Firstpost Editor's Picks: India's manual scavengers, Black Mirror's Striking Vipers, South Asia's polluted cities; today's must-read stories

India's manual scavengers: Media must be used more effectively to spread awareness; popular faces should use influence for social cause

The primary reason behind the ineffectiveness of legislative provisions or rehabilitative measures is lack of awareness and the struggle to get past the stereotype associated with the occupation. To help manual scavengers overcome their struggle, the government had initiated an awareness campaign among the workers through the NCSK. Safai Karamachari Andolan national convenor Bezwada Wilson had also put in independent efforts towards this cause. The Bhim Yatra cultural forum had also participated in this campaign in 2015.

Black Mirror Season 5: Striking Vipers offers compelling commentary on bromance and sexuality

“Guys can be so awkward,” says one of the characters, Theo (Nicole Beharie), in a scene during the episode. This remark essentially represents the theme of Striking Vipers. The rigid rules of gender roles — which most men are taught when they are growing up — entrench in them certain codes that need to be observed in their interactions with other men and women. This is why the friendship shown between Danny (Anthony Mackie) and Karl (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) in the first twenty minutes of the episode is something most men will identify with.

Shefali Shah on playing different shades of an 'everywoman', and using silence as her weapon of choice

Before we begin our interaction, Shah breaks the ice with us by admitting that she does not like dressing up. "It's a pain. Had this been only a print interview, I would've been in my track pants," she says, visibly miffed, yet playfully appealing. On hearing this, I am secretly glad that I brought along a photographer-friend, only so she could do justice to Shah's electric presence, and capture her eyes that house a sea of emotions and memories of the lives she has portrayed onscreen.

With South Asia home to world's most polluted cities, is toxic smog the new normal for its populace?

In India, experts argue that current levels of air pollution represent a “public health emergency” requiring a “full emergency mode” response from local and national authorities. A 2017 Lancet study estimated that 1.2 million people have died because of India’s dirty air and life expectancy would have been higher by 1.7 years if its people breathed clean air.

But the government has failed to take adequate action and activists have rejected New Delhi’s new National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as insufficient.

Copa America 2019: Qatar set for tough test in South America after establishing themselves as continental heavyweights in Asia

Brazil had little attention for Qatar and in earnest there was no reason to either: within 24 minutes the Copa America hosts had a two-goal advantage courtesy of Everton's Richarlison and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus. In the Brazilian capital the Asian champions got a reality check, confronted with a high standard of play that will push them out of their comfort zone at the Copa America as well, the highest-level competition Qatar have entered so far.

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Updated Date: Jun 16, 2019 19:54:03 IST