Three levels of response to COVID19

Three levels of response to COVID19
There are three levels of response to COVID 19 - how it affects us physically, mentally and spiritually. The physical response came first, and by now everyone knows about self-isolation, social distancing and testing. The second effect, on our psyches, is being experienced personally. The best advice in the mental area is meditation & yoga, exercise, relaxation techniques and paying attention every day to finding not just relaxation but joy and comfort in small things of life. The third area is the spiritual effect of the outbreak, that evokes concern about the state of our souls. Spiritual well-being is alien to many people’s daily lives, and with the decline of organized religion, millions of people experience a sick soul — weariness of heart, existential dread, a sinking feeling that nothing…

KISS delivers Textbooks and Food to 30000 students

KISS delivers Textbooks and Food to 30000 students
Days before the nationwide lockdown, around 30000 students of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar were sent back to their homes in their respective villages. As a result, the students had not got their textbooks for this academic year. On behalf of KISS, Flattened Rice, Sugar, Dal, Biscuit, Soap, Textbooks and allied study materials have been provided to students of all classes of KISS. These materials were sent to all the KISS students in different districts of Odisha by 25 buses. The materials will be handed over to the guardians of the students at specific places. It took hours of strategic planning to execute the task of delivering books, as well as a month's supply of stationery, sanitary material and dry food to the doorsteps of 30,000 KISS students.…

Pandemic Fatigue

Pandemic Fatigue
Pandemic fatigue is real. It is creating exhaustion in human beings. Experiencing the profound burden of extreme physical and social distancing in addition to the economic hardship causes damage to psychological well-being and it is not to be ashamed of. There is overstimulation from constant information influx and uncertainty as to what will come from this information, and this is tiring. There is also fatigue associated with a lack of stimulation because of not having a change in environment. People are both in an understimulated and overstimulated state, and both can result in negative impacts on mood. Screen fatigue has been a big part of this experience for a lot of people, and missing the face-to-face laughter and camaraderie and community. People can not stay at home for long out…

Role of youth during Corona

Role of youth during Corona
India is still young as the world is ageing. 63% of India's population is in the age group of 15-59 years. India's population has one of the largest workforce. The average age of Japan will be 47, China-49, Europe-46, US-40. Youth is power. India is the world's most youthful nation. A nation with such youth power cannot dream small. India should dream big and enable the youth to dream big. But besides dreams, the youth has the power to help us stand strong in the times of crisis. They are the driving force in the battle against coronavirus. Youth has played an important role in spreading awareness about the importance of social distancing and hygiene. Many young boys and girls have gone out of their way to move from door…

Celebration of Festivals and COVID19

Celebration of Festivals and COVID19
COVID 19 is a massive disruption in our lives. It is an interruption in our socio-cultural lives which are enriched by festivals and cultural events in which we mingle with each other and celebrate together. However, Social distancing does not allow collective celebration of life. We have opted for this path because it is the only known path of containing the spread of this deadly virus, even as Lockdown 4.0 will be ending soon. We are willing to put up with the milder disruptions in social, religious and cultural life to avoid a major catastrophe. We are simply living with the situation where we cannot visit places of worship on festival days. We avoid congregations and social gatherings for some time to come. All religious leaders are providing the guidance…

Diversity, Dialogue and Development in times of COVID19

Diversity, Dialogue and Development in times of COVID19
21 May is the World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development! It celebrates the richness of global cultures & the key role they play in achieving peace and sustainable development. Cultural Diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity. Cultural diversity is all around us. It is what gives life its colour, its vibrancy, its flavour. We should understand that diversity is not about how we differ, it is about how we embrace each other's uniqueness. Intercultural dialogue is a way to world peace. Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. In this…

That Cyclone of 1971

That Cyclone of 1971
The horror in the film Night of the Living Dead was a work of fiction, but in 1971 I lived through a night no less harrowing as a six-year-old with my widowed mother and two-year-old sister. Being trapped in our own house in remote Kalarabanka, an obscure village in the then Cuttack district, we were dying every moment while expecting a miraculous escape from the ordeal. Today when I look back, I shudder to think what could have happened to us in what could well be counted as the darkest night of our lives. The thought of that fateful night still runs a shiver down my spine. That night, hunger and poverty with all vengeance seemed to have joined the fury of nature to entrap us, but we overcame because of our…

Cyclone and Corona

Cyclone and Corona
It is the two way battle for Odisha now : Cyclone and Corona. While we are battling with the spike in the cases of infection on one hand, super cyclone Amphan is likely to make landfall along the coast of West Bengal and Odisha. Lakhs of people have been evacuated from the coastal districts of Odisha. The cyclone will bring heavy rainfall, squally winds and storm surges in the coastal districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore in Odisha.  Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has set a target of ensuring zero casualty. State government has made arrangements for evacuating over 11 lakh people as a precautionary measure. Pregnant women and ailing people will be shifted to hospitals. Several reservoirs have been asked to release water. High velocity winds may damage power infrastructure…

Migration, Reverse Migration and Corona

Migration, Reverse Migration and Corona
In the last few weeks, we have all been witness to harrowing, nerve-wrenching and bone-chilling images of the exodus of these marginal and “invisible” drivers of the informal economy of urban India. Indian highways emptied of most vehicles were lined with bedraggled, poor pedestrians, many carrying all their worldly belongings in bundles on top of their heads walking to their home villages, hundreds or thousands of miles away across states. The tragedy of the migrant workers in India doesn’t seem to come to an end. One is more helpless than the other. The imposition of the lockdown as a mea­sure to contain the exponential progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the unskilled and semi-skilled migrant labourers the most. The post-coronavirus recovery of the shattered world of migrants would witness…

Corona and true meaning of Art of Giving

Corona and true meaning of Art of Giving
Come 17 May, the world shall be celebrating the commencement of the campaign of the 'Art Of Giving' philosophy. Every year on May 17 the Art Of Giving campaign is commemorated in over 200 cities and town across the globe and kind-hearted people get together to spread the message of the Art Of Giving which quintessentially says and propagates 'Give from the heart to the needy without expectation of any gratification whatsoever and contribute towards world peace and harmonious living. True giving is self-less giving, and happiness is deeply connected and they both come from the bottom of a compassionate heart. It is a divine gift, and a cultured practice in all religious communities of the world. Needless to say that a gift, no matter how small or large, is…