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Into the heart of the art of a book cover (14:16)IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) A gathering of book lovers here celebrated the art of book cover designing and recognised the foremost practitioners of the craft. Cutting across genres and languages, the longlist of Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize was unveiled over the weekend and also saw experts throw light on the subject -- with some fine wine and country music to keep one company.

Returning the favour: A unique educational experiment in Madhya Pradesh's tiger country (IANS Special Series) (12:00)
By Kushagra DixitIANS Photo Service
Mukki (Madhya Pradesh), Dec 9 (IANS) Six-year-old Vinannya Uikey wakes up excited every morning to go to school where she can not only learn new things about the world but also play with fascinating toys. What's different about Vinannya compared to the millions of other school children in India is that she belongs to the adivasi (aboriginal) Baiga tribe for whom playschools are an unknown concept. And what's different about the school is that it is situated bang in the middle of a famous tiger reserve in central India and its students comprise children of both indigenous tribes and forest officers.

Sundarbans women lead the way in making dairy farms organic (Environmental Feature) (12:08)
By Sahana Ghosh
Chowrangi (West Bengal), Dec 7 (IANS/Mongabay) Over 30 women have gathered to deliver milk at a one-room milk collection centre here. It's a daily rendezvous for this clique belonging to a women-run dairy cooperative in the Sundarbans delta in south Asia that is inching its way to becoming 100 percent organic.

Kunming: The city of eternal spring (Travelogue) (12:06)
By Aroonim BhuyanIANS Photo Service
Kunming (China), Dec 7 (IANS) Covered with blossoming flowers and lush vegetation and blessed with a salubrious climate throughout the year, the city of Kunming, the capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, is a tourist's delight.

Of a kingmaker, farmland fiction and start-ups (IANS Books This Weekend) (11:26)IANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Read a biography charting Mamata Banerjee's rise from a student leader to the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal and how she could be a possible "kingmaker" after the 2019 general elections; take in a novel set against the backdrop of old Punjab, early California and revolution-torn Mexico; read a fictional tale that pits debt-laden farmers against the political forces at work; and finally, get a peek into the world of start-ups in India.

Content-starved digital platforms help revive interest in Braj sangeet (Feature) (13:06)
By Brij Khandelwal
Mathura/Vrindavan, Dec 5 (IANS) Thanks to new digital platforms and the rising popularity of YouTube channels, Braj folk songs and classical singing traditions, which were threatened by loss of patronage, are back in demand and are witnessing a happy revival.

How their jewellery-making skill is empowering women of the forest (IANS Special Series) (12:10)
By Kushagra DixitIANS Photo Service
Bandha Tola (Kanha Tiger Reserve), Dec 2 (IANS) Dependent on the forest for their day-to-day needs, women of Bandha Tola faced an uncertain future when their whole village, along with hundreds of other such Baiga tribal villages, was moved out of their traditional habitat in the jungles of this famous tiger reserve in central India's Madhya Pradesh state. But today they feel empowered and foresee a bright future for their forest-dependent tribe and cherish the fact that, despite being relocated, their culture and traditions are alive and flourishing.

Pregnancy is safe for breast cancer survivors: Experts (11:00)
By Rachel V. Thomas
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Breast cancer, the most prevalent cancer among Indian women, cannot deter motherhood, if intervention takes place at the right moment, say health experts. According to them, pregnancy is possible for women survivors of breast cancer -- it does not increase risk of recurrence and neither does it cause any harm to the baby.

Five books to look forward to in December 2018 (11:38)
By Saket SumanIANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) It's the last month of 2018, a year that saw the release of several impressive novels and nonfiction works on subjects of contemporary interest. December will ring the final bell before the arrival of literary festivals, and these new offerings across various subjects and tastes will keep you company.

Cancer survivor is 1st Peruvian woman motorcyclist to compete in Dakar Rally (03:16)IANS Photo Service
Lima, Nov 27 (IANS) Gianna Velarde is set to become the first Peruvian woman to compete in the Dakar Rally in the motorcycle category, an enormous challenge she could never have imagined when, at age 15, she rode a motorcycle for the fist time -- and there found the strength to overcome cancer.

A philanthropist's mission: Giving dignity to the homeless and abandoned (IANS Special Series) (13:00)
By Mudita GirotraIANS Photo Service
Gurugram, Nov 25 (IANS) When his single mother could not take care of the mentally-challenged boy Rinku, she brought him to a homeless shelter in Bhandwari village on the outskirts of bustling Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon), one of India's fastest-growing cities and home to scores of multinational companies in glittering glass and steel towers. When the six-month pregnant Sarita Devi was abandoned by her husband, she was also sent to this open-to-all shelter by a court.

A family affair: Winter falls on a Himalayan village (Travelogue) (11:24)
By Saket SumanIANS Photo Service
Shanag (Himachal Pradesh), Nov 25 (IANS) A tiny coronation bridge over the swift Beas river connects the Manali-Leh highway to a pristine and quaint village caught in a time warp. Barely a hundred-odd houses and a handful of home-stays comprise Shanag village, a hidden destination in the Himalayas where the residents live in the lap of nature, meditate and reflect upon life amid all its grandeur.

Of little things, accidental parenthood, graphic narratives and some poems (IANS Books This Weekend) (11:02)
New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Read through the delightful tale of a young couple who learn how to find meaning in "a little love, a little togetherness and a little happiness"; flick through an amusing journey of accidental parenthood making life topsy-turvy for a mother who did not expect to be expecting; dive into an anthology of graphic narratives; and finally, relish some fresh poems by a young novelist-poet.

Can we bank on seed banks? Priority should be to conserve natural habitats (Environment Feature) (12:30)
By Sahana Ghosh
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS/Mongabay) India, which has "great expertise" in the conservation of genetic resources of crop plants through seed banking, is now "rapidly" working to extend the safeguards to difficult-to-conserve (recalcitrant) seeds of wild species, threatened species, forestry and agroforestry trees.

A bunch of old letters and why letter-writing holds relevance (12:14)
By Saket SumanIANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) We live in an age when technology drives most of what we do in our day-to-day lives. And blessed as we are with tech boons such as smartphones and instant messaging applications, the subtle art of writing letter may seem outdated. But when it comes to giving expression to your deepest thoughts, words pulsing through electronic cables seem inadequate -- which is perhaps why letters retain their relevance and may never go out of fashion.

Child-friendly learning centres bring hope to kids in Kolkata's red-light areas (November 20 is Universal Children's Day) (11:16)
By Neola DSouza
Walking through the bylanes of a red-light area can be quite unnerving. It took a while to get to the place as the cab driver checked not once but thrice with me if I had the correct address. He later told me in Bengali: "Madam, this is a red-light area, please be careful." I politely explained that I was aware, and was visiting a Child-Friendly Learning and Recreation Centre (CFLRC) run by an NGO, World Vision India, located there.

Phool Waalon Ki Sair: An offering of communal unity at altar of secular India (IANS Special Series) (12:24)
By Siddhi JainIANS Photo Service
New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) When Syed Fariddudin Qutbi, the "khadim" (attendant) of the shrine of 13th century sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki in Meharauli, stepped out after offering a floral "chhatra" (a flower-embellished umberella) at the ancient Yogmaya temple located at a stone's throw from the dargah, all he had to say was that in the small temple sanctum sanctorum suffused with a strong incense and jasmine fragrance, he felt the same tranquility and a "magnificent, invisible power" he feels at the dargah.

Satellite-tagged Amur falcon killed in Manipur (Environmental Feature) (11:34)
By Sahana GhoshIANS Photo Service
Dimapur, Nov 16 (IANS/Mongabay) Days after it was satellite-tagged and released, an Amur falcon "Manipur", eponymously named after the northeast Indian state bordering Myanmar, was allegedly shot down by unknown miscreants at a roosting site during its migratory passage through the region.

Water access and sanitation shape birth outcomes and earning potential (12:02)
By Sahana Ghosh
Kolkata, Nov 12 (IANS/Mongbay) Spending more time per day fetching water increased Indian women's risk of delivering a low birth-weight baby, a study has said.

How a Muslim trust is redefining charity, making it meaningful (IANS Special Series) (11:46)
By Mohammed ShafeeqIANS Photo Service
Hyderabad, Nov 11 (IANS) There is no dearth of generous people in society who want to do something for the less fortunate, but their help often doesn't reach the needy or gets misappropriated. To make charity a satisfying experience that brings the intended results to both benefactor and beneficiary, a Hyderabad-based group, Safa Baitul Maal, is showing the way by creating and using data to link the rich with the poor and needy.

Sydney: A vibrant city at ease with multiculturalism (Travelogue) (13:50)
By Prashant Sood
New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) One of the abiding pleasures of travel is that it never ceases to surprise. And so it was in Sydney when on my way to catch a bus I heard a name that rung a bell -- Dave Sharma. It turned out to be a fascinating story of a recent trip that gave a glimpse into Australia's vaunted multiculturalism.

Empowering children to be future civic leaders (IANS Special Series) (12:06)
By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) While kids of their age were busy playing, 12-year-olds Jatin, Vikas and Ritesh joined hands to resolve the problem of garbage disposal and the unhealthy living conditions in their working-class neighbourhood in Shiv Vihar in north Delhi. At the same time, Aatrey, another pre-teen from Nilothi Nangloi, took the initiative to solve the problem of an unsafe road after his aunt met with an accident.

The mountain that artists seek to climb -- and how to reach the summit (Book Review) (11:10)
By Saket SumanIANS Photo Service
Book: Art matters; Author: Neil Gaiman; Illustrator: Chris Riddell; Publisher: Headline/Hachette India; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 112

For Microsoft, AI is all about empowering 1 bn people with disabilities (11:54)
By Nishant AroraIANS Photo Service
Redmond (Washington State), Oct 29 (IANS) Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the big buzzword in the world of technology as it promises to change the way we live and interact with devices.

Unique Mumbai cafe helps staffers overcome disabilities (IANS Special Series) (12:06)
By Quaid NajmiIANS Photo Service
Mumbai, Oct 28 (IANS) It was barely three months ago that a US-returned medico started a small cafe in upscale Juhu as a unique venture -- employing mostly those who suffer from various developmental disabilities. Now, Cafe Arpan has gained huge popularity -- among patrons, many of whom have become regulars, and among the 19 specially-abled staffers who love to slog 30 hours over six days a week to make this trendsetter eatery a super success.

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