Sri Lanka, Dec 31: Sri Lanka, the Southern Asia’s tropical island nation, is acclaimed as one of the top tourist destinations of the world. Visitors to this island are mesmerised by its beauty, history and culture.
Among the memorable experiences encountered here is the lingering taste of its exquisite natural drink – the King Coconut water. The King Coconut water is the favorite beverage of the Sri Lankans, which is becoming increasingly popular with the tourists.
The King Coconuts, locally called ‘Thambili’ are bright-orange coloured variety of coconuts which are indigenous to Sri Lanka. These are extensively found throughout the country especially on the beaches and roadside kiosks which are in plenty during the dry, hot summer months.
Sri Lanka is increasingly becoming a preferred getaway while food and drinks in Sri Lanka are also yet another attraction that draws tourists from outside the country. And the King Coconut is the prime favorite. Tourists make it a point to stop at King Coconut roadside vendors and relish the drink.
Kobatte Jeelani, a Bahrain resident who recently visited Sri Lanka, King Coconut was a real winner. He feasted on it whenever he sighted the king coconut stall. “We get this in India as well and called Kandhali. It is really sweet drink,” he said.
The beverage is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. (Supplied)
For locals, it is an everyday thirst quencher and the most preferred drink of the city folks. Says S.M. Syed Naazim, a businessman in Colombo, “King Coconut water, reminiscent of childhood summers, is wholesome, nutritious drink. It is Nature’s own fluid.”
The star hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka offer King Coconut drink upon arrival at their properties as welcome drink.
The King Coconut trees are abundantly grown freely throughout the coastal belt of Sri Lanka with little or no human intervention and also are a common sight in most Sri Lankans’ homes.
The King Coconuts are exclusively used as beverages while the common green coconuts have multiple uses. And although the young green coconut water is also consumed; the preferred choice of many Sri Lankans is the King Coconut water.
The King Coconut has several sub-varieties in Sri Lanka; the commonest being the ‘kaha or gonthambili’ and ‘ran thambili’. The King Coconut water is the favorite drink of the locals and its drinking has been a centuries-old tradition in Sri Lanka, being widely prized for its nutritive and curative properties and extensively used in Ayurvedic therapy since millennia.
Tourists make it a point to stop at King Coconut roadside vendors and relish the drink. (Supplied)
A nutritional drink
The main constituents of the King Coconut water are easily digestible sugars, minerals and vitamins. The minerals are the potassium and sodium, the ‘serum electrolytes’ of which potassium is found in much higher concentration than sodium.
The King coconut water also contains other key minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. It also contains vitamin C and some vitamins of the B-complex group such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pyridoxine and folate.
Laden with such vital nutrients; the King Coconut water has multiple health benefits and the Sri Lankans treasure this thirst-quenching nature’s gift. Some of its benefits are outlined below:
It is an everyday thirst quencher and the most preferred drink of the city folks. (Supplied)
As it is rich in serum electrolytes, it is used as a rehydrant fluid and energy booster especially after physical activities.
The vitamins in the King Coconut water are required as coenzymes essential for cellular functions.
Cytokinins in the King Coconut water are believed to reduce the risk of degenerative and age-related diseases and also helps to fight against cancer.
The minerals in this water help to regulate the blood pressure levels and also promote general wellness of our being.
As King Coconut water contains higher dietary soluble fibre and naturally occurring bioactive enzymes; it aids in digestion and improves constipation. It is useful in treating diarrhoea and cholera and other gastrointestinal diseases.
King Coconut water acts as a diuretic and flushes our toxins and drugs from the body. It is also effective in the treatment of bladder infections as well as kidney and urethral stones.
As it is isotonic with human blood, it had been used during World War II for emergency plasma transfusion; being a natural substitute for saline solution.
Since the King Coconut water contains more sugar, it is tastier and sweeter when compared to water of other varieties of coconuts although it’s sugar content is much lesser than other aerated drinks and processed fruit juices.
Thus, the King Coconut water brimming with nutrition and vitality is considered to be a ‘pharmaceutical wonder’ or a ‘living pharmacy’ by Sri Lankans. And in recent years, Sri Lanka has been packing this ‘fluid of life’ into tetra packs and bottles and widely exporting to other countries wherein consumers have adopted the coconut water as ‘Mother Nature’s Sports Drink’.
The King Coconut has several sub-varieties in Sri Lanka. (Supplied)
The craze and virtues of coconut water appeals the health-conscious people who are increasingly preferring it over the fizzy drinks and packed juices; the King Coconut water is surely making waves further from its native Sri Lanka.
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New Delhi, May 16: The Centre directed Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on Sunday to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and its tributaries, and focus on their safe disposal and a dignified cremation after corpses were seen floating in these rivers following a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases.
At a review meeting conducted on May 15-16, the Centre said dumping of dead bodies and partially burnt or decomposed corpses in the Ganga and its tributaries has recently been reported, which is "most undesirable and alarming".
"Namami Gange directs states to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and focus on their safe disposal and providing support for ensuring dignified cremation," the Jal Shakti Ministry said.
The state pollution control boards were directed to monitor the water quality more frequently in consultations with the health departments.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was assigned the task of overall monitoring, providing guidance to the state pollution control boards and taking up advanced analysis in the matter.
Support for cremation needs to be given top priority. Effective implementation of the government orders needs to be ensured. No loss of time should take place in implementation, the ministry said.
An advisory was issued by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, to the district magistrates, who are also the chairpersons of the district Ganga committees, on May 11.
This was followed up by a letter the next day to the chief secretaries to prevent the dumping of dead bodies in the river and ensure enforcement of the government guidelines on the cremation of COVID-19 victims.
The letter also advised the states to provide financial assistance as well as regulate the rates for the cremation or burial process.
On May 15, the steps taken in this regard in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were reviewed at a meeting chaired Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, and further action points were decided.
Highlighting the instructions already given, Kumar had called for expeditious action and underscored the need to give equal attention to such incidents in urban and rural areas along the Ganga and other rivers.
"Stopping of dumping of dead bodies as well as their safe disposal and protection of water quality have to be ensured on a war footing. After knowing the progress from the states, the CWC (Central Water Commission), the CPCB and the state pollution control boards would also be giving their feedback and action plans," he had said.
Mishra stated that the situation is being monitored and follow-up action is being taken in several districts such as Unnao, Kanpur rural, Ghazipur and Balia in Uttar Pradesh and Buxar and Saran in Bihar.
However, some cases have also been reported from other districts. He asked the state missions to keep an eye on the situation.
Mishra emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement, maintain vigil and take proactive action to facilitate and support the families for the cremation of the bodies and asked the state missions to specifically report on this.
"If needed, the project directors can assess and also give support to the district Ganga committees for this out of the NMCG funds available with them, while keeping the NMCG informed," he said.
Rajnish Dubey, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, and Anurag Shrivastav, Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, represented Uttar Pradesh in the meeting.
Shrivastava said all the district magistrates have been alerted about the issue and patrolling is being carried out to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga.
He also informed that 13 crematoria under Namami Gange, in addition to the existing ones, have been made available for the cremation of dead bodies.
It was informed that orders have been issued for financial support for cremations in urban areas. Dubey said similar orders for a financial support of Rs 5,000 have been issued by the Panchayati Raj department for rural areas and the SDRF and other forces have also been asked to carry out patrolling.
Anand Kishore, Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, Government of Bihar, informed that it has been decided that the cremation or burial expenses of those dying due to COVID-19 will be borne by the state government.
He added that even if the deceased did not have a COVID-positive report but showed symptoms of the disease, the family will be offered this support.
He also said patrolling is being done to prevent further dumping of dead bodies in the river, especially in districts like Buxar and Saran (Chhapra).
CWC Chairman S K Halder informed that they are monitoring the flow and the water quality of the river through their stations and will further increase the frequency.
CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava said the board has forewarned all water monitoring stations along the Ganga and her tributaries. The periodicity of testing the water quality has also been increased.
Debashree Mukherjee, Additional Secretary with the Jal Shakti Ministry, stated that besides an urgent assessment of the risks to the riverside communities by the pollution control boards, there is a need to raise awareness on the dos and don'ts as regards the use of river water and to prevent such incidents of dumping of bodies in the river.