All posts by A Writing Pen

Meet the Youngest CEO in the world: Hillary Yip

“If you don’t believe in your own idea, then you won’t get anyone else to believe in it – no matter how hard you try”

Hillary Yip

Most children of her age play around, discuss their favorite TV shows or are too stressed with their teenage problems. But this girl began a startup at a mere age of 10. Hillary Yip, the youngest CEO in the world, is today a proud founder and owner of MinorMynas, a language learning app.

“People treat me as a kid sometimes I get that. I’m 15, but I prefer being treated as an adult because I’ve had some experiences. I’m still learning, but that doesn’t mean you should count me out as immature.” says Hillary.

MinorMynas is an online educational platform where children across the borders can learn different languages, chat and make friends across countries. The use of live video calls allows children to engage in conversations to learn different languages from each other.

“I wanted to let kids from all over the world learn and exchange their languages — and make it fun, too.”

Hillary Yip

Hillary Yip was born and brought up in Hongkong. She is a student of Kellett School. When her mother sent her and her brother to summer camp in Taiwan for Chinese improvement after struggling with it for years, she knew she had to create MinorMynas. Her experience in the summer camp was a life changing one. Her idea of creating an online version of the experience led her to participate and win several entrepreneurship awards, including “AIA’s Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge 2016 1st place and Best Business”.

“My vision with MinorMynas is to connect the world through kids, letting us learn together as a community, making the world a better place.” says Yip.

Children in over 60 countries will be able to connect through her educational app so they can expand their knowledge on topics they are passionate about and gain more understanding of other cultures. Hillary believes her product can solve the screen time problem by allowing them to simultaneously learn as well as teach. Additionally, she pointed out that many children were using the app as a way to study things that were beyond study plans and to delve deeper into topics that they were personally passionate about.

Hillary attributes her success to her mentors and her parents who have always been her constant support.

Her success is evident from the fact that she has featured in a number of places like BBC, CCTV, Yitiao, Yeti and the South China Morning Post. She is an extremely popular keynote speaker and has appeared at TEDx stages, as well as events hosted by HSBC and Microsoft. She was also a keynote speaker at the Global Women Forum 2020 in Dubai.

With an eye towards fostering a greater awareness of in-app learning, Hillary Yip plans to work with other providers.

In our second version, which is in its final stages, we plan to launch parent communities since the exchange between an international group of parents does not exist today,” Hillary says.

Role of Tribal Communities in India’s Fight for Independence

We often talk about our national heroes who laid their life for the sake of their motherland. Their immense sacrifice and determination lead us to independence. Today we shall talk about some of the lesser known stories of the tribal communities whose courage and struggle ignited the cause of our freedom struggle.

Except the frontier tribal areas, most of the tribal movements were concentrated in central, west-central and southern India.

Paharias Rebellion (1778):

The Paharias were hill people and resided around the Rajmahal hills in the north-eastern Chota Nagpur Plateau. These folks were remote people and considered the entire territory to be their country. The British expansion on their territory led to a clash between the Paharias and the Britishers. The revolt was leaded by Raja Jagannath. The revolt was carried out as the British had launched a campaign against the Paharaias to kill them.

Chuar Uprising (1766-1816):

Chuar revolt was not a single revolt but a series of rebellions that lasted from 1766 to 1772 and then again from 1795-1816. The Chuars were mostly farmers and hunters and inhabited the West Bengal settlements of Midnapore, Bankura and Manbhum (part of present day Bihar). Though there were many leaders like Jagannath Singh of Ghatsila, Shyam Ganjan of Dhadka, Subla Singh of Kaliapal and Dubraj who stood against the British, the most prominent uprising was under Durjan Singh in the year 1798. He was the zamindar of Raipur but was dispossessed due to the Bengal Regulations. Durjan Singh, with the help of 1500 Chuars, started violent activities in May 1798 to stop the auction of Raipur’s estate. The revolt was crushed by the British. Some other notable Chuar leaders were Madhab Singh, brother of Raja of Barabhum; Raja Mohan Singh, Zamindar of Juriah and Lachman Singh of Dulma.

Kol Mutiny (1831):

Kols were the inhabitants of Chota Nagpur. This included Ranchi, Singhbhum, Hazaribagh, Palamau and western parts of Manbhum. The kols were prodded to take arms with the large scale transfer of lands from their headmen to outsiders like Hindu, Muslim and Sikh farmers and money lenders. These outsiders were oppressive,  demanded huge taxes and subjected brutal atrocities on the tribals.. Also, the British judicial and revenue policies badly affected the Kols. This led to an uprising in 1831 leaded by Buddho Bhagat. The rebellion was suppressed by the British but later many tribal movements started in this region.

Kol Mutiny served as an inspiration for coming generations to fight against inequality and injustice.

Santhal Rebellion (1855-56):

Santhals were primarily agricultural people and had settlements in the plains of the Rajmahal Hills. With the backing of the police and others, the money lenders conspired with the zamindars to oppress and rob the peasants of their lands. Sidhu and Kanhu, two brothers led the Santhal uprising and converted it into an anti-British movement. They declared the area between Bhagalpur and Rajmahal as autonomous. The revolt was stamped down by the British in the year 1856.

Ho and Munda uprisings (1820-37) :

The Ho tribals revolted against the occupation of Singhbhum under the leadership of The Raja of Parahat. The revolt lasted till 1827 and soon the tribals were forced to submit. In 1831, along with the Mundas of Chota Nagpur, the Ho tribe again revolted against the newly implemented farming revenue policies and entry of Bengalees into their region. The revolt ended in 1832 but the Ho continued to operate till 1837.

Khond Uprising (1837-56):

The Khonds of the region ranging from Odisha to Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam rose against the British under the leadership of Chakra Bishnoi. He was a young raja and was supported by his people who were joined by the Kalhandi, Ghuamsar and other tribals to fight the atrocities like new taxes, human sacrifices and entry of zamindars into their areas. Soon, Chakra Bishnoi disappeared and the revolt subsided.  However, in 1914, another Khond Uprising was seen in the Orissa region with a hope to end the British rule.

Save Soil, Save Earth

The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself

Franklin D. Roosevelt

We make hue and cry on climate change, pollution and like but are we concerned about our soil? Do you know that 95% of our food comes from the top soil? Our activities have already degraded 52% of our agricultural soils and by 2045 we will have 40% less food for 9.2 billion people. Can you imagine the repercussion?

First let us know what soil is and why it is so important.

Basically, soil is sand combined with organic matter. It is the loose surface material that covers the land and is called the “skin of the earth”. The soil consists of organic material, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that sustain life. Soil contains numerous organisms like bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, algae, protozoa and nematodes, earthworms, archaeans and so on. These organisms help the plants to grow and survive. It is the abundance of organic content in soil that sustains all other dependent species, including humans.

  • Soil bacteria are a critical component of biogeochemical cycle. It helps in crop production.
  • These bacteria have several functions: (1) providing nutrients to crops; (2) stimulating plant growth, for instance by producing plant hormones; (3) inhibiting the activity of plant pathogens; (4) improving soil structure; and (5) microbially accumulating or leaching inorganic nutrients.
  • Several kinds of bacteria are used in soil for bioremediation of polluted soil, and for mineralization of organic pollutants.
  • Soil microbes help the plants to intake water and nutrients from soil.
  • Healthy soil prevents the dangerous cycles of floods and droughts that plague many regions of the world.

How soil degradation affects us?

  • Soil degradation means the loss of physical, chemical and biological properties of soil.
  • Organic matter loss, soil fertility decline, erosion, adverse changes in salinity, acidity, or alkalinity, or efflorescence is some causes.
  • Impacts of soil degradation are devastating – depletion of fertile soil, habitat destruction and biodiversity loss, extinction of species, high level of nutrient runoff into lakes, desertification of land, large scale migration, malnutrition and war.

Factors causing soil degradation:

  • Physical factors: include change in the natural composition of soil due to factors like rainfall, wind erosion, floods and mass movement. The fertile top portion of the soil gets eroded, thereby degrading the soil quality.
  • Biological factors: Human and plant activities also reduce the quality of soil. Human activities like poor farming practices degrade the quality of soil. Plant activities include an overgrowth of bacteria and fungi in an area that can negatively affect the soil microbial activity through biochemical reactions, resulting in reduced crop yields and reduced soil productivity capacity.
  • Chemical factors: Changes in the quality of alkalinity or acidicity of soil also affects its fertility. Chemical factors also include waterlogging. Chemical factors bring irreversible loss to soil nutrients such as deposition of iron or aluminum rich soils.
  • Man-made factors: Human activities such as deforestation, excessive use of fertilizers, industrial wastes, overgrazing, mining activities, urbanization and poor agricultural practices also leads to land degradation.

What can we do to save our soil?

  • Reduce deforestation: At the individual level, it is not an easy task. But we can plant trees and make people aware of the importance of planting trees. Individuals all over the world need to respect forest cover and reduce certain human-induced actions that encourage logging. Involvement of government and international organizations is required to reduce, if not stop deforestation.
  • Land reclamation: it refers to the restoration of lost organic content and minerals of the soil. Although the soil quality degraded is irreversible, still we can replenish the lost organic matter and minerals to some extent. This is called land reclamation. Degraded soil may be restored by adding plant residues or by improving range management. One of the simplest methods is planting trees, crops, vegetation and flowers over the affected soil. Plant roots make the soil stronger.
  • Prevention of salinization: Activities like reducing irrigation, planting salt tolerant crops like rice, wheat, mustard etc result in high returns because reclamation projects require zero inputs and labor. Preventing salinization of crops beforehand is the beast and an economical step.
  • Conserving soil by tillage: This includes cultivating in such a manner that the soil quality remains almost to its natural condition. Example – Leave crop residue from previous year on the surface to guard the soil from erosion and avoid poor tillage practices such as deep plowing.

This year, Sadhguru, an Indian yogi and visionary has launched a movement called “Save Soil”. To make people aware of this burning issue, Sadhguru is travelling from India to UK in a 100-day motorcycle journey. He will cover 26 countries spanning 30,000 km.

“Start local, involve your neighbourhood, start a vegetable garden, get your hands in the soil – not in the dirt as is commonly said, as soil is not dirty – it is rich, it is our foundation of a healthy life and a safe environment.”

Sadhguru

This is just the beginning. Such initiatives from the government and other institutions will support the ‘’Save Soil” cause and help restore our land its lost fertility.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre or Massacre of Amritsar happened on 13th April 1919. The Government of India erected a memorial at Jallianwala Bagh in 1951 to commemorate the spirit of Indian revolutionaries and the people who lost their lives in the bloody massacre. It was on this day that the British troops fired ruthlessly on a mass of unarmed Indians who gathered in Jallianwala Bagh for a peaceful agitation. The firing killed hundreds of people and injured much more. This event changed the course of India’s struggle for independence.

History:

On this day, exactly 103 years ago, a large group of people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh. Some were gathered to protest the arrest of two prominent nationalist leaders of Punjab – Dr. Satya Pal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, and others were assembled to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi. The British government had banned on all kind of public gatherings but did not make the public aware about it. When the news of public gathering reached Colonel Reginald Dyer, he reached the place with his troops and ordered mass firing on the crowd of at least 10000 people including men, women and children. The firing continued for 10-15 minutes and ended only on exhaustion of ammunition. About 500 people were killed, including elderly people and children. More hundreds were fatally wounded. However, General Dyer estimated the figure to be 291.

This massacre was not a secluded incident. It was an incident with multiple backgrounds.

Background:

On 10th March 1919, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act to increase their power over the Indian public. This act allowed the government to arrest any person without trial.  Mahatma Gandhi and the other leaders called for Rowlatt Satyagraha in opposition to this act.

Dr. Satya Pal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, two eminent nationalists, were arrested without any trial on 10th April 1919. Both of them were invited to The Deputy Commissioner Mr. Irving’s residence. From there they were arrested and deported under police escort. This led to wide range protests among the masses. The protestors gathered before the residence of Mr. Irving where they were fired without any provocation.

The Punjab government used all their efforts to crush the opposition against the Rowlatt Act.

On the day of massacre:

General Dyer’s government had imposed a martial law in Punjab under which all types of gathering were prohibited. Unaware of this fact, people gathered peacefully at the Jallianwala Bagh on 13th April 1919 to celebrate Baisakhi festival and to oppose the arrest of their leaders – Dr. Pal and Dr. Kitchlew. After getting this information, General Dyer reached the place with his battalion.

Dyer ordered his troops to open fire at everyone – including children. The garden was surrounded by houses and walls on three sides. There was no chance of escape as the only route was blocked by the troops so that no one could leave once the firing starts.

The firing continued mercilessly for 10-15 minutes and 1650 rounds were fired.

This event led to death of hundreds of people and left many more wounded.

Investigation:

On 14th October 1919, Hunter Commission was formed to inquire about the incident. General Dyer and Mr. Irving, along with other British officials involved were investigated. According to British government figures, more than 350 people were killed and thousands were injured. But the Congress estimated that more than 1,000 people lost their lives. Dyer confessed his involvement in firing. But he did not feel guilty of his act. He justified his actions. The commission criticized his actions and asked him to resign following which he would not be further employed in India.

Aftermath:

The Amritsar massacre shook the world. Many eminent people of India renounced their titles honored to them by the government. Rabindranath Tagore refused to accept his knighthood. Mahatma Gandhi returned his title Kaiser-I-Hind.

Assassination of Dyer:

On 13th March 1940, Regianld Dyer was shot by Sardar Udham Singh, a member of the revolutionist Ghadar Party, at Caxton Hall in London. Udham Singh was convicted and on 31st July 1940, he was hanged at Pentonville Prison.

A spark was lit in Jallianwala Bagh massacre that ignited India’s independence struggle. It ultimately forced them to leave the land they had hoped to govern for centuries.

Father of Indian Industry – Jamsedji Tata

“When you have to give the lead in action, in ideas – a lead which does not fit in with the very climate of opinion – that is true courage, physical or mental or spiritual, call it what you like, and it is this type of courage and vision that Jamsedji Tata showed. It is right that we should honour his memory and remember him as one of the big founders of modern India.”

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jamsedji Nusserwanji Tata (3rd March 1839 – 19th May 1904) was the founder of TATA group, India’s leading conglomerate company. He was a pioneer figure in the world of industry. He was such an influential personality that even Jawaharlal Nehru referred him as a “One – man Planning Commission”.  He has also established the city of Jamshedpur. Tata started his journey as a merchant and went on to become one of the most important builders of the modern Indian economy. Among his many achievements, the most notable one is Tata Iron and Steel Works Company in Jamshedpur.

Tata was ranked first in “Hurun Philanthropists of the Century” (2021) due to his total donations of about $102.4 billion from the start of his establishments way back in 1892.

Jamsedji Tata was born on 3rd March 1839 to Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai Tata in Navsari, Gujarat. He came from a family of minority group of Parsees. His father was the first businessman in their family. Nusserwanji ran an export trading firm in Mumbai.

Career:  After graduating from Elphinstone college, Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1858, Jamsedji joined his father’s firm. He expanded its branches in Japan, China, Europe and United States.

  • He started a trading company in 1868.
  • In 1869, he bought a bankrupt oil mill in 1869 at Chinchpokli, Maharashtra and converted it into an oil mill – named as Alexandra Mill. In 1871, he sold the mill at a profit.
  • In 1874, Tata started the Central India Spinning, Weaving, and Manufacturing Company in Nagpur, an unusual place to choose from for industrialists. During that era, Bombay being the “Cottonpolis of India” was the most preferred place for textile entrepreneurs. But his far-sightedness paid off. In Nagpur, the abundance of farm produce, the ease of distribution, and the cheap land later led to the converging of railway lines, which further developed the city.
  • In 1877, Tata set up a new cotton mill – called Empress Mill.
  • He formed another company in 1885 in Pondicherry solely to distribute Indian textiles to nearby French colonies without having to pay duties; however, the venture failed due to an insufficient demand for the fabrics. He then purchased the Dharamsi Mills at Kurla in Bombay, resold it, and acquired the Advance Mills in Ahmedabad. It was named as Advance Mills because it was one of the highest technology mills at that time. This set up provided an economic boost to Ahmedabad.
  • Through such contributions, Jamsedji Tata shaped the cotton and textile industry in India.
  • Being a supporter of Swadeshism, he renamed his new cotton mill in Bombay as Swadeshi Mill. The objective was to provide finer cloth similar to that of imported from Manchester. During that time, India produced coarse fabric which was no longer preferred by Indians.

He envisioned India to be the sole maker of fine clothes for which the ancient Indian weavers were famous.

Throughout his life, he had 4 goals:

  • Setting up an iron and steel company
  • Establishing a world-class learning institution
  • Setting up a unique hotel
  • Setting up a hydroelectric plant

With the inauguration of the Taj Mahal Hotel at Colaba waterfront in Mumbai on 3rd December 1903, his dream of setting up a unique hotel became reality. His other 3 ideas were achieved by his successors:

  • Tata Steel
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • Tata Power Company Limited

World Homeopathy Day 2022

10th April is celebrated as World Homeopathy Day. It is a weeklong event commencing from 10th April to 16th April. This day is observed to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Samuel Hanhemann (1755-1843). The primary objective of this day is to create awareness about homeopathy and to make homeopathy accessible. Apart from these, it also focuses on developing homeopathy on a larger scale, adopting strategies to overcome challenges and improve the quality of education to improve the success rate of homeopaths.

The theme of World Homeopathy Day 2022 is “Homeopathy: People’s choice for wellness”.

The Homeopathy awareness week is celebrated all over the world; there are free public events throughout the week, including lectures, volunteer first-aid events, media interviews and free and reduced-price clinics. The use of homeopathy is reported on mainstream media and on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

History:

Homeopathy comes from the Greek words homeo meaning similar and pathos means disease. Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine and works on the doctrine of similia similibus curentur or like cures like. It means when a substance is taken in small amount, it will cure the same symptoms it causes if taken in large amounts.

Homeopathy is based on the belief that every individual is different and everyone’s body reacts and heals differently.

Hippocrates “Father of Medicine” founded homeopathy in 5th century BC. He advocated the need for understanding each individual’s body and their healing power for diagnosing and treating their illness. It was he who laid the foundation for homeopathy. However its prominence rose in the 19th century, thanks to the pioneering work of the German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann.

During the 19th century, medical practitioners used ineffective and brutal practices. Hanhemann opposed the harsh medical practices and usage of strong medicines that had side effects. Homeopathy medicines had rare side effects. People started opting for homeopathy and were getting better outcomes as compared to medicine practitioners. In the 19th century, homeopathy led to the abandonment of bloodletting and purging treatments, which were ineffective and harmful, and to the advance of more effective and scientifically-based medicine.

Homeopathy preparations include animal, plants, minerals and synthetic substances, which are referred as Latin names such as arsenicum album (arsenic oxide), thyodinium (thyroid hormone). The pills are made from a lactose substance (mostly sugar). Drops of liquid are placed and evaporated.

On World Homeopathy Day, India:

In India, this day is observed in patronage of the ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.

In spite of several criticisms faced by homeopathy, A growing body of evidence corroborating homeopathic medicines ability to manage and prevent a wide range of diseases is emerging.

13-year-old Para-Swimmer Creates Record

13-year-old Jiya Rai becomes the youngest and fastest female swimmer in the world to swim across the Palk Strait. The autistic swimmer began her swim from Palk Strait, Talaimannar in Sri Lanka at 4.22 AM on 20th March and reached Arichalmunai in Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu at 5.32PM on the same day. She covered 28.5 kms in just 13 hours and 10 minutes.  Although Jiya holds a world record in open water swimming, this achievement has added a feather in her cap. She now joins the elite group of swimmers such as Kutraleeswaran (1994), R Jai Jaswanth (2019), Edi Hu of the US (2020) and Shyamala Koli (2021), who swam from Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi.

Jiya has broken the world record of Bula Choudhary who swam this distance in 13 hours and 52 minutes in the year 2004.

At Dhanushkodi, she was welcomed by the Director General of Tamil Nadu Police, C Sylendra Babu and a huge crowd gathered to congratulate her. The DGP said that the stretch is filled with water snakes, jellyfish, and rapidly changing currents, which can make it difficult to swim even a kilometre in 3 to 4 hours.

She was honoured by Ramanathapuram SP E Karthik and Municipal vice-chairman Dhakshinamoorthy.

The Indian Navy also congratulated her by sharing a laudatory note on its Facebook page.

The event was conducted by Para-Swimming Federation of India (PSFI). Sri Lanka’s Navy provided search and rescue services in Lankan waters, while the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard provided these services along its maritime borders.

Jiya Rai lives in Mumbai. Her father Madan Rai is an officer in the Indian Navy. She is studying in a Navy children school. She was diagnosed with autism when she was a little over 2 years old. Later, her doctor noticed that her repetitive knocking could be useful as a therapy in water sports. As a result, Jiya seemed comfortable in water and developed a lifelong love for swimming.

The journey was not easy for her as well as her parents. Being an autistic, initially it was difficult for her to grasp the technicalities of swimming. Her understanding of the sea current and simple things like replacing a start line by a whistle required a lot of conditioning. But her never ending attitude and her parents’ determination made her win laurels.

This is not the first time when Jiya has achieved such accolade. She was awarded the “Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP)” – 2022; it is the highest honour given to citizens of India below 18 years of age. In February 2021, she became the youngest and the first autistic girl to swim from Worli Sea Link to Gateway of India. She took 8 hours and 4 minutes to cover this distance of 36 kms. She has also received appreciation from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his show “Mann Ki Baat”.

Her other achievements include:

  • As the first autistic girl in the world to swim 14 km in three hours and 27 minutes from Elephanta Island to the Gateway of India, Jiya succeeded in setting a world record in February 2020. She entered Asia Book of Records and India Book of Records.
  • She became the first para-swimmer to swim from Arnala Fort to Vasai Fort in January 2021. She covered a distance of 22 km in 7 hours and 4 minutes.
  • In March 2021, she won 3 Gold Medals in the Twentieth National Para-Swimming Championship 2020.
  • She was also the winner of 24 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal in the National and State Swimming/Open Water Sea Swimming Championship.

The young swimmer dreams to become the first and youngest para-swimmer in the world to swim seven oceans.

How To Develop Good Habits In Your Children

Your little one has started taking baby steps towards learning process and you are already freaking out. This is the age when the parents should start inculcating good habits in their children. Developing good habits is a process and takes time. Don’t rush yourself.

Follow these 11 tips shared below:

  • Start with basics: You should start with the basic things like brushing teeth, washing hands before and after a meal, eating food by themselves, taking a shower, hygiene etc. It’s never too early to begin these habits.
  • Set yourself as a role model: Children always learn from their parents. They try to imitate their elders. Before teaching your children, you should implement what you are going to teach your child.
  • Imbibe Good manners: Teach your child how to be polite and gentle, how to behave properly in front of guests and how to behave with elders as well as peers. Teach him the meaning and usage of phrases like thank you, sorry, welcome and like.
  • Create a positive environment: Your child should feel happy and positive around you. It may happen that your youngster has made some mistake for which you feel like yelling. This creates a negative reinforcement in the child. Instead of shouting and scolding, you can make him understand his mistake and why he should not repeat it in future. Don’t use abusive language before your children.
  • Have family dinners: Having dinner with family on the same table creates a sense of family attachment in the child. While eating with the family, your child is less likely to consume unhealthy food.
  • Physical activity: Physical activity not only includes outdoor games or sports but also household chores like arranging book shelf, keeping toys at proper place, walking the dog and like. This not only imbibes a feeling of bonding within the child but also develops a sense of responsibility.
  • Reward your child: You can reward your children on completion of certain task or for some behavior. He will be motivated to maintain his good behavior. But mind it that never reward your child with materialistic things like video games or chocolates. Try to come up with other ways to celebrate his good behavior. Take him to a long drive, go for a swimming together, play some games or even some simple words of appreciation will do.
  • Read out stories to your kid: You may have a hectic schedule but do take some time out to read stories to him. Choose stories like good over bad or fables. In this way your child will get to know the morals. His vocabulary will also improve. Also encourage him to read the books by himself.
  • Value his opinions: Many people do not seem to realize that kids have their say and opinion. Ask them about what they think of a particular situation. You can also ask his opinion about any family function. The child will feel valuable.
  • Set a time table: Once he starts going school, prepare a time table for him and specify his time for every activity including, playing, watching TV or studying. Be flexible. Let him skip some activities or do them later when he asks.
  • Be realistic with your expectations:  Each child’s learning capability is different. Don’t force him to hurry. It’s okay to let him progress at his own pace. Don’t compare him with other children. Like adults, children too do not like being compared.

Bandhani

India is a culturally rich country. It is rightly said that there is “unity in diversity”. From north –south and east-west, diversity can be seen in all realms, be it food, lifestyle, festivals, clothing, language and like. Today, let us visit the beautiful Indian state Gujarat. This state is famous for many things and Bandhani print is one of them.

Bandhani, also known as Bandhej, is a type of tie and dye technique in which the cloth is plucked with fingernails into numerous tiny bindings to form a figurative design. Bandhani means bandh (to tie or to bind) in Sanskrit. Indus Valley Civilization artifacts suggest that Bandhani dyeing was done as early as 4000 B.C. Historical evidence indicates that the first Bandhani saree was worn in a royal wedding at the time of Bana Bhatt’s Harshacharita. It was believed that wearing Bandhani saree brings good luck to the bride.

Bandhani is an art form that requires high level of expertise. The fabric is dyed and tightly tied with a thread at several points, thereby producing various patterns like Chandrakala, Bavan Baug, Shikari  etc. The pattern depends on the style of tying the cloth. Red, green, yellow, blue and black colours are mainly used in Bandhani. The colours used are mostly natural.

Once the fabric has been tightly tied, the tied area is dipped in for dye bath of bright colours. A cloth of one meter can have thousands of tiny knots. After the dye bath, the fabric is dried in open air. The weather determines how long drying will take. It takes 4-5 hours in summers and 7-8 hours in winters. The tied portion does not get coloured and remains the same colour as that of the fabric. Then the knots are opened to form dazzling designs and twirls. Depending upon the tying pattern of the fabric, it can produce different patterns like Ekdali (single knot), Boond (small dot with a dark centre), Trikunti (three knots) etc. Often Bandhani prints are adorned with mirror work to give them an elegant look.

There are several names for the final products such as Khombi, Gharchola, Patori, and Chandrokhani.

This is mainly a family trade and women of such families work in their homes. The fabric tying is easy but time consuming job. Bandhani is mainly made in Bhuj, Jamnagar, Mandavi, Jethpur, Pethapur, Anjar and Rajkot. However, Bhuj is known for its red and maroon Bandhani as the water of Bhuj gives a special brightness to these colours.

Bandhani has tasted great success, both nationally and globally. Several textile garments have been made from Bandhani using new colors, designs, and natural dyes developed by skilled artisans. Not only women clothes but Bandhani designs have found place in men’s garments too.

Bandhani designs appeal to Indians as well as to global consumers. It has found valuable space in different accessories and garments and has become a huge trend. A tradition that has existed for centuries, Bandhani will be here for many years to come.

Veto Power of The President

A veto is the power to stop an official action unilaterally, such as enactment of legislation. Let us see the veto power of President in respect of Indian politics.

When the Parliament passes a bill, it is sent to the President for his assent. Only then the bill becomes a law. Upon presenting a bill to the President for his assent, he has the following options:

  1. He may give his assent.
  2. He may not give his assent (veto).
  3. He may return the bill (except money bill) to the Parliament for reconsideration. In such case, if the Parliament passes the bill, with or without amendments, and again presents it to the President for his assent; he must give his assent to the bill.

The president has veto power over the bill in the sense that he can withhold his assent to the bill. The objective of veto is to prevent an unconstitutional legislation and to prevent rushed and injudicious legislation.

The Presidents of other countries enjoy 4 types of veto rights – absolute veto, qualified veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto. But President of India has only 3 veto rights – absolute veto, suspensive veto and pocket veto.

Absolute veto: It refers to the withholding of President’s assent to a bill (passed by the Parliament). Then the bill does not become an act. This power is exercised in 2 situations:

  1. Bills which are introduced by any Parliament member who is not a minister. These are called private members’ bills.
  2. Once the government bills are passed, the cabinet resigns and the new cabinet advises the president not to give his assent.

Suspensive veto: When a bill, not assented by the President is returned to the Parliament for reconsideration, and the bill is again passed by the Parliamentary by the same majority (with or without amendments), it becomes mandatory for the President to assent the bill. This is called suspensive veto. This is not applicable in case of money bills. The President has to assent a money bill as passed by the Parliament with his prior permission.

Pocket veto: The President neither assents nor rejects the bill. He does not return the bill to the Parliament. Instead, he holds the bill for an indefinite period of time. As far as the constitution is concerned, it does not mandate any time limit within which the President must decide on a bill submitted to him for his assent. But in USA, the President needs to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days.

Anyhow, there is no power of veto for the President in relation to constitutional amendments.

President can also apply veto in case of state legislation. A bill passed by state legislatures can become an act only if it is assented by the Governor or the President.

When a bill which has been passed by the state legislature is presented before the Governor, he may:

  1. Give his assent to the bill
  2. Withhold his assent
  3. Return the bill (except money bill) for reconsideration.
  4. Reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.

If a bill has been reserved for assent by the Governor, the President has the following options:

  1. He may assent the bill
  2. He may withhold the bill
  3. He may instruct the Governor to return the bill to the state legislature for reconsideration. If the bill is again passed by the state legislature, with or without amendment, and is presented to the President for his assent, he is not bound to give his assent to the bill.

Also, the President can exercise pocket veto in case of state legislation.