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Melania Trump recalls Delhi govt’s happiness curriculum to encourage self-care in lockdown




US First Lady Melania Trump hugs a school girl as she attends 'Happiness Class', during her visit to a government school in New Delhi
US First Lady Melania Trump hugs a school girl as she attends ‘Happiness Class’, during her visit to a government school in New Delhi on 25 February | PTI

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New Delhi: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has led to the deaths of more than 1 lakh people worldwide, US First Lady Melania Trump recalled the happiness curriculum from Delhi government schools and stressed on the importance of self-care during the lockdown.

“While visiting India in February, I was impressed to learn how their schools incorporate happiness into their curriculum.While in unusually challenging times, let’s try to remember to take care of our well-being by taking care of both mind & body,” she tweeted Tuesday, citing a Hindustan Times article.

Melania had accompanied US President Donald Trump for a two-day visit to India in February. It was the Trumps’ maiden visit to the country.

Manish Sisodia, deputy chief minister and education minister of Delhi, had announced Sunday that the government’s flagship happiness curriculum will be continued at home in light of the nationwide lockdown.

Sisodia said, “The activities of happiness class would now be conducted at home everyday by the parents. We will support around 8 lakh students and their families to practice mindful meditation from tomorrow with the help of our teachers. It is important to turn the atmosphere positive in our homes and make the families spend quality time together.”

Also read: Tirupur moves from H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Marks & Spencer to making masks and PPE kits

Happiness Curriculum 

During the Trumps’ two-day visit, Melania had attended a happiness class in a government school of Delhi.

The Delhi government started the happiness curriculum in July 2018. Students in government schools from classes 1-8 spent 45 minutes a day participating in activities such as storytelling, meditation, mindful scribbling and body stretching, to make them happy.

Extended lockdown

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, more than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 and 339 fatalities have been confirmed in the country. This prompted Prime Minster Narendra Modi to extend the nationwide lockdown to 3 May Tuesday.

US has now become the epicentre of the pandemic with more than 5.8 lakh cases and over 23,000 deaths due to the virus.

Also read: US President Donald Trump hopes to reopen country ‘ahead of schedule’


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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