Odisha: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a sand sculpture of Santa Claus using onions at Puri’s Blue Flag beach with the message ‘Gift A Plant, Green The Earth’ on the eve of Christmas. Sudarsan Pattnaik told ANI that in making this giant sculpture, two tonnes of onions were used. “Every year, during Christmas, we try to create some different sculptures at Puri’s Blue Flag beach. This time we have created world’s biggest onion and sand installation Santa Claus which is 100 feet long 20 feet high and 40 feet wide We have used two tonnes of onions. We tried to give a message: ‘Gift A Plant, Green The Earth,” he said.
Odisha’s sand artist also mentioned the need of the hour to plant more trees, thus the reason behind using onion in his sculpture. He added,
We all know the impact of Climate change, so it is the message for all of us. it is the need of the hour to plant more trees. It has taken 8 hours to complete sculptures. When the world celebrates Christmas, it will see India has the biggest sand and onion sculpture.
The entire country is celebrating Christmas, with midnight prayers happening across the country.
Holy Family Catholic Church in Srinagar has been illuminated with colourful lights and decorated beautifully on Christmas Eve. Devotees attend midnight mass prayers at St. Michael’s Church in Mumbai on the occasion of Christmas. Johan Rodrigues, Bishop of Poona Diocese, St. Patrick’s Cathedral said,
We celebrate the feast of Christmas with great joy. We celebrate the birth of our saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ. God becomes a human being and comes to dwell with us…He pitched his tent among us that his God comes to dwell with us…He is there with us at every moment in every place, and his presence gives us strength and hope. The festival of Christmas brings joy to our hearts…The message of Christmas must also touch the poor, the lonely, those who are discouraged, those who are afraid, and those who are going through difficulties and give them hope that the Lord Jesus is with them.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee attended mass prayers at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary on Christmas Eve.
Midnight mass prayers were held at Sacred Heart Cathedral Catholic Church in Delhi and also at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Bengaluru
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.