Citizens' Issues
After Roti Bank, a 'Kapda Bank' opened in Maharashtra's Aurangabad
Aurangabad (Maharashtra) : After launching a 'Roti Bank' here last month, the Haron Mukati Islamic Centre on Tuesday inaugurated a 'Kapda Bank' intended to provides clothes to the poorest of poor.
 
HMIC founder Yusuf Mukati said that while the 'roti bank' is flourishing with food donations, he had observed that many poor people who came to pick up their food packets barely had enough clothes.
 
"In fact, I saw many people, especially elders and children, shivering in the biting cold as they were wearing torn or insufficient clothes. This gave me an idea to do something about the problem," Mukati told IANS.
 
He passed the word around the communities to come forward and donate whatever extra clothes people could manage.
 
The response was most encouraging, he said.
 
"The only condition was that though the clothes may be used, they should not be torn or worn out, so we can directly donate them to the poor people. I was surprised when within two days, I got a 'deposit' of around 600 full sets of clothes and we could open the 'Kapda Bank' on the auspicious Republic Day," Mukati said.
 
All clothes are carefully examined for any wear/tears, missing buttons, hooks, loose stiching, segregated according to size and gender, then sent for dry-cleaning and ironing before they are given in transparent plastic bags to the beneficiaries.
 
The first day saw a large number of poor men, women and children, mostly slumdwellers, trooping down to collect the clothes.
 
Mukati's team of volunteers checked out their 'yellow ration cards' indicating they fall in the below poverty line (BPL) category and gave them one set of clothes each after noting down their names, addresses, etc.
 
"This is to ensure that people don't come repeatedly for more clothes and we can cast the net wide for beneficiaries. We want them to wear and use the clothes and not give them away or even sell them cheap. We want everbody to appear dignified with decent clothes," said Mukati.
 
Now, people are encouraged to donate their extra or unused shoes, slippers, sweaters, bedsheets, rugs, pillows, mattresses, etc, which can be given to the poor through the Kapda Bank.
 
This is the second major initiative by HMIC after launching the Roti Bank on December 5 last year, which has elicited response from social organizations and groups across India.
 
Advised and inspired by Mukati, the Badavara Bandhu Charitable Trust, Mysuru started a Roti Bank which was inaugurated on Tuesday by Rajmata Pramodadevi Wodeyar at Mahaveera Nagar in the erstwhile royal kingdom.
 
Mukati said that inspired by the HMIC initiative, around 250 organisations from all over India are in touch with him and want to launch similar roti banks in their areas.
 
Besides the Roti Bank and the Kapda Bank, the HMIC contributes to women's uplift with an academic centre for 2,000 girls in which they impart regular spiritual and vocational education in 15 different vocations, including yoga, fashion designing and computers.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Railway broadband to touch 500,000 homes in Digital India within 2 years
Kolkata : Carving a niche for itself in the Connected India-2020 project, Railtel Corporation's broadband will reach 500,000 households through its Railwire network providing a host of services at the block level in the next two years, a top railway official has said.
 
The Broadband Highway will involve a three-layer network - state capitals to district headquarters, district to sub-divisional and then to gram panchayats which will be joined to the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN), Pradeep Kumar, executive director (East) of Railtel Corporation of India, told a Global Communication Conclave here.
 
The Conclave, 10th in a series organised by the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI), conducted a knowledge forum with the theme 'Digital Now- What Next'.
 
Pradeep Kumar said Railwire network architecture provides the answer for 'What Next' as it will empower the people at village level with knowledge, skill development and core competencies. "This will lead to good governance and transparent, corruption-free governments."
 
Railtel's pan-India optic fibre network covers 4,400-plus railway stations across 44,300 km.
 
Railwire has also begun to tap the local cable operators focussing on pure-play broadband and VPN services, content and application-driven network. "Our aim is to become a hub of local information and tool for rendering communication, infotainment, education, health and community services to the masses," Pradeep Kumar said.
 
In Eastern India alone, Railtel seeks to cover 36,000 gram panchayats and the broadband services include emails, online newspapers, online passport application, tele-medicine, examination results and net surfing for students with a minimum 2Mbps speed.
 
The company's pilot projects at Panisagar and Girania in Tripura have aroused a lot of interest and enthusiasm, Pradeep Kumar said.
 
For the Railways itself, Railtel provides mission-critical services such as computerised passenger reservation and ticketing system.
 
West Bengal Women's Welfare and Child Development Minister Sashi Panja, who inaugurated the two-day conclave, focussed on communicators' role in ensuring the safety of women and children. In this context, she appreciated PRCI for setting up an internal compliance cell as the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act makes it mandatory for all organisations to have such cells.
 
Explaining the significance of the conclave theme, PRCI national president and veteran media professional B.N. Kumar said it was important for communication professionals to keep themselves updated with the latest technology trends to be able to meet ever-increasing challenges.
 
PRCI also focuses on skill development for communication professionals by expanding its operations and network not only across India but globally as well, he said.
 
PRCI chairman emeritus and chief mentor M.B. Jayaram said it was high time that the PR professionals thought big, embraced emerging challenges and converted them into opportunities and moved towards a digital-first approach. The organization will soon initiate collaborative programmes with various business and technology forums to help the professionals upgrade their skills.
 
PRCI, on the occasion, felicitated national achievers from among communication professionals with its coveted Chanakya awards, inducted senior practitioners into PR Hall of fame and presented a host of collateral awards at the conclave.
 
Ujjivan Financial Services won the Corporate Citizen award, while Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals was given the innovative leadership award. Dainik Bhaskar Bhopal was given the excellence in social leadership award while Businessworld fortnightly was adjudged the Magazine of the Year.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Feeling depressed or hopeless? Check with your brain, not heart
New Delhi : Have you started feeling depressed or moody while in love, lacking focus or motivation to finish a task at work or finding yourself addicted to shopping or even gambling? Do not just blame sudden impulses or your stars - at the axis of such deviating behaviour are two key naturally occurring chemicals in your brain: dopamine and serotonin.
 
While dopamine helps keep our mood in a balanced level so that we avoid depression, serotonin is also a vital feel-good hormone - important for calmness and emotional well-being - and is responsible for enhancing confidence levels.
 
Any fluctuation in their levels can lead to myriad health problems - from depression and anxiety disorders to greater impulsivity and even hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
 
"When these key neurotransmitters become volatile, there is rapid mood imbalance. It leads to a rise in depression and, over a period of time, can be clinically dangerous," Dr. Mohinish Bhatjiwale, director (neurosurgery) at Mumbai's Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital, told IANS.
 
According to Dr. Madhuri Behari, director (neurology) at Fortis Flt. Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital here, serotonin is the happy neuro-transmitter and when its levels go down, we feel low and depressed.
 
Dopamine receptor, on the other hand, is more complex and has two classes. When the levels of Class 1 (D1, D2 and D3) receptors go down, one experiences symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
 
"When levels of Class 2 receptors (D4 and D5 ) go high, one gets symptoms of psychosis where the person becomes agitated, cannot sleep, believes that people are up to harm his or her family, wife/husband is having extra-marital affair and hallucinations," Behari told IANS.
 
A study led by Robb Rutledge at University College London and published in the Journal of Neuroscience last year found that increasing dopamine levels in healthy adults led participants to choose more risky options in a gambling task.
 
The findings revealed that participants took more risks to try to get bigger rewards after receiving dopamine but not a placebo.
 
Dopamine is involved in reward learning and previous research has linked dopamine drugs with compulsive gambling problems in people with Parkinson's disease.
 
When it comes to serotonin that regulates mood, appetite, sleep and also impacts cognitive functions including memory and learning, increased levels can cause vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels which increases blood pressure) and contributes to migraine.
 
"Large amounts of serotonin are also secreted by carcinoid tumours, resulting in flushing (of the skin, usually of the head and the upper part of thorax)," said Dr. Keki Turel, consultant neurosurgeon and ex-head, department of neurosurgery, Bombay Hospital.
 
The healthy levels of both neuro-chemicals are affected by our changing lifestyles; so tweaking the way we live can help us get back our optimum levels.
 
"Exercise, especially ancient practices of pranayama and yoga, can go a long way in ensuring balanced levels of the two important neurotransmitters," Bhatjiwale advised.
 
When our thoughts are judgmental or critical, the brain chemicals affect our immune system in a negative way. And when our thoughts are loving, empowering and positive, the neurotransmitters enhance the immune system.
 
"Science is confirming that our negative thinking is killing us. Joy and sorrow are all creations of the mind. Peace is within you and what's strange is that it stays right where restlessness, anger and resentment reside! You can control your thoughts with mindful meditation and positive lifestyle," explained Dr. Rajiv Anand, director (neurology) at the BLK Super Specialty Hospital here.
 
At times, anti-depressants and other medication can affect healthy levels of both brain chemicals. "There are some people who are genetically predisposed to having high or low levels of these neurotransmitters, leading to Parkinsonism and schizophrenia," Behari noted.
 
According to her, such people can have certain food which are rich in these neurotransmitters - like complex carbohydrates, the B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
 
Food such as whole-wheat bread, pasta, potatoes, cereal and brown rice are rich in tryptophan - an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the brain.
 
Other nutrient-rich carbohydrate choices include starchy root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, as also corn.
 
"Participate in activities that you like. 'Giving' is also known as 'Vitamin G' that if we provide to people in terms of means, support, education and spiritual support, we can remain happy 24/7," Behari said.
 
In a nutshell, enjoy life, eat and sleep well and give anxiety an early retirement to keep your mood and confidence levels up.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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