Water of Life!
Once, a poet famously said, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” Water is one of the most precious resources on the planet, and yet it is least understood and least valued. Drinking water is even more misunderstood, considering how it supports the body on an everyday basis. The water we drink can be acidic, neutral or alkaline. The natural state of water is neutral even though it is rare to find it. Awareness and constant research have made many Indians learn the benefits of consuming ‘alkaline water.’
Aakash Vaghela, who is a fitness and sports enthusiast, was aware of it and wanted to come up with healthy water that would boost our immunity. Finally, he came up with mineral-rich alkaline water that would meet one’s daily need for minerals and trace elements, while simultaneously boosting hydration.
Aakash started selling this as packaged black drinking water under the brand name ‘Evocus H2O,’ in 2019 June, from Vadodara, Gujarat. He says, “Evocus H2O is no ordinary water; it is revolutionary alkaline water that gets its unique black colour from nature’s 70 plus minerals, sourced from the depths of the earth, from a rare deposit in Texas, USA.
The 70 plus minerals and eight plus pH balances the body’s pH levels, reduces acidity, and provides superior hydration, better detoxification, improved metabolism, and heightened alertness throughout the day and day after.
This black alkaline water has an abundant amount of oxygen dissolved in it. The minerals present in the black alkaline water help in the effective breakdown of the various nutrients present in the food we consume. This ensures that our body actively absorbs all the goodness of the food we eat, leaving us with a strong and robust immune system. It is also a well-known reliever of heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux due to its alkaline nature.
Evocus H2O has reached 25 cities across India in just one and a half year. Although Evocus H2O is like any other packaged mineral water which can be consumed by one and all, countless experts from the fields of sports, fitness, and nutrition have taken a special liking towards it. Cricketer Hardik Pandya and actor Tiger Shroff to be two of these eminent personalities.
A few months ago, Aakash’s team got a call and order for Evocus H2O from someone in Nagaland who had been suffering from acidity for years and had been unable to cure it completely. After a few bottles of Evocus H2O, he claimed that he felt healed. He was eager to spread the word, so he ordered 600 boxes, and before the bottles could arrive, he managed to sell them all by putting up a huge hoarding advertising Evocus H2O and its benefits.
Milk of human kindness
Today, consumers all over the world are divided into three categories: non-vegetarians, vegetarians, and vegans. Although the current scenario requires us to become vegans not only to reverse the damage done to our climate, environment, and animal kingdom but also to gain good health, most of us find it difficult to make the switch. Given our conditioned habits and patterns on one hand and our concern and conscience on the other, we juggle them with our level of guilt.
Milk, which every Indian child grows up consuming, is a prime product of dairy farming, which is a dominant source of cow exploitation. Jamsheer, a 25-year-old from Malappuram, Kerala, has taken the step to introduce kindness into his dairy farm. In his ‘semi hi-tech farm,’ Jamsheer has many facilities. “The cows have fresh water all the time through the automatic water bowl system installed at the farm. To reduce the heat in the farm, I have also installed ceiling fans and a mist unit cooling system. The cows can also rest on rubber mats spread on the floors,” he shares. The cows are fed with hybrid Napier grass grown in the farm, corn powder, bran, cotton seed cake, and a probiotic mixture. He says that the grass cultivation is a major factor that influenced the success of his farm.
Interestingly, Jamsheer has a special way to milk the cows better. He says, “After feeding the cows, I play the radio at my farm so that my cows will have a good resting time listening to music. This trick helps me get a better milk yield and reduces my effort.” The cows are allowed to graze around the 2.5-acre farm for exercise. For a new cow, he gives a quarantine period of three weeks to ensure their health and fitness. Timely vaccination is also ensured by the young entrepreneur, and the cows are insured through the government’s Gau Samridhi and Gau Samridhi Plus schemes.
The young farmer now owns 40 cows, including Jersey cross breed cows, Holstein Friesian cross breed cows, and many other breeds. He gets over 270-300 litres of milk per day, a large share of which is sold to Milma, which comes under the Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF). He also distributes the milk to shops and hotels and to villagers looking to buy farm milk.
His farm also includes a cow dung-processing unit and biogas plant for waste management and organic farming. Due to the proper waste management system, Jamsheer’s dairy farm is the first of its kind in the panchayat to get a government license and an award for best dairy farming.
Feluda’s Next Case
It’s been almost a year now since the novel coronavirus has plunged the whole world into darkness. Since the time it was first reported in China last year, it has been spreading across the globe like wildfire, and all the countries have been adopting various strategies to eradicate the virus.
An indigenously developed testing kit for the coronavirus named Feluda (after the fictitious detective in a series of novels written by Satyajit Ray) has been launched in the market. The paper-strip test was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research in September 2020.
At present, SARS-CoV-2 testing is conducted by an authorised laboratory in India, which takes up to 24 hours to share the results with you. However, with the arrival of Feluda, which is based on the gene-editing technology called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), one can get their results in less than an hour.
Feluda has been developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) and has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for a commercial launch. This is the first paper-based testing kit that has been launched by the TATA group in collaboration with the Apollo group of hospitals and will be available across all Apollo labs and associated hospitals.
With almost 2000 people having used this test kit, it was found that it has a 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity. Moreover, the best part about the Feluda paper strip is that the test results can be obtained in merely 40 minutes. This comes as a huge relief, given the fact that COVID-19 testing takes time and delays the process for a lot of people. Feluda will increase the number of tests carried out in a single day across a large group of people. The paper strip test is similar to a home pregnancy test kit where two blue lines indicate a positive result, while a single blue line means the test has returned negative. Also, no further RT-PCR-based confirmation is required for samples that are confirmed as positive or negative, an advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated earlier. However, the Feluda kit will not be available as an over-the-counter (OTC) kit and will need a phlebotomist for swab collection. Also, it is not approved for self-testing at home.
The Feluda paper strip test kit is now available in Delhi, NCR, and by year end, it is likely to be available across eight metros, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, and Ahmedabad.
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