Parotta is undeniably one of the most popular food items of Malayalees. Most of them often start the day with a heavy breakfast comprising of parotta, and might even settle for more during lunch hours and end the day with a generous helping of these crispy and stretchable delicacies that seem to have swept the gourmets of Kerala off the feet. It is ironical that Malayaless who take credit of having the best literacy and health care credentials are devouring loads of unhealthy food materials like parotta and other bakery items which are made of maida, the useless byproduct that is obtained after the extraction of wheat. This soft powdery material that has no nutrients or bran content were solely used only for starching clothes use and sticking wall posters until a few years back!
The bleaching agents that are used for whitening maida include harmful chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and alloxen that can cause diabetics. It is shocking to note that alloxen is used in laboratory animals like mice to induce diabetics during the testing of anti diabetic medications. In addition, Alloxen is found to be responsible for many life threatening diseases like kidney ailments, heart and liver problems, retinopathey and others. The alarming rise in the number of deaths in Kerala caused by sudden and massive heart attacks and cancer is thought to be related to the consumption of maida that has a large concentration of the chemical Alloxen.
The change in lifestyles and the unhealthy habit of over indulgence on bakery and hotel food have made Keralites vulnerable to many health problems like obesity and diabetes , which have assumed epidemic proportions in our society. Most of the bakery items are made of maida that will also have artificial flavors, coloring agents and preservatives, which make them really bad for health especially for children.
The tastefully packed and smartly marketed snack items including potato chips that can last for decades, the frozen pizzas that are highly resistant to decomposition and the sausages and meats that are passed down many holiday seasons, the bakeries and fast food joints like McDonald’s and KFC has doped us with the unhealthy eating habits that are so alien to our culture and way of life. While we are only happy to shell out a fortune to take a grab of our favorite snacks and grubs, heavily laden with artificial taste enhancers, are we badly compromising our health issues? The latest studies conducted by various agencies promoting the natural food styles have proven that switching to such dietary habits will spell a doom to the much hyped health care statistics of Kerala.
We are fast emerging as an obese and unhealthy society, all because of the addiction of the fast food culture that never existed a few decades back. This overwhelming issue is indeed a food for thought for the social activists, the health care professionals and above all the literate society of Kerala, which should not bite the bait of the marketing tactics of the vested interests by compromising on the tried and tested food habits of Kerala, which is emulated even by foreigners who strive for good health!
Read more on the ill effects of Parotta right here in this Deccan Chronicle article Kochi Corporation mulls ban on parotta!
The women in Kerala can engage this super smart cop, ‘Sentinel’ to be on their guard duty 24 x 7! With the launch of ‘Sentinel’, a smart phone app exclusively for the safety of women, the women in Kerala has one more protective tool in their arsenal in dealing with the hostile elements of the society. This simple and user friendly app sends alerts in the form of emails and SMS to a host of pre-configured numbers.
Developed by MindHelix Technologies LLP, this product has been created keeping the specific needs and vulnerabilities of the urban women in mind by making the best use of the multi-faceted technologies. Apart from the contact details and information of close friends or family, the alerts sent by ‘Sentinel’ will have many other important information like the last known location, direction of travel along with details like mode of transport and vehicle number that the traveller can update. This application can be run on smart phones with Android, Blackberry, Symbian, iPhone and Java operating systems and can be downloaded from http://sentinel.mindhelix.com/
A recent survey of Assocham Social Development Foundation shows that over 53 percent of women feel insecure at workplaces, especially at night. This startling fact inspired the innovative team of an engineer and two engineering students to develop this exclusive safety app for women, ‘Sentinel’
Kerala reported the highest crime rate at 312.5% among all other States, with the cases of domestic abuse and instances of outrage against women on a steady rise. This has made many cities in Kerala including Cochin, unsafe for women even during broad day light. Now that this smart app of “sentinel” is on guard duty, women are rest assured of a fool proof protection outside the comfort zone of their homes. As there is a range of smart phones designed exclusively for women and smart phone penetration is at an all time high among professionals, this alert mechanism is expected to catch up the fancy of women users in the days to come.
When MV Lahore Express, a Hong Kong flagged vessel got berthed at the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) , it became the first ever weekly direct service vessel between Kochi and the European ports. The vessel that will make service calls to the major ports in Europe such as Genoa, Tilbury, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Le Havre, will ensure a major a boost to the trade and commercial activities in Kochi.
The commencement of this service from ICTT will offer a faster transit option that will considerably reduce the supply chain cost, making Kochi one of the most important ports in the country. With this facility, the South Indian trading fraternity in Bangalore, Tirupur, Salem and Coimbatore among others can directly export goods to Europe from ICTT on a weekly basis without having to rely on the expensive option of transshipment facility. ICIT not only offers the shortest transit time but also the best rates and facilities at par with the best international ports. ICTT,which was set up on BOT basis by the DP World will play a significant role in making Kochi a trading hub of international standards, in the days ahead.
Bhoothathankettu dam site will be soon developed into the first adventure tourism spot in Ernakulam district. Plans are afoot to develop it into a perfect outdoor tourist destination with an aim to attract the youth for camping experiences and adventure sports. According to the district tourism promotion council, the project will be targetting techies mostly for conduct training camps. Night camping options and trekking trails will be developed as part of this adventure tourism initiative.
The project will also include a day trip starting at the Marine Drive, which would enable the tourists to experience various popular adventure sporting activities like trekking and kayaking. Located just eight kms north-east of Kothamangalam,Bhoothathankettu is a perfect choice for a quiet and tranquil holiday, however many people prefer to skip this spot due to its poor infrastructure and lack of transportation facilities. There are many leisure activities in Bhoothathankettu including jungle trails , boat rides, rock climbing and fishing . The initiative to make it a base camp for adventure sporting activities would surely give it its well desired place in the tourism map of Kerala. Indulge in the breathtaking beauty of the unexplored destination of Boothathankettu through these well captured snap shots in Sreesobhin’s gallery and we bet, it will become your favorite weekend hang out spot in Cochin .
The bleak images of the war torn country of Afghanistan where bomb blasts, air strikes and trails of destruction have become part of every day life wont make it the best place to look for a job for anyone for sure! However for the cheeky Malayalis, it has become the hottest job destination after the Middle East boom. There is a classic joke that even if someone lands in the moon, he will find a Malayali tea shop owner there! Many a time, it is not just a figment of imagination but hard truth as the overzealous labour force of Kerala are more than willing to take chances for a better future.
The hefty pay packets and the massive reconstruction activities in Afghanistan are tempting the employees from the distant land of Kerala to try out their luck here. Many international companies have already set up businesses there, which has opened up numerous openings for the semi skilled labour force comprising of electricians, plumbers, welders, mechanics, masons and carpenters among others. While the US companies prefer cheap labour from Kerala, the labourers too find the deals better than the packages offered in the Middle East.
Iraq is the other war-torn country, which has seen a large scale arrival of Kerala labourers thanks to one of the best salary packages on offer. Now that there is a change of guard at Libya where Colonel Gaddafi who had ruled Libya with an iron hand for many decades has been replaced, a total revamp of infrastructure and developmental activities are expected there.
It is estimated that over 50 lakh Keralites work outside India, of which Saudi Arabia alone employs over 20 lakh Malayalis. An accurate data of Malayalees working in Iraq and Afghanistan is not available as they are often hired from the Middle East, often flouting emigration rules and keeping the Indian Embassy at dark. Instances where labourers are duped by bogus recruiting agencies too are not uncommon,as there is not much awareness of the recruitment process to these countries. However , none of these incidents seem to dampen the spirit of the Malayalees who are more than willing to take a risk to get the biggest pie of the employment opportunities. Has the lure of material pleasure made us so gullible that a few wads of currencies can prompt us to take up any job at any corner of the world?
The 7 Billionth baby born in India, Nargis in Dhanaur village in Mall block of Lucknow has raised fresh concerns on the developmental issues and how far will the world be able to sustain the surging population. Experts had made Uttar Pradesh as the most likely spot in India for the symbolic arrival, considering the fact that the state, which is home to 19.95 crore people has the highest population in the country! If this pattern continues India will be battling a complex north-south divide that could spurn off a cultural disparity not only in the country but also in the world, considering the fact that India, which accounts for 17 per cent of the world’s population has an important role in deciding the demographic future of the world.
However amidst the pall of gloom caused by the population explosion, the tiny Southern State of Kerala seems to show the way to the world. The Human Development Index (HDI) 2011, prepared by Institute of Applied Manpower Research, placed Kerala on the top for achieving highest literacy rate, quality health services and consumption expenditure of people. Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Goa occupy the second, third and fourth positions respectively. The impressive jump in the index was largely attributed to the 28.5% increase in education index across the country, which was at 0.92 for Kerala while it was the lowest at 0.41 in Bihar.
Only if other Indian states emulate the Kerala model of development, can we ensure a bright future for the future generations and only a combined effort of the public and the administration can bring out the desired changes. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the startling reality that India is expected to surpass China in total population by 2030. This blog, Effect of Population Explosion on the Indian Economy, tells us more on what is in store for us., if corrective measures are not adopted NOW!