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BBC2’s Pilgrimage The Road Through North Wales: What time it’s on, celebrity line-up, route and locations

Celebrities are known for keeping up their very recognisable appearances, but this week, Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales, will bring them onto screens in a very personal journey. Seven well-known personalities, of differing faiths and beliefs, will be shown tackling a modern-day pilgrimage. This is the sixth series, and will follow the famous faces this time along the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way. The route celebrates Celtic early Christian saints, with Bardsey Island the fabled ‘Island of 20,000 saints’ – just off the western tip of the Llyn Peninsula – as their final destination. It’s a unique spin on religious programming for Easter and with celebs including Christine McGuinness, Spencer Matthews and Michaela Strachan on the trail, you’ll be hooked. READ MORE: ‘Binge-worthy’ true crime series from Law & Order creator has Netflix fans ‘hooked’ just minutes in Join our WhatsApp Top Stories and Breaking News group by clicking this link Read on to find out all about the Pilgrimage. When does Pilgrimage start? Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales 2024 will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on March 29 at 9pm. What celebrities appear on Pilgrimage? Tom Rosenthal, 36 – actor, star of Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner, who calls himself ‘areligious’ “I’ve always been interested by anybody with any thoughts as to what it is we are all doing here. It’s fairly confusing and if I spend all my time watching Arsenal and the The Traitors I’m never going to find out. “Dedicating myself to a pilgrimage for two weeks is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon my spirituality and to make a TV show my grandmother will actually enjoy watching.” Spencer Matthews, 35 – former reality TV star turned entrepreneur, who was christened Church of England but is still searching for answers to life’s big questions “A pilgrimage is when you walk and sleep on church floors and eat dead rats and stuff, which I’m looking forward to. I’d be pretty low in the faith knowledge bracket, but I’m on a quest to broaden my knowledge and religious horizons. “I’m an open mind, an open book. I want to learn about different faiths, cultures and religions and develop a firm understanding of my faith and how it can potentially play a larger role in my life.” Christine McGuinness, 35 – TV personality and former model describes herself as spiritual but doesn’t practise one particular faith “Since my autism diagnosis, it’s really made me want to grab opportunities with both hands. I want to say yes to more things, things that I would always say no to, because I find socialising quite awkward. “I don’t really like being pushed out of my comfort zone , but I’m realising more and more that I want to live, I want to do more things, I want to have good memories, I want to make friends, I want to learn more about other people, and the only way I can do that is by pushing myself a bit.” Amanda Lovett, 56 – practising Catholic, who catapulted to public attention in the first series of BBC’s The Traitors “They say that if you go on a pilgrimage, there’s a hope that by the end of it there will have been some sort of realisation, so I’m looking forward to finding mine! I do have a strong Catholic faith. “I still pray, and I believe there’s an afterlife, but I’m excited to explore other people’s faiths and religions and how they view life. I’ve always been the mum, the gran, the worker, and I sort of forgot about me. “I’ve done school runs for 32 years, and I’ve found my time now. I’m looking forward to learning about myself, digging deep and processing and seeing how I’ll evolve in the future.” Eshaan Akbar, 39 – comedian and lapsed Muslim “Why am I doing this pilgrimage? I’ll be honest, I think it’ll be fun, believe it or not. I’m not a great fan of walking without a purpose, I don’t like hikes, I don’t like going up and down different types of terrain, I don’t like sleeping in uncomfortable situations. “My immigrant parents worked way too hard for me to start fetishizing poverty by choosing to make my life too difficult. I’m really looking forward to the experience but I can’t promise that I won’t moan for most of it.” Michaela Strachan, 57 – wildlife presenter who places her faith in the natural world “I think this pilgrimage is going to be really good for me. These days we all tend to live busy, complicated lives, and what I love about walking, is all you’ve got to think about is putting one foot in front of the other. “I find it very cathartic, it’s my form of meditation. There’s a simplicity to just walking. “Walking, thinking, taking time to connect with nature. I guess that’s my form of spiritual engagement.” Sonali Shah, 43 – journalist and TV presenter who was raised in a Jain household “It felt like the opportunity of going on a pilgrimage like this came at the right time in my life. I grew up in a liberal Jain, East African Indian household in North-West London, where faith, race and culture were very intertwined. “While I have always been comfortable with who I am and the way I live, in recent years, with my kids asking more questions, I realised that using the word agnostic hasn’t been quite right. I was also curious about what, if anything, I could add to the party as someone who was born into a faith that many people have never heard of.” What are the route and locations on Pilgrimage? Created in 2011, the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is linked by ancient churches dedicated to sixth and seventh-century saints, but it also takes pilgrims through outstanding places of natural beauty in the mountain ranges of Eryri, also known as Snowdonia, and the North Wales coast path. Travelling for two weeks on foot and by bus, the seven celebrity pilgrims start their 220km adventure at Flint Castle on the bank of the Dee Estuary, and follow the coastal path to Greenfield Valley and the official start of the pilgrim way. The pilgrims will be faced with challenging paths and climbs as they traverse North Wales, tackling the foothills of spectacular mountain ranges, as well as taking on England and Wales’ highest peak Yr Wyddfa, also known as Mount Snowdon. Carrying their own backpacks, they’ll sleep in basic accommodation from a caravan to a climbers’ hut, as well as experiencing an eco-retreat in an ancient oak forest and a Buddhist meditation Centre. Their final destination is Bardsey Island, or Ynys Enlli, which means ‘isle of currents’. It was a popular destination among early Christian monks and hermits, who believed Bardsey was the end of the world; a place where the distance between heaven and earth becomes intangible and so becomes a place of guaranteed resurrection. Crossing the Bardsey sound is notoriously dangerous, so will the celebrities manage to complete this challenging journey safely? Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales 2024 will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on March 29 at 9pm

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US government’s proposal to reclassify potatoes as grains sparks controversy among lawmakers

NEW DELHI: The most beloved food item ‘potato’ will be no more called a vegetable. Recently, the US government proposed to reclassify it as a grain which has sparked controversy among lawmakers in rural areas. Senators Susan Collins and Michael Bennet, representing Maine and Colorado respectively, are leading efforts to push back against this proposal, citing concerns about the potential impact on farming. In a joint letter to the US department of agriculture and the department of health and human services, the senators emphasized the historical classification of potatoes as a vegetable and urged officials to maintain this categorization.The upcoming dietary guidelines for Americans 2025–2030, a collaborative effort between the two departments, include suggestions to remove the vegetable status of potatoes. This move has raised alarm as potatoes are a popular food choice in the US, with each person consuming an average of 50 pounds per year, albeit mostly in frozen forms like fries. A 2019 government study revealed that only a small fraction of adults meet the recommended vegetable intake, prompting discussions on whether potatoes should be considered part of this category due to their high carbohydrate content.While some experts argue against including potatoes in the vegetable group, citing potential effects on blood sugar levels, a 2013 study from the national library of medicine highlighted the nutritional value of potatoes. Senators Collins and Bennet emphasized the nutrient-rich profile of potatoes, noting their contributions of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber. They expressed concerns that reclassifying potatoes could lead to confusion among consumers, retailers, and growers, particularly in regions heavily reliant on potato farming.According to The Maine Wire, potato farming plays a significant economic role, generating $540 million in annual sales and supporting 6,100 jobs in Maine alone. The senators are advocating for the retention of potatoes’ vegetable status, emphasizing their nutritional benefits and economic importance to local communities.(With inputs from AFP agency)

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Kerala LoP seeks transparency in ‘Vote from Home’ facility

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 26 (PTI) Kerala opposition leader V D Satheesan on Wednesday approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding measures to check the possible misuse of the ‘Vote from Home’ facility announced for senior citizens and differently-abled persons during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. In a letter sent to Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul, the senior Congress leader requested him to address the complaints and concerns regarding the VfH facility intended for senior citizens who are aged 85 years and above as well as those belonging to the differently-abled category, which he claimed was widely misused during the 2021 assembly polls. To avoid any discrepancies, other identification documents including Aadhar should be made mandatory instead of considering the Election ID card as the sole authentic document to verify the age of those who cast their vote from home, he suggested. Seeking to ensure transparency and honesty in the voting process, Satheesan further said that steps should be taken to inform the polling agents of the candidates in advance about the VfH schedule and to ensure that voting is conducted in the presence of booth level agents of respective political parties. In the letter, the LoP also demanded that strict instructions should be given to keep the postal votes in ballot boxes instead of sealed envelopes. The Election Commission has announced April 26 as the polling date for Kerala’s 20 Lok Sabha constituencies. PTI LGK SDP Disclaimer: This article is published from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by the Deccan Chronicle team

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Farmers Happy with Congress Government: Yashaswini

Warangal: The state government is consistently providing 1,700 cusecs of Godavari water daily through the second phase from Bayyanna vagu reservoir via 69, 70, and 71 decibel megawatts (dbms). According to Congress Palakurthy MLA Mamidala Yashaswini Reddy, farmers in the region are pleased with the provision of water, which they are utilising for crop cultivation.During a visit to Kodakandla mandal, the MLA personally surveyed fields and engaged with farmers who expressed gratitude towards the Congress government for ensuring water supply through the SRSP second phase canal from the Bayanna wagu reservoir.Additionally, she observed the water flow in the SRSP canal on the outskirts of Hakya thanda in the mandal during her visit to Jangaon district on Thursday.Yashaswini asserted that the happiness of farmers with the Congress administration has been undermined by former ministers and BRS leaders Harish Rao and Dayakar Rao, who, during their visit to Jangaon district, selectively inspected a few fields and criticised the Congress government, politicising the issue.With a daily water supply of 1,700 cusecs through the SRSP second phase canal, approximately 1.69 lakh acres of fields are being irrigated in the region, enabling farmers to cultivate various crops happily. She accused the former ministers and BRS of exploiting the farmers’ concerns solely to bolster their cadre for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and tarnish the Congress’ reputation.Yashaswini further emphasised that not only farmers but also other sections stand in support of the Congress. She confidently stated that they would deliver a resounding message to the BRS during the Lok Sabha polls, akin to the outcome in the Assembly elections last year.

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Digital Gold Savings App Jar Surpasses 20 Million Users

Hyderabad: Jar’s innovative approach to savings, combined with a user-friendly interface, simplified customer flow, and modern design has struck a chord with over 20 million users. The average Jar user saves approximately 22 times each month and the platform is now clocking over 1 million transactions every single day, solidifying Jar’s position as a market leader in the digital gold space. Jar offers a streamlined investment journey that takes only 45 seconds, and customers can start saving from as little as Rs. 10, which they can invest in 24K, 99.9% pure digital gold. Digital gold represents physical gold that is securely stored in custodian-managed vaults. With Jar, users can save effortlessly and convert it to cash or receive physical gold at their convenience. Jar’s revolutionary round-off method effortlessly accumulates spare change from digital transactions and invests it in digital gold so users can save that extra bit every month. The company’s remarkable growth has not gone unnoticed. Jar won in the Best WealthTech Startup category at the Global Fintech Awards 2023 and was even mentioned as being one of the top UPI auto-pay players in the country. Jar was also recognized by LinkedIn as one of India’s Top Startups of 2023. In the last 3 years, Jar has truly made leaps and bounds in the digital gold space, having started with a simple thought. Traditionally, there have always been high entry barriers in savings and investing: a high ticket size to start investing, time to understand and get started, and the complexity of the financial products. From humble beginnings in Hassan, Karnataka and Bihar Sharif, Bihar respectively, both Nishchay Ag and Misbah Ashraf had seen first-hand how middle India both earns and spends on a daily basis. They knew there was a gap in the market for a financial product that could help millions of people save better and get them started on their financial fitness journey. That’s how Jar was born and, through Jar, these barriers of entry have been reduced significantly by leveraging the two most widely adopted financial tools in India – UPI and gold. Gold remains a popular investment in India, with over half the population (53%) choosing it. Now, a growing number of young investors are turning towards digital gold. After getting a foothold in the digital gold space, Jar now plans to expand its offerings to include Lending, Investments and more to meet the needs of its ever-growing user base.

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Kerala Governor appoints interim VCs for two state universities

Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 27 (PTI) Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, acting as Chancellor of universities in the state, on Wednesday appointed interim officiating Vice Chancellors (VC) of Sreenarayanaguru Open University and the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. The VC of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Wayanad was suspended by Khan on March 2 in connection with the death of 20-year-old Sidharthan JS, a student there, on February 18. The Governor had said that there was “gross dereliction of duty on the part of the VC”. Subsequently, P C Saseendran was appointed as the interim VC of the university. However, he too resigned earlier this week after he withdrew his own order reinstating 33 students who were suspended in connection with Sidharathan’s death. He had withdrawn the order following the intervention of the Governor. Khan, on Tuesday, said that he has accepted Saseendran’s resignation. Now, Anil K S — Professor of Department of Livestock Production Management, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur — has been appointed as the officiating VC of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, a notification issued by the Raj Bhavan said. Professor Anil shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the VC with immediate effect until further orders, it said. Professor Jagathy V P, Director and senior professor of School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi — has been tasked with exercising the powers and performing the duties of the VC of the Sreenarayanaguru Open University, in addition to his normal duties, with immediate effect, a separate notification issued by the Raj Bhavan said. Professor Jagathy was given the new charge following the resignation of P M Mubarak Pasha as the VC of the open university. Pasha’s resignation was accepted on March 25 subject to the proceedings pending before the Governor’s office regarding the legality of his appointment as VC, according to a letter sent by the Raj Bhavan to the university. PTI HMP HMP SS Disclaimer: This article is published from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by the Deccan Chronicle team

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Jailed gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari dies of cardiac arrest; Section 144 imposed in UP

Banda/Lucknow: Jailed gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari died of cardiac arrest at a hospital in Banda in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which bars large gatherings, were imposed across the state and additional security personnel deployed in the Banda, Mau, Ghazipur and Varanasi districts. Ansari was brought to the Rani Durgavati Medical College in Banda from the district jail in “an unconscious state” and, according to its principal Suneel Kaushal, he died at the hospital following cardiac arrest. Ansari’s brother and Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari had on Tuesday alleged that he was being subjected to “slow poisoning” in jail, a charge denied by the authorities. Ansari (63) was a five-time MLA from Mau Sadar. He had been behind bars in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab since 2005. He had over 60 criminal cases pending against him. He was sentenced in eight cases since September 2022 by different courts in Uttar Pradesh and was lodged in the Banda jail. His name was on the list of 66 gangsters issued by Uttar Pradesh Police last year. Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Prashant Kumar said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed across the state and teams of the Central Reserve Police Force along with the local police deployed in Banda, Mau, Ghazipur and Varanasi. Ansari, who hailed from Mau, was believed to have a strong influence in the adjoining Ghazipur and Varanasi districts as well. The social media cell of the Uttar Pradesh Police has also been activated to keep a close watch on unlawful elements online, the police chief said. According to a medical bulletin, Ansari was brought to the medical college around 8.25 pm on Thursday in an unconscious state after he had complained of vomiting. A team of nine doctors attended to him but he died of cardiac arrest, it stated. Officials at the police headquarters in Lucknow said Ansari’s post-mortem will be done in Banda and it will be videographed. The viscera will be preserved if needed, they said. Earlier, Ansari was hospitalised for around 14 hours on Tuesday after he complained of abdominal pain. In January 2019, Ansari, then a BSP MLA, was lodged in Punjab’s Ropar jail in connection with an extortion case and remained there for more than two years. The Uttar Pradesh government approached the Supreme Court to bring Ansari back to the state. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi condoled Ansaari’s death and said despite serious allegations over the former MLA being poisoned, the state government did not pay attention to his treatment. “Condemnable and regrettable,” Owaisi said in a post in Hindi X. The Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav also condoled Ansari’s death. “Got the sad news of the demise of former UP MLA Shri Mukhtar Ansari. We pray to God to grant peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family to bear the loss,” Tejashwi Yadav said in post in Hindi on X. “A few days ago he had complained that he had been poisoned in jail, yet it was not taken seriously. Prima facie this does not seem justifiable and humane. Constitutional institutions should take suo motu cognizance of such strange cases and incidents,” the former Bihar deputy chief minister added. “Sad demise of former MLA Shri Mukhtar Ansari. May his soul rest in peace. May the bereaved family members get the strength to bear this immense loss. Humble tribute,” the Samajwai Party said in a post in Hindi on X. Former Bihar MP Pappu Yadav, who joined the Congress recently, termed Ansari’s death an “institutional murder” and demanded a court-monitored probe into it. “Former MLA Mukhtar Ansari’s institutional murder… It is like burying the law, Constitution, natural justice,” Pappu Yadav said in a post in Hindi on X. The Chief Justice of India should take “suo motu cognizance of this. There should be a court-monitored impartial investigation,” the Congress leader said. “He was making allegations for several days that he was being given slow poison. His MP brother also made this allegation. This is an indelible blot on the country’s constitutional system,” he added.

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Jagan urges public to stay vigilant as ‘evil forces’ resurface

Kurnool: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has warned that political forces akin to Narakasura, Ravana and Duryodhana are attempting to seize power in AP. “They are here under the guise of the Chandrababu-led alliance,” he said.Jagan Mohan Reddy urged the public to decide whether they are willing to combat these malevolent forces or opt for a state that is focused on social welfare and empowerment of the common man. “Are you ready for the Yuddhaniki Siddhama (fight),” he asked the people at a large gathering at the Arts College Grounds in Nandyal city on Thursday evening.The meeting was held as part of the YSRC’s Memantha Siddham programme.The Chief Minister warned the people that voting for TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu would “set the state back by a decade” in terms of development. He criticised Naidu’s political tactics, stating that the people “are wary of his attempts to undermine the state” with an alliance comprising three parties and indirect support from the Congress.He said, “All these four parties are on one side, and Jagan Mohan Reddy is on the other.”“But, I have strong support from the people, which is sufficient for me to win this battle, despite a lack of support from the biased media.”The Chief Minister emphasised that these elections were not just about choosing representatives, but about determining the future of the people and the continuation of welfare and development in the state for the next five years.He warned that failing to choose wisely could set the state’s clock back by a decade.Urging the people to reflect on the progress the state made over the last five years, he urged them to discuss these with their families and make a thoughtful decision before the walk up to the polling booths this time.Jagan Mohan Reddy said, “We introduced welfare measures focused on the poor, which are unparalleled in the country’s 77-year history since Independence. We achieved the results within just 58 months, with zero tolerance for corruption.”He referred to the presence of secretariats with local employees and the sincerely serving volunteers and asked why Chandrababu Naidu failed to envision and implement such initiatives when he was chief minister.Jagan Mohan Reddy referred to the presence of Sachivalayam offices, Rythu Bharosa Kendras, the schools transformed under Nadu-Nedu, the village clinics and Mahila Police stations, to explain the change that has come about in AP in the last five years of his governance.He said that within just 58 months of the YSRC rule, the people received around Rs 2.70 lakh crore through various welfare schemes.He stressed that the medical and health sector was also undergoing significant improvements through Nadu Nedu, with over 54,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff having been appointed in the state. “Patients are receiving quality drugs, and 15 new medical colleges are under construction. Moreover, the number of procedures covered under free treatment for the poor has increased from 1,000 to 3,300.”Jagan Mohan Reddy also highlighted the provision of post-treatment support of Rs 225 per day for a month or two for the poor under the Aarogya Aasara programme.The Chief Minister also said around 11,000 village clinics are connected to family doctors under Arogya Suraksha and they have procured 1,500 new 104/108 ambulance vehicles for the benefit of the poor.Additionally, he highlighted the support his government provided to farmers, including the Rs 13,500 per annum payment for five years under Rythu Bharosa, the establishment of 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs), the provision of 9-hour daytime free power for agriculture, free crop insurance coverage, and prompt payment of crop compensation within the season through input subsidy, and ensuring a better quality of life for farmers.Even dairies that were closed during the Telugu Desam rule were reopened for the benefit of farmers in the past five years of the YSRC rule, he claimed.Jagan Mohan Reddy highlighted his party’s commitment to the welfare of marginalized communities, including scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward communities and minorities, by enacting 50 per cent reservations.“Out of the 2.31 lakh employment opportunities created, 80 per cent were allocated to these disadvantaged sections.” Additionally, he said, 70 per cent of the disbursed funds, totaling ` 2.70 lakh crore, was earmarked for their benefit.Jagan Mohan Reddy underscored their commitment to supporting economically disadvantaged people across all castes, including those from forward castes, ensuring that welfare measures are inclusive and reach all sections of society.”Chandrababu, on the other hand, is the brand ambassador for sabotage, deception, and unfulfilled promises. He failed to implement the nine major assurances made during the 2014 manifesto. Now they are assuring the ‘super six’ promises. I request you to check the credibility of the opposition leader and think about the benefits you received during…

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The Quorum Unveils Hyderabad club with a spectacular gala

Hyderabad: The Quorum, India’s first homegrown lifestyle club, celebrated the launch of its Hyderabad chapter in Sattva Knowledge City, with a grand gala. As the brand opened doors of its 3rd and largest club, prominent figures from India’s business, entrepreneurial and lifestyle realms joined the celebration. Some of the eminent personalities in attendance were Satish Reddy (Dr. Reddy’s); Harish Ramnani (Karachi Bakery); Laxmi Nambiar (Srishti Art Gallery); Nakul Penmetsa (Gland Pharma); Film Director Nitya Mehra; and Jennifer Larson (US Consulate General), among other illustrious names. In this opening soiree, The Quorum Hyderabad unveiled its impressive expanse, spanning 80,000 sq.ft. Unique to this club is a 15,000 sq.ft. open-to-air outdoor space featuring a pool, with multiple dining and entertainment spaces. The club also has 2 internationally certified padel courts on the rooftop terrace. Placed at the heart of The Quorum Hyderabad is a murmuration-inspired statement art installation — by origami artist Ankon Mitra — which serves as a fitting metaphor for the intersection of great people and ideas at The Quorum. Spread over multiple floors, the club has two distinct core member spaces — one more suited for work and the other for leisure. Other features of The Quorum Hyderabad include its award-winning bar Providore; in-house brasserie Coalesce; in-house art programme; a 2,000 sq.ft. gym equipped with the latest technogym equipment managed by Sumaya Dalmia — a renowned nutritionist and celebrity wellness coach; and a pilates studio in partnership with Pilates Master Trainer Radhika Karle. The club’s opening night was elevated by a specially curated menu, cocktails, and a dedicated chocolate and dessert room. Other highlights of the evening included performances by Jazz singer Parvati La Cantante from Delhi and DJ Dualist Inquiry from Goa, who captivated guests with their respective performances. The Quorum announced its Hyderabad club in December 2022, as a part of its PAN India expansion plan. With presence in Gurugram, Mumbai, and now Hyderabad, The Quorum has built a multi-city club network allowing its members to seamlessly access its facilities across these cities. It is poised to further expand its network to Bangalore, Goa, and Delhi over the next 4-5 years, fostering cross-collaboration and adding significant value to its member benefits. In addition to its network in India, The Quorum also offers members an access to 80+ clubs across New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Milan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Dubai, and all other gateway cities around the world, through its impressive reciprocal program.

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Bumper weekend of activities in Tobago – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

HAVING rebounded to a large extent from the covid19 pandemic of 2020-2022, Tobago is once again gearing up for a bumper Easter weekend, filled with activities for everyone. The schedule includes several staple events and a few burgeoning ones which organisers believe are guaranteed to attract locals and visitors alike. Today – Good Friday – all roads lead to the capital city for the second annual Scarborough Fisherman’s Fest on the Esplanade, Milford Road. Hosted by fishermen from Scarborough and businessmen in the area, the event is billed as a family affair. There will be a variety of food vendors and a well-stocked bar. “It will be like a mini-carnival in Easter,” businessman Raphael Ben Yisrael told Newsday. Ben Yisrael said the event, which he believes will be bigger than last year, will be loaded with activities for families to enjoy. The free event begins at 7 am with a 5K run from the I Love You Tobago sign on Milford Road through various parts of Scarborough. But the official programme does not start until 9 am. Patrons can also look forward to boat racing, an aerobic burnout, Mortal Kombat video game, arm-wrestling and a beer-drinking competition. There will also be draughts, chess, all-fours and dominoes competitions. In keeping with Easter, Phillips said a bonnet pageant has been planned for the girls. There will also be a kids’ treasure hunt, piñata and a bouncy castle for children. Several artistes will also provide entertainment. These include reggae singer Prophet Benjamin (Devon Samuel); former Tobago Stars of Soca winner Culture B (Roston Simon); Adana, Trendsetter; and Jacquez. Terrence Phillips, a member of the organising committee, said they have received support from the Tobago House of Assembly. “We are very grateful to the THA. They have paid for the spot on the Esplanade, the tents and stage. Other small businesses have also supported. So everything is on track, the THA is corresponding with us. Everything is in a gear.” Saying registration for the 5K run is ongoing, Phillips added, “The registration for the all fours, video game and Easter bonnet competition are almost full.” He said the members are proud of the way they have managed to put the event together. “Last year, we attracted a large turnout. But this year, everybody is a little more interested.” Phillips claimed Scarborough has not had many activities over the years. “So me and my friends decided we will throw something for the people for Easter, because the place is usually dead during this time. Now we are hoping it will be an annual affair.” He urged people to come out and enjoy the activities. On April 1 – Easter Monday – it’s off to the Mt Pleasant Recreation Ground for the village’s sports and family day. Scheduled to begin at 9 am, the event, now in its 49th year, is being hosted by the Carnbee/Mt Pleasant Village Council. Jean Scott-Henry, the village council’s assistant secretary, said the event promises to be bigger and better. Apart from several goat events, Scott-Henry said, there will be a stream of athletic races for both children and adults. She said parents should bring a valid form of identification for their children. “We have events for various age groups, and because everybody wants to win, we realize that some of them give wrong ages. So to avoid that, we are asking that parents walk with some kind of identification.” There will also be a maypole exhibition as well as a greasy pole competition and tug-o-war for teams of ten participants. For the tug-o-war, Scott-Henry said teams are required to pay a registration fee. She said the Easter bonnet parade will again be a highlight of the festivity. The high point of the entertainment segment of the event, Scott-Henry said, is expected to be a performance by dancehall reggae artiste Ding Dong (Kemar Christopher Dwaine Ottey). Several Tobago artistes are also scheduled to perform. Scott-Henry, a member of the village council for more than 20 years, said bmobile and Mt Pleasant Credit Union are the main sponsors for the event. She said the credit union’s manager, Louis Charles, is expected to speak. THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe are expected to attend. “Mt Pleasant sports and family day has always been a family affair. You have a lot of vendors, plenty local food, a lot of games for the children.” The Mt Pleasant extravaganza makes way for the 96th edition of the Buccoo Village Council’s Goat and Crab Race Festival on April 2, dubbed “Easter Tuesday,” at the Buccoo Integrated Facility. The festival is one of the major events on Tobago’s cultural calendar, and organisers are anticipating another bumper turnout. Village council vice-president Winston Pereira told Newsday the festival, titled Welcome to the Circus, unites various elements of the island’s vibrant culture. The formal part of the event is expected to begin at 10 am with addresses by the Chief Secretary, Buccoo Village Council president Keigon Denoon and an official from the Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation. Perreira said apart from the goat and crab races, a popular feature of the festival, patrons can also look forward to a lively street parade from the Caribbean Cornerstores Supermarket into the integrated facility. The parade, which is expected to begin at 9 am, features a host of Carnival and folklore characters and performances by members of the Tobago Performing Arts Company. The Buccoo-based NGO Healing With Horses will also be a part of the parade. Road march winner and Young King Mical Teja, whose song DNA burned up the airwaves during Carnival, is expected to be the headliner of the festival’s cultural segment. Other scheduled acts are Tobago Heritage monarch Garve Sandy, Erphaan Alves, Wadicks (Kevin Williams), Rhythm Babes, Scarborough RC speech band and NLCB Buccooneers.

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