Author Archives: Anil
Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar passes away today
Lata Mangeshkar, a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Awards, was an icon of Indian cinema, having sung playback for an extensive list of Hindi films; she also sang in several regional languages including Marathi and Bengali.
Lata Mangeshkar, who belonged to a prominent musical family, also composed music as well as produced a handful of films. She was popularly known as the ‘Nightingale of India.’
Today Sunday morning, India was shocked to learn about her demise of Lata Mangeshkar, the Nightingale of India, at Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, at the age of 92.
As per media reports, Lata Mangeshkar was taken to the ICU on January 8 after testing positive for COVID-19. On Saturday, her condition had deteriorated again and she had to be put on ventilator support. She was under medical observation. Lata Mangeshkar was being treated for both pneumonia and COVID-19. Her symptoms were mild but she was in ICU because of her age.
Over the next few weeks, Lata Mangeshkar showed signs of improvement. However, on Saturday, hospital authorities said that Lata Mangeshkar had been put back on the ventilator after her health condition deteriorated.
India paying tribute to the legendary singer with heavy hearts. From our childhood we knew Lataji and we and we grew up with her songs in Bengali and Hindi. She left for her heavenly abode creating a void which will never be filled.
OM Shanti, Rest in peace.
Netaji Statue to come up at India Gate New Delhi
As a symbol of India’s “indebtedness” to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Centre has decided to install a grand statue of the iconic freedom struggle hero at India Gate. Announcing this on Friday, ahead of Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the grand statue will be made of granite, and till the time it is ready, a hologram statue of Netaji will be put in place there. The PM added that he will unveil the hologram statue on Sunday, January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji. Netaji’s daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff, who lives in Germany, has termed this as a “nice gesture” by the Centre.
“At a time when the entire nation is marking the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, I am glad to share that his grand statue, made of granite, will be installed at India Gate. This will be a symbol of India’s indebtedness to him,” Mr Modi tweeted.
A remarkable journey to the top
Indian woman’s Hockey team captain Rani Rampal writes :
“I wanted an escape from my life; from the electricity shortages, to the mosquitoes buzzing in our ear when we slept, from barely having two square meals to seeing our home getting flooded when it rained. My parents tried their best, but there was only so much they could do–Papa was a cart puller and Maa worked as a maid.
There was a hockey academy near my home, so I’d spend hours watching players practice–I really wanted to play. Papa would earn Rs.80 a day and couldn’t afford to buy me a stick. Everyday, I’d ask the coach to teach me too. He’d reject me because I was malnourished. He’d say, ‘You aren’t strong enough to pull through a practice session.’
So, I found a broken hockey stick on the field and began practicing with that– I didn’t have training clothes, so I was running around in a salwar kameez. But I was determined to prove myself. I begged the coach for a chance– maine bahut mushkil se convince kiya unko finally!
But when I told my family, they said, ‘Ladkiya ghar ka kaam hi karti hai,’ and ‘Hum tumhe skirt pehen kar khelne nahi denge.’ I’d plead with them saying, ‘Please mujhe jaane do. If I fail, I’ll do whatever you want.’ My family reluctantly gave in.
Training would start early in the morning. We didn’t even have a clock, so mom would stay up and look at the sky to check if it was the right time to wake me.
At the academy, it was mandatory for each player to bring 500 ml of milk. My family could only afford milk worth 200 ml; without telling anyone, I’d mix the milk with water and drink it because I wanted to play.
My coach supported me through thick and thin; he’d buy me hockey kits and shoes. He even allowed me to live with his family and took care of my dietary needs. I’d train hard and wouldn’t miss a single day of practice.
I remember earning my first salary; I won Rs.500 after winning a tournament and gave the money to Papa. He hadn’t ever held so much money in his hands before. I promised my family, ‘One day, we’re going to have our own home’; I did everything in my power to work towards that.
After representing my state and playing in several championships, I finally got a national call up at the age of 15! Still, my relatives would only ask me when I was planning on getting married. But Papa told me, ‘Play until your heart’s content.’ With my family’s support, I focused on doing my best for India and eventually, I became captain of the Indian hockey team!
Soon after, while I was at home, a friend papa used to work with visited us. He brought along his granddaughter and told me, ‘She’s inspired by you and wants to become a hockey player!’ I was so happy; I just started crying.
And then in 2017, I finally fulfilled the promise I made to my family and bought them a home. We cried together and held each other tightly! And I’m not done yet; this year, I’m determined to repay them and Coach with something they’ve always dreamed of– a gold medal from Tokyo.”
My story of Covid19 Vaccination
In India, the second phase of vaccination began on March 1, 2021 in which people over the age of 60 and those above 45 with associated comorbidities can take the life-saving shots. We took our 1st Dose of Covishield Vaccine at a private Hospital on payment just to avoid crowd. Only problem we faced was to get an vacant slot at Govt. portal www.cowin.gov.in . Finally got our slot on 31 Mar 2021. For 2nd dose, it was told by them that no need of booking a slot, just walk in after 6 weeks.
Before completion of 6 weeks, crisis started due to irregular supply of Vaccine. As a result, Govt. stopped supply to the Private Hospitals and finally they raised their hands and asked us to get the 2nd Dose from any Government run Hospital or Vaccine Centres.
Since our date after 6 weeks was approaching we started gathering information on Govt. centres. So on 12th May’21 visited two Vaccination Centre in our locality to know about the systems they are following. People at Both the centres said you have to come at 4.00 – 4.30 am and stand in queue, if you don’t want to go back unsuccessful. Me and my wife decided to visit one of the Centre on Monday, 17th May 2021 early morning, because in between there was EID festival for Muslims.
But to our surprise, next day i.e. on 13th . May 21 Government of India changed the Vaccine Policy (for Covishield only). The interval between two doses changed 12-16 weeks from 6-8 weeks. We were in a dilemma – What to do now? Our 6 weeks completed on 12th May ’21. In the night we decided, not to wait upto 17th, because by 17th the policy will be implemented and we will become ineligible for the 2nd dose now, let’s go tomorrow (14th) early morning and try our 2nd dose somewhere. We packed our breakfast since we won’t take outside food and started at 0545 AM. First visited our nearby centres and found both are closed due to EID festival. Local Govt. has changed the holiday from yesterday to today but never thought vaccination centres will remain shut due to a religious festival. Seems festivals are more important than Human lives. Anyway, by that time it was 6 AM in the morning and decided to go to a well known Railway Hospital. Railway may not be closed for such reasons. Reached BR Singh Hospital, Sealdah at 6.30 AM. Security personnel said, there is no Notice of “No Vaccination” today, so there will be vaccination. Staff will come at 09 O’clock onwards. They directed us to the vaccination centre and said to sit there. Hearing this we got somewhat relaxed.
From 7 onwards other people started coming and we are gaining some hope of our Endeavour. Then slowly Hospital staff too turned up and arranged for our separate seating for Covishield and Covaxin. At about 10 our vaccination started. After checking and entering the details in the Cowin portal they directed us to next room, one by one, where a nurse is vaccinating there. Since it is a Railway Hospital, the young Nurse engaged there asked me “Rail’ ? I said – No. She thought if I am from Railway services. She said no matter, open your shirt. Then she said to me that she is pushing Covishield vaccine, Second dose. I did not feel anything, I realized when she asked me to hold the cotton at the place of injection. She asked me again – after 1st. dose any thing happened? I said – fever. Then she advised to take one Paracetamol tablet before going to bed and in case of pain in the arm put ice after going home. Put your shirt on now, and while doing so, my Identity card (Aadhaar card) was fallen on the floor from my pocket. She said – you relax, I will pick it up. She picked up it from the floor and handed it over to me. I said so kind of you, thank you so much. Her kind behavior touched me and never knew such a good experience was awaiting for me here. After many years I met a Good caring soft spoken (Bengali) nurse who made all the difference with other Nurses. She secured a place in my memory.
STORY OF TWO VACCINES
In India, there are two COVID-19 Vaccines available for mass vaccination, namely COVISHIELD and India’s first indigenous Vaccine COVAXINE. India first vaccinated frontline workers engaged in fighting with Corona Virus like Doctors, Nurses and all other health workers including police, Ambulance Drivers, Sweepers etc.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive has already begun in India from Mar 01, 21 with these two Vaccines. Here is a comparative study of both the vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield.
DEVELOPERS : Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, which has been prepared on a tried and tested platform of dead viruses.
This vaccine is developed with Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. They contain inactivated viruses, which can not infect a person but still can teach the immune system to prepare a defence mechanism against the active virus.
These conventional vaccines have been in use for decades now. There are vaccines for some other diseases as well which are made using the same technology.
Covishield has been developed by the Oxford-AstraZeneca and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Covishield has been prepared using the viral vector platform which is a totally different technology.
A chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – has been modified to enable it to carry the COVID-19 spike protein into the cells of humans. Well, this cold virus is basically incapable of infecting the receiver but can very well teach the immune system to prepare a mechanism against such viruses. The exact technology was used to prepare vaccines for viruses like Ebola.
DOSES : There is no difference between the two vaccines in terms of dosage. Both of them follow a two-dose regimen, administered 28 days apart.
STORAGE : Both Covishield and Covaxin can be stored at 2-8 degrees Centigrade, which is a household refrigerator temperature. This makes both the vaccines most suited for Indian conditions as most of the vaccines here are kept at the same temperature range. This also makes the transportation and storage of both vaccines easier.
EFFICACY : Both the vaccines have shown more than satisfactory results ever since the inoculation started in India. The effectiveness of the Covishield vaccine is nearly 90% as per the global reports and Covaxin’s 81% according to interim 3rd phase trial results.
SIDE EFFECTS : After injecting the vaccine, you may experience pain at the site of injection. Some people also experience side effects such as headache, joint pain, may feel like feverish. These side effects do not persist for long and generally goes within a day or two. (Acknowledgement : Pharmeasy.in)
INTERVALS BETWEEN DOSES :
COVISHIELD : Interval between 1st and 2nd dose was initially 4 weeks. Then it was changed o 6-8 weeks and on 13 May 21 it was changed to 12 to 16 weeks. Presently following 12-16 weeks.
COVAXINE : Interval between 1st and 2nd dose is 4-6 weeks and there is no change.
MY OBSERVATION : Me and my wife have taken both the doses of Covishield vaccine (after an interval of 6 weeks) and we had no side effects except fever after First dose for me only and fever lasted for 24 hours only. My wife had pain on the site of Injection after First dose and Second dose went very smooth for both of us.
In the year of Corona, a devastated year for the migrant workers in India. Migrant workers means those workers who migrated to other states for their livelihood. Due to sudden lockdown in March 2020 due to Corona (Covid19) many lost their jobs at their working places. Later Lockdown extended and finally all type of transports like train, bus were stopped plying. They tried to return to their homes by means of any available mode with spending their all savings. Those who could not afford, they started walking for days. In the process many lives were lost forever due to hunger, accidents while travelling before reaching their homes. These uncommon sad stories are known to us. Days are passing but Corona not gone till now. Durga Puja, great festival of India, mainly for Bengalis and Dussera for all over India arrived. Festivals are being organised at low scale with all precautions like musk, sanitiser and distancing.
In connection with Durga Puja, I will show you how an artist created a master piece with the theme of migrated workers. A migrated family with little children has been imagined who survived with her children and reached to their hut and looking back to the crowd. Artist Pallab Bhowmick of Krishnanagar has taken this as theme to make his “Durga” of this year. He idolised her as Devi Durga just by putting a symbolic third eye on her forehead as we see in Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga in her hutment with bagful of relief materials in her hands instead of weapons. Her children, on her lap is depicted as Kartick, on the left is Saraswati and Laxmi on the right and forth Ganesh has been shown below.
কৃষ্ণনগর ঘূর্ণির ভাস্কর পল্লব ভৌমিকের তৈরি একটি মূর্তি এ বছর খুব জনপ্রিয় হয়েছে। এখানে দেবী দুর্গাকে একজন পরিযায়ী শ্রমিক ও মায়ের ভূমিকায় দেখানো হয়েছে। তিনি শিশুসন্তানকে কোলে নিয়ে পিছনে ফিরে দর্শকের দিকে তাকিয়ে রয়েছেন এবং তাঁর কপালের তৃতীয় নেত্রই বলে দিচ্ছে তিনি আসলে দেবী দুর্গা।
Many people die everyday due to spread of Covid-19 in the city. But there are some deaths, which touches our heart, makes us sad. Such is the death of Mrs. Debdutta Ray, (দেবদত্তা রায়) Deputy Magistrate of Chandannagar, a small town near Kolkata, died of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) yesterday, Monday 13th. July 2020.
Debdutta Ray, who was in her mid-thirties, was a West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) officer and posted as Deputy Magistrate at Chandannagore in Hooghly district. She is survived by her husband and a 4 year-old son.
Ray was the first senior civil servant in the state to die of the coronavirus disease. She died at a hospital in Serampore where she was admitted on Sunday.
Though she tested positive last week at a hospital in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district, where she lived, the bureaucrat opted to stay in quarantine at home, officials said. Her condition suddenly deteriorated on Sunday and she was rushed to the hospital.
Ray was known to be very active in the ongoing combat against the pandemic. She was overseeing the movement of migrant workers housed at a transit camp in Dankuni after they arrived in Shramik Special trains from different states. Needless to say that she might be infected by the migrant workers from different states who were later mostly tested positive.
People of West Bengal reacted sharply when they came to know about this sad demise as she could not manage admission to a good city Hospital. Now the infection curve is in the upward direction, Hospitals are full and getting a single bed is like winning a lottery. Day by day, situation becoming bad to worst.
May the departed soul rest in peace.
Amid India was observing 4th. Phase of extended Lockdown ( from 18 May to 31 May 2020) due to Corona Virus COVID-19, Amphan, a super Cyclone hit eastern Indian City Kolkata and six districts of the state of West Bengal on 20 May 20 afternoon.
The eastern Indian city of Kolkata was devastated by a powerful cyclone which has killed at least 86 people across districts and Kolkata city. The city experienced first ever such a ferocious storm in centuries.
Amphan made landfall on Wednesday, lashing coastal areas with ferocious wind and rain. As per forecast, it entered in the city at about 2-30Pm with gales and rain. I was trying to see from the side balcony where wind pressure was less. There was too much wind pressure on the front balcony door and window on the main road. The heavy wind with so much sound & rain made us sit inside the room. Amid such a situation we heard breaking of window panes somewhere and then heard a big sound of something fallen. Came out in the side balcony and tried to see what it was. Found a PVC pipe was uprooted from our next building and came flying to our area and fallen on my car. Pipe was broken into pieces but car was not damaged except some scratches.. Then I saw a big branch of our 50 years old tree lost the wrestling with the mighty cyclone and broke down to the ground with a sound. The wind velocity reached to its pick at about 7.00 pm. Which was recorded as 133 km per hour. At about 7-30pm cyclone passed away from the city towards North East and Bangladesh.
.During 5 hours of presence of Amphan, Kolkata was devastated with thousands of trees were uprooted in the gales, electricity and telephone lines brought down and houses flattened. Many of Kolkata’s roads were flooded and its 14 million people left without power. The storm is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Though its winds had weakened by the time it struck, it was still classified as a very severe cyclone.
Corona virus restrictions have been hindering emergency and relief works. Covid-19 and social-distancing measures made mass evacuations more difficult, with shelters unable to be used to full capacity. Most people were at home when the Cyclone struck. Kolkata and the rest of India is in lockdown due to corona virus pandemic.
My hurried Facebook post while the cyclone was on outside (in Bengali) was as follows :-
“মনে হচ্ছে মহা প্রলয় নেমে এসেছে পৃথিবীতে। ঝড়ের গতিবেগ এত তিব্র যে মনে হচ্ছে জানালা দরজা ভেঙ্গে যাবে। দরজা জানালাগুলো সমানে ঝাকিয়ে যাচ্ছে। এক সময় সামনের বিশাল রাধাছুড়া গাছটা হার মানলো, রাস্তায় লুটিয়ে পড়লো। রাস্তা বন্দ হয়ে গেল। পাশের বাড়ীর পিভিসি পাইপু উড়ে আমার গাড়িতে পড়ে খান খান । এই ঝড়ের ভয়ঙ্কর রুপ লিখে বোঝানো যাবে না। জীবনে আগে কখনো দেখিনি।“
Internet service was disrupted after the above facebook post for more than one week and thank God, restored yesterday. So we suffered double Lockdown.