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CULTURE-HERITAGE

Hindu Temples Reopen With Protocols In Harare, Zimbabwe

Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir celebrated 90th anniversary in February 2019.

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HARARE (Zimbabwe): Two Hindu temples in Harare (Zimbabwe), run by The Hindoo Society Harare (HSH), which have been closed for few months due to COVID-19, are opening again on September 26 with various protocols.

The temperature of each person entering the premises of the Hindoo Society will be taken and hands will be sanitized at the entrance. Individuals with a temperature not in the permissible range (36.1 °C to 37.2 °C) will be denied entry, an announcement of HSH Executive Committee states.

Wearing of masks is compulsory and visitors will be required to give their names and contact numbers at the entrance and abide by the tape demarcations to observe social distancing (minimum two meters) within the temple. Any person refusing to follow the procedures will be required to leave the premises, the announcement adds.


Commending HSH for attempting necessary precautions and actions to combat deadly coronavirus and educating the community, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Hindus to draw closer to God through prayer during COVID-19.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested Hindus pray at least twice daily in their home shrines with total devotion and pure heart. These prayers might include making offerings to ishta-devata, chanting mantras, reading sacred texts, performing aarti and bhajans, doing puja, etc.

Hindus are God’s people, full of courage and generosity. Petition God for the common good of all the local and world communities during these times of confusion and suffering, Rajan Zed says.


Ridgeview Shree Omkar Mandir will be open daily from 06:00 am 07:30 pm, while Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir will be open daily from 07:30 am to noon. Mandir (Temple) will be disinfected daily by a professional company, per the announcement.

Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir celebrated 90th anniversary in February 2019, while 25th anniversary of Ridgeview Shree Omkar Mandir was observed in 2017. HSH “intends to publish a written record” of the hundred years of “community’s existence in Zimbabwe”.

In the pre-COVID-19 times, HSH reportedly had been conducting various bhajan events, twice-weekly yoga classes, Hindi lessons, cultural/social activities; organized daily aarti at both the temples with Havan on Sundays; and offered funeral assistance for bereaved families; etc.; besides running Mahila Mandal, Shishu Mandal and Yuvak Mandal. HSH has also been running various schools—Westridge High School, Westridge Primary School, Gujarati School.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

World Cotton Day: Smriti Irani Launches First-Ever Brand Logo For Indian Cotton

India’s premium Cotton would now be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.

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NEW DELHI: Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development launched the 1st ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton on 2nd World Cotton Day on October 7, 2020, through Video Conferencing.

India’s premium Cotton would now be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.

The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness.

Speaking on this occasion, Irani said that this is a much-awaited moment that TODAY the Indian Cotton has been endowed with a Brand and Logo. This event becomes more important as the 2nd World Cotton Day is being celebrated world over today.


The Minister recounted the importance of Cotton in the Indian economy:

Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6o lakh cotton farmers.

India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world.


India produces about 6.00 million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton.

India produces about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world, which demonstrates India’s effort towards sustainability.

Smt. Irani said that to ensure sustainability, integrity and end-to-end traceability of the organic products, a certification system based on comparable international standards verified through an internationally acceptable institutional system is required to be put in place.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Textiles through APEDA under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has prescribed a certification system for organic Cotton which will be introduced in phases in the entire textile value chain.

Similarly, prescribing a certification system for non-organic Cotton has also been taken up with APEDA so that usages of cotton can be suitably augmented.


The Minister stated that Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) made ever highest Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation of cotton and hopeful that during the new cotton season, the procurement under MSP will be increased.

CCI has opened 430 procurement centres in all cotton-growing states and payments are being made digitally to farmers’ account within 72 hours.

Further, leveraging the technology, a mobile app, “Cott-Ally” has been developed by CCI for providing latest news regarding weather condition, Crop situation and best farm practices.

A discount of Rs.300/- per candy is being offered by CCI in its regular sale to MSME mills, Khadi and Village industry, Cooperative sector mills to enhance their competitiveness and efficiency.

It was also stated that cotton may be used across all dimension of Technical Textiles.

Further, Irani intimated that the government has passed bills for the welfare of the farmers, which also be beneficial to the industries.

The minister also attended the inaugural session of the webinar organised by TEXPROCIL and CITI on the theme of “NEW-LOOK COTTON” to facilitate the exchange of ideas on the emerging scenarios in cotton usage and application.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

Lok Sabha Passes Jammu And Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020

The Bill proposes to include Kashmiri, Dongri and Hindi in the list of official languages of the UT.

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NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier, the official language for the Union territory was only Urdu.

Speaking about the bill in Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home Ministry G. Kishan Reddy said that that the legislation will fulfil the long-awaited demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.


He said the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir had informed the Centre that people across the Union Territory had been demanding to include the languages they speak and understand as their official language.

The minister pointed out that around 74 per cent people in the Union Territory spoke Kashmiri and Dogri languages.

He said that according to 2011 census, only 0.16 per cent population in Jammu and Kashmir spoke Urdu, while 2.3 per cent spoke Hindi.


The bill was passed by a voice vote.

Meanwhile, the Sikh and Gujjar communities have protested the exclusion of Punjabi and Gojri languages from the bill.

Participating in the debate on the Bill, Naresh Gujral (SAD) termed it “unfortunate” that Punjabi was not included in the Bill and urged the government to reconsider it.

The J&K Constitution included Punjabi and the first Chief Minister of J&K was a Punjabi, he said and added: “It hurts the feeling of those who are settled there. I would urge the government to reconsider because language is the basis of cultural heritage of the community.” He said 13 lakh Punjabis live in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mir Mohammad Fayaz (PDP) demanded inclusion of Gurjari, Punjabi and Pahari in the Bill, saying that the motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” was lacking in the state.


“Include Punjabi, Gurjari and Pahari so that we win the trust of everyone in J&K,” he said.

Ramdas Athawale (RPI) expressed “support to Dogri and Kashmiri languages” and in his poetic style said that a day will come when PoK will come to India.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Legendary Indian Classical Vocalist Pandit Jasraj Dies At 90

Pandit Jasraj was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

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NEW JERSEY (United States): Pandit Jasraj, one of the world’s most prominent Indian classical vocalists passed away at the age of 90 due to cardiac arrest, says his daughter Durga Jasra. “With profound grief, we inform that Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj ji breathed his last this morning at 5.15 EST due to a cardiac arrest at his home in New Jersey, USA,” a statement issued by his family said, newswire agency PTI reported.

Born in Haryana in 1930, his musical career spanned eight decades. In the year 2000, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the maestro’s death has left a deep void in the country’s cultural sphere:


President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his condolences and posted that the revered vocalist had “enthralled people with soulful renditions.”

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