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Sex workers from Asia’s largest red light area in Sonagachi to launch drug awareness campaign among customers

The NGO, which is working with 1,30,000 sex workers in West Bengal, is organising various programs today, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, to raise awareness among the masses.

File photo of Sonagachi sex workers

Sex workers of Sonagachi in the city, considered Asia’s largest red light area, will launch an awareness campaign against drug use among customers. “We have been fighting against AIDS and HIV for the last few years by raising awareness among customers and sex workers. Now we have decided to launch an awareness campaign regarding drug usage among customers and a section of sex workers,” Durbar Mahila Samanaya Committee (DMSC) official Bharati said.The NGO, which is working with 1,30,000 sex workers in West Bengal, is organising various programs today, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, to raise awareness among the masses.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Sex workers residing in Sonagachi area are as such not addicted to drugs – maybe a very small section of it is. But there is a high prevalence of drug use among customers who visit it. So we think that an awareness campaign here will help to bring down its use among customers too,” Bharati said.Physician Promit Roy, who is associated with DMSC and looks into the health issues of sex workers of Sonagachi, cited examples how customers under the influence of drugs force them for unprotected sex. “There are instances where customers come here under influence of drugs such as brown sugar, heroin and force the sex workers to have unprotected sex. This way both the customer and the sex worker are under the threat of getting infected by HIV,” he said.Roy said he has treated children of red light areas who get addicted to various kinds of drugs at a very young age. “While diagnosing HIV cases in red light areas we have found that customers who have a history of drug abuse through needles are one of the causes behind the spread of HIV,” he added.Tamisrajit Banerjee, who runs an NGO for rehabilitation of addicts many of whom are regulars in red light areas, said there is an urgent need to raise awareness about drug abuse to combat the menace and the campaign will benefit both the customers and the sex workers. “I had experiences of patients who are drug addicts and have been to sex quarters under the influence of drugs, or in order to finance their drugs have got into sex trade. So this initiative will truly help,” said Banerjee, who is behind changing the lives of a number of addicts and rehabilitating them.

Mysore’s new king is Boston-educated 23-year-old Yaduveer Wadiyar

Mysore, the cultural capital of Karnataka known the world over as the ‘city of palaces’, is decked out to welcome its new king, with elaborate preparations in place for the coronation of the erstwhile royal family’s scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar on Thursday as the 27th titular head.

For the coronation of the new king – whose forefathers ruled the erstwhile Mysore kingdom from 1399 till 1950 – at the imposing Amba Vilas palace here, about 150 km from Bengaluru, the palace would be out of bounds for visitors from Wednesday to Friday due to security reasons.

PTIPTI

PTI

“Preparations are underway for the crowning of the 23-year-old new prince (Yaduveer) on Thursday at the auspicious time (9:25-10:38 a.m.) in the Durbar Hall of the royal palace in the presence of his parents, relatives, special invitees and queen Pramoda Devi, who adopted him on February 23, 2015,” a palace representative told IANS here.”

As per the royal family tradition, Yaduveer visited the temple of Hindu god Ganesha in the palace compound and performed rituals amid the chanting of vedic hymns around a sacred fire (homa) in the palace, where his parents, queen Promada Devi and other kin were present,” the official said.

About 40 priests will conduct the coronation ceremony at the makeshift ‘akalyana mantap’ in the Durbar Hall. Special prayers and worshipping of Hindu gods and goddesses will be held in all 16 temples on the palace premises.

Rani (queen) Pramoda Devi will escort the young prince to the silver throne for his crowning and bless him in the presence of about 1,200 members of the royal family from across the country and overseas, besides other dignitaries, including state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, cabinet ministers, lawmakers and special invitees.”

Yaduveer will be taken around the illuminated palace after the coronation, astride a decorated elephant Balarama and to greet the people from the palace balcony, as the new king of Mysore,” the official noted.

Pramoda Devi, widow of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, adopted Yaduveer as the couple had no children.
Srikantadatta passed away in Bengaluru on December 8, 2013 at the age of 60.

Yaduveer, a son of Tripura Sundara Devi and Swarup Anand Gopal Raj Urs, is the grandson of late princess Gayathri Devi, the eldest sister of Srikantadatta and eldest daughter of the last maharaja (king) Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.

He is pursuing a degree course in English and Economics from Boston in the US.

According to a legend, Raja Wodeyar, founder of the present dynasty, was cursed by Rani Alamelamma in 1610 that “the kings of Mysore will suffer the pangs of childlessness”.

Since then, every alternate generation of the Wodeyars have problem in choosing heirs, including the last scion Srikantadatta.

Considered one of the richest royals in the country, the Wodeyars have huge moveable and immovable properties, including royal palaces in Mysore and Bengaluru, located amid vast estates valued at crores of rupees.
Srikantadatta, a two-time lawmaker, declared assets worth Rs.1,500 crore in an affidavit for contesting the 2004 Lok Sabha poll.

Among his assets were 15 luxury cars and expensive watches.

IANS

Mysore set to coronate new king today

Mysore, the cultural capital of Karnataka known the world over as the ‘city of palaces’, is decked out to welcome its new king, with elaborate preparations in place for the coronation of the erstwhile royal family’s scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodiyar on Thursday as the 27th titular head.

For the coronation of the new king – whose forefathers ruled the erstwhile Mysore kingdom from 1399 till 1950 – at the imposing Amba Vilas palace here, about 150 km from Bengaluru, the palace would be out of bounds for visitors from Wednesday to Friday due to security reasons.

PTIPTI

PTI

“Preparations are underway for the crowning of the 22-year-old new prince (Yaduveer) on Thursday at the auspicious time (9:25-10:38 a.m.) in the Durbar Hall of the royal palace in the presence of his parents, relatives, special invitees and queen Pramoda Devi, who adopted him on February 23, 2015,” a palace representative told IANS here.”

As per the royal family tradition, Yaduveer visited the temple of Hindu god Ganesha in the palace compound and performed rituals amid the chanting of vedic hymns around a sacred fire (homa) in the palace, where his parents, queen Promada Devi and other kin were present,” the official said.

About 40 priests will conduct the coronation ceremony at the makeshift ‘akalyana mantap’ in the Durbar Hall. Special prayers and worshipping of Hindu gods and goddesses will be held in all 16 temples on the palace premises.

Rani (queen) Pramoda Devi will escort the young prince to the silver throne for his crowning and bless him in the presence of about 1,200 members of the royal family from across the country and overseas, besides other dignitaries, including state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, cabinet ministers, lawmakers and special invitees.”

Yaduveer will be taken around the illuminated palace after the coronation, astride a decorated elephant Balarama and to greet the people from the palace balcony, as the new king of Mysore,” the official noted.

Pramoda Devi, widow of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, adopted Yaduveer as the couple had no children.
Srikantadatta passed away in Bengaluru on December 8, 2013 at the age of 60.

Yaduveer, a son of Tripura Sundara Devi and Swarup Anand Gopal Raj Urs, is the grandson of late princess Gayathri Devi, the eldest sister of Srikantadatta and eldest daughter of the last maharaja (king) Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.

He is pursuing a degree course in English and Economics from Boston in the US.

According to a legend, Raja Wodeyar, founder of the present dynasty, was cursed by Rani Alamelamma in 1610 that “the kings of Mysore will suffer the pangs of childlessness”.

Since then, every alternate generation of the Wodeyars have problem in choosing heirs, including the last scion Srikantadatta.

Considered one of the richest royals in the country, the Wodeyars have huge moveable and immovable properties, including royal palaces in Mysore and Bengaluru, located amid vast estates valued at crores of rupees.
Srikantadatta, a two-time lawmaker, declared assets worth Rs.1,500 crore in an affidavit for contesting the 2004 Lok Sabha poll.

Among his assets were 15 luxury cars and expensive watches.

IANS

‘Most Nepal troops’ in quake effort

Nine out of 10 Nepalese troops are reportedly taking part in search and rescue operations after a massive earthquake that killed 4,000 people.

Zee JLF Day 2: Even literature isn’t immune to the weather gods

Here a quick update on the changes made to fit the circumstances.

Day 2 at the Zee Jaipur Literature festival has begun with the hope that the weather gods relent and do not play too much of a spoilsport. Delegates side-stepped puddles of water from the showers continuing from early this morning, on the way to Diggi Palace where four out of six programme locations are open air tents. Here a quick update on the changes made to fit the circumstances.- All pre-lunch sessions have been crunched into half-hour sessions.- 10am sessions that were to be held at Charbagh and the Rajnigandha Front Lawns have been shifted to the British Airways Baithak. These include:“The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher”: Kate Summerscale introduced by Anita Anand “A Passage to America”: Vijay Seshadri in conversation with Sadaf Saaz- 10 am sessions that were to be held at the Google Mughal Tent and the British Airways Baithak will now be held at the Mahindra Humanities Durbar Hall.These include:”Pirates of the Indian Ocean- Real and Imaginary”: Neil Rennie introduced by Samanth Subramanian“Of Beauty and Truth”: SR Faruqi and Bilal Tanweer in conversation. Introduced by Sukrita Paul Kumar- Session no. 36 with Daud Ali & BN Goswamy has been moved to Durbar Hall at lunch time.- Both Book Launches scheduled for lunchtime will now be held at Baithak one after the other.- Lauren Childs’ session at Ford Samvad has been cancelled.11 am Sessions Sessions nos. 38 (Charbagh) & 39 (Front Lawn) have been moved to Mughal Tent, for 30 minutes each.Session nos. 40 (Mughal Tent) & 41 (Baithak) are now both at Baithak, for 30 minutes each.Session nos. 42 (Durbar) & 43 (Samvad) are now both at Durbar, for 30 minutes each.

Gond art may well be selfie-magnets at Kumbh Mela of lit

Three gigantic 14-foot-high sculptures, part of a grand Gond art installation, claimed their space as the centre of attraction outside the Durbar Hall, a day before the grand opening of what some have called the Kumbh Mela of literature — the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival (ZJLF) . If volunteers and workers taking breaks from the final touches to the six venues at the Diggi Palace to click pictures with the sculptures are any indication, then these beauties who have travelled over 675 km from Ahmedabad are clearly going to be the selfie-magnets of the festival.

Metal sculptures depicting asuras at Diggi Palace
Suhit Kelkar
dna
Three gigantic 14-foot-high sculptures, part of a grand Gond art installation, claimed their space as the centre of attraction outside the Durbar Hall, a day before the grand opening of what some have called the Kumbh Mela of literature — the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival (ZJLF) . If volunteers and workers taking breaks from the final touches to the six venues at the Diggi Palace to click pictures with the sculptures are any indication, then these beauties who have travelled over 675 km from Ahmedabad are clearly going to be the selfie-magnets of the festival.”That’s what art should do. It shouldn’t remain a hands-off experience. I want people come pet, feel them and get the whole tactile experience which is such an integral part of sculpture,” Vyom Mehta, the amused sculptor told dna. “This year the art exhibition at ZJLF has Gond art as the theme. I’ve created seven asuras (demons).”Explaining the concept, the 29-year-old, who has worked with top sculptors in the US and Europe, added, “Unlike namby-pamby gods who run to higher gods for protection at the first sign of trouble, asuras always fascinated me from early childhood. Over the years as I’ve reflected on how they run after power, are preening all the time and acquire newer weaponry and arsenal, it dawned on me how alike us all they are. Through this installation I wanted to establish how in our ever-growing greed and hunger for more and more we have become monstrous demons devouring everything in sight,” he added. “I wanted to highlight what this has done to our tribals and the forests they live with.”When asked whether he doesn’t sees himself as part of this consumerist rush, he burst out laughing: “How can that be? I see myself as much an asura as everyone else. No wonder the sculptures are called Vyomasuras.”Meanwhile, in keeping with the ZJLF theme of ‘Royalty’, regal colours like fuschia, purple, royal pink and turquoise, adorn the venues. Designer couple Padmavati Singh of Royal Treasures who has been designing the ZJLF venues since its inception said, “Royalty and Rajasthan are almost synonymous, so it seems like a very easy theme to do but that’s exactly where the challenge was. We wanted to borrow from tradition and yet stray clear of clichés and stereotypes.”Her partner Vikramaditya added, “While everything is being designed to look resplendently royal we wanted the multiple languages, demographies and cultures to be refected too. The mix of colours in the awning fabrics, chair covers and the coloured glass in the backdrops helps.”Interestingly the wings on the golden chairs on stage at the Front Lawns are generating a huge buzz. “Its our way of doffing our hat to the wings of imagination that writers and poets represent.”

Shoe flung at Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi

A shoe was flung at Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi by a youth during his public interaction programme ‘Janata Durbar’ on Monday . The youth has been detained by police.“The youth’s name is Amritosh. He is from Chapra district. We are investigating the case. Only after the investigation will get to know what he was up to,” said a police official. However, the reason for his action is yet to be known.

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