SEOUL (South Korea): Nearly 4,000 cured COVID-19 patients from a single religious organization have committed to voluntarily donate their plasma for the development of a vaccine. The organization called Shincheonji Church and its members were most affected during the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea.
An official of Green Cross Pharma, a South Korean biopharmaceutical company, said, “Plasma donations from healthy patients from Shincheonji Church will solve the problem of lack of blood for research.”
According to Green Cross, only 195 people in Korea had so far expressed their intention to donate blood plasma for research. But 43 of them were considered unsuitable for charity.
At a time when plasma donations have been scarce and extremely valuable, prices of plasma range anywhere from $350 to $40,000 dollars per millilitre. This sets Shincheonji Church’s donation at a value of about $83 billion. This is by far the biggest collective effort made by any organization in the world towards COVID-19 research & development. And the medical fraternity in South Korea and across the world have deeply appreciated this gesture from Shincheonji Church.
According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), out of a total of 12,484 cases in the country, at least 5,213 cases have been linked to church outbreaks.
Brief Background of the spread of COVID-19 in South Korea
In February and March, South Korea became the scene of a large outbreak outside China when unknowingly a massive outbreak occurred among members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
And even though Shincheonji Church was at the centre of this epidemic, patient-31, who happened to be a congregation member of the church had no travel history outside of Korea.
COVID-19 arrived in Korea as there were no restrictions to block foreign entrants. To hide this, some forces needed an organization to blame. They held the Shincheonji Church responsible for the outbreak of the epidemic and made the Shincheonji Church a victim. Shincheonji Church is one of the minor religious groups which became a major victim of COVID-19 with over 4,000 of its members being infected with the virus. It was not members of Shincheonji Church who went to China and brought the virus into the country. The virus came in South Korea because of foreign entries from China which the government was unable to contain in its initial stages. The church and its members are a victim and the government, instead of protecting them, is treating them like criminals.
Since the church is not part of the mainstream churches in South Korea, even the society is happy to make it as a scapegoat. As a result, thousands of discrimination cases were reported among the congregation members after the mass infection.
Furthermore, the Korean government and the government of Daegu city charged legal liability for damage caused by COVID-19 pandemic on the church just because many people from the church were infected.
It is absurd to blame any organization for the legal, economic, and quarantine responsibilities of the loss from COVID-19. COVID-19 did not even originate in South Korea. But public opinion is being used to criticize the Shincheonji Church. More than 6,000 cases of human rights violations have already been reported in the Republic of Korea this year, but the government and media are silent about this.
This is what politics and media have done to religion. If this is neglected and overlooked now, then politics will use religion continuously as their scapegoat for other crises too.
The Detrimental Effects When Politics Mixes with Religion
The Constitution of the Republic of Korea clearly states in Article 20 Clauses 1 and 2 that “All citizens shall enjoy the freedom of religion,” and that “No state religion shall be recognized, and religion and state shall be separated”. But these human rights are being violated as the mainstream religious denominations in South Korea joined hands with those with political powers including President of South Korea (along with the Mayor of Seoul, the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, and ministers, among others) and revoked the licenses of the church to operate as a religious organization while accusing them of deliberately spreading the virus. The Korean politicians, with their biased motives, are revoking the licenses and persecuting Shincheonji Church to gain more votes in election seasons. They are further victimizing the victims of COVID-19 and using them as their scapegoat in order to cover their own faults.
Several NGOs in association with the United Nations and religious communities in the globe are raising their voices on the need to correct inappropriate persecution and human rights violation against a religious group in South Korea named Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
By referring to the report from United States of America Commission of International Religious Freedom, the report to the UN said, “Shincheonji was suffering harassment from the South Korean government and society. Although some government measures appeared to be driven by legitimate public health concerns, others appeared to exaggerate the church’s role in the outbreak.”
“The government of Seoul locked down Shincheonji churches in the capital, and some mainline Protestant groups have accused the church of deliberately spreading the disease,” it continued.
The report stated, “The virus cannot be an excuse to violate human rights and religious liberty of hundreds of thousands of believers. Intolerance, violence, and discrimination against Shincheonji should be put to an end.”
“The news of Chairman Lee and Shincheonji are being singled out and blamed for COVID-19 spread and sued is deeply concerning to all faith leaders who valued freedom of religion and the protection of human rights. This adverse action shall have chilling repercussions through the religious world,” said Mr Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Chairman of Islamic Cultural Center of North America.
Even Amidst Persecution, Chairman of Shincheonji, Man Hee Lee encourages members to donate plasma
Despite facing numerous public outrages, more than 4000 members of Shincheonji’s congregation recently promised to donate plasma for the development of the drug for COVID-19.
Church founder Lee Man-Hee internally advised recovered members from COVID-19 to donate their plasma, which is desperately needed for Coronovirus research.
Many members of the church wanted to give donations to express thanks to the government and medical staff.
He said that there have been political motives in the persecution of Shincheonji Church of Jesus and HWPL (a peace NGO) by “using us (Shincheonji), the victims of COVID-19, as their scapegoat in order to hide their own faults.” He added, “Persecuting peace organizations, religious organizations, and violating human rights must be stopped in Korea.”
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by Shincheonji India. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the views expressed in the release.
Raftaar and Krsna Release Rap Song ‘Chaukanna’ Featuring Actor Karan Wahi
Chaukanna is a peppy number that perfectly navigates between the 2 contrasting personalities.
दो खिलाडी. प्रॉब्लम भारी.
Rap sensations Raftaar and Krsna have come together to launch a new rap song ‘Chaukanna’ featuring Karan Wahi and is inspired by the leading women of the show. Just like the uncanny jodi from the show, Raftaar and Krsna perfectly personify ‘दो खिलाडी. प्रॉब्लम भारी’
Chaukanna is a peppy number that perfectly navigates between the 2 contrasting personalities of Saumya (Lara Dutta) narrated by Raftaar and Netra (Rinku Rajguru) rapped by Krsna whobring alive the perspective of character Mad-E (Karan Wahi) from the show.
Raftaar and Krsna have collectively brought to life the chaos and madness related with each of the characters and created this foot-tapping masterpiece.
Rapper Raftaar said, “The inspiration for this song came from the dysfunctional jodi of HUNDRED; Lara and Rinku are so uncanny but yet amazing together. So, when a chance to create something hatke popped up, we got pretty pumped. Chaukanna is a peppy number with an effortless hummable tune. We hope it briings some sunshine in these gloomy times. Working with Krsna and Karan was effortless, and I can’t believe we managed to pull this off virtually.”
Krsna said, “A crazy tune like Chaukanna beautifully compliments the chaos of the mad-jodi of HUNDRED. Raftaar and I both wanted to champion a character from the show and create a song that everyone would enjoy. When people listen to this song, we want them to get into the vibe of the song and dance their hearts out – that’s where the real fun lies!”
Hotstar Specials presents HUNDRED is about a terminally ill girl, Netra Patil (Rinku Rajguru) looking for thrills is hired to be an undercover agent by an ambitious female cop, ACP Saumya Shukla (Lara Dutta) looking for a promotion.
As they both unite to accomplish their own goal in 100 days, chaos ensues. Directors Ruchi Narain, Ashutosh Shah and Taher Shabbir have maintained a crisp balance between action, drama and humour that make HUNDRED a fun family entertainer.
The cast includes powerhouse talent in prominent roles including Karan Wahi, Sudhanshu Pandey, Parmeet Sethi, Rohini Hattangidi, Arun Nalawde and Makarand
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by Ruder-Finn Asia. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the content of the release.
60% Women Feel Schools Lack Adequate Menstrual Hygiene Facilities: Survey
Schools in India must develop better awareness and infrastructure for periods, shows 5th Annual Everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey
More than 51% women respondents say Indian schools do not have a proper system to prepare teen and adolescent girls regarding the onset of menstrual periods and nearly 60% women feel schools lack adequate facilities for girls to change and dispose of the sanitary pads. This was revealed by the 5th Edition of Everteen Annual Menstrual Hygiene Survey.
Conducted ahead of the Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020 on May 28, the everteen menstrual hygiene survey was conducted among nearly 7000 Indian women participating from various cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
Over 51% women respondents claimed that Indian schools do not have adequate systems to educate or mentally prepare teen and adolescent girls regarding the onset of menstrual periods. More than 95% women asserted that Indian school system should have some awareness programs to prepare girls on the subject.
The everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey also revealed that during adolescence, nearly 60% women did not have any prior knowledge about menstrual periods. In fact, as many as 38% women had first misinterpreted it as an injury or disease.
In terms of infrastructure, almost 59% women felt that schools do not have adequate cleanliness of public toilets or facilities for girls to change and dispose sanitary pads off.
Chirag Pan, CEO, PAN Healthcare, says, “Menstrual hygiene and wellness have been known issues in the Indian context. While there has been progress in recent years, it is imperative that we leverage our strength in the Indian value-based systems and inculcate the importance of good menstrual hygiene from the onset of puberty itself. Schools can and must play a pivotal role in bringing this paradigm shift through classroom education, awareness programs and focused infrastructure development.”
Wet And Dry Personal Care Pvt Ltd, the company that owns everteen feminine hygiene brand, is a subsidiary of PAN Healthcare.
In workspaces too, 41% of women felt their office needed better cleanliness and facilities to change and dispose the sanitary pads off in toilets.
The everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey 2020 also suggests that the role that doctors can play in preventing gynaecological problems is significantly downplayed due to the shame and guilt associated with menstrual cycles in Indian context.
More than 50% of women said they have had some gynaecological infection or problem such as UTI, rashes, foul smell or itching during or after menstrual cycle in the past one year. Among these, 20% of women had such issues more than 3 times during the year.
More than 64% of women have faced irregularities in their period dates, out of which half have had to deal with it more than 3 times in a year.
Ironically, only 37% of women said they consult a doctor in the case of irregular periods, whereas 32% prefer to discuss it within the family and 30% just ignore it.
Similarly, more than 54% of women have had white discharge, but only 25% prefer to consult a doctor.
As many as 56% women believe that menstruation is still perceived as a taboo in Indian society.
Not surprisingly, then, more than 42% of women felt uncomfortable buying sanitary essentials from a shop or a chemist, especially when there were several other customers.
Because of the guilt associated with the menstrual cycle, 87% of women admitted that they had to hide or secretly take their sanitary product for changing.
Interestingly, more than three-fourths of the respondents said that menstruation would not have been such a taboo subject in the society if men had it too!
Another key revelation from the survey shows that 53% of women have used a public toilet more than 3 times at the office, mall or cinema hall to change sanitary product.
“Our everteen survey shows that 75% of women feel uncomfortable having to use public toilets to change sanitary products. Yet, more than 93% of women still use sanitary napkins. By switching to better, modern-age menstrual hygiene methods (MHM) such as menstrual cups, women can reduce the number of times they have to change their sanitary product in a day. Many women have told us that using menstrual cups has greatly reduced their daily discomfort due to periods,” said Hariom Tyagi, CEO, Wet and Dry Personal Care.
The survey revealed that menstrual cups are now being used by 4% of the women, and their adoption has overtaken tampons by almost double.
One of the alarming trends that emerged from the survey shows that more than one-third of women said they have used a pill or some other method to delay periods in case of an important occasion.
As an industry leader in feminine intimate hygiene, everteen has been keeping a pulse of the evolving menstrual hygiene trends in India through its annual surveys since 2014.
It has played a crucial role in creating widespread awareness through campaigns such as #FixYourPeriods.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, everteen launched #SheNeedsPad, a social initiative to distribute free sanitary napkins among women in need at their doorsteps all over India.
Everteen offers more than 30 different intimate hygiene and wellness products for women including sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, bikini line hair remover crème, intimate wash, intimate wipes, toilet seat sanitizer, menopausal relief capsules and more.
Its products have been shipped to customers in countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, US, UK, Vietnam, and several African countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.
Everteen is also a partner of the global Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global platform supported by organizations like UNICEF and USAID to raise awareness about the challenges faced by women and girls worldwide due to menstruation, and highlight solutions to address such challenges.
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by PAN Healthcare. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the content of the release.
Authlink Raises $300,000 For Product Provenance And Ownership Management Platform
The company is soon going to launch an owner vault, which is a secure mobile app for product and certificate owners.
CHENNAI (Tamil Nadu): Blockchain startup Authlink on Tuesday closed their first round of seed funding successfully.
Authlink, founded in December 2019 by Akash Gaurav and Kharthick Palanisamy, is a security company providing brand protection and product ownership management and ensuring a perpetual relationship among brands and its customers.
Bharath Corp House, a Chennai, India-based technology fund invested $300,000 into the startup to fuel the technology development and build its partners’ ecosystem.
The startup has designed and developed a fully decentralized and asset-agnostic Authlink Network.
It’s a secure blockchain-powered network consisting of brands, owners, independent QAs, and third parties; the ecosystem together creates a chain of trusted information regarding a product and document.
The network creates a digital footprint of each step involved in the creation of a product and the issuance of a document. The footprint created on the network ensures the product provenance, proof of authenticity, and proof of ownership.
Authlink further offers an Issuer dashboard for brands and institutes to register their products and create immutable certificates on the network.
This is an easy-to-use platform with intuitive UI- and API-based services for institutes to access Authlink services directly through their existing ERPs and CRMs.
Further, the company is soon going to launch an owner vault, which is a secure mobile app for product and certificate owners to easily store, manage, share, and transfer their valuables electronically.
The Authlink ecosystem enables a wide range of value-added services for vault owners to avail of these services and benefits in a convenient and secure manner.
“Millennials and Generation Z are going purely digital and demanding ways of managing all their valuables and certificates with the same convenience. This new era is all about offering ease, transparency, and security in an all-around aspect. Our ecosystem is enabling this offering while providing brands newer ways of maintaining a perpetual relationship with their customers,” said Akash Gaurav, co-founder, Authlink.
The platform has its proven use cases in several industries and is being launched with a focus on Jewelry & Luxury Goods, Automobiles, Educational & Professional Certificates, and Government Licenses.
The company has already built a sophisticated technology to imprint information in the physical world to tie over a blockchain-based asset.
The company also utilizes Smart Contracts to keep all platform data trust-free and maintains the highest standard for security and user privacy in the industry.
Funds raised in the seed round are enabling the company to build its partners’ ecosystem faster as well as fuel research and new technology development.
Disclaimer: This is an unpaid press release by Authlink. Readers’ discretion is advised while consuming the content of the release.
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