Tennis Icon Steffanie Graf appointed as brand ambassador of Kerala’s Ayurveda

Kerala government has appointed Tennis Icon Steffanie Graf as Ayurveda brand ambassador.

Decision in this regard was taken by cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Thiruvananthapuram.

As an Ayurveda brand ambassador she will promote Ayurveda tourism of state in North America and Europe with theme Visit Kerala Destination.

About Steffanie Graf

  • Steffanie Maria Graf from Germany is former number 1 ATP women tennis player. She holds World number 1 title for the longest period (record 377 total weeks) till date.
  • She had won 22 Grand Slam single titles and also holds record for the most number of major wins by a tennis player (after introduction of the Open Era in 1968).
  • Graf is the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Calendar Year Golden Slame. winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.
  • She is the only tennis player (male or female) to win 3 grand slams in a calendar year 5 times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996).
  • Graf had retired from professional tennis in 1999. She is married to Andre Agassi, former World number 1 in men’s tennis player.


Kerala Government declares June 22 as ‘Snake Bird Day’

Kerala Government has declared June 22 as ‘Snake Bird Day’ in a bid to protect the endangered species which is also known as Indian darter.

The formal announcement was made by State minister for forest Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan at a function organised by Snake Bird Foundation in Thiruvananthapuram.

About Snake Bird

  • It is water bird which is also known as Indian darter (Anhinga melanogaster).
  • It has slender long-neck which is mostly black in colour with silver wing markings.
  • Conservation Status: As per IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Snake Bird is classified as Near Threatened species.
  • Threat: Its population is moderately declining owing anthropogenic reasons like pollution, drainage, hunting and the collection of eggs and nestlings.
  • Found in: Tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia. It inhabits in shallow inland wetlands including rivers, lakes, swamps and reservoirs.
  • In case of India there are over 1500 snake birds in which majority are found in Kerala.
  • These species usually nests atop tall trees near wetlands. They are largely found in Kottayam, Alappuzha, Wayanad Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala.


Kerala government launches Subodham project to end liquor, drug abuse

Kerala government has launched Subodham, a major campaign in a bid to wean people away from addiction to liquor, drug and other substance abuse.

It was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar.

About Subodham project

  • Subodham project aims to free one lakh people in the state each year from alcohol addiction, through systematic, comprehensive awareness campaigns.
  • It also aims to achieve the ambitious target of making the state totally alcohol free over the next 10 years.
  • The project is supported by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
  • Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), religious leaders and other stake holders are also participating in the project.
  • Under this project, state government also has decided to introduce anti-drug and alcohol awareness content in the curriculum from the academic year 2016.

The Subodham project is envisaged by the state excise department and will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.

This project is also state government’s first step towards ‘Punarjani 2030 Project’, an initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse.