The white lioness
To an extent, veganism has put conscious eaters in a fix. Most of the dairy-based, lip-smacking delicacies have become off limits for them, and their vegan alternatives require plenty of effort to make at home. Yet, as human consciousness is evolving, so are the initiatives that offer professional services in the alternative sector.
White Cub is one of the first companies in India that makes vegan ice creams for ice cream lovers who want to enjoy their frozen desserts without any guilt.
Run by Sonal, who is also the director of Compassionate Food choices Pvt. Ltd, White Cub sold its first ice cream in 2013 and has since added more vegan products including cakes, ‘plant mylks,’ yoghurt, parfaits, and other dairy-free desserts in its repertoire. Sonal manufactures foods which are not only dairy-free but also cholesterol-free, trans-fat free, and gluten-free. To enhance the flavour of these foods, she uses real fruit pulp instead of their essence, which gives these ice creams their distinct taste. The products are sold at a reasonable price, defying the misconception that vegan products are more expensive than their normal counterparts. Her journey as someone wanting to help the ‘non-human animals’— a term she uses for animals—started at the age of four. “I remember having a dream, where a dog spoke to me, asking me to help his family. I had similar dreams consecutively for days, till I could no longer ignore them.” Having volunteered for Mrs Maneka Gandhi’s NGO during her college days before starting her own venture, Sonal has dedicated her entire life to this cause.
She believes that it is a myth that eating animals is the only way to have a well-balanced diet. “A vegan diet is full of proteins, nutrients, and all the essential elements required for a healthy body, so much so that they can even be in excess at times when done right,” she says.
“It’s a fact that the countries with maximum consumption of dairy products have the most cases of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis,” she adds.
Sonal, who comes from a vegetarian family turned vegan 12 years ago and her twin kids and husband too are vegan. She says that the mind, soul, and body are interrelated and a good (natural) diet is integral to a healthy spiritual life. She believes that 2019 is going the be a ‘Vegan Year’ as more and more people are making a switch towards a healthy way of living, demanding more plant-based products and realising the cruelty behind the scenes.
The healing power of music
A part of Indian culture since time immemorial, music is an age-old aspect of ayurveda, a holistic science that promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle. The ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, Samaveda is the Veda of melodies and chants.
Music therapy is a technique of psychotherapy that makes patients listen to and practise music. Though it cannot replace medical treatment, it is used as an alternative therapy to restore and maintain emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Doshas like Vata, Pitta, and Kapha can be controlled effectively through music therapy.
Dr Sumathy Sundar, PhD (Indian Music), MA (Applied Psychology), has been researching in the fields of music medicine and music therapy since 2002, Her vision was to integrate Indian traditional healing practices with modern clinical music therapy practice and scientifically endorse these applications by doing high-quality research. She developed the first professional training programmes in music therapy in India through the Chennai School of Music Therapy.
The right kind of music is effective in controlling negative emotions, blood pressure, restoring the functioning of the liver, curing headaches, relieving tension, and helping one relax and refresh.
Dr Sumathy Sundar developed the first hospital-based music therapy programme for a health sciences university, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, based in Pondicherry, with a plethora of courses ranging from a one-year PG Diploma to a PhD program in music therapy. An advocator of music therapy, she has a strong international presence through her regular national and international presentations on music therapy, winning international awards and recognition.
Music therapy is something that great composers of Indian classical music have attempted down the years. According to a legend the renowned composer of Carnatic music and music saint, Sri Tyagaraja, who was a devotee of Lord Ram brought back to life a dead person with his composition.
However, it is important to know the method and duration for which music therapy is to be administered. This knowledge can be obtained through regular experiments and experience. The first step towards this is the correct diagnosis of the disease and then the selection of the precise raga (Indian scale) that will be helpful. Procedure, discipline, and a systematic method will help achieve this goal.
Hebbagodi From stale to fresh
In the past few decades, developmental activities, unplanned urbanisation, and human interference have caused severe imbalance in the ecosystem. Waterbodies are the most stressed due to pollution, and a decline in their quality can easily be noticed.
But still, a few environment heroes always reach out to protect the natural systems that sustain our life.
Hebbagodi, a lake in the Anekal Taluk area of Bengaluru, had turned into a garbage dump, but two years ago, Biocon India and its subsidiary, Syngene International Ltd., took an initiative and joined hands with the government to rejuvenate the lake. Not only was the lake revived, it also found a spot in the Limca book of records for being India’s largest floating artificial island.
Heralding a new hope for other such waterbodies in India that need treatment for their revival, Pratima Rao, mission director of Biocon Foundation, said, “We constantly engage with the neighbouring communities to undertake various initiatives aimed at environmental management and ecological conservation. I believe this initiative will spur other corporates to come forward in implementing innovative solutions that pave the way for a better Bengaluru.”
With an area of 12,000 square feet, the lake was brought back to life by removing the toxic garbage accumulated over the years. The lake comprises 400 floating bio-remedial wetlands, bacterial enzymes, mechanised aerators, rafts built out of reused PVC pipes, and several bar screens that were installed to avoid the lake from being dumped again.
Interestingly, the plants in the lake are grown hydroponically, a method in which a plant is grown without soil by using mineral nutrients present in the solvent, which also purifies the lake in the process.
If our selfishness continues unabated, the day is not far when we will have made our planet uninhabitable by destroying the very nature that sustains us. So, let’s come together and protect our natural systems in an innovative manner.
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