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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

NFL Draft 2019: 5 sleeper prospects

first_imgBut what about the up-and-coming players whose names aren’t mentioned as frequently? After all, some of the league’s all-time greats, including Bart Starr (17th round), John Stallworth (fourth round) and Tom Brady (sixth round) were selected late.Here are five sleeper prospects to watch for ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft: Related News NFL Draft 2019: Even with Case Keenum, will Redskins take a first-round QB? Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi StateSweat saw his stock dip in February when his pre-existing heart condition was revealed at the NFL combine, but that doesn’t mean he should be counted out.Despite his health concerns, which doctors deemed low-risk, Sweat remains a sought-after prospect. He impressed at the combine, setting a 40-yard dash record for a defensive lineman by running a 4.41 at 6-5 and 260 pounds. Not to mention he racked up 19 sacks and 98 total tackles in his two seasons with the Bulldogs in addition to back-to-back selections to the first team All-SEC squad.He won’t go as early as initially predicted and a first-round selection was even reported to be a stretch at this point, but that could make Sweat all the more intriguing.Jalen Hurd, WR, BaylorHurd got his start as a running back at Tennessee before transferring after the 2016 season. He sat out all of 2017 and later converted to wide receiver as a senior, a move that ultimately paid off as he led the Bears with 69 receptions for 946 yards in his lone season at the position. He managed 1,288 yards rushing his sophomore campaign with the Vols.His 40-yard dash time of 4.64 seconds at the combine wasn’t great, though his recovery from a knee injury could have been a factor, and he made up for it by hitting 35.5 inches on his vertical jump and over 10 feet on his broad jump. At 6-4 1/2 and 228 pounds, Hurd has both power and speed working in his favor.Given his experience and ability to contribute in the backfield, Hurd is sure to be a valuable asset wherever he lands.James Williams, RB, Washington StateWilliams’ name isn’t commonly found on mock boards, though he possesses the qualities worth seeking out in a reliable rusher.In his three seasons with the Cougars, Williams became one of the most productive offensive players in the program’s history. He tallied 16 touchdowns last season, just one short of matching the single-season record set by Steve Broussard in 1989, and added a career-high 81 catches, which was the most receptions among running backs at the FBS level.Williams ended his college career with 2,976 all-purpose yards and 27 touchdowns.Lamont Gaillard, C, GeorgiaGaillard isn’t among the most coveted players at his position, but his resume proves he should be included in the discussions.He measured in at 6-2 5/8 and 305 pounds at the combine, much heavier than he was during his time in Athens in which he started 42 of 44 games played. He also boasts 10 3/8 inch hands, 33 1/2 inch arms and an 81-inch wingspan, all of which he put to good use as he packed powerful punches to pummel defenders.Gaillard has already had formal interviews with the Rams, Raiders and Vikings in addition to talks with at least five other teams, so clearly his competitive nature and leadership qualities have garnered attention. NFL Draft 2019: DaMarkus Lodge relishing chance to prove himself as all-around receivercenter_img Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you could probably guess dual-sport star Kyler Murray will be the top pick of the upcoming NFL Draft.Other notable names expected to be called early include Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Devin White and Josh Allen. Terronne Prescod, G, N.C. StatePrescod’s stock took a dive after he failed to draw an invite to the combine and posted lackluster numbers at the school’s pro day.Nonetheless, the 6-5, 334-pound prospect is a powerful run blocker who moves well considering his enormous size and is a terrific anchor in pass protection. He gave up only six quarterback hurries in 342 pass-blocking plays last season.Despite dealing with nagging injuries throughout his college career, Prescod is primed for the pros.last_img read more

Authorities seek information in beating death of Fort Lauderdale man

first_imgThe Fort Lauderdale police department is currently searching for information in regards to the fatal beating of a 47-year-old local man.According to the report, authorities say Paulesky Mauney was dropped off at the Broward Health Medical Center on October 20th after being severely beaten.Mauney remained in the hospital for 10 days before he passed away as a result of his injuries.Investigators are asking for anyone with information about this incident to contact them at 954-493-TIPS.last_img read more

Man charged with animal cruelty after video shows him hitting dog on South Beach

first_imgA man was caught on tape trying to kill a dog near Ocean Drive and 13th Street, Sunday afternoon.The video shows a man choking the dog with the leash, and yanking him to the ground.Witnesses were screaming and crying in hopes that the man would stop. Others stepped in and held down the dog’s attacker, 51-year-old Louis Sepulveda, until police arrived.Sepulveda was arrested and is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty with intent to injure or kill.There is currently no word on the dog’s well-being.Full video and story on wsvn.com.,A man was caught on tape trying to kill a dog near Ocean Drive and 13th Street, Sunday afternoon.The video shows a man choking the dog with the leash, and yanking him to the ground.Witnesses were screaming and crying in hopes that the man would stop. Others stepped in and held down the dog’s attacker, 51-year-old Louis Sepulveda, until police arrived.Sepulveda was arrested and is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty with intent to injure or kill.There is currently no word on the dog’s well-being.Full video and story on wsvn.com.last_img read more

Two Dead, Including Teen, and One Injured in Shooting After Funeral in Riviera Beach

first_imgTwo people, including a teenager, were shot and killed, and a juvenile female was injured, after a funeral in Riviera Beach on Saturday.Police responded at 2:34 p.m. to a shooting that happened immediately after a funeral at Victory City Church, which is located at 163 West 20th Street.An unidentified 15-year-old boy and a man, identified as 47-year-old Royce Freeman, were shot and died at the scene.The unidentified female was shot and taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center by Riviera Beach Fire Rescue with non-life-threatening injuries.According to a statement from Riviera Beach Police, the shooting was not “a random act of violence,” and, “The victims and the shooters were known to each other.”The godmother of the 15-year-old victim says the shooting occurred after his grandfather’s funeral.Courtesy: WPTV NewsChannel 5/FacebookSenior pastor of Victory City Church says he was alerted that there could be family tension surrounding the service, which is why he increased security with armed guards. He also alerted police before the funeral service.The shooting unfolded across the street, after the service ended and security had stepped away from the property.Officials say that ShotSpotter technology detected 13 shots during this incident.No arrests have been made, and the incident is under investigation.last_img read more