A Cartoon Blog for Communicating Science

International Day of Peace

Indian Scriptures have been emphasising the importance of being at Peace.
Today humanity is split based on an individual’s sense of greatness and intolerance to different choices. Society is searching for solutions to end the misery despite all the progress made. 21 September is being observed as “The International Day of Peace”.
Several Conflicts are going on in the world for several years. More people are getting killed because of conflicts in the world.  Conflict and violence have multiple dimensions. Prolonged war keeps countries poor, and it takes a long time to return to normalcy. Gender-based violence too is on the rise, Casualties due to ware are civilians, most of them being women and children. Celebrate the International Day of Peace by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred.
Let us all create Peace Day every day!

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World Alzheimer’s Day

Every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops Dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia. Nearly 4 million people have Alzheimer’s in India. An international surveillance platform, the Global Dementia Observatory, has been established for policymakers and researchers to facilitate monitoring and sharing of information. World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September each year and launched in 2012 and an opportunity to demonstrate how we can overcome these issues and help people live well with Dementia. Alzheimer is a form of Dementia that slowly progresses with age and often goes unnoticed. A small change can potentially disrupt the whole process of functioning of the brain. There is no curative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Drugs are only to manage symptoms and healthy lifestyle changes. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is not known yet. Women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s, unhealthy lifestyles and diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and depression are associated with an increased chance of Alzheimer. Let us learn to adopt lifestyles and manage aspirations without losing the sight of health.

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World Ozone Day

World ozone day on 16 September is being celebrated to commemorate the signing of Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Halocarbons used in the refrigeration industry are Ozone-depleting. Sunlight makes life possible, but the ozone layer makes life as we know it possible. The ozone hole is threatening to increase cases of skin cancer and cataracts, and damage plants, crops, and ecosystems. Ozone is being produced and destroyed all the time. When a halocarbon molecule reaches the stratosphere, disrupt the delicate chemical balance that maintains the ozone layer. When undisturbed, the balance between the natural processes of ozone production and destruction maintains a consistent ozone concentration in the stratosphere.

Unfortunately, we, humans do not leave this natural process undisturbed…

Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is healing and expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century. Montreal Protocol became the first treaties in the history of the UN to have been ratified by all the countries. A demonstration of collective action, guided by science, is the way to solve major global crises. ‘World Avoided’

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World First Aid Day

The sounds of an ambulance passing by evokes an emotion of worry of someone suffering. The arrival of the ambulance brings much needed first aid and provides the required assistance, to minimise the damage to the patient. In severe cases like heart attack, what is done to the patient in those precious few minutes would make a difference of life and death. When things are normal one tends to take life for granted, the wisdom gets reflected in how well one is prepared to tackle unexpected and emergencies.

Unlike many International Days, World First Aid Day is observed not on a given date but on the second Saturday of September, every year. The observation of the day raises public awareness about the first aid, how it can save lives every day and during crises. It is also a campaign to promote the importance of getting trained. It is the reaction to the suffering and agony of many, during the battle of Solferino (1859), that laid the foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The International Federation of Red Cross believes that first aid should be accessible to all, including the most vulnerable. It should also be an integral part of a more comprehensive developmental approach. There is a need to continue to bring awareness about the need for first aid, more importantly training the people to provide first aid when the need arises. Observe the “World First Aid Day”, appreciate those who are giving their time and efforts in providing First Aid. 
First Aid, yes, it is the aid one is provided first.

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International Literacy Day

Almost one-fourth of the youth could not read or write 50 years back and today it stands at 8%. 773 million adults, two-thirds of them women – remain illiterate. One of the targets of SDGs is: “by 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy”. Concerted efforts are needed from all to achieve the goal. International Literacy Day on 8 September founded by UNESCO “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights”. In the times of COVID pandemic, it is a chance to reflect on how innovative and effective pedagogies and teaching methodologies can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes. During COVID-19, schools were closed disrupting the education of the students. In many countries, adult literacy programmes have come to a standstill.  There is a clear connection between illiteracy and poverty and prejudice against women. In India, reflecting the efforts made by various governments, the literacy rate has raised from 16.1% before Independence to 74% (as per the 2011 census). Kerala has the highest literacy rate, with Bihar being the least literate state. However, Bihar has shown significant improvement as per the latest census.

If this reflects the struggle to make the world literate, giving purposeful education and making the youth employable is a challenge which the developing countries need to address on priority. The challenge is to have inclusive policies to address the needs of the tribal communities and adopt such measures which would preserve their nativity.

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Teachers Day

India celebrates Teachers’ Day every year on September 5, to commemorate the birth anniversary of
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a great scholar, an exemplary teacher, who dedicated his life towards education. Teachers’ Day is a day when students express their gratitude to the teachers. It is a day when students become teachers and teachers become students. The idea of celebrating Teachers’ Day dates to the 19th century. Many countries celebrate the day to commemorate a local educator or an important milestone in education and is the reason why the teacher’s day is celebrated on different dates. UNESCO In 1994, established 5 October as Teachers’ Day and many countries adopted the same. India is the land of the Guru Shishya Parampara a tradition that leads to an inseparable bond between the teacher and the taught. Guru Purnima is the day when tributes are paid to all the spiritual and academic Gurus. Our scriptures highlighted the importance of the teacher and in celebrating “Teachers Day” let us pay tribute to all those selfless, committed and dedicated souls who gave everything they have to nurture and mentor to make each realise their potential and make their dreams a reality.

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World Coconut Day

Coconut tree rightly referred to as “Kalpavriksha”, perhaps one of the most useful trees, with each part of it finding application. World Coconut Day is observed on 2 September and started in 2009. as The day is celebrated to commemorate the formation day of Asian and Pacific Coconut Community which functions under the aegis APCC, a UN ed Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP). India also celebrates National Coconut Day on 26 June.  It is believed that “Marco Polo” encountered the coconut on his travels to Sumatra. Tropical climates suit its growth and can grow to more than 100 feet in height and has a life span of about 75 years.  In recent years, Indonesia has edged Philippines in becoming the world’s second-largest producer of coconuts. Interestingly in India, the southern states combined account for almost 90% of the total production in the country. The coconut has cultural and religious significance in certain societies, particularly in India, where it is used in Hindu rituals.

Recall ubiquitous scene, people after their morning walk, make a stopover at the street vendor selling coconuts and picking up the tender coconut and more importantly asking the vendor to give the delicate, thin layer of coconut. No wonder coconut water has become one of the favourite drinks all over the world. Let us celebrate the day of Kalpavriksha.

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The International Day against Nuclear Tests

Trinity has the distinction of being the first detonation of a nuclear device, conducted by the US in the early hours of 16 July 1945. Led to “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Other countries followed the Soviet Union in 1949, The UK in 1952, France in 1960 and China in 1964. By 1996, Fat boy had a company of more than 2000. Buddha Smiled in India in 1974 and Shakthi reiterating it in 1998. Chagai followed Shakthi in 1998 in Pakistan. Following the Vela Incident, Israel joined the league with North Korea being the latest entrant to the club in 2006 and tested as recently as in 2017. UN General Assembly resolution declared 29 August as “The International Day against Nuclear Tests” and being commemorated since 2010,  to enhance public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear test explosions with a hope that it would lead to achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
The brilliance of man to realise the enormous power stored in the atom, unfortunately, the first use has been for destruction. Humanity must live with guilt for generations to come. Nuclear energy, what could be carbon-free, large scale multipliable replacement for energy from coal, must grapple with the issue of public acceptance.

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Akshay Urja Diwas

20 August is celebrated as “Akshay Urja Diwas” in India to bring awareness of renewable energy resources. Not all energies listed under renewable energy sources are not renewable. Akshay” translates in English to “Eternal” and it is appropriate that we call it “Akshay Urja”. Access to uninterrupted and affordable energy is the key to raise the quality of life and living standards of all segments of the population. Harnessing energy got transformed over time, starting with domesticating animals, water, wind, windmills and firewood. Then coal as a source of energy and the use of electricity changed the way people live. There are two issues for ensuring energy security, ensuring access and use of energy in a sustainable way and avoid or minimise the impact of the use of energy on the environment and climate change. If coal, oil and gas are used as an energy source, CO2 would continue to pollute the environment. The fear of the world running out of energy sources was expressed by many, way back to 1860s, much before the energy consumption was not as rampant as it is now. Finding efficient and economical storage is the key to harness Solar energy.  One form of energy which would save the world is nuclear, which is renewable, large scale multipliable and capable of replacing coal. While the pursuit of progress and enhancing the quality of life should continue to make this world a better place, it is equally important that we leave mother earth inhabitable for the future generations and we owe it to them.

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World Photography Day

A picture is worth a thousand words. A photograph can make the viewer see the world the way the photographer sees it. Photographs even transcend the passing of time – a hundred-year-old photo can still be as much appreciated now as it was then. The commemorating World Photography Day on 19 August has its origin to the French government announcing the invention of photography at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences, as a gift to the world on that day. The first digital photograph was born in 1957; almost 20 years before, Kodak’s engineer invented the first digital camera in 1986. Today, the accessibility of affordable and high-quality digital cameras has made photography a widespread hobby among youngsters. The first photograph shared on the web is credited to Tim Berners-Lee in 1992. What followed is history, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Imgur and Photobucket and many others are being used by millions to share pictures. Not a second passes without someone sharing what they captured. The web is full of creative photographs, captured with dedication and passions. Photography is enabling humans to share and get connected. Let us celebrate “World Photography Day” by sharing what we have captured.

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Independence Day

200 years to conquer and take control.. 100 years to get liberated…
What a journey it has been, the Journey of India becoming Independent…

It all started with the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498, and the first English trading post being set up at Surat in 1613. The decline of the Mughal Empire in the first half of the eighteenth century provided the British with the opportunity to establish their rule. The first rebellion has started by Puli Thevar in the southern tip of India, in the late 1750s. Large-scale rebellion against the British East India Company was in 1857 and 90 years of struggle and the leadership of Gandhi, India got its independence from British Rule.

With the growing younger population who step out to achieve their goals and in search of meeting their aspirations, a platform is set by a decisive, determined leadership of the country, for realising the dreams. A country of rich cultural heritage, fine arts and traditions can give a lot to the world. New Vasco da Gama’s would land in this country to learn and get enlightened. If we go by the way our warriors have stood up and tackled COVID pandemic, sure there are not many miles to go before we achieve our goals.

Happy Independence Day.

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International Youth Day

With the world getting more and more connected and turning into a global village, the expectations of the aspiring younger generation are skyrocketing. The gap between your aspirations and ability to realise them is increasing and youth finds themselves being subjected to stress, anxiety, and depression. There are many issues relating to youth which needs the attention of the governments, societies, more importantly, the family members. “International Youth Day” is being commemorated on 12 August and the theme for 2020 is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.

One in every six persons worldwide belong to the younger generation and projected to peak around 2065, with the growth being more in the poorest countries. Education and youth employment are essential for reaping the “demographic dividend” and harness the same to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Empower the youth to find out what their strength is and providing avenues to realise the same is the responsibility of the societies.  Pursuing sports, fine arts and learning to live in congruence with the surrounding and accepting the diversity is to be taught.

Most of the challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action, meaningful engagement and participation of the younger generation to be addressed effectively.

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World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day is launched to bring attention to the condition of Asian and African elephants and is celebrated every year on 12 August. Elephant is a sacred animal in many cultures around the world, but poaching, habitat loss, human-animal conflict and exploitation in captivity are some major threats to elephants which can push them on the brink of endangered species. Elephants are social animals’ livings in herds and they display intricate social and emotional behaviour and value their families more than other animals. Elephants are long-lived animals with great memory and are extremely adaptable, occupying a variety of habitats from desert to savannah to dense forests. Elephant families have a female head; the oldest experienced female elephant is responsible to lead the herd and are called “matriarchs”. Elephants communicate in a many ways – including sounds like trumpet calls, body language, touch and scent and sometimes vibration in ground. Elephants play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems.

Shrinking habitats forces the elephants to come into closer contact with people which results in more frequent conflict over land and resources with consequences such as crop raiding and reciprocal loss of life. Human-elephant conflict has become a risk to biodiversity conservation, and the management of such conflict is a primary goal for elephant conservation.        
We need to bring the world together to help elephants

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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

Human beings have always been inquisitive and explored the world, the advancement of Science and Technology made the world a “Global Village”. While enhanced connectivity is bringing people of diverse backgrounds to come together, also posing challenges in adapting to the local situation. The dying of folk arts, indigenous traditions are becoming a concern to societies across the world. The situation with indigenous tribes is very bad. Humans in their greed to harness the natural resources, started encroaching into the landscapes of indigenous people. is happening to such a large extent that the very existence of the indigenous communities is being threatened.

9 August is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and being observed to create awareness about the rights of indigenous people. Except for Antarctica, indigenous people are inhabited along every continent of the world. In the era of COVID, Indigenous peoples are seeking their solutions to tackle pandemic.

By employing their traditional knowledge and practices and demonstrating their capability to adapt. Indigenous people are limited in number which is fast dwindling, if we do not take steps soon we would lose them. Future generations would see and know them only from what has been written about them.

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International Tiger Day

The magnificent Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India. But a worrying factor is that Tigers are one of the most endangered species. July 29 is “International Tiger Day” to raise awareness and to encourage tiger conservation. This year marks the tenth International Tiger Day. India is doing well, with 6% a year increase in its population.  50 tiger reserves across Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains Landscape, Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats Landscape, North East Hills and Brahmaputra plains Landscape and the Sundarbans. Significance of conservation of tiger gains importance as the tiger is an “umbrella species”, its conservation enables the conservation of their entire ecosystems. What are fingerprints to humans, stripes are to tigers with no two tigers having the same stripes.  As per the latest count, India has less than 3000 tigers,
75% of the world tiger population. Such low numerical numbers are too fragile to give us comfort.

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World Hepatitis Day

Diseases like TB, Hepatitis continue to threaten humanity. WHO notes that Hepatitis is the second-most killer disease after TB. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to join hands to educate about hepatitis being a global public health concern and development of new technologies for early diagnosis, prevention, cure and treatment. A hepatitis-free future is achievable, WHO given a call to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030 and is included in the SDGs. Organising Hepatitis Day has a Cuttack link, with Prof SP Singh proposing 28th July be designated as Hepatitis day. Treatment options for hepatitis depend on the type of hepatitis (acute or chronic). Vaccines are available for some and others it is work in progress. There are other forms like alcoholic hepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis, threatening humanity. With many people infected by Hepatitis, it has become one of the pressing public health concerns in India. World Hepatitis Day is an occasion to call on people and governments across the world to act and raise awareness to find the “missing millions”.

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World Nature Conservation Day

There is a realisation about the importance of pancha bhutas in the Indian ancient Knowledge systems and profess the need to maintain a balance. The journey of mankind and hurry to achieve progress and enhance the quality of life has missed the destination. This has resulted in imbalance, overexploitation of resources and the very survival of the planet is being challenged.  Conservation of nature is of utmost priority for all human beings and their life on this planet. World Nature Conservation Day is observed on July 28 to raise awareness about the importance of preserving natural resources and protecting them.  Nature is threatened by many of our actions and It is the responsibility of human beings to protect nature and create a healthy environment in the present to leave something behind for future generations. Natural resources are limited and took millions of years for the formation of minerals and humans are exploiting them at a pace difficult to sustain the resources. The origin of commemorating and the history of World Conservation Day is unknown. It is good to see people across the world come together and organise events to bring awareness for preserving precious natural resources.

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The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem

The Sundarbans (beautiful forest) is the world’s largest area of mangrove forest. Mangroves are a type of tropical forest that originates at the boundary of land and sea flooded regularly by tidal water. Mangroves are home to the diverse array of plants, invertebrates and abundant wildlife. The coastal ecosystems of mangroves capture and hold significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and ocean (blue carbon) contributing to the mitigation of climate change. Urbanisation, industrialisation, and discharge of domestic sewage, industrial effluents, pesticides, aquaculture and salt pans are making Mangroves the most threatened ecosystems on earth, with serious ecological and socio-economic impacts. July 26 celebrated as “The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem”, to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses. Mangroves act as a natural coastal defence against storm surges, tsunamis, rising sea levels and erosion. It’s important to protect mangroves because they are difficult to replant. No other species of tree in the world can survive in saltwater.

Our Solutions are in Nature!

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World Brain Day

World Brain Day” is celebrated on 22 July to increase public awareness about brain health. The theme of the year long events is “Move Together to End Parkinson’s Disease”. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain disease effecting the whole-body and of all ages. It is estimated that there are more than 7 million people effected and likely to reach 12 million by  2050. Research is on to find out the reasons of onset and treatment. The disease identified way back in 1817 by British physician, James Parkinson, and named after him. Human Brain is the largest brain organ of all living organisms in terms of relative to body mass/size. Our brain is divided into two lobes, right and left. It is important is to have a balance between the left and right brain is what makes the brain perform at its optimal capacity. Like any other organ, the brain too needs nutrients. The difference between brain and mind has been a subject of debate since ancient times.  It is said that “Brain” is considered a physical manifestation of the “Mind”. Need to take care of both your body and mind (or should it be Brain)!

Happy World Brain Day!

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World Snake Day

World Snake Day is celebrated to increase the awareness about snakes and conservation of
a sometimes dangerous but often misrepresented reptile. Their prehistoric lineage, snakes give a glimpse to prehistoric times. Göbekli Tepe in Turkey estimated to have been built 11-12 thousand years ago, have carvings of abstract symbols of snakes. One finds their mention in religion and mythology, from the Bible, ancient Egyptian texts to Puranas. Description of Krishna’s Kalinda Mardhanam on a multi-hooded snake in the River Yamuna is cherished by many. Maximum snake bite incidents occur when humans inadvertently step on or otherwise disturb the peaceful creatures. Snake venom has been used for anti-tumour treatments to antibacterial properties. Climate change, habitat loss, and exploitation threaten many snakes. Snakes are an important part of our community and a vibrant, functioning planet. Fear and negative attitudes about snakes are the biggest barriers to their conservation.

Next time you see a snake, move away, take precautions to be safe but leave it to itself.
And snakes need our help.

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World Population Day

To make people aware of the issues related to overpopulation, in 1989, the UN passed a resolution to observe July 11 of every year as World Population Day.  The purpose of observing this day is to bring attention to the burden being created by the rapid population growth.  Such uncontrolled growth puts uncertain pressure on natural resources, wildlife extinction and habitat loss. Moreover, the population growth is not uniform nor the natural resources and addition of every million people the imbalance is getting enhanced.  COVID19 pandemic is impacting the world differently, it is estimated that six months continuous lockdown with major disruption of health services became a cause of seven million unintended pregnancies in low and middle-income countries. This problem of overpopulation cannot be solved by magic in a day, educating and bringing awareness is the only option.

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National Doctor’s Day

National Doctor’s Day is celebrated on July 1 to honour and recognise the services of great physician Dr BC Roy, who often described as the Dhanvantari of the modern era.  Doctor’s Day is observed on different dates across the world.  The theme for this year being “Lessen the mortality of COVID 19”. In the current times of the health pandemic caused by COVID19, all of us realise the importance of the doctors, health workers and their commitment to providing health care more than ever.

Doctors are special, and the health pandemic brought to the fore they being our real-life heroes. Doctor’s Day is an opportunity to thank all the heroes in the medical fraternity for their selfless contributions.

The presence of the doctor is the beginning of the cure.
Vaidyo Narayano Hari

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International Asteroid Day

Space is home to millions of galaxies inhabited by countless celestial objects with only a few of these have been discovered.  Researchers believe that celestial objects like as asteroids, meteoroids, comets have hidden secrets which can help to solve the mysteries of the universe. In 1801, the first and largest asteroid, Ceres, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter was discovered. “Tunguska asteroid event in Siberia” on 30 June 1908 lead the UN adopting that day as International Asteroid Day with the aims to raise public awareness about the asteroid and its impacts. There are lots of asteroids in the solar system and positioned in the main asteroid belt – a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. By landing two hopping robots onto asteroid Ryugu, Japan has become the first country in the world to land rovers on an asteroid. Several NASA Space missions have flown by and observed asteroids.  Indian students (trained by organisation SPACE) discovered two Asteroids. Only a few weeks ago (April 2020), one of the asteroids, passed by relatively close to Earth. Let us celebrate “World Asteroid Day” and continue research and observations to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

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World Music Day

Life is a journey. Bharata Muni describes the emotions humans go through in “Navarasa”.  
All humans go through the feelings but in varied proportions. Success-Failure, happiness-sorrow, Victory-loss, all are there and many times cyclic, as if a shadow of one another.

In pursuit of success, humans have drifted away from remaining to be in equilibrium. 
The more technology entered the lives, the more drifted the humans are and have increasingly become hollow. To lead a satisfying life, balance is needed, and it comes in pursuit of fine arts, be it learning, practising or just listening/watching.
21 June is celebrated world over as “World Music Day” the world over.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unthought-of restrictions and fear of the possibilities. One de-stressing instrument is music.  
Let us celebrate Music.

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International Yoga Day

“Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, a holistic approach that is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.” PM Narendra Modi to UN General Assembly.

UN declared 21 June as “International Yoga Day”. The practise of Yoga was started during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization over 5,000 years ago. It was first mentioned in the Rig Veda. Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices and brings spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science. Yoga does not adhere to any religion, belief system or community; it has always been approached as a technology for inner wellbeing.

While fighting the battle against COVID-19 epidemic, there is a need to keep ourselves strong both physically and mentally. Practising Yoga and meditation are our ammunition in our fight against the unprecedented health pandemic.

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Ring of Fire

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences in which Indians had mastery. Aryabhata almost 1,500 years ago, explained the reasons for the eclipses. When the moon covers the sun from the centre leaving the outer rim of the sun, an annual solar eclipse happens and ‘Ring of Fire’, is seen. On 21st June, people from different parts of the world will be able to witness the beauty of ‘Ring of Fire’ for about 30 seconds.

This is the first Solar Eclipse in 2020 and one more would be in December. If you miss them, you need to wait till March 2034 to see one in India. “Presence of Helium in Sun’s atmosphere” was discovered during one of the solar eclipses way back in 1868. Vigyan Prasar has been organizing several activities around the astronomy for the last 20 years.  

Interestingly one question uppermost in many people’s mind: Will the solar eclipse kill corona virus?  
The solar eclipse won’t kill corona virus – that’s entirely in your hands. Literally.

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Desertification and Drought Day

Our Planet is Ailing.
Through international action and solidarity, we can scale up, land restoration and nature-based solutions for climate action and the benefit of future generations.
By doing so, we can deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.

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World Against Child Labour – Anti-Child Labour Day

According to the latest report of ILO, there are 152 million child labourers (42% of them being girls) across the globe, nearly half of them engaged in hazardous work.  Child labour prevalent in labour industries like Diamond industry, Fireworks manufacture, Silk manufacture, Carpet weaving, Domestic labour and  Mining with agriculture accounting for 71% of them.  Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions have the largest share of child labour (9 out of 10) in the globe. Low income, poverty, lack of resources forces the families in taking the children to take up works. The National Anti-Child Labour Day is observed every year in India on April 30.

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World Ocean Day

In the race of development, all countries are competing to get ahead of each other, and one major calamity is the overexploiting the natural resources. Exploiting the ocean resources is no exception. The societies which will promote sustainable development would win the race.

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World Environment Day

Celebrate Biodiversity
The world belongs to every creature and the sooner we realise the better placed we all would be. Every living thing is connected to another living thing, and together it forms a network of diverse life forms on the planet.

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International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Be peaceful, the scriptures have been advising mankind from ancient times. The feeling of peace and harmony towards each other not only brings people closer but would give an opportunity of being there in happiness and sorrow. Over the period, countries across the world, pursued diversified paths to achieve progress to bring prosperity. We stand today being silent spectators to very disturbing situations and differences, not learned to live within and accept diversity both in thought and action. To help countries torn by conflicts and to create the conditions for lasting peace, the peacekeeping force by the UN. This year’s theme “Women in Peacekeeping – A key to Peace” has been decided to celebrate the role of women in the forces. On this special day (May 29) let us all pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honour the memory of those who have lost.

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International Biodiversity Day

Variety and variability are inherent in life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic, species and ecosystem across the globe. May 22 is celebrated as International Day for Biodiversity and has the aim of saving the lives of living organisms and biodiversity. Every year it is celebrated with a specific theme, and for the year 2020 it is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. The decade 2011–2020 has been designated as the UN Decade on Biodiversity. It is said that human beings are the most intelligent creature on this earth and possess the discerning power. Ironically the reason for earth’s biodiversity being in grave danger are the human beings.

If we must sustain the path of development, we must learn to live in harmony with nature.
If not, do we have the right to call ourselves the most intelligent creature on the earth?

The Clock is Ticking…

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The International Museum Day

Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion

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International Day of Families

Theme “Families in Development: Copenhagen & Beijing + 25”

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National Technology Day: Empowering Society by Harnessing the Technology

National Technology Day is celebrated to commemorate the quest for scientific inquiry, technological creativity and translating them into meeting the needs of the society. The successful conduct of “Smiling Buddha” (May 1974), “Shakti” and making India part of the elite club of countries with nuclear capability in May 1998. The month May that year, has also seen the first indigenous two-seater aircraft Hansa-3, developed by the NAL (a CSIR lab) being flown in Bangalore and DRDO completing the final test-fire of the “Trishul” missile, leading to its induction into the services. The celebrations highlight the importance of science & technology in daily life and encourage the younger generation to consider pursuing science as a career option. At a time when the country is struggling to cope up with the corona, celebrations like these are reassuring to the people that we could do in the past and can and will do it now. Let us celebrate and look through the prism of these successes with hope to conquer the COVID pandemic.

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Super Flower Moon

Continuing with the fascination with the moon, this time it is about “Super Flower Moon”. This is one of the four Super Moons of the year 2020, and the last Supermoon of the year. It is called Super Flower Moon due to the flowers spring forth in abundance this month. These names of Full Moons were used by Algonquin tribes of Native Americans to estimate the seasons that we still follow today. Unfortunately, Moon lovers in India won’t be able to enjoy the spectacular view as it embraces the sky and reach full glory at 4.15 pm. The day coincides with Buddha Purnima and be inspired by the beauty of the moon and the teachings of “Buddha”.

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Gene Deitch: The Great Pollyanna

Gene Deitch, 8 August 1924-16 April 2020

A few days back many of us woke up to the news of the demise of legendary Gene Deitch, the creator of characters like “Tom & Jerry”. The one and only, Gene Deitch, Oscar-winning illustrator and animator who entertained the world with his illustrations and animation. Animated cartoons are an embodiment of a fantasy world which can be remembered repeatedly at any time and place. Having recently started “ToonLogs” to use the medium of cartoons and blogs for science communication, this “ToonLogs” is for paying tribute to Gene Deitch, one of the great communicators through the medium of cartoons.

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World Earth Day!

Environmental challenges of larger dimensions continue to haunt the wold. it is our inability to balance the requirement and renewable equilibrium limits of mother earth. The Intelligence of the humans is reflected in the ability to commission space odysseys, travel to far off planets. In the hurry to conquer things, moved away from keeping balance and equilibrium. Humanity found wanting in taking steps to protect mother earth. Can we hope that the world would learn to live within its limits? Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth.
Earth Day 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Celebrations will include activities such as the Great Global Clean Up, Citizen Science, Advocacy, Education, and Art.

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Our heritage is our pride

In the journey of mankind, human beings always looked to progress and make this world a better place. It has been recognised that we should traverse back in time and recognise the extraordinary ability our ancestors possessed. World Heritage is mankind’s priceless possession and it becomes our responsibility to preserve these assets to the generations to come. This year the World Heritage Day is being celebrated as the one with ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility’

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Super Pink Moon

When the world welcomed 2020, being very special if not for anything for its symmetry, it did not realize what is in store in the year ahead. At a time when all our thoughts are cluttered around the Corona virus, making us believe as if we are all going through a period where everything has stopped, It is an appropriate time to distract from this. Moon has always fascinated humankind, for mothers inspiring to sing a lullaby when feeding the child (recall the lullaby in Telugu “Chanda Mama Raave, Jabilli Raave, Kondekki Raave, Koti poolu theve…”), for the aspiring lover reminding the beauty of the sweetheart or for the sheer beauty of it. No matter how 2020 started, in the month of April this year, the moon is going to come closest to Earth. People are also calling it “Super Pink Moon”, but why? Is it going to change its colour to look pink? Let’s know.

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Pandemics like COVID-19 are great equalizers. it does not differentiate rich and poor, nor religion, colour and creed. Time to put our differences, prejudices, personal preferences behind and be together to fight: to save the humanity, reduce the pain and minimize the losses. Ultimately when we win our fight against this threatening virus, Does the world learn from this challenge and internalize and become a better place to live?

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