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Gujarat Jain couple donate Rs 200 crore wealth, renounce world

The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners.

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A Gujarat-based businessman and his wife have donated their lifetime earnings of Rs 200 crore and have taken the decision to renounce all materialistic desires to become Jain monks. In February this year, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife donated all their wealth during a ceremony. The Bhandari family, which hails from Himmatnagar, has been in the construction business. The family decided to follow in the footsteps of their 16-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who adopted monkhood in 2022.

Bhavesh Bhandari, who belongs to a Jain family, had been a part of construction business in Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha and was accustomed to a life of luxury and prosperity from a young age. The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners. A short video clip from the event shows the couple wearing regal attire on top of a chariot and making donations. Adorned in rich attire and jewellery, they stood atop a truck adorned to resemble a chariot, tossing garments and banknotes to the people standing below,

After the couple made their pledge on April 22 to adopt monkhood, the couple is going to break all familial relations and renounce any material possessions and desires. Afterwards, they will begin a barefoot journey across India and will sustain themselves solely on alms.

According to reports the couple will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a rajoharan, a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting — a symbol of the non-violent path which they follow. In a similar incident in January, the 8-year-old daughter of a Gujarati diamond merchant renounced material comforts and worldly desires to embrace monkhood. Devanshi Sanghv had participated in a grand procession with camels, elephants, horses and great fanfare before embracing a life of monkhood.

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IMD issues red alert for heavy rainfall in Kerala

The IMD issued a red alert for the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, and Alappuzha, warning residents and authorities about the potential for further heavy rains.

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for four districts in Kerala till May 21, after heavy pre-monsoon rainfall swept across the southern state on Sunday. The intense downpours affected numerous regions, including the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. 

Considering the severe weather conditions, the IMD issued a red alert for the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, and Alappuzha, warning residents and authorities about the potential for further heavy rains.

The weather department has also issued an orange alert in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Malappuram until May 22, forecasting isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall .

A bulletin issued by the IMD on Sunday stated that strong westerly and south-westerly winds are expected to dominate the lower levels of the state from May 19 to 23. This weather pattern is likely to result in widespread rainfall across isolated areas of Kerala from May 19 to 22. Additionally, heavy to very heavy rainfall is anticipated in isolated regions on May 23.

Given the potential hazards posed by heavy rains, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has urged residents to remain vigilant. The forecasted heavy rainfall over a short period raises concerns about flash floods and urban waterlogging, especially in low-lying areas. It is reported that prolonged rainfall may also lead to landslides. Consequently, authorities advised residents, particularly those in hilly and coastal regions, to exercise caution and stay alert.

Reportedly, stringent directives have been issued to the District Superintendent of Police, Sub Divisional Magistrates, Regional Transport Officers, and Tehsildars to enforce a ban on tourist movements.

Meanwhile, after the Sunday rains visuals across social media showed houses and shops in some areas were inundated. Additionally, canals traversing the capital city and its suburbs have overflowed. Affected residents claimed that the waterlogging in the capital and surrounding areas resulted from the failure to conduct pre-monsoon cleaning of canals and drainage systems.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

PM Modi visits Jagannath Temple, leads roadshow in Odisha

Ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha election, PM Modi today visited Odisha and offered prayer at Jagannath temple

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Jagannath temple in Puri, Odissa, on Monday morning, and offered prayers before leading a significant roadshow to rally support for BJP candidates ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The roadshow commenced at Marichkote Square and concluded at Medical Square on Grand Road. State BJP president Manmohan Samal, BJP MP candidate Sambit Patra, and MLA nominee Jayanta Sarangi accompanied the Prime Minister.

Thousands of BJP supporters lined the barricaded Grand Road, waving BJP’s banners and posters. The event saw elaborate security arrangements to ensure the safety of the Prime Minister and the public, as confirmed by the local police.

The Prime Minister’s visit to Puri comes at a crucial time as the second phase of polling for five Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 assembly seats in Odisha is underway, with strict security measures in place.

PM Modi’s engagement in Puri included not just the temple visit and the roadshow but also a series of strategic campaign stops. After the roadshow, he was scheduled to depart by helicopter for Angul, where he would address a large public meeting. The Prime Minister’s day was set to continue with another poll rally in Cuttack, reflecting the BJP’s intensive campaign efforts in the state.

The roadshow in Puri had high energy and drew a big crowd. The BJP aims to strengthen its position in Odisha, where regional parties have been strong contenders. Modi’s active campaigning is meant to gather voter support and improve the party’s chances in both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

The roadshow route, from Marichkote Square to Medical Square, is an important road in Puri and has been packed with supporters since early morning. This event showed how strong the BJP’s campaign is and how Modi personally connects with voters.

With voting already happening, the Prime Minister’s visit is likely to influence how people feel about the election. It could help undecided voters make up their minds and boost the morale of BJP supporters in the state.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Akshay Kumar votes for the first time after getting Indian citizenship

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During the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar cast his vote for the first time after becoming an Indian citizen last year. The actor, who previously held Canadian citizenship, was seen voting in Mumbai on Monday during the fifth phase of the elections. 

The Bhool Bhulaiyaa actor proudly showcased his ink-stained finger, symbolizing his participation in the election process. In a video shared by sources, he expressed his excitement and urged the citizens to vote. He stated that he wanted India to be developed and strong, and he voted with that in mind. He also mentioned that India should vote for what it deems right.

Reflecting on his experience, Akshay remarked that it was great and he was feeling very good. He highlighted the importance of the moment, noting that the actor marked his first vote as an Indian citizen.

The Entertainment actor obtained Indian citizenship in August 2023, which he celebrated by sharing a picture of his government documents on social media. He tweeted that both his heart and citizenship were Indian, and wished everyone a happy Independence Day, concluding with Jai Hind.

Discussing his decision, Akshay revealed that he hadn’t visited Canada for nearly a decade, despite holding Canadian citizenship. He mentioned that for 9 to 10 years he hadn’t gone there, although it was a very nice place and one of his best friends lived there. He decided that he should take Indian citizenship and noted that it was just a coincidence that he received a letter on August 15 confirming his citizenship.

Akshay initially applied for Canadian citizenship in the 1990s after facing a series of box office failures. He contemplated starting a cargo business in Canada with a friend. However, his fortunes changed with successful films, leading him to return to India. Despite the lomg process, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Akshay renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2019. He explained that it was just a travel document and that he pays his taxes in India, where he is the highest taxpayer.

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