All posts by raviranjan2405

Impact of Covid19 on mental health

Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown. So it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Added to the fear of contracting the virus in a pandemic such as COVID-19 are the significant changes to our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slow down the spread of the virus. Faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, it is important that we look after our mental, as well as our physical, health.

WHO, together with partners, is providing guidance and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children, older adults, people in isolation and members of the public more generally, to help us look after our mental health.

As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly sweeps across the world, it is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern in the population at large and among certain groups in particular, such as older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions.

In public mental health terms, the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety. But as new measures and impacts are introduced – especially quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour are also expected to rise.

In populations already heavily affected, such as Lombardy in Italy, issues of service access and continuity for people with developing or existing mental health conditions are also now a major concern, along with the mental health and well-being of frontline workers.

As part of its public health response, WHO has worked with partners to develop a set of new materials on the mental health and psychosocial support aspects of COVID-19.

Self-care strategies

Self-care strategies are good for your mental and physical health and can help you take charge of your life. Take care of your body and your mind and connect with others to benefit your mental health.

Take care of your body

Be mindful about your physical health:

  • Get enough sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day. Stick close to your typical schedule, even if you’re staying at home.
  • Participate in regular physical activity. Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Find an activity that includes movement, such as dance or exercise apps. Get outside in an area that makes it easy to maintain distance from people, such as a nature trail or your own backyard.
  • Eat healthy. Choose a well-balanced diet. Avoid loading up on junk food and refined sugar. Limit caffeine as it can aggravate stress and anxiety.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. If you smoke tobacco or if you vape, you’re already at higher risk of lung disease. Because COVID-19 affects the lungs, your risk increases even more. Using alcohol to try to cope can make matters worse and reduce your coping skills. Avoid taking drugs to cope, unless your doctor prescribed medications for you.
  • Limit screen time. Turn off electronic devices for some time each day, including 30 minutes before bedtime. Make a conscious effort to spend less time in front of a screen — television, tablet, computer and phone.
  • Relax and recharge. Set aside time for yourself. Even a few minutes of quiet time can be refreshing and help to quiet your mind and reduce anxiety. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga or meditation. Soak in a bubble bath, listen to music, or read or listen to a book — whatever helps you relax. Select a technique that works for you and practice it regularly.

Take care of your mind

Reduce stress triggers:

  • Keep your regular routine. Maintaining a regular schedule is important to your mental health. In addition to sticking to a regular bedtime routine, keep consistent times for meals, bathing and getting dressed, work or study schedules, and exercise. Also set aside time for activities you enjoy. This predictability can make you feel more in control.
  • Limit exposure to news media. Constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media can heighten fears about the disease. Limit social media that may expose you to rumors and false information. Also limit reading, hearing or watching other news, but keep up to date on national and local recommendations. Look for reliable sources, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Stay busy. A distraction can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Enjoy hobbies that you can do at home, identify a new project or clean out that closet you promised you’d get to. Doing something positive to manage anxiety is a healthy coping strategy.
  • Focus on positive thoughts. Choose to focus on the positive things in your life, instead of dwelling on how bad you feel. Consider starting each day by listing things you are thankful for. Maintain a sense of hope, work to accept changes as they occur and try to keep problems in perspective.
  • Use your moral compass or spiritual life for support. If you draw strength from a belief system, it can bring you comfort during difficult times.
  • Set priorities. Don’t become overwhelmed by creating a life-changing list of things to achieve while you’re home. Set reasonable goals each day and outline steps you can take to reach those goals. Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small. And recognize that some days will be better than others.

Connect with others

Build support and strengthen relationships:

  • Make connections. If you need to stay at home and distance yourself from others, avoid social isolation. Find time each day to make virtual connections by email, texts, phone, or FaceTime or similar apps. If you’re working remotely from home, ask your co-workers how they’re doing and share coping tips. Enjoy virtual socializing and talking to those in your home.
  • Do something for others. Find purpose in helping the people around you. For example, email, text or call to check on your friends, family members and neighbors — especially those who are elderly. If you know someone who can’t get out, ask if there’s something needed, such as groceries or a prescription picked up, for instance. But be sure to follow CDC, WHO and your government recommendations on social distancing and group meetings.
  • Support a family member or friend. If a family member or friend needs to be isolated for safety reasons or gets sick and needs to be quarantined at home or in the hospital, come up with ways to stay in contact. This could be through electronic devices or the telephone or by sending a note to brighten the day, for example.

Adapting marketing to the new economy

Companies in 21st century have to adapt to ever changing environment. At present, companies represent a curious mix of old as well as the new economy. A great deal of research has already been done with respect to the old economy, but for the new economy, companies are learning it rather hard way. Companies have to choose elements from old and new economy wisely as to build a business model which would bring value to the company.

Technology revolution, globalization and market deregulation factors are among many sculpting the new economy. These 3 factors interact with each other at different levels creating the driving force for the new economy. The old economy was full of analog devices, which were running on a continuous signal wave, for example, gramophone records. In today’s world systems and devices are running on digital technology where information is carried in ones and zeroes. However, this digital information cannot be exchanged between devices without connectivity through wire or wireless networks. This connectivity is achieved through intranet, extranet and internet.

Internet allowed players like Yahoo, Amazon, ebay to offer products like music, books, apparel, etc. directly to customers. This move de-stabilized the traditional distributors and retailers causing some to shut down their business. However, some of the players developed online portals to offer their products and services which in turn de-stabilized new online players. Some of the old players were successful with help of their brand strength and poor business models of pure online players.

In the old economy focus was only on standardization, mass production and singular marketing policy. However, with the amount of information available in the new economy, companies are best at understanding consumers. This better understanding has led to customized products, a shift from standardization. However, this customization has its drawbacks not only for companies but also for customer. Companies find it difficult to maintain the cost level for customized products to register profit. Customization is impossible for products, which require complex industrial engineering. Customer does not know real product appearance until it fully completed and also return policy is not there in customization.

The new functioning of economy has changed the way companies approach their business. Companies are looking forward to expanding across market segments to get maximum market share while keeping focus strictly on customer needs. For these companies are making organizational changes where departments are developed to manage a segment rather than a product. Companies are looking forward to developing consumer based brand equity to foster long term relation. Companies are coming up with products, which perform superior than consumer expectation there by creating a strong brand while the earlier branding task was accomplished through advertising. Companies are treating employees, distribution channel, and suppliers as their business partner and not customer.

Since companies have changed the way they function in the new economy, it is imperative that marketing practices also adapt. As consumers are looking forward going online for major of their purchase, businesses are looking towards electronic commerce (e-commerce) as a way forward. Research has shown online users usually buy music, software, books, apparel, etc. rather than goods like automobiles, house, etc. Business buyers are also coming online as well as suppliers, thereby substantially reducing the establishment cost. E-Commerce has also open doors for customer to customer relation through social networking and community forums, in which experience and discussion are done with respect to products. Through internet consumers are able to provide faster feedback to companies with respect to products and services.

As businesses are moving online, the focus shifts to developing of web sites to provide reliable and correct experience to consumers. Web site design, maintenance and security are of paramount importance for creating a favorable impression on consumer. Online marketing and advertisement have got prominence in this internet age.

The new economy had brought forward challenges and opportunities not only for companies but also for consumer.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is an Indian weightlifter. She won the silver medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Women’s 49 kg.Mirabai Chanu has won the World Championships and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions to the sport. 

Pride of India, Tokyo Olympics silver-medalist Mirabai Chanu stands a chance to be awarded the gold in the 49kg women’s weightlifting competition. China’s Hou Zhizhi, who bagged the gold in the category, has been asked to stay back in Tokyo for a dope test. If the latter fails the dope test, the Indian will be awarded the gold.

“She has been asked to stay in Tokyo and the test will be done. The test is definitely happening,” a source told ANI.

The Chinese had won the gold in the category by lifting a record weight of 210kg, and was eight kilograms ahead of the Indian lifter. On the other hand, Chanu had lifted 87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk category. The third spot went to Indonesia’s Windy Cantika, who lifted a total of 194 kg.

After the monumental effort of the Indian, News 18 Lokmat caught up with her who was lost for words after her historic performance in Tokyo. “I cannot explain in words how happy I’m feeling. I am feeling very proud, it’s our second medal in weightlifting. I want to thank the federation, my coach, family and all support system,” the 26-year-old said in an exclusive chat.

Mirabai further said her target was to win a medal at the Tokyo Games and hence she made several sacrifices to make her dream come true. “I have worked quite hard for this and made sacrifices. My target was to win a medal at Tokyo Olympic,” Mirabai said.

With this medal, Chanu had become the first Indian female to bag a medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleshwari’s bronze-winning effort in the 69kg, back in Sydney 2020.

Apart from Chanu, it has been a disappointing show by the Indian athletes at large. Shooting, which was considered to fetch a few medal for the country; the athletes have crumbled under pressure.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand where he studied law. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.

After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela’s campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.

Early life and work

Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the tiny village of Mvezo, on the banks of the Mbashe River in Transkei, South Africa. 

His birth name was Rolihlahla Mandela. “Rolihlahla” in the Xhosa language literally means “pulling the branch of a tree,” but more commonly translates as “troublemaker.”

Mandela’s father, who was destined to be a chief, served as a counselor to tribal chiefs for several years but lost both his title and fortune over a dispute with the local colonial magistrate. 

Mandela was only an infant at the time, and his father’s loss of status forced his mother to move the family to Qunu, an even smaller village north of Mvezo. The village was nestled in a narrow grassy valley; there were no roads, only footpaths that linked the pastures where livestock grazed. 

The family lived in huts and ate a local harvest of maize, sorghum, pumpkin and beans, which was all they could afford. Water came from springs and streams and cooking was done outdoors. 

Mandela played the games of young boys, acting out male right-of-passage scenarios with toys he made from the natural materials available, including tree branches and clay.

Education

At the suggestion of one of his father’s friends, Mandela was baptized in the Methodist Church. He went on to become the first in his family to attend school. As was custom at the time, and probably due to the bias of the British educational system in South Africa, Mandela’s teacher told him that his new first name would be Nelson.

When Mandela was 12 years old, his father died of lung disease, causing his life to change dramatically. He was adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people — a gesture done as a favor to Mandela’s father, who, years earlier, had recommended Jongintaba be made chief. 

Mandela subsequently left the carefree life he knew in Qunu, fearing that he would never see his village again. He traveled by motorcar to Mqhekezweni, the provincial capital of Thembuland, to the chief’s royal residence. Though he had not forgotten his beloved village of Qunu, he quickly adapted to the new, more sophisticated surroundings of Mqhekezweni.

Mandela was given the same status and responsibilities as the regent’s two other children, his son and oldest child, Justice, and daughter Nomafu. Mandela took classes in a one-room school next to the palace, studying English, Xhosa, history and geography. 

It was during this period that Mandela developed an interest in African history, from elder chiefs who came to the Great Palace on official business. He learned how the African people had lived in relative peace until the coming of the white people. 

According to the elders, the children of South Africa had previously lived as brothers, but white men had shattered this fellowship. While Black men shared their land, air and water with white people, white men took all of these things for themselves.

Political Awakening

When Mandela was 16, it was time for him to partake in the traditional African circumcision ritual to mark his entrance into manhood. The ceremony of circumcision was not just a surgical procedure, but an elaborate ritual in preparation for manhood. 

In African tradition, an uncircumcised man cannot inherit his father’s wealth, marry or officiate at tribal rituals. Mandela participated in the ceremony with 25 other boys. He welcomed the opportunity to partake in his people’s customs and felt ready to make the transition from boyhood to manhood.

His mood shifted during the proceedings, however, when Chief Meligqili, the main speaker at the ceremony, spoke sadly of the young men, explaining that they were enslaved in their own country. Because their land was controlled by white men, they would never have the power to govern themselves, the chief said. 

He went on to lament that the promise of the young men would be squandered as they struggled to make a living and perform mindless chores for white men. Mandela would later say that while the chief’s words didn’t make total sense to him at the time, they would eventually formulate his resolve for an independent South Africa.

Presidency

Due in no small part to the work of Mandela and President de Klerk, negotiations between Black and white South Africans prevailed: On April 27, 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections. Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first Black president on May 10, 1994, at the age of 77, with de Klerk as his first deputy.

From 1994 until June 1999, President Mandela worked to bring about the transition from minority rule and apartheid to Black majority rule. He used the nation’s enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between white and Black people, encouraging Black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team. 

In 1995, South Africa came to the world stage by hosting the Rugby World Cup, which brought further recognition and prestige to the young republic. That year Mandela was also awarded the Order of Merit.

During his presidency, Mandela also worked to protect South Africa’s economy from collapse. Through his Reconstruction and Development Plan, the South African government funded the creation of jobs, housing and basic health care. 

In 1996, Mandela signed into law a new constitution for the nation, establishing a strong central government based on majority rule, and guaranteeing both the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression.

Retirement and Later Career

By the 1999 general election, Mandela had retired from active politics. He continued to maintain a busy schedule, however, raising money to build schools and clinics in South Africa’s rural heartland through his foundation, and serving as a mediator in Burundi’s civil war.

Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in 2001. In June 2004, at the age of 85, he announced his formal retirement from public life and returned to his native village of Qunu.

Movie and Books

In 1994, Mandela published his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, much of which he had secretly written while in prison. The book inspired the 2013 movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. 

He also published a number of books on his life and struggles, among them No Easy Walk to FreedomNelson Mandela: The Struggle Is My Life; and Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.

Mandela Day

In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18) was declared Mandela Day, an international day to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the annual event is meant to encourage citizens worldwide to give back the way that Mandela has throughout his lifetime. 

A statement on the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s website reads: “Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community.”

Importance of games and sports.

Resistance towards sports is often affected by modern forms of entertainment like video and online gaming. Therefore, the drive for sports activities has lost its entertaining allure as the younger generation tends to lean more towards virtual online gaming worlds. Developing entertainment outlets like social media has only made sports events much less popular. Nevertheless, this move is disappointing given the substantial advantages of engaging in sports activities. For this, parents can become role models in their children’s life. The parents should not make them addicted to the techie-gadgets and be active in their lifestyle so that their kids can also become physically sound and active.

Photo by football wife on Pexels.com

Studies have demonstrated increasing vulnerability to illness, allergies, and even mental health problems as younger generations develop. Although there are several possible reasons for this jump, the absence of regular exercise routines plays a major role here. The sport will offer an effective but indirect means of exercise for students and youth in general. It greatly strengthens the body, improving the body’s defensive system to hold any of the diseases alone.

The importance of games and sports in student’s life is immense. It has proved to be very therapeutic in nature. Sports help improve stronger social skills, such as dispute management and sport-based interaction. This makes it quite convenient as modern society spends a lot of money on therapeutic services.

Active participation in sports and games can have many benefits in students’ life. It gives a student a chance to enhance the physical and social skills. It offers a child a change from the monotony of a daily routine. It keeps the stress and anxiety away. It’s a smart way to iron out frustration in most individuals. Students can quickly learn to cope with their lives by extending their grievances on the playground, mostly in their early learning days. However, a proper balance has to be maintained between a child’s maturity, skills, and interests.

Importance of games and sports in Student’s life

Importance of sports and games is often undermined by the parents as well as the students. They tend to go for video games and online games but fail to realise the value of games and sports that are physical in nature. Now, in today’s era, students are more vulnerable to various health issues, illness, and other such problems. The main reason behind it is that they do not devote sufficient time to playing and exercising. Thus, it becomes imperative to at least devote an hour in doing physical activities to keep their body fit and fine.

Further, researches and studies highlight that with constant involvement of the students in the games and sports, they tend to increase their immune system and thus are better able to fight against the diseases. So, in today’s era where people want their children to stay at home thinking it is beneficial, you should be the one who is sending their children to play outside for their well being.

Not only this, while playing a team sport, you get to learn various skills and sportsmanship which is not possible to gain sitting at home. Social skills are reflected in them and thus, they are better able to cope up with stress and anxiety issues. 

Nowadays, sports and games are taken to be a good career option as well. It plays a pivotal role in shaping a child’s interest in his profession. In developing nations, a substantial number of disadvantaged children receive grants, and financial assistance through success in sports, which consequently changed their lives dramatically. In the more developed nations, sport can be the one thing that distinguishes students from the rest, especially in competitive scenarios such as college placements and even securing scholarships or funding for education.

Sports and games also help in character building and provide strength and energy. Sports and games not only involve the development of skills but it also stimulates competitive behavior among students. It builds confidence in the minds of the students. It not only strengthens the physical growth rather it also contributes towards the mental growth. Therefore, it plays an important role in a student’s life.

Not only this, while playing a team sport, you get to learn various skills and sportsmanship which is not possible to gain sitting at home. Social skills are reflected in them and thus, they are better able to cope up with stress and anxiety issues. 

Nowadays, sports and games are taken to be a good career option as well. It plays a pivotal role in shaping a child’s interest in his profession. In developing nations, a substantial number of disadvantaged children receive grants, and financial assistance through success in sports, which consequently changed their lives dramatically. In the more developed nations, sport can be the one thing that distinguishes students from the rest, especially in competitive scenarios such as college placements and even securing scholarships or funding for education.

Sports and games also help in character building and provide strength and energy. Sports and games not only involve the development of skills but it also stimulates competitive behavior among students. It builds confidence in the minds of the students. It not only strengthens the physical growth rather it also contributes towards the mental growth. Therefore, it plays an important role in a student’s life.

Lastly, to conclude, the role of games and sports in students’ life is major in developing a human personality. A student should be allowed to actively participate in the sports of his or her choice. A student should not only be good in a study but also in the games for the overall development. To make our youth participate in sports and games, please check your locality’s nearest sports club and your child’s school authority.

How to develop a rich mind?

When Malcolm X was in prison, he discovered the power of books. He was physically caged within the walls of the prison, but his mind was free. 

He spent most of his six and a half years in prison reading books—day and night. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, he wrote about his nightly reading habits: 

“At one-hour intervals the night guards paced past every room. Each time I heard the approaching footsteps, I jumped into bed and feigned sleep. And as soon as the guard passed, I got back out of bed onto the floor area of that light-glow, where I would read for another fifty-eight minutes—until the guard approached again. That went on until three or four every morning. Three or four hours of sleep a night was enough for me. Often in the years in the streets I had slept less than that.” 

That’s the power of a rich mind. No matter how isolated you are, your mind will never be alone. It will be rich of knowledge and ideas. It will never be bored or feel lonely. 

 knowledge is the key resource of the mind. A mind full of knowledge is rich, while a mind that lacks knowledge is poor. We know how people say, “It takes money to make money”? 

The point is that once we have money, we can invest that money to generate more of it. At some point, you’ll have enough money that it’s actually hard to lose your wealth. The same is true with your mind. Once you have a rich mind, it can only get richer.  

How much do we enrich your mind every day? 

We don’t need to sleep 4 hours like Malcolm did and spend the rest of our waking hours reading books to develop a rich mind. The truth is that you only need to spend one hour a day to improve your mind. 

The Munger Technique, inspired by the investor Charlie Munger. He believes that if you dedicate your best hour of the day to improving your mind, you’ll improve your life on every level.  

Developing a rich mind is the most important thing you can do. But I want to take it one step further. If you’re stuck in life, just lost your job, failed at your business, you name it; spend at least 4 hours a day enriching your mind. 

Here’s what improving our mind looks to me: 

  • Reading books—This one is obvious. If you want to learn about a topic, buy the best books and start reading. 
  • Take courses—Books are great for ideas but they often lack instructions. If you want to learn practical skills like programming, writing, building websites, and so forth, I recommend taking courses. 
  • Listen to audiobooks/podcasts—Even while I’m running or driving, I keep learning.  
  • Watch interviews or documentaries—Sometimes you don’t feel like reading or taking a course, but you still want to keep learning. That’s why I like watching interviews on YouTube. I also enjoy watching documentaries about inspirational people. 
  • Journaling—I always write about what I’ve learned in my own words. That helps me remember it more. 
  • Share your knowledge—When you talk about your ideas and knowledge with others, you’re not only being helpful, you’re also enriching your own mind.  

This is all straightforward. We all know what it takes to enrich our minds. The biggest problem we have is that it’s hard. It’s easier to spend hours on Instagram, spying on the lives of celebrities and your former classmates and lovers. Isn’t that weird? We all do it.  

But it’s a waste of time. What’s the impact of those activities on your mind? If you’re lucky, it’s zero. If you look at other people and compare yourself to them, get jealous, and start feeling bad about yourself: The impact is negative. Just stop that nonsense. 

Why is reading important?

Reading is good for you because it improves your focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills. It can reduce stress, improve your mental health, and help you live longer. Reading also allows you to learn new things to help you succeed in your work and relationships

Books are everywhere. Libraries big and small and bookstores are splattered all over college campuses and larger cities. They are all filled with one of the most important things of all time—books. Those who read books appreciate the multiple places to find books. Those who aren’t fans of books, don’t understand what could make readers want to obsess over books. There is a reason for their obsession, though. You hear it all the time: read every day.

Though reading might seem like simple fun, it can be helping your body and mind without you even realising what is happening. Reading can be more important for these reasons and not just knowledge.  For those who don’t enjoy reading, you might change your mind after hearing about the benefits. Can something so easy and fun as reading be so helpful in your life? Of course, it can! Reading can be a great benefit to you in many different ways—such as sharpening your mind, imagination, and writing skills. With so many advantages of reading, it should be an everyday occurrence to read at least a little something.

1. Buy books in advance.

When trying to form a new habbit, it pays to remove any obstacle that could get in the way of you keeping to your new routine, no matter how trivial. So those looking to start taking their vitamins might move the bottle to eye level, or new runners might invest in better sneakers. For would-be readers, this principle dictates you don’t wait to finish one book to buy another. You should always have books lying around and easy to grab.null

“If you have more books in your house, you’ll have more choices, and this will help you read more,” insists Foroux. “Here’s why: Most of the books you read are not planned in advance. You don’t sit down in January and say: ‘The first week of June I’ll read this book.’ You finish a book, look you at your inventory, and decide what to read next… Having an inventory of books keeps up the momentum. You also never have an excuse not to read.”

2. Always be reading.

It’s as simple as ABC — always be reading. Nope, you’re not miraculously going to find unfilled hours to devour that novel. Instead, you need to make a conscious choice to use the odds and ends of your days to reach your reading target.

“Find a way to read around your schedule and your life situation,” says Foroux, who suggests you could read on the train, while waiting at the doctor’s office, while breastfeeding your baby (I can personally testify you can get through quite a lot of books this way), or during breaks at work. It might sound like simple advice but Foroux’s math is compelling. “Most people read 50 pages an hour. If you read 10 hours a week, you’ll read 26,000 pages a year. Let’s say the average book you read is 250 pages: In this scenario, you’ll read 104 books in a year,” he calculates.

3. Read what you like.

Want to read a lot? Then don’t force yourself to read books you’re not interested in at that particular moment. This isn’t Literature 101, with a set syllabus. Anything you pick up and enjoy will offer you some value.

“Not all books are for everyone. A book might be a bestseller, but maybe you can’t stand the writing. Or maybe it’s not the right time to read a book,” observes Foroux. “If you can’t flip through the pages, put the book away and pick up something you are so excited about that you tear up the pages.” Life is too short (and the supply of potential titles too plentiful) to make yourself read boring books.

Importance of Reading Books

Reading is important because it develops our thoughts, gives us endless knowledge and lessons while keeping our minds active. Books can hold and keep all kinds of information, stories, thoughts and feelings unlike anything else in this world. The importance of a book to help us learn and understand things cannot be underestimated.

Can words, paragraphs, and fictional worlds be all that great for you and your health? It definitely can, and reading is a timeless form of entertainment and information.

In fact, for years reading was the only form of personal entertainment, and perhaps this is why reading has been in the spotlight for such a long time. Reading has survived the years, and luckily, the benefits have survived right along with the books. So let’s talk about some reasons why reading is so important.

Work from home:pros and cons.

The pandemic sweeping the world, COVID-19, has rendered a large proportion of the workforce unable to commute to work, as to mitigate the spread of the virus. This has resulted in both employers and employees seeking alternative work arrangements, especially in a fast-paced metropolitan like Hong Kong. Due to the pandemic, most if not all workers experienced work from home (WFH). Hence WFH has become a policy priority for most governments. In doing so, the policies must be made keeping in mind the practicality for both employers and employees. However, this current situation provides unique insight into how well working from home works, and may play a vital role in future policies that reshape the current structure of working hours, possibly allowing for more flexibility. Using an exploratory framework and a SWOT analysis, this study investigates the continuing experience of the employer and employees face in Hong Kong. A critical insight and related recommendations have been developed for future policy decisions. It will also critically investigate if this work arrangement will remain as a transitory element responding to the exceptional circumstances, or whether it could be a permanent arrangement.

As appealing as remote work is to employees, it wouldn’t be such a strong trend if employers didn’t also recognize benefits from their side of the desk. Companies with work-from-anywhere policies can boost employee productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, according to recent research at Harvard Business School.1 Telecommuting workers with very complex jobs who don’t require a lot of collaboration or social support can perform better than their office-based counterparts, according to another study.2 Also, in the event of a natural or manmade disaster, a distributed workforce is in a better position to keep operations running, even if some of the group goes offline.null

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • For employers, working from home can boost productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, while employees enjoy perks like flexibility and the lack of a commute.
  • To work effectively from home, you’ll need to make sure you have the technology you require, a separate workspace, internet service that meets your needs, a workable schedule you can stick to, and ways to connect with others.
  • Top fields for remote work include IT and healthcare; positions include customer service reps, sales reps, project managers, and more.
  • A variety of top firms, including CVS Health, Dell and Salesforce, offer remote work opportunities, but it’s also important to be aware of scams.

Advantages for Employees:

  • Travel time to and from the office will be saved.
  • They can spend more time with family. This is beneficial for many especially for parents of young children.
  • Even in modern times, women are expected to take care of home and children. With this responsibility, several women are forced to leave their jobs. The rise in WFH culture is a boon for them. With this more women can join in jobs again.
  • The location will not be a barrier. Employees can get a job, even if the office is located in another city.
  • If they want to get to know their office and colleagues better, they can attend the office at regular intervals like once a week.

Disadvantages for Employees:

  • The line between work and home will be blurred. In general, employees leave work tensions at office and come home to relax. But this opportunity will be lost and it may cause anxiety. If work and personal life are not balanced well, work will extend to longer hours. This can create WFH burnout.
  • Employees have to set up a work environment at home, which will incur extra expense. Even then, some people may not focus on work due to the lack of a professional atmosphere.
  • Some companies are giving so much work just because their employees are working from home.
  • Teamwork is a bit difficult while working from home.
  • Working from home from a long periods of time can hamper social and interpersonal skills.
  • Continuously staying at home may make some people feel isolated.
  • For some people, setting up office space at home may not be an option due to lack of extra space in the home.
  • Some jobs may require employees to be online during work hours and the continuous power supply may not be available to many.
  • It can be difficult to establish connections with new colleagues because the opportunity to meet and talk with them during coffee breaks will be lost.

Advantages for Companies:

  • Less expense for office maintenance.
  • Can hire talented people, even if they reside in another city.
  • Employees may not ask for much leaves.

Disadvantages for Companies:

  • Training new staff can be tough with all the employees working from home.
  • Have to deal with WFH specific challenges like information security and hacking of video calls etc.
  • It’s difficult to monitor work from home employees.
  • It’s hard to establish connections among employees.

Conclusion:

Even though work from home culture is on the rise due to COVID-19 situation, work from home opportunities will increase in number to adapt to the changing times. With time, companies and employees will take steps to reduce the disadvantages.

A review of “David Copperfield”


“David Copperfield” is probably the most autobiographical novel by Charles Dickens. He uses many incidents of his childhood and early life to create a considerable fictional achievement.

“David Copperfield” also stands as a midpoint in Dickens’ oeuvre and is at least somewhat indicative of Dickens’ work. This novel contains a complicated plot structure, a concentration on the moral and social worlds, and some of Dickens’ most wonderful comic creations. “David Copperfield” is a broad canvas on which the great master of victorian fiction uses his entire palette. Unlike many of his other novels, however, “David Copperfield” is written from the point of view of its titular character, looking back on the ups and downs of his long life.

Overview

“David Copperfield” traces the life of David, the protagonist, from a happy early childhood through a miserable span of cruel surrogate parents, harsh working conditions, and crushing poverty to an ultimately wiser, contented existence as a happily married adult. Along the way, he meets a memorable cast of characters, some hateful and selfish and others kind and loving.

The main character is modeled closely after Dickens’ life, especially since his hero finds later success as a writer, The story, published as a serial in 1849 and 1850 and as a book in 1850, also serves as Dickens’ critique of the bleak conditions for many children in Victorian England, including its notorious boarding schools.

Story

Copperfield’s father dies before he is born and his mother later remarries the frightful Mr. Murdstone, whose sister soon moves into their house. Copperfield is sent away to boarding school after he bit Murdstone when he was undergoing a beating. At the boarding school, he becomes friends with James Steerforth and Tommy Traddles.

Copperfield doesn’t complete his education because his mother dies and he’s sent to work at a factory. There he boards with the Micawber family. At the factory, Copperfield experiences the hardships of the industrial-urban poor until he escapes and walks to Dover to find his aunt, who adopts him.

After finishing school, he goes to London to seek a career and reconnects with Steerforth, introducing him to his adoptive family. Around this time, he falls in love with young Dora, the daughter of a renowned solicitor. He is reunited with Traddles, who also is boarding with the Micawbers, bringing the delightful but economically useless character back into the story.

In time, Dora’s father dies and she and David marry. Money is tight, however, and Copperfield takes up various jobs to make ends meet, including writing fiction.

Things aren’t well with Mr. Wickfield, with whom Copperfield boarded during school. Wickfield’s business has been taken over by his evil clerk, Uriah Heep, who now has Micawber working for him. However, Micawber and Traddles expose Heep’s misdeeds and finally have him thrown out, returning the business to its rightful owner.

Copperfield can’t savor this triumph because Dora has become ill after losing a child. She dies following a long illness and David travels abroad for many months. While he’s traveling, he realizes that he’s in love with his old friend Agnes, Mr. Wickfield’s daughter. David returns home to marry her and becomes successful writing fiction.

Personal and Societal Themes

“David Copperfield” is a long, sprawling novel.In keeping with its autobiographical genesis, the book reflects the ungainliness and largeness of everyday life. In its early parts, the novel displays the power and resonance of Dickens’ critique of a Victorian society, which provided few safeguards for the poor, particularly in the industrial heartlands.

In the later parts, we find Dickens’ realistic, touching portrait of a young man growing up, coming to terms with the world, and finding his literary gift. Although it portrays Dickens’ comic touch, its serious side isn’t always apparent in Dickens’ other books. The difficulties of becoming an adult, marrying, finding love, and becoming successful feel real, shining from every page of this delightful book.

Full of lively wit and Dickens’ finely tuned prose, “David Copperfield” is an excellent example of the Victorian novel at its height and Dickens as its master. It deserves its sustained reputation into the 21st century

Four famous pilgrims of India

Char Dhaam Yatra – India

There are four holy shrines in Uttarakhand dedicated to Hindu Gods and holy rivers of India. The four shrines are situated within the Garhwal Region. These are collectively referred as “Char Dhaam of Uttarakhand” . Pilgrims from all over India and abroad visit the shrines as “Char Dhaam Yatra”. In Hindu religion, Char Dhaam Yatra holds has great importance and sanctity. It is believed that every Hindu should undertake Char Dhaam Yatra at least once in a life time to avail the blessings of gods adorning the shrines.

Haridwar is the traditional point to start Char Dhaam Yatra of Uttarakhand. Haridwar is in the plains and easily accessible by Road & Train from other locations of India, including New Delhi. It is also accessible by Road from Dehradun, which has Airport. So, Piligrims can fly to Dehradun from Delhi & other locations in India and then proceed to Haridwar by Road travel.

Haridwar is famous for Ganga Aarthi which takes place in evening daily and through out the year.

From Haridwar, Piligrims can travel by Road to the next stop in Char Dham yatra ie Rishikesh, which is also in plains. Ganga Aarthi takes place in Rishikesh also in the evening daily.

From Rishikesh, Piligrims can travel to Four places of Chaar Dhaam yatra i.e, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Details are given below.

Yamunotri Dham

The Shrine of Yamunotri at the source of river Yamuna. Atop is a flank of Bandar Poonch peak (3615 meters). The actual source, a frozen lake of ice and glacier (Champasar Glacier) located on the Kalind Mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level is about 1 km further up is not easily accessible. Hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The Temple of divine mother Yamuna was built by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The tiny Yamuna has icy cold water and its absolute innocence and the infantile purity heightens that deep feeling of reverence, which Yamunotri has for the devout. According to the legend ancient sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. The trek to Yamunotri is truly spectacular, dominated by a panorama of rugged peaks and dense forests.

The deity or Goddess Yamuna is made of black marble. The temple is dedicated to the river Yamuna, who is represented in the form of a silver idol, bedecked with garlands.

Close to the temple are hot water springs gushing out from the mountain cavities. Suryakund is the most important Kund. Near the Suryakund there is a shila called Divya Shila, which is worshipped before puja is offered to the deity. Pilgrims prepare rice and potatoes to offer at the shrine by dipping them in these hot water springs, tied in muslin cloth. Rice so cooked is taken back home as prasadam.

The pujaris and priests who perform in Yamunotri temple come from the village of Kharsali near Jankichatti.

Gangotri Dham

The Gangotri temple was built by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa, in the 18th century and is situated on the left bank of Bhagirathi river. The temple is nested amidst the beautiful surroundings of deodars and pine trees. It lies close to the holy rock or the Bhagirath Shila where King Bhagirath had worshiped Lord Shiva. The Gangotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga.

The Pujaris and Priests who perform in the temple belong to the village of Mukhwa. The water from Gangotri is carried to offer to Lord Shiva. It is believed that this water has nectar in it and will soothe the throat of Shiva who gulps the poison.

Shree Kedarnath Dham

Kedarnath temple is one of the sacred pilgrimage centre in Northern India, located on the bank of Mandakini river at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level. The historical name of this region is “Kedar Khand”. Kedarnath temple is a part of Char Dhams and Panch Kedar in Uttarakhand and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. 

There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand itself, the most important one is Kedarnath. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty of having killed their own Kith and Kin and sought blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bafellow.

On being followed, the Lord dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface at Kedarnath. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations. The arms of the Lord appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madmaheshwar and his locks (hair) with head at Kalpeshwar. The Kedarnath and four above mentioned shrines are treated as Panch Kedar (Panch means Five in Sanskrit).

The Temple at Kedarnath presents an imposing sight, standing in middle of a wide plateau surrounded by lofty snow covered peaks. The temple was originally built in 8th century A.D. by Jagad Guru Adi Shankaracharya and stands adjacent to site of an even earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bafellow stands as guard.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kedarnath temple has exquisite architecture Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs were moved and handled in the earlier centuries. The temple has a Garbha Griha for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.

Shree Badrinath Dham

The main entrance gate of Badarinath temple is colourful and imposing popularly known as Singhdwar. The temple is approximately 50 feet tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The Badarinath temple is divided into three parts (a) The Garbha Griha or the sanctum sanctorum (b) The Darshan Mandap where rituals are conducted and (c) The Sabha Mandap where pilgrims assemble.

At the Badarinath Mandir Gate, directly opposite the main Idol of Lord himself, is seated idol of Bird Garud, vehicle / carrier of Lord Badarinarayan. Garud os seen is sitting position and in prayer with his hands folded. The walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.

The Garbha Griha portion has its canopy covered with a sheet of gold and houses Lord Badari Narayan, Kuber (God of wealth), Narad rishi, Udhava, Nar and Narayan. The complex has 15 idols. Especially attractive is the one-metre high image of lord Badarinath, finely sculpted in black stone. According to legend Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badarinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present loction of the temple. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose called Padmasan.

Darshan Mandap: Lord Badari Narayan is armed with Conch and Chakra in two arms in a lifted posture and two arms rested in Yogic Pose. Badarinarayan is seen under the Badari tree, flanked by Kuber and Garuda, Narad, Narayan and Nar. As you look, standing to the right side of Badarinarayana is Uddhava. To the far right side are Nara and Narayana. Narada Muni is kneeling in front on the right side and is difficult to see. On the left side are Kubera-the god of wealth, and a silver Ganesh. Garuda is kneeling in front, to the left of Badarinarayana.