• Krushna Abhishek: I Want To Get Kapil Sharma On My Show And ROAST Him

    The stand-up comedian is 'confession personified' when grilled on the current state of his show

    Spotboye
  • Solve Kashmir issue instead of giving suggestions to Pak: Congress

    New Delhi, Sept. 25 (ANI): The Congress Party on Sunday advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to indulge in the politics of polarisation and said that the latter should give suggestions to his own party members instead of Pakistan. Congress leader Meem Afzal echoed the sentiments of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati. "The entire opposition is today saying the same as Mayawati ji.

    ANI
  • All Pakistani artists have left Mumbai, will hunt down whoever is still left: MNS

    Mumbai [India], Sept. 25 (ANI): Asserting that all Pakistani artists have left Mumbai following their 48-hour ultimatum, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Sunday continued to stay firm on their stand that no artist from the neighbouring nation will be allowed to work in Mumbai, adding that if anyone is still "hiding" in the city, they will be hunted down. Speaking to the media here, MNS leader Amey Khopkar, chief of the MNS's cinema workers' unit Chitrapat Karamchari Sena confirmed that all Pakistani artists have left the city.

    ANI
  • PeeCee rocking out with Hugh Jackman, wife at NYC Global Citizen Festival

    New Delhi [India], Sept. 25 (ANI): Priyanka Chopra's recognition in Hollywood and her rise as a global icon does not seem to be slowing down any bit as she is seen connecting with more and more stars each day.

    ANI
  • Rich Pakistanis Love London, New York, And Dubai More Than Karachi

    Pakistan’s rich love London, New York, and Dubai more than Karachi -- when it comes to investing and partying with their money, that is. That’s according to the former director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Pakistan, Marc-André Franche.   “You cannot have an elite that takes advantage of very cheap and

    Forbes q
  • Tanay Malhara dances his way to victory in 'Dance+ Season 2'

    Mumbai, Sep 25 (IANS) Maharashtra-based Tanay Malhara, 14, on Sunday night emerged as the winner of the dance reality TV show "Dance+ Season 2". Choreographer-director Remo D'Souza, who was the super judge of the Star Plus show, along with captains Shakti Mohan, Dharmesh Yelande and Punit J Pathak announced his name as the winner of the second season of the show. Along with the trophy, Malhara, who hails from Jalgaon, walked away with Rs 25 lakh and a car.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 (5.5-inch): Luxury redefined with super performance

    New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) While most smartphone makers -- especially those from China -- have flooded the Indian market with devices in the Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 price range, Taiwan-based technology major ASUS believes there is still room in the country for luxury with superior performance and design.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Turn to tea tree oil for glowing skin

    New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) Adding tea tree oil in your daily regime will not only pave way for a healthier and glowing skin, but it can also help you alleviate issues like insect bites and hair problems, says an expert. Not to be confused with the unrelated common tea plant that is used to make black and green teas, tea tree oil -- also known as melaleuca oil -- is applied to the skin (used topically) for infections such as acne, fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete's foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm. It helps in opening the pores, loosening up blocked oil and dirt that cause whiteheads, blackheads, painful red breakouts and blemishes.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • 7 websites North Korea didn’t want you to see

    North Koreans, they’re just like us. They use the internet to connect with friends, book travel and, of course, to heap glorious praise upon their supreme leader. Thing is, they have only 28 sites to choose ...

    MarketWatch q
  • 9 Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Money

    For many online consumers, Amazon is a one-stop shop for everything from diapers to television sets. In fact, consumers rated Amazon their favorite online store in the National Retail Federation's 2015 Favorite 50 Retailers list. There's a way for some folks to reap the benefits of Amazon Prime without having to fork over the $99 annual membership fee.

    Kiplinger.com q
  • This Engineer Left His Job To Adopt And Educate The Children Of Drought Affected Farmers

    In 2015, Ashok Deshmane founded Snehwan – a home and school for children of marginalised and drought-affected farmers. Vishnu Gite, a gifted and intelligent child from a farmer’s family, is not interested in eating chocolates and ice cream like the city kids he sees on TV. All he wants is to be in school because he is attracted by the sight of educated, well dressed adults and he dreams of being like them every night. The main source of income for Vishnu's family was farming. But, due to the drought, their land stopped yielding any food crops and they migrated elsewhere to work as daily wage labourers. [caption id="attachment_68960" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Vishnu Gite's family had to migrate from their village due to drought.[/caption] His parents fought for survival on a daily basis and even contemplated suicide like many other farmers in drought affected areas. Vishnu missed his old school but kept quiet – he knew better than to ask his parents for the impossible. Ram and Lakhan’s story is not very different from Vishnu’s. Their father, Santosh Rathod, was a daily wage worker in the Jalna district of Maharashtra. Santosh had to take care of his entire family all by himself with the meagre income he earned daily. But then the drought happened and things went from bad to worse. He started losing whatever little work he had and there were days when his family literally starved. In the hope of finding a job and giving his family a better chance at survival, Santosh moved to Thane in the Mumbai area. He started working at a brick furnace here and his wife found a job as a domestic help. Living from hand to mouth, they could only think of feeding their kids; the question of sending them to school did not even arise. So, when a man named Ashok Deshmane offered to look after these children in his NGO Snehwan, and take complete responsibility for their education too, the two families were dumbfounded to say the least. Today, Ram is studying in Class 4 and aspires to become a policeman, whereas Lakhan is studying in Class 3 and wants to serve the nation by joining the army. Vishnu’s education is being taken care of as well. But it’s not just these three – many more farmers’ kids like them have also found a home in Snehwan. The founder of Snehwan, 27 year Ashok Deshmane, had a childhood similar to that of the kids he now looks after. He was born in a farmer’s family in a small village called Mangrul in the Parbhani district of Maharashtra. [caption id="attachment_68967" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Ashok Deshmane[/caption] The four acres of land that his father owned gave them enough to survive on only if it rained well. Maharashtra had been experiencing a drought every four years since 1972. This was extremely hard for small farmers like Ashok’s father, who cultivated just enough to feed their families and had no other savings. They had to depend on loans from local money lenders, who gave them money at high interest rates every time there was a drought. It soon became difficult to survive on farming alone, so Ashok’s father started doing tailoring too. The hunger, the pain, the distress, and the helplessness of farmers like his father found expression in every word of Ashok’s poems when he started writing at the age of 13. “Poetry was my only medium of dealing with the pain. But that was when I didn’t know how else I could help the farmers. I soon realised that my poetry was worthless if I did not do something to change the situation I was writing about. I understood, early on in my teens, that it was possible for farmers to get out of the vicious cycle they were caught in if they were educated. So, I started teaching their kids for free. ” When Ashok was in Class 12, he came across a documentary on Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, Dr. Prakash Baba Amte. Ashok was so inspired by Amte’s work that he became even more determined to help farmers. [caption id="attachment_68968" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Ashok with Dr. Prakash Baba Amte[/caption] But all he knew was that he had to educate himself first before helping educate others. So he started working with a transport company to support his own education. After a tremendous struggle, Ashok finally completed his Bachelor’s in Computer Science and then Master’s in Computer Science. Next, he got a well-paying job with a known software company in Pune. In the meantime, he had also been visiting his village to help the children there with their studies. Now, he also started teaching the children of street vendors in Pune on weekends. However, since the street vendors kept moving from one place to another, it made it difficult for their kids to study. This is when Ashok realised that it was very necessary to have a permanent shelter for the children of migrant labourers. By the end of 2015, Ashok had completed five years of work and had enough savings to buy a house and a car. But, at about this time, a visit home on the occasion of Diwali changed everything. Parbhani had once again been affected by drought. People were leaving their homes along with their families. There was no water in the entire village. Ashok had to walk 4-5 kms with his mother to get water to celebrate Diwali. “When I asked these people why they were leaving the village, they said there was no water, no crops and nothing to eat. These people were moving to the cities to work as daily wage labourers – jobs that would give them only as much as one meal a day. When I asked about the education of their kids they bluntly told me they could only think of filling their stomachs right now and school was a luxury for their children in such a situation.” Ashok came back to Pune in December 2015, registered his NGO Snehwan, and quit his job. Snehwan would be both a home and school for children of marginalised and drought-affected farmers. [caption id="attachment_68969" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Children are also taught yoga and meditation at Snehwan.[/caption] When Ashok’s boss came to know why he had quit his well-paying job at the peak of his career, he told him he wanted to support him. He gave Ashok the option to do night shifts so he could dedicate his days to the NGO. Ashok accepted the offer. He would leave for his office at 8 pm and return at 8 am, after which he would visit several villages in search of kids who needed his help. By June 2016, Snehwan had 17 children whose parents had migrated from their villages, or had committed suicide, or were living hand-to-mouth. Ashok’s friends helped him in every possible way to set up Snehwan. Anil Kothe offered his five-room house where the kids could live. Uma Kommineni, an NRI, gave computers to the home. The iLeadFarmers company developed the NGO’s website and now maintains it for free so that people can donate through the website. Webonise Lab gave funds for the renovation of the house. A nearby school, Samta Vidyalay, gave admission to the children at nominal fees. Rahul Deshpande and Asha Thipse started working with Snehwan as volunteers. But this was not as easy as it sounds. Ashok’s night shifts continued. When he would return home after work he would find the kids crying because they missed their parents. Ashok started feeling that along with education, food and clothing, these kids needed a lot of attention and love too. So, in August 2016, he finally quit his job and dedicated himself full time to the kids of Snehwan. “I could sleep only during the two hours while I was commuting to and from work. I was not able to give enough time and energy to these kids, so I left my job. I knew that finances would be an issue. But there was an inner voice that said everything would be taken care of.” On seeing their son’s dedication, Ashok’s parents too left their village and came to stay with the kids of Snehwan. “My parents were not very happy initially. They told me I should get married and settle down. But I told them that although I did not have a big house or a car or a lot of money, I was getting the satisfaction of educating the future generation of farmers. Maybe if I continued working at my job my family would get a better life in Pune. But how would that change my village? It would still be the same as it was when I was struggling to study 15 years ago. And if I continued with my wonderful career, the village would remain the same for the next 15 years too. I had to take a step right now.” Snehwan has 17 kids in the age group of 9 -14 years. Most of these kids have never been to school before; even if they have it is only so they could get a midday meal for free. Ashok has worked hard to teach them everything from scratch. And now the kids can read newspapers, use PCs, write letters, etc. “Even when there used to be a drought in the village, you could always find some farmers who were unaffected. The secret was knowledge. These kids will learn farming without even going to school. But they will learn to deal with farming problems only if they have knowledge, and only quality education can provide them with that,” says Ashok. Ashok is leaving no stone unturned to give the best opportunities he can to the bright yet deprived children under his care. Today, kids from the districts of Parbhani, Jalna, Beed, Hingoli, Aurangabad, and Wardha are living happily in Snehwan. However, as there is no income, Ashok is struggling to arrange for funds for their daily needs. “Recently, due to bad weather, most of my children were suffering from viral fever. It is difficult to arrange for their medical expenses at times because generally we get donations in the form of clothes and other utilitarian items. Also, we had enough donations to start the shelter home. But very few people know about the existence of this place now. We appeal to our well wishers to donate some funds so we can take care of the children’s health and other issues that arise from time to time.” Please donate money, clothes, and stationery, or become a volunteer at Snehwan. You can visit Snehwan Sr.no. 186, Mayur Colony, Near Chakrapani Vasahat, Bhosari, Pune-39, Maharashtra, India. Email at ashok.deshmane123@gmail.com Or call at +91-823 727 7615 to help these kids. Click here to Donate through Milaap. 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
  • Nikkhil Advani raising the bar on TV: B-Town

    Mumbai, Sep 24 (IANS) Popular Bollywood celebrities like Karan Johar, Riteish Deshmukh, Nimrat Kaur and Sonam Kapoor have given a thumbs up to the trailer of Nikkhil Advanis upcoming TV show "P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke!" by saying that the director is raising the bar of the medium through his project.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • For Apple, Keeping Problems Away May Be Very Difficult In The Coming Year; Major Losses Foreseen

    Apple is in the news for various reasons – be it for the grand launch of iphone 7 or the tax evasion controversy in Ireland. What do the stars indicate about the fortunes of the technology giant?

    GaneshaSpeaks.com
  • ShopClues launches 10-day 'ShopClues Diwali Sale' with Zero Cost EMI scheme

    New Delhi [India], Sep 25 (ANI): Come October and every ShopClues customer can usher in the joyous festive season with an extra dose of celebration as India's first and largest managed marketplace flags off its 'ShopClues Diwali Sale'. The 10-day promotional sale will enable ShopClues' consumers to bask in the typical Indian market-like experience and explore the extensive range of well-curated products and merchandise available on the e-commerce platform across popular categories like consumer electronics, home and kitchen and ethnic fashion. Tapping into the mass consumer-driven sales, ShopClues has launched its promotional sale by precisely gauging Indian consumer demands in semi-urban areas.

    ANI
  • Kapil Dev, Gavaskar speak out on `harsh` Lodha panel recommendations

    Mumbai [India], Sept.25 (ANI): Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev has described some of the Lodha panel's recommendations as `too harsh` while also voicing his concern over the cooling-off period of three years for administrators in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Now you have professional people to help," said Kapil while answering fellow commentator Sanjay Manjrekar's question during the ongoing first cricket Test between India and New Zealand here. Echoing similar views, another former captain Sunil Gavaskar stated that like cricket, an administrative set up also requires a blend of youth and experience.

    ANI
  • 20 Amazing Ways Your Daily Life Will Be Different in 2030

    For more than 90 years, The Kiplinger Letter has been alerting its readers to important emerging technologies and how they will impact businesses, consumers and investors. Meat will be grown under laboratory conditions with stem cells taken from livestock.

    Kiplinger.com q
  • China's Dalian Wanda opens $5.1 billion tourism park

    Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese entertainment giant owned by the country's richest man, opened the first phase of a sprawling 34 billion yuan ($5.1 billion) tourism park in the eastern city of Hefei on Saturday. Wanda is building similar projects around the country, betting that China's rising incomes will drive more domestic tourism. In an interview with Reuters last month, chairman Wang Jianlin said that Wanda would look to build at least 20 such complexes in China.

    Reuters
  • Former employees file class action against Wells Fargo

    Two former Wells Fargo & Co employees have filed a class action in California seeking $2.6 billion or more for workers who tried to meet aggressive sales quotas without engaging in fraud and were later demoted, forced to resign or fired. The lawsuit on behalf of people who worked for Wells Fargo in California over the past 10 years, including current employees, focuses on those who followed the rules and were penalized for not meeting sales quotas. "Wells Fargo fired or demoted employees who failed to meet unrealistic quotas while at the same time providing promotions to employees who met these quotas by opening fraudulent accounts," the lawsuit filed on Thursday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County said.

    Reuters
  • Common myths about modular kitchens busted

    New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) Many people think modular kitchens aren't durable as the material used is of inferior quality. Neeti Macker, founder of the website The Homemakers, has listed a few myths that are common among people: * No scope for customisation: Modular kitchen companies work on the basis of international hardware and accessory sizes, and have a large variety of standard carcass sizes, a combination of which would suit most households. * Inferior quality: This is a very common misconception that modular kitchens are not durable as the material used is of inferior quality.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • How One Bangalore Based Organisation Is Working Tirelessly to Provide Blind Students with Braille Books

    While there are many schools for educating blind people, very few equip them with the skills that would enable them to contribute to the economy of the country. Mitra Jyothi, a 26-year-old organisation based in Bangalore, works exclusively on this issue. According to them, there are an estimated 45 million blind people in the world, out of which one in three live in India. This would mean around 15 million blind people across the country. Uma Krishnamurthy, the Chief of Operations at Mitra Jyothi, spoke to us about how the organisation functions and how they hope to make reading more accessible to the visually impaired. They run various programmes to empower blind people; one such notable initiative is the Computer Training Centre. They train around twenty students per batch, and start out with basic instructions on how to operate a keyboard or monitor. From this, they slowly move on to sending emails and making use of Microsoft Office. Students from all over the sub-continent live in dormitories during the six-month long programme.  Uma says, “Learning these skills helps them become a part of the workforce with so much ease.” Another admirable initiative taken up by Mitra Jyothi is a talking book library, which opened twenty years ago. The primary objective of the library is to store and supply audiobooks, which have been converted to recordings from printed books, by volunteers. The audiobooks are in the Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY), which is the standard system of navigating through audio files for people with visual impairment. She explained further, “We make CDs out of books which are stored in the library and send them to the members of our library. We have a library catalogue available online, people can call up our library and place an order for a particular audio book. We make a copy of the CD and post it to them. If we do not have a book, we take an order and attempt to convert the books to DAISY format. Most of the time, members send us a physical copy of the book which we use, and this helps our library grow.” Their impressive collection has close to 5,000 books in four regional languages including Tamil and Hindi. A large number of the books are in Kannada, because a majority of their beneficiaries study in schools across Karnataka. They also provide audio books for students studying Economics and Physics at the Masters level. The Mitra Jyothi team decided to make reading more accessible to visually impaired people by collecting funds for publishing 30 braille books. When we asked Uma why they picked the braille format when they already have a huge collection of audiobooks, she said, “We have around 5,000 people who are currently using the audiobook service. But, the problem with audio books is that you have to have some exposure to digital media or need access to an audio player. The number of DAISY players given by the Indian Govt. is very meager when one considers how many people require it. It is also important to keep in mind that DAISY players cost Rs. 11,000, hence not many people can afford them.” Uma also stressed on the fact that many young visually impaired students start learning and studying using only braille. She said, “The braille stylus and sheet are equivalent to our pen and paper. And only if children are financially well off do they get to access electronic media. To encourage reading among students, we need to give them books to read!” With their braille books campaign, the organisation hopes to focus on children from the age of five to fifteen. Uma observed that in Karnataka, there are no books in braille for school children apart from textbooks, which also are delivered pretty late into the school year. She said, “Through a Government of India grant, we got two volume braille printing machines. So we decided to build small braille libraries in schools across Karnataka that have partnered with us. We want to identify around three books per class or for various age groups, such as Ramayana, Mahabharata and Panchatantra.” The number of books that are sent out will be dependent on the funds that they receive. Mitra Jyothi has started a campaign in order to achieve this goal. Donate here, to help more blind children read books that not just enable them to live fully but also let them lend their lives to fantasy. 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