of our policies, our attitude, our weakness and strength’ and is apparently all set to define communal relations which snarl ugly teeth. Perhaps God has pressed a re-start button and we are simply to follow indications for a better post-COVID-19 world.

What should be inputted in this regard? Obviously, the exposures, weakness and strength, we have made at mental and material levels would be the corner stone. This is one dimension of the entire enterprise of issues to be taken into consideration while envisioning the post-COVID-19 period in India.  Another crucial dimension is what COVID-19 has to say. In other words, what is it that we learn from the visible pattern of corona infection in general and in our country in particular?

Across the globe, coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting more than 200 countries and territories. Among these countries more than 80,000 people have been affected in the US (738,923), Italy (175,925), Spain (194,416), France (151,793), Germany (143,724), United Kingdom (114,217), China (82,735), Turkey (82, 329) and Iran (80,868) by 19 April 2020.  Only 04 .3 % of affected countries constitute 75.4 per cent of the total of 2,340,853 affected persons of the world. The number is increasing. Other countries may cross the number beyond 80,000. However, this gives a global trend.  In India worst affected states are Maharashtra (3651),  Delhi (1893), Tamil Nadu (1372), Rajasthan (1351),  Madhya Pradesh (1407),  Gujarat (1376) Telangana (l809) registering more than 1000 cases. In these 7 states (19.4 per cent of 36 States and Union Territories) affected persons of the country constitute 81.6 per cent of the total of 15,712 persons by 19 April 2020. The figures are, however, suggestive of the trend.

 The least affected states and union territories, where less than 40 cases have been registered are Arunachal Pradesh (1), Assam (35), Chandigarh, (26), Goa (7), Himachal Pradesh, (39), Jharkhand (34), Ladakh (18), Manipur (2), Meghalaya (11), Mizoram (1), Puducherry (7), Tripura (2), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (14)  which constitutes 36.1 per cent of States and Union Territories and 1.3 per cent of total affected persons.    In Northeast only 52 cases have been registered, one case of Nagaland having been transferred to Assam. In Arunachal Pradesh, only one case was registered which is a non-Arunachalee. Sikkim has not registered any case. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands all the cases belong to non-natives. In Maharashtra, the high incidence is in urban areas like Mumbai, Indore, Pune, etc. The number of cases in small States and Union Territories like Ladakh, Goa, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh though are influenced by their less size of the population, the affected person in most case are urbanites. In Meghalaya, though it is a tribal State its comparative high incidence is due to Shillong- the State capital The point is that urban centres are worst affected and it is evident when tribal states and rural dominated states are least affected. Low cases of Assam and Jharkhand are attributed to their tribal and rural nature.

The pattern shows that developed areas are worst affected in the country and across the countries of the globe. Easy targets of novel coronavirus COVID-19 are those people who have low immunity including senior citizens. The cases have been under control in states in which people have displayed a high degree of rational community sense, not, what Salman Khan tells, CovIdiots with regard to observing social distancing. The community sense in tribal areas is high. In Arunachal Pradesh, when on a suspected individual having case history of travel eluded Government machinery, the Gaon Burhas affected his quarantine in Aalo. Rational community sense, in fact, is an asset built upon the sense of responsibility towards community- fellow beings and self. It is observed that there is a positive correlation between less number of coronavirus registered cases and a high degree of social distancing, i.e. public consciousness.

In addition to social distancing, a crucial point that needs attention is immunity. People with high immunity have the chance of being less affected. That is why old persons, whose immunity is in decline, have been asked to be very cautious. When the question of immunity comes, it has a direct link with food habit, the food that is compatible with body elements.  As the body is a composition of natural elements- which Hindus believe to be Earth, Air, Fire, Ether and Water, it is but natural to argue that the body is compatible with natural diets.  In other words, the immunity is directly linked with natural diet intake and adversely with pizza culture and synthetic and inorganic food. It is not difficult to find in rural and tribal areas how much food basket consists of natural vegetables- less synthetic and more organic items. Still, people depend on rivers for fish, seasonal wild fruits and leaves, domestic cattle and poultry as compared to people of the metropolis. Arguably, the more a person is nearer to nature with regard to food items more is his/her immunity. Not surprisingly, diet basket of athletes, sportspersons, etc. includes more natural food items, not junk food or synthetic bio stimulated fruits or oxytocin hormone injected vegetables. That body is tuned with naturally available diets is well established empirically. When Andaman tribes were initiated to their non-traditional food they suffered from dysentery and other diseases. M.V.Portman has mentioned it in the context of Andaman Home which was established to civilise the natives. In the early phase of development in Arunachal Pradesh, people of remote villages also suffered from dysentery and diarrhoea when introduced to rice in place of yam, tapioca maize and millets- their staple traditional food.

Since the body is made up of natural elements, Nature maintains a regular pattern in supplying fruits and vegetables to meet the requirements body at different times. In summer, the rate of dehydration is high and the body requires more water intake. Nature provides fruits like mango, jackfruit; vegetables like watermelon which have high water content. In winter, the body lacks vitamin C resulting in cracks in the foot, lips, etc; dry skins; tongue sour and others of the sort. Citrus fruits contain vitamin C and Nature makes the provision of such fruits like orange, pineapple, tamarind and vegetables like a tomato. Citrus fruits and vegetables contain a host of vitamin C and plant compound that boosts up the immunity and help in fighting cancer, for cancer is an immune deficiency syndrome.

 The onset of monsoon is usually associated with stomach disorder leading to dysentery, diarrhoea etc. Fruits with astringent flavour are useful to treat stomach disorder. It is not a surprise that Nature provides jamun – Indian blueberry (scientific name- Syzygium cumini) at the onset of monsoon. A rural person very well knows that jamun is beneficial to abdominal diseases such as loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dysentery and irritable bowel syndrome. The fruit is available during June-July.

 Whatever Nature provides during a season- such as fruits, vegetables, shoots and leaves, etc. is required to replenish inadequacies naturally caused in that season. Even it makes fruits and vegetables available in advance. Though diseases and metabolic changes normally relate to changes in nature, they may occur at any time when our habit does not corroborate to Natural prescriptions of life. Nature has also taken care of such exigencies. It is no surprise to find some fruits that can be preserved to meet such exigencies. Moreover, some fruits, leaves, etc, are available almost all year-round.

 In this context, it is useful to make mention of the fruit bor thekera, mangosteen in English, (scientific name- garcinia pendunculata), tikur/tikul in Bengali/Hindi, which has multipurpose use among the Assamese. The fruit is acidic and has the quality of regulating metabolic order. It helps eliminate extremely damaging toxins accumulated over the years, destroy harmful parasites in the digestive tract and helps get rid of gas and bloating. It has another variety, garcinia mangostana, which is also used for the same purpose. People invariably use it to correct any type of stomach disorder.  This fruit is available from mid-April for a period of two months. It can be preserved and used as vegetable and medicine.

 In fact, rural and tribal people consume fruits and leafy vegetables, produced or available in a particular ecological setting as medicine and spices.  The body immunity is tuned with nature in that way. The more one is distanced from nature, more is the possibility of suffering from immune deficiency syndrome and greater is the vulnerability risk to any new disease which is inevitable in the development process. It is already recognised that inorganic food is harmful to health. Obviously,   this issue offers a challenge but holds possibilities for better health, the opportunity of conserving the Nature, rural employment and several related benefits in the post-COVID-19 India.

  दुनिया दहल गया… !


– नंदन प्रसाद शर्मा
क्वा. न. – 3बी- 500,
बोकारो स्टील सिटी, झारखंड


                दुनिया दहल गया

कोरोना ने किया कोहराम, दुनिया दहल गया ।

धरती बन गया श्मशान, दुनिया दहल गया ।


चीन का यह दोस्त देश-देश घूमने लगा ।

स्पेन, अमेरिका, ईरान, घूमने लगा ।


ईटली, इराक और फ्रांस धूमने लगा ।

जर्मनी, ब्रिटेन और हिंदुस्तान धूमने लगा।


थर – थर कांपा पाकिस्तान, दुनिया दहल गया ।

धरती बन गया श्मशान, दुनिया दहल गया ।


मोटा – पतला, गोरा-काला सभी को जकडने लगा ।

बडा-छोटा, जाप-पात  को निगलने लगा ।


हिंदू, मुस्लिम, सिख, ईसाई सभी को लपेटने लगा ।

हर जगह अब लाश… लाश… लाश…  दिखने लगा ।


फंसी इ्रसानों की जान, दुनियां दहल गया ।

धरती बन गया श्मशान, दुनियां दहल गया ।


चर्च, मंदिर और मस्जिद ताले से अब जकड गए ।

पादरि, पंडित, मौलाना के धंध ेअब कबड गए ।


मुखिया-एमपी-एमएलए, तवेर सभी के बदल गए ।

जगह-जगह, जगह-जगह अस्पताल अब बनने लगे ।


डाक्टर बना भगवान, दुनियां दहल गया ।

वेंटीलेटर बना महान, दुनियां दहल गया ।


धरती बन गया श्मशान, दुनियां दहल गया ।

अब जागेगा इंसान, दुनियां दहल गया ।

– ————————————————



Man’s last rites streams live on Facebook

Ashis Sinha I Bokaro: In a tragic incident, the wife of a deceased man in Bokaro Steel City performed his last rites as relatives and his daughters were stuck in the lockdown.

Lalit Singh (72), a retired Bokaro Steel Plant’s employee was residing at Sector 5 along with his wife Shushma Rani (62). On Tuesday night suddenly Lalit felt a health issue; he also started having trouble breathing.

His wife took him to the hospital at Chas where doctors declared Lalit as brought dead. Later the body was shifted in the mortuary at BGH and Sushma informed her daughters and relatives, but due to lockdown, they were not able to come to the funeral.

Lalit has only two daughters, the elder one Anupma is residing in the USA while Shalini is in Canada. Due to the lockdown in effect both of them did not rush and lastly, his wife stepped up and performed the last rites. There were hardly 8-10 neighbors at the cremation place.

Lalit was the son of Late Krishna Singh- a freedom fighter and first woman MLA of united Bihar who represented the assembly seat of Baheri (Darbhanga) for three consecutive times after Independence in 1952, 1957 and 1962 assembly polls.

“It’s very heart wrenching,” said Sushma adding, “none of the relatives, even our daughters could participate in their father’s last rites; they watched the funeral rites on Facebook live streaming.”

About 18 months earlier both of them (daughters) had met with their father when they came to Bokaro, said Sushma.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit life badly and changed everything in life.  Like Anupma and Shalini, many people who are staying away from home and have lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic are forced to watch the funeral services online due to restrictions to curtail the outbreak.

Disposable ventilators soon in market; do not require electricity to work

JNS: As hospitals around the world are facing a significant shortfall of ventilators amidst Coronavirus pandemic, Xerox- photocopy machines maker, has announced for mass production of disposable ventilators which does not require electricity in any form.

According to the media reports Xerox has confirmed that it is now mass-producing disposable ventilators. This could come in handy as hospitals around the world are facing a significant shortfall of ventilators in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, News 18 reported.

Xerox confirms that the company is working with Vortran Medical (a medical device manufacturer) to scale up production of the Go2Vent. This would be a low-cost resuscitation device that is used by first responders in case of emergencies and disasters, it said in the report.

In the case of Coronavirus patients, this could be used for those with milder or more controlled symptoms of the COVID-19, thereby freeing the ICU-grade ventilators for the more critical patients.

According to Vortran Medical, the Go2Vent is a hands-free ventilator that offers a secure airway using a continuous gas source. It can be operated on a compressor, oxygen or air with a minimum of 10 liters per minute flow rates.

“This device does not require power from electricity or batteries, which adds to the versatility in complex medical situations such as disease outbreaks when power sources may not be available for everyone.”

Speaking with NBC News Naresh Shankar, Xerox’s chief technology officer said, “It takes off the overload on the system.”

Vortran’s co-founder and CEO, Gordon A. Wong in an official statement said, the partnership with Xerox has one clear goal, to help save as many lives as possible. “For all of us, this will be the most important thing we ever do.”

शिव तांडव


शिव तांडव (रावणकृतं)




जटाटवीगलज्जल प्रवाहपावितस्थले

गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजंगतुंगमालिकाम्‌।


चकार चंडतांडवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम ॥1॥

जटा कटा हसंभ्रम भ्रमन्निलिंपनिर्झरी ।

विलोलवी चिवल्लरी विराजमानमूर्धनि ।

धगद्धगद्ध गज्ज्वलल्ललाट पट्टपावके

किशोरचंद्रशेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं ममं ॥2॥

धरा धरेंद्र नंदिनी विलास बंधुवंधुर-

स्फुरदृगंत संतति प्रमोद मानमानसे ।

कृपाकटा क्षधारणी निरुद्धदुर्धरापदि

कवचिद्विगम्बरे मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि ॥3॥

जटा भुजं गपिंगल स्फुरत्फणामणिप्रभा-

कदंबकुंकुम द्रवप्रलिप्त दिग्वधूमुखे ।

मदांध सिंधु रस्फुरत्वगुत्तरीयमेदुरे

मनो विनोदद्भुतं बिंभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ॥4॥

सहस्र लोचन प्रभृत्य शेषलेखशेखर-

प्रसून धूलिधोरणी विधूसरांघ्रिपीठभूः ।

भुजंगराज मालया निबद्धजाटजूटकः

श्रिये चिराय जायतां चकोर बंधुशेखरः ॥5॥


ललाट चत्वरज्वलद्धनंजयस्फुरिगभा-

निपीतपंचसायकं निमन्निलिंपनायम्‌ ।

सुधा मयुख लेखया विराजमानशेखरं

महा कपालि संपदे शिरोजयालमस्तू नः ॥6॥

कराल भाल पट्टिकाधगद्धगद्धगज्ज्वल-

द्धनंजया धरीकृतप्रचंडपंचसायके ।

धराधरेंद्र नंदिनी कुचाग्रचित्रपत्रक-

प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने मतिर्मम ॥7॥

नवीन मेघ मंडली निरुद्धदुर्धरस्फुर-

त्कुहु निशीथिनीतमः प्रबंधबंधुकंधरः ।

निलिम्पनिर्झरि धरस्तनोतु कृत्ति सिंधुरः

कलानिधानबंधुरः श्रियं जगंद्धुरंधरः ॥8॥

प्रफुल्ल नील पंकज प्रपंचकालिमच्छटा-

विडंबि कंठकंध रारुचि प्रबंधकंधरम्‌

स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिंद भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं

गजच्छिदांधकच्छिदं तमंतकच्छिदं भजे ॥9॥

अगर्वसर्वमंगला कलाकदम्बमंजरी-

रसप्रवाह माधुरी विजृंभणा मधुव्रतम्‌ ।

स्मरांतकं पुरातकं भावंतकं मखांतकं

गजांतकांधकांतकं तमंतकांतकं भजे ॥10॥

जयत्वदभ्रविभ्रम भ्रमद्भुजंगमस्फुर-

द्धगद्धगद्वि निर्गमत्कराल भाल हव्यवाट्-

धिमिद्धिमिद्धिमि नन्मृदंगतुंगमंगल-

ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तित प्रचण्ड ताण्डवः शिवः ॥11॥

दृषद्विचित्रतल्पयोर्भुजंग मौक्तिकमस्रजो-

र्गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्टयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः ।

तृणारविंदचक्षुषोः प्रजामहीमहेन्द्रयोः

समं प्रवर्तयन्मनः कदा सदाशिवं भजे ॥12॥

कदा निलिंपनिर्झरी निकुजकोटरे वसन्‌

विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरःस्थमंजलिं वहन्‌।

विमुक्तलोललोचनो ललामभाललग्नकः

शिवेति मंत्रमुच्चरन्‌कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम्‌॥13॥

निलिम्प नाथनागरी कदम्ब मौलमल्लिका-

निगुम्फनिर्भक्षरन्म धूष्णिकामनोहरः ।

तनोतु नो मनोमुदं विनोदिनींमहनिशं

परिश्रय परं पदं तदंगजत्विषां चयः ॥14॥

प्रचण्ड वाडवानल प्रभाशुभप्रचारणी

महाष्टसिद्धिकामिनी जनावहूत जल्पना ।

विमुक्त वाम लोचनो विवाहकालिकध्वनिः

शिवेति मन्त्रभूषगो जगज्जयाय जायताम्‌ ॥15॥


इमं हि नित्यमेव मुक्तमुक्तमोत्तम स्तवं

पठन्स्मरन्‌ ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धमेति संततम्‌।

हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नांयथा गतिं

विमोहनं हि देहना तु शंकरस्य चिंतनम ॥16॥

पूजाऽवसानसमये दशवक्रत्रगीतं

यः शम्भूपूजनमिदं पठति प्रदोषे ।

तस्य स्थिरां रथगजेंद्रतुरंगयुक्तां

लक्ष्मी सदैव सुमुखीं प्रददाति शम्भुः ॥17॥

॥ इति शिव तांडव स्तोत्रं संपूर्णम्‌॥ 

Bangalore gets first Robot Restaurant

JNS: Bangalore just got its first Robot Restaurant, where robots serve food to the customers. Located in Indiranagar, the restaurant will serve a variety of cuisines from Indian to Chinese to Thai; is open for lunch from 12 noon to 3 pm and from 7 pm to 11 pm for dinner.

Arya, Ramya, Zoey, Alice, and Sansa serve food while another robot welcomes guests at the entrance of the restaurant.

These are Android-run robots which run on Japanese technology were imported from China. The robots have also been equipped with built-in facial recognition technology and can sing birthday wishes for those celebrating their special day at the restaurant.

The restaurant, which can seat up to 50 visitors, is designed with extra space between the aisles to help the robots seamlessly navigate. Each table is equipped with a digital tablet through which dishes can be selected and ordered. Once the food is prepared, a robot is assigned to deliver the food to the table.

According to the media reports, a team consisting of 6 robots, including 1 usher and 5 bearers will serve the food once ready. This restaurant will be manned by female robots, each sporting a name tag and colourful scarves. Sprawling across an area of 3,700 sq ft, the restaurant has been designed to provide extra space between aisles in order to ease navigation for the robots.

The founder of the restaurant Venkatesh Rajendran claimed that these Android robots will greet the guests at the entrance, guide them to the tables and will have built-in facial recognition technology. The robots have also been programmed to sing birthday wishes in case of special occasions, Business Line reported.

The first robot restaurant was launched in 2017 in Chennai and as per reports by Business Line, after a grand success in Chennai and Coimbatore Rajendran said that he was confident that Bangalore would welcome them with open arms.