Category Archives: tourism,

Global Punjabi Association to strengthen ‘Punjabiyat’ across the globe; promote language & culture

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairperson Iqbal Singh Lalpura who has been actively associated with issues relating Punjab and Punjabi community on Friday (today), held a Press conference to announce the formation of The Global Punjabi Association (GPA), with head quarter at the holy city of Amritsar and sub office in Delhi.

The objective of this society is to promote Punjabi and Punjabiyat. It is above any division and is simply uniting Punjabis world over to promote our language and culture.

Punjab has seen bad days which need no explanation. However, the Global Punjabi Association is only interested in doing positive work to promote brotherhood, industry, agriculture, education and sports . Of course Punjab is under the bad shadow of drugs, their number in central services is decreasing. Lalpura, a retired top cop with Punjab police had witnessed the dark days when terrorism was at it’s peak in Punjab.

Helping humanity to survive and escape from cancer is the mission of our President Sardar Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, who is the Chairman of World Cancer Care. The other organization, Humanity First, is already working in Punjab and has done unparalleled work during Corona in Punjab and is still promoting education and sports, under Sardar Ajayvir Singh Lalpura.

Dr Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal President of GPA, Global Ambassador of awareness against Cancer (Chairman World Cancer Care, UK), said “GPA would also take steps to devise a mechanism through traditional and collective wisdom for shaping behavior of Punjab youth in the best way so that they could contribute to developing Punjab, Punjabiyat, sports and education.”

“GPA would take quick steps to Protect and promote the interests of Punjab and Punjabis settled across the world. GPA would work simultaneously to redress the problems of Punjabis settled across the globe” he added.

We strongly feel that there are many issues pertaining to Punjabis, which include drug menace , unemployment and need attention and positive approach. The other main objective of formation of GPA is to take up issues pertaining to Punjab/Punjabis with concerned authorities/organizations/ governments in a peaceful, democratic and legitimate manner for their quick redressal.

Explaining further, Patron of GPA ,former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura, who is presently the Chairman of National Commission for Minorities, said “GPA would strive to protect and promote the rich spiritual, religious, ethical, educational, economic and cultural traditions of Punjabis world over. The Association would use all means to promote Punjabi language, literature and culture.”

“Apart from promotion, GPA would also encourage and support the development of agriculture, industry, entrepreneurship, service sector, health, education, economy & youth activities among other socio-economic aspects in Punjab and for all Punjabi communities across the word.” Lalpura added.

Lalpura rues that despite having brilliant brains, there are many Punjabi youngsters, who have not been able to clear competitive exams and are lagging behind due to lack of required proper and timely guidance. He said that GPA would take steps to provide requisite help and guidance to brilliant and deserving Punjabis for placement in competitive exams, services, entrepreneurship and other ventures.

Gautam Gambhir, Member, Former Indian Cricketer has also supported the vision of Global Punjabi Association and assured his full support. GPA has active support and participation of many top Punjabis.

The meeting was graced by the following people:

Dr Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal Global Ambassador (World Cancer Care UK), Sagar Mehta from Delhi, Exporter, Parvinder Singh, Social Worker from Delhi, Ravi Ranjan Singh, Jhatka Organization, Delhi, Osho Kalia, Environmentalist and Social Worker from Gurugram, Haryana, Gikinder Pal Singh, Social Worker from Delhi
Gurpreet Singh Rummy, Ranjeet Singh Juneja, Lawyer, Varun Gulati, Sports Promoter, Jaswinder Singh Dhillon, Former Vice Chancellor of Guru Kashi University, JP Singh Sahni, Educationist and Social Worker, Salil Mehta from Delhi, Exporter, Chetan Uppal, Industrialist, Arjun Marwah, Social Worker, Suraj Miglani, Builder, Gaurav Narang, Businessman, Ajayveer Singh, Social Worker, Rompy Bhatia, President, All India Furniture Association.

Nagaland Polls 2023: Young generation to vote on development and employment issue

Assembly elections will take place on February 27, 2023 for the 60-member Nagaland Legislative Assembly. The results will be declared on March 2. The term of the Nagaland Assembly will end on March 12.

184 candidates are in the fray, including 68 from the national parties and 72 from state parties. The magic figure required to form the government in the Nagaland Assembly is 31.

In the last elections, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) entered into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and formed the government in Nagaland after the 2018 Assembly elections, with backing from the Janata Dal (United) and an Independent.

In the last Assembly elections, the NDPP bagged 17 constituencies in the while the BJP and JD(U) had won 12 and 1 seat. The Naga People’s Front (NPF) had claimed 26 of the 58 seats it contested in the polls. In 2021, the NPF joined the ruling NDPP-led alliance to form an all-party government named United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

The NDPP and BJP have announced the same seat-sharing in the 2023 Assembly election. The NDPP has fielded candidates in 40 seats while the BJP is aiming to win the remaining 20 seats. 

Since last Assembly elections, the strength of NPF’s in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly has gone down after 21 of its MLAs led by former Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang defected to the NDPP in 2022. Currently, NPF has just four sitting MLAs in Nagaland.  

Devastation, tears and trauma marks Turkey and Syria after 7.8 quake, death toll may rise

On Monday, an earthquake of 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Richter scale had hit Turkey and Syria that killed over 600 people. Many injured, while hundreds have rendered homeless.

However, the death toll may rise as the debris are cleared. Rescue operations are taking place at an war footing. However, the rescue operations is being hampered at some places due to snow and inclement weather.

According to Raed Ahmed, the head of Syria’s National Earthquake Centre, called the quake was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre”. Over 300 locals have died in government-controlled parts of Syria, as well as the northern areas held by pro-Turkish factions. At least 284 people died in Turkey, Vice President Fuat Oktay said, More than 2,300 people had been injured and that search and rescue work was continuing in several major cities.

The earthquake struck predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey near Syria, a country gripped by more than a decade of violence that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

The exact intensity of the damages will known after the rescue operations are over. The number of deaths too will be known only after the rescue operations are complete as many people might be trapped under the debris. While some may be alive as miracles were seen in the past too. Locals also fear of fresh after shocks as it’s natural to have after shocks hitting the quake prone region. Locals in the region are scared, terrified and under trauma recalling the devastation.

Heavy pouring could not deter enthusiastic soldiers from Beating Retreat

The Beating Retreat ceremony took place in Delhi as per the military protocols and decorum amidst Delhi the first rainfall of the winter that has created a chilling spell in the northern belt including Delhi NCR. However, the much hyped biggest drone show had be cancelled due to the inclement weather.

As per protocol, the Breathing Retreat ceremony was graced by President Droupadi Murmu, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. This was the first Republic Day and Beating Retreat ceremony for the President who had taken over the office a few month back. The occassion was also graced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah alongwith council of ministers and other dignitaries. Also present the three chief of Army, Navy, and Air Force apart from Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Also present were the enthusiastic public who had gathered to watch the show. People were seen wearing raincoats, windcheater and carried umbrellas.

Tunes based on Indian classical music were the flavour of the Beating Retreat ceremony. For the first time, a 3-D anamorphic projection was planned on the facade of North Block and South Block during the grand event at Vijay Chowk on Sunday, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Elaborate traffic arrangements for the Beating Retreat ceremony were made by the Delhi Traffic Police who had also issued advisory asking people to avoid certain roads predominanty, those roads in and around the venue of Beating Retreat ceremony. Traffic restrictions were imposed in place from 2 pm to 9.30 pm Sunday. Earlier in the day, a full dress rehearsal for the ceremony was also held at Vijay Chowk.

‘Bharat Parv’ showcases historical legacy of India, Visit Red Fort to be a part of this Extravaganza

The six – day mega event “Bharat Parv” was inaugurated today at Red Fort Lawns by the Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER GK Reddy.

Reddy unveiled  Incredible India digital calendar of Ministry of Tourism at the event. The theme of the Calendar for 2023 is “The Incredible Festivals of India.”

On the occasion, the minister, said that the celebration of Republic Day today will give new energy to the young population to work for the betterment of the country. He also added tjat Bharat Parv fulfils the spirit of  Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat as artists, handicrafts, food stalls from all over India are present here. He further added that one can see mini India through Bharat Parv. He also informed that Bharat Parv this year is promoting Millets and is also showcasing achievements of different ministries.

On the occasion Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Arvind Singh said that this year’s Bharat Parv brings together the vibrant rich culture of Bharat with participation by over 30 States/UTs & 20 Central ministries at this historical place.

The six – day mega event “Bharat Parv” event is being organized by the Government of India from 26th to 31st January, 2023, as part of the Republic Day Celebrations.

Ministry of Tourism has been designated as the nodal Ministry for the event, the highlights of which include showcasing of the best Republic Day Parade tableaux at the venue, cultural performances by the Zonal Cultural Centres as well as cultural troupes from States/ UTs, a pan – India Food Court and a pan – India Crafts Bazaar with 65 handicraft stalls. The event  is  open to general public from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on 26th January, 2023 and from 12 noon to 10:00 p.m. from 27th onwards to 31st January, 2023. The event is expected to attract a large number of visitors on all days.

Bharat Parv was previously held in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 ( and virtual in the year 2021) at the Lawns and Gyan Path in front of Red Fort. The physical event is being organized after a gap of 2 years at the Lawns and Gyan Path in front of Red Fort. The event would have Food Festival, Handicraft mela, folk and tribal dance performances, Performances by cultural troupes, Display of Republic Day Tableaux, illumination of Red Fort etc. Branding and promotion of Dekho Apna Desh, Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, G20 and Mission LIFE would be undertaken during the event.

The six-day event will have the following major components:

Regional Cuisine Display and Sale

  • Food Court
  • Stalls by State govt.
  • Stalls by IHM’s
  • Stalls by Food Vendors
  • Food Demonstrations (Focused on Year of Millets)

Handicraft & Handloom

  • Stalls by DC, Handloom
  • Stalls by State governments
  • Stalls by KVIC, TRIFED

Culture & Heritage

  • Choreographed performances by Zonal Cultural Centre (Ministry of Culture)
  • Performance by States/UTs
  • Special Performances
  • Display of Tableaux

Achievements & Flagship Programme of Central Government Ministries and Organizations

Activity Zone

  • Nukkad Natak
  • Quizzes
  • Painting Competitions
  • Involvement of Tourism Yuva Club, School/College
  • Experiential Zone

Nepal Plane Crash: 70 dead, rescued passengers critical

On Sunday, an ill-fated 9N-ANC, ATR-72 500 of Yeti Airlines, crashed while landing at Pokhara International Airport. The plane which was on its way from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International, Kathmandu to Pokhara. 70 passengers are dead. Two passengers (Nepali national) were rescued from the debris. Both are fighting for Life at a hospital in Nepal.

There were 68 passengers and four crew members. All the five Indian passengers are dead. According to an advisory issued by Yeti Airlines – Four crew members in the aircraft. Among the 68 passengers, 53 from Nepal, five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans, one Argentine, one Australian, one Irish, and one French.

Nepalese Prime Minister Prachand first took stock of the situation at control room, subsequently went to accident site. One day state mourning has been declared across Nepal in the respect of the dead.

Helpline numbers were issued –

However, actual reason behind the accident will be ascertain only after the Black Box is found.

This accident has once again raised a big question mark on the safety and security of the passengers who travel by airlines in Nepal. The ill-fated plane 15 years old.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Pained by the tragic air crash in Nepal in which precious lives have been lost, including Indian nationals. In this hour of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families.”

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has called the Nepal plane crash a “tragic incident” and offered sympathies to the families of the victims. Scindia said, “It is a tragic incident and my sympathy is with family members of all the passengers. I also sympathise with the passengers who survived the plane crash.”

The ATR72 is a widely used twin engine turboprop plane manufactured by a joint venture of Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo. Yeti Airlines has a fleet of six ATR72-500 planes, according to its website.

The real reason of accident will be clear only after Black Box is recovered.

Entire north-India reeling under severe cold wave, mercury dips to 1.5 degrees Celsius in Delhi NCR

North India is reeling under severe cold. Intense cold wave are being witnessed across the region. From Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan and Punjab to Delhi NCR, the normal life has been disturbed due to intense cold wave. Parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh apart from Jammu and Kashmir region are having tourism booming with tourists poring in from all over the world to enjoy the winters. Many of these places are having winter carnivals, and festivals like ski and ice skating. Tourists are also enjoying the snow fall and play with the snow by making snowman.

People in order to beat the cold weather are seen sitting by the fire especially during the wee hours and late evening or night. These poor people regard this as a luxury and gather woods, wood dust all through the day. Well, life is even harder for those who reside or are compelled to stay on the roads and pavements. Though there are numerous ‘rain basera’ (night shelters) but not all get an accommodation owing to crowd. In some the people are required to provide details which for them is not possible as on average are either street urchins or vagabonds.

Entire north India including Delhi NCR is reeling under thick fog alongwith smog that is seen hovering all over the city. The travel has become slow as there is near zero visibility. Huge traffic jams are witnessed on the highways and flyovers.

Delhi, on Saturday with the minimum temperature in parts of the capital plunging to a bone-chilling 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station, logged a minimum temperature of 2.2 degrees Celsius lower than that of most places in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and some hill stations in Jammu and Kashmir.

NCW Chairperson Lalpura joins Jain community protesting against conversion of Shri Sammed Shikharji Hill into tourism hub

Country wide protest is taking place among the Jain community against the decision by the Jharkhand state government to convert the iconic Jain pilgrimage site Shri Sammed Shikharji Hill into an eco-tourism hub. The people of the community across India are raising their voices against the decision as they say it’s a place of worship and tourism hub would turn the place into a commercial place. There is also an apprehension that the place will lose its sanctity as many unwanted elements may spoil the place by consuming non-vegetarian food and alcohol.

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairperson, Iqbal Singh Lalpura, on Tuesday visited Shree Digambar Jain Mandir, Karkardooma, East Delhi on December 31, 2022. Two Jain community representatives were fasting in protest against the decision. Lalpura, deputed Joint Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, A Dhanlakshmi to visit the place after hearing their problems.

This decision has hurt the religious sentiments of the Jain community all over India. The visit was in response to numerous requests received by the Jain community to stop the conversion of Shri Sammed Shikharji into a tourism hub. The NCM Chairperson informed that the Commission has already asked the Jharkhand government to consider the demand of Jain community members.

The NCM has taken cognizance of the representations and has decided to hold a hearing on 17.1.2023. The Commission has summoned the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Chief Secretary of Jharkhand.

Next 40-days crucial for India as COVID cases increasing at fast pace, says Union Health Minister

COVID is once again spreading its uncanny paws across the globe. China has already reported a large number of positive cases including deaths. The situation in China is grave and people are scared as the new variant of COVID is on the prowl. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued am advisory stating WHO will keep a close eye on the developments on China and will take adequate action after taking stock of the situation. United of States of America (USA) too has issued an alert on travelers.

Other countries too that witnessed a massive outbreak previously have taken up the recent jolt seriously and are mulling over issuing strictures making COVID protocols mandatory.

Back home in India, the situation at present is not that grave but Union Health Ministry has sounded an alert. Earlier, on Tuesday, Health Ministry conducted a mock drill across the country which was attended by the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya himself. Talking to the media, the minister said the situation is not grave but there is a need to be more careful, as the saying goes, precaution is better than cure and people must follow the COVID protocols – Wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing. “We are not trying to scare people but it’s an initiative to make people aware of the situation which is not serious at the moment but may turn serious any moment. However, there will be less possibility of pandemic if people take precautions”, said Mandviya who himself was at Delhi’s Safdurjung Hospital to take stock of the COVID preparedness.

With China witnessing a steep increase in the number of COVID cases due to coronavirus variant B.F7, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said the next 40 days would be crucial for India, as it might see a surge in infections in January. There are cases pouring in where travelers have been detected with COVID positivity in Kolkata, Odisha, Bihar, and Delhi. This has increased the fear of COVID more and on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry has issued a few advisories:

(1) Anybody who travels to India from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore will have to show the the COVID tests reports.
(2) Filling up of ‘air suvidha’ forms and 72-hour-old RT-PCR tests could be made mandatory from next week for passengers coming from China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
(3) On arrival the passengers will have to undergo a RT-PCR test at the airport.
(4) If the person is found to be positive then he or she will be sent to quarantine.
(5) The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended that doctors receive the fourth dose of the COVID vaccine, but the Union Health Ministry has requested data from NTAGI before making a policy decision.

According to a statement released, the ministry said the average daily cases between October 7-13 were 2,408 (1.05%), which later reduced to 153 (0.14%) between December 16-22.

Christmas! Santa Claus! Down Memory Lane…

“shokaale uthey dekhbo Santa Claus ki diechey, kokhun je aashbe…ghumeye pori tai dekha ei hoyenaa” (After waking up in the morning will see what Santa Claus gifted this year…would have seen him but always fall asleep). Basking in the nostalgia on Christmas morning. Today, I can’t stop myself from smiling recalling these words but every Christmas morning I would run to my parents showing them what Santa had left the previous night. I would always get my gifts under the pillow as I never kept the Socks. Well, I am sure on average we all have some experience and many after reading this will also bask in the nostalgic memory. The tradition goes on, yesterday it was us, today the kids who will have the same feelings as they grow up. This will go on…and on…

While I was thinking of these nostalgic memories standing at the window and trying to cherish the cold winter Christmas morning, I saw a small girl decked up at Christmas best excited to show her mother what she has received from Santa. Her mother was listening to her innocently with big eyes as if she knew nothing. Indeed a sweet moment. Perhaps the family was going for a Christmas day out and the mother-daughter were waiting for the father. This tiny tot has no idea that her Santa Claus whom she was so eager to meet was standing beside her.

I don’t know about you but I recall running to my parents after waking up excited to show the gift or gifts I received from Santa the previous night. When my parents would ask did I see Santa this time, I would lament and tell them I could not see as I was asleep and then would take the resolution that next time I will surely see him and thank him. My parents smile but the next time never came and I could never see Santa who came with a big sack full of gifts. I was told Santa comes on a sledge only after we are asleep. I can’t help laughing on myself as I too believed and did not question how can Santa come on his sledge in Delhi where there is no snow. Why we do not stay such innocent all through our lives.

One fine morning we grow up to know our parents are our Santa Claus. I often hear today’s kids are mature enough. They know what we did not know or were told. True and I appreciate this but at the same time, I feel there are certain things which they should know as they grow up. Knowing who Santa in real is may be a small thing but that moment to find gifts under the pillow or inside the socks holds the biggest treasures of life. These moments fill us with the nostalgia that provides the energy to live and cherish life. These special moments make our childhood memories so special…so nostalgic…

Thank you, Maa Baba, for being the Santa Claus…basking in the nostalgia on Christmas morning…