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Green Impact of COVID-19

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has affected every facet of human life, including the physical world. The measures taken to control the spread of the virus as well as the economic slowdown the world has faced have had significant effects on the environment, which can be construed as both positive and negative. To control the…

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Women labourers in India

A recent publication from the State Bank of India has just claimed that India’s informal economy has sharply declined from 52.4% in 2017/8 to between 15 and 20% in 2020-2. We can see a formalisation of the informal economy in India, especially through digitalisation and the emergence of the new gig market. The Indian economy…

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Infant mortality

Infant mortality is defined as the death of a child before his or her first birthday. India is the country that suffers from the highest rates of infant mortality in the world. According to the United Nations, there was a daily average of 1,975 infant deaths in India in 2018. The majority of these deaths…

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Empowering women through sport

In a world where ‘gender equality’ is so often spoken of, yet so far from being a reality, perhaps it is time to diversify strategies for female empowerment. When we think of sport, the first words to come to mind are probably ‘competition’, ‘fitness’, or ‘athlete’…not, ‘empowerment’. However, the opportunities that sport and physical activity…

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Period Poverty

In many cultures, wisdom on how to manage periods is passed from mother to daughter. When young girls start their first menstrual cycle, their mothers advise them how to manage menstruation using appropriate menstrual products. In addition, girls in many countries receive health education as part of their school curriculum. They are taught about the…

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What does the rise of the Taliban mean for women?

The news of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has taken the world by storm. It was announced in mid-August that Afghanistan, or “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” as it is now known, had been handed to the authorities of the Taliban after the country’s former president left power. The Taliban first established its governance in Afghanistan…

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Climate Change: South Asia under threat

Climate change is a substantial issue we have been facing for decades and it is becoming an ever more pressing concern. We have all heard about it, but what is climate change, and what kind of consequences do we have to face? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes climate change as “a change…

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Millions of Missing Girls

Discrimination against women is an ongoing and well known issue around the world, however, in India it continues to such an extent that many girls’ lives are ended before they’ve even begun. The Populations Research Institute suggests that because of prenatal sex selection, 15.8 million girls were prevented from being born between 1990 and 2018[1].…

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Infertility- its true impact

Infertility is the inability to conceive even though a couple frequently has unprotected sex. This might be due to either the female or male’s infertility or the female’s inability to carry a pregnancy to full term, resulting in a miscarriage. Common causes of female infertility include anaemia, ovarian disorders, and depression (leading to lower libido).…

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Is life improving for the transgender community in India?

India’s transgender or “Hijra” community has been part and parcel of the subcontinent for about as long as civilization has, and is currently estimated to comprise of five million people. With a recorded history of over 4,000 years and occupying a special place in a plethora of ancient texts, the hijra community is a testament…

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A child’s development over the years

“Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” – Nelson Mendela  Children make up a considerable percentage of our world’s population today. The United Nations defines children as “people under the age of 18”, and it is estimated that there are over 2.2 billion children worldwide, which amounts to approximately 27% of the whole…

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Is discrimination ever positive?

The enhancement of women’s rights has been considered as one of the important roadmaps to equality. Many volunteering groups, activist groups, and individuals are in the women’s rights community and are still fighting for women’s rights even today. However, according to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women, it will take another 50 years to…

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Being a global citizen

When we learn about human rights and responsibilities, we learn a term called citizenship — joining a community and political realm which requires rights and duties in a limited and mutual relationship. And as a citizen of a state, we are all closely interconnected, and we are expected to care about the people within the…

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Child labour in the fashion industry

“Lives of littles ones are destroyed, when child labour is employed.” Child labour has been one of the most pressing issues since the beginning of time, which has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. It is not unusual to see children as young as seven or eight taken as cheap labourers in various industries, or…

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Women Warriors of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has put great strain on people all around the world and many of us have required extra help. With this in mind, numerous women belonging to Self-Help-Groups in India took it upon themselves to lend a helping hand to ease the situation in their country during the pandemic. A Self-Help-Group or SHG…

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Fertility and Egg Freezing- Do women or men decide?

In recent years, egg freezing, or in medical terminology, oocyte cryopreservation, has evolved from a headline news novelty to a commonplace procedure undertaken by many women usually in their late 30s and early 40s, including heavyweight celebrities like Sofia Vergara and Kim Kardashian, who wish to preserve their fertility for the future. This new modern…

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Rape: Why is it so common, and are countries’ responses effective?

Rape is the intentional penetration of a woman without her consent and remains one of the most common and dangerous crimes worldwide. Rape stems from the longstanding social issue of toxic masculinity. Fundamentally, rapists feel the need to rape to establish dominance over women. In many countries, including India, a patriarchal society exists, where women…

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Gender roles, stereotypes, and the importance of equality and independence

Why does humanity need to get past gender and start focusing on development for individuals? Society’s differing expectations of men and women have become the norm over time and are quite evident in the roles different genders are expected to play. Gender roles are established by the society itself based on the sex of a…

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Charities and Celebrities – Who benefits?

If you are an active user on Instagram, you might remember hashtags such as #loveManchester, #prayforManchester, #roomformanchester.  In 2017, there was a terrorist attack in Manchester during a concert by a famous celebrity, Ariana Grande. The blast left 19 people dead and 59 injured. After the horrific event, accompanied by mass attention in the media,…

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Keep Fossils buried! A Nuclear or Renewable Energy future?

It is not new information that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change. Since the mid-1900s, scientists have warned of the dangers of burning coal, oil and gas which emit greenhouse gases, trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere. The effects of climate change are already impacting people’s lives with an estimated 23 million people being…

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The Sinking Standards of Education in India

In India, children constitute 40% of the population. That is nearly 472 million children! They are the future of the nation.  Therefore, it is essential to ensure that these children receive a proper education. It must be noted that India has one of the largest education systems in the world, with more than 1.5 million…

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Individuals vs Climate Change: Can we make a difference?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when faced with the issue of climate change and to assume that our individual efforts are nothing but a drop in the ocean, especially when many governments and big businesses continue as though the developing climate crisis doesn’t threaten all life on earth. But is it right that change can…

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How to cure COVID-19?

India has been battling hard with the COVID19 pandemic, particularly during the second wave. Critics of the current government have described it as inept, citing its decisions and actions. Subsequently, efforts have been made to help it do as much as possible now the wave has already hit. The former PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh, issued…

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Are SJWs affecting meaningful efforts?

The connotations of the term ‘Social Justice Warrior’ (SJW) have changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. What was once merely a description or even a compliment is now mainly used as a disparaging label for people being vocal about a cause – predominantly online. As the expression has become more mainstream it has…

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Women empowerment and SHAPE

The notion of women empowerment began around the 1960s and 1970s. While the idea had previously been in existence in India, it was only then that the term was assigned sound meaning. India has come a long way in empowering its women. As we discuss empowerment, we must delve deep into their economic empowerment and…

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Kamasutra in the 2021 India

In India, the widely deprecated topic of sex is ironically an essential piece of knowledge one must carry with while entering adulthood. While we often complain about the repercussions of inadequate education about sex provided to our youth, the social taboos surrounding it withhold education systems in India from discussing it openly. Even parents are…

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Women’s freedom – China vs India

Chinese women have had greater opportunity to break free from traditional patriarchal oppression thanks to urbanisation and job opportunities. Indian women have been held back by a combination of fewer job opportunities and the far-reaching influences of the caste system.

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Listen to your children!

Sometimes, the constant reprimanding ushers in enormous problems in the later life stages of a child as degraded skills such as social disability, lack of empathy, indecisiveness, and poor resilience.

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The impact of economic liberalization on the financial freedom of Indian women

When flipping through the pages of Indian history, it is evident that the country was robbed of its wealth. From the Mughal Empire to the British Raj, every conqueror plundered the country ruthlessly. Consequently, the post- British government arrested international trade and various other economic activities extensively. This move protected domestic infant industries, boosted production…

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Why volunteering matters?

Despite the extraordinary industrial developments and lifestyle changes, society still faces inequality, hate, and discrimination. Children are starving, people are homeless with no governmental support, and human rights get neglected in some countries. The environment needs help too. Thankfully, as a response to the urgent matters in our society, we have volunteers. Volunteers give their…

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Fake news

Fake News is more prevalent in India than in any other country in the world, with 64% of its citizens having encountered Fake News compared with the global average of 57%

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International day of happiness

Happiness is an indescribable feeling of pleasure, joy, and positive vibes and emotions shared by everyone. Newborns are born with an unlimited supply of this feeling. As we grow older, the life around us defines happiness for us – what is desirable, what is not, disturbing this energy of happiness inside us.  With more and…

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Why should you avoid giving?

Think back to moment in your life where you gave something to someone or for a certain cause (or both). Did it feel good to offer that homeless person a sandwich? Did that child at the signal smile when you bought a worthless item from him/her? Were those children in the orphanage so happy when you offered them your toys?

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Overlooked aspects of the COVID 19 impact – An Indian perspective

From Wuhan, China, to the man next door, the COVID-19 spread all over the world, causing a global frenzy triggering safety protocols. After months of rigorous lockdowns, we are yet to eliminate this threat. India began battling the virus in early 2020, rather successfully, given its massive population. Front-line workers worldwide receive vaccinations developed in India. This article discusses the niche aspects of the pandemic impact policymakers could tend to.

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Does India tolerate inter-caste marriages?

World Marriage Day is observed on February 14, 2021 – sponsored by the American Catholic organization Worldwide Marriage Encounter. It is celebrated on the second Sunday of February each year. According to Worldwide Marriage Encounter, “World Marriage Day honors husband and wife as the family foundation, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty…

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Everyday is Education Day

Resonating with the Evergreen quote “Scientia Potentia est” – meaning ‘knowledge is power’ by Sir Francis Bacon, International education day is a recent yet significant addition to the calendar of events. The goal is to promote inclusive education, providing equal opportunities for every individual by the year 2030. The international education day is distinctive due…

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Day of the girl child

Achieving gender equality is about disrupting the status quo – not negotiating it. – Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka In 2008, the Ministry of Women and Child Development announced every January 24th as National Girl Child Day of India. The aim is to provide support to the girls of India, including health and educational support. Besides, the main objective…

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What to do on the National Youth Day?

Individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 wishing to compete in the National Youth Festival within the segments of Music, Dance, Regional Attire/Poshak Show, Theatre, Visual Arts, Expression Art, Knowledge Session, or Indigenous Games can register online

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Has the pandemic impacted human rights?

Interestingly, previous Human Rights Day themes covered specific issues such as standing up for equality, justice, or youth standing up for human rights. This year’s theme has the words “Recover Better” emphasized, and this shows how the focus on the elevation of human rights gets dramatized in 2020.

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COVID 19 and volunteerism

Credits – Soomin Yoo International Volunteer’s Day is celebrated on December 5th and gives a toast to volunteers’ efforts for sharing their labor, knowledge, and values. Mandated by the UN General Assembly since 1985, ever since the Day was an opportunity to promote their work around the world, including communities, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, government…

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Volunteer testimonials

SHAPE runs a volunteering programme for people from all over the world – offering them a chance to work with us to uplift the underprivileged. A few of our volunteers share their experience through vlogs – Find out what makes our programme so entrancing.

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HIV/AIDS – 101

What is HIV/AIDS? Your immune system is like a shield. The main job of this shield is to fight against harmful substances and germs that enter the body. The immune system makes antibodies and uses them to specifically fight certain germs that the body has previously come into contact with and recognizes. All in all,…

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What is poverty cycle?

Anu, a resident of Mumbai, has lived her whole life on the pavement. “We have been living here for so many years, our parents were here, we were born and raised here, we got married and had our kids here,” she says. Anu is one of the twenty million pavement dwellers that inhabit India.[1] These are…

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Impact of COVID-19 on women

World Health Organization (WHO) has statistically found that 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that has the consequences of physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women. This act occurs both in public or private settings and…

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COVID-19 and children

Established in 1954, the United Nations Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. The day is significant because it marks the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Adopted initially by the United Nations General Assembly in 1959, and the…

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Don’t accept them but at least respect them!

– Vivian Chieh & Fahreen Naz International Day for Tolerance is a time for people to learn about respecting and recognizing the rights and beliefs of other people. It is also a time of reflection and debate on the adverse effects of intolerance. Live discussions and debates take place across the world on this day,…

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