In September last year, the Union ministry of health and family had suggested tobacco be sold without fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). It said that children might get exposed to tobacco products when they go to buy chips or chocolates. After this order, Maharashtra became the first state to implement the directive after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of tobacco and FMCG under one roof in the state. “We assume people of Maharashtra are law-abiding and will comply with the orders once they come to know about it. Once there is awareness about it, we will then take action. There is a provision to cancel licences and registrations, we may also file a case in civil court which may then lead to imprisonment of up to six months plus fine,” FDA commissioner Pallavi Darade said. In the last seven years, there’s been a decline in the use of tobacco in the state, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey Maharashtra shared in December last year. However, the usage among the 15-17 age group has increased from 2.9% in 2010 to 5.5% in 2017 – a relative increase of 90%. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi from Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, said that 90% of tobacco users started smoking in their teenage and only less than 5% of them were able to quit. This is why this move by the Centre will ensure that children don’t get influenced by tobacco products and get addicted to them.
Mumbai is a potpurri of cultures, a real melting pot. The City of Dreams has many faces and personalities, crammed into its crowded spaces. Chal Rang De, an NGO in Mumbai, aims to transform the city, one mural at a time. Their artwork is transforming spaces, and changing perceptions—for example, they recently took up the task of beautifying a police station, so the public feels less inhibited about approaching the cops. Their Instagram page is a kaleidoscope of beautiful colours. From bright pastel hues, to warm natural tones, Chal Rang De, is undoubtedly infusing colour into Mumbai’s soul.
These colourful murals are impossible to miss.
Changing perspectives is key!
Learning how to think, not what to think, is vital.
Growth and change, both matter.
Mumbai is a cultural potpourri.
Waking up to colour is truly beautiful.
A unique colour for each emotion
Perhaps the best way to honour our loved ones, who are no longer with us, is to keep their passion alive as a way to remember them. Partha Chatterjee, the Minister-in-Charge of Higher Education and School Education Department in West Bengal, felt that the best way pay a tribute to his late wife, would be to build a hospital for dogs. Babli passed away in July 2017, and Partha decided to honour her memory by opening a pet hospital in South Kolkata which will treat dogs and cats. He has also set up a trust to build and run the treatment centre that will be named Babli Chatterjee Memorial Pet Hospital. “Babli was a dog-lover in the true sense,” Partha said. “There are six dogs in our family, and as long she was fit, she used to take care of them. Even when she went to sleep at night, her pets were her companions. So I thought that a hospital for dogs would be the best way to keep her memories alive.” Chatterjee highlighted the benefit of this set-up in South Kolkata. “In Kolkata, there is an acute shortage of sophisticated pet hospitals and my wife often mentioned it. The trust authorities have already started interacting with renowned veterinary doctors about the facilities that can be provided there. I have asked the authorities to complete the project as quickly as possible,” said Chatterjee. Chatterjee was sworn in as the Cabinet Minister under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 20 May 2011. He formerly worked for Andrew Yule & Co., which is a government undertaking. “The trust has a plot of 17 acres near Baghajatin railway station in south Kolkata, where the hospital will be set up,” said Chatterjee, refusing to reveal the cost of the project.
A New Jersey father who wore an "In Need of Kidney" T-shirt at Disney World last summer underwent a kidney transplant this week in New York. Robert Leibowitz, 60, who has been in need of a new kidney for three years after suffering from chronic kidney disease, never imagined how magical his family's vacation to the Magic Kingdom would be after securing a kidney from a stranger — thanks to another stranger's Facebook post about his handmade T-shirt. "I thought, ‘You know, if I can get one person who's my blood type to just respond and maybe that's my match…You know it's worth the $35 investment for the shirt,'" Leibowitz said. "This amazing couple, Rocio and Juan Sandoval, took a picture of it and said do you mind if I post it? Within the first week 90,000 Facebook shares. Three days walking around the park… my phone wouldn't stop ringing." Richie Sully, a father of two from Fort Wayne, Ind., saw Sandoval's post and knew that he wanted to help Leibowitz. He reached out to Leibowitz, saying, "My name is Richie. I am O positive. I have an extra kidney [and] you are welcome to it." After a mountain of tests, and months filled with anxiety, Leibowitz received confirmation that Richie's kidney was a match. "I broke down and I screamed but of course screaming in New York, nobody – everybody ignores you anyway," Leibowitz said of getting that phone call. "Words cannot explain. This guy's saving my life. He's saving my life. He's giving me more time with my kids." Sully and Leibowitz were reported "doing well" after the surgery Thursday at New York-Presbyterian Cornell Medical Center. NBC4 News reported that Leibowitz plans to take his Sully and Sandoval to Disney World to celebrate his fairy-tale ending.
Marley the dog has spent the last five years chained up to a dog house in the backyard of a rural Virginia home – but now, after being given a loving forever home, he has made an awe-inspiring transformation. Members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been keeping their eyes on Marley since they first became aware of his predicament several years ago. The organization says that the pup was so neglected, he did not even know the sound of his own name – he was only familiar with the word “no”. While PETA members periodically visited Marley at his dog house, they were unable to do much about his predicament because state law does not have a lot of protective legislation for neglected pets. PETA representatives told Good News Network: “Until he became emaciated, his conditions were considered in compliance with the law. PETA has been working with local officials to pass a chaining ordinance, which we hope would help dogs like Marley in the future.” “In these areas, for now, we have no recourse but to remain persistent and maintain good relationships with the dogs’ owners … otherwise, we run the risk that they’ll refuse to let us help their animals at all,” they added. Thankfully, after lots of heavy persuasion, Marley’s owner finally agreed to relinquish the pup to the rescue organization. The dog was treated for his condition and was eventually adopted by Michael Moss, who has transformed Marley from a sad mutt into a happy hound. “I really, really liked his little attitude that he had and the spirit that he had that wasn’t going to be broken,” says Moss. “He’s got toys, bones, treats, and Kyah—and a big backyard he can play in .… That’s all I really want. I just want him to be happy.”
Tony Lethbridge couldn't sleep. It was early Monday morning and it had been 24 hours since anyone had heard from his 17-year-old son, Samuel. It was out of character and Tony had a gut feeling something was wrong. Australian police told Tony and his wife that their son might have ran away and to go home and wait. "I just couldn't get it out of my head that he'd crashed somewhere," Tony said. Samuel had been driving back from the Central Coast in New South Wales around 6:30 AM on Sunday. He had messaged his girlfriend and arranged to meet her after she finished work, around lunchtime. He never arrived. He never called. As Tony's mind raced, he recalled an accident from a few years earlier along the same stretch of highway that he believed Samuel would have been driving on. That driver wasn't found for five days. "And he'd passed away," Tony said. "That was in my head, so I just thought bugger this I'm not going to sit around and wait. With the way the bush is there, if a car goes in you're not going to see it. The only way you'll see it is from the air. And that's what we did. "I thought, I'm going to get a helicopter no matter what." Tony walked into the Lake Macquarie Airport at 9 AM. "I just rocked in there and said, 'Mate, I've got $1000 – I need you to search as much as you can'." Within 10 minutes of taking off, the flight crew spotted a car just off the Pacific Highway that fit the description of Samuel's vehicle. "You wouldn't have seen him if it wasn't for the helicopter, because I couldn't see him from the road," Tony said. "If the helicopter wasn't hovering above, I would have never had found him." Trapped in his vehicle for nearly 30 hours, Samuel was dehydrated and suffering serious injuries. "He spoke to me when I got down to the car," Tony said. "I grabbed him and I said: 'Mate, dad's got you'." Emergency services arrived on the scene and had to cut the vehicle open to pull Samuel from the wreckage. He was taken to John Hunter Hospital with a broken arm, broken thigh bone, dislocated elbow and various small fractures. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Hobart Police Officer Richard Mayer was dining at a fast food restaurant in Merrillville, Indiana, during his first day on the job when a mother rushed to his table for help. Melanie Hasse and her daughter, Charlotte, were just a few tables away from Officer Mayer and his colleagues eating lunch when Charlotte started to choke on an apple. "I looked over and she started gagging. I could see something kind of in the back of her throat, mistakenly reached in to try to grab it out, I think that pushed it back into her throat," Hasse recalled. Mayer rushed into action with another officer. Together they flipped the toddler over and began slapping her on the back. "I grabbed her and Officer Ramos to my right flipped her over, we did back slaps on her and got food dislodged from her throat right away," Mayer said. Mayer revealed saving the toddler was his first act as a paid police officer.
Despite 70 years of Independence, India has not solved its hunger problem, and a substantial part of the population continues to be affected by it. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report, over 19.07 crore people in India are undernourished, and that is about 14.5 percent of the entire global population. To make sure that no one goes hungry in the city anymore, the district administration of Kochi has come up with a free meal initiative under which people who cannot afford to buy food can collect coupons from designated counters in the city and exchange it to avail a meal at select hotels. Conceived by K Mohammed Y Safirulla, the District Collector of Kochi, the ‘Numma Oonu’ initiative will be officially launched on Republic Day by AC Moideen, Minister of State for Industries, Sports & Youth Affairs. The initiative has been envisioned in collaboration with Petronet LNG Foundation and Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association Ernakulam District Committee and is expected to start its operations on February 1. “We will set up ‘Numma Oonu’ counters at Ernakulam Collectorate and Ernakulam South railway station. Those who need food should collect the coupons from these counters and exchange them at the mentioned hotels. The Hotel and Restaurant Association has already identified four hotels each at Kakkanad and Ernakulam South for the scheme,” said Safirulla. In Kakkanad, the free meals will be served at Alakapuri Hotel near the Collectorate, along with Liba, Ayodhya and Galaxy Hotels at Vazhakkala. In Ernakulam South, one can avail the service at Aryas, Alfala, Arya Bhavan and Mughal hotels. One can redeem the coupons from any of these hotels that have registered themselves with the scheme. We hope that more cities and districts follow similar models that can help beat hunger and ensure that no one under their jurisdiction sleeps on a hungry stomach.
A couple in Lakeview, New York, is crediting their pit bull for saving their lives. "Typically she only barks for one reason, and that's if someone is at the door," Ronene Ando said. So Thursday night, when Ruby wouldn't stop barking, Ando and her husband knew something was wrong. "That went on for about an hour and a half, and I guess at that point, I knew something was up. She got up and went downstairs,she opened up the gate and was standing down there." The Andos had put a propane heater in their basement recently, and immediately Ando smelled propane. Ruby picked up the smell and got her owners attention before carbon monoxide poisoning could occur. "Probably if it weren't for Ruby, I can't say, I don't know," Ando said. "The breed has a bad rap - they are very protective. They are really amazing dogs if they are trained well and kept active." Now the Andos are forever grateful for what they call "their life-saver."
We are accustomed to seeing and reading about heart-wrenching stories of skirmishes and escalating tensions between India-Pakistan, in the news. Thankfully, during these troubled times, there are a few instances of love. Naqi Ali Khan (27), who grew up in the bylanes of Lucknow, married his Pakistani fiancée, Sabahat Fatima (24), who is from Karachi. The ‘nikah’ was solemnised by Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, a Shia cleric and vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Cross-border India-Pakistan tensions led to visa hassles for the bride, due to which the wedding was delayed by two years. Sabahat then took the initiative to contact Sushma Swaraj, via social media. The Union Minister for External Affairs promptly intervened, and the bride was granted a visa. Naqi’s elder brother, Muzaffar said, “Our families are related, but were divided when the two countries underwent partition. The groom’s maternal grandmother and the bride’s paternal grandmother were sisters and lived together in Lucknow before partition.” Thus, was scripted an epic love story, between two people who were eager to start their lives together. Naqi and Sabahat spent Sunday watching a Hindi movie, in which the female lead plays a Pakistani, and the male lead an Indian. The grateful couple is happy to be together and said, “Both of us are extremely grateful to Sushma Swaraj for this great gift. We are hopeful that the Indian government will help us in getting Sabahat Indian nationality as well.”