Dollar Appreciates Sharply in First Quarter

first_imgRelatedDollar Appreciates Sharply in First Quarter RelatedDollar Appreciates Sharply in First Quarter Dollar Appreciates Sharply in First Quarter Finance & Public ServiceAugust 12, 2010 RelatedDollar Appreciates Sharply in First Quartercenter_img Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Jamaican dollar experienced its sharpest quarterly appreciation since the June quarter of 1996, strengthening by 4.1 per cent for the just ended quarter.“The strongest appreciation occurred in June when the exchange rate strengthened by 2.9 per cent or $2.46, influenced largely by increased investor preference for Jamaican dollar assets. The preference for Jamaican dollar assets was reflected in increased net private capital inflows, the impact of which more than offset the demand for resources to meet current transactions,” Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter told today’s (August 12) quarterly press briefing at the Bank, in downtown Kingston.He explained that in order to “smooth the pace of movement in the exchange rate,” the bank had purchased some US$54 million net from the market during the quarter. This contributed to a Net International Reserves (NIR) stock of US$1.79 billion as at the end of June, which was not only higher than the end of March stock, but also above the end of June target.“At end-June 2010, the Bank’s gross revenues amounted to US$2,52 billion, representing 19.7 weeks of projected imports of goods and services, surpassing the benchmark of 12 weeks of imports,” he said.Meanwhile, he informed that market-driven interest rates declined over the period alongside the appreciation of the local currency. The average yield on the benchmark 180-day Treasury Bill fell by 123 basis points to 9.26 per cent, while the yield on the 90-day instrument declined by 166 basis points to 8.52 per cent.“Concurrent with the lower yields, there was continued narrowing in the spreads between government of Jamaica global bonds and emerging market bonds and US Treasuries, respectively,” he explained. Private money market rates also reflected this declining trend, Mr. Wynter noted.last_img read more

Youth and unemployment

first_imgAs the world celebrated International Youth Day on August 12, the accolades and proverbial clichés attesting to the power, energy and dynamism of youths have been articulated by all and sundry. However, the grim reality facing the majority of the world’s youths is that there are not enough avenues available for them to manifest the potential of the accolades being ascribed to them.In Guyana, the Caribbean and around the world, millions of youths are stagnated and their future prospects of being visionary leaders and positive contributors to the world economy are crippled simply because there are not enough jobs to satiate the demand for employment, particularly youth employment.According to the World Economic Forum in a 2016 report, “73.3 million of the 200 million globally unemployed are young people (aged between 15 and 24). In two-thirds of European economies, youth unemployment remains above 20 per cent, and more than one in three unemployed young people have been looking for work for more than a year. Work, if it comes, is often below their expectations for a quality job. The Middle East and North Africa have had rates of youth unemployment close to 30 per cent for decades, and these remain the only regions where things have continued to worsen over recent years.”The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in 2015 reported that Guyana’s youth unemployment rate is among the highest in the Caribbean at a staggering 40 per cent. The report also stated that youth unemployment in the Caribbean is at a very high 25 per cent. Apart from being unemployed, most of the young people who do have work are still living in poverty. This is especially true in developing economies. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that, “together, the unemployed and the working poor account for two-fifths of the global youth labour force. One in three – an estimated 169 million young workers – live on less than [US] $2 per day. If you move to $4 a day, the figure becomes 286 million.”Scholars have argued that this leads to underemployment where the youths, faced with no other alternative, work in lower-skilled environments and will do it for less money for the rest of their lives. The ILO and other international bodies are aware of the militating problem of youth employment and have outlined the need for action to be taken in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.In Guyana however, there seems to be no coherent plan to address the staggering 40 per cent of youths that we have unemployed, in addition to those who are working but are underemployed. Our Government is clearly embracing the outdated neo-liberalist construct – which is responsible to the devastating economic recession of 2008 – and believes that capitalism, the Private Sector should be the drivers of economic growth and jobs. This was exemplified in the speech of President David Granger when he said the populace should not look to Government for job creation but rather the Private Sector. Even though he posthumously articulated in favour of providing jobs for youths, the damage was already done. His prior comments reflected clearly the position of his Administration with respect to youth employment, that is, assigning priority to policies for job creation was not their concern.However, economists are of the view that providing jobs in the quantity and quality that we need will require action from governments. According to the World Economic Forum, “we recommend that Government policies support employment and lift aggregate demand, including public employment programmes, wage and training subsidies, sectoral programmes, counter-cyclical fiscal policies and youth entrepreneurship interventions.”What our Government needs to do is partner with international organisations such as the development banks to implement targeted polices that would make a difference in the labour force equation. Instead of wasting tax payers monies on projects that will see very little return on investment, such as the half billion that was spent on the Durban Park Stadium, when we already have the Providence Stadium, the Government should invest in doing a feasibility study and consequent impact plan on the jobs that will be needed in the near future.This way the University of Guyana will know what areas to target and plan its curriculums to suit.In the United States, the Obama Administration realised, through studies, that in the near future much of the level entry and semi-skilled jobs will be replaced by robots. Consequently, they are pushing for all their children to learn coding in their schools so that they can be the future programmers; in so doing guaranteeing jobs for their youths.last_img read more

Waynesville Home A Total Loss in Fire

first_imgA Waynesville home is a complete loss after an overnight fire on Saturday. When authorities arrived on scene the home was fully engulfed. At least five county fire departments responded to the scene. Officials say the 911 came from the home owner around 1:45am on Saturday Morning February 18th. The fire took over eight hours to contain. Fire crews believe the cause was unintentional or accidental. Noone was injured in the blaze.last_img

Embrace tattoos to fight cancer

first_imgThe Tattoo-a-thon SA for Choc Childhood Cancer Foundation – 30 tattoo artist, 300 tattoos, 24 hours. (Image: Tattoo-a-thon SA) The Tattoo-a-thon hopes to go international, with childhood cancer its main priority.(Images: Choc Chatterbox) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jordon Gray  Tattoo-a-thon SA event coordinator   +27 74 191 1234 RELATED ARTICLES • Facelift for KZN children’s hospital • SA scientist leads cancer fight • New online university to fight cancer • New eye care unit for KZN children • Reaching out to the terminally illCadine PillayFor many, the thought of getting a tattoo is a scary one. For others, people with tattoos have a bizarre way of expressing themselves and do not have charitable traits. Capetonian Jordan Gray is changing that perception, all in the name of charity. With the help of tattoo artists from around Cape Town, Gray organised the city’s first ever tattoo-a-thon, for the Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics (CHOC) Childhood Cancer Foundation.The 24-hour charity drive took on 15 June and aimed to raise R100 000 for CHOC’s Tygerberg Lodge – a facility that houses several families of children undergoing treatment for cancer.The fundraiser involved 30 tattoo artists from 10 of the Mother City’s top tattoo studios, who were hard at work in an effort to help remove the stigma surrounding tattoo fanatics.  Project coordinator Gray wanted the event to draw as diverse a group of South Africans together as possible. Furthermore, he hoped that all who were present would be eager to assist CHOC by getting tattoos.The start of a journeyThe CHOC SA was established in 1979 with offices across the country that provide all-inclusive support for children suffering from cancer and life-threatening blood disorders. The organisation recognised the far-reaching impact of cancer on families and children undergoing treatment, and in response decided to provide residence for these children for the duration of treatment.Gray became involved with CHOC a few years ago when he adopted a cancer patient named Gishmo by taking over the funding for his treatment. Gishmo’s parents were struggling to meet the financial demands of his brain cancer treatment. The family was housed by CHOC for the duration of Gishmo’s trials with his cancer and treatment, until he lost the battle to the disease shortly after his second birthday. CHOC does not receive funding from the government and relies heavily on donations from corporates, individuals and parents of children with cancer.“Donations and fund raising projects like the Tattoo-a-thon are therefore the lifeblood of the organisation,” says Gray. “The facilities need re-tiling, paint, plumbing, electrical and security services urgently for the recovery process of the children.”The controversial champions of childhood cancerCurrently, Gray is a graduate of Landmark Education – a global educational enterprise – and is close to finishing the Self-Expression and Leadership Programme, through which students learn to make an impact on communities and contribute to the quality of life of others.The idea for a Tattoo-a-thon came to him, along with his connection to CHOC, in the form of a curriculum community project.Gray hopes to achieve respect for tattoo enthusiasts – to whom a stereotype of rebellious and somewhat mischievous is often attached – by highlighting the diversity of the city’s ‘tattoo community’.“I am covered in tattoos,” Gray points out. “And so I want to alleviate the stigma attached to people with tattoos by doing something to show South Africa that people with tattoos are not second rate citizens, but that we are a community that cares.”With fundraising at the core of this project, the event aims to uplift CHOC.  There are also plans to make it an annual event that can expand to Johannesburg and thereafter to overseas locations such as London, New York and Miami, with all proceeds strictly devoted to cancer awareness and treatment.Meanwhile, the tattoo studios in Cape Town seek to break a record of 300 tattoos for each studio in an effort to raise as much money as possible. The studios involved in the initiative are Wildfire Tattoos, Sins of Style, Metal Machine, and Mob Inc.Johannesburg tattoo parlour Fallen Heroes has pledged their support to the cause by designing gold ribbon tattoos, dedicated to childhood cancer. Manuela Gray, co-founder and owner of Wildfire Tattoos, said all tattoos are a set size and will only cost R700.Participants can book their tattoo appointment directly with the tattoo studio or go to www.tattooathon.co.za to choose an artist of their choice.last_img read more

21st-century South Africans need to leave a lasting legacy

first_imgYFM DJ Moeti Tsiki, also known as Mo Flava, facilitated the dialogueIn 1976, young South Africans came together to play a pivotal role in highlighting the injustices of apartheid; they risked their lives squaring up to a heartless regime and secured a place in history for their role in liberating the country. They left a lasting legacy. Now, the young people of this generation are looking for ways to make their mark on South Africa’s history.Brand South Africa and the Sowetan, through the Play Your Part/Sowetan Dialogues, invited youngsters to The Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton on 18 June to discuss the issue. The event coincided closely with 16 June, the 38-year anniversary of the Soweto Student Uprising, in which school children protested the introduction of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in schools.YFM DJ Moeti Tsiki, also known as Mo Flava, facilitated the dialogue and panellists included Simamkele Dlakavu, a One Young World Ambassador and producer on e.tv’s The Big Debate; Neliswa Fente, co-founder of SpringAGE, a youth-led innovation company; and Nzinga Qunta, an ANN7 TV presenter and entrepreneur.Tsiki kicked off the dialogue asking, “[In 1976] Young people with no guidance from political parties managed to organise themselves and go against the apartheid government. After 20 years of freedom is the youth of today, who don’t share the same struggles, able to leave a lasting legacy with no common goal?”The answers were enlightening.Panelists Neliswa Fente, co-founder of SpringAGE, a youth-led innovation company; and Nzinga Qunta, an ANN7 TV presenter and entrepreneurINTER-GENERATIONAL DIALOGUEFente expressed the need for “intergenerational dialogue” for today’s youth to learn from their forebears; she said, “What we need is inter-generational dialogues that will see youngsters interacting with older people … with both learning about each other’s struggles and not the other believing they know better.”Fente represented South Africa at the One Young World Conference in Zurich in 2011 and in 2013 she sat as an Advisory Board Member for One Young World. She is also a South African Spark Change Maker for 2013 and was named one of South Africa’s Top 20 Inspiring Young people of 2013 by Youth Village.One Young World is a group of the world’s brightest young people solving the world’s problems.She added that young people need deliberate spaces to collaborate to reach their goals.STRUCTURAL IMBALANCEDlakavu introduced her thoughts with a statistic, saying that more than 80% of SA youth are not involved in civic organisations and lack organisational skills.She added that “Structural and infrastructure issues hold youth back from fulfilling their potential, but many persevere and make it.”She believes that a common goal brought the children together in 1976, but that today young people live in an “individualistic world” that advocates personal achievements, making it difficult to have common goals.To address this, Dlakavu believes that youngsters need to have the “spirit of service” where they take time to do for others at no benefit to themselves.“Before the elections we were in Marikana and I was touched when young people had organised themselves in groups and tutored each other because they had lost a lot of schooling time …  instead of sitting at home complaining they decided to do it for themselves and educate one another,” she said.She added that young people are not short of role models and concluded by saying, “We need to move beyond selfishness and towards being of service to others.”The latest in the series of dialogues asked South Africa’s young people to consider the legacy they want to leave for their childrenSTART WITH YOUR PASSIONQunta believes that for youngsters to leave a lasting legacy they should follow their passions and forget about the grand gestures.She described working with volunteer organisation Cheese Kids for South Africa, where the founders also followed their passions; she said, “When Cheese Kids for South Africa was started we were at a garage with [founder] Shaka Sisulu and decided to go paint an orphanage for the day.”Qunta believes that to make the country a better one, all who live in it need to contribute; “If you’re living in South Africa during this democracy and you’re not doing anything to extend yourself beyond your family and friends, then you are not doing anything to make this a better country.”She also addressed youngsters’ sometimes unrealistic expectations, saying, “Another thing the youth of today need to do is forget about all the glamorous careers, because who will build roads and infrastructure if we are all DJs?”“There is a bit of swag in being a farmer,” she said, to much laughter.She concluded talking about her own passions and goals, saying she plays her role in improving South Africa by being in the media, distributing information, and added that in order to leave a lasting legacy, youngsters need to identify their passion to know where to play their roles.last_img read more

5 strategies to improve your ad copy

first_img5 strategies to improve your ad copyYou are here: HomeDigital Marketing5 strategies to improve your ad copy Posted on 20th May 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Ad copy is a very important element in online advertising, but it’s often “set and forget” — once written, advertisers move on to newer and/or sexier strategies and tactics.Ad copy is often one of the first areas I focus on to boost advertising efficiency. And, if I focus on iterating ads, I can often continue to improve ad performance. In this article, I’ll suggest some elements you can use to put some pep into your ads and improve their overall performance.Before getting started, here are some general pointers:Good ideas can take time to come together, so put some time into your ad copy. I brainstorm ideas and intentionally sit on them for a while. I find this valuable, as I often come up with additional ideas when I’m not specifically thinking about my copy. (Keep a device or pen and paper handy to jot them down!) The extra time also gives me time to brainstorm and/or run ideas by colleagues, run a mini-focus group or talk to potential customers to further refine ideas.Ad copy should be concise and to the point. Just because you’re given a certain amount of space, it doesn’t mean you should use it all. In fact, we’ve been testing shorter headlines (especially second headlines), and they’ve been converting better than the longer ones.Come up with a plan to consistently iterate and improve the performance of ads. A simple calendar reminder (say, once every two weeks or every month) can be a very good way to keep on top of this.In the sections below, I cover ways to improve ad copy to increase conversions. They are in no particular order. I suggest layering the strategies on top of each other for added ad bang.1. Reduce buyer anxietyMany people feel anxious about making purchases online. Try to incorporate elements that make people feel less anxious. One way to do this is to emphasize your company’s credibility — e.g.,”in business since 1984,” “as seen on TV,” “as featured in The New York Times.” These can be enhanced with features like seller ratings and review extensions and are very effective in helping people feel more comfortable making a purchase from you.I also like to emphasize the “no extra fee” angle, and you can use wording like “no hidden fees,” “no booking fees” and “no minimums.” You can even try stronger language like “no bait and switch” if your brand/industry lends itself well to such language.You can take it a step further and create “positive” anxiety. Effective strategies for this are to state that special pricing ends by X date or is available for a limited time. The countdown feature is an awesome complement to this wording. You can also highlight potential loss by using wording like “don’t miss out!” or “why miss out?”2. Reduce buyer frictionIt’s also important to eliminate potential barriers to purchase. For example, I spell out how easy it will be to get, use or return a product or service. It provides additional reassurance and can effectively nudge people to make a purchase. Here are several examples:Quick turnaround: “ships within one day,” “inventory available”Return policy: “free returns,” “30-day returns,” “no hassle”Ease of use: “within minutes,” “quick and easy,” “3 easy steps”[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]From our sponsors: 5 strategies to improve your ad copy Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019last_img read more

How The Digital Wallet Will Drive Mobile Commerce in 2015

first_imgReadWritePredict is a look ahead at the technology trends and companies that will shape the coming year.Guest author Bill Ready is CEO of the PayPal unit Braintree.Mobile is on the rise and has helped disrupt many traditional industries, including transportation, accommodations, services and retail. As a result, mobile commerce is on a tear, and is expected to account for global revenues of $204 billion by year end.As consumers shift to mobile, they’re demanding simple and straightforward buying experiences like those of Airbnb, Trunk Club, Uber and YPlan. The simpler mobile buying becomes, the more mobile commerce will grow. Yet there’s still a steep gap between browsing and buying on mobile. Too many obstacles still stand between consumers and merchants trying to connect via mobile devices.How will we get from where we are today, when mobile only accounts for an estimated one percent of all commerce transactions, to 30%, 40%, 50% or more? And how will mobile commerce evolve over the next few years? Here are my predictions.Digital Wallets Will Become A Preferred Option For Mobile PurchasesOver the next five years, we’ll see digital wallets—apps and hardware that will let us buy things directly, without the need to fumble for a credit card—becoming the primary way people buy on mobile. That shift is going to begin in earnest in 2015. But it won’t be because people want to scrap the physical wallet they carry in their purse or pocket.We carry our smartphones around with us everywhere we go, using them to communicate, consume content, shop and fill spare moments in our day. On average, U.S. smartphone owners now spend about three hours per day on their phones. The increase in the amount of time spent on mobile is also translating to an increase in mobile commerce.This holiday season, we’ve already seen tremendous growth in this area—whether it was buying a new flat screen TV on Thanksgiving while sitting at the dinner table, downloading a popular gaming app to fill the time once family had left, or even renting a hotel room for next week’s holiday party directly from your phone. My own company Braintree—which is part of the PayPal family—saw mobile transaction growth on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year rise by respective factors of 4.2, 2.3 and 2.9 compared to the same period in 2013.Yet the gap between browsing and buying on mobile persists. Lots of online shopping still isn’t optimized for mobile, and requires consumers to fill out credit card, shipping and billing information before they can check out. Consumers are less willing to input data on their phones and expect “one touch” buying of the sort that only digital wallets can provide.While the idea of the digital wallet isn’t new, it’s been slow to gain traction. But things like Apple Pay and PayPal’s One Touch are changing that.Security Concerns Will Further Drive Consumer Adoption of Digital WalletsFor the last 15 years, digital wallets, particularly those at scale such as PayPal, have allowed people to transact online or on mobile without revealing their financial information, giving them increased security. However, the majority of consumers today still forego that security, passing their financial information to countless merchants through card swipes and online entry forms.After several major in-store breaches across many well known, reputable retailers, consumers and merchants alike are now seeing that additional security is absolutely required. The legacy payment model of sharing detailed financial information with every card swipe and online transaction clearly no longer works.For this reason, digital wallets will become a must-have for consumers and merchants that are looking to transact safely and securely.The Shift Toward Wearables and Beacons Will Help Fuel Context-Driven CommerceIn the coming years, both wearables and the proliferation of beacons will change the way we browse and buy. With the help of companies like Apple, Pebble and Samsung, more and more time will be spent on handheld (or even smaller) devices. And nearly every mobile device and wearable also serves as a Bluetooth equipped beacon.As a result, our devices are going to have much greater ability to interact with the world around us. But they’ll also need to know an increasing amount about us to do it well. Everything from our location to past purchase history will be used to predict our wants and needs so that we can quickly and easily interact with computing devices that aren’t designed for data entry.As we begin to browse and buy more via our wearable devices, context-aware technology that enhances the way we interact with the world around us will become all the more critical. Beaconing technology—such as that from Estimote and Euclid—are providing effective ways for merchants to personalize the in-store shopping experience and to let consumers easily purchase things from their phones.Bluetooth low-energy technology is also enabling solutions like Venmo Nearby, which connects people within a given location so they can easily exchange money for anything from dinner to a concert without even needing a phone number or email address. As wearable devices with even smaller screens devices start to catch on, context-driven experiences and digital wallets will become all the more critical.People Will Buy Fewer ‘Things,’ More ExperiencesWith the growth of the sharing economy and collaborative consumption, consumers are spending more on experiences. Booking weekend getaways using Airbnb or HotelTonight; purchasing tickets to shows and events via sites like StubHub or SeatGeek; and sending friends “gifts” via social peer-to-peer (P2P) apps for a beer or a movie ticket are becoming more common.Analyzing spending keywords on Venmo—which is processing more than $2.8 billion of annualized mobile volume and seeing 50 percent quarter-over-quarter growth—we’re seeing an increase in payments for experiences like a trip to Tahoe, fantasy football or going to the movies. Next year, we’ll continue to see people shifting from buying “things” to buying experiences.Social Commerce Will Make a ComebackJust a few years ago, many declared that social commerce had failed. The conventional wisdom was that social commerce was limited to buying through a brand’s social media page, or sharing purchased items via social media.But social commerce is actually thriving in more obvious places—where both buying and conversation around buying happens naturally. We’ll soon see consumers start sharing and buying on social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Houzz.In addition, we’ll also see a rise in social P2P payments. This growth will not only be a result of an increase in activity from early adopting millennials, who currently dominate the space, but will also result from use by a growing demographic as social commerce becomes mainstream and millennials expand beyond their peers to their entire network.Lead photo courtesy of Shutterstock A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts bill ready Tags:#digital wallet#Mobile Payments#Predict center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Nest To Show Off Smart Home Collaborations At CES

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Nest, the Google-owned smart home device, is poised to show off its capabilities as more than just a thermostat at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. See also: Nest Makes Its Move In The Smart HomeIn June last year, Nest unveiled its public API that would allow independent programmers to create new applications for the company’s devices. In the following six months, dozens of companies have taken Nest up on it. At CES, the company will show off collaborations between Nest and Whirlpool, Philips Hue, and other smart home contenders. According to Nest’s announcement, the exhibit will take up at over a dozen booths and display features from a phone service that automatically forwards your calls to a washing machine that runs on quiet mode when you’re in the house. Nest will be showcasing its collaborations with other smart home companies, but the beauty of the API is that anyone can use it. For example, you can now use Nest with IFTT to automate particular behaviors for the thermostat without any programming.Photo via Nest lauren orsini A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#api#connected home#Google#Nest#Nest thermostat#smart home center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The farm fix

first_imgOrganic. That word has increasingly been jumping out at us as the city wakes up to the world of organic living. Caring for the earth is the hottest new thing, and suddenly everyone is scouting for everything organic. Simply Mumbai decided to do some figuring out so that next time,Organic. That word has increasingly been jumping out at us as the city wakes up to the world of organic living. Caring for the earth is the hottest new thing, and suddenly everyone is scouting for everything organic. Simply Mumbai decided to do some figuring out so that next time we spot something organic, it means more than another fancy word.As funky as it gets-IndigreenPure passion translates into some of the city’s funkiest T-shirts, or to be more specific ‘the Indian luxury T-shirt brand’ with elaborate hand-painted poster art adorning them. The icing on the cake is that it’s completely organic, right from the material to the labels.Nidhi Singh, 31, began researching on the Green Revolution and experimenting with possibilities of creating 100 per cent eco-friendly collections. Prior to that she has worked both in the media and fashion industry for almost 11 years and even had her own luxury pret label, ‘Nidhi Singh’.It was in 2008, when she volunteered for The Climate Project, India, that she met Gaurav Gupta, co-founder of the organisation that he helped found with Al Gore. With a bachelors from Oxford and a masters from Yale, Gupta, 32, is an ecopreneur with his fingers in multiple projects that promote sustainable development. Together, they launched Indigreen and did a test run of their t-shirts at the Kala Ghoda festival last year.While all the material used is certified organic and sourced from places that ensure fair trade, the Bollywood theme posters incorporate social messages in their design-their latest line has an anti-terrorism theme, with tees sporting messages like ‘Terrorists Are Ugly’. The artwork is done by former Bollywood poster painters who have been out of work. The care extends to the dyes and paints as well, which are either organic or eco friendly.What: Luxury organic tees, organic accessories, khadi bags, belts, and home decor.Where: Tribal Route, Bilss, Dhoop-Crafts of Asia, Bombay Electric, Melange.Visit: www.indigreen.co.in. Sweetest thing-Under the mango treeEvery store worth its organic salt stocks jars of honey from Under The Mango Tree. Started by MIT graduate Vijaya Pastala, the brand helps farmers market everything from organic certified cereals to oils, herbs, spice and beeswax. But what is most important to them is the Apis Cerena, or the Indian honey bee. Why? Because almost everything we consume comes from cross pollinated plants (must be pollinated to bear fruit) and the cerena is one of the best pollinators.She has worked towards sustainable development with the Aga Khan Foundation, DFID, India and the World Bank. She promotes community-based beekeeping through ‘The Hive’. It helps indigenous organic farmers install bee boxes on their farms and the results have been stupendous. The yield increased by 50 per cent and their income rose 40 per cent through the sale of honey. That is a lot of food for thought the next time you reach out for that jar of honey.What: Annual honey subscription; gives you a range of gourmet honey delivered every month.Cost: Rs1,700 for 200 gm and Rs3,000 for 500 gm.Contact: 9833154478 or email [email protected] browsing through produce at the Farmers Market in BandraEverything green-Farmers marketThis is probably the best place to grab your greens straight from the growers themselves. The market is held on Sunday mornings at the Nilgiri Gardens in Bandra. Stalls selling everything, from fruits and vegetables to cloth and candy floss, dot the garden where it is held.Brainchild of Kavita Mukhi, founder of the Conscious Food brand, this is the only farmers’ market in the country where everything is organic. This was something Mukhi had wanted to do for years, “For me it was a dream.”? Her interest in the organic way of life began years ago when her son was born and she started looking for healthy food.Farmers get a free spot to sell their produce while the others are either paid for or sponsored stalls. In both cases, costs of middlemen and high rentals is eliminated. Mukhi says, “The response has been fantastic, but the scale is still relatively small for a city like Mumbai.”?At the organic cafe, every item served is at least 80 per cent organic. Not surprisingly, plastic is not welcome here-the grains are held in sacks and sold in paper bags. The market is closed now, but will be back in October.What: A huge variety of organic foods and products and eco-friendly options for just about everything.Where: Nilgiri Gardens. Coming up in Cuffe Parade.Contact: 9821142700, 9820089378.Reetha Balsavar and Lata Sharma of Navdanya, the store that stocks every kind of grain you can think ofFinal pit stop-NavdanyaThe store is a tiny organic haven in an Andheri by-lane, with shelves neatly lined with most grains than you can think of, and many that you can’t. Fret not, the caretakers Reetha Balsavar and Lata Sharma will come to your rescue the second they sense hesitation. Their offerings come packed in plastic bags, but they encourage you to get your own jar or recycle old plastic bags.It is this personal touch that has seen sales pick up 200 per cent since the store opened three years ago. Mumbai’s only Navdanya store is part of a nation-wide organic movement launched 23-years ago by renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr Vandana Shiva. For Balsavar and Sharma the association goes back six years.The movement started as seed banks across the country and has now established itself as a cooperative that helps farmers from 16 states market their produce. Navdanya means nine crops that represent India’s collective source of food security. All their produce is certified organic and sourced directly from their cooperative.What: A wide range of dals, rices, spices, flour, oil, pickles, papads, snacks, etc.Where: No 10, Mayfair Housing Society, Andheri (W).Contact: 99204 18027, 66790081.What is Organic?Produce grown naturally, without using chemical pesticides or fertilizers or even genetically modified seeds. Organic meats and dairy products come from animals that have not been reared with antibiotics and growth hormones.What’s the fuss about?Since organic food and products are grown the natural way, without the use of chemicals, they are good for the body. The added advantage is that they are also good for the environment as they do not contaminate the soil and the water. Organic cultivation is cheaper for the farmer who doesn’t have to invest in pesticides and fertilisers. Organic food is considered to be healthier and more nutritious than conventional food.DownsideLow shelf life, wastage, expensiveWhy is it expensive?Good quality, labour intensive, they spoil faster, leading to higher wastage; usually grown on small farms without economy of scale.How to care for organic foodsRub organic castor oil into grainsUse neem leaves in containers or ash from agnihotra puja to ward off pestsTry to buy in smaller quantitiesRefrigerate your stocks New products Amore Gelato has two new organic gelatos – Organic Gulkand & Cashew, and Organic Figs Gelato.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Justice VR Krishna Iyer: The Conscience Keeper

first_imgJustice VR Krishna IyerThe perception of justice lies at the heart of every democracy. The trust and faith of the people imposes a prodigious responsibility on those who are charged with dispensing justice. Notwithstanding their political, economic or even social orientation, if there is one critical trait that judges must,Justice VR Krishna IyerThe perception of justice lies at the heart of every democracy. The trust and faith of the people imposes a prodigious responsibility on those who are charged with dispensing justice. Notwithstanding their political, economic or even social orientation, if there is one critical trait that judges must have in the discharge of this onerous duty, it is compassion. Empathy for the last man in the last row- and Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer had that in plenty. He marshalled both these traits and deployed them in the service of the disempowered, ostracised and the impecunious elements of our social milieu.It was perhaps an active involvement in public affairs early on in his life that imbued him with a deep insight into the yearning of an ordinary person to be treated in a humane and just manner. For the ordinary Indian still perceives the state as an aggressor whenever it interfaces with him or her. Rarely in the hallowed portals of the Indian judiciary has a person who is active in public life ascended to high judicial office; Justice Iyer was one of those rare exceptions. In the extremely polarised paradigm of Indian political life where suspicion is the norm and scepticism at best the exception, it is perhaps the most eloquent tribute to his integrity and rectitude that he was able to surmount this chasm and command the respect of not only the widest cross-section of society but also his critics. Tragically something that is not even in the realm of possibility today for good people on all sides of the great Indian political abyss.advertisementHe was appointed to the Supreme Court in the wake of the supersession of three judges. It was a moment in India’s national journey when progressive politics and judicial institutions were unfortunately on a collision course. Given his left-of-centre ideological disposition, it was perceived that he would be in sync with the philosophical predilection of the government of the day. However, Justice Iyer knew what is expected of a judge and his conduct exemplified the objectivity and neutrality that must be intrinsic to judicial office.Justice Iyer was a pioneer in improving the plight of undertrials and jail convicts. His verdict in the matter of Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration would go down in history as the trigger for prison reform. He proscribed the manacling and abuse of prisoners and laid down the maxim ‘bail, not jail’ for undertrials. A dictum turned on its head over the years. Though he was always circumspect about capital punishment, in the later years of his life he became all the more convinced about its amorality. Similarly he displayed the courage of conviction in ensuring that due process is read down into the interpretation of Article 21 (on protection of life and personal liberty), especially when courts at that point in time were diffident in doing so. He considered Article 14 (on equality before the law) both as a sword and shield against the arbitrary conduct of state institutions. This credence was responsible for unleashing a tempest of innovative jurisprudence.Justice Iyer believed in the doctrine of separation of powers and the intricate construction of the constitutional balance. He saw the legislative and judicial institutions not as adversarial entities but as establishments that should mutually reinforce each other with their collective and crystallised wisdom. In turn they would enrich the great democratic experiment by making it more refined, sensitive and nuanced in its character. In his seven years at the Supreme Court he left an indelible imprint on a vast judicial canvas that was perhaps uncharted landscape before he traversed it. Even after retirement he continued to write in a prolific manner commenting on issues in the public domain and espousing various causes. Generations of lawyers and public activists not only benefited from his scholarship but also internalised the mastery he had over the English language that could make any litterateur turn green with envy. He was passionate about a variety of public causes that ranged from the plight of street children to devoting his time and energy into a people’s enquiry into the communal violence that convulsed Gujarat in 2002.Born in 1915 at Thalassery in Kerala, he was witness to perhaps the most momentous century since the dawn of human civilisation. For any individual to be able to absorb the Teutonic changes of the past 100 years and still stay on the cutting edge of the ideational paradigm is perhaps the most articulate testimony of his intellectual capacity. In the hundredth year of his life he has moved over to a world beyond. Mourn we must the passing away of a true visionary, but celebrate also a life truly well lived.advertisement- Manish Tewari is a lawyer and a former Union minister. The views expressed are personal.last_img read more