By Zubair Ahmed

Rain seems to be back. With the sky overcast and with a spatter of rains, there is a sense of respite in the air that the acute water crisis, the Island territory is facing may pass soon. The South West monsoon is on schedule, hopefully!

This sense of relief that rain brings along usually makes the Island Administration to forget and withdraw into its shell, as if nothing happened.  However, blame game and rhetoric about dream projects that would have sailed the Islands through the crisis keeps everyone busy for a while.

At this very moment, there must be over a billion of us all over the world, rigorously washing our hands for twenty full seconds! But, ask yourself, what you are washing away?

Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, bearing a ‘deathlike stare’, wearing a flowing night-dress that reminded some reviewers of a shroud, walked in agony every night with ‘feverishly writhing hands,’ only still when they were held for a long moment to the candle. And what did the candle show? A huge blood stain to the audience. A murderous bloodstain that all the washing in the world could not take away!

Or Pontius Pilate, looking at an innocent Jesus, asked for a bowl of water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and shouted. "I am innocent of this man's blood!"

Two people, one fictitious, one real, trying to wash their hands, off innocent blood!

Whose blood stains are you washing from yon hands of thine?

The stains of doctors, who you have conveniently pushed to the frontline, showering them with helicopter petals, but equipping them with nothing but cheap coronavirus masks and suits, even threatening them with disqualification? They the brains of this country, being treated like dispensable garbage, while we stay at home, and ‘wash and wash and wash?’

Whose stains are you washing away?

Those of your dhobi, who diligently washed and pressed your shirts or salwars these last few decades, who now trudges home with crumpled clothing, mouth dry with thirst, arms which held heavy coal iron, now weary holding his child? Besides him walks the one who laid your pipes to give you running water to wash those hands of yours, and the mason, who waterproofed your roof so the monsoon deluge will not spoil your warm domain!

They walk, these newly clubbed, ‘migrant labour’ back home, to where they hope their families will not wash their hands off them. Like you did!

Whose stains do you wash away?

Those of the jobless, the aged, the lonely, the fearful? Who wait for a word of encouragement, for someone to show them the light of hope at the end of this Covid tunnel?

At this very moment, there must be over a billion of us all over the world, rigorously washing our hands for twenty full seconds!

You are not Lady Macbeth nor Pontius Pilate…..NOT YET…If you can hear the cries of our doctor warriors, asking to be better equipped, of those walking home, and the poor at your doorstep. If you can hear the cries of those who need your time, or just your soothing voice, then same bloody stains that hold fast to Mrs Macbeth and Pilate’s hand, will wash easily away with soap and water!

Otherwise, like her, bearing a ‘death like stare’ you may weep Shakespearean lines, “will these hands be ever clean? The smell of blood won't be gone even with the perfumes of Arabia!” And then add mine, ‘Not even if they’re washed a million times twenty seconds ..!’

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Maybe, tis my late mother’s birthday today, that brings this very poignant memory to my mind, of her coming to pick me up from school when I was a little fellow, and finding I was punished, “What’s his punishment?” asked my mother, quite okay that if Bob did something wrong, he should be pay for it. “We’re putting soap in his mouth!” said the British, or was it, Australian KG headmistress.

“No way!” said my mother firmly, and insisted on walking into the torture chamber where I was being held.

“But he said something wrong!” said the lady.

“Are you allowed to do this to children in England?” asked my mom, and led me off. “Are you?”

The headmistress meekly apologized and said she would think of another punishment the next day.

“You may!” said my mother kindly, “And when we reach home, I’ll tell my son to shut up and not say such things again!”

Like I said it’s my mother’s birthday today, and somewhere up, where she’s keeping an eye on her son, I look up and ask, “Ma, what do you say to a world leader who wants to inject soap and detergents into people’s stomach to get rid of the virus?”

“He wants to put soap in their mouths?” I can hear my mother ask incredulously, “Tell him to shut up!”.

I’m going to leave the soap, detergents and my kindergarten headmistress aside for a while, and concentrate on the second part of my mother’s advice, which is to shut up!

At a time when the largest number of researchers, with the best brain power burn the midnight oil, searching for a vaccine and cure for the virus, it is high time political leaders and others learn to shut up.

And it’s not just during this time, that they need to fix a tape on their mouths but at all times of crisis. Crisis times are when experts discover solutions for particular problems and specific situations.

“During that time sir, don’t be like a medical general practitioner who feels he knows more than the specialist!”

Because when you don’t shut up, we see…

An economy on the downslide, because learned men and women weren’t listened to!

Coronavirus deaths because a president knew better than anybody else on how to handle the deadly disease!

Tis my mother’s birthday and let me be a little indulgent with her, “Ma,” I ask, “What else would you say, after you’ve said, ’shut up’?”

“Listen!” says my mother.

Yes, this is the time for politicians to LISTEN!

Listen to specialists, before you shoot your mouth off! Listen to economists before you make drastic changes!

Putting soap into the mouth was already a cruel practice those many years ago, but needed a concerned mother to stop it happening, and maybe it’s time we told our political leaders to, “Shut up and Listen!”

Like I said, just be a little indulgent with me today; my ma’s birthday..! 

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Scholarship Name 1: Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology 2020

Description:        

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi has announced this prize which is to be given for research contributions made by citizens of India during the last 5 years in various fields of sciences.

Eligibility:             

Indian citizens below the age of 45 years, engaged in research in any field of science and technology can apply for this award.

Prizes & Rewards:           

An annual award of INR 5 Lakh will be given to outstanding researchers.

Last Date to Apply: 22-05-2020

Application mode: Apply Online

Short Url: www.b4s.in/ac/SSB5

 

Scholarship Name 2: INAE Woman Engineer of the Year Award 2020

Description:        

Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Gurgaon has taken this initiative to recognize and honour deserving women engineers every year, who have made outstanding contributions to any field of engineering and technology in India and may serve as role models to budding women engineering professionals in the future.

Eligibility:             

Indian woman engineer working in India, between the age of 40 and 60 years can apply for this award.

Prizes & Rewards:           

The selected women engineer will get a cash award of INR 2 lakh with a citation.

Last Date to Apply: 15-05-2020

Application mode: Apply Online

Short Url: www.b4s.in/ac/INW3

 

Scholarship Name 3: EWS Scholarship for Class 10 Passed Students 2020

Description:        

Buddy4Study India Foundation invites scholarship applications from Class 10 passed students studying in Class 11 and 12 for EWS Scholarship. The scholarship program is meant to support students belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.

Eligibility:             

The scholarship is open for Class 10 passed students studying in Class 11 and 12. Marks obtained in Class 10 board examination should be at least 50%. The annual income of the family should be less than INR 6 lakhs per annum.

Prizes & Rewards:           

Selected students will get scholarship of INR 10,000

Last Date to Apply: 31-05-2020

Application mode: Online applications only

Short Url: www.b4s.in/ac/EWS1

 

Courtesy - buddy4study.com

By- Aditya Khatana

With over 207,722 number of deaths all over the world and over 887 number of deaths in India as of 27 April 2020 Covid-19 has spread a sense of fear,  uncertainty, anxiety, depression and much more all over the globe.

With W.H.O.  i.e. World Health Organisation declaring Covid-19  as “PANDEMIC” on march 11,2020 many countries took precautionary measures to contain its spread.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared nationwide lockdown on 24th march for the then next 21 days as a precautionary measure among many.

But soon after the lockdown people started facing some mental issues due to the sudden change in their environment and more precisely their lifestyle. People started getting negative about the situation which according to our human nature is quite obvious.

But here are some positives we should consider side by side.

Degrading Air pollution and revival of fresh oxygen:-

Just few months back before the lockdown governments of different states were playing “Blame game” for the pollution caused by stubble burning.

According to a report of Lancet study 350,000 children in India were reported asthmatic due to pollution 2015 and air pollution alone contributed over 1.2 million deaths in India in 2017 as per the reports by State of Global Air 2019.

But due to the lockdown as we all know industrial companies are shut and very less number of vehicles are on road resulting in giving fresh air to all.

Rivers are been cleaner and making habitable for marine life.

Several newspapers have reported about the reviving of Yamuna in Delhi and infact I.A.S. Deepak Rawat released a video on his Youtube channel about the current condition of rivers in his district.

Discovering inner self:-

Before lockdown each one of us used to complain about the lack of time for our hobbies but now as we have got it people are passionately following their hobbies. Many people have started doing painting, reading books and many have started trying their hands at Yoga.

It is said that painting reflects the inner condition of a person hence people are using different colours to bring joy in their lives. Yoga at this time is proving its worth. Yoga not only keeps us physically fit and flexible but mentally strong too. Performing yoga on daily basis and at such  difficult time will reduce anxiety and depression which many of us are going through.

Moreover it will help us in concentrating which is very useful for the students who are among the ones who are mentally affected the most.

Plenty of time for family:-

According to a recent census around 1.36 million people in India are divorced and there are more than 100 old age homes in India. The main reason I consider behind this is lack of understanding which is caused by the lack of time.

We in our daily life are so busy that we forget that we have a family too, we forget that our time is also meant for them.

This lockdown has given us all time to press that restart button of our relationships be it with anyone. We should start it by helping each other in different household chores, we should surprise each other by making different food items.

And how can one forget to take out those old photographs and relive all those memories again.

The unsung heroes:-

We have always thought of rude, corrupted etc whenever the word Police or Collector came up to our mind. But now the scenerio is totally different Police and Administration along with Doctors are the one who are at the front foot in this fight against the COVID-19.

All of them are working day and night to safeguard us from this deadly virus and it becomes our duty to help them instead of pelting stones or cursing them.

The best way we can help them is by staying at home as much as possible and going out only for any emergency or purchasing essential commodities.

I’ll end it by saying- No doubt the fight is long but our morale is strong too. 

Jai Hind!