Month: July 2019

“We have an opportunity to halt human trafficking”- Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC

To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has  called on governments across the globe to adopt more stringent measures in the fight against human trafficking, and specifically to support Travel & Tourism initiatives that aim to curb this illicit activity. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually.

In comparative terms, that’s the equivalent of the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5bn). Trafficking relies on the travel industry to operate – not only across borders, but also within – using legitimate operations to illegally move people around and ultimately to exploit vulnerable people and children. In a bid to decimate both the activity and its profits, WTTC has formed a Human Trafficking Task Force, which was launched at the Global Summit 2019. Realising that many WTTC Member companies and sector associations are already very active in this fight, the aim of the Task Force is to leverage our position to facilitate information exchange and to coordinate efforts across the private sector, while strengthening cooperation with the public sector and civil society.

Members of the Task Force include AIG Travel, Airbnb, American Express Global Business Travel, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Ctrip International, Carlson & CWT, Emirates, Expedia Group, Hilton, Ingle International Inc., JTB Corp, Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, Marriott International, Sabre Corporation, Silversea, Thomas Cook Group, TUI Group and Uber.

The Task Force will help to eradicate Human Trafficking through activities focused on:

1.    Prevention – to increase industry and consumer awareness of human trafficking. It is proven that the more we know, the more we can do to prevent this crime.

2.    Protection – to train employees and travellers on how to identify and report suspected cases.

3.    Action – to encourage governments to enact and enforce legislation which recognises human trafficking as a crime throughout the entire chain, and develop resources and support needed, such as national hotlines. Continue reading ““We have an opportunity to halt human trafficking”- Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC”

Americares India Responds to Flooding in Assam and Bihar

 Americares India is organizing medical teams to treat survivors of the monsoon rains that have inundated South Asia.

More than 25 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal are affected by flooding, as monsoon rains have washed out roads, submerged homes and triggered landslides. To date, more than 500,000 people are displaced and over 600 people have died, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Beginning Monday, Americares India will organize medical teams in three districts in Assam and two districts in Bihar, where continuous rains and contaminated water have heightened health concerns. The teams, operated in partnership with local health care organizations, will provide medical care and dispense medications as needed. Americares also plans to deliver hygiene kits.

“With homes and roads submerged in several feet of standing water, we expect to see an increase in infections,” said Americares India Managing Director Shripad Desai. “Our medical teams will focus on providing primary care and basic first aid for the most vulnerable survivors, including pregnant women, children and the elderly.”

Americares India, based in Mumbai, provides emergency medical and humanitarian aid in response to floods, cyclones, earthquakes and other disasters. Most recently, the Americares India team responded to Cyclone Fani in Odisha, deploying medical teams to care for more than 5,200 patients. Americares India also provides health education, supports health worker safety programs and operates seven mobile health centers that provide free primary care services in 13 municipal wards across the slums of Mumbai.

In Nepal, where more than 100 people have died as result of the flooding, the Americares team in Kathmandu is working closely with the Ministry of Health and Population and local partners to restock health facilities with essential medicines and relief supplies.

Donations to Americares Worldwide Disaster Relief Fund will support its response to the flooding in India and Nepal. To make a donation, please go towww.americares.org/worldwide Continue reading “Americares India Responds to Flooding in Assam and Bihar”

Sudarshan Pattnaik , Sand Artist from Odisha, India wins People’s Choice Award

Sand artist, Sudarshan Pattnaik won ‘People’s Choice Award’ at Boston International Sand Art Championship. Pattnaik, a Padma Shi awardee, hails from Odisha, India. He represented India at the 2019 Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival held in Boston, U.S.A.

Pattnaik sculpted a sand art on plastic pollution with a message “Save the Ocean”, which brought him the achievement.

The festival started on July 26 and concluded on July 28. There were 15 sculptors from around the world, including India, who participated in this festival. Belgium got sculptor”s choice and Canada got the jury”s choice prize.

“I have created sculpture on ”Stop Plastic Pollution” with the message “Save the Ocean”. Happy to see lots of people voted for my sculpture,” said Pattnaik.

Pattnaik, who is known for his sand sculptures on social awareness, has participated in more than 60 international sand sculpture championships across the world and won many awards for the country. A Padma Shri recipient, he is also a Guinness World Records holder.

Sudarshan has won a number of awards and accolades, including consecutive gold medals in Russia in 2016 and 2017, the Danish grand prize at the International Sand Art Competition in Denmark, and awards from Spain, Canada and many countries around the world.

Pattnaik attended the 2013 World Sand Sculpting Championship in Atlanta. In 2010, he won three gold medals at the North America Solo Sand Sculpting Competition. His sand recreation of the Taj Mahal in 2005 at the Houston International Sand Art festival is what first got him noticed in the United States.

The Revere Beach, the first public beach in the Boston area, hosts this unique annual competition- sand sculpting, every year.

Continue reading “Sudarshan Pattnaik , Sand Artist from Odisha, India wins People’s Choice Award”

Global T20 Canada Partners with SickKids for the Official Charity

Global T20 Canada and Bombay Sports Company Ltd. are pleased to announce SickKids Foundation as the Official Charity of the League.

Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children
(SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada.
Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids – one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-
care institutions. Thanks to donors, in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2018, SickKids Foundation
invested over $140 million in child health research, learning and care.
“We rely on the community and are grateful to Global T20 Canada and Bombay Sports Company Ltd. for
their support,” said Katie McHugh-Escobar, Director, Community Partnerships, SickKids Foundation. “The
funds raised during this tournament will go towards our SickKids VS Limits campaign, the largest in
Canadian health care history, to help us build a renewed SickKids with cutting-edge operating suites,
more room for families and more room for the innovative technologies that will deliver better outcomes for
children in Canada and around the world.”
Global T20 Canada is a premiere international cricket league featuring the top cricket players from around
the world. From July 25 until August 11, the League will host 22 matches at the CAA Centre in Brampton
and all matches will be broadcast worldwide to approximately 80 countries. The owners of the League,
Mr. Gurmeet Singh and Mr. Ashit Patel, as well as several of the international players have close ties to
children’s charities around the world. It seems only seemed fitting that Global T20 Canada would
welcome SickKids Foundation as its official charity.
“Giving kids a healthy future is the responsibility of everyone. We at Global T20 are delighted to join
hands with SickKids Foundation which has done tremendous work in the field of child healthcare. We are
committed to this cause and will do everything possible to raise awareness and generate funds to secure
a healthy future for Canada. GT20 is really proud of this association.” said, Gurmeet Singh, President of
Bombay Sports and GT20 Canada. Continue reading “Global T20 Canada Partners with SickKids for the Official Charity”

BAPS Charities WalkGreen supports William Osler Hospital and helps plant 61,000 trees!

Over 1,300 people – from 6-year-old first-time fundraisers to senior citizens—came together to participate in the annual BAPS Charities Walk 2019 in Toronto on Sunday July 21, 2019. The walkathon was an event to bring awareness and raise funds for Environmental protection and Health Initiatives along with other charitable activities organized by BAPS Charities.

The BAPS Charities Walk in Canada nationally supports the life-saving work of the William Osler Health System. This year, the BAPS Charities walk is taking place in 11 cities across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Windsor and Cambridge, just to name a few. These walks also support a variety of local causes including the Surrey Hospital Foundation in British Columbia, the Victoria General Hospital Foundation in Manitoba and the Scarborough Health Network in Ontario.

This year over 23,000 walkers in 76 cities in North America joined the walk to help us protect our environment – for our generation and for generations to come. The collective actions of the community have helped The Nature Conservancy plant 61,000 additional trees in 2019. During the last four years, from 2016 to 2019, BAPS Charities Walkathons have helped plant a total of 361,000 trees.

Hon. Kirsty Duncan, MP for Etobicoke North, Minister of Science and Sport said, “Thank you for the work of BAPS Charities. Thank you for the difference you’re making to William Osler and thank you for walking to plant trees to help our planet.”

Mr. Michael Palleschi, Regional Councillor, City of Brampton, tweeted, ‘What a start to the morning! I attended the BAPS Charities walk. A job well done to the organizers, participants & sponsors for raising money to support @OslerHealth & the Plant a Billion Trees initiative. Community engagement at it’s best! #BAPSCharities’

Dr. Brian Klar, Corporate Chief of Family Medicine, William Osler Health Foundation said, “On behalf of Osler and myself, I would like to offer a truly heartfelt thank you for the incredible work you Continue reading “BAPS Charities WalkGreen supports William Osler Hospital and helps plant 61,000 trees!”

Memories of the fantastic voyage to the moon on it’s 50th anniversary!

–Lachman Balani

It was the summer of ’69 and I was literally over the moon as I had just graduated from the American School of Tangier, a US secondary school in Tangier, Morocco and was preparing to go to Cornell University in the US for further studies in engineering.

Amidst all the excitement of getting ready for university, another extraordinary event, the imminent moon landing, heightened my adrenalin levels as I was highly interested in science.

Way back in ‘68 and ‘69 when the Russians and Americans were running neck and neck in the race towards the moon, I was actually rooting for the Russians as they were the first to launch the space  satellite Sputnik and the first to put a man, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit. The Soviets were also the first to hard land (unpowered) and soft land (powered) a spacecraft on the moon. The U.S.S.R. was also the first to get photos of the lunar surface.

I would jokingly tell my American friends in school that “the Russians are gonna paint the moon red!”

They would laugh back: “nah, we doubt it, but even if they do, heck when we get there we will spray it white with the Coca Cola logo!”

Such was the ingenuity of American marketing even way back then.

I remember well also that after the “dress rehearsal” Apollo 10 mission in May of the same year, there were rumours that Russia, cloaked in secrecy, would somehow beat the US and send up a manned mission to land on the moon before the upcoming Apollo 11 voyage in July.

However, the great day finally arrived for the Americans. My family and I huddled around the black and white TV on July 16, 1969, to watch history unfurl. With memories of the fire that killed three astronauts in the Apollo 1 mission a couple of years earlier and Neil Armstrong’s near death experience a year earlier still fresh in everyone’s minds, I kept my fingers crossed that nothing drastic would occur as the countdown began. Continue reading “Memories of the fantastic voyage to the moon on it’s 50th anniversary!”

Incredible India Wins Pata Gold Award 2019

The Incredible India “Find the Incredible You” campaign released globally by the Ministry of Tourism during 2018-19 has been declared winner of the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Gold Award 2019 in the “Marketing – Primary Government Destination” category. This year’s awards attracted 198 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide.

The Ministry of Tourism, as part of its promotional initiatives annually releases Global Media Campaigns under the ‘Incredible India’ brand-line in the Television, Print, Digital and Social Media, in key and potential source markets overseas.

To take the Campaigns to the next level, the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ Campaign was launched in September 2017, which marks a shift from generic promotions undertaken across the world to market specific promotional plans and content creation. The campaign focuses on digital and social media and the promotion of Niche Tourism products of the country.

As part of the 2.0 Campaign, five new television commercials were produced by the Ministry, which were aired globally in the television, digital and social media. These were:

  1. Yoga   :           “The Yogi of the Racetrack”
  2. Wellness :      “The Reincarnation of Mr. and Mrs. Jones”
  3. Luxury  :        “The Maharani of Manhattan”
  4. Cuisine  :       “The Masala MasterChef”
  5. Wildlife :       “The Sanctuary in Paris”

The campaign strategy was to shift the focus from the external experience of tourist destinations to the internal experience of travelers themselves. This series of transformative experiences was brought alive through unique storytelling in the format of autobiographies of travelers, with the tagline “Find the Incredible You”.

The series of films have received a very good response and have registered over 153 million views on social media. They were earlier awarded the First Prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards at Berlin in March 2019. Continue reading “Incredible India Wins Pata Gold Award 2019”