‘Covid Brought A Seachange In Design & Architecture Of Housing Units’

Salil Kumar, who is associated with an NCR-based real estate group, says adaptability to the changing lifestyle is vital for the realty segment. His views:

Covid-19 brought significant changes in various facets of life. It affected livelihoods, businesses and social interaction. Those who adapted to the new changes survived losses even as many others were forced to shut shop. Being associated with the real estate sector for many years, I can speak about how architecture and urban design were impacted with post-pandemic realities.

The pandemic altered the way people worked. A large number of office workforce was compelled to leave the office models and adopted work from home or WFH. It has become an established norm for professionals whose work can be executed through a digital network efficiently. And this comprises a huge segment.

Builders and developers realized the new requirements and transformed the design of high-rise buildings that made them adaptable to current and future needs. We saw a sharp rise in demand for homes with work-from-home facilities. The need for homes with separate office areas is anticipated to increase as the new waves of virus surge and subside. It is anticipated that projects with bigger configurations, or which include an extra area that can be converted into a small office space, will be desired. Investors have shown interest in initiatives that provide office spaces or club concepts for working residents.

IT professionals are now looking for residential buildings that provide a functional setup for their remote work needs. This shift has led to an increase in demand for housing units that incorporate home offices, workstations, specialized furniture and other amenities required for a productive workspace. Developers have recognized this trend and started designing buildings that cater to these emerging needs.

ALSO READ: ‘Safety Audit Of NCR High-Rise Buildings A Must’

Developers now focus on creating spaces that provide a sense of private workspace within the apartment, specifically for those working from home. These customized workspaces are equipped with necessary infrastructure, including high-speed internet connectivity, ergonomic seating, and essential office equipment, to provide the perfect environment for remote work. Additionally, residential clusters have started incorporating shared office spaces in their designs, which provide residents with office-like workspaces within communal areas of a building.

Flexibility is another vital aspect that developers have started to incorporate in high-rise building designs, like multifunctional rooms that can adapt to different requirements. These spaces can be transformed from conventional living spaces to workspaces and even recreational areas. There are convertible spaces like Murphy beds, extending tables, wall-mounted bookshelves, and movable cabinets, which can be rearranged according to specific needs.

Health and well-being have also become critical aspects of building design. Architects and developers are now putting a lot of emphasis on interior spaces, which ensure adequate ventilation, access to natural light, and an abundance of greenery. The introduction of advanced air filtration systems and materials that are resistant to bacterial growth and contamination will certainly draw favourable response from the buyer. Community spaces like gyms and recreational zones need to be more spacious in accordance with social distancing. 

In conclusion, the pandemic created a drastic shift in work culture, and developers have responded by altering the design and layout of high-rise buildings. Architects have also started emphasizing the design of interior spaces that ensure the health and well-being of the residents. While some high-rise buildings have already started accommodating these changing times, it is expected that more buildings will be designed to respond to emerging needs soon.

As told to Deepti Sharma

‘Business Slowly Back On Track, But Credit Line Not Revived’

Shashank Shekhar Shukla, a home décor professional in Uttar Pradesh, says small businessmen are still suffering from the impact of Covid waves

Covid and the hardships it caused are by and large gone from public memory. However, in much the same way as post-Covid health complications still persist, its impact on small and medium businesses is still felt bitterly. The pre-Covid practice of getting goods and products on generous credit lines among business houses is over and now we need to take all the products on cash. This causes a lot of stress on supply chain and liquidity.

I started my outlet in Lucknow about one year before the Covid pandemic broke out (and the concurrent lockdown). Our business supply chain enjoyed a long rope of credit facilities. For example, we used to pay them ₹50,000 as advance and used to get products and goods worth about ₹5 lakh on credit. The payments would be made in accordance to our sales. This was a routine practice in most of the businesses that I was familiar with.

However, once the Covid stuck, the cash flow in the market was severely impacted. Several businesses shot shops; several others diversified; trust deficit followed and everyone demanded on-spot cash transaction as a pre-condition for trading. Today, more than two years after the outbreak, even though business is limping back to normalcy, the credit lines no longer exist.

Shukla is appreciative of Govt measures for revival of economy

We have changed the practice of stocking products and showcasing them to our regular or potential clients. Instead, we only take procure the material as per the demand; this does affect the spontaneity and delivery speed but there is no solution. In a way, marketing has become more aggressive as first we have to create a demand for a specific product, make it look necessary for the customer, sell it, and then buy from the producer to deliver farther.

ALSO READ: ‘A Teacher’s Work Has Increased Twice As Much’

However, profits are reviving, in some cases have risen too, but not to the tune of the pre-Covid era. Although the hesitance of the buyer to invest in something new has slowly waded off, there is still a shortfall of about 20% in business profitability. Covid also brought a change in consumer mentality. Overspending has been reduced by the middle class; the consumer has become tight-fist; luxury spending has come down drastically.

From my own perspective, modular kitchens fitted with state-of-the-art appliances had become an inseparable part of urban housing. Every middle-class house demanded it. Now, even double-income households are spending cautiously over such facilities. Builders, understandably, are also cutting corners to bring down costs.

Having said that it is commendable how our economy has overall recovered in such a short time when several countries in the world are still struggling. The markets have started beating on its regular pulse thanks to the policies of the Union government and the RBI. Various sectors have fully revived and, in some cases, have bounced back. I take pride in such resilience of Indian businesses and state support.

I would like to request the government and its economic arms to kindly take steps to instigate confidence down the line (to small vendors and producers) so that small and medium buisnesses return back to the old practice (of getting credit). If the benefits of state measures reach to the last man in the assembly, it would be development in its truest form.

As told to Rajat Rai

Herd Immunity

‘India Has Attained Herd Immunity; No Need To Fear Covid Variants’

Dr AK Arun, a renowned public health scientist, rues that India lacks accurate data on treatment and deaths due to Covid, which would help us prepare for any future health emergency

There have been reports of a resurge of Covid cases in many countries. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of the new sub-variant XBB.1.5 is rising. This is more dangerous in spreading infection than the sub-variant BF.7.

There are ten different sub-variants of SARS-CoV-2 in India and BF.7 is one of them. So far, all of the four known cases of BF.7 in India have recovered by home isolation. They did not need to be admitted to the hospital. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization has expressed concern over XBB.1.5, another sub-variant of the omicron variant. There are more than 300 subtypes of Omicron itself, of which XBB.1.5 is a recombinant virus that can kill antibodies in the body. Therefore, there is a need to monitor the situation.

It is being said that the situation has worsened in China after the lockdown was completely lifted. Epidemiologists also blame China’s “zero Covid policy” for the resurgence of Corona infections in the country. Due to strict lockdowns, herd immunity in people could not be achieved.

India’s case is different. Over last two year when Covid infection was rampant, Indians have achieved herd immunity. Thus the chances of controlling it are high and there is no need to panic. Although the Omicron variant of Corona has been constantly mutating into new forms since last month, its deadly impact has not been witnessed in India so far.

ALSO READ: ‘If Covid Rebounds, All Must Be Treated Uniformly’

In the absence of proper protocol in the initial phase of the epidemic, doctors indiscriminately used steroids etc. Unnecessary medicines given to a Corona-affected patient were also black-marketed because the doctors themselves were not clear about what and why the medicine should be given. In most cases, the patient’s attendants were deciding whether to administer such a medicine to the patient, whatever the price. It is possible that post-Covid complications are the outcome of indiscriminate use of these medicines than the infection itself.

There have also been different viewpoints on the Covid deaths in India. Data related to any epidemic, especially a global epidemic, is important for any study. Since 2021, no concrete data has been available from government institutions. Atul Kotwal, executive director of the National Health System Resource Center, admits that there are problems with the Covid data. Dr T. Sundararaman, former executive director of the same institute, justifies the WHO figures in terms of deaths due to Corona in India. For, we lack an accurate mechanism to collect death data; only 21 per cent of the deaths are recorded by the registrar.

Another challenge is to handle the fear mongering about the Covid virus. The atmosphere of anxiety that has arisen among people post two Covid waves can lead to ill-will about certain people, places or communities. This can have serious impact on society as well the mental health of people. We must deal with this sense of stigma.

For this, we have to understand that the virus does not look at social class, race, community or nationality. In such cases, we should put ourselves in the shoes of an affected person or community. The dissemination of information must be fair and free of any bigotry.

(Dr AK Arun is a national award-winning Homeopathy practitioner and headed the research team of the Delhi Government on alternative cures for COVID-19)

As told to Abhishek Srivastava

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‘If Covid Rebounds, Govt Must Ensure Uniform Treatment For All’

PU Vinod Sharma, a travel agent based in Ghaziabad, recalls how he was refused bed by a big private hospital despite his critical condition but treated with care at a Govt-run facility

There has been news reports about the possibility of Covid-19 making a comeback in the form of a new variant. The mere mention of Covid-19 wave reminds me of the ordeal I faced during the deadly Delta wave in the summer of 2021. I can still rewind the terrible memories, the shock of it all, and the trauma.

After contacting the virus, when my oxygen level was dropping fast, I was rushed to one of the chains of a famous and flourishing private hospital near Delhi-Ghaziabad border. Most of the time, I was not even aware of what was going on. For 12 hours, I waited for a bed before being told to look for the treatment elsewhere. Though I was given an O2 cylinder, the oxymeter showed my oxygen levels to be between 40 and 50.

I was in a critical state. It was traumatic for my wife who was alone with me at that time of the night, with no clue where to take me; desperate and helpless, she rushed me from this hospital to that, all in vain. I presume thousands of other citizens were facing a similar nightmare, struck by the virus, even while everything seemed to be collapsing in the health care system.

A friend advised that I try the Delhi Government-run Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital nearby. My family rushed there while I was gasping for breath, almost unconscious. I was lucky to get a bed, and, perhaps, the best medical treatment I could get in those chaotic times.

Family selfie time for PU Vinod

Despite the tremendous pressure, 24X7, including the fear of an infection, the doctors, nurses and other staff worked overtime with the patients, tirelessly. I was given oxygen and full medical treatment – free of cost. After a few days I realized that they have saved my life from the brink of death, even while a big private hospital unethically told me to leave at midnight and fend for myself.

ALSO READ: ‘India Can Tackle Any Covid Wave Now’

The sanitation was of high standards despite the rush of patients crowding in; the toilets were reasonably clean, given the circumstances. Three wholesome meals were provided. There was always medical assistance close by. We could talk on phone or make video phone calls to our family members and friends, if need be. Food and other things could be provided to the staff by the families to be delivered to the patients – if needed.

This was a much better arrangement and the patients felt reassured both by the medical staff, as much as by the presence of family members and well-wishers – even if it be through a video call. This was unlike many private hospitals where patients were isolated and quarantined, not able to communicate with their families. They were also not being told about their medical status, leaving them in confusion and fear. In one hall of a private hospital there were 15 patients (I did not get a bed and was waiting) with only two nurses, who were overworked and tired.

I would strongly recommend the following in the case of another pandemic emergency — there should be no discrimination towards patients across their economic and social status. In the previous wave, some rich and powerful were able to, reportedly, ‘book’ beds in advance; the appropriation of hospital space with money power even while others might be of greater need of critical care. Indeed, there should be no paucity of beds in the first instance, but the influential just cannot buy of beds and critical care. Besides, all private hospitals, including those who were charging high amounts, should be held accountable by law.

Second, the treatment I got during such an emergency situation in a Delhi-government-run hospital, which did its best under many constrains, should be fine-tuned and implemented across the entire hospital system. That should be the finest model of critical healthcare applied across the country, and not only in big cities like Delhi. Indeed, once again, I take this opportunity to thank the brave and dedicated medical team of Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital in Delhi, with the deepest feelings of gratitude and respect.

As told to Amit Sengupta

WHO Asks China To Share Data On COVID

WHO Asks China To Share Real-Time Data On COVID Situation

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with Chinese officials and again asked for specific and real-time data on the epidemiological situation in China, according to the statement released by the WHO website.

In the high-level meeting, WHO asked for more genetic sequencing data, data on disease impact including hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and deaths — and data on vaccinations delivered and vaccination status, especially in vulnerable people and those over 60 years old.
WHO reiterated the importance of vaccination and boosters to protect against severe disease and death for people at higher risk.

China’s National Health Commission and the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration briefed WHO on China’s evolving strategy and actions in the areas of epidemiology, monitoring of variants, vaccination, clinical care, communication, and R&D.

During the meeting, WHO called on China to strengthen its clinical management and impact assessment, and expressed willingness to provide support in these areas, as well as on risk communications on vaccination to counter hesitancy. WHO also invited Chinese Scientists to engage more closely in COVID-19 expert networks including clinical management. WHO has invited Chinese scientists to present detailed data on viral sequencing at a meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution on January 3, according to the statement.

“WHO stressed the importance of monitoring and the timely publication of data to help China and the global community to formulate accurate risk assessments and to inform effective responses,” the statement reads.

Earlier, on Thursday, Ghebreyesus held a press conference and said that the global body remains concerned over the evolving situation in China as COVID-19 infections witness a new spike in the country after curbs were eased.

Tedros said that the WHO will continue to offer its support for clinical care and protect the shattering healthcare system of China.

“We remain concerned about the evolving situation and continue encouraging #China to track the #COVID19 virus and vaccinate the highest risk people. We continue to offer our support for clinical care and protecting its health system,” Tedros wrote on Twitter.

Regarding the travel restrictions and guidelines issued by several countries for travellers from China, Tedros said that due to the unavailability of an apt amount of information from China about the outbreak, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in such ways.

“In the absence of comprehensive information from #China, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in ways that they believe may protect their populations. #COVID19,” Tedros tweeted. (ANI)

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Kharge Rahul Gandhi

BJP Has Huge Washing Machine: Kharge

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said the ruling party at the Centre has a “huge washing machine” that can clean even the “biggest stains”.

During an event celebrating the 138th Foundation Day of Congress, the party chief said, “BJP has a huge washing machine that can clean even the biggest stains. When people are put into this machine they come out clean. We all have to fight together to save democracy. It is a government of liars at the Centre.”
Referring to the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Kharge said the mass outreach march was an attempt to counter the “hatemongering” by the BJP.

“Bharat Jodo Yatra is an attempt to fight against the atmosphere of hate being created by them (BJP) in the country. A notice was sent to Rahul Gandhi telling him that such events should not be held due to COVID-19 but Prime Minister is attending many public events,” added Kharge.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Congress chief targeted the BJP government during his address at the party headquarters in New Delhi and said the basic principles of India are being constantly attacked.

He said that society is being divided by hate, people are hit by price rises and unemployment but the government is not bothered.

“The basic principles of India are under constant attack. A pit of hatred is being dug all over the country. People are in trouble due to inflation, unemployment but the government does not care,” Kharge said.

He further appealed to people to join the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Indian National congress was founded on December 28, 1885, in Bombay (Mumbai). Every year on December 28, the party celebrates its foundation day.

Notably, Congress has got a non-Gandhi president after 24 years. In 1998, Sonia Gandhi was made congress president and in 2017 Rahul Gandhi was elected as the party chief but he resigned from the post after the poll debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. (ANI)

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Across Country Covid Response Mock Drill On Dec 27 | Lokmarg

India May See Surge In COVID In Mid-Jan: Sources

The next 40 days will be crucial as India may see a surge of COVID cases in mid of January, said Union Health Ministry sources on Wednesday.

The sources said the assessment had been made after analysing the previous trends of the COVID surge the country experienced.
As there have been reports of a surge in COVID cases in some countries, the operational readiness of health facilities is being reviewed in all States and Union Territories in case of another wave.

Notably, two passengers coming from Dubai tested positive for the COVID infection at Chennai airport on Wednesday.

“Two passengers who arrived from Dubai tested positive at the Chennai airport today. Both of them hailed from the Alangudi district of Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai. Their test samples have been sent to State Public Health Laboratory,” said Tamil Nadu Health Department said.

At least 39 international travelers have tested positive for COVID infection between December 24-26 as the random testing of international passengers arriving at the airports is being done

“The total number of international flights screened in the last three days ie December 24, December 25, and December 26 is 498. The number of samples collected for COVID-19 testing is 1,780. The cumulative number of samples collected is 3,994. The cumulative number of samples testing positive is 39 and the cumulative number of samples sent for whole genome sequencing is 39,” sources told ANI on Tuesday.

In light of the surge in COVID in some countries, hospitals across India conducted a Mock drill for COVID. The purpose of the mock drill was to evaluate COVID preparedness in terms of resources, protocol, and personnel.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya went to the Safdarjung Hospital to observe the Mock drill on Tuesday.

“To make sure there is not a COVID surge in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked us to be careful. The government is also preparing if the Covid cases increase. Today mock drills are conducted across Covid hospitals in the country to make sure people get proper treatment,” the Union Health Minister said at Safdarjung hospital.

This came after four international travelers from Myanmar tested positive for COVID infection at the Delhi airport.

Meanwhile, India recorded 188 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.

India’s active caseload currently stands at 3,468 which accounts for 0.01 percent of the total cases. The recovery rate currently is at 98.8 percent. As many as 141 recoveries were made in the last 24 hours, thereby taking the total recoveries to 4,41,43,483

The daily positivity rate stood at 0.14 percent, while the weekly positivity rate is at 0.18 percent.

A total of 90,529 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

On the COVID-19 vaccination front, the government data informed that over 220.07 crore vaccine doses had been administered so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive. (ANI)

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States, UTs Conduct Mock Drills To Check Covid Preparedness | Lokmarg

States, UTs Conduct Mock Drills To Check Covid Preparedness

On the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remain cautious and prepared to deal with any eventuality related to COVID-19, mock drills are being conducted on Tuesday in various hospitals across the country in view of rising covid-19 cases in some countries including China, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.

This comes after four international travellers from Myanmar tested positive for the Coronavirus infection at the Delhi airport.
“To make sure there isn’t a Covid surge in the country, PM Modi has asked us to be careful. The government is also preparing if the covid cases increase. Today mock drills are conducted across covid hospitals in the country to make sure people get proper treatment,” Mansukh Mandaviya said.

As there have been reports of a surge in Covid cases in some countries, the operational readiness of health facilities is being reviewed in all States and Union Territories in case of another wave.

BK Mohapatra, Director of Health Services in Odisha said, “Mock drill is being conducted today to see how prepared we are. We need to have full monitoring & keep all the logistics ready. There is excess oxygen in our state. If any shortcoming is found (during the mock drill), it will be addressed.”

Mock drills are conducted at (MCH) Hospital at Gandhi Nagar in Jammu, and Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya visited Safdarjung Hospital to review Covid Mock drill while Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian visited Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital in Chennai to review Covid Mock drill.

Four international travellers from Myanmar tested positive for the Coronavirus infection at the Delhi airport on Monday. The Genome sequencing of their samples is being done, the sources said.

“Four of the 690 Covid-19 sample tests of the International travellers from Myanmar at Delhi Airport have tested positive for the infection. The infected persons have been admitted at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) hospital in Delhi and their samples have been taken for genome sequencing,” people aware of the matter said.

Following the advisory ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’, issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has commenced random post-arrival testing for International arrivals at Delhi Airport, said Dr Gauri Agarwal, Founder of Genestrings Diagnostic Center on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, four foreign nationals who came to attend the religious preaching of Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama at Bihar’s Gaya have been found to be Covid positive raising fears of a surge in the number of Covid cases at the religious place. The foreigners have currently been isolated at a hotel in Bodh Gaya, said Civil surgeon Dr Ranjan Kumar Singh.

Recently, the IMA also issued an advisory and appealed to the public to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour with immediate effect.

“In view of the sudden surge of COVID cases in different countries, the Indian Medical Association alerts and appeals to the public to follow COVID appropriate behaviour with immediate effect.”

“As per available reports, nearly 5.37 lakhs new cases have been reported in last 24 hours from major countries like USA, Japan, South as per the available reports, nearly 5.37 lakhs new cases have been reported in last 24 hours from major countries like USA, Japan, South Korea, France and Brazil,” read the statement of IMA.

“Indian Medical Association appeals to the Government to upscale the preparedness for any such situation as seen in 2021 by issuing necessary instructions to the concerned Ministries and Departments to make available emergency medicines, oxygen supply and ambulance services,” it said.

The Indian Medical Association has also issued an advisory to its state and local branches to take necessary steps in case of a Covid outbreak in their areas. The IMA also appealed to all its members to work proactively as done in the past to combat the future outbreak.

The entire country is gearing up for a possible fourth wave of Covid-19, with the new Omicron sub-variant BF.7, which is said to be the reason behind the surge in Covid cases in China, being detected in India. (ANI)

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Medicine Donation During Covid

Medicine Donation During Covid-19 Increased Its Impact On Intnl Stage: UN Chief

Terming India a partner of choice of the UN, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that New Delhi has increased its impact on the international stage due to the donation of medicines, equipment, and vaccines at height of Covid-19 to neighboring countries.

Addressing the students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Guterres said, “From your donations of medicines, equipment, and vaccines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to your humanitarian assistance and development finance to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, you’re increasing impact on the international stage. India is today a partner of choice of the UN.”
UN Chief, who arrived in Mumbai today, said that India’s digital platform Cowin is the largest vaccination program for Covid-19 which is delivering more than 2 billion doses.

He further said that India was the first country to launch a single-country south-south cooperation support framework via the India-UN development framework partnership.

Talking about India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping, Guterres said, “India is also the biggest provider of military and police personnel to UN missions, including the first all-women UN police contingent to a peacekeeping mission. Over 200,000 Indian men and women have served in 49 peacekeeping missions since 1948, a remarkable contribution to peace in the world. “

“As a member of UNSC for two years, India’s contributed significantly to promoting multilateral solutions and addressing crises,” he added.

In the opening of his statement, UN Chief said that he is delighted to celebrate with India, the 75th anniversary of independence. He also congratulated India on its achievement over the last 75 years “as the world’s largest democracy and now as the fastest-growing major economy.”

Guterres said that India was a founding member of the United Nations. The drafters of the UN Charter took great inspiration from Gandhiji’s message of peace, non-violence, and tolerance.

Earlier, UN Chief paid tributes to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai.

“Terror is absolute evil. There are no reasons, no pretext, no causes, and no grievances that can justify terrorism. terrorism is absolute evil. It has no room in today’s world,” Guterres said while addressing the presser at Taj Hotel.

UN Chief further said, “I feel deeply moved to be here where one of the barbaric terrorist acts in history took place where 166 people lost their lives. I want to pay tribute to the victims they are heroes of all world and I want to express my deepest condolences to their families, to their friends, to the people of India, and to all those that are coming from other parts of the world that have lost their lives in Mumbai.”

He also said that “fighting terrorism must be a global priority for every country on earth and fighting terrorism is a central priority for the UN”.

On the very next day, in Gujarat (Ekta Nagar, Kevadiya), he will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of the Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) booklet, logo, and tagline.

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar would hold bilateral discussions with the UN chief on issues of global concern, and steps to deepen India’s engagement with the UN, including through India’s upcoming Presidency of the G20 and reformed multilateralism, added the release.

In Kevadiya, Guterres is expected to pay floral tributes at the Statue of Unity. He will also be visiting India’s first solar-powered village in Modhera (Gujarat) and other development projects in the area. UNSG will also be visiting the Sun Temple in Modhera, before departing for his onward destination. (ANI)

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Delhi Festival Season After 2-year Gap

Delhi: Sales See Rise In Festival Season After 2-year Gap

With the festive season inching closer and COVID restrictions in abeyance, sales saw a rise as markets in the national capital opened fully after a gap of two years due to the pandemic.

A crowd of people can be seen on the streets of the national capital, especially in markets for shopping for the upcoming festive season which includes festivals like Diwali. Dussehra was celebrated recently.

Chandni Chowk in Delhi is once again a witness to shopkeepers opening their shops without any restrictions and the customers thronging their shops in large numbers to get new clothes.

Expressing their ecstasy over the full-fledged business after a long time, the shopkeepers said that their sales have been boosted by nearly 200 percent compared to during the pandemic.

Speaking to ANI, a local shopkeeper said, “Business is going well with festivals around. Rush increased, sales boosted by almost 200 percent as compared to the pandemic.”

Some of the shopkeepers and wholesalers said that their business is doing well with the regular arrival of customers these days at the shop.

“During the festive season, our business ran very well. Our business was boosted by 200 percent from the pandemic. All going well nowadays. Customers come regularly but a few of them only do bargaining and go. We don’t know the reason. Despite all of that, our sales increased after the pandemic because the number of buyers in the market has increased,” said a shopkeeper.

A customer from Jabalpur said that she was happy with the reopening of markets and had come all the way to Delhi for shopping.

“I heard about Chandi Chowk and today I saw the reason why. I purchased a Lehenga here. The quality is very good. The same quality and brand, if I had purchased from some other place, it would cost nearly Rs 2 lakh, but we purchased it here for only Rs 30,000,” she said.

Another first-time visitor who came from West Bengal’s Murshidabad said that the items are cheap in the market and their quality is satisfactory. (ANI)

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