Why in news?Indian social worker, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, was honoured with this year’s prestigious “Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community”.
Nikkei Asia Prize:
The Nikkei Asia Prizewas launched in 1996 and the program honors people and organisations in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas:
The category for regional growth (Economic and Business Innovation) is designed to recognize business and economic initiatives that improve living standards and stability in their regions.
This could be entrepreneurs who have successfully developed industries and businesses due to innovation.
Science, technology and innovation: The category for science, technology and environment was established to recognize scientific researches and technological innovations in various fields.
Culture: The category for Culture is designed to recognize people who have made a difference in their countries and Asia through cultural, artistic or educational activities.
The awards were created and presented by Nikkei Inc, one of the largest media corporations in Japan.
Former Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh and Infosys Chairman Narayan Murthy are among few Indians who have won this award in the past.
Nikkei Asia Prize 2018 winners:
Indian, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was presented the award under the category ‘culture and community’.
Dr Pathak invented the two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets that has helped provide low-cost environment friendly toilets to millions of people in the developing world.
He had founded Sulabh International in 1970.
It is an NGO that works to promote human rights, environmental sanitation among other social services.
It has also ensured the safety of rural women and freedom from manual labour of removing human waste.
The other two winners of the award are:
Ma Jun (Economic and Business Innovation): a Chinese environmentalist for using the power of the internet to promote cleaner industry
Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem (Science and Technology): a Vietnamese doctor for bringing cutting-edge medicine for children.
FACT # 2
Dam Safety Bill, 2018
Why in news?The Union Cabinet has recently approved a proposal for enacting the Dam Safety Bill 2018.
Dam Safety Bill, 2018:
A legislation on dam safety which will empower authorities to take regulatory action and lay down safety standards for existing and new dams in the country.
The proposed law lays the onus of dam safety on the dam owner and includes ‘penal provisions’.
It will help all states and Union Territories adopt uniform dam safety procedures.
It will ensure safety of dams and help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property.
The bill provides for mandatory surveillance, emergency action plan, comprehensive dam safety review, inspection and operation & maintenance of all dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.
It also provides for setting up a national committee on dam safety which will recommend necessary regulation.
Also it proposes setting up a National Dam Safety Authority as a central regulatory body which will implement policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety across the country.
Earlier the Centre initiated the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP-I) in 2012 for strengthening dam safety and operational performance through comprehensive repair and rehabilitation work.
It will continue till June 2020.
FACT # 3
Why in news? Important article on Warli Art in the Hindu.
Warli is a tribal art form that was mostly created by the Adivasis of the Western Ghats.
It is one of the oldest art forms in India.
It originated in Maharashtra and is still practiced.
This tribal art form is thought to date back to the 10th century A.D. Although, the style of Warli painting was not recognised until the 1970s.
The Warli tribe, which does these paintings, is one of India’s largest tribes located on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Their culture basis itself around the concept of Mother Nature therefore, elements of nature serve as focal points for Warli paintings.
These artists used to use the clay walls of their huts as a canvas for their paintings.
The Warli artists use only a white paste made out of rice paste and water.
They use glue as a binder.
Artists use a bamboo stick which is chewed at the end to give it a paintbrush like texture.
In ritual Warli paintings, walls are painted only to celebrate special occasions like harvest or weddings.
Most of these paintings use a set of geometric shapes like circle, triangle and square.
This comes from the tribe’s observation of nature.
The circle represents the sun and the moon, while the triangle represents the mountains and pointed trees.
The square on the other hand is a human invention, indicating a sacred piece of land or enclosure.
In a ritualistic Warli painting, the central motif would be the square with a depiction of ‘Palaghata’, the mother goddess symbolising fertility.
This central motif would be surrounded by scenes of hunting, farming, fishing, trees and animals.
Festivals and dances are also common scenes found in a ritual painting.
Apart from ritual paintings, Warli paintings also cover day-to-day activities of the village people.
Most Warli paintings also depict the tarpa dance.
Tarpa is a trumpet like instrument played by the village men.
Tarpa dance then happens when women and men hold hands together and form a circle around the tarpa player
Since the 1970s Warli paintings have moved from clay huts and walls to paper and canvas.
Jivya Soma Mashe is known as the father of modern Warli painting as he transformed the art form.
Warli painting is now registered with a georgraphical indication under the Intellectual Property Rights Act by the tribal non-profit organization Adivasi Yuva Seva Sangh.
There are also efforts in progress to strengthen the sustainable economy of the Warli with social entrepreneurship.