The Importance of Education in India

In a concrete room in a concrete school bursting with heat and the buzz of learning I go to clean the board with a dirty scrap piece of paper only to be stopped with a shout of horror from the students, ‘‘No mam; paper is God!’’ Clearly it is unacceptable to use God to clean prepositions off the black board. As time goes on during my year teaching English in a rural town South India, I come to learn what merits being called God and what does not. Bags are God, and therefore cannot be kicked, rice is God and so not a grain can be wasted, education is God. India’s spiritual energy infiltrates every aspect of life, especially education. In many people’s eyes, education, like God, can provide food, opportunity, equality and, most importantly, hope.

All that glitters is not gold — Mighty Hoopla promotes eco-friendly alternative

Most of the 16,000 attendees were glittered up with the eco-friendly alternative, which is 96% biodegradable and made from plant-based cellulose derived from Eucalyptus trees. Microplastics have a damaging effect on seas and marine life and, as of 2021, glitter will be banned from 61 independent music festivals. Mighty Hoopla co-founder Jamie Tagg said: “With the harsh reality of climate change and its consequences upon us, using eco-glitter is just the first step in the right direction. “We

"Action-packed and entertaining" — Mighty Hoopla at Brockwell Park

A trial of glittered up and excited pop fanatics streamed in from all parts of London on Sunday June 3 to celebrate London’s alternative club culture and to sing along to their favourite 90s belters. An already bright and colourful site was made even brighter by the fantastic sunny weather. From midday to around 3:00pm lots of people drifted around, topping up on glitter and enjoying the atmosphere. At the glitter stand people seemed most excited for Lily Allen and TLC. By early afternoon the

Mighty Hoopla set for Brockwell Park as festival finds new home

The event is returning on June 3 after last year’s debut success in Victoria Park, which welcomed 12,000 pop fanatics. Mighty Hoopla is a celebration of London’s alternative club culture and the organiser have promised to pack it with relentless energy, bedazzling dancers and a heap of exciting live performances. Jamie Tagg, the co-founder of East Creative and Mighty Hoopla, said: “People can expect a riot of colourful people, a celebration of London club life, HUGE pop bands, flamboyance and

‘I risked my life to talk with the Taliban and end the Musa Qala siege but Afghanistan’s fight should continue’

When Major Adam Jowett walked out into no man’s land to stand face to face with the Taliban fighters who had killed three of his men, hoping to agree a truce, he knew any small misjudgement could result in him being killed or taken hostage. “In my whole time in Afghanistan,” he says, “it felt like the stupidest thing I’d ever done.” Fortunately he was able to bring to an end the Siege of Musa Qala, where Jowett’s platoon of 88 men had been tasked with defending the town centre amid the carnage

Meet Sherlock, the dog with a secret weapon who can identify the cause of any fire

His original namesake may have had displayed an acute understanding of forensic science coupled with an unparalleled knack for logical reasoning, but Sherlock the fire dog has a secret weapon the fictional Victorian detective could never compete with: a snout. Moreover, one with some 200 million receptors – around 198 million more than a human. Carefully trained to detect subtle traces and scents even after thousand-degree blazes, when Sherlock is called to a scene his nose is the London Fire B

Horses are having a magical effect on inner-city kids

If you were to take a short walk from Brixton station, in inner-city south London, you may then be surprised to find there are stables among the tower blocks. They house a collection of horses, and caring for the animals is a large group of young people from the local area, tracksuited, city-raised and not what most people would think of as the horsey type. Horse riding, we tend to believe, is something for the elite, and takes place in a bucolic world of pony clubs and gymkhanas. Ebony Horse

Green Party surge helps them become official opposition in Lambeth

The Green Party, having never had more than one seat in the borough, increased that to five and took complete control of St Leonard’s ward. The party’s co-leader Jonathan Bartley was beaming on stage with his fellow St Leonard’s councillors, Scott John Ainslie and Nicole Griffiths. Becca Thackray topped the polls with 2,365 votes in Herne Hill and Pete Elliott took a seat in Gipsy Hill. Councillor Bartley said: “I am delighted with the result. We weren’t sure if we were going to get it so to c

These cute photos of famous figures with their dogs bring history to life

It is surely one of the most endearing – and just plain cute – photographs ever taken of the Queen. Captured in 1936, when she was still just a Princess, the future monarch is seen cuddling a dog, Dookie, one of the first two corgis to have joined the Royal Family three years earlier as presents for Elizabeth and her sister Margaret. As the Queen recovers from the sadness she will surely have felt after the death of her last remaining corgi, Willow, she may well look back on this image with gre

Chicago star on Cuba Gooding Jr and achieving her West End dream

The theatre classic stars Oscar winner Gooding as fast-talking lawyer Billy Flynn, as well as Josefina Gabrielle as Velma Kelly, Ruthie Henshall playing Mama Morton and Sarah Soetaert as Roxie Hart. The story follows Roxie, who has always wanted to be a star but can’t seem to catch a break. She dreams of seeing her name in lights and will stop at nothing to achieve her fame. On Gooding’s debut, Soetaert said: “We bounce off each other and we encourage each other and we know when something’s go

Fancy living here? People on Ulva hope to attract new neighbours to their remote Scottish island

With pristine blue waters rolling onto white shell sand beaches, and woods carpeted in billiard green moss where eagles swoop overhead, the landscapes on the isle of Ulva almost sound too good to be true. Nestled off the coast of Mull in the inner Hebrides, the island was host to at least 800 people in its prime. But these days, Ulva is home to just a lucky six people. “When you walk around you can see the ruins of some of the old houses and imagine what it used to be like, says Rebecca Munro,

Brixton Orchard marks first anniversary

The site started as a derelict piece of land but soon local residents will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour as the trees come into harvest. Brixton Orchard is managed by Urban Growth, a social enterprise based in Pop Brixton which seeks to transform lives in London by creating more green spaces, and came into existence with the help of the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, Lambeth Council and Brixton Improvement District (BID), a non-for-profit collective of local businesses who come togethe