Times Of India Indian Express Mid-Day Rediff IBNLive DNA ZeeNews The Hindu Career India NDTV FilmiBeat Business Standard

Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

5 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Pecking order A Juhu resident feeds one of 17 peacocks that reside in the area, on Thursday. PIC/Rane Ashish A helping hand for artistes The pandemic and the lockdown have led to financial difficulties for a number of artistes and arts-related professionals. Legendary singer and musician Shubha Mudgal has thus set up a campaign called Assistance for Disaster Affected Artistes, through which people can donate money to support affected freelance artistes. The initiative aims at raising `35 lakhs, to provide subsistence to over 100 families across India over the next six months. "Lakhs of freelance artistes who earn their livelihood through performances and regular engagements are uncertain about when and how they will be able to make money again. With meagre resources and savings to support themselves and their dependents, the coming months and a potential recession present a bleak future for them. As independent artistes and individual cultural practitioners, we were concerned and thou..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Study shows the young are more vulnerable

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Findings from studies on a group of 322 patients have shown that people in the ages 21-50 years are vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection in Maharashtra. Trends also show that these people have also shown a very low death rate among the 322 patients studied. Data analysed by the Medical Education Department says no death has been reported in the age group of 1 year to 30 years and only three deaths were reported in the 31-50 years category till Thursday morning. Most deaths (10 out of 13) previously were reported in the 51-90 years category. Of total samples tested till Wednesday night, 95% turned out negative, says the report. There are more male (200) patients than females (122) in the group that was studied. Teenagers also vulnerable By April 1, the state had discharged 41 patients after treating them for the infection. They are now in the various stages of home quarantine. Age-wise analysis of COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra. Graphic/ Medical Education Department The 21-50 years gr..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: State government rolls out supplies for poor; not enough, say people

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
With the 21-day lockdown, a significant part of the city's population has lost its regular source of income and has little or no access to food. While the government has announced food distribution among them, many are unaware of it. Ration card holders, who are getting limited supplies, are unable to afford oil, spices and vegetables Twenty-year-old Anita and her 35-year-old husband Dhananjay Bhagat, who live in a hutment in Andheri, are blind since birth. Neither of them have jobs, so they rely on the earnings of their respective mothers, who worked as domestic helps and jointly earned around Rs 8,000 per month. However, the family is struggling to make ends meet as both the women have lost their jobs. Fortunately, Anita and her husband are both ration card holders which helps them to get a limited supply of food grains. Despite this, they are struggling to buy cooking oil, sugar, spices and vegetables, since none of that is included in the relief being given to lakhs of ration card ..
                 

Is Mumbai staring at worse flooding this monsoon?

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The complete lockdown in the city has upset annual monsoon preparations for both rail lines and there are fears that it may lead to issues of water-logging and disruption of services if not tackled on war-footing now. While Central Railway is usually bogged down with flooding issues and related measures due to its extensive network, Western Railway manages to do well, except for a few pockets. As per the annual schedule, preparatory work for monsoon starts in February-March with major pre-monsoon preparations like desilting of drains, trimming of tree branches and consolidating drains. They continue till early June after which a joint review is done by the railways and BMC. However, this year, there could likely be a delay of implementing the work on the ground as the number of labourers has dwindled and much of the work has stopped. To keep suburban trains going without interruption, the rail lines and surrounding areas require intensive cleaning of drains and culverts that run beneat..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: In several pockets of Mumbai, people are defying lockdown orders

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Despite the city having 235 positive cases of COVID-19 and six related deaths so far, Mumbaikars haven't learnt any lessons. The authorities are seriously concerned, but as if mocking the nationwide lockdown, people in many areas of Mumbai are going about their routine, seemingly with a 'chalta hai' attitude. People roaming on bikes, crowds shopping in vegetable markets, kids playing in grounds are common sights in many areas of Mumbai. These places, referred to as sensitive areas by the police, seem to be beyond the control of authorities. Here is where people are defying the lockdown: Crowds confront the police The police who try to convince residents to go back home are confronted by the crowds at Gadhav Naka, Bhandup West. PIC/Rajesh Gupta Gadhav Naka, Bhandup WestTime: 12 noon Gadhav Naka, located at Bhandup (w), has buildings as well as chawls. The lockdown hasn't had any effect as there is a huge crowd on the roads all the time. Patrolling by the police hasn't made any differenc..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Long-distance trains used by Tablighi Jamaat preachers IDed

6 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
In a bid to arrest the further spread of Coronavirus, Maharashtra police have shared details of attendees of the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat at the Markaz Nizamuddin — a major Coronavirus hotspot — in New Delhi with Railway officials to zero down on the attendees' co-passengers. Over a dozen trains ply between Mumbai and Nizamuddin. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that out of the 1,400 attendees, 1,300 have been traced and quarantined, with some having tested positive for COVID-19. But what is more worrying for the police and state government is tracing those who travelled with the attendees in the identified long-distance trains. According to Mumbai police, around 150 of the attendees were supposed to come to the city. Most of them have been traced and put into self-quarantine. "We took their travel details and shared them with appropriate authorities. The Tablighi Jamaat's Markaz in Mumbai had details of every person who visited Nizamuddin. Only 20 of the 150 h..
                 

Mumbai: Residents create farm in middle of bustling Bandra

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Passers-by looking at leaves strewn about in the BMC's ALM 116 Park at D'Monte Park, Bandra might wonder what a 'shabby, ill-maintained' park it is. But the reality is just the opposite. A dedicated community of volunteers has mulched the green cover to enhance the quality of the soil. The volunteers are members of the Dream Grove initiative that began in 2018. They are a flexible group of 15 to 20 who meet on Sundays to tend to their urban farm. Tasks are planned and allocated. There is also a sub-group of five core members which meets during the week to ensure that everything is on track. Bananas are among the produce grown at the urban farm As Coronavirus forces people to stay indoors, the gardener and the watchman of the park have been using supplies from the farm to cook healthy meals for themselves. Motley groupThe group has members from different faiths, cultural backgrounds and age groups. But whether aged eight or 80, they are bound by the motivation to see their farm thr..
                 

UN chief: COVID-19 is worst crisis since World War II

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world faces most challenging crisis since World War II, confronting a pandemic threatening people in every country, one that will bring recession 'that probably has no parallel in the recent past. There is also a risk that the combination of the disease and its economic impact will contribute to "enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict," the UN chief said at the launch of a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Guterres called for a much stronger and more effective global response to the Coronavirus pandemic and to the social and economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing. "We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations, one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people's lives," the report said. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General The secretary-general told reporters: "The magnitude of the response must m..
                 

When cops gave and took stick

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The Internet is flooded with video clips of the police force wielding their lathis or polycarbonate sticks at those citizens who don't come up with a good reason for being outdoors during the Coronavirus-caused countrywide lockdown. One's heart goes out to the fellows who cop it (pun intended) even as you wonder why they are out there if not to purchase essentials or attend to emergencies. Some of the 'shots' by the cops resemble those of Gordon Greenidge or Virender Sehwag more than touch artists like Mark Waugh or GR Viswanath. All the same, they have a deflating effect on the receiver. There is a connection between lathis and cricket and I'm not referring to the timber factor. The lathi is a key tool to manage crowds and the weapon gave rise to several crowd controversies in Indian cricket. For starters, let me provide a couple of humourous examples of the use of the lathi. It concerns former England off-spinner Pat Pocock. During the fifth and final Test at the Brabourne Stadium of..
                 

US nears China's virus death toll as New York calls for help

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The mounting death toll from the virus outbreak in the United States had it poised on Tuesday to overtake China's grim toll of 3,300 deaths, with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo saying up to 1 million more healthcare workers were needed. "Please come help us," he urged. Hard-hit Italy and Spain have already overtaken China and now account for more than half of the nearly 38,000 COVID-19 deaths worldwide, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. In New York City, Cuomo and health officials warned that the crisis unfolding there is just a preview of what other US communities could soon face. New York State's death toll climbed by more than 250 people in a day Monday to more than 1,200, most of them in the city. "We've lost over one thousand New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "To me, we're beyond staggering already." Even before the governor's appeal, close to 80,000 former nurses, doctors and other professionals were stepping up to volunteer, and a Navy hospital ship had arrived wi..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Parents relieved as schools begin online classes

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
It is learning as usual amid the Coronavirus lockdown, as some schools have begun new academic year sessions or are finishing old ones through digital teaching. Teachers record lectures on mobile camera, share them on YouTube, create PowerPoint Presentations (PPT) for lessons and homework. In addition, casual classes are also held to gauge students' mental health. "It is a very strange time. But learning can't stop. Parents too have been asking for more school work. Our teachers are following the regular school timetable online," said Paul Machado, principal of Campion School in Fort. "The recreational classes are especially for younger kids. Teachers discuss current events, make them understand the situation and clear doubts," Machado added. Students of Dhirubhai Ambani school during an online class Mitesh Gala, a mathematics teacher at Campion School said, "We prepare concept-based videos. The links for the videos are sent on class WhatsApp groups. Children are supposed to make notes..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak | Extortion allegations surface against cops: 'Rs 2,000 to cross toll naka'

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
As if the sufferings caused due to the lockdown were not enough, the migrant labourers who have been walking for days, without food and water, to return to their home states are now being hounded by police officers. While some claim Gujarat police beat them up, others accused the officers in Maharashtra of extorting R2,000 to cross toll naka. Hundreds of migrant labourers seeking to cross the Maharashtra-Gujarat border were chased away and beaten up by the Gujarat police, said Dr. Ritesh Patel, Medical Officer at Talasari Taluka. He added that many of them had entered Gujarat but were dumped at the border by the police. The zila parishad has given shelter to nearly 7,000 migrants at a government school in Palghar district. A medical team is conducting check-ups of the migrants at school. Migrant labourers walk in scorching heat on Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway on Monday. Pic/Suresh KK mid-day, too, witnessed the high-handedness of the Gujarat police whose police sub inspectors — S R P..
                 

Coronavirus impact: Mumbai's good samaritans home deliver to senior citizens

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Amid the lockdown to fight Coronavirus, the Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA) is ensuring restrictions don't cause too much hassle to residents in the locality. With over 60 buildings and societies in Cuffe Parade, the CPRA swung into action from March 22. Initially, it encouraged the residents to help each other out, especially the senior citizens living alone, as house help and cooks couldn't come anymore due to the lockdown. The association then negotiated with restaurants in the locality for subscription of meals to societies, and on Sunday, the first set of orders was delivered. "It [the service] will be subscription based and we have managed to get it at a good 30 to 40 per cent discount. A vegetarian thaali will cost R250 and a non-vegetarian thaali R270 inclusive of all taxes and delivery charges. We have also taken all precaution of hygiene and safety," CPRA president Aditi Jain told mid-day. Former India women's captain Diana Edulji, who was among the first residents..
                 

COVID-19 in Mumbai: Over 17,000 cattle in Aarey could die of starvation

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Over 17,000 cattle that provide 1.25 lakh litres of milk to the city on a daily basis from Aarey Milk Colony, could starve as fodder from other states has not arrived for them due to the lockdown. The cattle owners have only one week left and have requested the government to allow the trucks of cattle feed to reach Mumbai. According to the cattle owners, the fodder comes from the interiors of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka but due to the lockdown and implementation of section 144, the trucks cannot be loaded, as more than four workers are unable to gather. The cattle owners want the government to allow inter-state cattle fodder trucks to ply. Pics/Rane Ashish As the state borders are closed too, suppliers from other states don't want to take the risk. The dry fodder also comes from Palghar district and there have been instances in the past couple of days where trucks carrying it have been stopped at district borders. Recently a truck was stopped near Vasai by highway pol..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The gym life While Mumbai is under lockdown, a man works out at an open gym in Matunga. Pic/Shadab K Khan Parents, take the online route In a lockdown, when parents and children are stuck at home dealing with an unexpected situation, a lot of anxiety comes into play. It's what led Chennai-based NGO Nalandaway Foundation to launch Art for Wellbeing - A Parent's Guide. It's an online platform that helps parents and children alike identify emotions, and work with coping strategies and easy art-based activities that take the load off. Soon after the launch, their website crashed twice in two days due to traffic. Sriram Iyer "We are transferring our anxiety to kids. They are intelligent and aware but unable to process these restrictions, and parents lack skills to engage and explain the scenario to them. There are proven methods where art can help with coping and our objective is to provide them with a self-resource, keeping in mind the developmental needs of all age groups. It is a combin..
                 

Liberation from fear of death

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
A hush has fallen over India, as the countrywide lockdown to slow community transmission of the Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, has had people retreat indoors. Yet the hush does not have the feel of quietude but of eeriness, because people have chosen to silence the noises peculiar to our residential colonies. Our neighbours do not play music or TV at a high decibel level, or let children holler and thud around. Even the comforting sound of the pressure cooker whistling has surprisingly become rare. We have become collectively anesthetised. Noise, in India, symbolises normalcy and happiness. Tourists express the bliss they experience in remote mountain getaways by making noise. Silence, to us, is synonymous with sadness and gloomy seriousness. We are mourning life as we knew it. COVID-19 is undermining, bit by bit, our certitude, which is anchored in the belief that we are destined to live until we are at least 70 or 80 or 90 years old. We script the minutiae of our lives, down to ke..
                 

'Sorry, some will die. That's life,' says Brazil president on coronavirus deaths

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday cast doubt on Sao Paulo's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak and accused the state governor of manipulating the numbers for political ends, without giving evidence for his claims. Bolsonaro's accusations were the latest broadside in an ugly battle with Brazil's governors, who have chafed at the president's view that protecting the economy takes priority over social distancing measures to combat the spread of the highly contagious virus. Following the advice of public health experts, the vast majority of the country's 26 governors have banned non-essential commercial activities and public services to contain the outbreak in their states. "I'm sorry, some people will die, they will die, that's life," Bolsonaro said in a television interview on Friday night. "You can't stop a car factory because of traffic deaths." Joao Doria and Jair Bolsonaro Bolsonaro said that in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic powerhouse, the death toll seem..
                 

Club life will have to wait for Mumbai's seniors and regulars

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
It's home sweet home, but no second home for club regulars in Mumbai. The social hubs have shuttered and for many, especially the elderly, their quotidian schedule has gone for a toss, as they no longer have a place for recuperation and regeneration. That though, is a small price to pay, says Khar Gymkhana regular and snooker ace, 53-year-old Yasin Merchant. Bandra's "baadshah of the green baize" adds, "I am a snooker coach at the Khar Gymkhana. I also use the gym at least thrice a week. I am now lifting weights at home, and I guess, the coaching can wait for a while. I have friends at the club nearly every evening, but all that is temporarily shelved and for good reason." Yasin Merchant, a snooker coach at Khar Gymkhana, is enjoying the break from coaching. He has been working out at home Deepak Kapadia, 70, a Marine Drive local says his daily, "walk inside the Cricket Club of India (CCI) was like a vitamin boost". "It was energising, and so was meeting friends, ta..
                 

Coronavirus Outbreak: Want to step out? In Navi Mumbai, citizens will now have to apply for a pass

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
In an attempt to avoid unnecessary use of force and altercation on roads even as citizens venture out of their homes to buy essentials, Navi Mumbai Police has instituted an e-pass system. Though a nationwide lockdown has been in place since Tuesday, Mumbai cops have been finding it difficult to reduce the rush in markets and shops. Their use of force to curb the crowds has drawn sharp criticism. To avoid such scenarios, with the aim also of preventing the spread of infection, the Navi Mumbai police has decided to issue e-pass to citizens who need to step out. A link has been shared by cops on various social platforms, where citizens will be able to apply for the pass. The e-pass issued by Navi Mumbai cops. Citizens will also have to carry an card along with it "Citizens have to fill basic information such as name, mobile number, address, type of identity card they are carrying, purpose of stepping out, place of visit and approximate time needed," a senior police off..
                 

Lobo Lobo gets the clap

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Lobo Lobo came over looking frazzled. "Lobo Lobo how are you?" I asked slightly concerned. "HUH. WOT? SPEAK LOUDER DIKUNA MEN," he yelled. "Why are you shouting? Even when there is very little social distance between us?" "Arre men, after last Sunday, every duffer and his uncle banging dose steel utensils, such a ruckus, my hearing is partially gone chhe!" he shouted. "You have temporary deafness, Lobo Lobo. Chill no worries!" "I'll tell to you one secret, men Dikuna. I'm little bit pretending so I don't need to listen to de 'kitpit' of my mudder-in–law, Hyacinth, mad she is. Makes Red Riding Hood's wolf seem like Snow White, chhe." "Tell me Lobo Lobo, how did you manage to evade the curfew…there's a city lockdown till the 15th." "Arre men, my brudder-in-law Galahad is a doctor at Tulip Memorial Centre, Virar, so I borrowed an ambulance for a day, to come see you men." "That is touching! So how did you show your support to the healthcare workers last Sunday?" "Dikuna men, ..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Dooriyan Majbooriyan Shoppers maintain social distancing as they queue up to buy vegetables in a market at Bhoiwada on Thursday. Pic/ Suresh Karkera A lasting legacy Padma Vibhushan awardee painter, sculptor and architect Satish Gujral breathed his last on Thursday at the age of 94. Known for his work across mediums, Gujral who led a difficult life with a hearing impairment has left a legacy for all. "What I admired the most about Gujral was that he never went by any textbook definition of modernism. He was always bold and a free-ranging artistic spirit, always experimental in his approach. When other people were trying to perfect one kind of style or master a single medium, he was active in painting, sculpture, murals and even architecture.  Satish Gujral with brother IK Gujral He embodied creative freedom and made it the mainstream of his practice. It was revolutionary," said art critic, cultural theorist and poet, Ranjit Hoskote (inset) in tribute, adding, "I responded most to..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: BMC sanitising slums across Mumbai

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
In order to arrest the spread of Covid- 19, the BMC has started a massive sanitation campaign in slums across the city. A mist blowing machine which can spray a disinfectant in an area of 15- feet radius has been deployed for the job along with a Quick Response Vehicle of the Fire Brigade which can cover an area up to 7- metres. While the mist spraying can wipe off any virus present on the spot, it cannot keep any place free of the virus in the future and citizens must follow all precautionary measures suggested by the government. However, the chemical stock is limited and the civic body is struggling to get more of it amid high demand and low production due to lockdown. Sodium Hypochlorite is used as a disinfectant. The same chemical is used in hospitals for sanitation. “ Presently we have stock of 11,080 litres of sodium hypochlorite. We are trying to cover most of the areas,” said Prabhat Rahangdale, chief of MFB. As per the campaign, the BMC will cover the maximum possi..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Unable to leave for homes, daily-wagers marooned in train stations

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Over 200 migrant daily-wage workers and some commuters stuck under the flyover at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Kurla, were rescued and taken by special buses to a temporary shelter home in Chembur on Thursday. They were unable to leave for their homes after trains shut down on March 22 due to the lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, and were since living on the tracks and under the flyover. THE Tilak Nagar RPF also visited those still there and asked the authorities to shift them too to a shelter. Officials said after train services shut down on March 22, thousands of passengers were stuck. But while many of them dispersed from stations, many who had nowhere to go were living under the SCLR flyover. School turned into shelter "These were mostly labourers from a number of states like UP, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and also from interior districts of Maharashtra like Buldhana and Solapur. After receiving a message, we alerted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) local w..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Mumbaikars go the extra mile to ensure no one goes hungry

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
With the lockdown in place and no jobs to earn their livelihood, the poor and homeless in the city have found hope in the good samaritans who are ensuring that no one sleeps hungry while the country fights the deadly Coronavirus. Help for the needy — homeless people, beggars, daily wagers — is pouring in from all corners of the city; not just organisations, individuals, too, are going the extra mile to keep their fellow citizens fed. One among them is a businessman from Chembur, Waseem Ahmed Shaikh, who loads his four-wheeler with biscuits, bananas and water bottles, and drives till Bandra distributing them to the needy, twice a day. "I started this on Sunday, on the day of Janata Curfew. I could see many people on the roads with no option to arrange food and water. Now with the 21-day lockdown, the situation is going to get worse. So I decided to do my bit," said Shaikh, who spends about Rs 2,000 every day to buy bananas, mineral water bottles and Parle-G biscuits for the ..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Big trouble brewing in Mumbai's Vasai-Virar belt

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The Vasai-Virar region of Palghar district, where officials said a thousand-plus people returned from abroad following the Coronavirus outbreak, is struggling to cope with the numbers. The area has eight primary health centres (PHCs), but they are overwhelmed by lack of protective gear for workers, just one home-quarantine stamp that they all share, and just one person who collects swabs and transports it to the testing centre at Kasturba Hospital in one vehicle. So far, officials have recorded 606 people – most of whom have returned from the US, Italy, the Gulf states and the Oceania region – as being home-quarantined. District Health Officer Dr Dayanand Suryawanshi said that 20 of those in home-quarantine have exhibited symptoms, and 18 of these tested negative. Results for two are awaited. "We are taking regular health updates from them," he said. But PHC workers on the field, who have been working round the clock said that they have not been given a list of travellers f..
                 

By all means, revel in the mundane

9 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Until a few minutes ago, I was sure it was a Wednesday. My partner and I were finishing lunch. I was reporting to him my feelings around a 'breakthrough' moment I had had in thinking about my book, and had begun to skirt around the subject of what compels me to write. I mentioned that I dispatch my column because I know I have to. There's a missionary zeal that informs my fulfilling of this obligation. It was then that he asked if I had submitted this week's column. I wondered why I would send it in earlier than required. He then helped me realize it was Thursday already. He himself had only arrived at a recognition of what day of the week it was because my father had sent a Whatsapp forward. We have, indeed, been living in a timeless bubble. Perhaps that is how we are coping with the enormous emotional toll extracted by these catastrophic times, with the magnitude of the lock-down. For the first time in years, I have been in a position to evolve a routine, because each day resembles t..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Left astray A canine rests while a cop walks on the deserted Girgaum Chowpatty on Thursday. Pic/Ashish Raje Bring out the audio story Children's book publisher Karadi Tales has launched Katha with Karadi featuring audiobooks, storytelling and events at 5.30 pm every day, for the next two weeks. Some will feature books read out by celebrities like Usha Uthup, Nandita Das, Soha Ali Khan and R Madhavan. Nandita Das, Shobha Viswanath and Usha Uthup Talking about it, Shobha Viswanath, co-founder and publishing director, Karadi Tales, said, "The current generation of children is new to Karadi Tales audiobooks, even though their parents may have grown up with them. It is a great time to offer them a sampling of the wondrous stories that our narrators and musicians have brought to life". Animated achievement City-based researcher, animation filmmaker and entrepreneur Debjani Mukherjee is known to infuse novelty in her work — from live projection and sand art in the theatre piece Jam that..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Uddhav Thackeray leads the way, drives himself around without security personnel

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently stated that his government is not stopping people from living, but is just changing their lifestyle a bit. He has shown by example how he has done it. The CM made this statement when the government announced the shutdown and asked people to maintain social distancing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The changing lifestyle is visible for the CM himself too. Off late Thackeray is seen driving his personal vehicle without a government official or security personnel in it. If at all there is anyone in it, it is his son Aaditya — who holds the environment portfolio in the Thackeray-led MVA government. In fact Aaditya even takes the back seat instead of the vacant front seat next to his father. A senior Sena leader told mid-day, "The CM is himself leading the way when it comes to taking precautions like social distancing." Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seen driving his own car on his way to attend a meeting at the civic headquarters. Pic/Su..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak | Tablighi Jamaat meet fall-out: 40 city preachers isolated, search on for 110 more

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
After launching a massive manhunt for more than 150 members of the Tablighi Jamaat who returned from the Markaz Nizamuddin congregation, the Mumbai police traced over 40 till Wednesday and sent them into self-quarantine. Some of these came forward with the help of community leaders and self-quarantined themselves. Theirsamples are being tested for Coronavirus. The hunt was launched on Monday after the Special Branch received their details. The attendees are suspected to have come in contact with COVID-19 patients at the Markaz. According to sources, the Mumbai police commissioner called a high-level meeting on Wednesday and instructed the force to trace everyone on the list. "The list has details of over 150 people, 45 of them are foreign nationals from different countries. They returned to the city after attending the congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin in the middle of March. The priority is to locate and quarantine all of them," a senior official told mid-day. Police personnel conduct..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: India likely to blacklist 300 foreigners

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
India is likely to blacklist about 300 foreigners who came from 16 countries on tourist visas but attended an Islamic congregation at Nizamuddin here that has become a key source for the spread of Coronavirus in the country, officials said on Tuesday. These foreigners were among around 8,000 people who attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz facility in March, many of whom have shown symptoms of COVID-19, a Union Home Ministry official said. About 30 of those who attended the Nizamuddin event in mid-March tested positive and at least three have succumbed to the infection in the last few days. "Those who came on tourist visa but attended the Nizamuddin event stands being in our blacklist as they have violated the visa conditions. Tourist visa holders can't attend religious functions," a Union Home ministry official said. People pack food to distribute among needy people during a nationwide lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of Coronavirus, in Amritsar, on Tuesday. Pic/PTI I..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: People looking at Worli Koliwada residents with suspicion

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
As if residents of Worli Koliwada did not have enough to worry about with eight cases of Coronavirus in the locality, many of them have been getting hate calls and messages saying they are the root cause of the pandemic spread there. The area with a population of around 80,000 was sealed on March 27 when seven people were found positive for COVID-19. On Tuesday the number went upto eight and additional reports are awaited. The police and authorities are leaving no stone unturned to keep the spread low. No one is allowed to leave their house. But residents said people are now looking at Koliwada with suspicion. At least two residents told this reporter that they received calls from people blaming them for the spread in Koliwada. Koli leader Prahlad Worlikar told mid-day, "The police and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are not taking the local people into confidence. We only get to hear in the media how many positive patients have been found here. We are being made out to be..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Shopping, from the skies Around 240 vendors maintain social distancing on Monday while selling their products at the first hawking zone that the BMC has set up at Arun Kumar Vaidya ground in Ghatkopar East. Pic/Sameer Markande A delicious challenge coming up There are a number of people who are revisiting their kitchens like never before, and a social media platform will now start a competition for them, where leading chefs will judge home cooks based on videos of their shared recipes. One of the judges, Vicky Ratnani, told this diarist, "You should be able to tell the whole story under one minute. And it's best if people pick everyday ingredients that you already have at home, like noodles and eggs. [What we are looking for] is colourful, good-looking and easy food. Keep it simple, quick, funny and quirky." The contest will last from April 1 to 16. So go ahead and put your apron on. Under the over At a time like this, ensuring that essential supplies reach people in need is of paramo..
                 

COVID-19 impact: Man tries to revive farming in Palghar; left with 4 tonnes unsold watermelons

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Out of the 100 families at Ainshet village in Palghar's Vada taluka, around 25-30 have owned farming land for generations. "We are surrounded by the Vaitarna River on three sides and the Vada city on the other. Until 20 ago, we grew vegetables and fruits like chikoo, mango, coconut and bananas," said Rohan Thakare. Twenty years ago, with liberalisation, each home saw the rise of government servants and contractors, and farming took a back seat. Thakare, too, moved to Thane in 2007 to study management and now he runs a security company with technology partners in Israel. The barter system he started to help the villagers during the lockdown "A lot of my work took me to Israel. We use their technology for smart city solutions, cyber security and command and control centre," said Thakare, adding that his partners there are also into farming. "Every time I visit Israel, they take me to one of their farms. They have a very systematic approac; they segregate and pack the produce on the farm..
                 

Seal state, district borders to block movement, says Centre

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The Centre on Sunday asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal state and district borders to stop movement of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown and warned that those violating the curb will be sent to 14-day quarantine. During a video conference with chief secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues. "There has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed," an official statement said. States were directed to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways and there should be strict implementation of the lockdown. Only the movement of goods should be allowed. Those who have violated the lockdown and travelled during the period of lockdown will be subject to ..
                 

COVID-19 impact: Restaurant body asks landlords for rent waivers

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
After writing to the Centre for a deferment of various payments, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has written an open letter to landlords asking for a waiver on rent and CAM (Common Area Maintenance) from March to at least June. Landlords, however, have asked how they can do that when they too have business to run. NRAI has also asked for a waiver of minimum guaranteed rents for six months post resumption and a 50 per cent reduction of CAM for the same period. It has also proposed a revenue-sharing deal not exceeding 10 per cent for six months after operations resume. The letter from Anurag Katriar, President, NRAI and CEO of deGustibus Hospitality, reads, "This appeal is aimed at ensuring our mere survival during such extraordinarily troubled times; we aren't trying to profiteer at the expense of the landlords." Sai Sagar restaurant in Bandra West wears a deserted look. Pic/Bipin Kokate Restaurant landlords work in two ways — the first category earns rent from..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
All shapes and sizes When life throws you lemons, make lemonade. A street vendor at Bhuleshwar was hawking masks of mind-boggling variety on Saturday. Pic/Bipin Kokate Home bound The German Embassy in Delhi has been evacuating its citizens stranded in India. For the first two evacuations, that took place on Thursday, German Ambassador Walter Lindner, posted videos on social media, requesting citizens to maintain calm. After the Embassy's efforts finally paid off, many citizens flooded his Twitter feed, thanking him endlessly. When this diarist spoke to Lindner, he said, "First, two A380 evacuation flights were able to bring 1,000 stranded (750 Germans/250 other Europeans) travellers back to Europe. We're working tirelessly to get most of the other German tourists home, who are stranded in various parts of India. We'll work on further evacuation flights from other cities in India. Stay safe." One taboo at a time Until now, blogger and actor Sejal Kumar's YouTube channel has largely bee..
                 

India's total COVID-19 tally hits 933

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
At a time when the country is looking for updates on new corona patients and India’s total tally, the health ministry could provide only one update through Friday. However, the latest tally as of Saturday by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says that India’s total coronavirus-affected patient count has hit 933. Besides active cases, the country has reported 19 casualties so far, while 78 persons have recovered or been discharged from hospital. The disease has so far spread to 27 states and UTs. A total of 103 districts have been affected by the virus. Surat Municipal Corporation members pack food to distribute among the poor in the area on Saturday morning. Pic/PTI ‘Evacuate Sikhs’Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged foreign affairs minister S Jaishankar to bring stranded Sikh families back from war-ravaged Afghanistan to India. The chief minister tweeted: “Dear @DrSJaishankar, there are a large number of Sikh families who ..
                 

Because it takes a virus to teach us compassion

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
I could feel the beads of sweat trickle down my forehead. My body felt hot, the face flushed. My shirt was flapping against my sweating back. The shortness of my breath catapulted into a catatonic cough. These weren't symptoms of the deadly flu; just me having climbed 14 floors of the hospital, thanks to an out-of-service elevator. The extreme air-conditioning inside my office undid the deteriorated situation, restoring me back to "normalcy"—a term we are unfamiliar with in theseravaging times. When today's millennials will be parents to tomorrow's coronials, the phrase "going viral" is likely to have acquired a quality of catharsis. Once we make it through this apocalypse (and if the fast approaching next one doesn't wipe us out), we will be able to tell the as-yet-unborn generation stories of how we survived a pandemic in the times of "social media"—a term that should, hopefully, be obsolete and replaced by something more ludicrous. Social media has ensured that..
                 

Elderly Saifee surgeon had coronavirus, now newly-born tests positive

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Two days after the 85-year-old surgeon, who was working at Saifee Hospital and was a suspected COVID-19 patient, died at Hinduja Hospital, two other doctors in the city also tested positive for coronavirus. The civic body on Saturday confirmed that the surgeon had tested positive for the virus, taking the city's total casualty to six deaths." Civic officials from G North Ward disinfected the premises of Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, as well as the surrounding areas. The last rites of the surgeon were conducted at the crematorium at Shivaji Park around 3 am on Friday. Members of the Jain Manav Sena Mandal seen distributing packets of food with masala rice, puri and sabzi, to the homeless and labourers across Marine Lines, Chira Bazaar and Kalbadevi, on Saturday. The organisation distributes an average of 2,000 packets daily. Pic/Suresh Karkera While the surgeon's 53-year-old son and 20-year-old grandson had tested positive and were admitted to Hinduja on Friday, the samples of their family..
                 

Parental guidance

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The hills are alive with the sound of grown up children scolding their parents. My friend calls, irate. "Paro! Send me that article! Just now. So I can send it to my mum. You will not believe how she is behaving. She has gone next door to meet the neighbours who have just come back from out of town because, she says, I hardly ever get to see them! I've told her come back this minute! I'm going to put the fear of god into her." This article is a terrifying description of exactly what the coronavirus does to your body right up to the moment of death by disintegration. It gave me such a fright, I began stocking up long ago, anticipating a lifetime at home and also told all my friends not to read it for their own sanity. But now, several friends have requisitioned it precisely in order to put fear into blithe parents, yaniki, ghar pe raho nahin toh Gabbar aa jayega. (I too, deployed it in a family WhatsApp group, but the link was too credible for anyone to bother reading). Sometimes I wond..
                 

Coronavirus: the 21st century evil

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a 21st century pandemic. A pandemic means an epidemic that has spread across a large region, for example the dismal Small Pox in the 19th Century that killed more than 300 million people globally. We now have a new evil. Structurally, COVID-19 is an RNA virus which is similar to the SARS or MERS epidemic. Coronavirus has been described for more than 50 years. With more than five lakh cases reported in over 200 countries, it has claimed more than 22,000 souls since January 22, 2020. This mysterious virus was present in 2013 in China, but has reemerged probably because of the oversight then. If we are to believe, it originated in a seafood market where wild animals including bats, rabbits, marmots and even snakes are traded legally in a place called Wuhan (a place also popular for biological warfare) in Hubei Province in the Republic of China. The virus is known to jump from animals to humans and thus this cycle begun. 'Shaped like a crown' Coronavirus symp..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Absence of public transport leaves dialysis, chemo patients in lurch

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The lockdown restrictions have especially affected those who need to visit hospitals frequently. Patients, who need dialysis or chemotherapy, are struggling to find transport for their sessions and are scared about the weeks to come. It was a nightmare for Rosemary Fernandes, 25, to arrange transportation for her mother Meenakshi, 60, who needs dialysis thrice a week. "I have a bike but my mother cannot travel on a two-wheeler. Auto rickshaws aren't willing to go and only person is allowed in an auto. Neighbours refused to lend their cars," she said. Rosemary and her mother live in Vakola and she has to take her mother to Holy Family Hospital in Bandra West for her four-hour-long dialysis session. Desperate, Rosemary took to social media to connect with politicians for help. A Bandra resident offered to lend them his car till the lockdown ends. "I am lucky that someone offered to help. But so many others are struggling," she said. Meenakshi Fernandes Sudha Hariharan, a 65-year-old Chem..
                 

Coronavirus scare: Indian Navy Aircraft collects 60,000 face masks for Goa Health Workers

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
A shipment of 60,000 face masks ordered by Indian Medical Association, Goa to offset the shortfall in Goa was stuck at Delhi as trucks could not proceed further in the current situation of lockdown. A request for facilitating transportation of the masks to Goa was made by the President, Indian Medical Association to the Indian Navy at Goa. The aircraft arrived in Goa with 60,000 face mask for health workers Accordingly, an Ilyushin 38SD (IL-38), a Long Range Maritime Reconnaisence Aircraft of the Indian Navy, was promptly readied to depart INS Hansa for Palam Airport, New Delhi on 27 Mar 2020. The collection of the items at Delhi was coordinated by Air Force Station Palam and the aircraft returned to Goa with the masks on the same day. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Trend-setting organic farms are badly hit

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Farm-to-fork and clean-eating trends that helped many small and medium-sized urban farmers and ruled the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry in Mumbai for the past five years, have taken a hit with the lockdown affecting the transportation of the produce. With police officers also allegedly beating up vendors and delivery persons, supply chain has completely gone for a toss. From exotic 'English' veggies to desi, heirloom produce, and even wild foraging, urban farmers set up infrastructure to grow produce according to a chef's menu, and created a supply chain of farmers across the state and nation to source black rice from Assam, Chinese bok choy from Pune and gluten-free Amaranth flour from Uttarakhand. When restaurants took a call to shutter on March 18, it seemed like a temporary situation, lasting till March 31. But the 21-day lockdown announcement led to transport hurdles and labour scarcity, with police officers even allegedly beating up vendors and delivery executives. And, all..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Don't use force. Repeat. Don't use force

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Maharashtra's Director General of Police, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, sent out a message to all district police HQs and commissionerates on Wednesday night, ordering them to not use force against civilians in the nationwide lockdown. mid-day has a copy of the order. ON the first day of the lockdown, several instances of police brutality against civilians venturing outside were witnessed. The state police chief also ordered the force to allow the delivery of app-based food, grocery, fruit, vegetable and other orders. Jaiswal wants unhindered movement of medical supplies and healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, bankers, telecom employees, gas supply workers and petroleum company employees. "They should be allowed to continue without hindrance," the order said. Providing relief to people who order essential items online, including food and medicine, the DGP has said that e-retailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket and others be allowed to carry out home deliveries. Deliv..
                 

Ad

Coronavirus scare: Naval dockyard Mumbai designs low cost temperature gun

23 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Mumbai's Naval Dockyard has designed and developed its own handheld Infra Red based temperature sensor for undertaking screening of large number of personnel at the entry gates of the yard thereby reducing the load on the security's entries at the gate. The instrument has been manufactured under Rs. 1000/ - through in-house resources (which is fraction of the cost of the Temperature Guns in the market). The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 has led to one of the biggest medical emergencies the world has witnessed in the recent times. With a massive surge in the number of infected patients, the medical infrastructure of the nation is being put to its ultimate test. The instrument has been manufactured under Rs. 1000/ - through in-house resources The 285 year old Naval Dockyard (ND) of Western Naval Command (WNC) has an average influx of around 20,000 personnel entering its premises every day. In view of COVID-19, initial screening of these personnel entering the dockyard was essential to pre..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Amid lockdown, 100 people of Rambo Circus stuck without any income

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Amid the many people facing a tough time with the lockdown are also members of Rambo Circus, stranded at Kadi Maidan, Airoli. Around 60 men, 30 women, 10 children, 19 dogs and a pony stuck here without any business are now being helped by local NGOs and residents. Ever since the government announced shutting down of malls, cinema halls and theatres, Rambo Circus too has had to stop its operations. The two shows daily have been called off and left the crew with no income at all, circus proprietor Sujit Dilip told mid-day. "Our expenses have only gone up since that day since we were continuously disinfecting the circus tents and the place of residence of our members. We had to fumigate the place too," said Dilip, who has written to the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister seeking their intervention. He has sought a bank loan of around '10-15 lakh to be able to pay his staff. Given this tough financial situation, Dilip had put up posters asking for help and now the Thane Collecto..
                 

Ad

Bank details hacked via Houseparty app?

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Popular group video calling application 'Houseparty,' on which people have been staying in touch during times of social distancing, was in a sticky spot this week, after people the world over accused it of hacking. Users complained that attempts have been made to steal sensitive information from their devices on which Houseparty was installed. This includes allegations of money being siphoned from their bank accounts as well as attempts being made to reset passwords to their Spotify, Instagram and Netflix accounts. The application, which allows up to eight people to simultaneously video chat with each other, surged to the top free trending category for Android and iOS platforms, after physical human interaction drastically decreased amid lockdown in India. The message the popular rapper received from his bank about the deduction attempt of over Rs 29,000 from his account On Monday, many Twitter users posted that the app was hacking into sensitive information. Many Mumbaikars, too, have..
                 

Ad

Coronavirus scare: Aadiya Thackeray urges people to not get fooled and step out amid lockdown

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Yuva Sena chief and Minister for Environment, Tourism & Protocol, Aaditya Thackeray, on Wednesday took to Instagram to urge people to stay home and not get fooled on the eve of April Fools day. Taking to Instagram, Aaditya shared an April fools day post as his Instagram story while urgiing people to stay home in order to fight the spread of coronavirus. A screengrab of Aaditya Thackeray's Instagram story As April 1st marked the beginning of a new month, Aaditya wrote: New month, more resolve and more strength to defeat corona, globally. Further talking about the significance of April fools day, Aaditya said '1st April is April Fools Day. Through his post, Aaditya requested people to stay home and not get fooled to step out amidst the coronavirus outbreak. He wrote: Let's not be fooled that we can step out. Urging people to stay home and stay safe, Aaditya ended his post with the hashtag, War against virus. Late last night 2 am onwards, Koliwada and Janta Colony have been sealed of..
                 

Ad

Coronavirus outbreak: Go, rot in Maharashtra, say Gujarat cops to migrant workers

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Maharashtra has the highest number of Coronavirus cases, you all go there... we won't let you enter Gujarat," Gujarat police deployed at the border with Maharashtra allegedly told migrant labourers pleading to enter the state so that they can return to Rajasthan. A family of around 40, including infants, which has a business in Udaipur, reached Panvel on March 29 by road to return to their native places in Sangli, Satara and Karad districts of Maharashtra. However, Panvel police prevented them from going further. The family then decided to drive back to Udaipur on Monday, but were stopped again; this time by the Gujarat police. The family members alleged that Gujarat police said, "Maharashtra se aaye ho, aagey nahi jaane denge. Maharashtra mein hi sado (You have come from Maharashtra, won't let you travel ahead. Go, rot in Maharashtra),". Maharashtra police officers at the border came to their rescue. "Officers suggested that we come to Bappa Thakkar school, Palghar. We have parked ou..
                 

Pay less in power bills for next five years

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
With the economy gripped by an unprecedented crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has determined new lowered rates in all categories. Electricity consumers across the state will now pay 1.5 per cent to 19 per cent less in the next five years. This will be especially crucial for industrial and commercial consumers which are expected to take a major hit in the impending recession. The MERC issued orders for four distribution companies (discoms) — Brihanmumbai Electricity and Transport undertaking (BEST), Adani Power and Tata Power Company and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) — on Monday. All the companies had asked for increasing tariffs in most of the consumer categories earlier. However, a massive cut in commercial and industrial consumers should be seen as a game-changer in the next three years because these segments were charged much higher than other investor-friendly states. The si..
                 

What the drumsticks said to me

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
It was bound to happen sooner or later. You don't talk to any human being for a few weeks and you start hearing voices from the fridge. I was about to close the vegetable drawer when I heard what sounded like someone clearing their throat. I froze to see if it happened again, and it did. I heard a thin, reedy voice saying, "Hey Jude." "I know Hey Jude!" I said, slipping easily into that paranoid state in which things talk to you and you can talk back. Reedy voice again: "You've buried us under these cabbages, anyone would sound muffled." I shifted the cabbages and pulled out a miserable bunch of drumsticks. They looked like a gang of dacoits. "So — you like the Beatles?? Really?" "You misheard. We said Hey dude!" said a drumstick. "You have my attention now," I said. "We wondered how social isolation was going for you," said one which looked like a card sharp. "Enjoying being ignored?" Before I could deliver a scathing put-down, a slightly over-boiled drumstick said, "Because we ..
                 

COVID-19 impact: 'People jumping quarantine are going out on holidays'

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The situation is fast turning worrisome with people defying the government's lockdown orders to stay indoors. Above all, those told to self-quarantine are holidaying in Alibaug, Matheran and other places, said most of the doctors mid-day spoke to on Sunday. While many health care workers and doctors, on the front line of the fight against Coronavirus, in Mumbai and Palghar haven't returned home since the lockdown, most are able to see their familie for just a few hours. Even as they continue to work round the clock to contain the disease, some people are blatantly ignoring their advise and risking infecting others. The doctors said when health workers visited the homes of self-quarantined people, they found the doors locked, and on asking around, the neighbours told them that they have gone on a holiday with their family. Doctors ask people to follow home quarantine guidelines "My children and husband wait every night for me to come home for dinner, but my duty keeps me at the hospital..
                 

COVID-19 impact: How this family of 11 reached their home, 906 km away, in two days

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
A labourer, who began his long trudge from Virar on Thursday last week along with 10 members of his family, amid the lockdown that has brought the country to a standstill, reached his village in the Pali district of Rajasthan on Saturday afternoon. Pappu Singh alias Akash, 22, and his two nephews traversed the entire 906 kilometres in approximately 55 hours. The other relatives, who were behind them, reached on Sunday. While they walked for 125 kilometres, the rest of the distance was covered by hitching rides After reaching his village, Kalab Khurd, Pappu recorded a video thanking Boisar Crime Branch officer Bhimsen Gaikwad for his help. Pappu also apologised to Assistant Police Inspector Gaikwad for having lied to him. According to the video message, Pappu has a diploma in solar energy from a government institute in Rajasthan. He has also trained as an electrician. Pappu had given his name as Prakash and said that the kids were his own. He came to the city in the beginning of March a..
                 

Solitary musings in locked-down Bombay

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The history nut that I am, this 21-day lockdown is causing an alert and very fertile mind to use analogies from my fave subject at every bend. Trust me, it's not all sweet victories and visionary leaders, especially if you happen to be one of the countless working professionals who lives alone in Bombay. I hope some of you who read this, will be able to identify how this inexplicable situation has forced us to hit the reflect button on a gazillion things. When the Big Guy put the country under lockdown last Sunday, as a test drive, I was forced to peek outside of my window at 4.50 pm (yes, we are still to figure how most Indians read time); entire families had assembled by their windows to play their part in the Great Indian Utensil Philharmonic Orchestra. Members of my typically middle-class housing colony were trying to outdo one another with thalis, conch shells and even horns. While tutaris would be played in the old days to greet armies in Maharashtra before or after they went int..
                 

Beast friends forever

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
It's not just people who have caught the cabin fever. With the coronavirus pandemic compelling everyone to stay indoors, animals are feeling lonely, too. A zoo in Missouri, the Dickerson Park Zoo, posted the following message on its Facebook page this week: "Do you have a favourite animal at the zoo? Here's an at-home idea for kids of all ages." Pics\Facebook The zoo urged its little visitors to reach out to its animals by penning letters dedicated to them. "Maybe share what you're learning from home or what you have learned about a particular animal or country. Let's stay together while apart," added the zoo, in a move that is sure to promote animal welfare while keeping the stir-crazy young ones at home busy. Joey Powell, the marketing director of the zoo, says they have been receiving letters by the dozen. A child named Laney was the first to write a fan mail to her favourite animal, the golden lion tamarin—monkeys that get their name because of their impressive manes resembl..
                 

A guide to pet-parenting during the lockdown

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Some may say that they'd rather be isolated with their pets than their humans, and who's to argue? However, balance is key in this 24x7x21 exposure dogs and cats are going to have to their human slaves. Animal professionals warn that the COVID lockdown could give rise in attention-seeking behaviours and/or ramp up separation anxiety in dogs when you have to go back to work again. "You may see destruction, running away with things, repeated requests for play and walks," says Varuna Kaur, a certified international dog trainer. She advises a healthy amount of ignoring dogs, especially since long walks will have to be curtailed. "Ensure you stay in a room, away from the dog, for one or two hours daily," she says. "You can do this just after you have exercised or played with it." Varuna Kaur recommends playing mentally-stimulating games indoors in lieu of long walks On the flip side, this is a great time to sort out toilet training, or work on behaviour programmes that need all members of t..
                 

Coronavirus Outbreak: With non-essential services shut, BMC struggling to find tools

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The BMC's directive that has restricted operation of non-essential services is now proving to be a problem. Non essential services include hardware and furniture stores. With these shops being shut down, the civic body is facing issues in making arrangement of tools to keep essential services on the track. These non-essential services are needed to build additional beds in hospitals for suspected patients. As the 21-day lockdown is new to the nation and citizens, the government isstruggling to cope with it. Emergency services have to take a hit due to this. The BMC plans to create more beds at Cooper Hospital, HBT Trauma Centre, Bandra and Kurla's Bhabha Hospitals, Rajawadi Hospital, etc. This assignment needs to be completed by March 30. "As most migrant workers have returned to their villages, we are facing a shortage of manpower. Additionally, there is a dearth of equipment to create these beds. Owners of shops and godowns are not willing to help. Transport of material and..
                 

Chapeau, Uderzo!

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Albert Uderzo, most beloved French comic book artist, best known for creating the Asterix series with writer René Goscinny, passed away last week at 92. The duo created a marvellous world around the pint-sized hero Asterix, his pot-bellied buddy Obelix, and his dog Dogmatix, and their adventures. "The year is 50 B.C. Gaul (France) is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely! One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders" heralded a series of laughing fits. And their characters' names were delicious puns: the village chief Vitalstatistix, the bard Cacofonix, the blacksmith Fulliautomatix, the fishmonger Unhygienix and his wife Bacteria. Two Romans were even called Nefarius Purpus and Crismus Bonus. Part of the series' popularity is due to the terrific English translation by Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge. Created by Goscinny and Uderzo in 1959, the cult Asterix comic series is billed as France's most lucrative literary export. It has been..
                 

The village temple cooperative

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
In ancient India, the village fields did not belong to any single person. There was no concept of individual land holdings. The entire land of the village belonged to the village community. Therefore, the village was dedicated to a goddess. She was said to be the owner of the land. It was a kind of a proto-institutional model where everybody worked on the land for the goddess. The harvest then belonged to the goddess and it would be shared among the people who worked in the field. Over time, the villages grew prosperous. Technology advanced and systems changed in the village. The old owners of the land started outsourcing the actual labour to peasants. The owners of the land became more powerful. They were seen as having more power than the peasants they outsourced the land to. The village also needed services of potters, carpenters, leather-workers, metal-smiths, rope-makers, goldsmiths, weavers, etc. The system of "balutedars" emerged: the village service-providers were given a share..
                 

Mumbai's dolphins make a splash

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Earlier this week, as Mumbai came to a grinding halt under a complete lockdown, a series of videos started making the rounds on social media, hailing the ' return' of dolphins to Mumbai's waters. All kinds of theories and locations of their sightings floated around. Some chose to dismiss the videos suggesting that they were fake and doctored like the ones that had emerged from Italy showing dolphins and other marine life returning to Venice's canals as the country was in lockdown. But, Shaunak Modi, co- founder of Coastal Conservation Foundation and part of Marine Life of Mumbai, gave us some good news when we reached out to him regarding the authenticity of the videos and pictures. Turns out, these dolphins are a common sight in Mumbai's waters, close to Marine Drive. The Indian Ocean humpback dolphins ( Sousa plumbea) have been documented in the area over a long period of time, according to him and his fellow wildlife conservationists who are engaged in studying dolphin activity arou..
                 

Coronavirus outbreak: Construction workers make way to villages on foot

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
"With the lockdown in place there is no job, no shelter and no food... there is no point in staying here and starving to death," a migrant labourer told a Crime Branch officer, who spotted hundreds of daily wagers heading home on foot to Rajasthan, UP, MP and Bihar, on Thursday evening. "One of the workers told me they had no income after the lockdown since there are no jobs, and their children were starving for days with no help from anyone, so they decided to leave the city," the officer said. Assistant Police Inspector (API) Bhimsen Gaikwad of the Boisar Crime Branch told mid-day that the migrant labourers said they decided to walk hundreds of kilometres after losing hope of any help during their struggle to keep themselves and their families fed. Labourers with luggage leave for their native villages As many as 500 people, including men and women, with luggage on their heads and children on their shoulders, were headed to their homes in states as far as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, U..
                 

Coronavirus scare: Western Railway keeps nation' milk supply chain going

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Western Railway has kept the country's milk supply chain intact with the Ahmedabad Division loading six trains of loose milk containing 6,90,000 kg milk in each rake since 15 March. This milk is loaded in specially designed RMT (Rail Milk Tank) wagons. In addition to the above, four parcel rakes and two conventional jumbo rakes have been loaded containing Milk Powder, fresh milk pouches, Cheese, Butter, Biscuits which has been despatched to various destinations such as for Cuttack, Guwahati, Delhi and Jhansi area during last week. Parmeshwar Funkwal, Divisional Railway Manager of Rajkot alongwith other senior divisional officers interacts with the staff present at Rajkot station With the 21 days nationwide lockdown declared by Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevent the spread of corona virus in the country, all passenger train services across the country, including the suburban local trains, have been cancelled up to April 14, 2020. However, goods trains are running and this r..
                 

Burning garbage dump leaves 3,000 in Uran vulnerable to infection

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Three-thousand residents in Uran's Bori Pakhadi, many of them with respiratory issues, are being forced to inhale toxic fumes from a nearby dumping ground that has been on fire since March 18. The population includes seven buildings full of state and central government employees. Senior citizens and children are the worst affected, with upper and lower respiratory tract problems leading to breathing trouble and asthma, which could make them vulnerable to Coronavirus infection. "We have been facing issues due to the fire at the dumping ground and fumes that have invaded the residential area just a few metres away," said Samir Ashrit, a resident and local activist. "Solid and biomedical waste is dumped here. Sewage also gets discharged, making the nearly one-hectare area highly contaminated. We inhale poisonous fumes daily, and cannot even organise a protest due to restrictions for Coronavirus." Another resident Pritam Thakur, whose wife Priti, 36, was recently discharged from hospital, ..
                 

The dismantling of routine

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Mid-way through my cold shower — the first pleasurable one this spring — I heard T. S. Eliot reciting in his clipped English accent excerpts from his cult poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Except, because my memory couldn't serve me well, my mind could only conjure the sounds of some lines; this one in particular, "And indeed there will be time," because a section of it repeats through the rest of that verse. I had to look it up later, and when I did, I re-read the verse, revisiting the poem after almost two years. "There will be time, there will be time/To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;/There will be time to murder and create/And time for all the works and days of hands/That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me,/And time yet for a hundred indecisions,/And for a hundred visions and revisions,/Before the taking of a toast and tea." It was around 11 am. I couldn't remember how many days had passed since we had chosen..