मुझे उम्मीद है कि राष्ट्रमंडल खेलों में मेरी सफलता के बाद देश में बैडमिंटन की तरह टेबल टेनिस के क्षेत्र में भी बदलाव आएगा। और इस खेल के बारे में लोग गंभीरता से सोचेंगे। वैसे दूसरे खेलों की तरह यह खेल भी आसान नहीं है। करीब उन्नीस साल पहले, जब मैं चार साल की थी, घरवालों ने मेरे बारे में एक निर्णय लिया था। अपनी बड़ी बहन की देखा-देखी मैं भी घर में एक मेज पर ही टेबल टेनिस खेलने की कोशिश करने लगी थी।
घरवालों ने मेरी बहन के कोच को मेरे बारे में बताया। और फिर कोच की सलाह पर मेरा दाखिला भी उसी स्कूल में करा दिया गया, जहां मेरी बहन पढ़ती थी। इसकी वजह यही थी कि उस स्कूल में टेबल टेनिस प्रशिक्षण की बेहतर सुविधा मौजूद थी। कुछ इस तरह से खिलाड़ी बनने का मेरा सफर शुरू हुआ था। मेरे पिता पिछले कई बरसों से दिल के मरीज हैं। पहले वह पुरानी दिल्ली में एक दुकान चलाते थे। परिवार को बेहतर तरीके से चलाने में मेरी मां का बड़ा योगदान है।
जब पढ़ाई और खेल में से एक को चुनना था जब मैंने खेलना शुरू किया था, तब मेरी पढ़ाई भी समानांतर तरीके से चल रही थी। मैंने कभी किसी काम को चलताऊ तरीके से करना नहीं चाहा। एक वक्त ऐसा आया कि सुबह-शाम प्रैक्टिस के बाद पढ़ाई पर ध्यान दे पाना मेरे लिए मुश्किल हो गया। मुझे फैसला लेना था कि मैं किसी एक को ज्यादा तवज्जो दूं। वह फैसला इतना आसान नहीं था। अंततः मैंने खेल को ही करियर के लिए चुना और पूरी तरह से इसी लक्ष्य पर जुट गई, पर साथ में पढ़ाई भी जारी रखी।
मेरे लिए परिवार ने किया है त्याग जब मैं अपनी कई सहेलियों को मन लगाकर पढ़ते हुए देखती, तब यही लगता कि मैंने खेल के लिए एक बहुत बड़ी चीज से समझौता किया है। वैसे तो आज भी टेबल टेनिस भारत में बहुत लोकप्रिय नहीं है, मगर उस वक्त इस खेल को करियर के रूप में चुनना मेरे लिए और बड़ी चुनौती था। आगे मेरे दोनों बड़े भाई-बहन ने खेलना छोड़ दिया, लेकिन उन्होंने मां के साथ मिलकर मेरे खेल की बेहतरी के लिए जो हो सका, वह किया। साथ ही अपने कोच संदीप गुप्ता की मेहनत को मैं कभी नहीं भूल सकती।
ठुकरा दिया मॉडलिंग का प्रस्ताव कुछ लोगों ने मेरे सामने मॉडलिंग में हाथ आजमाने का प्रस्ताव रखा। लेकिन मैं तो बहुत पहले से सिर्फ टेबल टेनिस के लिए पसीना बहा रही थी, सो ऐसे किसी प्रस्ताव पर मैंने कभी ध्यान नहीं दिया। मैं जूनियर स्तर से दिल्ली समेत कई प्रतियोगिताओं की सभी कैटेगरी में अच्छा कर रही थी। सैफ खेलों से लेकर अन्य अंतरराष्ट्रीय प्रतियोगिताओं में भी मैंने सफलता का स्वाद चख लिया था और मुझे विश्वास था कि आने वाला समय मेरा है।
एकल और युगल, दोनों पसंद हैं सचिन तेंदुलकर मेरे सर्वकालिक खेल आदर्श हैं, जिन्होंने पूरी दुनिया में भारत का नाम रोशन किया है। क्रिकेट के अलावा मुझे लॉन टेनिस भी पसंद है, लेकिन वक्त न मिल पाने की वजह से मैंने काफी समय से टीवी नहीं देखा है। मैं फिलहाल पूरी तरह विश्व चैंपियनशिप के साथ एशियाड की तैयारी कर रही हूं, जहां मुझे राष्ट्रमंडल खेलों से कहीं बड़ी चुनौती का सामना करना है। वैसे तो मैं एकल और युगल, दोनों स्पर्धाओं को एकसमान चाव से खेलती हूं, लेकिन मुझे लगता है एकल खेलना ज्यादा मजेदार है।
-मनिका बत्रा से नूतन कुमार गुप्ता की बातचीत पर आधारित।
Growing up in Ashdown in Little River County, Daveante Jones wanted to one day become a lawyer.
“My family was not in the position to pay for me to go to college,” Jones recalled. “I was banking on scholarships.”
Like thousands of other students in South Arkansas, Jones received the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, which is mostly funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. He attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and then earned a juris doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 2016.
Since its inception in 2009, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has awarded 8,173 scholarships to SAU students valued at more than $27.2 million.
“Receiving the Lottery scholarship meant everything to me and my parents,” said Jones. “I didn’t have to take out a student loan, and my parents didn’t have to work second jobs. It was really a blessing.”
Jones, who is now an attorney specializing in labor and employment at the Wright Lindsey Jennings Law Firm in Little Rock, will be featured in television commercials and outdoor billboards beginning in May as part of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s new “This is Winning” marketing campaign. The promotional push also includes print, digital and social components and shows how winning means different things to different people when it comes to playing the Lottery.
“We are excited through our new ‘This is Winning’ campaign to tell the inspiring stories of scholarship recipients like Daveante,” said Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. “But success stories like Daveante wouldn’t be possible without people investing in students by playing the Lottery. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation for all Arkansans.”
Since 2009 in Columbia County, Lottery ticket sales have exceeded $29.1 million with nearly $17 million in prizes paid. Lottery retailers in the county have earned more than $1.6 million in commissions.
In all, those sales have yielded $6.7 million to pay for 2,035 scholarships for Columbia County students.
Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship dollars are awarded on a tiered system. Students enrolled in four-year institutions can receive $1,000 for the first year. Those who stay in school are rewarded thereafter with $4,000 for sophomore and junior years, and $5,000 for the senior year.
“I would strongly encourage any student with dreams like mine to apply for the Lottery scholarship,” Jones said. “It will be the easiest scholarship application you’ll fill out, and whether you want to go to a two-year college or a four-year college, there’s money waiting for you. Just apply.”
Academic Challenge Scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now available.
The need to protect the Atlantic Ocean against environmental threats — from the prospect of drilling for fossil fuels to plastics pollution and climate change — continues as Earth Day celebrates its 48th anniversary.
But there is a reason to celebrate when it comes to the world’s second-largest ocean.
Thanks to the work of activists and legislators, since 2000 there has been no legal dumping of sewage sludge, chemicals, medical waste or other trash just miles off the Jersey coast.
For a time during the last century all that dumping threatened to ruin the experience of ocean bathing.
Anyone who went to the beach in the late 1980s will remember bobbing in the waves along with medical waste like hypodermic needles, plastics, and sewage waste like tampons.
Beaches were regularly closed because of pollution, including a 1990 New York oil spill that brought tar balls to our beaches.
“The turnaround from being a national joke to the premiere destination for beaches is a testament to the power of people,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action.
“Because we’ve been through the hard times, we know what (pollution) can do to the economy, and how important the ocean is to our identity,” Zipf said.
The nonprofit group formed to combat ocean dumping, she said, and expanded to fight all types of ocean pollution. She has been with the organization since its start in 1984.
“We were able to get the dump sites closed pretty much one by one,” said Zipf, who said her organization created a coalition of all kinds of people in the community, including businesspeople, moms, beach lovers and fishermen. “By 2000 we were dump site free, for the first time in 100 years.”
The last site to be closed was the toxic mud dump off the northern tip of New Jersey, she said, where all the chemical laden muck from Newark Harbor went.
As a result of ending ocean dumping, “we are slowly but surely starting to see levels of contamination in fish start to improve,” Zipf said.
Jersey Shore beach pollution was the main reason William Hughes, then working in the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, decided to run for Congress, he said recently.
“I was a member of Save our Seas (SOS),” said Hughes, a Democrat who represented New Jersey’s second district in Congress from 1975 to 1995, and later became an Ambassador to Panama.
“Sludge was being dumped by Camden and Philadelphia seven miles off of Cape May, making a mess of our fisheries and shoreline, and impacting tourism, our largest industry,” Hughes said.
New York was dumping in the NY Bight, about 12 miles off of New Jersey and Long Island, and created one of the most distressed bodies of water in the world, according to Jacques Cousteau, said Hughes.
“Chemicals were being dumped off Ocean County, and medical waste off Toms River,” Hughes said. “There was no regulation at the time of medical waste. In the ocean it was cheaper just to dump it. People were not coming here when notified the beaches were being closed for the bacteria count.”
So Hughes resigned from the prosecutor’s office to run on a platform to clean up the ocean, he said.
His first bill to ban sewage sludge dumping was signed by Jimmy Carter, but it was later weakened by a court ruling.
“When Reagan came in the EPA factored in costs and ocean dumping resumed again,” said Hughes.
Then he introduced a second bill, but “we were smarter this time,” he said. “We placed a fee for every ton of sewage sludge and other waste dumped. It became cost prohibitive. That’s how we got New York City out of the ocean.”
Later, other Hughes’ bills banned medical waste dumping and plastics dumping in the ocean.
Zipf said 100 percent of members of New Jersey’s members of Congress and Senators are opposed to offshore drilling in the Atlantic, along with every governor of both parties since Republican Tom Kean.
“Chris Christie vetoed having a liquified natural gas terminal off our coast and was opposed to offshore drilling,” she said. He was the only Republican governor in the country to do so, she said.
The New Jersey Legislature just passed a bill to ban offshore drilling in state waters along with the establishment of any infrastructure to serve offshore drilling , she said. State waters run to three miles out, while federal waters run from three to 200 miles off the coast.
That legislation passed almost unanimously, with just one state Assembly member from North Jersey voting against it, she said.
As a result of all that work, we see “a thriving ecosystem with everyone enjoying a whale show offshore,” she said. But of course there are challenges to keeping the ocean healthy.
“Working on a tie for the number one position are climate change and plastics,” Zipf said.
But in the short-term, “the threat that’s most alarming right now is possible expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling.”
Outgoing Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has relied heavily on African players during his 22-year tenure, with several continental stars playing a part in some of the Frenchman’s greatest triumphs.
While Wenger is set to depart without truly seeing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fulfil his undoubted potential with the Gunners, a handful of big-name African players owe a large part of their career success to the Alsatian.
5. Alex Song’s peak years at Arsenal may have been brief, but they were occasionally intoxicating, with the Cameroon international suggesting – in moments at least – that he could be the heir to Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.
Ultimately, a move to Barcelona in 2012 denied Song the chance to become an Arsenal great, and sent his career into something of a downward spiral from which – as a free agent at 30 – he’s yet to truly recover from.
After being signed from SC Bastia in 2005, originally on loan, the versatile midfielder gradually became a key figure in Wenger’s starting XI.
He netted Arsenal’s 1000th league goal under Wenger against Bolton in September 2010, and memory set up Robin van Persie with a sensational assist as the North Londoners beat Everton 1-0 in their 125th anniversary clash.
4. Lauren – A key but largely unheralded member of the Invincibles team of 2003-04, Lauren made 32 league appearances during that memorable campaign as Arsenal kept the best defensive record in the division.
He was such a talented right-back, that it became easy to forget that he’d originally been a right winger before Wenger signed him from Mallorca in 2000.
Lauren was a key member of the outstanding Cameroon side of the turn of the century – winning two African Cup of Nations titles and an Olympic gold medal – but it was with Arsenal that he enjoyed his greatest success.
As well as the Prem title in 2004, he also won the league in 2002 and completed a hat-trick of FA Cup successes with the North Londonders.
3. Emmanuel Adebayor – Admittedly, things soured between Adebayor and the Arsenal supporters, but surely there’s at least some residual respect among a portion of the fanbase…at least those who remember the Togo international’s 2007-08 season.
In that campaign, the West African netted an eye-catching 24 goals in 36 games for the capital club, taking his game to a new level having scored just 12 league goals in the previous season and a half since signing from AS Monaco.
Ultimately, he wouldn’t win any silverware at Arsenal, but a series of individual honours – BBC African Footballer of the Year and Goal of the Season awards, CAF Footballer of the Year, PFA Team of the Season recognition – were testament to his glittering impact with the club.
The forward signed for Manchester City, then as Africa’s most expensive player, in 2009, and currently represents Istanbul Basaksehir after spells with Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.
2. Kolo Toure is the only African player to have won the Premier League title with multiple clubs, and while he excelled with Manchester City after joining the Arsenal exodus to Eastlands, he’ll be best remembered for his spell with the Gunners.
The centre-back ought to be remembered as one of Wenger’s best signings – and one of his best bargains – after being recruited from ASEC Mimosas for a fee of £150,000.
During the Invincibles year, only a season and a half after he moved to England, Toure forged an immense central-defensive partnership with Sol Campbell, with the duo coupling pace, power and poise as the capital club romped to the title.
The Ivorian would go onto form a fine partnership with Philippe Senderos – much to the former’s credit – and was a defeated Champions League finalist in 2006.
Perhaps the graceful forward’s goalscoring was occasionally fitful, but he more than paid back the £4.15 million Arsenal paid Internazionale for his services and earned the adulation of supporters for a 15-minute hat-trick against rivals Chelsea.
He made a habit of coming off the bench to make an impact, and was a fringe player in the Invincibles squad.
The forward, who’d won the Champions League with Ajax and the UEFA Cup with Inter, ended his Arsenal career with two Premier Leagues and two FA Cups.
Best localisation of a global employer brand management programme Gold – Philips and MerchantCantos
Best employer brand management event Gold – Arval UK and Synergy Creative Silver – Nationwide Building Society and drp Bronze – Kerry Foods and SMRS Highly Commended – InterContinental Hotels Group and Mr B & Friends
Best employer brand innovation Gold – Care UK and Dragonfish Gold – Jewish Care and We Love 9am Silver – EY Bronze – Kerry Foods and SMRS
Best ongoing commitment to employer brand management Gold – Dixons Carphone and Hodes (part of Symphony Talent)
Best employer brand management by a charity, NGO or NFP Gold – Jewish Care and We Love 9am Silver – Mencap and SMRS
Best employer brand management from the education sector Gold – Teach First and Tonic
Best employer brand management from the engineering and manufacturing sector Silver – Laing O’Rourke and Wardour
Best employer brand management from the financial services sector Gold – Moneysupermarket Group and Brandguild Silver – Hastings Direct and That Little Agency Bronze – Assurant and Creed Communications Bronze – RBS and Tonic Highly Commended – Barclays and Wardour
Best employer brand management from the food and beverage sector Gold – Kerry Foods and SMRS Silver – Pepsi Lipton and Hodes (part of Symphony Talent)
Best employer brand management from the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector Gold – Philips and MerchantCantos
Best employer brand management from the professional services sector Gold – ForrestBrown and Hodes (part of Symphony Talent) Silver – EY
Best employer brand management from the retail sector Gold – Dixons Carphone and Hodes (part of Symphony Talent)
Best employer brand management from the technology, media and telecommunications sector Silver – EVRY and Mission Bronze – BT plc and Ph.Creative Bronze – Vodafone and Creed Communications
Best employer brand management from the transport and logistics sector Gold – Hermes and Creed Communications
Best creative execution of the employer brand Winner – ForrestBrown and Hodes (part of Symphony Talent)
Grand prix of employer brand management Winner – Teach First and Tonic
Now, the phenomenon has produced a feature-length film. Closing the Loop — the world’s first feature-length documentary on the circular economy — will officially debut on Earth Day, April 22, 2018. It aims to be an optimistic film about innovative solutions, although it also includes some dire warnings. As John Elkington, famous for coining the “triple bottom line” of sustainability says in the film, “If we continue with the linear economy, we are, to use a technical term, totally screwed.”
“After years spent working on sustainability, I am convinced that we are on the cusp of a major revolution – nothing short of the next industrial revolution. The time for fear-mongering and demonising companies has past. Now is the time for innovative solutions and positive action. This is nowhere more true than in the do-or-die challenge of creating a circular economy,” said Dr. Wayne Visser, the presenter and a co-producer of the film.
Visser’s knowledge of the circular economy began in the early ‘90s as a student and grew as he became familiar with the works of Paul Hawken and had the opportunity to interview Cradle-to-Cradle authors Michael Braungart and William McDonough. For many years, Visser was engaged in the so-called “new economics movement,” which often debated the dilemma of economic growth.
“In principle, we cannot continue our exponential growth (the “great acceleration”) on a finite planet. On the other hand, growth is not only a pathway out of poverty, but remains an aspiration of all societies, both rich and poor,” Visser told Sustainable Brands in an e-mail. “When we admit that our addiction to growth is unlikely to change any time soon — neither politicians, business people or the vast majority of consumers will strive for zero-growth or economic shrinkage, for political, economic and psychological reasons — the circular economy, with its goal of decoupling economic growth and environmental impact, becomes the only logical way to avoid self-destruction. It also leads us into a qualitatively different kind of growth, e.g. of renewables, climate positive products, etc.”
After authoring 28 books, Visser decided that film would be a more powerful medium to get this message across. At the same time, he noted that many sustainability-focused documentaries provide strong diagnoses of problems but are weak on offering solutions. He sought to present a documentary that could convey both the urgency of the challenges we face and the optimism he feels thanks to the breakthroughs in technology and the hard work being put in by individuals and organizations such as those featured in the film.
Visser and Telly® and Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Graham Sheldon use examples from Europe, Latin America and Africa to explore five key strategies for achieving circularity – reduce, reuse, recycle, renew and reinvent – in Closing the Loop. The featured cases include:
Barloworld – a South African industrial conglomerate, with the second-largest Caterpillar equipment remanufacturing plant in the world;
Biogen – a UK renewable energy company which generates all its energy and bio-fertiliser from food waste
Dutch AWEARness – a pioneer in circular textiles from The Netherlands, including workwear and suits that can be recycled 8 times
Interface – a US carpet manufacturer with an ambitious Mission Zero strategy for eliminating negative environmental impacts by 2020
Novamont – an Italian bio-plastics company, renowned for making the Lavazza compostable coffee capsule
REDISA – a South Africa tyre recycling project, which empowered numerous entrepreneurs along the used tyre value chain (although it is no longer running there); and
Quito City – a C40 City using solutions ranging from TetraPak up-cycling and zero-waste car assembly to sustainable farming and eco-tourism in tropical cloud forests.
Further insights are provided by experts from the likes of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, as well as from the corporate sphere by practitioners such as Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A) at Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Christopher Davis, International Director of Corporate Responsibility and Campaigns at The Body Shop.
The varied experiences highlighted by the film demonstrate that there is no “one size fits all” approach and making the shift to circularity will not be easy. However, Closing the Loop argues that the move to a circular economy is not only essential and urgent, but also entirely possible. The film encourages viewers to draw inspiration from pioneers such as those featured in the film and scale up similar business models, product innovations, and customer solutions around the world.
“At a time when the world is desperate to turn the tide on numerous sustainability crises, we show not only what is possible, but what is already happening, thanks to pioneers around the world like the ones that we feature in the film,” Visser said. “We still have much work to do, but our task could not be more clear. So get inspired and, to quote Gandhi — a sustainability luminary before his time — be the change you want to see in the world.”
Screenings have been scheduled in Belgium, Malaysia, Kosovo, Croatia, South Africa, and the UAE, with more being planned for Ecuador, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and others to come. The filmmakers invite anyone interested in hosting a screening event to get in touch with them through the film’s website, closingtheloopfilm.com.
“We can now use 30 years of climate change as a true innovation engine,” Braungart said. “We can reinvent all our materials to be ‘good’ from biological or technical systems. We now have the expertise. Together, it’s now time to act.”
Jitu Rai was the only shooter who was able to follow up on his gold from the last Commonwealth Games (CWG), with one more in Gold Coast.
“I am happy with the gold in air pistol this time. Last time, I did not get to shoot air pistol and got the gold in free pistol with a record. It is gold with record this time also. You can never think about a competition as small or big. You have to try your best,” said Jitu at an interaction arranged by the National Rifle Association of India.
Heena Sidhu recalled how she was disappointed at losing gold in air pistol and happy to win 25m sports pistol.
“You tend to expect more from you. Even though I was not shooting well, I was happy the way I fought to reach the silver medal in air pistol. India won the gold and silver, so it was good. I was relaxed in sports pistol as nobody expects me to do great. But, we had trained hard and it was good feeling to get the gold,” said Heena.
Returning with a CWG gold 12 years after Melbourne was a “very satisfying and motivating’’ experience for Tejaswini Sawant.
“My coach Kuheli Gangulee had stressed on mental toughness over the years, and it was a great feeling to know that one was good for the gold once again. You keep working hard and results like this, especially in a marathon event like rifle 3-position event, confirms that you are on the right track,” said Tejaswini.
“I enjoy shooting. That is what helps me train well and enjoy as well. Irrespective of the level of competition, we have to keep shooting our best and keep getting better,” remarked Tejaswini.
For Sanjeev Rajput, who had quit the Navy and had been investing his hard-earned money in the sport, it was a great relief to gain financial security through the cash awards.
प्रधानमंत्री मुद्रा योजना मोदी सरकार की अहम योजनाओं में से एक रही है. जिसके तहत लोगों को बिना किसी गांरटी के कर्ज दिया जाता है. सरकारी आंकड़ों के अनुसार 23 मार्च 2018 तक कुल 2,28,144,.72 करोड़ रुपए के कुल 4,53,51,509 कर्ज आवंटित किए गए हैं. योजना के तहत कुल 2,20,596.05 करोड़ रुपये आवंटित किए गए हैं. आपको बता दें कि इस योजना को 8 अप्रैल 2015 को लॉन्च किया गया था.
When ranchers Doyle and Brenda Burden of Weeletka purchased their land over two decades ago, they noticed a big area of saltwater erosion from an old abandoned well site. The Burdens worked their way around the hazard and avoided the area as best they could. Years later, Doyle saw a commercial for the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board well site cleanup program and decided to give them a call.
“They came out, and sure enough, there were three oil production sites that had been abandoned decades ago,” Doyle said.
Over nine months, the OERB cleaned up the three sites on the Burden’s property, restoring the land back to its original pristine condition—at no cost to the Burdens.
For over 20 years, the OERB has restored more than 16,000 abandoned or orphaned well sites in 71 of 77 Oklahoma counties at a cost of nearly $113 million to date. The OERB currently cleans up two to three sites a day.
The OERB was created in 1993 and is voluntarily funded by the oil and natural gas industry. Oklahoma producers and royalty owners contribute to the program through an assessment on the sale of oil and natural gas with a mission to clean up orphaned and abandoned well sites across the state.
The OERB provides a practical and economical remedy for environmental problems caused by orphaned and abandoned well sites. Their four-step restoration process follows recognized environmental standards adapted to meet our unique needs, company officials said.
Each restoration team offers both environmental and petroleum expertise. Common restoration requirements include removing or burying lease roads and location pads, removing equipment, concrete, trash and debris, repairing erosion and saltwater “scars” left on the land, and treating hydrocarbons and closing pits. Cost of the restoration projects has ranged widely.
OERB focuses on older wells drilled by operators that are no longer in business. Additional wells still are identified nearly every day, and the group estimates another 20,000 to 30,000 dot the Oklahoma landscape.
For the Burden’s, their land has been restored as part of it.
“I just couldn’t be happier with what the OERB has done. And, it was all free,” Doyle said. “How can you ask for anything more?”
To hear more landowner stories, and to see our progress in action, visit their website.