India Cracks Down Fake Food Videos: 5 Viral Hoaxes You Need To Keep in Mind….

How many times have you believed a video or a message you received without verifying its contents? I am guilty of doing this and can say that I have learnt my lesson.

While fake news and videos spread malice about all kinds of events, people and things, the FSSAI recently started a campaign to safeguard consumers against misinformation about food products in India.

To curb the spread of such content on social media, the government has instructed Google and Facebook to take down ‘false and malicious’ content that spreads wrong information about the safety and quality of food in India.

Here are 5-hoax warnings that have created panic among consumers:

1. Melamine in milk

Several news reports last year mentioned that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Agarwal had allowed the use of melamine in milk.

They spoke of a WHO advisory that ‘if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 per cent of citizens would be suffering from serious diseases like cancer by the year 2025 (in India)’.

A viral video shared by Rohit Borana on Facebook garnered a whopping 1.8 million views and was shared over 87,000 times.

Fact: FSSAI had ascertained that no such advisory was issued by the WHO at all. It appears that the report first appeared in one newspaper, and later was picked up by other newspapers. FSSAI and/or WHO was not even approached for clarifications.

Subsequently, as of November 2018, the advisory by which the messages were being circulated has been deleted.

2. HIV contamination in Frooti pack

I remember the scare this message caused. In 2013, a message was doing the rounds, allegedly from the Delhi police. It spoke about a worker adding his HIV/AIDS-contaminated blood to a batch of products and warned people to stay away from buying them.

Fact: The message turned out to be false. The Delhi police had neither sent it nor had such an incident occurred.

Subsequently, Parle Agro, the company, which manufactures Frooti, also issued a statement, which can be accessed here.

3. Plastic cabbage from China

There is a very high probability of your having seen this video and feeling enraged at the level of contamination in our fruits and vegetables.

A mobile video that emerged from Ambala in Haryana showed a man ladling colourful liquids in a large bowl of water and then shaping the substance to look like a “real” cabbage.

Several media houses picked up this story, and it invited outrage on the thought that a majority of the cabbage we were consuming was made of plastic and was being sneaked into the country from China.

Fact: A little bit of research revealed that the video was actually about wax food replicas used as displays outside restaurants in Japan. The video was also at least two years old and had Korean subtitles with a logo of SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) and a dubbed voice-over.

4. Kurkure contains plastic

This is something I believed for the longest time after watching videos claiming that Kurkure contains plastic. PepsiCo, the company that manufactures Kurkure, had to legally take action and get a court order against Facebook, requiring the company to censor all posts linking the product to plastic.

Fact: Products like Kurkure are fried at a very high temperature to ensure their crispiness. A compound called acrylamide forms during the process of frying. Due to its presence, the final product burns when lit with a matchstick, also turning black due to the unburnt carbon particles. It does not, however, contain any added plastic.

5. Plastic rice   

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were rife with speculations about the prevalence of plastic rice in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. While there was no real evidence to show that plastic rice existed, there were several videos online with tips on how to verify whether or not the rice was real.



Fact: According to the Rice Traders Association, the cost of rice is cheaper than the cost of plastic rice. Also, all scrutiny in a scientific lab also proved that there is no such thing called plastic rice.

While the videos and messages will continue to pour in, it is imperative that we exercise caution as well as restraint while believing in them and spreading them among others.

You could also report such messages by doing the following:

  1. Register complaints via the app

2. To complain via e-mail

Write to

As informed and conscientious citizens, we should report content that is malicious, false or even derogatory rather than being a part of the problem.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Source…….Vidya Raja in http://www.the better





Message for the Day….” What is a true Pilgrimage and the Benefits arising out of it ….”

If you visit holy places like going for a picnic without necessary mental preparation to receive God’s Grace, you will be a nuisance, spoiling the atmosphere of the sacred place. You go from place to place, like postal parcels, collecting impressions on the outer wrapper, not on the core of your being. You do not allow the holiness of the place to act on your mind. As a result of the pilgrimage, your habits must change for the better, your outlook must widen, your inward look must become deeper and become more steady. You must realise the omnipresence of God, and the Oneness of Humanity. You must learn tolerance and patience, charity and service. After the pilgrimage is over, sitting in your own home and ruminating over your experiences, you must determine to seek the higher, the richer and the more real experience of God-realisation. I bless you that you may form that determination and strive step by step to achieve that Goal.


Message for the Day …..” All opportunities of service should be regarded as an offering to God and every opportunity to serve should be welcomed as a gift from God. When you serve in this spirit, in due course, it will lead you to attain self-realisation.”

The human body is like a chariot and the Atma (Soul) is the charioteer. The many million bodies in the Universe may have different forms and names. But the Atma(Soul) is one and the same. It is essential to recognise the unity that underlies the apparent diversity. For instance, hunger is common to all, though the food through which it is appeased may vary from an emperor to a beggar. Likewise, joy and grief, birth and death are common to all. Atma is common to everyone. Recognising this oneness, you must engage in service. Service as an act of Dharma (righteous duty) can be offered only by the one who is pure in heart, selfless and equal-minded towards everyone (Samatva). All opportunities of service should be regarded as an offering to God and every opportunity to serve should be welcomed as a gift from God. When you serve in this spirit, in due course, it will lead you to attain self-realisation.



This 12-Yr-Old Boy Has Invented A Device Which Can Help Rid Our Water Bodies Of Plastic Pollution…!

Shocked at the news of the death of a pilot whale in Thailand due to consumption of plastic bags, Varun Saikia, a 12-year-old boy from Vadodara, wanted to design a machine which could help in cleaning polluted water bodies. Curious about the causes of plastic pollution prevalent in water bodies, he started researching more about the topic. Soon, he realised that it was a major global environmental problem and many countries have been grappling with the issue.

h “I thought of making a machine that would clean and collect all the floating plastic waste in rivers, ponds and lakes. Plastic floats on water bodies which makes it harder to scoop up and collect”, shares Varun Saikia, an eighth class student from Navrachana School, Vadodara. He came up with this idea in an attempt to combat the increasing pollution problems. His innovative device is named Makara which is designed to sweep the polluted ponds of our cities. What sets this device apart is that it is completely battery-operated which would reduce the manual work involved in cleaning.

Concerned about the increasing environmental pollution, he kept reading about adverse changes that have taken place all over the world as a result of pollution. He also came to know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how it impacted ocean bodies on a major scale. He was distressed to learn about water pollution and he finally decided to come up with a solution which could be implemented in nearby localities and polluted water bodies.

What is Makara?

Makara is a concept that uses the fluid mechanics of water to direct the plastic towards the receptacle without using any extra force other than the same mechanism which drives the machine forward. It is a simple machine yet sturdy in its structure. Propelled by a basic motor and remote, it can be customised to increase its capacity by using a heavy-duty motor and making adjustments to pulley.

Based on its current capacity, it can collect up to three kg of floating garbage in one go.  The machine is ideal for catching floating Styrofoam cups, plastic bottles and bags and dead floating insects. What makes it unique from other pond and ocean cleaning devices is its mobility in water bodies. Another added advantage of this machine is that unlike other models, it doesn’t need to be installed around the polluted water bodies. It could be effortlessly used to clean swimming pools as well.

Varun narrates, ”This model is made up of a paddle wheel operated by a motor and a pulley. It can be controlled using a remote. The paddle wheel pushes the vessel ahead and navigates the floating garbage to the net tail bin. The tail bin is attached to a basket which could be removed to unload the floating garbage collected inside it.”

He opines that using such simple models could extensively contribute in clearing garbage from polluted lakes and ponds. Apart from this, it would also be beneficial for the manual labourers working nearby dirty ponds or municipal workers cleaning these polluted water bodies as it is hazardous to their health and well-being. Scaled up, this model can work on larger bodies of water and even oceans. It could help to save our marine life and balance aquatic ecosystem largely. Talking of his future plans, he shares, “With heavy duty motor and bigger scale model, this vessel has the potential to clean up the coastal areas and it could be even workable on oceans. With proper funding, I wish to use this model to sweep oceans too. I even plan to make it energy efficient by generating hydroelectricity in future.”

He aims to develop this model so that he could view it working on a larger scale. What sparked his curiosity about increasing pollution has led him to design a model which would help to eliminate this problem. Such young ignited minds are taking the winds of change ahead.

Source….Ankita Singh in


APJ Abdul Kalam birth anniversary: 7 lesser-known things about the people’s president…

Former president (late) APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary is being marked on Monday. Kalam, who was also known as the Missile Man of India, had served as the 11th President of India. He was born on 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram and breathed his last on 27 July 2015. While being a world-renowned scientist, Kalam had also interests in literature, writing poems, playing musical instruments and even spirituality. He had written some very well-known books like ‘India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium’, ‘Wings of Fire: An Autobiography’, and ‘Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India’.

Here are some lesser-known things about the people’s president to whose heart children were very dear:

  1. Kalam was not born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. Coming from a family of average resources, he grew up watching father renting his boat to fishermen to run his house. In fact, Kalam used to deliver newspapers every morning to earn money.
  2. Kalam was a very simple man. When he died, he left behind nothing but 2,500 books, one watch, six shirts, four pants, three suits and one pair of shoes.
  3. After retiring, Kalam lived on his pension money and royalty from the sales of his books.
  4. When his term ended as president, Kalam did not take any gifts home and deposited them into the government treasury.
  5. According to one his former media advisors, there was a time when Kalam used to live in a government quarter where he did not have television and used to access news on radio / newspaper.
  6. Kalam had once visited IIT-Mumbai. The students were so much interested in meeting the scientist that a huge queue formed outside the auditorium. In fact, some of the students had queued up at night itself to see the Missile Man. After the event, Kalam did not disappoint any student and met them all.
  7. Kalam had once revealed that he wanted to become a fighter pilot but could not clear the exam. Later in 2006, as president, Kalam had flown in a Sukhoi jet.



World’s longest non-stop flight takes off…..

The Singapore Airlines flight between Singapore and New York covers a distance of more than 15,000 kms.                                                                                                             







Alm ost five years after stopping the service, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has retaken the crown as the operator of the world’s longest commercial flight.

The Airbus A350-900ULR service between Singapore and New York Newark (EWR) covers a distance of approximately 15,336 km with a block time of 18 hours 45 minutes.

It will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Daily operations will commence from 18 October after an additional A350-900ULR aircraft enters service.

The previous longest flight in the world was Qatar Airways’ service between Auckland and Doha, which covers a distance of approximately 14,526 km and takes about 17 hours 30 minutes.

SIA is the world’s first customer for the new A350-900ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus. The aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

With a maximum take-off weight of 280 tonnes, the A350-900ULR is capable of flying more than 20 hours non-stop.

SIA served the Singapore-Newark until November 2013, when services were suspended after the aircraft used at the time, A340-500s, were returned to Airbus. By the time it was discontinued, the route was a 100-seat all-Business Class flight.

According to figures from Sabre Market Intelligence, the O&D market size between Singapore and New York is about 120,000 passengers annually. In the 12 months to the end of June 2018, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita were the top three connecting hubs for passengers travelling between the two cities.

Source….David Casey  in



Message for the day….” Every individual must endeavour to practice this Consciousness and celebrate this union in their lives. Choose one path that best suits your personality and persist in practice until you attain victory!”

Nag Mahasaya, the householder disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, was able to escape the chains of samsara (worldly life) by becoming humbler and smaller, with less and less egoism; he became so tiny that he could creep through to safety. Nag Mahasaya felt, “I am the servant of the servants of God” – Dasoham.Vivekananda, another disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, on the other hand expanded himself until he identified himself with the entire Universe and so, the chain broke unable to contain his majesty. Vivekananda felt that he was the Master, the Isa who was Idam Sarvam, Sada Soham – he was always steady in the conviction that he was That. This is the identity of the Individual and the Universal (Jiva-Brahma-aikya-anusandhanam), the true celestial wedding. Every individual must endeavour to practice this Consciousness and celebrate this union in their lives. Choose one path that best suits your personality and persist in practice until you attain victory!