Connect with us

Arts

Fire destroys New Delhi’s National Museum of Natural history

Published

on

The National Museum of Natural History is seen engulfed in fire at Mandi house on April 26, 2016 in New Delhi. (Sipa via AP Images)

The National Museum of Natural History is seen engulfed in fire at Mandi house on April 26, 2016 in New Delhi. (Sipa via AP Images)

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Tuesday morning, security personnel from India’s National Museum of Natural History called emergency services to report a fire on the top floor of the building. Flames spread throughout the six-story building quickly, 35 fire engines and dozens more firefighters were called to fight the blaze.

“The fire began on the top floor and spread to four floors below. We used six cars with hydraulic platforms to douse the fire in the top floors,” Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rajesh Pawar tells the Indian Express. “[The] other 30 teams were fighting the flames from within the building interiors.”

No employees or visitors were trapped inside of the building during the fire, but while they were fighting the fire, six emergency responders were reportedly treated for smoke inhalation. “The wooden partitions to separate different wings of the museum on each of the four floors fed the fire,” says Pawar. “The specimens, the stuffed animals and the chemicals some specimens were preserved in were all highly combustible. That is why the fire spread so rapidly.”

Established in 1972, the museum has been beloved by multiple generations of schoolchildren in New Delhi, who visit the museum’s exhibits featuring stuffed big cats and a fossil from a 160 million-year old sauropod dinosaur.

“The fire at National Museum of Natural History is tragic,” Prakah Javadekar, India’s environment minister whose department oversees the museum tweeted Tuesday morning. “The Museum is a natural treasure. The loss cannot be quantified.”

Assessments of the specimens and materials lost during the fire will take place over the next few days, but it is anticipated that the museum lost a large collection of mammals and birds. The most valuable of the museum’s specimens, located on the first floor, are believed to be safe from the damage.

“The valuable exhibits including stuffed animals of endangered species were on the first floor, but the fire started higher up,” said museum scientist M. Vijay tells Marszal. “There are various dinosaur parts too but they are all fossils. Don’t worry, they can’t be destroyed by fire.”

The museum additionally houses a reference library of more than 15,000 books, which may have also been damaged during the blaze.

The damage from the fire was likely worse than it needed to be — inoperable pumps inside of the building meant that firefighters instead were required to rely solely on the water in their tanker trucks for the first two hours. There have been rising concerns over the status of safety and other issues surrounding the museum for several years. According to one report, a 2012 parliamentary report criticized the “pathetic functioning” of the museum and recommended moving the exhibits to a more modern facility.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Arts

Promising to be the film fest for “woke desis”, NYC SAFF to debut this November

Published

on

NYCSAFF Film Line-up

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Promising to be the fest for “contemporary, aware, woke desis”, NYC SAFF is set to make its debut this fall at the Altman building in New York City. After the roaring success of the 5th annual Dallas-Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF), JINGO Media presents its second film festival in the United States, the New York City South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF), gearing up to make its debut in mid-November at various venues around Chelsea in Manhattan. The first ever New York South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF) opens with a collection of gut-punches, knee slappers, and laughing gags. Running over 3 days, be sure to bring out your inner cinephile.

Opening the fest is Rohit Karn Batra’s directorial debut Line of Descent a white-knuckled cop thriller starring Brendan Fraser, and Abhay Deol. The story follows a mafia family dispute caught in the crosshairs of a police officer who guides their tragic downfall, and an arms dealer with a spy on the inside. The centerpiece film is the painstakingly painted ‘Bollywood Rose‘ based on true events, it tells the story of a forbidden love in a ruthless city. ‘Kaamyaab‘ which as recently screened at the the Chicago South Asian Film Festival(CSAFF) makes its way into NYC SAFF followed by other festival favorites like Ephemera, Khejdi, and Agency bolstering an already stellar line up. Expect to meet indie stars Tannishtha Chatterjee & Nawazuddin Siddiqui at the closing night film, Roam Rome Mein, a story that follows Reena who has run away to Italy in order to escape her overly strict parents, however, her brother, Raj in the turmoils of his own awakening sets out on a journey to find her.

The short film selection features Eliezer Vergaras ‘Fractured Souls‘; a baffling self revelation that unfolds as one mans frustration leads him into cascading tragedies. Vick Krishnas ‘Freak‘, a father must cope with unexpected news on his daughters surprise birthday. The feature lineup has a cup for everyone be it feature, documentary, fiction, or nonfiction. ‘Namdev Bhau‘ a man so flustered by the noise of Delhi vows to not speak and undertakes a pilgrimage of silence until a young boy decides to tag along. The disturbing Mai Ghat’ is based on the true story of two police officers who wrongly arrest a boy and tortured him to death. Its a powerhouse film exploring the violent act putting to question our personal and social conscience. It wouldn’t be a proper a film festival without films that challenge us and make us question ourselves.

Discussing topics that are too often swept under the rug like LGBT, womens rights and the societal oppression.The Last Letter‘ follows Mohan, a 70-year old gay man who has remained in the closet, that is, until the comfort he built for himself comes tumbling down. The Unexpected tells the story of a woman who despite achieving everything in life cannot conceive a child. Through its range of films, NYCSAFF aims to challenge, entertain, inspire and enrich.

Presented by Toyota and produced by JINGO Media, a NYC and Dallas-based events and public relations company, the inaugural, three-day festival boasts world, U.S. and New York City premieres of more than 25 shorts, documentaries and feature films focused on the unique stories of the South Asian Diaspora and those of our brothers and sisters back home. JINGO Media is also the parent company of DFW SAFF, which was conceptualized and created in 2015. 

“We are so proud to create yet another platform for world-class independent cinema from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Maldives,” said Jitin Hingorani, CEO/Principal of JINGO Media, a public relations company that launched in New York City in 2010. “We’re coming full circle with this festival because Manhattan is where it all began for us almost 10 years ago. We are certain that the community-at-large will embrace us and celebrate our joyous homecoming.” 

NYC SAFF has also partnered with The India Center Foundation (ICF), a New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of the Indian subcontinent, the promotion of its cultural life and the unique relationship between India and the United States. “To partner with NYC SAFF means that ICF is reaching the audience we wish to serve: contemporary, aware, woke desis and lovers of Indian and Diasporic creativity and storytelling. As a filmmaker whose film was so lovingly received at DFW SAFF, I know we are working with a staff who is dedicated and eager to give New Yorkers the film experience they deserve when it comes to screening South Asian cinema. We are looking forward to partnering on great conversations and panels around the films we see together,” said Priya Giri Desai, Founding Director of ICF.

Complete with an opening night red carpet , a curated set of film screenings and a closing night after party, this New York debut of an indie fest, is looking to leave you bruised with heartache, emotional bliss and a belly full of laughter, gasping for more. The first ever New York South Asian Film Festival promises one for the books!

It all goes down from November 15th though the 17th at The Altman Building. With the film screenings occurring throughout the weekend at AMC 34th street 14.

Diya TV is a proud media partner for the event, and will be onsite covering the fest. For tickets and information: https://www.nycsaff.com/tickets

Continue Reading

Arts

Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

Published

on

AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Arts

Houston pays tribute to fallen Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal

Published

on

Sandeep Dhaliwal

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — Thousands came to honor fallen Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal in a public funeral outside of Houston. The 42 year old father of three was killed during a routine traffic stop last week.

On the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, eleven organizations announced the India Philanthropy Alliance, a collaboration to advance humanitarian and development goals in India, doing so at the second Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit. The organizations collectively raise $125 million annually in donations.

The NBA is in India for the first-time, with the Kings and Pacers holding their first practices in Mumbai. The players and coaches also took time to mentor disadvantaged youth, not to mention budding Indian hoop stars. Diya TV will have full coverage of the NBA India Games, including live commentary and analysis on our social platforms.

And we’ll have highlights from a boisterous Chicago South Asian Film Festival that was proudly sponsored by Diya TV.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Trending

Diya TV , Inc. © 2017 All Rights Reserved