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Thursday,13-August-2020

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High Court Allowed Herbal flavour Hookah In Maharashtra

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Hookah-Parlour-Ban-Lifted

Finally, Bombay High Court has allowed herbal flavour hookah in the state after a petition filed in court by Mumbai based Owner of Chain Of Open Air Resturant Ali Reza.

After a shocking incident of fire at two roof-top restaurants inside Kamla Mills compound, which cost 14 lives on December 28, 2017, the state has amended Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. This led to a blanket ban on hookah parlours in the state.

At the latest judgement by the bench, “The high court is permitting the petitioner to serve the herbal hookah. If in future the petitioner is found to be serving any tobacco product then the authorities are free to take action as per law.”

To challenge the ban, Ali Reza filed a petition in Supreme court which later referred it to High court that they should look in the matter at earliest. As the ban has shut down Ali Reza’s three food joints where herbal hookah was served and 400 workers were employed.

Earlier Sheesha Skylounge owner Ali Reza said, “We are Not Challenging Govt Order Against Tobbaco Flavour Hukkah We are asking Just Herbal Non Tobacco Flavour Hukkah permission which was Also given by Gujarat HC even after the State Banned Tobbaco Flavour Hukkah with President Accent.”

In this matter, earlier court had seek report of Herbal Flavour Non Tobacco Test, when the case was headed by bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre.

Eventually, Ali Reza and several other herbal hookah owners will have a sigh of relief after the court’s permission.

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Mumbai fishermen net a whale shark

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Mumbai: A fishing trawler accidentally netted a gigantic 8-metres long, around 2-3 tonnes weight dotted Whale-Shark fish, while fishing off Mumbai, late on Tuesday night It was dragged in the dead early on Wednesday and later lifted by a crane, and kept at Sassoon Docks. (Photo: IANS)

Late on Tuesday night, a fishing trawler in the Arabian Sea accidentally netted a big catch around 40-50 kms off Colaba.

A giant dotted whale shark got entangled in the fishing nets and desperately struggled to set itself free, but failed, said one of the fishermen on board the vessel.

Owing to darkness and inclement weather conditions, the fishing trawler decided to sail back to Mumbai, dragging the creature in the nets behind it, and reached here early on Wednesday.

They left it along with the net near the shores of the 145-year-old Sassoon Docks in Colaba and sailed back into the sea, informed Damodar Tandel, President of Akhil Bharatiya Machhimar Kriti Samiti and prominent fisherfolk leader.

Later, a crane was deployed to lift the massive dotted whale shark that was around 8-metres (over 26 feet) long, and weighed more than two tonnes (two thousand kilograms).

The crane laid it on the docks as curious fisherfolk gathered around to click selfies this morning.

“We were on a routine patrol in the area and saw this enormous fish, which the fishermen revere as ‘Dev-Masa’ lying here,” Colaba Police Station’s constable Swapnil Kumbhar told IANS.

Though Kumbhar was not clear of the next course of action, prominent fisherfolk leader Damodar Tandel said the whale shark was taken away by a trader who will extract oil from it and dispose off the remains.

This is the first instance in recent times that such a massive fish got entangled in a fishing net, though Mumbai and Maharashtra coastline have witnessed incidents of similar sea-giants getting washed ashore in the past, he said.

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Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine protected monkey in single shot

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Johnson & Johnson. (Photo: Twitter/@JNJNews)

A leading candidate of Covid-19 vaccine developed by global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson raised neutralising antibodies and robustly protected monkeys against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“This vaccine led to robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques and is now being evaluated in humans,” said study researcher Dan H. Barouch from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in the US.

The vaccine uses a common cold virus, called adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26), to deliver the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into host cells, where it stimulates the body to raise immune responses against the coronavirus.

Barouch has been working on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine since January when Chinese scientists released the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

The research team developed a series of vaccine candidates designed to express different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is the major target for neutralizing antibodies.

They conducted a study in 52 NHPs, immunizing 32 adult rhesus macaques (monkeys) with a single dose of one of seven different versions of the Ad26-based vaccine, and giving 20 animals sham vaccines as placebo controls.

All vaccinated animals developed neutralizing antibodies following immunization. Six weeks after the immunization, all animals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

All 20 animals that received the sham vaccine became infected and showed high levels of virus in their lungs and nasal swabs.

Of the six animals that received the optimal vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S, none showed the virus in their lungs, and only one animal showed low levels of virus in nasal swabs.

Moreover, neutralizing antibody responses correlated with protection, suggesting that this biomarker will be useful in the clinical development of COVID-19 vaccines for use in humans.

“Our data show that a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S robustly protected rhesus macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge,” said Barouch.

“A single-shot immunization has practical and logistical advantages over a two-shot regimen for global deployment and pandemic control, but a two-shot vaccine will likely be more immunogenic, and thus both regimens are being evaluated in clinical trials,” Barouch added.

“We look forward to the results of the clinical trials that will determine the safety and immunogenicity, and ultimately the efficacy, of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine in humans,” the authors wrote.

The team also noted that the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine is on track to start a phase 3 efficacy trial in 30,000 participants in September.

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Maharashtra’s new flavour of Rakshabandhan season – cowdung rakhis!

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For the upcoming ‘Rakshabandhan’ festival on August 3, there will be a new, eco-friendly and healthy option for sisters and brothers in Maharashtra – rakhis made of the dung of the pure Indian breed of Gir cow.

The brainchild of a former banker-turned-academician, Priti R. Tembhare, who runs a ‘Gaushala’ (cow-shelter) with 200 Gir cows and another 150 abandoned or handicapped cows, oxen or bulls, the attractive, sturdy and cheap cowdung rakhis have proved to be popular and in demand this year.

“I started on an experimental basis with around 500 pieces… I personally went for marketing it in Gondia and Nagpur, convincing the distributors and retailers on the benefits of these cowdung rakhis. Initially, they were sceptical, but gradually they seem to have embraced it,” an elated Priti Tembhare told IANS from her workshop in Gondia.

It was last year that some women in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh started making cowdung rakhis which caught the eyes of people, prompting Tembhare to start a similar initiative in Maharashtra this year.

“During the lockdown, many women were rendered jobless in this region… I wanted to do something to make them ‘atmanirbhar’ with a product that was indigenous, natural and in tune with our age-old traditions… I decided to introduce cowdung rakhis,” she said.

The small sample resulted in big orders of over 5,000 cowdung rakhis, the last of which are currently being packaged for dispatch, with the rakhis costing between Rs 15 and Rs 50 a piece.

These humble cowdung rakhis will vie for attention among other rakhis in Mumbai where some affluent ‘sisters’ spend lakhs of rupees for buying platinum, gold, silver, diamond-studded and other high-end rakhis.

Tembhare explained that making cowdung rakhis or other long-lasting objects is time-consuming, undergoing several processes like drying the cowdung, converting it into fine powder, using neem tree or other natural gums plus seeds of tamarind as binding agent to make the rakhis strong.

After Rakshabandhan, she suggests these rakhis can be taped on mobiles, tablets, laptops or other objects emanating harmful rays, which the cowdung reportedly nullifies.

A former banker and then an academician, Tembhare was encouraged in the venture by her automobile engineer husband, Rishikumar Tembhare, who has diverted his skills to train villagers in organic farming, watershed management techniques and supplying free water tankers to problem villages in the area.

“Through our NGO, Laxmi Gaushala Charitable Trust (LGCT) and an orchard, we earn by selling Gir cow milk and other products, plus different types of fruits… But it was insufficient to take care of the workers, especially the womenfolk during the lockdown. The cowdung rakhis seem to be a promising venture which can help supplement our income,” she smiled.

Simultaneously, Tembhare plans to launch cowdung idols of Lord Ganesha for the ensuing Ganeshotsav – Maharashtra’s biggest public festival – which will be celebrated on a modest scale this year owing to the pandemic.

“These small idols of Lord Ganesha are embedded with seeds of certain plants like ‘tulsi’… After immersions, they will mix with the earth and new tulsi plants will start sprouting,” Tembhare said.

On the popularity of the cowdung rakhis, a social media message caught the attention of Mumbai diamond merchant Girish Shah, who runs an NGO Samast Mahajan, and he forwarded it to some persons, and it spread like wildfire, culminating in the large orders.

“We toiled hard for three months… It takes around a week to produce one final batch of around 1,000 rakhis… We had several orders from abroad, but we declined as it proved unviable to send by air cargo in view of the Covid-19 flight disruptions,” said Tembhare.

However, there are many big orders which have been promised for Rakshabandhan 2021, which she will take up immediately after Diwali, and continue ahead the new, healthy and eco-friendly trend of cowdung rakhis.

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