worldnrinews – UKMALAYALEE

London Hindu Aikyavedi performs “Annadanam” by providing food to health care workers at St George’s University Hospital

By A Staff Reporter

LONDON May 29: The London Hindu Aikyavedi performed “Annadanam”, the sacred tradition of offering food to health care workers St George’s University Hospital. Continue reading “London Hindu Aikyavedi performs “Annadanam” by providing food to health care workers at St George’s University Hospital”

Doctors declare Keralite in UK dead after 32 days in ventilator but wife’s decision helps husband recover from Coronavirus

By Aparna Sreevalsan (Pictures by Rajesh Nadepilly)

LONDON May 29: When the coronavirus infection hit the United Kingdom, the Malayali population in the UK  also had to fear it. Malayali doctors and nurses are engaged in the UK’s fight against COVID-19.  Many are affected and during this battle, we lost some of their lives too. The latest news updates show, a second wave of coronavirus may hit the whole Europe in the coming winter.

While going through the hardships during this pandemic, this is a joyful news for all Malayalis in the UK. Two Keralites from the Winchester-Andover city area recovered completely from the coronavirus and joined back with their loved ones yesterday. More specifically saying, it was a second birth for both.
Hundreds of Malayalee families reside in the Winchester-Andover area and many were tested positive. Most of them recovered without much complications but things were opposite for Gini Varkey and Roychan Chacko.
Life was at stake for both at one point of time but the exemplary efforts in treatments given by the staff of NHS, Winchester, and the prayers of their family members and other friends gave them the new life.
The Winchester-Andover Malayali associations gave them an open-arm welcome and was a moment to celebrate for every single person.
Gini spent 29 days in the hospital and his condition gone worse, making the staff to give him ventilator support. Gini’s wife Sarah and their only daughter were with him throughout the period. Roychan had to spend 58 days in hospital and multiple times, his condition became worse.
He had to be in ventilator for several days. The staff and family members started losing hope except his wife Liji, who is a nurse too. It was her hopes, and strong determination in bringing him back, failed the coronavirus.
Roychan from Ambalapuzzha back in Kerala was infected by the end of March. The family followed the guidelines given by the NHS and treated at home, but later got admitted in the hospital after showing struggle in breathing.
Liji and the two daughters were confident enough, continuously prayed to God for his life. Things got worse, and the staff tried to transfer him to the ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine.
They had a discussion with the authority of St. Thomas Hospital, London. Considering the availability of the ECMO machine and the number of days Roychan spent in ventilator, the staff from St. Thomas Hospital had to deny their request.
Roychan continued living with the support of ventilator.
On 14 th April, Liji received a call from the hospital, the staff asked her to meet her husband for one last time. She met her husband and the Malayali priest who accompanied her, started giving him the Last Sacraments.
Staff informed her that Roychan can no longer take the ventilator support, all organs are damaged and its time to say goodbye.
For a moment, Liji felt the whole world going upside down, but the decision taken by her to keep him in ventilator and give all the treatments, resulted in the re-birth of Roychan.
He started responding to medicines, it was an unexpected recovery, can be termed as a ‘medical miracle’.
After spending 32 days in ventilator and total 58 days in hospital, Roychan returned to his family and friends with a complete recovery yesterday.
Friends and family were eagerly waiting on roads with flowers and placards for Roychan’s and Gini’s return. The video of their return has been circulated and seen by thousands of Keralites through social media.
The UK Malayali population attained the status of a prominent Asian community. Thousands of doctors and nurses from Kerala have become the backbone of several NHS trusts.
Recovery of Roychan and Gini had given hopes and happiness among the community.

BEWARE: Read Full Standard Operating Protocol for private aircraft and charter flights to repatriate stranded Indians (VIDEO)

By A Staff Reporter

LONDON May 29: India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation on 24th May had announced Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for private aircraft and charter flights to repatriate stranded Indians and certain categories of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “BEWARE: Read Full Standard Operating Protocol for private aircraft and charter flights to repatriate stranded Indians (VIDEO)”

Thrissur native from Northampton passed away

LONDON May 28: Sunny Antony (61) and his wife arrived to visit their daughter Bisa Austin and her two children in Northampton only a few weeks before the lockdown.
HOwever, Sunny fell ill and passed away on Wednesday 27th May 2020.
Sunny is from Kaloor in Thrissur back in Kerala

Air India to fill the middle seats while operating its non-scheduled flights to bring back stranded Indians

New Delhi May 28: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a pilot’s plea seeking modification of its order which allowed Air India to fill the middle seats while operating its non-scheduled flights to bring back Indians stranded abroad up to June 6.
Continue reading “Air India to fill the middle seats while operating its non-scheduled flights to bring back stranded Indians”

Nurse and doctor gets married at the hospital they work

LONDON May 28: Jann Tipping, an ambulatory emergency nurse, and Annalan Navaratnam, an acute medical registrar who has been working at St Thomas’ Hospital for a year, were planning to get married in August in London but had to cancel due to Coronavirus outbreak.

“Kerala is safer that US”: Washington State University Theatre Professor seeks legal means to remain in Kerala

At a time when Indians abroad are trying to make their way back home during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are hundreds of foreigners stranded in Kerala who do not want to return to their home countries as they feel Kerala is safer than any other place on planet earth.  God’s Own Country once more shows to the world that its the place which makes you feel at home and where you want to be.
Here we have a story of a US Theatre Professor at the Washington State University who got held up in Kochi during the time when India was put under a lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prof Terry Converse, who teaches direction and specialises in the use of masks in theatre, is unwilling to return any soon to the US. Now, he has taken legal steps to remain in Kerala for at least the next six months.
Prof Terry is at present living with the family of Charu Narayanakumar who is the head of Phoenix World Theatre group in Kochi. Prof Terry Converse’visa had run out on March 27 and got extended till 25th April and due to the lockdown it was further extended until 17th May. However, Prof Terry has now taken the legal process by approaching the Kerala High Court requesting his visa be extended by as many six months.
The Kerala High Court will now take up his petition once the lockdown is lifted. 
The story gains interest just due to the fact that Kerala has been termed by many foreigners as a place where they all feel so safe to be. Kerala Calling caught up with Prof Terry Converse to explore reasons why he finds Kerala so enchating that he doesnt want to leave.
File picture from one of Prof Terry’s mask acting workshops
Q: You had said: “I feel far safer in India than I do in the United States.” Can you please elaborate on why you felt this would be the right decision for you?
My feeling safer in Kerala than the US is based on several factors.  I have friends and family from several different states ranging from East Coast to West Coast. I hear from them regularly how things are going, and many of them have advised me to stay put, if at all possible. Unlike India, and specifically Kerala, the United States took way too long to begin taking proactive action towards the pandemic.
Besides talking to friends and family, I carefully read articles in the New York Times, New Yorker, and the Atlantic, and they provide me with up to date info on what is happening in the US.
To travel from Kerala to the US typically requires going through 3-4 airports, and this alone is not a particularly safe thing to do if it can be avoided.  Then once in the US, I face the difficulty of living in places that are not taking the lockdown very seriously.
Q: In your views how was Kerala able to contain the virus up until now. What do you see as the good things they have done compared to the West?
Locking the borders is one very good thing Kerala government had done.  In the US, the state borders are totally open and this has caused the coronavirus to spread much faster than it would have otherwise.
I have also been very pleased with Kerala government’s attentiveness to tracking person to person Covid-19 patients.  Again, the tracking in Kerala and India in general is much more effective than the US.
Prime Minister Modi’s suggestion to to support for the lockdown by lighting lamps, etc. was from what I could tell in Kochi very effective, and this kind of solidarity in the US is still, to date, very much lacking.
Q: Can you please share about your works in Kerala?
In 2012, I was granted a Fulbright scholarship to work with a theatre doing an extensive series of mask acting workshops. As a Fulbright visiting lecturer, I conducted a three month series of extensive mask acting workshops with Chandra Dasan’s Lokadharmi Theatre in Kochi.
While in residency at Lokadharmi Theatre I directed a dramatization of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s famous short story The World-Renowned Nose (Viswavikhyathamaya Mookku) and Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man. Indigenous theatre often used various forms of masks, and this is initially while I was fascinated to learn more about them.
Q: Can you please explain what is the importance of face masks in theatre?
Usage of face masks encourage actors to use body language more effusively since they could no longer use their faces to emote. It is about aesthetics, performance and technique. When you take away the face, how to communicate becomes a challenge for an actor.
The focus then is on physicalising an emotion and various body movements. An actor has to create various characters using these masks and their body language. We make the participants dress in black and they would emote in front of the mirror. The idea is to strip them of any kind of self-identity.
The mask becomes powerful then and we see an immediate transformation in these actors as they become a completely new person.Kathakali is specifically associated with Kerala, and while it doesn’t use actual masks, the very detailed make up and costuming creates a mask like effect.
Q: Can you please let us know your purpose of being in Kerala?
I am living with the family of Charu Narayanakumar who is the head of Phoenix World Theatre group in Kochi. I help in any way I can to further the success of her theatre group in Kochi.
This ranges from directing, designing posters and press releases, as well as finding theatre projects that are interest to all of us. My assocaition with the family dates back to 2013. In 2013 Charu and I were traveling to Mumbai to do an all day Mask Acting Workshop, on behalf of Fulbright and we suffered a very serious head on collision.  Without going into detail, I suffered multiple facial fractures, three broken ribs, and a punctured lung.
I was knocked immediately unconscious, but Charu managed to get us to a hospital in a timely fashion, and she literally saved my life. This is part of the reason I dedicated to helping Charu and her theatre, but even if the accident never happened I would have been drawn to working with Phoenix World Theatre because for over 30 years I have been extremely interested in theatre that focuses on cross cultural themes. Our production of Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest is good example of this cross cultural interest.
Q: Has there been any incidents which you can remember struck you as
interesting while in Kerala prior to Covid or after Covid which you can share with the public?
Had I come to India strictly as a tourist, rather than a theatre artist, my experience would have been much different. Theatre people, regardless of what country they come from, share a natural bond, and are more naturally open to reveal things about their lifestyle and culture that I would never learn otherwise.
  I feel very fortunate being invited to spend a day visiting Manjula Padmanabhan in Delhi, and I enjoyed communicating with Girish Karnad by email regarding our production of Naga Mandala.
While on my Fulbright I worked with Chandra Dasan’s Lokadharmi Theatre group, and that is certainly an experience I will always treasure.  In my touring with Phoenix World Theatre I have met exceptionally talented theatre directors: Ashis Das and Probir Guha.
I conducted a three week workshop at Kallol’s Ebong Amra Theatre Village which remains one my most treasured moments in India — his work and his highly trained actors are remarkably talented, wonderful people.
I plan on working with them again, as soon as social distancing isn’t an ongoing problem.One thing that makes India very special with regards to theatre is the abundance of theatre festivals.
Festivals around the country such as NSD Theatre Festival, Itfok, Gobandanga and many more have been highlights of my time in India. Also, living in Kochi, has made it very easy for me to frequently visit the various events at the Biennale.
Q: As a tourist were you able to accomplish the aims of travelling all over where you wanted to and what will be your feedback on the place Kerala as a tourist destination to the world? Would you come back to Kerala? and if yes, which place would you prefer to stay? Which captivated you both the most?
Absolutely. I have been coming to India for eight years, typically arriving in September and returning to the US in June so I have been very fortunate to have experienced many places in India. During my visits I traveled extensively throughout India, ranging from Darjeeling, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Khajarho, Varanasi, Hampi, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Mysore, Kanyakumari, Kannur, Trissur, Alappuzha etc.
Q: Please let us know where you are from the US and tell us about your family, town or village?
In the US, my home for the 30 years has been in Pullman, Washington. My daughter Kathleen is living in Portland, with her husband Ben who is a nurse and her son Finley who is 2 ½ years old.
Kathleen is University professor teaching Women Studies at University of Portland. My son Ryan is staying in Los Angeles and is working as a Multi-media visual artist. I have a brother Chico Converse who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Amy who is a lawyer. He runs a highly successful music group called Lagniappe, which specializes in cajun music.
This was interview was first published on Kerala Calling magazine published by Government of Kerala, Information & Public Relations Dept. Magazine May 2020 issue. Print version will be available in a week. This Magazine is having a very wide popular reach and a good source to Public Awareness on the Pandemic. After few days, you could view it on the following link:

‘ദി ഫ്രണ്ട്ലൈൻ’ ഹ്രസ്വചിത്രം മുൻനിര പോരാളികളായ ആരോഗ്യ പ്രവർത്തകർക്ക് ഒരു സമർപ്പണം

ഡബ്ലിൻ May 26:  അയർലൻഡ് മലയാളി സലിൻ ശ്രീനിവാസിന്റെ തിരക്കഥയിൽ  ഡാലസ് ഭരതകല തീയറ്റേഴ്സ്‌ നിർമ്മിച്ച്‌ ഹരിദാസ് തങ്കപ്പൻ സംവിധാനം നിർവഹിച്ച ഹ്രസ്വചിത്രം ‘ദി ഫ്രണ്ട്ലൈൻ’ മെയ് 12  നഴ്‌സസ് ദിനത്തിൽ ലോകമെമ്പാടും കോവിഡ് പ്രതിരോധ യജ്ഞത്തിൽ മുൻനിരപോരാളികളായ ആരോഗ്യ പ്രവർത്തകർക്ക് സമർപിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് വെബ് റിലീസ് ചെയ്തു.
Continue reading “‘ദി ഫ്രണ്ട്ലൈൻ’ ഹ്രസ്വചിത്രം മുൻനിര പോരാളികളായ ആരോഗ്യ പ്രവർത്തകർക്ക് ഒരു സമർപ്പണം”

UUKMA tribute to NHS heroes: Opportunity for children and youths to showcase their talents Live on Facebook

By A Staff Reporter
LONDON May 26: UUKMA (Union of UK Malayalee Associations), an umbrella organisation which has affiliation of majority of the UK Malayalee associations scattered all over the UK, has come forward to show their appreciation to the NHS staff who has been providing exemplary services to the community at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scrapping of immigration health surcharge for NHS staff and care workers: This Keralite too deserve the plaudits for his efforts

By A Staff Reporter
LONDON May 25: The scrapping of the immigration health surcharge by the UK government has brought about a huge relief to those thousands of nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who make a visa application to come and work, study or join family in the UK for more than six months, who live in the UK already and are making an immigration application to stay in the UK for any period of time.