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Priyanka Chopra marvels at dichotomy of life at refugee camps

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Priyanka Chopra marvels at dichotomy of life at refugee camps

Dhaka, May 24  Actress and global Unicef Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights Priyanka Chopra, who is on a field visit here, has been meeting women and children at the Rohingya refugee camps. Their stories remind her of the dichotomy of life, and she pondered upon how women find their ‘house of peace’ in the harsh conditions.

Priyanka Chopra marvels at dichotomy of life at refugee camps

During the visit, Priyanka measured nutritional value for babies. She said the need for proper health and nutrition takes centrestage for the people here.

Priyanka on Wednesday night took to her Instagram stories. She was seen measuring a baby’s MUAC, a process where the child’s middle upper arm is measured to ascertain their nutrition level.

She later uploaded several photographs and videos.

“This is little Shohida (8-months-old), who stole my heart with her infectious smile. It’s a poignant reminder of the dichotomy of life…here she was getting all the help she needed, when just a few months before, her mother, Alada (who was only 19 years old at the time) walked for 15 days, while 6 months pregnant with her, to get across the border. It shows us that there is hope left in this world.

“When you are dealing with a mass exodus of thousands of people, who have been displaced from their homes and are desperate for refuge, the need for proper health and nutrition takes centre stage, especially for women and children,” she wrote alongside the photographs.

Priyanka Chopra marvels at dichotomy of life at refugee camps

The actress said she pointed at solutions that Unicef and their partners develop to deal with the most dire and pressing situations and issues.

“It all begins with the MUAC, a process where the child’s middle upper arm is measured to ascertain their nutrition level. From there, aids create a program for the child and a nutrient rich, ready-to-eat peanut paste is portioned out for each child based on the severity of malnutrition,” she said.

Priyanka said that at the nutrition centre at the Jamtoli camp in Cox’s Bazar, mothers are also taught basic hygiene and good health practices.

The National Award-winning actress also visited a “women friendly space” at the camp, and said she was instantly struck by a certain calmness.

“These camps are loud and crowded, actually overcrowded, and so to find a quiet oasis, in this case a small hut with a tarp roof and thatched bamboo walls, is surprising. But for the girls in this camp, this is what they call their ‘house of peace’,” Priyanka wrote.

She described it as a place to interact with friends, seek counselling, learn about hygiene, or learn life skills like art and music.

Priyanka Chopra marvels at dichotomy of life at refugee camps

“There are approx 50 women-friendly Spaces in the camps, just like this one, that on any given day see 50-70 Rohingya girls seeking these safe havens. The centers open at 9 a.m., but there is seldom a day when the women are not lined up early, waiting for the doors to open,” she added.

Priyanka says even if their lives are safer at the camps, the girls are “still struggling”.

“They know that with an education they can get a job and create better lives for their family, like buying protein for their meals, and clean drinking water. It’s literally as basic as that,” she added.

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Mallika Sherawat supports FIAPO to promote veganism

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New Delhi,  Actress Mallika Sherawat has extended support to the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to promote veganism in India, and has urged fans to try a vegan diet for 21 days.

Mallika took to her Twitter handle to promote FIAPO’s #21DayCompassionChallenge, asking her fans to ditch dairy and other animal products and try a vegan diet.

In the video, Mallika talks about choosing a compassionate future for herself.

She said: “I believe in compassion for all. I feel we are all inherently compassionate, but fail to see the reality. I have been vegan for more than 15 years and for me veganism is a lifestyle choice – a healthier and cruelty free way of living! Many people think, to be vegan you have to give up a lot of things, but being a long time vegan, I can proudly say I have not given up on anything.

“In fact, I am much healthier and happier knowing no animal had to suffer for my food. I don’t drink cow’s milk and I don’t eat meat because no one should suffer for our choices. I urge all my fans to take the challenge and try veganism for 21 days.”

There is an increase in the number of people choosing a vegan diet.

FIAPO’s Executive Director Varda Mehrotra said: “The best thing about being a vegan is to be able to live a life aligned with one’s values. We can only be in peace knowing we aren’t harming, killing, maiming others for our greed.

“In the last decade there has been a tremendous shift in how veganism is perceived in India. While many organisations and individuals are dedicatedly working on creating awareness, a Bollywood actor speaking up and promoting veganism is a huge push for veganism in India.”

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Industry no more stuck on one hero, heroine stories: Divya Dutta

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New Delhi, National Award-winning actress Divya Dutta, who turned 41 on Tuesday, has been a part of the film industry for over two decades, and she says stories have evolved a whole lot from being centred around just one hero and heroine.

“Industry is no more stuck to typical one hero and one heroine films. Now, filmmakers are producing content-driven films. We are looking into more different and diverse stories. It is a beautiful time for filmmaking right now,” Divya told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Having featured in the latest release “Manto” and the short film “Plus Minus”, Divya is garnering a lot of positive response from the audience for her roles in the films.

She said: “I am overwhelmed with the responses I am getting for my roles. It always feels good when someone appreciates my acting.

“Both ‘Manto’ and ‘Plus Minus’ are based on true stories. I am glad that people are accepting non-fiction films and are keen to hearing more untold true stories. We have so many stories scattered around us and through films, we get an opportunity to convey those stories to people. This is one of the beautiful changes our cinema has witnessed.”

Divya has appeared in more than 100 movies of different genres and languages. This year, she won a National Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 2017 film “Irada”.

For her, the National Award acts as a source of inspiration as it inspires her to do good work everyday.

“I am honoured that the nation has appreciated my work and felicitated me with the award. I am humbled that people accept me in all kinds of roles. I am gratified after winning the National Award and I want to continue doing good work for my people,” Divya added.

The “Veer-Zaara” and “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” actress is a writer too. In 2017, she launched her first book “Me and Ma” and she is now in the process of writing her second book, to be published next year.

Born in Punjab, Divya has also maintained her link with her roots as she has worked in Punjabi movies like “Shaheed-e- Mohabbat” and “Des Hoya Pardes”. She will next be seen hosting a Punjabi chat show.

“The format of the show is quite similar to actor Aamir Khan’s “Satyamev Jayate”. It will be an interactive Punjabi show which will focus on the prevailing social issues.”

Be it Hindi or Punjabi — for Divya, language is not a barrier. She has also acted in Nepali movie “Basanti” and tried her hand in a Malayalam film titled “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

The actor said: “Be it Punjabi cinema or Marathi or Malayalam cinema, now regional cinema is growing beautifully. People are liking regional films. One will be amazed to see the stuff regional film industries are producing.”

Divya, who made her debut with the film “Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna” in 1994, still feels she is a little girl who has just begun her career.

“I am on role reversal. It feels I am reversing my journey. All my friends are saying that I am still a 16-year-old girl. I feel it is just the beginning…. and there is more to go.”

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Pranitha Subhash enjoys keeping in touch with fans

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Mumbai, Actress Pranitha Subhash says she likes to stay in touch with her fans, but wants to add a personal touch to the whole experience.

For this, she has come out with her personal app. Pranitha launched the Pranitha Subhash Official App in collaboration with New York-based tech firm EscapeX, read a statement.

“I am really excited to be launching my very own app. I have always enjoyed keeping in touch with my fans and interacting with them but with this we take it one step ahead since it’s so personalised,” Pranitha said.

“I’m hoping to keep it very interactive and I promise to keep checking it as often as possible. I will have lot of contests, lots of fun and it’s going to be much more than film promotions. I am really excited about this,” added the actress, who has worked in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil films.

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