Saturday, 16 December 2017

Wipro Partners with and Invests in Headspin to Deliver Next-Generation Mobility Quality Solutions & Services

The joint offering will simplify testing and mobile experience for global mobile networks

East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA and Mumbai, India – December 15, 2017: Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, today announced a partnership with Headspin, a San Francisco-based powerful, easy-to-use mobile experience platform, to offer next-generation mobility quality engineering and testing solutions on global mobile networks.

Wipro Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Wipro Limited that is focused on investing in early- to mid-stage startups, made an investment in Headspin in October 2017.

This partnership will leverage Headspin’s network of 22,000 mobile devices deployed in carrier networks across 150 locations and Wipro’s industry leading quality assurance capabilities to bring significant value to customers by validating their mobile applications, devices and networks under real life conditions. The joint offering will enable continuous monitoring of applications, identification of performance bottlenecks and rectification of inefficient content delivery to ensure a seamless application experience for end users, across geographies.

“In today’s world, mobile is a critical channel for doing business and hence, the reliability and performance of mobile devices and applications are key to enabling a superior customer experience. This partnership will augment Wipro’s mobility-related quality engineering and testing services capabilities,” said Hiral Chandrana, Senior Vice President, Business Application Services, Wipro Limited.

“We are excited to partner with Wipro, a global leader in IT and consulting services, and offer our next-generation mobile experience platform (MEP) to Wipro's customer base. We are confident that our partnership with Wipro will help accelerate the adoption of our innovative solution by some of the largest enterprises in the world. In addition, Wipro’s investment in Headspin will give an impetus to our ongoing efforts in the mobile quality engineering space,” said Manish Lachwani, CEO & Co-founder of Headspin.


Mumbai – December 15, 2017 – Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson have agreed to a landmark recording deal that will continue the label’s 42-year relationship with Michael Jackson and his music, it was announced today by Rob Stringer, Sony Music CEO and John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson.  
Effective January 1, 2018, Sony Music will extend the term of their administration of Michael’s record catalog in a long term recording agreement.  Sony will also have the opportunity to partner on additional projects that the Estate may produce during the term of the agreement. 
Rob Stringer, Chief Executive Officer, Sony Music Entertainment comments, "Michael Jackson was an unsurpassed genius and an iconic force in music entertainment. The music—and videos—he made as an artist as part of the Sony Music family are essential to pop culture history. We're proud to be part of that history, and to find new innovative ways to make Michael's music available to future generations of fans.”
John Branca and John McClain commented, “We couldn’t ask for more creative and innovative partners than Sony and Rob Stringer (whose history working personally with Michael goes back to the 1990s).  Michael continues to inspire generations of artists who have come after him and attract new fans who understand that his music and message are more important than ever.  We look forward to continuing to preserve and develop his remarkable musical legacy with Sony.”
To date, Michael Jackson has achieved 40 RIAA certifications and 40 #1 chart positions and 102 Top 5 chart positions.   Michael Jackson's overall worldwide record sales exceed the 1 billion threshold including over 100 million sales of “Thriller” which remains the biggest selling album in history. 
The last seven years of the creative partnership between Sony and the Estate have been characterized by the same kind of record-setting achievements that Michael realized during his lifetime.  His recordings continue to meet new sales benchmarks:  Last year, Thriller became the first and only album in RIAA history to pass the triple Diamond mark with a 33X platinum certification; Bad also achieved Diamond status.
Jackson’s latest release, the compilation album, Scream was his 16th Billboard Top 40 Album and 30th charting album and its release kicked off the worldwide, first annual Michael Jackson Halloween campaign.  His previous release, 2014’s Xscape rocketed to #1 in 49 countries and produced the worldwide hit, “Love Never Felt So Good”.  In conjunction with the release of that album, the Estate astounded the world with the technical wizardry of a ‘virtual Michael Jackson' performance during the Billboard Music Awards, which gave the show its biggest ratings in years and became the topic of conversation worldwide.
Sony and the Estate have also partnered in the production of two critically acclaimed documentaries directed by Spike Lee:  Bad 25 and Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.  
Other innovations created in conjunction with Sony include the first completely crowd-sourced music video for “Behind the Mask” (2010), the first Twitter music video premiere for “A Place With No Name” (2014) and a groundbreaking augmented reality campaign for Scream (2017).    
Michael Jackson’s star power and cultural relevancy continues with each passing year as his artistry, style, choreography and music continue to inspire generations of pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop artists and fans.   Even as audiences change how they access music, they continue to discover and consume Michael’s songs and albums.  Rob Stringer’s comment to the New York Times in 2010 that “you’ve got to bet on Michael Jackson in any new platform” proved prescient.  Michael Jackson is one of the premiere streaming artists in the global marketplace.  Michael ranks in the top five of all catalog artists for both audio streaming and video streaming for 2017, as well as in the top 5 of all artists for the combined audio and video streaming for 2013 – 2017, alongside contemporary artists Chainsmokers, One Direction, Beyonce and Sia.

About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street Records, Black Butter Records, BPG Music, Bystorm Entertainment, Century Media, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Descendant Records, Disruptor Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Essential Worship, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, House of Iona Records, Insanity Records, Kemosabe Records, Legacy Recordings, Masterworks, Masterworks Broadway, Ministry of Sound Recordings, Monument Records, OKeh, Polo Grounds Music, Portrait, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Relentless Records, Reunion Records, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music and Verity Records. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. 

About The Estate of Michael Jackson
The Estate of Michael Jackson continues to produce artistically exceptional and enormously successful ventures.  Earlier this year, Optimum Productions, owned by the Estate of Michael Jackson produced “Michael Jackson’s Halloween”, a new, one-hour perennial animated special.  At the 2017 Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, Optimum premiered Michael Jacksons Thriller 3D, a new 3d conversion of the acclaimed film directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Michael Jackson.  The Estate’s first project in 2009, "Michael Jackson's This is It" became the highest grossing music documentary of all time.  A history making touring show produced in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, played 4 continents, 157 cities, was seen by 3.7 million fans and became one of the top grossing tours of all time.  The second venture between the Estate and Cirque du Soleil, the critically acclaimed Michael Jackson ONE, a permanent show at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, gave Cirque its biggest opening ever in Las Vegas and continues to be one of the top shows in the city.  In 2016, the Estate released the documentary MICHAEL JACKSON's Journey From Motown To Off The Wall, directed by Spike Lee.  The documentary made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016, and its subsequent broadcast on SHOWTIME® became the channel's highest rated music documentary of all time and its second highest rated documentary ever. 

Abhishek Tibrewal, Pearl, Delhi wins Liva Protégé 2017 and a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lacs

Image result for grasim logoAF_Master_Logo

1st Runner up: Sonika Pulluru, Hamstech, Hyderabad and Dibyani Mishra, GIFT Kolkata is the 2nd runners up
Third edition of Liva Protégé, a Unique Talent Hunt competition for India’s Top Young Amateur Designer
Liva Protégé ties up exclusively with Amazon Fashion, launches 2017 winners on The Designer Boutique at
Mumbai: 14th Dec 2017: Liva Protégé is a unique talent hunt competition which gives young fashion designers an opportunity to showcase their talent to the fashion industry. This year, the scope of the competition gets bigger as the Liva Protégé 2017 winners will launch their collections exclusively on The Designer Boutique at and enjoy an easy access to millions of nationwide customers. The third edition of Liva Protégé received over 3,000 applications from across 190 institutes.
Mr. Dilip Gaur, Business Director, Pulp and Fiber Business, Aditya Birla Group and Managing Director Grasim Industries said, “Liva Protégé is an excellent initiative which showcases young fashion designers to be mentored by renowned designers and gives them an opportunity to be industry ready”.
Over 190 institutes participated in the 3rd edition of Liva Protégé Talent Hunt which had entries from across 50 cities with over 3000 students applying for the competition. In addition to the major metros, this year had participation from tier II cities like Ambala, Ludhiana, Kanpur amongst others. There were two rounds of short-listing the candidates. The students were divided in 6 zones and were allotted an ace designer as a mentor. Nida Mahmood (Delhi), Pallavi Singhee (Kolkata), Anand Kabra (Hyderabad), Anshu Arora Sen(Bengaluru), Priyadarshini Rao(Mumbai) & Purvi Doshi(Ahmedabad) nurtured these finalists for the grand finale.
Selection process: LIVA Protégé is a platform where aspirants have been chosen on designing capabilities. There have had multiple rounds of selection across three months long intensive program (inclusive of one on one presentations to mentors, and then selection to be based on aesthetics, design, fluidity and functionality of creations) post which the aspirants got a chance to brush up on their skills and be mentored by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry.
The young designers had to showcase 5 evening looks designed by them at the finals who were judged by the eminent jury comprising of Bollywood’s fashionista and Miss India International 2007 Esha Gupta, socialite and fashion icon Parveen Dusanj Bedi , Narendra Kumar Ahmed (Nari), Creative Head Amazon Fashion.  The top finalists, this edition, were from IINIFD Pune, NIFT Mumbai, Pearl, GIFT Kolkata, WLCI College Kolkata, INIFD Chennai, Hamstech, Hyderabad & NID, Gandhinagar.
At a glittering ceremony held in Mumbai today, Abhishek Tibrewal won the prestigious Liva Protégé 2017, Sonika Pulluru, Hamstech, Hyderabad and Dibyani Mishra, GIFT Kolkata were the 1st and 2nd runners respectively.
Mr. Rajeev Gopal, Chief Marketing Office, Pulp and Fiber Business, Aditya Birla Group, “The third edition of Liva Protégé has had a record participation and  has grown to become a much sought out competition in the short duration with fashion institutes and students. ”. He informed, “This year’s highlight is our exclusive association with Amazon Fashion that will enable these designers to launch their winning Liva Protégé collections on, thereby giving them a unique opportunity to build and market their brands”.
Commenting on the tie-up with Live Protégé, Arun Sirdeshmukh, Business – Head, Amazon Fashion said, “We remain strongly invested in creating the right infrastructure to help create, position and highlight designers/brands to Indian customers. By giving this exposure to the Liva Protégé 2017 winners, Amazon will not only allow them accelerate their career growth but also give them an opportunity to focus on their inherent talent and build national brands. As part of The Designer Boutique at, we want to identify young designers and give them an opportunity to reach millions of our customers, and in turn help us democratize designer wear and make the segment more affordable in India”.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Walk in space with new virtual reality experience from the BBC

14th December 2017, Mumbai: Anyone who has ever dreamed of going into space can now see those dreams come true, with the release of a critically-acclaimed virtual reality (VR) spacewalk from the BBC and VR production studio REWINDHome – A VR Spacewalk is an interactive VR experience that launches today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and is available to download for free via the Steam Store and the Oculus Store.

Inspired by the NASA training programs used by British astronaut Tim Peake, Home – A VR Spacewalk enables would-be astronauts to embark on a spacewalk 250 miles above the Earth’s surface, something only 217 people have ever done for real. They are tasked with making a repair on the outside of the International Space Station, before being confronted with a terrifying emergency situation.

Trying the experience for himself, Tim Peake said: “Exploring space is something that motivates a lot of young people to enter careers in science and technology. This is a really exciting time because the new generation will have unprecedented opportunities to really fly into space. The Home Virtual Reality experience brings that opportunity even closer, in a very authentic and accessible way. I hope that having this chance to engage in such a realistic spacewalk experience will help inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.”

Since being originally developed by the BBC and REWIND in 2016, Home – A VR Spacewalk has won multiple awards, including a Cannes Lion, and has been shown at film festivals around the world. Its launch is the first time it has been made available to the public, and it is the first experience the BBC has released for the HTC Vive.

To mark the launch, a spectacular series of 360 films has been produced using footage from the experience. Viewers are able to look around as they float above the earth, while astronauts Dr Helen Patricia SharmanLuca Parmitano and Ron Garan recount their real-life experiences of visiting space.

Tom Burton, head of interactive and virtual reality for BBC Studios and director of Home – A VR Spacewalk, says: “Homerepresents the very best of the BBC, bringing brilliant creative together with cutting edge technologies to create an experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else. Making this experience available to those who have the devices will give people a taste of what it must be like to visit the International Space Station and walk in space for real.”
Zillah Watson, head of content commissioning for the BBC’s recently launched VR Hub, says: “Home is an extraordinary piece of content that enables viewers to get as close an experience as possible to what it must really be like to visit space. In the future, we’ll be looking to use the lessons we’ve learned in making fantastic pieces of content like this to develop even more impressive, immersive and inspiring experiences for audiences.”

राक्षस मध्ये दिसणार सई ताम्हणकर


                वर्षाला किमान एक सुपरहिट चित्रपट देणारी सई ताम्हणकर २०१७ मध्ये चित्रपटांपासून थोडी दुरावलेले दिसली. फॅमिली कट्टा आणि वजनदार ह्या चित्रपटातून सईने लक्षात राहतील अशा भूमिका केल्या होत्या.  त्यानंतर मात्र तिच्या प्रेक्षकांना पडद्यावर तिची कमी जाणवत होती. दरम्यानच्या काळात ती अनेक सामाजिक कार्यामध्ये सहभागी झाली. परंतु सईचा आगामी चित्रपट कोणता असेल याबाबत तिच्या चाहत्यांमध्ये खूप उत्सुकता आहे. २०१८ मध्ये मात्र सई आपला नवीन चित्रपट घेऊन येतेय. नवीन वर्षाची भेट म्हणून सई लवकरच तिच्या चाहत्यांसाठी 'राक्षस' नावाचा सिनेमा घेऊन येत आहे. राक्षस सिनेमाचं पोस्टर नुकतंच रिलीज  करण्यात आले आणि प्रेक्षकांनी त्याला चांगला प्रतिसाद दिला.

               आता पर्यंत सईने अनेक कलाकारांसोबत काम केले आहे त्यात सई-स्वप्नील ही जोडी प्रेक्षकांना फार आवडली, परंतु पहिल्यांदाच सई ताम्हणकर आणि शरद केळकर ह्या चित्रपटातून एकत्र काम करताना दिसतील. लई भारी नंतर शरद केळकरचा हा दुसरा मराठी चित्रपट असेल ज्यात तो सई ताम्हणकर सोबत दिसणार आहे. 

        ज्ञानेश झोटिंग दिग्दर्शित 'राक्षस' सिनेमाची कथा कौटुंबिक पार्श्वभूमीवर बेतलेली असून थ्रिलर सस्पेन्स देखील पाहायला मिळणार आहे. 'नवलखा आर्टस् अँड होली  बेसिल कम्बाइन' चे विवेक कजारिया आणि निलेश नवलखा बरोबर दिग्दर्शक समित कक्कड यांची ‘समित कक्कड फिल्म्स' 'राक्षस' हा चित्रपट २३ फेब्रुवारीला प्रेक्षकांच्या भेटीस येत आहे. 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Apollo Munich introduces WINSURE: a new category in health insurance by launching first-of-its-kind Health Wallet plan

Mumbai, December 9, 2017: In an endeavor to offer a unique winning proposition to its customers, Apollo Munich Health Insurance (AMHI) today introduced a new category ‘WINSURE’ with its revolutionary WIN-WIN health insurance plan called ‘HEALTH WALLET’.This one-of-a-kind policy is set to redefine the health insurance category by addressing pertinent questions such as value for money, ease and great service. Health Wallet not only addresses the current needs of the customers by paying for their hospitalisation and OPD expenses that are usually not covered by health insurance policies, but also ensures affordability of continuing their policy in later years.

Reserve Benefit

- One-of-its-kind product which offers ‘Reserve Benefit’ that pays for a variety of healthcare expenses 

-Let’s your money earn for you by offering a 6% bonus on the reserve balance at the time of the renewal
The disruptive and innovative Health Wallet plan comes with a path-breaking ’RESERVE’benefit.  True to its name, this feature creates a reserve kitty for the customers that can be used for a variety of out-of-pocket expenses such as speech therapy, purchase of medicines, vaccinations, dental expenses, diagnostic tests, spectacles, contact lenses, medical devices like blood pressure and sugar monitors, oxymeters, prosthetics, consultations with medical practioner, physiotherapist, dietician etc. That’s not all, it also allows the user with the flexibility of paying for ‘non-payable items’ that are generally excluded from any health insurance. As a unique offering, it pays for other medical expenses that are not covered under any other medical insurance such as cosmetic treatment, Alzheimer’s etc. Last but not the least, customers can even use this reserve amount to fund for co-payment and deductible cost.

The most interesting part of the RESERVE benefit is that it lets your money earn for you. Every year the unused reserve amount gets carried forward and earns a 6% bonus. This accumulated reserve kitty can in turn be used to pay upto 50% of the renewal premium, post 5 continuous renewals. It is unarguably a new milestone in health insurance industry that addresses the Indian savings and returns mindset and allows the customers to fund for their health insurance premium in the later years.

Speaking on this announcement, Mr. Antony Jacob, Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance said, “With changing lifestyles, healthcare needs of Indians are changing at a rapid pace and with this, we believe it is imperative for the health insurance sector to redefine itself to cater to the evolving needs of customers. With respect to healthcare financing there are three major insights at hand and perhaps also the reason for low health insurance penetration. One - India ranks 183 out of 189 countries on account of out of pocket expenses, which means almost 70% of healthcare expenses incurred is out of pocket. Two - Indian customers are probably most judicious as they always look for great value for money and it has been imbibed in their minds to save money and plan for their future. Three – Post retirement people are worried about funding health insurance premiums. These pertinent concern areas of customers lead us to re-invent the industry. Today we are proud to be the pioneers in leading this change for our sector and introducing a new category WINSURE, along with a revolutionary product – “Health Wallet” which addresses all of the above concerns”.

“Health Wallet, a next-gen product has been designed to address various dilemmas people have while buying health insurance and caters to their complete healthcare financing needs. Health Wallet is set to create a new vocabulary under the premise of ‘WIN-WIN’ deal. It’s an absolute WIN when all your healthcare needs from OPD to hospitalisation to emergency are addressed by a single plan and also a WIN your money earns for your tomorrow. With this, we strongly believe that we will bring change in the communities at large through our distinctive offering and will continue our endeavour in making India a health confident nation.”

Additionally, at the event, Mr. Jacob introduced Bollywood celebrity, Farhan Akhtar as the brand ambassador of the Company. He is an eminent multi-facet personality, who has succeeded in various aspects of life from being an actor, writer, director, songwriter to a doting father and fitness enthusiast. Sharing his views on the association, Farhan Akhtar opined, “I have always believed that healthcare is not a privilege but a right. In a country where on one hand healthcare is becoming so sophisticated that people around the world come to India for treatment; on the other hand most Indians can’t afford these services. It saddens me to know that over 7 crore families in India get pushed below poverty line every year while trying to tend to the healthcare needs of their loved one. Seeing what an unforeseen health episode can do to a family, I believe health insurance is a necessity for all as it not only enables access to quality healthcare but also protects the dreams of a family. I feel a sense of pride to be associated with the concept of health insurance and more so with Apollo Munich for their passion and purpose of making India health confident.”
For customers who can take care of the first few lakhs of healthcare expenses either with their personal funds or corporate insurance policies, Health Wallet also comes with a deductible option. By opting for deductible, the customer chooses how much expense he/she will be able to take care of in case of a health emergency.


  • Reserve Benefit – A unique benefit that continues to grow and earn for you, helps you secure your retirement. Reserve benefit has been designed to ensure that your money does not get wasted, that’s not all the amount is carried forward in case not used during policy period. The amount that is carried forward also earns a 6% bonus at the time of renewal. And the good news is, that you can pay upto 50% of your renewal premium from the accrued Reserve benefit post 5 continuous renewals
  • Restore Benefit- This feature automatically restores the sum insured if a claim is made
  • Multiplier BenefitIf you’ve had a claim free year, your basic sum insured will be increased by 50% as no claim bonus. If you don’t claim even in the second year, your basic sum insured will be doubled as no claim bonus i.e 100% of the basic sum insured
  • In-patient treatment- If the insured is admitted in the hospitals for more than 24 hours for treatment, this policy will pay for medical expenses
  • Pre-hospitalisation - The medical expenses incurred before admitting to the hospital is called pre-hospitalisation. It will cover upto 60 days, prior to admission
  • Post-hospitalisation- The medical expenses incurred after discharge from the hospital is called post-hospitalisation. It will cover upto 90 days, after discharge from the hospital
  • Day care procedures - Covers in-patient treatment and daycare medical expenses incurred for emergency treatments for an illness or injury sustained or contracted outside of India which cannot be postponed until one returns to India, provided such treatment was medically necessary and certified as an emergency by a medical practitioner.
  • Organ Donor- For donor, the surgical/harvesting charges for the organ are paid through this benefit. Organ cost is not paid
  • Ayush Treatment - Medical Expenses incurred for in-patient treatment taken under Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha or Homeopathy upto 100% of in-patient sum insured
  • Domiciliary Treatment- Treatment in home is covered, provided if there is no bed available in the hospital or the person cannot be transferred to the hospital. It is not outpatient
  • Recovery BenefitUnder this, a lump sum payment of Rs. 10,000 is given where hospitalization exceeds 10 continuous days. This benefit is payable only once per illness/accident per policy year. This benefit is not applicable if optional deductible is chosen
  • Ambulance cover benefit- Expenses incurred on transportation of insured person to a hospital for treatment in case of an emergency, subject to Rs. 2000 per hospitalization
  • Worldwide Emergency care - Covers expense on treatment of illness or conditions first manifested during the Policy Period while travelling overseas upto a maximum of 20 L, provided Hospitalisation or Day Care Procedure was necessary and was done


PETA Teams Up With Record Label for 'Billi Ka Bachcha', Ankur Tewari's Soon-to-Be-Released Music Video Starring Fans' Adopted Cats

Mumbai – Singer-songwriter Ankur Tewari's light-hearted new single, "Billi Ka Bachcha", is already winning fans on every audio music-streaming platform – and now, PETA and Sony Music India need fans' help to fill the accompanying video with images of rescued cats.

In honour of International Animal Rights Day (10 December), PETA has teamed up with the record label to launch the 'Billi Ka Bachcha' Video Contest, which asks everyone to submit videos showing their adopted cats playing, snuggling, and otherwise being adorable at home. The clips might just make it into the music video, which will promote the adoption of homeless animals and debut on 12 January, PETA's 18th anniversary.

"An adopted billi ka bachcha brings endless joy into a home," says PETA Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. "PETA's first-of-its-kind collaboration with Sony Music India will encourage music fans across the country to help an animal in need by adopting a lovable dog or cat from the street or a shelter."

Anjana Devraj, head of Sony Music India's Kids' Division, says, "It is our honour to be associated with PETA for a cause which is close to our hearts as well, i.e. animal welfare. Finding good homes for homeless animals is the endeavour, and we believe the 'Billi Ka Bachcha' Video Contest will help create awareness about the importance of adopting strays. Ankur's sound is loved by all age groups, and since the song is highly addictive, we are confident that the response to this contest will be positive."

Tewari is excited about the collaboration, too: "I am glad to be associated with Sony Music and PETA for this cause. The song … subtly instils care and affection in the minds of children towards animals. Harassment of animals is a pressing issue in society, and I am quite sure this initiative will help us raise awareness … for rehabilitation and adoption of homeless animals through the 'Billi Ka Bachcha' Video Contest."

Homeless dogs and cats across India fight for their lives on the streets. Many go hungry, are killed by vehicles, incur broken bones or infected wounds, or are abused by cruel people, while countless others languish in animal shelters. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to abuse in any way" – urges everyone to adopt homeless animals from a shelter or the street and never buy them from pet stores or breeders, which contribute to the animal-homelessness crisis.

Friday, 8 December 2017

हिज डे कादंबरी तृतीय पंथांच्या हस्ते प्रकाशित


The Marathi Novel named "HIS DAY" a play on the word - HIZDE authored by Mrs Swati R Chandorkar released through open publication during a function held at GSM Banquet Hall, D N Nagar, Andheri west, Mumbai amidst huge gathering of dignitaries and distinguished persons from the field of Marathi literature.
Amongst the famed dignitaries, Prof Mr Pravin Davne, a renowned name in Marathi Literature; Mr Pradip Velankar & Mr Pramod Pawar, both renowned as well as senior stage & TV artist; Mr Chandrakant Mehandale, critic & column writer on Marathi Stage graced the function and expressed their views.
The special participation of leading entities from Transgender community, namely,  Sanjivani, Madhuri Sharma and Vicky Shinde along with the graced presence of Ms. Hemangi Mhaprolkar, clinical psychologist associated with several NGOs working towards the betterment and welfare of LGBTQ community for the past 14 years, added to the charm and exuberance of the evening.
The dignitaries while appreciating the novel, highlighted that this could very well be the first of such fine work in Marathi Literature, which dwells on the subject of social status of transgender individuals, their lifestyle, struggles, grievances and the misplaced apathy/hatred of general society by denying their very existence.
The author, Mrs. Swati R Chandorkar, placed her experiences of dealing with transgender community and said that everyone in the common society normally shares a curiosity to know details of Transgenders but denies to say so openly. I was determined to know about their ethnic groups, self proclaimed governance bodies controlling these groups and sects of Transgenders, their life styles, their way of procuring means of life and also their expectations from the Society and Govt as well. She says, "my objective behind this novel was to place the hard facts of Transgenders before the Society and make sincere efforts to have their due recognition and acceptance instead of denying it altogether and avoiding them with hatred.
This Novel of Ms Swati [who is the daughter of well known Marathi Author Late Mr. Va Pu Kale] happens to be the 9th Novel published so far. Leaving apart the common themes /subject, she has always focused on different subjects like Euthanasia, issues & conflicts of priests performing only the last rites etc. Besides the novels, she has also authored several story books and 13 books on transcription of thoughts & philosophies of Saint Osho [Acharya Rajneesh].   
The function was concluded with dance performances of Mujra, Badhai and Lavani by the artists from amongst the Transgenders.   

This novel is published by a renowned publishing Firm in Marathi Literature “Mehta Publishing House “from Pune. 

स्वाती चांदोरकर लिखीत हिज डे कादंबरीचे तृतीय पंथांच्या हस्ते प्रकाशन करण्यात आले. हा सोहळा जी एम एस बँक्वेट. न्यू लिंक रोड डी एन नगर येथे करण्यात आला यावेळी श्री प्रवीण दवणे, श्री प्रदीप वेलणकर. श्री प्रमोद पवार. श्री चंद्रकांत मेहेंदळे. सौ माधवी बांदेकर, निवेदिका हेमांगी आणि प्रमुख पाहुणे म्हणून ट्रान्स जेंडर संजीवनी मधुरी शर्मा, व विकी शिंदे उपस्थित होते. श्री प्रवीण दवणे यांनी त्यांचे विचार यावेळी वेक्त केले. “हिज डे” कादंबरी हि ट्रान्स जेंडर, त्यांच्या वेदना क्लेश समस्या ह्यावर आधारित असून ती सत्य आणि काल्पनिक ह्यांची गुंफण आहे. या कादंबरी चे प्रकाशक मेहता पब्लिशिंग हाऊस ने केले आहे. 
स्वाती चांदोरकर यावेळी म्हणाल्या तृतीय पंथी लोकांबद्दल आज पर्यंत लिखाण झालेले नाही असे नाही. लोकांना त्याच्या बद्दल जाणूनं घेण्याचे असते परंतु त्यांच्या बदल भिती असते, म्हणून लोक त्यांना टाळतात. त्यामुळे या आधुनिक जगात ते समाजापासून दुरावलेले आहेत. मला त्यांच्या समस्या, त्यांची जगण्याची धडपड, त्यांची तडजोड त्यांच्या वेदना त्यांच्या व्यथा, या बदल जाणून घेण्याची उत्सुकता होती तसेच त्यांच्या समाजाकडे असणाऱ्या मागण्या लोकांपर्यंत पोहोचवणं मला गरचेच वाटलं. यासाठी जे जे काही त्यांच्या कडून समजले ते मी ह्या कादंबरीत मांडण्याचा प्रयत्न केला आहे. सर्व प्रसंग जरी काल्पनिक असले तरी त्याला सत्याची साथ आहे. त्यांना चांगल आयुष्य हवं आहे ... आणि ह्या चांगल्या आयुष्यासाठी त्यांचे एकाच मागणं आहे ... " आम्हाला माणूस म्हणून जगू द्या " मी त्यांचे हेच मागणे लोकांपर्यंत पोहोचवण्याचा प्रयत्न ह्या “हिज डे” ह्या माझ्या कादंबरीतून केला आहे. 
स्वाती चांदोरकर यांची या पूर्वी युथनेशिया, पवित्रम, एक पायरी वर, फॉरवड अँड डिलीट, अनाहत उत्खनन, शेष,  विक्रमादित्य हरला, निर्वाण उपनिषद कादंबरी प्रसिद्ध झाली असून गोल गोल राणी, सेलिब्रेशन, काळाकभिन्न, आणि विक्रमादित्य हरला कथासंग्रह मीरेच्या प्रेमतीर्थावर, मीरा एक वसंत आहे, मीरेची मधुशाला, मीरा श्यामरंगी रंगली, मृत्यूचे अमरत्व, मृत्यायुषी, नानक संसारी संन्यस्त, नानक सूर संगीत एक धून, नानक निरंकारी कवी, नानक परमात्म्याचा नाद ओमकार असे ओशोंचे अनुवादित साहित्य तसेच वपु हे चरित्र व वेक्तिचरित्र हि प्रसिद्ध झाले आहेत. 
तृतीय पंथांच्या समस्या प्रत्यक्ष त्यांच्याकडून ऐकण्याची संधी यावेळी मिळाली तसेच कार्यक्रमाची सांगता त्यांनी लावणी , मुजरा, बधाई सादर करून कार्यक्रमाची शोभा वाढवली.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Thomas Cook India focuses on improving gender diversity

~Honored as one of the Top 100 Best Companies for Women in India~

Mumbai, December 6, 2017: Thomas Cook (India) Group, India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, was recently selected as one of the Working Mother & AVTAR 100 Best Companies for Women in India 2017. The companies within the Thomas Cook India Group that were a part of the survey included SITA-Travel Corp (India) Ltd, Thomas Cook India and SOTC.

In India, women who work full time are also responsible for managing household chores ranging from cleaning, cooking, taking care of their children, social and religious obligations, etc. Unfortunately the maturity to accept women as equals is often lacking in the country, with a rather traditional/patriarchal attitude exhibited. This social attitude tends to spill onto the workplace as well.

Against this backdrop, it was important for Thomas Cook India to take a stand and empower its women workforce to get their fair share, be confident and feel safe in their work environment. The Company launched a unique initiative, Women of Will (WOW), as a platform for this dynamic workforce, enabling them to share their dreams, their challenges and support each other and the organization to achieve their professional and personal goals.

Thomas Cook India aims at establishing a working environment that encourages all its employees to fully demonstrate their capabilities in the workplace and has incorporated various measures, policies and programmes that address issues such as organizational development, vital to motivate all employees to fully demonstrate their capabilities without regard to gender.

Ms. Mona Cheriyan - President & Group Head, Human Resources, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “We strive to give equal opportunities for growth to both women and men at the workplace. We are hence delighted with the honour of being counted among the Top 100 Best Companies for women in India. We have a fair number of women leaders and continue to mentor women in the workplace to take on more strategic roles. The leisure industry lends opportunities for women and we ensure that some roles where women have special skills and an eye for detail are staffed with female employees.”

Ms. Cheriyan reiterated, “As an organisation the Thomas Cook India Group aims to have an inclusive culture. We do not discriminate between genders. We are clear that the competencies of a person are not necessarily in line with the person’s gender!”

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

वर्षाखेरीस सई ताम्हणकरचं एक आगळंवेगळं समाजकार्य! सई ताम्हणकरची आगळीवेगळी मेकअप आर्टिस्ट!

                 मूकबधिर असणे हे सामाजिक दृष्ट्या कमीपणाचे आहे असं मानलं जातं. अपंग व्यक्तींना समाजात फार हिनतेने वागवले जाते. जोश फाउंडेशन ही संस्था अशाच अपंग व्यक्तींना प्रेरित करून स्वबळावर जगणारे नागरिक घडवत आहे. मराठी इंडस्ट्रीतले गाजलेले नाव सई  ताम्हणकर ह्या फौंडेशनशी जोडले गेले आहे. जोश संस्थेचा मूकबधिर मुलांना स्वबळावर उभे करण्याचा उपक्रम सईला फारच आवडला आणि त्यानंतर सई देखील या कामात सहभागी झाली.

        यश हे केवळ पैशांतून मिळत नाही परंतु समाजाच्या दिशेने उचललेली एक जबाबदारी असते. सई गेलं वर्षभर अशा विविध समाजकार्याचा महत्वाचा भाग बनली आहे. मग ते आमिर सोबत पाणी फौंडेशनच काम असो वा जोश फौंडेशनचा आगळावेगळा उपक्रम असो. 

         जोश संस्थेतील मूकबधिर विद्यार्थिनी सारा थडानी पटेल ही सध्या हेअर आर्टिस्ट व मेकअप आर्टिस्ट म्हणून काम करत आहे . तिने फॅशन चित्रपट आणि लॅक्मे फॅशन विक साठी मेकअप आर्टिस्ट म्हणून केलं आहे. तिच्या ह्या प्रयत्नपूर्वक मिळवलेल्या यशावर जोश फौंडेशनने एक लघूपट बनवला आहे, ज्याचं नाव आहे - Shining Through Stars!  हा लघुपट ४ डिसेंबर ला सईच्या उपस्थितीत  मुंबईतील मिठीबाई कॉलेज येथे दाखवला गेला. या लघुपटात मेकअप आर्टिस्ट 'सारा थडानी' कडून सईने स्वतःचा मेकअप करून घेतला आहे.

        हा अनुभव सांगताना सई ह्याबाबत म्हणते, "सारा ज्या आत्मविश्वाने कामाला सुरुवात करते, तो पाहून तुम्हाला तिच्या कामाबद्दल काहीही शंका येत नाही. ती तिचं काम खूप मनापासून आणि कल्पकतेने करते. तिचं काम पाहून तिच्या मूकबधिर असण्यामागच्या तुमच्या ज्या काही शंकाकुशंका असतील त्या अगदी झटक्यात दूर होतील." 

         ह्या फौंडेशनसोबत काम करताना सईला खूप काही नवीन पहायला मिळालं, त्याबाबत सई म्हणते, "समाजात मूकबधिर मुलांकडे पाहण्याचा दृष्टिकोन खूपच दयनीय आहे. आपण नेहमी ह्यांना सहानुभूतीने पाहतो आणि त्यांना आपल्या सहानुभूतीची गरज आहे असं समजतो. पण हे चुकीचं आहे. खरंतर ही मुलं खूप स्ट्रॉंग आणि प्रचंड हुशार असतात. खूप मेहनतीने त्यांना गोष्टी शिकाव्या लागतात पण ते त्या आपल्यापेक्षा जास्त जाणीवपूर्वक शिकतात. ही मुलं खूप स्वावलंबी असतात. समाजाने त्यांना सहजतेने वागवलं पाहिजे. माणसाची ओळख त्यांच्या कामातून असते. आणि ह्या मूकबधिर मुलांचं हे काम नक्कीच त्यांची स्वतंत्र ओळख करून देतं."  

           गेली अनेक वर्ष जोश फौंडेशन मुकबधिर लोकांसाठी काम करत आहे. फौंडेशनने अनेक जणांना स्वतंत्र व्यक्ती म्हणून जगण्यास शिकवले आहे. यातील काही विद्यार्थी इंजिनिर, फोटोग्राफर, इंटिरियर डीजाईनर तर काही ग्राफिक डीजाईनर होऊन स्वतःच्या पायावर उभे राहिले आहेत. अपंगत्व हे शारीरिक नव्हे तर धडधाकट असलेल्या सामाजिक मानसिकतेत असते, आणि अपंग मुलं ही त्या सगळ्या गोष्टी करू शकतात ज्या नॉर्मल मूल करु शकतात, हे ह्यातून स्पष्ट होते. 

Christmas in Singapore

Christmas in Singapore is a big celebration that gives the locals another excuse to do what they love most: eat and shop.Christmas in Singapore is every bit the celebration that it is elsewhere.
You might not get real snow or reindeers, but Christmas in Singapore is as big as any other celebration during the year.
The famous shopping belt on Orchard Road is spectacularly lit up every December to ramp up the festive mood, and serves as a blazing reminder to hit the malls.
It’s not all indulgence though.
At its heart, the holiday is still a special day for Singapore’s many Christians. It’s a religious celebration like any other, except over here, everyone gets to take part in the frenzy and the fun of fake snow, men in santa suits and of course, Christmas presents!

Immerse in the spirit of Christmas along Orchard Road as Singapore’s premier lifestyle and shopping destination transforms into a magical wonderland for the holidays. As part of Christmas on A Great Stree t, shopping malls are bedecked with flickering fairy lights, twinkling trees and elaborate decorations, with street performances and festive bazaars galore. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly!: ION Orchard exterior mall façade Christmas 2016  evening shot
Since the first Orchard Road Christmas Light-up in 1984, scores of Singaporeans and tourists alike have flocked to the precinct to celebrate and shop for gifts for their loved ones. This year, look forward to a slew of festivities that allude to the theme of “Endless Wonder”.
Light-up ceremonyStroll through Orchard Road to admire the spectacularly lit up decorations on this Singapore holiday.
The festivities begin more than a month before Christmas, and typically attract photography buffs, families with kids, shopaholics and partygoers looking to soak in the festive atm osphere. On 11 November, witness Orchard Road transform into an even more vibrant stretch when the festive lights come on for the first time this year. The lights will be up ’til 1 January so you’ve more than a month to take them all in.
Endless Wonder Christmas Village
It’s not Christmas if there isn’t a cosy, charming market to put you in the holiday mood. And for the first time, Christmas on A Great Street is setting up the Endless Wonder Christmas Village, at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. Set your kids off on bouncy castles, feast on Yuletide delicacies, and enjoy the live music gigs as costumed performers rove among the crowds. Orchard Road Christmas on A Great Street 2016 light-up

Pop-up stars
As part of the Christmas Village, more than 25 brands, from food to fashion, are pitching their tents. Along Orchard Road, there will also be duplex stores that belong to beauty brand SK-II and everybody’s favourite ice cream company, Häagen-Dazs. The former features interactive art installations and a café, while the latter is putting together DIY workshops and, in the spirit of the season, a ‘snow room’.

Christmas countdown partyC:\Users\rohini.thakur\Desktop\Sg.jpg
Come 24 December, join fellow partygoers to greet Christmas Day at Orchard Road’s first-ever countdown party. Drink, dance and dive into the thick of the merrymaking before pyrotechnic displays light up the sky once the cl ock strikes midnight.

Captivating street décor

The halls, malls and the entire 2.8-kilometre stretch of Orchard Road are decked with glittering lights and stardust. Take in the street decorations from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura, and stop by the many shopping centres competing to be crowned the “Best Dressed Building” for the festive season. Have your say, too, by casting your vote on the OneOrchard iOS and Android app.
If you’ve always wanted to star gaze in the wilderness, The Enchanted Tree in front of Wisma Atria comes close enough. Stand under the installation’s ‘canopy’ and look up—you’ll see a constellation of stars spread out over you. Then lose yourself in The Walk of Wonder in front of Forum The Shopping Mall—this 20-metre-long immersive passage with reflective fabrics, fairy lights and amorphous shapes will whisk you away to a whole new fantasy world.