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Indian Muslim artisan fights virus slowdown with Hindu idols

first_imgThe Hindu festival traditionally ends with devotees leading massive processions to the Arabian Sea to immerse elaborately decorated figurines of the much-loved elephant god into the water.But this year’s celebrations are expected to be muted, with authorities in the virus-plagued city urging people to mark the 10-day festival at home in a bid to ensure social distancing.”As our pottery sales dwindled, I decided to make Ganesha statues… as a means of survival and also to promote environmentally friendly [alternatives],” 40-year-old Galwani told AFP.Activists have long criticized the practice of immersing the idols in the sea, arguing it contributes to water pollution, and Galwani agrees.  Topics : Since the coronavirus pandemic clobbered his pottery business, one Muslim artisan from India’s largest slum has turned to a Hindu god to revive his fortunes by making environmentally friendly Ganesha idols for an upcoming festival.Potter Yusuf Zakaria Galwani works with his two brothers in the Mumbai shanty town of Dharavi to create 13-inch-tall statues out of terracotta clay, counting on the god — who is revered as the remover of obstacles — to give his business a much-needed boost ahead of the celebrations.Ganesh Chaturthi — which kicks off on Saturday — is embraced with gusto in India’s financial hub.center_img “Every year, we see huge Ganesha statues made from plaster of Paris washing up on the shores after the immersion. This affects our local environment and marine life as well,” he said.His clay creations are designed to disintegrate quickly and turn into soil. They also contain a seed inside which can germinate if watered like a plant.Sold for 1,500 rupees ($20) each, Galwani has received orders for 800 statues so far and hopes to see his neighborhood bounce back economically after tackling the virus.Made famous by the 2008 Oscar-winner “Slumdog Millionaire”, Dharavi was thrown back into the spotlight in April over fears that the lack of social distancing or sanitation in its densely packed streets would make it an easy target for the virus.But a sharp focus on testing accompanied by tough quarantine and lockdown measures have seen infections plunge across the slum. “Previously I lost business as customers were wary of stepping into the slums,” Galwani said. “Now, things have changed and they’re willing to even come and pick up their own orders.” A third-generation potter, he said he saw no conflict in practicing his faith while catering to the needs of Hindu worshippers. “What’s the big deal if I am a Muslim making statues of Hindu deities like Ganesha? India is a secular democracy and we have grown up with many cultures living together,” Galwani added. Although officials have not issued an outright ban on sea immersions this year, they have imposed restrictions on local celebrations. Devotees are barred from making public offerings to the deity and organizers have been ordered to sanitize any outdoor marquees several times a day. India has registered over 2.6 million infections — the third-highest in the world — with western Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, responsible for a fifth of coronavirus cases nationwide. Pandemic deaths across the country passed 50,000 on Monday.last_img read more

From the Editors: This section isn’t your escape

first_imgWe’re in the middle of a monthslong pandemic that is now hitting Southern California hard. If not done strategically and with health at the absolute forefront of decision making, playing any sport this fall will put not just the health of student-athletes, coaches and team personnel at risk but also that of the surrounding South Central community. Universities across the country are not incubated from the neighborhoods that surround them, meaning every NCAA-affiliated event carried out carelessly could endanger residents whether they are fans or not.   At the same time, it is evident that this brand is part of a flawed system reflecting the plague of systemic racism so deeply ingrained in our society. The student-athletes that make college sports function are using their platforms to say as much — and we should listen. The NCAA has long been known as an organization that exploits its student-athletes by reeling in hundreds of millions of dollars for predominantly white administrators, commissioners, athletic directors and coaches without directing a dime of that money toward the student-athletes generating its revenue. This dynamic is especially prevalent in college football and basketball — sports that make the most money and comprise the highest percentage of Black student-athletes. The Black Lives Matter movement has firmly ingrained itself in athletics, and that cannot and should not be undone. The work begun by Colin Kaepernick and carried on by Eric Reid, LeBron James and countless others has made a profound impact on sports, and athletes on both the professional and collegiate stage are continuing that today.   Note: This article was written prior to the postponement of Pac-12 sports through 2020. It’s our responsibility to tell these stories. It’s our responsibility to highlight and celebrate the achievements of Black student-athletes, both on and off the field, that are too often taken for granted. It’s our responsibility as journalists at USC to shed light on how college sports are not a vacuum outside of society but rather part of an inherently unequal hierarchical system. We know that USC Athletics is a major aspect of campus life for students, identity for alumni and pride for fans. USC Athletics is a brand, one that plays a central role to so many members of the University community. The term “Trojan Family” is perhaps best on display amid the backdrop of USC sports, and that’s a reality we don’t take lightly. The Daily Trojan is a completely independent, student-run platform, and it is our job to provide a voice to our local community and student body. This means increasing profiles that highlight the achievements and contributions on and off the field of the Black student-athletes in our community, dedicating ourselves to covering social justice issues within USC Athletics and the wider world of sports and holding the Athletic Department accountable to follow through with its initiatives to fight for racial justice both within Trojan athletics and beyond. We want to look at the big picture when reporting on our student-athletes. All of us love sports, but that doesn’t mean the system providing us with such rich and entertaining moments is or has ever been anything close to perfect. The student-athletes who make you proud to call yourself a Trojan are reckoning with a sporting landscape that doesn’t prioritize their equity.  Tradition is everything to USC, but change is demanded for a reason. These are just some of the many ways we can and must listen to the voices — especially those of color — in our community and help do our part in effecting lasting, tangible change.  College athletes have said as much. A group of Pac-12 football players wrote a letter in the Players’ Tribune Aug. 2 stating they will opt out of the 2020 season if the NCAA does not remedy these shortcomings. Student-athletes at USC formed the United Black Student-Athletes Association in June to demand that the Athletic Department better support its Black student-athletes and actively fight racial injustice. center_img Statues of USC’s 1969 defensive line, known as “The Wild Bunch,” cast a shadow outside of Heritage Hall. (Vincent Leo | Daily Trojan) There is a multitude of questions regarding whether fall sports will be played this year. Administrators are forced to consider not just the economic necessity and logistical feasibility of safely carrying out a 2020 season but also the ethics of taking such a risk in the first place.  Tailgating? Wouldn’t bet on it. Fans in the stadiums? Unlikely. Games taking place at all? Far too early to tell, but there’s no guarantee — no matter what the schedule says.  This is a moment when we must collectively understand that acknowledging systemic injustice without actively working to dismantle it is simply not enough. So, until we’re all told there won’t be college sports this semester, the Daily Trojan sports team will continue to bring you as close to your typical fan experience as we can with the resources available to us, even if much of that work will be done remotely. Now, to add on, student-athletes are having to fight for uniform coronavirus prevention protocols and medical coverage from the NCAA during a pandemic that disproportionately affects the Black community. This is our promise to reflect these complex truths in our reporting. This is our promise to improve upon our regrettable lack of diversity among our staff and our columnists to uplift the voices that we have historically undercovered. In just about every way, this won’t be a normal semester for anyone in the USC community. Athletics are no exception, and that’s not just because the football schedule will exclude Notre Dame for the first time since World War II. Most people across the sporting landscape have concerns about the feasibility of safely carrying out a fall sports season. Almost all are hoping there’s a way to make it happen. Both statements apply to us. last_img read more

Russia 2018: Digesting the draw

first_img BtoBet refines African SMS payment options with Tola Mobile  August 20, 2020 Share Altenar: Supporting expansion plans in Denmark and Portugal August 20, 2020 MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 As Friday’s draw concluded and the World Cup began to take shape, fans were left pondering a mouthwatering clash between Spain and Portugal, renewed optimism in the Three Lions and a slightly surreal tournament opener.  Gareth Southgate’s England were handed a favourable start to the tournament, taking on Tunisia and World Cup debutants Panama in the opening two games. Southgate will be hoping that his side have already booked a place in the last 16, when the Three Lions face a Belgium side littered with Premier League stars in an intriguing final group game. England are currently 7/5 to top Group G and are as short as 1/4 to qualify from the group. The expectation doesn’t stop there, as  since the draw was made, England’s odds of winning have been slightly trimmed from 18/1 to just 16/1.Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “World Cup fever is beginning to build after this afternoon’s draw, and the odds are suggesting Southgate’s boys have a great chance of going far. The footballing Gods have also set up a potentially huge quarter-final with Germany, where England will be looking to exact revenge for 2010.”Arguably the most tantalising game of the group stages comes from Group B, where 2008 World Champions Spain take on current European champions Portugal, in a clash that Portuguese defender Jose Fonte described as “a big rivalry.”A sub-plot from Group B is the appearance of Iran manager, Carlos Queiroz who boasts a managerial pedigree better than most at the tournament, Queiroz  not only had two stints in charge of Portugal, but also spent time as Real Madrid manager and as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United. His organised Iran side and an underestimated Morocco could cause Portugal and Spain problems in this group.  Meanwhile the ambitions of hosts Russia will have been heightened by being placed in a group with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay. Subsequently meaning the game that will open the tournament, will be a rather underwhelming one between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Furthermore, given the attacking prowess of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Mohamed Salah’s Russia may well perceive the tournament opener to be a must-win game if they have any aspirations of getting through the group. Group F is the arguable group of death, made up of reigning World Champions Germany, Mexico, South Korea and Italy’s conquerors, Sweden. Whilst it’s widely expected that Joachim Low’s Germany won’t have too many problems winning this group, ties and against Mexico and Sweden will certainly provide a good test of just how feared the side ranked number one in the World should be.Guiding Brasil towards World Cup glory would be incredibly beneficial to the World’s most expensive player Neymar, who appears to be on a mission to steal the Ballond’Or from the clutches of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Those burdened with the unenviable task of being in the same group as the tournament favourites are, Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia, all of which are likely to be fighting it out for second spot in Group E.Brasil’s arch rivals Argentina looked anything but convincing in qualification, only sealing a place at the tournament because of a magical performance from Messi in the final group game against Ecuador. Jorge Sampaoli’s team will have to improve in order to come through a tricky group with an Iceland side that continue to defy the odds, Nigeria and the always dangerous Croatia. Being in a group with a much fancied France side desperate to go a step further in this tournament then they did at Euro 2016, means Peru, Denmark and Australia  are all destined to be desperately vying to claim second place in Group C.Group H possible throws up the most evenly matched group, with a Columbia side that’ll benefit immensely from James Rodriguez playing regularly at Bayern Munich. His club-mate, Robert Lewandowski will be hoping to fire Poland into the knockout stages, even if it looks unlikely he restricts their success in the Bundesliga, Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa will be hoping he can help Japan find success in this group, whilst Senegal will be heavily reliant on Liverpool’s Sadio Mane if they’re to have any success in Group H.___________________The World Cup will be a key topic at the ‘Betting on Football 2018’ (#bofcon2018) conference. To find out more about both events click on the banner below. Share Related Articles Submit StumbleUponlast_img read more