One of the major elements which makes a city is its people. Without its people, the city is absolutely incomplete. And Udaipur has an umpteen number of such talented people everywhere making the city proud.
The section ‘People’ of UdaipurBlog jots together the information and details about the prominent personalities in Udaipur. It gives a platform to all those people who, with their hardwork and spirit, glorify the name of the city everywhere. Here you can read about all those people who, with their hard work and passion, create news in the pages of Udaipur.
The section also deals with a special series named ‘People in Udaipur you should know about’ which features all the renowned personalities who with their hard work and accomplishments, have not just made the city proud but the entire country proud. These people have set a benchmark in the history and secured a well-deserved spot in the blogs of this section.
With utmost sadness and angst, we are sad to inform the demise of Shri Manik Arya on June 21, 2021. You may remember him as a prominent media personality and one of the most loved broadcasters. He was the Retd. Deputy Director, All India Radio. A gem of a man gone too soon!
Early Life of Manik Arya
Manik Arya was born in Pratapgarh on June 7, 1954. He inherited music from his mother and as a result, got famous as a Violin Player and culturally righteous. His father was famous for Shastriya Sangeet, and so Manik got into playing the guitar, sitar, guitar, and tabla. Arya’s father was better known as a famous Tabla Vadak across the nation. Manik learnt music in Allahabad and in 1972 he completed his schooling in Udaipur. He further completed his graduation and post-graduation in 1976-78. He worked with Hindustan Zinc as a Social Welfare Officer in 1979. Finally, his career in broadcasting began in 1980.
Life in Broadcasting: Mr Manik Arya’s Journey so far!
A well-known personality in the media and broadcasting field, Manik Arya was a Senior Officer of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Manik Arya retired from the post of Deputy Director-General, All India Radio, on June 30, 2014. Manik had a keen interest in literature, music, art, and culture. He took a lot of initiatives to flourish the music in the Rajasthani Folk Music Industry.
Mr Arya was selected in the Indian Broadcasting Service organized by the Union Public Service Commission in the year 1980. Manik Arya got posted in Akashwani Kendra in Jodhpur in 1983. He made a special contribution to the establishment of All India Radio’s Jaisalmer and Barmer branch in the year 1985. For the same, he received a certificate from the Director-General, Akashwani, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for this service.
Shri Manik Arya went to Malaysia in 1987 for 3 months during his posting in Kota to represent the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, where he represented India by taking the test for broadcasting at the Asian Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development organization in order to hasten development works via broadcasting in our country. He was transferred from Kota to Udaipur in 1992 and was further promoted to Banswara as a Senior Official of the Indian Broadcasting Service. While stationed in Banswara, he preserved the tribal folk music of the Wagad region. Eventually, in 1995 he was posted again in Udaipur. In the year 2007, he was awarded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting the Hindi Rajbhasha National Award. In 2008, he went for the coverage of the 8th World Hindi Convention in New York, USA. The convention was organized in the auditorium of the United Nations, and he took interview with various subject matters experts. The program was broadcasted live on various news channels such as BBC London, Voice of America, and other nationwide and across the globe. Manik Arya was promoted to Udaipur in 2012 by the ministry of information and broadcasting, directorate general of All India Radio as Regional Deputy Director-General (program). Manik Arya was the first official in Rajasthan from the Indian Broadcasting Service to be appointed as a Deputy Director. He rendered remarkable services in All India Radio for 33 years.
Perhaps everyone who knew him learnt something from him. An inspiration to many, Shri Manik Arya will be always remembered. Rest in Peace!
Adding another feather in his cap, Rohitesh Upadhyay, from Udaipur, broke a 17-year-old world record and got recognized by the Guinness World Book of Records! Rohitesh has proudly represented India across the world by breaking the world record for the “Longest No Hands Motorcycle Wheelie”, which is one of the most difficult types of wheelies in the Sportbike Freestyle Riding (SFR). In this record, the rider has to let go of the handlebar, and cover a certain distance in a straight line, with the front wheel up in the air, without touching the motorcycle by hands or tripping over.
The targeted distance for Rohitesh was 89 meters while holding his stance, which was made by the previous world record holder, AC Farias of Brazil and was unbroken for past 17 years. Rohitesh, on the other hand, maintained the stance for a total of 567 meters, about 6 times higher than the previous world record! Thus, after years of training, he was able to achieve that great distance withstanding his position for the longest time. The results for the same were announced by the Guinness World Book of Records in April 2021.
Rohitesh’s accomplishment also got featured in a Spanish magazine named Soymotero. The magazine mostly features the latest motorbikes and equipment.
For those who are wondering, Rohitesh is the same guy who previously registered his record for “Longest No Hands Motorcycle Wheelie”, in the International Book of Records and Golden Book of Records in 2020, where he was able to reach a distance of 125 meters, bound by logistics and venue limitations. However, his determination and hard work paid off eventually, and he has now set a strong record for the ones to come next.
“I wish people recognize this as a serious skill and something more than entertainment. Also, I hope I can say to the youth of today to keep this activity off the streets as it is not only illegal but absolutely dangerous for both the rider and the pedestrians”, says Rohitesh. The trick is supposed to be performed under expert supervision, and no one without training should copy the same without knowing the risks involved with the same.
With years of practice and resolve, Rohitesh Upadhyay has made Udaipur proud again. Kudos to him!
As we mark World Environment Day (WED) on 5th June, we should pay attention to warnings and take them seriously. And environmental alarm bells are no exception! On biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, and climate change, there are a plethora of startling statistics. Facts to which we can no longer turn a blind eye. So, in the lead up to World Environment Day, we bring you another episode of UB Baatcheet. We have all heard about how important it is to plant trees, but we aren’t so quick to implement. Therefore, to know about the dos and don’ts of plantation, we have an expert who will educate us about the same. Today, our guest is Mr. Bhuvnesh Ojha, Founder of Pukaar Foundation, an exceptional environmentalist and has inspired everyone around us. Let’s hear about how they started and what inspired him to work for the environment.
Watch the full video below:
Highlight transcript from the video:
How did you start Pukaar?
It has always been my dream to work for the environment. This thought came into my mind when I was in 8th grade, and I saw that my village (near Bhilwara) has a lot of uncultivated and barren land. I used to hear from my grandfather and father that many farmers are committing suicide due to lack of land and crop production, so I thought, why not make the barren land useful by giving it some attention. But obviously, when I discussed this idea with my friends, they told me that I would need capital/money to start social work. I heard about some guys who went to IIT and got a package of 1 crore per year, and I thought, why not do something like this to raise money for my social work. I went to Kota for higher studies, and there I found motivation from various experiences that now is the time to start doing something for the environment. I still remember that quote from Steve Jobs – “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?” and that hit me hard. We planted the first plant of Pukaar on 10th March 2013; at that time, we were not even sure about the name of this foundation, and we were just a bunch of friends from my colony. Slowly and gradually, the children in the neighbourhood also started taking part in the plantation drive. We started buying plants from our pocket money and planted 20 to 30 plants. Our work slowly got viral on social media, and we got a lot of requests for volunteer work. So, on 10th November 2013, we did a plantation drive outside our colony (100 ft. road, Udaipur), and we dedicated a Sunday for planting trees. After that, it became our motive to dedicate every Sunday to plantation drives with as many people. From 2013, we have dedicated 310 Sundays till now.
What challenges has Pukaar faced till now?
The biggest challenge was to raise awareness about planting trees and explaining to people why it is such a big deal. I was a teenager when I started plantation drives in Udaipur and when we used to talk to senior people or give them advice about which plant to use, they had this sense of superiority that was a challenge. Funding was another challenge we faced, and I believe a lot of non-profits face the issue where they cannot get enough funding to support the cause. Also, after receiving the funding, the implementation process further becomes a challenge. However, when there is a team spirit and passion for making a difference, the obstacles seem smaller.
When did you know that you can make a difference on a bigger scale?
Even after working for a decade, I still can’t make peace with what we have done so far. When your targets are bigger, then getting every accomplishment to feel small. However, when I see that the forests we planted and cultivated are now home to honeybees and birds, that makes me immensely happy and motivated me to do more and more plantation drives.
What is Miyawaki Forestation, and what steps did you take in this direction?
Miyawaki is a technique where you can plant a forest even in a tiny, room-size area. The technique is immensely helpful for your health as well as your biodiversity. Dr. Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese Botanist, invented this technique in the 1970s, and he followed the natural process to make this standard method of growing a tiny forest near you. It is imperative to plan local crops or plants because only those will help the ecosystem around you. Every soil has its own components, and it is vital to understand the same and plant trees that are suitable for the environment. So, first, we try to extract a lot of forests near Udaipur, such as the Jaisamand area, Chirwa, Sajjangarh, and nearby regions. Then, we study the region’s soil and plant only those trees that can naturally grow there. These forests tend to grow denser with time and eventually helps to absorb the microbes and pollution around us. Basically, they act as a filter wall for you, which is why the Miyawaki technique became so popular.
What can we do, or the steps can we take to protect the environment?
The first thing I would like to say is that don’t plant non-native species around your home and switch to native species since only those plants contribute to the environment around you. Some of the best choices for a home garden or nearby areas are moulshree or Bosali, Amaltas, Kachnar or Bauhinia, Shehtoot or Mulberries, Harsingar or Night Jasmine, or Moringa (Sejan ki Phali) or Drumsticks.
What message would you like to give the readers of UdaipurBlog?
Firstly, I would like to say that whenever we want to achieve something big, we have to take baby steps. So, if we want to save ourselves and the earth, then we must restore the oxygen banks that is our forests and vegetation around us.
Let’s reconnect with our villages and stop the carbon footprint around us! More power to the people who are working for plantation drives and trying to make a difference.
Are you maintaining your health or taking care of your health when gyms are closed in Udaipur? Many people have lost track of keeping up with their health routine and are becoming lethargic day by day. Keeping up with a fitness routine without much-needed help from the gym is quite difficult for some people. Although it is not always ethical to doubt someone’s body positivity or self-confidence, it should be considered whether they are receiving accurate knowledge of where their bodies are and what risks they are exposing themselves to. This is not a question that will be answered too soon. People will continue to work for a healthy lifestyle if they are better informed about obesity and its consequences. People will continue to work for body positivity by reducing their risk of such illnesses if they are well informed about obesity and its risks. Embrace being healthy and hear it from the experts about keeping ourselves healthy by having a proper Indian diet.
Let’s hear it from our experts about including Indian food in your diet plan and fit with the right tips and exercises.
On 7th April 2021, which is the World Health Day, we kickstarted our all-new series, UB Baatcheet. We hosted a talk with Dr Vyom Bolia, a renowned physiotherapist from Udaipur, and Mr Rishabh Jain, a legend in the fitness industry who also won the Ironman Race, the world’s toughest race! We talk to these personalities on various topics, including their views about the closing of gyms, body positivity, health & fitness, and how can one remain fit without going to gyms, which is necessary specially during lockdown period. Here’s a weekend recap, just in case you missed it! Watch out for the video to know the right way to stay fit and healthy in the long run.
Dr Vyom Bolia and Mr Rishabh Jain have answered a few questions concerning people’s health and well-being, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a transcript from the interview. Do note the interview happened in the first week of April 2021, so the lockdown situations are different now than the restrictions then.
Mr Rishabh Jain, what hurdles did you face while completing the Ironman Race Challenge?
His answer was pretty on point! “I dedicated a whole year to training and forgot all about my life and family for the time being”, says Rishabh Jain, the Ironman Race Winner.
Since he took the challenge in 2018, he couldn’t find a coach in Udaipur, so he went to Mumbai to get trained by a professional who could prepare him for this ultimate race. India’s fitness enthusiast and model Milind Soman inspired Rishabh to participate and win the race!
Dr Vyom and Mr Rishabh, how long has it been since you are serving Udaipurites with health and fitness facilities?
“It has been over a decade since we started the first yoga studio in Udaipur with a trendsetting workout session in the city named as ‘6 Days, 6 Workouts’ where patrons got to experience 6 different types of workouts in 6 days”, says Dr Vyom. We then started Healthline Fitness Studio in 2016, and now we have more than 40 personal trainers, yoga teachers, Zumba trainers, etc., offering the best kind of gym facilities to Udaipurites.
What does fitness mean to you? Many people have this perception that fitness is all about being slim, reducing fat, losing weight, and having abs, and it has become a cliché. What are your thoughts about the same?
“Our clientele was mostly female when we initially started the gym business. There is a stereotype that weight lifting is not meant for women. But in my opinion, it is as important for women as it is for men since after the age of 35 women start losing muscle strength and weight training help keep their body tight”, says Rishabh.
He further adds that most women came with a strong need to become as thin as possible in less time, which is quite unreasonable, to be honest! “We mostly recommend doing the right type of workout every day. After a certain age, especially in females, the muscles lose their capacity to stay tight, and for the same, we suggest doing weight training since it is as important for women as it is for men.”
Due to the COVID-19 norms and guidelines, gyms will now remain closed. What are your thoughts on the same?
“We work for improving people’s immunity in gyms, and I, for one, haven’t heard anything about a cluster of COVID-19 patients identified from gyms”, says Dr Vyom. He further adds, “Gyms were closed for more than 6 months, and we were quite patient about it, but the guidelines given by Rajasthan Government recently is unjust and fairly unreasonable. There are a number of food joints in Udaipur where we can get a raving crowd of more than 100 people gathered at one place, then why should gyms stay closed when we are utterly vigilant about sanitization and hygiene at gyms!”
How do you suggest people can keep up their diet and exercise in tune, even without gyms?
Dr Vyom and Rishabh suggest that taking out some time out of your super busy schedule and dedicate it to exercise. Now with smartphones and constantly evolving technology, everyone can manage to find the right type of exercise that can add to a healthy lifestyle. “Leave your laptops or PCs for a while, do brisk walking in the office lobby or at your home, do stretching exercises from time to time, and keep your posture straight while working to have a fit body. This will further help reduce back pain, muscle soreness, joint pain, etc., and the biggest benefit is you don’t need any equipment for the same. We live in a beautiful city, and Udaipur is full of places that offer peaceful places to take a stroll or even have a short run. Fatehsagar, Rani Road, Gulab Bagh, etc., have ample amount of space for you to run or walk for an hour or two. Do yoga at home or register yourself for online training that will keep you going for a healthier lifestyle. Don’t just do exercise for the sake of losing or gaining weight, but make it a part of your routine for long-term benefits”, says Rishabh.
There are a lot of myths associated with Indian Food. As a society, we think that Traditional Indian food is unfit for people. So, from the perspective of diet and nutrition, do you think that this perception is right? What are your suggestions for adding healthy and affordable Indian food that people can add to their daily routine and cut out junk food?
“People have switched to western diet plans and food habits since they think Indian food is unhealthy. It is simple logic; if we date back to ancient times or even take an example of our grandparents, they are still fit compared to teenagers or people in this era. Our ancestors used to eat oily food, ghee, roti, and other essential or say real Indian food and were still very active and healthy”, says Dr Vyom. People blame Indian food, but in reality, the issue is that the amount of food consumed in a day is far more than the number of calories they can burn per day. This impacts excessive weight gain. Every country has a different climate and culture, and as far as I am concerned, Indian food is the best source of nutrition for us Indians. “More or less, our eating habits are changed! Earlier wheat was processed by chakki (hand flour mill) through which the fibre content remained intact. Today the same flour is processed in machines, due to which the wheat loses its fibre and nutritional value. Adulterated food is the biggest problem faced by our generation. That is why organic food products are so much in demand now compared to the early era when only organic food was available in the market. Eating at odd times, midnight munching, and likes are affecting the health of our generation. Nutrition and healthy food play 60% role in your lifestyle whereas exercise play a 40% role”, says Dr Vyom. “We eat as per our taste buds. Adding soya sauce, chilli sauce, or any other taste enhancers or preservatives impacts the nutritional value of the food. The least we can do is change our lifestyle and switch towards a routine where we give equal importance to nutritional food and exercise”, says Rishabh.
Finally, Dr Vyom asks us to take a pledge to spare at least 45 mins daily and follow any type of workout to make this Smart City a Fit City!
So, wrapping up this extremely fruitful conversation with Dr Vyom Bolia and Mr Rishabh Jain, we received some very interesting tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle even when gyms are closed. Watch UdaipurBlog’s Baatcheet session for more such insights! We’ll come up with lots of more content for you shortly. In the meanwhile, do subscribe to UdaipurBlog’s Youtube channel, if you haven’t yet. See you in the next episode!
18-year-old Manshul Rathodiya of Udaipur becomes the youngest plasma donor of India. The teenager donated plasma at the age of 18 years and 5 days on 3rd May 2021.
The convalescent plasma therapy aims at using antibodies from the blood of recovered Covid-19 patients to treat those who are critically affected by the virus. The therapy can also be used to immunize those who are at a high risk of contracting the virus, such as health workers, families of patients, and other high-risk contacts.
This is definitely a proud moment for all Udaipurites that the youngest plasma donor in India belongs to Udaipur. Team UdaipurBlog had a quick conversation with Manshul Rathodiya and here is what he has to say on this noble deed of his, which set a new record:
You’ve become India’s youngest person to donate plasma, how are you feeling?
Manshul: “I felt very nice, it’s an amazing feeling. And what better than saving someone’s life.”
When you made up your mind regarding donating plasma, what was going on inside you and how did you come up with this decision?
Manshul: “When I used to see on social media that this blood group plasma is required, that plasma is required, so I spoke to myself, if I could do anything, I will do it. So that is how I came up with my decision and I finally did it.”
How did your family react when you informed them of your decision?
Manshul: “My family was totally supportive. They supported me and my decision, that yes, you can donate plasma, rather you should, and we are with you.”
While donating plasma, how were you feeling? How was the experience?
Manshul: “I was feeling very proud at that time and by donating plasma once, I can save the lives of two people. It was a great experience and I was really happy.”
Tell us about your inspiration. How did you get inspired for such a great cause?
Manshul: “I saw pictures of people donating plasma on UdaipurBlog. So, I got inspired from there that I should also donate plasma. It was already twenty to twenty-five days since I recovered from covid. So after searching about how to donate, finally, I did it.”
What message would you like to give to our Udaipurblog readers?
Manshul: “I would just like to say one thing that if anyone is capable of donating plasma then they should donate. What better deed you can do than saving someone’s life.”
An extraordinary heart and selfless thought process is required for such noble acts and in times when people are afraid and reluctant towards plasma donation, this young boy from Udaipur has set an example, a benchmark that for doing something great, greatness is required.
Shed your fear away; and if you have recently recovered from the Covid-19 virus and if you are eligible to donate plasma then don’t give it a second thought. It’s a noble job, put your foot forward and it starts from you.
As they say, “Books are a uniquely portable magic” on this World Book Day, let us all celebrate the reading and exploring books that make us feel like a whole different person. However, it is the authors that pour that magic into the books by creating characters and stories that are etched into our minds. World Book Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the power of written words. Books have proven to be effective tools to fight loneliness, deepen relations between people, broaden our horizons, and stimulate our minds and imagination over the last year and now when most countries have seen times of confinement and people have had to curtail their time spent outdoors.
Udaipur has a lot of things to be proud of, such as the glistening lakes, palatial hotels, forts, monuments, art, history, etc. But there is one other thing that we have in abundance is Literature. The people and places here are like poetry and gives our young and talented writers a platform to embrace their writing styles. Today is World Book Day, therefore we thought of introducing you to some talented authors from Udaipur who have poured their hearts into written words. Here are some authors from Udaipur you probably didn’t know about!
Sumit Menaria | Author of “Tashree”
Sumit belongs to Rundera village, situated 50 km away from Udaipur. He is a Chartered Accountant by profession but has a penchant for Literature and writing since childhood. Menaria has several articles published under his name in the local newspapers such as Times of India, The Hindu, Dainik Bhaskar, Udaipur Times, and the likes.
Sumit published his debut novel “Tashree”, a mystery and thriller book that involves criminal investigation. It is about the murder investigation of a college-going girl, which unfolds involvements of a nationwide secret organization in the case. The agnostic approach of the novel also throws light on some Hindu spiritual concepts. The novel has already been appreciated by more than 65 thousand readers online. The comics based on this novel have also been published and appreciated by more than 70 thousand readers. Currently, a web series based on this novel is under production by Aditya Bhattacharya and Sameer Pittalwala. This amazing novel is available on Amazon if you folks want to give it a read! Menaria’s second novel, a psychological thriller, “Anamika”, is also quite popular on the internet.
Diksha Singh | Author of “Reflections of the Mortal Mind”
Diksha is a lecturer in Udaipur and loves to write romantic novels. She has worked as a Co-author in the book “Reflections of the Mortal Mind” and has also written some praiseworthy articles in magazines and newspapers. Being an introvert, Diksha has always been into writing and reading. Her hobbies include palmistry, face reading and writing. “Reflections of The Mortal Mind” is an anthology presented by Forever Shinings. It brings together 31 Indian poets and writers who write in English and Hindi languages and represents their work as a whole. You can find the book on Amazon, do give it a read!
Aditya Jain | Author of “Perspective in Visuals”
Aditya Jain is 19 years old, a young entrepreneur and writer from Udaipur. He is fond of technology, literature, art, and photography. His startup Tripod stories™ provides a leading platform to artists and writers across the globe. “Perspective in Visuals” contains writers and artists from 22 states of India, Lahore, Karachi, England, Qatar, Dubai, Malaysia, California, San Francisco, Sri Lanka, and Canada. Aditya dedicated over 10 months of hard work and commitment to complete this self-made project. From designing, marketing, writing development, compilation to publishing and printing were some challenges to look over. If you are interested in visual art and technology, then you must give this a read!
Shashi Bolia | Author of “Nirankush Pravaah”
Shashi has always been passionate about writing. Her novel “Nirankush Pravaah” reflects the social issues burgeoning in our country. After sixty-two years of living, author Shashi Boliya decided to write a book about her life’s thoughts, views, and feelings in the form of amusing stories and poetry. She hopes that as readers progress through the novel, they will notice their own selves mirrored in the characters, whether consciously or unconsciously. Read this gem to unearth your true self!
Sourabh Lakshkar | Author of “26/11 A LOVE STORY”
Sourabh embarked on the journey of writing in 2016 when he published his book “26/11 A Love Story.” Lakshkar is from Udaipur and is currently residing in Mumbai, working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 10 years. He has worked with companies like Netflix, Dice Media-Filter Copy Pocket Aces, Venus, Cutawayy films, Hungry films, Foxymoron Media Solutions, Moment in Time, Long ranger productions, Run & Rise Pvt Ltd, Reel crazy production, Leela pictures, F-13 etc. Sourabh’s book is about a story that unfolds the bitter truth of life. The book shows love, friendship, passion, disappointment, failure, success, with ideas of patriotism. Do give it a read, folks!
Mahak Bansal | Author of “Pearls of Life”
Mahak, a student of class 12th, is passionate about reading and writing. It gives her a path to unleashing her true emotions and beliefs. She loves reading novels and writing poetries. Her book “Pearls of Life” is all about fighting with the circumstances around us and understanding what people go through in every turn of their life. Do give it a read if you are enthusiastic about reading poetry!
So, here were some authors we found in our city who have done amazing work till now. We may have missed a lot of talented authors in this list, so if you know have someone in mind, do let us know in the comment section below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we come up with the second part of our “Authors from Udaipur Series”. Till then, take care & stay safe!
Ramzaan or Ramadan is a holy month in the Muslim religion, and people fast from dawn till dusk to worship Allah. By breaking the fast to donate his plasma, Aqeel Mansoori has set an unprecedented example of humanity. It is said that there is no greater religion than humanity, and Aqeel Mansoori, a Civil Contractor, from Udaipur has proved it by saving the lives of two women.
Aqeel says that he came across news on social media concerning two female patients, suffering from COVID-19, urgently requiring plasma. He was also contacted by a blood donation organization for the same matter since Mansoori is a regular blood donor. The two women, namely 36-year-old Nirmala and 30-year-old Alka, admitted to a private hospital needed plasma from the A+ blood group. Aqeel Mansoori, who has donated blood 17 times, was contacted by the blood donation organization for helping the two women, and he instantly agreed to help them despite fasting for the month of Ramzaan. Aqeel has donated his plasma thrice after recovering from COVID-19 in September 2020.
Aqeel Mansoori, a resident of Udaisagar area who donated plasma, believes that humanity is the biggest religion and this is how one can truly worship Allah. He said that he went to the hospital right away as soon as he learned that the women were on oxygen and needed plasma. The hospital’s physicians tested Aqeel and informed him that he should not donate his plasma with an empty stomach, which is why Aqeel had to break his Roza (fast) in the hospital itself to donate the plasma. On social media, the news of Aqeel Mansoori breaking his fast and donating plasma went viral. Users on social media are publicly celebrating Aqeel’s noble work.
“I prayed for their speedy recovery after namaz,” says Aqeel Mansoori. The plasma donor further added that he urges people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma to save as many lives as possible in these challenging times.
Shocked, it is the smallest word to say. Possibly all of the friends, family members, classmates, and anyone who has worked with him, or met him, or anyone who belongs to the IT industry of Udaipur, would be able to relate on what I am feeling, and what a loss this city has just witnessed.
Puneet Sahalot, is no more with us. He passed away in a road accident yesterday. I have known and seen him in action since more than a decade. Puneet has been a co-founder of UdaipurTimes, a news portal of Udaipur, and then, went on to become one of the most prominent names in WordPress, in the country and across the globe. To give you a perspective, around 30% of the world’s websites, including your own UdaipurBlog, run on WordPress, an open source project, and Puneet was a real pro in it. In fact, he has many contributions to the WordPress core!
An engineer by profession, he chose to follow his heart, worked extensively on WordPress, aced thesis framework development and with passage of time, founded ideabox creations, that went on to become one of the best tech product based startups from Udaipur. Ideabox is a leading company in India and beyond, known for their WordPress based product solutions. Their plugins have more than 1,00,000+ installs, which is a big feat. The journey is nothing short of extraordinary! There are multiple interviews, speeches and memoirs that rightly claim, about his passion towards coding since an early age, and how he spearheaded the WordPress community in Udaipur, so much so that a small city like Udaipur was able to host its own WordCamps since past many years! My personal favourite quirky memory of him however, is his poetic side, a blog by the handle ‘I am Ajeeb’. Only a select few who knew, know!
Perhaps everyone who knew him wanted to become like him. An inspiration to many, multi talented, kind hearted, knowledgeable, a great personality, and a smiling face, gone too soon! The admiration and respect you have gathered for yourself is unmatchable! Never ever thought I would be blogging on anything after ages, that too on you. Puneet, you will be missed by everyone.
The country is witnessing a constant uptick concerning the deadly COVID-19 cases. By keeping the current scenario in mind, the government has imposed strict guidelines and regulations to do damage control. But the question is – Will the people of Udaipur and beyond follow these set guidelines issued by the government or will they just put a lid on it and carry on with their celebrations as usual?
UdaipurBlog team took things into their own hands and asked some people about the gravity of the current situation and will they be celebrating Holi this year or not. We also asked them about the concept of the Holi Festival and why do we celebrate it. Some were clueless, and some had a sliver of information about the same. Our team got some funny answers as well!
Check out the video to know what answers we got on our little escapade!
In frame: Aatmagya Upadhyay
Behind the camera: Prakhar Chouhan and Shashwat Kaushik
Why is Holi Celebrated?
Although Holi is celebrated on a particular day, i.e., 29th March, it is rather a week-long affair for people who are most enthusiastic about the festival. Holi marks the advent of the spring season in our country, but do we know the true story behind celebrating it? Well, the concept behind celebrating Holika Dahan as well as Holi dates back to the mythological story when king Hiranyakashayp ordered his son Prahlad to be burnt since he was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap’s sister Holika complied to escort Prahlad in the fire, considering that she had the blessing of being immune from fire. She wanted to ensure Prahlad’s demise. Holika sat on the conflagration with Prahlad. Turns out that Holika was burnt alive while Prahlad was saved by God. Also, the story of Lord Krishna and Radha is related to the festival. We celebrate the intimate connection with the divine deities and their love plays when they used to go to each other’s villages and play with colours.
However, when Team UdaipurBlog had a chance to ask people about the same, they were quite clueless, while a few knew the gist of Holika and Prahlad’s story.
Will You Celebrate Holi this Year?
Well, when our team moved ahead with all the question business, they asked people if they would celebrate Holi this year, considering the fear of COVID-19 lurking around us. We got a bunch of “Ayes” & Noes.” The “Ayes” were fairly confident about the lesser extent of Coronavirus in our country and that the disease could do them no harm! Goodness Gracious!
The government had advised people about keeping the Holi Celebrations low this year since it is the right thing to do, knowing the damage our recklessness can cause in the near future and to other people. It is highly advisable to stay at home and celebrate with your family and close friends rather than going over the top with the Holi Celebrations. Wear a mask and ensure social distancing at any cost.
Guidelines and Protocols Imposed by the Rajasthan Government
Seeing the spike in cases, the Rajasthan government has issued certain guidelines to control the further spread of Coronavirus amidst the Holi Festival.
On March 26, the Home Department of the Rajasthan government partially revised the previous order banning public events and issued a new order, according to which it will now be allowed to hold events at public places on March 28 and 29 from 4 to 10 pm, in which a maximum of 50 people will be able to participate.
What precautions should we take while celebrating Holi?
Caution should be your first priority, even if the government has given the nod to any public celebrations in the city.
Keeping social distancing, sanitisers, and masks is a must!
People above the age of 45 or 50 years are advised to avoid taking parts in crowded events and celebrations (if any).
Those who are allergic to colours, cold water, or any substances shall remain at home or maintain their distance.
Wishing everyone a very Happy, Colourful and Safe Holi. Enjoy a lot but remember to maintain social distancing and adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines!
लॉकडाउन हट चुका था। लेकिन महामारी का कहर जारी था। देश में हज़ारों की संख्या में मामले सामने आ रहे थे। राजस्थान भी इससे अछूता नहीं था। जयपुर, जोधपुर, उदयपुर, कोटा, भीलवाड़ा और भरतपुर जैसे शहर सबसे ज़्यादा प्रभावित शहरों की लिस्ट में शामिल थे। जब लॉकडाउन था तब केवल बेहद आवश्यकताओं वाली सेवाएं ही बहाल थीं, लॉकडाउन के बाद भी ज़िन्दगी सामान्य नहीं हुई थी। सरकारी दफ़्तर, प्राइवेट कंपनियाँ खुल गयी थीं, लेकिन अपनी आधी क्षमता से ही। कुछ ने तो साल भर के लिए, वर्क फ्रॉम होम की सुविधा कर दी। दुकाने भी खुलने लगी थीं। लोग आहिस्ता-आहिस्ता महीनों सूनी पड़ी सड़कों पर आने लगे थे।
लेकिन, शिक्षा के क्षेत्र का हाल बुरा था। शहरी विद्यालयों – कॉलेजों ने ऑनलाइन क्लासेज़ लेना शुरू कर दिया था। लेकिन जो सबसे अधिक प्रभावित थे, पूरी महामारी में, उनकी ज़िंदगी आसान होती नज़र नहीं आ रही थी।
मैं बात कर रहा हूँ। सुदूर, गाँवों में बसे लोगों की। इनमें आप शहर की कच्ची बस्तियों में रहने वाले या दिहाड़ी पर ज़िंदा रहने वालों को भी गिन सकते हैं।
मानसून आधे से ज़्यादा राजस्थान को विदा कर चुका था और दक्षिणी राजस्थान में उसके चंद आख़िरी दिन बचे थे। बारिशों का दौर थम-सा गया था। हालाँकि, आसमान बादलों से भरा रहता था लेकिन वे मुश्किल से कहीं बरसते थे।
उन्हीं दिनों, मेरा उदयपुर ज़िले के आदिवासी अंचल में जाना हुआ। राजस्थान में सबसे ज़्यादा आदिवासी, दक्षिणी राजस्थान में रहते हैं। उदयपुर में, कोटड़ा तहसील आदिवासी बहुल क्षेत्र है।
मैं कोटड़ा तहसील के, गोगरूद गाँव में था और वहाँ शोध के दौरान, कई लोगों से मिल कर रहा था। देवला से 3 किलोमीटर आगे गोगरूद गाँव के बाहर, एक चाय की दुकान है। एक दिन वहाँ बैठा मैं चाय पी रहा था, तभी मेरे पीछे से, बच्चों की कतार कहीं से निकलती हुई आयी। वे संख्या में 30 के आसपास होंगे। चेहरे मास्क में छुपे हुए थे और हाथों में किताबें-कॉपियाँ थीं।
मैंने दुकानदार से पूछा कि ये बच्चे कहाँ से आ रहे हैं तो उसने बात को टाल दिया। लेकिन मेरा ध्यान उन्हीं पर था। कुछ ही देर में वे सारे बच्चे गायब हो गये। मैं कुछ दिन लगातार उसी गाँव में जाता रहा। अब दुकानदार मुझे पहचानने लगा था। बातचीत आगे बढ़ी तो मुझे उनका नाम पता लगा, ज्ञानप्रकाश। मैंने दुबारा उनसे वही सवाल पूछा, “ये इतने बच्चे कहाँ से आ रहे हैं?”
“पीछे स्कूल चलता है। ये सभी वहीं से पढ़कर आ रहे हैं।”
“लेकिन, स्कूल तो बंद है?”
“हाँ… सरकारी स्कूल बंद है। प्राइवेट भी बंद है। वैसे वह स्कूल नहीं… एक ट्यूशन की तरह है”
“कौन लेता है ट्यूशन?”
“हम ही गाँव के लोग”
“थोड़ा समझायेंगे? मैं अभी तक समझ नहीं सका..”
“सर जी, कोरोना ने बहुत नुकसान पहुंचाया है। बड़े तो परेशान हुए ही है, बच्चों की भी पढ़ाई पर असर पड़ा है। अब शहर के बच्चे तो मोबाइल पर पढ़ रहे हैं। हमारे यहाँ मोबाइल कहाँ? मोबाइल हो तो नेटवर्क नहीं आता, मोबाइल और नेटवर्क दोनों हो तो इतने पैसे नहीं होते की हर महीने इंटरनेट डलवा सकें।
इसलिए, हम ने सोचा कि अपने गाँव के बच्चों को खुद ही पढ़ाया जाये। हम ने हमारे गाँव के तीन लोग चुने जो खुद भी पढ़े लिखे हो और वे बच्चों को पढ़ाना भी चाहते हो। ऐसे में तीन लोग सामने आये। वे तीनों भी स्कूल से नहीं, संस्था से पढ़े हैं। पहले यहाँ स्कूल नहीं थे तो एनजीओ काम करते थे, वहीं से पढ़े और बी.ए. की। वे भी चाहते थे कि अपने गाँव के बच्चों की किसी तरह मदद करे। फिर ये कोरोना आ गया… उन्होंने सोचा यही समय है मदद करने का। कुल 80 बच्चे आते हैं। एक जगह इतने बच्चों को पढ़ाना मुश्किल है इसलिए दो अलग-अलग जगह पढ़ाया जाता है। बच्चों के जो जगह नज़दीक पड़ती है वह वहाँ पढ़ने जाता है।”
“अभी कोई एनजीओ नहीं काम कर रहा?”
“तभी तो परेशानी है। कोटड़ा में कर रहे हैं लेकिन…कोटड़ा बहुत बड़ा है। हमारी साइड कोई नहीं कर रहा है।”
“महामारी में इस तरह पढ़ाना रिस्की हो सकता है।”
“तो आप ही बताओ क्या करें हम?… यह साल ऐसे ही जाने दें? पढ़ायेगा कौन इन्हें? किसको पता कब स्कूल खुलेंगे? शहर में तो बच्चे पढ़ रहे हैं, हमारे बच्चे पीछे रह जाएंगे। वैसे भी कोटड़ा को शहर के लोग अच्छी जगह नहीं समझते हैं। लेकिन, अब कोटड़ा बदल रहा है। जैसे हमनें किसी तरह से स्कूल पूरी की, हम चाहते हैं कि हमारे बच्चे हम से भी ज़्यादा पढ़ें। अब उसके लिए तो रिस्क लेना पड़ेगा ना।
और वैसे भी हम सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग के साथ बिठाते हैं। सभी को मास्क दिए हुए हैं। हर बच्चे से महीने की फीस लेते हैं जो बहुत ही मामूली है ताकि हम पढ़ाने वालों को भी मेहनताना दे सकें और बचे पैसों से इनके हर महीने के लिए पेंसिल-किताबें-कॉपियाँ ला सके।”
मैंने जा कर वह जगह भी देखी जहाँ बच्चे पढ़ रहे थे। उन्होंने मुझसे एक मदद मांगी कि मैं किसी एनजीओ से कनेक्ट करवा दूँ तो बच्चे बिना किसी परेशानी के, लंबे समय तक पढ़ पाएंगे।
यह बात मेरे दिमाग में रह गयी थी। उदयपुर आकर मैंने कुछ छोटे-बड़े एनजीओ से बात भी की लेकिन बात बनी नहीं। कुछ के पास फण्ड की कमी थी तो कुछ ने इस बात का हवाला दिया कि यह एक लंबा प्रोसेस है जो कि इतनी जल्दी पूरा नहीं हो सकता।
मैं विवश था। तब मैंने एक फेसबुक पोस्ट लिखा और उसे पढ़ कर कुछ लोग मदद को आगे आये। इतना पैसा जुट गया था कि एक बार की ज़रूरत की चीज़ें लायी जा सके। हम लंबे समय तक उनकी मदद नहीं कर सकते थे, इसलिए हम ने एक लिस्ट बनायी जिसमें उन सभी चीजों को रखा जो लंबे समय तक बच्चों के काम आ सके, मसलन, उनके पास बैग नहीं थे तो बैग खरीद लिये। किताबें खरीद ली, कॉपियाँ खरीद ली और बॉक्स ले लिए जिसमें सभी ज़रूरत की सामग्री थीं। यह सिर्फ छोटी सी कोशिश थी ताकि उनका हौसला बना रहे। हम नहीं जानते थे कि वे कितने दिन और इस तरह उन्हें पढ़ा पाते। लेकिन जिस दिन उन बच्चों को यह सब मिला, वे बहुत खुश थे।
इस बात को महीने बीतने आये। 2020 ख़त्म हो गया। 2021 का पहला महीना भी बीत गया। अभी कुछ ही दिन पहले, ज्ञानप्रकाश जी का फ़ोन आया। वे बहुत खुश लग रहे थे। वे बोले, ” अभी – अभी एक एनजीओ वाले से मिलकर आया हूँ। वे यहाँ आये थे। वे हमारी मदद को तैयार हो गये हैं। मैंने घर आते ही सबसे पहले आप ही को फ़ोन लगाया, सोचा सर जी को बता दूँ।”
इसके बाद भी हमारी बहुत बातें हुई। लेकिन मुझे शब्दशः अगर कुछ याद है तो, वह है,
“वे हमारी मदद को तैयार हो गये। मैंने घर आते ही सबसे पहले आप ही को फ़ोन लगाया, सोचा सर जी को बता दूँ…”