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A popular tourist activity may be made illegal in two Indian states after judges agreed to examine claims that elephants may be subject to torture. Elephant riding in Goa and Rajasthan came under scrutiny from officials this week after a number of judges raised concerns saying that the animals may be suffering in their way of life. India's Supreme Court passed the order to examine the case following the delivery of a petition, which claimed that elephants used to carry tourists up hills to major tourist hotspots were not being taken care of properly. According to the Times of India, judges Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant announced their concern over the treatment of the elephants and sought response from Rajasthan and Goa governments. Are these the best private islands in the world?youtube.com Would you brag about these locations?


Share 14k shares The court later directed the governments to file their response within four weeks. The petition, claimed only 50 of the animals stay in the state government supported Elephant Village, where elephants are fed, washed and taken for walks. They stated that the animals not in the Elephant Village are 'subjected to intense and relentless physical and mental cruelty and are made to live in extremely poor conditions. Elephants are made to work tirelessly in the scorching heat without any readily available access to water for them to drink. The order follows accusations from World Animal Protection claiming that Thomas Cook was continuing to promote 'cruel' elephant rides by a leading animal charity. The organisation has called for the holiday company to stop offering tours for its customers, and is urging people to sign a petition on its website to push Thomas Cook into action. Sixty-three companies around the world have already committed to never again offer or sell elephant rides or shows, including TUI Nederland, Intrepid Travel, Apollo, Albatros Travel and World Expeditions.


But we have prepared well. The players know what they will face tomorrow but we will see how it goes.youtube.com India's major concern comes from the fact that defender Boris Singh Thangjam, who misses out due to carried forward red card. The right back picked up a red card against Iran in the AFC U-16 Championship in Goa last year. We have a replacement ready,' said de Matos. With more than 50, 000 crowd expected to get behind the Indian side and captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam urges fans to support the Blues. Tomorrow I am going to live my dream.


We play the first match against USA and it is a huge responsibility for us to deliver. I saw many ups and downs during our journey for the World Cup. We need the fans to support us and cheer for us,' the midfielder said. Meanwhile Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin is confident of a good show from his players as the twotime champions of the tournament take on Colombia in their opener. Ghana have failed to qualify since 2009, having last won in 1995 against Brazil. Calling Ghana, 'leaders of Africa,' Fabin is happy with the team's preparations. It's been a good two months for us. We have prepared well and our only aim is to show that we are a strong side.


Ghana is still the leader of Africa,' he said. A superstar from the golden era of Indian football, one could sense the tone of criticism in Fortunate Franco's voice when asked about Indian football. The Under-17 World Cup? Franco as he speaks to Mail Today. Oh, I've heard about it. It's portrayed as a mega event, but it's a junior level tournament, no? Of course, it's huge thing for us, but let us just look at it as a beginning,' he says. His days of Asian Games and Olympics glory are history now, a timely reminder of which, as he says, he gets during his usual walks at nearby grounds in Colva. A 1962 Asian Games gold medallist and a 1960 Olympian, Franco's expectations for Indian football didn't exactly work according to his imagination.


But in the current lot of youngsters, the 80-year-old sees an opportunity Indian football can start off with. It's a great opportunity for these youngsters. It's a FIFA event, obviously huge, but they also need to play up to the expectations. Let's not forget, it's only a platform. They need to make a big leap from here,' he says. The boys need to understand that they are representing India in a World Cup. While that fact should not get into their heads, it is also important for them to understand its seriousness. We always get bogged down by big names. Drawing comparisons to the time coach Syed Abdul Rahim turned a team of 20-year-olds into global contenders in 1950-60 era, Franco believes under-17 players need continues exposure post World Cup for their growth.


It's important. During our time, Rahim saab was exceptional. He trained us, bunch of 20-year-olds and molded them into players that left a lasting impression in Indian history. But then, our strength was sheer hard work and not the modern training regimes and exposure tours you see these days. I want my 'Papaji! Share 'I would like to say that these boys, even if they don't perform to the mark, need a platform after this to continue their growth. They need to play because that is how these kids of today bring success to India tomorrow,' he says. Still hurt by not seeing a single player from Goa in the 21-man Indian squad, Franco advises the colts to stay focused on the pitch and try to get an early lead. Goa has produced many legends and whatever the rift has been between the federations, in the end, it is hurting us. Nevertheless, I do see potential in these players and I would suggest them to keep an attacking strategy. If we could get an early lead, I think the chances of winning increase more,' Franco sums up.


Pamela D'Mello explains why India's western state of Goa is making a concerted effort to woo back tourists from Britain. In three weeks, Roy Barreto will reopen the restaurant he had boarded up during the monsoon, in anticipation of a new season of business. He is hoping the October sun, and the charter flights that come with it, will bring in more customers to his seafood restaurant Betty's Place, on the banks of the Sal river in south Goa. This year, he is also hoping his favourite customers - the British holidaymakers - will return to the state. Mr Barreto. He remembers a time when the winter sunseekers from the UK were the largest group of foreign visitors to Goa.


That was, of course, before recession hit Europe, the holiday market graph went south and Mr Barreto's business took a direct hit. The highpoint was the 1990s when some 190,000 Britons headed to Goa for 14-night seaside getaways before security issues post-9/11 threw the global travel sector out of whack. By 2014 though, Russian tour operators had managed to sell Goa holidays to 189,000 Russians, outnumbering the 129,000 British arrivals - both still the largest chunk of Goa's 513,000 foreign visitors, according to the Economic Survey of Goa. This year, though, Goa is waking up to the fact that the Russian market has also almost gone bust. Sanctions, low oil prices and the falling rouble have hit the Russian economy.


Goa's tourism trade body (TTAG) and a state-level marketing committee went into a huddle and decided to step up efforts to bring back British and West European travellers. Another reason behind the drastic drop in visitors was India tightening its visa regime in 2008 after the Mumbai attacks. Single-entry visas replaced multiple-entry ones and long visa queues became the norm. Those exiting the country could only return after two months - now reduced to two weeks - and tourist visa holders still have to leave the country after 180 days. The TTAG concentrated on fixing the things it could. It lobbied the government in Delhi to extend e-visa and visa-on-arrival facilities to visitors from the UK, Scandinavia, and Western Europe.


163), sidestepping the reciprocity principle that normally underpins visa fees. TTAG also pushed for a rollback of proposed increases in aircraft landing fees and managed to secure three extra landing slots per week for Thomas Cook aircraft bringing British tourists from Gatwick, according to spokesman Ralph de Souza. Former construction professional Robert Drury, 62, who, since 2007, has been spending most of his year in Goa's Arpora, says the two-month rule has been particularly expensive. But the big question is whether north goa beaches will be able to woo back the two-week holidaymaker who once headed there for a quiet soak in the sun. Britain's Monarch Holidays is already marketing the reduced visa fees. Guitry Velho, manager of the Heritage Village Club hotel in south Goa's Arrosim, is upbeat.


Goa is amazingly beautiful gifted with flawless beaches that are measured as best in the globe. It consists of the strikingly surprising wildlife sanctuaries declared as India's bio-diversity sensational spot. Not only this, Goa also has enormous chronological, traditional and provincial beauty that a tourist would fully enjoy during the Goa tours. Goa is worldwide famous for its perfect beaches decorated by the credible palm trees. Such is the splendor of Goa beaches that will slip you off your feet to take pleasure in the prettiness of the silver beaches.youtube.com Beaches of Goa are a picturesque marvel, a wonderful scene that is waiting to be discovered.