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May 21st: A Week in Review

by Ashima

News relevant to the Thai-Indian community this week.

By Natasha Sethi and Ashima Sethi

As of today, the B1.617.2 variant of the novel coronavirus (more commonly recognised as the ‘Indian Variant’ and the ‘Variant of Concern’ by the WHO has been detected in Thailand. The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported that they had found 15 confirmed cases of the variant in a construction-worker camp in Lak Si, Bangkok. This variant, known to be more contagious, led to the Kingdom banning incoming flights from the South Asian region as of late April. It is not known how the variant entered the nation but representatives of the Department of Disease Control and Ministry of Public Health are currently investigating. This news has led to fear mounting about construction camps becoming potentially large city-centre clusters.

Today also marked Anti Terrorism Day, which was commemorated by H.E Suchitra Durai, Ambassador of India to Thailand and the team at the Embassy of India, Bangkok who observed the event at the Chancery.

The first repatriation flight arranged by the Royal Thai Embassy in Delhi departed last Saturday and consisted of 77 passengers. The second and last flight for this month departs tomorrow. These repatriation flights were arranged to bring Thai nationals home from India. In a similar vein under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission,’ this month also saw the Indian Embassy, Bangkok arranging to help get Indian nationals home on several flights. Read more here.

With the aim to help India with their lack of oxygen cylinders and resources, The Bucketeers have taken the initiative to start a raffle fundraiser. The rules to enter are: send a screenshot of your donation to any of the charities helping the COVID-19 crisis in India to them and The Bucketeers will give you a randomised ticket number for the draw. One donation is equivalent to one ticket and the minimum donation is THB 100. The lucky draw will take on place on 6th June, the first-place winner will receive a custom illustration gift box, and the second-place winner will receive a custom illustration postcard. Visit their page for more details.

Amarjit Kaur Doowa and her sponsors continue their sewas for vulnerable communities in Bangkok that are highly impacted by the ongoing third wave of COVID-19 (pictured above the article). Throughout this past week, with help from contributors from the Thai-Indian community and others, they provided numerous food items including rice, sugar, noodles, and vegetable oil, to a total of 195 families living in slums in Bangkok. Visit her page for more information and if you’re interested in contributing to this monthly sewa.

On Wednesday, the Embassy of India, Bangkok coordinated with Indian Air Force amongst other Thai and Indian agencies to send two cryogenic oxygen tanks to Rajasthan, India.

The Thai-Indian Theatre Club announced nine more provisional finalists for the Thai-Indian Superstar Series, Community Singing Contest 2021. They include Puja Shukla, Sharadkumar Dubey, Jimishaben Darshan Lad, Kasturi Mukherjee, Abhay Jhaveri, Raghavendra Panabur, Rajesh Jha, Samir Shah, and Randhir Singh. Visit this page for more information about the finale.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in Thailand, in collaboration with the Embassy of India, Bangkok, celebrates World Culture Day today at 5pm. This virtual celebration will commence with a message from Ambassador H.E. Suchitra Durai, followed by talks about ‘Art & Architecture – Similarities between India & Thailand’ and ‘Introduction to Chola Bronzes.’  Tune in to watch the celebration live here.

Also in celebration of World Culture Day, the ICCR invites everyone to join Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial International Oration (2021) by Dr. Colleen Taylor Sen, author of ‘Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India’ on the topic of ‘Insights into India’s Culinary Traditions.’ Esteemed panellists include Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia, Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent fame, Padma Shri recipient Priya Paul who is Chairperson at Apeejay Surendra Park Hotels, among several others. Tune into the event here.

Hosted by the Thai-Indian Yoga Association and the Community Yoga Leadership Program (CYLP) by the Gandhi Institute Rangsit University, the 28th session of Bangkok Yoga Meet will be held online again this week. The session will be conducted by certified yoga instructor and director Dr Pratima Rai. Click here for more information or if you’re interested in joining them for a free yoga session tomorrow at 7am.

This week saw the broadcast of Miss Universe 2020 from Hollywood. The pageant was supposed to take place last year, but with COVID-19 restrictions it was not possible until now. The competition saw Andrea Meza from Mexico win the title, and India’s Adline Castelino named third runner up. The first time India placed in the Top 5 in 20 years! Having previously won the LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2020, 22-year old Castelino was born and raised in Kuwait to South Indian parents. Read more about her here.

On Sunday from 4pm to 7pm, the first International Youth Leadership Conference will be held by the Gandhi Institute Rangsit University. The theme for the upcoming event is ‘New Trends in Education and Career Planning’. This online event will be moderated by Sanjay Kumar and will see several eminent speakers and youth leaders from the Thai-Indian community and beyond. For more information, contact 0843277267.

Dr Kamaljit Singh announced that he will soon be introducing his ‘Health Talks’ series on Indo-Thai News. It will focus on making health and wellness and priority in the community.

Have you done something newsworthy? Email with brief information about what you’ve accomplished this week (May 15th to 21st) to be considered for our online round up.

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