In Brief Post In Brief – October 2016 Oct 2016Oct 06 2016 Rotary News Viewed: 268 NGO bags UNESCO literacy prizeJan Sikshan Sansthan (JSS), an NGO based in Malappuram, Kerala, bagged the UNESCO Confucius prize for Literacy for their focused skill-development programmes for citizens to improve their employability. Over 50,000 villagers have been trained so far, of which 40,000 are women. Subjects include health, sanitation, legal and financial literacy and entrepreneurship. An innovative ‘talking pen’ that reproduces the sound of written text as it moves across the letters is particularly helpful for the visually-challenged learners and tribal people who are not ready to read or write. Meet the Bag LadiesThe plastic bags that we hoard in our kitchens are finding much better use in Tennessee as they are being recycled as bedrolls and donated to the homeless. Age doesn’t slow down this group of elderly women who meet regularly at church. They cut donated plastic bags into strips, tie them together into what they term plarn (plastic yarn), which are crocheted to create sleeping mats measuring 3 by 6 feet. About 600 bags go in the making of a bed. Shhh! ‘Silent snacks’ in theatresTaking civility in cinema viewing to another level, Teatime Productions has trialled in two theatres in London ‘silent snacks’ to combat noisy crunching and chomping. Moviegoers can choose between quiet popcorns containing ground popcorn, cocoa butter and dates, muffled truffles or dehydrated pear slices, and wash it all down with lime and mint non-carbonated drinks served in rubber glasses to make it as quiet as possible, provided one does not slurp! The snacks come in fabric bags to eliminate the rustling noise. The idea has received plenty of positive support. It is e-blessings nowFret not if you’re unable to attend your relative/friend’s wedding. You can still ‘bless’ the newlyweds, thanks to Paytm. One such wedding card is doing the rounds in the social media where the electronic wedding invite includes the QR codes of Paytm and Sudexo at the bottom. So blessings can be given online through Paytm. Guests can also procure their favourite sweets from nearest Haldiram outlets using the Sudexo code. Collective Power“Want to change something? Start a petition,” says the footnote of Change.org. Recently, Dr Alaknanda Vaidya, a single mother with 90 per cent disability, caught the attention of the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, after her petition seeking her transfer to Pune to be with her 11-year-old daughter, was signed by 90,000 people. She was posted in a government hospital, 100 km away from home. “Got your request, Dr Alaknanda Vaidya, from Change.org. Director, Health Services, will be in touch with you. Needful for your transfer will be done by tomorrow,” tweeted the Chief Minister. Her daughter is overjoyed. “Now my mom can work close to me and help me with my homework. I can’t wait to cuddle next to my mom every night as I fall asleep. Thank you!” says her e-mail.