Tag Archives: world

Now restrict the covid to imact your financial credit

 – Since the beginning of March, COVID-19 has turned millions of Americans’ financial situations upside down.

While the economy is showing signs of recovery, many Americans are still unemployed and having to dip into their savings to cover basic living costs. To that end, the question remains: How do you protect your credit score? Read on for some tips.

• Contact your lender aas soon as possible if you can’t make a payment. On-time payments are the largest factor affecting your credit score. Many lenders continue to offer emergency support such as deferral or forbearance options that may allow you to reduce or suspend payments for a fixed period. However, if those terms are set to expire soon, you should “call your lender to discuss what options are available,” says Rod Griffin, senior director of consumer education and advocacy for the credit reporting agency Experian.

• Look for ways to boost your credit score. If you have limited credit history, building credit can be challenging. Experian’s free tool, Experian Boost, can help raise your FICO score instantly by giving you credit for on-time utility, phone and streaming service payments.

This type of alternative financial data, known as “consumer-permissioned data,” allows you to manage your data with confidence and qualify for better credit. In fact, two out of three Experian Boost users see an increase in their credit score with an average increase of about 12 points. That’s enough to make a significant difference when applying for a loan or any type of credit.

• Consider getting a balance transfer credit card or one with an introductory offer. Handled responsibly, this actually has the potential to increase your credit score while either buying you time to pay off your debts or getting a “welcome bonus” of perhaps hundreds of dollars. If you’re looking for personalized credit card options, tools like Experian CreditMatch can help you get the right card based on your financial profile.

• Pay attention to your utilization ratio. Your credit score is based on your total balance-to-limit ratio (a.k.a. “utilization rate”). Adding a new credit card increases your total available credit. As long as your total credit balance remains the same, you’d be decreasing your utilization rate, which can potentially boost your credit score. Be sure to transfer balances to the card with lower interest and be mindful of temporary low interest rates.

While any balance can cause scores to decline, you should keep your utilization under 30 percent, both overall and on individual accounts. Shooting for a top credit score? “Keep your utilization in the single digits, or even better, pay your credit card balances in full each month,” says Griffin.

• Fight fraud by checking your credit report regularly.According to the Federal Trade Commission., there’s been a huge jump in attempted credit – and debit-card fraud since the pandemic hit; consumers have lost more than $100 million to COVID-19-related fraud

Youth is the worst hit prey of the panademic

in the devloping country like india the condition of the employment was not good the youth of the country was already struggling to his career and livlihood but this situation become worst when the world was hit by the panademic named covid 19 virus on december,31 in 2019. the world health organisation is continuously monitoring and respondinding to the pandemic.

as per the report published in the India times

India leads the world in teen age depression

in 4 youth one is depressed the percentage of depression is 25% .the depression destroying the creativity and efficiency of the youth how we can run our country with depressed engine it is a big problem but in the present senerio in our household we do not consider it as a big peroblem parents must take care the mental health of their young children the increasing sucidal cases is the outcome of the depression. the level of depression will increase exponenentially in the coming years because in this era of panademic students are not able to go colleges and eventually not learning the practical knoweledge this will decrease the productivity of the youth and would not be able to secure their dream jobs. we are not techniacally too advanced during online classe there is always problem of audio and video and the students gets incomplete knoweledge and with this incomplete knoweldege a sense of lack of confidence is developing and with lack of confidence a major section of youth is sunking in the depresssion youth is the main asset of our nation we must to take care of our youth

students to cope with this depression should do meditation and always try to get busy in new skills learning it is a difficult time it would definitely pass and the world become normal

The dark reality of cruises

Vacations, who doesn’t love them? The idea of sitting back, relaxing and unwinding, and living above your means, even if it is just for a few days sounds extremely appealing. As the world has become more connected, the number of vacation options have also expanded. One of the most luxurious options of them all is cruises. It is understandable as to why in recent years, the number of cruise liners and cruise options has expanded, as it is one of the few options which offer an all-in-one experience. The food is also top quality and the relaxation options are exquisite. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Well in reality it is far from fun. The family-friendly cruise liners have a dark side too, one many fail to acknowledge.

Let’s start with the impact they have on the environment. Vast quantities of fossil fuels are required to power cruise ships every day. It is estimated that a cruise ship produces about 79,000 litres of sewage a day, and maritime regulations have allowed most of this sewage to be dumped at sea, which is extremely harmful to marine life. They also emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide each day. Cruises have diesel engines or gas turbines, and these have a high sulphur content. When mixed with air and water, sulphur forms sulphuric acid, which causes acid rain. This destroys marine life, corrodes buildings and even causes deforestation. Large ships also cause noise pollution, which is very hazardous for marine life. 

Working on a cruise sounds like a dream job with all the travelling one gets to do. But in reality, the job is a nightmare for the workers. The employees are extremely overworked and severely underpaid. They are signed for contracts which are about six to eight months long. They are made to work for about 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and make around $550 to $2000 a month, which is not adequate. Workers whose jobs are physically demanding often experience injuries and the healthcare they receive is inadequate. They are sometimes even scared of reporting any health issues they suffer from as they’re afraid their contracts might not be renewed. Cruise lines also include clauses in contracts which makes it difficult for the employees to sue them. Most of these workers are from poor countries and have limited economic opportunities back home, which is one of the main reasons why they choose to work in such jobs.

If one thinks that cruises are good for the customer, they couldn’t be far from the truth. Sure the luxuries a cruise line offers are enchanting, but they promote reckless money spending habits. Everything is obscenely expensive. Cruise cabins are cramped, and approximately 60 people are injured each year due to “operational mishaps”, which includes fires and explosions. Food poisoning is extremely common, and so are virus outbreaks. In 2017, for example, more than 500 passengers fell ill on two Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships.

Now the question that arises is, can cruising ever be ethical and sustainable? While technology is helping to reduce the environmental impact of cruises with solar-powered systems and a switch from diesel to liquid natural gas, cruises still aren’t the most sustainable vacation choice for one. The best option would be to avoid cruises altogether, but if you still want to travel on a cruise, then be sure to choose one which takes proper steps to dispose of waste, makes efforts to decreases carbon emissions, and treats its workers well. 

Performative Wokeness

As the years have gone by and media and technology have evolved, we have become more aware of the injustices happening around the world. In other words, we have become “woke”. Our awareness has made us realise the oppressive structures in our societies, and how we intentionally or unintentionally contribute to them. People have become more educated, and are trying to make media, workplaces and educational institutions more diverse. Now there is nothing wrong with “being woke”.  The problem arises when we put on a superficial show of solidarity with the oppressed without actually taking any big steps for change or fighting against injustice.

Jenna M. Gray of The Harvard Crimson defined performative wokeness as “drowning your lecture comments with a host of social justice buzzwords — try favourites like intersectionality, marginalised, discourse, subjectivity, or any -ism — without regard to whether other people understand you.” It rose in popularity with the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Thousands of celebrities, influencers and brands used it as a publicity stunt and tried to gain a larger following by trying to appear more aware and pretending to care about the movement without taking any significant steps to fight against the injustice. Their activism started and ended with one black square posted on their Instagram accounts with the #blackouttuesday. The sad part is that this is not a new phenomenon, it has been happening for years.

Under modern-day capitalism, where everything is associated with profit earning, corporations have somehow managed to monetise activism and social issues. Take the example of fast fashion brands like ASOS and TopShop. All these brands have clothing lines which they claim are aimed to empower women. They sell merchandise having quotes like, “We should all be feminists” or “This is what a feminist looks like”. But it is surprising to know that these feminist shirts are created by women in third world countries, who are assaulted, made to work in terrible workplaces, and not even paid the minimum wage. So they don’t aim to empower all women, it is all just a ruse to appear woke to sell their clothing.

Even celebrities are guilty of doing so. I’m sure all of us have heard of the Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling. These books were a huge success and pretty much universally beloved. Even the movies were commercial successes. The last movie came out in 2011, after which everyone expected that the story was over, and all that had to be told was told. Yet, J.K. Rowling managed to destroy her legacy by making changes to the characters to try to appear more inclusive than she was. If all of the changes were present in the initial versions of the books, then it would have been clear that she intended for her narrative to be more diverse. Yet, her adding on details years after the publication of her books shows that her activism is purely performative. (not to mention that she’s extremely transphobic)

It is saddening that we have managed to turn such important social issues into marketing strategies. Performative wokeness harms everyone, and it is definitely something which shouldn’t be normalised.

Quitting your job for social media

In one of my previous articles, I talked about influencer culture and the growth in the number of influencers in the past decade. One of the things that I mentioned was how some influencers tend to leave their day jobs and possibly even drop out of school to pursue social media. This was perhaps not very normal when influencers were just coming about, but has become extremely normalised in the past year or two. It is also more common amongst those having a big platform on YouTube than it is with any other form of social media. But now the question that arises is, should influencers quit their day jobs or drop out of school to pursue social media?

Up until the late 90s and early 2000s, getting a standard 9-5 job, working your way up the corporate ladder and retiring at 60 was the norm. However, the younger generations are realising from a very early age that they want to break this norm. They want to do something creatively fulfilling and entertaining, which is one of the many reasons why the number of influencers has risen. People as young as 15 have gained fame and are making millions. However, it is very easy for this fame to get to their head and convince them that they are invincible. Their audience keeps praising them which only inflates their ego, and they’re eventually convinced to drop out of school. 

It is understandable why this is so appealing. Who would want to sit in a classroom memorising formulas when you can be making millions from the comfort of your home. Some say that there is no right or wrong path for students to follow in life. However, it should be realised that it is simply not realistic for children to drop out of school. Your knowledge is a weapon no one can take from you. It is a common fact that some of the stuff that school teaches you is nonsensical and you won’t ever need to “solve for x” in real life. But this doesn’t mean that you should call it overrated and drop out. As much as you hate it, it is a crucial part of life. It gives you some important skills needed to be a functioning member of society. We need to stop propagating the idea that school is worthless and kids should drop out, and also better the education system, not dismiss it.

Now, if we talk about adults leaving their day jobs for social media or YouTube, there is a difference. For one, they have already passed from school and are much more independent than a teenager who is considering to drop out. Many people tend to look down on content creating and label it as a “fake job”. I believe that if something supports you economically and helps you earn money, it is a job. Social media is unstable and one isn’t going to be relevant forever. Also, those are more privileged and have more advantages are going to have a much more stable life if they quit their day jobs, so this is something which is not really for everyone. But, since the rules are different for adults and teens, one cannot really decide whether people quitting their day jobs for social media is right or not. 

I believe that if one chooses to pursue social media full time, they should have some other responsibilities or hobbies in their life. Having some other structure in your life can help you to avoid being stuck all day in the toxicity of social media, as it can get extremely negative. It is also important for them to have a backup plan, as internet fame can be fleeting, and while taking advantage of your online platform when it is thriving is great, one shouldn’t expect it to last forever and work on other things on the side.

how your diet impacts the planet

We all know how important it is to maintain a balanced diet. But have you ever sat down and thought about how your diet impacts the environment? Let us take the example of one particular food item whose popularity has gone up in the past few years: Meat. It is a great source of complete protein and contains all the amino acids our bodies need. Vitamin B-12, a vitamin which helps in the formation of red blood cells and prevention of anaemia can be obtained from only animal sources. Meat is, therefore, great for your health, but is it all that great for the environment?

Eating meat has dire consequences for the environment. If we look at the land used to feed livestock, it is about eight times more than the land we use for feeding humans. In the US, approximately 260 million acres of land that was once occupied by forests, is now grazed by cattle. Raising animals for human consumption accounts for approximately 40% of the total amount of agricultural output in industrialised countries Most estimates claim that between 1,800 and 2,500 gallons of water go into producing each pound of beef. All these resources can be put to much better use, like feeding the millions of people starving in the world and growing vegetables or wheat. But we choose to use them to raise cattle; cattle which will eventually be slaughtered for human consumption.

Worldwide, livestock rearing makes up anywhere between 14.5 and 18 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. If we compare it to the transportation sector, it is responsible for 14 per cent of the emissions. Not to mention the large amount of transportation required for the meat to reach from feedlots, to slaughterhouses, to processing centres and finally your local grocery stores. You’re probably better off driving your car than eating that meat on your plate.

Moreover, the conditions in which animals are kept in slaughterhouses is terrible. Animals are chained and dragged and beaten with tools ranging from cattle prods to shovels. They are packed into trucks and transported in masses, fearing the slow and cruel death that awaits them. Furthermore, they are hung upside down and decapitated. This allows them to bleed out quicker and is commercially beneficial for the processing of meat. If we look at poultry slaughterhouses, almost everything there is automated. They kill approximately 50,000 animals in just one week. Even the workers are affected by the work they do. Since most slaughterhouses are opened up in rural areas, where there are few job opportunities for the people, they are forced to work in such inhumane places, doing this horrible work. Most of us know this, yet we turn a blind eye to such events as we’re too afraid to face the reality of our food.

How can we prevent all this? The best thing to do would be to turn vegetarian or vegan. But we simply cannot expect the billions of people on the planet to give up meat. Not everyone has that privilege. Instead, one could try to reduce their meat intake. Educate those around you on the malpractices and evils of slaughterhouses and argue for reform. This is not something we should ignore. The time for change has come.

Sources: https://sentientmedia.org/slaughterhouses/

https://www.ecowatch.com/which-is-worse-for-the-planet-beef-or-cars-1919932136.html

Independence day: how far has the golden bird soared

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”

– Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Tryst with Destiny

15 August 1947, a day immortalised as the first independence day of India. This was the very day we gained our independence after almost 200 hundred years of British oppression. The path to independence was not an easy one. It cost us millions of lives, and years of bloodshed to regain something which shouldn’t have been taken from us in the first place. The sacrifices of those who fought for our noble land are honoured and remembered, as we celebrate the 74th Indian Independence Day in 2020. In these past 73 years of freedom, a lot has changed as we have struggled to find our own identity and fix the damages done to us.

Let us look back to what was happening 73 years ago. On 20 February 1947, it was announced by the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee that their government would grant full self-governance to British India by June 1948 at the latest. This was a result of the realisation by the labour party that due to the exhaustion of their resources by the Second World War and lack of international support, they could no longer control restless India. Yet, the day of independence was not all pretty. Communal riots, rampage and bloodshed on both sides of the border led to the loss of between 250,000 to 1,000,000 lives. Amidst all this, the first Prime Minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his famous speech, Tryst With Destiny, to commemorate our independence. This speech is considered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.

It is an undeniable fact that in the past 73 years we have made a lot of progress. If we look at the economy, we can see that the standards of living and income levels have grown tremendously. The gross domestic product (GDP) increased from Rs 2,939 billion during 1950-51 to an estimated Rs 1,40,776 billion in 2018-19. At the same time, the income of the average Indian worker has gone up to Rs 92,565 during 2018-19 from just around Rs 7,513 during 1950-51. In 1991, the economic liberalisation  of our economic policies was initiated, to make the economy more market- and service-oriented, and expanding the role of private and foreign investment. Our economy is one of the fastest-growing economies of the world. Literacy rates have increased significantly, from 18.3% during the 1950s to 73% in 2011. So much more has been done, which makes one’s chest swell with pride.

Although it is pleasing to see the progress which has been made, our country is not perfect. People are still being discriminated against. Colourism in India which has been fuelled due to events under British colonial rule, where British officials consistently demeaned dark-skinned Indians and favoured light-skinned Indians for jobs is still prevalent. Even though our economy is growing fast, the growth in India is not inclusive enough. The rich are getting richer, while the poor suffer. India is also not very safe for women due to the increasing number of assaults against women. Sexist practices like dowry and female foeticide are still happening in the remote areas of the country, even though they have been banned. The number of lynching cases has also grown up, which is incredibly saddening.

Nobody likes to look at the negatives, yet we cannot ignore the problems with the system. An Indian citizen has to address these problems and work for the betterment of their country. 

This independence day, we stand together for our country, and celebrate and salute the brave and the fearless for the sacrifices made by them to help us achieve our freedom. Jai Hind!

the bitter beverage

With more than 400 billion cups consumed each year, coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. The global coffee industry earns an estimated $60 billion annually. After oil, it is the world’s second-most-valuable commodity exported by developing countries, and people cannot get enough. Consumption of coffee varies worldwide, with some people even consuming 4 cups a day. As a student, coffee is a staple for me. Many people around the world, including me, cannot get by their days without consuming at least one cup of coffee. This love for coffee is justifiable, as it has many benefits. It energises us, helps us stay focused, reduce the risk of Dementia, and can even lower the risk of certain types of cancer. But, even though millions around the world drink coffee, many fail to acknowledge the dark side of it.

Caffeine is a highly addictive substance. Many people think that they need to consume some form of it. Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to nervousness and restlessness, sometimes even death. However, we as a society have completely normalised caffeine addiction. Many joke about the fact that they cannot survive without that daily cup of coffee and call it a cup of “liquid sanity” when in reality it is not something to be joked about. It should be taken as seriously as any other addiction. Those trying to reduce or quit coffee, might experience withdrawals in the form of severe headaches, irritability, drowsiness, depression and sometimes even nausea and vomiting.

Conventional coffee not only harms your health (if consumed in large quantities ) but also have negative effects on our planet. Coffee was traditionally grown in shady areas, and it had its benefits. It prevented soil erosion and provided some form of refuge for the species native to the regions where it was grown. But, since the yields and therefore profits of shade-grown coffee are lower, many switched to open fields. Growing coffee under the sun depletes the nutrients in the soil, and render the land useless. Such type of coffee also requires a higher amount of pesticides and fertilisers. Since the workers working in such plantations are generally poor, they cannot afford proper safety equipment and suffer from skin rashes and difficulty in breathing.

Coffee farmers are severely underpaid. But, since this is sometimes their only source of income, they are forced to pull their children out of schools and employ them in plantations. It is extremely unsafe for children as young as 6 to be exposed to such high amounts of pesticides used, and even saddening to know that in Brazil child labour rates were approximately 37% higher—and school enrolment 3% lower—than average in regions where coffee is produced. Moreover, big brands such as Nestlé have admitted to purchasing coffee from plantations where slavery and forced labour are prevalent.

Unfortunately, ethical consumption of any commodity is challenging under modern-day capitalism, and a few people cannot guarantee safe working conditions and fair wages for all coffee farmers. Yet, there are still some things we can do on our part to make our coffee consumption more ethical. For starters, we can avoid buying from unethical brands like Nestlé, and instead switch to fair trade brands. The best thing would be to simply purchase your coffee from local shops that get their beans from small farmers. If you reside in India, then try purchasing from the largest certified organic coffee plantation in the Eastern Ghats, Araku Coffee. Moreover, do not stop educating yourself about these issues; don’t let them go unnoticed. The fight for change is a difficult one, but never stop fighting for what’s right.

Sources: https://foodispower.org/our-food-choices/coffee/

toxic productivity and workaholism

A few days ago, a friend of mine told me that the increasing amount of work she received was “killing her.” Now, this was a statement not meant to be taken seriously as it was just two friends joking around. But, for some reason, I couldn’t let the statement go. It got me thinking of all the times I pushed myself beyond my healthy limits by pulling all-nighters to finish assignments, cramming information into my brain for a test till I literally couldn’t think about anything else except that test, and stressing myself out way too much just to finish some futile project. Which lead me to the question, why are we so obsessed with “being productive” or overworking ourselves?

We all know how incredibly fast-paced this world is now. People are always in such a rush to finish their work. Sometimes they don’t even take breaks or relax, as they’re afraid of lagging. As the years have progressed, more and more workaholics have emerged. The term workaholic was coined in 1971  by a minister and psychologist Wayne Oates. It is used to describe someone who feels the need to work incessantly without any rest. For some people, work is an addiction. They just can’t bring themselves to stop.

The typical “started from the bottom, now we’re here” genre of stories is one which has been told for ages. The idea that if you work hard enough, one day you’ll be successful and rich, has been drilled into our minds since we were kids. We have glamorised the idea of productivity and workaholism so much that we brag about our unhealthy work habits to people. Equating overworking ourselves to the point of an actual mental breakdown to success is extremely toxic and something which definitely shouldn’t be done.

Toxic productivity and “hustle culture” is famous all around the world. For example, in Japan, nearly one-quarter of the companies require their workers to work more than 80 hours of overtime a month, according to a 2016 survey. These hours are unpaid and under-appreciated. Japanese workers on average didn’t use 10 of their paid vacation days, and 63 per cent of Japanese respondents felt guilty for taking paid leave. Even in India, students working themselves to the point of death is sadly common. 

Depression and anxiety levels are at an all-time high. If this workaholic culture continues to stay in place, then the consequences will be harmful. Serious reform needs to be taken. One way to do this is to model our systems to that of Nordic countries, like Sweden, Finland etc. These countries have the best qualities of life,  with Finland being ranked as the happiest country in the world by the United Nations. Their people get adequate working hours with good pay, healthcare, and a better quality of education. Their leaders are young and care about the quality of life of their people. Many lessons can be learned from them.

While waiting for big changes to be implemented, there is a lot we can do on our end to try to reduce stress. Taking regular breaks from work is crucial. Prioritising your mental and physical health and realising when to take breaks is another thing which needs to be practised. Remember, you cannot achieve everything in life, so there is no point in stressing over things beyond your control. Learn to let go; things will surely get better.

Sources: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/japan-has-some-of-the-longest-working-hours-in-the-world-its-trying-to-change.html

thank you for your insecurities

Take a look in the mirror. What will you cry about today?  Is it your big nose, or those pimples? Not good enough.  How about those stretch marks, or that awful cellulite. While you’re at it, maybe be mindful of those hideous hip dips, or that unattractive hairline. Congratulations, you’ve just discovered some brand new flaws in yourself. What’s that, you love yourself just the way you are? Hmm, maybe take a look at this effortlessly gorgeous supermodel we’ve hired to advertise our product, and all these insecurities are sure to come flooding back. So what’s the solution? Buy our brand new futile beauty product, to fix these horrendous faults in you. Once you’ve bought them, we’ll just point out more and more blemishes in you, so you keep giving your money to us to hide what you cry over each night, while we peacefully sleep in our multi-million dollar mansions, made with your tears and powered by your defects. Whatever your insecurities are, we will always have something to market to you. Thank you, for being insecure.

What you’ve just read is a satirical example of present day marketing and media. In today’s world, there is an array of beauty products in the market, ranging from skin whitening creams to anti-aging shampoo (yes that is a real thing).The idea of spending your hard earned money on something as superfluous as this, is completely barbaric. Yet, somehow their clever marketing tactics have convinced you that if you don’t have the latest Kylie Jenner lip scrub, your life is insignificant. In the patriarchal society we live in, the modern day woman holds herself to incredibly high standards, and resents the fact that every aspect of her life is not effortlessly flawless. Her worth isn’t tested by her qualifications, but by how she looks and presents herself, because god forbid a woman be anything but attractive and perfect.

The millions of creams, gels, and powders manufactured every day are not only made by poor children in third world counties for minimum wage, and tested on animals , but also packed with harmful chemicals like parabens , phthalates ,BHT etc which have been linked to different kinds of cancers, reproductive issues, and even liver damage. Alas, why would billion dollar companies care about any of this when they can successfully alter the perceptions of millions of young, impressionable children about their bodies, so that they hate themselves enough and  are compelled to buy more and more of such products to “fix themselves”.

Speaking from personal experience, such campaigns and commercials slowly chip away at your confidence, and lower your self esteem to an extent from which recovery is difficult. They convinced teenagers all around the world that their knowledge and credentials are worth nothing if they don’t live up to a certain beauty standard.  The idea that if you don’t look like the charming super model, who they so eagerly cast in their advertisements, then your existence is meaningless is genuinely one of the worst things you can ingrain in a young child’s mind.

Is this the best we can do? How can we prevent further damage from happening?  Our main weapon in this fight is education. Educate yourself about what you buy, watch documentaries, and read books to avoid falling victim to such sneaky tactics. Work towards being less materialistic and superficial. Remember, every flaw you point out about yourself means more money for the  corporations living to profit off of your insecurities. So the next time you see such a commercial, pay no attention to what they say , you’re beautiful just the way you are.