MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Wednesday, 07 August 2019 00:00

Times Network expands its presence in Canada

Times NOW, Mirror NOW, ET NOW and Zoom to LIVE stream on TabletStream

Mumbai, August 07, 2019: Times Network, India’s premium broadcast network channels TIMES NOW, MIRROR NOW, ET NOW and ZOOM will now be available for South Asian viewers in Canada on TabletStream, leading LIVE streaming service for International (South Asian) programming in the region. With presence in over 100 countries, Times Network, an expert curator of segmented and differentiated content across genres, strengthens its foothold in Canada focussing on the new age tech savvy viewers with its platform agnostic approach.

Jagdish Mulchandani, COO & Executive President, Times Network said, “With an evolving consumer preference for watching content across platforms, we are very excited to partner TabletStream that allows viewers in Canada to access our best in class news and entertainment channels across devices. I am confident that our robust offering will cater to the viewers discerned preferences on their desired platform, providing a comprehensive content viewing experience.”

"TabletStream is thrilled to welcome Times Network’s top-rated news and entertainment channels to its streaming platform. Addition of Times Now, Zoom, ET Now, and Mirror Now will significantly enhance our offering for Canadian viewers as we strive to provide the best entertainment for the South Asian diaspora," said Charles Miller, President and CEO of TabletStream.

Making its digital foray into the market, Times Network brings to its viewers a strong bouquet of influential brands in its portfolio across news and entertainment providing viewers access to global, national, local and business news, original series and Bollywood content from back home with India’s leading channels. Available on TabletStream are TIMES NOW, India’s leading English news channel that represents the global voice of the progressive India with its extensive and unparalleled news reportage ; ET NOW, India’s leading English Business news channel, committed to the nation’s development with a dedicated purpose of helping Indians Rise with India ; Mirror NOW, a channel that focuses on putting citizens first and redefined the norms and re-written the rules for new-age and viewer-centric journalism and ZOOM, India's No. 1 Bollywood channel, and a trendsetter in its genre that brings viewers closer to the biggest stars through the hottest entertainment news, original series, features, countdowns, music, trends, celebrity interviews and reviews.

Wednesday, 07 August 2019 00:00

Animal Planet shines light on Snake Squad

A group of youngsters who have dedicated their lives to mitigating human-snake conflict

They save people from snakes and snakes from people

The expanding cities have intensified human-snake conflict like never before. As cities grow both vertically and horizontally, residential complexes have risen where once there was wilderness and wildlife. Hurt and homeless, snakes are turning up everywhere--- homes, schools, offices, temples and even refrigerators! Animal Planet’s new 10-part series Snake Squad, which premiers on August 15 at 9:00 pm focuses on unsung heroes of the urban landscapes who are dedicating their lives to mitigating human-snake conflict and saving both people from snakes and snakes from people.

Snakes – an integral part of India

No civilization, country or society in the world is as inseparably linked to snakes as India has been. Snakes are friends, foe and God, and loved, feared, hated and worshipped in equal measures. They, in brief, are an integral part of India --- culturally, economically and mythologically! On the other hand, they are also the cause of the worst man vs wild-animal conflict in the world. Conservative estimates put the human death toll of snakebites at 50,000 every year. Many experts and field workers, however, feel that the real number could be double that. Close to half a million human lives get destroyed through long-term disabilities. The casualties on the snakes’ side is even worse.

The Snake Squad

Traditional snake charmers have disappeared from modern India. Enter the young Snake Squad, a group of young men and women, often highly qualified and educated, driven by a passion for wildlife. They are dedicating their lives to mitigating this conflict and saving both people from snakes and snakes from people. Every major city in India has its own emerging, young squad. It has turned into a phenomenon. These squads are saving hundreds of thousands lives year after year.

Two years in making

It took almost two years for Optimum Television to put the inaugural series in place. Executive Producer and Director, Upma Bhatnagar met some of the best-known scientists and experts at Oxford University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and even in Costa Rica. She also travelled to many parts of India on an exhaustive recee schedule.

Upma Bhatnagar, says, “I always wanted to tell the story of the Indian snake. Nothing comes anywhere close to the majesty of a King Cobra when it stands with its hood on full display. But, like most Indian stories, this too is highly, highly complicated. On the one hand, so many people are dying to snakebites every year. But, on the other, snakes happen to be the best pest controllers that nature has to offer. Remove them from the scene and you run the risk of being overtaken by rats and other pests in no time. Plus, lest we forget, snakes also happen to be God in India. It’s almost impossible to separate these two living entities from each other. We, therefore, decided to tell this complex story through the eyes of the many young men and women I met during my journeys. How we found these amazing people in various parts of India is another story. We wanted to include those heroes who are passionate and ethical. I can assure you, it is not easy.”

About Members of Snake Squad

Snake Squad is a salute to these champions- Alex Carpenter, Lynnette D’Souza, Aaron Fernandes, Soham Mukherjee, Shravan Krishnan, Jose Louise, Nick and Gargi Vijayaraghvan. The unsung heroes of the urban landscapes, who would travel to all parts of India in search of many more incredible heroes and to narrate many more incredible stories.

Alex Carpenter, 27, the Host, Foreigner Snake Catcher, Goa

27-year old Alex is an accidental snake rescuer. He arrived in India in the autumn of 2015 with a view to staying for 6 months and learning a little about permaculture and organic farming. His first location was Agonda in south Goa, where he stayed in a small eco project. The workers there quickly discovered my fascination for wildlife – he was always pointing out animals and especially snakes. Alex is now famous all over Goa as the ‘foreigner snake catcher’. Day and night, his phone is seldom quiet, with calls coming from all over the state. He has rescued hundreds of snakes since that first call. He says, “I’ve had a passion for the environment and wildlife from an early age, and a fascination with snakes for as long as I can remember. When I was 15, my parents were working with over 100 snakes in our family home, of which a number were highly unusual species. These were eventually put on exhibit in a couple of well-known zoos in the UK, as well as private collections of distinguished herpetologists and researchers.

Aaron Fernandes, 34, The Goan Spirit, Goa

Aaron typifies the place he comes from, Goa: chilled! Even when he’s handling deadly cobras or gigantic pythons, the endearing smile never leaves his face. He’s popular as a tattoo artist and body painter, but he is more famous as a wildlife and especially snake rescuer. Aaron co-founded ‘Chameleon Wildlife Organization’, an NGO devoted to rescuing and re-habiting wildlife, especially snakes. Besides being saviours on the field, Chameleon also takes up the task of educating and encouraging locals, primarily in rural areas, on how to manage encounters with reptiles. All his experiences have helped him understand their behaviour and personality more closely.

Soham Mukherjee, 34, Crocodile Whisperer, Ahmedabad

As a young computer graduate, Soham had the world at his feet. Tall and handsome, he could

have been anywhere in the world, doing what he liked. He, instead, chose to be a crocodilian.

It didn’t come as a surprise to his parents. He started collecting snakes and scorpions at the

age of 12. By 17, he had forty-four of them! Now, he is India’s first and only crocodile trainer.

When he commands, even the mighty crocodiles listen and obey. While at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, he wouldn’t require anyone’s help to clean crocodile cages. He would simply ask them to move, and they did! He has caught and tagged hundreds of crocodiles and gharials for numerous scientific projects. At such young age, Soham sits on the IUCN expert groups on crocodiles and vipers. He regularly travels around the world, and India to lead scientific expeditions. But when in Ahmedabad, he is working tirelessly to retrieve snakes from urban landscape.

Shravan Krishnan, 27, The Real Super Hero, Chennai

Shravan shot to prominence in 2016 when two drunken medical students flung a dog, Bhadra, off a three-story building. Shravan rescued the canine. It, however, would be wrong to say that this is the rescue that made him famous. He has always been a superstar in Chennai. As Chennai expands, more snakes are being found in housing complexes that were once wilderness or green landscapes. Shravan and his team work 24x7 to save snakes from people and people from snakes. In last four years, they have saved more than 8,000 of them! Shravan is dedicated to his mission and he even runs an animal hospital, which has become a home for abandoned or abused animals.

Gargi Vijayaraghvan, 25, The Baby-Faced Do-Gooder, Mumbai:

Gargi’s age, face, smile and diminutive frame betray her calling. If one did not know her, you would never guess that she has already rescued over 3,000 snakes in a crowded city like Mumbai. She has been doing it for the past 10 years. Small and shy, she suffered horrendous bullying as a child. However, all of that changed one fateful day when a snake made its way into her classroom. Everyone was frightened, naturally, and students and faculty tried to shoo it away with sticks. But, not wanting the snake to be harmed, Gargi caught it with her bare hands and started petting it. She then asked her teacher’s permission to go and release the snake in a safe environment. When she returned, the entire class gave her a standing ovation and cheered for her. She has never been bullied since.

Lynette D’souza, 42, Guts Galore, Mumbai

Lynette’s presence in the field of snake rescue has an interesting and inspirational backstory. She lives in the Palghar district, north of Mumbai, a place surrounded by tribal villages where snakes

are abundant. Once, while watching a male snake rescuer, she casually asked if he needed any help. He retorted, “Watch from a distance and this is best you can do. You women folk start screaming at the sight of a cockroach. What makes you think you can help in a snake rescue?” She took it as a challenge. Eight years on, she has rescued over 2,500 snakes, including some of the deadliest like cobras and pythons. She has created an organization that has more than 20 young people helping her in day-to-day rescues. She shuttles between Palghar and Mumbai most days for work. Despite her remarkable achievements, though, Lynette continues to battle the rigid views of society, particularly on her line of work.

Nick Casewell, The Venom Expert, United Kingdom:

Nick Casewell is one of the youngest and foremost scientists in the world on snake venom. He dreams of one day finding a universal treatment that could treat snakebite victims without side effects and complications. Nick has worked mostly in Africa so far, but is shifting his

attention to India now, where the snake population is immense and diverse. He is teaming up with institutions like Indian Institute of Science to study the venoms of Indian snakes --- an area where he feels a lot remains still to be achieved.

Jose Louise, 40, The Champion, from Kerala, Delhi

Jose had everything laid out for him in life, but destiny had a different script for him in mind. In God’s own country, Kerala, his family runs many massive rubber plantations. Here, he encountered snakes growing up and started rescuing them at a young age. It sparked a passion in him that would change his life. At his family’s insistence, he acquired top computer qualifications and was leading a prosperous life in corporate IT, but his inner voice could not be ignored. In 2003, he left the digital world to join a not-for-profit organization and hasn’t looked back since then. In between, Jose has created a nation-wide unique network, Indian Snakes, which is the largest network of snake rescuers in India. Along the way, Jose has emerged as the central point for controlling wildlife crimes in India. He heads the Wildlife Crime Control division in

Wildlife Trust of India, the largest such NGO in India. The computer education and skills Jose acquired during his college and corporate days have stayed with him. But he’s now putting them to use in wildlife conservation, devising cutting edge solutions for conflict reduction  and the apprehending of criminals.

SNAKE SQUAD is produced for Animal Planet by Optimum Television and is directed by Upma Bhatnagar, produced by Manoj Narain, written by Siddhvinayak Bhatnagar, edited by Mike Dunne with music by Alex Paton, Harshan Radhakrishnan, Cliff D’souza & Elvis Lobo.

Watch Snake Squad, premiering on Aug 15th, 2019 at 21:00 hrs IST on your favorite wildlife channel Animal Planet and Animal Planet HD

iProspect India, the digital performance agency from the house of Dentsu Aegis Network, has won the social media duties for the stock brokerage firm, Angel Broking. The account was won post a multi-agency pitch.

As per the mandate, the agency will service the account from its Mumbai office and will handle their social media duties. The objective is to build thought leadership and differentiated brand equity in the category, target millennials and create a better customer experience.

Commenting on the win, Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India said, “We are glad to partner with Angel Broking – a premier firm in the category. We look forward to providing brand solutions and driving their social media strategy. We are glad that they liked our customer-centric approach that will help them win, retain and engage their clients.”

On the association, Prabhakar Tiwari, CMO, Angel Broking said, “After rigorous two-months of pitches and carefully evaluating our potential partners, we are happy to partner with iProspect in our next phase of digital growth plans. With evolving customer and market needs, we want to create the right buzz across platforms to reach our customers as well as tap the millennials to realize our multi-segment leadership aspirations in the market.”

Bhojpuri, which is being spoken among more than 55 crore people, has its own identity. Bhojpuri songs, whether it is DJ songs or religious ones, have made its popularity in every corner of our country. The craze of Bhojpuri channels are increasing day by day among the viewers. The most popular name among them is B4U Bhojpuri, which have won the love of viewers in the BARC ratings last week, and became No.1 Bhojpuri Entertainment Channel of the country.

In the sacred month of Shravan, B4U Bhojpuri is playing a special show “Kanwariya Bole Bam Bam” which is gathering devotees of Lord Shiva in one place. The show has gained its popularity among the followers with it soulful bhajans and songs on Lord Shiva. At the same time, the Kanwariyas, who have gone on the journey to Kanwar, are also getting an opportunity to join the famous songs of Bhole Nath through this show.The show is being organized especially to commemorate the Shravan Fair in Deoghar, the holy abode of Kawariyas. People enjoy listening to the famous Shiva bhajans on B4U’s Bhajan Sagar Show which is telecasted everyday from 5am to 8 am. Kanwariya Bole Bam Bam comes with a long list of Famous Bhojpuri religious songs. In the last few days, the show has accumulated a lot of love from its viewers. Apart from that, the channel shows the live streaming from the fair of Kawariya’s holy abode, Deoghar and telecasts famous Kanwariya bhajans like “Bole Kawariya bam bam re” and “Bhauji chalal na jaala”.

Few of the Kanwariya song sung by Khesari On which B4U Bhojpuri YouTube channel has crossed 2 million likes in 2 days.

VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology servicing specialists for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide has appointed L&K Saatchi & Saatchi as their global creative agency. L&K Saatchi & Saatchi won the mandate following a multi-agency pitch, in which leading agency groups participated across multiple rounds of pitching. L&K Saatchi & Saatchi will be managing VFS Global’s marketing and branding mandate for all their operations worldwide.

VFS Global is at an important juncture of their brand journey as they look to strengthen the brand amongst its consumers, drive engagement and increase awareness about their vast portfolio of product and services.

On the win, Belson Coutinho, Chief Marketing Officer, VFS Global said, “Having pioneered visa, passport, identity management and citizen services for client governments, VFS Global is now focusing on building a strong consumer brand and enhanced customer experience. I am excited to have L&K Saatchi & Saatchi onboard who I believe are the right partners to collaborate with in our journey and take brand VFS Global to the next level.”

Anil S. Nair, CEO & Managing Partner, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi said, “We are excited and very pleased that we got this mandate from VFS Global after a tough pitch. VFS Global are the pioneers and innovators in the travel support services business and it will be a very interesting category for us to produce some great marketing campaigns together.”

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