Love Matters: India’s first bilingual website launched at QTube Cafe in Bandra

Love Matters , India’s first bilingual website dedicated to love, sexuality and relationships organized a one of its kind Open mic session on Valentine day on February 14, 2017 in Mumbai’s quiet but hip QTube Café in Bandra. The event saw a jam packed venue where many came forward to share their tryst with love, sexuality or identity, their take on relationships, family, and society. The gathering was of young and old people, many came with their parents to taste the non judgmental and open minded session.

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While speaking at the event, Vithika Yadav, RNW Head-India, Love Matters India, said: “We organized this open mic session as a true free speech event for young Mumbaikars to come together and have an opportunity to have frank and open conversations on love, sexuality and relationships.”

Love Matters opened its doors for everyone and the differences of Mumbai walked in, slightly unsure and then they took to the stage, and all those differences dissolved to form, what united them for that moment forming a road of open dialogue. With an opportunity to share openly, people poured their hearts out; what they felt about love, lessons they have learnt on the way, good and bad both, how they feel towards every individual deserving a fair chance to love who they want, to freely talking about their sexuality, about society’s perception, attitude and acceptance of every individual.
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“The idea behind an open-mic event with young people is to shed all the judgement around different sexuality and preferences. We don’t want the society to label someone. We want everyone to come together and hear each other patiently”, Roshan Kokane, web editor for Love Matters India, pointed out.
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Love Matters India is moving towards changing how people perceive and are perceived by others, they want to bridge the gap that creates this difference through respectful dialogues and ‘Let’s Talk About Us’ the open mic session in Mumbai was a step towards creating that platform.

Love Matters India is the first ever bilingual English and Hindi website about sex and sexuality in India. It aims to provide science-based information on love, sex and relationships so people can make informed choices, and to create spaces where everyone is free to ask questions and engage in online conversations. In 2016 itself, the website has attracted an average of two million users a month and there in excess of one million followers on Facebook.

Lee Jeans appoint Jacqueline Fernandez as Brand Ambassador

Lee Jeans announced the appointment of Bollywood Actor Jacqueline Fernandez as its brand ambassador in India. In an exclusive media event held at JW Marriot Sahar, Mumbai, Lee Jeans introduced Jacqueline Fernandez as their brand ambassador.

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Jacqueline, with her optimistic spirit is known to have charted her way into the competitive Bollywood industry, making a mark of her own. An extremely popular personality, especially among the youth as she embodies the energy of today’s generation. This is reflective in her versatile craft and her curious attitude as she explores new mediums and new formats in the entertainment industry. Hence Lee has signed her up to further re-instate the brand’s own personality.

Latest product innovation

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Jacqueline’s immediate campaign with Lee will showcase their latest product innovation for the Indian Woman – Body OptixTM. Lee Jeans have always been flag bearers of relentless ideation, meeting true-blue craftsmanship. Creating stories in authentic denim, in all shapes, fits and sizes. Where curiosity inspires unique thinking. Pioneering fashion with purposeful designs. And delivering to the world of fashion, denims crafted with over a century’s worth of rich heritage; leading to creation of historic styles but with contemporary stitching.

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Speaking on the occasion, Jacqueline said: “Denims have this soft corner in all our hearts and these pairs are such a great companion of our growing up years. Lee is most definitely a synonym of denim as the brand has been here for over a 128 years because of innovators, ideators and master craftsmen as part of their team,” she further continued, “So there was no second thought, I mean who would think twice before signing up with a global Icon like Lee – at least I wouldn’t.”

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At the event, Lee Jeans also unveiled a game changing product innovation designed for the Indian woman – BODY OPTIX™ denims! Here, traditional denim designs are combined with ground-breaking vision science and design to create holistic body shaping specifically for the Indian female body.

Sharad Walia – General Manager of Lee India, said: “With BODY OPTIX™ denims, Lee Jeans is revolutionising the way denims have been envisioned, created and worn in the world. The primary objective of the brand has always been to bring to the end consumer, denims that are comfortable, easy to wear, yet add that certain X factor for the wearer and enhance their denim-wearing experience.”

Body OptixTM Denims

Lee BODY OPTIX™ is a joint accomplishment between vision scientists and denim designers. After extensive scientific tests and consumer research, premium LYCRA BEAUTY® fabrics and authentic design details have been incorporated with exquisite craftsmanship. The collection promises to create holistic body shaping specifically for the Indian female body, with an unprecedented 360° total body shaping and fully flattering fit.

Lee’s passion for denim, together with the constant pursuit of innovation, has produced the finest denim garments. Each piece is testament to the heritage and craftsmanship that has exemplified Lee as one of the world’s pioneering denim brands. BODY OPTIX™ is the result of more than 128 years of experience and expertise in designing the best denim. Lee continues to stay curious and explore all things new, constantly looking at the world from new angles, and never restricting themselves to the possibilities of better and more purposeful denim designs.

Lee – the Legendary Jeans Label since 1889

Lee is one of the world’s most iconic signatures of quality, innovation and craftsmanship. Following the establishment of the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company by Henry David Lee in Kansas, U.S., in 1889, Lee embarked on its journey to become a legendary denim brand. Over the years, Lee has made history with its many product innovations including the world’s first-ever zip fly jeans – the 101Z in 1926, the iconic Hair-on-hide leather label and the Lazy S back pocket stitching. From the launch of the 1st Lee bib overalls to the 13oz 101 cowboy jeans, Lee has demonstrated an undying passion for innovation, and has transformed itself from a practical and durable work-wear maker to a contemporary and trend setting fashion giant.

AIWUP Launches First Women Political Party in India

With the stated purpose of eliminating all gender discrimination, a first women political party in the country, All India Women United Party (AIWUP) has been launched. The AIWUP is a registered national political party, endeavouring to eliminate all gender based discrimination and create equal opportunities for men and women, with an aim of building a democratic secular and Socialist state of India, a media statement issued by the party said.

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For the first time in the history of India, a team of like-minded women, comprising of activists, environmentalists, professionals and others, has come forward to form a political party to fight for their political, legal and social rights and create a society where equal opportunities will exist for both the genders. The AIWUP has been formed following the vision of Rights guaranteed by UN Declarations and Conventions to Women and the Right to Equality guaranteed by the Constitution of India. It is an endeavor to create political awareness among women and provide them a platform to help fight against any kind of gender based discrimination.

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According to the Party President, Nasim Bano Khan, AIWUPis dedicated to building a democratic, secular and Socialist State of India on the principles of equality and will strive for the dignity for the women. She states, “Being an all-women party, we are committed towards the upliftment and empowerment of women, and at the same time, we are destined to address all relevant local and national issues that need an attention.” Coming from an NGO background and with over three decades of actively participating to address a whole range of social issues, Nasim is confident to see AIWUP at the forefront of the national politics in India in the coming years.

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Like Nasim, Lakshmi, who is the General Secretary of the Party, is also coming from an NGO background and for over three decades has been actively participating to address a whole range of social issues. Advocate Meena is also moved by the plight of the Indian women and is committed to make AIWUP a movement that can help achieve the goal of equality, development and peace for all women. Meena is the Vice President of the Party and as a seasoned legal professional. Meena pointed out: “Women must be aware of their political and legal rights, so that they can become capable to fight against any kind of injustice or discrimination that they often face in their life.”

Innovative ideas

Unlike other parties, AIWUP maintains strict guidelines that promote young generation of leaders to be at the forefront to lead the movement with their innovative ideas. The party mandates that the leadership will retire at the age of 65, and no successors or family members will be allowed to hold party positions. According to Lakshmi Krishnan, “We only promote talented and deserving candidates in our party. We are different and are entirely dedicated to achieve equality, development and peace for humans, irrespective of their caste, creed or gender.”

The national spokesperson of AIWUP, they are going to contest the upcoming Punjab and UP assembly elections and all other states. The name of candidates for Punjab elections is going to be finalized very soon, and they are going to share the list with the media very soon. The party is confident of making a significant debut in the Punjab elections, with their unique perspectives and a different set of goals to achieve.

AIWUP is an all-women national political party, registered with the Election Commission of India, with “Bangles” as their election symbol. The party follows the principles of equality for everyone in the society and will endeavour to eliminate all discrimination in the society to help build a harmonious environment for all men and women to live and prosper and also play their part in building the nation. AIWUP is going to contest forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and other states.

Malavika Sarukkai debuts on group choreography Vamatara – Light

Malavika Sarukkai, danseuse par excellence, an acknowledged choreographer and a Padma Shree Awardee is introducing a group choreography for the first time ever, titled Vamatara – To The Light on September 2, 2016 at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleshwaram, Bangalore.

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Malavika’s choreographs are known for the incandescent beauty of the classical language of Bharata Natyam and the energised articulation of a contemporary mind. Intense, extraordinary and luminous are the qualities that distinguish her dancing.

New Chapter

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‘Vamatara – To the Light” is the latest dance creation of Malavika, which opens a new chapter in her artistic journey with the introduction of group choreography for the first time. The concept rests on the enduring image of the lotus rising from the sludge to the light, as a symbol of hope. What is more, this production includes group work in addition to Malavika Sarukkai’s solo choreographies. Vamatara is a validation of the dynamics within classical dance which allows for creative freedom, innovation and imagination.

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In recognition of her contribution, Malavika has received many awards including the Padma shree, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Kalaimamani award, the Raza award, the Mrinalini Sarabhai award and more. Furthermore, Malavika has recently been awarded the Natya Kala Acharya Award by the Music Academy of Bangalore.

SKF India, NAAM Foundation support drought affected farmers in Maharasthra

SKF India employees have joined hands with NAAM foundation to help drought affected farmers’ in Maharashtra. In a gesture of helping hand for community the employees decided to contribute the dividend income from their employees’ cooperative account for the cause. This amount was equally matched by the company raising a sum of Rs.7.75 lakh, according to a statement issued by SKF India.

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Shrikant Savangikar (extreme right) handing over the cheque to Nana Patekar along with SKF India Credit Society members at Pune

Water conservation philosophy

The recent scarcity of water across the state of Maharashtra has had a devastating effect in the rural areas, especially the farmers’ community. This initiative by SKF of helping the farmers from the drought affected areas is in line with SKF India’s priority and philosophy of water conservation.

The cheque was handed over to veteran bollywood actor and Co-Founder of NAAM Foundation Nana Patekar, by Shrikant Savangikar, Director of Sustainability, Quality and Business Excellence, SKF India along with SKF employees’ credit society chairman Govind Shevate, Dyanoba Deokar, Secretary of the credit society and Sikander Ghodke, member of credit society among other SKF employees and members, the statement said.

Shishir Joshipura, Managing Director and Country Head, SKF India, said: “SKF believes that an opportunity exists at every stage in operational value chain to reduce the environmental impact. Doing more with less preserves the environment and precious resources for future generations. SKF has embarked on an ambitious program three years ago to make all its facilities water neutral by 2018. Our employees represent the true face of our organization and this initiative represents our philosophy of making a meaningful difference to the community we live in.

Shrikant Savangikar, Director of Sustainability, Quality and Business Excellence, SKF India added: “Deficient monsoons for two consecutive years have now affected a large number of farmers and the alarming conditions are driving them towards life threatening situations. NAAM foundation has done encouraging work under the aegis of known names and we are happy to be able to make a contribution to make a meaningful difference.”

Dr Kewal Krishan performs India’s first successful implant of HeartMate 3™

Dr. Kewal Krishan, Programme Head – Heart transplant and Ventricular assist devices and senior consultant cardiac surgeon at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, performed India’s first successful implant of HeartMate 3™, which offers physicians the world’s most advanced ventricular assist technology available to support the management of patients with advanced stage heart failure, a statement issued by the hospital said.

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According to the office of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India’s report titled ‘Causes of Death in India 2010-2013’, cardiovascular disease is responsible for 23% of all deaths in India, out of which heart failure accounts for an estimated 2.3 million deaths annually.

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The HeartMate 3™ implant surgery was performed in early May 2016 on Mr. Santoshkiran Kardiawar (name changed), a 69 year old gentleman from New Delhi, who had earlier undergone stenting twice in 2005 and 2009 and had been put on medical management for a triple vessel coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus and end stage cardiomyopathy with EF 15%. Besides implanting HeartMate 3™, Dr. Kewal Krishan also removed a clot from the right ventricle and repaired the aortic valve. HeartMate 3™ LVAD implant was advised as destination therapy for symptomatic end stage heart disease since medical management was found to be insufficient for the patient’s condition. Over the past three weeks since the LVAD implant, Santoshkiran’s heart condition and quality of life have improved considerably and with immediate effect.

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Internationally renowned Dr. Kewal Krishan is one of the handful surgeons in India that are formally trained in all aspects of heart transplantation. An Advanced Clinical Fellow at the world’s top hospitals including Mayo Clinic and Mount Sinai Medical Centre, USA, Dr. Kewal Krishan is credited with the distinction of performing the maximum number of LVADs in one year in India. He along with other team members performed the maximum number of ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) in the country, in patients with severe lung or heart condition. Dr. Kewal had also performed the first heart transplant of Max Healthcare in India.

Explaining about this first fully magnetically-levitated left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implant, Dr. Krishan says: “Unlike artificial hearts, LVADs don’t replace the heart, but supplement the pumping function in patients whose hearts are too weak to pump blood adequately on their own. LVADs can be used in patients who are awaiting heart transplant, as well as patients who cannot undergo transplantation for any reason. With the availability of HeartMate 3™ system in India, I am glad that advanced heart failure patients will no longer need to travel abroad to get this implant, and I am looking forward to making this system broadly available throughout India.”

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a battery-operated, mechanical pump, which helps the left ventricle – the main pumping chamber of the heart – to pump blood to the rest of the body. More than 50,000 LVAD implants have been performed across the world. The latest HeartMate 3™ system is a highly advanced fully magnetically levitated LVAD which reduces friction and provides blood-friendly wide pump gaps to reduce issues such as blood stagnation and thrombus formation or clotting. HeartMate 3™ can pump up to 10 liters of blood per minute. The Full MagLev™ system enables an artificial pulse every 2 seconds by rapidly changing rotor speeds while maintaining pump gaps, thereby ensuring washing of the impeller.

HeartMate 3™ also comes with a smaller sized pump to increase surgical ease to implant and enhances patient’s life expectancy significantly. It allows the patient to have an active life with limited caution, with immediate symptomatic relief and improvement in the left heart function. This device is equipped to work with Go Gear wearable accessories. The one year FDA data has shown zero-rate of pump thrombosis and excellent patient outcomes. The HeartMate 3™ system received CE Mark approval in October, 2015, based on data from the clinical trial, which demonstrated a 92 percent six month survival rate; the best six month survival rate to date to be documented in an LVAD CE Mark clinical study.

Research trump card for effective PR, says young entrepreneur Roopali Pasricha

The Public Research Agencies are now engaged in a lot of research like never before, before carrying out a particular campaign and further focus on providing timely and relevant content for effective results. “Therefore, it is important to study in-depth abut the client’s needs, target market, and available resources before creating a PR Plan”, says Roopali Pasricha, Founder of SpotLYK. In a free-wheeling chat with Jayashankar Menon, she talks in length about effective PR relations.

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JM: What, according to you is PR?

RP: PR is more than just drafting creative content. Research involves in everything that we do, rith from knowing the client, to studying about the target audience and choosing the relevant media, we need to study in-depth and there involves a lot of creativity in pitching the story ideas. Apart from the target audience, we are also influencing the external stakeholders.

JM: How important is for the PR Agencies to have thorough knowledge about the consumer’s business?

RP: We need to delve into deeper insights as from focusing on the consumer insights to focusing on the target audience and then deciding proper channels to deliver the results, there involves a lot of research. While pitching the journalists, you will be asked a lot of in-depth questions about your client’s business. Thus, studying in-depth about the consumer’s business is equally important.

JM: Can you speak about your foray into PR world?

RP: While doing my graduation, I was clear about pursuing a profession, giving life to brands. Though, I joined a PR agency, immediately after graduation, but soon lost interest. I was always wanting to initiate a start-up and was passionate about giving life to brands and hence SpotLYK was born.

JM: What is the meaning behind the name SpotLYK?

RP: SpotLYK stands for spotting it and LYK is an acronym for letting you know. So the concept behind this is: ‘We Spot it and Let You Know’.

JM: How do you understand customer needs?

RP: There is the availability of plethora of similar products, thus the need to differentiate your media pitch from others have become an ever-increasing need. What is more, you must first determine what information you want to collect, then conduct a market survey. It will explore how to incorporate survey results into PR and marketing activities.

JM: Is there any measurable impact?

RP: To understand the impact a business communication strategy has on influencing behaviour, there can be a lot of tools that can be used like calculating the number of successful pitches to working according to the analytics to creating the strategy and knowing the target audiences as well as the client’s insights, market research can play an important role in understanding this aspect as well.

JM: What are your future plans?

RP: Currently, I am committed to taking SpotLYK to higher levels and establishing it as India’s top communication agency.