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Magawa The rat directly responsible for saving the Cambodian people. The “hero rat” whose work sniffing out landmines in Cambodia. Magawa also won a medal for life-saving bravery. Magawa spent five years (2016-2021) sniffing out hazardous, unexploded weapons of war dotting the Cambodian countryside. Cambodia is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. And Magawa one of the most successful bomb-sniffing rats of all time. This Hero rat retiring after five years of service.

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The Rat, Saving Cambodian live

In Cambodia, the mainstay of the economy is agriculture. But wars and conflicts have left 5 million landmines across the beautiful country. Over 40,000 people have been made mine amputees. Cambodia’s people work and live with the threat of injury and death every single day. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes but all of them have big hearts and brave spirits. Magawa is a landmine detection rat. He trained to alert his handler, whenever he finds explosives. So far, he cleared 141,000 square meters of land of unexploded landmines. As well as saving countless Cambodian lives. So far, Magawa has impacted more than a million people and freed them of the terror of landmines.

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Magawa’s Journey

Magawa, a giant African pouched rat. The Hero rat started his journey in Tanzania ( East Africa). He was born there as part of a breeding colony. He trained by the Belgium-registered charity called APOPO. Rat are normally weaned at the age of 10 weeks after that Magawa was socialized and thereafter he started clicker training. The rats are too light to trigger a mine so they just gently scratch over the mine. Magawa can find mines very quickly. He can search for a field the size of a tennis court in just twenty minutes. And he also famous for used his powerful sense of smell to detect TNT (the chemical compound used in explosives). Magawa just indicated the location and presence of TNT. Once he finds an explosive, he scratches the top to alert their human co-workers. If an explosive is found the spot will be marked and the threat will be removed and destroyed by expert de-miners. Magawa is also the rat responsible for discovering an anti-tank mine. In his five-year career, the rat sniffed out 71 landmines and many more unexploded items from Cambodia. Every landmine Magawa finds could save a life.

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The Honour

Magawa, awarded the prestigious PDSA Gold Medal for his work and bravery. According to PDSA (People’s Dispensary For Sick Animals), this is the very first time in our 77-year history of honoring animals that we will have presented a gold medal to a rat.

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Magawa’s handler ‘Malen’ says – Magawa’s performance has been unbeaten, and I have been proud to work side-by-side with him.

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Counting happiness is a very difficult task in this world. After all, it is the most important goal we have in our lives. Every year, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network releases the World Happiness Report. A study that examines the connections between happiness and development. The World Happiness Report 2021 has been especially interesting, as it has taken the effects of COVID-19 into account. It attempted to concentrate on how the pandemic has impacted people’s lives. And how governments around the world have handled the situation. If you’ve been wondering how the rest of the world is coping with all of this chaos. Here’s a rundown of the top five countries where people are still peaceful and happy.

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World’s Happiest Countries 2021

World’s happiest countries 2021
For the fourth year running, Finland has come out on top in the annual list powered by data from the Gallup World Poll. Accordingly, Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands following in the second, third, fourth, and fifth positions.

Finland

Finland is yet again the leading happiest country in the world. In fact, this is the fourth consecutive year for the Nordic country. For a long time, the country has been happier than the others. Thanks to some of the best education systems in the world. As of today, the nation is planning to reopen its restaurants, and speed up the vaccination process. As it sees a decline in covid positive cases. Finland has extensive welfare benefits, low levels of corruption, a well-functioning democracy, and an instilled sense of freedom and independence, which is a big part of what makes up the country happy.

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Iceland

Iceland, a nation rich in happiness, is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit, not to mention one of the happiest. The country attracting a large number of tourists each year and for remaining one of the world’s most advanced nations. Its people are tough and resilient, but they are also genuinely kind. Time and time again, the Icelandic people come out top of the UN’s World Happiness Report. Long winters and harsh weather may make living conditions a challenge, but the Icelandic people are incredibly cheerful and optimistic.

Denmark

Nordic countries occupied the top three spots. Denmark is known to be at the top of its game as far as life expectancy, and social support is concerned. Citizens are highly satisfied with their lives because of reliable and extensive welfare benefits, low corruption, well-functioning democracy and freedom, work-life balance and small population. Denmark also has one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities.

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Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for its natural beauty with the Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva, the Eiger, and the Matterhorn. This country is a traveler’s paradise and the only European country in the top five. The nation goes to vote on most decisions. How many vacation days workers should have to how many immigrants should be allowed into the country. And referendums down to the local level happen many times a year. The Swiss are known to be insular, and they believe that every voice matters, which can go a long way toward feeling content.

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Netherlands

The Nordic countries and the Netherlands lead the way in happiness. According to a UNICEF report from back in 2013. Dutch children are the happiest in the world. The nation has remained high on the happiness ranking since 2005. Based on a number of metrics related to educational well-being, safety, and health. The Netherlands performed strongly in terms of social support, life satisfaction, and freedom to make life choices.

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The Sonajhuri Haat:

I met little Goddess In Shantiniketan. I do believe in GOD. God for me is there as the air, sometimes breezy, sometimes still, sometimes stormy. God is like my heartbeat, which goes fast, faster, or the fastest like the graph of my emotions. Or like the tiny hand which suddenly holds my pinkie finger on a sunny day in Sonajhuri Haat, Shantiniketan on a random day of a winter morning. That sudden warm, unexpected touch make me see the Goddess Kali standing beside me. 

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The Goddess
The Goddess

My First Reaction

The goddess surprises me not only with her unexpected occurrence but also with her 4 feet height and a purple sweater underneath her gorgeous blue dress. Goddess look at my poker face also. For a moment, doubt overpowers me, how can I see a God, that too, so small, a childlike. After a few moments of doubt, something inside me slams me saying, I am killing a lifetime opportunity of meeting God. I together all my slept devotions, and think of asking a boon. But the surprise does not end for me yet. Before I Can, the Goddess asks, “Can you give me 5 rupees? I will have pickles”. A few moments ago, my mind used all its energy in thinking, clearing doubts, mounting my devotions, smashing my central logic, so it decides to take a break after hearing this question. What else I can expect? God wants money! 5 rupees! for pickles! So, I can’t answer anything and keep staring.

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And The Start

God is kind, as she thinks of giving me another chance. She must know well that people don’t see God’s every day like cattle, so they tend to confuse. She shrugs me and asks again but with now little command, “Give 5 rupees”. And my hand itself slips inside my pocket and comes out with a 10 rupees note. As I stretch it towards her, I experience the difference. We want more than we need, but the Goddess knows what exactly she wants. As, she takes the note and tells me, “oh, you don’t have a chance, wait here, from the pickle seller I will bring you the change”. I look at the pickle seller, who is doing fail attempts at protecting pickles from the flies.

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After she buys some pickles, she comes to return my money. And the sight touches me. That’s the power of simplicity and purity. My heart suddenly feels lighter when I see her coming towards me with the change in one hand, and licking the pickles from the other. All thoughts release my mind and hurt from its clutch. And I kneel in front of her and ask: “can you please spend the day with me at the fair? We will roam around, and I will feed you on time”. After a moment’s thought, she says: “Okay, but my brother will join me in an hour. Can you feed both of us?”. Goddess Kali’s brother? I never heard or read about him. Should I dare to ask? What if my ignorance upsets the Goddess? But the God is Omniscient. She says, “My brother’s name is Rohit, you will see him”. Excuse me, what! Isn’t “Rohit” a modern name? She starts walking by my side while licking the pickle. GOD is the big prankster, I must say.

Me With My Goddess
Me With My Goddess

The Experience

In the fair, the bauls (Bengal’s folk singers) are singing loud in colloquial phrases, but the rhythm and the music are so soothing that we could not resist going there. They welcome us, one of them waves his hand to the Goddess and says: “Pinky, is everything alright at home?”. And hearing this, my mind speaks again, “PINKY! The Goddess has a nickname too! Why all the Bengalis have to keep a nickname, and that to the Goddess too. No wonder her brother’s name is Rohit”. Pinky smiles and tells them to sing a song.

Now the Goddess tells me her story that she stays very far, in an interior village. And she loves this Sonajhuri fair, so every week Saturday and Sunday she visits here, sometimes as Goddess Kali, sometimes as Lord Krishna, sometimes as Shiva. Not only that, she bunks her Saturday school every week to come here. She is an artist, a polymorphous.

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Rohit

I feel like offering her some food. But the Goddess is a little reluctant to have anything else; she refuses ice cream, chocolate, more pickles, rice, and fish curry until Rohit comes and joins us. Rohit has no Godly elements, he is an 11 years old, cool dude, in the winter he has unbuttoned his upper chest. He sits calmly under a tree with a hesitant smile on his face.

Now we eat together, listen to the baul songs. I am feeling enlightened, never felt that pure ever. End of the day Rohit’s hesitant smile changes.

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Sister and Brother
Pinky and Rohit

The End

Our time ends like magic. Finally, Goddess tells me, “We will leave now”, it feels like a Dashami day, I again kneel in front of her, asking her, “can I give you something, whatever you want”. She nods a no, then she says, “if you come tomorrow, then we will meet again”. But I have to return, but one part of me wanted to ignore all the responsibilities and stay for one extra day, but that was just not possible. The Goddess understands me again without me uttering a single word. She gives a smile and is about to leave. Then suddenly she comes back, holds my pinkie finger again, and asks: “can you buy me a small size Saree?”

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