Saudi Arabia: Exciting and thrilling MASA Premier League 2021 – Season 1

Sunil Puthran & Ravi Karkera
January 18, 2021

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Riyadh: On Friday, the 15th Jan 2021 history was scripted as MASA the well-known charitable organization organized the first ever MASA PREMIER LEAGUE CRICKET TOURNAMENT (MPL – 2021) season – 1, ‘ARTLAND TROPHY’ for a noble cause at the DCA ground in Rakha Saudi Arabia.

The inaugural tournament was powered by ARTLAND TRANSPORT SERVICE Co along with Six Franchisee Team Owners namely: Kudla Royal Challengers (KRC) of Naveen Shetty, Al Khobar, Sasihithlu Beach Boys (SBB) of Ravi Karkera, Intermodal SA 11 (IMS) of Messrs. Vishwanath Hegde & Sadashiv Poojary, Namma Kudla Strikers (NKS) of Messrs. Dayanand Shriyan & Naveen Bhandary, Kottara Katpady Royals (KKR) of Messrs. Narendra Shetty & Jitesh Kottara, Gadi Nadu Warriors (GNW) of Messrs. Gopal Shetty & Imran Karkala.

Co-sponsored by FEOL (Sathish Shetty), CLC Pest & Termite Control (Joy Suvarna), AYD (Mohammed Sharif), AKTS (Abdul Mohsen) and SASP (Yogeesh Poojary). Also, generously supported by Messrs. Naveen Bhandary, Khobar Seniors Group, Khobar Friends Group, Santhosh Shetty Dubai, Ameer Hussain, Sunil Puthran, Arun D’ Souza, Uday Sanil, Usman Hosangadi & Group, Ganesh Karkera, Sathish Bajal, Rajesh Shetty, Sudarshan Sanil, Kiran Upadhyaya.

GADDINADU WARRIORS became the first to emboss their name winning the tournament beating SASIHITLU BEACH BOYS in the final and create history.

This prestigious tournament was played between six franchises owned by senior MASA members. Players were nominated from the pool of exclusive top-rated players who are members of the MASA and an elite bunch of non-members divided into six teams. 

The teams were selected through a bidding process as players were scattered into different categories and each team given an equal number of points based on select group of players. The bidding process was thoroughly conducted in true manner of professionalism which was lauded by all. 

First of its kind this format became very popular in the region and MASA is proud to say that many other associations are approaching the core committee members of MPL for guidance.


MASA being a charitable organization in the Eastern Province in KSA is well known in the middle east and coastal Karnataka for their noble service to humanity helping the downtrodden people in Karnataka irrespective of cast, creed and religion. MASA established in October, 2006 has contributed around Rs 2 crores of aid towards Medical, Educational and financial help to the needy back home in Coastal Karnataka.

In the year 2020 during the COVID pandemic MASA helped around Rs 15 lacs to the people in need.  Besides, locally in the region, MASA stretched their helping hands to various individuals belonging to Karnataka origin by arranging food and financial aid.   

Apart from Charity which is its core objective, MASA has been instrumental over the years in developing hidden talents of the core MASA members be it teens, youngsters, or the superstars of yester years. MASA is extremely proud to say that some of them are now established as international stars who started their journey in MASA. 

Franchise Teams, Owners, Captains:





Intermodal SA 11

Vishwanath Hegde & Sadashiv Poojary

Sampath Shetty


Sasihithlu Beach Boys

Ravi Karkera

Yoganand A. Kinnigoli


Namma Kudla Strikers

Dayananda Shriyan & Naveen Bhandary

Mohammed Iqbal


Kudla Royal Challengers

Naveen Shetty

Sandesh Thadambail


Kottara Katpady Royals

Narendra Shetty & Jitesh Kottara

Sudheer Shetty


Gadi Nadu Warriors

Gopal Shetty &   Imran Karkala

Vaishak Shetty

A large holiday crowd enjoyed the day with family and friends watching thrilling games with close encounters and nail-biting finish, relishing lovely snacks, lunch and braving the lusty weather adhering strictly to safety norms and maintaining social distancing. 

Achievers for the daylong event: 
WINNERS: GADI NADU WARRIORS - Vaishak Shetty & Team of Imran Karkala & Gopal Shetty.
RUNNERS UP: SASIHITHLU BEACH BOYS 11 – Yogananda Acharya & Team of Ravi Karkera
Man of the Series: Nisar Ahmad (GNW)
Bowler of the Tournament: Naveen Salian (SBB XI)
Batsman of the Tournament: Nisar Ahmad (GNW)
Maximum Sixes: Sachin Hegde & Nisar Ahmad (GNW)
Man of the match in Final: Sachin Hegde (GNW)
Man of the match in Semi Final 1: Nisar Ahmad (GNW)
Man of the match in Semi Final 2: Mohammed Kota (SBB)
Man of the match in League Matches: Nisar Ahmad (GNW), Sachin Hegde (GNW), Afwan Karkala (SBB), Naveen Salian (SBB), Haris Bajal (KRC), Sudhir Shetty (KKR).

Prize distribution ceremony was conducted professionally by Sports Committee Head, Ameer Hussain. Chief Guest, Joel Gomes, representing ARTLAND Transport Co, Dignitaries, Guests, Sponsors, Franchise Owners, EXCOM & Advisory Com members were welcomed to the dais. 

MASA President Naveen Bhandari warmly welcomed the guest’s participants and thanked sponsors for their valuable contributions. He appreciated the effort of Core Committee Members for bringing out such a wonderful format of MPL 2021. The extra ordinary effort of Gopal Shetty in arranging attractive Trophies, uniforms, mementos and ground facilities are highlighted during his address. 

Ravi Karkera from Advisory Committee congratulated winners, all the participating teams and team members for their contribution in bringing up sunshine in someone’s life by participating in this MPL 2021, Cricket tournament which is played for noble cause with true sportsmen spirit.  He also thanked all sponsors, franchise owners, Masa members who supported whole heartedly with their generous contributions. Perennial contributions and great support from philanthropist Mr. Joey Fernandes were remembered during this special occasion. 

Sports Committee Head Ameer Hussain thanked everyone who were responsible for the success of the tournament, including the participants, sponsor’s, volunteers and committee members, who contributed in every possible way to make this event a memorable one.

The basking glory of this stupendous success of the inaugural MASA MPL is credited to the sponsors, the core committee, MASA members, players, participants and all the lovely crowd who witnessed an historic and memorable event which was paralleled symbolically in line to the IPL. 

MASA extends their wholehearted appreciation and sincerely would like to thank every individual who directly or indirectly contributed to make this event a grand success, indeed a thrilling exciting & rejoicing day for all to remember.

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News Network
March 5,2021


An estimated 931 million tonnes of food was wasted globally in 2019, enough to circle the Earth seven times, according to a UN report which said that household food waste in India is about 68.7 million tonnes a year.

The Food Waste Index Report 2021, from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partner organisation WRAP, said that around 931 million tonnes of food waste was generated in 2019, sixty-one per cent of which came from households, 26 per cent from foodservice and 13 per cent from retail.
“This suggests that 17 per cent of total global food production may be wasted,” it said.

“The weight roughly equals that of 23 million fully-loaded 40-tonne trucks — bumper-to-bumper, enough to circle the Earth seven times,” the UN agency said.

In India, the household food waste estimate is 50 kg per capita per year, or 68,760,163 tonnes a year.

The household food waste estimate in the US is 59 kg per capita per year, or 19,359,951 tonnes a year, while for China these estimates are 64 kg per capita per year or 91,646,213 tonnes a year.

The report looks at food waste that occurs in retail outlets, restaurants and homes – counting both food and inedible parts like bones and shells and presents the most comprehensive food waste data collection, analysis and modelling to date.

It finds that in nearly every country that has measured food waste, it was substantial, regardless of income level.

It shows that most of this waste comes from households, which discard 11 per cent of the total food available at the consumption stage of the supply chain.

Food services and retail outlets waste 5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

On a global per capita-level, 121 kgs of consumer-level food is wasted each year, with 74 kgs of this happening in households, the UNEP said in a statement.

“If we want to get serious about tackling climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, businesses, governments and citizens around the world have to do their part to reduce food waste,” Executive Director of the UNEP Inger Andersen said.

The report said that food waste has substantial environmental, social and economic impacts. At a time when climate action is still lagging, 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed, when losses before consumer level are taken into account.

“Reducing food waste would cut greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food and thus reduce hunger and save money at a time of global recession,” Andersen said.

The report noted that with 690 million people affected by hunger in 2019, an estimate that is expected to rise sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and three billion people unable to afford a healthy diet, consumers need help to reduce food waste at home.

It said countries can raise climate ambition by including food waste in Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement while strengthening food security and cutting costs to households.

This makes food waste prevention also a primary area for inclusion in Covid-19 recovery strategies.

“For a long time, it was assumed that food waste in the home was a significant problem only in developed countries,” said Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP.

“With the publication of the Food Waste Index report, we see that things are not so clear cut. With only nine years to go, we will not achieve SDG 12 Target 3 if we do not significantly increase investment in tackling food waste in the home globally. This must be a priority for governments, international organisations, businesses and philanthropic foundations,” Gover said.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3 aims at halving per-capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains. One of the two indicators for the target is the Food Waste Index.

Andersen said that there is growing evidence of success in reducing food waste – though not at the scale needed to achieve the target.

“Much more can be done. We need, for example, to address the role of consumer behaviour, in all cultural contexts, in achieving the target. Let us all shop carefully, cook creatively and make wasting food anywhere socially unacceptable while we strive to provide healthy, sustainable diets to all,” Andersen added. 


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March 4,2021


Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category in final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020.

Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai are the other cities that scored well in the list.

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs released the final rankings of Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020 on March 4 in an online event.

The rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 were announced for cities with a population of more than a million, and cities with less than a million people. 111 cities participated in the assessment exercise that was conducted in 2020.

The analysis categorises them into Million+ populated cities (those with a population of more than a million) and Less than Million populated cites (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.

Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ category, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.

In the Less than Million category, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

Similar to the EoLI index, the assessment framework under MPI 2020 has classified municipalities based on their population- Million+ and Less than Million population.

In the Million+ category, Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal.

In the Less than Million category, New Delhi Municipal Council topped the list, followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.

The MPI examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC, and the three Municipal Corporations) across five verticals which comprise of 20 sectors and 100 indicators in all totality.

The five verticals under MPI are Services, Finance, Policy, Technology and Governance.

The Ease of Living Index (EoLI) is an assessment tool that evaluates the quality of life and the impact of various initiatives for urban development. It provides a comprehensive understanding of participating cities across India based on quality of life, economic-ability of a city, and its sustainability and resilience. The assessment also incorporates the residents' view on the services provided by city administration through a Citizen Perception Survey.

The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) was launched as an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index. It seeks to examine local government practice in municipalities across areas of services, finance, policy, technology and governance. It seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability. 


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News Network
March 4,2021

The Saudi Arabia government has decided to make it mandatory for Hajj pilgrims to take anti-coronavirus vaccine.

According to Saudi health ministry officials, taking COVID-19 vaccine has been made compulsory for those arriving in the country to perform the Hajj this year. People who don't comply to the rule will not be allowed to perform Hajj.

"The Covid-19 vaccine is mandatory for those willing to come to the Hajj and will be one of the main conditions (for receiving a permit to come)," stated the Saudi newspaper Okaz report.

The decision is believed to be taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective.

Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. Saudi had in 2020 annulled the annual pilgrimage due to the pandemic. Later it allowed a limited number of pilgrims to perform the Hajj.

Lakhs of Muslims from several countries visit Mecca to perform Hajj every year. Mecca is considered the holiest city for Muslims. As per the Islam, Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage takes place annually in the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah. 

Meanwhile, the India’s Ministry of Minority Affairs on its website said that the process for Haj 2021 will be announced after receiving instructions from Saudi Ministry of Haj & Umrah.


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