As many as 71,287 spouses of H-1B visa holders were issued work authorization documents by the United States between 2015 and 2017, out of which 93 per cent were from India, according to a report by Migration Policy Institute that was released on March 28.In the fiscal year of 2015, a total of 26,668 H-4 visa holders — the spouses of H1-B visa holders — were granted work authorization. In 2016, the number was 31,638, while till February 2017, 12,981 spouses received work authorization.The report, titled Evolution of the H-1B: Latest Trends in a Program on the Brink of Reform, said that out of those H-4 spouses who had been granted work authorization till early 2017, 94 per cent were women, and 93 per cent were from India, while 4 per cent were from China.With more workers staying for longer periods in the United States as they wait for a green card, there is a growing pool of H-1B visa holders in the country who renew their visa beyond the typical six-year limit. “Even as Indian renewals are rising, with Indian workers representing 80 percent of petitions approved for continuing work, the brief also finds that Chinese immigrants represent growing numbers of initial applicants,” the report said.In the financial year of 2016, a total of 185,489 H-1B petitions were approved for Indian nationals already in the H-1B status, which is more than 80 per cent of all petitions approved for continuing employment.“With demand for H-1B high-skilled visas far outstripping supply, employers are gearing up to mail in applications on April 2, the day the lottery opens this year for 85,000 of the temporary visas,” the report said.However, most H-1B visas are awarded outside the cap, with an average 212,000 such petitions approved annually in the last five years. A total of 345,262 H-1B petitions were approved in fiscal 2016, including 230,759 in uncapped categories — the highest level yet.The increase in the uncapped categories results mainly from petitions by continuing workers, many of whom are in extended H-1B stays as they await a green card, especially Indian immigrants, who face average waits of 9 to 11 years depending on the green card category.Almost one-third of all approved H-1B petitions in fiscal 2017 went to only 20 companies, although 40,645 firms were approved to sponsor H-1B visas that year. “The top employers are either foreign consulting firms, some accused of using the visa to outsource US jobs, or US high-tech giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google,” the report added.H-4 visa holders received work authorization in 2015 during the Barack Obama era, a policy that the Trump administration has signaled it wants to put an end to. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a court filing earlier this year that it was reviewing the economic impact of terminating work authorization for H4 visa holders and has pushed back terminating the permit till June. Related ItemsH-1B visah-4 visaUnited States
The immigration department of Maldives has countered reports, which said that the country is refusing work permits to Indian nationals, the Edition reported.Immigration officers of Maldives don’t discriminate while doing their duties, Immigration Controller Mohamed Anwar said, according to the report. He added that the authorities will continue to give Indian citizens work permits and visas as per the country’s rules.“We’ve been issuing business visas, dependent visas and work permits to Indian nationals and we will continue to do so, within the confines of our regulations,” Anwar was quoted as saying by the publication on June 17.Maldivian nationals need to carry all the previous passports when they travel to India, but Maldives does not impose any such rules on Indian citizens, Anwar said, according to the Edition.The comments were made following media reports that the Maldivian Immigration was refusing to grant work permits to Indian nationals and also refusing renewal of permits for Indian citizens in Maldives. An estimated 2,000 Indians had pending applications for work permits, the Hindu reported earlier.The Maldives Immigration Authority has reportedly held up hundreds of work permits to Indians since earlier this year as India took a strong stand against the emergency declared by Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen in February. Around 29,000 Indians live and work in the Maldives, according to the report.An international hotel chain had also put out on advertisement on June 13, saying, “Please note that work permits are not currently being issued to Indian Nationals.”Foreign recruitment agencies in Maldives were also reported to have said that there were of late some issues in obtaining work permits for Indian citizens. The foreign recruitment agencies, however, said that work permits were still being given to Indian nationals in white-collar jobs in Maldives, as per the report.Relations between India and Maldives have been on downward spiral since 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his visit to the island over the treatment of Opposition leaders by President Yameen. The declaration of emergency and the arrest of Opposition leaders led India to voice its concerns over the issue this February, leading to further straining of ties.In February, Maldives declined to join India and 16 other nations for ‘Milan’— an eight-day multilateral naval exercise in the Indian Ocean, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had said. The biennial naval exercise, aimed to bolster regional cooperation, took place at the Andaman & Nicobar Islands from March 6 to 13 this year. “Maldives has not given any reason for the decision,” Lanba had then said. Related ItemsMaldives
In the ever changing landscape of our life, there is but one constant — our set of problems. Grave or petty, they act as a hindrance to our goals and gnaw into our sense of well-being. They appear in the form of an itch that refuses to subside or a court case that takes forever to be resolved or a piece of machinery that needs constant repair…Irrespective of its magnitude, it becomes the repository of our existence and plagues our life. It also silently depletes our resources, hampering our prosperity. These problems are the thieves that surround us fearlessly and there is no “body of law” (police) that we can lodge a complaint with.Helpless and tired of battling the obstacles that seem to come on a conveyor belt, we look to ancient wisdom (or religion) to provide us some reprieve from these seemingly insignificant but persistent irritants, which diminish the quality of our life.In the Hindu pantheon of gods, there is one god in particular who is designed to understand not just the gravity of the obstacles, but is also known to help his devotees get rid of them. He is the elephant headed god, Ganesha. The legend behind this god, according to Shiva Purana, is as interesting and unique as the elephant headed god himself.When Lord Shiva refused to father a child, a very determined goddess Parvati created one on her own by using a turmeric paste with which she anointed herself. Vinayaka (one who is born without the intervention of a man) was asked by his mother Parvati, to stand guard at the doorway as she went for her bath.When Shiva came visiting, the little boy Vinayaka, unaware that Shiva was his mother’s consort, barred him from entering the doorway. An otherwise detached Shiva, lost his cool on this occasion and beheaded the boy with his trident. When Parvati saw her dead son, her fury knew no bounds. She threatened Shiva with dire consequences if her child was not resurrected.Shiva immediately ordered his celestial armies (the ganas) to fetch him the head of the first living thing they encountered. They returned with the head of an elephant and Shiva restored Parvati’s son back to life.And in doing so, he consciously becomes the boy’s father. He renames him Ganesha and appoints him the leader of his followers (the ganas). After this incident Shiva blessed him with a boon, which entailed that people offer their prayers and invoke his blessings before starting any auspicious activity.As leader of the ganas, he is also called Ganapati and is a master of intellect and unmatched wisdom. Ga symbolizes buddhi (intellect) and Na symbolizes vijnana (wisdom).Since his head is that of an elephant, Ganesha also represents material abundance. In Hindu mythology, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi, is flanked by elephants. This combination of wealth and wisdom makes Ganesha the perfect embodiment of soul and substance. He is the lord of the thresholds between spiritual bliss (yoga) and material delights (bhoga).According to some scriptures, he is married to the two daughters of Bramha (the creator) — Riddhi (wealth) and Siddhi (wisdom) — and has two sons, Shubh (auspicious) and Labh (profit) and a daughter Santoshi (satisfaction).But, it is his seemingly innocuous vehicle, the rat (also called Mooshika), which is the subject of intrigue for many scholars. The Sanskrit meaning of Mooshika comes from mu, which means stealing, and according to scholars, it is only when one can subdue the rat (the destructive element in all of us) that can one ride the vighna (obstacles).That is why the symbol of Ganesh riding the rat, sends such a powerful message — that Ganesha, as the Lord of Obstacles, is the master of rats and thus has the power to overcome all impediments. Some scholars also believe that he places obstacles in the path of those who need to be reined in.Paul Courtright (author of the book Gane’sa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings) says that the task of Ganesha “in the divine scheme of things, his dharma, is to place and remove obstacles. It is his particular territory, the reason for his creation.”The rats are almost always considered inauspicious (although in Chinese tradition, rats are a symbol of fertility, and positive qualities, like tenacity and industriousness are also attributed to them).In earlier times, when farming was the prime source of livelihood, the rodents would destroy crops, eat up the stored grains and thereby hamper the prosperity of the villagers. In having a rat as his vehicle, Ganesha is symbolically shown to have conquered the pest, which is an obstacle to prosperity.Even today Hindus worship this deity before undertaking any important or auspicious activity or venture, because of the faith that praying to Ganesha will clear hurdles and make the passage smooth. This lord of beginnings keeps unforeseen problems, hurdles and obstacles (the inauspicious) at bay and brings prosperity and success (the auspicious) to us. By propitiating this “conqueror of obstacles” (vighna-harta), we ensure that with his blessings, our dreams will be realized smoothly.Interestingly, his rat is also symbolic of greed and avarice; the greed of the ego (ahamkara), which uses material acquisition to enhance its sense of self, makes us a relentless hoarder. Our greed for more, to quench our ego, both individually and collectively, blinds us to the greater good of humanity and we destroy that which is of lasting value, to fulfill our immediate need.This greed, which like the rat, multiplies with every conquest, has brought about the destruction, exploitation and contamination of our natural resources. In the name of progress, we have nibbled into the bountiful nature that nurtures us.The rat in us also surfaces in our inter-personal interactions. Our lust for self-importance makes us arrogant and conceited. It gnaws into our values and ethics and corrupts the very moral foundation of the society.Ganesha promises to remove our obstacles and bring auspiciousness (shubh) and profit (labha) in our life, provided we learn to be content (santoshi) with our success. Let us exercise restraint and try to conquer this rodent of greed in us, which is the greatest obstacle in our striving for the perfect balance of yoga (spiritual bliss) and bhoga (material delights). Related Items
In the small town of Freedom, Maine, population 719, Erin French runs a restaurant called The Lost Kitchen, housed in a refurbished old mill. When the restaurant, which opens eight months a year, began taking reservations in April for the season, it received a whopping 10,000 calls in 24 hours, leaving its small staff scurrying to respond to enquiries. What draws a volley of culinary aficionados from across the country to this cozy little place is the simplicity of its menu, which changes every night depending on what is available locally.Indique’s KN Vinod: America does not have a food culture.Seasonal ingredients, ranging from elderflowers and sugar peas to blueberries and heirloom tomatoes are brought in by local farmers, who also double up as cooks in the kitchen. A local ceramist makes the bowls and plates and fresh vegetables often dominate the menu. It is this charm of laid back, uncomplicated goodness on a plate that has made this nondescript town a culinary destination.As food trends across the globe veer toward vegetarianism, flexitarianism, hyper local eating, zero wastage and Meatless Mondays, more and more kitchens across America and around the world are turning to fresh, seasonal food. The neo kitchen emphasis is on plant-based options and food that comes not from the refrigerator, but is prepared hot and fresh incorporating seasonal ingredients.What we are experiencing in mainstream American dining right now may have certain resonance with the principles of traditional Indian eating.According to the Global Food & Drink Trend Report 2017 by Mintel, a marketing intelligence company, plant based foods were the foremost food trend in 2017. The report says that a preference for natural, flexible and simple diet will further lead to the expansion of vegetarian, vegan and other plant-based formulations.Grilled Peach & Papaya Salad with Amaranath Granola. Photo: Smokehouse DeliAnother report by Baum+Whiteman, international food and restaurant consultants, on the hottest food trends for 2017 states: “Vegetables in 2017 will extend their domination of the dinner plate, shoving animal protein to the edges … or off the plate altogether…. We are seeing a surge of serious chefs tilting their menus towards vegetables. And it’s no secret that Americans are eating less meat (with 26% confirming this last year) while vegetarian and flexitarian diets are going mainstream.”Vegetable Gardens BloomThe effects are visible not just at eateries in smaller American cities, where often the family farm overlooks the kitchen, but also metropolises, such as New York and Los Angeles. Many posh Michelin starred Manhattan eateries are promising an abundance of vegetarian dishes on their menu. At the Michelin starred Nix, Chef John Fraser’s menu is dominated with vegetables and vegan options. Another restaurant, called Butcher’s Daughter, calls itself a vegetable slaughterhouse with extravagant plant based options. At another top Manhattan eatery, ABCV, the V stands tall for vegetables in a 100% vegetarian kitchen. In Los Angeles, at the famous Hugo’s restaurant, you can enjoy a dish seasoned with Ayurvedic kapha spices and also choose from a vast selection of plant-based eats. At another popular joint Millie’s in Silver Lake, a new pop-up diner called Of Aire, is drawing crowds for its meat free dishes and plates piled with herbs, greens and vegetables in all forms — raw, grilled and pickled.If that’s not all, this season, New York City based Chef Amanda Cohen is experimenting with a tasting menu at her vegetarian only restaurant, Dirt Candy. Diners can choose between a $57, five-course meal called, “The Vegetable Patch,” or a $83 meal, called, “The Vegetable Garden.”Sanjeev Ranjan, executive chef of Courtyard Marriott: “The change began happening a few years ago when the Americans started replacing their staple lunch of hamburgers with salads.” Photo: Courtyard MarriottThe trend is picking up among ubiquitous mass food consumption options too. Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the United States, has taken a 5 percent interest in Beyond Meat, a company specializing in plant-based hamburgers.Late last year,an alliance of 40 investors brought together by Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return initiative, urged 16 global food companies, including Walmart, Nestle, Costco, Kraft Heinz, to acknowledge the risks of industrial farming and to diversify into plant based sources of protein.As sustainability and health concerns force urban consumers to look inwards for their food choices, could we draw parallels between the holistic principles of ancient Indian eating and the contemporary new clean eating trends?Chef KN Vinod, co-owner of the acclaimed restaurant Indique in Washington D.C., which was featured in the Michelin Dining Guide Bistro, says: “Relative to India or other great nations, America is an extremely young country. Part of what makes America great is all of the diversity in culture, cuisine, and perspective. The challenge that diversity and youth has presented is that the country simply does not have a food culture, or some of the ‘grandmother’s wisdom’ that Indians have benefited from. As a result, the country and its citizens became very susceptible to fad diets, marketing campaigns, and super-sized meals, and led to a number of people literally getting sick due to the food that was meant to nourish them.”Lavaash Chef Saby Gorai,: “In olden times, food was supposed to serve as medicine too and therefore there were categories of food to be eaten in summer, monsoons or winters to tackle health issues through food.”Chef Saby Gorai, recipient of the Best Chef Award from the President of India, and owner of leading Indian restaurants Lavash and Mineority, says: “If you look closely, not just India, but all the ancient civilizations, such as China and Japan, had a more clear understanding of effectively harnessing the biodiversity of a place through the food we consume. The Vedic-eating principles do coincide with clean, seasonal eating, which newer civilizations, such as America, are adopting for its myriad benefits.”He adds: “In olden times, food was supposed to serve as medicine too and therefore there were categories of food to be eaten in summer, monsoons or winters to tackle health issues through food. Today what is happening around the world is that return to the same philosophy, whether it is to eat less meat or to include local produce.”Many in the food industry see the new trends as a nod to cultural eating. Atlanta based cookbook author Nandita Godbole (Not For You: Family Narratives of Denial and Comfort Food), says: “Most of Indian cuisine, like cuisines older than 300 years, are rooted in methods when kitchen conveniences were limited and the reliance on small-scale economies. The farm-to-fork, sustainable movements may be nothing but rebranding old-fashioned concepts.”With this new-found food consciousness, things are definitely changing. Chef Vinod says: “Fortunately, people are slowly but surely starting to wake up to this reality, and as a result, we are seeing many of the principles that we have grown up with beginning to enter American culture as well, and not a minute too soon. America’s food system has been broken for a long time, and we believe that the local, fresh, and seasonal approach to food that we have all grown up with shall continue to enter the mainstream over the years to come.”Photo: SabySo will this big move towards vegetarianism benefit vegetarian Indian Americans who have long suffered from a lack of many mainstream options? Professor Krishnendu Ray, Chair, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University, says: “Vegetarian food in America has become much more interesting and less a cuisine of deprivation. It has acquired voluptuousness, by mostly borrowing from the various complex carb+bean cuisines of peasants in the Global South. American vegetarian cuisine can free itself further by moving away from its attempts to create fake burgers, hot dogs, or bacon. The point of vegetable foods should not be to taste like meat. That is still the derivative standard of a lot of Western vegetarian diets.”FoodMany restaurateurs believe that the shift will benefit vegetarian Indians as well. Rahul Vinod, who co-owns the Rasa Indian Grill in Washington, says: “For many decades this has definitely been a large challenge, and posed many problems for Indians who do not eat meat and for the vegetarian community more broadly. For years, if you were vegetarian or vegan, it was almost amusingly difficult to even find a restaurant which had any options that were vegetarian at all, and it was not a rare occurrence to be offered a house salad or French fries as the only options for dinner. Fortunately, those days seem to be behind us, particularly in major cities, as the country is rapidly shifting towards understanding the health and environmental benefits of going vegetarian.”India Lost The Plot TooWhile the return to the goodness of veggies and simple eating are the ripple effects of farm to fork movement, food experts say that Indians too are returning to the same philosophy,as they too had lost the plot of their own techniques. Chef Gorai says: “India lapped up to processed food in the past few decades for no reason. In big industrial cities around the world, urbanization and commercialization could have been the reasons to look for alternatives to fresh food, but Indians never had a reason to swap their olden eating habits, owing to easy accessibility to farms and villages and manual help to cook food from scratch.”Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rehman, of Rasa Indian Grill: “We are witnessing a remarkable bottom up movement.”This is also true for Indian Americans, despite the famed Indian sentimentality toward food, says Prof Ray, author of The Migrant’s Table, which delves into the psyche of immigrant eating practices: “My studies show that Indian immigrant breakfast becomes American quickly (due to convenience, time constraints and loss of servants) while dinner becomes more conservatively Indian. That is true of many first generation immigrant groups. Incorporation of foods of the new context comes quicker than conversion to a host religion or language, but slower than attire (for men, more than women). So there are different rates of change in different domains of everyday material life for different groups, which need to be studied, compared and theorized.”On the American front though, the movement toward nutrition began some time ago. Chef Sanjeev Ranjan, who cooked for Carnival Cruises in Texas, San Francisco and Miami, and has been observing the food patterns in America, says: “The change began happening a few years ago when the Americans started replacing their staple lunch of hamburgers with salads.” On the growing demand of fresh veggies, Ranjan says: “With the coming in vogue of vegetarianism, gluten free, pescatarianism a lot more health consciousness had to seep in. Also, if you notice, those who are practicing the trend are between the age group of 25-40, so it won’t be wrong to say it is the new generational food awareness.”The consciousness is reflected in other areas too. According to the Institute of Alcohol Sciences, a 2016 study conducted in the United Kingdom, found that underage drinking is on a long-term decline because of greater health awareness.Chef Shamsul Wahid, who runs the famous Smoke House Deli in India, recently organized a restaurant pop up in Austria. He says, “Mindful eating is the new food trend everywhere. I noticed that Europeans too, if they are not going for a totally vegetarian fare, they are choosing to split by say substituting their starters with veggies and sticking to meats only in main course.”The Return Was InevitableWahid says, “If you see, all epic dishes on menus across the world have been invented in the 18th century. Whether it is dum biryani or beef Wellington, it’s not just the ingredients, but the techniques of olden times too that have proven to be better both for health and palate.”Krishnendu Ray, Chair, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University: “Vegetarian food in America has become much more interesting and less a cuisine of deprivation.”Tired of easy, microwave food, increasing numbers of Americans are also turning to wholesome, elaborate cooking procedures. Rahul Sejwal Chaudhary, head chef at Sanjeev Kapoor’s Yellow Chilli restaurant in Orange County, Calif., says: “There is a 50:50 ratio of Indians and non-Indians in our restaurant.Most Americans and even Europeans prefer vegan and vegetarian dishes in an Indian eatery. Our vegan offering such as lalla mussa is a hot favorite. It is a black lentil dal, which many Americans prefer as they are fascinated by the preparation, which involves boiling the dal in ginger infused water for 15-20 hours. Needless to add, they are most excited about the restorative properties the ginger infusion may have added to the dish.”On the trend of meatless days gaining some momentum in the West, Gorai says: “While in India eliminating meat on certain days has traditionally been a cultural and religious practice, the West is restricting it and moving to substitutes like soy proteins because of animal consciousness and health reasons. The modern day deadly diseases that cause cell mutations and other complications are linked to animal proteins by various studies.”A return to ancient cultural eating practices is reflected not just in an increase in vegetable consumption, but also in adopting ancient cooking techniques. Wahid offers an example: “There is also an interest in Indian tradition of pickling and also fermentation of food like in khombuch, besides inclusion of local beans and lentils in diets.”Chefs say that often the nuances of a certain technique are adapted subtly and not literally. And perhaps that’s why, while you may not find Americans sun-drying turmeric smeared mangoes for pickling, you will find delicacies, such as duck confit with fermented wild blueberries, in many celebrated menus.Chef Shamsul Wahid, of the Smoke House Deli in India: “Mindful eating is the new food trend everywhere. I noticed that Europeans too, if they are not going for a totally vegetarian fare., they are … substituting starters with veggies.”Wahid believes that modernist techniques can scarcely substitute for the flavor and delicate balance of ingredients that traditional modes of cooking guarantee: “Any cook will tell you that a good braise will always be done on a low flame like our grandmothers used to do. Techniques like sous vide can never bring about the flavor profile in the same way.” He gives another example: “Today hollandaise sauce is made by adding emulsifiers, but till today the old age technique of adding clarified butter in its preparation guarantees the real texture. It is return to kitchen traditions that is bringing about the trend.”Chef Ranjan finds an amusing link between the new “it” salad trends and the humble salad he grew up eating in his household in India: “The antipasti today has changed to raw salad. Earlier people preferred boiled or blanched veggies, but today raw radish, cucumber and tomato are considered the healthiest salads. It reminds me of the common Indian staple salad eaten in all Indian homes with dal and rice…. The oh-so-cool wheatgrass shots are made of those tiny yuvar shoots that were kept in home mandirs in India.”An Ignorant Fad?A lot of new food trends are a cross-cultural amalgamation of dietary practices. But, is there also a reverse ignorant food fad? Just as in the past decade many Indians lapped up every super food that became a rage in the West without understanding its proclivity or suitability to their environments, many Americans may be choosing food fads derived from olden cultures without appreciating the basics. Chef Saby says: “When you see turmeric capsules being sold in American groceries you can’t help but wonder that this may not be the only way to consume turmeric in your diet. It can be had as haldi powder, added to the tea, can be had in the form of kachcha turmeric and can even be applied as a paste on body, but perhaps the West is not aware of these nuances.”Nandita Godbole: “The farm-to-fork, sustainable movements may be nothing but rebranding old-fashioned concepts.”Author Nandita Godbole offers another example: “A few days ago an American mentioned to me that she was on a khichdi cleanse. I found this rather amusing because in India, we have khichdi once in a week or every now or then when we want to feel lighter, but terming this simple practice as a cleanse pushed it into a fad category.”However the good part of conscious eating in America is the emphasis on real food.Sahil Rehman, co-owner of Rasa Indian Grill says: “We are witnessing a remarkable bottom up movement, where progressive consumers are demanding more consciously grown food, so restaurants and businesses must be more mindful about where they source from, which is resulting in suppliers changing their practices to stay relevant. As businesses market their shifts towards more positive sourcing practices, this serves to educate and raise awareness about the food ecosystem to other consumers who were less educated on the topic previously, thereby theoretically shifting their eating approach, and continuing the positive cycle towards a healthier food ecosystem. Massive chains such as Chipotle shifting to all non-GMO ingredients and both Panera Bread and Taco Bell taking remarkable leaps to remove artificial ingredients are great examples of the exciting movement we are experiencing today. “Pumpkin MantiRecipe courtesy: Lavaash by SabyTraditional Armenian ravioli, stuffed with pumpkin and baked with yoghurt sauceDoughRefined flour: 1 kgEggs: 10 nosSemolina: 150 gmSalt: 10 gm• Mix all the ingredients in the kitchen aid, with the pedal attachment.• Once done, leave the dough to rest for an hour.• Make pasta sheets (at No. 8), in the pasta attachment.FillingPumpkin: 1 kgCinnamon powder: 12 gmsThyme: 3 sprigs – choppedSalt: to tasteWalnuts: 50 gms (chopped)• Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and rub with olive oil, half of the cinnamon powder and thyme and roast in the oven at 200 C• Scoop out the pumpkin and leave it to strain for 45 minutes.• Mix the pumpkin, walnuts, cinnamon in the kitchen aid for 2 minutes• Fill in the filling in the sheets and close the sheets, forming small pouches shape, and sealSauceCurd: 250 gmsOil: 5 mlBay leaf: 2 nosGreen cardamom: 4 nosWater: 50 mlRefined flour: 10 gmGrated cheese: 200 gmPinenuts (toasted): 50 gmsSalt: to taste• Heat oil , bay leaf and cardamom. Add curd and water and leave to simmer• Once the gravy has thickened add salt and mix in blender.Pour the sauce in a baking dish and put the manti on it. Garnish the manti with grated cheese and bake for 6-8 minutes.Serve hot, garnished with pinenuts. Eggplant TolmaRecipe courtesy: Lavaash by SabyChar grilled eggplant topped with beetroot , and crusted with walnuts and bakedINGREDIENTSEggplant : 1Beetroot mix: 80 gmsKalimpong cheese: 20 gmsAmaranth: 10 gmsKasundi mustard for garnishCorriander sprig: 1Crushed walnuts: 50 gmsCooking methodCut the eggplant lengthwise into 4 pcs.Fry the eggplant and then drain excess oilTop eggplant with the beetroot mixCrust it with walnuts on one side and cheese on one sideBake in the oven at 200C till the cheese meltsGarnish with kasundi mustard drizzle and coriander sprigRECIPE FOR BEETROOT MIXBeetroot: 200 gmsPotato: 500 gmsWalnuts: 100 gmsTomato ketchup: 75 gmsDegi mirch: 5 gmsCorriander powder: 2 gmsCumin powder: 2 gmsGinger paste: 15 gmsHeat oil and add the spices and ginger paste and cook well Add rest of the ingredients and cook till vegetables are cookedLeave aside to cool Related Items
Raj Kanodia’s home is a $9 million mansion in Bel Air Estate, Los Angeles, with a private guesthouse for VIP friends. His nearest neighbors? First Lady Nancy Reagan, Liz Taylor, the King of Saudi Arabia and the Sultan of Brunei. Poonam Khubani’s 27,000 sq ft mansion in New Jersey has 9 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms!Meera Gandhi lives in a historic townhouse in Manhattan that was once the home of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and pictures of Mrs. Roosevelt in India are right in the foyer.Vikram Chatwal and his buddy Sean Puff Daddy Combs party together and the King of Morocco sent out his private jet to transport them to celebrate Puff Daddy’s birthday in style.Raj Bhatia spends his days in his rolling horse farms in Connecticut and when he needs a change of pace, he takes off in his private jet to Martha’s Vineyard or East Hampton.Poonam Khubani’s 27,000 sq ft mansion in New Jersey has 9 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms! And when she has to talk to family members, it’s just easier to use the intercom than to walk to their rooms!Kamal Dandona knows so many beautiful and powerful people, from Sharon Stone to Amitabh Bachchan, that if he were to name drop, it would cause an avalanche or a traffic jam. Bharat Jotwani who has built his reputation and money bringing bollywood stars to America, is a a hi-roller whom casinos love, courting him with limousines and luxurious rooms.Bharat Jotwani is a hi-roller whom casinos love, courting him with limousines and luxurious rooms for exclusive soirees. If he wants to head out to Atlantic City, he is flown in the casino’s private jet.Not your usual 9 am to 10 pm, wake-up-work-eat-sleep existence, you’d say! All these Indian Americans have learnt the tricky art of eating their samosas and having them gilded in gold too. They turn work into play and play into work, having a great time even as they almost print dollar bills by the pile. Their lifestyles have a lot to do with their work but are also about fun and living the good life.The casinos may not be exactly what amma would have approved of, but their siren song is heard and heeded by thousands of Indian Americans who head out for Atlantic City or Vegas. While most go just for a lark, transported in casino buses or family cars, often surrendering their quarters to the one-armed bandits, there are a sizeable number of big players who spend – and sometimes make – big bucks at the casinos.Bharat Jotwani has been a hi-roller for over 20 years. For uninitiated, a high roller is not a device at Home Depot to apply paint on hard to reach places, but a daring, either very brave or very foolish soul, who takes on the casino and hopes to win. Hi-rollers are people who gamble $50,000 to $100,000 in a night and live to tell the tale. Kamal Dandona rubs shouders with biggest Hollywood and Bollwood stars in his Bollywood Awards ExtravaganzaUnderstandably, the casinos love these brash guys (and they are mostly guys), plying them with comps, free luxury suites, limo rides, star studded shows and more gourmet food than they could eat in a lifetime.Jotwani, who plays baccarat and craps, is classified as a high roller in several casinos, including MGM in Las Vegas and Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. “I used to be very big, though now I don’t play that much. Now I’ve toned down but it can go up to $20-30,000 a night. In fact that’s on the low side. Six figures and up is considered a true high roller,” he explains.In all his years of casino hopping, has he seen other Indians playing high stakes? “Yes, there are high roller Indians in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas, but most don’t want their names to be known. There were quite a few hi-rollers about 15 years back when the casinos started in Atlantic City, but now a lot of them have tapered off, because it’s just a myth, being a hi-roller – chances are you’ll end up losing.”The dotcom bust made a lot of people lose their appetite for high risk, but in recent years, says Jotwani, the casinos have been attracting people who have done well in the hotel/motel industry as well as convenience stores.The casinos know how to take care of their high rollers. When The Bargada opened two years ago, Jotwani, because of his high roller status at the MGM in Las Vegas, found himself as the only Indian invited to the exclusive opening night party in Atlantic City, where Billy Crystal was flown in specially to entertain the guests. At yet another party held for 200 special guests, legendary singer Paul Anka was flown in just to perform at the gala, and once again Jotwani was there.Jotwani, who brings in star-studded Bollywood shows from India to the tri-state area, liked the casinos so much that pleasure soon turned into a work relationship and he started doing his live shows at Trump Taj Casino. In fact, he says, he opened the casinos to the ethnic show business. Since the Trump Taj has a theater capacity of 5,000 people and he’s moved on to bigger shows, Jotwani now does his shows at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, which can accommodate 14,000.The casinos often sponsor his Bollywood shows and also purchase tickets from him for their hi-roller ethnic clients. For the recent Shahrukh Khan Temptations 2004 Show, the casinos actually bought front row seats at $1,000 a pop for their favored clients. A small price to pay to please a hi-roller they could later relieve of $100,000 at the tables!For Jotwani, work and play have conflated as show business has permeated his lifestyle. He says, “Everyone knows I put in a lot of hours, because I’m a hands-on guy who runs the show himself.” After having been in the airlines business many moons ago, he says his new schtick is definitely superior. Raj Kanodia’s home is a $9 million mansion in Bel Air Estates and boasts Nancy Reagan and Liz taylor as neighbors.Normally people have a one-way relationship with the stars: you see them on the giant screen and they don’t see you or know you or care. But in the business of live shows, Jotwani has hosted the biggest stars and forged friendships with many of them. When he goes to Bombay, Shahrukh will greet him with a hearty handshake, Salman Khan will drive him in his own car and Sanjay Dutt spotting him at the Marriott promptly invites him to join the party at his table.The man who gets the title of the Bollywood Badshah is Kamal Dandona, New York based impresario of the Bollywood Film, Music and Fashion awards, where’s he brought in every big name from Aishwarya Rai to Kareena Kapoor. Over the years he’s donned many roles from commercial pilot to savvy businessman to publisher to showman.Dandona’s Rolodex should be an interesting book to read from cover to cover for he rubs shoulders with so many powerful people, including the Hindujas. Nine years ago at his very first live show he managed to get the Big B to turn up on stage, and since then each year he seems to get the most biggest names in showbiz: Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Michael Jackson, Harvey Weinstein, Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme and Diane Von Furstenberg. At the fashion awards he’s had everyone from Tyra Banks to Jerry Hall to Nicky Hilton.A mover and shaker in the truest sense, he’s always where the moving and shaking is taking place and has met every U.S. president from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to both Bushes, and every New York mayor from Ed Koch to Michael Bloomberg.For Dandona, the good life means trips to Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice every year, and his show business has taken him to meetings with the president of Guyana, and Princess Ocansie of Ghana He was a state guest in Haiti under General Avril, probably the only private Indian to be invited by the government.One strange result of all this hobnobbing with celebrity power is that some of it gets transferred to Jotwani and Dandona too and in the exalted role of Entertainment Provider for the Indian Community, they find themselves being feted at political fundraisers, social soirees and community events. After all, for our film-mad desis, the impresarios of live Bollywood shows are right up there with the inventors of Penicillin and Phone Cards, shucks even God! Out in California, Dr. Raj Kanodia is also brushing with stardust. As a celebrity plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, he has gained quite a reputation and his lifestyle has taken on some of the glitter of the stars that he chisels. Many Hollywood and Bollywood stars come to him for treatment, but you’re not going to learn who they are. “It happens all the times,” says Kanodia, but he’s not about to let any secrets of the faces or breasts of the rich and famous he has sculpted our of the bag.So he must be surrounded by beautiful people all the time? “That’s my life,” says Kanodia cryptically. In a typical day he does about 25 botox treatments and lip enhancements, and out of that at least five orsix6 will be prominent Hollywood people. Patients fly in all the way from London or Switzerland for injections and surgery and occasionally he’s asked to fly out to treat them in their homes. Now he’s actually become somewhat of a star himself, starring in Doc 90210 on the E network as himself and actually performs surgery on the show. The show is seen in 100 countries, and is No. 1 in several of them. In one segment he removed some moles from Cindy Crawford’s body and the gorgeous supermodel endorsed him right on TV.One of the perks of keeping Hollywood celebs looking good is that they pamper him with parties and invitations. “I’m at all the major events in the world and I attend them in full glory and style, because my patients and my friends have 150 foot yachts and tickets to the events. So I do indulge in all those fun, luxurious things.” Does he get to date beautiful women too? He says with a mock blasé air, “All the time!” Vikram Chatwal parties with the likes of Sean Puff Daddy Comb and shared the private jet of the King of Morocco for Puff daddy’s birthday party.But he doesn’t want to be made out to be some kind of a playboy. Kanodia, who is single, believes in fun. “That’s my middle name,” he says. “That’s absolutely my middle name. As hard as I work, I play equally hard. I love fun, because that’s the way I balance my life for my work is very serious.”While the good doctor may work very hard at the operating table, but away from it, his life has the trappings of a movie star. His mansion in exclusive Bel Air Estates has more highflying neighbors than any other neighborhood, since it’s home not only to stars, but also sheikhs and kings and a First Lady. Many Bollywood stars come and stay with him; he has a guesthouse separately on the grounds for all his high-powered celebrity friendsKanodia drives a Porsche Ceyene Turbo and a Mercedes 600 CL and he says with the evenhanded, fair touch of someone picking between two children, “They are both really fine cars.”He loves clubbing and dining out. He travels to Europe ten times a year, to St. Moritz for skiing, to Wimbledon, to Cannes, attending all the parties surrounding the events. In Hollywood he can be spotted at the Academy Award bashes. He may never win an Oscar, but his handiwork is out there ever so often when one of his clients gets up to pick one up.When AJ and Poonam Khubani of Telebrands, a large international infomercial company based in New Jersey, decided to build their home from scratch, it metamorphosed into a 27,000 sq. foot mansion on four acres of property, with 9 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a great room, a dining room seating 20 for a sit-down dinner, a pool and a 6-car garage. Russell Simmons, the head of Def-Jam Records, lives down the road from the Khubanis and other neighbors include the best-selling novelist Mary Higgins Clark and the actor Danny Aiello.American sitcoms on TV draw laughs when family members line up to use the sole bathroom, with the teens hogging up the space. Well not in this house! There are more bathrooms than there are people!Why 17 bathrooms? “I just wanted an attached bathroom for every bedroom, two in the foyer and two in the basement since the house is so big,” explains Poonam Khubani. The pool house also has a couple of bathrooms and as for AJ and Poonam, they have three – his, hers and ours! Laughs Khubani, “I wanted my space and he wanted his.”The house is so big that family members could live in it without actually meeting up and use the intercom a lot. Says Khubani, “When we built the house I didn’t think it would be such a difficult thing to run over, but human beings always try to find an easy way out, so we use the intercom to get hold of each other!”The 6-car garage houses some pretty snappy horsepower with both speed and beauty. AJ Khubani has a passion for fancy fast cars – an NSX, a Hummer, a Mercedes S 55 and a BMW 745. A green Lamborghini is joining the stable soon. AJ also has a yacht, which he sails on the lakes and the Hudson in the summer. In the winter they can hook up on a friend’s private jet for skiing trips.As president of international sales for Telebrands, Poonam Khubani travels extensively in Europe, South America, Australia and India: “I have to make sure the show is on the air, the retail is right, the penetration is right and that right from the beginning to the end everything works smoothly for the products that we sell all over the world.” Meera Gandhi lives in a historic townhouse in Manhattan that once was once the home of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, where she rubs shoulders with such celebs as Queen Noor and Prince Pavlos.A talented singer who performed on Doordarshan in India, Khubani produced her first pop album three years ago, which made No. 3 on the SUB TV charts in India. As a pop singer, she will be producing another album soon.Telebrands recently diversified into filmmaking and is currently producing a movie in India called Aryan, starring Sohail Khan, Sneha Ullal, Kapil Dev and Fardeen Khan, for which Khubani is recording two songs. This unusual film revolves around boxing and Australian boxers and fight experts were flown in from Down Under. All this hectic activity means constant jet setting to different cities in different time zones, from very hot to freezing weather.And that brings us to the closets!Khubani has such a huge shoe closet loaded with footwear that her friends tease her, “This is worse than Imelda Marcos!” She has one huge walk in closet just for her Indian outfits, another for her western outfits, yet another closet for her winter clothes and a cedar closet for her furs.The reason is purely practical, insists Khubani: “It helps to keep my life organized, because I run around all the time and I’m just hopping from one country to another so it helps to figure out the season, pick up my clothes and get out of the house. It keeps me mentally straight on line and it’s a big time saving factor for me.” Sure.The Khubanis love entertaining and held a party last year for 150 people with a safari theme. A cigar person rolled fresh cigars for the guests and entertainment was provided by feisty fire dancers. Everything was safari themed from the servers to the food, and short of importing elephants on to the property, they did everything to transport the guests to Africa.The king of the party scene, of course, is hotelier Vikram Chatwal. He’s had lots of practice. In fact, at times it looks as if partying is his main profession! Clubs, bars, lounges, and restaurants – he knows them all and probably could take you on a guided tour of every hot spot in New York City! He parties with Sean Puff Daddy Combs, Alex von Furstenberg and Gotham Chopra and often lands up in society columns.Last summer he vacationed with Puff Daddy on a private yacht to Ibiza, an island in the south of Spain. On Puff Daddy’s birthday, the King of Morocco sent his private 747 to transport them to Morocco. Recalls Chatwal, “The party started on the plane and when we landed, there was a full circus with camels and the whole country stopped for this one guy!”So what does it take to be a master at partying? “Partying takes energy, takes a good sense of humor and more than that, it takes good people around you. So it doesn’t have to be a great party, if you have some fun people and you can be together and have fun, then you’re having a good party.”Looks of course can be deceiving, for Chatwal has a MBA from the Wharton School of Business and is managing a mini-empire of boutique and specialty hotels at Hampshire Hotels and Resorts. The son of hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, Vikram has his finger on the pulse of the happening crowd and brings that energy to the boutique hotels that he creates and manages.His Time Hotel in Time Square was a real showstopper, wildly popular with the fashion circles. Now his new Hotel Dream is also creating a big buzz. It has a spa designed and operated by Deepak Chopra.Because of his insider status in the happening crowd, Chatwal has succeeded with the K Lounge concept in New York (the K stands for Kamasutra and the fun lounge has the exotic touch) and he is planning K Lounges in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The recent opening of Dream, in Manhattan, was a big bawdy celebration with hundreds of beautiful people swarming the place, moving around 30 foot high glass aquariums filled with glow fish. Inside, he’s created more party places – the Ava Lounge at the penthouse level with a view of glittering Time Square and Sub Conscious, a space for the young and restless. As a partner in Joe’s Pub, one of the city’s happening lounge and performance venues, he stays connected to the music world.So Chatwal has a legitimate reason for partying. After all, he’s just doing his research! He says, “My business carries into the night, the hotels, the bars. So sometimes when I’m out, it looks like I’m partying, but I’m actually checking on business.” Then he admits, “Well, that’s the excuse I use, ‘I’m working!’”For Chatwal, the good life also means trying on different lifestyles, almost like a new wardrobe. He’s been a model for Italian and American Vogue, Brook Brothers, Banana Republic and has done catwalk modeling for Valentino. Now he’s starring as the hero, a Sikh immigrant in Paris, in the movie One Dollar Curry. He says life is a mix of things and so he tries to balance it all. And if life requires some serious partying, modeling and acting with beautiful actresses, then he’s ready to take it on!Indeed, New York is a town where partying is serious business, especially with the champagne and caviar crowd who attend benefit galas. In fact, it’s almost a social obligation! There are literally hundreds of charitable organizations and every high society diva has a favorite cause.The evening sparkles as guests mingle, sip champagne and nibble on hors d’ouevres, while plugging causes from AIDS research to children’s charities. All the great museums, art galleries and theater, dance and music institutions are supported by the black tie crowd, who raise an astounding amount of money for an astounding array of causes.A handful of Indian Americans are part of this social whirl and they include New York socialite Meera Gandhi and her investment banker husband Vikram Gandhi. When it comes to partying, Gandhi is the pro, renowned for her own great parties too. The Gandhis live in a beautiful historic townhouse, which once belonged to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, which they have spent years restoring. It is decorated according to Vaastu principles and is crowned with a roof garden.Meera Gandhi, who is on the board of ValKill, the summer residence of Eleanor Roosevelt, has held events at her home for the First Lady’s grand daughter Anne Roosevelt and many fund raisers for different causes. Mike Wallace, Paula Zahn, Robert Thurman, Steven and Kimberly Rockefeller and actress Phylicia Rashad are some of the big names who’ve attended parties at the Gandhi residence.An MBA from Boston, Gandhi worked as an investment banker with Banque Nationale du Paris and Banque Indo-Suisse, before switching to fashion, becoming a buyer for Lord & Taylor and then worked for Calvin Klein, Armani and Oscar de la Renta, collaborating with her mother in India.Currently on a long break from work, Gandhi is concentrating on her family and on doing some good, while having an outrageous amount of fun. And that’s the benefit of attending a benefit – you feel saintly while you’re having a wicked amount of fun! Meera is on the board of several organizations – the United World College, the Grameen Digitial Partners Foundation and Safety Net – and her way of supporting them is by raising funds and awareness through events.She hosted the fundraising Asia on My Mind dinner for Asia Society with the theme: “Passage to India” with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and a couture sale by top Indian designers at her home, which was organized with the U.S. Ambassador’s wife and raised funds for the Gujarat earthquake through American India Foundation, chaired by former President Bill Clinton.A socialite’s life means all the other trappings: Holidays are usually spent in Ritz Carlton villas around the world or traveling to India to meet the family. This year alone Gandhi has traveled to Moscow, St Petersburg, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, London, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, West Palm Beach, Colorado and Los Angeles.Needless to say, being a socialite involves rubbing shoulders with celebs on the red carpet, and Gandhi has rubbed her share, including Queen Noor, Prince Pavlos, Senator Hilary Clinton and actress Reese Witherspoon. She is, in fact, working on an exclusive event with Senator Clinton for just 100 people, to raise funds for Val-Kill. Yes, working for the greater good is tough work, but someone’s got to do it!It is safe to say that few Indian Americans could be spending their evenings on a horse farm! For real estate developer Raj Bhatia, there is little separation between his personal and the work lives as he goes about creating an equestrian community in the beautiful town of Southbury in Connecticut. Willowcreek is a 103-acre historic horse farm, and though Bhatia bought it as an investment, he and his wife Darcy quickly fell in love with it.The plan is to build 24 high-end houses around the property and the project will take about three years to complete. Says Bhatia, “In Connecticut horses are absolutely part of people’s lives here and it is said there are more horses here than any other state in the country, per square unit. It seems to be absolutely true.”While Bhatia has “a healthy respect” for horses, his wife Darcy is crazy about them, having grown up on a horse farm and riding since she was 3 years old. So even as they build the equestrian community, they have taken in boarders on the farm, and presently have a total of 48 horses, 13 of which belong to Darcy. The rest of the horses are boarders, whose owners pay for their stall and upkeep.The bonus is that the Bhatias actually get to live on these rolling acres of green with a huge pond on the property.It’s very different from their weekday home which is a penthouse in Manhattan, where Raj is in real estate development and Darcy is in wealth management in partnership with a grandson of the Nestle family.How is waking up in the morning and finding yourself in a cottage? “It’s great,” says Bhatia. “You wake up in the morning and you smell the fire from the night before. It’s incredible waking up and looking out at the lake. The farm is only an hour and 15 minutes from the city and that’s really amazing.” Raj Bhatia spends his days in his rolling horse farms in Connecticut and when he needs a change of place, he takes off in his private jet to Marthas Vineyard or East HamptonThe Bhatias like to hang out with friends at the Hunt Room, a dark oak paneled room with horse prints and old English antiques, which is also on the farm, complete with a bar and a 600 sq foot wine cellar.Says Raj, who collects wines, “A number of our friends are chefs and sommeliers from the city at excellent restaurants who would like to come up and do wine dinners in the Hunt Room.”While Darcy would rather be riding, Raj prefers flying. He’s had his pilot’s license since 1995 and recently bought a single engine plane, a Cirrus, which has the unique feature of a parachute in the plane. In an accident, the parachute shoots out of the plane and actually brings the entire plane down to the ground safely. It’s all very hi-tech and Bhatia enjoys flying to Martha’s Vineyard and Boston. East Hampton, which would be four hours by road, is just 20 minutes.But more and more, he tends to head for Willowcreek where he can go skeet shooting or fly fishing: “It’s like we’re on vacation even though this is work. It’s work being here, it’s work watching over things but it’s incredibly gratifying. You’re working and you’re having a good time.”Willowcreek is a large property, with the occasional coyotes and bobcats on it, so recently Bhatia went to the Bridgeport state police to apply for a gun permit.The man issuing the gun permit turned about to be an Indian officer. Bhatia recalls, “He said to me, ‘You must be the only Indian horse farm owner in the country!’ And I said to him, ‘You must be the only Indian giving out gun permits in the country!”As more and more desis make it in this country and rachet up their lifestyle, it is perhaps only a matter of time before we see Indian Americans home on the ranch in Crawford, Tex., not just visitors to it, or living in a hi-tech futuristic structure like that of Bill Gates.The good life has many interpretations, and Indian Americans seem ready to try it in all its avatars! Related Items
Former India skipper Anil Kumble is set to be named head coach of the national team while Ravi Shastri is likely to become the team’s batting coach, India Today has learnt.According to sources, the decision to appoint the coach and batting consultant was taken after Sourav Ganguly met BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke at the ongoing cricket conclave in Dharamsala. (Also read: BCCI boss Anurag Thakur wants more engagement with fans, media)However, the official announcement is set to made by 5 pm today. “The name of the coach will be announced by 5 pm,” Thakur told news channel ABP Live. Latest Update: The BCCI meeting is almost over and Thakur will address the media in a few minutes from now in Dharamsala and will announce the appointments. The high-powered Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) had interviewed close to 10 candidates including former captains Kumble and Shastri. Earlier reports had said that the committee wanted further time to deliberate on the interviewed candidates and that the final recommendation would be submitted to the BCCI on Friday morning.Announcement on Indian cricket team’s head coach will be made by this evening: BCCI President Anurag Thakur ANI (@ANI_news) June 23, 2016India Today sources said Kumble was the hot favourite to become the new coach after his presentation in Kolkata on Tuesday. He had different blueprint for different formats and focussed on how he would help India win overseas.Shastri, the former team director, had made his presentation via Skype as he is currently overseas.advertisementThe other candidates interviewed included Pravin Amre, Andy Moles and Stuart Law. Chief Selector Sandeep Patil confirmed he was not called for an interview.
3. Speak in story.Last, make sure you are describing what you do through story, not just facts and jargon. Stories make a cause relatable, tangible and touching. Remember, a good story has a passionate storyteller (you), clear stakes and a tale of transformation at its core. The NRDC, an organization focused largely on process and the work of lawyers and scientists, does an amazing job with storytelling all over its home page. There are heroes with a heartbeat to show every dimension of their work in stories. Many nonprofits have trouble making their missions relatable and exciting to potential supporters. I often get questions like this one from Deirdre:“As an organization with a mission that is a bit more abstract than, say, feeding hungry children or saving whales, we often struggle to make our work concrete. How can organizations dedicated to civic engagement or research create an inspiring story?”Whatever your issue area, these three tips will make your cause clear and compelling.1. Describe your mission as a destination.Don’t talk about your process or philosophy. Talk about your outcomes.Let me give you an example. Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Switch and Decisive, provide a great example from a breast care clinic as envisioned by Laura Esserman. She could have described her mission in ways that focused on the building or the philosophy. For example: “We are going to revolutionize the way breast cancer is treated and create a prototype of the next-generation breast cancer clinic.” Another poor choice: “We are going to reposition radiology as an internal, rather than external, wing of the clinic, and we will reconfigure our space to make that possible.” These all fall into the customary trap of talking about HOW your approach your work rather than WHAT the end result will be. (They also make the mistake of having no people in the description of their cause, but that’s the second point below.) What would be better? The Heaths nail it: “A clinic with everything under one roof—a woman could come in for a mammogram in the morning and, if the test discovered a growth, she could leave with a treatment plan the same day.” You can see the destination clear as day. 2. Give your mission a pulse.You have to talk about what you do in a way that makes clear its effect on people or animals. If you don’t have a heartbeat to your message, no one will care about your cause. Suppose you are advocating for quality schools. Don’t get so lost in descriptions of quality education and advocacy techniques that you forget to talk about kids! This is one of the most common mistakes I see. Always answer the question, “at the end of the day, whose life is better for what we do?” I like how Jumpstart talks about their work in early childhood education. They put it this way: “Working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.”
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 16, 2015June 12, 2017By: Lindsay Grenier, Maternal Health Technical Advisor, MCSP ; Susan Moffson, MCSP Senior Program OfficerClick 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)This post has been slightly edited from it’s original posting on the blog of the Maternal and Child Survival Program.A young woman arrived at a health clinic in Sierra Leone with heavy bleeding. She was suffering from postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)—or excessive bleeding after birth—the most common cause of death for women after delivery.The midwife at the clinic acted quickly, administering oxytocin, a uterotonic that helps the uterus contract to stop the bleeding. However, the facility was lacking the refrigeration needed to properly store the drug, which was also two years out of date. As a result, the oxytocin had no effect, and the woman died two hours later.Mother and newborn in Allahabad, India. (Kate Holt/MCHIP)Tragically, poor and marginalized populations suffering from a disproportionate burden of disease often have the least access to high-quality health services. This is especially true of women during childbirth, who often deliver at home instead of health facilities. Those women who do make it to a facility may find them ill-equipped, lacking skilled personnel and essential medicines. Or, as in the case of the young woman from Sierra Leone, the medicines may be expired and improperly stored, thereby greatly diminishing their effectiveness.Alarmingly, all of these women will be at risk of dying from PPH without access to uterotonics. And while oxytocin is the gold standard for preventing and treating PPH, it is not always available or kept sufficiently cool. It must also be given through injection by a skilled birth attendant, such as a doctor or nurse.Thankfully, there is a second-line uterotonic drug that can be used to prevent and treat PPH when oxytocin is not available: misoprostol. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added misoprostol — which does not require refrigeration and can be taken as a pill — to the Essential Medicines List for treatment of PPH in every country. This action expands the range of options to treat PPH, empowering health care workers with one more tool in their arsenal to fight bleeding after birth.As professionals who work every day around the world to ensure our interventions reach the most vulnerable populations, and understand the endorsement of misoprostol means more equitable access to and appropriate use of uteronics for countless women across the developing world.The WHO announcement opens an exciting new chapter in global health. While much work remains before every facility can guarantee a stable stock of viable oxytocin, the endorsement of misoprostol for the treatment of PPH will increase the availability of lifesaving care for some of the world’s most vulnerable women.As part of our own comprehensive PPH strategy, MCSP continues to strengthen essential health system functions, with the goal of overcoming local system barriers to provision of high-quality care, effective referral systems, and trained providers.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 21, 2017November 21, 2017By: Nicole Sijenyi Fulton, Team Leader, Options Consultancy Services Ltd.Click 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)As project managers and organizational leaders, many of us oversee programs that strengthen the public sector to deliver high quality maternal and newborn health (MNH) services. Our efforts depend heavily on the functionality of the health workforce in the countries where we work.But what happens when public sector health workers are on strike? Health facilities in low-income countries often close down completely during industrial action, disrupting what can be the only health system accessible to poor individuals. This can have especially severe consequences for pregnant women and their newborns. When the public health workforce is not operating, many women and their families must choose between having a risky home delivery with an unskilled provider, going to an unaffordable private hospital or crossing the border into a neighboring territory.Public sector health workers go on strike for many reasons, usually as a last resort. In resource-poor settings, major staffing shortages are widespread, making individual workloads unsustainable. Supervision is often poor with limited access to training and development. Robust management systems are rarely in place, and health workers miss opportunities for career progression and salary adjustments over many years. Under these circumstances, doctors, nurses and other health professionals pursue collective bargaining not only for themselves, but in the long-term interests of the communities they serve.Over the past year, Kenya’s public health system has faced numerous strikes of multiple cadres, including nurses and clinical officers, sometimes for several months at a time. The latest national nurses’ strike lasted from June to October 2017. During these extended periods, most public dispensaries and health centers close their doors. Some hospitals remain open on a limited basis, but even when they do, service uptake drops dramatically and mortality rises. Recent media coverage in Kenya has indicated a potential doubling of maternal deaths during the recent nurses’ strike.While political action is underway, what can health program managers do to prevent maternal and newborn deaths? MNH programs in Bungoma, Kenya have revealed effective strategies for safeguarding the health of pregnant women and newborns under challenging circumstances.Supporting the faith-based sectorFor most poor families, the faith-based sector is the only option for facility delivery when the public sector closes because other private sector facilities tend to be too expensive. This trend is exemplified by shifts in where cesarean sections take place during and after strike periods in Bungoma, Kenya:Source: Kenya District Health Information System (DHIS2)This influx of patients creates an unmanageable workload for health workers and affects the quality of care they are able to provide.Programs can provide targeted support to health facilities in the faith-based sector in several areas:Procurement of essential drugs, supplies and equipment to ensure that over-crowded facilities can maintain high quality services during surges in patient volume.Mentorship programs for emergency obstetric and newborn care can be implemented so that nurses from public facilities on strike can practice their skills while assisting with staffing needs.Financial support to help offset higher operating costs.Program adaptationWhen health workers go on strike, health programs must adapt in the following ways:Fail fast. Learn from failure and move on quickly. Regular reviews of routine data will quickly point to a health system that is not working during a health worker strike and can offer clues for adjustment.Support decentralized decision-making. The staff who are closest to the ground are the ones who see the problems and the solutions most clearly—but they are often too far away from decision-making authority to change a programming approach without extensive consultation. Breaking down these barriers speeds up the change process.Be ready. After one strike ends, another one might be on the horizon. With each cycle, learn and adapt for the future.In the long term, health system reforms are needed to support the health workforce and equip it with sufficient resources to provide high quality care. In the meantime, program managers can play a critical role in ensuring quality MNH services are available during health worker strikes. Women are counting on us to roll up our sleeves, think creatively and work together to keep essential services available.—Read other posts from the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)’s Global Maternal Health Workforce blog series.Browse maternal health organizations working in Kenya.Interested in writing for the MHTF blog? Check out our guest post guidelines.Share this:
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit is seen during ESPN’s College GameDay show at Times Square on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)ESPN has updated its college football power rankings heading into Week 7 of the 2019 regular season following Saturday’s games.Week 6 was mostly uneventful, outside of Michigan’s impressive (but ugly) home win over Iowa, and Florida’s big win against Auburn.ESPN’s college football writers have updated their power rankings following Week 6.Here’s the latest top 10 from ESPN:AlabamaOhio StateGeorgiaLSUClemsonOklahomaWisconsinFloridaNotre DameTexas[Related Article: ESPN Predicts Winners Of Week 7’s Biggest Games]Ohio State has been perhaps the country’s most-impressive team through the first six weeks of the regular season. The Buckeyes topped Michigan State at home on Saturday night.Week 7 will feature several huge games, including Oklahoma-Texas, LSU-Florida and Penn State-Iowa.
“I’m not giving Texas really any chance in this game.”—@finebaum is going Oklahoma all the way this weekend. pic.twitter.com/nPg5oYqHIj— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) October 9, 2019[Related Article:Texas Safety Issues Warning To Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts]A graduate transfer from Alabama, Hurts has established himself as a Heisman Trophy candidate through five games with the Sooners. He’s completing 75% of his passes, throwing for 1,523 yards and 14 touchdowns.On the ground, Hurts has rushed for 499 yards and seven more scores. This Oklahoma roster has talent all around, but everything starts with the guy taking the snaps.Oklahoma-Texas will kick off at noon ET on Saturday from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Texas won last year’s regular season meeting before OU got revenge in the Big 12 Championship Game.The game will be televised on FOX. ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)Oklahoma and Texas will meet on Saturday in the Red River Showdown. The winner will automatically assume the position of Big 12 title favorite.The Sooners are ranked sixth in the AP poll, while Texas is 11th. Despite the fact it is a rivalry matchup featuring two highly-ranked teams, Vegas has installed Oklahoma as a double-digit favorite.Appearing on Get Up! this morning, ESPN’s Paul Finebaum agreed with the oddsmakers. He’s predicting an OU blowout, thanks to quarterback Jalen Hurts.“I don’t think the Texas defense is going to be able to stop him [Hurts], especially in the secondary,” Finebaum said. “They were exposed badly [against LSU’s Joe Burrow]…I’m not giving Texas really any chance in this game.”
It doesn’t look like either expects LSU to upend Alabama in a few weeks. Auburn, Florida and Georgia are also title contenders at the moment, but neither has any of them in the field.Ohio State’s toughest test could come in two weeks when it takes on Wisconsin at home. Clemson, meanwhile, is expected to cruise to an ACC title.Oklahoma took down Texas this past Saturday, but the Sooners could face the Longhorns again in the Big 12 title game.If Bonagura and Schlabach are right, the field will look very similar to what it’s looked like in years’ past. COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 7: Head Coach Ryan Day of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches his team warm up before a game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Ohio Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Each week, ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach make bowl projections for every postseason game. It looks like at the moment, they both agree on who will be playing for it all in December/January.Both Bonagura and Schlabach are picking Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma to reach the Playoff. It doesn’t look like they’re expecting many upsets down the stretch.Bonagura has Clemson vs. Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and Alabama vs. Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. Schlabach has Ohio State vs. Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and Alabama vs. Clemson in the Peach Bowl.Both have Alabama in the title game. Bonagura has the Tide facing Oklahoma. Schlabach thinks it’ll be Ohio State.
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts to a play during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)After Georgia’s 20-17 loss to South Carolina on Saturday, head coach Kirby Smart’s late-game management came into question. Much of the scrutiny revolved around what happened in the final seconds of regulation.With third-and-5 from the South Carolina 38-yard line and eight seconds on the clock, Georgia tried to run a play to set up a shorter field goal attempt. However, an illegal shift penalty pushed the Bulldogs back out of field goal range and sent the game into overtime.Former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason, who played under Mark Richt, offered some criticism of Smart during an appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show” on Monday.Mason agreed with Smart’s decision to try and gain more yardage before kicking, but thought his indecisiveness may have led to the penalty. Mason thought Smart was “unprepared for the moment” and “kind of got caught with his pants down.”“I think Kirby’s exactly right, there’s not a coach in America that is not going to try to get a couple extra yards with eight seconds left,” Mason said, via247Sports, “especially when you have the most trustworthy quarterback in Jake Fromm. He’s taught, and he would have, just thrown the ball out of bounds if nothing was there. My core problem with this is that Kirby Smart was unprepared for the moment.“And I mean that by, if you remember the play was called in late from (offensive coordinator) James Coley, there were no timeouts left, Fromm then audibled at the line of scrimmage with under five seconds, illegal shift bumps them out of field goal range. The angle that nobody is talking about is why did the play take so long to get in? And it only points back to Kirby. Because in the situation there, Kirby is trying to decide, ‘Am I going to punt it? Am I going to go for it? Am I going to kick a field goal?’ And the problem is, he should have been a play ahead, two steps ahead thinking about these things.”Georgia still controls its own destiny in the SEC East, with its annual rivalry game against Florida likely deciding the division championship. The Bulldogs can reach the College Football Playoff if they win out and beat Alabama or LSU in the SEC title game.However, they’ve put themselves behind the 8-ball by losing to the Gamecocks. Because of that, don’t expect Smart to be taken out from under the microscope any time soon.
There is no cause for panic at Chelsea just yet, says Ashley Cole, but there are issues for new boss Frank Lampard to address.A club icon has taken in three competitive outings as a coach back in familiar surroundings.He is still waiting on a first win, with Premier League and UEFA Super Cup frustration endured so far. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Results have improved steadily, with a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United followed by a penalty shootout reversal against Liverpool in continental competition and a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester.Lampard now has a first Premier League point on the board, but had been hoping for more at Stamford Bridge.Leicester battled bravely to claim a share of the spoils in west London on Sunday, with Cole admitting that the Blues need to find a spark in the final third before serious questions are asked of them.The former defender, who has announced his retirement at the age of 38, told Sky Sports: “Chelsea’s start was very good. From minute one, they had their game plan to press, to make runs in behind and it worked. Then after that, it was a little bit disappointing.”We spoke a lot about where the goals are going to come so when you take a 1-0 lead, you need to try and get another one because you don’t feel like you’re going to get enough chances.”In this game, they had enough chances but they didn’t finish them. That would be the main concern for Frank – are they going to be good enough to take their chances and score more than one per game?”Chelsea have got the players and everyone expects them to be in the top four or six, but the Premier League has changed. The manager needs time, the players need time and I don’t think everyone should panic yet.”Chelsea took the lead against the Foxes through Mason Mount, but were pegged back by Wilfried Ndidi.Cole admits that the Blues struggled to contain their opponents at times, with more expected of them on home soil.The ex-England international added: “Leicester were a different animal.”I think [James] Maddison started to get on the ball further up the pitch and start affecting the game. Ndidi was controlling the game from behind, and they just seemed to step up a few gears, and Chelsea didn’t know how to react to that.”Chelsea should be happy [with a point], but you’re playing at home and you should be winning these games.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Demba Ba has expressed his sadness and anger after Inter’s Curva Nord ultras penned an open letter to Romelu Lukaku over allegations of racism against Cagliari supporters.During his second outing for the Nerazzurri since a club-record move from Manchester United at the start of August, Lukaku was presented with the chance to score his second goal of the season from the penalty spot.The Belgian striker scored from 12 yards to give Inter a 2-1 win at Cagliari but was subjected to monkey chants from a section of the home crowd before and after the spot-kick. Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Lukaku called on football’s governing bodies to do more to combat racism after the match , while also urging his colleagues to help “unify” against discrimination.Cagliari are no strangers to allegations of racist abuse, with the likes of Sulley Muntari, Blaise Matuidi and Moise Kean also victimised in recent years.However, Inter’s Curva Nord faction has defended the actions of Rossoblu supporters, writing directly to Lukaku to outline their own perception of racism .Former Chelsea striker Ba, who now plays in Turkey for Istanbul Basaksehir, was astonished by the letter and wishes “all black players would get out of Serie A”.The 34-year-old responded to Curva Nord’s comments on Twitter: “And here’s the reason why I decided not to play there when I could… And at that point, I wish all the black players would get out of this league! Surely it won’t stop their stupidity and hate but at least they won’t affect other races.”And here’s the reason why I decided not to play there when I could… And at that point I wish all the black players would get out of this league! Surely it won’t stop their stupidity and hate but at least they won’t affect other races. https://t.co/whu1XexYmy — Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) September 4, 2019 Racism has also been prevalent in the Premier League at the start of the 2019-20 season, with Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma targeted by fans on social media along with Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.Twitter and Facebook agreed to meet with United officials and anti-racism organisation Kick It Out after hateful messages were directed at Pogba, with a discussion set to take place on how best to tackle racism online in the future.Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham was also singled out by a group of fans after missing a decisive penalty in a shootout defeat against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup final on August 14.Blues boss Frank Lampard has encouraged social media platforms to put a better policing system in place, insisting it is “far too easy” for supporters to “spout hate” online .
Jose Mourinho turned down Lyon’s approach to become their new manager because he has already found another club, according to the Ligue 1 side’s president Jean-Michel Aulas.The Portuguese, who left his previous coaching position with Manchester United almost a year ago, has yet to return to the game in a major capacity since his Old Trafford exit.Instead, the former Real Madrid boss has turned to punditry, making regular appearances on television while dropping hints about his future. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Ligue 1 heavyweights Lyon sacked Sylvinho on Monday after just one win in his last nine matches at the helm and Aulas had identified Mourinho as a target to take the helm.However, speaking to reporters via a telephone news conference, the 70-year-old revealed that the ex-Chelsea and Inter man turned them down on account of having another job lined up.”We had some fairly flattering exchanges over text,” Aulas stated. “It was nice for everyone. He did not accept our proposal to meet because he has already chosen another club.”Sylvinho’s arrival coincided with the return of club icon Juninho Pernambucano as sporting director in pre-season. Aulas confirmed the decision to dismiss the former Manchester City and Barcelona defender came from Juninho, with Sylvinho’s perceived negative brand of football doing little to endear himself.”It was indeed Juninho who took the decision to change coach, he even had this view a little earlier on,” Aulas said. “He is going to continue to take responsibility on the football side in the same way.”He is a boy who breathes football. In the first matches, he detected a certain number of problems. It is he who explained his decision to Sylvinho.”I didn’t know of him (Sylvinho) before Juninho told me about him. The defensive style he offered created a destabilising effect in terms of the normal attacking style of Lyon. We made a mistake, but in general we don’t make a mistake twice.”While Aulas seemed to confirm Patrick Vieira will not be considered as he is under contract at Nice, Remi Garde – who coached Lyon between 2011 and 2014 – is an option.”He hasn’t been contacted yet, but that is a possible route. For the moment, talks haven’t happened, but maybe they will,” Aulas added.
Innovations abound for Windstar in 2018 with worldwide cruise destinations featuring nearly 150 new ports and inventive new ads to enchant travelers on sailings 180 degrees from ordinary. Seattle, WA, September 26, 2017 — Windstar announces the launch of an intriguing new marketing campaign that introduces a brand evolution for the award-winning small ship cruise line, emphasizing the line’s specialty in creating vacation experiences that are 180 degrees from ordinary. The novel advertising campaign titled “Unexpected” and debuting this fall complements the line’s just released 2018 Voyage Collection brochure highlighting how 2018 will be nothing short of adventurous — with an astonishing 49 new cruise itineraries and nearly 150 maiden ports of call. From the eye-catching brochure cover to the handy “sailings at a glance” section, the piece conveys to travelers what makes a small ship cruise vacation with Windstar stand out. “Windstar goes to great lengths to surprise our guests with special moments and memories that last a lifetime. I’m excited to show off our new ad campaign and marketing materials that shine a light on the unexpected delights that travelers encounter on a Windstar cruise,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “We’re doing things differently from other cruise lines and giving guests distinctive stories to share. We’re now telling the Windstar story with more flare and audacity than before — with our new brochure and ads we’re giving consumers a more visual way to conceptualize what an experience on Windstar is really like.” The 2018 Voyage Collection brochures are being mailed to the homes of Yacht Club Members, Windstar’s loyalty/past guest program. Travelers will be treated to a vivid depiction of how the small cruise ship sets itself apart from other luxury, boutique and expedition cruise lines, including Windstar’s ability to get travelers as close as possible to authentic and immersive experiences in each and every destination, with one-of-a-kind adventures, as well as unparalleled onboard service and intimate yet luxurious settings found on all of their remarkable vessels. The 2018 Voyage Collection is available for viewing and download, and consumers can request a brochure to be mailed to their home, all on the Windstar website. Windstar’s 2018 brochure features far-flung ports and interesting itineraries designed by a hands-on staff of travel and cruise experts including ship’s captains. Cruisers will marvel at 12 newly-developed Mediterranean voyages discovering the breadth of the region from the unspoiled charm of Puglia, Italy to exploring the UNESCO wonders in Spain, Croatia, Greece and beyond. Travelers will be drawn to 28 brand new journeys throughout Asia featuring visits to the world’s most exotic beaches and offering one-of-a-kind shore excursions such as Ko Kut Treepod Dining in an ancient tropical rainforest. Introducing a return to the expansive waterways of Alaska in 2018, the ship will sail under Vancouver’s classic Lion’s Gate Bridge heading north to Alaska by way of the historic Inside Passage while exploring rural ports and inlets like Misty and Kenai Fjords, Endicott and Tracy Arms, Metlakatla, Icy Strait Point, Wrangell, Haines and Prince Rupert. Offering 11 diverse cruises from 11 to 27 days, guests can enjoy small ship luxury in balcony suites and expedition-style experiences while cruising along picturesque coastlines. The 2018 brochure also introduces first-ever Windstar sailings to Canada and New England, with show-stopper port cities like New York City, Boston, and Montreal mixed with quaint fishing harbors such as Bar Harbor and Rockland with sailings timed to take perfect advantage of crisp autumn weather and changing colors. Exceptional sailings across Northern Europe expand to include new round trip Edinburgh cruises, a sail up the River Thames to London, calls at remote Scottish Isles, popular Iceland circumnavigations, fascinating Norwegian fjords, the remote Arctic Circle, and timeless Baltic Sea journeys – all beautifully suited to exploration by small ship. In addition, perennial cruise favorites like year-round Tahiti and Tuamotu Islands, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Caribbean and Ocean Crossings beckon warm water lovers. Popular Star Collector voyages combine back-to-back sailings and offer guests more time to explore (with free laundry) on longer journeys. Windstar’s new marketing evolution and “Unexpected” advertising campaign captures the extraordinary aspects of cruising the Windstar way — with imprints of exotic, off-the-charted-course ports of call and unforgettable experiences showcased in an inventive ad campaign. New unexpected imagery is prominently featured in the 2018 Voyage Collection brochure that divulges noteworthy brand differences like personalized service with a 1.5-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio; exceptional culinary experiences as the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation; a welcoming culture; and elegant ships that turn heads in every harbor. Advertising icon Ron Elgin, founder of Elgin/DDB, the original conceptor of Windstar’s time-tested tagline “180 degrees from ordinary,” stated: “The evolution of the Windstar brand is an opportunity to feature a vibrant and immersive travel campaign from a more playful and savvy cruise line, opening up the traveler mindset to new adventures and their eyes to fresh perspectives.” The brand’s new marketing campaign will soon pop in fashionable travel magazines and online media. The Unexpected print campaign launches in late September with bold new first-person perspective photography, displaying goats in trees and other unexpected imagery. The fresh look to the ads and accompanying headlines and copy evolves Windstar’s brand message, speaking to the active travelers thirst for first hand, authentic and active experiences. The Unexpected campaign goes digital in October, with prominent placement on Windstar’s website, on social media and in digital advertising. A tour de force of Pacific Northwest creativity, the Unexpected campaign was developed by the cruise line’s Marketing team along with the Seattle-based advertising and branding agency Wax Exp in consort with the brand strategy company, Red Tango, also of Seattle. The creative team traveled to souks, bazaars and beaches in Morocco and Italy’s chic Riviera for active seaside paddling adventures and unexpected shoreside excursions like camel riding, capturing experiences that real Windstar guests can actually do on a small ship cruise. Windstar will launch an “Unexpected Windstar Sweepstakes” that will run on social media in October, designated by the cruise travel industry as “Plan a Cruise Month.” Unexpected Windstar Sweepstakes entrants will learn about Windstar’s upscale cruise experience through taking a fun “fact or fiction” quiz for the chance to win a suite for two aboard Star Breeze on the 10-day Island Gems of Spain & Portugal cruise sailing round trip from Lisbon on November 18, 2018; the cruise visits Agadir, Morocco where the Unexpected ad campaign was shot. For more information on the sweepstakes and how to enter, visit Windstar’s social media channels and website in early October. To learn more about authentic small ship cruising with Windstar, contact a travel professional or Windstar Cruises by phone at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com. About Windstar Cruises Windstar Cruises operates a six-ship fleet of small sailing and all-suite ships visiting 170 ports throughout Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, sailing year-round in Tahiti and the South Pacific, and adding newly announced Alaska, Canada, New England, Asia and Arabia. The boutique cruise line is the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation and the small ships are known for offering an intimate private yacht-style experience, unique itineraries and exclusive access to the world’s best small ports and hidden harbors. Windstar’s fleet is the market leader in boutique small ship cruising with a total of 1,242 passenger berths. All ships in the fleet have recently undergone multi-million dollar transformations to embody casually elegant small ship travel. The all-suite Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride serve 212 guests in all-suite accommodations; while sailing ships Wind Spirit and Wind Star sail with up to 148 guests, and Wind Surf serves 310 guests. The small ships cruise to hundreds of quaint and popular ports worldwide. Windstar Cruises is a part of Xanterra Parks & Resorts®, known for “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint.” Xanterra’s entities also include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks, as well as resorts, railway and tour companies. More information: www.windstarcruises.com. Follow the Windstar Yachts: Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / YouTube / Pinterest / LinkedIn / Instagram / Blog
Henrico-based company awarded Top Employer-Insurance and overall Highest-Rated Nomination of the Year Richmond, VA, October 09, 2018 – Allianz Partners has been named the winner of two 2018 Stevie® Awards in the third annual Stevie Awards for Great Employers. Allianz Partners won the gold in its category for Top Employer – Insurance and received the overall Grand Stevie Award for the Highest-Rated Nomination of the Year. The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognize the world’s best employers and the human resources professionals, teams, achievements and HR-related products and suppliers who help to create and drive great places to work. Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards were presented to winners at a gala ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on September 21. Allianz Partners stood out as a top employer due in part to its high associate engagement-exceeding benchmarks, ranking high for diversity, inclusion, integrity, and community service, as well as customer centricity and leader/manager effectiveness. New benefits offered within the last couple years include a $15 per hour minimum base entry-level pay, more flexible work schedules, parental leave benefits, career development support, and comprehensive wellness programs. In addition to offering all associates paid time off for volunteering in our local community, a flexible time-off program for exempt associates enables better work-life balance. The judges’ comments praised the company’s prominent initiatives: “Allianz Partners shows a 360-approach to becoming an employer of choice. Inclusion, engagement and generous workforce programs—clearly an impressive employment package at all levels of the organization that support meaningful engagement and positive business outcomes.” “It’s a great honor to be recognized by a prestigious organization like the Stevie® Awards as a top employer in our industry. When we show genuine commitment to our employees’ wellbeing with generous benefits and a rewarding workplace, we enable our associates in Richmond and Petersburg to thrive and achieve success in their careers,” said Denise Marshall, Chief Human Resources Officer, Allianz Partners. For additional information about employment benefits and current job openings, visit AllianzRVA.com/careers. More than 550 nominations from organizations in 21 nations were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of HR-related categories, includingAchievement in Workplace Safety & Compliance, Employer of the Year, andHuman Resources Team of the Year, among others. Fifty professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners. “The judges were very impressed with the quality of entries we received in the third annual Stevie Award for Great Employers. The dedication these Stevie-winning organizations have to providing great workplaces for employees was evident in each nomination,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. Details about the Stevie Awards for Great Employers and the list of 2018 Stevie winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/HR. Allianz Global Assistance USAA leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 35 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visitallianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook atFacebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS. About the Stevie AwardsStevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 nominations each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards atwww.StevieAwards.com. *Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, or Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies (One Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH 43215-2200), under Form Nos. SRTC 2000 and NSHTC 2500, each rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., depending on state of residence. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. “Stevie,” “American Business Awards,” and “International Business Awards” are registered marks, belonging to Stevie Awards, Inc., which is a Non-Sponsor. Marks not owned by AGA Service Company or its affiliates are used without permission. Non-Sponsors do not sponsor or endorse AGA Service Company, its affiliates, or this advertisement, and AGA Service Company and its affiliates do not sponsor or endorse any of the Non-Sponsors.
Kolkata: The West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) (Repealing) Bill, 2019, which was supposed to be passed in the Assembly on Thursday got postponed after opposition leaders demanded further discussion.The matter would be taken up in the Assembly on September 3. Main objectives of the proposed bill is to fill up the non-public service commission posts in various state government establishments within a very short span of time. Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently said that various vacant posts in government departments would be filled up soon. She has also given an impetus to the government to recruit candidates in the vacant posts thereby bridging the gaps which are still there in the system. The main motto of the Chief Minister is to ensure that not a single person is deprived of various social schemes extended by the state government. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe state government felt the need of reviving the erstwhile West Bengal Staff Selection Commission established under the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission Act, 2011 which was subsequently repealed by the government in 2017 through the implementation of the West Bengal Staff Selection Commission (Repealing) Act, 2017. The opposition party MLAs demanded a further discussion on the bill when it was tabled in the House citing some technicalities regarding the bill. The matter was finally postponed for further discussion on next Tuesday.