City revels in harvest festivals
Cosmopolitan Kolkata revelled in the harvest festivals of communities across the country, including Bhogali Bihu of Assam, Lohri of Punjab, Pongal of Tamil Nadu and Uttarayan of Gujarat, besides the state’’s own Makar Sankranti. Though being an urban agglomeration of nearly 1.5 crore people from across the country, the migrants were joined by city residents as they celebrated each other’s festivals. The celebration also gave them an opportunity to share each other’s special delicacies.
13 transgenders become medical reps
It is a happy New Year for 13 transgenders of the city, who got jobs as medical representatives after being trained by a pharmaceutical firm. The transgenders would be assigned the task of holding health camps, which would also serve to sensitise residents on the third gender. Though transgender people have landed government jobs in the state, stigma prevents many private firms in the city to hire them as staffers. The Association for Transgender/Hijra in Bengal will act as a bridge between the transgenders and the pharma company. West Bengal Transgender Board has welcomed the move. A college in West Bengal Nadia’s district had appointed a transgender principal, in what was a first of its kind move in the state.
Rising mercury takes toll on Kolkatans
The sudden spurt in mercury levels after a fortnight of below normal temperatures has led to rise in viral and bacterial infections among city residents. While thousands complained of fever accompanied by cough, cold and breathing problems, several asthma patients have complained of breathlessness and were hospitalised. Experts said that due to sudden rise in temperatures, many city residents shunned warm clothes exposing them to temperature fluctuations. Doctors said that viruses that were inactive during the chilly fortnight got activated by the temperature fluctuations .
Puppies’ killing raises questions humanity of city
The brutal killing of 16 puppies at the state-run Nil Ratan Sircar Hospital, allegedly by two nursing students, has hurt the city’s collective conscience while also raising a big question mark on its human face. Netizens have also questioned how could trainee nurses, who are taught to serve the helpless, be so cruel to tiny harmless puppies. Several Tollywood stars have also spoken out against the brutal killings and city residents have taken to the social media to express their anger in the form of posts and memes.
Our correspondent in West Bengal