• This Is What Bobby Darling Did Before Getting Married!

    Bobby Darling who used to cross dress and say that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body had a breast augmentation done in 2010 and now she has completely changed her gender. Yes that’s true, Bobby Darling who is in love with Bhopal-based-contractor Ramnik Sharma has finally undergone a surgery for which she was waiting for years. It seems that Ramnik Sharma was the one to encourage Bobby Darling to undergo a surgery and he always stood by her as the process was painful claimed Bobby Darling.

    Business of Cinema
  • Amrita Singh Turns Down Sunny Deol’s Offer To Cast Daughter Sara Khan In Karan Deol’s Betaab Remake!

    Bollywood actor Sunny Deol wants his son Karan Deol to do a debut in the industry with Amrita Singh’s daughter, Sara Ali Khan. In Betaab, Sunny shared screen space with Amrita, hence he wants their children to do their debut together.

    Business of Cinema
  • These Women Sell Traditional Cookware for Health Benefits Derived from Ancient Indian Wisdom

    For those longing for the authentic taste of food cooked in cast iron and earthen cookware over slow fires in traditional kitchens, there is good news. Two Cochin-based corporate consultants have set up a business to market this authentic traditional cookware. The VillageFair started as an unplanned business venture last year when Radhika Menon responded to a post on Facebook. A friend of hers commented that a doctor in the US had come up with a cast iron fish to be put into every dish being cooked at home, to help prevent iron deficiency. Someone else responded with a comment as to how, in the old days, food used to be cooked in cast iron vessels and hence iron deficiency was not really a problem. Radhika immediately posted pictures of the cast iron utensils she had at home and let her friends know that she still used them for cooking. An overwhelming response to this post, with queries about where to buy the pots and pans, led Radhika to think that marketing these products could make good business sense. “With a little effort, my friend Priya was convinced to join hands with me. And before midnight, our Facebook page was ready...The VillageFair had taken birth,” says an excited Radhika.   [caption id="attachment_64396" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Radhika and Priya of The VillageFair fame[/caption] Users of traditional cookware, particularly utensils from Kerala, find the process of seasoning these vessels before use extremely tedious and tiring. Thanks to the advent of steel and non-stick cookware, cooking has become a lot less time consuming because these utensils are light and easy to handle. Even elderly people, who grew up using traditional cookware, have forgotten how to season those vessels and find it easier to cook in teflon and steel. “Radhika’s 65-year-old maid Lalitha knew how to season these pans in the traditional manner. So we roped her in immediately to handle this important step; within a week our first order of six pans for customers from Bangalore was ready. We hand delivered them the first time and this paved the way for our success story,” says Priya Deepak. To season the cookware, the vessels, whether cast iron or earthen ware, are first washed well to remove any sediments stuck to them. Then, for around four days, the cooking surface is soaked in rice gruel. This helps remove all the unwanted metal and other substances on the surface and also helps close all the open pores. A generous amount of oil is then applied onto the surface. Once done, the pan has to be tested on the fire. The pans, especially the cast iron ones, are heated and cooled down a few times, till their surface becomes ‘non-sticky.’ As more and more orders came in, Lalitha got her daughters-in-law and some other women involved in the venture too. [caption id="attachment_64403" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Ladies seasoning the cast iron and earthen ware utensils[/caption] Priya and Radhika found that it was easy to procure earthen ware utensils from Ernakulam market itself. They have zeroed in on two good potters cooperatives to procure these utensils. To get cast iron vessels they decided to visit a manufacturing unit in Shornur. Shornur is famous for the manufacture of cast iron products, where agricultural implements are the main products. Although the two women went there with the idea of buying only a handful of utensils, they ended up purchasing around 500 pots and pans worth Rs. 30,000. They now get a steady supply of cookware from this unit, which they supply to clients all over the country. While orders have gone up by leaps and bounds, they now manage to courier their products anywhere in  the country. They also have tie ups with two e-commerce platforms where their products are displayed. The only physical retail outlet tie up they have is with Cannanore: A Lore from a Loom, in Inorbit mall, Whitefield, Bangalore, though more are on the cards. [caption id="attachment_64405" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Food cooked in traditional cookware is healthy and tasty[/caption] “In this past one year, things have gone real well for us. We were also able to give 5% of every sale we made to the Mehac Foundation for medicines for the mentally ill. Funding a social cause is always comforting and mentally gratifying,” adds Priya. For more information one can visit TheVillageFair Facebook page. Photo Credits: Priya Deepak Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). About the author: Aparna Menon is a freelance writer, writing for various newspapers for the past 10 years. Her main fields of interest are wildlife, heritage and history. A keen traveller, she loves to read and write and does a lot of art work too.

    The Better India
  • Daring Female Cops Rescue 3 Minor Girls after Being Chased by a 600-Strong Mob in Haryana

    Two women cops from Bengal bravely faced a 600-strong mob in Haryana to rescue a trafficked girl. By the end of the mission on Wednesday, they were successful in rescuing not one, but three minor girls, and also arrested nine traffickers. According to the police, the three girls were kidnapped and brought to Haryana to be married off. The fearless cops -- Sub-Inspector Piyali Ghosh and Constable Madhumita Das from Sankrail Police Station in Howrah, left for Haryana four days ago with two male constables. Image for representation only. Source: John Hill - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33519980 The team was following a tip-off obtained from a Howrah-based suspect named Mehfizza who told them that she had sold a 15-year-old girl in Palwal district of Haryana, with the objective of getting her married to 10 men. But in the process of raids and investigation, the cops had to face a mob of about 600 people, which chased them through open fields saying that they were trying to kidnap their women. People in the mob were screaming for "public justice" and the women cops had to urge their counterparts in Haryana police to fire shots in the air to save their lives. "I am happy that the job was done. We thank the constant help we received from anti-trafficking NGO, Shakti Vahini. We received little support from Haryana Police though Uttar Pradesh police always backed our raids...This was our first raid in Haryana and now we know we need to do our homework to be successful here," Piyali Ghosh told The Times of India. Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

    The Better India
  • Shahid Kapoor And Mira Rajput Blessed With A Baby!

    Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput are finally blessed with a baby girl! Yes, you heard it right! The cute couple who was expecting a child in September are blessed with a lovely daughter today.Mira delivered the girl in the evening at the Hinduja Healthcare Surgical Hospital in Khar. Reportedly, the baby girl is born of a normal surgery and weighs around 2.8 kg. Around 7:56 pm, Dr. Kiran Ceolho delivered Mira’s child.Yesterday, Mira was rushed to the hospital. Pankaj Kapur and Supriya Pathak were caught hastily entering the hospital. Even Shahid was present with her since yesterday. ...

    Business of Cinema
  • My toddler threw up on my shirt — and the airline tried to make me wear it

    Passenger Raj Purohit’s ‘terrible’ flight this summer

    MarketWatch q
  • 30 words Americans can’t pronounce correctly

    Can you guess the word Americans struggle to pronounce most?

    MarketWatch q
  • In MP, man, daughter thrown out of bus after wife died on board

    Damoh (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Aug. 27 (ANI): In an inhumane act, a man and his five-year-old daughter were thrown out of the bus they were travelling in after his sick wife died on board in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. The shameful incident took place, when Ram Singh, a resident of Chhatarpur District, was taking his ill wife Malli Bai to the Damoh district hospital along with his daughter. After Ram Singh's wife died on her way to the hospital, the bus conductor forced him to move out of the bus in the middle of a forest along with his wife's body and daughter, even though it was raining heavily.

    ANI
  • Modi goaded Pakistan in deliberate yet risky move

    By Rupam Jain and Tommy Wilkes NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - When Prime Minister Narendra Modi met top aides to prepare last week's annual Independence Day address, some senior bureaucrats warned him against mentioning Baluchistan, arch-rival Pakistan's restive southwestern province. Referring to Baluchistan in such a prominent speech would be a highly unusual move bound to ratchet up tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours more used to trading barbs over Kashmir, the cause of two of their three wars. According to a senior official at the meeting in early August, the more hawkish politicians in the room, angered by what they saw as Pakistan's recent trouble-making in Kashmir, thought differently, and so did Modi.

    Reuters
  • Salim Khan hails judgement on Haji Ali

    Mumbai, Aug 27 (IANS) After the Bombay High Court verdict allowing entry of women up to the restricted grave area of the Haji Ali Dargah, superstar Salman Khan's father and veteran writer Salim Khan welcomed it by saying that the judgement endorses what Hadees and Quran say. Muslim clerics on Friday questioned the Bombay High Court verdict, asserting that while they respect the court, the ruling goes against Islam. "High court judgement on Haji Ali endorses what Hadees and Quran have said.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • 'What if Sheena Bora's vanished, why fuss,' Peter Mukerjea told Rahul

    MUMBAI: A year after Indrani Mukerjea's arrest in the Sheena Bora murder case, phone conversations between Rahul and his father Peter Mukerjea, also an accused, and his stepmother, Indrani, appears to place Mukerjea in a corner. The CBI had relied on seven out of 20 transcripts in the chargesheet. Now it has given the remaining 13 to the accused. In one of the conversations, Peter tells Rahul: "What if she (Sheena) has disappeared, why are you making all this fuss". This is a considerably damning conversation. The conversations were recorded by Rahul. TOI had reported significant sections of the transcripts that was earlier submitted by the CBI in its chargesheet. The tapes show how Peter is

    The Economic Times q
  • The surprising thing millions of men do that can wreck their health

    A new study shows how young men may be putting their well-being at risk

    MarketWatch q
  • Gold price correction boosts demand; Indian discounts fall to 3-month low

    MUMBAI/BENGALURU (Reuters) - Gold discounts in India fell to nearly three-month lows this week while fresh buying gathered some steam elsewhere in Asia as price corrections and festive buying lifted demand for the yellow metal. The safe-haven asset, which is highly sensitive to interest rates, has declined more than 1 percent this week as upbeat U.S. economic data boosted expectations of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. In India, the second-biggest gold consumer, dealers were offering discounts of up to $25 an ounce over official domestic prices, the lowest since the first week of June, and down from up to $52 last week.

    Reuters
  • Venus- Mercury in conjunction with Rahu in Leo: What can be the effects?

    Venus and Mercury will be transiting in conjunction with Rahu in the first half of August 2016. Find out how major areas of your life – career and relationship may get affected.

    GaneshaSpeaks.com
  • India, West Indies set for battle in cricket's new land

    It's a short turnaround time for the Indian team to switch from the Test format to Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) when they play their first international game on US soil on Saturday (August 27). Coach Anil Kumble had no qualms in admitting that it won't be a walk in the park for the MS Dhoni-led side against the current World T20 champions, who have a squad filled with players fresh from the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Apart from Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah is the only other player to join the Indian T20 squad, while the rest of the 12 members are the ones who recently featured in the four-Test series in the West Indies. While the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya

    Cricbuzz q
  • Meet Pratyaya Amrit, the Inspiring IAS Officer Who Has Placed Bihar Firmly on the Road to Success

    The walls were dank, the chairs broken and the curtains tattered. By no stretch of imagination did the place look like it was the office of a major state corporation about to embark on the onerous responsibility of creating a bridge infrastructure in one of the poorest states in the country. “It did not look like an office at all. I did not know where to begin,’’ Pratyaya  Amrit recalls. When the reticent IAS officer took over as Managing Director (MD) in 2006, the turnover of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman  Nigam ( BRPNN) stood at a measly Rs. 47 crore, with the state government having made up its mind to close it down. Within two years, the turnaround took everyone, including the government, by surprise. The defunct organisation was in a position to donate Rs 20 crore to the Chief Minister's relief fund during the Kosi floods. Not only had IAS Officer Pratyaya Amrit single-handedly saved a government organisation from the brink of bankruptcy, he had taken it to the forefront of the construction business. Photo Source As the MD of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam (BRPNN), he had overseen the completion of around 300 major bridge projects in three years. This was akin to moving mountains in a state where even a stone does not budge easily! Amrit, a 1991 batch IAS officer, was on central deputation in New Delhi when he received a call from a bureaucrat from the Bihar government, asking: "Would you mind returning to your home state? There's plenty to be done here." The state government wanted to entrust him with the responsibility of reviving a dying institution. When Amrit returned to Bihar, cutting short his scheduled deputation by six months, he became the first IAS officer to head the BRPNN. The huge losses that BRPNN had been incurring for almost a decade had pushed it to the brink of liquidation. The first thing Amrit targeted was the completion of pending projects, some of which had been pending for almost 17 years, to revive the Corporation. But this was easier said than done. The system in place lacked basic amenities and the morale of the employees was low. An able administrator and HR expert, Amrit ensured that the staff got a congenial environment to work in and the basic facilities to carry out their jobs. Photo Source For instance, he provided them with GPS-enabled phones, making it easier for them to monitor the progress of work. Opting for out-of-the-box solutions to encourage his engineers, Amrit got professional motivators to give encouraging talks to his dispirited engineers, while rewarding the best performers with ample administrative freedom. The engineers responded to this show of confidence by rising to the occasion. BRPNN, which had completed 314 bridges during the first 30 years of its inception, successfully executed 336 bridge projects in just three years. Photo Source A lot of importance was given to quality, monitoring and field visits and Amrit himself travelled more than 40,000 km in three-and-a-half years. He also got a state-of-the-art engineering lab for the organisation and computerised everything. Thanks to his initiatives, by July 2009, BRPNN was an ISO 9001, 2000 and 1410:2004 certified company and its turnover had surged to Rs 768 crore. Prior to appointment as the MD of BRPNN, Pratyaya Amrit's work and ability to get things done as a District Magistrate ( DM) had also earned appreciation from the public. As the  DM of Katihar, he implemented, for the first time, a public-private-partnership for the district hospital where he asked local NGOs to take responsibility for a ward each. This changed the condition of the hospital – it went from being in deficit to having surplus funds. As the  DM of Chapra, he put an end to sleaze shows at the famous Sonpur fair (Asia’s largest cattle fair) by making it compulsory for CCTVs to be installed in theatres. In February 2011, Pratyaya Amrit, as MD of Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC), stepped in to help destitute girls in Patna find better futures for themselves. Photo Source He  made the organisation literally adopt the destitute girls, instead of just providing them monetary assistance. The BSRDC would not only bear the entire education costs of these girls till college, but would also provide them with job-oriented training to help them start working. Now, besides the monthly stipend that BSRDC deposits in the bank accounts of these girls, the organisation has also parked Rs 50,000 each as fixed deposits in favour of the girls. The money, taken from Corporation profits, will be available to the girls after they turn 18. So effective was Amrit's management style in improving Bihar’s roads that it earned him praise from other countries and the World Bank too. Photo Source The Asian Development Bank (ADB) rated the road work in Bihar as one of the best. Amrit was invited to attend the Urban Planning and Economic Development Programme in the US in 2011. He was also awarded the Prime Minister's Excellence in Public Administration award in 2011 – the only IAS officer to get it that year. His facilitation certificate reads: "Bridging the gap: For turning around a dying Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation into a profit-making unit." In 2014, Amrit was given charge of Bihar's rural electrification programme. His first target was to cover partially electrified villages. To ensure this work would happen seamlessly, he held meetings with engineers and power companies every fortnight. He coupled these meetings with intensive field visits, travelling across the state for more than 15 months at a stretch. Amrit was also instrumental in accomplishing the crucial task of getting politicians like MLAs on board and giving them lists of all the villages in their constituencies where electrification was taking place, including the names and numbers of contractors. He also had a web-based app made so that MLAs could access updates on the state of electricity in their area. In addition, spot billing centres (to increase convenience) and meters in every household (to minimise power theft) were installed. You May Also Like: How a Doctor Turned IAS Officer Organized India’s First Green Swearing-In Ceremony in Kerala The difference this effort made was visible in less than a year. More than 20,000 burnt transformers were replaced in two months and transmission jumped from 2282 MW to 3500 MW. A strong back-end support system was also created, which helped resolve breakdowns when they happened within 30 minutes. Amrit's next goal is to electrify all villages by October 2016 and set up a separate agriculture feeder that will increase the availability of power to agriculture from 4% to 18%. On the personal front, Amrit keeps his feet firmly on terra firma. A simple, unassuming man, he enjoys playing cricket, is an ardent Steve Jobs fan, and likes reading. His favourite book is Who says Elephants Can't Dance? (a fascinating story of IBM's turnaround scripted by Louis Gerstner Jr., the Chairman and CEO of IBM). Known for his ‘get it done and now’ attitude and his attention to detail, Pratyaya Amrit can be called one of the main architects of Bihar’s turnaround story. His parents, both college lecturers, had always told him to do what he felt good about; Amrit made his never-say-die attitude and dedication to the nation his biggest strength. It is due to innovative and pro-active officers like him that a positive change in Indian governance is finally rolling in. Also Read: How a Young IAS Officer Used Education to Transform the Naxal-Affected District of Dantewada Like this story? Have something to share? Email: contact@thebetterindia.com, or join us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). To get positive news on WhatsApp, just send 'Start' to 090 2900 3600 via WhatsApp.

    The Better India
  • No AC? No problem. How to keep cool this summer without a big electric bill

    These people live like Americans before the invention of air conditioning.

    MarketWatch q
  • Kol Kol takes baby wearing to the Lakme Fashion Week India runway!

    New Delhi, Aug 27 (ANI): Reviving the ancient tradition of baby wearing, the founder of Kol Kol Baby Carrier, Bayiravi Mani recently collaborated with famous designer Karishma Shahani Khan of Ka Sha to launch her all-new collection of baby carriers in vibrant colors at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. This year, ergonomic baby carriers were featured as part of the Ka Sha show at the Lakme Fashion Week, which saw two moms walked alongside the designer, a mom herself, all wearing Kol Kol Baby Carriers in fabrics designed by Ka Sha, in style instantly becoming a huge hit and setting the ramp on fire! Baby wearing is an art of carrying babies using a long fabric to hold the baby in the most natural way.

    ANI
  • My father wants to leave me everything — and cut my sisters off

    Her two sisters changed their last name 25 years ago.

    MarketWatch q
  • One Simple Solar-Powered Device Is Making Classrooms in Rural Maharashtra Super Exciting

    A simple device is helping students in rural Maharashtra access interesting multimedia content like their urban and semi-urban peers. It runs on solar energy and does not require any prior knowledge about computers. This is how it works. “It was the beginning of 2014. Lavin and I had been in our jobs for three years. Both of us felt that while our jobs were good and comfortable, they were not challenging enough. Moreover, they were not having any impact on society in any way. So we decided to explore other sectors where there is scope for change via technology and work in one of them,” says Lehar Tawde, a business administration graduate from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. They decided to explore the education sector first. “Everybody knows that the rural education system in India is not perfect. Both of us are products of the urban education system and while we knew that schools in our villages generally needed reforms, we did not know what the exact problems were,” he adds. The duo did some research for about six months. They decided a good area to address may be the skill development of teachers to enable them to use technology for improved classroom instruction. By the end of 2014, they quit their jobs and started ConnectEd Technologies, an education-technology company that aims to produce and provide tailor-made educational content to underprivileged kids through technology. ConnectEd’s flagship product is a smart classroom system meant to aid teachers in classes using audio-visual content. It is a battery-operated, high definition projector that runs only on solar energy and can be operated by all teachers, including those who have no knowledge of computers. All a teacher has to do is switch on the device, navigate and find a multimedia educational content file, and play the audio visual chapter corresponding to what he/she is teaching that day. One can understand this product in two parts: Hardware: It is a projection-based system with a simple device that needs just a button and a remote control to start. The ConnectEd team does not just install the system in classrooms but also provides training to the teachers on how to use it. The device has a two-hour battery life and comes with built-in speakers. A solar powered kit helps charge the batteries. It is an all-integrated solution and there is no need for a PC, UPS or any other hardware. Content: ConnectEd Technologies produces the content projected by the device, which adheres to the state board curriculum. The team converts all the chapters in various textbooks into scripts to create ‘movies’ of sorts. They simplify the content and make it easy for children to relate to with the use of several examples. ConnectEd works with a team of young teachers after training them in converting chapters to scripts. The content is then passed on to other team members like animators, voiceover artists, editors, etc. “The video for each chapter is about 12-15 minutes long. The teachers can either play the entire film and discuss the chapter with students, or keep pausing it to guide students through the topic. Conventionally, teachers spend the entire time in class delivering lectures. With videos, they get the opportunity to make classes more engaging,” says 25-year-old Lehar. The team piloted the product in Palghar district of Maharashtra and is now expanding to other areas too. The system is currently meant for use from Classes 5 to 10. This year, ConnectEd has started the EkShiksha campaign with the Education Ministry of Maharashtra to increase the reach of the product across the state. The campaign aims to bring together socially-responsible corporate organizations, NGOs, school management boards, and grassroots-level educators to bring better education to children in rural schools. The organization has a team of 27 people in their 20s. Like Lehar, Lavin too is a business administration graduate from NMIMS and, together with the team, they have self-funded the company. ConnectEd conducts assessment tests of the children to measure the impact of their product and see if there has been an improvement in learning outcomes. They conduct a baseline test at the beginning of the academic year and an end-line test later. Only the baseline test has been conducted in Palghar as of now. “We have been receiving feedback from teachers that the product helps them improve the learning environment in class. Earlier, teachers would just read to the children from books in the class. Delivering lectures too was not very helpful. But the video content corresponds with what they are going to teach in class and children love it too,” says Lehar. Know more about the campaign and ConnectEd, here. You can write to the team at enquiries@connected.org.in. Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

    The Better India