- Government launches 24×7 National Anti Ragging Helpline
- Females more risky towards Cardiac Strokes
- Communal Violence spreads to Other parts of Assam
- Edible Oil to be subsidied for containing Inflation
- Study claims less Sexual Satisfaction among Diabetic Female
- Hindu Refugees from Pakistan waiting for Justice since 65 Years
- New born Girl in Jalandhar dies after parents couldnot pay Rs 200
- Odisha Girl gets Father Arrested for marrying her at tender age
- It is no Charity for Magasaysay Award Winner Kulandei Francis
- Poor Families in Bihar to get Free LPG Connection
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 09:56 AM PDT
Indian Government has started a 24 x 7 Anti Ragging Helpline which would help the Ragging Victims to seek Justice and Relief from the curse which has haunted all the Freshers Students in Colleges for past 50 Years. The Helpline consists of Web Portal, Email, 24 x 7 Toll free Phone and Social Network Pages
The Portal was launched today by Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. The whereabouts of National Anti Ragging Helpline are
Website www.antiragging.in and www.amanmovement.org
The aim of the portal is to eliminate ragging in all its forms from universities, deemed universities and other higher educational institutions in the country. This will be achieved by preventing its occurrence and punishing those who indulge in ragging, in accordance with the Supreme Court Regulations.
This portal also contains
1. Affidavits confirmed by each student and his/her parents or guardians, which will then be stored electronically and will contain the details of each student.
2. Record of registered complaints received and the status of the action taken.
“The Supreme Court gave order in 2009 that we should create an anti-ragging portal. Ragging is a crime which destroys a student’s confidence and even forces them to commit suicide,” Sibal said after launching the portal.
The portal has been created by the Aman Satya Kachroo Trust, under Rajendra Kachroo whose son Aman was ragged to death by four of his seniors in a medical college in Himachal Pradesh.
Kachroo expressed confidence that the new portal will ensure a response to the complaints lodged by students within half an hour.
“We will respond to the complaints in half an hour. The college principals and authorities will be contacted immediately. If they are not reachable or do not respond appropriately, the local police will be contacted,” Kachroo said.
Explaining the functioning of the portal, University Grants Commission’s acting chairman Ved Prakash said: “The complaints would be examined. If they are of serious magnitude, they would be transferred immediately to the police, the magistrate and head of the institution”.
Kachroo added that the details of every development since registering the complaint will be taken in account and a file will be made to follow up every case.
“There are nearly 40,000 colleges across the country… we will create a database of all colleges,” he said.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 09:36 AM PDT
Females are more vulnerable to Cardiac Strokes as compared to males says a new study made by researchers at Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm.
They asked all patients attending an out-patient clinic over a 16-month period to complete the Nottingham health profile, a generic quality of life survey used to measure subjective physical, emotional and social aspects of health.
A total of 496 patients agreed to take part – 379 were stroke patients and 117 had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), often known as a mini stroke, the Journal of Clinical Nursing reports.
Stroke is caused by the blockage of vital supply of blood and oxygen to part of the brain, which may damage functions such as vision, speech and walking.
“Stroke is a disease that can affect many aspects of a patient’s life,” explains study co-author Asa Franzen-Dahlin, nurse researcher from the hospital’s department of internal medicine, according to a Danderyd statement.
“Physical problems are easy to identify, but personality changes and cognitive decline, a reduction in the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remember – are often only noticeable to those closest to the patient,” adds Dahlin.
“Our study shows that female stroke patients are more affected than male stroke patients when it comes to quality of life,” concludes co-author Ann Charlotte Laska from the division of internal medicine.
“It also shows that female TIA patients are as badly affected when it comes to quality of life as female stroke patients and need the same level of support after they are discharged from hospital,” concludes Laska.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 09:31 AM PDT
The Death Toll in Communal Violence in Assam between Bodo Tribals and Muslims has taken more than 40 Lives so far and tension is increasingly spreading in other parts of Assam. The worst affected are Kokrajhar and Chirang Districts where 41 people have died so far and about 1,79,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Worse, thousands of people were seen leaving the relief camps due to lack of adequate security
The situation in Kokrajhar district has improved to some extent as there have been no reports of fresh killings and torching of villages. Official sources said around 1,79,000 people had been displaced in the communal violence in the BTAD and had taken shelter in 128 relief camps. The rescue and shifting of people from the risky zones are still continuing.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to visit Kokrajhar on Saturday, amid reports that the clashes between Bodo tribals and the Bengali-speaking Muslims had spread to Baksa district.
The administration rushed more security forces to Baksa on Thursday after gunmen fired on a group of people injuring three. Baksa district shares a contiguous landscape with Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.
Inspector General of Police G.P. Singh met people from all communities and student bodies in Baksa in a bid to prevent the trouble from spreading further.
Kokrajhar and Chirang remain the worst hit. Both districts have become a cauldron of communal tension since July 19.
Although there was no fresh violence in Chirang, police recovered a body Thursday, taking the death toll in the state to 41.
Of this, 21 people were killed in Kokrajhar and 16 in Chirang. Police also shot dead four people. Ten people are reported missing.
Hagrama Mohilary, the leader of the Bodo council governing the region, warned that former militants had joined the violence to protect Bodo villages. He also claimed that the Muslim rioters has been joined and supported by Bangladeshis who have crossed over the border to engage in the riots.
The violence was triggered when four young men from the indigenous Bodo community were killed in a part of the Kokrajhar district inhabited mainly by Muslims. Those killings – and the ones that followed – are the unforgiving manifestation of the multiplying pressures on the land in this part of the state.
The Bodos – the indigenous advidasis – have sustained their community through agriculture for decades. But in recent years, wave after wave of Muslim immigrants – some from across the border in Bangladesh – has convinced them that they are being robbed of their land.
The Assam government said a total of 170,000 people were affected by the violence in the two districts. Thousands have fled their homes in sheer terror.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Thursday toured Kokrajhar and reviewed the law and order situation.
“The government was not prepared for such a situation,” he admitted. “However, the situation seems to have improved. We have deployed adequate forces.”
Gogoi announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs.6 lakh to the families of those killed in the violence and promised that all those who lost their houses would be rehabilitated.
Curfew was relaxed for four hours in the day. But it has been extended in both Kokrajhar and Chirang, where thousands are now living in makeshift refugee camps.
Locals appear to be feeling far from secure despite the deployment of security forces.
“The government is claiming improvement in law and order situation but curfew is on. They lift it only for a few hours. People are living in fear,” said Kamal Basumatary of Kajalgaon in Chirang district told IANS over phone.
Sixty-seven companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the areas. Some forces were also deployed in Dhubri, where violence had broken out but which is now calm.
Close to 4,000 troops have been deployed in the violence hit areas, an official said. The army Wednesday staged a flag march in Bodo territory.
Train services have resumed in Assam. Trains that were stranded outside Assam at different stations reached Guwahati Wednesday night.
The North East Frontier Railway said that from Friday three special trains will run to Kolkata, New Delhi and Bangalore to clear the extra rush at Guwahati station.
Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Dhubri share a contiguous landscape. While Dhubri borders Bangladesh in the south, Kokrajhar, Chirang and Baksa border Bhutan.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 08:30 AM PDT
Concerned that lower production of pulses and oilseeds due to a deficient monsoon could hike their prices, the government is planning to sell these two consumer items through the public distribution system (PDS) that caters to a third of India’s 1.12 billion population to provide relief to this vulnerable section of society, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K.V. Thomas said.
“Pulses and oil seeds are a concern…we are planning how to provide these items through the PDS,” Thomas told IANS in an interview.
According to Thomas, the government could start a scheme to issue pulses through the PDS at a subsidy of Rs.20 per kg for both the below poverty line (BPL) and the above poverty line APL (APL) persons and may introduce a similar plan for edible oils.
“We want to provide these items at reasonable rates to the consumers,” Thomas said.
India produces around 17 million tonnes of pulses but also imports 4 to 5 million tonnes as the demand ranges between 21 and 22 million tonnes annually.
But the government is also concerned that there are loopholes in the PDS’ functioning and has asked the states to strengthen the system so its efforts to buffer the common man against price rise are not diluted. “We have asked the states to strengthen the PDS…unless this is done, any move to protect the consumers against price rise will not help,” Thomas maintained.
He said the government is also concerned over the rising prices of vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and onions. “We are reviewing the price situation constantly,” Thomas said.
Speaking about the overall foodgrain production scenario, Thomas said a 23 percent deficiency in the southwest monsoon has affected sowing of the summer (Kharif) crop in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
Though Punjab and Haryana too have not received enough rains, the grain bowls of the country would not suffer much as they are better irrigated, Thomas said.
He, however, said there would be no impact of rain deficiency on the overall foodgrain production.
In this, he is at variance with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who has said the record 257 million tonnes of foodgrain production in 2011-12, won’t be possible this summer season due to deficient rains.
Food and civil supplies once formed part of Pawar’s portfolio till they were hived off after he complained he was overworked.
Thomas also said the government has already issued additional an 5 million tonnes of foodgrain under the PDS for BPL families and 1 million tonnes for APL families to cushion them against high prices.
The PDS, which caters to 18 crore families, consumes 55 million tonnes of wheat and rice annually. In addition, sugar and kerosene is also distributed through the PDS.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 07:30 AM PDT
Diabetic women are just as keen on sexual activity as their non-diabetic sisters, but tend to experience lower sexual satisfaction, says a study.
University of California San Francisco (UCSF) researchers also found that diabetic women receiving insulin treatment were at higher risk for the specific complications of lubrication and orgasm.
“Diabetes is a recognized risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men, but there have been almost no data to indicate whether it also affects sexual function in women,” said senior study author Alison J. Huang, assistant professor of medicine at the UCSF, the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology reported.
Huang, lead author Kelli Copeland, of the UCSF Women’s Health Clinical Research Centre and their colleagues examined the relationship of diabetes to sexual function in an ethnically diverse group of middle-aged and older women, according to a university statement.
Researchers sent a questionnaire to 2,270 women aged 40 to 80 years who were insulin-treated diabetic, non-insulin-treated diabetic or non diabetic women, and then compared their self-reported sexual desire, frequency of sexual activity, overall sexual satisfaction, and specific sexual problems (difficulty with lubrication, arousal, orgasm, or pain).
They also assessed the relationships between diabetic end-organ complications (heart disease, stroke, renal dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy) and sexual function.
Among the 2,270 participants, 486 (21.4 percent) had diabetes, and, of those, 139 (6.1 percent) were taking insulin. Overall, 63.7 percent of participants reported some sexual activity in the past three months.
The odds of reporting low overall sexual satisfaction were more than two-fold higher in insulin-treated diabetic women, and more than 40 percent higher in non-insulin treated diabetic women, compared to non-diabetic women.
Among sexually active women, insulin-treated diabetic women were more than twice as likely to report difficulty with lubrication, and 80 percent more likely to report difficulty achieving orgasm compared to non-diabetic women, after adjusting for the same demographic and clinical factors.
Among all diabetic women, end-organ complications such as heart disease, stroke, renal dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy were associated with decreased sexual function in at least one domain.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 06:30 AM PDT
While Indian Government is very much benevolent towards Bangladeshi Refugees, there is no such love towards the Hindus who migrated from Pakistan to Jammu at the time of Partition. Bangladeshi refugees have made a shelter in India, got proper documents and enjoy all citizen benefits, while Hindu refugees are helpless and subject to policy paralysis.
Some 2,000-3,000 Hindu families had migrated to Jammu and Kashmir from West Pakistan when the sub-continent was partitioned in 1947. Many of the elders have died, but their descendants, who have swelled to 200,000, are yet to get citizenship rights because the state’s constitution does not permit this.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured them some four years ago that he would have their case examined. In spite of this and despite petitions in the Supreme Court and the state high court, there has been no movement forward.
Sixty-year-old Mela Ram Bhagat put it poignantly: “Manmohan Singh is also a refugee but he has become the prime minister. We are still where we are.”
The villian of the piece, as it were, is article 370 of the Indian constitution by virtue of which Jammu and Kashmir has a special status. Those originally from the state have citizenship rights and are called state subjects. These state subjects can own property, get government jobs, free higher education and the like.
This is not so for the refugees as their ancestors were not original residents of the state. Thus, even though they have access to government healthcare they don’t have the rights of the other citizens. Curiously enough, they can vote in the Lok Sabha elections but not in the state assembly elections.
They are not even entitled to ration cards, as a result of which they have to buy their provisions from the open market. This is quite a tall order as most of the refugees are daily wagers and barely manage to eke out a living. The others run small shops, tea stalls and the like.
The original families had realised way back in 1947 what they were in for and wanted to shift to neighbouring Punjab but were disuaded from doing so by then chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who assured them of justice.
“We do feel bad about this, but what can we do now? At the time of partition even some of us wanted to shift to Punjab from Digiana (on Jammu’s outskirts) but Sheikh sahib (Abdullah) promised that we will get all rights. Now we are children of no where and no one,” Bhagat lamented.
“Although we are human beings, yet we are living the life of an animal. This is our fourth generation here. But still we are aliens here,” added Bhagat, who lives with his family in a mud house in the Niki Tawi area on the western outskirts of Jammu. The small house is on a rented piece of land as the refugees cannot buy property in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The worst part is that we are not even entitled to government scholarships. They (the school authorities) ask for a state subject certificate if we want to pursue higher education. And we cannot pay for private education. We are three sisters and a brother and our father is a labourer. What do we do?” Sunita Rani, 17, who just finished her Class 10, asked while speaking to IANS, tears in her eyes.
She wants to study further but the situation does not permit her to do so as one needs a state subject certificate to go beyond Class 10. “I had a dream of becoming a teacher but now I have to sit at home. But I am searching for a job so that at least I can help my father in running the home.”
Subash Chander, 45, envies his classmates, “I had to become a labourer after doing my tenth class. But my class fellows, who were state subjects, are in government jobs or are in police.”
In all this, the politicians are fishing in troubled waters, says Labha Ram Gandhi, a leader of the refugees.
“The Kashmir-centric political setup does not want to take this decision in favour of us (refugees) living in Jammu as it would amount to losing the Kashmiri vote bank. This has become a political issue,” Gandhi said.
Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla of the Congress speaks for the political spectrum: “There is a technical problem in making them state subjects as Article 370 does not permit this. But we are thinking of via medias to provide them basic facilities.”
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 05:30 AM PDT
A new born Girl in Japandhar died few days back after her Parents were unable to pay her Hospitalization Charges and that too in a Government Hospital.
The incident putting humanity to shame took place on July 20.
Being a premature baby, she needed incubator support. However, civil hospital authorities asked her father to arrange money – to pay the electricity charges to run incubator – to continue keeping the baby in incubator.
A painter by profession, Sanjiv Kumar, could not arrange Rs 200 demanded by the hospital. The poor man asked many people to lend him money but no one came forward to help.
Despite Kumar's inability to pay Rs 200, hospital authorities, showing no empathy, removed the incubator leading to the death of the baby on Wednesday night.
Kumar said, “The baby was very ill. They (hospital authorities) asked us to deposit Rs 200 first. We begged and pleaded them to admit our child but they refused.”
He also alleged that the glucose drip was also removed from the baby for non payment of dues.
The child's mother Sunita is inconsolable. "They killed my child," she said.
Hospital CMO says that he can't believe that an incident like this can happen. He has asked the baby's father to submit a complaint and then he will look into the matter.
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
The incident marks a new low in the absolute lack of compassion in our society. A baby loses life for Rs 200, what next?
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 04:30 AM PDT
Bhubaneswar, July 26 (IANS) Forced to discontinue her studies and get engaged at the tender age of 16, a minor girl got her father and three others arrested in Odisha’s Nabrangpur district, an official said Thursday.
The four accused were arrested Wednesday. Search is now on for five others involved in conducting the girl’s engagement ceremony at Kuhurakot village in Nabrangpur district, about 700 km from here, a senior district police officer told IANS.
The girl, who has been living in her maternal uncle’s house after the forced engagement, managed to lodge a complaint at the Jharigaon police station July 20.
The 16-year-old’s marriage was fixed after she failed in the Class 10 examination. The family even performed an engagement ceremony despite her protest.
The police have registered a case against nine members of the family, including her father Phagunu Panaka, the officer said.
According to law, the marriage age for a man is 21 years and for woman 18 years. Although child marriages have been declared illegal, the practice continues in many parts of the country.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 03:30 AM PDT
Magasaysay Award 2012 Winner Kulandei Francis says that he believes in elf respect, empowering women, removal of poverty through self help groups and not in charity
Kulandei Francis is the founder and president of Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP), a Tamil Nadu based self-help group (SHG) which provides help to poor, students and women among others.
“The Ramon Magsaysay Award has come as a pleasant surprise and it is good to note that the activities of our team are being accepted,” Francis told IANS over phone.
Francis is one of the six winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2012, announced Wednesday by the board of trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) in Manila.
“I do not want to expand IVDP into new areas. The plan is to grow in the three districts where we currently operate – Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Vellore. The current focus is on Vellore district,” Francis told IANS over phone.
Born to a poor family in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu, Francis was the only one of his siblings to earn a degree.
Sixty-five years old Francis began the Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) in 1979 in Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu, starting out with small projects like conducting night schools in the light of gas lamps and setting up a first-aid centre.
Later, with the help of development organisations, he undertook a micro-watershed programme that, over 22 years, built 331 mostly small check dams, benefitting cultivators and their families in 60 villages.
In 1989, IVDP began organising women’s self-help group (SHG) and today there are over 8,200 groups with 153,990 members with a total savings of around $40 million, a cumulative loan portfolio of around $435 million and a reserve fund of around $8.9 million.
“The loan defaulters are almost nil as the repayment percentage is 99.9. The major issues faced by the population in the three districts are poor education and ignorance,” Francis said.
The former priest said: “I decided to come out of priesthood as I felt I could serve the wider section of the poor in the society.”
According to him, women are more responsible than men in general.
“We started SHG for men and that experiment failed. The need of the hour is to allow people’s movement to grow and not subsidy for people,” he said.
“We never expected the award. A team from RMAF had come and asked details about our operations sometime back. In fact, they had done their research earlier and knew much more about our activities. Nevertheless, we are happy to get the award,” Sunitha Nandhini Esther, daughter of Francis and involved in IVDP operations, told IANS over phone.
She said IVDP is majorly into SHG, health and hygiene and education.
In the health and hygiene space, IVDP is into giving loans for building toilets in the rural households, distribution of sanitary napkins and water purifiers on cost-to-cost basis.
Till date IVDP has assisted construction of around 28,000 toilets in rural households at an outlay of Rs.28 crore.
In order to reduce the incidence of cancer of the uterus, IVDP started propagating the use of sanitary napkins among the SHG members.
Sourcing sanitary napkins from Bella Premier Happy Hygiene Care Pvt. Ltd. at a discounted rate, IVDP distributes these to women without adding any margins. IVDP sources around 864,000 sanitary napkins per month.
When IVDP started the programme five years ago, only five percent of its SHG women members were using sanitary napkins and now it is around 80 percent.
Similarly, IVDP sources and distributes water purifiers and solar lamps to its members.
On the education side, apart from running a school in the remote Kottaiyur village in Krishnagiri village, IVDP also gives scholarships and prizes to bright students, said Esther.
According to her, toppers in the school final exams are given laptops and cash awards apart from other assistance to schools in IVDP’s operational area.
Esther said the Ramon Magsaysay Award will certainly have a positive impact on IVDP’s operations and its growth.
Posted: 26 Jul 2012 03:27 AM PDT
As many as 25,000 families living below the poverty line in Bihar will get free LPG connections, a minister said Wednesday.
Minister for Food and Consumer Protection Shyam Rajak said that in the first phase of Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitrak Scheme, 25,000 BPL families would be provided free LPG connections by the end of this month.
“The government will provide free connection to more BPL families in the next phase,” Rajak told IANS here.
Currently, there are 200 distributors in Bihar under the scheme.
Razak said BPL families would be exempted from depositing security money for the cylinder and regulator. They would just have to pay the cost of the LPG.
“For a free connection, belonging to the BPL category is the only criteria,” he said.
The minister said there were over 38 lakh registered LPG consumers with 509 LPG agencies in the state.
“In view of the increasing demand, we have requested oil and gas companies to set up 146 new agencies in Bihar,” he said.
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