Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Thursday that Oxfords COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by around February 2021 and to the general public by April 2021. The vaccine will be priced at a maximum of Rs 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public, depending on the final trial results and regulatory approvals. Poonawalla, while speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit (HTLS), 2020, also said that every Indian will probably get vaccinated by 2024.
Poonawalla said: It will probably take two or three years for every Indian to get inoculated, not just because of the supply constraints but because you need the budget, the vaccine, logistics, infrastructure and then, people should be willing to take the vaccine. While the general public will be able to get the vaccine for $5 – $6 with an MRP of Rs 1,000, the government will get it for $3 – $4.
Poonawalla added: The government of India will be getting it at a far cheaper price at around USD 3-4, because it will be buying in a large volume and get access to the price that is similar to what COVAX has got. We are still pricing it far cheaper and more affordable than other vaccines we have in the market today.
When asked about the efficacy of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Poonawalla said: It has induced a good T-cell response, which is an indicator for your long-term immunity and antibody response but then again, time will only tell if these vaccines are going to protect you in the long term. Nobody can answer that for any of the vaccines today.
India Peace Centre spreads message of peace on World Peace Day through Bicycle Rally
On 21st September, 2022, on UN International Day of Peace, India Peace Centre hosted its signature annual event, the IPC Bicycle Rally for Peace.
The rally was flagged off by Dr Tejinder Singh Rawal, Director of India Peace Centre, Vikrant Shandilya, founder of Nation Next Media, Harshal Zade, National Rifle Shooter, and Rakesh Tumane, Director (Finance) MOIL. Dr Asir Ebenezer, the Chairman of India Peace Centre sent his best wishes for the success of the rally.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Tejinder Singh Rawal said, “It is heartening to see the overwhelming response to the rally. During the pandemic a large number of people have taken to cycling and are contributing their efforts in saving the environment and precious fossil fuel. He added that India Peace Centre is committed to bringing peace in society and has been celebrating the International Day of Peace with much enthusiasm. Achieving true peace requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race. The United Nations theme for 2022 is “End racism. Build peace.”
Mr Vikrant Shandilya lauded the efforts of India Peace Centre in bringing hundreds of youths together and spreading the message of peace through them.
Mr. Rakesh Tumane appreciated the good work being done by India Peace centre. He said “I am a cyclist and ride 25 kms daily, and would like to advise the youth to take cycling as a daily routine.
Mr. Harish Zade spoke about the importance of sports in bringing about peace in society.
The Bicycle Rally for Peace is a brainchild of Dr Rawal, and has been held every year since 2013. After a break of two years, due to Covid, this year the Rally was conceived on a much bigger scale. Online Registrations were opened 10 days in advance to facilitate easy registrations. The people of Nagpur gave a tremendous response to the rally, and registrations were closed after crossing 1050 registrations!
Complimentary T-Shirts, with the message of ‘Live Peace, Love Peace’, and ‘Peace Ambassadors’ were distributed a day earlier, on September 20, in a day long exercise which was efficiently handled by the Volunteers of India Peace Centre.
On the morning of 21st September, cyclists assembled at India Peace Centre at 6:00 AM despite light rains in the city. After some very inspiring words by the guests of honour, the rally was flagged off at 6:30 AM. The route of the rally covered important landmarks in Nagpur, including Japanese Garden, Seminary Hills, Futala Lake, Ravi Nagar, Law College, Sitabuldi, RBI Square and Akashwani Square. The total distance covered by the rally was 14 kms. There was a shorter 12 km route, which skipped Seminary Hills, for amateur cyclists.
The huge participation by the cyclists created a big splash in the city, and the citizens of Nagpur cheered the rally participants all along the route. The participants proudly spread the message of Peace all along the rally route.
The rally stopped for a few minutes near Futala Lake for group photos. The rally took another important stop at the Gandhi statue at Sitabuldi square. Dr Rawal, along with the Core Committee members of India Peace Centre, and the cyclists, offered floral tributes to the Father of the Nation.
The rally made its way through the major intersections of Nagpur, and ended back at India Peace Centre. All the participants were treated with delicious and nutritious refreshments on completing the rally. The refreshments were graciously sponsored by Ms Jigyasa Rawal, who celebrates her birthday on 21st September, refreshments were also sponsored by the Matharu family. Digital e-certificates of participation were given to all participants to recognize their efforts in spreading the message of Peace.
After the rally, cultural programs were organized by the enthusiastic volunteers of India Peace Centre. An interesting skit with the message of Peace and tolerance was performed by RJ Tejal and Rj Preeti. Some very high energy group dances on the theme of patriotism, and a very touching street play on the freedom movement was performed by the NGO, MATRIX warriors. Rudransh Dance Group presented a Flash Mob dance. A live band by Khushal Bhoyar and his group regaled the cyclists. Jayesh Mude, a 15-year-old flautist, played melodious tunes on his flute. Pranay Dasarwar, a beatboxer, engaged the young crowd with his talent. All these performances held the cyclists spellbound for many hours after the rally. The sound arrangements for the entire event were managed by Thungchanbemo Kikon.
It was probably for the first time in many years, that India Peace Centre saw so many footfalls, and hundreds of people became aware of the wonderful work being done by India Peace Centre towards Inter-Faith harmony, World Peace, Nuclear Disarmament, Ecology, Environment, Demilitarization, Social Justice and Human rights.
All the Core Committee members of India Peace Centre, including Rohit Tokhi, Ashish Ashok Deshpande, Amarjit Singh, Lata Tokhi, Yugal Rayalu, Sonal Hikare, Adv. Laxmi Malewar, Mohammed Rafique, Dr. Charu Baheti, Nimish Sutaria, Saurabh Khobragade, Sneha Rathi and others worked hard to make the event a big success!
This year we also had two young and dynamic interns from Germany, Helge Laatzen and Thula, who not only cycled the full route of the Rally, but were also instrumental in organizing, planning and volunteering for the Bicycle Rally.
The Bicycle Rally for Peace initiative by India Peace Centre was ably supported by Dinesh Dhawane, Kapil Sawaikar, Tejal Dasarwar, Sarvesh Kashilekar, Dr. Suhas Deotale, Kavita Jogi Ghugal, Dr. Nirankush Khubalkar, Bhramanand Petkar, Kshatrap Khewale, Gagan Singh Raina, Varun of Goddess Films, Javed Khan, Savit Walde, Prerana Kotangale, Kavya Raisingh, Soham and many more enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. IP Logistics and Batco Express sponsored some of the T-Shirts. Mr Moreshwar, Sanju, Gautam and the entire staff of India Peace Centre too worked day and night to make the event a big success!
Kolkata set to welcome Goddess Durga in ‘Vatican City’ themed pandal
Durga Puja is around the corner and Kolkata is all set to welcome Goddess Durga in a unique way. Every year innovative ideas are employed for creating the Durga Puja pandals. This year too, an exceptionally magnificent theme of the Vatican City is being done by the Sreebhumi Sporting Club, which is known for its innovative ideas each year.
The Durga Puja pandal is themed around St. Peters’ Basilica in Vatican City. It took 100 artisans 30 days to make the pandal. With a width of 54 feet, and a height of 65 feet, the main pandal portrays the Renaissance styled church.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the puja on Thursday. However, it is to open for public only from Monday, September 26, after Mahalaya.
West Bengal | Kolkata’s Sree Bhumi Puja Pandal, has this year been designed on the theme of ‘Vatican City’ ahead of Durga Pooja festival pic.twitter.com/4TWW2RtJla
— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2022
As several trains get cancelled, refund becomes a hassle at Nagpur railway station
Nagpur railway station was flanked by passengers queuing up for refund of their booked tickets as the Central Railway and South East Central Railway have cancelled several trains, recently. Closure of several ticket counters at the east and west side of the station has added to the woes of the passengers.
The paucity of functioning tickets counters at the Nagpur railway station has put travellers in a fix as festivals like Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas are around the corner. Even as government encourages people to book tickets online in order to avoid rush, a huge section of people, especially senior citizens, still rely on window ticket bookings.