300 canines eye toothbrushing world record

Updated 10 December 2012
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300 canines eye toothbrushing world record

HONG KONG: More than 300 dogs had their teeth brushed in Hong Kong yesterday in an attempt to set a new world record for the most canines having their pearly whites cleaned at the same time.
Owners of the 312 pooches scrubbed the animals’ teeth for three minutes using a special brush and gel, as they sought to set a new Guinness World Record in the category “most people brushing dogs’ teeth simultaneously.”
Organizers said the event, held in Stanley on the south coast of Hong Kong Island, was aimed at promoting a hygienic lifestyle for dogs and raising funds for a dog rescue center.
“A lot of people take care of their dogs’ hair and their diet but not so much their teeth,” Hilda Wong from The Link real estate firm, which organized the event, told AFP.
“Brushing teeth is crucial for dogs, it’s just like brushing their hair. You don’t have to do it every day but it’s good to do it once a week because they eat and chew,” she added.
Wong said it will take three to four months for Guinness officials to certify whether the event is a new Guinness World Record.


Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

Updated 27 April 2018
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Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

KOLKATA: Mohammad Maqbool Ansari puffs and sweats as he pulls his rickshaw through Kolkata’s teeming streets, a veteran of a gruelling trade long outlawed in most parts of the world and slowly fading from India too.
Kolkata is one of the last places on earth where pulled rickshaws still feature in daily life, but Ansari is among a dying breed still eking a living from this back-breaking labor.
The 62-year-old has been pulling rickshaws for nearly four decades, hauling cargo and passengers by hand in drenching monsoon rains and stifling heat that envelops India’s heaving eastern metropolis.
Their numbers are declining as pulled rickshaws are relegated to history, usurped by tuk tuks, Kolkata’s signature yellow taxis and modern conveniences like Uber.
Ansari cannot imagine life for Kolkata’s thousands of rickshaw-wallahs if the job ceased to exist.
“If we don’t do it, how will we survive? We can’t read or write. We can’t do any other work. Once you start, that’s it. This is our life,” he tells AFP.
Sweating profusely on a searing hot day, his singlet soaked and face dripping, Ansari skilfully weaves his rickshaw through crowded markets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Wearing simple shoes and a chequered sarong, the only real giveaway of his age is his long beard, snow white and frizzy, and a face weathered from a lifetime plying this disappearing trade.
Twenty minutes later, he stops, wiping his face on a rag. The passenger offers him a glass of water — a rare blessing — and hands a note over.
“When it’s hot, for a trip that costs 50 rupees ($0.75) I’ll ask for an extra 10 rupees. Some will give, some don’t,” he said.
“But I’m happy with being a rickshaw puller. I’m able to feed myself and my family.”