All posts by bienumv

Love to read, write, travel and talking to self & people!

Colgate launches 10th edition of its Scholarship Program

The aim is to give children a future to smile about

In its 10th year, the program offers more scholarships and a free one-month subscription of BYJU’s study material with every offer pack

Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited, the market leader in Oral Care in India, launched its annual, Colgate Scholarship Program. As a part of the program, more than 500 children can avail scholarships up to Rupees One Lakh, and every consumer who buys the offer-pack gets a free one-month subscription of BYJU’s learning app.

Since its launch in 2009, the Colgate Scholarship Program has been contributing to the lives of children in a meaningful way. So far, these scholarships have enabled more than 1000 Indian families, across 100 cities, to give their children a brighter future – be it in dance, sports, music, or academics.

In the last three years, 14.8 million children have participated in the scholarship program. In the 2017 edition, about 0.9 million consumers benefitted from the BYJU’s study material provided through the Scholarship packs. The free BYJU’s subscription gives the consumer access to Maths and Science video tutorials for Standard 4 to 12, and can be accessed on the BYJU’s application using a unique code printed inside the Colgate Scholarship packs. For those who are unable to access the BYJU’s app, the study material has been converted into audio lectures, which are made available through a toll-free number provided on the pack.

Mr. Issam Bachaalani, Managing Director, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited said, “At Colgate, we believe that everyone deserves a future to smile about and we attempt to bring that alive with our annual Scholarship Program, which we have been growing significantly every year. This year we have not only increased the number of scholarships but also maintained our partnership with BYJU’s, the learning app, to enable free education through every Colgate Scholarship pack. It is our constant endeavour to encourage more and more Indian families/children to take advantage of the Colgate Scholarship Program and to be able to support them in securing a better and brighter future.”

Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO, BYJU’S, said, “We are excited to continue our association with Colgate Scholarship Program, and make education accessible, enjoyable and engaging for children. We hope to reach out to more Indian families and benefit their children with our specially created courses.”

How to participate in Colgate Scholarship Program?

Give a missed call on the toll-free number 1800 313 4575 -printed on the Colgate Scholarship packs (and also communicated through Colgate advertisements), answer a simple question on Oral Care, and stand a chance to win a Colgate scholarship.

The terms and conditions of the Scholarship Program, which is open from June 1, 2018, to September 30, 2018, are available at http://www.colgatecares.co.in.

Purchase of any Colgate pack is not mandatory to participate in the Scholarship Offer. The limited-period Scholarship offer is available on all Colgate packs with the BJYU’s unique code printed inside the Colgate Dental Cream (50 gms and above), Colgate Active Salt (100 gms and 200 gms), Colgate Active Salt lemon (100 gms and 200 gms), Colgate Active Salt Neem (100 gms and 200 gms), Colgate Cibaca (80 gms and 175 gms) and Colgate Cibaca Vedshakti (80 gms and 175 gms) packs.

Colgate Scholarships few Lucky recipients share their story:

Voylla: Vivid expression of Royalty of Chittor Fort, Rajasthan

~Voylla presents Jewelry inspired from the royalty of the Chittor Fort~

Voylla, leading fashion jewellery brand brings Chittor collection: an exquisite range of jewellery inspired by Rajasthani traditions and culture. Voylla believes that jewellery is truly an extension of a woman’s subtle inner self in an outward manner using the visual language of design.

Inspired by the rich culture of India, Studio VOYLLA presents handcrafted traditional jewellery studded with miniature motifs of Chittor princess/Maharani and mirrors. The assortment comprises neckpieces, earring, rings, chokers and matha Patti available in vivid colours and designs.

Voylla brings jewellery that is not just an adornment but a physical rendition of the wearer’s personality. This exclusive collection can be paired with any outfit and for any occasion, which will raise the style quotient instantly. The brand belief to create something unique and different that patron will cherish for years to come is what make the brand to stand apart.

What began in 2013 as an e-commerce experiment in Bangalore has grown into one of the most popular, omnichannel fashion jewellery brands in the country.

With a robust online presence and an expansive retail presence of 250 stores, Voylla is just a click and a step away from its patrons.

Voylla has successfully introduced the concept of high quality, impeccably crafted jewellery at affordable price points-a feat that remains unmatched in an increasingly busy segment. Voylla’s other USP is the way it has taken cues from traditional art, crafts and narratives to create contemporary accessories for the discerning patron. It is the only brand with a versatile line of jewellery playing the sartorial companion to everyone.

About Chittor Fort

The Chittor Fort or Chittorgarh is one of the largest forts in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was the capital of Mewar and is located in the present-day town of Chittorgarh. It sprawls over a hill 180 m (590.6 ft) in height spread over an area of 280 ha (691.9 acres) above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct has several historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemorative towers.

Beginning in the 7th century, the fort was controlled by the Mewar Kingdom. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the fort was ruled by Paramara dynasty. In 1303, the Turkish ruler of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji defeated Rana Ratan Singh’s forces at the fort. In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, defeated Bikramjeet Singh and took the fort. In 1567 Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II’s troops. The fort’s defenders sallied forth to charge the attacking enemy but yet were not able to succeed. Following these defeats, the women are said to have committed jauhar or mass self-immolation. The rulers, soldiers, noblewomen and commoners considered death preferable to the mass rape and pillaging that was thought to occur following to surrender to the Sultanate forces.

In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Chittorgarh Fort, along with five other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a group called the Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation appoints new Managing Director

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has appointed Shri Suhas Diwase, IAS as its new Managing Director. Shri Diwase IAS batch 2009 took charge of the office on July 16, 2018. Currently, Shri Diwase is also working as the Chairman and Managing Director of Maharashtra State Warehousing Corporation. He holds a Master’s degree in Horticulture. He has also done Public Administration from The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. Currently, he is perusing PhD in Disaster Management.

On his appointment as the Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Shri Suhas Diwase said, “It’s a pleasure to take over in my new role at Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. Tourism is one of the most important and rapidly growing sectors in India contributing significantly to the economic development of our country. Therefore, my focus would be to develop and analyse and understand the present tourism avenues in Maharashtra through new programmes and policies aimed at developing and sustaining tourism in the state.”

Prior to taking up his appointment as Managing Director, MTDC, Shri Suhas Diwase worked in various districts at several positions. He was Director of Disaster Management and CEO of Pimpri-Chinchwad New Town Development Authority and Collector of Bhandara district.

On taking over charge of his new role as a Managing Director, Shri. Suhas Diwase immediately had a meeting along with higher officials of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) including Shri. Aashutosh Rathod, Director of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra and Joint Managing Director of MTDC and Smt. Swati Kale, General Manager, MTDC, Shri. Dinesh Kamble, Senior Manager, Publicity and PR, MTDC and other Head of Departments. He also had a review meeting of MTDC projects.

About MTDC:

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the state, which generates substantial foreign exchange and has culminated in significant employment prospects. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) was established with the aim of promoting tourism in the state. Since its foundation, MTDC has been at the forefront of development and maintenance of various tourist sites and at present owns and maintains resorts in these regions. To aide tourists, MTDC has opened information centres at all popular destination, which provide travel information about various tourist spots in Maharashtra along with travel maps, Maharashtra tourism guides and travel books at affordable prices.

 

Twin Events – AGM & COG – Special all the way!

Apex real estate industry body of Mumbai & MMR announced ‘Change of Guard’ as Mr Mayur Shah (also the Chief of Marathon Realty) handed over the baton to the newly elected President, Mr Nayan Shah (also the Chief of Mayfair Realty) amidst strong presence of over 500+ audience comprising luminaries from Banking, Finance, Legal, Government, developer fraternity and other important stakeholders like allied industry. We the team, CREDAI – MCHI hosted the prestigious events with elan. It was really an honour to be associated with such prestigious events.

The most respected Industry doyen Mr Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC and Global icon from the world of Finance was the Special Guest of Honour. Shri Deepak Parekh in his very influential address on this special occasion brought out the challenges before the Real-Estate industry and its way forward.

Addressing the august gathering, Mr Parekh said, “We may have different views on various issues but all of us are following the same objective of our Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi – Housing for All. In my 40 years of being in the Real Estate industry, I have never been as optimistic as I am today. The Government of India has for the first time, introduced number of sops, incentives and concessions to all sectors of real – estate –  for developers as well as home buyers, which has never been done before in the past.”

The ceremony witnessed the grand unveiling of “Vision Manifesto” outlining the key objectives for the need of the Execution, Completion, Commencement for the Real-Estate industry, amidst presence of Mr Nayan Shah, who endeavours to carry forward all the ongoing initiatives like GST, RERA, DCPR 2034, Common DCR and take these to their logical closure in a time-bound manner, where the focus shall be on EXECUTION – COMPLETION – COMMENCEMENT.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Nayan Shah, President, CREDAI-MCHI said, “My endeavour is to make CREDAI-MCHI a universally respected Real Estate Trade body, Making Quality Affordable Homes across MMR a reality and work towards improving quality of life for all in MMR. I would work towards accomplishing the Mission to play the role of a facilitator and an industry catalyst in linking over 1500 developers across MMR with various stakeholders thereby projecting the MMR Real Estate Industry as a trustworthy partner in all-round growth and development.”

Mr Gautam Chatterjee, Chairman MahaRERA said: The year 2017-18 has brought in a paradigm shift the way Real – Estate business use to happen particularly when the current initiatives are towards affordable housing. The regulation brought in last year is showing your compliant behaviour, initiating a process under MahaRERA. The prime purpose of registering your projects, especially ongoing projects, MahaRERA wants stands by you to see that these projects are completed in time. This is the win-win situation for everybody – the consumer, the developer.”

Mr Ajoy Mehta, IAS, MCGM Commissioner, said “DCPR is in the last stages of finalization and for that, we are following a very transparent process. As we go along, the changes we make, we are going to show you and we want you to react. What is to be accepted would be accepted, what is not to be accepted, will not be accepted. At the end of it, there should be no surprises.”

As a part of the major goal for Vision 2022, the Managing Committee members and other members took the oath of Transparency, Integrity, Honesty, Justice, Accountability, Compliance and fair play. 

The event was made truly special with TriveniEthnics beautiful dull gold colour raw silk saree having traditional weaves and very adorning silhouette got me many compliments. Always happy to wear Triveni Saree for all my special occasions!

The team:

 

 

MTDC Resorts – A Boon for Tourists in Maharashtra

MTDC RESORTS

Travellers from across the globe are pouring in every day to discover new destinations in the state. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has constantly worked to offer an enriching experience to the visitors. The six resorts that were built by MTDC in the last five years at Sakoli (District Bhandara), Ambhora (Nagpur), Mozari Point Chikaldara (Amravati), Bodhalkasa (Gondia), Gaganbawda (Kolhapur) and Kunakeshwar (Sindhudurga) have immense potential to allure visitors from across the globe and help MTDC to promote untapped destinations. The details of these resorts, and how to reach them are as follows:

  1. SAKOLI

Sakoli is a small town in district Bhandara of Maharashtra. From cultural and historical spots, natural beauty, adventure and entertainment activities there are several exciting prospects for travellers to discover Sakoli. Just a few kilometres away from the Chulbhand river and surrounded by ponds and lakes, Sakoli is located on the Mumbai-Kolkata national highway.

You can reach there by road, located 101 Kms from Nagpur for which all kinds of transport is available whereas nearest railway stations and airport are Nagpur.

From here you can visit Andhalgaon, known as the dark village in Bhandara tehsil, apart from being a major supplier of Kosa silk cloth, is also famous for its weaving industry and manufacturing silk-bordered clothes, The Gondumari Palace, 10km away from Sakoli, is a place of historic importance and Explore the wildlife of Nagzira National Park and Navegaon Bandh Bird Sanctuary.

Here you can stay at MTDC’s leased out its property to M/S Tuli Hospitality Pvt Ltd and is an ideal destination for visitors looking for homely comfort.  

  1.  AMBHORA

Ambhora Village is situated on the bank of Wainganga River in Kuhi Taluka 75-km away from Nagpur. The key attractions of Ambhora are the shrines on the confluence of the three rivers — Wainganga, Kanhan and Amba. Overwhelmingly beautiful, Ambhora is home to Shri Harinath Temple and Ambatitthak Buddha Vihar which have major pilgrim footfalls at least thrice during festivals annually.

You can reach here Road: State transport buses are available from Nagpur to Ambhora and visitors can hire private transports too. Nearest railway station and airport is Nagpur.

You can visit Markanda, a shrine devoted to Lord Shiva and a sacred place of worship for Hindus,  in the middle of Chamorshi which is situated on the bank of Wainganga river. Tadoba, called the Jewel of Vidarbha because of its rich tiger reserve, is the oldest national park in the state. Ambakhori, situated on the bank of Pench River, is the main attraction with its waterfalls and forests.

You can stay at MTDC’s Holiday Resort, Ambhora, an ideal destination for the travellers to experience the nature’s ecstasy.

  1. MOZARI POINT, CHIKHALDARA
Mozari Point

Mozari Point is situated in a picturesque setting with a deep valley on three sides. It offers splendid views of sunrise and sunset. This point is 2-km away from Chikaldara district headquarters. Visitors can also approach the Devi Point area and west side of Gawilgarh Fort which provides a magnificent view.

Public transports are available from Nagpur, Badnera and Akola.  The nearest railway stations are Badnera and Akola which are almost 80-km away from Chikhaldara. Several trains from Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur halts at both Badnera and Akola junction. The closest airport is at Akola, which is 150 km away from Mozari Chikhaldara.

You can visit Gugamal National Park spread to 1673.93 square km was built in 1974. It is a small part of the Melghat Tiger Reserve. Bhimkund-Kichakdara is fenced with lush green background from all sides. Bhim-Kund is nearly 3500 ft. deep and visitors take bath to wash away their sins. Panchbol Point is 4-km away from Bir Lake. The five hills edges are linked naturally with several valleys to form a huge valley. This point is known as Five Eco Point.

You can stay at MTDC Mozari Point Resort has very spacious rooms with neat and hygienic ambience. The restaurant offers decent and homely food.

  1. Bodhalkasa

Bodhalkasa, an attractive nature trail with wide dam and enlivenment, is about 135-km from Nagpur. There is an array of activities like speed boating, paddling and thrilling water sports. It is a perfect destination for adventure and wildlife. The visitors can dine with the tribes, explore their culinary, and culture.

Public transports are available from nearest town Tirora.  Nagpur, Tirora and Kachewani are the nearest railway stations, and the closest airport is Nagpur.

You can visit Bodhalkasa dam, an idyllic getaway for visitors, which is filled with adventurous nature trails, it is an excellent opportunity for visitors to enjoy jungle safari. Visitors can also avail of water sports activities like riding, paddling and speedboats.

You can stay at MTDC’s Bodhalkasa Resort which is about 7-km from Magezari Gate of Nagzira, wildlife century

  1. Gaganbawada, Dist.-Kolhapur

Located in Kolhapur, Gaganbawada is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Maharashtra blessed with scenic beauty and an eccentric view of the Konkan coastal region. Due to this reason, many Hindi and Marathi filmmakers are attracted towards this hill station. This is also one of the most favourite developing destinations for trekkers. It is located on the stretch of Kolhapur-Kharepatan route, merely 55 kilometres from Kolhapur and is abundant in natural beauty. A haze of fog covers Gaganbawada most of the time during monsoon making it the best season to visit the serenity.

You can reach there by Road which is an hour and a half drive from Kolhapur bus stand. Kankavli and Kolhapur are the nearest railway stations to Gaganbawada. The closest is the Belgaum airport and is well -linked with major metro cities.

You can visit Gaganbawada, located within the Sahyadri range in the traditional Western Ghats, offers an extremely popular fortification ‘Gagangad’, just 1-km away from the destination. Karul Ghat & Bhuibavda Ghat are the two ghats, which fall in the category of the most scenic routes that originate from Gaganbawada. The Morjai temple and plateau is an attraction to hikers. It is 8-km away from town at a height of 980 MSL, a perfect example of ‘Sada Ecosystem’.

You can stay at MTDC Holiday Resort in Gaganbawada, Kolhapur is suitable for visitors as it offers superior quality stay and accommodation facility.

  1. KUNKESHWAR (SINDHUDURG)
Kunkeshwar

Kunakeshwar is positioned in the Devgad taluka of Sindhudurg district, about 14-km away from Devgad and 438-km from Mumbai. Kunakeshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the hillock facing the sea, where we can see a scenic sundown. The temple was built in the 12th century and has a 10m stone wall separating the temple from the sea.

You can reach there by State transport buses from Devgad, Kankavli and Malvan go to Kunakeshwar on a regular basis, visitors can also opt for hired private vehicles for this hour-long journey. The nearest railway station is Kankavli, which is around 51-km away from Kunakeshwar. The nearest airport is Panaji, Goa.

You can visit the Rock Cave, 1-km east of Kunakeshwar Temple, is a place of tourist attraction. The idols of this cave are carved out of black stone. At the coastline of Mithbav and Tambaldeg bird watchers get to see an attractive variety of winged creatures. This beach is calm and has less chaos as it is not amongst the regular trips of the tourists. Kotkamate is a small village situated 15-km away from Kunakeshwar. This temple was renovated in 1725 by Kanhoji Angre the admiral of Martha Navy. The temple has sculptures of goddess Shri Bhagvati.

You can stay at Kunkeshwar Resort (MTDC) in Sindhudurg which offers a holistic view of its pristine beaches away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

 

 

 

Yoga for your Health & Plants for our Mumbai’s Health

Yoga Day Celebrations 

“Instead of dividing, yoga unites; instead of further animosity, yoga assimilates; Instead of increasing suffering, yoga heals,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing over 50,000 yoga enthusiasts at Dehradun’s FRI on International Yoga Day.

The UN unanimously adopted 21 June as International Day of Yoga after PM Modi’s address to the UN General Assembly on 27 September 2014 and since then many countries are celebrating Yoga.

Following Hon’ble PM’s footstep, International Yoga Day was celebrated with élan at Charkop where nearly 2000 people did Yoga on the Street – Charkop junction prepared for the purpose with distinguished participants like Shri Yogesh Sagar, MLA and Mr Deepak Tawade, Nagar Sewak.

Art of Living Foundation’s Ms. Jaishree Ganatra successfully conducted Yoga for such huge gathering and people enjoyed it very much. The gathering comprising of school children, office goers, self-employed professionals, homemakers, senior citizens representing age groups from 9 – 90 did yogasanas. Ms Ganatra, in a very smooth manner, made them do asanaas like: Bhujangasan, Makarasan, Shirshasan, Setubandhasan, Pawan Mukt Asan, Kapaal Bharti and Alom-Vilom.

It really turned out to be unusual morning when I stepped out 5:30 in the morning to be there for 6 AM program. It was a sight to see so many people coming with their Yoga mats to be part of this mega celebrations. The enthusiasm of organisers – BJP Sports & Cultural Association took lead in this and President Mr Sunil Ankam appreciated the efforts of CREDAI – MCHI and Mission Green Mumbai’s Subhajit Mukherjee for distribution of saplings to residents including many school teachers.

All residents were very happy to receive it and of course, we were very happy to give the plants.  Hope people practice yoga every day for the good health and plant trees for Mumbai’s health. I was very happy to see all the participants walking with a sapling of their choice. This was part of our President Mr Mayur Shah’s mission to make Mumbai greener by planting trees. The motivation coming from him really helps in achieving such objectives.

Yoga day celebrations were held not only all over the country but in many countries across the globe like Thailand and Nepal. BSF personnel on Border to joined in yoga day celebrations.

Indeed, most talked about celebration was at Dehradun, Uttara Khand where over 50,000 people joined him for Yoga Session. The credit goes to him for making Yoga the worldwide phenomenon and bringing so much pride to India on an International level. In Mumbai, many Ministers and Celebrities joined Venkaih Naiduji, Hon’ble Vice – President of India for Yoga Day celebrations.

Thanks, CREDAI – MCHI and MISSION GREEN MUMBAI’s Shubhajit Mukherjee, whose passion for the environment is infectious,  for this unique opportunity as I had never attended any citizen’s program with such a huge gathering.

It is rightly said: You never stop learning!

 

Dadi Ki Rasoi…Sabke Man Bhaayi!!

It is very rare that I listen to BIG FM 92.7 on a Saturday, and it is equally rare that I don’t listen to BIG FM 92.7 on a Sunday. This Saturday turned out to be truly special in more ways than one, but about rest of the things later…

I heard RJ Richa Anirudh talking about “Dadi-Ki-Rasoi” from Noida in her program Zindagi with Richa. She mentioned that she travelled to NOIDA to bring in a first-hand account of this unique initiative by social activist Mr Anoop Khanna. Her inimitable style of reporting and interaction with Mr Khanna generated my interest in the program, and in a rare move, I left all work and sat near the radio for the program.

Noida based social activist, Anoop Khanna along with a group of like-minded people have started ‘Dadi ki Rasoi’ with an aim to provide a meal at the lowest possible amount, which is priced at Rs. 5 only. He is feeding nearly 400-500 persons from his stall located in Ganga Shopping Complex, Sector – 17, Noida. Getting quality meal cooked with Desi Ghee comprising of Dal cooked with all vegetables and Basmati rice, is really a delicious fare. His aim is to provide home – cooked quality meal. “We wanted to provide quality food, which gives you a homely feel. We could have attempted to provide the food for free as well but the reason for the price is that it gives dignity to a person who is buying the lunch. As far as the quality of food is concerned, I personally supervise over the preparation. Moreover, since the cost is minimal, anyone can enjoy a meal without worrying about the cost,” Khanna says.

He gives full credit to his team of volunteers and philanthropes who provide him dal, rice, ghee and vegetables on highly subsidised rates willingly and regularly and make a contribution to this unique initiative. People of the area have taken this initiative sportingly and celebrate their special occasions like birthdays and marriage anniversaries and joyfully add to the menu like Paneer – Rice/ Rajma Chawal/ fruits/ cakes/ sweets etc. This way people are very happy eating at Dadi – Ki-Rasoi. This gives him immense satisfaction when he sees happy faces of his visitors. His mother encourages him for this initiative and his children advised him to name it “Dadi-Ki-Rasoi” as proposal came from her.

Not only this, he gives a choice of second-hand clothes for a price of Rs. 10/- to whosoever wants it. People from all over bring dry cleaned and neatly packed clothes to his store from where he dispenses subsidised medicines for needy.

Son of a freedom fighter, 57-year-old Khanna has spent more than Rs 30,000 in setting up the kitchen, which is a one-time investment and the raw material for the lunch costs him around Rs. 2500 a day.

Khanna shares that residents’ support has been encouraging as many have come forward to donate for the initiative. On a regular basis, many residents even sponsor a special meal in case there is a celebration in their house.

“One thing I have realised is that there are people who want to support a cause, given if it actually serves a purpose. So whenever there is a birthday celebration or marriage anniversary, residents come and sponsor a special meal that day.” Khanna says.

Khanna now pledges to continue with the initiative for the rest of his life and is now even encouraging more and more residents in various sectors to set up such stalls in their area.

“It is not so difficult. It only takes a will of a person to start something like this. I have started getting requests from the residents to help them start something like this in their locality as well, so I have asked them to spend some time at my outlet just to have an idea about the functioning and challenges we face,” he adds.

Truly a real-life hero! Don’t miss when you are in the area.

watch Richa Anirudh with Mr Khanna at Dadi-ki-Rasoi.

Maharashtra Tourism and Airbnb celebrate one-year milestone of partnership

Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra:  “Tourism is not only a source of revenue for the state but is also a key source of growth for local communities.” 

He was speaking on the occasion of the celebration of one-year milestone partnership of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) with Airbnb and the launch of Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme in the state to boost the tourism prospects.

The program aims to drive economic growth in local Maharashtra communities by helping micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality sector grow their business through four key pillars of support- Training, Enabling, Access and Promotion.

The program would be launched first in Elephanta village where MTDC and Airbnb will associate with Gram Panchayat and identify 35 homes and get aligned with Airbnb standards. Hosts of these homes would be the first set of entrepreneurs benefitting from this program.

Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra, added, “In Airbnb, we have found a global partner whose vision to create skilled micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality and homestay ecosystem to further expand Maharashtra’s tourism potential. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Airbnb with the launch of the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme, which will help mentor and support budding entrepreneurs in in hospitality sector and build a strong homestay network across key destinations. This is the first-of-its-kind tourism initiative in India where the Government has used the revenue shared by a partner to create a program to benefit various underprivileged communities in the State. With new innovative initiatives like this one, together with Airbnb, we aim to attract a larger global audience and exponentially boost tourism in Maharashtra,”

Commenting on the occasion, Shri. V.K. Gautam, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Through the Accelerator Programme, Maharashtra Tourism and Airbnb aim to create a homestay ecosystem in Elephanta and create at least one hospitality micro-entrepreneur in every village across Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar. In year one, we target to create and nurture 1500 tourism and hospitality entrepreneurs. This will motivate tourism and open up new destinations and unique experiences for travellers.”

“Airbnb’s commitment to create 50,000 hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India. The launch of the Accelerator Programme is a major step towards realizing our commitment and Maharashtra is our lead partner in creating a progressive, sustainable tourism ecosystem in India,” said Mr Chris Lehane, Global Head of Policy and Communications, Airbnb. Lehane added, “Airbnb has always been committed to building a more inclusive tourism sector across the world and no more so than in emerging markets like India. Enabling and empowering all communities, including those that may have not previously benefited from tourism is integral to inclusive tourism. We are therefore excited about the launch of the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program to mentor budding hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in underserved communities.”

Last year, Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb, in his meeting with the Honourable Prime Minister, had shared, “Through our partnership signed last year, Airbnb and Maharashtra Tourism have worked together to train hundreds of micro-entrepreneurs across key tourism districts.” 

Mr. Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Head, Airbnb India, said: “We’re thrilled to today announce the expansion of this partnership through the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme and continue to play a role in supporting healthy, sustainable tourism in Maharashtra.”

Key elements of the Programme include:

○ Training: Airbnb will create a comprehensive training toolkit which will be used by Maharashtra Tourism to identify quality destinations, homes and entrepreneurs, as well as by Airbnb to train selected entrepreneurs on technology, hospitality, financing, regulations and promotion.

Enabling: Airbnb has been sharing a portion of its earnings in Maharashtra with Maharashtra Tourism towards tourism development in the State. Besides, using this fund as the program’s foundation, Maharashtra Tourism will connect trained entrepreneurs with existing government programs for additional funds.

Access: Airbnb and Maharashtra Tourism will connect selected entrepreneurs with local partners to offer them access to technology, address language barriers and provide mentorship support. Airbnb’s co-hosting model has the potential to help village youths or community-based organizations with smartphones and better language skills become partners to micro-entrepreneurs with quality homes.

Promotion: Once entrepreneurs are ready to host travellers, Airbnb will partner with content creators to promote the homes to tourists around the world. Maharashtra Tourism will also use its promotional platforms to support the entrepreneurs.

Maharashtra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India offering a diverse range of experiences from pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, to imposing forts, colourful festivals, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums, and historical monuments. For further details, please visit: http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a global travel community that offers magical end-to-end trips, including where you stay, what you do and the people you meet. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs.

 

World Environment Day celebrated “Bisleri” Style!

Bisleri Launches a Plastic Recycling initiative “Bottles for Change”

 The initiative aims at educating and changing the behaviour of citizens on efficient disposal and recycling of plastic.

Apart from Bisleri’s mission to ensure access to safe drinking water for every Indian, they also make a conscious effort to keep our environment safe and healthy. It is our endeavour to give back to the environment and the community at large.

This World environment day, Bisleri hosted a press conference to launch “BOTTLES FOR CHANGE”, a Plastic Recycling initiative that focuses on efficient disposal and recycling of plastic. The idea is to create a positive impact on the environment, ensure that it is sustainable and emphasize on the fact that plastic is a versatile material, has an afterlife and can be recycled to make many products like: Furniture (benches, chair), apparels, home decors, accessories and bags etc.

Anjana-Ghosh-Ramesh-Chauhan-Aaditya Thackeray-Ramdas-Kadam

Addressing the audience and media, Mr Aaditya Thackeray, President – Yuva Sena, who has been associated with the cause of #SayNoToPlastic and ban of plastic from our day-today-life, said: There is a need to bring behavioural change in public where we should learn efficient disposal of plastic for the purpose of recycling. Plastic is more harmful to the planet and its people than any other thing, it is important that we pay attention to global warming and reduce the carbon footprint for the green and clean earth. The future needs to be plastic free and in this initiative, Bisleri is playing an instrumental role in bringing up “Bottles for Change”.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ramdas Kadam, Environment Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra said: Environment is everybody’s responsibility. We need to bring in behavioural change towards treating waste particularly plastic and Bottles for Change by Bisleri is a great initiative by Bisleri.

Mr Ramesh Chauhan, Chairman & MD, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., launched the initiative by presenting ‘Bottles for Change Kit’ that includes Plastic collection bags, Bottles for change branded Jackets, Caps, posters and other communication material, to the three partnered NGO’s in the initiative.

For this initiative, Bisleri has partnered with 3 NGOs (Parisar Bhagini Vikas Sangh, Sampurna Earth & Garbage Concern Welfare Society) who are associated with the members of “Bottles for Change”  across Mumbai to work towards changing behaviour of the communities in valuing plastic as an effective resource. Users of plastic have to simply crush, clean and keep the plastic separate. The members of “Bottles for Change”  will pick it up at scheduled days and will take it to their segregation centre. Together with the NGO’s, Bisleri is conducting plastic collection and educational drives for communities, corporates, schools, colleges, and other institutions.

Bottles for Change focus to create a system where the members of “Bottles for Change”  pick up plastic from source, segregate it and sell it to the recyclers. The plastic collected & sold is clean and fetches almost 2x more value leading to the upliftment of the lives of members of “Bottles for Change”  and their children.

Highlights of BOTTLES FOR CHANGE initiative:

  • The program aims to address the plastic issue in a very strategic manner to spread awareness about plastic being a miraculous material that can be recycled multiple times; thereby bringing a behaviour change amongst individuals, ensuring they clean, segregate and dispose plastic effectively which is then recycled and have a sustainable impact on the environment
  • The program helps members of “Bottles for Change” to collect large amounts of clean plastic each time, fetching them with the good income that also helps in leading them to a respectable life and support to educate their children
  • 24 wards of Mumbai and parts of Navi Mumbai and Thane will be covered by the members of “Bottles for Change”, ensuring effective execution
  • Special collection Vehicles, Collection Bins, Toll-free No., Website and a hygiene kit for members of “Bottles for Change” shall be provided by Bisleri Management

Impact of Bottles for Change Programme:

  • 3800 Tonnes of Plastic Recycled
  • 3,00,000 Students Reached
  • 15,00,000 Citizens Reached
  • Lives of 2000+ members of “Bottles for Change” Uplifted
  • 100+ Corporates Engaged

Bisleri is the most trusted choice for mineral water for the past 50 years. Bisleri has witnessed this successful growth under the leadership of the visionary chairman and managing director, Mr. Ramesh Chauhan. Bisleri has always felt responsible towards the society and Mother Earth, and hence various activities are initiated on regular basis to help preserve the environment.

 

Quick getaway places in Maharashtra to beat the heat this summer

Nestled in the tranquil mountains of Sahyadri range and the Western Ghats, Maharashtra is home to several hill stations with pristine natural beauty and peaceful surrounding. These hill stations are quick getaway destinations from the hustle and bustle of the city which allow the travellers to enjoy the fresh air that refreshes mind, body and soul. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation brings the coolest places for this summer vacation to enjoy the scenic beauty.

Mahabaleshwar

Zigzag roads, gushing cool breeze, vantage points with spectacular valley and buzzing flea market is the reason why one must visit Mahabaleshwar. One of the many highpoints of going to this place is to visit the strawberry ranches in and around the beautiful hill station.

Mahabaleshwar

How to get there

By Air: The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is Pune airport. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India.

By Rail: The nearby railway network is Satara, which is around 55 km away while the major railway junction is at Pune, 120 km

By Road: Many state transport buses go to Mahabaleshwar or one can also opt for private transport

Things to do and see:   

  • For the adrenaline rush, one can enjoy horse riding. For first-timers, this might be a bit of a task but it can certainly add a little adventure to their trip
  • Pratapgad Fort is just 22 kilometres from Mahabaleshwar and is positioned 1,080 meters above sea level, overlooking the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar
  • Elephant’s Head Point is one of the finest points where the overhanging cliffs look like an elephant’s head and trunk
  • Mahabaleshwar Temple, a prominent landmark for tourists, has Lord Shiva as its deity

Where to stay:

MTDC Resorts in Mahabaleshwar offers a comfortable stay overlooking nature’s beauty.

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 Matheran

Extremely popular for its stunning views of the Western Sahyadris, Matheran is a hill station just about 100 km from Mumbai. Its proximity to the city makes it one of the most frequented holiday getaways for Mumbaikars. The climate is always pleasing, allowing a bunch of activities suitable for all age groups. Indeed, one of the best places for a stress-free vacation!

How to get there

By Air: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai which is at a distance of around 100 km from Matheran is the nearest airport

By Rail: Matheran railway station is linked to most major cities and it is also connected with Mumbai and Pune railway junctions. Tourist can step down at Neral to head towards Matheran.

By Road: Mumbai and Pune are connected to Matheran through the Mumbai Pune Expressway

Things to do and see:

  • One can experience a majestic view of the sunrise at the Panorama Point in Matheran
  • Enjoy a remarkable view of the city and the remains of Prabal and Vishalgad Fort
  • Matheran is home to a diverse species of monkeys and langurs
  • Rambagh point is one of the most prominent picnic spots, offering a remarkable view of Karjat and Khandal

Where to stay:

MTDC Resorts in Matheran is located amidst lush green hills and valleys which offers a relaxed stay.