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Lifestyle taking toll on people’s health, makes room for fitness centres

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Srinagar, Jan 11: Unhealthy lifestyle and faulty eating habits are increasing the risk and prevalence of related disorders among the elderly and children in Kashmir.
Diabetes, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases and obesity have increased manifold in the last 20 years.
Quoting a study, Dr Abdul Hamid Zargar, a noted endocrinologist from Kashmir, said, “In India, diabetic cases have quadrupled from the year 1980-2018 and the trend is clearly visible in Kashmir too.” “I receive around 40 cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes on a daily basis. A large number of cases under the category of pre-diabetes are children, and it is alarming.”
Obesity has also emerged as another major illness in Kashmir. Health experts report that obesity has increased by 400 % in the last 40 years due to sedentary lifestyle, high calorie diet, junk food consumption, lack of exercise and sleep.
Dr Salim Khan, HOD Community medicine warned: “Overweight children and adolescents are at a higher risk of suffering from fatty liver.”
“Due to sedentary lifestyle, people accumulate 5-10% of extra fat in the liver. With proper medications and some lifestyle changes, fatty liver can be resolved. However, it can cause great damage to the liver if ignored” he said.
In his recent visit to Kashmir, Dr Neerav Goyal, Liver Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Hepatitis C and intake of heavy fat diet were the main reasons for liver failure in Kashmir.”
He also talked about the lifestyle diseases leading to severe damage requiring liver transplants.
“Seeing the increasing number of liver disease patients in the valley, a liver transplant centre should be established here. We are already working on it,” he said.
Umar Khan, a researcher scholar, blames his deskbound work schedule for his fatty liver and back-ache. “I have been advised lifestyle change immediately by the doctor. I plan to start gym very soon. I have currently surveying which gym will be best suited to me.”
As the city turns into a hub of lifestyle diseases, a new wave of fitness consciousness is spurring a change. Big and established fitness chains like “Anytime fitness” and “Gold Gym” are trying to tap into the market to reach out to locals here.
“Although my lifestyle is not sedentary, but I would still like to be fit and visit a gym for that. It’s good to see a fitness culture developing in our society. For me the gyms are more about burning your extra pounds rather than making a six pack body,” said Habeel Iqbal, 30-year-old lawyer
The new fitness centres, unlike the traditional gymnasiums, offer effective fitness regimens and workout programs like yoga and martial arts classes in a group setting.
A new slew of workouts aim to foster fitness, enhance strength, and help in improving balance, agility, and coordination.
“Youth today want to feel and look good at any cost. We are doing our bit by providing them with the best fitness resources and service,” said Sameer Shah, co-owner of Anytime Fitness, a newly-opened, US-based fitness chain at Jawahar Nagar.
Sameer along with his brother Umar Shah are challenging the conventional gym imagery by discarding traditional equipment and narrow goals.
“We have reinvented exercise experiences here. Here, fitness enthusiasts seek advices from dieticians first and then try out new forms of exercise under the watchful eye of certified trainers,” he said.
Gold Gym, a franchise of one of India’s leading fitness brands, set up at Rajbagh is a brain child of three brothers, Isaam Wani, Menam Wani and Yasoob Wani.
After two years of research, the trio realized the dearth of fitness in the valley and came up with the health club.
“People here have a pre-conceived notion that going to gym is about heavy lifting. We are breaking the stereotype of a conventional gym and adding a fun element in every workout that is taken,” said 29-year-old Isaam Wani, co-owner of Gold Gym.
The fitness centre boasts of bio-mechanically tested equipment and certified staff.
Together these fitness centres are leading the crusade for a change.


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Disputes, lack of funds keep grid stations projects in limbo

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, May 18: Lack of funds and land disputes over towers have been delaying the completion of several grid stations in Kashmir.
There are several grid stations over which works have been started years ago. However, they are facing inordinate delay due to non-completion of construction of transmission towers, and laying of transmission lines.
One such project is Alastang grid station in Ganderbal district, on which work was started nine years ago.
“Although the work on Alastang grid station has been completed, the authorities have failed to resolve the land dispute for setting up towers over the years and connect Alastang with Zainakote grid. Presently this grid station is non-operational,” an official said.
He added that there is an immense load on Pampore and Zainakote power grids from where electricity is being supplied to Srinagar, Ganderbal, and Pulwama districts.
“Ganderbal gets electricity from Zainakote grid station and mostly remains overloaded,” the official said.
“Had the Alastang grid station been completed, it would have reduced the load on two existing power grids and helped the state to upgrade the power supply in the valley,” he added.
Similarly, an official document reveals that construction of grid station at Ahmedpora in Magam too has been put on hold.
“The work will be started as soon as the funds are released,” the document reads.
Completion of other grid stations at Lassipora Pulwama is also facing delay due to lack of funds or government’s failure in resolving the land disputes over towers.
The official said that existing transformers and power lines are also in bad shape. “There are technical snags in electricity due to poor power infrastructure,” the official added.
In a recent meeting, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan directed for effective monitoring of ongoing works on grid stations and strict adherence to the design, drawing and specifications, and use of quality material for creation of durable assets. He has directed the concerned authorities to submit a proposal for arrangements of funds.
“Chief Engineer System and Operations PDD has been directed to pursue the matter with the concerned authorities for release of funds,” a source privy to the meeting said.

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Offices of 12 militant organisations operating from PaK sealed, funding stopped

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Srinagar, May 18: The offices of the 12 Kashmiri militant organizations operating from the Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) have been sealed, reported the newspaper Independent Urdu.
The newspaper reported that offices of all 12 organizations affiliated with the United Jihad Council were sealed, while as, the amount of office expenditure in these organizations has also been completely stopped.
Independent Urdu reported that the action has come in the backdrop of mounting pressure by the Financial Action Task Force or FATF.
This is the first time in last 32 years of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir that Pakistan has sealed the offices and also stopped financial assistance.
Recently, Pakistan took 44 members of proscribed organizations, including Mufti Abdul Raoof and Hamad Azhar — the former believed to be the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar and the latter his son — in preventive detention for investigation.

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Ronaldo donates $1.5 million to fasting Gazans: Report

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Srinagar, May 18: Cristiano Ronaldo has donated $1.5 million to feed people in the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestine, against the backdrop of the holy month of Ramadan, Sputnik News reported.
The Portuguese football star has never hid the fact that he is pro-Palestine, expressing his support for Palestinians several times in the past.
In 2012 the 28-year-old star gave away his Golden Boot Award to the Real Madrid foundation, which subsequently auctioned it off to raise money for building schools in Palestine.
In 2013, he refused to swipe t-shirts with an Israeli player in a display of support for Palestinian rights.
Although he did shake hands, he excused himself by explaining that he could not wear a shirt with that country’s flag, press reported.
The incident occurred at the end of the match between Portugal and Israel for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
A 5-year-old boy Ahmad Daubasha — sole survivor of a Palestinian family attacked by Israeli settlers, was received by Ronaldo in 2016 at the Real Madrid training center, where he photographed himself with the boy, giving him a specially-dedicated t-shirt. The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, greatly impacting living standards, levels of unemployment and increasing poverty.
Palestinians have held weekly rallies along the Gaza border to protest the siege on the enclave and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the 1948 creation of Israel.
Pro-Palestinian celebrities range from longtime activists to musicians to younger stars, calling for boycotts of artistic and scientific gatherings, divestment from Israeli businesses, etc.
The Portuguese star is known as one of the most involved in humanitarian work around the world.

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