British scientist to cycle along the Ganges
By Prasun Sonwalkar
Dean Melmoth, a scientist from Plympton in southwest England, has left for India to pedal 1,000 miles (1,600 km) alongside the Ganges to raise money for a sight charity.
Melmoth, 31, hopes to raise 5,000 pounds for ORBIS?a vision-aid charity that works with some of India'smost vulnerable people.
He will cycle solo along the course of the river from its source in the Himalayas, down to Varanasi.
A post-doctoral researcher in vision science, Melmoth was working in London for the past three years at the City University'sdepartment of optometry and visual science. That job has now get over, so he decided to return to India.
He said before leaving for India: ?I decided that it was time to take some more direct action and simply got out and do something to raise money and, more importantly, awareness for some very worthy work in vision aid.?
He has never attempted anything like this before, but is motivated enough to stay the course to support ORBIS. He will be cycling about 20 miles (32 km) every day and will take about two months to complete the challenge.
Speed dating for Sikhs, Hindus
AST will meet west in a series of speed dating nights for the Sikhs and the Hindus in Leeds. Former Leeds University student and entrepreneur Faresh Maisuria has set up Desi Asia Dating as a way for Asians to meet people of the same faith.
Speed dating is a modern answer to the traditional arranged marriage, which never appealed to Faresh, 29. She said: ?When Asian people reach their 20s, there is a lot of pressure for them to settle down and marry. It can be really embarrassing when your family tries to get you together with someone of your faith.?
?They get you up and start discussing how suitable you might be for each other. Speed dating is a good laugh. It'sa great way to meet people. It'sabout east meeting west… traditional practices and speed dating coming together?, she said.
Not many parents of young Asians would approve of such western ways of finding partners, but this is yet another indicator of a cultural divide between parents and children born in Britain.
Delhi'slaughter therapy boosts Liverpool health
India has always had a special place in the British imagination?first through the discourse of the British Empire and later in the form of tourism, Indian writing in English and the most visible of all, Indian food.
Now yet another India-origin item is capturing minds?and bodies?of the British and, i.e. the ?laughter therapy? invented by Madan Kataria of Delhi. Liverpool is the latest place where people are laughing their way to health.
Leading the laughing pack is Liverpool'sown stand up comic Stephanie Davies. She has started teaching the people of Everton how to laugh even when there is nothing to laugh at?all based on Kataria'stechnique.
It is being tried out at the Everton Health Centre in sessions organised by the Liverpool Comedy Trust. Davies normally runs comedy courses in schools for the trust but is a strong believer in the medical value of laughing.
?The session is great fun and incorporates playful techniques to encourage laughter. This in turn makes you feel good, reduces your stress levels and releases inhibitions; thus cheering you up.?
As a trained laughter therapist, Davies suggests the sessions she runs are ?good team building tools and lead to better communication?.
London mayor wants Asians as taxi drivers
London mayor Ken Livingstone has launched a unique campaign to encourage Asians in London to become taxi drivers. Figures say that only one in 100 taxi drivers is Asian?far below the group'slevel in London'spopulation. The campaign will also target women. Just one in 65 taxi drivers in London is female.
Livingstone said there was no discrimination in the selection process and no obvious reason for the imbalance other than a lack of applications from women and ethnic minorities. A series of road shows will encourage new applicants. Livingstone said the taxi trade might appeal to many ethnic minority minicab drivers.
(The writer is a UK-based journalist and can be contacted on [email protected])