04 Excerpts from the Book
Intense Engagement in Politics and Society
“Not Widhwa, But Saheli”
No Girl! No Woman! Thus no life
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak
Unsung Hero 32
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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561
A GOOD NEWS WEEKLY
Vol - 2 | Issue - 06 | January 22 - 28, 2018 | Price ` 5/-
REFORMERS IN THE MODERN WORLD It is not just political revolutionaries and scientific and technological innovators who had reshaped the world we live in today. There are the quiet heroes who fought against social evils and preached equality and created the modern ethos of the quality of all people irrespective race, colour, caste and creed
n SSB BUREAU
ANY believe that the modern world has been shaped by the scientific and technological world that started with the First Industrial Revolution in the latter of the 18th century in England and in other countries of Europe. There are others who hold that the modern world with its ideas of liberty and equality and democratic government was ushered in by the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789. Both the sides are right. The modern world as we know it today is the outcome of the scientific and industrial revolution on the economic front and the American and French revolutions on the political front. But that is not the whole story. There has been tremendous social change, and some of the older social evils of class, religious and gender discrimination had to be fought against before the modern world could be called truly modern, and this revolution was wrought by the social reformers. Their acts of moral heroism serve as a shining example to people even today.
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Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (1827-1890) Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887) Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887) was an American social reformer who fought for the humane treatment of insane people, and it is her struggle for the rights of the mentally ill that mental asylums were first set up in several places like New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland in the United States. She first saw the plight of the insane persons in a prison in New England, where they were kept with hardened criminals. She campaigned for the state legislatures in Massachusetts, Louisiana and North Carolina to pass legislation to reform the treatment of the insane and for setting up separate institutions for their care. At her urging, Louisiana set up the first mental hospital. She followed this up in North Carolina, where she helped form the North Carolina State Medical Society in 1849 and an institution for the mentally ill was set up in Raleigh in the state in 1856.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) The man who upheld the principle enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal was the 16 president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). He firmly held that black slavery was untenable as it violated the moral and constitutional principles. When the southern states wanted to secede from the United States and formed a confederacy, he declared war against them to keep the United States. A bitter four-year war between 1861 and 1865 was fought between the Union and Confederate forces in which tens of thousands of people died on both sides in what has come to be known as the American Civil War. On January 1, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln had promulgated the Declaration of Emancipation which ended black slavery. Lincoln was assassinated in April, 1865.
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891)
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891) was an ardent advocate of women’s education. A Sanskrit teacher of high repute, he started a fund to support women’s education and started 35 schools across Bengal and enrolled 1300 students. He supported John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune to establish the first permanent girl’s school in India, the Bethune school, in 1849. He simplified and modernized the teaching of Bengali language with his primer, Borno Porichoy. He had also set up the Normal School for teachers’ training.
Another man, a contemporary of Lincoln, was Jyotirao Govindrao Phule (1827-1890), who waged a battle against caste discrimination in India. He was aware of the struggle of African-Americans to get out of slavery, and his book, ‘Gulamgiri’ was dedicated to the African-American movement to end slavery. He started the first girls’ school in 1848, where his wife, Savitribai, taught. The school was open to girls from sections of society. In 1873 he started Satya Shodhak Samaj, a rationalist society to fight the superstitious beliefs of the society in his time.
Narayana Guru (1856-1928)
Narayana Guru (1856-1928) was a religious ascetic who wrought a social revolution in caste-ridden Kerala of 19th century. To counter the prohibition of lower castes entering temples, Narayan Guru consecrated a Shiva Linga in a temple in a place called Aruvippuram. He told the people that when upper castes did not allow them into temples, they should build their own temples, and that when upper castes did not allow them into schools, they should set up their own schools. He brought about radical social transformation through peaceful and constructive means.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Dhondo Keshav Karve (1858-1962) Dhondo Keshav Karve (1858-1962) was a social reformer who had worked passionately to improve the plight of Hindu widows. In the orthodox society of his times, the widows in Hindu society were the most oppressed. He worked for the education and re-marriage of Hindu widows. He established the Widows Remarriage Association in 1893, married a widow himself after the death of his first wife to set an example, and set up the Hindu Widows Home in Pune in 1896 to make the widows who failed to get remarried self-reliant through education. In 1907 he set up School for Women, and in 1917-18, a Training College for Primary School Teachers. In 1916 he established a women’s university in Pune. In 1955 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan and in 1958 he was given the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. A postage stamp was issued the same year to mark his centenary, which was the first time a stamp was issued for a person who was alive.
Jane Addams (1860-1935) Jane Addams (1860-1935) was a social activist and pacifist, who wrote and campaigned for peace. She was the first American woman to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She set up Hull House in Chicago in 1889, based on the idea of Toynbee Hall which she had visited in 1887. At Hull House she created space for women and children of all classes to share the space activity through kindergarten classes, public kitchen, art gallery, a girls’ school, a library, a drama club. In 1914 when the First World War broke out, she was the chairman of Women’s Peace Party, and in 1915 she became the president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Vinoba Bhave (1895-1982)
Vinoba Bhave (1895-1982), one of the ardent disciples of Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of ahimsa or non-violence, led his whole life devoted to Gandhian princicples of frugality and austerity. He went to prison during the freedo struggle, the longest being that of five years in the 1940s. Gandhi chose him as the first volunteer for individual civil disobedience in 1940. After independence, Bhave toured the villages in India, and in 1951 he started the Bhudan movement. He remained a Gandhian idealist till the end.
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)
Robert Owen (1771-1858) Robert Owen (1771-1858) is considered the founder of the cooperative movement in the modern world. Compelled to work in a textile mill at a young age, he turned it into an opportunity to observe from the various classes of society. He rose to be the manager and co-owner of the New Lanark mill in Glasgow. His main concern was to improve the quality of life of the employees of the mill. He stopped child labour, provided for health care and education of the children of the workers. He provided a crèche for working mothers, free health care and evening classes for adults. He was a pioneer who talked and implemented social reforms for the working class. He opened a store for the mill workers where they were offered quality goods at reasonable prices. He wanted the reforms he had implemented in his mill to be replicated in other factories as well. So, he sent a detailed proposal of the reforms he had implemented to Parliament in 1815, and his ideas about improving the quality of life of the workers influenced the Factory Act of 1819. To spread his ideas he wrote “The Formation of Character” (1813) and “A New View of Society” (1814). Owen tested his social and economic ideas at New Lanark, where he won the confidence of his workers and continued to have great success due to the improved efficiency at the mill.
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) fought against slavery and for women’s rights.She sheltered slaves who ran away from their masters. She brought women into the fight against slavery. She became a Quaker minister in 1821 and gave sermons about the presence of the Divine in every individual. She founded with the help of her husband the American Anti-Slavery Society and later the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. In 1864, she founded with other Quakers the Swarthmore College, which was the first co-educational institution.
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND”
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
INTENSE ENGAGEMENT IN POLITICS AND SOCIETY Starting a challenging journey dedicated to the cause of society and country, Narendra Modi had several role models who left a deep impact on his personal and political life. Among them were Swami Vivekananda, Jayaprakash Narayan, former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani. opportunity [of service to society and country]. After joining the RSS, Modi visited Vadnagar only once, to attend the last rites of his father. From his early days, Narendra Modi attached great importance to self-discipline. Besides being a committed vegetarian and teetotaller, he learnt early the significance of time management.
arendra Modi formally joined the RSS after the end of the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. For most people brought up in the Sangh Parivar (family of the RSS) environment, the Shakha (a branch of the RSS) is the primary nurturing place. Most RSS recruits, including those who rise to leadership positions, acquire training and values at a Shakha as youngsters. The things
that attract youngsters to the Shakha are games, gymnastics, parades and the warmth and friendly behaviour of fellow Swayamsevaks (volunteers). Most youngsters are brought to an RSS Shakha by their elders or friends. For Narendra Modi, the path to the RSS was somewhat similar. According to his elder brother Sombhai, Narendra Modi was always keen to be different, and in joining the RSS, he saw a life-time
The Navnirman Movement In Ahmedabad, Narendra Modi spent five largely uneventful years from 1968 to 1973. He worked in his uncle’s canteen and diligently attended to his duties as an RSS swayamsevak. The turning point came with the Navnirman Movement of 1973-74. In December 1973, a few students of an engineering college in Morbi staged a protest against the exorbitant rise in their food bills. The agitation soon spread like wildfire to other parts of Gujarat and converted into a state-wide mass movement now known as the Navnirman Movement. The Gujarat agitation inspired Jayaprakash Narayan to start a similar movement in Bihar. In those days, ‘Gujarat ka Anukaran’ (Follow Gujarat’s Example) was a popular phrase in Bihar. Narendra Modi was drawn to this movement which attracted all sections of society. The movement gained national strength with the presence and support of wellrespected socialist and public figure Jayaprakash Narayan, who had the reputation of being a crusader against corruption. When Jayaprakash Narayan came to Ahmedabad, a young Narendra Modi had the opportunity of meeting him and listening to his speeches. Narayan and other leaders of the movement left a strong impression on him. This was the time when senior RSS leaders and national icons like Jayaprakash Narayan became acquainted with Modi’s brilliant
organisational ability. Such was the contribution of Narendra Modi to the Navnirman Movement that Lakshmanrao Inamdar invited him to stay at Hedgewar Bhawan in Ahmedabad. According to a biography— Narendra Modi: The Architect of a Modern State (2009), authored by M.V. Kamath, at Hedgewar Bhawan, Modi willingly assumed mundane responsibilities like serving tea and meals to the pracharaks, sweeping and cleaning all rooms in the building and even washing the clothes of his mentor Lakshmanrao Inamdar. He was also given secretarial work such as booking railway or bus tickets for RSS leaders and receiving and opening all letters addressed to RSS functionaries etc. The Navnirman Movement made the Congress realise that, their government in Gujarat would not last long. Modi played a crucial role in creating this perception and ensured the former’s defeat in what was once its bastion.
Narendra Modi was always keen on being different, and in joining the RSS, he saw a life-time opportunity [of service to society and nation]. After joining the RSS, Modi visited his home in Vadnagar only once, to attend the last rites of his father. Sombhai NARENDRA MODI’S ELDER BROTHER
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND”
Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Having spent the first four years of his formal association with the RSS establishing his credentials with its hierarchy, earning its trust and getting accustomed to the way the organisation functioned at all levels, Narendra Modi rose through the ranks. By the time the Navnirman agitation had snowballed into a major political crisis for the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1973, Modi was entrusted with crucial responsibilities.
The Navnirman Movement was reported well in the media, and in this sense demonstrated to Narendra Modi the power of media and communication.
Narendra Modi comes into prominence Around this time, RSS leaders noticed a special spark in Narendra Modi and groomed him to take up
greater responsibilities. His efficiency and honesty proved the RSS leaders right, and they sent him to Nagpur for special training so as to prepare him to take up an official position with in the Sangh Parivar. Modi’s strength was his deep understanding of the organisation from the functioning of the kitchen to holding important meetings, there was nothing he had not done. Standing up to the Emergency challenge Indira Gandhi’s decision to subvert the Constitution of India on June 25, 1975 and declare an Emergency to make the nation bend to her diktats, was condemned by opposition parties as an attempt to throttle democracy and push India back into the dark ages. Banning the RSS and imprisoning all opposition leaders was one of Indira Gandhi’s first actions. Amidst all this political chaos and acts of repression, Modi convinced RSS elders of the need to publicise the excesses of the Emergency and the RSS resistance to them. In 1974, he advocated the principle of “Saru
Sarv Jaane”, or “everyone should know what is good”, and said it should become integral to all RSSrelated programmes and activities. This earned Modi high praise from top RSS leaders. Modi’s political trial by fire actually began within a month of the Emergency being declared, when the RSS appointed him General Secretary of the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti (GLSS) to coordinate the organisation’s underground activities. As the GLSS General Secretary,
Modi always wanted to do something for India. He had ideas. He always wanted to make it big in life. Even in 1993, he had an inner desire that he should become something great. Suresh Jani FOUNDER OF OVERSEAS FRIENDS OF BJP
Narendra Modi with Lakshmanrao Inamdar. Laxmanrao Inamdar and Narendra Modi with other RSS functionaries.
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND”
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Narendra Modi on Emergency:
he developed as an effective coordinator between all opposition activists across the state. It was a tough task, considering the strict surveillance imposed on all nonCongress leaders and activists. This was a role where Modi was in his element, as it allowed him to make use of his excellent organisational and strategic abilities. As an underground activist, ferrying proscribed literature to Delhi, or meeting jailed leaders, Modi donned different garbs and even acquired a deceptive name from himself—Prakash. In the early stages of Emergency, Modi evaded arrest by going underground. As an RSS pracharak (instructor) in-charge of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS, he proved his mettle as a seasoned campaigner, often travelling in disguise and on a motorcycle. RSS pracharaks, including Narendra Modi, were instrumental in starting several movements to highlight the excesses of the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government. In those days, the RSS-supported Jan Sangharsh Samiti had organised a Mukti Jyoti Yatra (the Light of Freedom Movement). It was essentially a bicycle rally in which many pracharaks went from one place to another, spreading their message of restoring democracy. Maniben Patel, the daughter of the Iron Man of India and the first Union Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, flagged off the Mukti Jyoti Yatra from Nadiad. Narendra Modi was also instrumental in smuggling publicity materials into Delhi bound trains which were then distributed by local RSS members to Commonwealth dignitaries visiting the national capital. He also helped in organising demonstrations against the repressive Emergency. Senior RSS leader Keshvrao Deshmukh was arrested in Gujarat, and when Modi was informed of this, he personally ensured the safety of another senior RSS stalwart, Nathalal Zagda. At the time of the arrest, Keshavrao
Emergency was the biggest blow to democracy. The kind of crisis that hit the country during that period had tempered Indian democracy which came out stronger. I am grateful to those who struggled and fought against it. … Emergency should be remembered not to brood over what had happened then, but to strengthen our resolve to fortify and further strengthen the democratic values and framework in our country. Narendra Modi
Deshmukh had on his person a note on the future plans of the GLSS. In a daring plan, Modi convinced a woman activist to act as Deshmukh’s relative, and while she engaged Deshmukh in a conversation in jail, Modi tactfully retrieved the note. In another incident, it is claimed that a disguised Modi broke into a jail in Bhavnagar to meet journalist Vishnu Pandya and politician Shankersinh Vaghela, but this episode remains unconfirmed. During this period, Modi wrote a book in Gujarati titled “Sangharsh ma Gujarat” (The Struggle of Gujarat) that described the Emergency and chronicled his experiences during that repressive period. As an RSS pracharak, Modi succeeded in building a formidable state-wide network of supporters that had the capacity to provide safe havens and financial support to the activists, help organise meetings and ferry proscribed literature. This network
“For youngsters like me, the Emergency gave a wonderful opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of leaders and organisations that were fighting for the same goal. It enabled us to work beyond institutions we had been brought up with. From stalwarts of our family, Atal ji, Advani ji, late Shri Dattopant Thengadi, Late Shri Nanaji Deshmukh to socialists like Shri George Fernandes to Congressmen like Shri Ravindra Varma, who worked closely with Morarjibhai Desai and were unhappy with the Emergency, we got inspired by leaders who belonged to different schools of thought. I was fortunate to have learnt a lot from people such as former Vice Chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapeeth Shri Dhirubhai Desai, the humanist Shri C T Daru, former chief ministers of Gujarat Shri Babubhai Jashbhai Patel and Shri Chimanbhai Patel and prominent Muslim leader late Shri Habib-urRehman. The struggle and determination of late Shri Morarjibhai Desai, who steadfastly resisted the authoritarianism of the Congress and even left the party, comes to the mind. “It was as if a vibrant confluence of thoughts and ideologies had taken place for a larger good. Rising over differences of caste, creed, community or religion, we were working with our common objective to uphold the democratic ethos of the country. In December 1975, we worked for a very important meeting of all opposition MPs in Gandhinagar. This meeting was also attended by Independent MPs late Shri Purushottam Mavalankar, Shri Umashankar Joshi and Shri Krishan Kant." Outside the realm of politics, Modi got an opportunity to work with several social organisations and Gandhians. He vividly recalls meeting both George Fernandes (whom he refers to as ‘George Sahab’) and Nanaji Deshmukh.
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EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND”
A Thinker and A Writer Not many may know this, but Narendra Modi is also an author of several books. Apart from Sangharsh ma Gujarat (The Struggles of Gujarat), Modi has written 10 other books.
Narendra Modi interacting with rural people.
In 1978, Modi was made an RSS Sambhaag Pracharak in appreciation for his activism and efficient organisational work during the preceding years. He was given charge of South and Central Gujarat. At the same time, he was called Narendra Modi's school in Vadnagar. to Delhi and asked to chronicle the official RSS account of the Emergency. had the ability to liaise with diverse anti-Emergency groups without attracting the prying eyes of the law. Modi acquired the identity of a “thinking man” by the age of 25. In his book Aapatkal Mein Gujarat (Gujarat during the Emergency), Modi has chronicled the fight for democratic rights and how the struggle to end the Emergency was effectively planned by him and fellow torch-bearers of the resistance movement. The book is an excellent read for all those who love democracy and cherish the memories of India’s second freedom struggle. As Modi himself says, “During this period, I had the chance to work with so many other parties. … I was lucky to work with the Gandhians.” Growing up in the RSS hierarchy In 1978, Modi was made an RSS Sambhaag Pracharak in appreciation for his activism and efficient organisational work during the preceding years. He was given charge of South and Central Gujarat. At the same time, he was called to Delhi and asked to chronicle the official RSS account of the Emergency. It meant more work and balancing both regional and national duties, which Modi did with great efficiency. Modi not only organised financial support for pracharaks, but also ensured that a true and correct picture of the Emergency excesses reached Indians living abroad. As Sambhaag Pracharak, Modi visited every nook and corner of Gujarat, familiarising himself with the problems of the people and firming up his resolve to work harder to provide solutions.
Abode of Love
Setubandh is the Hindi biography of Narendra Modi’s mentor and RSS leader Lakshman Rao Inamdar (1917-1985). It was co-authored by Modi and Raja Bhai Nene and published in 2001.
Aankh Aa Dhanya Chhe:
Aankh Aa Dhanya Chhe (Our Eyes Are So Blessed) is a collection of Narendra Modi’s poems published in 2007.
This book in Gujarati, published in 2008, contains the biographical profiles of various RSS leaders who inspired Modi and had a strong influence on his work and ethics. The longest profile is that of M. S. Golwalkar under whose leadership the RSS expanded remarkably.
Abode of Love:
Abode of Love is an anthology of eight short stories written by Modi at a very young age. These stories reveal the sensitive and affectionate side of his character. Modi propounds in the book that the love of a mother is the greatest love.
Premtirth is a collection of short stories that draw a soulful portrayal of motherly feelings in simple yet splendid language.
Kelave Te Kelavani:
Kelave te Kelavani means ‘education is that which nurtures’. The book is a compilation of Narendra Modi’s vision to spark off a knowledge revolution in Gujarat and it shows his supreme love for education.
Convenient Action -
Sakshibhav is an anthology of letters addressed to Jagat Janani Maa. It describes the journey of inner-self of Narendra Modi and his emotional thoughts during his years of struggle as an RSS worker.
Samajik Samarasata reflects Modi’s views on social harmony without discrimination and unravels many incidents of his interactions with Dalits. The lives of many social reformers find a mention in this book.
Convenient Action: Gujarat’s Response to Challenges of Climate Change:
This is Modi’s first book in English and talks about the effect of climate change on Gujarat and how its people should respond to it.
Convenient Action - Continuity for Change
The latest book by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “Convenient ActionContinuity for Change” was released during the COP21 Summit in Paris by President Hollande on 30th November 2015. The book documents multidimensional initiatives and innovations that Modi took first as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as the Prime Minister. The book offers a rich insight and perspective on the efforts of the Government of India towards mitigating the menace of climate change and towards improving our environment. It outlines the Prime Minister’s thoughts on climate ethics and climate justice. This series to be continued in the next issue of SSB
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND”
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Restoring dignity and hope to widows The government of West Bengal joined forces with Sulabh International to ameliorate the miseries of the tiger widows Quick Glance The workshop organised by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Foundation Sulabh will work alongside the West Bengal govt for assisting the widows of the state
n PRASANTA PAUL
PARNA Mondal, 57, leads a lonely, tortuous life; Sevanti Sardar, 41, works like a maid in her own house; Pushpa Rani,53, sings bhajans to earn her livelihood; Putul, 57,(all names changed) used to beg in the dingy lanes of Vrindavan before she was rescued and put into a home. What do all these women have in common? All of them are widows and their lives have become synonymous with misery. India had passed the Widow Remarriage Act as far back as in 1856. More than 150 years after the act has been passed, things have hardly changed. In 1878, the British had brought the Women’s Education Bill and within 10 to 20 years, Calcutta University introduced the women’s education cell. This was in sharp contrast to Cambridge University which took more than 600 years to initiate efforts in this respect though the university is nearly 820 years old! Yet, India has
remained mired in a situation where women empowerment and education have made very little progress. Why this stark contrast? Why is widow re-marriage still a taboo? Why is there hardly any gainful employment opportunity for them? These are some of the queries that cropped up at the deliberations during a one-day Workshop on the Contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar for Emancipation and Empowerment of Widows at Calcutta. The workshop organised by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Foundation, New Delhi, saw a host of luminaries from various fields of society besides the Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak,
speak on the subject. The tale of a large majority of Indian widows is that of indifference, exploitation, society-inflicted austerity and enforced asceticism. A preponderance and predominance of age-old, hackneyed and superstitious customary values and practices have become the bane to the muchdesired upliftment of the plight of these women who, according to some speakers, hardly deserve to be addressed as widows. Initiating the discussion on the topic, Dr Pathak, while tracing the contributions of these two great social reformers of the pre-Independence era, took pains to point out how Roy had gone into a cell having witnessed the tragic burning of his beloved sister-in-law on her husband’s funeral pyre; how Vidyasagar stressed and argued that
Thanks to Sulabh International, the widows can now lead a purpose-drive life with joy and security
perpetual widowhood was never sanctified in the ancient Shastras. In fact, Vidyasagar found a favourable discussion of widow remarriage in the Parashar Samhita and he sailed over a storm of protest to convince the British to pass the Act XV of 1856 which accorded widows the right to remarry. Referring to Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Pathak pointed out how deeply distressed was the Father of the Nation at the plight of the child widows whose sufferings and tears used to make him brood over the fate of these innocent little girls. Talking about the pioneering endeavour of Sulabh International in mitigating the lives of a large number of widows in Vrindavan, Dr Pathak made an apt mention of a news feature on these hapless women by journalist Arti Dhar of which Hon’ble Supreme Court had taken suo moto cognisance. “By her (Arti Dhar) one single yet remarkable move, the lot of these women began to change. Apart from financial assistance of Rs 2,000/- to each of them, the Union Government too has stepped in to provide fiscal help.” The organisation is working for their welfare to pay its respect to a wish of the Supreme Court which had in 2012 asked National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to see if Sulabh could help the widows of Vrindavan. Pathak said since August 2012, Sulabh International has been providing a monthly stipend of Rs 2000 to nearly 800 widows living in the ashrams in Vrindavan. He exhorted people to help contribute his or her mite instead of airing mere criticism. He also cited in the instance of small yet path-breaking move taken by Sulabh in DeoliBhanigram village of Rudraprayag
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EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK: “NARENDRA DAMODAR MODI: THE MAKING OF A LEGEND”
After Vrindavan, Sulabh to help ‘tiger widows’ of Sunderbans
oved by the plight of women whose husbands were killed by tigers in the Sunderbans, the West Bengal government on January 19, 2018 said it would join hands with social organization Sulabh International to ameliorate the misery of those ‘tiger widows’. According to reports, over 1,000 men have been killed by tigers in the past few years when they ventured inside the dense mangrove forest in the absence of toilets in their homes, and for collecting wood and honey. The hapless widows have been branded as “Swami Khehko” (husband-eaters) by their superstitious in-laws. district of Uttarakhand, where 54 men disappeared after a terrible mudslide, rendering as many women widows on a single day, June 16, 2013. Sulabh has since then taken the responsibility for these women and their families, assisting them in as many ways as possible. “What we require is a heart to feel others’ pain and make an endeavour to keep back our individual pain; only then, we could come forward to help others,” Dr Pathak averred. He expressed his sorrow over the fate of tiger widows and said Sulabh International would work with the state government to improve their lot and make them financially strong. He said that instead of using the term vidhwa (widow) these women should be addressed as saheli (friend) to erase the social stigma attached to them. Lauding Dr Pathak’s endeavour to float this foundation, West
The Suderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest located between India and Bangladesh, has attained the dubious distinction of being home to a large number of widows. The initiative was announced at a workshop here attended by as many as 12 women from the Sunderbans. Widows from Nabadwip in West Bengal and from Vrindavan and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh too were present at the workshop which deliberated on the plight of these women and ways to erase the social stigma attached to them. Sulabh has earned praise for working for the widows of Virandavan. Bengal Panchayat and Public Works Minister Subrata Mukherjee and Women and Child Development Minister Dr Shashi Panja stressed the need for a collaborative effort on the part of the government, individuals and organisations to carry forward the movement launched by Roy and Vidyasagar. “These two men have so far remained confined to textbooks; it’s high time we bring them out of this domain,” Mukherjee said. Dr Panja emphasised the need for changing the basic attitude of society towards women and felt that even though a slew of laws have been enacted if people fail to change their attitude, incidents like female foeticides would continue. Interestingly, both the ministers expressed their desire to work in tandem with Sulabh for the empowerment of women. Mukherjee hailed the initiative of Sulabh International to work for the welfare of the Sunderbans widows
and said that the state government would cooperate with it. Panja too appreciated the Sulabh International initiative and emphasised on changing the peoples mindset towards widows. “Laws exist but a real change in the fortune of widows can be achieved only by changing the mindset of the people towards these hapless women,” Dr Panja said and promised to work with Sulabh International for widows of the Sunderbans and other areas of West Bengal. According to Dr Niladri Banerjee, the great great grandson of Vidyasagar and a physicist teaching at Lough borough University, India has still not accorded the importance of proper education of women, an education that will make them independent so that their contribution is taken into account in the society. “A thorough change in perception and attitude towards widows has to take place first before the country can achieve success in eradicating this taboo,” Dr Banerjee felt. He was supported by Prof Amal Mukherjee, former principal of Presidency College and Dr Sabujkoli Sen, professor of Visva Bharati University. Dr Biplab Loha Choudhury, a senior professor of
Centre for Journalism and Mass Communication, Visva Bharati University, touched on the need for making women financially strong along with education. Once they have gained vocational skills (like the ones being provided by Sulabh in its centres), the prevailing attitude towards widows is bound to undergo a sea-change, Dr Choudhury felt. Proposing the vote of thanks after the day-long workshop, Mrs Vinita Verma, vice-chairman of the Foundation, said widowhood in India is often described as a tragic moment in a woman’s life—one in which her identity is stripped away with the death of her husband. It is essential to mobilize people, she said, to change their negative attitude towards widows and help them integrate into the social mainstream so that they can live in the family and society with respect and dignity. Dr Pathak’s humanist intervention in the lives of the widows has filled them with a new hope. The widows, thanks to his noble endeavour, can now lead a purposeful life, happy and secure in both the human and divine protection, she added.
The Danish Connection
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Resurrection Of Danish Link To Calcutta A 235-year-old Danish tavern in Srerampore, a former colony of Denmark in West Bengal, has been resurrected from the ruins n PRASANTA PAUL
OME April and the tiny muffasil town Srerampore — about 35 km from Kolkata on the Grand Trunk Road in Hooghly district— will etch its name in the tourist map of West Bengal, restoring a missing link with 18th century Denmark. A 235-year-old Danish tavern in Srerampore, a former colony of Denmark in West Bengal, has been resurrected from the ruins and is now poised for rebirth as a riverside cafe. It will also have a bakery, handicrafts shop and lodging facilities and is likely to be inaugurated shortly with much pomp and grandeur. This is the place where the Hoogly river( also known as Ganga) narrows down a bit and the waterfront sports a picturesque look. The horizon makes a magnificent descent and disappeared beyond the greenery of the opposite bank. Tiny fishing boats appear as bright specs over the grey-blue water. It was here the traders from far and wide used to anchor their boats at the Danish warehouse for a short stay overnight. In fact, as early as 1698, the Danish East India Company had established a small trading post called Dannemarksnagore next to Chandannagore, a French colony, also in Hooghly district, less than 50 km from Calcutta; but the endeavour failed and the post was finally abandoned. By 1732, the Danes were back as the Danish Asiatic Company in which the country’s government was a major stockholder. IC Soetmann, a member of the Danish council in Tranquebar, was asked to obtain a permit for a trading post from Nawab Aliwardi Khan, the then ruler of Bengal. In 1755, the Danes, equipped with a parwana (official letter) to acquire land in Serampore and conduct trade in Bengal, Bihar and Odisha, against a payment of 2.5 per cent duty, launched full-fledged operation from Serampore. The town was then known as Fredericksnagore. By then, the other major European powers had established posts or factories (warehouses) along the lower part of the
Hooghly, providing easy access to the rich markets of northern India. Apart from the French-owned Chandannagore, Bandel and Hooghly belonged to the Portuguese, Chinsurah to the Dutch, and the British were rapidly growing at Sutanuti, one of the three villages that were later merged to found Calcutta. From 1755, the Danes operated from that place before handing it over to the British in 1845. This is also where, British officials, later, stopped on business up and down the river or on visits to the country residence of the Governor-General Marquis Wellesley in Barrackpore, India’s oldest cantonment town. The Danish settlement began modestly and trade was poor till 1777 when the Danish crown took charge of Danish possessions in India. The country’s good times kicked in 1783, post the American War of Independence. The armed conflict had earned Britain the wrath of North America, France and Holland. This resulted in constant attacks on and loot of English vessels in the sea. Things improved for Britain when it started to use ships that belonged to Denmark, a neutral party, to continue trade. Merchants from Bengal, too, went with the flow — using Danish vessels with Danish admirals to transport cotton, silk, sugar and saltpetre. Flush with funds, the Indian middlemen and the Danish agents built palatial houses on the western side of Serampore. An interesting character at the helm
of things was Ole Bie, head of Danish operations in Serampore between 1776 and 1805. Bie liked to be called the governor. And as trade prospered, he enlarged the Government House twice, added a compound wall and built a prison. During his later years, he ordered the construction of St Olav’s Church, whose steeple then rose high above all other buildings in the riverside town. The fact that the Danish officials were allowed to make up for their extremely low wages with private business did not help the Company’s interests. Plus, the river sedimentation and growing sandbanks, in absence of proper dredging, made Serampore a rather unpopular port. By 1836, the end of the Danish period was near. The Danes left Serampore and of the 572 brick houses, 111 were left uninhabited. The town was eventually sold to the British in 1845. This historic edifice was in complete ruins and lying dilapidated before the National Museum of Denmark(NMD) decided to intervene and got in touch with the West Bengal government, evincing its interest in undertaking a thorough restoration work of the erstwhile Danish establishments. NMD’s proposal was instantly okayed by the state authorities and work for the restoration of St Olav Church began. The work was completed early last year and the Church is currently back in use for prayers and religious ceremonies. The tavern will be Bengal’s second government-backed live-
Quick Glance The Danes operated in Calcutta from 1755 The tavern is 235 years old located in Srerampore The tavern has been resurrected as a river-side cafe
and-conserve endeavour after the church project. The tavern has almost risen out of debris after being painstakingly restored by NMD in tandem with the West Bengal Heritage Commission.The restoration work of the tavern got underway on October 6, 2015. According to NMD curator Bente Wolff, they looked through hundreds of sketches nearly 200-yearold, to arrive at the correct frontal view. “We had 20,000 pages of Danish documents in our archives, written in the Danish language, from which we got to know many things about this tavern. These helped us know how it looked like,” she said. “Restoration work has reached the final stages. We’re presently working on the interiors as per the advice of Danish experts,” Manish Chakraborty, a conservation architect who is heading restoration, said .“ We are extremely careful in the restoration job as this tavern constituted the historic core of Danish Serampore.” Over past several months, Wolff has been flying in and out of Serampore to supervise the restoration work. During her previous visit to Bengal for inspection of the project, Wolff said that people from Kolkata, especially the Europeans, used to visit the place for hanging out and playing billiards. They especially enjoyed the cool breeze by the river. “It housed a cafe, restaurant and pub.” Over last several months, Wolff has been flying in and out of Serampore to supervise the restoration work. This cafe-by-the-river will be the maiden public-private partnership in the heritage sector at this scale, Chakraborty pointed out. This would give a fillip to the Chief Minister’s pet project of river cruise linking all the heritage towns along the Hooghly. The Heritage Commission which has been roped in for the project found the task of locating the exact site of the tavern quite challenging. “ We finally found the documents that showed that it was next to the SDO’s residence. It took us a couple of months to clear the morass and debris to finally launch the project,” commission chairman Suvaprasanna said.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 APP
Google App With Artwork The project was launched in collaboration with 17 international museums
n SSB BUREAU
OOGLE’S Arts and Culture App has rolled out a new
feature that allows users to take a selfie, upload it and then match it with a doppelgänger in one of several art museums worldwide.
“The update to the Google Arts and Culture App has catapulted it to the most-downloaded free app on the Apple App Store. It claimed the No. 1 spot in the U.S., according to the app metrics site AppAnnie,” Recode reported late on Sunday. The app uses computer-vision technology to examine what is similar about the user’s face to the thousands of pieces of art that are shared with Google by museums and other institutions. The tech giant said this new feature is merely experimental, the report added. Formerly known as the Google Art Project and launched in February 2011, the new initiative from the tech giant aims to make great art more accessible in this digital age, using some of the technology tools that it has created, according to Inverse.
Pain-free skin patch to automate diabetes management Researchers have developed a pain-free skin patch containing dissolvable compounds that responds to blood chemistry to manage glucose automatically
HERE is good news for diabetics as researchers have developed a painfree skin patch containing dissolvable compounds that responds to blood chemistry to manage glucose automatically. For millions of people with type 2 diabetes, ongoing vigilance over the amount of sugar, or glucose, in their blood is the key to health. A finger prick before mealtimes and maybe an
insulin injection is an uncomfortable but necessary routine.
The new study, published online in the journal Nature Communications, showed that the biochemical formula of mineralized compounds in the patch responds to sugar levels for days at a time. Many require insulin therapy that is usually given by injection just under the skin in amounts that are calculated according to the deficit in naturally generated insulin in the blood. Insulin therapy is not managed well in half of all cases.
Micromax to bring first Android Oreo Go-packed smartphone to India Named “BHARAT GO”, the smartphone will be the best-in-class mobility device
omestic handset maker Micromax is set to launch the first smartphone in India with Google’s Android Oreo (Go Edition) by the end of this month, the company announced. Named “BHARAT GO”, the smartphone will be the best-in-class mobility device and an optimised entry-level Android smartphone, the company said in a statement. Android Oreo (Go) is essentially made for entry-level Android smartphones with less than 1GB RAM and hence uses less storage space, less memory and still runs smoothly. With the launching of the lightweight Android Oreo (Go Edition) in India, Google has optimised its OS platform, first party apps and Play Store to improve the capabilities of entry-level smartphones. Originally announced at Google I/O 2017 annual developer conference, this OS is a toned down version of the latest Android Oreo OS which is currently present in high-end devices. The new OS and pre-installed apps have been optimised to take up 50 per cent less space that would double the amount of available storage on entry-level devices, the company earlier said.
Anxiety Probably Indicates Alzheimer’s Studies showed that anxiety symptoms in adults may be associated with an increase in amyloid beta levels
S your elderly grandfather showing higher levels of anxiety? Beware; it may signal the early manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers warned. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that causes the decline of cognitive function and the inability to carry out daily life activities. The findings showed that worsening anxiety symptoms in
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 PANDA
President Kovind Recommends Vipassana Even India’s President, Ram Nath Kovind is aboard the meditation train recommending Vipassana for sound body and mind
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IPASSANA meditation purifies the mind and its practice leads to increased concentration, resulting in beneficial effects on body and mind, and in turn to the entire society, President Ram Nath Kovind said here. He said Vipassana comprises three simple precepts -- morality, concentration and self-realisation -through awareness and insight, and is a non-sectarian meditation technique that applies equally to all human beings irrespective of caste, religion, language, gender or age. The Vipassana meditation technique, taught by Lord Buddha, has attracted people in large numbers not only from Maharashtra but all over
Quick Glance Vipassana’s 3 precepts - morality, concentration and self-realisation Vipassana supports self-realisation via awareness and insight
older adults may be associated with an increase in amyloid beta levels -- a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. “When compared to other symptoms of depression such as sadness or loss of interest, anxiety symptoms increased over time in those with higher amyloid beta levels in the brain,” said lead author Nancy Donovan, a geriatric psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “This suggests that anxiety symptoms could be a manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease prior to the onset of cognitive impairment” Donovan added..
It is a non-sectarian meditation technique
India and the world, the President said after laying the foundation stone of the second Dhammalaya meditation centre at the Vipassana Global Pagoda in Gorai, north-west Mumbai. Present on the occasion were Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, and other dignitaries. Global Vipassana Foundation’s first Dhammalaya is functioning in Kolhapur in Maharashtra since October 1995, according to GVF Chairman Nayan Shah. The Global Vipassana Foundation’s pagoda, construction of which was completed
in 2009, comprises of a main dome and three sub-domes. At the centre is the world’s largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars, 29 metres tall, while the total height of the building is 96.12 metres, or twice the height of the previously largest hollow stone monument in the world, the Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur. This pagoda dome enshrines the bone relics of Lord Buddha, sourced from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, and donated to the GVF by the Mahabodhi Society of India and the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake.
stages of this cancer are relatively good, at later stages survival goes down and the risk of cancer recurrence goes up considerably. Thus researchers, from the National University of Singapore, developed a mixture of engineered probiotics with a broccoli extract or water containing the dietary substance. The idea was for the cancer cells in the vicinity to take up this anticancer agent and be killed.
How gut bacteria, broccoli can help A cocktail of bacteria has been developed that can potentially turn into a targeting system that seeks out and kills cancer cells
ESEARCHERS have developed a cocktail of bacteria and cruciferous vegetables that can potentially turn into a targeting system that seeks out and kills colorectal cancer cells. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide, after lung and prostate cancer. Although the 5-year survival rates for earlier
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 MUSELI
Eat Muesli To Combat Arthiritis Fibre-rich foods throughout the day maintain a rich variety of good bacteria in the gut
Obesity Causing Genes Identified Researchers have found 13 genes that carry variations associated with body mass index (BMI)
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ATING a fibre-rich breakfast consisting of muesli and enough fruit and vegetables throughout the day everyday can help maintain a rich variety of bacterial species in the gut, which may have positive influence on chronic inflammatory joint diseases, and prevent bone loss, a study has found. The findings, led by researchers at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU) in Germany, showed that a healthy diet rich in fibre is capable of changing intestinal bacteria in such a way that more short-chained fatty acids, in particular propionate, are formed. Short-chained fatty acids are important for the body as they provide energy, stimulate intestinal movement and have an antiinflammatory effect. “We were able to show that a bacteria-friendly diet has an antiinflammatory effect, as well as a positive effect on bone density,” said lead author Mario Zaiss from the FAU. “We are not able to give any specific recommendations for a bacteria-friendly diet at the moment, but eating muesli every morning as
Human HeartMuscle Patch Boosts Recovery Heart -muscle patches made with human cells can help improve recovery after heart attacks
Y well as enough fruit and vegetables throughout the day helps to maintain a rich variety of bacterial species,” Zaiss added. In the study, published in Nature Communications, the team focussed on the short-chain fatty acids propionate and butyrate, which are formed during the fermentation processes caused by intestinal bacteria. These fatty acids can be found, for example, in the joint fluid and it is assumed that they have an important effect on the functionality n IANS
OVEL heartm u s c l e patches made with human cells can significantly improve recovery from a heart attack, results of a clinical trial show. The results are a step closer to the goal of treating human heart attacks by suturing cardiac-muscle patches over an area of dead heart muscle in order to reduce the pathology that often leads to heart failure, said
of joints. The researchers also proved that a higher concentration of shortchained fatty acids, for example in bone marrow, where propionate caused a reduction in the number of bone-degrading cells, slowing bone degradation down considerably. “Our findings offer a promising approach for developing innovative therapies for inflammatory joint diseases as well as for treating osteoporosis, which is often suffered by women after the menopause,” Zaiss noted. scientists led by Jianyi “Jay” Zhang, Chair of University of Alabama at Birmingham. In the study, described in the journal Circulation, the team tested human cardiac-muscle patches of 1.57 by 0.79 inches in size and nearly as thick as a dime, created in the lab, on large animals in a heart attack model. The patches resembled native heart-muscle tissue in their physiological and contractile properties, the scientists noted.
OU can blame your genes for your obesity as researchers have found 13 genes that carry variations associated with body mass index (BMI). The researchers identified 14 genetic variations in 13 genes, including a risky copy variation -a phenomenon in which sections of the genome are repeated -- that causes carriers to weigh 15 pounds more, on average, than individuals who do not carry the variation. The gene is called MC4R and approximately 1 in 5,000 individuals carries this risk copy, which causes the gene not to produce any of the protein needed to inform the brain to stop eating. “Our study has identified genes that play a crucial role in the neuronal control of body weight. They act in the brain in pathways that may affect people’s food intake, hunger and satiety,” said Ruth Loos, lead author of the study and professor at The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. By knowing the genes and the biological pathways through which they work, researchers believe they are a few steps closer to understanding why some people gain weight more easily than others, which is critical for developing effective treatments.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 TIRUPATI
Making Uttar Pradesh ODF The state’s administration is on war footing to make Uttar Pradesh free of open defecation by October 2018
10 Major Tanks To Be Rejuvenated Near Tirupati The works include desilting, strengthening and widening of bunds for the 10 tanks in and around Tirupati Quick Glance The rejuvenation of lakes will cost a minimum of Rs48 lakh The first phase includes widening of bunds Chittoor District Collector has sanctioned Rs 4.42 crore for the project
N a bid to achieve the target of making Uttar Pradesh open defecation free (ODF) by October 2018, the Yogi Adityanath government has come out with several incentive schemes and holding competitions to speed toilet construction and promote construction of individual household latrines (IHLs) in Uttar Pradesh under the Swachch Bharat Mission. Recently, it launched a ‘Bhai Number Scheme’ in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under the scheme, the selected candidate was to be given a Tablet and a certificate of appreciation for construction toilet on his/her own without seeking any financial help from the government. About 140 applications from eight blocks of Varanasi districts were submitted to the District Panchayat Officer (DPO) and the draw was held through a lottery. The winner was a labourer who gifted her blind sister a toilet by doing overtime.
massive work to rejuvenate 10 huge tanks in and around the temple town of Tirupati has been launched. The works include desilting, strengthening and widening of bunds for the 10 tanks in and around Tirupati. The rejuvenation of lakes will cost a minimum of Rs48 lakh and a maximum of Rs 84 lakh. Widening of the bunds from three to five metres will be executed in the first phase. Facilities like food courts, tracks, children’s play area and boating as per individual tank designs, will be taken up in the second phase. For the first phase of works, the Chittoor District Collector has sanctioned Rs 4.42 crore. The Superintending Engineer of Irrigation Department will oversee the execution of lake works. The beautification of tanks will also be taken up. The unique feature of Vinayak Sagar (Lingalamma Cheruvu) is that it has a 15-metre -wide tank bund to facilitate vehicular traffic for Ganesh
idol immersion. Says Mr Venugopal, Depuy Executive Engineer of Irrigation department who is the in-charge of works of five tanks, “Peruru tank bund will be widened from 3 to 5 metres. The total development cost is Rs 49 lakh. Beautification of the tank bund by raising greenery will also be taken up. A walking track and bicycle bay are also part of the tank development works.” All the tanks will be designed to enhance their storage capacity. In the second phase, the Horticulture and Forest departments will take up development of greenery at the tanks. The beautification of tanks will be taken up as per the designs prepared by the AP Urban Greenery Beautification Corporation, an official said. Nocturnal House The Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park in Tirupati will get a Nocturnal House soon at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. The works will start within two weeks and the Nocturnal House will be completed within nine months, according to the tender schedule. The
Nocturnal House, 3 to 4 hectares of land, was approved by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). The TTD engineering wing will take up the construction work. In the Nocturnal House, the SV Zoo authorities plan to house common, rare and endangered native nocturnal animals. Most of these animals, which include mammals, reptiles and invertebrates, are rarely seen in the wild. Civet cat, porcupine, jungle cats, wild dogs, jackal, wild boars, fox, hyena, owls, bats, slender loris and some other rare cat species will be housed in it. The Central Government has agreed in principle to sanction Rs134 crore for Rayalaseema Religious and Heritage Tourism Circuit under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Ministry of Tourism. This was one of the promises made to the people of Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation of the State. Rayalaseema is a major area coming under the Andhra Pradesh jurisdiction. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu has also evinced interest in the Rayalaseema Religious and Heritage Tourism Circuit project which helps promote the development of the region as he hails from Nellore which is part of Rayalaseema. According to the Detailed Project Report (DPR), basic infrastructure will be developed at 25 ancient temples and places of historic importance in Rayalaseema as part of the project to give a big boost to tourism in the region.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 GIFT
Brother Builds Toilet For Sister Munna from Badagaon promised his blind sister a toilet as her Rakshabandhan gift
Kanpur ODF The Kanpur administration has come out with a unique promotional program to promote the use of public toilets
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UNNA is from Badagaon in the district. He is working as a labourer in Surat district of Gujarat. About six months ago, he had promised to build a toilet for his blind Nagina. “She is 14 years old now. Fear of she going in open for defecation constantly nagged me. We have a very small house and little means to construct a toilet but I had promised to do overtime and save money to gift her a toilet at home,” said Munna. Munna claimed that he worked in double shifts to save money and returned home to construct a toilet for his blind sister. “Bhaiyya kept his promise and gifted me a toilet. Now I don’t need to go out in open,” reacted Nagina. Her mother Heerwati recalled an incident when two unidentified men tried to outrage her modesty when she went out for defecation one evening last year. “It was after I raised an alarm and shouted for help the men ran away,”. Since then Heerawati and Munna were always worried about the safety of Nagina going out for defecation in open. Nagina had developed some eye infection when she was four-yearsold. Eye surgeons asked the family to arrange Rs 4 lakhs for the operations or she will lose her eyesight. “We are a poor family. My husband too was a labourer working in fields of others. We had approached everyone for financial help but no one came
Quick Glance Munna promised to build a toilet for his blind sister He worked overtime and saved enough money to fulfil his promise Munna’s inspirig story was even noticed by the UP govt
I forward and Nagina lost her eyesight,” said Heerawati. Last year her husband too died and the entire burden of running the family was on their only son Munna. A determined 21-year-old Munna went to Surat to work in a factory where wages were better than in Uttar Pradesh. “We run the family on whatever he sends from there,” said Heerawati. About six months ago when Munna promised his blind sister a toilet as her Raksha Bandhan gift, both the mother and sister thought it to be a joke as it required money. “I did not sleep properly for two months and cut down on all my expenses including on food to save money,” told Munna. After saving Rs 10,000, Munna returned from Surat and got the toilet constructed under his supervision. A few village elders had advised me to submit an application for seeking financial help from the government for toilet construction but Munna had refused. “I had turned down the offer. I wanted to gift it to my blind sister a toilet constructed with my own hard-
earned money,” said Munna. “My next target is to work hard and save money for the eye-surgery of my sister to bring her eyesight back and then marry her off,” vowed Munna. Munna, his mother and sister are happy about the award from the Varanasi district administration for his outstanding feat. “I am proud that my son has received the award but I am happier that people of the area are inspired by his story,” said Munna’s mother. Munna’s story has inspired many in the village and adjoining areas. Many who had means to construct toilets on their own have constructed toilets in their houses after Munna’s gift to his blind sister. Overnight Munna has become a celebrity and Brand Ambassador of Swachch Bharat Mission in the village. “Those who have means are now constructing toilets on their own after hearing Munna’s story and others are coming forward to inquire about government schemes for toilet construction,” said DPO Dhirendra Kumar.
N another scheme to achieve ODF, the Kanpur administration has come out with a unique promotional program to promote the use of public toilets. Despite having public toilets, constructed by Sulabh International, in their areas people are in a habit of going for defecation in open. To check this, the Kanpur district administration has launched a unique ‘free breakfast’ scheme for those using public toilets to relieve themselves. “It was a pleasant surprise when I was offered free tea and biscuits after I relieved myself in public toilet near Kanpur Bus Station,” said Rakesh, a rickshaw-puller. The unique ‘free breakfast’ scheme was launched by the Kanpur Nagar Nigam when it found after a survey that people living in slum areas and other localities were still defecating in open despite having public toilets there. The Corporation identified those areas and launched a drive to educate people defecating in open by offering them a rose petal. “They were administered an oath for cleanliness and educated about using public toilets for maintaining health and hygiene,” said the City Commissioner Avinash Singh. Over 100 poor families, living in areas surrounding Kanpur Bus Station were educated motivated to use public toilets on the first of the drive in the first week of December. Since then the Corporation has been organizing ‘free breakfast’ and tea parties in all areas having public toilets.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK Founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement
India will have to hang down her head in shame if even one person is left who is said in any way to be untouchable.
“NOT WIDHWA, BUT SAHELI”
-Lal Bahadur Shastri
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak recalls the contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, and Mahatma Gandhi for emancipation and empowerment of widows
WHY DOING NOTHING IS IMPORTANT You need to learn how to let go and do ‘nothing’ sometimes
ur society h a s
collectively grown to demonise idle minds and idle times. Sitting and doing nothing is seen as a crime against the ‘gift of time’. This is obviously the fastest way to stress and neuroticism. Activity must be equally balanced with periods of rest. Resting the body and mind in periods of ‘nothing-ness’ is the only way to balance the over activity that we all experience in our lives due to a plethora of stimuli. One can only know what needs fixing in life when one is sitting and doing nothing. It is the perfect environment for introspection, observation, and reflection. When people are around you, you keep finding excuses for all your problems in life. When you are with somebody, it is so easy to blame everything else on your problems considering the fact that its an easy scapegoat against critical introspection of yourself. But when you sit alone and the problem still exists, now you know what the source of the problem is.
KUMAR DILIP Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
would like to say a few words about the two towering social reformers of the 19th century Bengal and their pathbreaking struggle to end the women’s misery and widows’ suffering.
threats for the rights of women, the ban of Sati, and his opposition to child marriage and support for widow remarriage.
Contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy
The first effective initiative to promote widows’ remarriage came from Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820-1891) who made major contributions in many areas of Bengali intellectual and social life in the mid-nineteenth century. He was a Sanskrit scholar, educator, author, publisher, philanthropist, and above all, an extraordinary social reformer noted for his interventions on behalf of girls, widows, and women trapped in polygamous marriages to Kulin Brahmins. Like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, whose name is forever associated with the campaign against Sati, Vidyasagar is best known for his indefatigable efforts to improve a lot of Bengali widows. He had written on the subject of social injustice to women in the late 1840s, and in 1853 he began a concerted move to persuade the British authority to formally legalise the remarriage of Hindu widows. In his 1855 essay “Remarriage of Hindu Widows”, he went to argue that perpetual widowhood was not, in fact, enjoined sanction in the ancient Shastras. He was of the opinion that if Shastras were seen as supporting widows’ remarriage, the people would readily give their support to the cause. He found a favourable discussion of widow remarriage in the Parashar Sanhita, one of the better known Dharmashastras. To prove his point, he would quote a verse from Parashar Sanhita, which stipulates that a woman is entitled to take a second husband in five special cases—“If her husband goes mad; if her husband dies; if her husband takes renunciation; if her husband is impotent; and, if her husband is expelled from his caste.” This elicited a storm of protest from the Hindu conservative circles, but in spite of the fierce attacks, Vidyasagar managed to convince the British to pass the Act XV of 1856, which accorded to widows the right to remarry. Besides such efforts, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also waging the legal battle for the cause alongside doing the real work of getting widows remarried. After the legislation of according rights to Hindu widows to remarry came into force on July 26, 1856, he became personally involved in getting the widows remarried. He convinced his classmate Shrish Chandra, who was a widower, to marry
Social conditions, in general, were quite depressing in the 19th century India. The most distressing was the position of women. The birth of a girl was a curse, her marriage a burden and her widowhood inauspicious. So much so that when their husbands died the widows were expected to commit Sati—that is, burning themselves alive on the funeral pyre of their dead husbands. Those who succeeded in overcoming this cruel social coercion, they were condemned, as widows, to life-long misery, neglect and humiliation. In short, the life of widows was hellish. The social reform movements of the 19th century emerged in response to these unbearable social realities. Many thoughtful people felt that the practice of Sati and widowed life was an unmitigated social evil that must be abolished. It was none other than Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), the multifaceted pioneer of modernity and social reform movement, who made the first move towards the betterment of widows’ life. In 1811, Roy had witnessed his beloved sister-in-law being burned alive on her husband’s funeral pyre. This cruel tragedy deeply traumatised him and made him lead a spirited campaign against the practice of burning women alive after her husband’s death. He was the first Indian to revolt against this cruel custom that he termed as “murder according to every Shastra.” Through his ingenious argument, he demonstrated that Sati had no religious sanction. In spite of fierce and unrelenting protests from orthodox Hindus, he carried on his campaign against the cruel custom, and finally, he won the cause when Lord William Bentinck, the Governor-General of India, passed a law in 1829 abolishing the custom of Sati. According to this law, the custom of Sati became illegal and punishable as culpable homicide. Raja Ram Mohan Roy is celebrated in modern Indian historiography for his pioneering contribution to education, religion, morals, journalism, and legal and political thought, but he is best remembered for his courageous struggle in the face of conservative
Contributions of Pandit Chandra Vidyasagar
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 Kalimati Devi, a 10-year-old widow. For the marriage ritual, Vidyasagar himself played the role of the bride’s father. A large crowd assembled in the street to greet the bridegroom and the accompanying marriage party. Influenced by his father, Vidyasagar’s son himself came forward and married a widow, despite facing stiff resistance from the society. Like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Vidyasagar used the authority of Hindu scriptures to buttress his rational arguments for social reform, and he found exposure to Western thought helpful in this. In his later life, in the mid-1860s, he also campaigned against the Kulinism—the custom that allowed men from certain Brahmin lineages to take many wives. In his own time, Vidyasagar was both admired and vilified. Though his campaign for widows’ remarriage found prominent space in the contemporary newspapers, there were many who opposed this move. Though his campaign impacted the society and changed the thinking of many people on the issue, he regretted the fact that the widows’ situation, except some notable exceptions, remained more or less the same.
Gandhiji supported the cause of widows’ remarriage
Mahatma Gandhi, too, was worried about the rising number of child widows. In his time, the people’s mindset on the issue of widows’ remarriage was quite reactionary and orthodox. In Gandhiji’s opinion, remarriage of widows was not only desirable but also necessary. He was of the view that the widowed girls were actually not married, since the time they were married they were too little to understand the meaning of marriage. So the child widows, he stressed, should be considered unmarried. Gandhiji was deeply stressed and indignant about the deplorable conditions, created by the society and the family of the innocent child widows. Decrying the male cruelty and family’s callousness towards the suffering girls, he said, “I have a terrible heartache when I see a child widow. And I become quite angry when I see a widower, whose wife has just died, shamelessly seeking a second wife. … A father who has betrayed his little daughter by marrying her off to some old man or grown up guy must atone for his sin by remarrying her widowed daughter.”
The intervention of Sulabh International
Along with its sanitation and education related works, Sulabh International, since 2012, has been working for the welfare of the widows in Vrindavan. A woman is abandoned by the society after her husband’s death, not because of religious reasons but as a tradition
and also due to disharmony in the family. These poverty-stricken widows used to spend their days on roads or on the stairs of the temple begging for their livelihoods. They had to sing bhajans for several hours for mere four to five rupees. There was no arrangement available for cremation after their deaths. The Hon’ble Supreme Court directed National Legal Services Authority to enquire from Sulabh International if it could help widows staying in different ashrams in Vrindavan. Sulabh acted immediately and since then the Sulabh volunteers are working there in order to take care of these widows. Each widow is being given a stipend of Rs. 2,000 per month, along with medical assistance. They have been provided ambulances, televisions, refrigerators, etc., to make them comfortable. They are now being learnt Hindi, Bangla and English language and have been trained in making of garlands, agarbattis, sewing, etc. To bring them back into the mainstream of the society we have made arrangements on different occasions such as Holi, Durga Puja, Deepawali and they celebrate these festivals joyously. We took them on tour to different cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, etc. They were most happy on the day they met Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, and Hon’ble Prime Minister and tied a Rakhi on their wrists. On October 15, 2016, they did the catwalk with the famous models of the country in the Mavalankar Hall in New Delhi. They were enthralled on these occasions. We are similarly taking action to help the widows staying in the ashrams of Varanasi and in Deoli-Bhanigram village where they were left without any ray of hope in their lives after the deluge and disaster in Uttarakhand in the year 2013. On June 16, 2013, Uttarakhand faced a terrible onslaught of flash floods that took away hundreds of lives. Incessant rains, floods and landslides played havoc. On July 2, 2013, I saw a news report in the Indian Express about the disappearance of 54 men from DeoliBhanigram village of Rudraprayag
district. This tragedy turned many women into widows, and the village came to be known as a widows’ village. We decided at once to lend our helping hands to them. Besides giving them financial aid of Rs. 2000 per month to the women and elderly members of the families and also Rs. 1000 to each child, covering 155 devastated residents of six villages of Deoli- Bhanigram Panchayat. Sulabh has further decided to give Rs. 1000 per month to 300 more families of these villages. We set up a vocational centre to train the affected women in various trades so that they can earn their living and become self-dependent. The centre has been provided with 12 computers, 25 sewing machines along with other equipment and materials for imparting training. The centre is imparting training to women and others in eight trades, i.e., tailoring, knitting, machine embroidery, computer education, shorthand typing, candle making, Aggarbati (Incense) making, Batti (cotton) making and a paper plate and Dona making. The centre is also providing basic education to trainees, besides making them computer literate. The main motto of Sulabh is providing vocational training to women and others in these villages so that they can acquire the necessary skills to earn a living. Raw materials like wax, thread, gas, oil, pen, pencil, paper, cotton, books, CD, stationery, ribbon, etc., are provided to them free of cost. Sulabh International Centre for Action Sociology is training them with a view to providing an alternative source of income and rehabilitating them by enabling them to be self-employed in different trades. I have been doing, organizationally and personally, whatever is possible, and the good news is that the media has also taken up this cause in a serious manner. As a result, many young widows are getting remarried. Amar Ujala, a reputed Hindi newspaper, has initiated a move in this direction, which is getting good public support and appreciation. The society, at last, is accepting the fact that it is painful to lead a lonely life, and this applies equally to a widow or a widower. Remarriage of a widow is now
getting public acceptance, as people have decided to discard their old narrow mentality. The media and AgrasenVanshaj-Sabha are playing good roles in this, and their efforts are producing good results. Shri Madan Mohan Agrawal of Allahabad has recently got remarried his young widowed daughterin-law, Rupali Agrawal. Similarly, Amar Ujala’s initiatives have succeeded in getting 8-10 widows remarried. As a widower does not hesitate to get remarried, and as he does not have to face any social restriction on this count, a widow too, must have the same privilege and freedom. Widows have a right to remarry and lead a happy life. Rakesh of Rudraprayag has also created a new history marrying a widow named Vinita from Uttarakhand. Sulabh arranged the function with a grand celebration with 1000 widows in Vrindavan. We bestowed social prestige upon the marriage with the blessings of the ladies who were not allowed to participate in any ceremony or function. The pleasant consequence of this event was a young man from Madhya Pradesh coming forward to marry a widow. Such a renaissance in the Society especially among the youth will create harmony as well as new life for the widows. To cut the long story short, we began from Vrindavan and extended our welfare work for widows to Varanasi and Uttarakhand. Sulabh is looking after about 800 widows in Vrindavan, about 200 widows in Varanasi and 154 families including 32 widows in DeoliBhanigram Panchayat of Uttarakhand. Now we are planning to take up the cause of widows at the national level to fulfil the dreams of Raja Rammohan Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. We strongly feel that all suffering widows should be given stipend and vocational education so that they could earn their own livelihood and be self-reliant. Above all, they must get respect and all possible help from their own families and the rest of society, and we are doing whatever we can to accomplish this and emancipate the long-suffering widows of India. Thus, Sulabh’s missionary campaign for widows is meant to emancipate them from all kinds of deprivations, restrictions and humiliations. We have lent our widowed sisters and mothers a healing and helping hand, but much more needs to be done. To give our widows a life of dignity and choice, we have decided to make a more concerted effort through the formation of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Foundation. This workshop is being held to help us meet this challenging task of emancipating and empowering our widows, for which we seek your active cooperation and creative suggestions.
A Fair To Tickle Your Literary Bone
For a bibliophile, a hall full of books is the definition of paradise. And what better place to find that paradise and continue holding on to it than at an old and reliable book fair? Photo Research: JAIRAM
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
The annual New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) revisited the national capital from January 6 to 14, bringing about a fortnight of book conversations, workshops, discussions, new book releases, B2B forums, cultural programmes, and some of the newest and most exciting writings that have appeared across the world
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 ASSAM
Aadhaar Enrollment Begins In Assam Aadhaar enrollment has finally begun after a gap of more than two years Quick Glance 7 Banks have started gathering details for issuing Aadhaar More banks will soon be involved as well The enrolment process was first carried out in August 2014
n SSB BUREAU
NROLLMENT for Aadhaar has begun again in Assam after a gap of more than two years after the exercise was halted following disturbances. Seven banks in as many districts in the northeastern state have started gathering details from the customers for issue of Aadhaar. According to an official, the state government is also expected to begin the process early next year in which will post offices and other institutions will be engaged. Banks have begun gathering details in Bongaigaon, Cachar, Darrang, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kamrup (metro) and Sonitpur districts which include the Allahabad Bank, Dena Bank, Axis Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI, Corporation Bank and ICICI. More banks will soon be involved as well in other districts across the state. The process is being monitored by the district administrations. The Centre extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar number with bank accounts and mobile phones till
the end of the current financial year. According to available records, around 6.6 percent of the total population of the state has been issued the card so far while the enrolment rate in the rest of the country has been nearly 90 percent. Aadhaar is a 12-digit number issued by the UIDAI to all citizens. The enrolment procedure involves collection of biometric data like thumb impression, eye scan, photograph along with proof of age, address and identity for an Aadhaar number. The enrolment process was carried out in Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur districts as a pilot project in August 2014 but not extended on the apprehension that illegal migrants might acquire Aadhaar cards and present it as a proof of citizenship. Last May in a major change of policy,
the BJP-led government in Assam had given its nod on the issue of Aadhaar cards in the state which was stalled for three years after the Centre made it clear that Aadhaar neither confers, nor is it a proof of citizenship. Parliament affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary had informed the state assembly that the state general administration department would carry out the exercise while the home department will monitor the process. The BJP was of the view that updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would first have to be completed in Assam for the Aadhaar cards to be issued. This was similar to the stance adopted by pressure groups, like the All Assam Student’s Union (AASU), which have been consistently making a case for identification and
The citizens of northeastern states will finally reap the benefits of having an Aadhaar number and card
expulsion of illegal migrants from the state. The rationale behind the state government’s decision was to put an end to the problems being faced by people staying outside the state. In the last couple of years, organisations of citizens from Assam in the metropolises had made several representations to the government making a case for expediting the issue of Aadhaar. Aadhaar is considered vital since it will be linked to access of subsidy from government schemes and made mandatory for banks accounts, LPG connections etc. The government has made it clear that the card does not entitle a resident of the state to claims of citizenship. The Supreme Court has recently fixed December 31 as the deadline for the publication of the draft NRC although the government had requested for a few months more for completion of the exercise considered essential for identification of illegal migrants in the state but its progress has been tardy with deadlines being missed several times. In the Northeast, Meghalaya is another state where the issue of Aadhaar cards has been slow after some civil society organisations opposed it. Tripura and Sikkim are the two states in the border region that have registered the maximum progress with more than 90 percent of the population already been covered. Around 68.8 percent of the population in Manipur has received the card; 65.3 percent in Arunachal Pradesh; 55.5 percent in Nagaland and 62.3 percent in Mizoram.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Now ODF Arunachal Pradesh is the second northeastern state to be declared free of open defecation
n RAJ KASHYAP
FTER Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh became the second Northeast state to be declared open defecation free. Arunachal government made the announcement on the occasion of New Year Day. The last three districts - Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang districts - which were lagging behind in the programme were declared ODF on December 31, the deadline set by the state government for all the districts. The state government had cut short the national ODF target by one year and ten months ahead of the national target and set 31 December, 2017, as the final target to achieve ODF status in Arunachal Pradesh. The national deadline is 2 October, 2019. The project, undertaken under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), was carried through after the state government provided an additional incentive of Rs 8000 per toilet, in addition to the state’s matching share and the support given by the Centre, raising the cost to Rs 20,000. Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the Herculean task has been made possible with the support of the
Union Drinking Water & Sanitation ministry, constant monitoring by the state’s Public Health Engineering department and other stakeholders. Pema said he was “overwhelmed”
Arunachal joins the ranks of states that have already become free of open defecation by meeting targets ahead of the national deadline
Farming Revolution In Meghalaya
Meghalaya government launched a farmer centric and market oriented technology service that offers affordable transportation, evacuation and logistics services to farmers
to find people participating in construction of toilets even in remote villages along the international borders like Vijoynagar, Taksing and Pipsorang, despite communication
Quick Glance The state government cut short the national ODF target The national ODF deadline is October 2, 2019 The enrollment process was first carried out in August 2014
bottlenecks, requiring strenuous trekking for days together, carrying construction materials and ration as head load. PHE Minister Bamang Felix said the government has finally won the battle. “We have finally liberated ourselves from the open defecation menace. The tiring and rigorous fight against open defecation was a Herculean task but not impossible,” he said. He thanked all the legislators, deputy commissioners, NGOs, panchayat members, youths and the stakeholders who contributed in their own ways to achieve the target. He said the ODF status could not have been achieved without the sincere efforts of the department’s officials. “The battle is not complete yet,” Felix cautioned, “the way ahead is more treacherous and challenging. We have to maintain the status of an ODF state and not allow open defecation to raise its ugly head.” Felix also lauded the department for inventing “toilet technology” which he said has been a massive success, especially in inaccessible areas.
n RAJ KASHYAP
N a first of its kind initiative in the country, Meghalaya government has launched a farmer centric and market oriented technology service that will offer affordable transportation, evacuation and logistics services to farmers and facilitate them to access markets, buyers and sellers of their choice through a cloud based technology driven centre. Called the ‘1917 Integrated Technology Enabled Agri Management System’ (1917iTEAMS), the service was launched by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. The system aims at easing and enabling access to remunerative markets, information, crop advisories and agriculture related services for farmers, buyers, sellers
and entrepreneurs of the state. The technology driven center called the Agri Response Center (ARC) has been set up by the State’s Agriculture Department at the District Agriculture Office complex in Shillong and it has been linked through the cloud to a fleet of dedicated Agri Response Vehicles (ARV) spread out across the state. In addition, the ARC will also have a content dissemination section and knowledge management system that will push out expert advisories on crop, weather, animal health,
input dealers, market price, plant protection etc. based upon content generated by the 1917iTEAMS ecosystem and through the app driven interface of the 1917iTEAMS. By leveraging on the outreach of the app and market information generated by the 1917iTEAMS platform, both buyers and sellers will be able to make informed marketing choices. Unlike other online trading platforms, the 1917iTEAMS platform is not a place where trade or buying and selling will happen.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
No Girl! No Woman! Thus no life
It’s a high time that we treat a girl child equally and give her same rights as that of her brother Quick Glance Save a girl child to save your existence on this planet If you kill a girl, you kill a woman of future. Who will give birth to you? A son is your son till he gets married, but a daughter is your daughter till death
ofi Annan once said “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” Since 2008, India has celebrated National Girl Child Day on January 24th every year, to raise awareness and consciousness of the society with respect to the girl child. On this day in 1966, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was sworn in as the first woman Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi was hailed as an icon of women power and hence this historic day is a perfect choice to celebrate the national girl child day. The National Girl Child Day, was started to offer more support and new opportunities to the girls in the country. Inequality and girl child is a vast problem which includes many areas like inequality in education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection, honour, child marriage, domestic violence, sexual harassment in public spaces, as well as the workplace, and so on.
It is celebrated to promote the girls position in society to make their lives better. It is very necessary to remove different kinds of social discrimination and exploitation
that girls generally face in their life. To increase the awareness about the necessity of the girls right in society, various political and community leaders speak about the girls right for
OBJECTIVES OF NATIONAL GIRL CHILD DAY • It is celebrated as a national observance to increase the consciousness of the people and offer new opportunities to the girl child in the society. • To remove all the inequalities faced by the girl children of the Indian society. • To make certain that every girl child is getting proper respect and value in the Indian society. • To ensure that the girl children are getting their all the human rights in the country. • To work against diminishing the child sex ratio in the India and change the people mind about the girl child. • To initiate couple towards the girl child by increasing awareness about the importance and role of the girl child. • To address the girl children issues associated to their health, respect, education, nutrition and etc. • To propagate the gender equality among people in India.
equal education and fundamental freedoms. It is necessary for girls to fulfil their potential. They should be aware of all their legal rights and the facts of life. They should be aware that they have a right to good education, nutrition and health care rights. They should be well aware about legislation including Domestic Violence Act 2009, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 and Dowry Prohibition Act 2006 in order to get their legitimate rights and face all the challenges in life. It is very clear that a girl child always becomes a blessing for the society and reason for the continuation of life in this world. We worship many female goddesses at various festivals but we never feel the need to be kind to the women living in our home. Truly, girls are pillars of society. A girl child can be a good daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and other good relationships in the future. If we kill them before taking birth or do not care after taking birth then how we will get a daughter, sister, wife or mother in future. Has anyone of us
Life possibility on the earth is because of both male and female however what will happen if the number of one sex is continuously decreasing
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Here are a few areas that continue to require focus and our never-ending support Girl child labour:
The misconception that the girl’s place belongs at home has resulted in huge numbers of young girls having to work in fields, construction sites or other occupations, so as to keep them from getting educated. Girls as young as seven are sent to factories where they are made to work in poor conditions for meagre pay or employed as domestic help in people’s houses. Although India has ratified and passed various laws to protect the girl child labourer, we’re yet to go a long way in its full implementation.
Girl child trafficking:
According to the National Crime
Records Bureau, one child disappears every eight minutes-most of them are girls who are trafficked to different parts of the country as well as countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, for commercial sexual exploitation or reasons including begging and bonded labour. What’s disturbing is, given the nature of the case, the exact figures are not known. They are said to be steadily increasing.
India is known to have the highest number of child brides in the world, where an estimated 47 per cent of girls are married before their 18th birthday. Many of them are forced into it at a
tender age and are subjected to physical and emotional abuse as young mothers, leading to another problem--maternal mortality.
Right to Education:
Lack of education is one of the main reasons for extensive abuse and discrimination against the girl child. The government has stressed on the importance of free and compulsory education for children between the ages of 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. However, a number of girls dropout in secondary school, as parents prefer to let their sons study, resulting in fewer opportunities for girls.
GIRL CHILD RIGHTS IN INDIA • “Save the Girl Child” scheme has been introduced by the government •
The status of their education in India has been improved through free and compulsory primary school education till 14 years of age.
• To improve the status of the girl child in India, the government of India has reserved 1/3 seats in the local government for women. Government of India has taken various steps by declaring variety of schemes to make the girl child status better. Some of them are: • Sex determination during pregnancy through clinics has been blocked by thegovernment.
Anti-MTP, anti-sati laws, antidowry Act has also been introduced by the legislature to enhance women’s status and employment opportunities.
• Child marriages have been restricted.
• Five Year Plan has been implemented to pay attention towards the education status in the backward states of the country.
• Antenatal care has been made necessary for all the pregnant women to fight malnutrition, high illiteracy, poverty and infant mortality in the society.
• School children are provided with mid-day meals with the uniforms, and educational materials and rim,bursement to the SC and ST caste girl’s families.
has ever thought what will happen if women refuse to give birth to a baby or give all responsibility of their motherhood to men. Will men be able to take up all the
responsibilities? If not then why girls are killed, why they considered a curse, why are they a burden to their parents or society. Why the eyes are not being open of the
Balwadi-cum-creches have been implemented for taking care of the girl babies and attend the primary school.
• “Operation Blackboard” and other programmes have been organized for teacher’s education to advance school services advance. • The Open Learning System has been established for girls of backward areas. • It has been declared that “girls must be given equal treatments and opportunities from the very beginning” to expand opportunities for them. • The SHG means Self-Help Groups has been introduced by the government as the main policy in order to make better the livelihood of rural areas girls. people even after many surprised truth and facts about girls. Adolescence is a critical phase in a girl’s life when she is on the threshold of womanhood. There
A home is no home, which does not have a daughter. It is only because of our mothers that we live today. are several needs and concerns which require to be addressed, including those of health, nutrition and education. The adolescent girls needs to be informed and empowered to be able to face the challenges of life such as the issue of Domestic Violence, Child Marriage, and Dowry etc. The practice of early marriage and child-bearing that persists puts adolescent girls and their children at increased risk of adverse outcomes. Adolescent girls are harbingers of the next generation; they can transform not only their own lives but also the lives of every member of their family and the wider society around them. An investment in their well-being and development is also an investment in the well-being of the country. The fight for equal rights is surely a tough one; however, we need to focus on the protection of our sisters and daughters, putting an end to the constant discrimination against them in everyday life--some of which begins even before they are born.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 WOMEN SECURITY
About Matters Of Women Security The Lt Governor Held A Meeting Of The Fifth Task Force for women’s security Quick Glance
n ANAND BHARTI
HILE presiding over the fifth Task Force meeting in relation to the protection of women, the Delhi Lt Governor said that a mobile app will be created to register any complaint against the auto-taxi drivers who refuse to go by the meter. All municipal and government departments eliminate the use of acid for cleaning purpose up to 31 January 2018. All relevant departments-stakeholders should assist in the collection of the data available for identifying dark/ unlighted places to ensure the safety of women. In the fifth task force meeting on issues related to women security organized under the chairmanship of Lt Governor Anil Baijal, many dignitaries were present. Chief Secretary, Delhi Government, Delhi Women’s Commission Chairman, Principal Secretary, Home Secretary, Joint Commissioner of Police Commissioner, three corporations, Secretary Social Welfare, Commissioner Excise, Secretary Law and other departmental senior officials were present at the meeting. On the issue of increasing the patrol of PCR vans at critical hours, Delhi Police said that the PCR vans try to arrive at the scheduled time but more efforts are being made to reduce the average time to 5 or 10 minutes. At present, 600 PCR vans are operating
A mobile app will allow women to register complaints All departments will eliminate the use of acid for cleaning Relevant stakeholers will assist in the collection of data
at various places and the proposal for the creation of 541more PCR vans and 7723 posts is under consideration. Regarding improving lighting system in public places, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation said that 90 percent of the dark places have been illuminated. Similarly, according to South Delhi Corporation, it is estimated that installations of 17365 light have been made in the dark areas. The Lt Governor instructed officials that the system should be strengthened to identify dark places. In relation to applying GPS to public transport, the Lt Governor gave directions that strict action
TTD to appoint 500 SC, ST youths as priests in AP TTD’s mission will train and appoint over 500 SC and ST youths as priests in its temples
should be taken against those who are not working according to the GPS, in which the driver’s license can be cancelled. The Lt. Governor also instructed that an auto taxi app should be made to register complaints against the drivers who refuse to go by the meter. On the issue of making fast-track courts, it was informed that at present there are about 20 fast track courts. Regarding the use of acid in public places and other places, the Lt Governor directed the three Municipal Corporations and Government Departments to end the use of acid for cleaning by January 31.
The Excise Commissioner informed the Lieutenant Governor that he has ordered for joint inspection and raids and checks against the sale of alcohol to underage customers and strict action against violators, including the abrogation of their license. The Lt. Governor further directed that the Excise Department and Police Department should jointly campaign against the sale of illegal liquor. The Lt Governor asked all the stakeholders to formulate a policy for the safety of the women of Delhi and focus all their attention on that. He emphasized the need for a change in mentality and directed that the department should create awareness among the people and continue their efforts for sensitisation. There should not be an unsafe environment for women in Delhi state. He also urged all concerned departments to work together on serious issues such as protection of women.
and other things, which are the basic duties of a priest. The TTD has prepared a module for training which provides a comprehensive and perfect system of pooja and maintenance of
the temple along with the community participation. The TTD will also utilise their services outside as and when needed. The TTD launched the scheme in 2016 itself and had allocated Rs 25 crore for construction of 500 temples in SC and ST colonies at a cost of Rs 5 lakh each. Now The TTD has also decided to train the interested SC and ST youths as priests at Sri Venkateswara Employees Training Academy (SVETA) under a government-approved module for a month in a residential system.
n SSB BUREAU
S part of the mission, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is constructing 500 temples in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and simultaneously training the youth belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the conduct of temple rituals. The SC and ST youth will be equipped to perform all the temple rituals such as Ganapati Puja, Sankalpam, Panchopacharalu, Shodashopacharams, Ashtotharam
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 E-TOILETS
Bus Shelters To Have E-toilets In Mangaluru The Mangaluru Smart City Mission is well underway with a plethora of upcoming developments
Clock Tower, one of the icons of Mangaluru city, which is at Hampankatta was demolished for road upgrading works nearly two decades ago. It has been a well-known landmark and is of historical value in this coastal city in Karnataka. Now the government has decided to rebuild it under the Mangaluru Smart City Mission. Mangaluru Smart City Ltd., a special purpose vehicle constituted for implementing the projects under the mission, has proposed to reconstruct it at an estimated cost of Rs. 90 lakh. Mangalore Mayor Kavita Sanil says that the memories of the Clock Tower near the University College (erstwhile Government College) have still not vanished from the minds of the people. It would be re-built in the same place near the college. Mohammed Nazir, Commissioner, Mangaluru City Corporation, says
College Students Bring A Ray Of Hope To This Village School Within a span of a week, the college provided 20 desks and benches and around 300 books for a small library and computers in the school
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T was supposed to be a 10-day practical camp to know about the hardships of village life for
second-year social work students of St Joseph’s College (autonomous) in Bengaluru. But it turned out to be a boon for the government school at a village in the Nanjangud taluk in Mysuru district. Rohini Gopal Raj, a second-year student and convener of the camp, says they saw the government school in Kothnahalli village which was in a bad shape. “We stayed at the school during the camp and saw that it lacked a number of things. They did not have basics such as benches or tables and chairs and no proper books. We informed our college management about the issue and they agreed to help us,” she adds. Within a span of a week, help arrived in the form of 20 desks and benches, and around 300 books to make a small library, apart from some computers and related infrastructure.
Quick Glance The clock tower in Mangaluru will be recontstructed E-Toilets will be placed at bus shelters The Nehru Maidan side of the road would be re-built with a drain
In addition, the company has invited bids for taking up three more projects under the mission. Those projects include adding additional facilities on the road
between the Clock Tower and A.B. Shetty Circle at an estimated cost of Rs. 7.56 crore (smart road project); building 22 bus shelters, of whom seven with e-toilets on the side, at a cost of Rs. 4.8 crore; and re-laying underground sewage pipeline in the Nellikai Road area to an extent of 2.3 km at a cost of about Rs. 5 crore. The Nehru Maidan side of the road would be re-built with a drain and facilities for laying utility lines and flow of stormwater and footpath. The same side would have landscape, ornamental lights and benches. The Public Works Department building side of the road would be reconstructed with drain and footpath. The same side would have eight bus shelters. Street-lights on the stretch would be replaced. This road would have a smart pole with wi-fi facility, air quality monitoring unit, CCTV cameras and display board. Bids invited for this project would be opened on February 5, 2018. The bids invited for building 22 bus shelters and re-laying underground drainage line would be opened on January 29, 2018.
A water purifier was also installed as the school did not have any safe source of drinking water. Their college, the St Joseph’s has also decided to adopt the school for a period of two years and will offer its help to experiment smart techniques of village development, says Rahul Prasad, another student who was part of the camp. In all, there were 27 students who
took part in the camp and they came out learning a lot about what people in villages, with less access to various facilities and amenities, face. Mr Prakash M D, the headmaster of the school, says, “Students of the school and I are extremely happy with the interest shown by students of the college. Our facilities are not ideal and we are always glad of anyone who can help. Besides providing benches and other needed things, the students also conducted awareness campaigns on sanitation and financial independence of women in the village. They also provided English language coaching to the students here.” The 10-day camp has come as a boon to this small nondescript village. With the college getting wide publicity in the media, it is hoped that other city colleges will spread their wings to help the needy students in small villages.
An artist’s impression of the bus shelter proposed at 22 locations in Mangaluru under the Smart City Mission
that the 21-m high tower will have clocks on four sides. Bids have been invited to construct the tower. The bids would be opened on January 15, 2018.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 SWACHH SURVEKSHAN
Swachhta In 2018 The Swachhta goals of this year are going to be met considering that every department in the country is on war footing for the same
provided sufficient opportunities to attend trainings and go for exposure visits. 6. Innovation and Best Practices: This component has been introduced first time in this survey – encourage cities to come forward and share their best practices in Swachh Bharat Mission. It will help the country to learn how our cities have responded the call for Make India Clean and ODF by October 2019.
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ARDEEP PURI, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs mentioned that the focus of Swachh Survekshan 2018 has been shifted from process and output based indicators to indicators focusing on outcome and sustainability. Providing details of the Swachh Survekshan 2018 launched today, Puri stated that Swachh Survekshan has served as the agent of change demonstrating massive potential of addressing challenges through unique interventions in urban governance. With the roll out of Swachh Survekshan 2018, we look forward to a cleaner India, where each Indian citizen has played his/her part in the Nation’s transformation, he added. He was speaking at a Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs programme. Sh Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary and Shri V.K.Jindal, Mission Director for SBM-U were also present. Providing details of the Swachh Survekshan 2018, the Minister informed that this is the largest survey impacting more than 40 crore urban population and to ensure level playing field in similar smaller cities, Swachh Survekshan 2018 will have two categories of ranking 1) 500 cities with more than 1 lakh population will have National
Ranking 2) 3541 cities with less than 1 lakh population will have State and Regional ranking. The survey attempts to capture the progress in following six broad parameters – 1. Collection and Transportation of Municipal Solid Waste: to ensure that segregated dry and wet waste is collected daily from the households and our public areas are clean. 2. Processing and Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste: to encourage cities to process their waste and wherever possible recycle the dry waste. 3.Sanitation related progress: to verify whether city is ODF with access to toilet available for citizens. This year even all Petrol Pumps of the country are coming forward to offer their toilets as public toilets. 4. IEC (Information, Education and Communication): Whether cities have started campaigns promoting Swachh Survekshan, engaging citizens in waste management, maintenance of Community and Public Toilets etc. 5. Capacity Building: to assess whether officials in the ULBs were
Public Sector Banks to make big push for Swachh Bharat in 2018 Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Rajeev Kumar, and Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer held a joint video conference recently with all public sector banks and public sector financial institutions to ramp up lending in the rural sanitation sector. The credit institutions committed to strive for trebling the lending to households, SHGs, MSMEs, SMEs, etc. in the rural sanitation sector. All public sector banks and financial institution branches also committed to provide access to clean toilets for customers across all branches in the country as their contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Department of Financial Services will jointly institute Swachh Bank / Financial Institution awards to recognize exemplary contribution in this initiative through a competitive process. In another landmark development, the institutions also agreed to dedicate a large part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to the Swachh Bharat Mission in FY 201819. This is likely to infuse significant capital into sanitation initiatives across the country. Swachh Neighbourhoods of 2018 Definition of a “Swachh Neighbourhood” -- A neighbourhood can be declared as a “Swachh Neighbourhood” if at any point of time in the day, no garbage or litter
SBM has many forthcoming developments for 2018 including Swachh Survekshan 2018
The national ODF goal is October 2019 Public Sector Banks will also participate in SBM in 2018 The Swachh Neighbourhood program of 2018 will begin as well
is found in any public locations in the neighbourhood. Prerequisites for declaring a “Swachh Neighbourhood” The operating principles to achieve this objective would involve the following: 1. All households and waste generators mandatorily practice segregation of waste at source (wet and dry, as per national standards, and further segregation, if specified by local authorities) 2. Segregated waste is collected and transported in a segregated manner to processing units / recycling units / landfill site 3. Waste is prevented or reduced through redesign, reduced packaging and material use, and less consumption 4. Waste is reused or refurbished (for original use or for another purpose) 5. Waste is recycled, reprocessed into raw materials and useful resources 6. Balance waste is landfilled in a safe, scientific and sustainable manner 7. The above steps are undertaken in a participative manner with engagement of all categories of citizen stakeholders. Example of a “Swachh Neighbourhood” In an attempt to engage the people in the task of keeping their city clean the Vadodara Municipal Corporation undertook a number of activities involving various groups such as senior citizen groups, NGOs, school students, Industry Associations, SHGs, Ganesh Youth Mandals, Navrati Youth Mandals, etc. These activities include: • Appointing 30,000 students as Safai Champs who have personal contacts with 12 lakh people • Distributing awareness pamphlets • Preparing SBM logo using collected plastic waste • Holding Swachhata rallies • Organizing puppet shows and street plays to create awareness about cleanliness • Put up hoardings and banners for spreading messages about the advantages of cleanliness • Holding an inter-election ward Swachhata competition by forming a committee in each of the 19 wards.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 BENGALURU
A Gift From Students To Villagers
3 school students provide clean drinking water in a village of North Bengaluru
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HE residents of Hegganahalli in Devanahalli taluk of North Bengaluru can hope to be healthier in 2018. Thanks to the efforts of three school children, they finally have access to clean drinking water. Sukruth Krishna Kumar (Class 12), Suprith Krishna Kumar (Class 9) from The International School Bangalore (TISB), and Tarun Kumar Reddy (Class 12) from Canadian International School raised Rs 8 lakh and installed a filtration unit which provides clean drinking water for about 150 families (about 500 individuals) in this tiny village. “When we went to the village with my family once, we saw that the water was not clean. The residents told us that they had health issues regularly and their children were missing school often because of it,” says Sukruth. “We wanted to give them a water filtration unit. They had bore-wells from which the water was used for all purposes. When we checked the water, we found it had high fluoride
and salt content,” he adds. The students learnt that the cost of setting up a reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration plant that will provide 2000 litres of water would be around Rs 8 lakh. They approached the local government. “They agreed to give us the place free of cost. For construction and other works, we asked suppliers to give us the facility without taking any profit and they agreed.” It took a whole year’s hard work – convincing officials to grant a plot, raising money through online and offline campaigns, and getting the actual work done for the water filtration plant. Once the students had their plan, place and estimate ready, the next biggest task was to raise the money. “We wrote several letters to wellknown foundations and told them about our project. A few worked out, others didn’t. Later, we thought creating a charitable trust would be a better idea. Because we are minors, we registered the trust with our parents’ help. But we ourselves managed all other work, from accounts to the
Students installed a filtration unit to provide water for about 150 families They created a charitable trust which raised Rs 8 lakh for the project The local government provided space free of cost for the setting up of the unit project work,” says Sukruth. The students started fundraising through their charitable trust and then approached various philanthropists in the city. They even reached out to friends and acquaintances who might be willing to help. The last bit of the money was raised through online crowd funding. Finally, their dream has come true. And last month the plant was formally put in operation and today the villagers’ joy knows no bounds. The three musketeers now plan to expand their activities and look for more places where they can serve the needy.
Toilets For Techies CES 2018 brought home a plethora of new technological developments and a glimpse of the future including voiceactivated toilets
OHLER showcased their latest model of the Numi at CES 2018, which they classify as an “intelligent toilet.” The latest model of Kohler’s intelligent toilet and bidet features a heated seat, speakers with wireless streaming capability, Bluetooth capabilities, warm-air dryer, warm-water cleansing, a stainless steel wand with UV sanitisation, automatic flush, handsfree opening-closing lid, automatic deodorisation, touch-screen remote, foot warmer, nightlight, ambient lighting, and adjustable water temperature, pressure, and spray Kohler’s Pure Warmth toilet seat ensures that you never sit on an ice-cold toilet seat ever again. Plus the amazing one-of-a-kind toilet offers Touchless Flush technology, where you can flush via the motion sensor. Never touching a bacteriainfested toilet handle is a nice bonus for germaphobes.
Science & Technology
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018 AADHAAR
Face Recognition To Enhance Aadhaar Security UIDAI will roll out face authentication as an additional security feature for Aadhaar verification
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HE Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said it was soon going to roll out face authentication as an additional security feature for Aadhaar verification. The new feature, likely to be introduced by July, would make it convenient for those who have difficulty in authentication through fingerprint or iris scan.However, the face recognition would be used only in “fusion mode”, that is it would be valid only when used along with one more authentication feature -- fingerprint or iris or one-time password (OTP), the UIDAI said in a statement. Presently UIDAI provides two modes of biometric authentication
Quick Glance The new feature, likely to be introduced by July, 2018 The face recognition would be used only in “fusion mode” It would be valid when used with one more authentication feature
-- fingerprint and iris. It said that while most of the people are able to authenticate using these two features, some face difficulty in using biometric authentication using one of the modalities. “The UIDAI has decided to enable face authentication in fusion mode on registered devices by July 1, 2018 so that people facing difficulty in other biometric authentication (fingerprint and iris) could easily authenticate,” the Authority said. “The face authentication feature
3D Printing Creates Super Soft Organ Replicas A new 3D printing technique has been developed that can replicate biological structures
team of researchers have found a new 3D printing technique that allows them to replicate biological structures which could be used for tissue regeneration and replicate organs. They claim it is the first research to create structures that are soft enough to mimic the mechanical properties of organs such as the brain and lungs. “At the moment we have created structures a few centimetres in size, but ideally we’d like to create a replica of a whole organ using this technique,”
will provide additional option for all residents to have inclusive authentication. Besides, the feature will also be allowed on need basis,” it added. It said that since face photo is already available in UIDAI database, there is no need to capture any new reference data at the Authority’s Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR). According to UIDAI, the Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) will be required to ensure inclusive authentication when single modality is not working for specific residents. “A camera is now easily available on laptops and mobiles making the face capture easily feasible for Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) without needing any additional hardware. Face authentication with liveliness detection can be used as an additional factor to increase security,”
the Authority said. The AUA is an entity engaged in providing Aadhaar Enabled Services to Aadhaar holders, using the authentication as facilitated by the Authentication Service Agency (ASA). An AUA may be government/ public/private legal agency registered in India that uses Aadhaar authentication. To facilitate this authentication service, UIDAI will work with biometric device providers to integrate face modality into the certified registered devices and also may provide standalone Registered Device (RD) service as required. The UIDAI said it will provide Software Development Kits (SDKs)/ Registered Device (RD) services in various operating systems which will have the ability to capture face image, check liveliness, and create digitally signed and encrypted authentication input (PID block) as required. Aadhaar authentication is being used as the primary identity verification mechanism by many systems such as banks, telecom companies, PDS, Income Tax Department, employees attendance etc. “This facility is going to help in inclusive authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions,” it added.
said Zhengchu Tan, one of the researchers from the Imperial College. The researchers from Imperial College London developed this new technique, published in the journal Scientific Reports, using cryogenics (freezing) and 3D printing techniques. “Cryogenics is the novel aspect of this technology -- it uses the phase change between liquid and solid to trigger polymerisation and create super soft objects that can hold their
shape. This means that the technology has a wide variety of possible uses,” added Antonio Elia Forte. This means that these structures could be used in medical procedures to form scaffolds that can act as a template for tissue regeneration, where damaged tissues are encouraged to regrow. Additionally, the technique could be used to create replica body parts or even whole organs. These could be incredibly useful to scientists, allowing them to carry out experiments not possible on live subjects.
Science & Technology
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Writing A To-do List Will Help You Sleep Faster At Night A new study suggests that writing a “to-do” list at bedtime as it may aid in falling asleep
NABLE to sleep at night? Try writing a “to-do” list at bedtime as it may aid in falling asleep, a new study suggests. “Most people just cycle through their to-do lists in their heads, and so we wanted to explore whether the act of writing them down could counteract night time difficulties with falling asleep,” said lead author of the study Michael K. Scullin from Baylor University, in the US. The study compared sleep patterns of participants who took five minutes to write down upcoming duties versus participants who chronicled completed activities. “There are two schools of thought about this. One is that writing about the future would lead to increased worry about unfinished tasks and delay sleep, while journaling about completed activities should not trigger worry,” Scullin said. “The alternative hypothesis is that writing a to-do list will ‘off-load’ those thoughts and reduce worry,” he added.
Citizen scientists discover 5 exoplanets using Kepler
Citizen scientists have discovered five exoplanets using NASA’s Kepler telescope
ITIZEN scientists have discovered nearly five exoplanets -- planets outside
Quick Glance The study was published in the journal of Experimental Psychology Participants who wrote to-do lists fell asleep faster Individuals may derive benefit from writing such lists before sleep
For the study, published in Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers monitored electrical brain activity using electrodes on a group of healthy young adults. They completed a writing assignment for five minutes prior to overnight polysomnography
recording in a controlled sleep laboratory. They were randomly assigned to write about tasks that they needed to remember to complete the next few days (to-do list) or about tasks they had completed the previous few days (completed list).
Participants in the to-do list condition fell asleep significantly faster than those in the completedlist condition. The more specifically participants wrote their to-do list, the faster they subsequently fell asleep, whereas the opposite trend was observed when participants wrote about completed activities. Therefore, to facilitate falling asleep, individuals may derive benefit from writing a very specific to-do list for five minutes at bedtime rather than journaling about completed activities, the researchers noted.
our solar system that orbit a star -- using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. The discovery is through a project called Exoplanet Explorers, which part of the Zooniverse online platform -- a citizen’s science web portal. The project also featured on a programme called Stargazing Live on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “People anywhere can log on and learn what real signals from exoplanets look like, and then look through actual data collected from the Kepler telescope to vote on whether or not to classify a given signal as a transit, or just noise,” said Jessie Christiansen, scientist at the California Institute
of Technology (Caltech). “We have each potential transit signal looked at by a minimum of 10 people, and each needs a minimum of 90 per cent of ‘yes’ votes to be considered for further characterisation,” Christiansen added. The researchers announced the discovery of a four-planet system, named as K2-138, where the central star is slightly smaller and cooler than our sun. The system had 44 Jupiter-sized planets, 72 Neptunesized, 44 Earth-sized, and 53 socalled Super Earth’s, which are larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. The researchers also found that the
planets are orbiting in an interesting mathematical relationship called a resonance, in which each planet takes almost exactly 50 per cent longer to orbit the star than the next planet further in. This is the only system with a chain of unbroken resonances in this configuration, and may provide clues to theorists looking to unlock the mysteries of planet formation and migration. However, the researchers, writing in the paper published in The Astronomical Journal, noted that they found a fifth planet on the same chain of resonances, and hinted of a sixth planet as well. All five planets have orbital periods shorter than 13 days and are all incredibly hot, ranging from 800 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, the researchers said.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Meet other 2 Crystal awardees of 2018
Shah Rukh Khan among the three awardees of 24th Annual Crystal Awards CRYSTAL AWARDS
Indian ‘Crystal’ At Davos n SWASTIKA TRIPATHI
RTISTS are unique in the ways that they hold up a mirror to society – so that we can see the fractures more clearly, but equally that we can be reminded of our essential shared values.” These are the words of Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and CoFounder of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. And these very words come to life each year, when artists from across the world are honoured with the Annual Crystal Awards at the World Economic Forum summit for their commitment to make the world a better place to live in. The good news is that the shine of the awards has fallen on India once
Quick Glance Shah Rukh Khan is recognised for leadership in children’s and women’s rights King Khan’s Meer Foundation provides support to female victims of acid attacks The award ceremony will commence on January 22, 2018, at Davos
again, making the nation yet another time proud in the field of entertainment alongside social activism. The 24th edition of the Annual Crystal Awards will be feted to Bollywood’s very own ‘King Khan’ – Shah Rukh Khan. The actor is being honoured for his leadership in championing the cause of children’s and women’s rights in India.
CATE BLANCHETT | For her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed award-winning actor and director of both stage and screen. Appointed a UNHCR Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2016, in recognition of her commitment to refugees, she has lent her voice and influence to raising awareness, advocating and fundraising. She advocates for increased solidarity and responsibility sharing for 65 million-plus displaced people across the world. Sir Elton John | For his leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS Sir Elton John is one of the world’s most successful musical solo artists of all time, whose career has spanned more than five decades. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organisations. EJAF has raised more than $400 million to date to support hundreds of HIV/AIDS prevention, service and advocacy programmes around the globe.
MEER FOUNDATION Shah Rukh Khan is one of the Bollywood’s most prominent actors who has been at the forefront of the Indian film and television industry for over 30 years. The very tangled Bollywood schedules have never stopped him from performing his social responsibilities. King Khan is the founder of the non‐profit Meer Foundation which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. It aims to achieve equality whilst celebrating difference. “With victims of acid attacks I have had the privilege to witness the unparalleled courage and compassion that women are capable of. I have
Down the lane of Indian Crystals Sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar (1996) – for his outstanding excellence in the world of music and popularising Indian classical music in the West Sarod player and composer Amjad Ali Khan (1997) – for his outstanding contribution in the field of classical music and reinventing the technique of Sarod playing Actress and social activist Shabana Azmi (2006) – for her outstanding excellence in the field of art and having used it to reach out to other countries Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam danseuse Mallika Sarabhai (2009) – for her work in the fields of art and culture and women empowerment Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan (2009) – for his outstanding contribution to the world of cinema and having used the art to reach out to other cultures Music composer A R Rahman (2011) – for his achievements in the world of art and music, and commitment to helping underprivileged children
King Khan is responsible for creation of specialised children’s hospital wards and free cancer-care boarding seen the transformative strength of goodness and the healing power of gentleness,” says Khan. SPECIALISED CHILDREN’S WARD This Crystal winner has also been responsible for the creation of specialised children’s hospital wards. He has as well supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment.After the announcement of the winners of 2018, Khan took to the social media and poured his heart out on micro-blogging platform Twitter. He tweeted, “Thank u for this honour. I consider my work with these heroic & beautiful women a great privilege as it imparts dignity & purpose to my life. I hope to spread awareness of the unparalleled heroism of these ladies & reach out to others in order to carry this work to its conclusion.” DAVOS 2018 The Annual Crystal Awards ceremony celebrates the achievements of outstanding artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world. The 24th Annual Crystal Awards will be presented at the opening of the 48th World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Along with Shah Rukh Khan, Hollywood star Cate Blanchett and iconic musician Sir Elton John will be honoured with the award. The award ceremony will be held on January 22, 2018.
JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
EVENTS & MORE...
ACROSS 6. Oscar Awards were instituted in 7. This state Chief Minister launched skill development training centres across the state recently.
13. Jude Felix is a famous Indian player in which of the fields? 14. Who is the father of English Poetry? 15. In which year the First Round Table Conference was held?
ALLIANCE FRANCAISE DE DELHI 72, KK BIRLA MARG, LODI ESTATE, NEW DELHI 21 JAN 2018 6:15PM-7:15PM
SSB CROSSWORD NO. 6
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17. Who takes the military salute during the parade on Republic day? 18. Which company opens 1st Machine Learning Research Lab in Asia with Google AI China Center? 20. Who has written the book ‘My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir’?
1. In India the first television programme was broadcasted in
2. ‘Madhubani’, a style of folk paintings, is popular in which of the following states in India? 3. This country will host the mini-ministerial meeting of WTO members in Feb 2018 to revitalize the multi-lateral trade body. 4. The National Anthem was first sung in the year 5. The national song of India is adopted from the work ‘Anantha Math’. The work comprises of usages from two different languages.
Bollyjazz - The Big Band live at The Bar Cat Venue THE BAR CAT E-17, 3RD FLOOR, SOUTH EXTENSION 2, NEW DELHI 27 JAN 2018 9PM - 28 JAN 2018 12:30AM
Yeh Kaun Log Hain? - A hindi stand up comedy show - With Kishore Dayani, Mayank Pandey Venue
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1. Oxygen 2. Nagpur 3. China 4. Italy 5. Bangalore 6. Karnataka 7. Baseball 8. Jayapala 9. Amazon 10. Sind
11. Nylon 12. Jhelum 13. Arjun 14. Weeds 15. Oersted 16. Dutch 17. Sungas 18. Gwalior 19. Gauda 20. Silicon
8. David Copperfield is the name of 9. The minimum age to qualify for election to the Lok Sabha is 10. What is part of a database that holds only one type of information? 11. Which state was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat in 1960? 12. Where did the Republic Day parade in Delhi held? 16. Which of the following country bans Solo Climbing on Mount Everest recently? 19. In which of the following festivals are boat races a special feature?
SOLUTION OF SUDOKU-5
Nok Nok live at The Bar Cat Venue THE BAR CAT E-17, 3RD FLOOR, SOUTH EXTENSION 2, NEW DELHI 25 JAN 2018 9PM - 26 JAN 2018 12AM
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JANUARY 22 - 28, 2018
Abandoned Child Now A Swiss Parliamentarian Niklaus-Samuel Gugger becomes first Indian to be elected to the Swiss parliament
IS biological mother Anasuiya could never have imagined that Niklaus-Samuel Gugger, whom she abandoned in a hospital 48 years ago just after his birth, would be the first Indian to be elected to the Swiss parliament. Born in CSI Lombard Memorial Hospital, run by Basel Mission, in Karnataka’s Udupi town, on May 1, 1970, Niklaus was adopted by a Swiss couple within a week of his abandonment Niklaus’s new parents -- Fritz and Elizbeth -- took him to Kerala when he was just 15 days old and they lived there for around four years before moving to their native place in Switzerland. There, Niklaus had to drive trucks and work as a gardener as his adoptive parents were not rich enough to finance his higher studies. In 2002, he was elected town councillor from Winterthur city northeast of Zurich near the German border. Subsequently, in November 2017, he was elected as a member of Switzerland parliament on the ticket of the Evangelical People’s Party. Niklaus, better known as Nik, was among 143 People of Indian Origin (PIO) parliamentarians from 24 countries who took part in the conference organised by the Ministry of External Affairs to engage the diaspora as part of its diplomatic outreach.
Against The Taboo Of Re-marriage
Rajasthan’s Sanhita plays matchmaker for her widowed mother
UR society is plagued with a lot of taboos. One of them is widow remarriage. But in a sign of the changing times, a young woman has got her widowed mother married despite opposition from society and family. Geeta Agarwal was 52-year-old when her husband Mukesh died of cardiac arrest in 2016. The Jaipur school teacher went into depression, which worsened when her younger daughter Sanhita moved to Gurgaon in March, 2017, for work. Worried over the condition of her mother, Sanhita decided to do something that takes a lot of emotional strength, sensibility and courage. She set out on the mission to find a suitable
match for Geeta. She created her mother’s profile on a matrimonial site and gave her own phone number on it. Geeta was apprehensive about the plan. Plus the family was too against just the idea of remarriage. But, Sanhita finally convinced her mother to meet KG Gupta, a 55-year-old revenue inspector from Banswara, who had lost his wife to cancer. Gupta even came to Jaipur when Geeta was advised a hysterectomy and was by her side for three days. This convinced Geeta even more to give marriage another shot. Thus, eventually, the two have now gotten (re) married. Sanhita is now happy to see her mother smile again.
r o o p e h t Feeding ’ n o o k a s ‘ with Cancer doesn’t detract Jagdish Lal Ahuja from his life’s mission
will continue the ‘langar’ (community kitchen) till my last breath. This is something that gives me ‘sakoon’ (satisfaction and contentment). Doing this is god’s command to me and I will continue this,” says Jagdish Lal Ahuja, who is a frequent sight in Chandigarh outside Gate No. 2 of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PGIMER), a premier referral hospital. He is 83 years old and has been serving free food to the poor and needy for over three-and-a-half decades. He is fighting cancer and has sold off assets to keep his community service going. And, despite the odds, there is no let-up in the enthusiasm of this businessman in what he thinks is his life’s mission. Having started organising langars across Chandigarh and adjoining areas way back in 1981, Ahuja started the daily langar outside the PGI, which attracts hundreds of patients and their attendants from all states in northern India and even faraway places like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, in 2001. Popularly known as the “PGI Bhandare Wale” and “Langar Baba” by people coming there, for Ahuja the inspiration to carry out the free langar came from his grandmother, Mai Gulabi, who used to organise such langars in their hometown Peshawar (now in Pakistan) for poor people. “I don’t want anyone to go on an empty stomach. I have faced very hard times in my childhood. In these people, I can recall those times. If I am able to contribute even a small percentage to lessen their suffering, I will try my best,” says Ahuja, who is not bothered about his own ill-health.
RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 2, ISSUE - 06 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain
Published on Jan 30, 2018