3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#Big Data#DataSift#Gartner#Hadoop#Ovum#twitter Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Matt Asay Related Posts Gartner research director Svetlana Sicular thinks Big Data is about to plummet off the “peak of inflated expectations” into the “trough of disillusionment.” Perhaps. But other data from Twitter and job trends suggest a much more complicated picture.Sicular reaches her conclusions about Big Data based on a series of conversations with IT professionals over the past few weeks, in addition to a roundtable with Hadoop vendors Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR. In discussing Hadoop, the vendors suggest that “MapReduce has always been Hadoop’s bottleneck or that Hadoop is ‘primitive and old-fashioned,’” apparently disillusioned with the state of Big Data’s poster child/elephant. This could be chalked up to the Hadoop vendors simply acknowledging that despite being an excellent technology, Hadoop still has a ways to go. But Sicular’s conversations with enterprise business analysts are more damaging:My most advanced… Hadoop clients are also getting disillusioned. They do not realize that they are ahead of others and think that someone else is successful while they are struggling. These organizations have fascinating ideas, but they are disappointed with a difficulty of figuring out reliable solutions… Formulating a right question is always hard, but with big data, it is an order of magnitude harder, because you are blazing the trail (not grazing on the green field).And yet, these same companies don’t seem to be giving up on Big Data. For example, DataSift plowed through 2.2 million Twitter mentions by more than 981,000 authors, as Ovum analyst Tony Baer reports, finding that positive mentions of Big Data vendors outnumber negative mentions by 3-to-1. And while Baer acknowledges that “Twitter streams are not a scientific focus group for detecting brand awareness, they provide a valuable window on market thinking.” Indeed, given the levels of Big Data hype, it’s surprising that the overall mood about Big Data remains overwhelmingly positive.So much so, in fact, that enterprises are paying a premium to hire job candidates with Big Data-relevant technology skills, as Dice.com’s 2012-2013 annual salary survey reveals. Job candidates with Big Data technology expertise command an average salary of $100,000, while other hot technologies like cloud/virtualization ($90,000) and mobile ($80,000) yield lower salaries. As Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, asserts, “We’ve heard [Big Data] is a fad, heard it’s hyped and heard it’s fleeting, yet it’s clear that data professionals are in demand and well paid.”While Gartner clearly has a valid point that Big Data’s outsized expectations are sure to crash into reality at some point, it’s also clear from jobs data, in particular, that enterprises see enough value from their data that they’re willing to pay up for expertise that can analyze it. Will they be disappointed? Possibly. But the jobs data indicates we have yet to plummet into Gartner’s “trough of disillusionment.” IT + Project Management: A Love Affair
Fundraising for a Cause? Look into Peer FundraisingPeer fundraising, also called peer to peer fundraising, has become a popular way to raise money, but it is also exceptionally useful for spreading the word about your cause. In addition to meeting your nonprofit fundraising goals, you also gain new supporters.How Peer Fundraising WorksYour existing supporters become your first line of outreach in a peer fundraising campaign. As with any fundraiser, you begin with your plan. Then, instead of just sending out your appeal, you also send out a request to forward your information, share on social media, etc. to your supporters’ own personal networks. With minimal effort, you are able to turn your supporters into advocates for your cause and have them help raise the money your organization needs.Keep It SimpleBecause you are so passionate about your cause, your organization, and fundraising, it can be tempting to provide your supporters with too much information. Your supporters can get easily overwhelmed if they feel like they are being asked to do anything that’s too involved. Therefore, ensure your peer fundraising materials are more simplified than what you might present otherwise.You still need to make a strong case, and nothing does that better than engaging stories. Make it clear with your heading that it is a story, and use a layout that indicates a quick read, as opposed to an academic presentation of the “facts,” so that people will be drawn in and not be afraid they don’t have the time to read it now.Peer Fundraising Is an Online EndeavorInclude links to your donation page wherever it’s appropriate. If your organization gains a supporter, but she can’t figure out how to contribute, then the effort was wasted. Your supporters know that they are asking for money and their friends recognize the technique by now.Taking advantage of peer fundraising has enabled even very small nonprofit fundraising efforts to reach huge numbers of people. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet in this new, and fun, approach!Network for Good has a blog with more free information on how to be successful at nonprofit fundraising. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your peer fundraising efforts. Call us today at 1-855-229-1694 to learn more!
“Fundraising is the F-word to many board members.” —Gail Perry, Fired Up Fundraising It’s all too common for board members to avoid fundraising for your nonprofit because it can cause a lot of anxiety—even downright fear. We asked Rachel Muir, vice president of training at Pursuant and founder of Girlstart, to share how you can reframe some common fundraising fears to help your board members feel confident every time they make an ask. Fear: If a donor gives to our organization, it might hurt them in some way. Truth: The world is full of generous people who want to give. The wrong approach to fundraising is feeling like you’re taking something away from someone. Encourage your board members to believe in abundance. We don’t have to look any farther than the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised $220 million. Before the challenge, that $220 million was sitting in people’s pockets and bank accounts, but that challenge inspired people to give. Fear: I’ll be rejected and fail. Truth: Ninety-five percent of the ask is what leads up to it. Think about a marriage proposal. You pretty much know the answer before the words are spoken out loud. It’s not how the question is asked; it’s all the work you did beforehand to build the relationship. That’s what gets you to yes, and it’s the same in fundraising. It’s what happens before the solicitation that brings a person to give. Getting a meeting with a donor, for example, is a very positive indicator. People won’t agree to a meeting unless they’re highly likely to make a gift. Ideally, you’ve been cultivating this person appropriately. It’s important for your board to remember that. The ask feels like the hardest or scariest part, but the real ask is all the work that happened before your board member invites the donor to contribute. Fear: I don’t want to put someone on the spot. Truth: Giving is a joyous experience that feels good to the donor. This fact is so important to remind your board. According to a recent donor engagement study from ABILA, donors feel the most engaged and connected to your cause when they’re making a gift. As donors, we tend think about how the person on the receiving end will feel. We’re excited about the organization opening the mail and finding our check. If we’re giving online, we’re excited about the nonprofit receiving the email announcing our donation. It just feels good to give. Ultimately, it comes down to reminding board members that they’re simply sharing their passion for your cause. They’re offering people an opportunity to make a real impact in the world. There is much to be given, and there is much to be had. Want more great advice from Rachel Muir to help your board members become fundraising superstars? Download the complete Nonprofit 911 webinar, “10 Tips to Get Your Board Fundraising in One Hour,” right now!
Posted on February 3, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The WHO recently released a draft version of the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) for public comment. The ENAP addresses progress toward improving newborn survival in recent years, along with persistent challenges for accelerating progress. It also notes the opportunities presented by growing global commitments to improve health across the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Once finalized, the ENAP will be presented at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May 2014. From the draft: The Every Newborn: an action plan to end preventable deaths is a roadmap for change. It sets out a vision and proposes a goal and targets to end newborn deaths from preventable causes. Five guiding principles and five strategic objectives are at the core of the plan. The action plan is based on evidence and considers the main causes on newborn mortality and effective interventions to prevent and manage these. It builds on the intrinsic links between maternal and newborn health and promotes state-of-the-art knowledge of effective delivery approaches for the interventions and innovations to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage. The plan is also informed by a systematic review of the progress in addressing newborn survival globally in the last decade.The announcement notes that the ENAP will be linked with “specific plans and targets for maternal health” that are now under development. To join the online consultation on the draft ENAP, submit comments using WHO’s online form by February 28. In addition to the online consultation, a public discussion of the draft will be held on February 12, in Washington, DC. For further details, visit MCHIP’s event announcement.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Rezarta joined the NFG family as Director of Customer Experience. She is passionate about making an impact and giving back in any way she can. Her goal is to empower nonprofits so they can “do more good” in their communities. Rezarta is a seasoned traveler and has been all around the world! In her free time, you can catch Rezarta watching The Bachelor franchise and planning her next adventure!“I love giving back to society in any way I can. Working alongside organizations with a strong mission and positive impact in their communities remains a passion of mine.”Q&A with Rezarta Haxhillari, Customer Experience DirectorWhat do you do at Network for Good?I lead our Customer Experience team, which ensures we deliver the best experience possible to all our customers. Our goal is to successfully on-board customers when they first join the NFG family and encourage continued engagement with our products and services throughout their journey with us. By doing so, we are helping them achieve their organizational goals that allow them to “Do More Good” in the communities they serve.What is your experience with nonprofit organizations outside of Network for Good?I served as an Executive Director of a nonprofit organization called The Gjergj Kastrioti Scholarship Fund for three years. I now serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. I believe this experience is very valuable for my current role at NFG as I have a deep understanding of the challenges some of our customers may face.What attracts you to nonprofits? I love giving back to society in any way I can. Working alongside organizations with a strong mission and positive impact in their communities remains a passion of mine. At NFG, we help thousands of nonprofits and charities daily. Consequently, we have an indirect influence on the ability to change people’s lives, which is an incredibly rewarding feeling!What do you enjoy most about your work? I enjoy speaking with our customers and hearing about the milestones and growth they are reaching as a result of using our products and services. I’m a proponent of adding convenience in everyday tasks. So, it’s extremely rewarding to hear when our platform makes their lives easier and helps them become successful.What do you enjoy doing outside work? I love to travel. In fact, I’ve visited over 40 countries! It’s gratifying to visit and learn about new cultures and historical facts unique to each country I visit. When I travel somewhere new, I visit local museums, take part in interesting attractions, and explore the restaurant scene (so much delicious food to be tried!)Lightning RoundDream vacation? Not sure about a dream vacation destination, but a two-week vacation to any new country is always a good idea! During the first week I would tour the city, eat local food, listen to local music and get a sense of the area’s unique characteristics. The second week would be just a period to relax. Maybe a beach in that country? Yes, that sounds like a lovely vacation Most recent book read? I just finished “End Game” by David Baldacci and I would absolutely recommend it if you’re into fast-paced thrillers. I’m also a fan of anything written by James Patterson and John Grisham. All three write quick page-turners!Last movie seen in movie theater? “Green Book”, an Oscar-nominated biographical comedy-dramaTheme song? “Happy” by PharrellFavorite color? FuchsiaAll time favorite athlete? Serena WilliamsRead more on The Nonprofit Blog
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 22, 2018March 23, 2018By: Abdi Hassan, WASH Specialist, UNICEF Kenya; Lutomia Mangala, Health Specialist, UNICEF KenyaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Efforts for improving maternal and newborn health (MNH) often focus on implementing specific measures of maternity care, strengthening health systems and increasing women’s demand for giving birth in health care facilities—sometimes with little or no attention paid to the conditions of the places in which women give birth. Among these conditions is the availability—or lack—of clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.Inadequate access to clean waterA 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) rapid assessment of WASH coverage in health care facilities in 54 low- and middle-income countries found that 38% of these facilities lacked access to an improved water source, or one that is likely to be protected from outside contamination. Furthermore, 35% did not have water and soap for handwashing, and 19% did not have improved sanitation, or a system that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact. The percentage of facilities without improved water rose to 42% when only countries in the African region were considered.This is consistent with the situation in some parts of Kenya, where a 2016 multi country analysis of WASH in the childbirth environment found only 18% of women delivered in an environment with improved water. UNICEF in Kenya has been supporting the government of Kenya over the past year to improve WASH conditions in select health facilities in the MNH high-burden districts of Kakamega, Homa Bay, Turkana, Garissa and Nairobi.A clean water, sanitation and energy planTo identify health facilities in great need of improved WASH facilities, UNICEF in partnership with United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) supported the government in undertaking a comprehensive assessment of health facilities to determine their WASH birth environment. One example is Homa Bay County’s Nyandiwa Health Centre, which—despite being on the shores of the second largest fresh water lake by area in the world—had no reliable supply of clean water. Nyandiwa was among 50 priority health facilities in the five districts that were eventually selected for a clean water and sanitation improvement plan.The improvements at Nyandiwa entailed rehabilitation and upgrading of existing water supply system to provide sustained WASH services to the health facility. An automatic water pump on the shores of Lake Victoria pumps water from the lake to raised water tanks with a combined capacity of 20,000 liters. These act as a reservoir and are connected through a piped system to various water delivery points within the health center, including the delivery room.A UNICEF-supported green energy project has also installed a solar system which provides reliable energy to the water pumping equipment, as well as lighting to the sanitation and hygiene facilities. Health facility managers and workers were trained on hygiene promotion as well as on operation and maintenance of the water system for sustained delivery of WASH services. For example, the health center has trained and assigned a Community Health Assistant to conduct routine operation and maintenance of the WASH facilities. The health center also conducts regular cleaning of the rain water harvesting tanks which provide clean drinking water for the staff and patients.Impact on maternal newborn healthAt health facilities, hygiene workers deliver messages promoting safe waste disposal, handwashing at critical times and drinking safe water through sessions with mothers during routine maternal, newborn and child health visits as well as through posters and fliers. Although there is a dearth of rigorous research quantifying the impact of WASH on MNH outcomes, available evidence, based on biological plausibility, suggests WASH interventions could improve MNH. It is therefore hoped the improvement in WASH in Nyandiwa and the other 49 health facilities will contribute to improvements in MNH service utilisation, and ultimately better health outcomes for mothers and newborns. Governments should develop plans and frameworks to continue improving WASH in health facilities and ensure that adequate financial resources are available to realize these goals.—Join the conversation on World Water Day by using #WorldWaterDay.Read about giving birth without clean water.Photo Credit: Eric Sakwa, UNOPS Engineer, KenyaShare this:
Producer and Writer Peter Weed of Florida-based Peterbuilt Productions will begin filming his new film “Wheeler” this fall. “Wheeler” is a feel-good, family film based on the novel “Ordinary Guy Wheeler” written by Weed.Written by Jaime Jessup, James J. Ruscella and Peter Weed, “Wheeler” is a heartwarming story about veteran truck driver named Guy Wheeler who returns home to Tennessee from Afghanistan. Despite being surrounded by his loving and colorful family of fellow truck drivers, “Wheeler” struggles with adjusting back to home and his wife who is having difficulty becoming pregnant.While dealing with his inner turmoil, “Wheeler” befriends a nine-year-old boy over the CB Radio who lifts his spirits and warms his heart. His newfound faith is tested, however, with a major event that includes an action-packed sequence involving explosives and a school bus that will leave audiences cheering for our truck driver turned hero.“This story will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will tug on your heartstrings,” says Weed. “Break out the popcorn and enjoy.”Weed launched Peterbuilt Productions in 1996 and graduated with a degree in Film Technology in 2000. Weed has written several screenplays and worked on many feature films. Weed strives to create “God honoring, family friendly features with all the action, romance, drama and comedy of Hollywood’s best movies without taking away the family value.”Lucille Elmer, a partner of Peterbuilt Productions, will also be on board as a Co-Producer and Production Designer.Peterbuilt Productions is excited to be partnering with independent Hollywood producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis and participating in her Operation Hollywood program, which hires and trains veterans to work on Hollywood movie sets.Some of Suzanne’s independent filmmaking credits include 10th & Wolf, The Grief Tourist, How Sweet It Is, Area 407, Out of the Black, Shut-up Kiss and Me, A Month of Sundays, Black Gold. She has been involved with making over one hundred features films.Copyright ©2013Look to the Stars
Gwyneth Paltrow joined her mother, Blythe Danner, at Capitol Hill this week to campaign against a bill allowing states to pass individual laws regarding GMO labeling on foods.“My kids are normal American children and they eat everything everybody else eats,” said the Goop founder in her speech. “I’m a home cook and I’m a cookbook author, and I’m a proponent of organic food and healthy food when I can, but we all eat genetically modified food. It’s in the food supply. I also believe I have the right, and we as Americans all have the right to know what’s in our food,”Despite the fact that nine out of 10 Americans support mandatory GMO labeling, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 1599, otherwise known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARK Act. Not only would it block all states from labeling genetically engineered foods, but it would also make it much harder for the FDA to ever mandate national labeling. If we’re going to stop this reprehensible bill from becoming law, we need to show the Senate and President Obama how serious we are about GMO labeling.Gwyneth Paltrow also presented a petition on behalf of the Just Label It campaign.Just Label It is a project of Organic Voices, which was formed in 2011 to educate and empower consumers by promoting the benefits of organic food and advocating for mandatory GMO labeling. Without labeling, the public cannot make informed choices about what they eat and the marketplace lacks the information needed to make decisions about innovations that meet consumer demand.Celebrity Moms including Sara Gilbert, Jillian Michaels, Jordana Brewster, Constance Zimmer, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Sarah Michelle Gellar have released a PSA to illustrate the concerns moms everywhere have on this issue.Video: Conceal or Reveal
Azerbaijan is a country of unmatched culture and exotic history. It hosts an array of customs, traditions and fine cuisines – a place which will satisfy expectations of the most sophisticated gastronomists – and finally, it is the country of Caucasian hospitality and amiability. Situated at the eastern side of Transcaucasia (or South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is the largest country of the South Caucasus. Baku is its capital and largest city. Also Read – Oman – Beauty with an addressAzerbaijan is often referred to as the ‘Land of Fire’. It is known that a majority of those residing in this territory before the Common Era were fire worshippers. Since then, the country has preserved the ancient evidence of that era: cave paintings, statues of gods and ancient temples. Two of the most vivid examples of this heritage are the temple of fire-worshippers (Ateshgah) at Surakhani near Baku and Yanardag, translated as the “burning mountain”. These lands were considered sacred for centuries and throughout history, they were worshipped by the followers of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Sikhism. Also Read – CANADA: A traveller’s delightHistorically a part of the Great Silk Road and situated at the crossroads of the geopolitical, economic and cultural interests of many nations and civilisations, Azerbaijan has, since ancient times, aroused the interests of great minds, scientists, travellers and historians. References to this amazing land, located on the western coast of the Caspian Sea and in the eastern part of the South Caucasus, can be found in the ancient writings of Herodotus, Strabo and Claudius Ptolemy. Azerbaijan has an amazing historical and cultural heritage with more than 7,500 natural, archeological, architectural and historical monuments. Cave drawings at Gobustan, Momine-Khatun and Garabaghlar mausoleums, the Palace of Sheki Khans, the Maiden Tower, the castles of Absheron, medieval manuscripts decorated with magnificent miniature paintings, antique rugs and works of literature, arts and sculpture – all of this is just a small part of the country’s rich and priceless heritage. Holidays are on the rise in Azerbaijan owing to its cosmopolitan culture and ease of connectivity. More importantly, Azerbaijani people are known for their warmth and hospitality; from hotel staff going above and beyond to help you locate excursions to sharing a hot meal and swapping stories. If you are looking to be pampered alongside exploring hidden gems in a secure and safe destination – Azerbaijan is the place. As Azerbaijan sits on the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this diamond in the rough appears rugged on the edges with miles of untouched natural beauty. Gabala is a perfect getaway retreat, far from the hustle and bustle of congested cities, where you can rejuvenate yourself. Waterfalls, large forests and the magnificent Caucasian mountains make Gabala an ideal place for the brave heart. You can also take part in various outdoor activities – quad biking, hiking, skating, horse rides etc. ARCHITECTURAL DELIGHTSThe buildings of Azerbaijan are a glorious mixture of styles, reflecting the cultural shifts and changing trends of hundreds of years. From minarets to mosaics, medieval to modern, every corner reveals something different and distinct. Momine Khatun Mausoleum The dramatic, semi-desert mountain landscapes of the Nahkchivan Autonomous Republic stretch from brooding Mt Aghri to the historic town of Ordubad. This stunning 25-meter high decagon of red brick and turquoise enameled tiles is the finest example of the Nakhchivan architectural tradition. Palace of the Shirvanshahs Located in Baku, The Palace of the Shirvanshahs is a 15th century palace built by the Shirvanshahs and described by UNESCO as “one of the pearls of Azerbaijan’s architecture”.The complex was built gradually, over the course of centuries. Haydar Aliyev Centre World-famous architect Zaha Hadid designed the crown jewel of Azerbaijan’s architecture in central Baku. It flows seamlessly from the plaza around it, joining the exterior and the interior to represent the inclusion of everyone in a place of shared ideas. A museum, exhibition halls and an auditorium are housed together in this single eternally flowing shape. Ganja Bottle House This astonishing two-storey house in Azerbaijan’s second city was completed in 1967 by Ibrahim Jafarov, and is made of 48,000 glass bottles of different colours and sizes – making it one of the greatest architectural marvels. Sheki Khan Palace The country’s craftsmen are famed for their shebeke – a mosaic of coloured glass set in a wooden latticework and assembled without nails or glue. The round-form shebeke of Sheki Khan Palace is unique, making it a real visual feast! Heydar Aliyev Centre This astonishing structure was also designed by Zaha Hadid, the first woman to ever receive the Pritzker award, architecture’s highest honor. It’s unique wave-like design earns the title as Central Baku’s crown jewel of architecture. The centre boasts of the incredible diversity and energy visible in Azerbaijani art. FEAST FOR THE SENSES Azerbaijan’s unique geography and location have resulted in a cuisine influenced not just by its own varied ingredients, but by the tastes of many people travelling along the Silk Road – making it full of surprising flavours and combinations! Plov A local favourite, plov is rice served with meat, fish or fruit. The saffron-flavoured rice is cooked with lots of fresh herbs, vegetables, dried fruits and more. Some cooking books offer over 40 different versions of plov. The dish is so highly regarded that there is even an International Plov Festival to celebrate this hearty meal. In every Azerbaijani holiday, whether it is the celebration of springtime (Novruz Bayram), or a special occasion such as a birthday or any other important family event, plov remains an integral part. Pakhlava Pakhlava is a festive dish made for Novruz – the traditional celebration of the coming of spring. The classic pakhlava is cut into diamonds and is sure to be relished by gourmands. Caviar and Fish Caspian fish has its own special taste and is best served with narsherab (pomegranate sauce). The most famous fish in Azerbaijan is the Beluga sturgeon. Known as one of the world’s most expensive delicacies, the Beluga sturgeon doesn’t reach its reproductive age till it is about 20 years old. Drinks There is extensive archeological information suggesting that the people inhabiting the territory of present-day Azerbaijan had developed viticulture. Some relevant artefacts related to the ancient wine production in modern Azerbaijan (as bowls, recipients etc.) have been excavated from the ruins of medieval towns and cities. Azerbaijan’s viticulturists developed many valuable varieties each of which were adapted to the soil and climate conditions in different parts of the country. The varied terrain of its fast-improving wineries across the country results in myriad of flavours and bouquets. The most famous is the Caspian Coast, Fireland Vineyards, Yarimada, Hacihetemli, Savalan, Hillside, and Agsu pomegranate wine.
Kolkata: Protests erupted in various parts of West Bengal after the BJP, in its first list of 28 candidates, nominated its veterans and defectors from the ruling Trinamool Congress to take on Mamata Banerjee’s party in the state. With old-timers being overlooked in favour of turncoats and newcomers, protestors gathered outside BJP offices in various parts of the state and, in some places, put up posters of rejected ticket aspirants outside the offices. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja BJP state vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak submitted his resignation after he was denied a party ticket. The saffron party, which bagged two Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 elections, is now targeting 23 of the state’s 42 constituencies. Of its 28 candidates, nearly 25 are new faces, with a thrust on active political workers rather than greenhorns from the glamour world. Unlike the TMC which had 18 new faces and a mix of old-timers and greenhorns, hardcore politicians and personalities from the film industry, the BJP has put faith on its own leaders and defectors from other parties. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “If after serving the party for three decades and holding the post of vice-president do not make me qualified to get a party ticket, it is better to resign from the post,” Pathak said. The veteran BJP leader wanted to contest from Hooghly district, but he was overlooked in favour of a newcomer in the party. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said efforts will be made to pacify the dissidents. “There can be resentment in some places, but everything can be sorted out through discussions,” BJP state secretary Rahul Sinha said. This is not the first time the BJP has faced such protests. During the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls in 2015, several ticket aspirants staged protest rallies outside the party office. Of the candidates, five had recently defected to the saffron party from the Trinamool Congress and one from the CPI(M). Union minister and BJP MP from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency Babul Supriyo has been renominated from the same seat and is pitted against actor Moon Moon Sen of the TMC. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh will contest from Medinipur seat against TMC leader Manas Bhunia. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha will take on TMC heavyweight Sudip Bandopadhyay in Kolkata North Lok Sabha seat. State BJP vice-president and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew, Chandra Kumar Bose will contest from Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat. Former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, once known to be close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, will be fighting against TMC candidate and actor Dipak Adhikary, popularly known as ‘Dev’, from Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency. The BJP has fielded former Trinamool Congress MLA Arjun Singh from Barrackpur Lok Sabha seat. Singh, who had recently joined the saffron party, has been pitted against TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi. In Coochbebar Lok Sabha seat, the party has fielded former TMC youth leader Nishith Pramanik, while in Jadavpur, expelled TMC MP Anupam Hazra will contest against TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty, an actor by profession. Another former TMC MP Soumitra Khan, who joined the BJP in January, has been given ticket from Bishnupur (SC) Lok Sabha seat. Former CPI(M) MLA Khagen Murmu, who too had switched over to the BJP, will contest from Malda North seat against TMC’s Mausam Benazir Noor, who had recently defected to the party from the Congress, in Malda Uttar seat. Former TMC leader Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury, who had contested elections on a TMC ticket from New Delhi, is the BJP candidate from the neighbouring Malda South seat. There are four women candidates and one Muslim nominee in the first list. The BJP in minority-dominated seats such as Malda South, Malda North and Basirhat did not field any candidate from the community. “We do not believe in giving tickets just on the basis of religion. For us winnability is the biggest criteria,” said a state BJP leader. The Lok Sabha elections in the state will be held from April 11 till May 19 in seven phases.