It was after one of the recent G4, G8 or G20 summits, world leaders stood together for their final photo, all wearing COVID-19 prevention masks. But as the photographer with the biggest mask on his face, adjusted his camera, he saw a yellowish- green, six or eight legged monster ambling up to him, and taking hold of his camera, “Whoa, whoa!” he shouted as the world leaders pulled up their masks, “Who are you?”

“I’m Coronavirus!” said the six or eight-legged monster.

“Security!” shouted a flaxen haired President, “How did this creature get in!”

“The same way I got into your country!” smiled the Monster Virus, “With your border security force unable to detect and stop me!”

“What do you want?” quivered another leader, a prime minister shaking with fear, his beard twitching.

“To ask a few questions!” said the virus, “Here’s the first!” he said looking at the president, “Did you notice I climbed over every wall you built: Your medical drugs, your social distancing? Just look at me prancing on top of your research scientists, whooping over their heads! Did your walls succeed with me?”

“No!”

“And you still want to build them? And you sir!”

“Me?”

“Yes you! Heard you can make out who’s doing what by the clothes they wear? Did you notice I didn’t care less who was wearing what, as I made mincemeat of everyone? Did you notice?”

“Yes, please leave me alone, please!”

“And you Boris, with the funny hair, I know it’s all messed up more, after the time we spent together in the London ICU!”

“You’re not very good company, you quite roughed me up, you know?”

“Did I? Well, gave you some time to ponder on whether I differentiated twixt you and them others you wanted to exit from, social distancing from your neighbours across the Channel huh?”

“I’m sorry!”

“Listen world leaders! You, who use every opportunity to rule by division, do you realize I can do everything but cannot discriminate between any of you? Whether you be black, white, bearded, clean shaven, have sweet shapen, slanted eyes or myopic ones, that to me Sir Coronavirus, you are all the same!”

“Yes sir! May we go?” asked the President nervously.

“Not before a photograph!” said the yellowish- green six or eight legged monster gleefully, as he sang to the world,

Come Mr Photographer from wherever you have fled,

And let us send a message, a different one instead.

For I am going to stand with them, and when you shout out, ’Cheese’

I’ll put a hand on each of them, and their bodies I will tease!

And then the world will see and say, that if Corona cannot discriminate,

Then who are we to do so, with racist and communal hate?

And the world understands as the Monster Virus continues to drive home this message ..! 

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Scholarship Name 1: Burning Questions Fellowship Awards 2020

Description: Tiny Beam Fund’s Burning Questions Initiative (BQI), a non-profit foundation has announced this scholarship for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers around the world. The fellowship aims at addressing the negative impacts of global industrial food animal production especially in low and middle-income countries.

Eligibility: PhD degree holder or enrolled for PhD from around the world can apply for this fellowship.

Prizes & Rewards: Selected fellows wil get financial award up to USD 25,000.

Last Date to Apply: 11-05-2020

Application mode: Apply online

Short Url: www.b4s.in/ac/BQF5

 

Scholarship Name 2: YLAC Counter Speech Fellowship with Instagram 2020

Description: Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC) has announced this fellowship for the Indian children in Class 8 to 12. The fellowship is a platform for exceptional teen leaders to use the power of visual storytelling to drive change.

Eligibility: Indian students  in Classes 8 to 12  who are aged between 13 and 18 years can apply for this fellowship.

Prizes & Rewards: The selected fellows will have an opportunity to attend a fully-funded 2-month training program.

Last Date to Apply: 10-05-2020

Application mode: Apply online

Short Url: www.b4s.in/ac/YLA4

 

Scholarship Name 3: Empowerment and Equity Opportunities for Excellence in Science 2020

Description: Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), India is offering this award to Indian researchers belonging to SC and ST categories. This scheme aims to provide research support to them and facilitate their equal participation in research and development in the field of Science & Technology. The selected candidates will receive financial benefits.

Eligibility: Indian active researcher from the ST or SC community, holds a PhD degree and is working for at least four years on a regular basis in academic institutions/national lab or any other recognized R&D institutions in the field of Science and Engineering, can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards: Selected stdents will get funding up to INR 50 Lac, equipment, manpower, consumables, travel and contingency allowance and other benefits over the period of 3 years.

Last Date to Apply: 06-05-2020

Application mode: Apply online

Short Url: www.b4s.in/ac/EEO5

 

Courtesy - buddy4study.com

Scholarship Name 1:        NIT Warangal Junior Research Fellowship 2020

Description:        

National Institute of Technology (NIT) Warangal in colaboration with Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Government of India has offered this scholarship for the BE/BTech and ME/MTech students. The fellowship is applicable for a sponsored research project titled - 'Non-destructive damage detection and damage quantification on composite (HAP) panels'.

Eligibility:             

Indian BE/BTech and ME/MTech students with 60% aggregate or 6.5 CGPA on a 10 point scale can apply for this scholarship. ME/MTech degree holders in specializations of Structural Engineering or Applied Mechanics or allied specializations from a recognised university/institution are also eligible. Applicants should be under the age of 32 years.

Prizes & Rewards:           

Selected students will get a monthly allowance of INR 31,000 for the first 2 years and other benefits.

Last Date to Apply:            23-04-2020

Application mode:              Apply online

Short Url:              www.b4s.in/ac/NWJ3

 

Scholarship Name 2:        Sardar Patel Scholarship for Students Pursuing Graduation 2020

Description:        

Buddy4Study India Foundation invites scholarship applications from students studying in the 1st/2nd year of graduation. The scholarship programme is meant to support the higher education of deserving underprivileged students.

Eligibility:             

The scholarship is open for students studying in the 1st/2nd year of a 3-year graduation programme (in any stream) from a recognised university/institution. The annual income of the family should be less than INR 6 lakhs per annum.

Prizes & Rewards:           

Selected students will get scholarship of INR 15,000

Last Date to Apply:            31-05-2020

Application mode:              Apply online

Short Url:              www.b4s.in/ac/SPS1

 

Scholarship Name 3:        Keep India Smiling Foundational Scholarship Programme

Description:        

Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. is giving young students an opportunity to pursue their academic/career aspirations by providing them with scholarships for education. This scholarship program provides financial aid to students pursuing studies at various post-matric and undergraduate levels to continue their education and proceed towards a career of their choice.

Eligibility:             

Students who have passed Class 10 with at least 75% marks or Class 12 with at least 60% marks in 2019 board exams are eligible to apply for the scholarship program for pursuing their higher secondary, 3-year graduation, 4-year engineering, Diploma programme and 1-year vocational course studies respectively. Annual Family income of all applicants must be less than INR 5 Lakhs per annum.

Prizes & Rewards:           

Selected scholars can avail scholarship award of up to INR 30,000 per year for up to 3 years of studies depending on their current level of education

Last Date to Apply:            30-04-2020

Application mode:              Apply online

Short Url:              www.b4s.in/ac/KISSP01

 

Courtesy - buddy4study.com

I did not know his name.

Everyday, I went up to my terrace and smiled back as he gave me a smile. I looked at his work as with skill and dexterity, with sharp eye and nimble hand, he shaped and moulded my once broken terrace wall, into straight lines, strict and exact! With a quick turn of hand, his little spade lifted slurry cement from rusty basin, then with fluid flow and flourish, the cement flew, and with careful use of precise force, it gripped fast on roughhewn wall, fighting gravity, yet settling meticulously!

I watched his skill each morning, and knew his little team called him their mukadam, their leader: His work told me why!

But..

I did not know his name!

Then yesterday I saw his picture. Wasn’t that him? His little team, their wives, their children? He stood at Bandra bus-stand with other thousands, protesting, pleading, petitioning the police, to let him return home.

Was it him again in another newspaper pic, another state, UP? Police lathis mercilessly falling on his pleading palm? The very hand I’d seen wielding artistic spade!

Did I see him again, walking, hundreds, nay a thousand kilometres, holding pathetically skinny child in equally wasted arms, while his woman, eyes downcast walked behind, beaten!

I did not know his name! Sometimes, at his lunchtime, I’d come up in the blazing sun, and see him laughing as his companions talked to their wives and family on whatsapp. I’d surreptitiously peep and see a pretty village belle, laughing to her man, and in his eyes I’d see love.

Did I see same man rushing, that day, holding in his mind, that precious, pretty woman, he wanted to get back to? Thinking I don’t want to die in this unwelcoming city, I want her arms around me, for which I’ll pay a price, to hell with this new word, the police are brandishing, ‘social distancing!’ What social distancing was there in the nakas, the street corners where they jostled with each other every morning to be picked for work? What distancing in the nights, in a room, where twenty slept, spooned into each other? Not for love or intimacy, but to use each available square inch to fit themselves to sleep!

I did not know his name! But now I know! The city gave him one: Migrant Labour! I cannot stop the tears that gush out, had he none other? Was that all we knew of him?

Was that all we could give him, besides lathi lashes, no transport to his home, and empty plates with videos taken when unripe banana was handed out?

The work has stopped. The cement, dried in buckets, they did not come back for. On walls, on nails they’d hammered, hang work clothes. I look sadly at rags, the wind makes alive as it flaps, frayed pants and shirts around. A faded shirt, flaps lifelessly, then stills itself, just like Migrant Labour, either lying still, filled with the deadly virus, or stilled by starvation, somewhere, on some highway!

I did not know his name! Do you? 

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Jesus!

There He is, stretched out on the cross! Wicked nails protruding from ripped hands and feet. Rough splinters from the wood of the cross rubbing against a back with no skin on it; removed by severe lashes Roman soldiers so freely had given him. His head dripping from the thorny crown that had been forcibly pushed down, nearly gorging out His eyes.

His eyes, open; Lifeless!

“Why did He have to die?” the crowds murmur, “We saw Him raise people from the dead!”

“Heal lepers!”

“Give sight to blind men!”

“Why did He have to die? He could have crushed the Romans with just a wave of His hand! Millions of angels would have come to His rescue! Why did He have to die?”

And the same question is asked to those who preach the Gospel of Jesus; why do you have to tell people of a man who died on the cross?

The absurdity of the crucifixion!

And those who preach about Jesus reply, “Why do you think God created us? Why did He create the first man and woman?”

And you shake your head because you’ve never thought of that. You don’t know.

“He created us for His own company! He wanted to walk and talk with us every day! He wanted to share our stories and even our jokes!”

“God?”

“Yes God! He created us so we could share a relationship with Him. And then He couldn’t anymore!”

“Why?” you ask.

“When you have a friend, don’t you want him or her to be like you? You wouldn’t have friends who are criminals or thieves, would you?”

“Never!” you say.

“And that is what separates us from a close relationship with Him! And even if we try our hardest, we can never get rid of our wicked ways, our thoughts or our deeds!”

“So that was the end of a great friendship?” you ask.

“Yes, but God missed us, even as we also missed God!”

“But there was no meeting point!” you whisper.

“Unless someone pure, someone without sin, took the punishment for all our wrong doings and wrong thoughts, and that is what He has done on the cross!”

You look at Him: Jesus!

Stretched out on the cross! Wicked nails protruding from His hands and feet. Rough splinters from the wood of the cross rubbing against a back with no skin on it; removed by severe lashes Roman soldiers so freely had given him. His head dripping from a thorny crown forcibly pushed down, nearly gorging out His eyes.

His eyes, open: Lifeless!

And suddenly you know why Jesus who raised Himself from the dead three days later, decided to die on the cross: You know that with His death, and with you accepting the fact He died for you, your punishment’s been taken care of!

So, now walk with Him! Talk with Him! Laugh with Him! And feel His hugs, and even as others practice social distancing during this coronavirus time, He won't!

That’s why today, Easter, is a good day: A Celebration of the return of our relationship to God!

Wouldn't you like it to be your celebration too? 

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