BLOOD DONOR DAY

Theme for 2021:
“Give blood and keep the world beating”

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day

World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is held on June 14 each year. The event was organised for the first time in 2005, by a joint initiative of the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. World Blood Donor Day is one of 11 official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Chagas Disease Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Patient Safety Day, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and World AIDS Day.

Transfusion of blood and blood products helps and save millions of lives every year. It can help patients who suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth.

In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.

An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. In 2014, 60 countries have their national blood supplies based on 99-100% voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 73 countries still largely dependent on family and paid donors.

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year by people around the world on June 14 which is the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner (14 June 1868 – 26 June 1943 ). Landsteiner was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the ABO blood group system.

Have a nice day!

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RAJA FESTIVAL

Sand art by Sudarsan Pattnaik

Raja (Odia: ରଜ) or Raja Parba (Odia: ରଜ ପର୍ବ) or Mithuna Sankranti is a three-day-long festival of womanhood celebrated in Odisha, India. The second day of the festival signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna from, which the season of rains starts.

It is believed that the mother Goddess Earth or the divine wife of Lord Vishnu undergoes menstruation during the first three days. The fourth day is called Vasumati Snana, or ceremonial bath of Bhudevi. The term Raja came from the Sanskrit word ‘Rajas’ which means menstruation and when a woman menstruates, she is called ‘Rajaswala’ or a menstruating woman, and in medieval times the festival became more popular as an agricultural holiday marking the worship of Bhudevi, who is the wife of lord Jagannath. A silver idol of Bhudevi is still to be found in the Puri Temple beside Lord Jagannath .

It falls in mid June, the first day is called Pahili Raja, second day is Mithuna Sankranti, third day is Bhudaaha or Basi Raja. The final fourth day is called Basumati snana, in which the ladies bath the grinding stone as a symbol of Bhumi with turmeric paste and adore with flower, sindoor etc. All type of seasonal fruits are offered to mother Bhumi. The day before first day is called Sajabaja or preparatory day during which the house, kitchen including grinding stones are cleaned, spices are ground for three days. During these three days women and girls take rest from work and wear new Saree, Alata, and ornaments. It is similar to Ambubachi Mela. The most popular among numerous festivals in Odisha, Raja is celebrated for three consecutive days. Just as the earth prepares itself to quench its thirst by the incoming rain the unmarried girls of the family are groomed for impending matrimony through this festival. They pass these three days in joyous festivity and observe customs like eating only uncooked and nourishing food especially Podapitha, do not take bath or take salt, do not walk barefoot and vow to give birth to healthy children in future. The most vivid and enjoyable memories one has of the Raja gaiety is the rope-swings on big banyan trees and the lyrical folk-songs that one listens from the nubile beauty enjoying the atmosphere.

To celebrate the advent of monsoon, the joyous festival is arranged for three days by the villagers. Though celebrated all over the state it is more enthusiastically observed in all over the Odisha but celebrated with much fervour across the coastal districts. The first day is called “Pahili Raja”, second is “Raja Sankranti” and third is “Bhumi Dahana or Basi Raja”.

According to popular belief as women menstruate, which is a sign of fertility, so also Mother Earth menstruates. So all three days of the festival are considered to be the menstruating period of Mother Earth. During the festival all agricultural operations remain suspended. As a mark of respect towards the Earth during her menstruation days, all agricultural works comes to a standstill during these days. Significantly, it is a festival of the unmarried girls, the potential mothers. They all observe the restrictions prescribed for a menstruating woman. The very first day, they rise before dawn, do their hair, anoint their bodies with turmeric paste and oil and then take the purificatory bath in a river or tank. Peculiarly, bathing for the rest two days is prohibited. They don’t walk bare-foot do not scratch the earth, do not grind, do not tear anything apart, do not cut and do not cook. During all the three consecutive days they are seen in the best of dresses and decorations, eating cakes and rich food at the houses of friends and relatives, spending long cheery hours, moving up and down on improvised swings, rending the village sky with their merry impromptu songs.

The swings are of different varieties, such as ‘Ram Doli’, ‘Charki Doli’, ‘Pata Doli’, ‘Dandi Doli’ etc. Songs specially meant for the festival speak of love, affection, respect, social behaviour and everything of social order that comes to the minds of the singers. Through anonymous and composed extempore, much of these songs, through sheer beauty of diction and sentiment, has earned permanence and has gone to make the very substratum of Odisha’s folk-poetry. While girls thus scatter beauty, grace and music all around, moving up and down on the swings during the festival, young men give themselves to strenuous games and good food, on the eve of the onset of the monsoons, which will not give them even a minute’s respite for practically four months making them one with mud, slush and relentless showers, their spirits keep high with only the hopes of a good harvest. As all agricultural activities remain suspended and a joyous atmosphere pervades, the young men of the village keep themselves busy in various types of country games, the most favourite being ‘Kabadi’. Competitions are also held between different groups of villages. All nights ‘Jatra’ performances or ‘Gotipua’ dances are arranged in prosperous villages where they can afford the professional groups. Enthusiastic amateurs also arrange plays and other kinds of entertainment.

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HOW TO TRANSCEND THE HUMAN ATTRIBUTE – “BONDAGE”

GITA WISDOM # 66

Chapter 14 verse 25

मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्यो मित्रारिपक्षयोः।
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी गुणातीतः सा उच्यते॥

The path to cross the human bondage involves two characteristics namely steadfastness amidst glory and humiliation; as well as equality amongst friends and foes. It can be achieved only if one surpasses the feeling “I-am-the-doer”. (14.25)

जो मान और अपमान में सम है, मित्र और वैरी के पक्ष में भी सम है एवं सम्पूर्ण आरम्भों में कर्तापन के अभिमान से रहित है, वह पुरुष गुणातीत कहा जाता है ॥25॥

The path to cross the human bondage involves two characteristics namely steadfastness amidst glory and humiliation; as well as equality amongst friends and foes. It can be achieved only if one surpasses the feeling “I-am-the-doer”. (14.25)

Happy Sunday!

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WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR

Theme for 2021 – “Act Now: End Child Labour “

https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-day-against-child-labour

The World Day Against Child Labour is an International Labour Organization (ILO)-sanctioned holiday first launched in 2002 aiming to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour. It was spurred by ratifications of ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for employment and ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour.

The World Day Against Child Labour, which is held every year on June 12, is intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour.

Have a great weekend!

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REMEMBERING MANOJ DAS

http://worldofmanojdas.in/

Manoj Das (27 February 1934 – 27 April 2021) was an Indian author who wrote in Odia and English. In 2000, Manoj Das was awarded the Saraswati Samman. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2001, the fourth-highest Civilian Award in India, Padma Bhusan in 2020, the third highest Civilian Award in India for his contribution in the field of Literature & Education.

Kendra Sahitya Akademi has bestowed its highest award (also India’s highest literary award) i.e Sahitya Akademi Award Fellowship.

In 1971, his research in the archives of London and Edinburgh brought to light some of the little-known facts of India’s freedom struggle in the first decade of the twentieth century led by Sri Aurobindo for which he received the first Sri Aurobindo Puraskar (Kolkata).

His deeper quest led him to mysticism and he was an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1963 where he taught English Literature and the Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International University.

Notable works:
Cyclones
A Tiger at Twilight
Mystery of the Missing Cap
Myths, Legends, Concepts and Literary Antiquities of India

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WORLD FOOD SAFETY DAY

Theme for 2021:  ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’

https://www.un.org/en/observances/food-safety-day

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-food-safety-day/2021

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INTROSPECTION – III

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WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Theme for 2021: “Ecosystem Restoration”

Sand art by Sudarsan Pattnaik

https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day

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GOOD HABITS FOR BETTER PRODUCTIVITY

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NOBLE THOUGHTS # 54

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WORLD BICYCLE DAY

In April 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 3 as International World Bicycle Day. The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognizes “the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transport.”

World Bicycle Day is a special day meant to be enjoyed by all people regardless of any characteristic. The bicycle as a symbol of human progress and advancement “[promotes] tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and [facilitates] social inclusion and a culture of peace.” The bicycle further is a “symbol of sustainable transport and conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on climate.”

Professor Leszek Sibilski, Polish social scientist working in the United States, led a grassroots campaign with his sociology class to promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day, eventually gaining the support of Turkmenistan and 56 other countries. The original UN Blue and White #June3WorldBicycleDay logo was designed by Isaac Feld and the accompanying animation was done by Professor John E. Swanson. It depicts bicyclists of various types riding around the globe. At the bottom of the logo is the hashtag #June3WorldBicycleDay. The main message is to show that the bicycle belongs to and serves all of humanity.

World Bicycle Day is now being associated with promoting a healthy lifestyle for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

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FLOWERS ~ 20

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GLOBAL DAY OF PARENTS

In 2012, the General Assembly proclaimed 1 June as the Global Day of Parents, to be observed annually in honour of parents throughout the world.

https://www.un.org/en/observances/parents-day

Have a lovely day!

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POSITIVE VIVES # 29

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WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of tobacco, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.

Theme for 2021: “Commit to Quit”

Have a great day!

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