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Unlock 2.0, Day 24: Pune’s ‘warrior aaji’ wows netizens; Biryani tops India’s food chart during lockdown

From Pune’s ‘warrior aaji’ to a Maharashtra couple spending Rs 4 lakh to feed poor, here are some interesting stories on Day 24 of unlock 2.0.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 24, 2020 10:19:29 pm
warrior aaji, Pune warrior aaji, Pune old woman performing martial arts, old woman performing martial arts, India news, Indian Express People wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait with empty cooking gas cylinders to have it exchanged with refilled ones in Kohima, Nagaland. (AP Photo/Yirmiyan Arthur)

The Covid-19 tally in India rose to 12,87,945 Friday after 49,311 fresh cases were reported within a span of 24 hours. The death toll mounted to 30,601 with 740 new fatalities. For the last few days now, India has had more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world except the United States. Brazil’s daily numbers have fallen in the last week, while India has risen from the level of about 35,000 to almost 50,000 now.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said India has one of the world’s lowest Covid-19 infection and death rate. “India has so far reported 1.25 million cases and more than 30,000 deaths due to Covid-19. At 864 cases per million and less than 21 deaths per million of our population, India has one of the world’s lowest infection and death rate,” he said.

warrior aaji, Pune warrior aaji, Pune old woman performing martial arts, old woman performing martial arts, India news, Indian Express NSS Volunteers from the Social Work Department draw graffiti to spread awareness against coronavirus at the Student Centre of Panjab University, in Chandigarh on Sunday, June 19, 2020. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

On Day 24 of unlock 2.0, here are some interesting stories:

Maharashtra couple spends Rs 4 lakh to feed poor

A school principal and her husband have come to the rescue of not only their students, but also people in their neighbourhood hit hard by the coronavirus-induced lockdown, loosening their purse strings to help those in crisis. The couple has spent over Rs 4 lakh of their personal savings in feeding hundreds of poor people in their neighbourhood during the lockdown and also waived three months fees of students studying in their school at Ambujwadi in suburban Malad here. Mizga Shaikh, 38, the principal of non-aided Zeal English School at Ambujwadi, and her husband Faiyaz, 45, who is a trustee of the school, have provided food and ration to over 1,500 people during the lockdown period. (PTI)

Actor-MP reaches out to elderly man on crutches selling masks

warrior aaji, Pune warrior aaji, Pune old woman performing martial arts, old woman performing martial arts, India news, Indian Express A doctor checks the temperature of a woman during a free medical camp in Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums in Mumbai, India, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Actor-turned-Trinamool Congress MP Dev has come to the aid of a physically challenged elderly man near here, who walks several kilometres every day with the help of his crutches to sell masks and earn a living. Amal Bhowmik (80) had been trudging from one door to another in Belgharia area on the city’s northern outskirts since June, after his son’s flower business took a hit owing to the lockdown. Dev came across a Twitter post on his plight and decided to reach out to him. The Tollywood star’s production team has got in touch with his family and promised financial help. “Dev-da’s personal assistant called me on my cell phone and promised assistance. One of his team members will be meeting us shortly to finalize how it can be done,” Bhowmik’s son said on Thursday. (PTI)

5.5 lakh biryanis, 1.2 lakh cakes ordered during COVID-19 lockdown

Even amid safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been ordering their favourite foods online, revealed a survey by Swiggy. As per the delivery platform’s report titled StatEATistics: The Quarantine Edition, there have been over 5.5 lakh orders for biryani during the coronavirus-led lockdown, followed by butter naan and masala dosa. A sumptuous meal is never complete without indulging in dessert, corroborated the survey which recorded 1,29,000 choco lava cake orders, followed by gulab jamun and butterscotch mousse cake. The survey further revealed that 65,000 meal orders were placed by 8 pm each day to make sure the food reached on time for dinner. On average, customers chose to tip Rs 23.65 while one particular customer tipped Rs 2,500.

Pune’s ‘warrior aaji’ wows netizens with martial art skills

warrior aaji, Pune warrior aaji, Pune old woman performing martial arts, old woman performing martial arts, India news, Indian Express A health worker at a Covid-19 testing center in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

A video of an elderly Maharashtrian woman performing a martial arts routine on the streets of Pune has taken social media by storm and caught the attention of many Bollywood celebrities. As the video of the woman who has been dubbed ‘warrior aaji (warrior grandmother)’ started doing the rounds of the internet, many celebrities have offered financial assistance for her. Actors Sonu Sood, Riteish Deshmukh, Randeep Hooda and Lakshmi Ratan Shukla were among those who shared the clip of the woman and praised her skills.

The woman was later identified as Shanta Balu Pawar by the woman who originally shot the video. The 85-year-old reportedly decided to perform on the streets to sustain herself and her family. A clip that was widely shared on social media showed her rotating one stick and then two sticks at a rapid speed before seeking alms.

Famed powerlifter does his bit to give dignified burial for COVID victims

For someone who has lifted 295 kg without breaking a sweat, famed powerlifter Mohammed Azmathulla feels the pain of carrying the bodies of COVID-19 victims, as he goes about giving a dignified burial to them. “The pain I experience while carrying the body of someone who has died due to coronavirus can’t be explained,” the champion powerlifter said. As coronavirus now carries a stigma borne out of public fear, many people avoid touching victims’ bodies, protest against their cremation or burial in the vicinity and look at the relatives of the deceased with fear. Azmathulla, fondly called Azmat, has taken up the task of giving a dignified burial to coronavirus victims and has associated himself with the Mercy Mission for the purpose. A programme manager in DXC Technology, an IT firm, Azmat works for five days and reserves the weekends for this social cause. “I was part of the drive for relief work during the lockdown and when I saw people dying in huge numbers in July, I decided to associate myself with the Mercy Mission,” Azmat told PTI. (PTI)

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